Cost-Share Program

The Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA), with funding from The Conservation Trust, is piloting a Cost-Share Program with the goal of improving soil health and stewardship among certified organic farmers operating in Manitoba. This program is aimed at helping organic farmers identify ways to improve their soil quality and support the costs of implementing these plans.

The areas targeted by this program include:

  • Cover cropping, both in season and shoulder seasons.
  • Integrating livestock onto an organic grain farm.
  • Minimizing tillage.
  • Introducing perennial plantings, including alfalfa for seed production.
  • Improving crop rotations to maximize nutrient management.

Program Eligibility

This program is open to any certified organic farmers who farm in the Province of Manitoba and are interested in improving the quality of their soils.

Program Description

15 certified organic farmers operating within the Province of Manitoba will be selected for MOA’s Cost-Share Pilot Program.

Farmers can choose from the following suite of activities to be cost-shared between the applicant and the Manitoba Organic Alliance at a ratio of 50:50, with a maximum funding amount of $7,000 per farm.

Eligible projects and costs include:

  • Fencing and watering systems for custom grazing. These can either be permanent fences/watering systems or temporary fencing and watering systems.
  • Perennial seed or annual seed mixes for use as cover crops, alfalfa seed production or conversion of cropland to perennial pastures for at least three years.
  • Labour involved in seedbed preparation, seeding, installing fencing and watering systems, and terminating cover crops. Labour costs must be included in the proposed project budget.
  • Rent or purchase pollinator services/equipment for alfalfa seed production.

Only costs related to executing one or more of the projects listed above are eligible for the cost-share funding. Soil tests will be encouraged but are not eligible under the cost-share program. Labour costs should also be included in the project budget.

MOA’s Consultant Agronomist will work closely with 10 of the 15 organic farmers and provide in-person, over the phone, and/or virtual consultations. The trained agronomist will use the University of Manitoba’s nutrient budgeting tool, along with interpreting lab results and farm practices/goals to help producers improve their soils.

They will advise on topics including, but not limited to: minimizing tillage, nutrient management, the fundamentals of crop rotation design, integrating livestock into cropping systems, integrating perennials and biodiversity patches into your farm, and providing support in assessing and evaluating the health of your soils to guide soil-building decisions.

Those participating in consultations with MOA’s Agronomist will share the cost of hiring the Consultant Agronomist at a rate of 50:50, a maximum total of $3,000 (or $1,500 contributed per farm). These costs are separate from those declared in the cost-share project budget. MOA can assist farmers in finding additional supports where possible to help cover their share of this expense.

Priority will be given to farmers interested in working with MOA’s Agronomist.

Successful Cost-Share Pilot Program will be selected in February 2022 and will receive funding for projects conducted between March 2022 and December 2022.

Applicants must read the Program Guidebook before submitting an application as the Terms and Conditions of the programs are outlined in this document.

How to Apply

The deadline to apply is 17 February 2022.

Applicants are required to submit a proposed budget outlining the costs they expect to incur to execute their project(s). Successful applicants are permitted to make changes to their proposed budget once the project is underway, provided the changes still fit under the eligible costs of this program. The Consultant Agronomist should be made aware of any major changes to the proposed budget as soon as possible in order to confirm that the changes fit under eligible costs and still align with program goals to improve soil health.

Applicants are welcome to contact Kathryn Boschmann at MOA at info@manitobaorganicalliance.com to request assistance with their application.

Applicants must acknowledge and agree to terms and conditions of the program as outlined in this guidebook and to those contained in the application.