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What’s Growing On?

Ontario’s farmland plays an integral role in keeping our local communities fed, which is one of the reasons why farmland protection is always at the forefront of our minds.

Have you ever wondered what is grown on our permanently protected farms? During the summer months we are able to visit all of our protected farms and see what’s growing on!

Hay has been one of the most prevalent crops we’ve seen so far this year with a total of six permanently protected farms growing hay. We love the look of a hay field blowing in the wind before it has been harvested, and we know that the Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks we have observed on our properties love it too. Pastures and hay fields are important habitat for grassland birds like those, and in addition to hay, many of our farms also have pastures located on them!

Two of our farms are raising beef cattle this year, and on one of them we were even introduced to dwarf cattle! We love how curious the cows are when we are on our site visits.

There has been no shortage of animals on the farms, aside from all of the exciting wild animal sightings we have had, we have also seen sheep, chickens, llamas, horses, donkeys, (and not to mention many farm dogs and cats). It is always a buzz getting to see what our farmers are up to!

We have also seen many honey bee hives on our protected farms! Both honey bees and other native bee species are essential for pollination, and they can increase product yields by up to 24 percent.1 We have definitely seen our fair share of happy farmers with bees flying around their farmland. Four of our protected farms are currently bee keeping and making their own honey!

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Michael Gilbert, founder and CEO of Semios, a precision farming platform, tells BNN Bloomberg how the company uses millions of sensors in 120 million acres of fields and orchards around