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On-farm funding offered for Lake Simcoe protection

Ontario farmers with production in the Lake Simcoe watershed can get cost-shared funding to set up best management practices dealing with the “pressures” on the lake and its watershed.

The province on Monday said it will put up $3 million over four years for its new Lake Simcoe Farm Stewardship Program.

Potentially fundable projects, the province said, could include nutrient recovery from wastewater; restricting livestock access to watercourses; modifying tillage practices to reduce soil erosion; runoff control; and improving on-farm storage and handling of petroleum products, pesticides and fertilizers.

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association will deliver the program, funded through last year’s $20 million, four-year provincial Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.

Cost-sharing available through the farm stewardship plan will be linked to opportunities associated with the Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program, the province said.

Thus the Lake Simcoe program may offer combined cost-sharing for up to 75 per cent of eligible costs, the province said.

“In the years to come, the success of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan will depend on programs like this one that help reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the lake from many different sources throughout the watershed,” provincial Environment Minister John Gerretsen said in a release Monday.

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