Tag Archives: water

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?

Temporary water permits available for Ontario irrigators

The Grower is reporting that due to the extremely dry growing season, the MOECC, supported by OMAFRA, has agreed to a streamlined approval process for Permits to Take Water (PTTW).

“The streamlining of the approvals process will be done during the current growing season and on a temporary and short-term basis. Requests by growers will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and may include takings from the Great Lakes and connecting channels, takings from dugout ponds and takings from neighbouring permitted sources such as ponds.”

Learn more: http://thegrower.org/news/temporary-water-permits-available-ontario-irrigators

 

Is the Nitrogen Still There?

Anne Verhallen, OMAFRA Soil Management Specialist – Horticulture

After heavy rains and wet soil conditions, questions come up about nitrogen. Is it still there? Should I add more?

Here comes the stock answer – It depends… Yes that seems to be a cop out but for good reason. There are a number of factors that come in to play here. Let’s take a closer look and then make some estimates.

The amount of nitrogen lost depends upon the amount that was in the nitrate form. Ammonium is held by the cation exchange complex and not lost. The conversion of ammonium to nitrate (a microbial process) is interrupted when the soil is saturated. Nitrate however can be lost through leaching and denitrification. Continue reading Is the Nitrogen Still There?

The Potential for Spread of Phytophthora Blight of Cucurbits and Peppers in Irrigation Water

Excerpts taken from ONvegetables in the Grower, April 2014. A full pdf version of this article is available at 2014_Infosheet_Phytophthora-in-irrigation-water

Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capsici) is a serious and complicated disease of peppers and cucurbit crops. Under the appropriate environmental conditions, infections can quickly spread and completely destroy a crop in a matter of days.

Dr. Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University, conducted an extensive study on the presence and potential impact of phytophthora in irrigation water sources. The study did indicate that irrigation from surface water is a potential source of phytophthora infection in cucurbit and pepper crops.

Figures 1-3. Peppers (L), Crown Rot (C), "Powdered Sugar" Spores (R)

Continue reading The Potential for Spread of Phytophthora Blight of Cucurbits and Peppers in Irrigation Water

And another cover crop webinar!

USDA Watershed Academy WebcastsAnne Verhallen, Soil Management Specialist – Horticulture, OMAF, Ridgetown

The US EPA is offering a webinar called Improve Water Quality by Using Cover Crops and Other Conservation Practices – March 25 from 1-3 pm EST. It features Dan Towery and Dr.Han Kok. Dan has been speaking in various spots in Ontario this past winter – he has a lot of good cover crop information to share. Hans is with the Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative and has good farm-developed information to present. To register (free) go to:  http://water.epa.gov/learn/training/wacademy/webcasts_index.cfm.

Irrigation water quality and plant disease webinars

The US National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative have been  holding a 14-session webinar series on plant pathogens and irrigation water.

They started on October 8, 2013, but you can watch recorded versions of the webinars that you’ve missed.  You can also find transcripts of the webinars and in some cases, additional resource materials. Continue reading Irrigation water quality and plant disease webinars

Managing wash water to protect your farm stream

From ONvegetables in The Grower, February 2014

By Deanna Nemeth, Nutrient Management Program Lead (Horticulture)/ OMAF and MRA

Fruit and vegetable producers have been looking for low cost methods to manage wash waters. When you are washing fruit and vegetables, the physical characteristics of the washwater varies depending on your operation. Characteristics can range from potable water used to rinse fruit and vegetables prior to packaging; to washwater high in soil sediments from rinsing soil from root vegetables or peel from scrubbing vegetable before packaging and marketing. Both the liquid and solid waste streams must be managed to protect water quality in and around the farm. Continue reading Managing wash water to protect your farm stream

Two practices to improve on-farm water use efficiency

By Rebecca Shortt, OMAF/MRA Water Quantity Engineer

Are you considering improving your on-farm water use efficiency?  Do you know what practices are eligible for cost-share funding under the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Implementation Funding Assistance program for producers?

The following paragraphs outline my top 2 recommended practices for improving water efficiency; the importance of monitoring water use with a meter, and  the importance of monitoring soil moisture with an instrument.  They are both eligible for GF2 funding. Continue reading Two practices to improve on-farm water use efficiency

Tomatoes and soil compaction?

Anne Verhallen, Soil Management Specialist – Horticulture, OMAFRA, Ridgetown

Yes, sands get compacted…   Tips for managing soil compaction…   Rules for subsoiling…

Tomatoes and soil compaction – yep it is really out there. Not a big surprise after the wet weather and soggy soil conditions of 2011. A dry year like 2012 shows all the weak spots in fields. However, we have been seeing a lot of soil compaction in tomato fields and getting reports of restricted root systems.

While one root did get through the compacted layer under this tomato plant, most did not, resulting in a smaller plant and less yield.
While one root did get through the compacted layer under this tomato plant, most did not, resulting in a smaller plant and less yield.

Tomato soils are perfectly situated for compaction. Continue reading Tomatoes and soil compaction?