Behind The Lines: December 2008

Our writers at Better Farming have been writing about stray voltage longer than there has been a Better Farming.

While a reporter with the now defunct Farm & Country magazine in the mid-1990s, Robert Irwin filed a freedom of information request to access Ontario Hydro documents about management of stray voltage on farms. The provincial utility cited “competitive reasons” for attempting to keep the information secret. When the information arrived after a time-consuming appeal process, some of it was blacked out.

Since then, the agricultural community has come a long way. The Ontario Legislature passed a law in 2007 to deal with stray voltage on farms and, recently, the Ontario Energy Board recommended that the standards for allowable current be reduced by 20-fold.

Better Farming - December 2008