Production

Pfennings Organic Farm sits outside of New Hamburg, Ont., and is owned and operated by the Pfennings family whose farming roots extend deeper than historical documents can offer. Along with growing organic vegetables, grains and legumes, the farm also packs and distributes organic produce.
Some food for thought for budding entrepreneurs - from retailers to restaurateurs - when starting a local food selling business.
Last year, I had the pleasure of working with Denis Cauvier as he facilitated a workshop I was co-ordinating for Ontario Farm Fresh. He was professional, practical and enthusiastic about his Human Resource workshop.
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?  
Reducing our environmental footprint is on every farmer’s agenda. We’re always looking for ways to improve water quality and preserve natural wildlife habitats as we continually adjust our farming practices to leave our soil and water in better shape for the next generation.
Thanks to a seed grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an interdisciplinary team of researchers at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) has discovered a new approach to control and eradicate invasive plants and weeds. Vineland’s innovative solution utilizes the unique natural chemistry of invasive plants as a source of new sustainable control tool.
Technology will play a key role in conquering global food insecurity, and Canadian agri-tech developer JRS VirtualStudio Inc. has teamed up with researchers at McGill University to develop a new mobile app that will help answer important questions about the diets of people living in marginalized communities worldwide.
In a first-ever study investigating the risk of neonicotinoid insecticides to ground-nesting bees, University of Guelph researchers have discovered at least one species is being exposed to lethal levels of the chemicals in the soil.
The University of Guelph is planning a new, $12-million facility aimed at helping understand the stressors affecting honey bees and other pollinators and finding solutions.
A multinational team of researchers has identified countries where agriculture's increasing dependence on pollination, coupled with a lack of crop diversity, may threaten food security and economic stability.
Prof. David Wolyn, department of plant agriculture, is the University of Guelph’s Innovation of the Year award winner for 2019.
Fruit & Vegetable (F&V) magazine and BASF Canada are celebrating the hard work that goes into producing Canada’s fruit and vegetable bounty with the What’s Growing Canada video contest!
Less than two per cent of Canada's population lives on a farm, and this lack of connection to farming has led to confusion about safe farm practices and food choices. Real Farm Lives, a documentary web series about the realities of modern farming in Canada, returns for another season to help bridge the gap.
Dr. Martin Entz, professor in the department of plant science at the University of Manitoba, was recently honoured by the Canada Organic Trade Association with the Leadership in Organic Science Award.
Strong agricultural organizations are supported by active membership at the grassroots level. To attract new members and keep its existing ones engaged, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has put a focus on leadership and skills development training for its 52 local and 11 regional associations.
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.
Perennial fruit orchards are long-lived, long-term investments which require regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure that they retain their youthful health, vigour and productivity for an extended period.
During vineyard development, Central Coast grape growers often feel compelled to leave an old iconic oak standing, even if it ends up right in the middle of their vineyard. While driving through the Central Coast, it’s not unusual to see the pattern of vineyard rows broken by a majestic oak tree. Aside from their beauty, what are some of the ecosystem services that these majestic trees provide?
New crop profiles for lowbush blueberry and highbush blueberry are available to download for free from the Government of Canada Publications web site or through the crop profiles webpage.
The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, has released five new varieties that will help farmers manage diseases, control costs and produce plenty of large, robust berries using less water, fertilizer and pesticides. Two of the new varieties could increase yields by almost 30 per cent.
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.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti, on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, recently announced more than $2.3 million to the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN).
It may surprise you to learn that wild potatoes grow like weeds in South America. While farmers in the United States battle weeds like pigweed and lamb’s quarters, farmers in the Andes Mountains have to keep weedy potatoes in check.
Steps that commercial and home garden potato and tomato growers can follow to prevent the disease from carrying over into future years.
A new crop profile for potato is available to download for free from the Government of Canada Publications. Crop profiles are documents that provide a high level overview of production and a more detailed look at pest management practices for a variety of agricultural crops in Canada.
Vineland now provides custom systems integration services for Canadian horticulture companies to help increase productivity and operations efficiencies.
To support growers, Vineland has conducted a series of agronomic trials in 2017 and 2018 to better understand how to grow this sweet potato efficiently.
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.
Consumer opinion can make or break a brand. The recent surge in awareness around food waste, the climate crisis, and ocean pollution has increased anti-plastic sentiments and triggered campaigns to remove single-use plastic from our communities. Naturally this has extended to food packaging where the impact of consumer perspective is starting to be seen at the checkout.
Soil organic matter has long been known to benefit farmers. The carbon in this organic matter acts as a food source for soil microbes, which then provide other nutrients to the crops grown. Microbes, insects and small soil critters produce materials that can improve soil structure and water retention. It’s a healthy ecosystem every farmer wants to encourage.
From the equator to the arctic, life forms have adapted to their particular climate and regional conditions. In steamy sub-tropical estuaries, mangrove forests dominate the landscape. They bridge the salt- and fresh-water worlds. In northern Canada and Russia, the evergreen trees of the taiga forest endure incredibly cold winters and long periods of almost complete darkness. These differences are visible to us living on the earth’s surface. But what about the tiny life within the soil? Can the millions of microbes in a single teaspoonful of soil be as specialized as the trees they live beneath?
Did you know that the federal organic regulations are only enforced on products that are sold interprovincially? That means that unless a province has created its own organic regulations, products which are not necessarily certified organic could be labelled organic without any consequence. Recently, Alberta became the sixth province to pass legislation mandating certification for organic products within their borders.
The Agricultural Enhancement Grants project focus for 2019 was the revitalization of unused or underutilized land in the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) located within the Abbotsford area with an environmental and sustainability objective to create more usable and productive farmland. Specifically, innovative practices to increase both the capacity and productivity in the use of the ALR land for food production.
Future trends in biological control − as well as potential opportunities and obstacles, including constraints surrounding the development of novel bio-pesticides − proved a popular session at the recent IUPAC2019 Conference.

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