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Farmers plant greener future

Federal and provincial governments have combined resources to invest more than $42 million in the next four years towards environmental and stewardship projects, including GPS tracking of pesticide and nutrient applications and improved manure management.

June 22, 2009  By Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs

June 22, 2009

More Ontario farm environmental and stewardship projects will be supported through the new Growing Forward Environmental and Climate Change program, contributing to a healthier environment in rural communities. 

The program, to be delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, will offer farmers environmental farm planning educational workshops that promote the adoption of best management practices for soil, water, air and biodiversity. It will support farmers’ continued efforts to implement environmental improvement projects, such as:

  • The use of global positioning system technology to improve pesticide and nutrient application;
  • Improved manure management;
  • Planting vegetated buffer strips in riparian areas to protect water quality, and water well upgrades.

Canada and Ontario will provide $42.3 million during the next four years for the program, on top of $14.8 million provided during the continuity year. The new program builds on the internationally recognized success of the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan program, first introduced in 1992.

"This program clearly shows how our government puts farmers first by offering best practices that not only help the environment but also the profitability and efficiency of farms," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This program is part of the Growing Forward framework that is delivering real results for farmers.” 

“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," said Leona Dombrowsky, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "By investing in this program, we are partnering with farmers to support a healthier environment.” 

Some quick facts inlude: 

  • More than 35,000 Ontario farmers have voluntarily participated in environmental farm plan educational workshops.
  • Since April 2005, Ontario farmers have completed more than 17,500 environmental improvement projects identified in their environmental farm plans.
  • The new program is administered by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, acting on behalf of the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition.


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