Below are some examples of grants that have been completed over the last fiscal year (Apr 2022-Mar 2023)
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.
Details of Activity: The Chatham-Kent Soil & Crop Improvement Association (KSCIA) hosted the Twilight Tour on August 30th of 2022 for regional members and interested farmers. The objective of the event was to engage and obtain new members, while providing an educational opportunity for attendees to learn about practices that can be used to improve soil health and crop production.
Event speakers included:
Important to Note: Attendance at the event was 25 individuals. Contact individual for more information is Colin Little, Chatham-Kent SCIA.
Details of Activity: On August 30, 2022, Dundas Soil and Crop Improvement Association hosted Ken Kerrie’s Tillage School. An opportunity to watch tillage equipment, nitrogen systems, water management and cover crop practices. Location: Vernon Valley Farms.
Important to Note: Attendance was 82 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Jessica Menkhorst, Dundas SCIA.
Details of Activity: The Elgin SCIA AGM was held January 12, 23 at the Keystone Complex in Shedden. Coffee and muffins were provided by Fingal Farm Supply, Corteva and BASF for the 80 in attendance.
Nathan Saarloos, President of ESCIA, chaired the day.
Ian McDonald and Chuck Baresich of Haggerty Robotics outlined how robots could be used on farms. Horst Bohner supplied the results of the soybean trials from the Huron Tractor research site.
Anne Verhallen led a discussion about cover crops suitable for Elgin County soils. This presentation was a KSE event for OFCAF.
Dr. John Lauzon led a discussion about How Nitrogen Moves – also a KSE for OFCAF.
Peter Johnson, RealAgriculture led a rapid fire Q and A for growers in attendance.
With the AGM presentations, and the presence of Steve Sickle, OSCIA President elect, members indicated they were pleased with the information received and the discussion and socializing at the meeting.
Important to Note: Attendance was 80 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Margaret May, Elgin SCIA.
Details of Activity: The Essex Soil and Crop Improvement Association held their Annual Farm Twilight Tour this year at Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, winner of the 2021 Conservation Farm Award, in Harrow. The date was Wednesday, August 10th, beginning at 5:00 pm. Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards is located at 1425 Iler Road, Harrow. Topics covered included wine making, vineyard production and a tour of a constructed wetland.
Important to Note: Attendance was 40 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Michael Dick, Essex SCIA.
Details of Activity: The Haldimand Soil and Crop Improvement Association hosted a bus tour on Aug 24 for local members. Our bus tour went to two farms that were innovative with their use of cover crops and organic amendments. Our first stop was at Luymes farm of Moorefield, where we toured a wheat stubble field and their shop. We learned about their use of strip cover cropping and how they are planting different species of cover crops in alternating rows. We also inspected some of their equipment. Our second stop was at Schaus Land and Cattle of Hanover. Here we learned about Ken’s use of compost as fertilizer. We also toured one of the finishing barns on site.
Important to Note: Attendance was 30 individuals on the tour. Contact individual for more information is Matt Beischlag, Haldimand SCIA.
Details of Activity: The Twilight meeting included 3 demonstrations and two presentations.
Demo 1: Time of day spraying, Peter Sikkema (U of G) discussed research on the efficacy of herbicide in relationship to time of day spraying. Corteva technician applied a demo plot 14 days prior to meeting showing spraying done at 6AM, 3PM and 8PM with three difference herbicide treatments.
Demo 2: Soil Health demo. Anne Verhallen (OMAFRA) discussed the latest SHAP test and current pilot project for soil health testing. There were 5 different areas on the hose farm that were tested prior to meeting, those results along with underwear that had been buried at the same time as test were looked at. Lots of discussion around cover crops was included.
Demo 3: Fertilizer application demo, purpose was to compare different technologies for spreading dry fertilizer, included a pull type spreader, custom air flow, a local farmers new large capacity spreader and an autonomous spreader from Haggerty Creek.
Presentation 1: Chris Roelands, Honeyland Labs, discusses nitrogen management in corn.
Presentation 2: Peter Johnson, RealAgriculture, did a Q&A on what was timely matters from the season and of course promoted planting winter wheat this fall.
Important to Note: Attendance was 154 individuals at this event. Contact individual for more information is Chad Anderson, Lambton SCIA.
Brant SCIA, Hamilton-Wentworth SCIA and Golden Horseshoe regional SCIA combined
Details of Activity: Hamilton-Wentworth and Brant Soil and Crop Improvement Associations, with support from Golden Horseshoe Region, organized and delivered a regional Compaction Day event, at Snobelen Farms, Brantford, on Thursday August 18, 9am-3pm.
Event included learnings about how the weight of farm equipment used locally impacts soil. Sensors were buried at 6-, 12- and 18-inch depths and equipment driven over to measure compaction at all three levels of soil depth, in various soil moisture conditions. Difference between tire widths, various inflation pressures and central tire inflation system was evaluated. Many equipment pieces were weighed ahead of the event day by the Ontario Compaction Team and local volunteers, and select pieces demonstrated in real time using the MSTS LED screen and audio system. Commentary and learnings presented by Peter Johnson and Steve Sickle. There was also a tire info learning station, equipment demos, a cover crop trial and soil health learning station as well as an on-site trade show with sponsors exhibiting.
Through marketing & promotion, the event attracted almost 200 attendees, coming from as far away as Michigan! In-kind contributions from members, local farmers and agribusiness were significant. Support from sponsors and agribusiness was also a key to success.
Technical results will be shared through presentations at Brant and Hamilton-Wentworth Annual Meetings in January 2023.
Important to Note: Attendance was 180 individuals at the event. Contact individuals for more information include Nancy Van Sas, RCC Golden Horseshoe and Michelle Young, Hamilton-Wentworth SCIA.
Details of Activity: The project was a tour of local spring wheat, edible beans, soybeans and canola with in field discussions with the host farmers, the members plus an agronomist.
The group learned about the production practices and costs of growing these cash crops on Manitoulin Island. Typically crop rotations include mostly forages with some barley or mixed grain. So all of the toured crops were relatively new crops for many attendees. The agronomist gave tremendous insights into soil management and crop specific production pointers.
Important to Note: Attendance was 26 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Jim Martin, Manitoulin SCIA.
Niagara North SCIA
Details of Activity: The speaker/AGM event was well attended by members from Niagara and Haldimand.
There was good discussion and conclusion that we need to communicate or make sure OSCIA & Local/Regional events are being seen and advertise where the members are looking. Ontario Farmer – paper publication, for example.
We learned about a bio digestate facility and land applications.
We also heard from Jason Persall about growing and placing sunflowers.
Peter Johnson did a great job at engaging the members in a Q&A.
Important to Note: Attendance was 93 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Cathy Vitucci, Niagara North SCIA.
Details of Activity: Northumberland SCIA chartered a bus to pick up members on route to St. Marys Cement and Agro-100 Ka Lime plant in Bowmanville. St Marys management staff presented a historical overview of plant operations and the process by which cement is produced. They explained that advancements in process and equipment now allow extraction of by-products of agricultural value. Greg Haney, Regional Sales Manager for Agro-100, then explained the process by which KaLime fertilizer is harvested and it’s value as a “nutriliming” agent; KaLime contains line but also macro-and-micro nutrients that are readily plant available. Greg explained the fertilizer value of KaLime, how it’s properties distinguish it from ag lime and muriate of potash, and under what soil fertility levels it may be a product of choice for local farmers. Aspects of agronomy and economics were discussed. Members were engaged throughout the presentations and had great questions that facilitated the discussion.
Following the presentations, members were treated to a guided tour of the plan including a scheduled blast at the pit mine! Protective gear (hardhats, high-vis vests, goggles, ear plugs) were kindly provided by TCO Agromart. The scale of the facility and the speed and efficiency at which final product is produced was impressive.
In all, it was a fun and informative day that brought value to our existing members and attracted a few new ones as well. After the event, Agro-100 provided an electronic excerpt of the presentation, information from which will be shared with our membership.
Important to Note: Attendance was 15 individuals on the bus trip. Contact individual for more information is Eric Lawlor, Northumberland SCIA.
Northwestern Regional SCIA
Details of Activity: The pasture walk was comprised of a tour of several pastures in and around the Thunder Bay area. Guest speaker Dana Pierce travelled to each filed with the group of attendees and gave her expert input on the best management practices that could and have been implemented at each site.
All who attended were educated on the best practice to maintain excellent pastures and soil health.
A lunch catered by a local caterer was served at a producers farm, and featured locally grown and raised produce.
Important to Note: Attendance was 25 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Rachel Kehoe, RCC Northwestern Region.
Ottawa-Rideau Regional SCIA
Details of Activity: The feedback from attendees and tour hosts, is said that Summer Tour 2022 was excellent. There were approximately 34 attendees with a limit of 35 attendees allowed due to safety reasons at Ingredion and the Port of Johnstown. At Ingredion, the attendees learned about how corn is graded, crushed, and what by-products are made from the crushed corn. It was very interesting to see that many farmers were interested in the grain grading and able to see the whole process. During lunch, there was a lot of networking and discussions about crop planning amongst the attendees and agronomists. At the Port of Johnston, attendees had a tour throughout the port, but also got to go on the top of the port that had attendees very interested in the process of storing grain post delivery. Overall, this event was very interesting, well attended and is still being discussed with farmers across eastern Ontario.
Important to Note: Attendance was 34 individuals on the bus trip. Contact individual for more information is Kelsey Banks, RCC Ottawa-Rideau Region.
Details of Activity: We hosted Ken Ferrie to present on the different types of tillage equipment, as well as their pros and cons to soil health, water management and crop production.
Important to Note: Attendance was 70 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Taylor Brophy, Ottawa-Carleton SCIA.
Details of Activity: Update on current research projects, 2022 wheat yields, nitrogen cycles and more efficient use of nitrogen fertilizers.
Important to Note: Attendance was 55 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Cathy Dibble, Oxford SCIA.
Details of Activity: See attached project report.
Important to Note: Contact individual for more information is Cathy Dibble, Oxford SCIA.
Details of Activity: The Bus Tour took place in the County of Russell for this year and it was in conjunction with the Russell County Soil and Crop Improvement Association on August 25th, 2022.
The Tour brought us to:
Glen Edwards antique tractors collection
Important to Note: Attendance was 40 individuals on the bus tour. Contact individual for more information is Marc Saumure, Prescott SCIA.
Temiskaming SCIA/Crops Coalition
Details of Activity: See attached trial report.
The plots were featured in the 2022 Temiskaming Crops Coalition annual crop tour with over 140 attendees on the tour.
Knowledge mobilization for the project also occurred during a meeting on January 19, 2023, to a crowd of 20 producers.
Important to Note: Attendance at events sharing the in-field trial activity was 160 individuals. Contact individual for more information is Tanja Seed, Temiskaming Crops Coalition
West Nipissing/East Sudbury SCIA
Details of Activity: The West Nipissing East Sudbury Soil and Crop held a Verner Crop Info Day on February 9, where 19 members looked at available online presentation and discussed how it applied to our area. We discussed crop agronomy, climate change, equipment upgrades and the markets. We had 2 Agronomists participate and give their northern perspective on the subjects as well as answer any questions from the participants. This was a full day event with the lunch sponsored by the West Nipissing OFA and beverages by GFO. The Regional Coop sponsored the printed and mailing of the advertisement of the event. None of the Sudbury SCIA participated at the event due to a weather travel advisory. Comments from members were very positive. Very informative and well organized.
Important to Note: Attendance was 19 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Normand Delorme, West Nipissing/East Sudbury SCIA.
Details of Activity: Philip talked to us about the grain markets and how local events and world events affected the local markets. We hope that his talk has helped people in attendance do a better marketing of their crops this year.
We announced that this project was funding in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
We also announced that the views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of the Province or Canada.
Important to Note:Attendance was 80 individuals at the event. Contact individual for more information is Tom Patterson, York SCIA.
Below are some examples of grants that have been completed over the last fiscal year (Apr 2021-Mar 2022)
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
West Nippising/East Sudbury SCIA
Details of Activity:
The Purpose of the meeting was
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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