2004 Nutrient Management Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002

Part 2 - Defining Your Operations

Table of Contents

  1. Defining Farm Units for Agricultural Operations
  2. Non-Agricultural Operations

2.1 Defining Farm Units for Agricultural Operations

Agricultural operations can be carried out on a land base referred to as a "farm unit". The first step a farmer should take to begin this process is to determine the size of the farm unit(s) and the expected number of nutrient units that will be generated by each farm unit as per the requirements of Part 1 in the Regulation.

A declaration then has to be made that identifies all the land and any facilities in the farm unit. The Farm Unit Declaration Form, which is found in Part 15.1 of this Protocol, is used to make this declaration. One form is required for each farm unit declared and where an operation identifier has been provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF), it must be recorded on the Farm Unit Declaration Form.

The following should be noted:

Farmers may declare more than one farm unit within their operation.

Farmers may carry on more than one type of operation within a given farm unit.

At a minimum, a farm unit must be comprised of all of the land that is contained in a single transfer under the Land Registration Reform Act, that is a farm unit can be no smaller than a single deed.

There is no minimum land ownership requirement for the land included in the farm unit.

Application Agreements, leases or rental agreements can be used to include properties in a farm unit. The Act and the Regulation are only concerned with management as it relates to the application of nutrients on the land. It is possible for one person to control a piece of property for the purposes of the Act and Regulation and another person to continue to plant and harvest crops on the property.

There is no maximum amount or cap on the numbers of farm animals on a farm unit: Regulation, Part 1. However, each nutrient unit generated must be dealt with in a nutrient management strategy and each nutrient unit that will be applied to land must be addressed in a nutrient management plan as required by the Regulation.

A nutrient management strategy and/or nutrient management plan must be completed for each farm unit that has met the requirements for phase-in under the Regulation. Each farm unit may only have 1 nutrient management strategy and 1 nutrient management plan.

Where a farm unit declaration form has been submitted, the operationidentifier must be noted on the nutrient management strategy and nutrient management plan for each farm unit.

2.2 Nonagricultural Operations

Under the Regulation, a non-agricultural operation includes any operation, other than an agricultural operation, that involves the generation or management of prescribed materials.

Examples of these operations are:

  • Pulp and Paper Mills
  • Municipal Sewage Treatment Plants
  • Operations that generate other types of nonagricultural source material. Currently these operations generate prescribed material that has been determined to be acceptable for land application as a nutrient by the Biosolids Utilization Committee (BUC). The BUC is a multi-stakeholder, inter-ministerial committee that provides a forum for information exchange, and that advises and makes recommendations to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and OMAF on matters related to the utilization of biosolids and other materials on agricultural land.

The operators of generators of nonagricultural source materials must create a nutrient management strategy and submit it to the Nutrient Management Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for review as required by the timing outlined in Regulation Part 2.

Nonagricultural source materials means any of the following materials, other than a commercial fertilizer or compost that meets the guidelines entitled Interim Guidelines for the Production and Use of Aerobic Compost in Ontario prepared by the Ministry of the Environment and dated November 1991, if they are intended to be applied to land as nutrients:

  1. Pulp and paper biosolids.
  2. Sewage biosolids.
  3. Any other material that is not from an agricultural source that is capable of being applied to land as a nutrient.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 14 June 2004
Last Reviewed: 14 June 2004