Should you plant soybeans before corn? The answer is yes if you’re a believer in big data and its ability to help you make better farm management decisions. Earlier this month at the SouthWest Agricultural Conference at Ridgetown, Ont., University of Wisconsin-Madison soybean extension specialist Shaun Conley made his pitch to have farmers put corn on… Read More

From an environmental standpoint, Ontario experienced a perfect storm in 2018 that produced an epidemic of gibberella ear rot in corn and resulting unprecedented DON levels. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs field crop plant pathologist Albert Tenuta compares the conditions that created the classic silk channel infection in corn hybrids to what… Read More

When your livelihood depends on the weather, it seems like it’s never too early to start getting a handle on the forecast. James Garriss, historic climatologist with Browning Media, was a guest presenter at the recent SouthWest Agricultural Conference at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus. RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin had a chance to chat with… Read More

There’s consensus that healthy soils with higher organic matter deliver a range of benefits from supplying nutrients, to building soil structure, to increasing water-holding capacity, and reducing erosion. But are enough farmers taking the required steps to increase soil health and organic matter? United States Department of Agriculture research agronomist Shannon Osbourne believes a stronger working… Read More

Does throwing the kitchen sink at your soybean crop provide an economic yield response? The answer is a definitive “No” says University of Minnesota associate professor Seth Naeve. His conclusion is based on the the results of a huge three-year U.S. study that he shared with growers attending the Southwest Agricultural Conference in Ridgetown, Ont.,… Read More

Are you spending too much on energy to power your farm? Do you know the major energy users on your farm? If you don’t know the answers to those questions you have some work to do, says Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs engineer James Dyck. Energy prices have soared in recent years… Read More

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the leading cause of yield loss for the oilseed crop across North America. And unless a new source of resistance is found to fend off the pest, growers can expect to see SCN gobble up an increasing percentage of their yield in the years ahead. That was the message delivered… Read More

The Southwest Agricultural Conference (SWAC) will mark its 25th anniversary on January 3rd, when the two-day conference unofficially kicks off Ontario’s winter farm meeting season. Over the past quarter century, SWAC, hosted by the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus, has become one of the leading farm conferences in North America. How did it start? How… Read More

There’s a concerning trend in Ontario’s soils: organic matter is being depleted. The decrease may seem small — about 0.8% over 12 years — but organic matter is vital to soil’s water holding capacity, nutrient-cycling ability, and compaction resiliency, to name just a few roles. What’s more, replacing lost soil organic matter is a slow,… Read More

As crop yields and nutrient removal rates continue to increase, many growers wonder whether it’s time to top up fertilizer rates. At the core of the discussion in Ontario is whether critical soil test values for corn and soybeans are still valid and whether they pack the nutrient punch needed to allow new hybrids and… Read More

Clarence Swanton has worked for 16 years on a super cool project that takes about 40 minutes to explain properly, as he did at the recent Southwest Agricultural Conference. Perhaps more impactful, however, is the time-lapse video he showed whereby the mere presence of weedy surroundings actually killed a tobacco seedling. Perhaps this makes sense —… Read More