Tuesday, October 13, 2015

OMAFRA offers cold-weather subsidy

There’s a new subsidy for fruit farmers to help them protect orchards during cold snaps.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced it will share up to 35 per cent of the cost of weather mitigation equipment such as portable or fixed wind machines, heating and air movement devices, insulating devices, overhead irrigation systems, and crop covers.

Growers can be eligible to receive up to a maximum of $31,500 per project.

Growers may apply for funding through the Ontario Crop and Soil Improvement Association, which administers the program, and will accept applications at several times over the next couple of years. The first intake is from October 22 to November 5, 2015.

Charles Stevens, chairman of the Ontario Apple Growers, said the members of his organization "strongly welcome the support for cold weather mitigation measures.

“This support will help to reduce the impact of cold temperatures, ensuring farmers are able to provide consumers with a more stable supply of local Ontario apples for them to enjoy.”

Phil Tregunno, chairman of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers association said “we greatly appreciate the Ontario government’s recognition of the challenges faced by farmers and the continued support."