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Cover Crops

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Do you farm within the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds?


Check out if you qualify for cost-share for this activity under the LEADS program

Stream: Producer

Code:

ESIM-PD-B

Who should apply?

Producers who have not left cover crops undisturbed throughout the winter more than three times in the past five years.

To apply you must

  • Have a 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan Certificate of Completion

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

  • Cost of seed for cover crops seeded across an entire field to provide undisturbed cover over winter months (e.g. red clover, oilseed radish, mixtures)
  • Cost of seed for cover crops seeded in priority erosion prone areas (e.g. areas prone to water erosion, knolls on sandy soils) to provide undisturbed cover over winter months
  • Cost of seed for cover crops that are harvested or grazed, provided a minimum of 6 inches (15 cm) of cover crop growth is left intact over winter
  • Costs of planting cover crop incurred by the producer (in-kind) or custom applied (dedicated pass only)
  • In-kind contributions to a maximum of $2,000

Ineligible activities and expenditures

  • Costs for cover crops where growing and leaving cover crops undisturbed over-winter is a routine practice that has been used by the farm business more than three times over the last five years
  • Costs associated with mechanical or chemical termination of the cover crop
  • Fertilizer and crop protection costs
  • Crops that will be harvested or grazed leaving less than 6 inches (15 cm) of cover crop growth over winter or cover crops that will be fall tilled
  • Alfalfa seed, winter wheat seed or seed for other commodity crops
  • Seed mixes containing invasive plant species (see invadingspecies.com/plants/)
  • Equipment purchase or modification costs
  • Seed produced by the farm business applying for funding
  • All ineligible activities and expenditures as detailed here

Available cost-share

50 per cent, up to a maximum of $8,000

Required documentation

  • A Certificate of Completion for a 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan

Merit assessment criteria

  • Project addresses risk identified in EFP Action Plan
  • Degree of risk reduction estimated to be achieved through project

Other useful information:

  • Applicants may be eligible to receive funding for cover crops up to three times on the same fields (separate applications must be submitted for each program year).
  • A dated photograph of the cover crop established in the field will be required as part of the claim
  • An additional 5 per cent in cost-share funding is available to successful producers who provide information on the application, which demonstrates that the project will be complemented or enhanced by the continued maintenance of previously implemented Best Management Practices. For more information, click here.

What's Next?

1
Is this project for you? Find out if you meet the program requirements
Program Requirements

 

2
Meet the program requirements?
Apply now!

Apply Online
Can't apply online?
Download here

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 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.

All completed applications received in a given Application Intake are evaluated after the Intake closes. (Exceptions may be noted in the Project Category Description.) 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. A merit-based application review process is used to allocate cost-share funds to projects.

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 Stone Road W, Guelph ON N1G 4Y2.

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

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: March 22, 2019

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