A new Living Lab researching best management practices for climate change challenges will be starting soon in Ontario.
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Farmers have until Oct. 2 to express interest.
Why it matters: Much of the funding from the federal and provincial government is now coming through a climate lens, so farmers with projects they wish funded need to define them through that bucket.
The five-year project brings together farmers, scientists, sector organizations, and other experts to co-develop, test, and evaluate Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) that address climate change challenges in livestock and cropping systems.
Living Lab – Ontario is one of 13 living labs across Canada that are part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) program. The new project will focus on best management practices with potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase carbon sequestration on farms, including:
• Technologies and practices to increase nitrogen use efficiency and minimize nitrogen losses.
• Managing manure storages to reduce GHG emissions.
• Grazing practices to increase carbon sequestration.
• Profit mapping to improve land use decisions.
• Increasing carbon sequestration and environmental benefits in field boundaries and non-productive lands.
Farmers will collaborate with researchers on climate challenges on their farms for up to four years, share management data to assess Best Management Practice (BMP) impacts on profitability, productivity, and the environment, and participate in networks and events to foster information sharing with their peers.
The goal is to involve a diversity of operations, farming systems, regions and commodity types from across Ontario agriculture.
Led by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), this collaborative partnership reflects the diversity of agricultural commodities and production systems in Ontario. The partnership includes Beef Farmers of Ontario, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Pork, and Ontario Sheep Farmers. Each of these partners will be looking for members to become involved as farm cooperators.
Additional partners include the County of Wellington, Greenbelt Foundation, Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Soils at Guelph, University of British Columbia, and University of Guelph. Farmers interested in participating need to fill out this survey by Oct. 2, 2023.