“Succession planning may not be as big a deal as some people think it might be. It’s definitely a long process … it’s important to know where each other’s mind is at.” – Angus MacLaughlin.

Three approaches to farm succession success

Frank discussion and a gradual approach have helped these families with their farm transitions

The reality of just how capital-intensive farming can be becomes apparent when it’s time to pass on the business — the next generation needs capital to get in and the retiring generation needs to take it out to fund retirement. Why it matters: The experiences of three families shows that the right risk-mitigating investment strategies […] Read more

Yield and remote sense mapping can help determine profitable and money-losing areas of farms.

Can it pay to stop farming unproductive land?

Taking underperforming areas of a field out of production can support farm profitability and conservation, say researchers

Can some farmers increase their profitability by not working underperforming parts of the field? Researchers at the University of Guelph think so. According to those researchers, combining conservation with crop production on a field-by-field level can better serve both the environment and producers’ bottom lines. Why it matters: Consistently underperforming areas of a farm hurt […] Read more

Dave Hooker (r) and Matt Stewart discuss one of their cover crop research trials during an update event at Ridgetown College, October 23.

Evaluating cover crops for the long term

Too early to assess corn and wheat yields, but the benefits to tomatoes already seem clear

It’s widely recognized that cover crops boost soil organic matter, but their long-term agronomic and economic benefits are less well understood. Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown and Elora campuses have undertaken some long-term studies to identify the impacts of cover crops in some growing conditions and management styles common to southwestern Ontario. Why […] Read more

Farmers and electrical contractors investigating for stray voltage need to know what they are looking for, otherwise much time and expense can be wasted.

Knowledge gaps, infrastructure costs perpetuate stray voltage issues

The problem has existed for decades and continues to cause problems on Ontario farms

The devastating impact of stray voltage on farms has been well documented, but determining its true source can often be a long, painful process for farmers and electric utilities alike. Indeed, the immense cost to utility companies of reconfiguring electricity grids — as well as gaps in knowledge on the part of farmers and contractors […] Read more

Much corn remains in Ontario fields and some of it  contains a problematic level of mycotoxin.

What to do with mouldy corn

There are several ways to sell – or dispose of – corn with high DON levels

With comparatively high mycotoxin issues this year’s corn crop, Ontario farmers are increasingly wondering what to do with infected grain. But while circumstances may not be ideal, options do exist – some perhaps more appealing than others. Why it matters: Finding a market for mycotoxin-infected corn is not easy, but there are options. However, many […] Read more

Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, centre, announced $70 million in funding for agriculture research at the Harrow Research Station.

Federal government invests in scientist “succession planning,” more inclusive research

The investment in agriculture research includes some new ways of involving partners

The federal government recently announced a $70 million investment into Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) network of research institutions, including what is being called the Living Laboratories Initiative. The investment is separate from the Canadian Agriculture Partnership — the latest rendition of federal-provincial agriculture investment — with large portions allocated to finding new hires and […] Read more

Inhaled mycotoxins can impair lung function.

Take mycotoxin health hazards seriously

Use masks and gloves when handling mycotoxin-contaminated corn

High rates of mycotoxin in this year’s corn crop might be financially unfortunate – but don’t let it ruin your health. Mycotoxins, that is, can cause major health problems if inhaled through the dust generated during grain harvesting and handling. It’s a hazard that’s neither new nor uncommon, and one that requires extra attention when […] Read more

Rural countryside near Waterloo, Ont. The Ontario agriculture sector's estimated worth is $40-billion a year.

Agri-sector petitions province for rural investment, common-sense regulation

Farm and processor groups used Ontario Agriculture Week to push their policy goals

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Spirits Canada, and Food and Beverage Ontario attended a lobby day at Queen’s Park on Oct. 2, to request the government hold true to its commitment to grow the sector. The groups also reiterated the agriculture sector’s economic clout, purported to be worth $40 billion each year. Why it matters: […] Read more

Sugar beets are grown on more than 300 farms across Canada.

Some sweetness found in bitter USMCA deal?

Western sugar beet growers get more access to U.S. market

Flying under the radar in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade is a small change in Canada’s access to the American sugar markets — something that the United States has historically guarded with protectionist policies. In a news release expressing disappointment with many of the concessions granted during trade talks, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture […] Read more