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Archive for the ‘Programs’ Category

The agri-food sector has always been innovative in running businesses, adapting practices and collaborating to compete in the world economy. To help spur and to celebrate this innovative spirit, the Government of Ontario created the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program.

Have you developed and implemented a unique product or process that helps foster innovation in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector? Apply and you could be eligible to receive one of these awards:

  • Premier’s Award (one award valued at $75,000)
  • Minister’s Award (one award valued at $50,000)
  • Leaders in Innovation Awards (three awards valued at $25,000 each)
  • Provincial Awards (45 awards valued at $5,000 each)

Primary producers/farmers, processors and agri-food organizations are invited to apply. You can apply with a range of innovative projects, including projects that have shown innovation in environmental stewardship and bio-energy. Some examples of previous environmental project award winners:

  • In 2009, Leamington Area Drip Irrigation won the top level Premier’s Award for their project to improve water efficiency on 13 partner farms. The final pipeline is 36 kilometres long and the system can precisely monitor the amount of water being delivered from Lake Erie to 2,500 acres of tomatoes in the Leamington area.
  • Truly Green won an award in 2014 for their system that uses by-products from a neighbouring ethanol plant to make their greenhouses carbon neutral.
  • Van Arkel Farms won an award in 2016 for their soil health projects. Some of their innovations include experimenting with different cover crops for soil protection and rapid sequestration of nutrients, pioneering a reduced tillage system and developing a custom manure injector that decreases runoff and minimized soil disturbance.

There are many different areas and projects that could qualify beyond environmental stewardship. Download the 2017 Program Guidebook and Application Form at ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation. The guidebook gives ideas for different innovative areas and projects, but applicants are not limited to this list. Read about past Premier’s Award winners at ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation for more project ideas.

Apply today for a chance to be a Premier’s Award winner! Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017. You can find submission information in the guidebook.

Contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or email premiersagrifoodinnovationaward@ontario.ca for more information.

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OMAFRA is once again looking to identify qualified representatives for potential appointment to the Business Risk Management Review Committee (BRMRC).  The ministry has launched a recruitment process to appoint a part-time Chair, Vice-Chair and Members to this agency.

The BRMRC is a ministry agency responsible for reviewing program participant requests in the case of disagreement on how program rules were applied to applications to select BRM programs by the program administrator. It is important that the BRMRC have representation from a cross-section of Ontario’s diverse agricultural sector.  Background information on the agency as well as job advertisements to the different positions can be found on the Public Appointment Secretariat website (https://www.pas.gov.on.ca/scripts/en/advertPositions.asp).

Anyone interested in applying can do so directly on the Public Appointment Secretariat website at (https://www.pas.gov.on.ca/scripts/en/advertPositions.asp ) until March 7, 2017.

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Established in 2014, the Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers, gives farmers a tax credit valued at 25 per cent of the fair market value of the agricultural products they donate. Community food programs, like the student nutrition program, also benefit by receiving more fresh local food for distribution to Ontario families.

This credit helps to ensure that more locally grown food ends up on people’s plates, and that includes the people who need it most in our communities.

To get the credit, you must:

  • be a resident of Ontario
  • have a farming business in Ontario
  • have donated agricultural products to an eligible community food program in Ontario.

Eligible products include:

  • meat and meat by-products
  • eggs and dairy products
  • fish
  • fruits and vegetables
  • grains and pulses
  • herbs, honey, maple syrup and mushrooms

To receive the donation, community food programs must:

  • be registered as a charity under the Income Tax Act (Canada)
  • be able to issue receipts for the fair market value of food donated by farmers

More details on the tax credit are available by visiting: ontario.ca/fooddonation

If you are a farmer, reach out to your local community organizations and see how you can work together to bring more fresh, local food to people in need.

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Ontario is helping corn and soybean farmers comply with recent rules protecting insect pollinators by continuing to provide mandatory training for free until April 30, 2017.

Farmers need the training if they wish to purchase and use neonicotinoid-treated corn and/or soybean seeds.

The half-day course is available in English or French, online or in class in towns across Ontario and at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus. To register, call 1-866-225-9020, or go online at www.IPMcertified.ca

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Windbreaks can increase crop yields up to 15 per cent, more than making up for the amount of land they use. How? Windbreaks improve a field’s microclimate by reducing wind speeds, increasing temperatures and reducing the amount of moisture loss.

Have you considered planting a windbreak? Windbreaks can also:

  • reduce soil erosion
  • decrease odour and spray drift
  • offer alternative income options
  • save you up to 30 per cent in heating and energy costs
  • shelter livestock from the wind and sun

windbreaks

Graph: Each bar represents yield average, as studied by the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. Yields increased on the downwind side of the windbreak over distances of up to 12 times the height of the windbreak.  Crop yield increases vary by crop type. Taken from Establishing Tree Cover.

 What are the costs associated with planting windbreaks?

There are costs when planting a windbreak, such as site preparation, purchasing the trees and planting. Some conservation authorities in Ontario have cost-share programs that can help you with these costs. Contact your local conservation authority to see how they can help you plan and plant a windbreak.

What type of windbreak should you plant?

The type of windbreak you plant and how you plant it depends on the purpose for the windbreak.

  • One to three rows of trees are most often planted to protect field crops from the wind and to reduce soil erosion. Multiple row windbreaks often include at least one row of conifers.
  • Think about planting at least one row of hardwood trees for future alternative income sources, such as wood for fence posts, fuel and lumber.
  • Plant a shelterbelt (more than three rows of trees) around your home and farm buildings to save on energy costs.
  • Plant a conifer windbreak to provide livestock with wind and sun protection.
  • Windbreaks deflect odours upward if properly situated to the barn.
  • The taller the windbreak, the greater the area it protects. Consider the maximum height of the tree species you choose and determine if it will provide you with the protection you need.
  • Keep in mind the crops that you plan to plant beside the windbreak, and the winter hardiness and typical lifespan of the selected tree species.
  • Some trees may be better suited for areas with tile drains than others, an important, and potentially money-saving, consideration.

The type of soil of your land and the region of the province you’re in will also affect the type of trees you can plant. Trees can thrive and provide maximum protection when they’re matched with the right soils. Visit the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Tree Atlas to determine the best trees for your situation.

Need help?

For help with planning and planting a windbreak, contact your local conservation authority. They may be able to visit your planned windbreak site and help you with your planting plan, site preparation, choices of tree species, and appropriate spacing and planting, as well as windbreak maintenance.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has many resources to help you with windbreak planning. Visit our website to watch four windbreak videos on planning, planting, maintenance and farmer windbreak success stories. Our free Best Management Practices book, “Establishing Tree Cover,” provides a step-by-step guide for planning and planting a windbreak and includes maintenance tips. Contact OMAFRA’s Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca for more information.

 

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Farm Management Canada (FMC) and the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs (CADAP) are proud to announce the 2015-2016 Excellence Award for Ag Students Competition is accepting applications.

FMC and CADAP collect submissions from agricultural students across Canada and select three winners who will receive scholarships towards furthering their education in agriculture. First place wins $1,500!

*All applications must be received no later than May 6th 2016

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Growing Forward 2 (GF2) is in its third year.  Changes have been made to the program to reflect client and program needs.

Please note that current GF2 Program Guides for Producers and Processors are no longer in effect as of March 31, 2015. New GF2 Program Guides for Producers and Processors will be available in April. As there have been some changes, please consult the new guidelines before beginning a project for which you will seek funding.

GF2 offers cost-share funding for education, training, audits, assessments, planning and implementation activities.

Application intake dates for Producers and Processors in 2015
• May 1 to May 21, 2015
• August 10 to August 27, 2015
• November 16 to December 3, 2015

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