Moving more land into hay and pasture can make organic transition easier.

Hay and forage can help ease organic transition

A program in eastern Ontario aims to help farmers going through the three-year period before certification

Reading Time: 3 minutes Having a plan for making money from either hay or pasture can significantly ease the financial strain of transitioning from conventional to organic production. That was one message delivered by Semican seed company agronomist Valerie Yoder, during a presentation Jan. 25 at the annual Guelph Organic Conference. Why it matters: Certified organic crops offer a […] Read more

A portable shade structure has been popular with the sheep at Kate Michalska’s farm near Napanee.

Locally raised fibre targets premium markets

Predator protection and low-stress handling are key to achieving higher quality fibre

Reading Time: 4 minutes Cleanliness and stress avoidance are important factors in meeting the demand for high quality wool and animal-based fibre products raised on Ontario farms. Those points were made during a session led by two Napanee-area producers during the recent annual conference of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO). Why it matters: The premium prices available […] Read more

Nobody has to tell wild animals what to eat, how much, or how to self-medicate by altering their diet to include rarely eaten foods. Why?

Animals seek food nutrition; humans could relearn how

EFAO speaker questions nutritional merits of food

Reading Time: 3 minutes When it comes to healthy eating, humans have a lot to learn, or relearn, from wild and domesticated farm animals. This “nutritional wisdom” has been a career-long research focus for University of Utah professor emeritus Fred Provenza. It was also a focus during three sessions he delivered at the recent sixth annual education conference of […] Read more

The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario has found a niche focusing on farmer-led research.

Ecological Farmers Association celebrates 40-years

Current president looks to a future of widespread acceptance

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) marked its 40th anniversary during its annual educational conference in December in Belleville. But it is also looking ahead, as the ideas that it has espoused, regenerative farming and farm-level research and cooperation gain popularity. Why it matters: The EFAO has provided training and farmer-to-farmer networking for 40 […] Read more

Brad Glasman, manager of Conservation Services for the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, wanted to create a practical, on-farm version of a filter for agricultural run-off using slag from the steel-making process.

Steel-making byproduct used as field tile filter

Conservation authority hopes to perfect farm-scale system for slag

Reading Time: 3 minutes At farms in South West Oxford and Lucan Biddulph, a byproduct of the steel-making process is being inserted into tile drainage systems, as part of a research project by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) aimed at removing phosphorus from field runoff. Members of the UTRCA board of directors saw one of the slag […] Read more


Fairlife is selling its milk in Canada now, but it is imported.

No special rules for supplying Fairlife

Peterborough milk processor remains on track for mid-2020 completion

Reading Time: 2 minutes Milk currently available to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario from conventional producers, will be delivered to Coca-Cola’s Fairlife processing plant in Peterborough, as soon as it enters the commissioning phase of development. Representatives of DFO and Coca-Cola Canada made those assertions when contacted recently by Farmtario. Why it matters: The plant will employ 35 people […] Read more

Greenhouses keep growing in Ontario, meaning greater energy demands.

New energy efficiency funding program available for greenhouses

Electrical agency issues targeted call for proposals

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is looking to help fund energy-efficiency measures at Ontario greenhouses through a specialized call for proposals under its existing Grid Innovation Fund. The arms-length Crown corporation responsible for Ontario’s electricity market recently published a new “Greenhouse Energy Profile Study,” which included the call for proposals. Why it matters: This […] Read more

In 2012, Dennis Aarts and family purchased McCully’s Hill farm and roadside market and began direct-marketing their pork.

Aarden Farms handed Pork Industry Leadership Award

Ontario Pork Congress recognizes owners of McCully’s Hill Farm Market

Reading Time: 2 minutes A St. Marys-area farm family that, in 2012, moved beyond pork production and cash cropping to take control of a long-established direct-to-consumer roadside market was awarded the 2019 Ontario Pork Congress (OPC) Pork Industry Leadership Award. The award was presented by outgoing OPC President Kirk McLean to Dennis Aarts, of Aarden Farms — the only […] Read more


Sows wait to eat in the group-housing system at Zeldenrust farm near Drayton.

Animal welfare a focus during new hog barn construction

The extra cost of sow lift crates pays off in reduced piglet mortality

Reading Time: 5 minutes During the recent 2019 edition of the Shakespeare Swine Seminar, there were presentations from two similar-sized farrow-to-finish operators who, when making decisions about new barn construction, opted to included innovations aimed at boosting animal welfare. Why it matters: Enhanced livestock care regulations, coupled with a more intense focus from the public on how food is […] Read more

African swine fever has proved to cause high mortality in herds as it moves around the world.

Vietnam study tour aims to strengthen swine fever strategy

American group to try to pin down prevention options

Reading Time: 3 minutes An American hog health expert hopes to learn about common vectors for African swine fever transmission on a trip to Vietnam. Dr. Paul Sundberg, executive director of the United States-based Swine Health Information Center told the Shakespeare Swine Seminar that he also hoped to clarify cleaning and dis- infection protocols before repopulating an affected production […] Read more