Soybean cyst nematodes are easiest to distinguish from nodules based on their size, but can be confirmed with the yellow liquid inside when opened. The nematodes are identified by the red circle.

Soybean cyst nematode infected area continues to expand

Soybean’s biggest yield robber gaining resistance as trait effectiveness declines in some areas

Reading Time: 3 minutes Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) continues to migrate across Ontario and is adapting to resistant varieties. Albert Tenuta, field crop pathologist with OMAFRA, says SCN is showing up outside the traditional southwestern Ontario infection areas and into Huron, Bruce and Simcoe counties. Resistant varieties are beginning to show symptoms on the roots. Why it matters: Soybean […] Read more

Ryegrasses can be “rocket fuel for ruminants,” with high digestibility.

Silage options to rotate away from corn

Ryegrass, triticale, sorghum species all have potential to help avoid corn-on-corn rotations

Reading Time: 2 minutes In Europe, it’s ryegrass. On the Prairies, it’s barley. In areas where either climate or pesticide resistance makes it impractical to grow corn, livestock producers nonetheless achieve good gains or high milk production. And, during a recent session hosted by OMAFRA, crop and livestock specialists encouraged Ontario’s livestock producers to consider rotating away from corn […] Read more

Highway 77, the highway along which many of the areas greenhouses are built north of Leamington, is illuminated at 7:30 p.m. in December 2020.

Local governments hit greenhouse light pollution

Growing clusters of greenhouses light up the night sky, creating problems with neighbours

Reading Time: 5 minutes Updated Jan. 18, 2021 Municipalities in the major greenhouse-growing area of the province are clamping down on increasingly bright greenhouse lighting making night into day in the rural areas where they operate. The municipality of Leamington recently enacted a bylaw to stem and roll back light pollution emitted from the region’s sizeable and diverse greenhouse […] Read more

Mike Swidersky grazed weaned sheep on a clover cover crop which was underseeded in wheat.

Relationships crucial for farm-to-farm cover crop grazing

Neighboring farmers find mutual benefit in livestock grazing, farming arrangement

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s opportunity for the grazing of cover crops, whether it’s livestock farmers using their own cropland and animals, or offering services to cash-cropping neighbours. That was the overarching message delivered over three successive Tuesday evening Zoom meetings, hosted through November by the Cover Crop Grazing Committee — a collaboration between OMAFRA, Beef Farmers of Ontario, […] Read more

Measuring pasture growth can lead to more efficient management.

Pasture profits lost if precision practices ignored

Research needed to fill knowledge gaps to hasten precision data adoption

Reading Time: 4 minutes The speed at which green grass grows could translate into higher profits if producers implement precision pasture management. “The knowledge gap is the first hurdle to overcome to get to precision pasture management”, says Christine O’Reilly, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) forage and grazing specialist. Why it matters: Forages have seen […] Read more

A freedom of information request looking for all farm business registrations concerned farmers about the potential to increase the trespassing of activists onto their land.

Request for Ontario farm names withdrawn

Freedom of Information request had drawn significant farmer concern

Reading Time: < 1 minute The agriculture community is celebrating a win after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for all Farm Business Registrants was withdrawn. “Together, our farm organizations strongly opposed the release of this information as it has the potential to greatly impact the health, safety and security of our farm operations,” said Keith Currie, Ontario Federation of […] Read more

Tar spot found in Ontario Sept. 21.

What tar spot’s arrival means for Ontario

Cases identified in Lambton and Chatham-Kent, but impact insignificant overall

Reading Time: 3 minutes Tar spot, a pathogen affecting corn, has moved into Ontario, after five years of international attention. Tar spot can cause significant yield losses if left unchecked. The problem does not now appear to be widespread. Why it matters: Evidence from the United States indicates tar spot can depress corn yields by 20 to 60 bushels […] Read more

Ursula van den Heuvel O’Neil farms in Lambton County and has for years worked to obtain payment for farmers missed by the Ontario Cattle, Hog and Horticulture Payment program.

Long-term lessons from a problem program

A farmer worries that conditions that led to the OCHHP program could still be in place

Reading Time: 4 minutes Some Ontario farmers who failed to get a payment from an OMAFRA program more than a decade ago are concerned that the reasons the program failed could be replicated in new programs with the same poor results. They continue a sometimes lonely fight in the courts and in the court of public opinion to get […] Read more

How OMAFRA methods changed after critical report

An Auditor General’s report in 2017 looked for changes in disaster funding and interim payment

Reading Time: 2 minutes OMAFRA has increased its monitoring of overpayments as part of its response to a 2017 Auditor General’s report that criticized farm support programs. Interim payments – faster flowing payments to help farmers – and their accuracy, were at the core of the Auditor General’s concerns. After the 2017 audit, OMAFRA and Agricorp (which administers many […] Read more

Kelly named new OMAFRA deputy minister

Reading Time: < 1 minute John Kelly is the new deputy minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs for Ontario. Kelly is known for numerous roles he’s held in Ontario and Canadian agriculture over the past 25 years. He’s been involved in organizations such as the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, MaRS Landing and Bioenterprise. He also has had […] Read more