The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is piloting a print-on-demand service for some of its extension publications, including the Guide to Weed Control. In addition, a few crop production publications have just now been made available for free download.
The ministry says the pay-as-you-need service through a third party allows “clients to access hardcopies of the publication immediately.” Printed copies of certain, but not all, publications will be available through Service Ontario Publications “in the coming weeks,” at farmers’ and agronomists’ own expense for shipping and handling.
OMAFRA says the shipping fees are based on the total weight of the order, the destination, and the shipping method (mail or courier). OMAFRA publications can also be picked up and purchased at any Ministry Resource Centre with no added costs for shipping and handling, the province says.
The ministry also posts accessible versions of its publications on its website. Electronic versions of these publications can be downloaded free of charge, OMAFRA says.
There has been a charge for hardcopies of some of OMAFRA’s longer publications, including the Agronomy Guide for Field Crops, Field Crop Protection Guide, and Guide to Weed Control, for decades, the province says. These charges reflect some of the production costs, such as warehouse and distribution fees.
The success of the pilot for print-on-demand service will determine if and when other ministry publications are made available through this service.