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July 5, 2017 / 0 Comments

On-farm projects to improve Lake Huron water quality

By Lilian Schaer on behalf of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association Guelph, Ontario

Local landowners and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority are working together on a program to improve water quality in the Lake Huron coastal watershed.

The Priority Subwatershed Project (PSP) provides landowners in the Garvey-Glenn and Gully Creek subwatersheds with cost share funding to implement on-farm Best Management Practices (BMPs) that boost soil health and water quality.

Community interest was high and work has been underway in those two areas since 2008 to understand nutrient enrichment in the tributaries, according to Mari Veliz, Healthy Watersheds Supervisor at the conservation authority, providing a solid base from which to build on.
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July 5, 2017 / 0 Comments

Council names Conservation Hall of Fame Inductee

Council names Conservation Hall of Fame Inductee
Beausejour, Manitoba June 23, 2017

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) has announced that Harold Rudy is the 2017 inductee to the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame. He will be officially inducted at a ceremony on August 22, 2017, at the SCCC Summit on Canadian Soil Health in Guelph, Ontario.
Harold Rudy grew up and continues to live on the family farm with his partner Sandra, near New Hamburg, Ontario. Here he established a thorough understanding of grassroots agriculture. He earned a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) – Economics and Business Major and a Master of Science, School of Rural Planning, both from the University of Guelph. Following positions in farm management and research, he joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) as a “Soil Conservation Advisor”. Here he assisted farmers in all aspects of soil conservation.
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June 28, 2017 / 0 Comments

National EFP Summit


Connecting the value chain from farm to fork: National EFP Summit will take place again this November

(Calgary, Alberta) June 28, 2017 – The National Environmental Farm Plan (NEFP) steering committee invites Agri-food stakeholders from across the value chain to attend the second annual NEFP Summit in Ottawa this November. Building on unprecedented support from last year’s summit, attendees will further develop this national standard designed to connect environmentally sustainable practices at the farm level with global food buyers’ growing need to source sustainable ingredients.

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is a voluntary, whole-farm, self-assessment tool that helps farmers and ranchers identify and build on environmental strengths, as well as mitigate risks on their operations. The NEFP would not be a replacement program, but rather a harmonization effort across the existing EFP programs nation wide. Through a producer-driven national standard, the NEFP will be able to ensure consistency for buyers, regardless of where in Canada they source their products.

The 2017 National EFP Summit will bring stakeholders together once again to learn about the NEFP steering committee’s progress and participate in valuable conversations that will further guide the national harmonization effort.
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June 21, 2017 / 0 Comments

Local farmers, Conservation Authority take lead in improving water quality

By Lilian Schaer on behalf of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association
Guelph, Ontario

Farmers in the Chatham-Kent area are actively participating in a special cost-share program to boost water quality in the region through changing practices on-farm.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) has long been working with local farmers on implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to improve the watershed’s environmental performance and improve the quality of the water flowing into Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.

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June 16, 2017 / 0 Comments

Introducing GrassLander: Ontario Farmers Growing Conservation Science

As a response to declining Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark populations across the province, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has teamed up with researchers to launch an innovative, citizen-science platform for farmers to record sightings of these two species at risk. GrassLander, a convenient web-based map, gives Ontario farmers the ability to easily collect data on grassland bird behaviour. This valuable data will contribute to a better scientific understanding of population trends that can help to inform science-based decision-making.

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June 7, 2017 / 0 Comments

BadgerWay 2017 now available

OSCIA is pleased to announce the return of the BadgerWay Program for 2017, with applications now being accepted for eligible projects initiated on or after April 1, 2017. BadgerWay is part of the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) initiative funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada, and supports farm habitat for the American badger, a species at risk in Ontario.

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June 2, 2017 / 0 Comments

The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program is back for its 10th year – benefiting more than ever before!

Guelph, ON – The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP) is back for 2017! Now in its 10th year, SARFIP supports Ontario producers who are enhancing on-farm habitat for species at risk across the province! The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, is pleased to continue to offer this impactful program. With streamlined funding levels and updated application forms—and up to $20,000 available per farm business—it’s easy to benefit more with SARFIP.

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April 11, 2017 / 0 Comments

Farmers supporting grassland bird habitat through the Grassland Stewardship Program

By Lilian Schaer for Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

Growing up, Ellen Cottrell remembers a small grassland bird called the bobolink being a common sight on her family’s rural Ontario farm. That’s no longer the case – the striking song bird that depends on hayfields and pasture for breeding habitat is now a species at risk in Ontario.

That wasn’t something she became aware of though until her local conservation authority asked if she and her husband Dean would be interested in participating in a grassland bird study being conducted by Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario (BECO). Read More

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