2021-2023 Tier One Grant Project Summaries

The Tier One Grant is available to local and regional associations to support communication events such as: Educational Activities, Field Days, Guest Speakers, Bus Tours, In-Field Trials, or Demonstrations of New Equipment or Management Techniques.

2022-2023 Tier One Grant Project Summaries

Below are some examples of grants that have been completed over the last fiscal year (Apr 2022-Mar 2032)

Soil Compaction Field Day

Perth SCIA

Details of Activity: We had the soil compaction trailer demonstrations showing the various compactions equipment makes. Peter was our host for the morning with many local farmers bringing equipment to run over the scales. The afternoon was all about cover crops, we had 2 guest speakers describe their experience with cover crops and how they benefitted.

Important to Note: Attendance at Event was 200 individuals. Contact individual for more information is Brooklyn Johnston, Perth SCIA.

2021-2022 Tier One Grant Project Summaries

Below are some examples of grants that have been completed over the last fiscal year (Apr 2021-Mar 2022)

Georgian Region Virtual Crop Walks Equipment

Georgian Central Regional SCIA
Combined Grant of Bruce, Dufferin, Grey and North Simcoe SCIAs

Details of Activity: Four Virtual Crop Walks took place during the summer of 2021. All of the Walks featured video/audio components, pre-recorded or live, and it was essential that those videos appear as professional as possible. The equipment purchased with Tier One Grant funding allowed our County SCIA members to be seen and heard, and in turn, the information delivered was transferred to the attendees in the best way possible. The content was delivered during a two hour Virtual Walk, and it was also made available on YouTube for those that missed the live event.

Grey SCIA started the series with an Early Season Update on crops at Valleykirk Farms. Agronomists were live in the fields scouting the crops. That was followed by a Q and A session which was extremely enlightening.

Bruce SCIA provided live and pre-recorded content in their discussions about strip tillage at the farm of Thomas Farrell. Three producers shared their experiences with this tillage method. There was a great discussion period following the presentations.

North Simcoe SCIA planned a tillage program on heavily compacted soil this spring. They worked with OMAFRA to dig soil pits in August, so that Crop Walk viewers could see the corn root system development, and soil structure, with each of the different tillage methods. Excellent pre-recorded videos were shared during the walk, along with enlightening commentary by agronomists following the video review. There was excellent discussion in the question and answer time.

Dufferin SCIA presented their walk in September. They highlighted the diversity of agriculture in Dufferin, profiling potato and rhubarb productions, and more. They showed pre-recorded content followed by discussion with the featured families.

Each of the Walks had about 30 viewers, but there were many more registrations per Walk. All of the registrants (90 for North Simcoe’s alone) received the link to view the content on YouTube, and OSCIA has also made these videos available on their YouTube channel.

Important to Note: Attendance at Event was 120 over the four walks. Contact individual for more information is Lorie Smith, RCC of Georgian Central.

Bruce SCIA Virtual Crop Walk, July 6, 2021

Dufferin SCIA Virtual Crop Walk, September 14, 2021

Grey SCIA Virtual Crop Walk, June 21, 2021

North Simcoe SCIA Virtual Crop Walk, August 19, 2021

Priaxor Fungicide Trial

West Nippising/East Sudbury SCIA

Details of Activity: The project report details the in-field trial. The report is also available by clicking on the image of the report below.

Important to Note: Normand Delorme is the contact if you have any additional questions.

Equipment Day 2021

West Nippising/East Sudbury SCIA

Details of Activity:

The Purpose of the meeting was

  • to have farmers discuss with members the various types of minimum tillage equipment (pros & cons of each);
  • bring members out to discuss and share use of equipment;
  • raise membership. Had members pay their annual dues and recorded three new members.

The FCC introduced their Crop Input Program to members. Very please with the attendance and the participation.

Important to Note: 51 members attended. Normand Delorme is the contact if you have any additional questions.

Cover Crop Signs

Essex SCIA

Details of Activity: Essex SCIA erected 5 road signs to promote the use of cover crops and the Essex Association. The signs were erected in cover crop planted fields along well travelled routes.

Important to Note: Michael Dick is the contact if you have any additional questions.

Self-Guided Twilight Tour

St. Clair Regional SCIA

Details of Activity: St. Clair Region hosted a free self-guided Summer Twilight Tour. Participants were able to drive to various tour stops throughout the St. Clair Region, scan a QR CODE using their smartphone and automatically link up to and view a short informational video about the site. Tour stops were:

  • Schoeley Ridge Farms: SWAT mapping (Soil Water and Topography) by Fieldwalker Agronomy. The SWAT box maps topography and electrical conductivity. It is used to build, group and manage seed and fertilizer response zones.
  • Miracle Max’s Minions Sunflower field: Sunflowers planted by Brian Schoonjans in memory of Max Rombouts who died of Leukemia in 2019. Donations were accepted and directed to various charities including Childcan, the TLC Foundation and Ronald McDonald House.
  • Tillage Demo: Consists of static display of tillage equipment from Kuhn, Agro-X, John Deere, Degelman, Landoll and Kubota along with a strip of ground they have worked.
  • Kucera Farm Supply Tillage Demo: Consists of static display of tillage equipment from Case JH, Lemken and Salford along with a strip of ground they have worked.
  • Buurma Residue Management in Winter Wheat: Site highlights the complications of poor chaff spreading for corn following winter wheat in a strip till vs. conventional tillage system.
  • Shea Ag Planted Field: Field planted with Precision Planting products and Yetter Manufacturing for corn and soybean planter upgrades.
  • Essex Region Conservation Water Quality Study, Denotter Farms: There are three swales on the field, each with a V-notch weir at the end to measure surface runoff (flow, sediment, nutrients) leaving the field during precipitation events. The middle swale has a 10 foot buffer strip in place to determine if it will improve water quality and reduce sediment from leaving the field.
  • Tier 2 Project Continued – Connecting Soil Health with Yield: Project started in 2019 and identifies low and high producing areas in corn fields based on imagery and historical yields.
  • PRIDE Seed Education Farm: The PRIDE Seed Education Farm demonstrates what’s latest in seed techonology through new varieties, seed treatments and trait technology to protect corn and soybean crops. This clay site was no-till planted utilizing several Precision Planting Technologies, including Delta Force, Furrow Force, Clean Sweep, Smart Depth, and Conceal for precisely placed banded Nitrogen. The site includes 3 different planting dates from April 7-May 19 and June 9. These different planting dates provide insights into getting crop maturities right, correct depth and even population recommendations as we progress through spring planting season. Other demonstrations include residue management, various nitrogen rates applied with the planted and Agronomic decisions around plant populations in a no-till environment.
  • Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority: This spotlighted the ONFARM Program. The ONFARM Applied Research and Monitoring Program is a 4-year applied research initiative that began during 2019, that supports soil health and water quality research on farms across Ontario. The program is delivered by the OSCIA with the support of a number of organizations. The Lower Thames valley Conservation Authorities’ role is to collect environmental data in the subwatershed of Jeannettes Creek. Data collection includes agricultural land use, water quality, soil health and climate. In turn, this data is used to asses how agricultural practices are affecting regional nutrient loads, which can ultimately contribute to the development of Harmful Algae Blooms in the Thames River, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.
  • Haggerty Creek Ltd (2 locations): At the first location, staff talked about their soil optix sensor, the grain system , and allowed people to drive around the grain elevator. Two autonomous weeding robots were on display (Naio Oz) for participants to look at and ask questions about. At the second location, staff had the Raven OmniPower (formerly DOT) autonomous power unit with fertilizer spreader setup as well as a live demonstration of the Autonomous Grain Buggy system (Raven OmniDrive) so people can see what the first autonomous farming vehicles are going to look like in the field.

Important to Note: 237 participate in the event. Krista Gladstone, RCC for St. Clair Region, is the point of contact if you have any questions. The YouTube videos are available on OSCIA’s YouTube channel , and sample videos are embedded below.

Schoeley Ridge Farms

Miracle Max’s Minions Sunflower Field

Tier 2 Project Continued – Connecting Soil Health with Yield, J. Brush Farms Ltd.

Buurma Residue Management in Winter Wheat

Weigh Clinics

Elgin SCIA

Details of Activity: We held 3 weigh clinics at three locations across the county. These were hosted by directors Jamie McCaffery, Nick Hoffsuemmer and Craig Gregson. They provided some of their own equipment and invited neighbors (who were OSCIA members) to bring along equipment to be weighed. Following our large Compaction event, the directors were interested in weighing specific pieces of equipment to determine axle weights and then discussion of optimal tire upgrades with Kevin Bamim. Kevin also calculated ideal tire pressures for road and field for each piece of equipment.

One director brought a new silage wagon – it was a bit rainy in the morning so he didn’t bring it loaded to the first location. We weighed it empty and, as the weather cleared, he loaded it and brought it to the second location to be weighed again! DEDICATION and a real interest in the best tire technology for the equipment.

We had good interest from industry as well – Underhill Farm Supply brought their sprayer empty, returned to the location and filled the sprayer and came back with it loaded.

Important to Note: 50 individuals attended the event. Margaret May is the contact if you have any additional questions.

 

Middlesex Summer Tour

Middlesex SCIA

Details of Activity: Middlesex Summer Tailgate Meeting was held with live and video presentations using the LED screen from OSCIA. The presentations showcased a number of trials conducted by MSCIA on 60″ corn, Envita Trials and Tile Spacing. A good number of farmers learned some interesting trial data results. A question and answer session was held with some good information provided. Results of the trials will be communicated in the Thames Valley Newsletter.

Important to Note: 90 individuals attended the event. Marian Desjardine is the contact if you have any additional questions.

 

Zoom Subscription

Glengarry SCIA

Details of Activity: Since April of 2021 Zoom has been used to provide members with the option of engaging remotely. We had a huge decrease in our membership, due to COVID, and are slowly building the momentum again. Director meetings were held via Zoom as well as our 2022 annual meeting, that was held in January of 2022. Quick one-on-one meetings were very convenient, that allowed interaction with a potential member or sponsor. Glengarry Soil and Crop plans to offer this type of engagement in 2022, as well as the opportunity to participate in a hybrid event. This will offer members the option of communicating in person or remotely. People seem to enjoy the flexibility of being able to engage in this fashion.

Important to Note: Tracy Myers is the contact if you have any additional questions.

 

Tri-County AGM

Niagara North SCIA

Details of Activity: Niagara North, Niagara South and Haldimand County have once again partnered to host our AGM along with a speaker (Peter Johnson).
This year we hosted a virtual meeting as the COVID restrictions were still in place at time of planning. Peter is great at captivating the audience and has a wealth of information and knowledge to share with our members regarding soil and health.

Important to Note: 65 members were in attendance at this event. Cathy Vitucci is the contact if you have any additional questions.

 

Ottawa Rideau & OSN Virtual Road Tour

Ottawa Rideau Regional SCIA

Details of Activity: This winter farmers have a chance to explore fields across the province – all while keeping their feet toasty warm next to the wood stove thanks to a new app- Soil Road Trip.

This free app is now available at both Apple and Google’s app stores (link also at ontariosoil.net/soilroadtrip) and features videos and photos of about 100 fields across the province. These videos and photos were taken by the farmers themselves to showcase what they are doing with cover crops, min-till, amendments, and innovation for soil health. An added bonus: many stops include driving directions right to the field for those who want to see for themselves.

“I learn most from other farmers,” says Reuben Stone, “With another summer of no field meetings, this self-guided tour has helped us learn from each other, at a safe distance.” Stone is a seed producer in the Ottawa Valley and a member of the Ontario Soil Network (OSN)’s 2021 cohort, which dreamed up the app. He hopes it will also create new connections to farmers from other parts of the province.

With pandemic restrictions limiting the ability for the Ottawa Rideau Region Soil & Crop to host their Summer Car Tour, this innovative app created an opportunity for local farms and their progressive practices to be shared. “When we do a field day, you get to see the field or the crop at that one moment in time,” says Reuben, “With the app, I can show photos and videos from my field from the beginning of the season to the end. It’s like a field tour you can visit anytime.”

The Ottawa Rideau Region Soil & Crop was a big supporter of the app, ensuring that Eastern Ontario had many stops to showcase:

1. Eleanor Renaud’s site in Jaspar demonstrates delayed haying, rotational grazing & crop rotation on a managed hay field with wildlife habitat improvement goals. “My soil health goals are to improve the soil whenever and wherever possible, ” says Eleanor.

2. John Nanne, a Field Crops and Dairy farmer from Pakenham hosted a massive com trial, evaluating 22 different hybrids on their performance in a field that historically has had good crop rotation & manure usage. John and his team are collaborating with several agronomists for this project.

3. Sean & Gerry Richards, grains and oilseed farmers near Renfrew, focus on reduced tillage to improve profitability and soil health. Their cropping system has variable soil types on a rolling landscape “We do not do any fall tillage. We try to leave as much material on the surface as possible to protect the soil and allow the worms to do the work of residue management and nutrient cycling.”

4. Harry & Matthew Stuart are also grains and oilseed farmer near Renfrew. Their fields have been managed strictly no-till for over 25 years and have recently introduced some minimum tillage management. ‘We are always striving to try new and innovative ways of improving our soil and crop health,” says Matthew.

5. Charlene Whattam-Dick, grains, oilseeds & goat farmer from Douglas is looking to add diversity to her crop rotation and to incorporate cover crops into her farming system. Charlene & her dairy farming neighbour are experimenting in a collaboration project: establishing timothy after wheat harvest, which will be harvested & sold as green feed for the dairy cattle, followed by planting green with soybeans in the field next spring.

Like Reuben, Dave Cousins is an Eastern Ontario farmer and member of the OSN’s 2021 cohort. Dave’s Kinbum site hosts an extensive com trial through Ingredion’s non-GM com program to test a diversity of corn varieties for their adaptability to Eastern Ontario. Dave also works extensively with City of Ottawa as a recipient farm for city generated biosolids and doing habitat development projects with his local Conservation Authority.

Other Eastern Ontario OSN cohort members including Chris Moore and Lyndsey Smith from Carp. The couple rotationally graze sheep in between solar panels around the Ottawa area, which is a technique known as solar grazing. Solar grazing allows farmers to utilize and regenerate grazing land that otherwise might be lost to food production.

The Ontario Soil Network offers farmer-to-farmer learning and support for cover crops, min-till and amendments, with the goal to improve Ontario’s soils. Founded in 2017, the group now hosts regular #LetsTalkSoil discussions online and all are welcome to join. Find them on Twitter: @SoilNetwork or sign up for updates at www.ontariosoil.net.

See you on the road!

Important to Note: Kelsey Banks is the contact if you have any additional questions.

Membership Engagement

Thames Valley Regional SCIA

Details of Activity: Incredible success. There were 110 participants on Zoom. Recorded sessions will be posted on the website. The plot projects, plot protocols and project results are posted on One Drive and displayed at the meeting for everyone to find in the future. Good educational content, CCA CEUs approved.
Peter Sikkema talked about waterhemp – its incredibly speedy spread across Ontario, and control measures producers can take.
Peter Johnson spoke about regional project updates, primarily with progress for the Roots Not Iron project that was exhibiting some positive results.

Important to Note: 110 individuals were in attendance for the AGM. Cathy Dibble is the contact if you have any additional questions.

 

Envita Trials

Oxford SCIA

Details of Activity: Envita applications in corn and soybeans showing positive results. Data and the report were included in Crop Advances, posted on the regional website and communicated at local and regional events. The report is also available by clicking on the image of the report below.

Important to Note: Cathy Dibble is the contact if you have any additional questions.

Funding Statement

These projects were funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

The views expressed in the reports are the views of OSCIA and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province or Canada.

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