Analysts see COVID-19 as unlikely to impact farmland values

Number of transactions could slow as prices continue increasing

Reading Time: 3 minutes As the global economic roller coaster trip continues, will the pandemic radically change Ontario’s farmland values? Probably not, say analysts, though fewer transactions are likely. Why it matters: COVID-19 will likely impact the number of people selling farmland, but not the overall value, according to analysts. In the extreme corner of southwestern Ontario, a virtual […] Read more

Water that runs off fields instead of soaking in can be an indicator of low soil organic matter.

How to identify low organic matter

Things to look for when walking and working in the field

Reading Time: 3 minutes Did your fields show a lot of crusting this planting season? Was there standing water where there shouldn’t be? These and other indicators, say provincial soil health experts, mean your soil organic matter (SOM) levels could use some attention. Why it matters: SOM improves soil health and helps reduce crop susceptibility to extreme conditions. While […] Read more

Corn seedlings.

Look to stand count first, uniformity second

Replanting decisions should be based on stand numbers and yield potential

Reading Time: 3 minutes As cold rain and snow fell in mid-May, Ontario farmers wondered whether early-planted grains could endure. Fortunately, it appears most have. But where replanting might be required, agronomists say it’s overall numbers that matter first. Why it matters: When determining whether replanting is necessary, calculate stand count first. Look at uniformity afterwards, as well as […] Read more

Anxiety can be a factor in farm decision-making during the pandemic, but understanding that emotion can help, says one expert.

Hack your brain to reduce stress

Help yourself and others by understanding how the brain works

Reading Time: 3 minutes Updated June 8, 2020 Agriculture is unpredictable, and the COVID-19 pandemic is placing additional stress on farmers’ mental health. Experts say understanding the neurological origins of stress and the contagious nature of emotions can alleviate pressure caused by stress. Why it matters: Fear and anxiety can impede decision making, directly affecting the business and those […] Read more

The arrival of dicamba-resistant soybeans gave producers another weed-control option.

Dicamba takes legal hit in U.S.

Canadian farmers unaffected, though dicamba is being reviewed by the PMRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes American farmers can no longer access several dicamba-based herbicides due to a recent court decision against the Environmental Protection Agency. And while Canada remains unaffected, dicamba is again being reviewed by the federal bureaucracy. Why it matters: Dicamba-based herbicides have seen renewed use since the arrival of dicamba-tolerant crops. The United States Courts of Appeals denied […] Read more

“We have growers very interested in post-harvesting solutions…. If you look at it on the picking side, that’s a much more difficult challenge.” – Hussam Haroun.

Why farming systems lag in adoption of automation

Technology plus systems plus support infrastructure are needed before automation can take root on Canadian farms

Reading Time: 4 minutes Researchers around the world, including those in Canada, have been racing to create technology that can reduce the workers required on fruit and vegetable farms and in processing plants. But the pace has been slow and the big labour savings so far have been limited. Why it matters: Finding ways to get the job done […] Read more

Chuck Baresich, general manager for Haggerty Creek Ltd., poses with the first working Dot Power Platform in Ontario.

Autonomous technology big and small tried in Ontario

Haggerty Creek sees value in its new Dot Power Platform and RoamIO swarm-style robot

Reading Time: 3 minutes The equipment fleet at Haggerty Creek Ltd., a grain elevator and farm service provider near Bothwell, is gaining autonomy both large and small. By June, both a Dot Power Platform and RoamIO swarm-style robot will be active members of its equipment lineup. And, with plans to market at least one of the two autonomous farm […] Read more

Kelly Barratt is a veterinary practitioner with Heartland Veterinary Care.

Trust and telehealth services keep veterinarians rolling

Normal biosecurity focus moves to include human health

Reading Time: 2 minutes Technology and long-established client relationships have allowed farm animal veterinarians to maintain somewhat regular operations, albeit with some notable changes, during the ongoing pandemic. Widely used telehealth services, in particular, have helped keep a semblance of normalcy. “We’re a large vet service so that means we’ve had to make more changes than if we only […] Read more

The Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative had a series of information days a few years ago to showcase the way stover would be harvested by the co-op.

Bittersweet end for Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative

End of operations brings no losses for investors, with experience as interest

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative (CSPC) has ceased to exist, though without financial losses for investors. The farmer-owned cooperative was originally formed to develop new processing opportunities for crop residues like corn stover and wheat straw. One of the main opportunities for crop biomass derived from a once-proposed sugar refinery in Sarnia, to be constructed […] Read more

Most neonics are used as seed treatment.

Pesticide regulation changes move ahead

Amendments will allow for less paperwork when using neonicotinoids

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farmers trying to access corn and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides still must submit evidence showing the technology is required on their farms. However, the Ontario government says it has enacted regulatory amendments designed to reduce paperwork and redundancy in the application process. Spokespeople from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOECP) say […] Read more