Farmers in Grey County can now apply to an experimental pilot program that provides funding to try out and track the results of new soil health and carbon recapture practices on a small scale. The Experimental Acres Pilot, launched in Wellington and Dufferin Counties, is expanding to Grey County in 2023 and the program is seeking six farms to participate.
The Experimental Acres Pilot aims to backstop any risk of trying a new practice with the goal of identifying business cases that are worth further study. The pilot is designed to facilitate low risk learning and prepare farmers for larger funding opportunities in the future. In addition to financial support, the pilot offers soil testing and opportunities to meet and network with others in the farming community. Experimental Acres is an initial step in implementing Action 3: Capacity Building in Sustainable Agricultural Best Practices from Going Green in Grey, Grey County’s climate action plan.
“Farmers, you know your land best. Experimental Acres wants to hear your ideas about new practices to trial and implement on your farm,” said Philly Markowitz, economic development officer with Grey County.
Experimental Acres projects fall into one of three funding streams:
- Crop/Planting (up to $1,000.00 in funding available): Maintaining soil cover helps reduce soil erosion from wind and precipitation. Example practices include cover cropping, intercropping and introducing new crops into the rotation.
- Innovation (up to $2,000.00 in funding available): The innovation stream is for projects that can benefit soil health and do not fit into other categories. Example practices include tarping to reduce tillage intensity, winter crop rotation, and planting tall grass prairie.
- Animal/Grazing (up to $3,000.00 in funding available): Integrating animals on the farm can have many benefits to soil health and promote carbon storage in cropland soil. Example practices include rotational grazing, silvopasture, and bale grazing.
Farmers interested in applying can find a link to the application on Grey County’s website, www.Grey.ca, or directly at the following address: www.wellington.ca/en/business/ed-experimental-acres.aspx
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
For more information about the Experimental Acres Pilot, contact Grey County at 519-372-0219 ext.1430 or email Linda Swanston at firstname.lastname@example.org.