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Grants available to farmers to protect water quality

CAMBRIDGE - Farmers who want to protect water quality on their land can receive financial assistance for a variety of projects through the Rural Water Quality Program of the Grand River Conservation Authority.

Landowners can receive grants to upgrade existing wells, plug unused wells, develop a nutrient management plan, handle milk house waste, control erosion, fence livestock out of water courses,  plant trees, build manure storage facilities and  develop chemical and pesticide handling and storage facilities.

Applications are now being accepted for projects for the remainder of 2011 and for 2012. The applicant must have completed an Environmental Farm Plan to be eligible. For more information on the program contact the Conservation Services Department of the GRCA at 519-621-2761 or 1-866-900-4722

Financial assistance ranges from 30 per cent to 100 per cent of project costs, depending on the project and its location. The farmer must contribute the balance in cash, materials or a combination of those and labour. Landowners can add grants from the Rural Water Quality Program to grants they receive from the Canada Ontario Farm Stewardship program to reduce their own costs.

Ken Hunsberger, president of the Waterloo Federation of Agriculture, said, “This is a good opportunity for farmers who want to upgrade their level of environmental protection.”

The Rural Water Quality Program is funded primarily by municipalities including the Region of Waterloo, Guelph, Brantford, and the Counties of Brant, Wellington, Perth and Oxford.

Since the program began in 1998 more than $9 million in grants have been given to farmers to complete more than 3,100 projects.



October 21, 2011


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