Adding Organic Amendments to Soil


Stream: Producer



Who should apply?

Producers who have not applied organic amendments more than three times in the last five years and have fields where the addition of appropriate solid organic amendments could increase low soil organic matter levels, and improve soil structure, tilth, aeration, moisture, nutrient cycling and soil life.

To apply you must have completed

  • A verified, complete 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan
  • A soil test (bicarb test) for the fields where the organic amendment is to be applied that includes the soil organic matter level and confirms that the soil contains an average of no more than 30 ppm of bicarbonate phosphorus
Have you completed an Environmental Farm Plan?

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

The project being applied for must be identified as an action in the EFP, and effectively move a “1” or “2” rating to “3” or “4” (best) rating

Eligible activities and expenditures

  • All invoiced costs for organic amendments including purchase of the material, transportation, and custom application costs (where applicable)
  • Land applications completed in the ideal time frame for reduced phosphorus loss, between May to October
  • In- kind contributions

Ineligible activities and expenditures

  • Activities and expenditures as detailed here
  • Green manure/seed costs
  • Costs of all applications involving liquid manure, biosolids or other organic amendments with less than 18 per cent dry matter. This includes any material that has a planned application method that includes transfer via pipes or hoses
  • Costs for fields without a demonstrated average soil test (bicarb test) value of 30 ppm or less of bicarbonate phosphorus
  • Applications completed outside the ideal time frame (May to October) for reduced phosphorus loss
  • Any costs for fields that have used organic amendments more than three times in the last five years, as documented by the Farmland Health Check-Up and other approved Partnership projects
  • Amendments generated on a farm owned or rented by the same party that owns or rents the field where they will be applied
  • Amendments not of primarily plant or animal origins (e.g., gypsum, aglime, biochar, or liquid carbon)
  • Compensation for products obtained free of charge (e.g., cost-share is dependent on the amount paid for amendments that is shown on the invoice)
  • Materials with a fertilizer or Canadian Food Inspection Agency designation
  • Costs associated with the collection and analysis of soil sample(s) and organic amendment(s)

Available cost-share

40 per cent, up to a maximum of $10,000 (maximum cost-share funding allocation of $180 per acre)

Required documentation

  • Certificate of completion for a 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan
  • A soil test (bicarb test) for the fields where the organic amendment is to be applied that includes the organic matter level and confirms that the soil contains an average of no more than 30 ppm of bicarbonate phosphorus

Merit assessment criteria

  • Project addresses risk identified in EFP Action Plan
  • Existing organic matter level and nutrient levels of soil relative to the estimated improvement to be achieved through the project
  • Use of manure application Best Management Practices

Other useful information:

  • Applicants may be eligible to receive funding for Adding Organic Amendments up to three times on the same field (separate applications must be submitted for each program year).
  • Analysis of the organic amendment (for all types of amendments) that clearly shows the per cent dry matter and is dated within one year of the date of application submission, must be submitted with the claim (may be provided at time of application, if available).
  • 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 three 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 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.


Here are some other programs you might be interested in:


Edit date: May 17, 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