Category: Water

Should ‘vertical’ factory farms get a free pass?

In a recent Fast Company magazine article there was a feature on the benefits of using technology to produce food. The article praised the efficiency gains made by implementing the latest in what technology could provide. The farm in the article is located in San Francisco. That’s right, it’s a vertical farm. The company’s name… Read more »

Ontario CCAs Taking Lead on 4R Nutrient Management

Almost half of North American Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) holding a new 4R Nutrient Management designation reside in Ontario. That puts Ontario’s crop advisors at the forefront of efforts to help farmers and agriculture improve water quality, environmental stewardship and sustainability, says Ontario Certified Crop Advisor Association executive director Susan Fitzgerald. Earlier this week, the… Read more »

Strange Bedfellows team up for consumer support

If you need any more evidence that times are changing in farming, look no further than a new partnership between the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and an activist group called Environmental Defence. You likely know the former. The OFA describes itself as Canada’s largest voluntary farm organization, representing more than 36,000 farm families across… Read more »

OSCIA Announces Controlled Tile Drainage Project

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has announced a new partnership through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriRisk Initiatives (ARI) program. The project, entitled ‘Controlled Tile Drainage – Calculate Your Benefits’, will partner OSCIA with scientists at the University of Ottawa to research the crop yield benefits of controlled tile drainage. Controlled tile drainage… Read more »

Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Crops Announces New Vision & Working Group

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crop’s (CRSC) has created an agro-ecosystem working group. The group has created a “vision for sustainability” for Canadian agriculture over the next 10 years. With a commitment to using science as the guiding principal for development of 12 key outcomes for 2026, the seven member organizations of the working group include:… Read more »

Understanding Rainfall and the Fate of Soil Nutrients

To understand what happens with nutrients in the soil and how to manage zones within a field, you have to pay attention to how the soil handles water. If that wasn’t obvious enough, it becomes clear when you visit Mitch Timmerman and his ‘rainfall simulator’ trailer. “Water can influence the fate of nutrients, the development of… Read more »

Ontario Ag Minister’s Marching Orders are Heavy on the Environment

Ontario’s focus on the environmental side of farming has just been underlined and intensified, even more. With the midpoint mandate of her provincial government having been reached, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne put pen to paper last week to help guide both new and established ministers on the next part of their journey. Her mission was… Read more »

Heavy Rains, Nutrient Losses and the Case for “Variable Source” Nitrogen

Excess water after heavy rains in parts of Western Canada is not only impairing plant growth through oxygen deficiency, but it’s also causing significant nitrogen losses. As John Heard, soil fertility specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, explains in this video, N losses depend on soil type, with rain causing leaching in sandier soils and more denitrification… Read more »

Assiniboine Watershed Modeling Project Involving IBM Gets $1.1 Million in Federal Funding

The federal government is investing $1.1 million in developing a hydrological model for the Assiniboine River Basin, which spans more than 160,000 square kilometres of western Manitoba, eastern Saskatchewan and northwestern North Dakota. The project, led by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA), involves IBM, Aquanty Inc. (a University of Waterloo spinoff company that specializes… Read more »

In The Dirt: How MOM Helps Farmers Meet 4R Fertility Management Goals

In this episode of In The Dirt, Salford’s Jim Boak introduces us to AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan and the role agronomists play in helping farmers implement and achieve 4R nutrient stewardship. Boak recommends farmers pay particular attention to how Cowan uses an approach called MOM to meet 4R objectives. This includes using the right… Read more »

Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative Offers Funding to Support Better Management Practices

For farmers in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds, and Lake Huron’s southeast shores watershed, help to implement Better Management Practices (BMP) is here. It’s called GLASI, or the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative. Related: Agricultural Run-Off A Main Focus of Great Lakes’ Eutrophication Concerns “The official launch was last February at our annual meeting,” says… Read more »

Wheat Pete’s Word, June 30: Wettest June Bumps White Mould Risk, Complicates N Apps

(We’re a day early with this week’s Word, because, hey, it’s Canada Day and our audio editor’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Rhett!) If you’re sick and tired of rain and wet conditions, you’re not alone — Ontario has recorded its wettest June in over one hundred years. Which means, with apologies to Western Canada facing a… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks Ontario — Ep. 17: The Yield Impact of Wet Feet

There’s no two ways about it — huge swaths of Ontario’s growing region is now excessively wet. And not, “Hey, that was a heavy rainstorm!” wet, but soaked-right-through-for-the-third-time wet. With all this water, farmers are understandably nervous about what impact wet soil and standing water may have on the yield of the corn and soybean… Read more »

Agriculture’s Voice in Water Management — New Grassroots Group Formed in Manitoba

While flooding in recent years has underlined the need for a collaborative approach to water management in Western Canada, some farmers and others involved in managing water on farmland are organizing themselves with the aim of creating a common voice focused on sustainable water management that supports agriculture. In Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association was… Read more »

Tile Drainage Footprint Expanding Quickly in Western Canada

While tile drainage has been a part of farming in the U.S. Midwest and Ontario for decades, a growing number of producers in Western Canada are finding they can justify the cost of installing tile in their land. Take Craig Shaw for example. Speaking at FarmTech in Edmonton, the Lacombe, Alberta grain farmer gave three reasons… Read more »