New Soil Health and Nutrient Management Challenge Launched with The Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario and Foresight

November 2, 2022

November 4, 2022: The Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario (IFAO) is partnering with Foresight on the new Soil Health and Nutrient Management Challenge to find innovative solutions that will improve farmers’ ability to implement better nutrient management while improving soil health. 

Healthy, nutrient-dense soil leads to higher crop yields and increased profitability. However, the average Ontario field crop operation faces a number of soil health and nutrient challenges, including nitrogen loss through leaching, runoff, and volatilization, as well as skilled labour shortages and unreliable fertilizer application advice.

This Challenge offers agritech ventures the opportunity to pilot their unique solutions to mitigate these challenges by improving soil structure and water holder capacity, reducing erosion, and improving the rate, timing and placement of fertilizers.

Successful solutions will improve nutrient management and soil health simultaneously, fit easily into existing operations, address weather uncertainties, and be profitable for the average field crop farmer in Ontario in the first year. 

Winning solutions have the opportunity to participate in three-year, on-farm pilot projects with three or more Ontario farms, averaging 1,000 acres of production, and cost-sharing of up to $20,000 per year.

“Sustainability and profitability in our agricultural sector is critical in Canada’s path to net zero. We’re thrilled to be partnering with IFAO on this Challenge to find solutions that will lead to higher crop yields and increased profitability for Canadian farmers. This Challenge directly ties into the ongoing work of our agriNEXT network, dedicated to driving the development of Canadian cleantech innovations that address the environmental and competitiveness pain points of our agriculture industry.”

Jeanette Jackson CEO of Foresight Canada 

“Soil Health and Nutrient Management solutions present such great potential for improving the environmental and financial balance sheet of Canadian agriculture.  This Challenge is a perfect first step in the launch of our FIRE program, supporting innovations in agricultural sustainability through connection and collaboration with farmers.  The IFAO has worked many years on its mission to improve the environmental and financial sustainability of the agricultural sector, and we are very excited to be partnering with Foresight Canada to seek out and support bold new solutions.” – Tori Waugh, ED of IFAO

Next Steps for Innovators

To give innovators an opportunity to learn more about the Challenge, including desired outcomes, eligibility criteria, as well as a Q&A period, Foresight is hosting a challenge webinar on November 17, 2022 at 9:00am PST. Interested parties can register for the webinar here.

Innovators with solutions to offer IFAO can apply here.

The Soil Health and Nutrient Management Challenge is presented with support from Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario, and founding agriNEXT partners Farm Credit Canada and Natural Products Canada.

Farm Credit Canada (FCC)'s funding support for innovative technology and sustainable agriculture, in combination with Foresight’s proven accelerator model, are the keys to unlocking a green and resilient agricultural future for all Canadians. With the support of FCC, we are expanding our support for the agritech and agrifood innovation community and industry in Canada, with the launch of agriNEXT events and initiatives, and venture training courses.

About the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario (IFAO)

As a collective of perceptive, innovative, and resourceful farmers, IFAO has been promoting soil health in Ontario agriculture for over 30 years. They are focused on environmental and financial sustainability, and supporting innovations in agriculture through connection and collaboration with farmers. 

IFAO facilitates idea exchanges, and collaborates to test and develop innovation to support the betterment of Ontario’s agricultural sector. Learn more at:

About Foresight Canada:

Foresight is Canada’s cleantech accelerator. Foresight supports the identification and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of solutions. We bring together industry, government, academia, investors, and innovators to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global transition to a green economy. Find out more at Follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.