Fields that grow continuous corn have fewer nutrients for soil microbes.

Lasting Impact: Technology helps living soils knowledge

Different crops feed soil microbes in different ways

Reading Time: 3 minutes This article is the final instalment of a three-part series highlighting lessons learned from two long-term crop rotation experiments at Elora and Ridgetown. Soil is teeming with life. And despite their size, fungi, bacteria, and other micro-organisms play an enormous role in soil processes, from carbon and nitrogen cycling to the formation of soil structure, […] Read more

New soil test looks at microbial populations

Reading Time: 2 minutes A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. recently launched VitTellus Bio, a new soil health test that quantifies soil microbial populations. VitTellus Bio complements the VitTellus Soil Health test, which is used to help farmers make informed decisions on application of nutrient and managing and improving soil health. It does more than measure the chemical properties of soil, […] Read more

At one time it was thought that lots of corn stover was a significant source of soil carbon.

Lasting impact: The secret to increasing carbon is in the soil

Microbial activity, not volume of biomass, gets more credit for adding carbon

Reading Time: 3 minutes This article is part two of a three-part series highlighting lessons learned from two long-term crop rotation experiments at Elora and Ridgetown, Ont. The evidence is piling up that the corn-soybean rotation – the most common crop rotation in Ontario – performs worse on every metric than diversified rotations with small cereals and cover crops. […] Read more

“Resilience cannot be built overnight. It is important for growers to start building soils now to achieve production potentials in the future.”

Lasting impact: The penalty of poor crop rotations

Long term trials show the soil health degradation of short rotations

Reading Time: 3 minutes This article is the first of a three-part series highlighting lessons learned from two long-term crop rotation experiments at Elora and Ridgetown, Ont. Howard Buffett authored a book a few years back with the title, “40 Chances”. The title came from a shop talk Buffett attended where a speaker remarked that the average farmer only […] Read more

Preliminary data from a new study suggests that different soil health measurements will be required, depending on intrinsic soil qualities and management.

Soil health measurement project seeks standard set of indicators

The North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements hopes to recommend scientifically sound indicators

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Soil health measurements can vary widely depending on management practices, show early results from a North American study. Paul Tracy, who manages the non-profit Soil Health Institute’s project to assess 31 indicators of soil health in all three countries, said agricultural and environmental interests are promoting lots of measurement systems and indicators. […] 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

“It’s not only about working with NPK, it’s working smartly around plant nutrition.”

Soil health products part of new entrant’s offering

Fertilizer stabilizers among products coming from Timac Agro

Reading Time: 2 minutes A French company is bringing its unique model and crop technology to Ontario. Timac Agro Canada, a division of international agriculture company The Roullier Group, offers fertilizer products, especially stabilizers and treatments than can help with nutrient efficiency in soils. The company started in France when the founder discovered that there were opportunities to use […] Read more

New federal-provincial initiative aims to add to soil health knowledge.

New ONFARM program to build soil health measures and learning

The long-term program will help set up sites and resources for information sharing

Reading Time: < 1 minute A new $5.75 million program aims to increase soil health through multi-year on-farm research. The program called the On-Farm Applied Research and Monitoring (ONFARM) project, will be funded by the Canadian and Ontario governments through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP). The project was announced on Dec. 5, World Soils Day. The ONFARM project will support […] Read more


There’s more green in Ontario fields in the fall compared to the Prairies, a factor of more cover crop usage, and use of winter wheat.

Researcher grades on-farm soil management

Eastern Canadian farmers get high grades for soil health awareness, but low grades for increasing soil organic carbon

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – The grades are in. Eastern Canadian farmers get high grades for their understanding of soil health and the rapidly growing use of cover crops, but low grades for increasing tillage which reduces soil carbon storage. Mario Tenuta, a University of Manitoba soil scientist, says eastern farmers get a B for adoption of […] Read more

The Luymes brothers are trying biostrips as a way to work with strip tillage.

Provincial soil tour looks at minimal tillage, biostrips

The tour visited regional farms as part of the Ontario Soil Network

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s no one system for improving soil health and that was on display during a recent Ontario Soil Health Network tour across the province. The tour visited more than 20 farms, from Kingsville to Douglas, arriving at the farms of the members of the first cohort of the Ontario Soil Network over four days. Farmtario […] Read more