Behind the Lines - November 2010
Farmers are arguably more individualistic than most and, often, you have big challenges on your mind. In quieter moments, however, have you ever wondered about the way others manage both the lifestyle and the profession you’ve chosen? Have you ever asked yourself: “Am I talking too much on my cell phone?” Are you curious about how farmers outside your immediate circle really feel about this profession you’ve chosen?
As Better Farming enters its 12th year, we are proud to introduce a new feature entitled “Up Close.” In it, we hope to provide you with a personal glimpse of how some of this province’s top commercial farmers see their world. In this issue, we feature Steve Twynstra, who grows a variety of crops on 3,000 acres near London. Is there a leading farmer you would like to see profiled in a future “Up Close” feature? Please send your nomination to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roundup tolerance put into key crops revolutionized weed control on farms across North America. Farmers and scientists have been concerned about overuse leading to resistance to this commonly used herbicide for years. Now the first case of Roundup resistance in Ontario has been documented. “Ground Zero” is a soybean field ironically located beside Windsor International Airport in Essex County. This story, written by Mary Baxter, starts on page 18.
Ontario farmers have always looked eastward towards Quebec, where agriculture is perceived to be better served by governments, at least partly because the province makes efforts towards food security and self-sufficiency. Writer Suzanne Deutsch looks at incentives for young farmers to get a suitable education before they return to the farm or set up their own agricultural operation. Some of these students get their education at Alfred College in eastern Ontario, sitting beside Ontario francophone students who have no such incentive to keep their noses in books at night. Her story can be found on page 32.
Farm leaders still find that getting a grip on the consequences of Ontario’s Clean Water Act, pushed through the Legislature in 2006, can be tricky. Some are dismayed. Don Stoneman’s story on this legislation, which may have repercussions on how you farm and use your property, begins on page 44.
Many of you thought geese were the solution for Crop Scene Investigation number 27, which was published in our October issue. To find out what really went wrong turn to page 52. BF
ROBERT IRWIN & DON STONEMAN