Living Lab — Ontario is looking for farmer participants

Grazing cover crops in Ontario, autumn 2021 (C.B. Moore)

Ontario farmers interested in participating in the Living Lab initiative are invited to complete a survey in order to begin the process.

The Living Lab — Ontario project has been set up to bring together farmers, scientists, sector organizations, and other experts to co-develop, test, and evaluate Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) that address climate change challenges in livestock and cropping systems.

This five-year program is one of 13 living labs across Canada that are part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) program.

Led by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), other commodity groups involved include Beef Farmers of Ontario, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Pork, and Ontario Sheep Farmers.

This latest iteration is seeking motivated farmers who are willing to collaborate with researchers to co-develop and implement research and innovation trials aimed at addressing climate change challenges on their farms for up to four years, share pertinent management data for assessing BMP impacts on profitability, productivity, and the environment, and participate in networks and events to foster information sharing with their peers.

The project builds on the previous living lab project in Ontario, but with a revised focus on evaluating and adopting BMPs that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase carbon sequestration on farms, including:

  • Technologies and practices to increase nitrogen use efficiency and minimize nitrogen losses
  • Managing manure storages to reduce GHG emissions
  • Grazing practices to increase carbon sequestration
  • Profit mapping to improve land use decisions
  • Increasing carbon sequestration and environmental benefits in field boundaries and nonproductive lands

Those farmers interested can fill out a survey by October 2nd, here.

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