Production

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?  
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.
In an effort to increase pollination of wild blueberries, the government of Canada has invested in research supporting the health and productivity of the honey bee sector.
Insects play a big role in Canadian agriculture. Beneficial species help crops grow, improve yields, reduce input costs, and protect the environment whereas pest species can destroy crops resulting in millions of dollars in lost yield. Insect pests include species from other parts of the world that have invaded Canada. Others are native species that have become pests as their populations grew in tandem with the development of new crop industries in Canada.
Products we commonly buy at the supermarket, such as tortillas and corn chips, are made from food grade corn. The corn is grown, harvested, bought by a food company, turned into masa (dough from ground corn) through a chemical process, and then made into our favorite products.
In early July, the Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) hosted a tour of three sites that are part of Operation Pollinator.
Ontario's government is investing in research to develop new practices and on-farm solutions for fruit, vegetable and field crop farmers to prevent or control costly crop diseases and pests and improve production practices. The $1.3 million investment aims to boost productivity and profitability for farmers.
Food Secure Canada led a research project to better understand how consumers living with low-incomes value and access sustainably grown foods, what barriers they face in doing so and what policy measures could be undertaken to facilitate greater access.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
A standing army at the ready – that’s what is now possible for Canadian growers to help them protect their crops thanks to recent work done by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientist Roselyne Labbé.

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