The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is an assessment voluntarily prepared by farm families to increase their environmental awareness in up to 23 different areas on their farm. Through the EFP process, farmers highlight their farm’s environmental strengths, identify areas of environmental concern, and set realistic action plans with time tables to improve environmental conditions. The EFP can then be used in conjunction with cost-share programs to begin implementing their action plans.
The idea for Environmental Farm Plans originated from the Ontario farm community. Farmers were involved in every stage of developing the original EFP through the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition. The program continues to be delivered to the farm community by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. The Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition was led by agricultural organizations including: Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, and Farm and Food Care Ontario.
The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) Workshop can be completed as a two-day, in-person workshop or, for those looking to renew a previously completed EFP, as a one-day renewal workshop or you can update a previously completed EFP Workbook online using the eEFP. See below to find out details of each type of workshop.
The eEFP is an electronic workbook, for farmers who want to update a previously verified 3rd or 4th Edition EFP. This is not a replacement for the in-person, 2-day workshop, and farmers who are new to EFP or who have not participated for many years are encouraged to consider the in-person option which provides instruction from OSCIA field staff, networking with fellow farmers and information about cost-share opportunities. Farmers may also wish to bring a laptop to a one-day or two-day in-person workshop, and complete their EFP Workbook online using the eEFP.
To complete an eEFP, visit www.electronicefp.com
EFP Workshops are available across the province. You can view available workshops in your area by visiting https://osciaportal.org/. You’ll be provided with instructions and help on how to progress through the risk assessment and action plan development contained in the Fourth Edition EFP Workbook.
Workshop registration is now completed through https://osciaportal.org/. If you have never accessed https://osciaportal.org/, you may access the site as a New Client and register for a workshop. You do not have to apply for cost-share, but if you have already enrolled for cost-share under the Partnership on https://osciaportal.org/, you can use your current login to access registration for workshops. If you have questions about workshop registration, please contact the workshop leader in your area.
Submit your EFP for a confidential review by your Workshop Leader. He/she may be able to offer suggestions to help you achieve your environmental goals.
The EFP Workbook
The goal of the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is to help you see your farm in a new way. It asks you to think about your land, the buildings on your farm, the products you use, all from a new point of view. It asks you to rate how each of these things could affect the environment – the air, soil, wildlife, and water sources – around your farm.
The EFP Workbook has two parts – the Farm Review and the Action Plan.
In the Farm Review section, you will assess the soils on your farm and rate their ability to offset or increase potential risks to the environment. The Farm Review includes 23 Worksheets to help you rate different situations on your farm. From these ratings, you will develop an Action Plan.
As you work on your Action Plan, you will have to decide whether potential problems result from natural risks on your farm (e.g. soil type or depth to water table) or from the way you manage some part of your farm operations. You will have to think about what you need to do to solve these problems or control them, either right away or over the next few years.
All farms deal with materials that, if improperly handled, have the potential to contaminate and damage our environment. Learning about the risks on your farm will help you develop a plan of action to use in the event of a spill or other emergency.
The process of developing a customized Emergency Plan will put essential information at your fingertips in the event of an emergency. A completed Emergency Plan is a series of plans that help prepare you for different types of emergencies according to the specifics of your operation.
The EFP Emergency Plan workbook will guide you through the process, starting with “big-picture” farm-wide emergency planning and working through risk-specific situations.
Twenty-two of the twenty-three worksheets in the Workbook have a corresponding infosheet. There is no Infosheet for Worksheet #1 – Soil and Site Evaluation. These infosheets have been developed to provide you with more information to help you effectively complete your action plans for review. Infosheets are structured just like the EFP worksheets by dealing with each issue one question at a time.
These infosheets can be used as a quick reference for information specific to the worksheet question, and provide a short list of possible actions that will change your situation for the better. They also provide a list of some acceptable compensating factors that adequately address a situation without changing the rating you specified in the workbook. Infosheets can be a good benchmark to see how your proposed solutions measure up.
Infosheets are not the only solution nor the last word (some issues are complex and more technical information may be required from other sources).
Infosheets 2 to 23 are available for download by clicking on the corresponding images below:
The videos below were developed to support the 23 areas addressed in the Environmental Farm Plan workbook.
|Type of Resource||Resource|
|Contacts||Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association|
|Contacts||Agricultural Information Contact Centre|
|Contacts||Premises Identification Number|
|Contacts||Agricorp Farm Business Registration Number|
|Contacts||Nutrient Management Consultants|
|Contacts||Certified Erosion control Contractors|
|Contacts||Water Wells Records Ontario|
|Contacts||Water Well Directory|
|Contacts||Midwest Cover Crops Council|
|Contacts||Spills Action Centre|
|Contacts||Technical Standards Safety Authority|
|Online tools and applications||Soil Residue Calculator|
|Online tools and applications||AgMaps|
|Online tools and applications||Soil Survey Reports for Ontario|
|Online tools and applications||Ontario Program Guides|
|Online tools and applications||Ontario Programs|
|Online tools and applications||Farmland Health Checkup CCA list (most up to date)|
|Publications||Best Management Practices books|
|Publications||Soil Health Factsheets|
|Publications - Business Management Factsheets||Programs and Services provided for Ontario farmers (Order # 16-045)|
|Publications - Business Management Factsheets||Farm Succession Planning Steps and Check list (Order # 10-025)|
|Publications - Business Management Factsheets||Choosing a Business Consultant (Order # 16-021)|
|Publications - Business Management Factsheets||Developing a Marketing Plan (Order # 16-027)|
|Publications - Business Management Factsheets||Creating and Implementing a Human Resources Management Plan (Order # 14-049)|
|Publications - Business Management Factsheets||Guide to Cost of Production Budgeting (Order # 08-055)|
|Publications - Business Management Factsheets||Preparing Business plans (Order # 08-051)|
|Publications - OSCIA||EFP videos|
|Publications - OSCIA||EFP Infosheets|
|Publications - OSCIA||Soil Information/Maps by County|
|Publications - OSCIA||Emergency Planning Templates|
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