Helen Espinola, left, is working at Huntingfield Farm between Gorrie and Mildmay. Blair Cressman is president of the company.

Foreign workers leave families behind, but also see opportunity

More workers from other countries are filling empty farming roles, including on hog farms

Farmtario will continue to check in with Helen Espinola as she settles into her two-year work term in Canada. Helen Espinola left behind her husband and two children in the Philippines to work on a hog barn on the norther border of Huron County. She’s a farrowing room technician who says she loves working with […] Read more

Agriculture foreign workers get new path to residency

Updated, July 15 — The federal government has announced a pilot program that will make it easier for farms and food companies to maintain workers they recruit from around the world. Ahmed Hussen, minister for immigration, refugees and citizenship, announced the program Friday at Maple Leaf Foods in Mississauga. Why it matters: There’s a labour […] Read more

Ernie Hardeman, Ontario minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.

Agriculture minister says progress made on reducing bureaucratic burdens

After a year in power, Ernie Hardeman touts attention to mental health by OMAFRA

The provincial Conservative government has found the first steps it has taken to reduce bureaucracy for farmers to be obvious and easy ones. After consultations “the things that were brought forward we could do without difficulty to make life easier,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs in an interview to […] Read more

The inside of the busy Ontario Food Terminal.

Food terminal location speculation ended

A review of the Ontario Food Terminal had created speculation about whether it would stay at its current location

The Ontario Food Terminal will remain at its current location. A review of the terminal, which is a major hub for the distribution for fresh produce in the Toronto area and beyond, had created anxiety among users and suppliers that the terminal would be moved. Why it matters: The terminal sits on highly valuable land […] Read more

The Huronview drainage project covers 47 acres near Clinton.

Tile drainage heads for the hills

An ambitious Huron County project showcases the latest in tile drainage innovations for farmers

A drainage project underway in Huron County could change the way excess water on hilly fields is managed in a way that benefits farmers and the environment. The Huronview project will feature controlled drainage, where lateral tiles are laid on the contours of the land with gates that can start and stop the flow of […] Read more

Robotic feed pushers have gone well and truly mainstream on dairy farms -- and the tech involved is now moving into the retail sector, cleaning up at supermarkets.

Editorial: Evaluating farm tech adoption

Is agriculture ahead or behind the rest of the economy on the technology curve? I’ve always said ahead, but those who monitor these sorts of things from outside the industry always rank agriculture as a “mature” or “legacy” sector that lags behind other sectors in technology adoption. The answer is likely somewhere in the middle […] Read more

Cathy Lennon will be the new general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Lennon to be new OFA general manager

She has worked across the agriculture sector for farmer organizations

Cathy Lennon will be the new general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), replacing Neil Currie, who retires at the end of August. Lennon comes to the OFA from the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers, after a long career with agriculture organizations. Why it matters: Neil Currie has with the OFA for 19 years, […] Read more

The corn that was planted in Ontario is almost all behind where it usually would be at this time of the year.

Planted acreage reports raise questions with larger corn area

Both the Statistics Canada and USDA reports showed larger-than-expected corn acreage

Statistics Canada’s June estimate of Ontario corn acres puts the expected acreage at 2.2 million acres, up 2.2 per cent from last year. That’s raised some eyebrows, as farmers across the province struggled to get corn planted due to cool and wet weather. They’ve now switched to soybeans due to the fact that the window […] Read more

The challenge of getting soybean, and other seeds into the ground this year has created extra stress.

Agriculture committee calls for more farmer mental health supports

Government needs to reduce stress and burden on farmers, support resources, research, report says

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food is calling for better access to mental health services from farmers and better treatment of them in stressful situations related to government. Why it matters: Mental health has long been a difficult subject to discuss in the agriculture community. That’s changing on many fronts, including […] Read more