ONTARIO — It’s official: A new online tool and app to help farmers find the ideal mix of sustainable, best-management solutions on their fields and farms is available now for free.
Launched Aug. 16, ‘Resilient Fields’ is meant to assist users in four key areas — soil management, nutrient management, growing season management and water management.
“We all know it can be a challenge for farmers to figure out what they can do for the environment without jeopardizing their livelihood. Added to that, field conditions are unique and often change from year to year. Sometimes the standard approach just won’t work,” says Marie Versteeg, communications manager for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO), the organization that commissioned the online project in 2019.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership awarded the CFFO $482,275 in cost-share funding to make Resilient Fields a reality. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture also contributed as a partner in the endeavour.
Beyond its core functions, the final product includes access to over 150 up-to-date articles and videos from Ontario researchers and agronomists. And it links to other respected digital tools such as the OMAFRA Agri-Suite system, 4R Nutrient Stewardship, the Ontario Corn Nitrogen Calculator and the Farmland Health Checkup.
The CFFO gathered member input on Best Management Practices as part of the early development process. The developers also relied on certified crop advisors across the province for feedback. Agri-Food Economic Systems, an independent economic research organization, provided research and development support.