“Grow Ontario Together is a collaboration of agriculture organizations that recognize the need to work together – with each other, with the public, with environmentalists, with municipalities, concerned citizens and with governments – to provide leadership that supports the triple bottom line for Ontario. A healthy environment. A healthy economy. And strong, healthy communities”.

Grow Ontario Together is currently working in collaboration on phosphorus reduction in the Great Lakes.

Our livelihoods depend on healthy soil and clean water; protecting the environment we live and work in is one of our core values.

We know that phosphorous loads are higher than they should be – leading to decreased water quality – and this is a problem we cannot ignore.

Farmers are part of the solution to this problem.

That’s why we’ve come together to take a leadership role in efforts to reduce the amount of phosphorus in the Great Lakes watershed.

We need to acknowledge that cleaning up the lakes will take time – which is why we must take action now.

And at the same time work with municipalities, environmental groups, concerned citizens and in particular U.S. states south of the boarder to make sure we are all taking action.

By working together with the government and other interested groups, farmers will protect our natural resources for future generations - while continuing to produce the food that feeds cities.

Here's what we're doing:

Farmers are taking action to reduce nutrient loading

  • 4R Nutrient Stewardship - a globally recognized approach based on core scientific principles of applying the RIGHT SOURCE of plant nutrition, at the RIGHT RATE, at the RIGHT TIME, and in the RIGHT PLACE to improve nutrient use efficiency to reduce any potential nutrient loss into the environment.
  • Investing in modern infrastructure and other sophisticated technologies to manage water use and recycling – improving the efficient use of nutrients and reducing or eliminating nutrient loss into the environment.
  • Working in partnership with the provincial and federal governments to provide farmers with the tools they need to improve nutrient management practices on their farms – this includes support, incentives and regulations.
  • Conducting and supporting better monitoring research activities to ensure that the collective efforts are having the right reduction impacts.
  • Working with partners to educate farmers, environmentalists, governments and citizens to allow everyone to play their part.

  • Read more about our partners and what actions they are taking

Here's what you can do:

  • Dispose of unused fertilizers for your garden at home responsibly.
  • Consider organic fertilizer options, like compost, and never use more than you need in your garden at home.
  • Ask your municipal leaders, MP’s and MPPs about how governments are working with agribusiness leaders and other partners to manage nutrients responsibly.

Learn More

  • Key Facts
    • High concentrations of nutrients like phosphorus in lakes cause an increase in growth of algae
    • Blue-green algae is also known as cyanobacteria – and combined with warm water, sunshine and nutrients - that can come from storm water run-off, municipal waste water systems and agriculture runoff - they produce the kind of algae blooms we’ve seen on Lake Erie and other Ontario Lakes
    • Algae blooms, sometimes known as HABs (harmful algae blooms) can be toxic – causing stomach pains or skin and eye irritation for people who swim through them.