Dig Deep Archive

‘Reviving’ Regional Ag Federations

The OFA helps federations to connect with local communities.

By Emily Croft

The OFA created the Revive Fund in 2020 to support projects created by regional federations to improve their rural communities.

“The Revive Fund started as a COVID project for us,” says Drew Spoelstra, vice-president of OFA.

“We had some significant savings because we couldn’t have meetings or events or gather as a board in person.”

The fund was created using the saved money as a way for the OFA to continue to give back to their membership.

Does Your Soil Act Like A Sponge?

Increase Your Soil’s Water-Holding Capacity

For Long-Term Benefits

By Paul Hermans

Going forward as an industry the biggest limiting factor to higher yields will be water availability.

If you live anywhere in Eastern Canada, you may be saying this was not the case during the 2023 growing season. Across most areas for the growing season in Eastern Canada, we received 115 to 150 per cent more rain than average, according to Environment Canada.

Farmers Under Pressure to Mitigate Interest Rate Impacts

No Rate Cuts Imminent

By Richard Kamchen

Farmers could use relief from high interest rates, but aren’t likely to get any soon, leaving them to mitigate the challenges themselves.

In a capital-intensive sector like farming, higher interest rates increase borrowing and production costs, and can influence buying decisions for machinery and equipment, inputs, and land.

‘How Do You Sell What You Can’t Get Processed?’

Abattoirs Look For Ways to Meet Demand & Expand The Industry

By Colleen Halpenny & Emily Croft

Ontario has 114 provincially licensed abattoirs that specialize in the slaughter of food animals and play a key role in the value chain of livestock production.

This number, according to Franco Naccarato, executive director of Meat & Poultry Ontario, is just keeping up with the demand from producers.

“From 1999 to 2020, our sector lost 54 per cent of the abattoirs which previously were able to process and provide for that local demand.

Ray Robertson: Canadian Agricultural Hall of Famer

By Emily Croft

Ray Robertson’s passion for growing his local community in Grey County has led to a long career with international impacts.

His leadership and commitment to agriculture has been recognized, as Ray was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame in June, and will be celebrated at the national level at the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 4 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Strip-Tillage: Save Your Soil & Labour Costs

‘The Advantages of Both No-Till & Conventional Tillage.’

By Emily Croft

With concerns for soil health, many producers look for alternatives to conventional tillage. Strip tillage offers Ontario crop growers an interesting option that sits in-between conventional and no-till systems.

‘Why are we burying residue deeper than we plant?’

Choosing the Best Management System for Your Operation

By Colleen Halpenny

Historically, fall harvest was never truly considered complete until the moldboard plow had passed through the fields.

These days, best management practices to minimize erosion, retain soil moisture, and ensure maximum organic matter is returned to the soil have created a positive shift toward minimum and no-till applications. However, some producers are still skeptical about leaving lots of residue on the field.

Smoke, Sun & Crop Effects

Overcoming Stresses with Proper Management

By Paul Hermans

If you were to ask my wife, she would tell you that I am addicted to the weather. Every day I will look at my weather app at least five to 10 times, especially during the hot hazy days of summer, checking to see who got rain, how much, and when we might get a nice shower to boost our crops.

Is it still possible to start a farm?

‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.’

By Emily Croft

Starting a business in any industry is a challenging endeavour. In agriculture, entry costs, land competition, and time constraints can make it difficult for newcomers to build their own farm from the ground up.

How are new producers managing the challenges of starting their farm businesses and what are they doing to stay competitive?

Farm Transition Increasingly Complex

Why increased farm asset values are playing a role in transition talks.

By Colleen Halpenny

More farm wealth than ever before is passing from one generation to the next. Over the last decade, skyrocketing land values, heightened equipment values, and quota holdings have increased in capital value, leading to more complex transition discussions.

According to Statistics Canada, the value of equity in Canada’s farm sector totalled $627.6 billion as of Dec. 31, 2021, up 10 per cent from a year earlier. This is the largest percentage increase in farm equity since 2013.