Challenges getting enough seasonal agriculture workers in the country means there’s a need for more Canadians to work on farms.

Ontario launches web portal to connect farmers and workers

Initiative to help match workers with farm operations who need them

Reading Time: 2 minutes To help ensure grocery shelves continue to stay full during COVID-19 the Ontario government is launching a new web portal, connecting workers with employers looking to fill positions in the agri-food sector. The tool will make it easier to match people to jobs and training resources throughout the provincial food supply chain, which has been […] Read more

Maple syrup harvest was strong in most parts of Ontario this year, although warm weather in late March would have slowed or ended harvest.

Great maple syrup year overshadowed by coronavirus chaos

Closure of on-farm tours means syrup producers have to get creative

Reading Time: 3 minutes Earl Stanley, owner of Stanley’s Olde Maple Farm in Edwards, Ont., says 2020 was looking to be a great year for his business as the first two weekends of March brought larger-than-normal crowds for the farm’s pancake breakfasts. Syrup production in 2020 was also looking good across the province with sap in good quantity, high […] Read more

How to get more accurate DON toxin readings

Elevator operators are advised to grind the entire sample before testing to get more consistent results

Reading Time: 3 minutes An industry committee has recommended changes to elevator testing procedures for deoxynivalenol (DON) after probing into the inconsistent results farmers found so frustrating during the fusarium-plagued 2018 corn harvest. While many have blamed the sampling probe used to collect samples as trucks pull into the elevator, subsequent testing has shown the inconsistent results arose from […] Read more

DON tests unreportable for 2019 corn crop

There were not enough statistical differences among hybrids to report results

Reading Time: < 1 minute In 2019, the Ontario Corn Committee (OCC) created voluntary inoculated trials in Ridgetown and Ottawa to rate corn hybrids for susceptibility to DON accumulation. Unfortunately, a number of inconsistencies were found in the results making them unreportable. The DON levels in Ottawa were several times higher than that of Ridgetown and there was no significant […] Read more

Earlier this year, fifteen girls witnessed a calf being born during a farm-tour birthday party at Joe Loewith & Sons.

Farm birthday tours fill charity requests

The donation brings more consumers to farms, and helps out good causes

Reading Time: 2 minutes Joe Loewith & Sons, of Copetown, donate farm tour birthday parties to local charity auctions to provide unique experiences for bidders. “Every now and then there are auctions, Rotary Clubs, or different events like that, where they are looking for more unique experiences (for donations), instead of just a product. We thought this was a […] Read more


Steven Johnson with the University of Maine says physiological age is one of the key factors for getting the potato crop to perform properly.

Potato seed handling critical to production

Seed, soil and planter factors contribute to efficient emergence

Reading Time: 2 minutes Potato seed choice and preparation, planter setting, and creating the best seed bed all drive better plant emergence. Steven B. Johnson with the University of Maine told the 2020 Ontario Potato Conference and Trade Show held in Guelph March 5, that managing seed is critical to getting even emergence. Why it matters: Inefficient emergence can […] Read more

Dairy sector shuts down most visits from off-farm providers

In agriculture, dairy farms are among those most called-on by outside services

Reading Time: 3 minutes New additions to Gerrit Herrema’s dairy barn have made it easier for his family to abide by recent directions to avoid contact with milk truck drivers to reduce COVID-19’s spread. “We have boot washes and other biosecurity measures in the barn. We need to take these measures in order to minimize the damage,” said Herrema, […] Read more

A well-set planter can reduce headaches during the planting season.

Planter readiness: Most of planter set-up can be done before spring arrives

Checking level, meters and doing calibration ahead can reduce calls to the dealer

Reading Time: 4 minutes What makes you call your planter supplier when you’d prefer to be on the land? Often things that could have been checked out before. Checking equipment before planting will ensure the planter is ready to go when the soil is. Why it matters: Ideal planting conditions can come in a very short time frame. It’s […] Read more


The Canadian market for kidney beans is changing with more individual quick frozen beans sold in bags.

Ontario dry bean market fairly stable

There are some reasons for optimism about global dry bean markets with more plant-based proteins consumed

Reading Time: 3 minutes The bean market for Ontario bean growers is looking up. Yields in Western Canada were below expectations following a dry summer, a wet September and snow in October. “That changed our expectations for a bin buster crop into about average,” says Chris Cronin with Hensall Co-op at the 2020 Ontario Bean Growers meeting held Feb. […] Read more

Potato fungicide restrictions will lead to more expensive application options.

Fungicide reductions challenge potato growers

Spraying programs could double in cost in 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes Regulatory changes by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) are limiting fungicide options for Ontario potato farmers. That means more cost and more chance of resistance, says Darin Gibson with Gaia Consulting Ltd. in Manitoba. He spoke on the topic at the 2020 Ontario Potato Conference held in Guelph March 5. Why it matters: The […] Read more