Dairy Farm Investment Program: Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Updated December 2017

General inquiries

1. Are purchases from suppliers outside Canada eligible?

Yes. Barn equipment that is new and commercially available is eligible under the program. Given the wide range and complexity of equipment, it is best to speak directly with a program officer to confirm that it meets the eligibility criteria of the program. Eligible equipment types

2. What is the first-come, first-served priority?

Applications are being reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, which means the program administration has begun by assessing applications received at 10:00 AM on August 22, 2017 and continue in a chronological manner until all funds are committed.

While assessing applications on a first-come, first-served basis, the program administration will monitor how the total funding envelope is distributed according to the following principles:

  1. Regional allocation based on provincial milk quota (over the life of the five-year program), that is, once the notional allocation in a province has been fully committed, remaining applicants in the queue from that province will be placed on a waiting list. Unused funds allocated to a province in a given year could be re-allocated to another where demand exceeds funds available.
  2. Ensuring fair balance between small investments (up to $60,000) and large ones (up to $250,000).
  3. Prioritizing applicants who have not previously received funding under the program, that is, only one application per applicant will likely be supported in the first phase.

Should clarification be required to complete the assessment of an eligible project, the applicants are being advised and have 10 days to provide the information to the program administration. The applicant will keep his rank in the queue during those 10 days. After that period, if requests for clarification are not resolved, the file will be placed at the end of the queue.

3. When will applicants know when they are approved?

Our goal is to assess applications and send an approval or a rejection notification letter within 100 business days of receiving a complete application package.

4. Is there a plan to broaden the scope of acceptable projects to those outside the barn (such as manure spreading equipment or irrigation equipment)?

The objective of the program is to improve productivity through upgrades to barn equipment pertaining to dairy production.

Given the wide variety of eligible equipment, the popularity of the program and the fact that the first phase is fully subscribed, there is no plan to broaden the list of eligible equipment outside the barn.

5. How thoroughly are submissions being assessed (that is, could two applications submitted for the same equipment be treated differently if one application has provided more detail or background information?)

All applications will be evaluated against the same set of eligibility criteria, and will not be compared with one another. Applicants who are required to provide clarifications will be contacted by a program officer during the assessment process. The applicant guide has a detailed list of eligible equipment and application requirements.

First round of applications

1. What percentage of the projects that were submitted in the first round were retroactive?

This information will not be known until all applications are assessed individually; we anticipate this information will be available in the first quarter of 2018.

2. How many applications were submitted for small and large projects?

Preliminary analysis shows that approximately 2,017 applications for small projects were received, while 1,043 applications were received for large projects.

3. What happens in case a province has fewer applications than possible under their respective (milk quota) allocations?

The goal is to balance funding between provinces over the life of the five-year program, based on the proportion of their respective milk quotas. If a province does not have enough applications in the current round, this difference will be made up when the program reopens for the next phase should there be sufficient applications to reach the respective allocations.

Transition between the two rounds of applications

1. If a producer’s project has been approved, but there is a lack of adequate funds to cover it in the first round, will the project move automatically to the next round for consideration, or will the producer have to re-apply altogether?

Approved projects will be provided with adequate funding to complete the supported activities. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will stop approving applications once all program funding for the first application intake window is committed. Producers whose projects have not been funded in the first phase will have to re-apply for the second phase.

2. Are projects that were initiated as of November 10, 2016, but were not submitted for funding in the first round of applications eligible for the second round?

Retroactivity was provided as of November 10, 2016, only for applications submitted for the first phase of the program. For the second phase, producers are eligible to have costs reimbursed on expenditures that are incurred on or after the program launch date (August 1, 2017).

3. If a producer has applied for funds, starts the project before hearing back about whether or not it's been funded, and is then denied funding this round (due to money running out), will the project be eligible for the next round (even though work has already started)?

Only projects that started after August 1, 2017 will be eligible for the second phase. Producers whose projects (started on or after August 1, 2017) and are not funded in phase one will be encouraged to re-apply for the next phase. The details of the next application window will be made public in the coming months.

Future of the program

1. What happens in the event of project delays (that is, if projects are unexpectedly pushed back and are completed after the end of the five-year program)?

Program authority ends on March 31, 2022. Accordingly, any eligible costs incurred after that date will not be eligible for a program contribution.

2.Considering the volume of applications, will the government consider allocating the entirety of the program funds in the first year, and assess accordingly based on completion date? Will the government consider increasing the total funds available?

The budget authority for the program is $250 million over five years.

3. What happens to the money from any approved project which claims less than what they were approved for? Are those amounts added to subsequent years?

Unused funds stemming from an approved project will be allocated to projects on the waiting list. This approach will help to ensure the program envelope is fully committed.

4. What happens if the total amount of projects not covered by the first round is higher than the fund allocated for the next round? What happens to projects that remain in the queue at the end of the first phase?

Producers whose projects started on or after August 1, 2017) and are not funded in phase one will be encouraged to re-apply for the next phase.

Projects that remain in the queue at the end of the five-year program will not be funded as the program authorities end in 2022.

Program overview

1. What is the Dairy Farm Investment Program?

The Dairy Farm Investment Program (DFIP) is a five-year (beginning fiscal year 2017-2018) $250-million program to help Canadian cow's milk producers improve productivity through upgrades to their equipment.

2. Will the $250 million for this program be spread out evenly over five years?

For the first year of the program that ends on March 31, 2018, the program budget is smaller considering that there are only 7 months left in the year to access program funding. For the remaining four years, funding is more evenly allocated.

3. What is the purpose of the program?

The program is one of two new programs announced on November 10, 2016, to support the productivity of the dairy sector, as it adapts to the anticipated impacts from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union.

4. Who is eligible for DFIP funding?

Eligible applicants are Canadian licensed cow's milk producers.

5. Is there a deadline for program applications?

Applications to the program will be accepted starting on August 22, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). Applications will not be accepted prior to this date.

DFIP will determine funding on a first-come-first-served basis until all funding has been fully committed for the applicable application window. Multi-year proposals are accepted.

Please refer to section 2.8 of the Applicant Guide for details on application intake.

6. How many applications can I submit?

Applicants may apply more than once, and for more than one project, however the total maximum funding amount per license dairy farm, will not exceed $250,000 for the duration of the program.

Please note: priority may be given to first time applicants.

7. Can projects, activities and budgets be spanned over multiple years?

Project activities and costs may span over multiple years. However, the period for which projects may start and end will depend on the application window (Refer to section 2.8 of the Applicant Guide).

8. Is there a maximum funding limit for projects that will be considered?

A Small Investment Project is eligible for a maximum DFIP contribution (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada support) of up to $60,000.

A Large Investment Project is eligible for a maximum DFIP contribution of up to $250,000.

9. Is there a maximum funding amount per applicant for the DFIP?

Yes. The maximum funding amount payable per licensed dairy farm, for the duration of the program, is $250,000.

10. Is matching funding required?

Eligible costs are to be shared 50:50 between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the applicant.

When including funds from other government sources to meet the applicant's 50 percent share, the maximum level of total government funding shall not exceed 85 percent of eligible costs per project.

11. What types of costs are eligible?

Please refer to section 2.10 of the Applicant Guide.

12. Are costs incurred before an application is submitted eligible under the Program?

For projects submitted before March 31, 2018, the program offers producers flexibility to seek funding for eligible activities that started on or after November 10, 2016.

Please note: while the program allows for retroactive activities and costs to be submitted, the applicant assumes the risk of not being reimbursed should:

  • the project not be approved;
  • the costs are deemed ineligible, or
  • funding has been exhausted.

Please refer to the Applicant Guide for more details.

13. Is this a repayable contribution?

No – A successful recipient will not be required to reimburse AAFC for contributions received from DFIP.

14. Are there any ineligible costs?

Yes, costs for equipment outside the barn and barn extensions are ineligible. A list of example ineligible costs can be found in section 2.11 of the Applicant Guide.

15. What are the eligible activities?

Eligible activities include:

  • Hiring of external expertise (consultants) to assess how the dairy farm enterprise can improve efficiencies and productivity;
  • Purchasing, shipping, and installing eligible equipment (i.e. barn equipment, commercial-off-the-shelf software and IT infrastructure, please see Annex A of the Applicant Guide for a list of eligible equipment types);
  • Training necessary to operate eligible equipment; and
  • Retrofits of current facilities related to the installation and operation of eligible equipment.

Please refer to section 2.9 of the Applicant Guide for more details.

16. Why is used equipment ineligible?

The program seeks to help dairy farmers to modernize and increase their competitiveness through investments in new farm technologies and upgrades.

17. How is DFIP funding being allocated?

Complete application packages will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis, until all funding has been fully committed for the current application intake window.

Each application will be assessed against the program's eligibility criteria.

Other considerations for applicants:

  • Based on the demand, the program will strive to support investments in all provinces – approximately in proportion to their share of the total milk quota
  • The program will aim to achieve a fair balance of funding distribution between small and large investment projects
  • First-time applicants may be prioritized
18. Will DFIP funding be allocated per province?

Yes. The DFIP funds will be notionally allocated in proportion to each province's share of the total milk quota, over the life of the program.

Unused funds allocated to a province in a given year could be re-allocated to another where demand exceeds funding availability.

19. What constitutes a complete application?

A complete application includes:

Note: For project costs included in the application, Applicants will need to attach a quote (for planned costs) or a receipt with proof of payment [for actual (already incurred and paid) costs]. Some exceptions apply; see section 2.10 of the Applicant Guide for more details.

20. How do I submit my application?

You can submit your application using one of the following options:

  1. Email: aafc.dfip-pifl.aac@canada.ca
  2. Mail:
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada c/o Dairy Farm Investment Program
    1341 Baseline Road
    Tower 7, 5th floor
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C5
  3. Fax: 613-773-2121

Applications will not be accepted before August 22, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

21. Will an application be acknowledged?

Yes. Once an application has been submitted, an acknowledgment notice will be forwarded to the applicant.

22. How long will it take to review my application?

Our goal is to assess applications and send an approval or a rejection notification letter within 100 business days of receiving a complete application package.

For more information, please contact us toll-free at 1-877-246-4682 or by email at aafc.dfip-pifl.aac@canada.ca.

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