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February 6, 2019 / 0 Comments

Temporary Field Storage of Manure In Winter

by Christine Brown, Nutrient Management Lead – Field Crops, OMAFRA

The opportunity to get bedded-pack cattle manure was too good to pass up. But now as the field in front of me is a sea of white with deep drifts, one question arises, “Where is the best location to temporarily store the manure?”

With society’s negative image of field applied manure on snow covered and frozen fields, there is a greater need for temporary field storages. Temporary field storages can be a great solution to limited barn storage of manure and can also be a time saver during the busy spring season for transporting manure. However, when the snow is deep and the ideal place for a temporary storage may not be easily accessed, what are the options?

There are guidelines that help determine the best place for temporary storages. They are in place to minimize the risk of contaminating water sources and also to help prevent complaints from local residents.
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January 2, 2019 / 0 Comments

Manure, Phosphorus and the Winter Landscape

by Christine Brown, Nutrient Management Lead, OMAF and MRA
BMP’s suggest that seed placed fertilizer, residue management and cover crops will help prevent soil phosphorus from reaching water courses. Manure application requires extra attention to prevent phosphorus losses, especially during winter and snow melt conditions.

Phosphorus (P) is essential to plant growth. Crop root growth is most prolific in soils enriched with phosphorus, but too much of a good thing can have negative environmental impacts. When phosphorus enters a water course, eutrophication results. Eutrophication is when a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients that stimulate the growth of aquatic plants. This can lead to fluctuations in dissolved oxygen, which limits aquatic life. Sometimes phosphorus in bodies of water can lead to toxic algae blooms.
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December 18, 2018 / 0 Comments

Late Season Wet Weather Creates Hurdles for Manure Application

Christine Brown, Field Crop Sustainability Specialist, OMAFRA, Woodstock
November 15, 2018

Protecting watersources from manure would be a lot easier if the weather would cooperate. After a relatively good growing season, the conditions since September have been wetter than normal with only short windows between rain events to complete harvest and field work. A challenging corn harvest, combined with wet soils and early snow events has resulted in fieldwork that is behind schedule and manure storages that are full and need to be emptied before the calendar gets to “winter”.

Water contamination from field drainage tiles, soil erosion and surface runoff must be considered when applying manure during a wet and/or wintry October, November or December. Field damage from soil compaction, especially on heavier soils is another consideration in balancing field operations and healthy soils.
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December 5, 2018 / 0 Comments

L’OSCIA lance un programme de financement pour favoriser l’analyse du DON dans le maïs

Le 5 décembre 2018

 

Guelph ON – Dans le cadre d’une initiative stratégique visant à aider les agriculteurs ontariens de céréales à faire face à des niveaux élevés de contamination du maïs par le DON (la vomitoxine) dans la récolte de cette année, l’Association pour l’amélioration des sols et des récoltes de l’Ontario annonce de nouvelles occasions de partage des frais pour favoriser l’analyse du DON.

 

Les occasions de partage des frais feront partie d’une réception de demandes ciblée dans le cadre du Partenariat canadien pour l’agriculture. Le Partenariat a pour but, entre autres, d’aider les producteurs à gérer les risques pour la santé des plantes et des animaux. Le programme est une occasion d’aborder l’enjeu du DON.

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December 5, 2018 / 0 Comments

OSCIA Launches funding to support DON testing in corn

For Immediate Release
December 5th, 2018

Guelph ON – As part of a strategic initiative to assist Ontario’s grain farmers with high levels of DON (vomitoxin) contamination in this year’s corn crop, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) is releasing new cost-share opportunities to support DON testing.

Cost-share opportunities will be delivered as a targeted intake under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Helping producers manage plant and animal health risks is a focus of the Partnership. The program was an opportunity to respond to the DON issue.

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October 5, 2018 / 0 Comments

OSCIA Names Straathof as Program Director

OSCIA Names Straathof as Program Director
Guelph, Ontario, October 5, 2018 – Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) is pleased to welcome Angela Straathof as Program Director.

The Program Director position was created when two former program development and delivery units in the Guelph office were merged into one. The move will bring each of the subject matter experts in environmental stewardship, economic development, and protection and assurances all together on a single team. Straathof will work with all program staff and senior staff in other departments to develop and implement comprehensive work plans that best utilize OSCIA’s collective skills and resources, and the move reinforces our ability for effective and efficient delivery of programs to the Ontario farm community.
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May 1, 2018 / 0 Comments

The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program is back for 2018

Guelph ON – The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP) is back for 2018! SARFIP supports Ontario producers who are enhancing on-farm habitat for species at risk across the province. The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), with support from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, is pleased to continue to offer this impactful program.

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April 13, 2018 / 0 Comments

Stinky Neighbours? What happens when people make complaints

by Tim Brook, 2017

With farms, woods, wildlife and fresh air, rural residents cherish the charm and beauty of the countryside. Many people move from cities seeking peace and a pristine environment in the country.

Most people understand that a rural community includes farmers and that farming is a business.  Ontario’s agriculture and food sector employs 760,000 people and contributes more than $35 billion to the province’s economy every year.  This means that certain activities take place according to a production schedule; and some affect residents living close to farms.  In almost all cases, farmers and their rural neighbours get along well together.  However, there are some exceptions.
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March 12, 2018 / 0 Comments

Perth County Producer Is New Ontario Forage Master

The Votes Are In—Perth County Producer Is New Ontario Forage Master
March 9, 2018

Guelph ON. Last year a bold new approach for the decades-old Ontario Forage Masters Competition was introduced by Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). The new format centered on a self-assessment to identify best practices already followed and identify areas where improvements could be made to boost productivity and forage quality. Four of the regional winners accepted the invitation to present a precis of their production system at the recent OSCIA Annual Conference and the delegates and guests from across the province cast secret ballots to determine the overall champion.
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March 6, 2018 / 0 Comments

Re-evaluating the Cost of Compaction from Manure Application

Re-evaluating the Cost of Compaction from Manure Application

How much does compaction really cost? Consider increasing the profitability of a wheat crop by adding the value of compaction-induced yield loss in corn resulting from spring applied manure.

Healthy soils have a unique infrastructure of pores that vary in size and support the movement of air, water, earthworms and other soil micro-organisms and plant roots. Healthy soils that allow maximum water infiltration will help maximize the soil’s water-holding capacity and will minimize water runoff that leads to soil erosion. The greater the number of small pores, the more consolidated the soil is and the less capacity the soil has for water infiltration.

What is compaction? Compaction is a change in soil structure, including an increase in soil density. In compacted soils, the soil aggregates are pushed more tightly together which reduces the size and stability of the soil aggregates, the size of the pores and disrupts the continuity of those pores.

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