• Kearney Planters

    Feb 21 | 1370 Views | No Comments

    Kearney Planters established in 1979 by Barry Kearney’s own quest to modify his corn planter Kearney Planters is a name that farmers have grown to trust planting through harvest. Growing and adapting through the past 36 years the business has now expanded into two working shops and a new...

  • DeGoeys Nursery And Flowers

    Jul 9 | 1769 Views | No Comments

    In 1976, the DeGoey family were fresh market field growers. John and Jane DeGoey believed that growing flowers was a niche they could build, and in 1980 they built their first greenhouse for flowers. Today the whole family is involved in the thriving business. Building slowly through the years, the...

  • Geo Produce

    Jul 9 | 1772 Views | No Comments

    Starting as a 1-acre greenhouse back in 1990, the Knoteck family has grown Geo Produce to a 12+ acre, high-tech greenhouse operation. Operated by skilled professionals, Geo Produce grows 7 acres of red, yellow and orange bell peppers as well as 4.5 acres of TOV greenhouse product, such as...

  • Buis Beef

    Jul 9 | 1882 Views | No Comments

    Buis Beef is a third generation family farm with a mixed farming operation with vegetable crops (sweet-corn, green beans) and field crops (corn and beans & wheat) as well as a herd of 350 beef cows. They are known as an innovative farm because they are not afraid to try new operational...

  • Jennen Family Farm Market

    Jul 9 | 1676 Views | No Comments

    The Jennen’s have been in Wabash for over 20 years. Their family farm has grown every year, with recent expansion to 12 acres of High Tunnels and into long-season berry production. The High Tunnels allow for a longer and more sustainable growing season by moderating temperature, wind and...

  • River Bell Market Garden

    Jul 9 | 1377 Views | No Comments

    River Bell Market Garden has been farming organically since 19990 and has been certified organic for fruits and vegetables since 2003. Their unique “organic vegetable box” program delivers a crate of fresh organic vegetables to your house or a local drop-off area throughout the year. River Bell...

  • Giffin’s Maple Syrup Products

    May 7 | 2927 Views | No Comments

    Giffin’s Maple Syrup Products is a family operation owned Don and Jean Giffin.  They began their maple syrup operation in 1980 and have 2800 taps in their 50-acre maple bush. Always open to innovation, in 2015 Giffins started utilizing reverse osmosis for production, which removes 75% of water...

  • The Pickle Station

    May 7 | 1490 Views | No Comments

    In 1964, Norm VanRoboys sold a load of cucumbers to Walter Bick, founder of Bick’s Pickles. That same year, VanRoboys contracted 2 million pounds of cucumbers to Chatham-Kent farmers, which was the beginning of VanRoboys “Pickle Station”. Today, the third generation of VanRoboys manages the...

  • McGrail Farm Equipment

    May 7 | 1958 Views | No Comments

    McGrail Farm Equipment has been a successful Southwestern Ontario John Deere dealer for 50 years. John Deere is continually developing new products to improve agriculture production. McGrail Farm Equipment is committed to enhancing the capabilities of the products they sell by keeping all employees...

  • Devolder Farms

    Mar 27 | 1665 Views | No Comments

    Recognizing the needs of other farmers in the area, Bob and Diane Devolder established Devolder Farms Seeds in 1988. Today, Devolder Farms is a family-owned and operated business with an active presence within the farming Chatham-Kent community. In 1974, Bob Devolder acquired and has maintained his...

  • Early Acres Estate Winery

    Mar 27 | 1578 Views | No Comments

    Wine production is truly a family experience for Mike and Sue Korpan. Their Early Acres Estate Winery is set on 7.5 acres of sandy loam soil, which is perfectly suited to the success of their grapes. The warm summers and cool falls of Chatham-Kent provide the perfect combination of flavour and body...

  • Sunshine Farms

    Dec 15 | 1432 Views | No Comments

    Sunshine Farms, founded by John and Claudia Jaques,  began growing  and pickling asparagus in 1982. Once their friends and family tasted the fresh, crisp product, the demand grew. Today, Sunshine Farms, also run by sons Josh, Ben and Adrian, offer fresh asparagus as well as 23 types of pickles,...

  • The Ag Mag

    Nov 7 | 2241 Views | No Comments

    Here is the latest copy of the AgMag.  Enjoy! AgMag_WEB  ...

  • Uher’s Performance Feeds

    Sep 30 | 1905 Views | No Comments

    Uher’s Performance Feeds not only provides feed for livestock and pet food for small animals, they provide solutions to your feed challenges.  From wine, cattle and equine feed to sheep, poultry, game bird, pet feed and wild birdseed, customers can find all of this and more in-store at Uher’s...

  • Lloyd Bag Company

    Sep 19 | 1899 Views | No Comments

    Since 1939, the Lloyd Bag Company has been manufacturing and distributing bags throughout North America.  Today they manufacture and import woven fabric bags including jute, burlap, leno mesh, woven polypropylene, cotton, canvas, paper, bulk bags, BOPP bags and tote bags. With a variety of...

  • Crazy Eight Barn

    Sep 2 | 1781 Views | No Comments

    Expanding Chatham-Kent’s agri-tourism market is the popular Crazy Eight Barn. The 8-sided barn was originally built for stabling animals, but was left empty for years until Susanne Spence-Wilkins saw it and made plans of her own. She carefully disassembled the building and moved it to Palmyra, on...

  • Dover Corn Products

    Aug 19 | 1819 Views | No Comments

    Dover Corn Products Ltd., a 100% Canadian, family owned and operated facility, is quickly becoming an industry leader in the dry corn milling market. They are proud to bring one of Canada’s oldest and most stable industries back to Ontario. Dover Corn Products is the only dry corn mill in...

  • Thompsons Limited

    Aug 5 | 1560 Views | No Comments

    Since 1924, Thompsons principal business has involved the distribution of corn, soybeans, wheat, and dry beans as well as providing farmers with the necessary inputs to produce and grow successful crops. Thompsons Limited provides high quality agricultural supplies and services, including seed,...

  • London Agricultural Commodities

    Feb 14 | 2050 Views | No Comments

    London Agricultural Commodities (LAC) is privately held enterprise that operates two facilities in Chatham-Kent, has several marketing arrangements with independently owned elevators throughout Ontario.  Through our London office, LAC markets a variety of grains around the world. In Tupperville,...

  • Roesch Meats And More

    Feb 7 | 1921 Views | No Comments

    Roesch Meats and more has been serving the highest quality, freshest meats available since 1995. Their pork is fed and raised on-site, with no medication in the feed or water. They also offer Ontario beef and chicken, and all is sold through their on-site retail operation.  Lamb is available...

  • Harvest-Pac Products Inc.

    Jan 17 | 1933 Views | No Comments

    With the belief that if you begin with a superior raw product, you will produce a superior finished product, Harvest-Pac Products has been processing locally-grown vegetables and fruit since the early 1990s. Prior to entering into the processing side of the business, three generations of the...

  • Delhaven Orchards

    Jan 7 | 1605 Views | No Comments

    Delhaven Orchards Ltd. is a family farm owned and operated by Marilyn and Hector Delanghe. Over 400 acres are farmed and crops grown include apples (16 varieties), peaches (12 varieties), sweet cherries (6 varieties), pears (3 varieties), apricots (4 varieties), nectarines (3 varieties),...

  • Truly Green Farms

    Dec 23 | 1638 Views | No Comments

    Recognized as the first of its kind in North America, Truly Green Farms, operated by the Devries family, is 22.5 acres of greenhouse that produces up to 21 million kilograms of tomatoes annually. In partnership with GreenField Ethanol, the green house utilizes the ethanol plant’s waste heat and...

  • Pride Seeds

    Dec 17 | 1120 Views | No Comments

    The goal of Pride Seeds is to create a unique product experience that results in higher profits for corn, soybean and forage crop growers. Pride strives to increase profitability for growers by delivering superior seed. Pride Seeds is part of AgReliant Genetics, which has one of the largest...

  • U.S. ANNOUNCES $16-BILLION AID PACKAGE FOR FARMERS

    on July 19 | in Ag News | by | with Comments Off on U.S. ANNOUNCES $16-BILLION AID PACKAGE FOR FARMERS

    The Trump administration is providing up to $16 billion to help U.S. farmers cope with the effects of retaliatory trade tariffs imposed by China and other countries.

    Under the plan announced on May 23, the Market Facilitation Program will send $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers of more than 25 crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat and canola.

    According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the payment will be based on a single county rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to those crops in aggregate in 2019. 

    Those per acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019, and therefore will not distort planting decisions, according to the USDA. Moreover, total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings.

    Dairy producers will receive a per hundredweight payment on production history and hog producers will receive a payment based on hog and pig inventory for a later-specified time frame.

    Also, $1.4 billion will be used to purchase surplus commodities affected by trade retaliation such as fruits, vegetables, some processed foods, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and milk for distribution by the Food and Nutrition Service to food banks, schools, and other outlets serving low-income individuals.

    Another $100 million will be issued through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program administered to assist in developing new export markets on behalf of producers.

    (Source: USDA news release)

    Read More »
  • JAPAN LIFTS AGE RESTRICTION ON CANADIAN BEEF

    on July 18 | in Ag News | by | with Comments Off on JAPAN LIFTS AGE RESTRICTION ON CANADIAN BEEF

    From a news release


    Expanded access for Canadian beef to the Japanese market has been achieved as Japan has lifted its over 30-month (OTM) age restriction for beef exports, effective immediately. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) appreciates the implementation of this decision to eliminate the rule instated in the 2003 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) era and hopes that other markets will follow Japan’s lead.

    Japan is an important market for Canadian beef under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Statistics Canada data from three months since the December 30 implementation of the CPTPP (March 2019 YTD) indicates a significant increase in volume up 100.2 per cent to 9,826 metric tonnes and up 117.4 per cent in value to CDN$68.7 million compared with the same period last year.

    The CCA expects exports of Canadian beef to increase further still now that expanded access for OTM beef has finally come to fruition, said CCA President David Haywood-Farmer. “The CCA has and will continue to advocate for free and open trade. We were pleased to see the access to Japan attained under CPTPP and are happy to see the market potential grow with new access for OTM,” he said.

    The CPTPP was implemented on December 30, 2018. On April 1, 2019, the second round of tariff cuts came into effect and tariffs were reduced to 26.6 per cent on both Canadian fresh and frozen beef and further cuts will continue over the next several years. The initial tariff cut on December 30 lowered the Japanese beef tariff of 38.5 per cent to 27.5 per cent on Canadian fresh beef and to 26.9 per cent on frozen beef. Tariffs were also reduced for a range of offal products.

    The CCA has been closely monitoring developments regarding the OTM rule in 2019, as Japanese officials moved through their processes towards recommending the elimination of the requirement that imported beef be from cattle under 30 months of age.

    Canada’s new access became effective on May 17, 2019, and is part of the OTM access Japan announced late last week for the United States and Ireland.

    Read More »
  • EUROPEAN CORN BORER RESISTANCE TO BT CORN FOUND IN CANADA

    on July 17 | in Tek Talk | by | with Comments Off on EUROPEAN CORN BORER RESISTANCE TO BT CORN FOUND IN CANADA

    By Tracey Baute, OMAFRA Field Crop Entomologist.

    Posted on Field Crop News.com

    It was recently confirmed that European corn borer (ECB) had developed resistance to the Cry1F protein in Bt corn in Nova Scotia. More information on this issue can be found on the Corn Pest.ca website.

    Thanks go to Dr. Jocelyn Smith and Dr. Art Schaafsma at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus for their hard work at making the collections and running the tests to confirm resistance.

    Until we know whether the resistant ECB population has spread beyond the Maritimes, we recommend that all corn growers across Canada keep an eye out for any ECB damage showing up on any Bt corn hybrids this year and consider implementing the mitigation strategies in the document above to help reduce the spread of the resistance. This especially applies to those regions that have shorter growing seasons with a limited selection of Bt hybrids to choose from.

    In addition, extension entomologists recommend that growers should not purchase or plant single-trait Bt hybrids for ECB. Hybrids containing only Cry1F (Herculex 1 and Herculex XTRA) or Cry1Ab (some Agrisure hybrids) should be avoided as the risk of resistance increases if only one trait is being used to control ECB. 

    The Bt trait table has been modified to indicate the number of traits control each pest: Bt Corn Products/Traits Available in Canada – As of May 2019.

    Growers should also avoid planting stacked hybrids that contain only two Bt traits if one of those traits is Cry1F. The confirmation of resistance to Cry1F results in these two trait hybrids becoming a single trait hybrid in those regions where Cry1F resistant ECB populations exist. If still planting these hybrids, use caution and scout for unexpected damage. A structured refuge of 20% non-Bt corn within 400 metres of the Bt planting should accompany any hybrids that contain Cry1F and only one other Bt trait against ECB.

    Growers should ensure that the hybrids they are planting include at least two traits that control ECB. 

    Bt traits that control ECB are Cry1Ab, CryA.105, Cry2Ab2 and Cry1F (use with caution in regions outside of the Maritimes).

    Bt traits that do not control ECB are Vip3A, Cry1F – in the Maritime Region, mCry3A (only controls rootworm) and Cry34/Cry35Ab1 (only controls rootworm). 

    If you have any questions about ECB or Bt resistance, please contact your corn company agronomist or any of the provincial specialists listed in the Field Crop News.com article.

    Read More »
  • ANIMAL ACTIVISM AND FARMER SAFETY

    on July 16 | in Ag News | by | with Comments Off on ANIMAL ACTIVISM AND FARMER SAFETY


    Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario Commentary

    By Marie Versteeg, CFFO Manager of Executive Board & Committees

    The Crown’s recent decision to drop charges against an animal activist has fuelled frustration, fear and action in Ontario’s farming community. The activist, who video-recorded herself breaking into a barn near Lucan and stealing two pigs, belongs to a group that opposes animal agriculture.

    On May 1st, the crown attorney’s office in London dropped break-and-enter and mischief charges, stating that there wasn’t enough evidence to go to trial.

    Farmers worry that the failure to charge in an apparently open-and-shut case like this will embolden activists. They fear that future attacks could endanger their farm businesses, their families and their animals.

    Given the high stakes, the absolutely vital thing for farmers to do, for the time being, is to remain calm.

    Being prepared for protesters will go a long way toward helping farmers keep control of the situation, says Sgt. Laura Lee Brown, West Region Community Services Co-ordinator with the OPP. At  a meeting of farm writers on May 14, she offered the following advice:

    ·  Include surveillance on new builds.

    ·  Prepare a safety plan (not a confrontation plan) for the farm.

    ·  Establish a central meeting location for all farm staff members.

    ·  If you fear your safety is in jeopardy, call 911.

    ·  If intruders don’t leave the property after you have told them to, call 911. Failure to leave after being asked is a chargeable offence.
    Brown reminded listeners that these protesters are rarely seeking physical confrontation. Having a plan and a cool head will help to keep everyone safe.

    In a previous interview with Ontario Farmer, Brown reported that farmers could decide whether or not to press charges against trespassers. Many feel that pressing charges only gives activists a media platform. Debates on how best to respond to attacks is ongoing. But in light of the recent court decision, our immediate concern is whether farmers can trust that the law will protect them.

    Last week, the CFFO joined other farm organizations in launching a letter campaign to Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and other government officials to request that the rule of law be upheld. CFFO members who would like to join the letter campaign can contact us for more information.

    Read More »
  • CHARCOAL NATURAL SOLUTION TO CROP FERTILIZER POLLUTION, U OF G STUDY REVEALS

    on July 15 | in Ag News | by | with Comments Off on CHARCOAL NATURAL SOLUTION TO CROP FERTILIZER POLLUTION, U OF G STUDY REVEALS

    From the University of Guelph News


    Charcoal may be the solution to reducing ammonia pollution and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer for crop plants, according to a groundbreaking study by a University of Guelph soil scientist.

    U of G professor Adam Gillespie, along with Cornell University researcher Johannes Lehmann and other co-authors, discovered that naturally occurring charcoal in the soil could sponge up nitrogen.

    Published recently in Nature Communications, the study points to a new way to create slow-release fertilizer, helping to grow more food while preventing excess nitrogen from fouling surface and groundwater.

    Contained in many farm fertilizers, ammonia provides a ready source of nitrogen for plants. Human-derived ammonia emissions have grown, notably in agriculture.

    Ammonia in excess fertilizer can turn to other reactive forms such as nitrates, which can foul groundwater, as well as nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas.

    The researchers made the surprising discovery that the compound binds with soil charcoal or biochar. Created when organic matter burns incompletely, as in forest fires, untold amounts of biochar are found naturally in soils worldwide.

    “We used to think that ammonia did not bind strongly with anything,” said Gillespie, School of Environmental Sciences. “But ammonia forms a new chemical compound with charcoal rather than sticking to the surface.”

    In the lab, his Cornell colleagues altered the chemical form of biochar’s surface to mimic natural changes over time. They added ammonia and looked at how much nitrogen was retained by the biochar.

    They found that biochar sponges up ammonia.

    To look more closely at that chemical interaction, they tested the material at the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, where Gillespie worked at the time.

    His tests at the particle accelerator showed that strong bonds formed between the nitrogen from the ammonia and the carbon in the biochar.

    Based on these findings, Gillespie said researchers might devise ways of using naturally occurring soil charcoal to bind ammonia.

    That would provide a kind of one-two punch in mitigating greenhouse gas production.

    Organic biochar already locks up carbon in the soil, preventing its release to the atmosphere, said Gillespie, who arrived at U of G in fall 2018.

    Now it might be used as well to bind potential nitrogen-based forms of greenhouse gas, he added. “We could use charcoal to clean up pollutants.”

    Read More »
  • MARKET RECAP – JUNE 28, 2019

    on July 15 | in Ag News | by | with Comments Off on MARKET RECAP – JUNE 28, 2019

    The June 28 acreage report from the United States Department of Agriculture shocked the markets on Friday as corn futures in Chicago were in the limit-down territory before closing approximately 20 cents lower than Thursday’s settlement.Soybeans were 10 cents higher as the USDA surprised traders with a higher than expected acreage number for corn and a lower soybean estimate. See separate story for the details.

    Although the trade has rolled to the Sept. 2019 future for old crop corn, we’re using the July future for the weekly comparison. On Friday the contract closed at $4.20, down 22 cents from June 21. The new crop future (Dec.19) closed at $4.32, which was also down by 22 cents. 

    The Chatham-Kent (CK) high cash price was $5.70, down 12 cents from the previous week. The new crop high price was down 22 cents at $5.57. 

    For the month, the CK cash price was up 18 cents; the new was 13 cents higher.

    At the same time last year, the CK high old cash price was $4.49, and the new crop was $4.56.

    The old crop soybean future (July) was down 3 cents from the previous week, at $9.00. The new crop (Nov. 19) future lost 5 cents, closing at $9.23.

    The CK old cash price on Friday was $11.15 down 18 cents from the previous week. The new crop price was down 15 cents at $11.23.

    For the month, the CK old crop high price was up 7 cents; the new was down 7. 

    Last year, the CK high old crop price was $11.22, and the new was $11.44.

    For wheat, the July future in Chicago was up 2 cents from the previous week, closing at $5.28. 

    The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) Soft Red Winter Wheat price for the 2019 crop was down 5 cents at $7.02.

    For the month, the price gained 22 cents. 

    Last year, the GFO Soft Red Winter Wheat price was $6.08.

    Read More »
  • NEW TOOL WILL ASSIST CORN FARMERS WITH CHALLENGES POSED BY PLANT DISEASE

    on July 14 | in Ag News | by | with Comments Off on NEW TOOL WILL ASSIST CORN FARMERS WITH CHALLENGES POSED BY PLANT DISEASE

    From a news release


    The governments of Canada and Ontario are helping the province’s corn farmers better manage future occurrences of the plant disease deoxynivalenol (DON) in their crops.

    Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), Canada and Ontario are supporting the Grain Farmers of Ontario to create a tool to forecast the risk of high concentrations of DON in corn crops. This tool will help both traditional and organic corn farmers to make early, informed decisions about their crops and the use of fungicide or other treatments that reduce the risk of DON. This will also help reduce DON-related challenges faced throughout the corn value-chain and is similar to a forecasting tool for wheat.

    This adds to a series of actions taken by Canada and Ontario to support farmers and the sector in connection with weather-caused, high-DON levels experienced in portions of the 2018 Ontario corn crop. DON is a toxic substance caused by a fungus that lowers the market value of affected corn and can render it unmarketable at high levels. 

    “Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership our Government is investing in resources to help farmers manage on-farm risk,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “We understand the significant impact the DON issue has presented for Ontario’s grain farmers and the grain value-chain, and we are committed to sustainable solutions that will help farmers and the industry as a whole continue to grow and prosper.”

    Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “We are pleased that this investment will help Ontario farmers and others working in our agricultural sector to succeed. We’ll keep up the work to find more ways they can be profitable and get ahead.”

    Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario, noted that producers are still feeling the repercussions of this year’s high-DON levels in corn. “Farmers would welcome a tool that allows us some forecasting in terms of DON levels and helps us to prepare for any issues and maintain our businesses and the province’s grain corn value chain,” added Senft.

    Read More »
  • FARMING AND THE ECOSYSTEM

    on July 13 | in Ag News | by | with Comments Off on FARMING AND THE ECOSYSTEM

    Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario Commentary

    By Paul Bootsma, CFFO Field Services Manager

    An ecosystem is defined as “a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.” Often, agriculture is seen as disruptive to the sensitive balance of a given ecosystem. However, more and more, farmers see the benefits that farming can bring to some areas, where close attention is given to maintaining a healthy balance.

    Our role as humans is to protect and maintain the earth’s diverse ecosystems as part of God’s creation. We could consider each farm in Ontario as an ecosystem, where all the moving parts are needed to maintain a balance, allowing efficient production of foods. Within such an ecosystem is the relationship between livestock farming and crop farming. The core of this is the soil and the need to keep it in a healthy state.

    As we all know from Newton’s third law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Throw a ball up, and it will come down. Throw a stone into a body of water, and there will be ripples. Their size and number are determined by the size of the stone. This principle also affects environmental efforts. There are secondary reactions to what we do with our soils.

    Farmers report that having cattle on pasture helps the grass stay thick and healthy. Take the cattle off, and the pasture ends up with unwanted weeds. We know that pastures have the ability to sequester carbon, which reduces carbon in the atmosphere. Adding compost from cattle manure increases the organic matter of soil, improving the makeup of the soil and increasing its capability to store carbon. This is a good example of how livestock farming benefits the environment.

    For years the CFFO has argued that livestock farming is best for Ontario soils because of the natural flow of energy, from plants to animals and back to the soil for plants to regrow. Worldwide, there is more and more research to support such regenerative agricultural practices.

    Today the global community continues to work on decreasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Our federal government is doing this by charging a tax on carbon emissions to discourage burning fossil fuels. However, there could be options for reducing carbon in the atmosphere in natural ways. Keeping our pastures and forests in good health will increase the sequestering of carbon and storing it in our soils where it is needed.

    Farmers today understand the importance of ecosystems on our farms. They should be rewarded for their efforts in providing ecological services. Instead, farmers bear too much of the carbon tax. The bottom line is that taxing fuel use may not be the best way to reduce the net amount of carbon emissions from farms, as long as we practice the sort of “systems thinking” supported by regenerative agriculture. And after all, working with ecosystems is a normal part of a farmer’s business.

    Read More »
  • ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS MUST MEASURE IMPACT ON AG

    on July 12 | in Ag News | by | with Comments Off on ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS MUST MEASURE IMPACT ON AG

    Ontario Federation of Agriculture Commentary

    By Brent Royce, OFA Director

    The provincial government recently released a discussion paper – Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Program – as they consider changes to the Environmental Assessment Act. The government has asked for public input on the proposed vision for the environmental assessment program based on the discussion paper.

    The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has provided a formal submission with an overriding message – agriculture must be consulted and considered in any public sector project that could impact our farms and businesses.

    We support the overall need to review legislation to remove duplication and find efficiencies. But we must also be sure that in the process, we don’t lose sight of the purpose of the legislation. One of the core principles of the environmental assessment process is that it considers all aspects of the environment, including natural, social, economic, cultural and build conditions. OFA believes any changes to the Environmental Assessment Act must retain this core principle.

    We are concerned about the government’s proposal to exempt “lowest-risk” categories from needing an environmental assessment. The greatest concern with this “exemption” is that some of these projects could have an impact on agricultural lands and businesses. It’s also unclear what activities are considered “low risk.”

    That’s why OFA believes that when potential impacts on our agri-food sector and agricultural communities are identified, a higher level of environmental assessment should be required.

    Also, any public sector project must include an Agricultural Impact Assessment if the project has the potential to impact agriculture. OFA is pushing for this requirement to be incorporated into the environmental assessment process. We have also recommended to the government that any and all Agricultural Impact Assessment consulting teams include an agricultural specialist. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs outlines the qualifications of an agricultural specialist to conduct an Agricultural Impact Assessment.

    The involvement of the local agricultural community is also key to conducting a thorough Agricultural Impact Assessment. For example, when the Ministry of Transportation studied provincial highway expansion options between New Hamburg and Sebringville in 2007, the farm community got involved. Farmers identified the location and activities conducted on surrounding farmland connected with their farm businesses. This enabled mapping of not only the farmland impacted but also the associated movement of agricultural inputs, farm machinery and agricultural products.

    OFA takes the process of environmental assessments very seriously. Agriculture must be considered, consulted and included in assessments because our farm businesses touch so many aspects of our environment – impacting natural, social, economic and cultural conditions of the environment.

    We know how important it is for agriculture’s voice to be included in decisions to amend legislation and regulations. And we are strongly urging the government to include our recommendations for Agricultural Impact Assessments as it makes changes to the Environmental Assessment Act. 

    You can read our full submission at ofa.on.ca – under Resources, click on Submissions and Correspondence.

    Read More »
  • How Many Eggs Have You Eaten Today?

    on July 11 | in Kim Cooper | by | with Comments Off on How Many Eggs Have You Eaten Today?

    This week, let’s discover some interesting facts on farming that might be new to you. As always, if you have any ideas for a column, please let me know Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of flaxseed, canola, pulses, durum wheat, peas, lentils, and mustard seeds.

    Pulse crops contain nutrients found in both the vegetable and meat food groups, including significant protein, fibre, folate, iron, and other minerals.

    Just over half of Canada’s vegetable crop is grown for processing. The top five crops are sweet corn, green peas, carrots, beans, and tomatoes.

    Apples, blueberries, and grapes make up over 80 per cent of Canada’s fruit acreage.

    World food demand will increase 70 per cent by the year 2050.

    In Canada, a total of 26 million hens produce more than 600 million dozen eggs per year, or about 7.2 billion eggs. Ontario accounts for 40 per cent of Canada’s total egg production.

    The average laying hen can lay approximately 320 eggs in one year. In Canada, no chickens are ever given hormones, regardless of the type of farm they live on.

    There are about 283 days (9.5 months) for the gestation period of cows.

    Eleven top quality leather basketballs can be made from one cowhide.

    50,000 fewer gallons of water are needed to grow an acre of corn today, compared to 20 years ago.

    Pigs live in barns specially designed with fans or ‘curtain-sided barns’ that can open if needed to help control humidity and temperatures. To keep the animals disease-free, most barns have strict sanitation standards and animal health rules.

    Sows are female pigs that usually birth 8-12 piglets in a litter and give birth (farrow) twice a year.

    One in eight Canadian jobs is related to agriculture.

    Less than two per cent of Canada’s population are farmers, and yet they are able to feed a population of over 30 million and export to foreign markets.

    Of the 10,000 items in a typical grocery store, at least 2,500 items use corn in some form during the processing or processing stage.

    Green peas have three times more fibre, 40 per cent more iron, and 25 per cent more vitamin A and C than green beans.

    McCain Foods, with headquarters in Florenceville, New Brunswick, produces one out of every three French fries consumed in the entire world.

    Only three per cent of the earth’s surface can be used to grow food crops.

    One dairy cow drinks the equivalent of a bathtub of water every day.

    There are three to four jobs waiting for every graduate of an agriculture school in Ontario. For the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus Agriculture Diploma program, 95 per cent of the students have a job by the time they graduate.

    Think about this – Remember that God has a bigger plan for you than you do for yourself.

    Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com

    Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at: kim.e.cooper@gmail.com You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’

    Read More »
Scroll to top