Soil & Crop News - February 2010                             Publications Mail Agreement 40046443
Distributed to Soil & Crop Members in the Counties of Halton, Peel, Wentworth, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Niagara N., & Niagara S.
  Golden Horseshoe Regional                                “Soil & Crop News” Is Provided By The
  Soil & Crop Improvement Association                      Golden Horseshoe Soil & Crop Improvement
                                                           Association With Assistance From The
Executive:                                                 Following:
Tom Wilson - Past President
Gerry Veldhuizen - President                               Brant Soil & Crop              Wentworth Soil & Crop
Rose Marie Haegens - Vice President                        Halton Soil & Crop             Peel Soil & Crop
Robert Cruickshank- 2nd Vice President                     Norfolk Soil & Crop            South Niagara Soil & Crop
                                                           Haldimand Soil & Crop          North Niagara Soil & Crop
Secretary - Mark Janiec
                                                           City of Toronto                The City of Hamilton
Treasurer - John Shepherd                                  Halton Region                  Niagara Region
                                                           Egger Truck & Machine          Huron Commodities Inc.
          Association Directors:                           TD Canada Trust                FS Partners
Gary Mountain            Julia Williams                    Syngenta Seeds Canada Inc.     Hyland Seeds
Greg Kitching            John Nurse                        Maizex Seeds                   OSCIA
Andrew Spoelstra         Fritz Trauttsmandorff             Scotland Agromart              OMAFRA
Steve Sickle             Peter Szentimrey                  Doughty & Williamson           IGPC
Fred Judd                Arpad Pasztor
Art Lyall                Lennie Aarts
Reg Ecker                Mike Tomascin
John Hussack             Jeremy Huizinga                                  Coming Events
        OMAFRA Contacts:                                          Norfolk Soil & Crop 69th
Ian McDonald            Chris Brown
Nick Kinkel
                                                                 Annual Meeting & Banquet
                                                           Tuesday February 23rd, 2010
      OSCIA Provincial Directors:
                                                           Delhi District German Home
Barry Hill          Marshall Davis
                                                           443 James Street, Delhi, ON
  Regional Communications Coordinator:
                                                           Special Guest Speaker - Jenny VanRooy
                    (Newsletter Editor)
                                                                          (Farmers Feed Cities Coordinator)
               John C. Shepherd
                                                           Viewing exhibits & Happy Hour - 5:00pm
               #27, Concession Rd.13,
                                                           Dinner                           - 6:00pm
               R.R. # 2
               Scotland, ON N0E 1R0
                                                           For tickets please call: Arpad Pasztor 519-85-2130
               Tel: 519-446-2532
               Fax: 519-446-9940
                   email:                                Jeff Purdy 519-688-2119
                                                           Everyone welcome
                                                           Tickets $25 per person
          On The Cover
                                                                          Farm Smart Expo 2010
                                                           Thurdsay July 15, 2010
                                  John & Laura             Elora Research Station, Elora, ON
                                  Hughes (centre)
                                  with daughter,
                                   Amy, son Tom, &                Farm Smart Conference 2011
                                  Amy’s children:          Saturday January 22nd, 2011
                                  Isabel & Gavin           Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph

                          Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                            Page 2
             Springridge Farm                               Hughes appeared on the scene in 1971 (Leslie Hughes
                                                            died in 1968 at the age of 52 and his wife, Jane, in 1989)
How can you make a decent living from a 72 acre farm        the outlook for making a living growing sour cherries
which is situated within the Niagara Escarpment             was not great. The marketing board had set the price at
planning area and perched on the side of a hill? That       7¢ a pound that year and by John’s calculation it was
was the question facing John and Laura Hughes when          costing 10¢ a pound to grow them.
they were married in 1971 and about to take over the        For John Hughes, fresh from the University of Guelph
Hughes family farm.

In the beginning the answer was easy because as John
says, “Nothing makes farming pay like a good full-
time, off-farm, job.” But the Hughes weren’t satisfied
with that way of life - at least not for the long haul.
Theirs is an interesting story of courage, innovation,
adding value wherever possible and above all, listening
to customers.

Springridge farm sits just below the crest of the Niagara
Escarpment, on Bell School Line, in the Region of
Halton. The Hughes family has been “fruit farming” for
over 100 years (six generations) but it was only in 1960
that John’s parents, Leslie and Jane Hughes, purchased
                                                            A Young family taking time out for a snack in
                                                            the café during their visit to Springridge farm.
                                                            with a degree in horticulture, the choice seemed
                                                            obvious. Take the job offered him by the Ontario
                                                            Ministry of Agriculture and Food as a provincial
                                                            Greenhouse Crop Advisor. It was a position he would
                                                            hold for 27 years, retiring in 1999.

                                                            John’s wife Laura, whom he continually refers to as the
                                                            family’s marketer and innovator, worked for a time after
                                                            they were married in the Canada Manpower office in
                                                            Milton. When the Hughes’ second daughter was born in
                                                            1975 it was time for Laura to stay at home and she
                                                            immediately put her creative skills to work by
                                                            suggesting pick-your-own for the sour cherries. John
The Springridge barn has been restored and                  didn’t think it would work because in his mind “who
upgraded to accommodate a farm market, a gift               would ever want to pick their own sour cherries?”
shop, a café and party rooms for kids birthdays.            Admittedly it started off slowly, but following an article
                                                            about their operation that appeared in the Toronto Star,
the current Springridge property from the Hartley           people started to come. And they picked as many as 25
family. Having sold the home farm at Dixie in South         tonnes of sour cherries in one year. In John’s words,
Peel in the mid 1950s, they were now ready to start         “The lesson learned from this - don’t ever underestimate
over, well out of reach of the developers.                  the power of the press.”

Originally they grew such things as grapes, pears, sour     “But farms have a way of evolving,” says John, and he
cherries and plums. Almost everything was sold to a         & Laura began to notice that people who came to pick
number of different canneries around the province -         cherries also wanted to look in the barn. They began to
none of which exist today. By the time John & Laura         realize that people were not just looking for the

                       Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                             Page 3
experience of picking cherries, but rather the total           all its animals such as ponies, goats, chickens, rabbits,
experience of visiting a farm. They also wanted                peacocks and turkeys. It has been so successful that
refreshments and washrooms, thus opening up a host of          between 23,000 & 25,000 school children come to the
opportunities to add value to the visit. First came a          farm each year. The Hughes have worked hard to make
pitting machine for the cherries. Next they fixed up the       it a safe, educational and fun experience as they explain
barn. They offered juice and cookies; expanded the             the features of the Niagara Escarpment and teach the
offering to include pies and other baking; processed           children how food is produced on an Ontario farm. “We
some of their fruit in the off season to make jams and         have lots of covered buildings,” says John, “so the
jellies; opened a snack bar/cafe; added a gift shop and        program goes on, even on rainy days.” It even makes a
the list goes on. “Home decor and baking has become            great place for kids birthday parties. The birthday party
a big part of our business,” says John, “and we now sell       thing has become so popular that Springridge is now set
thousands of pies annually (10,000 apple pies alone last       up to handle 18, two-hour parties per weekend. (9 on
year).” “All are made from scratch right at the farm,          Saturday and 9 more on Sunday) John says the birthday
and that includes the pastry,” he adds.

Along the way, however, some changes were needed to
the farms cropping program. Even with their unique
location on a south facing slope of the escarpment,
cherries were still not a reliable crop. As a result, a part
of the cherry crop gave way to strawberries. It worked
well. Not only did it give them a second crop but it
allowed the pick-your-own season to start earlier. By
2009 there are scarcely any cherry trees left and the
current crops are: Strawberries - 12 to 14 acres,
Pumpkins and Gourds - 15 acres, with the rest of the
land used for corn trails and raspberries. Ironically,
2009 marks the last year for raspberries because they
too, lack the dependability needed for the thousands of
customers that come to Springridge every summer.
                                                               John Hughes beside the Springridge display of
When John & Laura’s 3 children, who are now adults             condiments, all made right on the farm.
in their 30s, were still in school, one of their teachers
asked if she could bring her whole class to Springridge        parties have been particularly successful and provide a
farm. Thus began the Springridge Fun Farm Yard with            good level of activity that helps to even out the cash

                                                               When it comes to cash flow, John gives Laura full credit
                                                               for finding ways to even out the revenue stream. “She
                                                               didn’t grow up on a farm,”says John, “but she has
                                                               certainly understood the need to stabilize that part of our
                                                               business.” Laura has always believed it is never good to
                                                               have all of your eggs in one basket and over the last
                                                               year has put in place a system whereby children pay an
                                                               admission to enter the farm-theme play area. Prior to
                                                               this, the play area had never generated actual revenue
                                                               but served primarily to draw parents of young families,
                                                               and of course potential customers, to the farm. The
                                                               charging of admission was the culmination of a 3-4 year
                                                               debate on its feasability and John now says it’s the best
Springridge fruit pies are all made from scratch               thing we have ever done. For frequent visitors a season
right on the farm.                                             pass is recommended.

                        Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                                Page 4
John & Laura Hughes have 3 children: Sarah 35, Amy         started at Springridge at the age of 13 picking
34 and Tom 30. “One of the ground rules of our family      strawberries. Jesse moved on to be a field manager, and
has always been that each must work away from the          worked though the summers while at Queen’s
farm for at least 5 years,” says John. Elder daughter
Sarah continues to work away from the farm but does
help out on busy weekends. However, both Amy, who
has a degree from Western in Human Resources and
Tom who is a tool and dye maker have fulfilled their
parents requirements in this regard and are now back at
Springridge on a full time basis. “Transfer of ownership
is still a topic that has to be addressed,” says John.

Amy works on the human resources side and looks after
the Springridge web site,
“She even does some stuff on Face Book and Twitter,”
says John. “I’m thick as pig shit when it comes to
things like that.” Son Tom works mostly on the farm

                                                           John Hughes standing beside a moose head on
                                                           display in the Springridge gift shop. This
                                                           particular moose was shot in northern Ontario
                                                           by John’s grandfather, the honourable Thomas
                                                           L Kennedy while recovering from lung damage
                                                           suffered in World War 1. Tom Kennedy was
                                                           Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture in the 1930s
                                                           and 1940s and in 1948 became Ontario’s 15th
                                                           Premier of the province.
 Children’s Corn Maize at Srpingridge Farm
                                                           University. He then graduated from the George Brown
side of the operation and looks after equipment            Chef’s school and now at age 34 is back at Springridge.
maintenance and production. Along with his father he       In his new position he is in charge of the food side of
is responsible for the farming part of the business.       things which includes both the bakery and the cafe.
Laura looks after the barn market, tours and special       “Jesse is thoroughly committed to making this place
events. She also does most of the purchasing of gifts      functional, says John. “We are proud of our staff and all
etc. and over the years has been the main person in        of our people who handle food have taken food safety
charge of hiring staff members. “She has been very         courses.”
good at hiring good people,” says John. Her philosophy
has always been to hire for attitude and a smile.          Springridge farm is open daily from 9:00 to 5:00 from
Everything else is trainable. The Hughes find these        April through to Christmas. “We used to be open later
attributes particularly important in their business        in the evening,” says John, “but we can provide better
because many of their employees have one-on-one            working hours for our employees if we close the gates
contact with customers. The policy is obviously            at 5:00.” In conclusion he says, “We could never have
working as evidenced by the large number of long term      made a living here just farming. We had to add some
employees, some as long as 18 years. Springridge           value, somehow. And what it has done is, it has allowed
employs as many as one hundred people during the           us to keep the farm and to keep moving forward.”
peak summer season and about 15 full time persons the
year round.
                                                           John & Laura Hughes’ Springridge Farm Was
When discussing employees, John likes to use the           Selected By The Halton Soil & Crop Improvement
example of a young lad, Jesse, who grew up nearby and      Association For This Month’s Feature.

                       Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                           Page 5
  Niagara South, Niagara North & Haldimand Soil & Crop Annual Meeting.
A large crowd turned out for the joint annual meeting of    products that have been rejected by the market”, he
the Niagara South, Niagara North & Haldimand Soil &         said. “We are also looking at new crops that could be
Crop Improvement Associations held January 13th in the      grown on marginal soils”.
Wellandport Community Centre.
                                                            “Virgin green material produces nice clean gas”, he
Andy Graham, program manager with the Ontario Soil          said, “ and a bi-product of the plant will be a high
& Crop Improvement Association provided up-to-date          quality fertilizer. We will not be using products such as
information on the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) and        sewage waste.” While there will be some storage on site
                      the related cost share program        he said that the plant will require 10-15 tonnes of
                      COFSP. (Canada-Ontario Farm           material daily, 365 days a year.
                      Stewardship Program) With
                      year 2 of the COFSP program                                   Horst Bonner, OMAFRA
                      about to begin he said that the                               Soybean Specialist, was asked
                      top 5 categories from year one                                to address the topic “What
                      were:                                                         Happened to Soybeans in
                      1) Precision Agriculture                                      200?” And these were just a
                      2) Improved Cropping Systems                                  few of the factors he listed in
  Andy Graham         3) Riparian Management                                        response:
                      4) Improved Pest Management            Horst Bonner           1) Wet fall of 2008 left
5) Water Well Management                                                            compaction problems in many
“Enhanced cost sharing opportunities exist for many of      2) A cold wet spring provided slow and uneven
the categories in COFSP”, he said and cited examples        germination.
for top-up such as the Lake Simcoe area, Species at risk    3) High corn yields in 2008 left a heavy canopy of corn
Incentive Program, the Ontario Drinking Water               stalks on the ground. “Corn stalks are the enemy”, he
Stewardship Program and the Greenbelt Green Energy          said.
Program For Agriculture.                                    4) Poor early season growth
                                                            5) Poor nodulation
Tony Quirk, who works for the town of Grimsby,              6) Low plant populations (10% less than optimum)
                        described the Grimsby Energy        7) Slugs. Slugs like lots of crop residue and moisture.
                        Bioreactor and the                  8) No-Till looked poor all year. “This is the first year
                        opportunities it will provide for   we have seen such devastating results for no-till”.
                        agriculture. He said this one
                        megawatt power plant will use       Mr Bonner told the audience that soybeans have the
                        virgin green material to produce    reputation of being a very difficult crop to manipulate
                        both power and heat. He             and that there aren’t a lot of things you can do to
                        stressed that the town of           improve yields. But first, he said, you have to
                        Grimsby wants this plant to be a    understand the problems before you can make
                        driver for agriculture and it       improvements. “Soybeans love heat”, he said “and their
  Tony Quirk            fully expects to pay farmers for    ideal temperature is 28EC both day and night.” In 2009
                        material delivered to the plant.    we had a cold wet spring and then were hit with a cold
“The site location has been identified”, he said, “and      July. Slow uneven growth was a huge problem this year
construction will commence in the spring and summer         due to a lack of Nitrogen because they didn’t nodulate.
of 2010.” It is expected that start-up will commence in     He said, however, that we can increase yields but, for
the fall of 2010.                                           many of the practices, it’s hard to get a payback.
                                                            Among the things that really do something, early
Mr Quirk said that they do not want to take crops out of    planting is at the top of the list. In 2009 beans planted
the food chain such as corn, but that any carbon based      in early May averaged 8 bushels more than those
product will work. “We are looking particularly, at         planted in late May. Seed treatments (Cruiser plus

                       Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                            Page 6
Histick) improved yields by 4 bushels and vertical            need to know your farm’s P & K levels as well as you
tillage only 2 bushels. Using a planter instead of a drill    know your wife’s birthday.
produced another 2 bushel advantage. Adding fertilizer
on the other hand produced no yield advantage at all.
“Applying fertilizer to the soybean crop can pay big
dividends,” he said, “but only if you need it.” Plots         Wentworth Soil & Crop Annual Meeting
that received everything, i.e. seed treatment, pre tillage,
some fertilizer & Quadrus plus Matador as foliar spray        The Wentworth Soil & Crop Improvement Association
increased yields by 6.7 bushels. The problem - It cost        held its annual meeting in the
$105 per acre to achieve this level of increase. In other     new Ancaster Agricultural
words, it didn’t pay.                                         Society building, 630 Trinity
                                                              Road, Jerseyville on January
Morris Sagriff, agronomist at Pioneer, and Jerry              18, 2010. An excellent crowd
Winniki agronomist with Clark Agri Service addressed          was on hand to take advantage
the topic “Traits & Technologies That Are                     of the new facilities but were
                        Reshaping The Future Of               disappointed by the less than
                        Agriculture.”                         satisfactory acoustics in the  Ian McDonald
                        Mr Sagriff initially talked           hall.
                        about High Oleic Soybeans -
                        beans with a much higher              OMAFRA Crop Specialist, Ian McDonald, started
                        percentage of Oleic Oil. They         things off with a presentation on the results of trials
                        are particularly useful he said       done varying nitrogen application methods, amounts,
                        in making plastics that are           and timing, when fertilizing the corn crop. The purpose
                        more flexible. They will be RR        of the project was to demonstrate the advantages of
  Morris Sagriff                                              applying nitrogen to corn as a side dress rather than as
                        he said and will come with a
premium of $1.00 per bushel and no yield drag.                a pre-plant application of urea on heavy clay soils.
 He also predicted that there will be a much greater          Currently 80% of N is applied to corn in Ontario as urea
emphasis on “one pass farming”. “There are new                and on most soils rates could be reduced by 20% if side
formulations coming,” he said, “that will spread out the      dressed - the reason being side dressing puts the N in
weed control period”. He also commented on the speed          place when the crop needs it. The project also examined
with which plant breeding has increased. “We can now          how much N was lost just laying it on the surface
do as much in our Pioneer plant breeding facility at          instead of injecting it between the rows.
Chatham as we could in all of North America 8 years
ago. Things that are coming soon, he said, are varieties      Results showed that there was a yield response to
with more drought stress and “refugia in a bag”.              incremental amounts of N at all application levels. No
                                                              crop injury was observed with any of the injected rates
                        Gerry Winniki told the                and very little when broadcast at the spike to 3 leaf
                        audience that all companies are       stage. Some injury did occur from spraying 28% over
                        doing virtually the same things       the top however new growth was not affected. In 2009
                        and that it’s a real race to the      there was no significant yield difference due to timing
                        finish line. Soybean aphid            with any of the applications. There was however, much
                        resistance is coming soon to          skepticism amongst the audience about the practice of
                        RR soybeans and we already            spraying 28% on emerged corn, and the project will
                        have corn that will yield with        continue in 2010 & 2011.
  Jerry Winnicki        3" less rainfall. He predicted
                        that disease prevention will be       Casey Smith of O’Neils Farm Equipment introduced
put on the seed and that the time is coming when we           Patrick Ciccarelli who described the many advantages
will be planting corn in the fall. At the same time he        of a special farm equipment insurance policy offered by
said these new expensive varieties may never be               Federation Insurance PDI. Available only through Case
profitable on poor land. It will become even more             IH dealers, Mr Ciccarelli outlined the policy’s many
important to know your fertility levels and you will

                               Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                    Page 7
                         benefits that include such         In presenting
                         things as guaranteed rates,        the Soil &
                         immediate coverage even for        W a t e r
                         used equipment, no                 conservation
                         depreciation for wear and tear,    award         to
                         inclusion of coverage for tires    Oliver and
                         and tubes and foreign object       Doris Freeman,
                         ingestion.       For further       C l i n t o n
 Patrick Ciccarelli      information contact any Case       Burrows said
                         IH dealer.                         Oliver & Doris
                                                            have worked
Guest speaker for the occasion was Phillip Shaw who         together on Clinton Burrows and Oliver &
farms near Dresden. Mr Shaw, who is also a reviewer of      their farm ever Doris Freeman.
                        new farm equipment for              since they were
                        various magazines, took time        married 62 years ago. “They have addressed soil
                        on this day to look at the future   management on their farm in the 20 Mile Creek
                        of grain markets. While there       Watershed with root crops, and manure from their herd
                        was not a lot of optimism in        of 30 Holsteins, for over 50 years. Their farm bears the
                        Mr Shaw’s presentation he did       fruit of care and good management ,” he said.
                        say that he believes there will
                        be marketing opportunities in       In making the
                        2010. The trick will be to          presentation of
                        recognize them when they            the Soil & Water
                        arrive. Noting that the cool        conservation
  Phillip Shaw
                        summer of 2009 was not nearly       award to Dave
as destructive as we thought it would be, he said that      Vollick, Drew
going forward it is unlikely that the USDA would            Spoelstra noted
change its numbers further. “What we need now”, he          the progression
said, “is some kind of weather related event to get         to more no-till
things turned around.”                                      f o r     b o t h
                                                            soybeans and
In his presentation Mr Shaw spent time outlining the        wheat along with
factors affecting Ontario basis, particularly on corn.      a     general
While he said the big thing is the Canadian Dollar he       shortening of Dave Vollick & Drew Spoelstra
gave much credit to the Ontario Ethanol industry for        crop rotations. Dave Vollick farms in the Stoney Creek
putting us on an import basis. “However”, he said,          area, having taken over the Milmine operation.
“corn will never rise above the U.S. replacement price.”
                                  In conclusion he said,    In making the Wentworth Soil & Water conservation
                                  success is 2%             award to Wayne
                                  opportunity and 98%       Whitwell, Dale
                                  perspiration.             Smith said Wayne is
                                                            Binbrook’s hay man.
                                  Wentworth Soil &          “He operates a total
                                  Crop President, Brad      of 650 acres,”said
                                  Nimijohn presented a      Dale, “of which 250
                                  long-time service         are in hay.” All
                                  award to Dale Smith       soybeans are planted
                                  for his contributions     no-till and corn is
                                  to Wentworth Soil &       zone tilled into hay
Dale Smith & Brad                                           fields.              Wayne Whitwell & Dale Smith

                              Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                    Page 8
First Year At Integrated Grain Processors Co-Operative (IGPC) A Huge Success.
IGPC completed its first full year of operation on          Mr Grey says that throughout the first year the focus
September 30th, 2009, with results every bit as good as     was on having a healthy cash flow. “We made sure we
the most optimistic of expectations. According to IGPC      could pay our bills,” he said, “and didn’t ever over
manager, Jim Grey, plant production was right on target     expose ourselves. We didn’t do much hedging because
after its first 12 months of operation, having produced     we didn’t have the money to hedge.” The strategy has
40 million gallons of ethanol. (153 million litres)         obviously worked and approximately 25% of the plants
                                                            $60 million dollar debt has already been paid off.
Mr Grey, who has made a career of working in the wet
milling business, - (President of Casco Inc. In the 1990s   “Margins have improved over what they were at start-
                                  and later with the        up,” he said, “but the profitability of the plant
                                  parent company of         ultimately tends to track the price of corn more than it
                                  Casco, Corn Products      does the price of oil.”
                                  International, followed
                                  by a stint in Austria     Mr Grey is quick, however, to acknowledge the
                                  with Jungbunzlauer),      contributions of OMAFRA, AAFC and Natural
                                  says he has never been    Resources Canada. “Without these programs we
                                  involved with a start-    wouldn’t be here,” he said. To cap off the success of the
                                  up that went so           first year Mr Grey said there have been no accidents, no
                                  smoothly. With such an    environmental issues and no complaints from the town
      Jim Grey                    impressive list of        of Aylmer
                                  e m p l o y m e n t
credentials the obvious question becomes, “Why did he              IGPC Shares To Be Traded
choose to come to IGPC?” And Jim’s answer was,              Mr Grey said that the IGPC board of directors is in the
“Very few people ever have the opportunity to start a       final throws of establishing a trading platform for
company from nothing”. When Jim Grey came to IGPC           shares. It is expected that it will be rolled out some time
in April of 2008, he had only 5 months until the            over the next 2 months.
projected start-up date and says, “We had to get a
business going in a very short time. The first
of October arrived and we had a business to
run. It was certainly professionally

Mr Grey went on to give credit to ICM, the
company that designed the plant, North
America Construction of Morriston, Ontario,
(located just south of Guelph) the builders of
the plant, and a terrific group of employees for
getting things off to such a great start. Also
receiving high praise was Cargill, which
sources all of the corn, EcoEnergy that
markets the ethanol and Furst McNess the
marketers of the distillers grains (DDGs).

IGPC Shows A Profit In Year One
With the financial audit of first year operations
almost complete IGPC reports a year end
profit of $5 million dollars and term debt The One Hundred & Forty Million Dollar IGPC Ethanol
repayments of nearly $15 million.                 Plant At Aylmer Uses 15 Million Bushels Of Corn Annually.

                     Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                              Page 9
         Halton Soil & Crop Improvement Association Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Halton Soil & Crop             unrest amongst the people began in the 1960s and
Improvement Association was held in the Hillcrest        by the late 60s and early 70s there was insurgence.
United Church on Tuesday January 19, 2010. A             War continued until 1980 when the country gained
larger than usual crowd was on hand to hear the          its independence. One caveat of independence was
association reports and listen to the guest speaker.     that the constitution would not change for at least
                                                         20 years.
Dean Iamarino, of the Halton Region Bio Solids
Unit gave a short report stating that in 2009
200,000 cubic meters of wet bio solids were
                        applied to land as well as
                        22,000 cubic meters of
                        cake. He said that the
                        primary focus of the Halton
                        Region Bio Solids Unit
                        continues to be land
                        application and that land fill
                        is used only on a
                        contingency basis. Whereas
                        at one time the majority of
                        Bio Solids produced were
                        spread within the region,                  Peter & Doris Morgan

  Dean Iamarino         more than half (65%) were
                        spread outside the region in     According to Mr Morgan it was a prosperous 20
2009. Current projections show that the production       years and he continued to invest everything back
of Bio Solids will double within the region in the       into the farm. “We grew such crops as corn, cotton,
next 20 years and a master plan is being developed       tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugar cane, peanuts,
to cope with this increased amount- this all coming      paprika, sunflowers, and grass. We also raised
in the face of fewer and fewer acres available for       cattle, sheep, goats and swine,” he said. All of this
application. He cited 5 challenges that must be          took place on 6000 acres owned by the Morgans
dealt with in preparing the master plan.                 and which supported about 65 families who worked
1) Increased population within the region of Halton      for them. Another 70 families worked for Peter’s
2) Less land available for land applications.            son.
3) Finite off season storage                             “In those days, Zimbabwe was still the bread basket
4) Regional constraints                                  of Africa,” he said, “and now it can’t even feed
5) Public sensitivities                                  itself but is a recipient of Food Grains Bank Aid.”
                                                         In 2000 the squatters arrived and settled all over his
Julia Whalen introduced guest speaker Peter              farm. Mr Morgan said he had no legal way to make
Morgan, a recent immigrant to Canada from                them leave and appeals to police went unheard. “It
Zimbabwe. Mr Morgan and his wife Doris, were             even got to the point where we were being sued for
born in Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia, and              damage done to squatters plots by our cattle,” he
lived and farmed there all their lives prior to          said. The upshot was he and his wife grew their last
coming to Canada in 2007. Mr Morgan still has            crop in 2002. Peter says that he and Doris enjoy
fond memories of his native country and says he          living in Canada and look forward to becoming
loved the country and loved the people. However,         citizens in another year.

                          Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                   Page 10
Halton Forage Masters Winners, Jay Kitching               Dan Henry, L, presented the Halton Soil & Crop
2nd, Paul Fisher 1st, Keith Petherick of Pickseed,        Certificate of Recognition to Murray
Tom Parker, (Forage Masters Coordinator) and              Brownridge
Don Rowntree 3rd.

 On this occasion the Halton Soil & Crop Improvement Association extended a special invitation
 to past presidents and secretaries of the organization over the fifty year period 1939 - 1989

   Front - Left to Right: Colin Marshall, Hugh Beaty, Russell Hurren, Clarence Ford Jr., Sam Harrop, Bob Merry
   Standing: L to R: Henry Stanley, Frank Anthony, Dan Henry, Don Sherwood, Richard Sovereign, Norm Biggar,
   Peter Walker, Ken McNabb, Harley Pickering, Mark Janiec (current president) Barry Hill (OSCIA 1st Vice Pres)
   Missing that day: Dave Taylor, Harold Middlebrook, Ken Wetlaufer & Bill Allison.

                         Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010               Page 11
           Raxil Seed Treatment                                       GIVING IT A READ
                    By                                                         By
       John Hussack, ADA, CCA-ON                                          Sheldon Smith
     Agronomist, Clark Agri-Service Inc.                           Egger Truck & Machine Ltd.

Raxil® T and Raxil® MD are two cereal grain                  This is the time of year when perhaps the snow is
fungicide seed treatments available for 2010 from        falling deep, and the wind is howling thru the lonely
Bayer Crop Science. Although the active chemical         pines. This is the time of year you can pick up that
components are not new to the fungicide market these     favorite book you didn’t have time to read earlier this
combinations have not been used extensively. If the      year, or dig into farm reports and try to make heads or
growers are accustomed to viewing their cereal grains    tails of the scripted propaganda – just giving it a read.
with a pink coating this treatment will not change the                             Since Christmas and the New
                            appearance. Raxil’s                                    Year are now long behind us,
                            formulations will add                                  stores are inundating us with
                            fusarium protection to the                             sales flyers galore,
                            crop and an additional                                 automotive deals you just
                            resistance to seed and                                 can’t refuse, hoping that we
                            seedling diseases.                                     just take a few minutes – to
                                                                                   give it a read.
                         Raxil® T is a combination
                         of Tebuconazole and                                        This arena of a “buyers”
                         Thiram Fungicides. This                                paradise started my brain a
                         product contains Group 3                               turning. Does having “cash”
 John Hussack            and Group M fungicides              Sheldon Smith actually give you an “edge”
                         contributing to greater                                in this buyers market? How
resistance management of fungicides.                     can 50%-60% off really turn my crank? Does this
                                                         mean that the product was actually priced 50%-60%
Raxil® MD is a combination of Tebuconazole and           TOO HIGH to begin with? Maybe it’s the lack of
Metalaxyl Fungicides both systemic fungicides. For       cold weather, or the absence of deep snow on the
resistance management this product contains both         ground – but am I becoming a cynical, old, crankpot
Group 3 and Group 4 fungicides.                          when its comes to opening up my wallet?

Both of these treatments perform very well but may           The discussion of “value” leads to many different
be more suited to one cereal compared to another.        ideas as to what that means to the myriad of buyers
Raxil®T is more likely to be applied to Oats and         around us. What is value? Collins Pocket Dictionary
Barley by some cereal seed companies while Raxil®        defines as follows;
MD has a better Fungicide package on Wheat.              Value: 1) The worth of a thing in money or goods
Raxil® T fungicide combination controls and                      2) Estimated worth
suppresses a wide variety of fungal diseases in                  3) Purchasing power
cereals. The oats and barley seed will receive control
of seed rot caused by seed and soil-borne Fusarium,      When it comes to purchasing inputs for your farm,
control of seedling blight caused by seed-borne          your retailer ascribes a price to the products or
Fusarium, the suppression of Root and Crown Rot          services that you will be buying to aid, improve, or
caused by seed-borne Fusarium and the control of         create profitability in the coming year. That price
Common bunt and Loose Smut plus other controls.          that is attached to that product or service represents
Raxil® MD fungicide combinations also control and        MUCH MORE than a number, or an attached value;
suppress a wide variety of fungal diseases in cereals.   that price represents what it takes for another
On Wheat this fungicide controls and suppresses          “business” partner to become apart of what you do
much the same list for Raxil® T on Oats and Barley.      every day- to make you successful. For example –
Cereal growers identify the Fusarium disease             That ton of Urea or 28% applied to your upcoming
complex and smut as two serious early season disease     wheat crop is purchased not to make money disappear
concerns. Raxil will be effective control on both        or to give a truck driver a job, but rather to invest in a
diseases.                                                partnership to aid or help that wheat crop get an early
                                                         start in the spring; to ultimately result in more bushels
                                                         of wheat/acre which provides greater profitability. If

                         Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                      Page 12
that ton of Urea or 28% was nothing more than a Ton            3) A sales personnel that spends weeks each
of feathers or a Ton of water – the wheat would not               year in service, warranty, and new product
respond, resulting in no extra bushels of wheat, and              updates with in the field testing and trials to
no profitability. How would you respond to that                   answer your questions fully.
Agri-business if that’s what they delivered to your            4) On farm demonstrations of product at work.
FERTILIZER!!                                                   5) Many different choices for finance options –
                                                                  and cash buying may not always be in your
Value needs to be recognized as a REAL,                           best interest. Who says NO to cash?
TANGIBLE, product that comes with every sale to                6) NOT SPEAKING BUT LISTENING TO
your door. Each year that passes by, this becomes                 WHAT THE CUSTOMER IS SAYING.
more and more ingrained in my mind. When I
purchase a product or service as a customer – value is           This is perhaps the greatest asset to value. If
what I would demand. Why would I want any less?            nobody is listening to you as a customer and what
Let me be a little bold here. The price on whatever        you are asking for, then why should you buy? All the
product or service you buy – is fictitious. How do we      stores, seed suppliers, chemical and fertilizer
really know that tractor is really worth $ 194,795.00?     suppliers, machinery dealers, are talking for your
Is the combine more expensive because it is so much        business. As an educated consumer, you DO know
larger than a tractor? Can I really buy that $ 53,000      what you want to buy and you DO know how much
cow and be happy when I get 4 bull calves in a row?        you want to pay for your product and/or service. I
                                                           believe it is up to the wise sales person to supply you
    Prices on products have always been used by the        with what you are looking for, at a “valuable” price as
consumer as a measuring stick for Value. If the            you are a “valued” customer. According to the
product is more expensive – it must be better. If the      definition above, that means you have worth and you
product has a very low price, then it must be not very     have “purchasing power” because you are valuable.
good. In our educational system today (or yesterday)       We at Egger Truck & Machine fully ascribe to
who taught us this school of economics? What is a          finding solutions to help you do a better job of what
“good deal?”                                               you are doing. And by the way, Thanks for giving
                                                           this a read.
    When it comes to any purchase, I may even be so
bold as to do some pencil math for my customers.
Lets take that tractor purchase and bring it back to a
cost/hr of usage and see if that makes sense to the              Are You Prepared For Change?
purchaser. Lets take those tire purchases and estimate                      By
the years of use and translate into an estimated hr of          Greg Kitching AMS Agronomist
use and then realize the fuel savings from “not                 AgraTurf Equipment Services Inc.
pushing mud with the combine”, being able to ride
along top of the ground, the reduced ground                When we look back over the last 150 - 200 years,
compaction from a larger surface area due to upsized       there has been an ongoing evolution within our fields.
tires. If the compared tires have similar construction,    Our soils have changed as cropping systems have
similar tire radius and loaded gross flat plate, then      impacted them. Application of livestock manure has
why would you pay thousands of dollars more for                                      continued on some farms,
similar performance in the field?                                                    ceased on others. Organic
                                                                                     matter levels have
   In having you give this article a read, let me define                             declined on many farms
value to you as a “valued” customer. In having                                       and in some cases
myself as a person that just finds and delivers the                                  rebounded due to reduced
products to you that you are looking for, may I add to                               or no-till systems being
the “price tag” at “no charge” the following:                                        implemented. Fertility
                                                                                     levels have become less
    1) A dedicated team behind me in supplying                                       consistent across fields as
       replacement parts for your purchase.                    Greg Kitching         we have utilized options
    2) A dedicated team behind me to repair that                                     such as banded fertilizer.
       product when it fails (that’s why we have           The one thing that is constant is change, and it will
       service shops.)                                     continue to be that way. Crop production has, and

                          Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                     Page 13
will continue to make fertility levels more variable.    The equipment available to us today, compared to as
How best do we manage these both economically and        little as ten years ago has changed significantly. As
environmentally?                                         farm sizes increase, it becomes more important to
                                                         have a system in place that accurately records what
As technology becomes more sophisticated and             and where the various machine operators are
advanced, there are times when information is            working. Hands-free steering systems and machine
deemed rather outdated and ineffective after only one    control systems have become integrated into the
year. However, when it comes to agricultural field       units. This provides increased efficiency and
data, many management decisions are based on             decreased fatigue. As we move forward there will be
historical trends. By using precision farming            even more technology available to make us work
hardware and software, producers can visualize           smarter while maintaining the sustainability of our
farming practices and productivity of past years and     industry. Be prepared to profit.
use that information to make important decisions for
the next production year and beyond. The intended
outcome of such decisions is not only to maximize
profit but to maximize efficiency and become more              Passionate About Agriculture
environmentally safe.                                      Farmers Feed Cities! and 4-H Ontario
                                                            are bringing important agricultural
The ability to accurately visualize past performance,              issues to the forefront.
combined with such things as aerial imagery and soil
maps, provides an opportunity to create management
zones within a field. These zones can be soil sampled                     Amy Caron
individually to more accurately reflect variations           Information Coordinator, Hyland Seeds
within the field of nutrient levels, pH and organic
matter. Applying inputs to accurately match the needs    Farming goes beyond plowing fields and milking
of the zones can lead to increased yields or fewer       cows. It takes hundreds of hands to get food from a
inputs applied over the entire field, thus increasing    farmer’s field to the dining room table. Organizations
profit potential.                                                                    like Farmers Feed Cities!
                                                                                     and 4-H Ontario are
To maximize the benefits of precision agriculture,                                   helping to bring this
operators must take every opportunity to set up their                                important message to the
system to accurately record the operation they are                                   public.
performing in the field. The information collected
will be valuable for years to come and, taking the                                  4-H is an organization of
time to ensure accuracy through such things as                                      leaders building leaders.
calibration are imperative. Historical data can help a                              Over 6000 youth 10-21
producer:                                                       Amy Caron           years of age, and a grass
    · Make appropriate management decisions                                         roots network of 1600
                                                         trained, screened volunteers pledge their Head, Heart,
    ·   Enhance and maximize crop productivity           Hands and Health as members of community based
                                                         clubs. With projects encompassing agriculture, food,
    ·   Minimize input costs                             health and the environment, 4-H Ontario's “Learn To
    ·   Optimize soil nutrient levels                    Do By Doing” clubs, camps and conferences have a
    ·   Compare hybrid/variety productivity              successful 94 year history in developing competence,
    ·   Compare and analyze harvest data for             confidence, connection, character and caring within
        multiple years                                   rural and urban youth.
    ·   Visualize field trends across multiple years
                                                         4-H encourages agricultural awareness through a
    ·   Identify and control field drainage issues       variety of topics including: field crops, livestock and
                                                         conservation. They are showing the next generation
    ·   Identify, analyze, and control pest              of farmers that coming back to the family farm is not
        infestations                                     only a rewarding career choice, but one with many
    ·   Create accurate and adaptable prescriptions      opportunities. “4-H Ontario is committed to
                                                         providing rural and urban youth with connections,
    ·   Appropriately plan input purchases               awareness, and skills in agriculture, food, health, and
                                                         the environment” says Andrew Moore, Marketing &

                         Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                    Page 14
Events Coordinator, 4-H Ontario. “With over 30,000                 2009 WEATHER IMPACTS
Canadian youth involved in 4-H, we are positioned to                           By
reinvent and rejuvenate the future of family farms in
                                                                     Kirk Patterson, CCA (Ont.)
                               The Farmers Feed Cities!
                                                                     Scotland Agromart Ltd.
                               campaign is helping to
                                                            The weather conditions for the 2009 growing season
                               draw attention to the
                                                            presented significant
                               critical issues that our
                                                            challenges that impacted the
                               farmers are facing. The
                                                            2009 growing season
                               now highly-recognizable
                                                            which, in turn, will impact
                               yellow sign, which was
                                                            the 2010 growing season.
                               created as a placard for a
                               2005 rally, has become a
                                                            A significant spring frost
                               successful public
                                                            occurred on May 18 with
                               awareness campaign
                                                            temperatures dipping below
                               focused on making a
                                                            -2oC.     Significant plant
                               stronger connection                                            Kirk Patterson
                                                            mortality resulted for
                               between the farming and
                                                            vegetable transplants and
                               n o n - f a r m i n g
                                                            many ginseng gardens. Damage to ginseng gardens
communities. “In 2010, we really want to connect with
                                                            was immediate and in many cases had far reaching
the urban public,” says Jenny Van Rooy, Campaign
                                                            implications well into the fall. Damage to these crops
Coordinator, Farmers Feed Cities! “Our message has
                                                            included split stems, flower abortions, delayed flower
been so well received by rural families that we want to
                                                            set, abnormal flower development. Any one and two
focus more of our efforts on their urban counterparts.
                                                            year      gardens
We also want to stress how important supporting local
                                                            damaged may show
agriculture is, along with showcasing how we all
                                                            reduced plant stands
benefit from the agricultural industry.”
                                                            and vigor well into
                                                            the 2010 growing
                             Hyland Seeds is a company      season.
                             that is proud to partner
                             with and support the work      Several months of
                             that these important           prolonged cool and
                             organizations are doing.       wet weather slowed
                             “We are passionate about       the soil’s ability to
                             these organizations because    heat up as we would
                             they recognize the role the    normally expect it to.
                             next generation of farmers     As a result, when we expected soil temperatures to be
                             play in ensuring our           in the 25oC range they were staying much closer to
                             community, our province        the 10oc range. At these cooler temperatures several
                             and our earth has a safe,      factors come into play:
                             sustainable agricultural
                             industry,” says Jim                    1.         Phosphorous uptake is reduced 4
Olmsted, Sales and Marketing Manager, Hyland Seeds.                            fold.
“Young people are leaving the farms in large numbers                2.         Microbial oxidation of ammonium
to go to school or work in the city and they are not                           to nitrate is negligible.
returning to the farm. This is not just a problem for the           3.         Corn root development is reduced
family farm, but for maintaining businesses and rural                          5 fold.
life. These organizations are essential in making sure              4.         Soybean nodulation is impaired.
there is a younger generation willing and able to farm
our land. That’s why these organizations are high on                5.         Corn pollination is impaired.
Hyland’s list of necessary programs.”

                       Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                        Page 15
As a result many crops appeared to stall out this         saturated soils are all candidates for disease
spring and appeared to be hungry for nutrients. In the    development and spread. Once a plant is infected it
case of soybeans many weak fields did not develop         can infect neighboring plants as zoospores spread
the minimum 5-7 healthy nodules on their roots when       throughout the wet soil profile. Unfortunately 2009
they needed them most and, as a result, they appeared     saw the impact of carryover disease pressure from
very pale and stunted for some time. Optimum root         2008 and in turn has created initial infections for the
nodulation requires a soil temperature range of 25oC      2010 crop.
to 30oC.
                                                          White Mould, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, also prefers
For corn, sweet or grain, the cool nights of July         cooler temperatures, 13oC-18oC with plenty of free
(temperatures as low as 6.4oC) caused poor                moisture and high humidity. The disease produces
                              pollination to occur.       black sclerotia bodies which can produce mycelium
                              Plants trying to            when conditions are conducive to development.
                              pollinate during the        Although thought of as primarily a bean disease, this
                              period of the coolest       disease is becoming more prevalent in some of the
                              nights of July (as          vegetable crops such as peppers and many of the
                              low as 6.4oC)               cruciferous crops.
                              displayed varying
                              degrees of Blunt Ear        The fall killer frost occurred on October 12 killing
                              Syndrome. In the            many corn fields that had not yet fully matured. As a
case of sweet corn where multiple plantings of the        result many fields were caught with above normal
same variety occur, only one or two plantings             g r a i n mo i s t u r e
displayed pollination issues.                             levels which, in
                                                          turn, resulted in
Cooler temperatures and prolonged periods of leaf         reduced test
wetness opened the window for some very significant       weights.     If that
disease issues this year. Of particular concern were      wasn’t bad enough,
Late Blight, Phytophthora Root Rot and White              many        those
Mould.                                                    growers who tried
                                                          to let the crop dry
Late blight, Phytophthora infestans, likes                down in the field
temperatures in the 21oC-24oC range and is spread by      experienced some very wet conditions at harvest
rain and wind. Under the wet conditions that we           time. Wet fields and heavy equipment resulted in
experienced this year the disease spread very rapidly     field rutting and significant soil packing which will
within the crop resulting in significant defoliation in   have compacted the soil for the 2010 crop and
fields that were not protected with suitable              beyond.
fungicides. The disease can over winter on cull
potatoes and, as a result, growers need to destroy cull   Despite the cooler, wetter conditions overall crop
piles and eliminate volunteer potato plants.              yields were up across the board with some record
                                                          yields reported. In many cases this was the second
Phytophthora Root Rot, Phythophthora cactorum, is         year in a row for record yields. Unfortunately, with
                                another disease           higher input costs in late 2008 and early 2009 there
                                that favors cool,         was a tendency to reduce crop inputs to save money.
                                wet weather               These savings often resulted in nutrient replacement
                                conditions and is         levels falling far short of the actual nutrients removed
                                perhaps the most          by the crops. Soil test results from the fall of 2009
                                significant disease       clearly reflect the decline in overall soil fertility
                                in ginseng at this        making this an area of focus for the 2010 crop
                                time.      Heavier        planning process. As crop input prices decline, the
                                soils, poorly             timing is good to review a nutrient replenishment
                                drained soils, or         program.

                      Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                        Page 16
As we plan for the 2010 cropping year it is important      Nightshade continue to be the biggest weed issues for
that we remember what happened in 2009 and just            the IP market as they are poisonous and severely stain
how it may impact us in the upcoming cropping year.        the soybean. Growers should consult their chemical
                                                           supplier to help control these problems.

                                                           IP soybeans are still getting a lot of press these days,
       IP Soybean Production 2010                          especially as the board price for soybeans has been
                   By                                      dropping. This has a lot of farmers talking about
         Tim Montague, CCA-ON                              growing IP varieties that have not grown in the IP
           Huron Commodities Inc.                          system before. So I have included my list of tips
                                                           from last year. As a grower, make sure you are aware
The outlook for IP Soybeans has changed                    of what you are getting into. Long time IP growers
dramatically in just a year. At the time of writing this   consistently achieve full premiums every year, but
                             article last year,            new growers might not know all the details. Ask lots
                             premiums for IP and non       of questions.     Things tend to go smoothly if
                             gmo soybeans had pretty       everybody in the chain knows what is expected.
                             well reached their peak.      When comparing contracts, ask yourself some
                             Shortly after that an         important questions.
                             ample 2008 crop had
                             satisfied the perceived       -What board price is the premium based on?
                             shortage of 2007 crop and     -Where is the delivery point and what is my freight
                             overseas buyers had           cost?
                             booked most of their          -What are the quality expectations? What happens if
                             needs for 2009. Since         I don’t meet those expectations?
                             then premiums have            -Am I planting a high yielding variety for my farm
                             softened.     2009 crop       and soil type? If not is there a higher premium to do
                             turned out to be just         so?
    Tim Montague             above average yield along     -Do I have the ability and desire to clean my drill,
                             with increased acres          combine, truck, bin and keep the crop pure?
eliminating any under supply concerns.                     -What are my pricing and storage options and
That brings us to 2010 crop. In late 2009 exporters        -Do I know what problem weeds I have and can I
were out early with slightly lower, but still good         adequately control them?
premiums for 2010. At this point it looks like most
programs are filled up already. A strong Canadian          These are just a few to think about. If all these things
dollar along with increased competition from the US        are taken into account an IP program can fit in very
has Canadian soybeans looking too expensive at the         well on your farm and give the opportunity for higher
time being with overseas buyers having ample               returns per acre over crusher soybeans. If you are
supplies on hand. In addition to this, European            unsure of any questions talk to your CCA, Input
buyers are anticipating large and inexpensive non          supplier or soybean exporter.
GMO soybeans from Brazil. We will have to wait
and see if this materializes.

On the production side 2009 had its challenges.
Moisture and weed issues seemed to top the list. IP        Myths and Facts of Corn Hybrid Maturity
soybeans cannot be dried in conventional driers with                     By
high heat because of seed coat cracking. If drying is             Shawn Winter CCA-ON,
to be done it must be done with very little heat lots of   Product Development Manager, Maizex Seeds
air and gentle handling. Most dryers are not designed
for this and humidity levels were not favorable for        While seed selection remains the input most
natural air drying this past year. Pokeweed and            influential to farm profitability, it can be a difficult

                       Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                         Page 17
choice. In 2010, Ontario producers can select from        trend. Hybrids with increased test weight generally
over 600 corn hybrids available across maturities and     dry a few days slower at harvest compared to hybrids
traits. A “back to basics approach” can clarify the       of average test weight. A common recommendation
choice and should start with one question – What          is to split corn purchases into early, medium and late
hybrid maturity should be grown?                          maturity options to maximize hybrid performance and
                                                          minimize maturity risk (a ratio of 20:60:20 is very
                           Ontario CHU Map – Is it        common).
                           realistic? In 2009, Ontario
                           released a new corn heat       Relative Maturity (RM) vs. CHU.              How do
                           unit (CHU) map for             companies derive hybrid maturity?           CHUs are
                           Ontario boosting an            calculated to physiological maturity (black layer)
                           additional 150-300 CHUs        using one of two start dates; 1) from planting; or 2)
                           to growing regions.            from emergence. Companies can choose either
                           Understanding the              method however the methods differ by approximately
                           concepts behind the new        180CHUs. Relative Maturity (RM) rating is used by
                           map provides clarification.    corn researchers to determine hybrid maturity. RM
                           There are only two             identifies a hybrid’s date of physiological maturity in
   Shawn Winter            changes resulting in the       comparison to known standard hybrids in the
                           new map; 1) a revised          industry. The use of hybrid RM allows for more
accumulation start date of May 1 (compared to three       suitable maturity comparisons across companies.
consecutive days at 12ºC); and 2) the use of current
weather data. The majority of the increase in CHUs        Understanding the facts about corn maturity allows
results from the change to a May 1 start data which       growers to make more informed hybrid decisions.
typically reflects when growers plant corn. Growers       Balancing hybrid maturity to optimize performance
should adjust hybrid maturity earlier than the map        within the available growing season maximizes
recommends if maturity is a concern or for late           profitability with minimal risk. A “back to basics”
planted corn (100CHU/week after May 1).                   approach can often simplify the most influential crop
                                                          input decision – Seed. Your local corn seed dealer
Maturity vs. Grade. Did earlier maturing corn             will be able to provide additional assistance to you in
hybrids have higher test weight in 2009? Analysis of      determining your final selection.
2009 test weight data derived from the Ontario Corn
Committee (OCC) trials identified no strong
correlation between hybrid maturity (grain moisture)
and grade (test weight) across maturities. In years              Highlights from the Southwest
when corn matures, earlier corn appears to have a                 Ag Conference 2010
higher wet sample test weight for two reasons; 1) as                        By
grain dries kernels shrink and become smaller; and 2)             Susan Gowan CCA - ON
dry grain is naturally slippery. Dryer grain allows for             Cargill Agronomist
more kernels and a tighter pack in the measure.
Typically, a test weight measure on dry corn (15.5%)      On January 6th and 7th I attended The South West Ag
does not differ across maturities. Hybrids previously     Conference in Ridgetown.
identified as having higher test weight were              Along with over 1300 other
consistently higher in 2009 independent of maturity.      attendees, I listened to many
Earlier maturing hybrids will not necessarily result in   aspects of crop production as
a higher grade at harvest.                                it applies to Ontario
                                                          Agriculture. Here are some
Maturity vs. Grain Yield. There is a very good            notes from some of the
relationship between increasing hybrid maturity           presentations.
resulting in increased yield. On average, for every
1% increase in grain moisture, yield increases from 4     More Nitrogen more Corn
to 8 bushels per acre. There is an exception to this      was a talk given by Dr. Fred     Susan Gowan

                      Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                        Page 18
Below from the University of Illinois. He said that after      when it relates to fungicide/hybrid interactions. In
weather, nitrogen was the most important factor in corn        general, the sprayed plots were 1-2% wetter at harvest.
production. His research showed that together, weather         However, there was no significant difference in bushel
and nitrogen account for about 27% of the final yield.         weight.
He has questioned the wisdom of general nitrogen
recommendations based on historical yields alone. He           Greg Stewart presented information on a number of
feels that nitrogen rates should be based on both              hybrids at various populations. These hybrids were
historical yields and historical N rates. Specifically, in     classified either as flex-ear or non-flex ear. Greg’s
an ideal world, growers would calculate a “delta” yield        research indicated that there was a difference among
in their fields. This delta yield is the difference in yield   hybrids for yield. Some yielded better at low
between where no nitrogen is used and where maximum            populations than others. However there was no co-
yield is gained. He said that typically he has found that      relation between yield at low populations and a hybrid
growers apply more nitrogen where the corn looks good          being designated flex or non-flex.
and less where the corn looks poor. He said his research
showed the opposite happens. Generally, where the              This is just a smattering of some of the talks. There was
corn is good there is lots of residual nitrogen in the soil.   a lot of information during these two days. Some say
He suggests that you should apply more nitrogen on the         this is the best agronomy meeting for producers in
historically lower yielding areas.                             North America. Maybe I will see you there next year.

Snake Oil or Wonder Product? Was a talk given by
Rigas Karamanos from Viterra Inc. He talked about                      The Eagle has Landed
various non-traditional crop production products. He
said that before a product can be sold in Canada for
crop production it must be licenced by the Canadian                      Paul General:
Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The CFIA have a web                  Manager Six Nations Eco-Centre
site where you can check if the product someone is
trying to sell is registered. You have to be careful!          Those of us who have been around for more than a
Sometimes a product can be registered for one thing,           few decades may possibly remember those words
and then another thing is assumed. He used the example         broadcast from the moon; a truly historic broadcast
of “Provide” which is registered as a product to increase      which marked the beginning of a new era of
Phosphorous uptake in the plant. It does this, but the         technological advancement.
research shows that there is no increase in yield as a
result of the increase in phosphorous uptake by Provide.       Society was changing; we were becoming more
He also said that for a product to be registered it only       aware of all sorts of things,
had to be effective 60% of the time.                           both technologically and
                                                               socially. For example,
Corn Concepts was a talk given by Dr. David Hooker             personal computers were
from the University of Guelph and Greg Stewart,                unheard of and the
OMAFRA corn specialist. Dr. Hooker researched corn             computers of the day were
fungicides in 2008 and 2009. From 1999 until 2008              the size of a large desk and
there were 356 on-farm trials looking at fungicides in         in fact the computer
corn across Canada and the US. In these plots the              onboard the moon orbiter
average yield increase was 7.4 bushels per acre. In            was so primitive the average
2008, Dr Hooker’s research indicated an average yield          personal organizer of today
increase of 10-12 bushels per acre by spraying a               far out performs those old
                                                               machines in both function        Paul General
fungicide. Some hybrids had a negative response, while
others had a yield increase of over 25 bushels per acre.       and memory.           Cutting
In 2009 the yield increase was not as great. One of the        forests or filling in wetlands in favor of increased
hybrids that responded well to fungicides in 2008              agricultural opportunity was the norm. The use of
showed little yield response in 2009. One other hybrid         chemicals to increase productivity on farms, although
showed a large response in both years. The moral of the        still practiced today, was not well monitored and in
story is that everything has not been figured out yet          fact was promoted at the expense of species now

                        Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                            Page 19
considered rare such as eagles. The common belief           to opening and operating a landfill are much more
that water supplies for irrigation as well as all other     stringent and government regulated, even though
uses, was virtually unlimited. This encouraged              digging holes and burying garbage is still society’s
agriculture to expand, allowing propagation of non-         primary method of handling solid waste. A larger
traditional crops and livestock. The belief that water      portion of society has now come to realize the
was unlimited also encouraged un-restricted industrial      concept of global warming, greenhouse gas and
uses and urban expansion. The management of water           climate change are not concepts but are realities of
was thought to as simple as adding chemicals, there         our times and drastic change is required.
was no thought as to the long term implications on
our drinking water supplies. Society was becoming           A large portion of society now understands the
more affluent, the throw away culture was just in its       concept of the 3 R’s, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
infancy, but would grow rapidly. Waste management           while more people have been encouraged to adopt
was as simple as digging a hole and burying the             these principals and many municipalities now have
refuse in the ground. Treatment was so primitive that       re-cycling programs.       Recently, I have been
it would spawn a phrase that I will always remember         promoting a variation to the 3 R’s, my new title is
“the solution to pollution is dilution”.             The    Reduce, Reduce and Reduce, society is still creating
environment was a concern to only a very few radical        too much waste which is ending up in landfills and
thinkers, while climate change and global warming           consequently we are running out of landfill sites.
were not yet part of our vocabulary. These were just        Other areas where we can help are; conservation of
theories prescribed to by a few scientists, eccentrics      water usage, (Canada is among the highest consumers
and of course indigenous populations attempting to          of water in the world); turn off all un-necessary
sound an alarm to society’s increasing abusive              lights; protect our trees; plant new trees; choose
behavior towards the environment. During these              environmentally friendly packaging so less ends up in
times the Grand River became nothing more than a            landfill, keep your car tuned up; don’t use the drive
sewer for all of the municipalities built along it. I can   through; walk, don’t drive etc. there are numerous of
remember times when, as a child living along the            ways one person can make small changes to the
river I was not permitted to swim or fish due to            environment.
polluted water.
                                                            The phrase “The eagle has landed” has another
In spite of many warnings, nature has exhibited such        meaning for me; over the years as manager of Eco-
signs as species depletions, elimination of indigenous      Centre at Six Nations I have been able to contribute
plants, impacted ground and surface water supplies,         to many projects with one primary focus; the
species migrations and obvious changes to our               improvement of the environment. In spite of the
climate which have had a negative impact on our             continued assault on our environment I have seen
environment have been allowed to occur for decades.         much good work taking place within the Grand River
Indigenous cultures have been sounding the alarms as        Watershed, projects to improve the water quality,
these “signs” have become increasingly obvious, as          fisheries, planting trees, protecting wildlife, the list
plants and animals used traditionally have changed or       goes on but much more needs to be done. There are
vanished, drastically curtailing the ability of             small signs of improvements, sightings of animals not
Indigenous cultures to carry out cultural activities.       seen for many years; some species of fish populations
                                                            are increasing, sightings of rare birds. All of these
Have we learned anything since those early days             sightings indicate improvements even if the
when the environmental movement was just in its             improvement is small. The event that emphasized the
infancy and was subscribed to by eccentrics and             importance of even small changes is the sighting of a
radicals? I believe the answer is yes, we have learned      mature bald eagle sitting in a tree just around the
a little. Has society learned enough? It is obvious         corner from my office. This was an encouraging
that the answer is no. Technology has evolved and           sighting as these birds were once nearly wiped out not
improved, water treatment is more efficient although        only here but in many parts of the country, so seeing
still heavily reliant on chemistry. The Grand River,        one was extremely rare and demonstrated to me that
given all of the impacts and abuses is no longer the        even though our environment is under constant attack
open sewer it once was.           Waste management          we can still promote and encourage change so the
technology has also improved somewhat. Conditions

                       Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                         Page 20
eagles will continue to land here.                         competition for water and nutrients. Having weeds
                                                           present during the weed free period can cost between
                                                           one-half and three bushels, per acre, per day. When
                                                           weeds emerge with the crop, that’s when the loss is
Early residual weed control in                             greatest.
Glyphosate Tolerant corn.
       Why it’s important.                                 Growers can help their corn by intervening with
                  By                                       early, residual weed control. Keeping weeds out of
             Brady Code                                    sight until the corn has reached 9 leaves will allow
        Territory Sales Agronomist                         corn plants to produce adequate root growth to
         Syngenta Crop Protection                          capture more nutrients from the soil, have better
                                                           access to water later in season as well as react to
                                                           neighbouring corn plants by twisting out of the way
Glyphosate tolerant corn is a wonderful thing. Being
                                                           towards the next corn row which in turn builds a
able to apply a non selective herbicide over top of
                                                           shade canopy to deter late weed flushes.
corn has given us the ability to trouble shoot weed
problems well into the spring. New traits and
                                                           Putting your herbicide down with broadcast fertilizer
genetics that improve a corn plant’s ability to protect
                                                           reduces application costs and is a good way to obtain
itself from pests and deliver more yield are often tied
                                                           early weed control.
to glyphosate tolerance. Buying good corn seed is an
                         investment, sometimes a
                                                           Shallow roots due to a wet spring can mean a tough
                         large one, made early in the
                                                           go later in a dry summer. If the roots are even less
                         year, most often before a
                                                           developed due to early weed interference the problem
                         wheel has turned in the field.
                                                           can be even worse.
                         To make sure you get the
                         most out of this investment,
                                                           Healthy root systems produce healthy stalks. A poor
                         you need to seriously
                                                           root system may lead to weaker stalks resulting in
                         consider early residual weed
                                                           more breakdown and breakage in the fall.
                                                           Corn planted as refuge is automatically a target for
                          We’ve been hearing for
                                                           the pests that you have bought traits for. The whole
                          several years now that when
                                                           idea is to keep natural populations of pests around
                          a newly emerged corn plant
                                                           and not select for resistant pests. This refuge needs a
                          detects weeds in its
   Brady Code                                              fighting chance to yield well and having a good root
                          immediate vicinity, it
                                                           system is a good start.          Keeping early weed
                          changes the way it grows.
                                                           interference to a minimum is a necessity.
Dr. Clarence Swanton, University of Guelph, showed
some remarkable video clips of root growth at the
                                                           On the topic of resistance, glyphosate has some
Southwest Ag Conference, this year. Roots of corn
                                                           weaknesses as well as a growing list of resistant
plants that detect weeds nearby definitely develop
                                                           weeds. Most of the weed resistance is south of the
more slowly. To add insult to injury, once a corn
                                                           border at this point in time. However, glyphosate
plant starts to react to weeds and change its growth
                                                           resistant giant ragweed has been identified in Ontario.
pattern to invest in more leaf growth instead of root
                                                           As has been the story for decades, rotating modes of
growth , this can result in irreversible yield loss. You
                                                           action in your herbicide programs for all of your
can still get a good yield if all goes well, but you’ll
                                                           crops is still a necessity, especially if we want to keep
never get back what you’ve lost.
                                                           glyphosate as a reliable trouble shooter.
                                                           In the end, an emerging corn plant grows best when
It is well established and accepted that the critical
                                                           its nearest neighbour is another corn plant. Early
weed free period for corn is between 3 and 8 leaves.
                                                           residual weed control is the best way to create this
Dr. Swanton has given us some insight as to why this
is the critical weed free period. It’s a complex
interaction between corn and weeds that goes beyond

                       Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                         Page 21
  Visible Field Damage not Necessary                          a grower can keep them at a manageable level that will
                                                              not impact yield. The key to accomplishing this is to
       for SCN Yield Loss                                     use cyst resistant soybean lines and to rotate with non
                 By                                           host crops.
            Morris Sagriff
        Pioneer Area Agronomist                               There are many good cyst resistant lines available today
                                                              that growers can select from.
More yield is lost annually to soybean cyst nematode (
SCN) than any other soybean disease in Ontario. It is
estimated that losses from SCN range from $20-$30
                             million dollars annually.                      Growing Forward
                              Cysts have become such a
                                                                Business Development For Farm Businesses
                              serious threat because of
                                                                         Mike Terpstra, Program Manager
                              the ease by which they can
                              be spread. It is virtually
                                                              Forward Business Development for Farm Businesses
                              impossible to stop their
                                                              got off to a great start in 2009. Last year 62 workshops
                              movement. Anything that
                                                              were held across the province. If you are interested in
                              can move soil can cause
                                                              maximizing the success of your farm business, The
                              cysts to be dispersed.
                                                                                              Growing Your Farm
                                                                                              Profits Workshop is the
                              The percentage of fields
                                                                                              place to start. There is no
                              infested with SCN far
    Morris Sagriff                                                                            fee to attend a workshop
                              exceeds the percentage of
                                                                                              and cost-share funding is
                              fields expressing SCN
                                                                                              available to eligible farm
symptoms. It is not uncommon to walk through a good
looking field of soybeans only to find that the roots
show evidence of cysts. Limited stress and adequate
                                                                                            The benefits of attending
soil moisture can support both good crop development
                                                                                            a workshop include
and the reproduction of a cyst population. It may take
                                                                                            learning how to do a
several years before above ground symptoms become
                                                                                            self-assessment of your
visible. The unfortunate part of this scenario is that cyst
                                                                                            farm         business;
populations are multiplying and a small percentage of
                                                                                            identifying the strengths
yield loss is being experienced by the grower each and             Mike Terpstra
                                                                                            and planning needs of
every year that they go undetected.
                                                              your business; and developing an Action Plan
                                                              customized to your farm business. A Workshop Leader
Once cyst populations reach sufficient levels, and
                                                              will assist you in a one-onone meeting to help finalize
stressful growing conditions occur, visible field damage
                                                              the Action Plan and assist in identifying cost-share
will become evident. Unfortunately, if a grower waits
                                                              opportunities. In 2009, 400 Action Plans were
until he can visibly see cyst injury he has waited far too
                                                              signed-off by Workshop Leaders allowing these farm
long.By that time cyst populations can be at levels so
                                                              businesses to apply for cost-share opportunities. There
great that even resistant varieties will not perform at
                                                              are several areas that can benefit your farm business.
their peak.
                                                              The Farm Financial Assessment provides cost-share
The key to keeping yield losses from cysts to a
                                                              funding to hire a Farm Financial Advisor who will
minimum is to continually be sampling for their
                                                              work with you to complete an assessment that will
presence.When fields are sampled for soil analysis a
                                                              identify choices that you can make to reach your
split sample should be sent for SCN analysis as well.
                                                              profitability goals.
When cysts are detected at a low levels ( less than 200
cysts/100 gms of soil )

                        Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - February 2010                             Page 22
You may choose the Agriculture Skills Development             my individual contribution to the Red Cross
cost-share program to access a variety of farm-related        ( is not enough to change an entire
courses and training opportunities that can help your         country, it’s my personal hope that it will be enough
farm business become more viable.                             to change the lives of even a couple people for the
                                                              better, especially when you consider 40% of the
Advanced Business Planning services provide cost-             population of Haiti is under the age of 14.
share funds to work with a consultant to build an
Advanced Business Plan that focuses on business               NK/Syngenta is committed to supporting agriculture
management goals.                                             through research and innovation focused on bringing
                                                              plant potential to life. When you invest in products
Success in business is a result of many different factors.    from NK/Syngenta, we focus on giving back in five
The Business Development for Farm Businesses                  key areas. Following are those areas of focus, and
program can equip with innovative tools that can help         some examples of just a few of the local programs,
you be competitive in your business. I encourage you to       projects and organization we’ve worked with to give
sign up for a workshop if you haven’t already done so.        back on your behalf.
For more program information, visit                                          1. Hunger Issues - Canadian Association of
                                                                    Food Banks, Syngenta Rural FoodShare
The Business Development for Farm Businesses                        Initiative (helps food donations reach rural
Program is part of Growing Forward, a federal,                      farming communities), Local Food Banks
provincial, territorial initiative supported by Agriculture         (8,600 kg of potatoes donated to Guelph
and Agri-food Canada and the Ontario Ministry of                    Food Bank), Canadian Foodgrains Bank –
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The program is                 donation of seed and crop protection products
delivered by the Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement                    to participating producers.
                                                                 2. Agriculture Education and Leadership -
                                                                    Post Secondary Scholarships and Awards In
                                                                    Agriculture, programs and research, Syngenta
NK/Syngenta – Giving Back Programs                                  Foundation Acre Scholarship (given to
                      By                                            students enrolled in Ag programs in Eastern
                Shawn Brenneman                                     Canada), Advanced Agricultural Leadership
                  NK/Syngenta                                       Program (AALP), Agriculture in the
                                                                    Classroom/Ontario Agri-Food Education,
The recent devastation in Haiti should make us all                  Canadian 4-H Council and 4-H Ontario,
thankful to live in such a plentiful and affluent                   Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario
country such as Canada. It’s hard to fully comprehend
                        the impact a catastrophic                3. Sustainable Agriculture - Ducks Unlimited
                        disaster like an earthquake can             Canada, Canadian Co-operative Wildlife
                        have on such an already poor                Health Centre, Canadian Agricultural Hall of
                        and struggling nation. While                Fame, Canadian Federation of Agriculture,
                        NK/Syngenta does not have                   Canadian Agricultural Safety Association,
                        any employees or operations                 Corn Fusarium Project, Farm Safety
                        in Haiti, we recognize our                  Association, Food Safety Network, Grain
                        responsibility both                         Growers of Canada, Innovative Farmers
                        corporately and individually                Association of Ontario, Ontario Outstanding
                        to aid others how and where                 Young Farmers, Ontario Soybean Growers
                        we can. At the initial onset of
                        the crisis, Syngenta                     4. Scientific Symposia and Public Dialogue –
                        immediately donated $10,000                 AGCare, Canadian Agri-Marketing
Shawn Brenneman to the Red Cross. An                                Association, Canadian Federation of
                        employee program was also                   Agriculture, Certified Crop Advisor Program,
initiated to match every dollar that employees give to              Crop Diagnostic Days, Farm Smart, Ontario
the cause, up to a maximum of $100,000, thereby                     Agri-Business Association, Ontario Agri-
doubling the staff contribution. It’s speculated the                Food Techn o l o g i es, Ontario Pest
rebuild of Haiti will take more than a decade. While                Management Conference, Ontario Soil &

                              Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - 2010                           Page 23
        Crop Improvement Association, Ontario              we live” – support for local organizations
        Soybean Growers Association, Southwest Ag         such as Alzheimer Society, Shrine Clubs, Heart and
        Conference                                        Stoke, Habitat for Humanity, Hospital Funds, Wish
                                                          Fund for Children, United Way, 4H, Agricultural
    5. Community Support – “Communities where             Societies, Minor Hockey Associations, Fair Boards

The buzz around Farm Smart this year was “Wow,            agricultural production to feed a population of 50
Isn’t this great! There are so many people.” And the      million people. Just the same, agriculture still only
organizers were going around all day enjoying the         makes up 1% of the country’s gross domestic product
terrific compliments but all the time wondering “why      and the average age of an English farmer is 59.
is this year so different from any other and why has it   Average land prices are just under $6000 per acre,
taken people so long to catch on”.                        however 77% of the land is managed by 1.8% of the

With a wide variety of both local and foreign
speakers, a trade show that was packed to capacity,         “Agriculture in the UK is in a bit of a tangle”
(some trade show applicants had to be turned away
this year) and the largest crowd in Farm Smart’s 12
year history, the event was an unquestionable             population. In his words, “Agriculture in the UK is in
success. It’s true that the weather on Saturday was       a bit of a tangle.”
near perfect for travel, especially for a January day,
and that always helps. Just the same, whether it was      In order to explain how and why things have
pent up demand for information or just enthusiasm         developed as they have, My Sansome took us back to
for the agriculture sector in general, people came in     the post war years of the 1940s. At that point in time
large numbers. And in particular, the number of           Britain was only about 25% self sufficient in food
walk-in registrations for the day was a full 50%          production and they vowed never to let them selves
higher than it has ever been.                             fall into that situation again. From that point on it was
                                                          “Food Production At Any Cost” and the agricultural
                                  The feature speaker     act of 1947 said, “We must go all out to feed our own
                                  of the day was Mr       people from our own soil”.
                                  Geoff Sansome,
                                  Director of Land        Over the next 60 years wheat production increased
                                  Management              from 2 million tonnes to 15 million. Milk production
                                  Performance For         increased from 4 billion liters to 14 billion and
                                  Natural England.        through all of this 97% of the country’s meadows
                                  Mr Sansome set the      were lost, as were 150,000 miles of hedgerow.
                                  stage by reminding
                                  the audience how        As time went on it became obvious that there was a
                                  small England           need to restore the countryside and to do this farmers
                                  really is. “It would    were paid to re-wet their lands and to restore their
                                  fit into Ontario 4.5    fields to grassland. This general trend continued into
                                  times,” he said.        the early 1990s when the first dismantling of the
                                  77% of the land is      subsidy system took place. Mr Sansome pointed out
        Geoff Sansome             u s e d        f o r    that today’s public is well removed from agriculture,

                            Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - 2010                            Page 24
is no longer hungry, and is no longer willing to              imperative. It uses buzz phrases like “We must put
support heavily subsidized agriculture. And by 2004           agri-food in a more sustainable position” and “we
subsidies had been almost totally removed from crop           should produce more while impacting less”.
production.                                                   Everyone seems to recognize that we cannot go back
                                                              to the past and no farms means no food. The path
The result has been that many of Britains farming             forward, however, is not crystal clear. British farmers
sectors are again in trouble and the country, which           are keen to try new technology and at the same time
joined the EEC in 1973, is no longer self sufficient in       are constrained by such regulations as not being
important commodities such as milk. “The fact that            allowed to grow Genetically Modified Crops. “We
55% of the agricultural output of the EEC comes               are now at the stage,” says Sansome, where farmers
from France, Germany, Italy and Spain, has had a              are prepared to move ahead but it will be hard to
huge impact on the way we farm,” he said.                     convince the public. A big question that continues to
                                                              face British Agriculture is, “What is the best way to
                                                              communicate new developments to a discerning
 “The only way to get two British farmers to                  British public?”
 cooperate is to shoot one of them.”                          *******************************************
                                                              For the first time in Farm Smart’s short history, one
                                                              of the sessions ventured into the area of cooking
According to Mr Sansome, developing policy to deal            schools. This two hour session featured Norfolk
with the latest round of problems has not been easy           County’s Official Food Ambassadors “The Two
because as he says “The only way to get two British           Fairly Fat Guys”. According to them, Dan Barker &
farmers to cooperate is to shoot one of them.” Just the       Brian Reicheld, they got their start because they love
same, the latest solution being tried is one whereby          to eat and neither of their lovely wives were as
payments to farmers are completely decoupled from             enthusiastic about eating as they were. Before long
the crops they grow. In other words all a farmer has          they had formed HOCCI (pronounced hockey) which
to do to access the first level of support, is certify that
he is still farming. A part of his subsidy payment,
however, is taken away before it ever reaches the
farm gate and put into a green box. To access money
from the green box there are certain things a farmer
must do and certain ways in which he must manage
his land. “We never regulate without compensating
the farmer for what he does,” says Sansome. In
practice what this has meant to the British farmer is
that the crops he grows almost never bring sufficient
revenue to cover cost of production.

Whereas all of the words heard around government
circles in recent years have had to do with being
custodians of the land, things are starting to change.
Food 2030, launched only 2 weeks ago, speaks more                Norfolk county’s Two Fairly Fat Guys.
about food safety and of food production being                    (Dan Barker & Brian Reichold)

                              Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - 2010                             Page 25
stands for Husbands Of the Culinary Challenged            think. “If the local product you are looking for is not
International. They are calling on all guys who like to   in your store, ask for it,” they said. Citing the actions
eat, to try cooking for themselves. And while you are     of a person they referred to as a local hero, you can
at it make sure your use local ingredients.               now buy local strawberries in your supermarket when
                                                          they are in season.
                                                               Farm Smart Youth Program.
                                                          Question - How do you keep 37 young people, ages 7
                                                          to 17 entertained over and 8 hour period? Answer -
                                                          You meet at Farm Smart at the University of Guelph.
                                                          The days program involved everything from All-
                                                          Terrain vehicle safety to the science of DNA
                                                          extraction that you can experience in your own
                                                          kitchen. During the day everyone learned something,
                                                          whether it was the best blade to use for an
                                                          experimental wind turbine or how detecting thermal
                                                          energy is done in campus research.
                                                          What they said they liked best about the program.
The wives of the two fairly fat guys serving a
sample of one of their dishes to OSCIA past
president, Fred Judd
Starting out their patter with phrases like “2 guys
with knives and fire are more like a thrill show than a
cooking show,” they kept their audience well
entertained for the full two hour period. As they
proceeded to produce a number of tasty dishes to the
delight of the audience they dropped a number of
helpful hints along the way, such as: “Buy local

 Two guys with knives and fire are more like a
 thrill show than a cooking show”
                                                          ATV Safety Discussion with OPP Sergeant
                                                          Michael Price
garlic. It will keep far longer than that imported from   1) “The University Tour”
China.” and “be on the lookout at your supermarket        2) “I liked the DNA presentation”
for foreign products displayed under an Ontario           3) “DNA extraction from an onion”
banner.” “If you see this, complain to the manager,”      4) “The wind turbine building thing”
they said. “It’s against the law”.They also pointed out   5) “The infra red thing was really interesting”
that consumers have much more power than they             6) “I liked it all”

                            Golden Horseshoe Regional Soil & Crop News - 2010                            Page 26
                          Canada-Ontario Programme de gérance
                        Farm Stewardship agroenvironnementale
                        Program (COFSP) Canada-Ontario (PGACO),
 is the cost-share program associated with the                  qui est associé au Programme Canada-Ontario des plans
 Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) and               agroenvironnementaux (PAE), offre une aide financière sous forme de
 can help you boost economic, production and                    partage des coûts qui peut vous permettre d’améliorer la performance
 environmental performance on your farm. You will               économique et environnementale de votre exploitation agricole ainsi
                                                                que sa production. Vous aurez besoin d’un plan d’action établi selon la
 need a peer-reviewed Third Edition EFP Action Plan
                                                                troisième édition du manuel du Programme PAE et examiné par des
 to access COFSP cost share for program year two.               pairs si vous voulez obtenir une aide financière pour la deuxième
 Quick Facts for Year Two, 2010-2011:                           année du PGACO.
 • Project Proposal Applications for program year               Faits en bref concernant la deuxième année du programme, soit
   two should be available January 15, 2010;                    2010-2011 :
 • Projects started on or after September 15, 2009              • les formulaires de soumission de projet pour la deuxième année
   may be eligible for cost share;                                 devraient être accessibles le 15 janvier 2010;
 • Cost share for Best Management Practices                     • les projets entrepris le 15 septembre 2009 ou après cette date
   (BMP) category 28, Livestock Mortality                          peuvent être admissibles à une aide financière sous forme de
   Management, has been extended for three years                   partage des coûts;
   at 30 per cent;                                              • on a prolongé de trois ans l’aide financière accordée pour la
 • All other eligible BMP and program procedures                   catégorie 28, Gestion des cadavres d’animaux, des pratiques de
   remain the same as program year one.                            gestion optimales (PGO), qui s’élèvera à 30 %;
 Speak to your local Program Representative for                 • toutes les autres PGO admissibles et les méthodes relatives au
 details, or contact the Ontario Soil and Crop                     programme demeurent inchangées.
 Improvement Association at 1-800-265-9751.                     Pour obtenir d’autres détails, adressez-vous à votre représentant local
 COFSP details are also available by visiting                   des programmes ou communiquez avec l’Association pour                                        l’amélioration des sols et des récoltes de l’Ontario, au 1 800 265 9751.
                                                                Vous trouverez également des renseignements sur le PGACO à

Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.       Cultivons l'avenir, une initiative fédérale-provinciale-territoriale.

Contact your local EFP representative for more information and workshop dates:
         Peel & Halton                            Brant, Wentworth & Norfolk                      North Niagara, South Niagara
      Jonathan Watchurst                                 Pam Charlton                                     & Haldimand
         519-942-1181                                    519-753-2412                                     Sietse Elsinga
           Workshop                                       Workshops                                       905-562-6682
    Brookville – March 02/09                          Simcoe – Feb 19/26                                    Workshop
                                                    Ancaster – March 05/12                           Vineland – March 22/29
                                      More workshops will be added as required.                                              Page 27
Spring Ridge Farm Sits Just Below The Niagara Escarpment
On Bell School Line In The Region Of Halton

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