Dig Deep Archive

Another Look at Lyme Disease

Ontario’s Farm Country Still a Hotspot

By Nicholas Van Allen

Fever. Chills. Headache. Muscle aches and pains. Fatigue. Swollen lymph nodes.

As a farmer, you might be thinking that you are familiar with all these symptoms of COVID-19. But you’d be thinking about the wrong disease. In addition to muscle spasms and facial paralysis, these are in fact symptoms of something else – Lyme disease.

Living & Dying by the Seed Selection Sword

By Paul Hermans

With harvest nearing completion across Eastern Canada, attention is switching to crop planning for the 2023 growing season. Arguably seed selection is one of the most important choices a grower will make on their farm on a yearly basis.

Many factors need to be looked at when picking a corn hybrid or soybean variety. Yield comes to the top of the list every time. But knowing your fields and disease pressure, weed issues, soil types, etc., should play a big factor in ensuring you pick the right product for the right acre.

Are Your Farm Vehicles Safe?

Keeping your trucks secure from theft

By Emily Croft

Pickup trucks are an indispensable tool on farms across Ontario. Transportation between fields, hauling cattle, and running parts are just a handful of the tasks that a pickup truck might be used for on any given day. The necessity of the farm truck makes the concept of vehicle theft all the more concerning.

Over recent years, the theft of newer vehicles has become more difficult due to improvements to anti-theft technologies.

Big climate, small changes

How can producers at the farm level make changes and still reap the rewards

By Colleen Halpenny

As defined by the United Nations, climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. They note that the consequences of climate change now include intense droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms, and declining biodiversity.

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.