Consumers are hungry to know more about food, studies indicate, but excessive information on food labels is often ignored.

Communicating the complexity of livestock farming

Farmers do have consumers’ trust on their side

The dairy industry should find simple ways to convey the complex messages of how it deals with animal welfare, food safety and environmental stewardship. If it doesn’t, it runs the risk that consumers will get their information from other sources, including advocacy organizations, which can sometimes question farmer credibility. Why it matters: With international trade […] Read more

An overhead look at the level of control cereal rye has provided when it was seeded the previous fall (mid-November) at 60 lbs acre (left) compared to no cereal rye planted (right).

A double-barreled approach to fleabane control

Combined herbicide-cover crop approach can provide effective control

As herbicide-resistant Canada fleabane and other problem weeds continue to frustrate farmers, more creative control solutions are being sought. Planting cover crops, specifically cereal rye is a good tactic, say researchers from the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. Why it matters: Herbicide-resistant weeds are creating more challenges […] Read more

After a disastrous vomitoxin outbreak, the Ontario Corn Committee is implementing a testing program that farmers have wanted for years. But will companies participate?

DON corn testing: A new era begins

After a disastrous vomitoxin outbreak, the Ontario Corn Committee is implementing a testing program that farmers have wanted for years. But will companies participate?

Ontario corn farmers have been relying on their own observations and those of their neighbours along with scant information from corn companies to make hybrid selections that lower their risk of vomitoxin. When they go to make their selections for 2020, however, they will have new independent disease risk numbers on which to base their […] Read more

Five days late emerging corn was shown to have a 33 per cent decrease in ear weight.

Seed placement is key to ensure highest yield potential

Uniform germination leads to uniform emergence and ultimately a uniform high-end yield potential

The farmer’s pass through the field with the planter is the pass that sets the yield, say planting experts. How the seed is planted and the conditions in which it is planted have a direct effect on the uniformity of the stand. Under ideal conditions these aspects lead to a greater yield. Why it matters: […] Read more

A rye crop is roller crimped before organic soybean planting.

Riding the learning curve on organic no-till

Farmers are pushing the boundaries of roller-crimping winter rye and direct seeding soybeans behind

Planting soybeans into a just-terminated cover crop of winter rye is gaining popularity among Ontario’s organic community, as farmers strive to introduce minimum-till strategies into their rotations. No-till planting has so far not become common in any other crops under organic production — in which farmers typically rely upon tillage instead of chemical inputs to […] Read more


A new project is targeting Bovine Respiratory Disease in cattle.

Immune test could help reduce Bovine Respiratory Disease in cattle

A group of cattle industry players are working together to develop a high-immune response test for Angus cattle, which could help fight Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). The project, which received $500,000 in funding in early February from Genome Canada’s Genomic Application Partnership Program, aims to reduce the $1 billion BRD is estimated to cost the […] Read more

Opinion: Can the new food guide dish up good agri-food policy?

The release of Canada’s Food Guide on Jan. 22 was, predictably, followed by hot debate. The food guide has a long history of being contentious and although government asserts that the newest version is based on science, which some debate, critics seem more concerned about its wider societal implications. The 2007 version was criticized as […] Read more

Research, and eventually management, of beef cattle is trending toward more individual animal measurement.

Manage to the average no more

Beef research and new technology take aim at individual animal management, but will it be profitable on the farm?

The new beef research facility being constructed at the University of Guelph’s Elora Research Station will expand capacity to 288 cows and 96 replacement females and will enable researchers to gather more individual data on the animals. Why it matters: Beef cow numbers have been declining in Ontario as other sectors, especially crops, provide more […] Read more


A juvenile gray garden slug munches on a soybean plant, from the presentation John Tooker gave at FarmSmart recently in Guelph.

Taking out slugs without more insecticides

Slugs can be a challenge in minimal and no-till fields, where greater tillage isn’t an option

Most of the acreage in Pennsylvania is no-till and that means slugs can be a huge issue. This has become such an issue that growers are reverting to using more tillage, said John Tooker, of the department of entomology at Penn State University He spoke at the recent FarmSmart Conference at the University of Guelph. […] Read more

Dairy robots have been a driver in the growth of data available to farmers, although more sensors are arriving on parlour milking systems too.

More work needed to put dairy data gathering to good use, say researchers

Dairy Focus: University of Guelph researchers say cow health events can be predicted with data

The proliferation of artificial intelligence in today’s dairy barns should eventually lead to the ability to predict a daily disease probability for lactating animals, says University of Guelph researcher Meagan King. However, one of her University of Guelph compatriots Stephen Leblanc noted that “we’re not there yet.” King, a post-doctorate animal biosciences researcher and Leblanc, […] Read more