Ontario farmers can access a piece of $68 million in funding through three new programs under the Ontario Agricultural Sustainability Initiative (OASI)
Funded through the joint federal-provincial Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP), the initiative includes:
- Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program (RALP) — a $56.7 million, five-year program that will make funds available to eligible farmers to complete projects such as reducing tillage, creating water retention ponds and other projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon.
- The Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (ASI) will complement the RALP program by providing a supplemental $5 million, this year, for farmers to modify and adapt their equipment and operating practices.
- The On-Farm Applied Research and Monitoring (ONFARM) program will be expanded and enhanced by an additional $7 million over five years. This program is a continuation from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and will help farmers understand and communicate best on-farm practices to address and improve their soil health and water quality.
All three programs (RALP, ASI, and ONFARM) will be delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). Note that program details for the land-use RALP categories will be made available this summer and applications will be accepted later this fall.
Applications under the Ontario Agricultural Sustainability Initiative will be considered until funding has been allocated or the closing date for the application period has concluded. More information on support for specific best management practices will be available via the OSCIA.
A verified, complete, fourth edition Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) will be an eligibility requirement for funding under this initiative. Information on options to complete the EFP is available through the OSCIA. Farmers in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watershed areas are encouraged to complete a Farmland Health Check-Up, with a participating technical specialist, to identify field-specific risks, which may qualify them to receive increased levels of cost-share funding.