Ont. renews EFP program funding

Ontario and the federal government have pledged a combined $42.3 million to continue environmental farm plan (EFP) programming in the province for another four years.

Funding for what’s now called the Environmental and Climate Change program will flow through the federal/provincial Growing Forward ag policy framework.

The program, to be delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, will offer farmers environmental farm planning educational workshops that promote adopting “best management practices for soil, water, air and biodiversity.”

The program is expected to support farmers’ plans to implement environmental improvement projects, such as:

  • the use of global positioning system (GPS) technology to improve pesticide and nutrient application;
  • improved manure management;
  • planting vegetated buffer strips in riparian areas; and
  • water well upgrades.

The two governments have also pledged to provide $14.8 million during the 2008-09 continuity year. The new program, they said, “builds on the internationally recognized success of the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan program” which dates back to 1992.

“Ontario farmers are the first stewards of our land. They understand the importance of good agricultural practices to protect the environment they live and work in,” provincial Ag Minister Leona Dombrowsky said in a release Monday.

“By investing in this program, we are partnering with farmers to support a healthier environment.”

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