Tag: OMAFRA

Competing on more than price for rented land

Ontario’s soils are losing organic matter. What builds organic matter? Perennial and forage species! But if you’re going to plant perennial hay or pasture, you have to have something to feed it to or you won’t be farming long enough to see the value of the added organic matter. And that’s a slight problem, as… Read more »

What happens to government funding when a plant closes down?

Let’s face it, the Powers That Be can’t win. When it comes to funding agriculture and food projects, we want support to advance agriculture and build capacity at a local level, but we also want to criticize where every penny (nickel?) goes. And when a company or organization that received funding goes broke or packs… Read more »

Canola School: Winter canola and the eastern experience

When we think of canola, we think Western Canada. And there’s no doubt that the prairies are the canola capital, but Meghan Moran, canola and edible bean specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, reminds us that there are still canola growers in Ontario, too. While the all-time high of 90,000… Read more »

Soybean School: Make resistance a priority when selecting varieties

Next time you chose a soybean variety, don’t just consider yield trials. Be sure to take a close look at disease trials; they help determine whether the yield potential of the variety you select will become reality in your field, says OMAFRA plant pathologist Albert Tenuta. In this episode of the Soybean School, we catch up… Read more »

Soybean School: One-pass vs. two-pass weed control

Should you spray your soybeans once or twice? In this episode of Real Agriculture Soybean School, OMAFRA weed specialist Mike Cowbrough takes a look at how one-pass and two-pass herbicide systems compare. He notes that a one-pass program can offer effective weed control if growers keep soybeans fields weed-free through the third trifoliate stage. But… Read more »

Corn School: Cool weather calls for more sidedress nitrogen

Ontario’s cool, wet spring not only delayed planting, but also put the brakes on nitrogen mineralization, limiting the nutrient’s availability to the growing corn crop. According to OMAFRA pre-sidedress nitrate testing (PSNT) survey results released this week, corn growers are looking at the lowest rates of available nitrogen since the survey began in 2013. In… Read more »

Wheat School: Action item prioritizing in a difficult spring

Wet soil, cold nights, weeds, disease, and nitrogen needs are all converging at once – what’s a wheat grower to do? As Ontario’s cold, soggy spring continues, deciding what to do next with the winter wheat crop can be a challenge, especially as the need to plant corn and soybeans becomes more pressing. In this… Read more »

Government Wipes Out Ontario Processing Vegetable Grower Board; Appoints Trustee

In a rare, but completely legal move, Ontario’s provincial government has removed an elected board of directors and named a trustee to oversee the organization. Late last week, Jeff Leal, minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) fired the entire Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) board, and appointed Elmer Buchanan, a farmer and former OMAFRA minister… Read more »

How Many Tonnes of Protein Can You Raise Per Acre?

If you’ve got cows, you likely do something like this: number of cows x days on feed = tonnes of hay/forage needed. But what if you’ve got land, but no livestock, and want to include perennial forage in rotation? Have you ever sat down and done this: number of acres x tonnes of feed produced… Read more »

Chocolate Bars and Bran Cereal for Your Soil Bugs

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 »

Ontario Ag Minister Says It’s Back to Basics in 2017: Soil, Water, & Air

Don’t be surprised to see more hydro bill relief in sight in 2017 for rural Ontarians, says the province’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. In a year-end interview, Minister Jeff Leal said that although the province has started finding ways to reduce energy bills, “there’s more to do.” He said he “wouldn’t be… Read more »

Ontario Announces Details of Pollinator Health Plan

Ontario has released its Pollinator Health Action Plan which includes focusing on four key stressors to honeybee and pollinator health and financial support and increased education for beekeepers. A re-iterated aspirational goal to “restore, enhance and protect” 1 million acres of pollinator habitat is also included in the plan. Found here, the plan is a mix of… Read more »

Greg Meredith Appointed Deputy Minister of OMAFRA

One of the highest-ranking public servants in the federal agriculture department is leaving Ottawa to become Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Greg Meredith has worked for the federal government for more than 30 years, serving as Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Strategic Policy with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada since 2010. He was… Read more »

Wheat School – Making The Right Choice for Fall Weed Control

In a perfect world, winter wheat growers would apply a pre-plant weed control application to tackle winter annual and perennial weeds. But it doesn’t always work out that way. In this episode of Real Agriculture’s Wheat School, OMAFRA weed management specialist Mike Cowbrough takes a look at weed control options for producers who didn’t have… Read more »

Talking Dirt: New Soil Health Centre Backs Intuition With Science

Soil preservation is gaining seatbelt and sugarless gum status in our society. It’s simply no longer optional. Some soil advocates are now calling for every agricultural grant application to have a tick box explaining how the proposed project exercises best soil management practices. No doubt, pressure is mounting to acknowledge the unparalleled role those first… Read more »