Landowner Stewardship Resources
Please note: These resource links are provided for your information. NVCA does not endorse or approve any of the products, services or opinions found on external sites. Further, NVCA is not responsible for the accuracy, accessibility, legality or content found on the external sites.
Agricultural Best Management Practices
OMAFRA's Best Management Practice (BMP) booklets are a series of publications that take a practical, affordable approach to conserving farm soil and water resources without sacrificing productivity. More than 25 topics are covered in the series, including farm forestry management, streamside grazing, managing nutrients (phosphorus) and controlling erosion (links to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs).
Vegetable and Fruit Washwater Treatment Manual A guide for managing washwater at packaging facility in a way that promotes environmental stewardship. The guide provides information on why good wash water management is important on the farm and at the packaging facility. NVCA staff worked with the Holland Marsh Growers Association on research presented in the manual, sampling and monitoring washwater pre- and post- implementation of various water treatment technologies (links to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs)
Rural Landowner Stewardship Guide for NVCA
Agricultural Soil Health, Conservation & Erosion Reduction
Ag Runoff and Erosion Protection (PDF) (courtesy of Conservation Ontario)
Compost Council of Canada "Soil at Work" (links to Compost Council of Canada)
OMAFRA Best Management Practices Series: Soil Health includes information on amendments, cropland retirement, cover crops and more (links to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs).
OMAFRA Resources on Agricultural Erosion Control Structures includes design and construction information, list of certified contractors and more (links to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs).
Equipment Modifications for Cover Crops, Nutrient Management and Building Healthy Soils (webinar) Local farmers discuss what's worked for their farm.
Controlled Tile Drainage Fact Sheet (links to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
Controlled Tile Drainage (Video from AgriRisk Initiative under Growing Together 2, Government of Canada, OSCIA, and South Nation Conservation)
- Controlled-Tile-Drainage-CVC-factsheet Considering new tile drainage or retrofitting your existing tile drainage? Consider the yield, economic and environmental benefits to your farm of adding Controlled Drainage into your system. (University of Ottawa, OSICA)
- What is healthy soil and why it matters (Ontario Greenbelt)
All about Algae
Cover crops can increase soil fertility, organic matter, add nitrogen, suppress weeds, nematode suppression, reduce compaction and reduce water and wind erosion. These cover crop selection tools can help you choose the best species mixes for your farm:
Flooding - Be Flood Ready
The Government of Canada has launched a new website flood risks: Flood Ready provides an overview of overland flooding, cost of flooding, reasons to be flood ready, quiz on flood risks, step-by-step guide on making properties and communities safer, ways to build flood-readiness into a property, as well as community flood planning steps, tools and government programs.
Forestry conservation or "tree cutting" bylaws fall under county jurisdiction. Remember to call or click before you cut!
The Green Pages: Watershed Business Directory
Business contacts for all your stewardship projects!
Green Pages Business Directory (PDF)
Dealing with Invasive Species
Mapping tools can help view air photos of your property, measure distances, check regulated areas, design your project, check soil mapping, Canada Land Inventory, etc:
Planting for Pollinators
Protecting your Soil
Protecting your Water
Septic System Inspection & Upgrades
South Georgian Bay Shoreline Stewardship Guide (2013, published by Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation)
A Stewardship Guide for the Lake Huron Coastline (2006, published by Huron County, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, University of Guelph, Friends of the Bayfield River, Huron Stewardship Council
Working Along the Shore – A Professional's Guide to Healthy Shoreline Management for Lake Simcoe (2014) - This guide is a must for those that live on a lake. Learn how to protect the lake you love. Features native plant suggestions, low impact docks, and shoreline protection methods. Made for Lake Simcoe, it can be extended to many lakes in Ontario (Created by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Dufferin Simcoe Land Stewardship Network.)
Well Care & Maintenance
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs windbreak videos (topics including planting, maintenance and success stories)
Living Snow Fence Video A video highlighting the benefits of living snow fences (courtesy of Grand River Conservation Authority)
Multi-functional Windbreaks: Design Options and Economic Evaluation In 2011-2012, the NVCA and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), with the support of the provincial Lake Simcoe fun ding program, undertook a multi-phase windbreak project that included a report, workshops and a survey of farmers in the NVCA watershed.
Shelterbelt Planting Guide The planning, planting and maintenance of farm windbreaks, shelterbelts and hedgerows. How to design for reduced wind based soil erosion, increased crop yield, reduced odours, cooling/heating efficiency for the home and barn, and reduced snow drift/white-outs. (Andre Vezina, 2005)
Shelterbelt Maintenance A detailed guide on how to maintain farm shelterbelts or windbreaks, from initial establishment to replacement trees. (Andre Vezina, 2008)
The Benefits of Windbreaks - Extension Notes A fact sheet on how windbreaks work and their benefits to: reducing erosion, crop yield and quality, livestock productivity, snow control, energy efficiency, wood harvest, and wildlife (courtesy of the Landowner Resource Centre and the University of Toronto's Faculty of Forestry, 1994)
The Floraview Farm Project - Shelterbelt Case Study A case study published by the Grand River Conservation Authority reviewing the success of using planted trees to create a shelterbelt on a dairy farm near Elmira, Ontario.
Windbreak Cost-Benefit Calculators: Break Wind Save Money – Find out how much! Shelterbelts can help increase yields, reduce heating, snow removal costs, and provide added income for farmers through the sale of timber or fruit. However, the establishment and maintenance of a shelterbelt entails certain costs, in addition to reducing farmers' income through the loss of a portion of tillable acreage. On this site you can download an excel spreadsheet to calculate the cost of shelterbelt implementation and benefits specific to your farm There is also a planting cost estimator and several other resources.
Woodlot Management & Forestry