Farmer-driven ecological stewardship program set to expand in Ontario

If you have a piece of low land, shallow soil, or a stream bank that you’ve thought about taking out of production, the ALUS concept may be of interest to you. ALUS Canada pays farmers to establish and maintain permanent cover on their farms, contributing to cleaner water and air and to wildlife habitat.

ALUS Canada coordinates several projects across Canada already, but it recently received a supportive boost in Ontario, when MPP Toby Barrett’s Private Member’s Bill supporting the concept passed second reading in the legislature unanimously.

Bryan Gilvesy, owner of Y U Ranch and CEO of ALUS Canada, says the unanimous passing of second reading is an indication of the widespread interest in supporting farmers’ efforts to manage ecological goods and services for the public good.

There are currently more than 18,500 acres enrolled in the ALUS program, thanks to 575 participants from 21 communities across Canada. Gilvesy says that growing interest and support should cause those numbers to climb — provincial support would certainly speed the process and expansion along.

Gilvesy joined RealAgriculture’s field editor, Lyndsey Smith on RealAg radio Wednesday to talk about the program, the bill, and how ALUS may be a fit for farmers.

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