GFM Network News

Cover crops can get as complex as you want but the best advice is always to start slow and simple.

New directions in cover crops

Today, factors like microbial interactions and soil quality are influencing choices and practices

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the midst of a renaissance in soil health, researchers, agronomists and extension personnel have been pushing the message that everything a grower does in a field is connected to everything else. Fertility is linked to planting depth, just as mycorrhizal fungi are connected to weed management. Nothing happens on its own without some effect […] Read more

The choice is simple: spend an hour cleaning equipment or a more expensive hour in the field spraying.

Hitchhiking pests

Yes, cleaning out equipment takes time, but it’s worth it

Reading Time: 6 minutes When it comes to discussing the scourge of weed management in Eastern Canada, much of the light has shone on herbicide-resistant Canada fleabane and its spread from Essex County to the Quebec border in just five years. The latest weed species that is cause for concern is common waterhemp. It’s been the topic of conversation […] Read more

“When we sit around the board table today, everyone has a say.” – Adam Ireland, Teeswater, Ont.-area farmer.

Looking ahead to farming’s future investment

For Adam Ireland, farming means more than just growing a crop, it’s doing things the right way

Reading Time: 7 minutes These days, describing what it means to be a farmer is almost as challenging as, well, being a farmer. Part science, part art form, the job description also requires an expert understanding of agronomy, commodity markets, weather, emerging trends and technologies, consumer demand, environmental issues… the list goes on and on. And as if that’s […] Read more

One of the monitoring stations used for the Upper Medway Creek Priority Subwatershed Study (PSP).

From field to stream

Conservation authorities are working more closely with agriculture on watershed management. Have they found a model that will work?

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s no secret that agriculture is focused more than ever on the management of soil fertility as well as on balancing inputs with crop demand, which means keeping nutrients where they belong. Phosphorus usage in particular has become a favourite topic of discussion, both on conference agendas and around the tailgates of pickups on the […] Read more

The cover crop plot with the most complex blend of different species, including planting dates, method and rates.

PHOTOS: Farm Show demo digs deep on value of soil health

Roots, worm casts and different cover blends show amazing effects

Reading Time: < 1 minute Soil health has been a buzz phrase that’s gone from a whisper three to five years ago to a chorus that’s spreading across the agrifood industry. That goes to show the swinging of the pendulum away from plowing and aggressive tillage — and it seems to be gaining more advocates with each passing day. This […] Read more

The damage that over-tillage does is plain to see in soil quality.

The news on soil health

This time, will farmers finally break the “build-up then burn-out” cycle of soil management? The Ontario Soil Network thinks the answer may be yes

Reading Time: 6 minutes Don Lobb takes a very dim view of how mankind has treated soil over the millennia, but he is slightly more hopeful for this generation, due both to our constantly growing body of knowledge about soils, and to farmers who are not only willing to experiment with better ways to take care of the soil, […] Read more

Rudy honoured for career in soil conservation

Reading Time: 2 minutes When Harold Rudy joined the soil conservation movement, he says he got the job not because of his University of Guelph degrees in agriculture economics and business, or his background growing up on his family’s farm, but because of his burgeoning computer skills. Being hired as part of a group of 20 soil conservation advisors […] Read more

“Always be watching and learning,” Green says. “Be willing to try new things, or at least be willing to consider them.”

Ready for spring

Farm organizations are as important as ever for farmers who want to keep producing at their best, says OSCIA president Gord Green

Reading Time: 6 minutes For Gord Green, “ag in the classroom” is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, 365-day-a-year opportunity, whether the classroom that he happens to be in at the moment is in the field, in a lecture hall, at a community centre or on a bus tour. In any setting, Green wants to learn, and he has made it a […] Read more

Processed biosolids pellets are an excellent source of nitrogen, phosphorus, organic matter, and micro-nutrients.

Spreading the good news

The list of companies with soil amendment products continues to grow — as does recognition of their value

Reading Time: 9 minutes For 10 years, the bumper stickers said “Farmers Feed Cities.” Today, by contrast, cities may expand their role in feeding farms. For those who are backing the trend, the drive to make the use of soil amendments standard and commonplace is reaching a tipping point. The numbers more than suggest there’s tremendous opportunity to use […] Read more

The area of eligibility for GLASI covers those regions of southern Ontario with the capacity to affect water quality in Lake Erie.

Success on Great Lakes phosphorus

Strong farm participation in GLASI programs shows agriculture is serious about environmental health

Reading Time: 6 minutes Great Lakes pollution has become a critical issue in the past five years. In 2011, parts of Lake Erie were mired in a serious algal bloom, prompting the International Joint Commission (IJC) to establish Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP). The IJC issued a report in February 2014 identifying agriculture as the leading contributor to the […] Read more