The Grand River Conservation Authority is providing farmer in Haldimand County funds to plant a cover crop, a best management practice that is growing in popularity across Ontario.
The recently updated Haldimand Rural Water Quality Program now offers landowners an incentive of $20 per acre for up to 50 acres per applicant.
The purpose of planting a cover crop is to protect soil, reduce erosion and promote better soil health. Under the program, priority is given to fields next to watercourses or wetlands and to fields that are tile drained. Cover crops that are used solely for cover—not harvested or grazed—are eligible under the program.
“I’ve used cover crops for years. I don’t like seeing bare soil through the winter. It helps with wind erosion and building organic matter,” said Brian Gillespie of North Dumfries who has planted oats as a cover crop.
Similar funding programs are offered in Waterloo Region, Wellington County and Brant County to promote the use of cover crops.
“Over 150 farmers have taken advantage of this incentive over the last few years,” said Sue Brocklebank, Conservation Specialist with the Grand River Conservation Authority. “This gives farmers an opportunity to try cover crops for the first time, or try a new mix to see what fits with their operation.” The GRCA administers the Haldimand Rural Water Quality Program with funding from Haldimand County. The program is open to all farmers in Haldimand County.
More information is available at www.grandriver.ca/ruralwater or by contacting your local conservation authority in Haldimand. Residents in the Grand River watershed can call 519-621-2761, Long Point Region residents call 519-842-4242 and Niagara Peninsula residents call 905-788-3135.