By: Sarah Sommerfeld, PAg, Regional Forage Specialist, Outlook
For many producers across the province, the 2016 growing season has posed many challenges. As the fall season progresses, there is still much work left to do, but producers may also be focusing their attention to planning for the 2017 growing season. Plans may include development of a new water source, improving grazing management or seeding down forages on soils prone to erosion or salinity. For these types of on-farm projects, producers can access cost-shared funding through the Growing Forward 2 framework of agriculture programs. The Growing Forward 2 agriculture policy framework will be ending on March 31, 2018. With that date in mind, there are deadlines to be aware of with respect to the different funding programs available.
The Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) provides cost-shared funding to help develop secure water sources. These water sources can be dugouts, large or small diameter wells, community wells and shallow or deep buried pipelines. The On-Farm component of FRWIP provides cost-shared funding to develop sustainable non-potable water supplies for agricultural use. For individual producers, the On-Farm component of FRWIP will cover 50 per cent of the eligible costs up to a maximum of $60,000 for developing long term sustainable water sources. FRWIP applications must be received by August 1, 2017. All claim forms for approved projects must be submitted by February 15, 2018.
The Farm Stewardship Program (FSP) provides eligible producers with financial assistance to implement beneficial management practices (BMPs). Under the FSP, 23 BMPs exist under seven categories. When applying to the FSP, two types of program applications exist - pre-approval or rebate. Pre-approval applications require that projects must receive prior approval before any work is completed. Rebate applications do not require pre-approval, and the program application can be submitted once the project is complete. FSP pre-approval applications must be received by June 30, 2017. All claim forms for approved projects and all rebate applications must be received by January 31, 2018.
For producers wanting to improve the grazing management on native rangeland or riparian areas, two BMPs exist. The Native Rangeland Grazing Management BMP and Riparian Area Grazing Management and Fencing BMP are pre-approval applications. Producers must submit a pre-approval application prior to starting the project. The FSP will cover 50 per cent of the eligible costs up to a maximum of $10,000 for implementing either of these BMPs.
Producers looking to convert highly erodible and/or saline land from annual grain production to permanent cover can apply for the Protecting High Risk Erodible and Saline Soils BMP. This BMP works as a rebate application and does not require pre-approval prior to producers completing the project. Cost-shared funding is available to cover 50 per cent of the eligible costs up to a maximum of $10,000.
Accessing funding under the Growing Forward 2 programs requires that all producers meet basic eligibility requirements. Each type of project also has specific guidelines relating to producer eligibility and eligible and ineligible project costs.
For further information on Growing Forward 2 programs or for technical assistance regarding a specific on-farm project, contact your local Regional Forage Specialist, or your Agri-Environmental Group Plan technician working within your watershed, the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 or Program Design and Delivery Branch at 1-877-869-4008.