Category Archives: Soil

67th Annual Muck Vegetable Growers Conference

The 67th Annual Muck Vegetable Growers Conference will be held March 28-29 at the Bradford and District Memorial Community located at 125 Simcoe St., Bradford, ON. The conference is free and registration starts at 8:30. No pre-registration is required. For more details please see:  http://www.uoguelph.ca/muckcrop/muckconference.html

Continue reading 67th Annual Muck Vegetable Growers Conference

NutrientSmart 2.0

From Ian McDonald, OMAFRA, Field Crops Unit:

Where NutrientSmart and FarmSmart in January dealt with the theory of soil management and nutrient use and management of inorganic nutrient sources, NutrientSmart 2.0 will explore the integration of organic amendments such as manures, biosolids, compost, green bin compost, and other sources into a systems approach to nutrient management planning for production in relation to soils. It will explore for both crop and livestock farmers and advisors how to source, apply, match and gain economic and environmental advantage from the use of these important and valuable sources of nutrients.

NutrientSmart 2.0 Progrm Promotion Power Point Slide_FINAL

More information and registration can be found at www.farmsmartconference.com.

It’s the Root that Counts with Cover Crops

By Anne Verhallen, Soil Management Specialist (Horticulture)

Every time I see a bare field this time of year I just think – what a missed opportunity – an opportunity to get a cover crop in and build soil. Cover crops should be a key part of any soil maintenance package. Adding a cover crop into the rotation not only protects the soil over winter but also adds to the length of time that the soil has an active living root system.

Active and living are the key here. Roots take in water and nutrients from the soil but don’t forget plant roots continuously slough off and they also produce and secrete compounds back into the soil. These are called root exudates. These exudates can be waste materials from plant processes or they can be compounds with a known function like lubrication or defence. Research has shown that, in their own way plants continuously communicate with other plants and other organisms, often through these root exudates.

Soil adheres to the root exudates on this oat plant
Soil adheres to the root exudates on this oat plant

Continue reading It’s the Root that Counts with Cover Crops

Do you have a water contingency plan?

Jennifer Jarvis, OMAFRA

In 2016, many areas of the province saw very warm and dry conditions, creating challenges for horticulture and field crop producers. Many wells were still dry leading into the winter. In other years, like the start of the 2017 growing season, the province experienced periods of excessive rain, leading to saturated soils and flooding.

No one can control the weather, but we can plan for it. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) encourages you to plan for future weather – conserving water and using it efficiently can help during low water conditions, and having effective drainage systems in place can help with saturated soils and runoff. Continue reading Do you have a water contingency plan?

New, free soil health publications

Soil health in OntarioThe Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is rolling out a total of 21 new soil health publications. These publications provide best management practices to help you preserve and conserve soil while improving soil health and crop production.

Check out these five new titles on our Soil Health in Ontario web page:

  • Adding Organic Amendments
  • Erosion Control Structures
  • Cropland Retirement
  • Soil Health in Ontario
  • Field Windbreaks

Continue reading New, free soil health publications

4R Phosphorus Management Practices for Major Commodity Crops of North America

The International Plant Nutrition Institute has just released a new summary of best management practices for reduction of phosphorus losses for the major commodity crops of North America. Many of these practices are applicable to vegetable production, as well.

4R Phosphorus Management Practices for Major Commodity Crops of North America

Find this and other plant nutrition resources at http://www.ipni.net/issuereview or go directly to the pdf.

Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention presentations now available online

Ontario Fruit & Vegetable ConventionPresentation slides from the 2017 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) are now posted online. Field vegetable content at this year’s OFVC included: Continue reading Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention presentations now available online

OMAFRA IPM Scout Training Workshops for 2017

These workshops are available for those who will be scouting horticultural crops this year.

To register, please contact OMAFRA’s Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.

Planning is underway for the scout training workshop for hops. Details will be provided soon.           

GENERAL

Introduction to IPM

  • May 2, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Conference Rm 1, 2 and 3, 1st Floor,1 Stone Rd. West, Guelph
  • Workshop Leader: Denise Beaton
  • Notes: Lunch on your own. Handouts provided. Pay parking ($12/day).

VEGETABLE CROPS Continue reading OMAFRA IPM Scout Training Workshops for 2017

Lake Erie draft action plans posted to Ontario Environmental Registry

Two draft action plans have been posted to Ontario’s Environmental Registry for public comments.

Policy Proposal Notice: Canada-Ontario Action Plan for Lake Erie

Comment Period: 60 days. Submissions may be made before May 09, 2017.

Partnering in Phosphorus Control Draft Action PlanPolicy Decision Notice: Reducing Phosphorous to minimize Algal Blooms in Lake Erie

The draft Action Plan is posted for public input and can be found through this link. The Action Plan will be finalized no later than February 2018.