Southwestern Ontario farmers saw strong wheat yields this year, despite the wet weather. | Jeffrey Carter photo

Ontario farmers hampered by excessive rain

Tomato yields were reduced by more than half and quality issues remain a possibility as rain continued into September

Ontario’s processing tomatoes and several other crops took a dramatic, weather-related hit this year, but it wasn’t about a lack of rainfall. Quite the opposite. On June 27, as much as 228 millimetres fell within a few hours in southwestern Ontario, transforming fields into shallow lakes and the rains continued afterward. One farmer near Dresden […] Read more

Engagement is needed to educate consumers on new technology and modern stewardship practices to move agriculture forward. | File photo

Romanticized notions of farming misleading

The agri-food industry often gets a bad rap in the popular media, but that doesn’t mean proponents shouldn’t remain engaged. In fact, the opposite is true, according to Purdue University economist Jayson Lusk. “The prevailing message from the food movement is not one of being thankful but one of the food system being broken,” he […] Read more

Ontario farmers focus on improving soil health

GLENCOE, Ont. — A group of Ontario farm organizations is encouraging soil-building practices and hopes to spread the word about the benefits. Launched in March, the Ontario Soil Network program has 25 farmer participants. All have adopted soil-building practices and have expressed interest in developing leadership and communication soils. “Farmers have always learned from other […] Read more

NFU national office addresses provincial friction, fiscal issues

RIDGETOWN, Ont. — The National Farmers Union is addressing its financial issues, says the president of the organization’s Ontario branch. “Things are actually doing pretty good at the NFU nationally,” Emery Huszka told the recent annual meeting of Local 306 in Elgin County. Huszka was responding to comments made by Don Ciparis, Local 306 president […] Read more

Family partnership celebrates 50 years in maple business

ILDERTON, Ont. — There are many examples of rural communities that have failed in Canada but not where the Robson brothers farm. The area north of London in Ontario is especially sweet among the fertile lands in southwestern Ontario. The brothers have learned the value of co-operation, as well. That began 50 years ago with […] Read more

ABOVE: Paul de Rond, left, checks out the ventilation system equipment used in pig producer Paul Willemse’s nursery in Keyser, Ont. It is designed to provide quality air for animals and workers.  | Jeffrey Carter photo

Ontario pork producer invests in technology

KEYSER, Ont. — A pork producer from Middlesex County in Ontario figures the extra money he spent on his new nursery barn will save him dollars in the long run. Paul Willemse said the ventilation system he’s using is unique to North American nursery barns. He also incorporated technology from a Dutch firm to help […] Read more

This pollinator, feeding upon bergamot, is among the more than 850 Canadian bee species. | Jeffrey Carter photo

Legal protection urged for wild pollinators

Expert urges farmers and ranchers to establish pollinator habitat and use environmentally friendly pest management

PORT STANLEY, Ont. — The contribution wild pollinators make to food production is widely recognized but there’s a lack of knowledge concerning their habitat and habits here in Canada. Pollinator expert Nigel Raine hopes to begin to change that. He plans to monitor pollinator activity at 50 different Ontario locations, including farm locations. The University […] Read more

Nick Connors, current chair of the board of directors of the Long Clawson Dairy, is among the co-operative’s members who take advantage of England’s lengthy pasture season. Others operate high-production confinement systems.  |  Supplied photo

Cheese makers anxious over import quotas

DRESDEN, Ont, — Small and mid-sized Canadian cheese makers may be able to cash in on the expected increase in European Union cheese imports. The group was unhappy with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, which opened the door to about 17 million kilograms of additional, tariff-free cheese from Europe, […] Read more

Cheese importer weighs in on quotas

DRESDEN, Ont. — As a long-time cheese importer, Pat Pelliccione hopes to have a share of the in-crease in tariff-free cheese coming from the European Union. More than 17 million kilograms will be allowed under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, to be phased in over six years. Pelliccione said […] Read more

Federal research money needed to move ag forward

GUELPH, Ont. — The time is ripe for an investment in plant breeding and other agricultural research, according to a University of Sask-atchewan agricultural economist. Given the federal government’s commitment in its recent budget to agricultural innovation and the enactment of the Agricultural Growth Act two years ago, steps can be taken to increase spending, […] Read more