The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association is pleased to announce the launch of the Lake Simcoe Soil Health Improvement Project (LS-SHIP). Following in the footsteps of the Soil Health Improvement Program, available last fall, LS-SHIP offers financial support to farmers in the Lake Simcoe watershed for implementing select Best Management Practices (BMPs) that improve soil health and water quality. Funding for LS-SHIP is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.
Similar in structure to the Farmland Health Incentive Program, LS-SHIP requires producers to complete an on-farm soil health assessment by working with a participating Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) or Professional Agrologist (P. Ag.). Free of charge to producers, the Soil Health Check-Up and the Muck Soil Health Check-Up offer producers a unique opportunity to assess the health of their farm and develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) that are tailored to the specific needs of their operation.
“A customizable cost-share program, the Lake-Simcoe Soil Health Improvement Project gives farmers the opportunity to work one-on-one with a CCA or P.Ag to identify BMPs that would benefit their farm operation and the greater health of the watershed,” said Andréa Dubé-Goss, Environmental Programs Manger for OSCIA. “Then, producers can access funding to implement these BMPs that will help to support a healthy Lake Simcoe.”
The Lake Simcoe Soil Health Improvement Project offers up to 50% cost-share to a maximum of $20,000 in funding to producers in the Lake Simcoe watershed who implement BMPs after completing a Soil Health or Muck Soil Health Check-Up. Eight BMPs are eligible for cost-share under LS-SHIP: cover crops; crop nutrient plans; buffer strips; windbreaks and windstrips; equipment customization; erosion control structures; fragile land retirement; and runoff water management.
Applications are now being accepted for this initiative. Funding will be allocated to eligible projects in the order in which applications are received. LS-SHIP application materials are available online, as well as a list of participating CCAs and P.Ags who can deliver the Soil Health Check-Up to producers.
For more information on eligibility criteria, the application process, and program deadlines, visit the OSCIA website at ontariosoilcrop.org or contact OSCIA directly at 226-706-8669 or SHIP@ontariosoilcrop.org.