Farmers and land owners will have two chances this year to access funding under the Grassland Stewardship Program (GSP) beginning with a January 9th to February 1 intake.
The program, administered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and funded through the federal Environment and Climate Change Canada department, provides funding to implement forage and pasture management Best Management Practices (BMPs) that support the conservation of bobolink and other grassland birds.
There are five BMPs eligible for funding through GSP: Control of Encroaching Trees and Shrubs through Mowing; Pasture Rejuvenation; Incorporating Delayed Grazing in Rotational Grazing Systems; Native Grassland Restoration; and Forage Harvest Management (Delayed Haying). Single and multi-year projects are eligible under the Forage Harvest Management (Delayed Haying) category.
Applications for Intake 1 of GSP 2017 can be submitted until February 1, 2017 using the digital application form available from the OSCIA website: www.ontariosoilcrop.org/oscia-programs/sarpal/gsp. Intake 2 of GSP 2017 is scheduled to open on April 10, 2017 and close May 1, 2017.
As a pilot program under the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands initiative, GSP projects require signed Conservation Agreements between participating producers and Environment and Climate Change Canada.