Dig Deep Archive

Report Card Time

Grades A, B…or Fail?

By Paul Hermans

Back in the good old days I dreaded grade school spring report card time. I was always worried about what my parents would think when they saw my report. In some classes I got B marks – others not so.

As planting continues and wraps up through the countryside, it is now time to explore fields to get a report card on emergence as we start setting yield expectations for the 2023 growing season.

Keep Your Soybeans Clean

As Planting Season Approaches, Get Ready To Protect Your Yields From Pests

By Colleen Halpenny

In 2022, Ontario producers cropped an impressive 3,080,400 acres of soybeans according to Statistics Canada. This represents 58 per cent of total soybean production acres across Canada, and Ontario soybeans totalled $2.94 billion in farm cash receipts in 2021.

With so many acres invested, and yields on the line, we spoke with some experts to explore how you can bolster your stand’s health in the upcoming season.

Making the Most of Your 2023 Winter Wheat Crop

Strategizing to manage yields to their fullest potential.

By Emily Croft

After a long and warm fall, OMAFRA predicts that there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of winter wheat acres planted in Ontario in the fall of 2022, compared to the previous fall. With both wheat and input prices high, what can you do this spring to get the most out of your 2023 winter wheat crop at harvest?

Planting Depth or Population

What has the most influence on yields?

By Paul Hermans

Being in the seed industry, probably the most common questions I am asked are: 1) What population should I plant my corn and soybeans at? 2) What is the best seeding depth for corn and soybeans?

Unfortunately, I usually respond with the typical agronomist answer of, “It depends.”

There is not just one answer. It depends on a lot of factors, ranging from yield expectations, soil type, crop type, and rotation, to disease management and more.

Protecting Your Yield & the Environment

Adopting forests, windbreaks & riparian buffers on your farm

By Michael Drescher

Environmental best management practices in the agricultural sector are activities that reduce risk to the environment stemming from agricultural operations. These best practices reduce the risk of damage to many parts of the environment including to soil, air and water, as well as to plants and animals, and to their habitats, on and off the farm.

Managing Farm Plastic

Keep your farm & the environment cleaner

By Emily Croft

Plastic products have contributed to many advancements in agriculture and are used daily by farmers, but as the world looks to improve environmental stewardship, Ontario producers are also searching for better ways to handle plastic waste.

Twine, bale wrap, silage bags and bunk covers are all used by livestock producers. Seed, pesticides, and fertilizer all come in bags, containers, and jugs that contain plastic. It is easy for these materials to pile up, particularly when disposal options are limited.

The Key Times

Managing crops through the reproductive stages

By Paul Hermans

It’s the cold, crazy days of winter and I am writing this article about harvest time. Why would I do that?

Anyone will tell you that the reproductive stages of crops are the most important – assuming, of course, you had all your ducks in line from planting through the vegetative stages of growth. (Which I covered in the January magazine.)

The Future of Farming

What can you do today for a better tomorrow?

By Colleen Halpenny

When looking to the future of your business, there can be an overwhelming number of variables to consider.

Current developments in technology, machinery, genetics, and sustainability prove that when it comes to innovation, agriculture is at the forefront in moving the needle.

Better Farming recently asked industry experts what areas deserve additional strategy today, to set up your business for a successful future.

Ontario Farmland: What the Market Tells Us

Whether you are buying or selling, it pays to be aware.

By Colleen Halpenny

Farmland across the province continues to be in high demand. As producers evaluate their current holdings and opportunities for growth, cost per acre is a number that most keep their eyes on.

As a finite resource, producers have long been aware that while land may become available, there is no new land to find. To better understand current markets, and explore new ways to grow, we talked with those in the know – to find Ontario producers the best solutions and strategies.

No Crops are Alike or are They?

By Paul Hermans

To the average city folk, all crops are the same. They need sun, water, plus nutrients to grow.

When we look more closely at corn and soybeans, yes, it is true they need all of this, but at different times of the year. Each crop is unique in their vegetative and reproductive stages of growth.

This article is the start of a two-part series. This month I will focus on the earlier vegetative stages of corn and soybeans. I will follow up with the second article on the reproductive stages.