Green Plan Bulletin
May 1994

 

This bi-annual bulletin is to keep you informed about Agriculture Green Plan projects, progress, results, and issues.

Environmentally sustainable agriculture is important for many reasons: to protect soil and water, to maintain the sustainability of our farms, and to ensure the long-term viability of Ontario agriculture. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Ontario farming community have been working together for many years to develop farming methods that are environmentally sustainable. After extensive consultation involving members of the industry, federal and provincial governments, non-governmental organizations, university and college staff, and the farm community, the Canada-Ontario Agriculture Green Plan was launched in September 1992.

The purpose of the Ontario component of the Agriculture Green Plan is to maintain and enhance the natural resources that the Ontario agri-food sector uses and affects.

The following on-going activities are supported under six program areas developed under the Canada-Ontario Agriculture Green Plan. These activities address a wide range of issues related to agriculture and the environment, as well as the enhancement of the environmental sustainability of the Ontario agri-food sector.

Environmental Farm Plans

Environmental Farm Plans (EFP's) are documents prepared by farm families to raise their awareness of the environment on their farm. Through the EFP process, farmers will highlight environmental strengths on their farm, identify areas of environmental concern, and set realistic goals to improve environmental conditions. The completion of an "Action Plan" will help each farm family identify simple, practical goals for improving environmental quality.

The idea for Environmental Farm Plans originated with, and is driven by, the Ontario farm community. Farmers have been involved in every stage of developing Environmental Farm Plans, through the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition (the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, AGCare and the Ontario Farm Animal Council). Province-wide EFP workshops and peer reviews are being offered through local Soil and Crop Improvement Associations.

Environmental Farm Plans Incentive Program

The goal of the Environmental Farm Plan Incentive Program is to help farmers achieve the environmental solution(s) or new management practices that they have identified on their "Action Plans". Applicants may receive a maximum of $500, provided they meet the program's eligibility criteria, on a first-come first-served province-wide basis until January 31, 1997, pending the availability of funds.

For more information about Environmental Farm Plans and the Incentive Program, please contact any of the following organizations:

Ontario Federation of Agriculture*
491 Eglinton Ave. W., Ste. 500
Toronto, Ontario M5N 3A2
(416) 485-3333
AGCare
Box 1199
Chatham, Ontario N7M 5L8
(519) 837-1326
Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario
115 Woolwich Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 3V1
(519) 837-1620
Ontario Farm Animal Council
7195 Millcreek Drive
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 4H1
(416) 821-3880

* Program Administrators
Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association
Guelph Agriculture Centre
P.O. Box 1030, 52 Royal Road
Guelph, Ontario N1H 6N1
(519) 767-3242

 

Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices refers to a series of eight innovative booklets created to help farmers improve productivity, meet business goals, and protect soil and water resources. Each booklet contains a range of options for any particular environmental concern: individuals may then choose the option(s) that fit their environmental and business objectives. Booklets available at this time are: Best Management Practices: A First Look, Livestock and Poultry Waste Management, Farm Forestry and Habitat Management, Field Crop Production, Horticultural Crops and Water Management. Booklets are currently being developed on Nutrient Management, Soil Management and Wildlife Management.

Best Management Practices booklets are available at most local offices of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, some district offices of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and select Conservation Authorities.

For more information on Best Management Practices, please contact: The Ontario Federation of Agriculture*, 491 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario, M5N 3A2. (416) 485-3333.

* Program Administrators

Rural Conservation Clubs Program

First announced in December 1992, the Rural Conservation Clubs Program was established to support innovative research and demonstration projects in environmentally sustainable agriculture. The goal is to promote an exchange of ideas within the agricultural community.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has provided financial support to Ontario farmers and conservationists working in partnerships to test and exchange new ideas.

Approved projects under the Rural Conservation Clubs Program include: wetland restoration and construction, solar powered watering facilities for livestock, community supported agriculture, application of biosolids, manure management and reduced tillage and crop management experiments.

For more information on the Rural Conservation Clubs Program, please contact Nancy Cherny, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada**, Market and Industry Services Branch, 174 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario N1G 4S9 (519) 837-9400.

*  This program is fully subscribed
** Program Administrator

 

Wetlands/Woodlands/Wildlife Program

The goal of the Wetlands/Woodlands/Wildlife program is to promote the adoption and development of sustainable practices and technologies to enhance long-term benefits to, and reduce conflicts between, agriculture, wetlands, woodlands, fish and wildlife. The coordination and management of this program is provided by Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service (COOS) with technical advice from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

Organizations were invited to submit plans for demonstration projects in the areas of (1) drain management; (2) wetland conservation; (3) woodland conservation; and (4) education and information transfer. Ten projects were accepted for funding. They include: Managing Agricultural Drains to Accommodate Wildlife, Issues and Opportunities for Wildlife Habitat Conservation in Agriculture, and Conserving Biodiversity in Agricultural Ecosystems of the Carolinian Life Zone.

For more information on the Wetlands/Woodlands/Wildlife Program, please contact Laurie Maynard, Canadian Wildlife Service, 70 Fountain Street East, Guelph, Ontario N1H 3N6. (519) 766-1593.

* this program is fully subscribed

 

Stewardship Information Bureau

The goal of the Stewardship Information Bureau is to promote the exchange of information between a diverse network of innovative farmers, government, and industry. An "innovation network" has been developed, and includes more than 900 participants with an interest in the technology of sustainable food production as well as soil, water and air resource management. The network communicates both electronically and through printed publications such as the information tipsheet "Innovation", and a listing of expertise on specific practices in sustainable agriculture called "The Green Pages".

The network is dedicated to compiling and making available information and materials needed by innovative farmers and others to help them identify and assess new practices aimed at strengthening environmental sustainability. Members in the network include: farmers, researchers, OMAF extension staff, farm organizations, conservation authorities, and environmental organizations.

For more information, please contact the Stewardship Information Bureau, University of Guelph Research Park Centre, Suite 104, 150 Research Lane, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 4T2 (519) 767-5020.

Research Component

Research activities under the Canada-Ontario Agriculture Green Plan are administered for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada by the London Pest Management Research Centre. The focus of this research falls under the following three categories:
  1. Manure and Nutrient Management
    • development of improved handling, storage and application practices for manure which conserve nutrients and minimize the impact of nutrients and bacteria on surface and groundwater quality;
    • development of sustainable practices for safely applying composted urban organic food, paper and yard wastes on agriculture land.
  2. On-Farm Research
    • development of new technologies for using conservation cropping systems on heavier-textured soils;
    • development of sustainable practices for variable fertilizer application, and for incorporating rotations and cover crops into conservation cropping systems.
  3. Integrated Agriculture Resource Monitoring
    • development of techniques for assessing the current state of agricultural resources and for measuring/evaluating the impact of improved sustainable practices at selected times in the future.

Current research projects include: Manure Composting Techniques: Understanding N and C Conservation; Environmental Effects of Conservation and Conventional Cropping Systems; and, State of Resources: Development and Application of Standardized Methodology for Sampling Soil Landscape Polygons.

For more information on the Research Component of the Canada-Ontario Agriculture Green Plan, please contact Dr. Bruce Bowman, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, London Pest Management Research Centre, 1391 Sandford Street, London, Ontario, NSV 4T3 (519) 457-1470. 

This Bulletin is prepared by Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Market & Industry Services Branch, 174 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 4S9, telephone (519) 837-9400

 


 

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Created: 16 November, 1996 13:26:59
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 04:19:46 PM