Growing Forward 2
This page was published under a previous government and is available
for archival and research purposes.
New: GF2 Results Spotlight
The GF2 Results Spotlight below shows some of the ways that producers
across the province have improved their business with GF2 funding.
The featured results will be updated regularly and each spotlight
will focus on new results within one GF2 area of focus.
Spotlight: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED)
GF2's PED Biosecurity Special Intake helped address biosecurity
concerns for Ontario's swine industry. Animal disease outbreaks
can affect profitability, resulting in serious economic hardship
to the industry and the rural communities they support. GF2 helped
protect Ontario's animal resource base from the PED virus and strengthen
the sustainability of the industry.
Over $8.4 million was committed to help industry
manage and prevent the spread of PED.
- There was strong industry uptake with over 960
- Projects with greatest impact on biosecurity were funded, including
over 1,400 best management practices such as
cleaning/disinfection, anterooms, and mortality management.1
GF2 helped Ontario businesses reduce key risks2
(note: results below represent only a subset of the total completed
Expanding Markets, Increasing Productivity, Managing Risks
How Growing Forward 2 Has Helped Ontario Producers Reach Their Goals
Over the last five years, Growing Forward 2 (GF2) has driven positive
change and fostered the growth of Ontario's agricultural and agri-food
sector. Producers have used GF2 funding to complete assessments,
audits, plans, and training, and to innovate and modernize their
practices, equipment, and operations.
Farmers across Ontario have improved their business in various
areas with GF2 funding. These include enhancements in: research
and innovation, assurance systems, environment and climate change
adaptation, business and leadership development, and animal and
plant health. These GF2 projects have helped producers and the sector
expand markets, increase productivity, and manage risks.
Research and Innovation
GF2 has helped to accelerate the pace of innovation and to commercialize
these innovations, moving them into markets. This was achieved by
building collaborations and networks, conducting applied research
and knowledge transfer, providing commercialization assistance,
and targeting support to industry innovations and early adopters.
These activities have fostered a more competitive agricultural and
Taking a Bite Out of the Apple Market
To help the sector address increasing competition from imports,
Niagara's Vineland Research and Innovation Centre used GF2 funding
to help Ontario apple growers diversify and upgrade their variety
selection. The centre identified Smitten - a New Zealand apple
with full flavour, storability, and resistance to bruising. After
testing the apple with Ontario growers, Vineland brokered a deal
to grow and commercialize the new variety here.
Three Canadian growers have licensed Smitten apples and will
be planting 200,000 trees, or about 200 acres, by 2020. Recognized
as a premium variety, the apple will generate $1.10 to $1.58 per
pound on average for local growers (compared to about $0.90 for
more standard varieties grown here). That means these 200 acres
will translate into $10.2 million in gross sales per year for apple
"Vineland's scouting program jumpstarts the introduction of
new and preferred fruit varieties from around the world. The Smitten
apple is expected to be a winner in the Canadian marketplace based
on Vineland's consumer insights-developed apple preference map."
- Jim Brandle, CEO, Vineland Research and Innovation
Effective assurance systems help strengthen and keep Ontario's
agri-sector competitive. GF2 has helped ensure the industry uses
recognized standards and puts modernized systems in place. These
improvements have helped organizations and collaborations meet market
requirements, access new market opportunities, ensure buyer confidence
in products, and protect their business and customers.
Connecting Chicken Farmers to Success
GF2 helped jumpstart a digital transformation of Ontario's chicken
industry. The Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) created CFO Connects,
a data management system that digitally tracks and manages operations
throughout the industry.
This online platform is evolving the industry from a paper-based
one by providing new access to real-time data and end-to-end digitalization
throughout the supply chain. Ontario chicken farmers now have the
ability to process business transactions with supply chain partners
any time they want. CFO Connects also facilitates consistent recordkeeping
and an improved forecasting and business planning model.
The system has created efficiencies, improved traceability, and
enabled new management tools and analytics for chicken farmers.
CFO Connects is enhancing quality and productivity, improving customer
service to farmers, managing on-farm costs, stimulating innovation,
and supporting risk management.
"The new CFO-designed technology platform called CFO Connects
has revolutionized the way the Ontario chicken industry does business.
CFO Connects leverages best-in-class SAP technology. Implementation
has simplified, streamlined and standardized many processes, which
has resulted in greater efficiency and effectiveness for the industry."
- John Um, Director, Information echnology, Chicken
Farmers of Ontario
Environment and Climate Change Adaptation
GF2 helped producers plan for and implement best practices, technologies,
and innovations to address environmental risks. Businesses are now
able to use water, energy, and other inputs more efficiently. With
GF2 funding, producers improved their overall environmental performance
related to air and soil quality, water quality and quantity, and
Great Water Quality Improvements in the Great Lakes
GF2's Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI) has
helped improve the water quality in our Great Lakes.
Under GLASI, producers worked with a Certified Crop Advisor, free
of charge, to review their farm's soil, natural features, and land
management practices. Over 850 assessments were completed to identify
best management practices (BMPs) such as cover crops, amendments
to improve soil organic matter, and crop nutrient plans, to reduce
risks and improve overall farm productivity. Supported by approximately
$3.4 million in cost-share funding, producers completed 650 BMP
projects, representing a total investment of $8.8 million in on-farm
environmental improvements. GLASI also provided funding to help
farmers implement targeted BMPs in selected sub-watersheds, which
enabled edge-of-field phosphorus reductions to be measured.
These initiatives resulted in additional benefits, including improved
soil and pollinator health, reduced nutrient loss, and improved
resiliency to extreme weather within targeted areas of the Great
"We were considering trying cover crops but having the funding
gave the nudge needed to pull the trigger. There are risks with
trying something new and changing the way you do things, and it's
nice to have some help when you're trying new things.
- Jeremy O'Shea, farmer
Mapping Ontario's Agricultural Soil
GF2 provided initial funding to undertake soil mapping activities
in Ontario. This initiative has helped ensure producers have access
to up-to-date information on agricultural soils that support modern
GF2 funding for this project involved updating and renewing legacy
soil maps, collecting new soil characteristics data, and revising
information on soil capability classes. Field efforts to update
soil maps in the Ottawa and Peterborough areas saw the completion
of more than 1,600 site investigations in 2016. Over 30 legacy soil
maps in the Cochrane-Hearst corridor were updated and released,
and 33 maps covering Timmins to Temiskaming Shores are also being
Foundational, detailed landscape data has been generated through
the collection of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). In support
of soil mapping efforts, LiDAR was flown in three targeted areas,
covering approximately 25,000 square kilometres to date. All these
efforts are improving the sector's ability to manage the different
types and characteristics of agricultural soil in Ontario.
"The Peterborough Planning Department is very excited about
this project. Given that soil mapping for the County is over 40
years old and now shows inconsistencies. We updated soil mapping
will We are about to embark upon the update of our County Official
Plan and the availability of updated soil mapping will allow for
more accurate land use analyses, farmland protection measures."
-Bryan Weir, Director of Planning, County of Peterborough
"As grain producers from our province work toward increased
productivity and environmentally sustainable production through
variable rate application of seed and fertilizers, these updated
maps will form a key layer for producing precision planting prescriptions
on our farms."
- Steven Brackenridge, Director, Ontario Federation
Calculating to Combat Climate Change
GF2's Greenhouse Gas Ontario Covered Agriculture Calculator (GO-CALC)
has helped producers manage climate change. GO-CALC has been used
to calculate reductions in greenhouse gases for upgrade projects
funded under GF2, such as using energy curtains or upgrading boiler
or heating systems. This tool has helped producers make good decisions
about technology adoption that reduce greenhouse gases.
Since GO-CALC was released, producers have run more than 160 calculations
and estimated a total savings of over 15,153 tonnes of greenhouse
Business and Leadership Development
GF2 has helped producers increase their productivity, sustainability,
and profitability. Farmers completed GF2 projects that increased
their knowledge and skills and adoption of businesses best practices.
As a result, more producers are making informed business decisions
related to financial and risk management, business growth, leadership,
governance, and production efficiencies.
Hatching a Better Future on the Farm
Ferme Avicole Laviolette, a family-owned poultry farm in St. Isidore,
has reported increased efficiencies, reduced costs, and increased
profitability as a result of GF2 funding. The farm installed a new,
innovative, and integrated production recordkeeping and financial
management system. This upgrade transformed the farm's day-to-day
activities. The farm's flock management no longer generates unmanageable
amounts of paperwork, as it is now tracked electronically. Instead
of using pens, calculators, and paper invoices, Laviolette can now
efficiently manage operations on a tablet.
As a result of this project, Laviolette has better access to and
understanding of his production costs and financial results. He
can now make better, data-informed, and real-time financial business
decisions. The new technological capabilities have improved his
ability to manage cash flows, adapt to operational changes, and
identify and respond to financial and production risks.
"The challenges that we addressed with Growing Forward 2 cost-share
funding were related to the use of technology in our day-to-day
operations. In order to become more efficient, we decided to simplify
[the paper-based system] by incorporating technology into our day-to-day
operations. Computerization benefits our business because we can
now get the reports we need and it reduces risks."
- Marcel Laviolette, Owner, Ferme Avicole Laviolette
Animal and Plant Health
Disease and pest outbreaks can reduce profitability and potentially
close markets to trade. GF2 has helped producers prepare for, detect,
and prevent outbreaks to reduce risks to animal and plant health
and avoid economic losses. GF2 projects helped reduce these risks
by increasing awareness and adoption of best management practices,
technologies, and innovations.
Managing Pests One App at a Time
Grain Farmers of Ontario leveraged GF2 funding to produce educational
resources and plant health apps for the agricultural sector. These
materials, such as manuals and guides on field crop pests, pesticide
applications, problem weeds, and crop diseases, were developed for
Ontario farming conditions. More than 12,000 users have accessed
Grain Farmers of Ontario also developed various apps that support
integrated pest management practices for farmers. For example, the
Pest Manager app provides producers with all the information they
need for weed, insect, and disease management in Ontario field crops.
Farmers use the app to identify, map, and find integrated management
options for common weeds, insects, and diseases in crops. Pest Manager
was named best mobile app at the 2015 Canadian Agri-Marketing Association
Best of CAMA awards and has thousands of subscribers on Apple, Android,
and Blackberry devices.
"The pest manager app allows Ontario Farmers to identify pests
in the moment. Farmers say it's a must-have app for their business".
- Mike Cowborough, OMAFRA staff
Adapting and Responding to Risks
The arrival of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus in 2014 was
a serious concern for Ontario's pork industry. With $8.4 million
in GF2 funding, businesses completed more than 960 projects to help
control and reduce the spread of the PED virus. These focused on
best management practices such as cleaning/disinfection, anterooms
(transition areas), and mortality management.
As a result of these GF2 projects and other industry efforts, the
number of PED cases in Ontario dropped and the industry has continued
to move forward in terms of biosecurity. Producers significantly
reduced the risks of disease transmission onto, off of, and within
their operations. The sustainability of the industry was strengthened
with 91 per cent of respondents moving closer to national biosecurity
"We always had clean barns, but didn't do a full biosecurity
plan until the scare. Our herd health is better now than ever before."
- John Van Engelen, Hog Farmer
committed and projects approved as of September 2016; includes $205,222
for 13 processor projects. Recipients were eligible to complete
more than one BMP per project.
2 Risk reduction figures represent respondents
that reported decreased risk levels (medium/high to low risk and
high to medium risk) as a percentage of the number of respondents
for each respective question. The number of respondents for each
respective question is as follows: 689 for onto operation, 692 for
within operation, and 666 for off operation.
3 Biosecurity standards figure represents
respondents that reported they had moved closer to industry standards
for biosecurity, as a percentage of the number of respondents (708).
4 Graph represents number of lab-confirmed
reports of the initial case(s) on each of the case farms in Ontario.
Note: While the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Affairs ('Ontario') endeavors to isolate and remove
invalid data elements from the data, Ontario makes no representations
or warranties about the completeness, accuracy or reliability of
the data or its suitability for any given purpose. Reliance on the
data is strictly at the user's own risk. Ontario will not accept
liability for any loss or damage arising out of the use of this
data. The information expressed on this webpage is solely that of
the respective contributors and does not necessarily represent the
views of the Government of Canada.