Category Archives: Cover Crops

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

How much soil is lost to wind erosion?

The erosive force of wind on an open fieldWind erosion occurs in susceptible areas of Ontario but represents a small percentage of land – mainly sandy and organic or muck soils. Under the right conditions, though, it can cause major losses of soil and property — and can cause off-farm problems, too. Ask your neighbours.

The rate and magnitude of soil erosion by wind is controlled by the following factors: soil erodibility, soil surface roughness, climate, unsheltered distance, and vegetative cover. You know which of these you can control. Continue reading How much soil is lost to wind erosion?

Keeping the soil covered: managing crop residues and cover crops

This is a good day to reprint some articles about soil cover. This second one is from Adam Hayes, OMAFRA Soil Management Lead for Field Crops. This was originally run in the CropTalk newsletter in 2013.

Protecting the Soil Over Winter

The fall harvest is all but almost complete. The crop has provided cover for the soil through the summer and early fall. Between now and next spring’s planting when the crop is planted again, the soil will be exposed to pounding rains, overland flow from rain and melting snow, and high winds. All of these can cause significant soil loss and from fields or at the very least strip productive soil from areas within the fields. That soil is lost and the productivity of those areas reduced. A few simple measures can go a long way to protecting your soil.

50% Residue Cover

One of the easiest things to do is to leave at least 50% of the soil surface covered with crop residues in the fall. Continue reading Keeping the soil covered: managing crop residues and cover crops

Soil is meant to be covered

This is a good day to reprint some articles about soil cover. First, from Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA Soil Management Lead for Horticulture. This was originally run in the ONorganic newsletter in 2013.

I recently heard Gabe Brown speak. He is a rancher in North Dakota and is probably best known for his aggressive cover cropping strategy using highly diverse mixtures. One thing he said really stands out though – he said “When we farm in Nature’s image, everything gets easier”. By this he meant farming with diverse cover crop mixtures and keeping the soil constantly covered just as Nature does.

In recent years we have seen a lot more erosion across the province – both wind and water erosion. Just think back to April 2012, we had two Mondays in particular with extended high winds. There was soil moving off fields that typically are not prone to erosion but were bare and open to the wind. Continue reading Soil is meant to be covered

Developing an Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy for Ontario

From the OMAFRA Ag Business Update

SoilThe Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is developing an Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy. Specifically, OMAFRA is seeking feedback on a Discussion Document that outlines a draft vision, goals and objectives for the strategy.

Healthy agricultural soils are essential in order to ensure ongoing productivity and competitiveness in Ontario’s agri-food sector as well as food security for the province and the world. Both security of food supply and nutritional quality of foods can, in part, be influenced by soil health. Continue reading Developing an Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy for Ontario

The Anniversary Tour Featuring…Crop Research at Ridgetown Campus, U of G

Hosted by OMAFRA & Ridgetown Campus – University of Guelph

Wednesday September 14th, 2016

Gosnell Line and Ridgetown Campus
• No cost • No preregistration required
Join the plot tour either in the afternoon or evening Continue reading The Anniversary Tour Featuring…Crop Research at Ridgetown Campus, U of G

Seasonal Topics – August 29, 2016

Stink bug damage on tomatoAugust 29, 2016 — Some topics are relevant year after year, but you might not always take the time to filter through previous posts to find them. I’ve highlighted some here that might be of interest this week. Click on the preview images below to jump to the articles. Continue reading Seasonal Topics – August 29, 2016