Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Great Lakes, is most at risk from phosphorus loading.

AAFC launches Living Lab – Ontario in the Lake Erie region

Reading Time: 2 minutes A $4.2 million investment has been made by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to launch Living Lab - Ontario in the Lake Erie region to collaborate with Ontario farmers on developing sustainable solutions to environmental issues. Living Lab – Ontario is the latest collaboration hub created under the Living Laboratories Initiative, which brings together farmers, scientists, and other […] Read more

Healthy soil practices, such as cover cropping, haven't yet spread to widespread adoption.

Encouragement needed for healthy soil practices

Report argues for significant investment in programs that are easy for farmers to use

Reading Time: 3 minutes Soil improvement is a keystone of Canada's agricultural future, and fundamental to its longevity, according to the "Power of Soils" report published by the Greenbelt Foundation. Produced in partnership with a wide array of industry associations, the publication is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of Canada's current agri-environmental policy and programming, what practices are […] Read more

Soil sampling data are the foundation of FarmLab’s carbon sequestration ambitions.

Data needed to cash in on carbon credits

An Australian company wants to digitize soil test results for farmer use and monitoring

Reading Time: 4 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – To monetize carbon sequestration, farmers must prove they are doing it. That means data, tracked over time. From a soil science perspective, the benefits of carbon in terms of fertility and microbiology are well known, said Sam Duncan, chief executive officer of FarmLab in Armidale, Australia. It’s the reason soil carbon levels […] Read more

There are consistent yield benefits for following crops when wheat is in a rotation.

Finding the tools to build soil

Intensifying wheat production can help make the soil-building crop more profitable

Reading Time: 3 minutes Wheat and cover crops may not be the most profitable of cash cows, but the indirect benefits to grain growers’ bottom lines are significant.  Keeping winter wheat in the rotation, that is, has been shown to consistently boost both corn and soybean yields in Ontario. Those numbers go even higher when red clover is also […] Read more

Cover crop systems can take five years to learn and establish.

Cash flow and cover crops

Adaptation and experience reduce upfront costs and improve returns

Reading Time: 3 minutes Cover crops are environmentally beneficial but to determine if they pay for themselves, growers need to provide detailed data on costs and revenue.  Aaron Breimer, general manager for Deveron’s Chatham-based Veritas Farm Management, says his experience with cover crops highlights the need to repeatedly verify a practice before concluding whether it’s profitable or not.  Why […] Read more

Cricket frass has bio-stimulant properties

Reading Time: < 1 minute A&L Biological Inc., a subsidiary of A&L Canada Laboratories Inc., is going to research and develop products from cricket frass. The Aspire Food Group is building a cricket production and processing facility in London.  Frass contains a wide range of nutrients in readily-available form that are necessary for plant development and soil health, in addition […] Read more

This graph from preliminary ONFARM program data, shows that organic matter varies across fields, often based on slope.

ONFARM project delivers baseline data

Farms that are part of the program are sharing data on their research

Reading Time: 3 minutes The On-Farm Applied Research and Monitoring (ONFARM) four-year research program has begun delivering results and data. ONFARM established 33 cooperator sites, eight edge of field (EOF) sites, 25 best management practice (BMP) sites, and a baseline data set in its first year.  “It really represents a great starting point to look ahead to the rest […] Read more

Crop and feed analysis can tell a soil health story

Crop and feed analysis can tell a soil health story

U.S. farmer puts focus on tissue testing

Reading Time: 3 minutes Long-time organic agriculture advocate Gary Zimmer believes he can come up with the perfect recipe for his Otter Creek Farm’s soil health. Gary Zimmer. They look at plant tissue and feed tests. Feed tests should include a full mineral analysis, plus feed digestibility, said the founder of the Wisconsin-based Midwestern Bio-Ag crop and livestock input […] Read more

Cover crops were swathed at the South Dakota Lakes Research Farm and will be grazed over the winter.

Let nature direct ecosystem health

Researcher says agriculture needs to learn from how water, soil function in nature

Reading Time: 4 minutes I have learned more from observing Nature than by trying to change it,” said Dwayne Beck. Beck, the research manager at Dakota Lakes Research Farm (DLRF) in Pierre, South Dakota, spoke at the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association conference. Why it matters: Learning how to manage for better soil health is critical for future generations […] Read more

Sarah Hargreaves and her husband Drake Larsen use the landscape design to drive the movement of their small sheep flock and cattle herd on their 50-acre farm, Three Ridges Ecological Farm near Aylmer, Ont.

Soil’s processes need to be understood to build organic matter

Increasing soil health is a highly complex process tied to chemical and biological cycles

Reading Time: 4 minutes To understand the paradigm shift in the production of soil organic matter you’re going to have to dig a little deeper. “Soil organic matter (SOM) is intimately linked to soil health, to ecosystem health, to planetary health and it has influences on the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil,” Sarah Hargreaves, Ecological Farmers […] Read more