John Walker touched many people and organizations, mostly in the dairy sector, during his life.

John Walker’s legacy stretches beyond well-known dairy sales

The dairy leader built export markets for Canadian genetics

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario’s dairy sector lost a giant on July 5, as Aylmer’s John Walker passed away at age 86. An inductee into both the Elgin County and Canadian Agricultural halls of fame, Walker is best known for his monthly dairy cattle sales starting in 1958 – first in the Aylmer sale barn, which he had bought […] Read more

Research is ongoing to determine cows that are genetically more tolerant of heat stress.

Study shows heat stress challenges increasing in Ontario dairy cows

Data suggests Quebec cows have been less affected than those in Ontario

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ongoing research aimed at identifying genetic determinants for heat stress tolerance in Canadian cows has, as a side effect, turned up interesting comparisons between the long-term impact of rising average temperatures on dairy farms in Quebec versus Ontario. According to analysis conducted by Masters student Ivan Campos at the University of Guelph, decreases in milk […] Read more

Producers are adept at keeping pigs safe but now have to adopt new measures to do the same for barn employees during the pandemic.

Managing new human biosecurity in an animal biosecure world

Hog farmers are familiar with biosecurity but human to human contact presents different challenges

Reading Time: 3 minutes Biosecurity measures introduced into Ontario’s hog barns over the past decade leave the sector well-placed to respond to livestock disease outbreaks, but haven’t necessarily created an adequate defense for the human-to-human transmission threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, as with many other business owners both agricultural and non-agricultural, the province’s pork producers have […] Read more

Sheep graze between apple trees at Carrie Woolley and Brett Schuyler’s farm.

Sheep pastures expanded into orchards, woodlots

Norfolk County producers were winners of sheep pasture award

Reading Time: 3 minutes Adding hay and sheep to the output from land that continues as an apple orchard certainly seems like an idea with merit. Add to that the pasturing of sheep and even geese in once-neglected woodlots, and grazing on corn stalks into the early winter, and it’s not surprising the innovations of Norfolk County’s Schuyler Farms […] Read more

Large square bales wait for pickup during a previous hay season.

Hay market tight, but concerns with COVID-19-related demand

Significant market opportunities available in Canada and the U.S.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Demand for Ontario-grown hay remains strong in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 global pandemic, but longer-term effects are more difficult to judge. “It’s not anything near what other people have had to deal with,” said Ontario Hay and Forage Cooperative chair Fritz Trauttmansdorff of the COVID-19 repercussions for hay growers. He suggested lower-than-average 2019 […] Read more

Ontario should have a healthier hay crop across most of the province this year, compared to 2019.

Hay acreage increasing in Ontario

Extra acreage should help reduce costs for farmers who have to buy hay

Reading Time: 3 minutes Hay fields in southwestern Ontario appear in generally good shape following a challenging fall 2019 and winter 2020. But the same can’t be said in eastern portions of the province. Why it matters: For farms that are reliant on hay for livestock feed, a strong early stand is crucial for good yield through the rest […] Read more

Feed is one of the largest costs on farms and a feed efficiency index will help farmers make better genetic decisions.

Work continues on dairy feed efficiency evaluation index

Planned Canadian release date pushed back to April 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lack of data has pushed back the planned implementation of a genetic tool targeting dairy cattle feed efficiency, but the project’s researchers remain confident it will be ready for dairy breeders by April 2021. Working in the researchers’ favour, meanwhile, is the fact that the heritability is relatively high for the three genetic traits being […] Read more

Dirk Boogerd is president of the Oxford Federation of Agriculture.

Oxford County stands apart for tax ratio review

Committee recommends decreasing ratio for second year running

Reading Time: 3 minutes For the second year in a row, Oxford County is poised to scale back its farm tax ratio – something other rural Ontario municipalities have not done, despite pressure from agricultural lobby organizations. Why it matters: Farmers have seen double digit increases in their tax bills due to the most recent round of MPAC evaluations, […] Read more

Those familiar with veal know quality when they see, buy and taste it.

Heavier weight limit now in effect for Canadian veal

Top processor says enforcement will be strict and farmers shouldn’t ship heavier animals

Reading Time: 2 minutes Despite recent changes that allow veal carcasses to weigh 10 kilograms more than previously, producers were recently advised not to set the heaviest limit as the goal for all calves. During a morning session at the Veal Farmers of Ontario annual general meeting, the organization’s executive director Jennifer Haley impressed upon producers the importance of […] Read more

Establishing cost of production for pastures means figuring out what the land is worth for rent.

Riding the learning curve on pasture cost of production

The first year will be the toughest, but after that figuring costs should be easier

Reading Time: 5 minutes Farmers may have to rethink some common cost-of-production parameters, but it should be possible to accurately track the financial impact of growing pastures. Grazing specialists explored cost-of-production parameters during a panel discussion at the March Profitable Pastures conference, put on by the Ontario Forage Council in Mount Forest. Why it matters: Soil health can benefit […] Read more