Dig Deep Archive

Hydrating from the bottom up

Tracking trends in national agricultural irrigation

By Jim Algie


Agricultural water use in Canada has varied widely in recent years mainly because of fluctuations in rainfall, Statistics Canada’s analysis and survey work shows.


The federal agency conducts agricultural water surveys as part of its Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators program. Data for the 2016 survey is scheduled for release in September 2017, a statement on the Statistics Canada website says.

Rural schools on the chopping block

Tracking the effects on rural communities and the efforts of local residents


Photos by Jim Algie


The Ontario Ministry of Education is currently engaging in accommodation reviews and school system adjustments – many of which seem to target the province’s rural schools. According to estimates from the Ontario Alliance Against School Closures, 500 rural schools face major change – including closure.


Satellite imagery: Multi-use, multi-purpose

Drones and Satellites: match made in the sky

By Jennifer Jackson

Some producers may have a strict preference for either drone or satellite imagery for use on the farm. However, it may not be a choice that needs to be made, some industry experts say. The two technologies vary in their uses and could complement each other well under the right conditions.  

Fast and reliable Internet: are we getting close on the farm?

Better Farming investigates rural Internet access challenges and highlights some of the developments which promise improvements

Across the province, farmers struggle with access to reliable, high-speed Internet. Rural service can be interrupted by wind and precipitation – and plans can be costly.

Right of passage

The provincial government introduced the Supporting Ontario Trails Act last year. This winter, landowners and snowmobilers continue to debate the use of Ontario’s rural trails.

Photos and captions by Mary Baxter.

The winter snowfall means the return of snowmobiles to the extensive network of trails across the province. But preparation for the 2016-17 season has been challenging.