A rye crop is roller crimped before organic soybean planting.

Riding the learning curve on organic no-till

Farmers are pushing the boundaries of roller-crimping winter rye and direct seeding soybeans behind

Planting soybeans into a just-terminated cover crop of winter rye is gaining popularity among Ontario’s organic community, as farmers strive to introduce minimum-till strategies into their rotations. No-till planting has so far not become common in any other crops under organic production — in which farmers typically rely upon tillage instead of chemical inputs to […] Read more

A juvenile gray garden slug munches on a soybean plant, from the presentation John Tooker gave at FarmSmart recently in Guelph.

Taking out slugs without more insecticides

Slugs can be a challenge in minimal and no-till fields, where greater tillage isn’t an option

Most of the acreage in Pennsylvania is no-till and that means slugs can be a huge issue. This has become such an issue that growers are reverting to using more tillage, said John Tooker, of the department of entomology at Penn State University He spoke at the recent FarmSmart Conference at the University of Guelph. […] Read more

Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Great Lakes, is most at risk from phosphorus loading.

The importance of voluntary 4R nutrient management

Agriculture has a chance to manage phosphorus load in waterways, before regulations arrive

As nutrient runoff into Lake Erie and other waterways continues to be a major public environmental issue, veteran agronomists say voluntarily adopting 4R Nutrient Stewardship is more important than ever. Why it matters: Veteran agronomists say Ontario farmers must voluntarily adopt industry-driven 4R Nutrient Stewardship before more stringent and costly government regulations on nutrient runoff […] Read more

Warren Schneckenburger finished up his strip tilling for 2018 in early December.

Eastern Ontario farmer named 2019 Innovative Farmer of the Year

Warren Schneckenburger places emphasis on minimizing tillage and compaction on his farm

Warren Schneckenburger’s attention to soil health, environmental stewardship and progressive production has resulted in winning the 2019 Ontario Innovative Farmer of the Year award presented by the Innovative Farmer Association of Ontario (IFAO). The IFAO cited Schneckenburger’s commitment to soil health and environmental stewardship through his practice of no-till soybeans and wheat, strip-tilled corn and […] Read more

Maurice Chauvin and the a Salford RTS machine that he uses on his farm.

Curiosity and care guide farm’s principles

The Chauvin farm takes a long-term view on measures like soil organic matter

The Essex Soil and Crop Improvement Association recently bestowed its 2018 Conservation Farm of the Year award to Maurice (Moe) Chauvin, a sixth-generation grain farmer from Pointe-aux-Roches (known as Stoney Point to Anglophones). The award is granted annually to a farm within Essex County that displays conservation-minded management practices. For Chauvin, adopting such practices starts […] Read more


Ann Vermeersch and her family use variable rate technology especially for lime application on their farm.

Measuring savings from variable rate

Farmers suggest finding areas on the farm where precision technology makes sense

Sometimes new tech is employed for what some farmers dub “the cool factor.” For most, though, the adoption of precision farming strategies largely relies on a rather dogged question – namely, does it pay? In many cases the answer remains elusive. This reality has been cited as a major contributing factor to slow rate of […] Read more

Burying sensors in the soil and running machines over top, like this demonstration at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, 
helps engineers establish tire inflation pressure guidelines to minimize soil compaction problems.

Looking for machinery compaction data

Ontario team working to establish tire inflation guidelines

Preventing soil compaction is something farmers should keep in mind, particularly with the scale of modern farm equipment. At Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ont., Alex Barrie, engineer in training with the Ontario Environmental Management Branch, demonstrated his group’s efforts to study the impact equipment can have on the soil. They have been conducting […] Read more

Palmer amaranth.

Weed survival can be predicted via imagery

Researchers using imagery to predict viability of Palmer amaranth

Researchers are putting imaging technology to work to improve weed management practices. Maor Matzrafi of the department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, has been evaluating the use of hyperspectral imaging technology to assess germination and herbicide response in Palmer amaranth. Why it matters: Weed resistance to glyphosate, a broad spectrum herbicide, […] Read more


SWAC 2019 conference: The Road Ahead

What to see and look for at the 2019 Southwest Agricultural Conference

Producers attending the 2019 Southwest Agricultural Conference will have their agronomic and farm business mind stimulated. The conference, with the theme: The Road Ahead is coming to the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus on Jan. 3-4. Speakers will share the latest on topics ranging from nutrient management to marketing, compaction to pest management, precision agriculture […] Read more

Yield and remote sense mapping can help determine profitable and money-losing areas of farms.

Can it pay to stop farming unproductive land?

Taking underperforming areas of a field out of production can support farm profitability and conservation, say researchers

Can some farmers increase their profitability by not working underperforming parts of the field? Researchers at the University of Guelph think so. According to those researchers, combining conservation with crop production on a field-by-field level can better serve both the environment and producers’ bottom lines. Why it matters: Consistently underperforming areas of a farm hurt […] Read more