Southern Ontario soybean and corn yields are just fine. | File photo

Soybean, corn yields high in Ontario, despite drought

Southern Ontario suffered through weeks of blazing heat and no rain this summer, causing many farmers to fret about crop yields. They shouldn’t have worried because soybean and corn yields are just fine. “If you’re basically west of Toronto, (soybean) yields turned out phenomenally. The high 50s (bushels per acre) and low 60s are quite […] Read more

Harrow researcher Craig Drury uses a wind tunnel to compare the effectiveness of urease and nitrification inhibitors. It measures the level of nitrogen being released from the soil in its gaseous form.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Nitrogen inhibitors save money, improve yields: researcher

HARROW, Ont. — Farmers have an opportunity to boost yields and reduce input costs with nitrogen inhibitors according to a research scientist at the Harrow Research and Development Centre. “The return on investment is there. Depending on the year, I see a three-to-one to five-to-one return,” Craig Druy said at a recent open house. “The […] Read more

One of Xueming Yang’s projects is an evaluation of various cover crops interseeded into standing corn. He has found hairy vetch works well in the sandy loam soil at Ontario’s Harrow Research and Development Centre. Yang is evaluating cover crops in both conventional and organic farming systems. | Jeffrey Carter photo

Cover crop shown to deliver nitrogen, yields

HARROW, Ont. — As Ontario farmers start to explore the potential of cover crops, an Agriculture Canada researcher is putting numbers to the potential benefits. Xueming Yang spoke at an open house at the Harrow Research and Development Centre Sept. 10. “We started this because we were looking at an alternative to manure for organic […] Read more

Brian O’Mara helps with the processing tomato harvest in a field north of Chatham, Ont. Weather has been good this year and some predict a bumper crop.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Ontario vegetable marketing board under microscope

Ontario’s agriculture minister has halted proposed changes, saying an economic analysis and more consultation are needed

KENT BRIDGE, Ont. — The final offer arbitration system used by Ontario’s processing vegetable industry will end if proposed amendments by the province’s Farm Products Marketing Commission (FPMC) move forward. The changes would create an “industry advisory committee” and growers would need to find another means to set prices and contract terms other than through […] Read more

While even an experienced eye can be fooled when it comes to wheat, Essex County farmer Terry Byrne said there’s a possibility of a 60 to 70 bushel per acre harvest in this field despite lower than hoped for precipitation.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Drought, disease take toll in Ont. corn, wheat

ESSEX County, Ont. — There’s an old adage among Ontario farmers when they talk about corn: knee high by the fourth of July. That’s the case for Terry Byrne and his brothers, a 20-minute drive from the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor and Detroit, but their corn isn’t healthy deep green-blue hue. Instead, the bottom leaves […] Read more

The lack of moisture in Ontario is having an impact as many soybean fields look thin and patchy. | File photo

Drought threatens Ontario soybeans

A prolonged dry spell is threatening the soybean crop in parts of Ontario and rain is needed soon to salvage the growing season. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs reported this morning that crops around Simcoe, south of Brantford, have been hardest hit by the drought. “Only about 20 percent of soybean […] Read more

The combined Bayer and Monsanto company will have the majority of canola seed acres. | File photo

Canola acres on the rise in Ontario

Canola acres finally rebounded in Ontario this spring after several years of Swede midge struggles. Provincial acres will probably be less than 40,000, but growers are feeling more optimistic about the crop, said Meghan Moran, a canola and edible bean specialist with the Ontario agriculture ministry. Last year, Ontario farmers seeded about 30,000 acres. “They […] Read more

Patrick and Loretta Herbert used this tractor-mounted backhoe to place a steel ground current shield around their barn. |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Farmers blame stray voltage for cow deaths

THAMESVILLE, Ont. —Tears came to Patrick Herbert’s eyes, and a choke to his voice, when he revealed the latest victim on his farm. The cow had recently birthed its second calf. It had since gone off its feed, and it struggled to stand. Its udder and splayed legs seem strangely distorted. “It gets to you. […] Read more