Production

The last several years have seen a tremendous boost in the popularity and availability of Ontario craft ciders. Craft cider currently represents around 12 per cent of cider sales in Ontario, so there is room for more growth.
Surpassing the attendance and participation of all past Montreal shows, more than 300 companies exhibited on the trade show floor including 143 international exhibitors and 39 first time exhibitors.
New apple varieties have been popping up for years in hopes of becoming the next Ambrosia. But, how do new varieties gain traction in the market? And, how much of their success depends on consumer preference?  
Farmers are the most innovative people I know. If there is money to be made, they will consider it, try it, personalize it and sell it.
You may have noticed a shift in the last few years from people buying gifts and products, to people who are looking for a special experience for themselves and their families.
The average Canadian family can expect to spend $411 more on food in 2019, bringing their total yearly grocery bill to $12,157 due to more expensive fruit and vegetables, according to Canada’s Food Price Report.
Ontario’s farm workforce is changing. More farmers are retiring, selling their farms or transitioning the business to the next generation. Younger farm faces are making more purchasing and management decisions. And while technology and automation are changing the way many farm businesses operate, Ontario remains Canada’s largest agricultural employer and we rely heavily on a skilled labour force that is increasingly shrinking.
As Ontario farmers Brent Preston and wife Gillian Flies lugged their heavy tarps out during each new planting season, they pondered ground cover options for their farm at Creemore. The tarps were working well but would lighter weight ground cover fabric do the same job with less expense and less hassle?
Eating a cup of blueberries a day reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease - according to new research led by the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with colleagues from Harvard and across the U.K.
Pollinator gardens are most beneficial to pollinators when they contain a greater variety of plants, according to research from the University of Georgia.
Did you know that the cost of replacing a single worker can be as much as 150 per cent of their annual salary? Do you know what your turnover costs are?
The field fruit and vegetable industry is a significant agricultural employer with substantial labour challenges. Over the next decade, those challenges will intensify as a shrinking pool of domestic workers and an increased reliance on foreign workers will make the industry even more vulnerable to labour policy changes and lost sales due to labour shortages.
What started out as a simple idea to add variety to the prairie diet through the winter months has sprouted into a successful family business.
A life-time of giving back to the farming community was acknowledged earlier this year as Simcoe farmer Ken Porteous was named to the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude. The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association (OFFMA) recently recognized excellence among its members at its annual Awards Gala.
Several years ago, June Matthews, an associate professor in the School of Food & Nutritional Sciences at Brescia University College in London, Ont., started to realize that something was missing from their otherwise comprehensive curricula: evidence-based information about agriculture.
For 14 years Chris Van de Laar has spent his time climbing the corporate ladder and developing a love affair with banking and finance. While an account manager with Scotiabank at rural Ontario branches in Listowel and Goderich, he handled a number of agriculture accounts, until moving into faster-paced commercial banking, and finally, he was offered a vice-president position.
Selling directly to consumers is a strong trend in farming these days, and it’s no wonder why. More profit is kept by the farmer and demand for local food is higher than ever. Consumers also want to get to know, if they can, who produces their food.   
There’s a lot that’s been proven good about whole orchard recycling, putting those almond trees back into the soil where they stood. And there’s plenty to indicate that drawbacks from the practice can be addressed.
The Canadian wine industry contributes $9 billion each year to the Canadian economy through its impact on agriculture and tourism. During the past 25 years, this sector has grown significantly with no small help from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).
Cranberries were pushed into the spotlight a couple of decades ago after a number of different research initiatives showed off the fruit’s health benefits. Since then, consumer demand has been high and new cranberry products have been developed. Capitalizing on this growth, growers in Canada have been planting new bogs, renovating old ones and otherwise expanding acreage of the tart red berry.
Fruit tree growers are often dealt major setbacks when warm temperatures arrive early in the spring and crops blossom early, leaving them susceptible to frost events.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi - Grand Lake recently announced over $1.6 million to the Canadian Division of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA Canada) to market and promote Canadian wild blueberries internationally.
It's a few months before bloom, but not too soon to be thinking about your chemical thinning strategies for 2019. There are some new products being researched that will hopefully become available to Canadian apples producers in the next few years.
Until recently, New York onion farmers had just two insecticide options for controlling onion thrips, a pervasive insect pest, and neither was good. One was short-lived, the other was dangerous to work with – and both were losing effectiveness.
Both stem and bulb nematode and leek moth are pests that are being watched closely by garlic and onion growers in Canada. Both pests have the potential to greatly impact garlic harvest, especially in Ontario.
The new Great Lakes and Maritimes Pest Monitoring Network will include trap monitoring for western bean cutworm (WBC), European corn borer (ECB), corn earworm (CEW), black cutworm (BCW), true armyworm (TAW) and fall armyworm (FAW). Crops currently include field corn, sweet corn, dry beans and snap beans. If this works, more pests and crops can be added in the future.
A new processing plant in Guelph, Ont., plans to transmute sweet corn into a highly innovative product that can be used in a myriad of cutting-edge applications.
Canada’s food processing sectors continue to expand, yet the profitability outlook for each is uneven in 2019. Production challenges, trade uncertainty and higher input costs generally dampen this outlook, while expansion in export markets, strong household disposable income and a lower Canadian dollar will support revenues of food manufacturers.
Download the 2019 New Varieties Resource
The abundance of bird species living in agricultural environments has decreased both in Finland and elsewhere in Europe. Attempts to rectify the situation have been made with the help of agri-environment-climate subsidies. They are granted to agricultural producers by the EU for implementing measures that are presumed to be beneficial to the environment. There is a range of such subsidies, but their potential effects on biodiversity at national scales have been seldom comprehensively investigated.
Charcoal may be the solution to reducing ammonia pollution and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer for crop plants, according to a groundbreaking study by a University of Guelph soil scientist.
Nature Canada is currently leading a project investigating swallow populations along the Southern Great Lakes.
The Organic Trade Association’s export promotion program closed the first quarter of 2019 with a flourish, and is beginning the second quarter in an equally robust way.
According to the latest study conducted by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and IFOAM - Organics International, the Canadian organic sector continues to register significant growth despite the fact that the overall agricultural land base remains stable and non-organic agricultural operations are in slope. Now there are more than 6,000 certified organic operations, almost 4,800 certified organic producers and 1.27 million certified organic hectares (including wild collection).
Balance and biodiversity are key to the health of an organic farm (and farmer!) Crops and livestock play their own vital role, while the fundamental cycle of life begins and ends with the soil.

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