American cases of Senecavirus have started with scours in younger pigs, but in Ontario the cases were first found in sow barns.

Ontario’s senecavirus outbreak in hogs differed from U.S.

Two southwestern Ontario sow barns were infected in June 2018

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ontario’s latest cases of the obscure Senecavirus gave the hog farming sector a chance to practice managing a new disease outbreak. Why it matters: The most significant known risk is that, based on clinical signs alone, Senecavirus is indistinguishable from foot-and-mouth disease — meaning that when it’s discovered, all pig travel must cease until the […] Read more

Transportation regulations are changing for all major livestock in February.

Trucking group still looking for clarification on new livestock transport rules

Latest changes need to be shared before February implementation: OLTA

Reading Time: 3 minutes [UPDATED Oct. 10, 2019] Efforts to clarify several issues with looming federal livestock hauling regulations are ongoing, attendees at the recent Shakespeare Swine Seminar were told. Ontario Livestock Transporters’ Alliance Executive Director Susan Fitzgerald said that the updated regulations come into effect in February 2020. Why it matters: Significant fines or requirements to change practices […] Read more

Farmer efficiency targets also help with areas of consumer concern.

Consumer concerns driving livestock production discussion

Working towards trouble-free animals are often areas farmers are already working to improve

Reading Time: 4 minutes Areas of consumer concern like climate change and animal welfare are driving the livestock discussion, but farmers are already regularly improving both areas while they make their farms more efficient. That was the message from recent interviews conducted by Farmtario with a member of the leadership team behind Lactanet’s annual ranking of herd management scores […] Read more

Sheep farmers around the world have many farming challenges in common.

Canadian Sheep Federation hosts the world

This year’s event in Saskatoon went well, so the Canadian Sheep Federation has been asked to host another one next year

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada did such a good job hosting the first-ever Global Sheep Conference this summer, the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) has been asked to host another one next year. “I think it’s important for a national organization to reach out and find some common issues with other sheep producers around the world,” said CSF chair Allan […] Read more

Dairy cattle are increasingly bred to beef bulls as sexed semen and genomics allow better choices on top dairy cattle.

Dairy-to-beef breeding reaches new levels

Genomics cited as key factor in boosting the dairy farming trend

Reading Time: 3 minutes Breeding of Holstein dairy cows to Holstein bulls has hit an all-time-low according to the Canadian Dairy Network — a clear indication of the growing popularity of using sexed semen for top milk-producing herd members and using beef semen on the rest. The trend is not confined to Canada. A recent article published by the […] Read more


At the Israel family’s Drayton-area organic farm, delayed maturity of the rye meant that roller-crimping had to occur in early July, well after the emergence of the soybeans. A side-by-side comparison on July 22 showed the soybeans were delayed, but had come through the mat of rye in good health.

OSCIA-supported trial examines no-till organic soybeans

Despite difficult spring, growers persist with planting into roller-crimped rye

Reading Time: 5 minutes Delayed soybean emergence and the seed costs for a lush cover crop of rye are the main reasons why one innovative approach to no-till farming might not make financial sense under conventional management. But a new research trial being conducted at six sites across southern Ontario is showing promise that the method might be something […] Read more

Farm couple each head organic organizations

Gillian Flies takes over as president of Canadian Organic Growers

Reading Time: 2 minutes Dinner-table discussions at The New Farm near Creemore are taking on a heightened significance for Ontario’s organic farming community in 2019, as both members of the farm’s husband-and-wife management team have taken on key leadership roles in separate organic sector organizations. Brent Preston is now president of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) following […] Read more

If a cover crop is to survive after a corn crop in Ontario, it has to be interseeded.

Cover crops: Short-term pain but long-term gain

A U.S. study underlines the benefits, but costs of adoption can be higher north of the border

Reading Time: 4 minutes A new, coast-to-coast study in the U.S. tracks five years of the financial benefits of including cover crops in corn and soybean rotations, but the numbers may not apply in Ontario. Why it matters: One factor that can prevent adoption of cover crops is the effect on bottom line due to additional costs such as […] Read more


Mike Donnelly-Vanderloo, right, explains the family’s Operation Pollinator plot to tour participants on July 3 near Thorndale.

Pollinator plots open eyes and create conversations

Sixty plots will be established at the edges of farms after two years of the program

Reading Time: 4 minutes Across Ontario’s farm country over the past two years, small patches of fields have been transformed into a mix of flowering plants ideal for attracting bees and other insects and birds, as part of Operation Pollinator. There’s no confirmation on whether the global agricultural input company that created and supported the project, Syngenta, will continue […] Read more

The interim chief inspector looking after animal welfare is said to be consulting with veterinary and animal welfare experts on all major livestock species.

Farm groups have less standing in new interim animal welfare system

Province sticking to January timeline for new animal welfare legislation

Reading Time: 2 minutes Livestock commodity organizations do not have formal standing to provide insight and expertise under a new interim regime for investigating and enforcing concerns regarding animal welfare in Ontario. But a representative for the province’s Solicitor General insists work is ongoing to allow that to become reality. Why it matters: Many livestock farmers are concerned that […] Read more