Original Sub-Program Description
Will be introduced in 1985, with OMAF, OSCIA and University
of Guelph cooperating. Select, manage and supervise 30-50 on-farm
sites for 3-5 years to demonstrate and monitor the effects of
alternative tillage practices and crop rotations and to analyze
OMAF will implement and accelerate demonstration program
to promote wider adoption of proven S/W conservation technology
on agricultural lands.
Main thrust on soil and crop management practices, primarily
tillage and crop rotations.
Projects mainly located on farms of members of OSCIA.
Responsibility: Provincial Government - OMAF
Budget: $1.75 Million - $1,952,000 spent (includes
Delivery Agent: OMAF
Tillage 2000 was a long term (5 year, on-farm, field scale research
and demonstration project which began in 1985 and was fully implemented
during 1986. Twenty-three cooperators were selected in the spring
of 1985 on the basis of field site suitability (soil type, topography,
access, location, and the interest and capabilities of the cooperator.
The main objective of Tillage 2000 was to develop and evaluate
conservation farming systems which maximized economic productivity
and minimized soil degradation for specific soil types. The project
was conducted on 40 farms across the province (Figure 1).
Tillage 2000 was unique to soil conservation in Ontario by virtue
of its methodology and process: the project included both a research
and demonstration component within an economic farm unit framework:
the process was both investigative and developmental over several
years. The program was designed to introduce concepts of conservation
tillage systems to a larger number of producers and to provide a
way to distribute known information and experience through field
A viable conservation farming system must consider not only the
cropping and tillage program, but also the soil resource and economic
net returns. Tillage 2000 studied the relationships among these
Tillage 2000 was also a developmental process on each project
farm. Conservation tillage systems that did not meet expectations
on a project farm were modified in subsequent years to improve performance.
Successful components unique to similar projects at other locations,
were incorporated as well as ideas the cooperator had to improve
Tillage 2000 was a cooperative effort by the Ontario Ministry
of Agriculture and Food (OMAF, the Department of Land Resource Science,
University of Guelph, and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement
Association. In addition, several conservation authorities had joint
agreements with OMAF to deliver the Tillage 2000 program as part
of an agricultural soil and water conservation program. In Southwestern
Ontario Tillage 2000 was part of the federal-provincial
Soil and Water Environmental Enhancement
The project was managed by the Soil Conservation Advisors, Soil
and Water Management Branch (OMAF). Project work was conducted by
teams consisting of OMAF soil conservation advisors, conservation
authority staff, and cooperating farmers. Data collected by the
team was compiled and statistically analyzed by the Land Resource
Science Department, University of Guelph.
The success of the Tillage 2000 project relied heavily upon the
cooperating farmers without whom the project would not be possible.
Staff and supporting program resources were funded by the following
agencies: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food; Joint Program
Conservation Authorities; Department of Land Resource Science, University
of Guelph; Ontario Soil and Crop improvement Association; and agribusiness
who provided expertise and donated products to the projects.