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Now is the time for pork producers to start farm projects

Ontario Pork reminds farmers to submit their applications for GF2 funding

By Jennifer Jackson

Ontario swine producers are encouraged to seek government funding for farm enhancing projects. The Ontario Pork Producers Marketing Board reminds producers that two of the federal/provincial Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program’s application periods are ending soon, according to an April 6 Ontario Pork release.

The GF2 program allows producers to apply for financial assistance for projects that can be categorized under animal and plant health, market and business development, assurance programs, and environmental adaptations and labour productivity enhancement, according to Kathy Zurbrigg, industry outreach coordinator for Ontario Pork.

GF2 “provides producers with the opportunity to help offset the costs of changing and adapting their farm to meet new regulations (environmental or housing/animal management), be more energy efficient and (to) better protect their pigs from disease,” she says.

The application and requirement process may take producers some time to complete, however the funding outcome can be quite beneficial, says Zurbrigg.

Depending on the type of project, the GF2 program can reimburse up to 50 per cent of the project’s cost. Projects eligible for up to 50 per cent funding include those involving auditing, planning, skills development or training.  All other projects are eligible for up to 35 per cent reimbursement.

There are many reasons why producers may want to take advantage of the GF2 funding, says Zurbrigg.

Farmers may still need “to (make) changes to (pig) housing … to bring their farm into compliance with Codes of Practice. Changes are (also) required by many niche market programs that producers may want to take advantage of (producers in such programs are paid a premium for raising animals to specific housing or management requirements).”

This GF2 application period is also a good time to invest in projects to increase biosecurity and the health of pigs, or to reduce energy waste on farm.

“Increased biosecurity standards are important to prevent the spread of disease for improved health of animals and less cost associated with treatments,” says Zurbrigg.

Pigs

kadmy/iStock/GettyImagesPlus

There are many projects that producers can submit to GF2, including:

-          Planting native shrubs, grasses and trees on farm

-          Upgrading to high efficiency barn lighting or ventilation systems

-          Building or upgrading showers in the barn entrance for biosecurity

-          Purchasing items for managing or maintaining herd health

-          Building or upgrading manure storage

-          Renovating to comply with Code of Practice or other program requirements

-          Building new isolation facilities for quarantined animals

-          Planning or conducting farm financial or cost of production assessments

-          Upgrading or purchasing systems to improve the movement of pigs when loading or sorting

The first GF2 application period ends on April 18, 2017. The second period is open from May 12 to June 1, 2017. Farmers must complete the projects associated in their application by Dec. 15, 2017, followed by the submission of final invoices on Jan. 15, 2018.

Application requirements include a valid Farm Business Registration Number, an updated Premise Identification Number for the project location, and additional workshop participation or written plans, depending on the type of project.

More information on farmer requirements and the GF2 submission process is available on the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) website

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