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Governments fund Ont. soil health projects

Governments fund Ont. soil health projects

Grain Farmers of Ontario will use the funding to research cover crop management

By Paula Schuck

Ontario producers are getting assistance to help nurture soil health while reducing phosphorus runoff.

Last week, the Canadian and Ontario governments announced a $240,000 cost-sharing initiative to support soil health research in the province.

“Our Government is investing in cutting-edge technology and research that help Canadian farmers adopt greener practices, including soil protection,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, the federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, in a Sept. 10 release. “This commitment to sustainable solutions will help the industry as a whole continue to grow and prosper in the long term.”

“From long-term to new users, we’re committed to implementing systems and technology to protect the province’s soil and water. This research will help develop the latest techniques and knowledge in managing soil health across the province,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. “Our government is happy to invest in solutions that support best practices, so we can continue to protect our precious resources.”

The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) is one group that will benefit. GFO will receive $60,000 to evaluate soil type, elevation and frost damage on cover cropping. This project will help grain farmers develop their knowledge of cover crop management to help reduce phosphorus entering the Lake Erie watershed.

“We are pleased to see the emphasis and investment in soil health. We at GFO have been engaged with soil health for a few years and it is always a positive when government invests money into research,” Markus Haerle, GFO’s chair, said in an interview.

“Healthier soil has more nutrition holding capacity and can help us protect the environment in a more controlled manner. GFO has a couple of soil health research projects on the go where some of this funding will come in useful.”

Other projects to improve soil health include:

  • The Ecological Farmers of Ontario will receive up to $26,724 to support and evaluate 11 farmer-led soil health Best Management Practices (BMPs).
  • The Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association will receive $148,040 to evaluate the effects of current cultivation practices and test new and existing organic amendments to improve soil health.

Photo credit: Sasiistock/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo



Trending Video

Using Weather Forecasts to Grow a Crop

Video: Using Weather Forecasts to Grow a Crop

BY: Ashley Robinson

Growing a crop isn’t easy. There’s a lot of variables involved, a major one being weather. And while you can’t control weather, you can use weather forecasts to help you make informed decisions regarding your crop. This could include application of insecticide, herbicide or fungicide treatments, scheduled irrigation or swathing your crop.

On the Nov. 29 episode of Seed Speaks, we’re taking a closer look at how you can use weather forecasts to grow the best possible crop. We’re joined by Chris Manchur, agronomy specialist for eastern Manitoba with the Canola Council of Canada (CCC); David Clay, distinguished professor of soil science at South Dakota State University; and Wade Kent, senior principal digital agronomist for Nutrien.

Manchur provides agronomic advice and support to growers and agronomists in Manitoba. He’s also the sclerotinia stem rot lead for the CCC and helps to manage canola research and innovation through funding programs such as the Canola Agronomic Research Program and the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Manchur received his bachelor of science degree in plant biotechnology and master of science in RNA interference-based next generation fungicides at the University of Manitoba.

Clay is the past president of the American Society of Agronomy, and Corn Councils Endowed Chair in Precision farming. He has spent over 30 years investing soil health, has published and been awarded numerous awards and is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.

Kent is located in North Central Iowa and farms corn and soybeans with his dad in his spare time. He spent his undergraduate and graduate career at Iowa State University and University of Minnesota studying agronomy, crop physiology, and soil science. At Nutrien, Kent works in the digital and precision landscape focusing on bringing together agronomy and technology to improve efficiency, profitability, and sustainability of Nutrien Ag Solution’s customers.

Join us on Nov. 29 at 12 p.m. CST on Seed World U.S., Seed World Canada, Seed World Europe and the Alberta Seed Guide’s Facebook pages, Seed World U.S.’s LinkedIn page and Seed World Group’s YouTube to watch the discussion.



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