From a news release
The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) has received over $80,125 in funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) towards the $130,125 first year costs of a multi-year project that will help farmers make better choices about which Best Management Practices (BMPs) to use on their farms.
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.
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.
“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,” explains CFFO President Clarence Nywening.
The first stage of the project, for which CFFO has received CAP funding, will be to build the necessary foundational data and information set to build BOSS for Farms. Research and development support for the project will be provided by Agri-Food Economic Systems.
“BOSS for Farms will enable farmers and policymakers 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,” says Al Mussell, Research Lead at Agri-food Economic Systems.
“We are thrilled to receive support for this important project,” says 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.”
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.