A corn field that shows the effects of late nitrogen applications on corn yield.

New University of Guelph prof focuses on northern and eastern regions

MacSon Professorship recipient wants to consult with farmers, agronomists

The University of Guelph has acknowledged the special issues of agronomy in the northern and eastern regions of the province with the appointment of Joshua Nasielski to its MacSon Professorship. In addition to his teaching role at graduate and undergraduate level, the position involves research and outreach on issues affecting the economic and environmental sustainability […] Read more

As corn yields rise, so does the need for more water.

Balance needed between crop rotation, profit and productivity

Simple rotations are easier, but long-term profitability may be tied to longer rotations

Decreasing agricultural diversity could affect sustainability. “The trend is toward simplification of our systems with fewer crops dominating the landscape,” said Bill Deen of the University of Guelph. Why it matters: More diverse crop rotations can improve soil health while boosting yields and long-term sustainability. He and other scientists are studying the importance of longer […] Read more

Where no nitrogen response is found, it often means that a soil test could have shown that not much was needed.

Getting the most efficient nitrogen use

Soil testing is vital to identify where nitrogen is needed

A significant amount of nitrogen applied to fields is never taken up by plants. Understanding how much nitrogen (N) crops actually need can help decrease needless expenses and potential environmental issues. Why it matters: Nitrogen loss to the environment can damage local water sources causing human health concerns and harm to aquatic life. Inefficient fertilizer […] 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

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

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


Saskatchewan soybean growers expect an even deeper acreage drop if India removes its import tariffs on pulse crops, prompting a jump in pea and lentil prices.

Soybean’s prairie party may be waning

A disappointing growing season in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan this summer is expected to cut into 2019 acres

Cinderella’s gown is looking tired and tattered. For about a dozen years, soybeans were the “it” crop in Manitoba as acres went from nothing to more than two million. That Cinderella status is now in doubt as a number of producers have second thoughts about beans. Why it matters: A decline in soybean production on […] Read more

Canola Council resets course for ‘efficiencies’

Facing new limits on available funding, Canada’s canola value chain organization plans to refocus its work on its “core strengths” and collaborate with other players. The Canola Council of Canada on Wednesday announced a revised work plan, coming out of a “priorities review” undertaken after one of Canada’s biggest grain companies called a halt to […] 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


Farmers who sign on to projects are also compensated for the time required to manage and maintain each project, on a 
per-acre basis.

Conservation planning is about more than the environment

ALUS project numbers continue to grow across the province

Is it possible to grow better crops by removing specific areas from production? Some Ontario farmers participating in Alternative Land Use Services conservation programs think so. They say they also see conservation projects as beneficial to the overall profitability of their farm business. Why it matters: On-farm conservation is expensive, but given the right partners, […] Read more

A field of flax with a windmill in the background near Zeewolde, Netherlands. The flax will be sold for fibre to make linen in France.

Protecting the health of the soil resource

Dutch farmers receive outside assistance to maintain a sustainable crop rotation on a small land base

Dutch potato farmer Gert-Jan van Dongen may not own the land he farms on but that isn’t stopping him from being concerned about its future. Van Dongen runs a potato farm near Zeewolde, Netherlands, but doesn’t own the land, instead renting it from the Dutch government. Land rents in the Netherlands average 791 euros per […] Read more