The number of Ontario certified crop advisors (CCA) continues to swell as the provincial organization reports that its membership now boasts 669 agronomists who carry the designation.
Ontario Certified Crop Advisor Association chair Aaron Breimer says one of the keys to the growth of CCA ranks is the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders — from farmers, researchers, governments, policy makers and agronomy service providers — to work together to meet the needs of the industry.
After a volatile 2023 crop year that called on farmers and CCAs to work through dry and wet weather extremes, smoke from forest fires and disease challenges such as tar spot in corn, 2024 will bring a whole new set of management challenges, says Breimer, as shrinking crop prices and global financial and political events impact the farm.
But Breimer is confident the CCA membership will be up to the task of helping Ontario farmers navigate the path ahead. In this report from the association’s annual meeting in London, Ont., he notes that while Ontario numbers are on the increase, many U.S. states are seeing a drop in CCA numbers.
“I think that tells us that Ontario CCAs are proactive,” says Breimer who points to number Ontario CCA’s who have sought out new training and agronomic skills to meet their farmer customers’ needs.
New CCA designations launched in recent years, for example, have attracted high numbers of Ontario CCAs and these provincial agronomists make up a high percentage the individuals who have earned the credentials.
Although Ontario CCAs make up only 4.3 per cent of all CCAs in North America, they make up 17 per cent of those who have earned the Resistant Management Specialty; they also make up 30 per cent (139) of the 463 North American CCAs with the 4R Nutrient Management Specialty.
Check out the full conversation with Breimer and RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin in the video below.