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

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

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

A lack of reporting by farmers contributed to the rapid spread of an outbreak of Newcastle disease in California.

Biosecurity key in preventing spread of poultry disease

Lessons learned from U.S. and Canadian outbreaks

Strict adherence to biosecurity protocols was a common denominator as guest speakers offered insight into recent poultry disease outbreaks in Canada and the United States, during meetings hosted by the Poultry Industry Council (PIC). During the organization’s annual research day in early May, and at the annual health day in late June, attendees were provided […] Read more

Litter quality, bird density, migration fences and drinker management are all key to healthy chickens.

Minimizing bird stress all about barn management

Humidity levels must be measured and temperatures properly managed for optimum bird health

The small details of barn management have proved to be key to maintaining healthy birds, especially when not raised with antibiotics. Dr. Brian Fairchild of the University of Georgia says his work over the past several years has focused on the management of the environment inside southern U.S. poultry barns. “What you’re trying to do […] Read more

There may be some value to cleaning out poultry litter, but not sanitizing, in order to inoculate the next litter against disease.

Barn cleaning more complex than thought

Study shows necrotic enteritis precursor not being managed by sanitation protocols

Recent research findings show that bacteria that can cause the potentially damaging necrotic enteritis is more likely to be present on a barn floor that has been cleaned and sanitized, as opposed to one from which the litter from the previous flock was simply swept clear. “I don’t exactly know how or why this is […] Read more


Pigeons are more of a concern than other wild birds because they are so common around farmyards.

Monitoring wild bird threats to domestic poultry

Clusters of dead birds are an alarm bell and should be sent for testing

An outbreak of Newcastle disease among cormorants, as was seen in the summer of 2018, can generate significant public interest when it occurs in an area also high in population of sympathetic humans. But from the standpoint of human health and domestic poultry production, a much bigger risk would be present if the same infection […] Read more

Stream buffers are one of the areas of contention around natural heritage planning.

The natural heritage debate

Provincial land use direction continues to raise concerns with farmers who haven't been consulted

Farmers are worried that a change in the designation of their land to “natural heritage” will affect their ability to farm in the future. Farmers in Huron County are the latest to struggle with the designation of some of their land as “natural heritage”. Why it matters: The ability of farmers to cultivate land they […] Read more

Wild boar are especially concerning because of their disease transmission potential.

Wild boar groups small so far in Ontario

There is concern about growing numbers of feral hogs due to their potential role in African swine fever transmission

Reported sightings of large groups of wild pigs – known as “sounders” – in Ontario are still limited to one or two instances in the Parry Sound/Magnetawan district, although there are reported sightings across much of the rest of the province.. Government and non-governmental scientists tracking the animals’ movements believe Ontario still has the opportunity […] Read more


Strawberries are significantly behind in their maturity due to the cool and damp spring.

Ontario fruit, vegetable growers challenged by wet weather

Strawberry season delayed; veggie growers wait out the rain

Ontario’s cool, wet spring has widespread repercussions for the fruit and vegetable sector. So far it has delayed flowering and planting, caused some farms to reschedule the arrival of temporary foreign workers and created uncertainty about the viability of transplanted seedlings. Why it matters: Fruits and vegetables are high value crops and not getting enough […] Read more

Larvae from the black soldier fly are used to create the protein-rich feed additive.

Approval gained for fly larva as livestock feed additives

Cambridge-based Oreka Solutions first Ontario company to gain CFIA nod for insect-based livestock feed

Oreka Solutions Inc. could soon be selling insect protein as feed for fish and chickens in Ontario. The Cambridge-based company got its approval by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on May 14 for the sale of livestock feed for aquaculture and broiler chickens. It has plans to ramp up production with a larger, second […] Read more