Chris Lee, right, built a passive energy house and Rob McKinlay built an anaerobic digester system on his dairy farm.

Debating rural energy efficiency

Alternative energy users discuss how local solutions can be good for rural economies

Residents of rural Ontario are creating new energy efficient solutions, whether or not government is involved. Farmers, rural residents and planners talked about rural environmental sustainability at the recent Rural Talks to Rural (R2R) Conference put on by the Centre for Rural Creativity in Blyth. At Rob McKinlay’s farm in Oxford County, his small 20 […] Read more

Satellite imagery analysis automated

Alerts will tell farmers when there have been changes in fields over time

Farmers Edge believes it has solved the satellite imagery information overload problem with automated alerts. The company’s farm management dashboard will now send email alerts when algorithms show that there’s a change in field crop health. Why it matters: Farmers are more likely to adopt farm information systems when they get automated analysis for the […] Read more

A lot of corn, some of it infected by deoxynivalenol (DON), is still in the field in Ontario.

Agricorp announces corn salvage program

The program will help farmers pay to harvest and market DON-infected corn

Agricorp, the provincial crop insurance agency, will now cover corn infected by over five parts per million of deoxynivalenol (DON) with a benefit to help farmers cover harvest and marketing costs for damaged corn. The interim measure for 2018 will pay producers that are insured, $0.79 per eligible bushel to cover extraordinary costs being managed […] Read more

Most small organic producers sell some of their goods at farmers’ markets.

Ontario organic bill again introduced in legislature

Survey shows barriers exist to small-producer certification

The creation of organic regulations for Ontario is getting a third chance. A private members bill to create organic regulations was tabled Nov. 12 in the Ontario legislature by Progressive Conservative Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. Why it matters: There are national organic standards that apply to products sold across provincial borders, but no […] Read more

Luke Elliott, left, Nick Vinnicombe, Jeremiah Sommer, Katelyn Moore and Grace Vanden Heuvel were part of a young, 
rural entrepreneur’s panel at a recent rural issues conference in Blyth.

Millennials talk about the draw of country living

A group of youth see community and connection as a key to keeping them in rural areas

There’s lots that’s attractive in rural communities for young people say those who have grown up rural and either stayed or returned. The problem is many young people just don’t know what they have. When Katelyn Moore left for agriculture college, she didn’t expect to be returning home to farm, but now she’s farming full […] Read more

High-oleic soybeans have about 75 per cent oleic content, which puts the oil at a similar status to olive oil as far as healthy oil content. It also lasts longer in a fryer than conventional soybean oil and is a higher yielding oil for industrial uses.

The potential in specialty soybean oils

Ontario growers, experts in identity-preserved crops, are waiting for market demand to drive processing capacity for the value-added crops

A lack of processing capacity continues to hamper Ontario growth in higher-value oil soybeans. Specialty oils have potential to be the next value-added commodity crop in Ontario, especially high-oleic and high-linoleic soybeans, but they are not quite ready for the field yet. Why it matters: Ontario farmers are skilled in managing identity-preservation systems and that […] Read more

Beyond the practical education of 4-H programs, the soft skills they teach are also of value.

Editorial: The value of 4-H

My youngest was this summer the first of my children to participate in a 4-H livestock club. It was a good experience that showed me that the most valuable lessons of 4-H continue to be taught and experienced. 4-H has changed significantly since I spent my teenage years in the Howick Dairy Calf Club in […] Read more

Jim Soetmans, left, Laura Soetmans, Mary Donkers and Joe Donkers are owners of Stonepicker Brewing near Forest.

On-farm breweries grow

A hobby has turned into a growing business for a couple of Lambton County farmers

You can’t mistake the fact you’re arriving at an on-farm brewery when you arrive at Stonepicker Brewing. There’s the McCormick Deering antique tractor at the end of the lane, the idled hog barn you pass on the way to the brewery building and the 1933 Case C hanging from the wall above the bar when […] Read more

Greenhouse operators will qualify for relief on 80 per cent of the cost of the carbon pricing for building heating and carbon dioxide production.

Carbon pricing system to include relief for farmers

Farm fuel for vehicles looks to be exempt, but barn heating and cooling may still require full payment

Farmers and rural residents will get breaks on what they’ll have to pay under a carbon pricing scheme announced by the federal government. But as of yet, those promises of relief are vague. The federal government announced the measures in late October for provinces unwilling to implement their own carbon pricing scheme. The government also […] Read more

Ever-Green-View My Gold was for a time the world’s highest production dairy cow.

Wisconsin dairy farmer hits extraordinary milk production level

Here’s how the Kestell family’s average milk production hit more than 20,000 kg per year

Tom Kestell gets huge milk production from his Wisconsin dairy herd, but the difference comes from the small details he consistently gets right. Kestell’s herd of about 100 milking cows has hit 45,000 lbs., or a 20,411 kg rolling herd average. That large production has his nutritionist rethinking ration formulation standards and forming new ideas […] Read more