CAP: Soil Health and Water Quality: Assessment and Planning

Purpose of Project Category:

Projects will focus on encouraging agricultural sector leadership and regional partnerships in developing sector-level or regional plans, or larger systems analysis (sector evaluation or analysis, sustainability systems), for improving soil health or water quality.

Target Audience – Who should apply?

Organizations and collaborations, with a focus on the agriculture or agri-food sector, environment, or conservation with projects supporting improvements in water quality undertaken in a geographical area that must have demonstrated nutrient related water quality impairments or with projects supporting soil health, undertaken in geographical areas with degraded soil health.

Eligible Projects

  • Developing sector-level plans
  • Conducting assessments
  • Conducting audits or analysis

Examples of projects

  • Development of decision support tools for agricultural producers to support reduced nutrient loss from agricultural land

Project Category Priorities

  • Projects related to water quality must be undertaken in geographic area(s) with demonstrated nutrient related water quality impacts, with a priority for the Lake Erie basin
  • Projects related to soil health must by undertaken in geographic areas with degraded soil health
  • Projects that help an agriculture sector quantify or demonstrate their sources of phosphorus loss or soil degradation to their producers
  • Sector or geography focused implementation plans and/or tools to support improved planning or risk assessments at the farm, regional or provincial scales
  • Decision support tools, IT projects, and similar activities must be able to demonstrate they are fulfilling a planning need not yet addressed, and will have wide-spread use, through the written support from representatives of end users
  • Projects demonstrating whole-farm approaches
  • Partnerships bringing in new partners, e.g. beyond the typical collaborations of agri-food organizations, academics and conservation authorities, bringing diversity of thought and approaches, from other sectors and disciplines, to the activities that increase the likelihood of projects leading to behavior change

Funding Available

  • Up to 50 per cent cost-share funding of total eligible costs
  • Requests for funding above 50 per cent must clearly demonstrate how project addresses the Innovation Rating Criteria and Project Category Priorities in order to be considered for up to 75 per cent funding of total eligible costs
  • Recommended cost-share up to $400,000 per project per year

Project Length

  • Projects approved from December 2018 onwards, to finish by December 1, 2020
  • Where strong rationale is provided, to support critical components of projects approved from December 2018 onwards, project end dates may be extended to December 1, 2021 and final claims, final reports and project results surveys must be submitted to AAC no later than January 3, 2022

Eligible Costs

  • Costs directly related to the activities noted below that are also consistent with Section F
  • Requests for higher capital costs reimbursement will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Eligible Activities

  • Activities that are consistent with Section H
  • All eligible activities must be linked to the development of an assessment, audit, analysis or plan
  • Planning and decision support tools, technologies, and software that build on existing tools or meet gaps in current decision support tool landscape
  • Analysis and assessment required to develop production systems based case studies and decision tools that simplify the selection of agri-environmental best management practices (BMPs) for a specific production system, taking into consideration site specific risks (e.g., topography, nearby waterbodies, etc.)
  • IT software system selection and configuration for the first-time establishment, initial data entry and training of users for multi-partner systems associated with development of a plan
  • Data collection, materials, sampling and analysis
  • Measuring, benchmarking and baseline assessments at a subwatershed or sector level, regarding nutrients or soils including sample design and collection strategies which should be prepared with input from academic and government leaders to support use of comparable methodologies, with the intent to facilitate data sharing
  • Activities improving the use and management of nutrients, water, wastewater and soils

Ineligible Costs

  • See a list of general ineligible costs in Section G
  • Cost associated with IT systems necessary to meet an organization’s ordinary operations/business needs

Ineligible Activities

  • See a list of general ineligible activities in Section H
  • Providing cost-share funding for implementation of BMPs projects on individual producers’ properties (but may include support for cost-share funding for BMPs on demonstration farms properties)