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April 16, 2019 / 0 Comments

OSCIA Celebrates National Soil Conservation Week

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association Celebrates National Soil Conservation Week
April 21 – 27 2019
Guelph, Ontario

National Soil Conservation Week, championed by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC), is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of healthy soil resources to OSCIA members, participants in OSCIA-administered programs, and all Ontarians. “Promotion of soil health and conservation is at the forefront of OSCIA’s applied research priorities, our partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), our recognition of Soil Champions, and our administration of cost-share programs supporting soil health-enhancing best management practices,” says Andrew Graham, Executive Director at OSCIA.

OSCIA and OMAFRA help support producer-led efforts to investigate soil conservation practices through the Applied Research Grants (Tier 2). Current applied research projects looking at innovative solutions to common soil health barriers include Compaction Recovery with Cover Crops in Bruce County, Roots Not Iron 2 in the Thames Valley, and Soil Health Related to Yields in the St. Clair region. Graham points out that “The outstanding contributions of Ontario farmers and researchers are further recognized by OSCIA’s annual naming of a Soil Champion: an individual effectively advocating for sustainable soil management practices in Ontario.” Nominations for 2020’s Soil Champion are currently open.
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April 16, 2019 / 0 Comments

National Soil Conservation Week

National Soil Conservation Week: A Time for Reflection on the Role of Healthy Soil for Healthy Food
April 16, 2019

Guelph, Ontario – Each year in April, National Soil Conservation Week is celebrated to bring special attention to the role of farmland soil for providing abundant food for consumers. Not to be taken for granted, this year April 21-27 is a reminder that the thin layer of topsoil covering farmers’ fields requires extensive knowledge and superior management skill to ensure our food capacity remains eminent for future generations.

“Ancient civilizations, such as the Mesopotamians, Greeks, and Romans faced serious soil erosion which plugged irrigation canals causing food shortages and social unrest, ultimately leading to decline of those societies,” says Les Nichols, President of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). “We are fortunate today that we have superior knowledge through innovation and practical farmer experiences that protects and improves the health of soil. We are thankful for continued investment in research and technical advancement to protect our future as food producers.”

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February 20, 2019 / 0 Comments

Ontario farmer and soil extension specialist honoured as 2019 Soil Champions

Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association names two winners for the first time
Kingston ON, 11 February 2019. A Middlesex County farmer and a long-time provincial government soil specialist are the recipients of this year’s Soil Champion Award. The award recognizes leaders in sustainable soil management and was presented by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) to Jim Denys and Anne Verhallen at its annual conference yesterday. Although OSCIA has always had the ability to name winners in both the producer and research/extension categories, this is the first time the association has presented its award to multiple recipients.
“We are very fortunate to have people in Ontario like Anne and Jim who are so dedicated to soil health and sustainable soil management, and our selection panel was very pleased to exercise its ability to present Soil Champion awards to both of these outstanding soil health advocates,” says OSCIA President Peter McLaren.

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February 20, 2019 / 0 Comments

Ontario farmer and soil extension specialist honoured as 2019 Soil Champions

February 11, 2019 By Lilian Schaer, for the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

Kingston ON, 11 February 2019.

A Middlesex County farmer and a long-time provincial government soil specialist are the recipients of this year’s Soil Champion Award. The award recognizes leaders in sustainable soil management and was presented by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) to Jim Denys and Anne Verhallen at its annual conference yesterday. Although OSCIA has always had the ability to name winners in both the producer and research/extension categories, this is the first time the association has presented its award to multiple recipients.

“We are very fortunate to have people in Ontario like Anne and Jim who are so dedicated to soil health and sustainable soil management, and our selection panel was very pleased to exercise its ability to present Soil Champion awards to both of these outstanding soil health advocates,” says OSCIA President Peter McLaren. Read More

February 20, 2019 / 0 Comments

Les Nichols Will Lead OSCIA as 2019 President

February 20, 2019
Guelph, ON – The 2019 slate of Provincial Directors for the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) was introduced in early February at their annual conference in Kingston. Taking the reins as president for the one-year term is Les Nichols from Bruce County.

OSCIA, founded in 1939, is a unique not-for-profit grassroots farm organization. The organization is comprised of more than 50 local associations around the province and a membership of over 4,000 producers that reflects all major sectors. OSCIA is farmers actively seeking, testing and adopting optimal farm production and stewardship practices. Their number one applied research priority is soil health.

As a leader in agricultural stewardship program delivery for more than 30 years, OSCIA works with producers to support environmental stewardship activities in agriculture through education-based programs and cost-share funding opportunities.
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February 20, 2019 / 0 Comments

Building soil structure and health yields benefits for Soil Champion

February 11, 2019 By Lilian Schaer, for the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

Maintaining and building the soil and an insatiable thirst to try new things have earned Jim Denys recognition as 2019 Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) Soil Champion.

The honour is awarded annually by the organization to recognize leaders in sustainable soil management.

Denys is the second generation on a mixed farm in Middlesex County where he cash crops mainly corn, wheat and soybeans, produces pork in a farrow to finish system, and sells seed for Maizex.

It was his father who first started with no-till wheat in the 1990s, eventually adding no-till soybeans into corn stalks and trying some early strip-till experiments. Planting corn into spring strips in soybean stubble worked well, but because of equipment limitations at the time, spring strips into wheat stubble was less successful. Read More

February 6, 2019 / 0 Comments

Temporary Field Storage of Manure In Winter

by Christine Brown, Nutrient Management Lead – Field Crops, OMAFRA

The opportunity to get bedded-pack cattle manure was too good to pass up. But now as the field in front of me is a sea of white with deep drifts, one question arises, “Where is the best location to temporarily store the manure?”

With society’s negative image of field applied manure on snow covered and frozen fields, there is a greater need for temporary field storages. Temporary field storages can be a great solution to limited barn storage of manure and can also be a time saver during the busy spring season for transporting manure. However, when the snow is deep and the ideal place for a temporary storage may not be easily accessed, what are the options?

There are guidelines that help determine the best place for temporary storages. They are in place to minimize the risk of contaminating water sources and also to help prevent complaints from local residents.
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January 2, 2019 / 0 Comments

Manure, Phosphorus and the Winter Landscape

by Christine Brown, Nutrient Management Lead, OMAF and MRA
BMP’s suggest that seed placed fertilizer, residue management and cover crops will help prevent soil phosphorus from reaching water courses. Manure application requires extra attention to prevent phosphorus losses, especially during winter and snow melt conditions.

Phosphorus (P) is essential to plant growth. Crop root growth is most prolific in soils enriched with phosphorus, but too much of a good thing can have negative environmental impacts. When phosphorus enters a water course, eutrophication results. Eutrophication is when a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients that stimulate the growth of aquatic plants. This can lead to fluctuations in dissolved oxygen, which limits aquatic life. Sometimes phosphorus in bodies of water can lead to toxic algae blooms.
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December 18, 2018 / 0 Comments

Late Season Wet Weather Creates Hurdles for Manure Application

Christine Brown, Field Crop Sustainability Specialist, OMAFRA, Woodstock
November 15, 2018

Protecting watersources from manure would be a lot easier if the weather would cooperate. After a relatively good growing season, the conditions since September have been wetter than normal with only short windows between rain events to complete harvest and field work. A challenging corn harvest, combined with wet soils and early snow events has resulted in fieldwork that is behind schedule and manure storages that are full and need to be emptied before the calendar gets to “winter”.

Water contamination from field drainage tiles, soil erosion and surface runoff must be considered when applying manure during a wet and/or wintry October, November or December. Field damage from soil compaction, especially on heavier soils is another consideration in balancing field operations and healthy soils.
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December 5, 2018 / 0 Comments

L’OSCIA lance un programme de financement pour favoriser l’analyse du DON dans le maïs

Le 5 décembre 2018

 

Guelph ON – Dans le cadre d’une initiative stratégique visant à aider les agriculteurs ontariens de céréales à faire face à des niveaux élevés de contamination du maïs par le DON (la vomitoxine) dans la récolte de cette année, l’Association pour l’amélioration des sols et des récoltes de l’Ontario annonce de nouvelles occasions de partage des frais pour favoriser l’analyse du DON.

 

Les occasions de partage des frais feront partie d’une réception de demandes ciblée dans le cadre du Partenariat canadien pour l’agriculture. Le Partenariat a pour but, entre autres, d’aider les producteurs à gérer les risques pour la santé des plantes et des animaux. Le programme est une occasion d’aborder l’enjeu du DON.

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