Farm Stewardship

Introduction

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) together with its partners promotes environmental stewardship on farms in Ontario. OMAFRA staff coordinate the creation of booklets and infosheets about environmental issues on the farm, and promote our environmental programs. This page provides links to further information about the types of stewardship practices that OMAFRA promotes.

Environmental Stewardship Priorities

Environmental Stewardship Promotion


Environmental Stewardship Priorities

Water

Soil

Air

Biodiversity

Green Energy


Environmental Stewardship Promotion 

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Farming is a business with many risks: weather, finances, and market uncertainties. Certain farming practices may affect the quality of our environment. Farmers experience some of the resulting problems themselves, such as lower crop yields, loss of soil, and polluted water. But rural and urban neighbours may also be affected. Not all environmental problems are severe, and not all farms have problems. But for those farmers who are affected, practical solutions exist. The links below are intended to help farmers and others interested in farms stewardship explore workable solutions for water, soil, air, and biodiversity problems that are covered in greater detail in the Best Management Practices booklets available from Publications Ontario.

Best Management Practices Booklet Series

Programs

The Environmental Farm Plan Program

Since 1992, more than 35,000 farmers in Ontario have voluntarily participated in the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program. Those farmers represent almost two-thirds of all the farms in the province!  Farmers are busy people, and that's why they can participate in the EFP program as much as they like, or as little as their time allows.

The first step involves attending an EFP workshop to learn about environmental issues on their own farm. The second step is to complete a plan of action that will address any issues identified on the farmer's own farm. The plan identifies actions that the farmer can take on the farm as his time and budget allows. Farmers can also opt to apply for funding that is available to them pay for some of the costs of taking these actions. The action plan provides farmers with a road map to help them make improvements on their farm over time that will benefit the environment.

Educational workshops allow farmers to meet with their peers and discuss issues in their own area. The knowledge gained from these workshops results in the greater appreciation for the environment, and a strong incentive to take action.

The success of the EFP program is reflected in the strong partnerships that the program requires. The Government of Canada through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides funding to help farmers complete projects on the farm. OMAFRA staff provide technical advice for the program. The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association delivers workshops across the province, facilitates the creation of action plans, and helping farmers apply for funding to complete their projects. The Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition (OFEC)  continues to help design the program as it evolves. Farmers are well represented by OFEC's 4 member organizations: the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, the Ontario Farm Animal Council, and Agricultural Groups Concerned with Resources and the Environment).

RUSLE2

The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE2) is a software program designed to help farmers estimate the potential for soil erosion under different land management and cropping practices. OMAFRA has adapted RUSLE2 for Ontario farmers.

Further infomation
Other Programs

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 09 November 2009
Last Reviewed: 19 November 2015