LEADS – Erosion Control Structures


A Farmland Health Check-Up (FHCU) is required to apply for LEADS. A FHCU provides a unique opportunity to work with a CCA or P.Ag at no cost to the producer. It will assess three key fields on your farm to establish both baseline farmland health levels and targets. Click here for a list of CCAs or P.Ags.

Stream: Producer



Who should apply?

Producers who manage cropland where there are erosion issues that could be addressed with an erosion control structure(s). Projects will focus on construction of soil erosion control structures including: Water and Sediment Control Basins (WaSCoBs), stabilization structures, grassed waterways, and constructed wetlands.  Suggested for producers with Farmland Health Check-Ups identifying Farmland Health Challenges in Water Erosion.

To apply you must have a:

  • Verified, 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan
  • Proposed project located within the Lake Erie or Lake St. Clair watersheds
  • Completed Farmland Health Check-Up, working with a participating certified crop advisor or professional agrologist
  • Site sketch (hand-drawn or computer-generated) or AgMaps output showing the project location

Have you completed an Environmental Farm Plan?

Having a verified, 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan is required to apply for all LEADS Project Categories. If you haven’t completed one, sign up here.

Eligible activities and expenditures:

  • Erosion control structures designed in accordance with OMAFRA Publication 832:
    • Grassed waterways
    • Drop structures
    • Water and Sediment Control Basins (WaSCoBs)
    • Contour terraces
  • Tile inlet upgrades or modifications to reduce sediment or phosphorus loss or enhance (increase) temporary ponding time, as well as decommissioning of inlets that are no longer functional or necessary
  • Tile outlet upgrades or modifications to reduce erosion – all structures must include rigid outlet pipe, rodent gate, proper rock protection with filter cloth underneath
  • Ditch bank and shoreline stabilization, bank shaping, revetment, gabions, riprap, crib walls, re-vegetation, erosion control blankets, bioengineering) for the purpose of reducing bank erosion
  • In-stream control structures to reduce velocity and erosive force of water, and provide fish habitat (e.g., pools and riffles, natural channel design)
  • Vegetative strips of perennial cover planted on the contour within annual crops
  • Constructed wetlands Infrastructure and development costs
  • Consulting and engineering fees
  • Labour costs
  • In-kind contributions

Ineligible activities and expenditures:

  • Activities and expenditures as detailed here
  • Erosion control structures and outlets not designed in accordance with OMAFRA Publication 832
  • Tile inlet upgrades for the purpose of increasing capacity for rapid flow
  • Drop inlets installation for drainage of ponded surface water not associated with an erosion control structure (e.g. berm).
  • Tile outlet structures associated with new tile drainage installations that are not directly related to the eligible erosion control project
  • Tile, including header systems, systematic tile and other subsurface drainage systems that are not an integral part of an erosion control structure
  • Costs of tile and installation that exceed 30 metres for riparian drop inlet structure projects
  • Converting open channels to closed drainage systems
  • Construction of new drainage channels or routine repair or maintenance of existing drainage systems (e.g., drainage ditch clean-outs, rehabilitating existing sediment-filled french drains)
  • Levelling of land or fields
  • Soil Remediation (retrieving topsoil from areas of deposition and transporting it upslope to eroded hillsides)
  • Costs and activities not associated with soil erosion control
  • Projects initiated through the Drainage Act
  • Ongoing maintenance costs
  • Payments for land taken out of production

Available Cost-share:

45, 55, 65 per cent, up to a maximum of $20,000

Required Documentation:

  • Certificate of completion for a 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan
  • Copy of your Farmland Health Check-Up
  • Site sketch (hand-drawn or computer-generated) or AgMaps output showing the project location, including:
    • Location of erosion control structure(s)
    • Size of the erosion control structure(s)
    • Location of the outlet of the erosion control structure(s)
    • Catchment size (area of land) draining into the erosion control structure(s)
  • Design plans with the details of the erosion control structure(s) and contributing areas may be requested before receiving final approval

Other useful information:

  • Design plans to be prepared by a Certified Erosion Control Contractor or a Professional Engineer and designed in accordance with OMAFRA Publication 832.
    • Where applicable, for new construction of common agricultural erosion control structures such as grassed waterways, contour terraces, WaSCoBs, rock chutes or other grade control structures, must be designed in accordance with OMAFRA Publication 832
    • For more complex measures and those outside of the design scope of OMAFRA Publication 832, an engineered design may be required
  • Pictures of cropland showing erosion issues that could be addressed by the proposed project OR pictures of the bank, tile inlet or tile outlet impacted by the proposed project may be provided to demonstrate the need for the project and support the review and merit determination.
  • An additional 5 per cent in cost-share funding may be available to successful producers who provide information on the Systems Approach section of the application, which demonstrates that the project will be complemented or enhanced by the continued maintenance of two previously implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs). For more information, click here.

What's Next?

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


For more information, visit ontariosoilcrop.org

Any established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario, in the Lake Erie and/or the Lake St. Clair watersheds under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN) or allowable exemption (e.g., religious or cultural) is eligible to apply for cost-share funding under LEADS — provided that the business meets all of the requirements set out herein. You must also have a:

  • Farmland Health Check-Up;
  • Verified, 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan; and,
  • 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.

To participate in the LEADS program, project locations must be within the Lake Erie or Lake St. Clair watersheds. To determine if the location where the proposed project will be undertaken is located within the Lake Erie or Lake St. Clair watersheds, please use the interactive map on the OSCIA website.

A farm business may submit up to three (3) applications to LEADS for consideration at one time, in any given program year.  A farm business may have up to three approved LEADS cost-share projects underway during any given program year. Eligible projects must be new to the farm business, unless otherwise indicated in the project category description.  A separate application must be submitted for each project. Effective for applications submitted after April 1, 2021, a single farm business may receive approval for new projects up to a maximum of $100,000 in total cost-share funding for the duration of the LEADS program (2018-2023).

Projects submitted to LEADS cannot receive funding from any other Partnership program.

The LEADS program supports a merit-based allocation of funding. Eligible projects will be awarded a level of funding that reflects the information provided in the Farmland Health Check-Up:

  • Project location (i.e. the field as identified on your Farmland Health Check-Up)
  • Farmland Health Challenge addressed by the project
  • Rating specific to the project field and identified challenge

All completed applications received in a given Application Intake are evaluated after the Intake closes. Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received. Applications are evaluated based only on the information submitted and may not be considered if they are incomplete or do not meet eligibility criteria.

Applications are submitted electronically3.  You can apply and submit all required documentation at ontarioprograms.net.

You can also download the Application Form for the Project Category you are applying to and email it with all required documentation to LEADS@ontariosoilcrop.org.  Application Forms are available at ontarioprogramguides.net.

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

You will be notified by email and/or mail once your application has been reviewed and a decision has been made — approximately 30 business days from the date a given Application Intake closes. There are three possible Decision Letter outcomes:

  • Application is approved – you will receive confirmation of the amount of funding allocated to your project, claim procedures and submission deadlines, a questionnaire that must be completed at the end of your project, as well as information about any specific requirements of the funding.
  • 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 this date. Eligible costs can only be incurred, invoiced and paid for by the applicant on or after the date noted on your Approval or Conditional Approval Letter.

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

All projects must be complete, operational, and a claim submitted to OSCIA by September 30, 2022. If you have questions about project timelines, claim submission dates or submitting a multi-year application, contact OSCIA at LEADS@ontariosoilcrop.org.

Cost-share levels are determined by the risk rating identified within your completed Farmland Health Check-Up.

Projects being implemented on multiple fields are evaluated on a field-by-field basis. Each field may receive a different level of cost-share based on the field-specific challenge and risk rating identified in your Farmland Health Check-Up.

The maximum cost-share funding available is up to $20,000 per application, including systems approach funding, but is defined within each project category description.

Please note that equipment purchases are limited to the moderate funding level (55%) or base funding level (45%), regardless of the risk rating. This includes all projects under:

  • Equipment Modifications to Improve Manure Application
  • Tillage and Nutrient Application Equipment Modifications
  • Equipment Modifications to Reduce Soil Compaction

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 projects that demonstrate potential annual gross business income of $7,000 of more within three years of applying

New producers are eligible for Crop Nutrient Planning.

If you are a new producer, contact OSCIA at 1-800-265-9751 or LEADS@ontariosoilcrop.org to request a copy of the New Producer Application Form.


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Edit date: December 6, 2021

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