June 10, 2021 / 0 Comments

New Website Announcement: ONForageNetwork.ca

The Ontario Forage Council, Ontario Hay Listings, Ontario Biomass Producers Co-op, and the Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative have collaborated websites to bring you the Ontario Forage Network!

The new ONForageNetwork.ca website is the online hub for forage, pasture and biomass crop production in the province. Here you can find information on seeding, growing, harvesting, storing, and marketing these crops. The network is a partnership between the Ontario Forage Council, the Ontario Hay & Forage Co-op, and the Ontario Biomass Producers Co-op.

From this new site, you will be able to browse products available from the co-operatives and learn about their end use markets, see upcoming events and news, post an add, become a member, and more! Finding any one of these organizations is easy; just search their previous domain, and you will be directed to the right page on the network.

The Ontario Hay Listings is also getting a makeover! Until now, only hay, straw and biomass ads have been permitted. We have expanded the categories to include everything from manure exchange to the labour to shovel it! This area of the site is still in development, so if you have something to advertise that isn’t included, please let us know.

A second phase of this project is underway to add a permanent home for the goforages.ca domain. This area will be dedicated to forage research, technical, and agronomy information from a variety of sources.


Ontario Forage Council

Patricia Ellingwood, Executive Assistant

Phone: (519)986-1484, or 1-877-892-8663

Po Box 463

Markdale, Ontario

N0C 1H0

E-mail: support@ontarioforagecouncil.com

June 8, 2021 / 0 Comments

Tier One Funding Now Available

OSCIA is pleased to announce that Tier One funding is currently available for projects completed between April 1-September 30, 2021. Funding is available through the local or regional associations for projects that align with OSCIA research priorities, encourage grassroots innovation, serve to educate, and help build awareness of Ontario agriculture.

The Tier One Grant is able to support such local and regional projects such as educational activities, field days, guest speakers, seed fairs, in-field demonstrations and in-field trials. The emergence of virtual tours over the last year has proven a new avenue to be able to reach more individuals than ever before.

Local and Regional associations can apply for a maximum of $1,500 with the current Tier One funding, up to a maximum of $25,000 across all local/regional associations. This funding is currently available for projects with a start date after April 1 and must be wrapped up by September 30, 2021. Additional funding may be available after this time. Applications are approved based off a first-come, first-served basis.

Check out the OSCIA website for summaries of past projects https://www.ontariosoilcrop.org/association-association-membership-grants-tier-one-2018-2021-tier-one-grant-summaries/.  To highlight one project from early 2020, Norfolk hosted a Road Safety Grower Day. During the event, Officers from the Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Provincial Police made a presentation regarding updated regulations to the Highway Traffic Act and how this relates to farm equipment and their operators. Norfolk was able to increase their membership by 14 through hosting this event.

Local and Regional Associations are encouraged to visit our website for more information on how to apply (https://www.ontariosoilcrop.org/association/association-membership/grants/tier-one/).

June 8, 2021 / 0 Comments

Georgian SCIA Virtual Crop Walks

Georgian SCIA Virtual Crop Walks

Farmers across Ontario are invited to join Georgian SCIA for a series of 4 Virtual Crop Walks this summer.

Grey County SCIA will start the ball rolling with their Walk during the evening on Monday June 21st, from 7:45 – 9:00 pm.  Why not spend the longest day of the year checking out fields of wheat, hay and soybeans, monitoring emergence and other issues, from the comfort of your easy chair?  This is a great opportunity to chat with other farmers about the challenges or successes that they are experiencing.  Questions will be encouraged!

The Zoom call only has capacity for 100 people, so register today by emailing lorie@greyagservices.ca.

Bruce County SCIA will be offering their virtual walk in early July (5 or 6 TBD).  Topics will include: strip till -producers with varying levels of experience will share their thoughts and perspectives; planting green – soybeans into cereal rye; and no-till alfalfa into an oat cover crop.  This walk will contain a mix of pre-recorded content and discussion in real-time.

North Simcoe SCIA takes the lead in August. Their virtual crop walk takes place on the 19th from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. They will be digging a root pit so that attendees can observe the effects of different tillage practices on the roots in heavily compacted grounds.  Tillage will include: strip till, deep ripping, hybrid finisher, onepass Amazone disk, and deep shank.  This walk will include pre-recorded content and the opportunity for discussion in real-time.

Dufferin County SCIA will wrap up the Virtual Walks in September (date TBD) with visits to Tupling Farms and Lennox Farm, producers of potatoes and rhubarb respectively.  Learn about these operations, and pose your questions.  Other SCIA members across Dufferin will also share ‘Ag in their backyard’ videos.  This walk will include pre-recorded content and the opportunity for discussion in real-time.

In lieu of other crop walk expenses, the county SCIAs will be donating $ towards their county 4-H programs.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Lorie Smith at lorie@greyagservices.ca.

We hope to see your face on the screen for these Virtual Walks! Please register soon.  Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmatory email.  The link to the Zoom Crop Walk will be shared closer to the date of the event.

June 2, 2021 / 0 Comments

Crop Report – June 2, 2021

Crop Report – June 2, 2021

Soybean Update

Figure 1. Thin soybean stands due to dry soil conditions.

The majority of the soybean crop was planted by May 20th. Although plant stands have generally been good, there are fields with poor emergence. Poor soybean stands can be caused by various issues such as insect or slug feeding, but this year the main problem has been dry soil. Soybeans must be seeded about 0.5 inches into moisture, which under ideal conditions results in a total planting depth of about 1.5 inches. In many cases this season, fields had to be planted 2.0 to 2.5 inches to find adequate moisture. In some area’s moisture was not present even then. Planting soybeans deeper than 2.5 inches is generally not recommended, because the seed has limited energy reserves and cannot emerge from very deep planting. If seed was not placed into adequate soil moisture and begins to swell but then dries before emergence, it will die unless there is a rain within about 5-7 days (Figure 2.).

Figure 2. Land Rolling to conserve moisture.

Frost Damage

Freezing temperatures in late May caused frost damage in northern counties and in low-lying fields in southern Ontario. Plants damaged below the cotyledons by early-season frost or hail will not recover. If frost damages the growing point of the seedling but not the stem portion below, the plant will send out new shoots from the base of the cotyledons. The only way to determine if the seedling is dead is to wait 5 days, and watch for new growth to emerge from the point where the cotyledons or leaves attach to the stem (leaf axils). Research trials have show that leaf loss at early growth stages has little impact on final yield or maturity.  So if the plants survive, they still have excellent yield potential.  Sometimes a light frost will actually increase yield because plants branch more.

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May 20, 2021 / 0 Comments

Crop Report – May 19, 2021


Current weather patterns are generally expected to hold for the next week or so. This will allow for planting of corn and soybeans to be mostly complete by the last week of May, though many fields and farms will appreciate some rain soon, particularly in the far southwest (Figure 1). Significant precipitation is possible in the next two weeks, but percentage chances are still low and uncertain.

Map of average precipitation (mm) Southern Ontario

Figure 1. Difference from normal precipitation since April 1. Click image to expand


Some areas of the province are seeing high powdery mildew pressure in certain susceptible winter wheat varieties. Management decisions should be based on the severity and on protecting the flag leaf. If the disease slows down with warm, dry weather and doesn’t move up the canopy, intervention can wait. If growing a susceptible variety and the disease is getting close to the flag leaf, growers should consider a fungicide application before T3. Susceptibility ratings for specific varieties can be found on the “head-to-head” page from the Ontario Cereal Crops Committee. Powdery mildew symptoms on the flag leaf (1% of the leaf) and the second leaf (3%–5% of the leaf) require immediate attention, especially if prolonged wet, humid weather is forecast.

As flag leaf emerges in winter wheat across the province, the crop is approximately 250-275 GDD from pollination and T3 fungicide timing. Application should be targeted for day 3 (three days after 75% of heads in the field have fully emerged.

Cold temperatures kept sprayers out of action in some areas of the province. Those still considering herbicide applications should keep an eye out for flag leaf emergence. If flag leaves are present, it is best to skip the spray in order to avoid injury to the flag leaf and significant yield loss that can accompany it.

Spring cereal growth was slowed during the cool early weeks of May, and so may still be in the critical weed-free period (up to third leaf, GS13). Annuals are emerging and should be controlled.

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May 20, 2021 / 0 Comments

Brief Update on OSCIA’s New Wheel Load Scales

OSCIA is very excited about the acquisition of a suite of tools we are calling the Mobile Soil Technology Suite (MSTS), made possible through funding from OMAFRA. While more information will be coming to our membership soon in the June edition of The Innovator, we wanted to provide members with a brief update on one set of tools in our suite, our wheel load scales.

Photo contains wireless display, printer, and laptop next to in-use wheel load scale.

Wireless display, printer, and laptop next to in-use wheel load scale.

This week, we were able to begin testing out our new wheel load scales and the accompanying equipment, including a wireless display and printer. This equipment will all be used to facilitate weigh clinics for field-ready farm equipment. The test this week was an important first step, and we will keep our membership in the loop as we continue to test the equipment and develop a procedure and best practices for the planned weigh clinics that will hopefully get underway later this year when it is safe to do so.

If you have questions or would like to be notified once the booking system opens, please contact us at msts@ontariosoilcrop.org.

May 14, 2021 / 0 Comments

Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Seed Days at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show

Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show invites local soil and crop groups to tour the plots at the show site August 31st or September 1st 2021. Ten seed companies and and one fertilizer company have committed to hosting stops at their plots to offer technical expertise and new technology for Ontario farmers focused on Seed Genetics.  With the collaborative effort between Regional, Provincial and National seed companies, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show is able to highlight technology that “would work best on your farm” presentations using growing seed plots and Seed focused company booths/ tents.

The Outdoor Farm Show wants to represent the majority of seed companies across Ontario to present technology in one central location in a safe and responsible manner.  Farmers will be able to focus on genetics to help build make informed decisions to strengthen their operations. The intention is to have segregated groups of 20-50 based on government restrictions to tour each company for 10-20 minutes. Please note this event may be cancelled due to provincial or local restrictions at the time.

More information will be available soon. Local soil and crop associations interested in planning a tour are encourage to contact Owen Smelski, Exhibitor Manager at 519-456-0765 osmelksi@farmmedia.com or Cathy Dibble, Oxford SCIA 519-788-0895 cdibble@ontariosoilcrop.org


May 13, 2021 / 0 Comments

Living Lab – Ontario Launch

This week, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the launch Living Lab – Ontario in the Lake Erie region.  Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association is leading this project and is looking forward to collaborating with AAFC, farm cooperators and partner organizations.   Find the news release from the Government of Canada below:

News release

May 10, 2021 – Guelph, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, kicked-off a roundtable discussion with Ontario agriculture stakeholders by announcing an investment of $4.2 million to launch Living Lab – Ontario in the Lake Erie region.

Living Lab – Ontario is the latest collaboration hub created under the Living Laboratories Initiative, which brings together farmers, scientists, and other partners to develop, test and share innovative agricultural practices and technologies.

Led by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), Living Lab – Ontario collaborators will include farmers, agricultural and conservation organizations, and scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and other federal departments. Their research will focus on reducing the soil and nutrient runoff from agricultural land into Lake Erie, improving water quality, conserving soil health, and increasing biodiversity on agricultural lands in Ontario. They will share their expertise with farmers across Canada to help accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices and technologies.

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May 13, 2021 / 0 Comments

Tier Two Research Videos

Through ministry funding, we were able to produce two videos highlighting Tier Two research projects in the Heartland Region and the Thames Valley Region.

The videos and detailed information on each project can be found on OSCIA’s applied research website:

The ‘Managing a Rye Cover Crop: Getting the most out of cereal rye’ video can be found on the following project pages:

The ‘Planting green into cover crops: Roots not Iron’ video can be found here:

May 13, 2021 / 0 Comments

Seeking CCAs and P. Ags in Lambton, Renfrew and Simcoe Counties

OSCIA is seeking Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) and Professional Agrologists (P.Ags) in the counties of Lambton, Renfrew, and Simcoe with a passion for soil testing and/or cover cropping to share their agronomic expertise with successful project applicants.  The CCAs/P.Ags will help producers in the cover cropping stream develop cover cropping programs to meet the unique needs of their farms. Those participating in the soil testing stream will assist farmers with interpreting their soil test reports and developing field-specific fertility programs.  CCAs and P. Ags that participate in the program will receive resources and compensation for their involvement.

Producers in Lambton County, Renfrew County and Simcoe County will have the opportunity to apply for cost-share funding to implement soil health practices including cover cropping and soil testing. Successful applicants will work one-on-one with a CCA or P.Ag to increase their knowledge of the soil productivity practices.

Please encourage CCAs and P.Ags to contact Tracey Ryan  (tryan@ontariosoilcrop.org) for more information.

See the details of the media release from May 3rd below:

OSCIA Launches Pilot Project Aimed at Increasing Soil Health on Farms

May 3, 2021 (Guelph, Ont.) – The Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) invites farmers in three counties to accelerate up their soil health game through a pilot project available this summer.

Producers in Lambton County, Renfrew County and Simcoe County will have the opportunity to apply for cost-share funding to implement soil health practices including cover cropping and soil testing. Successful applicants will work one-on-one with Certified Crop Advisors (CCA) or Professional Agrologists (P.Ag) to increase their knowledge of the soil productivity practices. The CCAs/P.Ags will help producers in the cover cropping stream develop cover cropping programs to meet the unique needs of their farms. The CCAs/P.Ags will help producers in the soil testing stream learn how to interpret their soil test reports and develop field-specific fertility programs.

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