Almost half of Ontario’s certified crop advisors packed a London, ON hotel conference room this week for their organization’s annual meeting and conference.
Ontario Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Association chair Ken Currah says meeting attendance is a strong indication of grower demand for agronomic services and the expertise that CCAs bring to the farm. He adds that the growing number of CCAs, which now tops 600 in the province, is also driven by demand from the distribution channel where expertise and ethics are required to help “producers manage cropping challenges and impact their bottom line in a positive way.”
Growth in the organization should continue to trend upward as 110 people have registered to write CCA exams in February. Ontario CCAs are also receiving positive feedback for their new 4R Nutrient Management Specialty certification, which launched in 2016. The program puts Ontario’s crop advisors at the forefront of efforts to help farmers and agriculture improve water quality, environmental stewardship and sustainability.
Currently, 89 Ontario CCAs had achieved the 4R certification, which focuses on putting the right nutrient sources in the right place, at the right rate, at the right time. The 4R program is an additional specialty certification that builds upon the nutrient, soil and water components of the international CCA certification. Ontario CCAs represent about one third of all 4R certified CCAs in North America.
Building on the success of the 4R program, the organization is now investigating whether there is demand for programs that would allow CCAs to provide enhanced resistance management and horticultural services.
In this interview, Currah also discusses the organizations ongoing efforts to provide input into various government policy initiatives and regulations that impact agriculture and the environment.