Solartech is providing electric tractors in North America, but they are best suited for small farm uses so far.

Will electric tractors ever dethrone diesel?

There is plenty of space for electric power in smaller, lower-torque jobs

Reading Time: 4 minutes Despite exponential increases in the technology’s effectiveness — and widespread use in other industries — battery power and charging challenges continue to limit the scalability of electrically-driven farm equipment. That doesn’t mean diesel will always reign supreme, though. According to three Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) technology experts, electric motors have […] Read more

Cattle are also at risk from diseases carried by ticks, which are expanding their range.

Risks to livestock increasing as ticks expand their territory

Although media reports focus on the threat of tick-borne diseases on humans, owners of cattle and farmers should be aware of the risks they pose for livestock

Reading Time: 4 minutes Livestock producers must be alert and become more aware of new disease pressures that might affect their animals as the tick population reaches into new areas. Why it matters: Animal diseases carried by ticks aren’t well known in Ontario yet, as they are just arriving. Many Ontario residents are aware of Lyme disease and other […] Read more

The value of farmland means that there sometimes needs to be creativity in dissolving partnerships.

When death and divorce come to the farm

Setting up expectations make disentangling family and farm easier

Reading Time: 4 minutes Death and divorce are not the most uplifting subjects, but farm families need to think about them. The former is inevitable, the latter is common, and both can have devastating effects on farm businesses. According to legal and financial experts, though, there are ways to help protect the family farm. Why it matters: Untimely death […] Read more

Western bean cutworms cause damage to corn and other crops.

Western bean cutworm laying low so far

Western bean cutworms haven’t been a major issue this year but their full impact is still unknown

Reading Time: 3 minutes Will western bean cutworm (WBC) be to 2019 what DON was to 2018? According to the evidence thus far, probably not. In fact, WBC appears sparser than expected. That said, Tracey Baute, field crop entomologist and WBC expert with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says several factors have combined to make […] Read more

Trade disputes between the United States and China – as well as Canada and China – are creating uncertainty for the overall global economy.

An economic reality check for Canada’s farm sector

Chaotic trade and financial environments dominate first half of 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes Many analysts predicted market uncertainty for 2019 and so far, those predictions have come true. With trade wars, mixed-result political dealings, and an overall unstable global economy, the situation for Canadian farmers continues to be concerning – though not inherently dire. Why it matters: Uncertainty about markets, politics and the global economy are causing anxiety […] Read more

Can sustainable agriculture practices offer a direct line to Europe?

Sustainability programs offer assurance to European buyers, but they can mean more work for producers

Reading Time: 5 minutes Mention the word “certification” to farmers and all they hear is “more paperwork.” But Grain Farmers of Ontario says such programs really spell improved market access. In fact, they will be critical to reaching important markets, such as the European Union. The good news is sustainability programs have already been enjoying some success in Canada. […] Read more

Tillage can reduce the number of larger pores in soil, increasing the density of soil.

Has the time come for integrated tillage management?

Understanding bulk density for compaction prevention

Reading Time: 3 minutes Tillage has its benefits, but the list of drawbacks to soil health is long. This poses a question: Like Integrated Pest Management, is it time for Integrated Tillage Management? The question was posed by Aaron Breimer, manager for Veritas Farm Management, during a presentation at Elgin Compaction Day on Aug. 8. For him, taking an […] Read more

With phosphorus, less might be plenty

A long-term trial shows repeated phosphorus applications don't correlate with higher yield

Reading Time: 2 minutes You could be over-indulging your crops — and it might be costing you. New Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research indicates crops growing in soils consistently treated with applied phosphorus (P) take more than their necessary share. With a steady abundance of the nutrient, soil microbes that work to make P more available to the […] Read more

Vineland has developed products such as this automated cucumber sorter.

Federal funds to support agricultural innovation

Funding intended to accelerate automation and digitization in agriculture sector

Reading Time: 2 minutes The federal government continues to fund large agriculture organization networks with the aim to improve automation in the sector. Why it matters: Tech-adoption on the farm is increasingly identified as an opportunity to make Canadian agriculture more competitive. Governments and industry are devoting resources to support this direction. Up to $49.5 million has been pledged, […] Read more

Dave Stewart (l) and Neil Currie retired this summer from the helms of BFO and OFA respectively.

An experienced look at farm organization futures

Retiring farm leaders on what Ontario agriculture needs to thrive

Reading Time: 3 minutes After years acting as organizational leaders in Ontario’s farm sector, Dave Stewart of Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO), and Neil Currie, who was for 19 years general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), see great potential for the farm and food sector. However, both believe co-operation and ongoing efforts to foster new leadership […] Read more