Dig Deep Archive

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.

The Value of Off-Farm Income

Finding balance in the farm family budget

By Colleen Halpenny

Whether you call it moonlighting, a side gig, or bonafide employment, many producers are known for more than their farm. They take on extra work to make ends meet, working off-farm while the farming operations are run by other family members.

Regardless of lifestyle or job sector, feeling the pinch of increasing living costs, how are farmers making ends meet? We spoke with those in the industry to find out why, and how, they are turning to outside income to support their needs.

Standing Strong for Agriculture in Ontario

Patrick Lynch has Mastered the Arts of Mentorship, Innovation and Crop Science.

By Becky Dumais

Agriculture is embedded in Patrick Lynch’s bones, and he’s known for his experience, wisdom and mentorship.

Patrick – who will be inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame on June 12 in Elora – was raised on a farm in Otonabee Township, near Peterborough. In childhood he developed a deep respect for farming and farmers, beginning with his dad.

The Cost of Putting Hydro Poles in Their Place

There’s more than mere relocation involved in moving poles on-farm.

By Colleen Halpenny

Frank Dietrich of Lucan was excited to begin making tiling plans for one of his fields recently. “We purchased this plot a couple of years ago, but last year really looked into getting it tile-drained so we could maximize yields,” he reflects.

“Currently, along the road, there are 10 hydro poles, which sit about 30 feet into my field. The poles are not in great shape – most were installed in the 1960s.”

The poles hampered his operations.

A Lifetime of Public Service

John Stafford: OFA champion

by Colleen Halpenny

Still residing on the original Stafford family farm in Howick, John Stafford’s history in Ontario agriculture speaks to a generational love of farming. “A Stafford has lived on this farm since 1868. We still have the deed from the Crown, signed by Queen Victoria!” he proudly proclaims.

Born in 1935, and excited to have recently celebrated his 87th birthday, John’s passion for agriculture, and his fellow producers, is still very evident.

A Recipe for Crop Success

Keys to achieving a bin-busting corn crop in 2022

by Becky Dumais

“We need to have lots of kernels and we need to make them all heavy.”

That’s how David Hooker describes a great year for Ontario corn producers.

Hooker is a field crop agronomist and associate professor at the University of Guelph (UofG), Ridgetown Campus, and he says yield potential is excellent again this year.

So what are the current best practices to ensure those cobs are crammed with heavy kernels?

Preventions & programs

An update on nutrient runoff

by Kristen Lutz

Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and surrounding watersheds continue to be affected by nutrient runoff from farms, leading to well-documented increases in algae blooms.

Agricultural nutrient runoff contains nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), which continues to be a significant source of water pollution leading to these blooms.

Better Farming interviewed experts on what programs are in place to address the ongoing issue, and what producers might do on their farm.

#plant22 checklist

Growing successful crops includes the right equipment, good soil health and seed selection.

by Colleen Halpenny

With spring planting just around the corner, now is the time to invest in the steps to get your crops off to their best potential start.

We have connected with producers, experts, and advisors to bring you top reminders and tips to ensure your 2022 season garners top results.

Most Unwanted List: Pests

The Top 5 undesirable insects that are coming for your crops this year.

by Becky Dumais

Every year producers have to deal with pests creeping onto the farm – those unwanted guests that infiltrate the field, eat their way through their crops of choice and leave a path of destruction and damage in their wake.