Variable rate fertilizer still has some detractors, but it has its place where fertility is variable.

Variable land good place to start with variable rate fertilizer

Best strategies, hiring custom operators or DIY

Farmers on land that’s variable in soil type, such as southwest of London, are likely already thinking about variable rate fertilizer application. Darryl Boersma, who farms a large number of acres in Mt. Brydges southwest of London, has been doing variable rate for 17 years. “This whole area is pretty variable, one of the more […] Read more

Soybean planting date can have significant effects on yield.

Soil management can boost soybean yield to full potential

A big data project in the U.S. has yielded precise information on soil zones and crop management decisions

Farmers in Ontario grow soybeans that yield about 50 bushels per acre. Sean Conley, Wisconsin’s state soybean extension specialist, says the yield potential is 120 bushels. The differences are about the same in the United States and Conley set out to use some large data sets to figure out why. The answer? Not every field, […] Read more

Crop health maps help identify areas of concern in the field.

Small investments, big gains

Where to start with free and low-cost precision ag tools – and why

For producers looking to dip their toes into the precision agriculture pool for little cost and potentially substantial rewards, help is here. The big advantages precision agriculture can provide are mostly well-known. In short, information is power. Why it matters: There are some lower-cost entry points into precision agriculture for farmers who want to try […] Read more

Making fertilizer available to growing corn is key to getting it growing quickly.

Comparing banding to broadcasting fertilizer

Precision Planting research shows 50 per cent of corn P and N should be banded at planting

A team at technology/consulting company Precision Planting has completed research that compares banding fertilizer applications to broadcasting. Banding brings a higher yield potential. “The soil bank unreliably controls the fertilizer,” said Cory Muhlbauer at the 2019 Winter Conference put on by Precision Planting, referring to broadcast-applied fertilizers. When a grower broadcasts fertilizer on the soil […] Read more

Anne Verhallen doing what she loves to do — talking about soil.

Denys, Verhallen named 2019 soil champions

A farmer and an OMAFRA soils expert are being recognized for trying new practices to improve soil health

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has named a farmer and a long-time supporter of soil health as its 2019 Soil Champions. The OSCIA made the announcement at its annual conference in Kingston in early February. Jim Denys is a Middlesex County farmer, producing pork farrow-to-finish while cropping corn, wheat and soybeans. He […] Read more


Maurice Chauvin and the a Salford RTS machine that he uses on his farm.

Curiosity and care guide farm’s principles

The Chauvin farm takes a long-term view on measures like soil organic matter

The Essex Soil and Crop Improvement Association recently bestowed its 2018 Conservation Farm of the Year award to Maurice (Moe) Chauvin, a sixth-generation grain farmer from Pointe-aux-Roches (known as Stoney Point to Anglophones). The award is granted annually to a farm within Essex County that displays conservation-minded management practices. For Chauvin, adopting such practices starts […] Read more

Burying sensors in the soil and running machines over top, like this demonstration at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, 
helps engineers establish tire inflation pressure guidelines to minimize soil compaction problems.

Looking for machinery compaction data

Ontario team working to establish tire inflation guidelines

Preventing soil compaction is something farmers should keep in mind, particularly with the scale of modern farm equipment. At Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ont., Alex Barrie, engineer in training with the Ontario Environmental Management Branch, demonstrated his group’s efforts to study the impact equipment can have on the soil. They have been conducting […] Read more

Cover crops are one of the ways that soil health can be enhanced.

Donation to boost soil health outreach

Donors aim to make sure best soil health information reaches farmers

The University of Guelph marked World Soil Day by announcing a $500,000 donation for soil health outreach in Ontario. The donation was made by Lillie Ann Morris, who has worked for more than four decades in agricultural advertising sales, Glacier FarmMedia, publisher of Farmtario and the agricultural division of information communications company Glacier Media Inc., […] Read more


The ‘Smart Soils’ panel at the Ag 4.0.2 conference included Jordanna Kalis from SoilOptix, Taylor Vokes from Sprucedale Agromart and Jake Kraayenbrink, owner of Agbrink. The panel was moderated by Keith Reid (r), a local farmer and the Alternative Land Use Services program co-ordinator for Grey-Bruce.

Making technology work for healthier soil

Farmers have to make decisions on which soil-health technologies they want to adopt

Building and maintaining soil health increasingly involves technology. The challenge for farmers is deciding which approach they invest in to monitor and maintain their soil health. Three different approaches using technology to solve soil health problems were presented at the Grey County’s third annual Ag 4.0.2 conference held Nov. 1, 2018 in Meaford. Why it […] Read more

Greg Patterson launched the VitTellus Soil Health Test at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.

New soil test can be tied to yield

Feeding soil microbes comes from feeding plants, says A & L Labs research

Imagine being able to predict yield just from a soil health test. A & L Labs in London believes it has found a way to do so, with 93 per cent accuracy. Greg Patterson, CEO of A & L Labs, said while announcing the new VitTellus Soil Health test at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show that […] Read more