The U-shaped Dot A-U1 “loads” a SeedMaster row-crop planter on to its platform during the demonstration at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. (Ralph Pearce photo)

Pearce: Autonomous platform makes Eastern Canada debut

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s been dubbed “the future of agriculture” and for the first time, farmers in Eastern Canada had the opportunity to see the Dot A-U1 Power Platform with in-field demonstrations at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. The precision ag system, designed by Dot Technology Corp., attracted considerable attention going through its paces during the annual ag showcase, […] Read more

A healthy wheat head at left and one with severe symptoms of fusarium head blight at right. (Keith Weller photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Pearce: Multiple modes of action an emerging reality for fungicides

Reading Time: 2 minutes As growers face more challenges from weeds, diseases and insects, many researchers, agronomists, advisers and farmers have shifted thinking from “control” of pests to “managing” them. Some of this trend is attributable to single-mode-of-action products and a reliance on one or two chemistries or technologies — but the adaptability of weed, disease and insect species […] Read more

Dickeya dianthicola is causing more concern for potato growers in Ontario, although it is a new disease for fields here.

Potatoes one of earliest crops in the ground

Some potato growers have planted a crop, but the cool, wet spring has kept others out of the field

Reading Time: 2 minutes Some potato growers in the province have their crops in while others have taken advantage of the warm-up this past weekend, despite the cool start to the spring. According to Eugenia Banks, special consultant with the Ontario Potato Board, planting in some parts of Ontario began right around Easter. By April 10, reports from one […] Read more

A second pump in a continuous-rinse system pushes water out of the sprayer instead of diluting the mixture. (Ralph Pearce photo)

Pearce: New system improves on rinse-and-repeat for sprayers

Reading Time: 3 minutes When Dr. Jason Deveau talks about sprayer cleanouts, he knows it’s not a happy subject. During the 2017 edition of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show at Woodstock, Ont., Deveau, the application technology specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) at Simcoe, spoke to farmers about a new continuous-rinse system. In some […] Read more

This trial near Beeton, Ont., was thought to have been lost, but timely drainage has saved it. (Photo courtesy Eugenia Banks, Ontario Potato Board)

Pearce: Heavy rains cause losses in Ontario potato fields

Reading Time: 3 minutes After a month of good growing conditions and positive reports amid sporadic news on disease potential, word from one of Ontario’s potato-growing regions is that roughly 1,000 acres of potatoes have been lost due to flooding. Drenching rains in midwestern Ontario have left both commercial fields and variety plots ruined. Rainfall amounts from June 22 […] Read more


Eugenia Banks, a consultant with the Ontario Potato Board, has test plots featuring Spartan Chipper (pictured) and AAC Glossy, a fresh market potato. (Photo courtesy Eugenia Banks)

Pearce: Tests negative, weather positive for late blight in Ont. potatoes

Reading Time: 2 minutes Aside from concerns regarding drier conditions in different potato-growing regions of Ontario, some growers are testing for late blight. Spore traps near Delhi came back negative recently — but did indicate an increase at the end of the experiment. Eugenia Banks, a consultant for the Ontario Potato Board, stated such a “signal” might indicate an […] Read more

Planting in the Delhi region on April 18. (Supplied photos)

Pearce: Rain expected to stall Ontario potato planting progress

Reading Time: 2 minutes Rainfall expected for much of southern Ontario is expected to narrow what’s been a relatively early planting window for Ontario’s potato growers. Two weeks ago, the reports from the Ontario Potato Board were full of warm temperatures and dry soils, and growers, particularly around Leamington and Delhi, took full advantage. One farmer in the Delhi […] Read more

Seed potatoes loaded for planting. (File photo by Ralph Pearce)

Southwestern Ontario potato planting underway

Reading Time: < 1 minute Close-to-seasonal temperatures and good planting conditions across parts of southwestern Ontario have growers in the Leamington region planting potatoes. According to Eugenia Banks, a special consultant for the Ontario Potato Board, potato planting began Wednesday morning, ahead of a weather system that’s forecast to dump up to 40 mm of rain by Friday. According to […] Read more


Stephen Denys and Dave Baute of Maizex Seeds at the launch of the company’s “Be Rooted. Be Involved” initiative at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. (Ralph Pearce photo)

Pearce: Initiative aims to bridge rural-urban gap

Reading Time: 2 minutes In agriculture today, some see only the negative and the naysayers when it comes to “ag awareness.” Dave Baute and Stephen Denys see opportunity, and they’re building a partnership they hope can break down barriers and create new information channels between those in the country and those in cities and towns. “Be Rooted. Be Involved” […] Read more

For Marc-Andre Pilon and his wife Natalie, winning the “Seed for Life” contest means they can invest much of the seed budget on other things. (Ralph Pearce photo)

Quebec farmer wins ‘Seed for Life’

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farming continues to grow more complex, as costs vary for land, fuel, fertilizer, equipment, chemicals and seed, many of which can challenge a grower every year. But what if seed costs were greatly reduced — not just for one year, but for 25? The question of “What if?” no longer applies to Marc-Andre Pilon, who […] Read more