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

New dean of agriculture named for U of S

Soil science prof Angela Bedard-Haughn takes over Aug. 15

Reading Time: < 1 minute One of Western Canada’s major post-secondary ag institutions will get a new hand at the wheel this summer. The University of Saskatchewan announced Wednesday it has named soil science professor Angela Bedard-Haughn as the dean for its College of Agriculture and Bioresources for a five-year term starting Aug. 15. Raised on a family farm in […] 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

Manure flows through the multiple small hoses with the help of a series of macerators capable of chopping manure solids and 
preventing plug-ups and time-consuming cleanouts.

Using the 3Rs to advance the 4Rs

Manure applicators aren’t using more advanced tech, because Ontario manure isn’t clean enough

Reading Time: 2 minutes In much of Europe there have been restrictions to applying manure only during the growing season. There the technology has been perfected over time to meet those needs. Wouldn’t it be fitting to bring the technology to Ontario without the same application restrictions? I asked a few custom applicators what was holding them back from […] Read more

The role of roots as a weathering agent to breaks down rocks and primary minerals has been overlooked.

Study looks at how soils hold carbon

Science Notes: Whether carbon is held or released by soil has many influences

Reading Time: 2 minutes Researchers are using synchrotron light to better understand the impact of climate change on more than three trillion metric tonnes of soil carbon around the world. Using the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan, scientists from across the United States investigated the plant root mechanisms that control long-term storage of carbon in […] 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

Tillage can reduce the number of larger pores in soil, increasing the density of soil.

Has the time come for integrated tillage management?

Understanding bulk density for compaction prevention

Reading Time: 3 minutes Tillage has its benefits, but the list of drawbacks to soil health is long. This poses a question: Like Integrated Pest Management, is it time for Integrated Tillage Management? The question was posed by Aaron Breimer, manager for Veritas Farm Management, during a presentation at Elgin Compaction Day on Aug. 8. For him, taking an […] Read more

OMAFRA’s Chris Brown talked about a cross trench dug in cover crop strips to show root depth and subsurface characteristics of different covers.

Controlling compaction need not be expensive

Elgin field day highlights high-tech and low-tech methods of reducing compaction

Reading Time: 5 minutes Getting a handle on compaction starts with knowing how much equipment weighs and how some practical techniques can alleviate the iron load. Farmers, agronomists, and equipment dealers gathered at Elgin Compaction Day in Shedden on Aug. 7 and 8 to discuss how compaction happens, as well as how to fix and prevent it. Why it […] Read more

Soil health is getting more focus on farms.

Soil health gets bigger focus at COFS

Researchers and new technology demos are being featured at the show

Reading Time: 2 minutes There are several new initiatives at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show (COFS) this year related to soil health, including soil researchers, new technology and practices. Soils at Guelph, a new outreach initiative from the University of Guelph aims to bridge the gap between farmers and soil researchers. People involved in the initiative will be at the […] Read more

Deep ripping to eliminate a compaction layer should only be done after doing some work to find out exactly how deep that layer goes down in the soil profile.

Farmers should focus on reducing soil compaction

Digging holes can show how deep the problem of compaction lies below the surface

Reading Time: 2 minutes To till or not to till, that is the question. The question is simple but the answer isn’t. Ask different people for their opinions and you’ll get a variety of answers. The real answer might be “maybe. But if you do, do it properly.” Tillage specialists from Case IH said during an Arizona field tour […] Read more