KINCARDINE — The governments of Canada and Ontario are pouring another $2.58 million into “sustainable” farming practices to better protect the province’s lakes and water sources.
The dollars are flowing into on-farm projects through the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) initiative.
The final LEADS application intake will support on-farm projects that improve soil health and reduce the risk of nutrient losses on their farms while improving water quality in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watershed areas. The intake will open on November 2, 2021, and close on November 8, 2021. During this time, farmers can apply for cost-share funding for projects that benefit Lake Erie as well as support productivity and soil health for more acres of Ontario farmland.
“Canadian farmers are leading stewards of our environment, always looking for new tools and innovations to ensure their sustainability,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “I encourage farmers in Southwestern Ontario to make a project application with this exciting new cost-shared program, which can help improve their farms and the Lake Erie watershed.”
“The Great Lakes are vitally important to everyone in Ontario – from farmers to businesses and the millions of people who live in communities near these vast bodies of water,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The LEADS initiative demonstrates the government’s commitment to environmental stewardship and specifically to protecting Ontario’s water supply.”
“The investments made by federal and provincial governments in the on-farm projects supported through LEADS are greatly appreciated in the agricultural community,” said Chad Anderson, President of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. “This funding will result in significant environmental gains that improve soil health and water quality in the Lake Erie basin.”
The LEADS initiative supports Ontario’s commitment to a 40 per cent reduction of phosphorus run off into Lake Erie and its watershed by 2025.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed over $100 million in cost-share support to more than 5,000 projects through the five-year, $3-billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership, under which LEADS is funded.