Dig Deep Archive

The Farmerettes: Renewed Awareness

Growing recognition for the historical efforts of these Ontario farm workers

By Emily Croft

The Farmerettes, also known as the Farm Service Force, were created in 1941 to fill the demand for farm labour created by the Second World War. These women worked in the fields and processing factories, producing the food that fueled the war effort.

Bonnie Sitter of South Huron has been speaking with past Farmerettes and sharing their stories since 2018. And her work is now creating renewed awareness of their vital, historical role.

Do Your Crops Get three Square Meals?

An adequate, well-balanced fertility program will ensure your crops are healthy.

By Paul Hermans

Looking at historical yield gains for both corn and soybeans across North America is exciting.

Over the past 25 years, corn yields have increased by about 50 bushels per acre, and soybeans have increased by approximately 15 bushels.

But are we feeding this crop adequately to maintain these high yields?

Why are yields on the rise?

Farmers advised of important tax reporting changes

Be proactive with your accountants throughout the year; don’t wait until year-end to engage.

By Richard Kamchen

Farmers may want to consult their tax advisors for a heads-up about the potential for additional mandatory filings.

For 2023, Underused Housing Tax (UHT) and bare trust reporting promise to have massive impacts that tax experts are still working through while trying to educate their clients about how they may be affected, says Cara Noble, tax manager at Yates Whitaker LLP.

Choosing A Guidance System

‘It can be introduced at any point in time in an operation & has benefits.’

By Emily Croft

Guidance systems have become commonplace on Ontario farms as precision agriculture technologies grow in popularity. Various available features and accuracy levels mean farmers can choose a guidance system that best suits their operation’s needs.

“Guidance systems can be useful for everything from fertilizer application straight through to planting, tillage, and hay,” says Jordan Wallace, sales and advanced solutions technician at GPS Ontario.

Time For Some Soybean Disease Detective Work

Solving the Case for Disease-Free Fields & Higher Yields in 2024

By Paul Hermans

With harvest complete, focus shifts to seed selection for the 2024 growing season and beyond.

Looking back allows us to predict future crop performance. From a soy-bean perspective, we can learn lots from the 2023 growing season to help us succeed in the future. A little detective sleuthing will help us win big – solving crop-scene cases and achieving optimum yields.

Farm Antiques & Collectables

Looking at treasures that collectors still covet.

By Leslie Stewart

Do you have a collector on your shopping list this holiday season? Maybe you’ve been interested in starting your own collection and would like to know more about farm antiques?

Farming is a constantly evolving industry. While we rely on precision technology, our relatives and ancestors had a more hands-on approach. Items from those days bring back fond memories and curiosity for enthusiasts.

‘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.