Apples are one of the first crops that will have benchmarking information available.

Benchmarketing projects aim to improve available farm data

Canadian and global numbers can help compare Ontario to other jurisdictions

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs is engaged in two benchmarking initiatives which aim to improve the quality of information comparing Ontario farms. Why it matters: Benchmarking can be an important tool to help farmers gauge costs and evaluate management practices. The new OMAFRA program involves working with the Ontario Farm Income […] Read more

The biodigester at Harcolm Farms.

Mini-biodigester offers big output for Ontario dairy farm

Ontario’s only mini-biodigester has been operating for more than a year and has changed how Harcolm Farms manages manure

Reading Time: 3 minutes After about 18 months of operation, Ontario’s one and only mini-digester is going strong. It’s situated at Harcolm Farms near Beachville, Ont., and owned by dairy farmers Rob and Rachel McKinlay. Minis are a fraction of the cost of a full-sized digester (there are more than 40 here in Ontario) and require much simpler permitting. […] Read more

Jeremy Noble of HJV Equipment, a Claas Lexion dealer says it’s important to verify the information on monitors by calibrating those  numbers with actual weights  from the combine.

Combine readiness heading to the field

Check and replace parts as needed, and calibrate — but do not over grease

Reading Time: 3 minutes Combines are large and complex machines, so it is critical to do maintenance and checks before heading to the field. Louis Melanson, a combine specialist at Case IH has 43 years of experience and currently gives nearly 40 combine maintenance clinics a year, mostly in Saskatchewan but also in Ontario. He was recently conducting clinics […] Read more

The largest soybean crop ever?

The switch away from corn due to late planting and a wet spring could mean record soybean acres

Reading Time: 3 minutes Planting of the Ontario soybean crop was still underway in early June, with time left in the planting window. Horst Bohner, soybean specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said that about five per cent of the crop had been planted by end of May. However, some better weather in June […] Read more

This image shows how AAFC is using machine learning to design sampling locations, based on predictive soil maps. This is on the Upper Medway Watershed within the Thames River basin.

Information from above

The quest is on to obtain more detailed soil type and topography data on Ontario croplands from satellites

Reading Time: 3 minutes If farm agencies in Ontario were to make an information wish list, it would likely include detailed and up-to-date soil and topographical data. This information would, among other things, help farmers to achieve higher yields through better crop management, says Ontario Federation of Agriculture President Keith Currie. Why it matters: Ontario’s soil maps are many […] Read more


There are several areas on a planter you should focus your attention on before taking to the field.

Use planter checklist before heading to the field

Smooth planter operation requires attention to hydraulics, meters and other parts

Reading Time: 3 minutes Spring planting will be underway shortly, and thorough checks of planting equipment are vital to crop success. Josh Boersen and his father Brad farm cash crops and broiler chickens north of Stratford, and have been doing checks of their planters for many years. Off the top, they emphasize safety first. Every year when they set […] Read more

Variable rate fertilizer still has some detractors, but it has its place where fertility is variable.

Variable land good place to start with variable rate fertilizer

Best strategies, hiring custom operators or DIY

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers on land that’s variable in soil type, such as southwest of London, are likely already thinking about variable rate fertilizer application. Darryl Boersma, who farms a large number of acres in Mt. Brydges southwest of London, has been doing variable rate for 17 years. “This whole area is pretty variable, one of the more […] Read more

Crop health maps help identify areas of concern in the field.

Small investments, big gains

Where to start with free and low-cost precision ag tools – and why

Reading Time: 3 minutes For producers looking to dip their toes into the precision agriculture pool for little cost and potentially substantial rewards, help is here. The big advantages precision agriculture can provide are mostly well-known. In short, information is power. Why it matters: There are some lower-cost entry points into precision agriculture for farmers who want to try […] Read more