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?→
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.”
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?→
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.
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→
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?
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.