A new funding program being delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) aims to improve soil health through investments in nutrient application equipment. With 60 per cent cost-share support, up to a maximum of $25,000 per business, this is a significant opportunity for Ontario’s nutrient applicators.
The Manure and Biosolids Management Program, available to all Licensed Custom Applicators in Ontario, seeks to enhance soil health across the province. Adding organic matter to the soil is a key piece of building soil health, particularly when applied using precise and innovative spreading techniques.
“It’s the multiplier effect that is so significant within the Manure and Biosolids Management Program” said Andrew Graham, Executive Director of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. “Each implemented Best Management Practice can benefit soil health on many farm properties. The potential impacts are exponential.”
The Manure and Biosolids Management program encourages the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that enhance soil health, improve application accuracy to reduce phosphorus loss from the field edge, and protect water quality. Improving soil health is also an important part of the agri-food industry’s work to mitigate climate change. Funding is available to customize spreading equipment to allow in-crop application, or to allow slurry seeding of cover crops. There is also an Innovative Approaches BMP that allows businesses to invest in up-and-coming technology that is not yet available in Ontario.
“There are new ideas coming forward from around the world for precision manure application and data management,” says Mack Emiry, President of OSCIA. “The Innovative Approaches BMP encourages businesses to invest in these technologies, raising the bar for nutrient management here in Ontario.”
Funding for the Manure and Biosolids Management Program is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible applicants must have an up-to-date Nutrient Application Technician Licence and/or an up-to-date Prescribed Materials Application Business Licence. Applications
can be made immediately. Projects must be complete, and claims submitted by January 15, 2018.
Funding is provided through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. For more information on the Manure and Biosolids Management Program, visit www.ontariosoilcrop.org/oscia-programs/manure-and-biosolids-management-program/ or contact OSCIA directly at 226-706-8669 or MBMP@ontariosoilcrop.org.
“Canadian farmers are great stewards of the environment and of our agricultural soils. This new program is part of the Government’s commitment to conserve soil health, improve water quality, and address climate change. Investments like this encourage innovation in farm technology and processes to ensure we are world leaders in developing and implementing sustainable farming practices.”
– Lawrence MacAulay, Minister Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
“We all know that healthy soils are the basis for a strong, sustainable agri-food system. That’s why our government is proud to be providing $1 million through Growing Forward 2 to help support new investments in environmental stewardship. These investments will benefit soil health, support climate change mitigation and improve water quality, improving the lives of generations to come. By working together, we are ensuring programs like this continue to meet the needs of our producers, helping strengthen businesses and boost our economy.”
– Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Karen Jacobs, Programs Coordinator
karen.jacobs [a] ontariosoilcrop.org