Technology and Equipment to Improve Labour Productivity


Stream: Producer



For projects focused on the execution of a comprehensive plan to implement new and novel technologies and equipment to enhance labour productivity.

Who should apply?

Producers who wish to significantly enhance labour productivity and efficiencies by putting in place:

  • New or novel technological or equipment upgrades. New or novel upgrades are defined as those that have been adopted by less than 20 per cent of the sector in Ontario to date; or
  • Technological or equipment upgrades at Northern Ontario and Indigenous Partner businesses, that may or may not be new or novel

To apply you must have completed

Eligible activities and expenditures

  • Retrofit, upgrade or acquire new equipment or technology (including integrated software systems) to increase automation
  • Modification of existing equipment or technology (including integrated software systems) for optimization or to enable the installation of automation and labour-saving equipment or technology
  • Third-party advisory costs for first-time training of key personnel on project-related new equipment, technology, software and processes
  • Third-party advisory costs for development and translation of existing labour productivity-focused policies, feedback systems, preventative maintenance procedures, and standard operational procedures to improve personnel performance, reduce downtime, reduce waste, and optimize labour availability
  • In-kind contributions

Ineligible activities and expenditures

  • Activities and expenditures as detailed here
  • Building shell modifications
  • Incremental and ongoing maintenance costs, or those deemed to be part of normal operations
  • Costs and activities associated with expanding facility capacity or output
  • Irrigation systems or upgrades
  • Travel and meal costs

Available cost-share

35 per cent, up to a maximum of $100,000

Required documentation

  • A labour productivity plan* detailing how the installation of the proposed technological or equipment upgrades will improve labour productivity; and, if applicable, demonstrate that the proposed upgrades have been adopted by less than 20 per cent of the sector in Ontario to date including independent confirmation of novelty. This may be in the form of:
    • Letter(s) from credible industry (association or expert) and/or academic sources
    • Unbiased studies or market analysis
  • Information on how the outcomes of the project will be shared. This strategy may include a news release, brochures, fact sheets, newsletters, reports, displays, websites or tweets

*Minimum requirements can be found at ontariosoilcrop.org

Merit assessment criteria

  • Whether or not applicants are:
    • Operating in Northern Ontario
    • Indigenous Partners
    • Implementing upgrades that are new or novel in Ontario
  • Extent to which plan, audit or assessments demonstrate need for the project
  • Extent to which project will lead to significantly enhanced labour productivity and efficiencies
  • Extent to which project will make a measurable impact on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Demonstration that relevant business impacts are anticipated and have been quantified, such as:
    • Reduced identified risks
    • Job creation or retention
    • Increased sales and revenue
    • Increased profitability
  • Role of funding in reducing business risk
  • Extent to which the activities of the project strongly align with secondary benefits of:
    • Assurance benefits (i.e., food safety, traceability, animal health, plant health)
    • Environmental benefits

Other useful information

While not a requirement, a Growing Your Farm Profits workshop is available to help you identify areas on your operation that would benefit from economic development. Sign up for a GYFP Workshop online at ontariosoilcrop.org.

What's Next?

Is this project for you? Find out if you meet the program requirements
Program Requirements


For more information on upcoming application intakes, visit ontariosoilcrop.org

Any established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption, is eligible to apply for cost-share funding under the Partnership—provided that the farm business meets all of the requirements set out in the Program Guide. You must also have a valid and up-to-date Premises Identification (PID) Number for the farm property where the project is to take place. In addition, you are required to be in compliance with all Requirements of the Law and remain in compliance for the duration of the project.

A farm business may have up to two (2) applications approved in an intake or under consideration at one time. A separate application must be submitted for each project.

There is no limit to the number of cost-share projects that a farm business can complete over the five-year span of the Partnership. There is also no limit to the number of approved cost-share projects that a farm business can have underway at one time.

Applications are evaluated based only on the information submitted and will not be considered if they do not meet eligibility criteria or if they are incomplete.

Complete applications that meet eligibility criteria are assessed using Merit Assessment Criteria, which is specific to each Project Category. Applications that are selected using a merit-based review process are approved on a continuous basis while funds remain available.

Conditional approval for funding may be granted for complete applications with high merit that require confirmation of additional information before project approval.

Applications are submitted electronically.* You can apply and submit all required documentation at ontarioprograms.net.

You can also complete the Application Form for the Project Category you are applying under, and submit with all required documentation by email to CAP@ontariosoilcrop.org. Copies of Application Forms are available at ontarioprogramguides.net.

*If you cannot apply online or by email, you may send hard copy applications and all required documentation to OSCIA by post or courier to 1-367 Woodlawn Road W, Guelph, ON, N1H 7K9.

Applications will be reviewed, and cost-share funding decisions will be made after the Application Intake has closed. You will be notified by mail and/or email approximately 45 business days from the date a given Application Intake closes. (If there is an exception to this, it may be noted in the Project Category Description.) There are three possible outcomes:

  • Application is approved – you will receive confirmation of claim procedures and submission deadlines, and a questionnaire that must be completed at the end of the project.
  • Application is conditionally approved – you will be notified about what additional information is required to finalize approval of your project.
  • Application is declined – you will receive a brief explanation for the decision.

The start date for your project is the date on the Approval or Conditional Approval Letter issued by OSCIA for each successful project. Projects cannot be started before that date. Eligible costs can only be incurred, invoiced and paid for by the applicant after the date on which the Letter is issued.

The completion date for your project will be specified in the Approval Letter issued by OSCIA for the successful project. Eligible costs must be incurred, invoiced and paid for by the applicant on or before this completion date.

New producers are new entrants to the agricultural production industry who:

  • File personal income taxes in Ontario
  • Have proof of ownership or control of productive agricultural assets to generate farm income
  • Have a valid and up-to-date Premises Identification Number for the farm property where the proposed project is to take place
  • Have not had more than $7,000 in gross farm income two and three years prior to enrolling in the Partnership
  • Have business projections that demonstrate potential annual gross business income of $7,000 or more within three years of applying

New producers are eligible for:

  • Financial Analysis
  • Business Plans
  • Marketing Plans
  • Nutrient Management and Soil Health Planning
  • Education, Training, Assessment and Planning (Animal Health)
  • Food Safety and Traceability Gap Assessment and Pre-audit
  • Food Safety and Traceability Training
  • Education, Training, Assessment and Planning (Plant Health)

If you are a new producer, contact OSCIA at 1-800-265-9751 or CAP@ontariosoilcrop.org for a list of applicable Project Categories, and to request a copy of the New Producer Application Form.


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Edit date: December 11, 2020

Need Help?

For assistance with the Online Program Guide, please contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre – Mon. to Fri., 8 am – 5 pm, 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca