Ontario Vineyard Improvement Program
Intake Three of the OVIP is now fully subscribed and has been closed. No further applications will be accepted. It is anticipated that Intake Four will be launched in December 2013.
The program is first-come, first-served where funds are approved to the governments maximum annual allocation. Once annual funds are allocated, the remaining applications in the same intake will be included in a priority queue for future intakes. Assessments of these applications will occur once the next intake opens. For this reason, there is no need to resubmit the same application.
Ontario's Wine and Grape Industry
As part of Ontario's 2009 wine and grape strategy, the Government committed to provide transition support to grape growers in line with an industry varietal plan.
Industry completed its varietal plan in December 2010. The varietal plan sets out high-level industry directions, including the main grape varieties of focus for long-term industry development and the importance of continuing to improve grape quality in the vineyard.
Ontario Vineyard Improvement Program Highlights:
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ1. How much funding is available to individual growers?
A1. The ministry has allocated $3 million per year for four years for the Ontario Vineyard Improvement Program in support of the industry varietal plan.
Individually, growers will be eligible for $1,000 per eligible acre up to a limit of $100,000 each. The program will fund up to 35 per cent of the cost for implementing eligible vineyard improvements.
Under the Producer Support Component, the program will make $11 million available to individual producers.
Under the Industry Support Component, $1 million is allocated to support projects of benefit to the grape growing sector as a whole.
Q2. Why is OMAFRA only funding 35 per cent of eligible vineyard improvements?
A2. Given that the intention is to support the industry as a whole and the anticipated demand for funding is high, keeping the percentage at 35 per cent and the maximum funding at $100,000 helps to ensure that the program can provide support to as many growers as possible.Q3. Why is the funding cap a maximum of $100,000?
A3. Imposing a funding cap of $100,000 per eligible applicant allows the program to provide support to as many growers as possible to undertake improvements that align with the industry varietal plan.Q4. What types of vineyard improvements will the program cover?
A4. Grape growers may apply for support for the following types of vineyard improvement:
The list of eligible vineyard improvements will be periodically reviewed, and changes may be made to ensure that the list of eligible improvements continues to be aligned with the goals and objectives of the program.
Ontario grape growers interested in applying for assistance will be asked to complete an application form including cost estimates.
Q5. What about other improvements that are not listed on the eligible expenses list?
A5. The list for Intake 3 has been updated to reflect growers comments from Intake 2 and we will continue to keep track of feedback from growers. We will undertake an annual review of the program, where additional items will be considered for future intakes of the program.
The OVIP management committee conducted a review for Intake 3 and changes to the eligible improvement lists are available in the Intake 3 application form and guidelines.
Q6. Why are tractors not eligible?
A6. This equipment is considered to be regular grower business operations machinery. Tractors may be eligible if they meet the following criteria:
Q7. How do I know if a piece of farm equipment is eligible if it is not specifically indicated on the eligible expense list?
A7. If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact OMAFRA at 1-888-588-4111 or via email at email@example.comQ8. Why are labrusca grapes not included in this program?
A8. Labrusca grapes are used primarily for the production of juice. OVIP is focussed on improving the production of wine grapes and so limited program resources are targeted at French hybrid and vinifera grapes.
Q9. Explain the flat rate amount for claiming vinifera vine removal?
A9. There is a fixed claim rate for vinifera vine removal of $3,067 per acre. OVIP will reimburse applicants for 35 per cent of this amount per acre removed. Vine removal claims will be subject to field verification.
Q10. Are claims for trellis rehabilitation eligible costs under OVIP?
A10. Claims for trellis rehabilitation are eligible for funding of 35 per cent of total eligible costs. One hundred percent of materials for trellis rehabilitation are eligible, and the labour for trellis rehabilitating is calculated to be 60 per cent of the cost of materials. It is necessary to provide invoices for materials and to verify that the materials were installed on the appropriate land and acreage.
Q11. Are the labour costs to remove trellis systems eligible?
A11. There is no additional funding for the removal of existing trellis. These costs are included in the installation of trellis costs which is calculated on a flat rate cost of $1.50 per metre.
Q12. Does OVIP fund experimental viticulture activities?
A12. OVIP is designed to fund certain commercially-accepted vineyard improvements, not experimental viticulture activities.
Q13. Are custom tools, which may be necessary to do vineyard improvements under unique conditions, eligible under OVIP?
A13. Yes, custom tools necessary to do vineyard improvements under unique conditions are eligible as long as they are custom models of the tools or machinery on the list of eligible OVIP items. The grower will be required to produce a reasonable receipt from a legitimate company for these goods.
Q14. What constitutes an individual applicant?
A14. To be eligible to apply for funding, applicants are required to meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria:
The intent of the program is to provide support for the greatest number growers possible so the intent is to provide funding at the entity level.
Q15. What is the Growing Your Farm Profits Workshop and when will they be held?
A15. The Growing Your Farm Profits Workshop is a free two day workshop delivered in counties across Ontario. Producers must attend the two day workshop and receive sign off on their Action Plan to complete the requirements for the OVIP program. Producers may attend sessions in other counties The Workshop schedule is available on the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association website at:www.ontariosoilcrop.org
Q16. What if I already attended one of these sessions before receiving approval from the OVIP program?
A16. Several grape growers have already taken the workshop and can receive a proof of participation that will be considered valid for the duration of the program and growers do not have to participate a second time.Q17. Does leased equipment qualify for this program?
A17. Leased equipment is not eligible for funding under the OVIP with exception where it is included in the costs for flat rate work.
Recipients must retain ownership of all machinery and equipment funded under OVIP for a period of four years after purchase.
Used equipment purchases may be eligible for funding under the following conditions:
A18. Growers may choose to perform a number of vineyard improvements using their own labour and claim those costs at the flat per acre, or per metre rate indicated in the program guidelines. For example, a grower could perform some or all of the work associated with vinifera vine removal and claim expenses of $3,067 per acre for the work undertaken. If eligible, the grower would receive a payment for 35 per cent of the costs incurred.Q19. Will I be able to apply to both OVIP and the Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program for cost-share funding for support for vineyard improvements like irrigation improvements or netting to prevent bird damage?
A19. You will be able to apply to both programs for funding but not for the same on-farm project or investment.
Q20. Who is running the program?
A20. The Ontario Vineyard Improvement Program (Producer Support Component - PSC) will be administered by OMAFRA's Rural Programs Branch, and the Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO) and Agricorp will play key roles in assisting with the program's delivery.
Agricorp will assist OMAFRA with the verification of application and claim data and perform field verification for claims, where required.
The GGO will undertake a number of important roles in the delivery of the program. For example, OMAFRA will rely on its leadership to help educate growers on the industry's varietal plan, assist in the development and distribution of OVIP program information and application materials, and provide advice to assist OMAFRA in making periodic changes, if needed, to the list of eligible vineyard improvements. Their support is critical to the successful delivery of the program to Ontario's wine grape growers.
In addition, the GGO will be responsible for managing the Industry Support Component of the program.
Q21. How are you going to calculate my acreage?
A21. Wine grape acreage for the PSC will be calculated on the basis of acreage registered by the applicant in VITIS, the electronic vine management database. Applicants who do not have some, or any, of their wine grape acreage (owned and/or leased) registered in VITIS may make a request to AgriCorp and/or to GGO to have their vineyard information added to the database.
Q22. How do I get a Farm Business Registration number or equivalent?
A22. Registration is available from the Agricorp website: www.farmbusreg.com
Q23. What if I don't have a Farm Business Registration number?
A23. Property owners who are actively farming and have been approved under the Farm Property Class Taxation Program based on having met the gross farm income exemption can request a Gross Farm Income Exemption Certificate. This Income Exemption certificate may be used in lieu of a Farm Business Registration (FBR) number. There are three Gross Farm Income Exemption situations:
Q24. How do I get a Premises Identification number?
A24. Starting March 30th, 2012 you can obtain your premise ID from Ontario Provincial Premises Registry, online at www.ontarioppr.ca or by calling 1-855-697-7743.
Q25. What happens if I request a vineyard improvement that is not listed in the Eligible Vineyard Improvements Schedule of the application?
A25. Only eligible Vineyard Improvements will be approved in the calculation of your Total Estimated Cost of Requested improvements. Anything other than items listed under Eligible Vineyard Improvements are considered ineligible and will be subtracted from your Cost of Requested Improvements.
Q26. When is the effective date of OVIP?
A26. In Intake 3, applicants approved for funding can claim costs for eligible vineyard improvements from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
Q27. Why are some growers not approved but placed in a priority queue?
A27. OVIP has an annual allocation of funding available. If the demand for funding exceeds the funds available for Intake 3 applications received prior to Intake 3 closing will be placed in a priority queue to be evaluated first when Intake 4 opens.
Q28. If a grower is in the priority queue why are their eligible improvements not eligible for funding in Intake Two?
A28. Funding is available for projects that are approved in any given Intake. Funds are not transferable from year to year. Growers, who proceed to incur costs prior to receiving an Offer to Proceed (OTP) from the government, do so at their own risk. Should funding not be approved, these costs are not eligible for reimbursement.
Q29. What happens if a grower completes an eligible improvement in Year 2 but applies for funding in Intake 3?
A29. Approval for funding is provided on an annual basis. Growers must incur costs in the year in which they were approved. Costs incurred in a prior year are not eligible for reimbursement. Costs incurred prior to receiving an OTP from the government are done so at the risk of the grower.
Q30. When completing the application, I don't have actual cash amounts, can I use estimates?
A30. Yes. The best information available should be provided when completing your application. An OTP will be provided outlining the total eligible costs for your project. Funding in excess of the total eligible costs will not be eligible.
For more information please contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 888-588-4111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Applying for a Premises ID is easy and free. Contact Ontario Provincial Premises Registry to register: online at: www.ontarioppr.ca and by phone: 1-855-697-7743 (MY PPR ID)
For more information:
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