Feature: Side-dressed urea helps reduce nitrogen leaching


A two year study in a well field near Woodstock shows that a side-dressed application of urea six weeks after corn planting is a better way to reduce leaching of nitrogen fertilizer than a coated, delay-release fertilizer.

Don King, an agronomist with the Source Resource Group, Guelph, says testing in a wet year, 2009, and a normal year, 2010, showed no yield advantage using an innovative delay-release urea nitrogen fertilizer. The delay-release fertilizer carried a 15-30 per cent premium on cost compared to regular urea fertilizer and therefore returns were reduced.

The coated urea fertilizer is supposed to be dependent upon moisture and temperature.

Feature: Implementation of the Clean Water Act is dogged by uncertainty and inconsistency

The Act is due come into force in 2013 and 2014, but no one yet knows how many farms will be affected or how the rules will apply


As few as 1,500 farms and as many as 2,500 across the province have been identified as “significant threats” to drinking water wells and may be subject to restrictive government policies when the Clean Water Act is implemented in 2013 and 2014.

University of Guelph professor John FitzGibbon, co-chair of the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition (OFEC), describes the timetable associated with developing these policies as “tight.”

A solar power saga with – at last – a happy ending

It took Dave Fadden of Melbourne a 10-month-long battle to get Hydro One to accept power from his microFIT solar installation. In the end, an appeal to his MPP and the minister saved the day


Dave Fadden is hooked up to the grid now, but the Southwest Middlesex resident nearly became the poster boy for everything that could go wrong for someone trying to produce power through Ontario’s microFIT program.

Finding ways to respond to consumers who eye modern agriculture with suspicion

Focus group research shows that consumers are deeply sceptical about today’s food system. Farmers need to talk about optimum health, not optimum efficiency, says one industry advocate


A point of pride for the hard-working farm community is that it is one of the most trusted groups in North American society. But deeper probing of consumer focus groups in the United States in 2009 showed that the confidence reposed in it comes with a caveat.

Consumers still trust farmers but, when asked, they aren’t sure that modern agriculture is farming anymore, says the head of Kansas City-based Center for Food Integrity (CFI).

What does the UN panel really say about climate change?

Among other things, the panel’s WG I report provides very weak support for those claiming total world agricultural output will decline with climate change, even for tropical areas, says this former Guelph crop scientist


I’ve been intrigued by atmospheric science beginning with my early days in crop physiology research, through to my serving on several national climate change committees. That’s why I’ve  read the lengthy analyses issued about every five years by the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), specifically those of its Working Group I (WG I) on the physical science of climate change.

Animal welfare moves up the list of consumer concerns

An Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by the Ontario Farm Animal Council has the care and treatment of animals as second only to food safety on the minds of Canadians


The importance of animal welfare issues is rising up a few notches in the awareness of Canadians.

The safety of the meat, milk and eggs they consume has always been the number one food and agricultural issue for a majority of Canadians through many years of polling by the Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC), says executive director Crystal Mackay.

From the Walkerton tragedy to 2008, the environment held a steady number two position.

Pilot project set to knock down trade barriers for inter-provincial meat trade

So far, three Ontario plants have been selected, none of them near provincial borders. Others hope the project will identify what they need to do to meet federal standards


If you thought that a federal pilot program intended to help provincially licensed meat plants move into inter-provincial trade would include Ontario plants close to provincial borders, think again.

Thirteen signs that your health and safety management is in deep trouble

If any of these conditions exist in your workplace, it’s a pretty safe bet that your health and safety program needs to be resuscitated


We have all seen it before – dangerous work behaviours that leave you thinking, “Anyone with common sense would never do that!” The worker who fails to shut off the tractor while refueling or the worker that fails to turn off the combine before cleaning or removing a jam.

These workers should know better, right? WRONG! Workers will only perform their job based upon the information, training and supervision given to them by the employer.

Little left in the kitty for the farmers who invested millions in PKI

In its December 2007 issue, Better Farming broke the story of Pigeon King International, a multi-million dollar pigeon breeding business that left hundreds of farmers in the lurch when 
it went bankrupt six months later. Since then, charges have been laid but there is little money left to repay those who invested heavily in the scheme


Over the years, Cindy and Allan Frank had first a dairy, then a beef cattle operation on their farm just outside of Brockville. By 2008, Allan was working off-farm, Cindy’s 
job was ending and the barn was nearly empty. Elderly parents on both sides needed support and Cindy and Allan weren’t getting any younger, either.

Coyote numbers are soon expected to peak in Ontario

Though coyote numbers are at an all-time high in Ontario, the good news is that they are expected to level off and then drop in the next few years


There’s good news and there’s bad news about coyotes in the province of Ontario, says Ministry of Natural Resources biologist Brent Patterson.

First, the bad news. Coyote numbers have been building for years and are likely at an all-time high in Ontario. Now for the good news. Those numbers are expected to peak in the next year or two and drop off.