Farmers depend on a healthy, clean environment to produce quality food, so they make every effort to keep their soil and land in top shape.
Ontario’s farmers don’t just guess what might be best for the environment. They are committed to using the best practices they possibly can, which is why they develop Environmental Farm Plans (EFP). These voluntary assessments address a variety of on-farm areas where farmers can reduce the impact they have on the environment.
Environmental Farm Plans cover things like manure storage and handling, runoff control, integrated pest management and nutrient management. These plans, combined with other government- and producer-led initiatives, have proven to be positive for the environment.
In 1983, Ontario’s farmers and the provincial government decided to aim to cut pesticide use in half over 20 years. By 2003, not only had that goal been achieved, but it was exceeded – 52% to be exact. It doesn’t stop there: farmers continue to decrease their pesticide use by about 3% every year.
This may be because producers are learning efficient and effective pesticide use in pesticide safety training classes.
Better soil conservation measures, such as crop rotation and reducing tillage on farm fields have also led to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on farms. So far, these changes have had the same impact as taking 125,000 cars off the road.
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