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Farmers Get a Boost In Funding To Improve Productivity

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Over $2.5 million dollars is going towards helping local farmers improve environmental sustainability and water quality in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds.

WOODSTOCK - The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing over $2.5 million to help farmers improve environmental sustainability and water quality in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds.

The money will also be used to help improve productivity for farm operations in the region. MPP for Oxford County and the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman announced cost-share funding committed to farmers to help complete 235 on-farm projects this year to reduce phosphorus entering waterways connected to Lake Erie.

The improvements come through the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) initiative, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Included among those are 15 projects approved to be completed in Oxford this year. 

These local projects saw an allocation under the Partnership of $120,597.82. Some examples of LEADS projects in Oxford include:
- Planting over-wintering cover crops to improve soil health and reduce soil erosion losses;
- Retiring environmentally fragile land from agricultural production and planting permanent vegetative cover to reduce the loss of soil and nutrients from these lands;
- Modifying equipment to improve management of agricultural nutrients and to reduce soil compaction.

Hardeman says this funding is a great example of what Governments can do, when they work together.

“LEADS projects demonstrate our agricultural sector’s commitment to environmental stewardship and keeping our waterways clean for future generations. It’s another great example of what we can do when we work with the other levels of government and our agriculture partners to improve the environment and protect our natural resources.”

LEADS-supported projects have helped reduce the risk of soil loss and soil nutrient loss and improved water quality in its target region through implementing a variety of best on-farm management practices.

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