Dig Deep Archive

Weed Watch 2022

Experts discuss the challenges of invasive and noxious weeds, along with risk mitigation.

By Kristen Lutz

Every weed is invasive … every single one of them,” says Patrick Lynch, member of the Ontario Certified Crop Advisor Association and Better Farming agronomist.

Although weed control can be managed with herbicides and other management practices, their presence is an ongoing challenge. Invasive and noxious weeds not only pose risks to producers but also create several environmental concerns.

Your Updated Predator Hit List

Wild boars are stealing headlines, but what else is out there and what can producers do?

by Kristen Lutz

Producers are always plagued by predators. Along with current methods, there are newer ways to reduce the negative effects caused by bears, foxes, coyote and other damage-inducing wildlife.

Many producers are well aware of the distresses that predators bring to a farm. Reducing yield, killing livestock and damaging crops are just the beginning.

Meanwhile, new technologies could provide some help.

Rural builders concerned about wood post durability

Different preservatives in pressure-treated wood require producers and contractors to take care when erecting farm buildings

by Becky Dumais

Today’s pressure-treated wood may be safer and less harmful to farmers, but a few recent structural failures have some builders worried.

Should Canadian farmers be concerned? And what can be done to ensure farm buildings are being constructed with safe, durable material?

According to the experts, it’s all about choosing wood that is treated for agricultural and industrial structural applications.

Farming on the Urban Fringe

When farmers’ fields border urban and suburban developments, how can they stand their ground and be good neighbours?

By Jackie Clark

We often talk about agricultural and rural issues as if they’re completely separate from urban living. However, many farmers live and farm close to city centers and heavy residential developments.

With population growth and sprawl ever apparent, farmers across Ontario are faced with the challenges of producing crops and managing livestock on a mosaic landscape.

A Matter of Methane

Possible solutions to lessen methane and other greenhouse gases produced by the agricultural sector

By Kristen Lutz

Methane is back in the hot seat, and agriculture is reminded that it’s a contributor to global climate change. Farmers are very familiar with greenhouse gases (GHG) and their effects on the environment, so what makes this go-around different? New rules have been put in place, allowing farmers to better explore sources of renewable energy. Better Farming spoke to experts in agriculture sustainability to better understand this pressing issue.

Ontario’s farmland: a scarcity story

What happens when demand far outpaces supply?

By Jackie Clark

“We don’t have enough supply. We never have enough farms listed to meet the demand,” Jackie Pepper, a realtor with Just Farms Realty Inc., tells Better Farming. “You cannot buy 50 acres of workable farmland in southwestern Ontario for half a million dollars anymore; that does not exist.”

Possibility & Passion

Farm Credit Canada’s Wilson talks farming.

By Becky Dumais

Starting from the ground up is true on-the-job training. That’s what Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) newly appointed vice-president of operations Perry Wilson did. Literally.

Wilson, who stepped into the role last April after the retirement of John Geurtjens, garnered his early experience in ag, growing up on a hog farm in Oxford County, near Uniondale. Wilson began his career with FCC more than 26 years ago. He has held various leadership roles since 2005.

Genetic Priorities

Cereal breeders in Ontario’s academic and government institutions are building momentum.

By Jackie Clark

Corn and soybeans dominate the landscape in Ontario. However, producers also plant many acres of cereal crops. Winter wheat has grown in popularity in recent years, with 1,036,700 and 1,122,800 acres planted in 2020 and 2021 respectively, according to OMAFRA field crop data.

Farmers fighting climate change

The ag industry knows it can be part of the solution. What support is needed to put climate change mitigation into practice?

By Jackie Clark

Agriculture and climate are inextricably linked.

That fact has been thoroughly debated, explored, and researched. We know that farming activities impact the environment, and the environment dictates the success and challenges of agricultural endeavours.

What’s in a name?

With petitions in place, there could be a ‘beef’ about how regulatory officials label lab-grown meat.

By Becky Dumais

Plant-based science has given us burgers “Beyond Meat” and there’s much research dedicated to bringing cellular cultivated meat, which uses tissue samples from animals, to market. While there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition for consumerism, there’s still the question of how these new products should be labelled – and even the sustainable merit that’s proposed to come with lab-created food options.