GUELPH – The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) is pleased to announce the launch of a new program to encourage extended crop rotation called the Small Grains Program. This pilot will include payments, training and a farmer-to-farmer network of support and information. Payment of $40/acre for up to 100 acres are available to help farmers extend their rotations by adding a small grain and legume cover crop or a forage legume. Small grains include wheat, spelt, oats, barley, rye and triticale, etc. Forage legumes include alfalfa, clovers, sweet clover, trefoil and vetches, etc.
Adding small grains such as wheat, spelt, oats, barley, rye and triticale for forage legumes to the more common two-year corn-soybean crop rotation supports soil health and water conservation, market diversification and the overall resilience of Ontario’s rural communities.
EFAO’s program aims to differentiate itself from other cover crop incentive programs by providing a strong peer-to-peer and mentorship component, which will harness some of EFAO’s existing strengths. Participants and non-participants alike will have access to monthly learning opportunities, mentors, and farm advisors.
Ali English, Executive Director of the EFAO, says “Soil health is a long-term pursuit and we know that incentives on their own don’t work for long-term adoptions. Our aim is to provide knowledge and a network in addition to the incentive payment to continue extended crop rotations for several crop cycles to come.”
Applications for the pilot year of the program are now being accepted. They will be reviewed on an on-going basis. The program is open to any farmer who would like to add an additional small grains crop to their rotation.