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6. Information for small, owner-operated farms

6.1 Eligibility and documentation requirements

You may qualify as an eligible farm owner if you own and operate a farm and make your livelihood as a farmer. To qualify as eligible under the small owner-operated farms’ category, the following criteria must be met:

  • the owner-operator is the day-to-day manager of a farm with a valid farm business registration number and owns at least 50% of the business
  • the farm is not a hobby farm and the applicant depends on the farm business for their livelihood and must show that at least 15% of their net income is derived from the business (an exception may be made if the business has at least one employee outside the owner-operator’s household)
  • the farm must have no more than the equivalent of 20 full-time employees
  • the farm must have at least $10,000, but not more than $2,000,000, in gross revenues

Owners of farm businesses may qualify in this category if they meet all the criteria set out above. One application should be submitted per farm business.

Some examples of eligible farm operations include crop farming, fruit growing, dairy farming, beekeeping, poultry raising, fish raising, livestock raising or showing, actively managed woodlots, commercial horse stabling, and nurseries and greenhouses. Costs associated with a farmhouse used as a primary residence should be applied for, if eligible, under the homeowner/ residential tenant category.

Documents to be submitted for small, owner-operated farm applications:

  • Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians application form with all sections relevant to small owner-operated farms completed.
  • Farm business registration number.
  • Proof of farm ownership, showing that applicant owns at least 50% of the farm.
  • A copy of your T1 General Income Tax and Benefits Return or T2 Corporation Income Tax Return, as applicable, and associated Notices of Assessment, for the most recent tax year.
  • A copy of the farm’s financial statements for the most recent fiscal year.
  • If you are applying for structural expenses or repairs to farmland, proof of property ownership or proof of legal responsibility for repair of damaged assets (e.g., lease agreement).
  • A copy of a letter from your insurance company that details the type and cause of damage or loss, the amount that was covered under insurance, and the reason any portion of the damage or loss was not covered.
  • Documentation to support each of the costs you are applying for. You should submit photos or other evidence that items you are applying for were damaged in the disaster. You must also submit copies of receipts or invoices to support the costs you incurred.

See Section 6.2 for specific documentation requirements for different eligible items.

6.2 Eligible items

As an applicant under the small owner-operated farm category, you may be eligible for assistance for the following costs. Please ensure that you list each item being applied for in your application form and that you have included supporting documentation such as photographs of damage and receipts for the items you are applying for. Costs must be reasonable given the type and value of the item being applied for and the nature and scale of the farm business.

6.2.1 Emergency evacuation/ relocation expenses

  • Evacuation of livestock and essential farm assets such as equipment and inventory, if necessary to avoid damage. Attach receipts where available. If the evacuation is carried out using an owned vehicle, eligible costs will be based on a standard rate per kilometre (see program website for current rates).
  • Storage of essential farm assets, such as equipment and inventory, if necessary to avoid damage. Attach receipts.
  • Alternative accommodation for livestock that must be evacuated. Eligibility is limited to the immediate emergency period only. Attach receipts.
  • Purchase of water supplies for livestock if regular water source is unavailable or unsafe due to the disaster. Attach receipts.
  • Purchase of consumable heat, light and power supplies, such as fuel, candles and batteries, if power is unavailable due to the disaster. Attach receipts.
  • Rental of generator or heater, if power is unavailable due to the disaster. Attach receipts.

6.2.2 Emergency measures, cleanup and restoration of farmland, disinfection and disposal expenses

  • Immediate emergency measures taken directly to prevent or limit damage to essential farm assets, including essential buildings and equipment. Eligible costs may include purchase of sandbags or rental of water pumps or generators. Attach receipts.
  • Reasonable compensation paid to employees, over and above normal wages (e.g., overtime wages), for debris cleanup, removal of hazardous material, waste disposal or restoration of active fields to working condition (e.g., leveling, repairing ruts and sinkholes), as necessary to allow the farm to be operational. Attach timesheets, payroll information or other documentation.
  • Amounts paid to a contractor for debris cleanup, removal of hazardous material, waste disposal or restoration of active fields to working condition (e.g., leveling, repairing ruts and sinkholes), as necessary to allow the farm to be operational. Attach receipts.
  • Disposal of dead livestock lost due to the disaster. Attach receipts.
  • Purchase of consumable cleaning and disinfection supplies, rental of cleanup equipment, and rental of equipment/fuel costs to restore active fields to working condition. Attach receipts.
  • Fees for reconnection of gas or electricity services disconnected due to the disaster. Attach bill from service provider or invoice/ receipt.
  • Landfill tipping fees for disposal of debris or damaged property arising from the disaster. Attach receipts.

6.2.3 Repair and replacement expenses

The following items and structures are eligible to be applied for as repair and replacement expenses to a basic level and not necessarily at their full value:

6.2.3.1 Structural expenses

  • Structural repair of essential farm buildings. Depending on the nature of the farm, this may include barns, equipment storage buildings, silos or other grain and feed storage, greenhouses, retail space, or tasting areas. Rental properties on the portion of the farmland used for the farming operation may be eligible if the rent is declared as farm income. Attach receipts for work already completed. For work not yet completed, provide estimates from qualified contractors. You will be asked to submit receipts when the work is completed.
  • Repairs to driveways or parking areas only to the extent necessary for the farm to operate and required for safety or access. Attach receipts.
  • Repair or replacement of livestock fencing essential to the farm operation. Decorative or non-essential boundary fencing is not eligible to be applied for. Attach receipts.

6.2.3.2 Contents, livestock and farm products expenses

  • Repair or replacement of essential farming machinery and equipment. Essential machinery and equipment will depend on the nature of the farm operation. Attach invoices/receipts (proof of purchase for both lost and replacement items).
  • Note: Maximum eligible costs for replacement will be calculated on a depreciated basis
  • Loss of farm inventory held in storage at the value immediately before the disaster, including crops already harvested and in storage (such as hay/ feed), seed and fertilizer. Attach receipts or evidence of loss.
  • Loss of livestock as a direct result of the disaster, if the livestock could not be insured. Attach receipts or evidence of loss.
  • Veterinary or other costs to treat livestock injured as a direct result of the disaster. Attach receipts.
  • Land repair and preparation, and replacement of lost trees with seedlings, where damage has occurred to a managed woodlot, including nurseries, orchards and tree farms. A managed woodlot must be operated with a reasonable expectation of profit, show signs of significant active management, or be the subject of an approved Managed Forest Plan. Attach receipts and, if applicable, evidence of active management in the form of a business or forest operational plan, demonstration of significant investment or revenue, or participation in the Ontario Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program.

6.3 Ineligible items

The following items are not eligible to be applied for under Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians as a farm owner:

  • evacuation or relocation of property not essential to the function of the farm
  • costs associated with the cleanup, disposal, disinfection, repair, or replacement of items not essential to the function of the farm (e.g., recreational property or vehicles, recreational roads or recreational trails, or decorative fences)
  • losses to crops in the field
  • losses to livestock for which insurance is available
  • loss of revenue, wages, or business opportunity
  • farm loan costs
  • costs associated with personal injuries
  • normal operating costs
  • losses of sowed: seed, fertilizer, topsoil, or soil fertility
  • application of weed control measures

Insurance deductibles; however, in an exceptional circumstance where a small owner-operated farm purchased insurance coverage with an unusually high deductible, the ineligible amount of the deductible may be adjusted.

6.4 Personal checklist

This checklist may assist you with tracking tasks related to your Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians application. You may need to complete additional tasks not listed below, and not all tasks may be needed to complete your application, depending on your circumstances. The tasks below are not necessarily listed in the order in which they should be completed. You do not need to submit this checklist to apply for assistance.

Personal Checklist
CompletedTask
 Check if your farm is located in an area for which the program is activated, and the deadline for application submissions on the program website.
 Check the eligibility of your farm for Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians as a small, owner-operated farm in section 6.1 of these guidelines.
 Inventory your losses. Take photographs of the damaged property to provide evidence it was damaged in the disaster.
 Contact your insurance company to get documentation detailing which damage will be covered by the insurance policy.
 Keep records describing what has been done and any invoices or receipts of expenses as outlined in these guidelines.
 Keep original invoices or estimates for repairs or replacement of damaged items as outlined in these guidelines.
 Locate your farm operation’s farm business registration number.
 Fill out relevant sections of the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians application form, which is available on the program website.
 Attach to the application all required supporting documents as outlined in section 6.1 and section 6.2 of these guidelines.
 Submit the completed application form and all applicable supporting documentation by the deadline.
Updated: May 03, 2022
Published: October 26, 2018