Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Tip of The Cap

The Ministry of Environment recently released the 2010 results of their on farm audits of livestock operations in Ontario.  These operations are chosen randomly from all farm operations captured under the provincial Nutrient Management Act.  An Ag Enforcement Officer from the MOE visits each farm and scores them based on a risk assessment approach.  The goal of the assessment is to measure each farm's practices that reduce the risk of an adverse effect.  An adverse effect is causing something bad to happen to human health or the environment. 
A passing grade is 70 out of 100.  A 70 indicates the operation generally meets the provincial expectations for environmental performance, but may require some minor improvements.

Out of 172 farms inspected, 87% or 150 farms, met or exceeded provincial expectations.  Over the three years that the MOE have been inspecting livestock operations, scores have steadily improved. 
The two things farms can do to improve would be to make sure to conduct an annual review of their Nutrient Management Strategy or Plan and meet vegetated buffer zone/run-off management requirements.  The bottom line is livestock operations in Ontario are doing a great job protecting the environment.  Well done.

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