Top 10 Ways Ontario Farmers are Caring for the Environment

Ontario beef farmers are concerned about the environment and as stewards of the land are:

  1. Preserving Soil – Our very existence on this planet is dependent on a few inches of topsoil. Over two thirds of farmers use conservation tilling practices to help preserve that precious resource.
  2. Reducing Greenhouse Gases – The carbon sequestered (saved in the soil) due to conservation tillage in Ontario equals 600 kilotonnes/year. That’s equivalent to taking 125,000 cars off the road each year.
  3. Attending Environment School – Collectively, Ontario farmers have spent more than 300,000 days in environmental training courses.
  4. Creating Environmental Farm Plans – More than 70 per cent of Ontario farmers have taken an environmental course, evaluated their farms’ environmental footprint and made improvements.
  5. Using Technology: Earth to Satellite – Our grandfathers could not have dreamed of the power of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Today this technology is used to map a field to show exactly what quantity of fertilizer or chemicals are needed, if any, and the precise amounts.
  6. Proving Bugs Can Be Good – Some farmers buy ‘beneficial insects’ to put in fields or greenhouses to eat the destructive bugs.
  7. Planting Trees – Farmers have planted hundreds of thousands of trees on their land. Whether it is for windbreaks to protect the soil, to harvest as Christmas trees, for fuel or construction projects, every tree planted helps sustain our future.
  8. Creating Green Energy – Farms have always been a natural recycling centre and new technology is making that even better. Manure is generating power on some farms and sometimes enough for the neighbours, too. Ethanol, biodiesel and solar power are just a few other examples that may help power our future with help from the farm.
  9. Providing Space For Wetlands, Wildlife and Wide Open Spaces – Take a drive in the country and look around. Hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and wetlands are on private farmland. Many farmers have worked hard to create, improve or expand those spaces.
  10. Investing in Food and the Environment – The farmers’ ultimate challenge is to grow more food on less land to feed more people. There are no easy answers, but farmers keep investing in research, both in labs and on the farm, to continue towards that critically important goal.