• Kearney Planters

    Feb 21 | 1497 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 | 1907 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 | 1897 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 | 1987 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 | 1760 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 | 1470 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 | 3079 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 | 1599 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 | 2051 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 | 1764 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 | 1660 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 | 1513 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 | 2342 Views | No Comments

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

  • Uher’s Performance Feeds

    Sep 30 | 2012 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 | 2051 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 | 1889 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 | 1929 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 | 1645 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 | 2223 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 | 2014 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 | 2062 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 | 1718 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 | 1732 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 | 1220 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...

  • Crop Development, Early Harvest Stung By Wet Weather

    on August 12 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

    From FCC Express, by Owen Roberts

    Wet weather is continuing to be a problem for Ontario farmers.

    Wheat harvest in the province is underway, with yields and quality all over the map. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs says some farmers have reported yields as the “best wheat crop ever” at 140 bushels an acre.

    But others have been a “disappointing” 60 bushels an acre.

    It’s the same story for the quality of wheat being delivered to the elevator. The ministry says some has been heavy, clean Grade 1 wheat. But other deliveries have been refused because of fusarium damage. Elevator operators who graded too easily have been saddled with wheat that doesn’t make Grade 2 feed grade.

    That’s left some operators on edge, using high grade discounts.

    Farmers are frustrated, but inconsistent fusarium-damaged kernel counts between elevators or loads are not uncommon, says the ministry. “Fusarium hot spots in the field can cause wide swings load to load,” it says.

    Farmers are also taking measures to reduce other fungal diseases in crops such as corn. Recent efforts have been dedicated to applying (tassel) fungicides, by means including airplane and helicopter. “Growers are focused on protecting yield potential and harvesting the highest yield possible,” says the ministry. But it questions the economics of taking such measures with corn at just $4 a bushel. “The economics of these applications is very tight,” it says.

    Damp fields are taking their toll on edible beans, as well. The ministry says growth in many fields is being hampered by root rot and poorly developed and functioning root systems. That’s also led to variability in the crop, which will be a challenge in staging harvest.

    And finally, blight and white mould is also evident in many fields. Fortunately, temperatures above 28 C and open crop canopies have limited the infection, but lately, the mercury has dipped. The ministry says fungicides to protect against mould need to target beans while flowering, because the flower pedals serve as the food source that initiates infection.

    Read More »
  • Bio-Diesel Production Mandate Could Be A Win For Farmers

    on August 12 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

    This week’s guest commentary comes from Lorne Small of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario

    The recent Ontario budget outlined changes to the tax treatment for biodiesel. Biodiesel has been exempt from fuel tax since 2002 to encourage increased renewable content. The federal government’s renewable content mandate came into effect last year. As a result, Ontario’s fuel tax exemption no longer serves its purpose and will be eliminated next year. The province is considering a provincial mandate which will both increase renewable fuel content and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    According to Environment Canada, a 2% mandate can be expected to result in about 500,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions reductions annually in Ontario. A 5% standard is expected to result in about 1.25 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions reduction annually in Ontario.

    Biodiesel mandates are common across North America, many provinces have a 2% mandate British Columbia has a 4% mandate. The extent of the mandate also varies, B.C. includes all diesel and home heating oil while the federal mandate exempts home heating oil. The state of Minnesota has a relatively high mandate and requires that the substitute must have 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional diesel.

    CFFO has been involved in the consultations with stakeholders that the Ontario Government has undertaken. We had three questions: does engine performance suffer? Does it affect the life expectancy of the engine? And is there a gel problem in winter storage or operations? Apparently these issues have been well researched. The forestry industry in northern British Columbia has not had a problem with operations during very cold weather. Minnesota farmers are not having any problems during the winter months. The Canadian trucking industry is not experiencing any performance or engine issues in their trucking fleets. The indications are that any blend up to 10% is not an issue for the trucking, forestry or agriculture industries.

    How will a mandate in Ontario affect Ontario farmers? If the mandate requires the biodiesel to be made from Canadian feedstock such as soybeans and canola and not imported palm oil, then there will be an impact on farmers. There would be upward pressure on the price of oilseeds which is positive news for oilseed producers. The expanded crushing capacity and the resulting expanded production of oilseed meal would put downward pressure on the price of commodities like soybean meal. That means there is a win for livestock producers.

    As farmers we are never enthused with more regulations, but this one might be welcomed by farmers. We could get better returns for oilseed producers and lower costs for livestock producers. The result is a clear win for farmers. But there is also a win for society, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is a win for all of society.

    Read More »
  • Ontario On Top Of Downy Mildew Monitoring

    on August 7 | in Tek Talk | by | with No Comments

    From FCC Express by Trudy Kelly Forsythe

    Growers are being encouraged to be diligent in the management of cucurbit downy mildew.

    “The disease is very aggressive and needs to be managed using an intensive fungicide program that includes fungicides specifically targeted to manage downy mildew,” says Cheryl Trueman, vegetable pest management researcher with the University of Guelph. “Rotation among fungicides from different mode of action groups is important in order to delay fungicide resistance.”

    Cucurbit downy mildew has been discovered in processing cucumber fields in three counties in Ontario. During the week of July 15, two of five sites tested in Kent County and four of five sites tested in Elgin and Norfolk Counties were confirmed to have downy mildew. A week later, the confirmed cases had risen to five of five sites in Kent County and four of five sites in Norfolk and Elgin Counties.

    Trueman, who manages field scouting in Kent County for the program, says the pathogen that causes cucurbit downy mildew does not overwinter outdoors in Ontario.

    “However, it can travel long distances from overwintering sites in the southern United States,” she says. “It is also possible, although not proven, that the pathogen could be introduced to the field via green bridges such as infected cucumbers growing in greenhouses or high tunnels.”

    In addition to the monitoring program, Ontario also participates in the impPIPE program, which is run by extension and research personnel in the U.S.

    “Reports of cucurbit downy mildew from across North America are posted on a map on this site and users are able to program email alerts when new finds are reported,” Trueman says.

    This week was the final week for scouting in the Elgin/Norfolk region while scouting in Kent County will conclude next week.

    The downy mildew scouting program is sponsored by the Ontario Cucumber Research Committee for the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers. It began several years ago when cucurbit downy mildew first became an economically damaging disease in Ontario.

    Read More »
  • Extreme Variability In Yields And Quality For 2013 Wheat-OMAF

    on August 7 | in Tek Talk | by | with No Comments

    Cereals: Scott Banks/Peter Johnson

    Cereals: Wheat harvest is moving north and continues between the showers and the violent storms. Many producers harvested no dry wheat at all this year. Yields have varied widely, from extremely disappointing (60 bu/ac) to the best wheat crop ever (140 bu/ac). Quality has had similar variation, from heavy, clean Grade 1 wheat to delivery refused at over 20% Fusarium Damaged Kernels (FDK).

    High vomitoxin (DON) levels continue to be of concern. Grading of wheat using visual FDK, and the inconsistent relationship to DON, are forcing elevators to use high grade discounts. Elevators that graded too easily have already been caught with wheat accepted as Grade 2 grading feed at the terminal. Growers with downgraded wheat that have storage capability often find discounts and grades are more negotiable once the harvest rush is over. However, this would mean storing wheat into the winter on a poor quality year like 2013.

    Many growers find the inconsistent FDK counts between elevators or between loads in the same field extremely frustrating. These are reality. Fusarium hot spots can cause wide swings load to load: 1.8 FDK to 4.7 FDK is common. Sample differences, and the individual that is grading the sample (colour sensitivity) can all have significant impact on FDK counts.

     

    Corn: Greg Stewart

    Corn: Ground application rigs with belly boards and rad covers, helicopters, and airplanes can be found traversing the province applying VT (tassel) fungicides. Growers are focused on protecting yield potential and harvesting the highest yield possible. However, with an average 6 bu/ac yield increase and corn priced at $4.00/bu, the economics of these applications are very tight.

    Pollination is the critical stage for determining yield of the corn crop. High photosynthetic rates during the pollination period are strongly correlated with final kernel number. Once grainfill is underway, the length of grainfill (days) and high solar radiation become the final factors determining yield (assuming ample moisture). Sunny, moderate days (25C) and warm nights will lengthen grainfill period and maximize photosynthesis. Hotter days speed development, but shorten grainfill period, thus high temperatures are not as beneficial as many producers assume.

    Continue to scout for Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) in areas with a history of this insect. Egg mass numbers are high in some regions even with low moth trap catches. If 5% of plants have egg masses, spray when larvae are hatching and before they reach the cob. In many fields this will happen over the next 10 days.

     

    Canola/Edible Beans: Brian Hall

    Edible Beans: Early planted cranberry fields are at pod stage, while the majority of other bean types are in full flower. Growth of beans in many fields is being hampered by root rot and poorly developed and functioning root systems. Variability in the crop will be a challenge in staging harvest. Blight is evident in many fields. Copper based treatments offer some protection but are not effective once blight becomes evident in the field due to the high levels of inoculum present. White mould is present in fields with lush canopies, but temperatures over 28 C and open crop canopies have limited the infection. Fungicides to protect against mould need to target beans while flowering as the flower pedals serve as the food source that initiates infection. Scout fields during pod fill for tarnished plant bug (TPB). TPB often migrate into beans from nearby orchards or recently harvest alfalfa. A treatment may be required when an average of one to two TPB per sweep is found during the pod stages.

    Canola: Early planted canola is in green pod stage and escaped most of the damage caused by midge. Canola damaged by swede midge continues to develop new shoots to compensate from damage with some fields displaying significant amount of flowering. Yields will be seriously reduced. Harvest will be the biggest challenge in these fields, because of tremendous variability in pod height, growth and maturity. Consideration should be given to swathing these fields to reduce shattering of ripe pods while waiting on green pods to ripen. Pre-harvest treatments will be less desirable. The summer generation of flea beetles is emerging and feeding on green pods is evident. The upper (youngest) pods are most affected and can result in shriveled seeds, premature pod drying, and increased pod shatter. Control is usually only warranted at very high populations and economic threshold has not been established.

    Read More »
  • Premiers: Don’t Leave Food Out Of The Healthcare Discussion

    on August 7 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

    This week’s guest commentary comes from Joe Dickenson, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

    When Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers gathered in Ontario last month to talk about collaborative savings on healthcare, they left an important ingredient off the table – food.

    The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) fully supports the premiers’ concern with rising healthcare costs and their push for more affordable pharmaceutical products, but we respectfully propose an additional solution: preventative health care, through safe, affordable healthy food choices. When our political leaders chose to address health care issues at the pharmaceutical level, they chose to treat the symptoms and not the disease. They missed the opportunity to emphasize the recognized role of food in disease prevention.

    Food and health go hand in hand. Canadians recognized this fact in a recent poll in which they identified diet as a key factor for good health. And for the last two years, the OFA has worked closely with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the entire food chain to create a National Food Strategy – a vision for the future of food in Canada. The National Food Strategy contains nine strategic objectives – and includes the need to educate and encourage our children and consumers to choose foods and healthy eating patterns that promote optimal health.

    All Canadians would benefit from learning to make nutritious food choices. And education needs to begin with young adults, equipping them with the tools they need to learn to plan and prepare healthy meals. We need to encourage local food companies to create innovative food products that align with Canada’s Food Guide, and provide food claims with clear, factual information.

    Likewise, it is in the interests of all the provinces – and premiers – to ensure consumers always have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food. We must also establish strong collaboration between the food industry and health sector to ensure healthy food choices are available.

    To further the food agenda, Ontario’s legislature is expected to vote on a proposed Local Food Act this fall. While the act doesn’t align food and health as explicitly as the National Food Strategy, it would recognize local food production as a priority for Ontario, and make support for local agriculture a matter of provincial policy.

    Many Canadian health care issues can be addressed at the source: the food choices we make, three times a day. Ontario farmers are ready to do our part to contribute local smart food choices to a growing customer base. And with the framework of the National Food Strategy, and a meaningful Local Food Act in place, we’ll be empowered by more solid markets that celebrate the health and economic benefits of food that support our local economy.

    Read More »
  • Ontario On Top Of Downy Mildew Monitoring

    on August 6 | in Tek Talk | by | with No Comments

    From FCC Express by Trudy Kelly Forsythe

    Growers are being encouraged to be diligent in the management of cucurbit downy mildew.

    “The disease is very aggressive and needs to be managed using an intensive fungicide program that includes fungicides specifically targeted to manage downy mildew,” says Cheryl Trueman, vegetable pest management researcher with the University of Guelph. “Rotation among fungicides from different mode of action groups is important in order to delay fungicide resistance.”

    Cucurbit downy mildew has been discovered in processing cucumber fields in three counties in Ontario. During the week of July 15, two of five sites tested in Kent County and four of five sites tested in Elgin and Norfolk Counties were confirmed to have downy mildew. A week later, the confirmed cases had risen to five of five sites in Kent County and four of five sites in Norfolk and Elgin Counties.

    Trueman, who manages field scouting in Kent County for the program, says the pathogen that causes cucurbit downy mildew does not overwinter outdoors in Ontario.

    “However, it can travel long distances from overwintering sites in the southern United States,” she says. “It is also possible, although not proven, that the pathogen could be introduced to the field via green bridges such as infected cucumbers growing in greenhouses or high tunnels.”

    In addition to the monitoring program, Ontario also participates in the impPIPE program, which is run by extension and research personnel in the U.S.

    “Reports of cucurbit downy mildew from across North America are posted on a map on this site and users are able to program email alerts when new finds are reported,” Trueman says.

    This week was the final week for scouting in the Elgin/Norfolk region while scouting in Kent County will conclude next week.

    The downy mildew scouting program is sponsored by the Ontario Cucumber Research Committee for the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers. It began several years ago when cucurbit downy mildew first became an economically damaging disease in Ontario.

    Read More »
  • Extreme Variability In Yields And Quality For 2013 Wheat-OMAF

    on August 6 | in Tek Talk | by | with No Comments

    From OMAF Field Crop Report

    Cereals: Scott Banks/Peter Johnson

    Cereals: Wheat harvest is moving north and continues between the showers and the violent storms. Many producers harvested no dry wheat at all this year. Yields have varied widely, from extremely disappointing (60 bu/ac) to the best wheat crop ever (140 bu/ac). Quality has had similar variation, from heavy, clean Grade 1 wheat to delivery refused at over 20% Fusarium Damaged Kernels (FDK).

    High vomitoxin (DON) levels continue to be of concern. Grading of wheat using visual FDK, and the inconsistent relationship to DON, are forcing elevators to use high grade discounts. Elevators that graded too easily have already been caught with wheat accepted as Grade 2 grading feed at the terminal. Growers with downgraded wheat that have storage capability often find discounts and grades are more negotiable once the harvest rush is over. However, this would mean storing wheat into the winter on a poor quality year like 2013.

    Many growers find the inconsistent FDK counts between elevators or between loads in the same field extremely frustrating. These are reality. Fusarium hot spots can cause wide swings load to load: 1.8 FDK to 4.7 FDK is common. Sample differences, and the individual that is grading the sample (colour sensitivity) can all have significant impact on FDK counts.

     

    Corn: Greg Stewart

    Corn: Ground application rigs with belly boards and rad covers, helicopters, and airplanes can be found traversing the province applying VT (tassel) fungicides. Growers are focused on protecting yield potential and harvesting the highest yield possible. However, with an average 6 bu/ac yield increase and corn priced at $4.00/bu, the economics of these applications are very tight.

    Pollination is the critical stage for determining yield of the corn crop. High photosynthetic rates during the pollination period are strongly correlated with final kernel number. Once grainfill is underway, the length of grainfill (days) and high solar radiation become the final factors determining yield (assuming ample moisture). Sunny, moderate days (25C) and warm nights will lengthen grainfill period and maximize photosynthesis. Hotter days speed development, but shorten grainfill period, thus high temperatures are not as beneficial as many producers assume.

    Continue to scout for Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) in areas with a history of this insect. Egg mass numbers are high in some regions even with low moth trap catches. If 5% of plants have egg masses, spray when larvae are hatching and before they reach the cob. In many fields this will happen over the next 10 days.

     

    Canola/Edible Beans: Brian Hall

    Edible Beans: Early planted cranberry fields are at pod stage, while the majority of other bean types are in full flower. Growth of beans in many fields is being hampered by root rot and poorly developed and functioning root systems. Variability in the crop will be a challenge in staging harvest. Blight is evident in many fields. Copper based treatments offer some protection but are not effective once blight becomes evident in the field due to the high levels of inoculum present. White mould is present in fields with lush canopies, but temperatures over 28 C and open crop canopies have limited the infection. Fungicides to protect against mould need to target beans while flowering as the flower pedals serve as the food source that initiates infection. Scout fields during pod fill for tarnished plant bug (TPB). TPB often migrate into beans from nearby orchards or recently harvest alfalfa. A treatment may be required when an average of one to two TPB per sweep is found during the pod stages.

    Canola: Early planted canola is in green pod stage and escaped most of the damage caused by midge. Canola damaged by swede midge continues to develop new shoots to compensate from damage with some fields displaying significant amount of flowering. Yields will be seriously reduced. Harvest will be the biggest challenge in these fields, because of tremendous variability in pod height, growth and maturity. Consideration should be given to swathing these fields to reduce shattering of ripe pods while waiting on green pods to ripen. Pre-harvest treatments will be less desirable. The summer generation of flea beetles is emerging and feeding on green pods is evident. The upper (youngest) pods are most affected and can result in shriveled seeds, premature pod drying, and increased pod shatter. Control is usually only warranted at very high populations and economic threshold has not been established.

    Read More »
  • Premiers: Don’t Leave Food Out Of The Healthcare Discussion

    on August 6 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

    This week’s guest commentary comes from Joe Dickenson, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

    When Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers gathered in Ontario last month to talk about collaborative savings on healthcare, they left an important ingredient off the table – food.

    The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) fully supports the premiers’ concern with rising healthcare costs and their push for more affordable pharmaceutical products, but we respectfully propose an additional solution: preventative health care, through safe, affordable healthy food choices. When our political leaders chose to address health care issues at the pharmaceutical level, they chose to treat the symptoms and not the disease. They missed the opportunity to emphasize the recognized role of food in disease prevention.

    Food and health go hand in hand. Canadians recognized this fact in a recent poll in which they identified diet as a key factor for good health. And for the last two years, the OFA has worked closely with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the entire food chain to create a National Food Strategy – a vision for the future of food in Canada. The National Food Strategy contains nine strategic objectives – and includes the need to educate and encourage our children and consumers to choose foods and healthy eating patterns that promote optimal health.

    All Canadians would benefit from learning to make nutritious food choices. And education needs to begin with young adults, equipping them with the tools they need to learn to plan and prepare healthy meals. We need to encourage local food companies to create innovative food products that align with Canada’s Food Guide, and provide food claims with clear, factual information.

    Likewise, it is in the interests of all the provinces – and premiers – to ensure consumers always have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food. We must also establish strong collaboration between the food industry and health sector to ensure healthy food choices are available.

    To further the food agenda, Ontario’s legislature is expected to vote on a proposed Local Food Act this fall. While the act doesn’t align food and health as explicitly as the National Food Strategy, it would recognize local food production as a priority for Ontario, and make support for local agriculture a matter of provincial policy.

    Many Canadian health care issues can be addressed at the source: the food choices we make, three times a day. Ontario farmers are ready to do our part to contribute local smart food choices to a growing customer base. And with the framework of the National Food Strategy, and a meaningful Local Food Act in place, we’ll be empowered by more solid markets that celebrate the health and economic benefits of food that support our local economy.

    Read More »
  • Specialty Crop Farmers Urged To Scout For Disease

    on July 29 | in Tek Talk | by | with No Comments

    From FCC Epress, by Owen Roberts

    Significant rainfall in Ontario over the past few weeks has agriculture officials watching the skies and urging specialty crop farmers to scout for disease.

    Sean Westerveld, ginseng and medicinal herbs specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs, says diseases caused by water moulds such as downy mildew and Phytophthora are particularly troublesome.

    “With the wet conditions experienced across most of southern Ontario over the past few weeks, the risk of both foliar and root diseases is high on many specialty crops,” Westerveld says.

    Hops downy mildew and cucurbit downy mildew have been reported in Ontario and are spreading. Concerns are also being raised about basil downy mildew, which is creeping north up the eastern seaboard of the United States.

    Other diseases promoted by wet conditions and high humidity include leaf spots and blights such as alternaria and septoria, powdery mildew, various crown and root rots, as well as bacterial diseases.

    On the bright side, however, there have been no reports of late blight in Ontario in either tomatoes or potatoes so far. And after a heavy downpour at the end of last week, rainfall has subsided.

    Nonetheless, Westerveld says with these diseases, scouting and preventative pest-control product application is key for control. If products are available, he urges growers to try protecting their crops from these diseases before symptoms first appear.

    “Continue rotating available options until weather conditions become less conducive to disease,” he says. “Once the diseases become widespread in a field they can be very difficult to control.”

    Farmers who suspect they have one of these diseases in their fields are asked to contact the ministry.

    Read More »
  • Head Blight Common Problem With What Harvest – OMAF

    on July 29 | in Tek Talk | by | with No Comments

    From the OMAF Field Crop Report

    Cereals: Scott Banks/Peter Johnson

    Winter Wheat: Fusarium head blight (FHB) infection has been an issue in a portion of the winter wheat crop this year. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is the mycotoxin found in grain affected by FHB. DON can reduce the feed intake by livestock and adversely affect the baking quality of wheat. The normal ratio of FDK to DON is 1% FDK to 2 parts per million (ppm) DON for soft white winter wheat and 1.5% FDK to 2 ppm DON for the hard red wheat. This year, in some regions, winter wheat has abnormally high DON levels as compared to % FDK. These abnormally high DON levels compared to % FDK may push some elevators to utilize the DON quick test rather than % FDK to establish the grade discounts as is normally the case. In some instances this is leading to significant grade discounts, particularly in the case of grade # 3 wheat.

    Spring Cereals: Most of the spring cereals are well into the grain fill stage. At this stage fusarium head blight (FHB) infection in wheat will appear as partially bleached heads. High risk fields for FHB are those following corn and/or fields with highly susceptible varieties. For harvest and storage strategies to minimize fusarium, visit Field Crop News at http://bit.ly/12k6jCL

     

    Forages/Pastures: Joel Bagg/Jack Kyle

    Forages: Good haying weather returned July 11th, with lots of first and second-cut being made. Considerably more baleage was made and more propionate hay preservative was used this year. There is some concern about hay that is heating in storage. (Refer to “Silo and Hay Mow Fires” at www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/93-025.htm.) Yields have been quite variable across the province. Some areas have excess hay, while others are still rebuilding inventories. Supplies of early-cut hay without rain-damage or mould are very tight and will likely be priced at a premium. Late -cut but “green” first-cut hay will satisfy much of the horse hay market. There is lots of rain-damaged and mouldy hay, so prices for poor quality hay will likely soften.

    Seeding oats in late-July or early-August following wheat for an early-October harvest can be a useful double-crop, low-cost option for producing additional forage supplies. Oats can make excellent forage when harvested at the correct stage of maturity and made into “oatlage” or baleage. Peas can be added where higher forage quality is required. The challenges can sometimes be lack of adequate moisture in August for germination and growth, and having dry enough weather in October for adequate wilting. http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=4264

    Potato leafhoppers (PLH) are being reported at low levels, but some new seedings are being sprayed. PLH dramatically reduced alfalfa yield and forage quality last year. New seedings are very susceptible and can be permanently damaged. Reduced stem and root growth, and vigour results in stunting and slow regrowth. Adult PLH are 1/8th of an inch long, lime-green and wedge-shaped. They insert a stylet into a leaf midrib and inject a toxin that results in a wedge-shaped yellow “hopperburn”. Once hopperburn is observed, the damage is done and it is too late for control. http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=3902

    Pastures: Pasture growth has been good to excellent in most of the province with abundant moisture in most areas while a few areas are looking for moisture. During hot weather it is critical that cattle have access to clean water, if your water source is getting low be thinking about alternative measures to provide water. Fly control is important throughout the summer months; use one of the fly control products to minimize the impact of flies on your livestock. Internal parasites can have a negative impact on animal performance, work with your veterinarian to take fecal egg count samples and select the appropriate wormer if egg counts are high. Providing salt and mineral for the cattle is essential, locating the salt and mineral in underutilized areas of the pasture will draw the livestock to those areas and improve the utilization. Planting an annual crop such as oats immediately following cereal harvest will provide extra pasture for the fall.

     

    Soybeans: Horst Bohner

    Soybeans are growing well and most fields have reached the R3 growth stage. (beginning pod). R3 is achieved when small pods are visible at one of the top 4 nodes of the plant. Weather conditions over the next four to six weeks are crucial to seed development and will play a larger role in final yield than the first half of the growing season. Rainfall continues to be sporadic with some areas receiving excess moisture while other areas are dry. High humidity has brought on downy mildew in some fields. Yield reductions from this disease are usually insignificant and control measures are not necessary. On the whole the crop is in good condition depending mainly on planting date, rainfall, and field drainage. Soybean aphids can be found across much of Ontario, but numbers remain low in the southwest. Some regions in the east have reached threshold and required spraying. In some cases numbers have dropped naturally due to insect predator feeding and weather conditions over the last two weeks. Fields will need to be monitored until plants have reached the R6 (full seed) growth stage, which usually does not occur until the end of August. White mould is present in some fields but infection levels have been lower than anticipated considering the weather. Low disease levels in the southwest over the last few years have kept the inoculum levels low. Eastern Ontario generally has higher levels of white mould than the southwest.

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