Wes Hart eventually developed a system of strip till and the ability to apply both liquid and solid fertilizer.

Adventures in strip-tilling

How two farmers adopted and augmented their strip-till approach

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s more than one way to strip-till a field. During this year’s Canada’s Digital Farm Show, Woodstock-area grain growers Ken Martin and Wes Hart shared their lessons learned, and triumphs experienced, in making the hybrid tillage system work for their businesses. Why it matters: Strip-tillage continues to attract interest as a workable midway approach to […] Read more

Understanding and managing low pH knolls

The OMAFRA Field Crop Team wants farmers to get to know their knolls

Reading Time: 2 minutes While high pH knolls tend to be more common in Ontario, often caused by soil erosion leaving higher pH calcareous subsoils, this is not the case for all regions. How do low pH knolls develop? Low pH knolls can develop on undulating landscapes where surface soils formed from deposits of sand, such as where glacial […] Read more

Managing eroded knolls

OMAFRA Field Crop Report for September 10

Reading Time: 3 minutes Field Crop News – We’ve all seen them. Hilltops. Whitecaps. High spots where the crop struggles year after year. Eroded knolls are common to Ontario agriculture and cost farmers in lost productivity each season. This article will explore knolls: how they’ve formed, how they differ, and how they can be managed or even re-mediated. How […] Read more

Silk invests in ALUS project

Reading Time: < 1 minute Farmers involved in ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) projects will have greater funding from a new investment in the program. Silk, the plant-based drink company, has committed $100,00 to ALUS’s New Acre Project. The funds will help farmers in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec to use their land in a way that qualifies as ecosystem services […] Read more

Water that runs off fields instead of soaking in can be an indicator of low soil organic matter.

How to identify low organic matter

Things to look for when walking and working in the field

Reading Time: 3 minutes Did your fields show a lot of crusting this planting season? Was there standing water where there shouldn’t be? These and other indicators, say provincial soil health experts, mean your soil organic matter (SOM) levels could use some attention. Why it matters: SOM improves soil health and helps reduce crop susceptibility to extreme conditions. While […] Read more

The last time the state of Canada’s soil was analyzed was in the 1980s.

Eastern Canada gets poor grades on soil

A report card compares soil management and health between Eastern and Western Canada

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Soil Conservation Council of Canada has released its first national soil health report card. The soil grades are based on farmer changes made over the past five to 10 years, soil conditions, and whether organic matter levels have improved. “It wasn’t in terms of hard data, but just from my experience and research, extensions […] Read more

Cattle graze at Carlton Angus Cattle Company.

Award winners focus on managing cows and calves on pasture

Fresh water, grazing rotation followed by Mapleseed, TESA winners

Reading Time: 3 minutes Beef Farmers of Ontario hands out two awards for pasture and environmental management — and both usually end up with similarities and that was the case in 2020. Both the Mapleseed Pasture Award winner and The Environmental Stewardship Award winners manage large numbers of cows on pasture and have made strategic decisions to intensively manage […] Read more

A field within the Medway Creek water quality project.

Promoting winter cover crops with local data

Conservation authority looking for cover crop impact on water quality in Upper Thames

Reading Time: 2 minutes In an effort to improve water quality, the Upper Thames Conservation Authority (UTCA) is promoting cover crop adoption by making data on the environmental efficacy of winter cover more relevant to local farmers. Why it matters: Better economic data would help farmers making decisions about whether to use cover crops. The UTCA is pursuing the […] Read more

SoilReader can be mounted on any field implement or used in a separate dedicated operation as shown here.

Real-time soil analysis in the field

Don’t bring your soil sample to the lab, take the lab to the field, says the Canadian inventor of the SoilReader

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – It’s a difficult concept to sum up in a few words. A Canadian startup sells a coulter that reads nine nutrient factors while pulled through soil. As the headline states, SoilReader can provide real-time data, on the go, as it is pulled through the field. The nine vital constituents are nitrogen, phosphorus, […] Read more

It’s likely to be years until we have a completely solid set of best practices for managing soils.

Editorial: Still lots to know about mechanisms of soil health

Reading Time: 3 minutes The maintenance of soil health has come into much greater prominence in the past five to 10 years. That’s an important step — our soils are the basis of civilization and those that have not understood that have had civilizations collapse. Check out the Nile River delta today. We’re a long way from the lack […] Read more