Aug. 11, 2014, Guelph, Ont. – The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP) is available in Ontario again for 2014.
Farm businesses are now able to access cost-share dollars for on-farm projects such as planting windbreaks, setting up rotational grazing, fencing livestock out of sensitive areas and establishing buffers along watercourses.
The program is available province wide and offers opportunities for all farm businesses interested in adopting one or more of the eligible BMPs. Up to $20,000 is available for all farm businesses meeting the eligibility requirements. Farm applicants with a keen interest in species at risk and/or those who have SAR on their properties may be able to access 60 to 80 per cent cost-share, to a maximum of $10,000-$20,000 per project. However, up to 50 per cent cost-share is available for individuals interested in installing fencing and planting windbreaks without a focus on SAR.
To be eligible to participate in SARFIP, Ontario farm businesses must have a completed Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) that has been verified and have a Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN). Candidates can then select eligible BMP categories from the SARFIP list that relate to an action identified in their farm’s EFP Action Plan. Projects initiated on or after April 1, 2014 may be eligible.
SARFIP is available now and is a first-come, first-served program. Click here for more information.
July 29, 2014 - Albertans now have another tool at their fingertips when it comes to farm safety.
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) has developed and launched a Farm Safety Online Directory with contacts to individuals and organizations providing services in the area of farm safety.
"This directory was created in response to feedback from farmers and agricultural organizations requesting a list of farm safety contacts," says Kenda Lubeck, farm safety coordinator, ARD, Grande Prairie "We compiled a list of businesses and individuals that provide a service relating to awareness, education or training in farm safety. The tool is designed to help people do things like seek advice for creating a farm safety plan, hire a safety program trainer, or find a farm safety presenter for an agricultural event."
The directory was launched in May and currently contains 24 contacts, but Lubeck expects the number of entries to increase as more people become aware of the resource. Contacts are added as requests to be included are received.
Contacts in the directory are not screened or endorsed by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.
July 24, 2014, Guelph, Ont. –The Agricultural Management Institute (AMI) launched The Most Profitable Acre Challenge Wednesday to test the skills of business-savvy corn and soybean crop farmers.
The challenge looks at farmer input costs, production practices, yield, sale prices, money management best practices, and more to determine the most profitable acre harvested by corn and soybean farmers in Ontario. The challenge celebrates farmers who have successfully implemented best business management practices, and encourages all crop farmers to evaluate the way they run their businesses in order to maximize efficiencies and profitability.
The competition is open to all corn and soybean farmers in the province. The winners will be graded on cost of production and value of returns, as well as a points system.
To register, corn and soybean farmers must submit their name, phone number, and email address to AMI at www.takeanewapproach.ca/challenge by Nov. 23. Contestants must be available to participate in two half-hour phone questionnaires with an AMI staff member in December. During the initial phone call, the participant will be asked a set of 13 crop production and business management related questions. Top scoring applicants will be asked to participate in a follow-up phone questionnaire.
The grand prize winner will be awarded their choice of an FM-750 Display Trimble GPS, or a trip for two to one of three farm show destinations, including the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Ariz., the 2015 Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky., and the 2015 International Farm Management Congress in Quebec City, Que. Prizes for second and third runners-up will be announced closer to the contest close date. The winners will be presented with their awards at the 2015 Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic.
July 3, 2014, Etobicoke, Ont. – CleanFARMS is working with Ontario farmers to find solutions for disposing of various on-farm waste with a pilot program for the disposal of empty seed and pesticide bags for farmers in southwestern Ontario.
The program began in May and will end in September and is meant to offer Ontario farmers a more environmentally friendly disposal solution for these bags.
Collection bags can be picked up from select agricultural retailers across southwestern Ontario. Before returning them, farmers are asked to ensure their seed and pesticide bags are empty and tied. All bags will be accepted, free of charge, and collected by CleanFARMS, where they will be transported to a disposal facility that recovers thermal energy and coverts it into electricity and steam for use within our community.
Farmers may return empty pesticide bags, including multi-walled paper, plastic and aluminum. Multi-walled paper and polywoven plastic empty seed bags are also accepted. A map of collection sites can be found on cleanfarms.ca.
June 26, 2014, Regina, SK - Aaron and Adrienne Ivey of Ituna, Sask. are the 2014 Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) for Saskatchewan. The Ivey's operate a mixed cattle and grain farm in partnership with Aaron's parents. Aaron and Adrienne were chosen at a recent OYF event at Regina's Farm Progress Show that included Honourable Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan's agriculture minister. The Ivey's will go on to represent Saskatchewan at the Outstanding Young Farmers national event later this year in Quebec City.
In 2000, Aaron and Adrienne purchased their first land after completing their agriculture degrees. The farm supported Aaron full time from the start. And Adrienne worked off farm for agricultural retailers and seed companies as the family farm business grew, and they expanded their family to include two children. By 2013, Adrienne turned her professional experience to help grow their farm business, on a full-time basis.
"A passion for agriculture doesn't guarantee success, and the Ivey's have blended their passion with a planned approach that means their farm now supports their entire family," says OYF 1st vice president Luanne Lynn. "Persistence and patience are equally important inputs in any farm operation, and Aaron and Adrienne are living the benefits of their hard work. OYF is proud to recognize their farming family, and applaud the path they have taken to get to this great recognition."
For the past 15 years, the Ivey's have focused on building their cow herd, their land base, their family, as well as restricting their operation. They focus on improving production and the bottom line, always with an eye to the future. Variety trials, grazing demonstrations and plant growth promoter trials are used to evaluate their current and future practices.
Aaron and Adrienne are passionate about agriculture and are passing along their optimism for the continued opportunities in this industry to their children Noelle (8) and Colton (6). Off farm, Aaron is involved with organizations looking to bring government and producer group funding and focus back to research for beef and forage sectors.
Celebrating 34 years of identifying great agricultural successes, Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers' program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer CropScience, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and by national media sponsor Annex Publishing. OYF is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.
Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2014 will be chosen at the National Event in Quebec City, Quebec from November 26-30, 2014.
June 10, 2014, Chatham, Ont. – DuPont Pioneer is inviting applications from rural rescue organizations across Canada for the Funding Initiative for Rural Emergencies (F.I.R.E.). The program intends to provide much-needed rescue equipment and training for rural fire departments and emergency services.
The F.I.R.E. program launched in 2013 and the company committed more than $100,000 to 32 rural emergency departments across Canada. The funds assisted with the purchase of key equipment and training, ranging from grain bin rescue equipment, oxygen tank refill stations, ventilation fans and jaws of life rescue tools.
April 11, 2014 - Glenn and Deb Harrison, who run a broiler chicken operation outside of Uxbridge, Ont., are pleased to talk about how recent changes to the lighting used in their barns has resulted in many benefits apart from energy savings alone. Last year, the couple participated the (now closed) cost-share program called Farming Power, which provided farm businesses with funding to improve on-farm energy efficiency in the Greenbelt.
Before applying to the program Glenn took his time and did his research carefully to find the bulbs with the best fit for his two barns. He tested about fifteen different types of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps, and states that there were four reasons he went to LED rather than compact fluorescent lamps.
First and foremost, he says, was the electricity savings. The LED lamps are expected to save approximately 119,246 kWh or $19,000 per year at $0.16/kWh. Apart from the energy savings and economic benefit, the LED lamps last longer than fluorescent lamps: 15,000 hours for a compact fluorescent versus 25,000 for LED lamps. "Changing the lamps is just one less job I will have to do," he adds.
In addition, Glenn points out that the LED bulb is self-contained, meaning he will not have to remove them when he washes down the barn, making cleaning easier. And, while compact florescent lamps lose their brightness over time, the new LED lamps do not.
"When I was considering making the switch to LED lamps the benefits were just too obvious," he remarks. "So I jumped in and made the plunge."
Since transitioning to broiler chickens in 2002, Glenn and Deb have been looking for ways to optimize production and their bottom line. They have installed solar walls on both barns to pre-heat the incoming fresh air and, since lighting is one of the biggest energy users of all, he and Deb see this Farming Power project as a very bright idea.
Glenn reflects how he found applying for the Farming Power program through the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association to be straightforward and simple. As stated previously, his electrician was involved in the application process to verify the amount of energy savings the new lamps would provide. The pair is quite satisfied with the results as well and sees the benefits the lights will have for the farm's bottom line. Knowing Glenn, Deb smiles when she says that she expects he will continue to explore and research other energy saving projects in the future.
Overall, the lighting project implemented by the Harrisons will result in an expected 91 per cent reduction in energy consumption of on-farm lighting, the highest amount of energy savings of all the projects completed under the Farming Power program. The Greenbelt Foundation is pleased to present the Harrison's with a $2,000 prize to applaud them for their efforts as one of the top energy saving farms within the program.
"Greenbelt farmers, like the Harrisons, are on the cutting edge when it comes to innovations that help protect the environment and help grow their business," said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. "By partnering with the OSCIA, we are providing the solution to keeping our environment healthy, while also supporting substantial, long-term economic benefits for farmers."
The Farming Power program provided cost-share opportunities for farm businesses in the Greenbelt to implement select Best Management Practices focused on lighting, refrigeration, cooling and heating upgrades to increase energy efficiency within agricultural operations. The program was funded by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and delivered though the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association in the 2013 cropping season.
July 16, 2013, Chatham, Ont. – DuPont Pioneer says it will invest $100,000 in rural safety across Canada over the next year, with the launch of FIRE, the Funding Initiative for Rural Emergencies. The program, which launched July 13 following its first donation to the Howick Fire Department in Howick, Ont., will provide much-needed rescue equipment and training for rural fire departments and emergency services.
Howick community members, Pioneer employees, local dignitaries and media viewed a live demonstration of training and equipment on July 13. The demonstration simulated a grain bin rescue emergency – a likely scenario for farming communities dependent on local volunteer fire departments.
Pioneer says it will work with local fire departments and rescue services to determine areas of need. These funds are being devoted to the purchase of necessities such as grain entrapment rescue equipment and training, air bottle containment refill stations among other emergency resources.
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