Farm Facts & Furrows

by OMAFRA Ag Rep Brian Bell

Soil organic matter

Soil organic matter (OM) is the single most important soil health property that you have influence over through your management. Soil OM is all living, dead or long dead (and decomposed) material. Higher soil organic matter translates into better water holding capacity, which was critical in a season like 2016. It helps to improve soil structure and nutrient cycling. A higher percent organic matter can also mean more consistent yields year-to-year. Simply put, it is the foundation of a healthy soil.

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Advance Payments Program

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Advance Payments Program (APP) is a federal loan guarantee program that helps agricultural producers access low interest financing in order to improve cash flow throughout the year. An advance can help farmers meet financial obligations—such as farm input or product marketing costs—and allows them to make decisions about selling their products based on market conditions rather than on the need for cash flow. The APP works by giving producers access to low interest financing by means of federally guaranteed loans worth up to 50 percent of the expected average market price of their agricultural product. Applicants can receive up to $400,000, with the interest on the first $100,000 paid by the federal government and repayment terms of 18 to 24 months. Producers can receive advances on a wide variety of agricultural products, from grains and oilseeds to tree fruit and horticulture to livestock and breeding operations while mixed farms can apply for advances on multiple commodities. Producers repay their advances as they sell their product. APP advances are available through more than 40 producer organizations across Canada. For more information on how you can take advantage of the APP please visit the Advance Payments Program page.