Melanie ConsCanadian Farm News

From a news release

The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP) is back for 2018. SARFIP supports Ontario producers who are enhancing on-farm habitat for species at risk across the province. The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), with support from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, is pleased to continue to offer this impactful program.

“SARFIP has a great legacy of supporting producers who are looking to make improvements on their farms while also enriching farm habitat for species at risk,” said Peter McLaren, President of OSCIA. “Through cost-share funding, SARFIP supports projects that benefit both farmers and species at risk.”

Producers in Ontario can access cost-share dollars for on-farm projects that implement a variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs). With a diversity of project opportunities, eligible BMPs encompass activities around croplands, grasslands, shorelines, stream banks, wetlands and woodlands. Many opportunities are available to support critical habitat through SARFIP, including cross fencing for rotational grazing, watering systems for livestock, native tree planting, improved stream crossings, native grassland plantings, invasive species removal and erosion control structures, among others.

SARFIP 2018 is open to all agricultural landowners in the province. Projects that provide indirect benefits to species at risk are eligible for 50% cost-share, and projects that directly benefit species at risk are eligible for 65%. An additional bonus of 10% cost-share is available for direct benefit projects if the producer is interested in enrolling in SAR-Watch, a monitoring program that measures the impact of SARFIP projects on the ground for species at risk. A farm business can access up to $20,000 in 2018.

To find out if SARFIP is a good fit with your farm, consult the program brochure for complete and detailed program information. All program materials, including the brochure and application forms can be found on the OSCIA website. To be eligible to participate in SARFIP, Ontario farms must have a completed 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) workbook and Action Plan that has been verified and completed within the last five years.

Applications are now being accepted, and funding will be allocated to eligible projects in the order in which they are received. Funding for this program is limited; if you have a project idea that fits, submit your application as soon as possible. Projects must be initiated on or after April 1, 2018.

For more information on eligibility criteria, the application process, and program deadlines, or to sign up to an upcoming EFP workshop in your area, visit the SARFIP page on the OSCIA website or contact OSCIA directly at 519-826-3035 or SARFIP@nullontariosoilcrop.org.