Latest articles


The case for managing magnesium

Like sulphur, Mg is moving into the foreground

No one is taking anything away from “The Big Three.” Clearly, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P and K) have a direct and powerful influence on yield, and must be managed with great skill. Increasingly, though, we’re learning that secondary nutrients and micronutrients are also worth paying attention to. In 2016, for instance, agronomists began […] Read more


Probing drought stress in corn

The potential for measuring, modelling and helping improve production is astounding

The design and creation of a new robotic device for phenotyping plants is a double-sided boon to agriculture. On one hand, it is indicative of the enormous potential of the autonomous systems now in development for farm applications. On the other, it’s a huge leap forward for researchers and plant breeders and their ability to […] Read more



New cereal varieties for Eastern Canada

There’s only a handful of new varieties for planting this fall, but they’re worth a hard look

Increased winter wheat acres are good for Eastern Canada, not only because of crop diversity and longer rotations, but as a contributor to overall soil health. Despite the challenges of fall planting, farmers are clearly deciding there’s real value in maintaining wheat acres: the message is definitely getting through. Yet other, more immediate concerns are […] Read more


Where to next for soft white wheat?

Brewers and bran markets are still buying, but the heady days of the 1990s are gone

Two years ago, word spread early in the summer of an unexpected premium for soft white winter wheat, once a powerhouse in cereal production in Ontario. It wasn’t that pastry chefs or bakers had awakened to the benefits of home-grown soft white wheat, it was just that a new Kellogg’s plant in Mexico had miscalculated […] Read more



Something old for something new

This century-old malt barley variety is set to launch a renaissance in the brewing sector

*[Updated with email comment at bottom: Aug. 25, 2017] The key to branding any product is to start with a good story, and the recently re-instated registration of OAC21, a six-rowed malting barley, is a “feel good” story, particularly with Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. On its own, OAC21 isn’t expected to ever become a huge […] Read more


Subsurface drip irrigation

Interest is growing even in corn and soybeans, although it’s not for everyone

When it comes to being a better farm manager, many retailers, extension personnel and researchers talk about cost of production and “controlling the controllable,” which leads to the usual factors coming up, including seed selection, soil fertility, residue management and weed control. But the one factor that is always left off anyone’s list of controllable […] Read more



Get more from cover crops

Our panel of producers keep their eye on maximizing the very real benefits that cover crops can deliver. Here’s how

Cover cropping is certainly the hot topic of the last two years, with lots of interest in everything from traditional oat and red clover covers to multi-blending and inter-seeding covers into standing crops. Recently, Twitter has been alive with photos and links, and with descriptions of progress and the impacts of various cover crop regimens. […] Read more


The swede midge threat

Swede midge continues to confound Near North canola growers, and it could migrate farther south

By 2015, Terry Phillips, then chair of the Ontario Canola Growers Association, was advising growers in Ontario’s Near North to stop planting canola on farms that had been hit by the recent arrival of the swede midge. By then, yields were already getting cut by as much as 50 per cent by the pest, with […] Read more



Tighter spray control in the field

Should you be looking at the InterLock system to reduce off-target risk?

What’s in a name? Plenty — especially when it comes to reducing off-target movement of spray applications. The buzz around the launch of Xtend soybeans in 2017 is creating a new level of scrutiny on spray applications. Like it or not, consumers and governments are watching, and increased diligence is warranted. Re-enter the InterLock system. […] Read more


crop spraying potatoes

Pesticide review a huge issue for horticulture sector

Time of worker re-entry after application and use of protective equipment are stumbling blocks

Canada’s horticultural growers say they’re concerned about a review of many of the broad-spectrum crop protection chemistries they’ve relied on for years. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is conducting the review, with a final outcome due in 2018. That gives growers and other industry stakeholders the rest of 2017 to strengthen their arguments and […] Read more