Business & Policy
Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program back for its 10th year
By Top Crop Manager
The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP) is back for 2017. Now in its 10th year, SARFIP supports Ontario producers who are enhancing on-farm habitat for species at risk across the province. The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, is pleased to continue to offer this impactful program. With streamlined funding levels and updated application forms – and up to $20,000 available per farm business – it’s easy to benefit more with SARFIP.
Farms in Ontario can access cost-share dollars for on-farm projects that implement a variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs). With a diversity of project opportunities, eligible BMPs encompass activities around croplands, grasslands, shorelines, stream banks, wetlands and woodlands. Many opportunities are available to support critical habitat through SARFIP, including cross fencing for rotational grazing, watering systems for livestock, native tree planting, improved stream crossings, native grassland plantings, invasive species removal and erosion control structures, among others.
SARFIP 2017 is open to all agricultural landowners in the province. Projects that provide indirect benefits to species at risk are eligible for 50 per cent cost-share, and projects that directly benefit species at risk are eligible for 65 per cent. An additional bonus of 10 per cent cost-share is available for direct benefit projects if the producer is interested in enrolling in SAR-Watch, a monitoring program that measures the impact of SARFIP projects on the ground for species at risk.
To find out if SARFIP is a good fit with your farm, consult the program brochure for complete and detailed program information. All program materials, including the brochure and application forms can be found on the OSCIA website. To be eligible to participate in SARFIP, Ontario farms must have a completed 3rd or 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) workbook and Action Plan that has been verified and completed within the last five years.
Applications are now being accepted, and funding will be allocated to eligible projects in the order in which they are received until fully allocated. Funding for this program is limited; if you have a project idea that fits, submit your application as soon as possible. Projects initiated on or after April 1, 2017 may be eligible.
For more information on eligibility criteria, the application process, and program deadlines, or to sign up to an upcoming EFP workshop in your area, visit the SARFIP page on the OSCIA website at www.ontariosoilcrop.org/oscia-programs/sarfip/ or contact OSCIA directly at 519-826-3035 or SARFIP@ontariosoilcrop.org.