CFFO gets help with BMP idea

The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario has received over $80,125 in funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help fund the first year costs of a muli-year project to help farmers make better choices about Best Managment Practices.

The total cost for the first year is just over $130,000.

The ultimate goal of the project is to develop an automated, user-friendly decision support tool for farmers, called “BOSS for Farms.”
BOSS stands for “Best Optimization Scenario Selection.”

The tool will allow farmers to more easily find the right combination of BMPs to suit individual field conditions and the environmental priorities of their localities.

“We want to link this local knowledge about practices like tillage, cover cropping and erosion control to OMAFRA’s published BMP recommendations. We’ll also combine these findings with emerging research to build BOSS for Farms,” explained CFFO President Clarence Nywening. “We strongly believe that if farmers can use tools like BOSS for Farms, we will be able to make better farm management choices that will strengthen our achievements in soil health and water quality.”

Over the next year, CFFO will be meeting with members in all 21 CFFO districts across Ontario finding out from farmers what they think strikes the best balance between productivity and environmental stewardship on their own farms.

“BOSS for Farms will enable farmers and policy makers to better assess and determine the best combination of BMPs to address on-farm ecological goals, such as water and soil quality, biodiversity and climate change risks, while also maintaining optimal economic production,” said Al Mussell, Research Lead at Agri-food Economic Systems.

The CFFO has already begun research efforts through discussions held across the province during its annual Policy Tour, which runs until early April. Through this project, the CFFO is pleased to help members and all farmers assess options for balancing stewardship goals with farm business sustainability.