Dig Deep Archive

Garbage In Means Garbage Out

Use Farm Data to Make the Best Decisions

By Paul Hermans

Harvest is happening and we are all eager to get the crop in the bin. What we do from a data collection standpoint this fall can affect our 2023 cropping plans and beyond.

Technology in the agricultural sector has changed a lot in the last 20 years. There are big gains to be had using yield monitors and variable rate applications. The old saying “garbage in means garbage out” applies yearly when using these tools.

Rural Care in Disrepair

Can this patient be saved?

By Geoff Geddes

THWACK! As he rolls up the drag hose, it pulls apart, striking him in the head and knocking him out. Frantic, his wife calls 911. The medics find her husband seizing and unresponsive, his skull having shattered into eight pieces. WHOOSH! Into the ambulance … lights flashing … siren blaring … time is of the essence … life-saving care within reach … at last, arriving at Emergency and finding it … closed?!

Cow Chow: Six Tips to Master this Year

Key factors for your best silage harvest season ever

By Paul Hermans

Talk to any livestock producer and they will tell you they get two shots at making a great crop in one year. One during the planting/growing season and the second at harvest.

Silage harvest season is here. Maximizing quality will mean lower feed bills, healthier herds, and higher milk/beef production at the end of the day. A win/win for every producer!

Upping Your Cover Crop Game

Why are we planting it? How are we getting it established? How are we killing it?

By Colleen Halpenny

As defined by the Ontario Cover Crop Strategy, a cover crop is a plant that is seeded into agricultural fields, either within or outside of the regular growing season, with the primary purpose of improving or maintaining soil quality.

These are non-commodity crops either inter-seeded into living crops or planted onto bare fields or crop stubble during fallow periods.

Why Not Try to Diversify?

‘There are tremendous opportunities to profit’

By Geoff Geddes

Though there are exceptions (remember Cheetos lip balm?), diversification can offer many benefits. In an industry challenged by droughts and floods in recent years, extra income streams may be a welcome addition for producers. As with any aspect of farming, however, success hinges on knowing where you’re headed and crafting a plan to help you get there.

You are Worth it

A closer look at a new free counselling service just for farmers.

By Colleen Halpenny

“Mental health is everyone’s health. This is a grassroots movement that farmers were taking the initiative to start, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is proud to partner with Lifeworks and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to bring this program province-wide,” explains Cathy Lennon, general manager of the OFA.

The Value of Off-Farm Income

Finding balance in the farm family budget

By Colleen Halpenny

Whether you call it moonlighting, a side gig, or bonafide employment, many producers are known for more than their farm. They take on extra work to make ends meet, working off-farm while the farming operations are run by other family members.

Regardless of lifestyle or job sector, feeling the pinch of increasing living costs, how are farmers making ends meet? We spoke with those in the industry to find out why, and how, they are turning to outside income to support their needs.

Standing Strong for Agriculture in Ontario

Patrick Lynch has Mastered the Arts of Mentorship, Innovation and Crop Science.

By Becky Dumais

Agriculture is embedded in Patrick Lynch’s bones, and he’s known for his experience, wisdom and mentorship.

Patrick – who will be inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame on June 12 in Elora – was raised on a farm in Otonabee Township, near Peterborough. In childhood he developed a deep respect for farming and farmers, beginning with his dad.

The Cost of Putting Hydro Poles in Their Place

There’s more than mere relocation involved in moving poles on-farm.

By Colleen Halpenny

Frank Dietrich of Lucan was excited to begin making tiling plans for one of his fields recently. “We purchased this plot a couple of years ago, but last year really looked into getting it tile-drained so we could maximize yields,” he reflects.

“Currently, along the road, there are 10 hydro poles, which sit about 30 feet into my field. The poles are not in great shape – most were installed in the 1960s.”

The poles hampered his operations.

A Lifetime of Public Service

John Stafford: OFA champion

by Colleen Halpenny

Still residing on the original Stafford family farm in Howick, John Stafford’s history in Ontario agriculture speaks to a generational love of farming. “A Stafford has lived on this farm since 1868. We still have the deed from the Crown, signed by Queen Victoria!” he proudly proclaims.

Born in 1935, and excited to have recently celebrated his 87th birthday, John’s passion for agriculture, and his fellow producers, is still very evident.