Ernie Hardeman, Ontario minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.

Agriculture minister says progress made on reducing bureaucratic burdens

After a year in power, Ernie Hardeman touts attention to mental health by OMAFRA

The provincial Conservative government has found the first steps it has taken to reduce bureaucracy for farmers to be obvious and easy ones. After consultations “the things that were brought forward we could do without difficulty to make life easier,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs in an interview to […] Read more

Ontario Premier Doug Ford waves during his unofficial swearing in ceremony last summer.

OMAFRA takes a large cut in Ontario budget

Investments made in broadband internet, focus put on reducing deficit

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) was budgeted for a cut of more than $200 million by 2020 in the recent provincial budget. The first budget from the provincial Progressive Conservative government included modest increases to health and education budgets, but cuts to most other ministries, including agriculture. The actual budget […] Read more

White beans are among the dry beans covered by Ontario Bean Growers research.

Bean growers head laments drop in research funding

Farmer groups say there is more competition for dwindling funds given for shorter durations

Days before a new intake of applications for funding under the federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), the executive director of Ontario Bean Growers (OBG) has expressed frustration with what he described as a decade-long regression in government support for agricultural research in Canada. Ryan Koeslag made the comments days before a new intake of applications […] Read more

Figure 1: Gibberella ear rot – Red/pink mould which often begins on ear tip.

Plan to assess corn fields for ear rot and mycotoxin risk

Moulds can be disruptive when fed to livestock, especially hogs

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has begun sampling grower corn fields to determine ear mould incidence and occurrence of mycotoxins in the grain. The mycotoxins, particularly vomitoxin (DON) produced primarily by Gibberella ear moulds, can be disruptive when fed to livestock, especially hogs. Why it matters: The annual survey is designed […] Read more

More root development and less disease pressure early in the season have been good for soybean growth.

Why soys look so good in year of extremes

Dry conditions, then lots of rain and heat have been great for growing soybeans

A year of extremes and wild fluctuations in moisture and temperature appear to have produced a very good soybean crop in much of the province, say experts. Why it matters: A mismatch of plant development timing and swings in growing conditions — dry conditions at the start of the season followed by prolonged periods of […] Read more


University of Guelph associate professor John Lauzon explains the sulphur cycle in the soil and atmosphere during a session at the annual FarmSmart.

Looking for answers on sulphur

OMAFRA is looking for co-operators to further knowledge on sulphur needs in corn and soybeans

For years, Ontario agronomists have pointed to changes in air pollution from U.S. industries as the reason for the rise of sulphur deficiency in north-of-the-border crops. Why it matters: Back in 1990, southern Ontario was at the heart of a widespread “dark red” patch of high sulphur deposition, but by 2015, not just the dark […] Read more

Scout your winter wheat

Wheat often doesn’t get the focus of other crops on the farm, but it might pay to get back to basics

Do you devote enough time to your winter wheat crop? Experts from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs are wondering. They’re curious enough to make the basics of winter wheat disease management a key part of the University of Guelph’s recent Diagnostic Days event in Ridgetown. Why it matters: OMAFRA staff remind […] Read more

Greenhouses, adversely affected by electricity rates in Ontario, are expected to be large users of the GreenON Agriculture Retrofit program.

Is GreenON for you?

The new energy efficiency program for barns, greenhouses and grain dryers has a quick first intake period

A new program to help fund energy efficiency improvements in enclosed agriculture buildings has been launched, but the timeline for the first intake is short. Applications are now being accepted for the GreenON Agriculture Retrofit funding program, through March 26. The program is administered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), and other […] Read more