New ONFARM program to build soil health measures and learning

The long-term program will help set up sites and resources for information sharing

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A new $5.75 million program aims to increase soil health through multi-year on-farm research.

The program called the On-Farm Applied Research and Monitoring (ONFARM) project, will be funded by the Canadian and Ontario governments through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP). The project was announced on Dec. 5, World Soils Day.

The ONFARM project will support a host of new activities to be carried out with farmers and other partners to measure soil best management practices and create opportunities for farmers and industry personnel to learn from each other.

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The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) will deliver the programming for the governments through to the end of the partnership in 2023. ONFARM will build on other environmental protection initiatives supported by the Partnership and delivered by the OSCIA, such as the Environmental Farm Plan and the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability initiative.

ONFARM will also connect with other industry initiatives on soil health, such as the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program and the pending work of the Ontario Soil Action Group. The project will also support the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.

“OSCIA is very excited to be part of this long-term soil health and water quality research project,” said Les Nichols, President of OSCIA. “We applaud plans for a coordinated network of sites across the province that will involve farmers in project development and management decisions. It’s a terrific example of the seek-test-adopt philosophy that guides our on-farm applied research efforts.”

About the author

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John Greig

John Greig has spent his career in agriculture journalism and communications. He lives on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario. Contact John at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jgreig

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