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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

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

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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’

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Over 30 years, the active ingredient volume of herbicide applied on crops has declined in Ontario, mostly because glyphosate 
is applied at lower rates than the herbicides it replaces.

Glyphosate drives long-term herbicide changes

Ontario keeps track of detailed herbicide use every five years, which shows how the use of active ingredient has declined

Reading Time: 3 minutes A study of glyphosate use in Ontario shows the herbicide has created significant change in crop management. It shows that while corn and soybean acreage and yield have increased in the province since 1983, the impact of herbicide use per acre has declined, in large part because glyphosate has displaced other herbicide chemistries. Why it […] Read more

A robust winter canola crop got out of the ground well in 2016, as shown by this plant from an October planting.

OMAFRA crop report: hail-damaged corn, later cover crops and winter canola

The opportunity to get some cover crops planted is coming to an end soon

Reading Time: 3 minutes Thunderstorms brought some localized hail events through parts of southwestern Ontario, particularly during the last week of July. Like most plant stresses, yield loss from defoliation increases through vegetative stages, peaks around tassel or pollination, and declines through grain-fill. For example, using the defoliation table from OMAFRA Agronomy Guide — Pub 811, estimated yield loss […] Read more