Farmers will be able to explore fields across Ontario this summer thanks to a new, free app that will allow them to view cover crops, min-till, amendments, and innovation for soil health.
The free Ontario Soil Road Trip app will be launched and available for iOS and Android in time for the July long weekend. Ontario Soil Road Trip signs will be installed at featured fields, with a link to download the app to see field videos from the farmers themselves throughout the season.
If travel restrictions are in effect, the entire tour can be done from a smart phone or from the Ontario Soil Network’s (OSN) website. It will feature 75-100 farmers and collaborators across Ontario, including OSN and Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) members, ONFARM research sites and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Living Lab - Ontario sites, which are hosted by farmers from OSCIA, the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario (IFAO) and the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO).
Members of the OSN’s 2021 cohort dreamed up the app and snapped photos and videos of #plant21 extra carefully in hopes of driving traffic to their fields, whether online or in real life.
“I learn most from other farmers,” says Reuben Stone. “With another summer of no field meetings, I hope this self-guided tour will keep us learning from each other, at a safe distance.” Stone is a seed producer in the Ottawa Valley and an OSN member. He hopes it will also create new connections to farmers from other parts of the province.
The Ontario Soil Network offers farmer-to-farmer learning and support for cover crops, min-till and amendments, with the goal to improve Ontario’s soils. Founded in 2017, the group now hosts regular #LetsTalkSoil discussions online and all are welcome to join. Find them on Twitter: @SoilNetwork or sign up for updates at ontariosoil.net.
The Ontario Soil Road Trip app will be available for download on July 1 at ontariosoil.net/soilroadtrip.
This project is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.