Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Keep Your Paperwork in Order (corrected)

Upon publishing the previous post I realized some terms were incorrect.  Here is the corrected copy

I have never met a farmer yet who enjoys paperwork, but it is a necessary part of the job.  For those of you who have a current Nutrient Management Strategy, keeping records is required by the Nutrient Management Regulations in the province of Ontario.  This above picture is of one my nutrient management clients, Jeff Reijnen's dairy barn.
In Perth County this year, the Ministry of Environment's Ag Enforcement Officer, Glenn Ross, has been running a pilot project. He has been contacting and visiting all farm operators in the county with expiring Nutrient Management Strategies. Nutrient Management Strategies and Plans are effective for 5 years. At the end of each 5 year period the farm operation is required to renew their Nutrient Management Strategy with OMAFRA and if they are over 300 nutrient units they are also required to have an updated Nutrient Management Field Plan that covers their cropping plans for the next 5 years. This cropping plan must be kept on file at the farm. Glenn has been focusing on farms that filed Nutrient Management Plans with OMAFRA in 2005. These operations are now required to renew in 2010, unless they have filed subsequent strategies since 2005.  The primary purpose of the project is to ensure farm operations have registered, if necessary, with OMAFRA and also ensure Nutrient Management Strategies and Plans are updated.  This is a requirement of the regulation.
A secondary purpose is to evaluate the level of compliance amongst farmers in Perth County. Fortunately, he has found compliance levels are relatively high and his friendly personna has kept relations good between the Ministry of Environment, the farm operators and consultants like myself.  The project is continuing.
Clients in other counties have also noticed more activity by MOE staff.
The take home message is keep your strategies and field plans up to date and be mindful of the date of expiry of current strategies. I expect the compliance promotion efforts by MOE staff will continue.

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