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Grey County seeks farmers for new test program

Program offers farmers up to $3,000 to test new practices that aim to improve soil health and increase carbon captures on local farms
2020_10_27 Grey County admin building_JG

Grey County is collaborating with Grey Agricultural Services to provide up to $3,000 to farmers to test new practices that aim to improve soil health and increase carbon capture on farms.

The program, known as Experimental Acres, is seeking six farms to participate.

Applications are due by February 23, 2024 and can fall into one of three categories.

The first category is Living Roots and Green Cover projects which extend the time soil is covered or has living roots in it (up to $1,000 available per farm).

The second category is Innovation for projects that implement new farm practices (up to $2,000 available per farm).

The third category is Integrating Animals on the Farm for projects that incorporate livestock into farm systems (up to $3,000 available per farm).

Grey County Experimental Acres projects are funded by Grey County as part of Going Green in Grey, the climate action plan. The program aligns with Action 3: Capacity Building in Sustainable Agricultural Best Practices. It aims to support farmers in implementing new practices which can build soil health and potentially capture carbon. 

Experimental Acres is designed to minimize the financial risk associated with trying new practices while preparing farmers for larger funding opportunities in the future. In addition to financial support, the pilot offers soil testing and networking with others in the farming community.  

The Experimental Acres pilot was developed as a part of Guelph-Wellington Our Food Future, a project funded by Infrastructure Canada. The County of Wellington facilitated the program in Wellington and Dufferin Counties in 2022, and Grey County joined in 2023. 

Examples of past projects have included cover cropping, silvopasture, rotational grazing systems, tarping to avoid tillage, intercropping, livestock bedding trials, vertical farming, no-till establishment of crops, companion planting and more.

“Farmers know their businesses best. Whether the practice is new-to-you or has never been done before, we’d like to hear your ideas. Please consider submitting an application,” said Emily McKague, project coordinator for Grey Agricultural Services, in a news release.

Farmers interested in applying can do so online here by Friday, February 23, 2024.  

Grey County also invites local farmers to complete a short survey about their farm operations. The survey aims to better understand current practices and identify how we can continue to support adoption of best practices to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and maximize carbon capture. Grey County farmers can complete the survey here and have a chance to win a $20 Tim Horton’s gift card.  

For more information about the Experimental Acres program, contact Emily McKague, Grey Agricultural Services at [email protected] or Megan Myles, Grey County Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, at [email protected] or 519-370-7060.