Nutrient management plan/precision farming

The Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program (ORCWP) provides funding for projects that protect surface water and groundwater quality. To find out more, please consult the program description.


  • Maximum grant: 50 per cent up to $1,000

Project Description:

Nutrient Management Plans for farm operations and turf management plans for businesses (e.g. golf courses). Purchase of GPS units or other technology for tractors and spreaders to aid in nutrient application.

Project Details:

Preparation of Nutrient Management Plans:

  • Nutrient Management Plans must meet requirements of the Nutrient Management Act, when applicable.
  • A nutrient management plan that is not subject to the Nutrient Management Act should include the following components:
  • Testing of soil, manure and other soil conditioners for available nutrients using provincially accredited laboratories.
  • Identification of residual nitrogen sources based on previous crop or vegetation.
  • Relation of added nutrients (fertilizer, manure, biosolids, etc.) to soil test results and nutrient requirements of vegetation.
  • Assessment of nutrient application methods and timing (including supplemental fertilizers) for optimal nutrient utilization by growing vegetation while minimizing leaching, runoff and volatilization.
  • Calibration of nutrient spreaders to ensure that the application rate and placement is accurate.
  • Identification and mitigation of environmental risk associated with managing nutrients (such as surface and groundwater protection through the implementation of buffer zones, private wellhead protection, separation distances etc.).
  • Proper containment of nutrients while being stored.
  • Contingency plans for use in the event of an unintended discharge of nutrients.
  • Agricultural applicants must provide adequate land base for nutrients produced on the farm.

Support for tractor and spreader devices:

  • GPS units and other precision application equipment used to reduce excess nutrient application on cropland.
  • GPS units must be used to collect nutrient-related information including yield monitors and computer mapping software.
  • New spray technologies (e.g. nozzles) to reduce spray drift.

NOTE: Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the project meets all legal requirements, including City by-laws, provincial and federal acts/regulations, and Conservation Authority permits/approvals.

Eligible Costs:

  • Permits and approvals
  • Materials and supplies
  • Labour and professional fees
  • Sampling and analysis at accredited labs of soil, manure, and other soil contaminants
  • Purchase of nutrient management software and registration fees for software training
  • Determination of management zones for precision-applied nutrients, pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides
  • Field mapping of soil characteristics
  • GPS system
  • Data storage in GPS and production of maps
  • Computer software specific to managing data collected for precision farming
  • Reasonable in-kind contributions for applicant’s labour ($20/hr) and equipment ($50/hr) associated with the implementation of the proposed project

The Program reserves the right to limit the eligible amount for in-kind contributions based on the proposed project. Applicants must provide a detailed written accounting of all in-kind contributions when the application is submitted. In-kind costs associated with completing the application, project planning, supervision, or administration, are not eligible for funding.

Ineligible Costs:

  • Crop scouting fees
  • Fertilizer or other soil conditioners
  • Purchase or rental of nutrient application equipment or services
  • Purchase of application equipment
  • Purchase of computer hardware
  • Annual software licensing fees
  • Taxes

Other Complementary Grants Available:

  • Manure storage and treatment
  • Washwater treatment
  • Clean water diversion