Farmers enhance land productivity with tile drainage grants
Timmins producers have tiled over 4,000 acres of farmland since 2014
By Kaitlynn Anderson
Farmers in Timmins have increased their crop production with the help of the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) and the Northeast Community Network (NeCN).
The two groups provide grants to area producers who wish to improve the tile drainage on their land, according to Thursday’s news release.
Since 2014, farmers have used the grants to tile over 4,000 acres of land.
This year, the groups expect to provide producers with “another 1,800 acres worth of land improvement grants,” the release stated.
Through the program, farmers can extend their growing season and thus increase their land’s productivity.
In general, fields that are tiled “allow farmers to plant earlier and harvest later” than fields that are not well drained, Antoine Vézina, a community development consultant with the TEDC, told Farms.com today.
This improvement can “allow for higher yields and enhanced market competitiveness,” according to the release.
Also, tile-drained fields provide crops with an environment more favourable for root development and “optimal plant growth,” Vézina said.
Farmers who have accessed the grants shared positive experiences.
“Since receiving the tile drainage grant, I’m able to grow potatoes and veggies in an area where I would regularly get stuck with my ATV,” Allen Graham, a farmer in Timmins, said in the release. “I can get on the land earlier in the season and have no issues when harvesting crops and produce later in the season.”
The grants cover 50 per cent of the eligible costs associated with tile installation, up to a maximum of $500 per acre.
In order to receive the grants, farmers must have licensed tile drainage contractors complete the work.
While applications for this year’s funding are closed, farmers can apply again in the fall.
Individuals in the “Cochrane District are invited to submit expressions of interest/application forms (from) October to December in the year prior to the desired tile drainage installation dates,” Vézina said.
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