Drainage Contractor

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Applications for cost-share funding open on Jan. 15 for Lake Erie projects


December 11, 2019
By Drainage Contractor

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Beginning January 15, 2020, applications will be accepted for a new intake of cost-share funding under the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) initiative.

The LEADS initiative is available to farmers in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watershed areas to support their actions to reduce the risk of nutrient loss and to improve farmland soil health. Lake Erie is the most shallow and biologically productive of the Great Lakes, making it more susceptible to harmful blue-green and nuisance algal blooms.

Funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the projects LEADS supports in 2020 will build on many previous investments by farmers and the governments to improve the sustainability of farming practices around Lake Erie and reduce phosphorus entering the connecting waterways. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

“We’re pleased to support our farmers in their careful stewardship of the land and help them make their operations even more environmentally sustainable,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

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Examples of projects eligible for support under LEADS include:

  • Modifying equipment to improve management of agricultural nutrients and to reduce soil compaction;
  • Planting overwintering cover crops to improve soil health and reduce soil erosion losses;
  • Planting vegetation and trees to provide a buffer between agricultural operations and waterways; and
  • Retiring environmentally fragile lands from agricultural production and planting permanent vegetative cover to reduce the loss of soil and nutrients from these lands.

LEADS is delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). Contact the OSCIA about LEADS at 1-800-265-9751 or LEADS@ontariosoilcrop.org.