Ontario Soil, Water and Air by NW64G0

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									      Ontario Soil, Water and Air
    Research and Services Committee



           2006 Annual Report




              Prepared for:


Ontario Agricultural Services Coordinating
      Committee Meeting (OASCC)



              February 28th, 2007
               Guelph, Ontario
  Ontario Soil, Water and Air
Research and Services Committee



  2007 - 2010 Strategic Report




         Prepared by:


     Pamela Joosse, Chair
  Paul Brine (OASCC Liaison)
Executive Summary

The Ontario Soil, Water and Air Research & Services Committee (OSWARSC) is composed of
3 subcommittees: The Ontario Soil Management Research & Services Committee (OSMRSC),
the Ontario Water Management Research & Services Committee (OWMRSC) and the Ontario
Agrometeorology Research and Services Committee (OARSC). The Ontario Soil Management
Research & Services Committee is also the parent committee for 6 sub-subcommittees which
deal with horticultural crops, field crops, soil test, tobacco, waste utilization, and soil and water
quality.

As 2006 was a strategic reporting year for OSWARSC, this report highlights the strategic
research priorities for soil, water and air agricultural issues in Ontario. All three sub-committees
have provided reports including their strategic research priorities and specific research questions
which are included in the Appendices. The OARSC co-chairs took the novel approach of
undertaking a web-based survey of a broad list of potential stakeholders to help form their report.

There were three main issues or drivers that the committee saw influencing soil, water and air
research priorities for agriculture. These were economics, environmental impact of agriculture
and cost/benefit analysis. Within this context the OSWARSC committee faced the challenge of
recommending directions for research and services that will reduce risks in production and
promote a healthy environment.

OSWARSC Strategic Research Recommendations 2006

Recommendation H1: That research be funded to improve agricultural production efficiencies
through more effective use of water, nutrients (including from non-agricultural waste sources
and organic amendments) and energy.

Recommendation H2: That research be funded to provide information to evaluate the
effectiveness of on-farm best management practices in terms of risks, costs and benefits at
different scales (ie. farm level to catchment to watershed).

Recommendation H3: That life cycle/system analysis and long term (> 10 year) research be
supported in order to determine the sustainability of adapting and emerging farming systems
in the province.

Recommendation M1: That research be funded to develop meaningful agri-environmental
indicators, with associated thresholds, for monitoring and communicating risk of impairment
to and changes in resource quality in Ontario agro-ecosystems.

Recommendation M2: That research be funded to support the development and monitoring of
sustainable water sharing policies in agricultural areas of Ontario.


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Recommendation M3: That research be funded to better understand air emissions and transport
from agricultural production.

Two overarching research and service needs to ensure impact of research and progress on agri-
environmental issues in the province were also identified:
o Publicly accessible databases of real, measured resource quality data and actual agricultural
   management practices at various scales are needed to validate models and indicators,
   establish benchmarks, and monitor trends.
o Improved means of communication are needed between researchers, stakeholders and
   decision makers to better provide feedback on innovations, cost-benefit and risk analysis.




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Table of Contents
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 2
Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ 4
1. OSWARSC Industry/Sector Scan ........................................................................................... 5
  1.1. OSWARSC Related Accomplishments and Activities in the Province 2003-2006 ....... 5
  1.2. Issues and Drivers ........................................................................................................... 6
     a. Economics ....................................................................................................................... 6
     b. Environmental Impact of Agriculture ............................................................................. 6
     c. Cost/Benefit Analysis ..................................................................................................... 6
  1.3. OSWARSC Related Initiatives and Links ...................................................................... 7
     a. Provincial ........................................................................................................................ 7
     b. Federal............................................................................................................................. 7
     c. International .................................................................................................................... 8
2. Strategic Research Issues and Recommendations .................................................................. 9
  2.1. High Priority ................................................................................................................... 9
     a. Improving Production Efficiency ................................................................................... 9
     b. Best Management Practice (BMP) Evaluation and Development .................................. 9
     c. Sustainable Farming systems ........................................................................................ 10
  2.2. Medium Priority ............................................................................................................ 10
     a. Developing Agri-environmental Indicators .................................................................. 10
     b. Sharing of Water Resources.......................................................................................... 11
     c. Air Quality .................................................................................................................... 11
  2.3. Overarching Research/Service Needs ........................................................................... 12
     a. Databases ...................................................................................................................... 12
     b. Communications ........................................................................................................... 12
  2.4. Connection of Strategic Research Issues to Sub-committee Recommendations .......... 13
     a. Improving Production Efficiency ................................................................................. 13
     b. Evaluating and Developing Best Management Practices (BMPs) ................................ 13
     c. Developing and Ensuring Sustainable Farming Systems ............................................. 14
     d. Developing Agri-environmental Indicators .................................................................. 14
     e. Sharing of Water Resources.......................................................................................... 15
     f. Air Quality .................................................................................................................... 15
3. Appendices:........................................................................................................................... 16
  3.1. Ontario Soil, Water and Air Research and Services Committee .................................. 17
  3.2. Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee ..................................... 22
  3.3. Ontario Water Management Research & Services Committee..................................... 43
  3.4. Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Committee ..................................... 58
  3.5. OSWARSC Terms of Reference .................................................................................. 81
  3.6. Membership Lists.......................................................................................................... 82
  3.7. 2007 Meeting Dates ...................................................................................................... 89




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1. OSWARSC Industry/Sector Scan
1.1. OSWARSC Related Accomplishments and Activities in the Province 2003-2006
The following list highlights some of the OSWARSC related accomplishments and activities in
the province from 2003 to 2006:

   o Agricultural Policy Framework brings $76 million to Ontario to fund on-farm projects
     under Canada Ontario Farm Stewardship, Greencover, and Canada Ontario Water Supply
     Expansion Programs (ending March 31, 2008)
   o Workshop on “Environment and Agriculture at Guelph: Multi-disciplinary Research and
     its Challenges” held October 2006
   o Federal APF Environmental Technology Assessment for Agriculture, Microbial Source
     Tracking and Watershed Evaluation of BMPs programs support projects in Ontario
   o Nutrient Management Act O.Reg 267/03 passed, amended in 2005. Many fertility
     recommendations and indices approved by OSMRSC and used in NMAN incorporated
     and then removed from regulations to be promoted as voluntary best practices
   o Provincial Nutrient Management Advisory Committee established 2003. Several directed
     research projects initiated to address priority issues
   o Nutrient Management Financial Assistance Program provided $20 million to enable
     existing, regulated livestock operations to become compliant with NMA
   o Approval of new N Calculator for corn by OSMRSC 2005
   o Minimum data expectations and process for fertility recommendations established by
     OSMRSC
   o National Land and Water Information Service supporting development of 1:50,000
     seamless soils map in the province
   o Six research programs initiated under Environment Program pilot of OMAFRA-
     University of Guelph Agreement in 2004
   o Nutrient Management Joint Research Program established to address land application
     requirements removed from regulation
   o Nutrient Management Research Update July 2004
   o Compendiums of OMAFRA Funded Environmental Research produced in 2004 and 2006
   o Ontario Agriculture and Environment Research Day held December 2006
   o Ontario Nitrogen Forum held March 2004
   o Ontario Agri Business Association and horticultural industry support research for
     development of fertility recommendations for some horticultural crops and other
     horticultural crop production recommendations
   o Second National Agri-environmental Indicators report published June 2005
   o Clean Water Act received Royal Assent October 19, 2006




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1.2. Issues and Drivers
The following section is based on facilitated committee discussion about key issues and drivers
that included items brought forward from sub-committee reports. Three key themes evolved:

        a. Economics
Much of the Ontario farming sector continues to experience economic hardships as global
markets determine prices for many commodities and many nations subsidize their producers.
There is a lot of discussion about innovation and the need to develop value chains to get more
returns for the producer. There is also much talk about opportunities in the bio-economy and
particular for energy opportunities for the rural sector. There is hope that diversification into the
bio-economy can provide sustainability for agriculture; but there are concerns about long term
sustainability when removing significant amounts of carbon from the system. The move towards
a bio-economy will be a driver in the next 5-10 years.

Another issue is the impact that the environment continues to have on the long-term economic
sustainability of Ontario agriculture. Air pollution’s effect on public health has been estimated
but costs to crop production are poorly known. Provincial growth plan policies have been
enacted to help preserve prime and specialty farmland but the economic viability and outcome of
these policies will be an experiment/driver in these regions over the next 5-10 years. Climate
change is expected to be a driver in the next 5-10 years that will push the tolerance for extreme
weather events that our systems can sustain. Water availability in terms of both quantity and
quality will continue to be a driver for the foreseeable future as a growing population and
economy tax the resource and can potentially contaminate resources for agriculture such as
irrigation and washing waters.

        b. Environmental Impact of Agriculture
The public are regularly made aware of negative impacts that agriculture has on the environment
from point and non-point sources. Food safety and health impacts are increasingly linked to
environmental releases from agriculture. The driver to communicate to the public the
effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) and agriculture’s ability to mitigate and
manage risk (both health and environmental, public and ecological) will only increase.
Databases and environmental indicators that can be used to show real, not just modeled, changes
in the environment and levels of risk need to be a part of this communication. There needs to be
the ability to temper short term reactions to events, to long term actual trends of the impact of
agriculture on the environment.

        c. Cost/Benefit Analysis
There is conflict pending over many policy and land use decisions that Ontario society must
make in the next 5-10 years. Source water protection legislation will require local committees to
decide what risks are greatest and what management practices or planning decisions must be
taken to protect drinking water sources from many threats including agriculture. How this
planning and management will be paid for is not yet clear but the information and methods to
conduct cost benefit analysis of different options needs to be made available. Rural/urban
conflict may be looming as urban residents look to changes in rural practices to offset changes
they would otherwise have to undertake in their own pollution abatement activities. Realistic,

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comparable information from integrated research and multiple perspectives will be needed to
help make policy and planning decisions. Increasing communications across disciplines will be
needed to help facilitate these analyses.

Another driver is that without reliable information, a precautionary principle is usually adopted
in environmental issues. The principle is meant to be protective of future generations but there
are risks to being precautionary and “over-conservative”. Environmental impacts need to be
described in terms of costs to society, the environment and the agriculture industry that are
holistic and meaningful to the general public. There is concern that focusing too much on one
issue, such as drinking water at the expense of other issues such as air quality or climate change
is not sustainable. There will be more requests for life cycle analysis and systems analysis as
part of cost-benefit analyses to try to quantify or at least minimize externalities we have not
incorporated in past decisions.

1.3. OSWARSC Related Initiatives and Links
The following is a list recognizing the many activities for agriculture and the environment
occurring concurrently in other applicable jurisdictions and at different government levels. The
websites can be accessed for detailed information.

     a. Provincial
o Nutrient Management Act (www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/agops/index.html)
o Ministry of the Environment Water Policy and Programs (www.ene.gov.on.ca/water.htm)
          o Clean Water Act (www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/water/cwa.htm)
          o Permit to Take Water (www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/water/pttw.htm)
          o Great Lakes (www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/water/greatlakes/index.htm)
o Great Lakes Charter Annex (www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/water/greatlakes/index.html)
o Ontario Conserves - Conservation Strategy
  (www.ontarioconserves.gov.on.ca/english/cons_strategy.asp)
o Ontario Biodiversity Strategy (www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/biodiversity/)
o Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Research Network Ontario (www.c-ciarn-
  ontario.ca/english/englishhome.html)

     b. Federal
o Farm Environmental Management Survey (www.statcan.ca/bsolc/english/bsolc?catno=21-
  021-MWE)
o National Agri-environmental Health and Reporting Program (www.agr.gc.ca/env/naharp-
  pnarsa/)
o National Agri-environmental Standards Initiative (www.agr.gc.ca/env/naesi_e.php)
o Canada Ontario Agreement
  (www.on.ec.gc.ca/greatlakes/default.asp?lang=En&n=D11109CB-1)
o Ecological Goods and Services (www.agr.gc.ca/pol/egs-bse/index_e.php)
o Next Generation Agriculture Policy Framework
  (www.agr.gc.ca/puttingcanadafirst/index_e.php)
o Federal Climate Change site (www.ec.gc.ca/climate/home-e.html)
o Species at Risk (www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/default_e.cfm)

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      c. International
o U.S. Farm Bill 2007
  (www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdafarmbill?navtype=SU&navid=FARM_BILL_FORUMS)
o Conservation Effectiveness Assessment Program (www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri/ceap)
o Conservation Security Program (www.nrcs.usda.gov/Programs/csp/)
o European Union Common Agricultural Policy
  (ec.europa.eu/agriculture/lisbon/index_en.htm)




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2. Strategic Research Issues and Recommendations
The following research issues and recommendations were developed based on facilitated
committee discussion. Issue labels were developed after grouping connected key research topics
and issues. Numerous criteria were discussed for setting strategic priorities (see Appendix A.1).
It was decided to use “impact”, i.e. leading to changes or outcomes in the province, as the basis
for voting on the highest priority issues. Each committee member cast 5 votes for issues they felt
would have the greatest impact. The issues are grouped as high or medium priority based on
voting, with little difference in priority within each category. The recommendation statements
were developed from further analysis and consultation after the meeting with committee
members and sub-committee chairs.

2.1.   High Priority

       a.   Improving Production Efficiency

Recommendation H1: That research be funded to improve agricultural production
efficiencies through more effective use of water, nutrients (including from non-agricultural
waste sources and organic amendments) and energy.

Efficiencies highlighted include improving the effective use of water, nutrients, energy and non-
agricultural wastes in agricultural production. Production efficiency also includes improving the
efficient use of soil/land, organic amendments and fertilizer. Improvements in production
efficiency can potentially result in, and should aim towards, economic benefit for the producer
and reduced environmental impact per unit of output. Optimizing marginal returns from all
available production resources is key to remaining competitive for producers while at the same
time conserving these resources. While production efficiencies should contribute to individual
farm viability, efficiencies on larger scales and on a system basis should also be considered for
life cycle analysis and benefits to society at large. For example, better understanding and
quantification of farm and watershed scale hydrologic water cycles in different landscapes could
lead to more efficient use of water for many kinds of production and uses.

       b.   Best Management Practice (BMP) Evaluation and Development

Recommendation H2: That research be funded to provide information on the effectiveness
of on-farm BMPs in terms of risks (magnitudes and probabilities), costs and benefits at
different scales (ie. farm level to catchment to watershed to basin).

The emphases of this research issue were cost benefit analysis and scaling/scalability of BMP
effectiveness. The issue includes the costs and benefits of implementing BMPs for the producer
and for society. These costs and benefits need to be evaluated at different scalse to validate
when our assumptions and understanding/theories hold. For example, BMPs that are envisioned
to be used for well-head, aquifer or surface water protection need to be evaluated at these scales
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to ensure standards developed and outcomes expected are attainable. Models that quantify and
illustrate BMP effectiveness need to be validated at different scales. BMPs should be evaluated
and developed within a rural not just an agricultural production context as production
sustainability will likely require the socio-economic success and sustainability of rural society
(e.g. agricultural service providers, rural non-farm land owners) as well. BMP development and
evaluation also needs to be more holistic rather than narrow in scope, considering and
quantifying trade-offs between different resources and environmental objectives. Understanding
the net impact and benefit of BMPs is important as practices can be implemented as a suite of
BMPs for specific purposes and some practices may have contradicting effects with each other
that need to be better quantified.

       c.    Sustainable Farming systems

Recommendation H3: That life cycle/system analysis and long term (> 10 year) research be
supported in order to determine the sustainability of adapting and emerging farming
systems in the province.

Two key concerns under this issue were adapting and developing sustainable farming systems to
1) cope with climate change and 2) to ensure sustainable opportunities in the bio-economy
whether for energy or products. Concern was expressed about how changing crop rotations
and/or residue removal may impact on soil quality, soil ecology, carbon sequestration and
environmental health in general. Answering these types of questions requires sustaining projects
through several crop rotations. A holistic, life cycle, system analysis approach needs to be
undertaken before making major policy, program or economic decisions. Bio-economy activities
may also produce new waste streams which may impact on agricultural systems.


2.2.   Medium Priority

       a.    Developing Agri-environmental Indicators

Recommendation M1: That research be funded to develop meaningful agri-environmental
indicators, with associated thresholds, for monitoring and communicating risk of
impairment to and changes in resource quality in Ontario agro-ecosystems.

Meaningful environmental indicators for agricultural systems are needed, in particular for water
quality, that are linked to increased levels of risk that are understood and accepted by the public
and policy makers. Indicators need to be developed for different scales, e.g. field, catchment or
watershed, and likely for multiple objectives/risk levels to help determine sustainability. Further
development of risk indices for nitrogen, phosphorus and pathogens to help identify and address
specific situations would be useful. Indicators are needed to help set targets for environmental
emissions at different scales and for different objectives (e.g. TMDLs, annual load, max.
concentration at different scales, watershed nutrient loading capacities). While there is urgency
for water indicators, soil quality and air quality indicators are also needed for various agro-
ecosystems. In developing and using models for risk assessment and indicator targets, it should

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be recognized that no single indicator is sufficient but that a weight-of-evidence approach is
more appropriate. Implicit in this recommendation is that once developed, these indicators
would be part of a long-term monitoring program to help evaluate resource quality and the effect
of programs, such as source water protection, in the province.

       b.   Sharing of Water Resources

Recommendation M2: That research be funded to support the development and
monitoring of sustainable water sharing policies in agricultural areas of Ontario.

This issue is primarily concerned with the social and economic aspects of water allocation and
conflict over water. How to best share and allocate water resources as they become scarcer will
be a concern in rural Ontario. Levels of sustainable extraction from a water source and for
different sectors need to be determined. Quantification of the water consumptive use of different
agricultural systems needs to be verified and updated for improved technologies. Even with
improved water use efficiency, conflicts over water are likely to arise and the costs and benefits
associated with water allocation away from agriculture need to be completely understood (e.g.
increased sedimentation from soil erosion if crop cover/residue not established, rural economy
suffers). Water quantity and quality need to be integrated if the goal is to ensure sustainable
agriculture, safe water for drinking and recreational purposes and functioning ecosystems in
agricultural areas.

       c.   Air Quality

Recommendation M3: That research be funded to better understand air emissions and
transport from agricultural production.

Greater priority needs to be given to air emissions from the rural environment. Ammonia,
volatile organic compounds, odour and particulate matter all impact air quality and often
livestock and human health. Air quality regulations for agriculture are likely to emerge at the
federal or provincial level. Methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will continue to be
important to agriculture. Not only do emissions need to be better understood, and potentially
reduced, but also their transport to other areas. Further instrumentation, modeling and evaluation
of weather data could help in understanding transport of air emissions from agricultural sources.
Use and development of weather data for integrated pest management models lies more with
sustainable production programs.


Other Issues and Specific Research Questions
Numerous specific research priorities are listed in the three sub-committee reports. It is
recommended to consult these sub-committee reports when looking for detailed research needs
in a specific field or area.




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2.3.   Overarching Research/Service Needs

Two other issues were identified that were not necessarily research recommendations but that are
another dimension to making sure there is research progress and impact in the province for agri-
environmental needs.

       a.    Databases

Databases of real/measured soil, water or air quality in agricultural environments that is publicly
accessible is urgently needed. Real, shared, accepted data is needed to validate models and aid
in further prediction, scenario testing, and cost/benefit/risk analysis. For instance, a seamless
soils database is needed across the province to enable watershed modeling and policy analysis.
Databases could capture and help put research pieces together to build the body of evidence for
indicators and scaling of BMP effectiveness from field to catchment to watershed to basin.

Resource and management practice inventories are another sort of database that can be used to
establish benchmarks, validate indicators, confirm trends and be used as performance indicators
for many government and industry initiatives such as environmental farm planning.

       b.    Communications

To move towards cost-benefit analysis and risk analysis it is important to be able to
communicate across disciplines and with the public. Publicly accessible databases and webpages
are one way that researchers can communicate with each other. There is also the need for
feedback from industry and rural society to develop desired agri-environmental innovations and
BMPs and get feedback on perceived and actual economic and social risks. Environment issues
are often bigger than any one agricultural sector, making the facilitation of feedback/input
difficult. Municipal planners, environmental non-government organizations, conservation
authorities and even other government ministries and levels of government can also benefit from
much of the agri-environmental research in the province. There is a need to communicate better
with “pure” environmental researchers to further develop appropriate agri-environmental
projects and communications. There may be some benefit investigating research communication
models in other sectors which deal with human and environmental health impacts to determine
appropriate channels to communicate scientific bodies of evidence and levels of risk between
researchers, stakeholders and decision makers.

As new technologies and policies are introduced there is a need for more effective avenues of
communication between scientists, policy-makers and the farming community to understand the
basis, function and benefits of these initiatives. Farmers need assistance in moving toward a
mind-set of being “re-tooled” or “transformed” into managers of resources or processes, as well
as producers of goods. The farming community and the public who are expected to embrace
these initiatives and make changes, are more likely to view and receive them more positively if
they are undertaken and communicated in a spirit of co-operation.



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2.4.   Connection of Strategic Research Issues to Sub-committee Recommendations

For each of the identified strategic research issues, closely related research issues and
recommendations that were raised by the sub-committees are listed together here. Reference is
made to the subcommittee recommendation number (W – OWMRSC; A – OARSC; all other
codes OSMRSC) in the Appendices for the source of the issue to access more specific research
questions articulated by the sub-committees. Only those sub-committee recommendations that
best fit the 6 priority issue areas are listed here. The Appendices should be referred to for
additional research issues.

       a.   Improving Production Efficiency

MNE1 : Develop new N recommendation systems that account for the supply of available
nitrogen from soil organic matter and from added organic materials like manure to improve the
reliability of N recommendations. These systems will also need to account for the synchrony
between N availability and crop demand, as influenced by weather conditions.
MNE2: Fertilizer recommendations need to be developed for several crops for which there are
currently no Ontario recommendations, while other crops need to have their recommendations
updated to reflect significant changes in production systems.
MOA2: Develop methods to improve the prediction of available nutrients from manure and
other organic sources of nutrients.
MOA4: Fine-tuning and improving technology for inter-row application of manure and in-field
transfers
MOA3: That spring nitrogen release from various cover crops grown to immobilize manure
nitrogen be further researched.
WM1: Develop tools to guide irrigation and fertigation scheduling for high value crops
W 7: Establish research programs to investigate the relationship between specialty crops and
water quality/quantity
W 10: Quantify Current and Future Farm-and Watershed-Scale Hydrologic Water Cycles
A 6: Climate and weather effects on animal and crop productivity. Improved water use
efficiencies given increasing competition, regulation, restrictions, and price.
A 7: Greenhouse operations require new technology and opportunities to capitalize on
innovations in energy and CO2 capture from on-site sources’


       b.   Evaluating and Developing Best Management Practices (BMPs)

MOA1: Delineate the impacts of various Manure Management Systems on nutrient availability,
soil health, food safety and environmental losses, so that BMPs can be developed that are
appropriate to specific situations
WM4: Develop options for management of low nutrient, high volume solutions from
horticultural greenhouse, nurseries and fruit and vegetable washwater operations
W 3: Best Management Practices and Economic and Environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis
A 2: Knowledge dissemination for new markets, production systems, low air emission
technologies, pest management, and weather adaptations need to be developed. Producer

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organizations need to co-operate with researchers and government groups to assist producers to
adopt and adapt new techniques and knowledge into their operations
A 3: Advances in weather data provisions for crop and livestock production and quality should
be explored.


       c.   Developing and Ensuring Sustainable Farming Systems

MNE4: Assess the impact of fertilizer programs on the quality of the crop for specific end uses,
and incorporate this into the economic assessment of fertilizer recommendations.
SCM1: Quantify the impacts, both short and long term, of various crop rotations on crop
productivity, nutrient cycling, and soil health.
SCM2: While the use of fibre crops and crop residues are beneficial as a biomass source for
anaerobic digesters, what is the long-term impact on soil organic matter levels
SCM5: Determine the short-term and long-term impact on soil macro- and micro-organisms
from land application of ag and non-ag source materials.
SCM6: Develop soil tests to address the particular needs of organic agriculture
W 6: Establish Guidelines for Site Investigations and Continued Monitoring of Proposed
Intensive Farming Operations and Biosolids Applications
EUE1: Designing a “systems approach” to incorporating a treatment technology in a manure
handling system
A 1: Climate change will affect agriculture over time as both opportunities and constraints.
Impacts and potential adaptations to increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns
need to be studied.
A 8: Crops and production system adaptations for changes in climate should be investigated
A 9: Soil management adaptations for alternate environmental benefits – i.e. soil cover for
erosion control due to extreme storms, need to be developed and promoted
A 4: Local effects of topography, land cover, and regional weather conditions affect
micrometeorology environment of agricultural systems. New and improving pest, water, and
growth models should be pursued


       d.   Developing Agri-environmental Indicators

MNE5: Improve the N Index as a tool for managing the risk of nitrate leaching to groundwater.
MNE6: Investigate the options for managing soils with a high P test to minimize adverse
environmental impact.
WM2: Determine the short-term and long-term impact of agricultural activities on water quality,
including the impact on aquatic macro- and micro-organisms
W 2: Develop watershed-level approaches that address source protection and evaluate its
effectiveness
W 5: Develop indicators of contamination and monitoring of water quality/quantity




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       e.   Sharing of Water Resources

WM3: Determine the short-term and long-term impact of agricultural activities on the quantity of
available water
W 1: Develop databases for water quality and quantity management
W 4: Municipal Well Head Protection and Groundwater Vulnerability Criteria
W 9: Establish a Sustainable Water Extraction and Sharing Policy and Monitoring System to
Ensure Future Supplies are Protected


       f.   Air Quality

RAQ1: Determine the impact of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) emissions from manure
and biosolids on air quality
GHG1: Research focused on investigating greenhouse gas emissions from soil, the rate of
carbon sequestration in Ontario soil, nitrogen management and techniques to limit
A 5: Federal and provincial air quality objectives will impact agricultural production. Ammonia,
particulates, ozone, and other gases require research attention, both in terms of emissions and
impacts on agriculture
A 10: GHG emissions will become agriculture’s concern over time whether through
opportunities or through constraints. GHG emission information should become part of future
research results and research should have the goal to reduce these emissions




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3. Appendices:
1. Ontario Soil, Water and Air Research and Services Committee 2006 Minutes
2. Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee 2006 Minutes and
Recommendations
3. Ontario Water Management Research and Services Committee 2006 Minutes and
Recommendations
4. Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Committee 2006 Survey Results and
Recommendations
5. OSWARSC Terms of Reference
6. Membership Lists
7. 2007 Meeting dates




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3.1.   Ontario Soil, Water and Air Research and Services Committee
                                   2006 Annual Meeting

                                            Minutes
The annual meeting of the Ontario Soil Water and Air Research and Services Committee
(OSWARSC) was held on November 8, 2005 at the Ontario AgriCentre, 100 Stone Road,
Guelph.

Attendance:
Pamela Joosse (Chair, OMAFRA)
Janet Parsons (OSCIA)
Paul Brine (RIB, OMAFRA)
Anne Verhallen (OMAFRA, OSMRSC Chair-elect)
Keith Reid (CTB, OMAFRA, OWMRSC representative)
Christine Taub (U of Guelph, Office of Research)
John Rowsell (U of Guelph, Kemptville-NLARS)
Chris Kinsley (U of Guelph, Alfred)
Chris Duke (OMAFRA, OARSC Co-chair, OSWARSC Vice-chair)
Craig Drury (AAFC, joined remotely for portion)
Valerie Clark (OMAFRA, facilitator)

Regrets:
Jon Warland (Co-Chair OARSC), John Lauzon (Chair OSMRSC), Paul Sibley (Chair
OWMRSC), JoAnn Rzadki (Conservation Ontario), Jackie Fraser (AgCare), Pradeep Goel
(MOE), Julie Cayley (Ducks Unlimited Canada)

    1. Introductions:

There was some turnover in membership on this committee and the new membership list is
included at the end of this report. Chris Duke agreed to take the minutes for this year’s meeting.

    2. Approval of Agenda:

Moved by Pam Joosse to accept agenda. Seconded by Keith Reid. Carried.


    3. Report on Response to 2002 Strategic Recommendations:

Paul Brine indicated that the 2002 strategic research recommendations were considered and
incorporated into the Environment Program established in 2003 and Environment Pilot Value
Chain program in 2004 at the University of Guelph. The University has now moved to a value
chain approach, with larger, more integrated projects for sustainable production systems, bio-
products, food and environment. Sustainable rural communities are not yet in this system. The 6
                                               17
active environment sub-programs are not currently listed on the University of Guelph website.
The University is working to update the research project database and make it available on the
web.

Janet Parsons asked how well the value chain approach has worked. Paul Brine indicated it has
worked well for Environment as the Resource Management and Environment program was
previously structured along issues and outcomes.

   4. Reports on issues/drivers and research recommendations

University of Guelph – Christine Taub
The Environment Program will be issuing a call shortly with proposals due in January using
unallocated program funds and reinvesting funds from projects coming to completion April
2007. Funds only confirmed until March 31, 2008 as current OMAFRA-U of G contract ends 30
March 2008. A call for new Environment Program projects is expected in Spring/Summer 2007
for projects to begin in May 2008.

Proposals now go through a two stage process; submissions of Letters of Intent (LOI), successful
applicants are then requested to submit a Full Proposal. Leveraging of OMAFRA funds is
required. Under the new “value-chain, multi-disciplinary” approach the projects have much
larger budgets. External collaboration is encouraged. Since the inception of this new “value-
chain, multi-disciplinary” approach the proposal templates have been improved and are now
more user friendly.

Agriculture and AgriFood Canada – Craig Drury
Craig Drury reported that AAFC researchers are now expected to submit NSERC type proposals
due this November. Three hundred and eight proposals have been submitted, with 1 to 20 people
per proposal, to a 4 year programme which will provide stable funding. Craig is involved in 4
proposals dealing with soil or soil quality. The programs are addressing regional issues again.
Chris – Are OSWARSC priorities regarded in the process?
Craig – OSWARSC research priorities only influence AAFC research indirectly. It would be
helpful for a list of high priorities from OSWARSC be sent to Craig very shortly so they can be
incorporated into proposals.
Pam – Will Ontario priorities, for example for legislation, influence proposal review?
Craig – The review process is external so he is not clear what criteria the reviewers will have but
proposals can highlight regional concerns that might give more strength to proposals. Most
proposals will be funded, but some more than others. Budget/scientists ~ $35k/FTE, but no new
money. Internal/external collaboration encouraged but not required. External funding is also
encouraged. Publication, travel, PDFs, fertilizer, etc. need to be included in budget.



OMAFRA – Pamela Joosse
Public policy and priorities drive work. “Strong people, strong economy” and “Healthy public
and environment” are key provincial government priorities OMAFRA is expected to deliver on.

                                                18
Nutrient Management Act and associated regulations continue to be key drivers. Nutrient
Management Directed and Joint Research Programs contributing to technical policy
development. Descriptions will be part of Compendium of OMAFRA funded Environment
Research being released at December 12 Ontario Agriculture and Environment Research Day. A
second and likely final call for NM Joint Research Program coming out this month.

OMAFRA is currently going through a strategic review process about our internal organization.
Environment is one area being reviewed because of involvement of various parts of Ministry.
Some of the key environmental issues/drivers that are continuing or coming up include:
o Role of environmental farm plan and nutrient management planning in source water
   protection
o Green energy opportunities
o Environmental goods and services - Claudia Wagner-Riddle (U of Guelph) held a multi-
   disciplinary workshop to look at various processes of agriecosystems and how research is
   trying to look at various scales and processes.
o Great Lakes agreements (Charter, Annex, Canada-Ontario Agreement)
o Monitoring agricultural impact on resources
o Reviewing cost effectiveness of practices and programs – in US have CEAP program
o Minimizing agricultural production impacts on the environment
o Models and decision support tools
o Offering solutions to societies challenges [strong economy, healthy Ontarians, solutions for
   green space, waste management,]
o Balance between economy and environment

Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Committee – Chris Duke
Chris reviewed the subcommittee’s results of using a web-based approach to getting stakeholder
input. Generally the process was good in that it 1] was available to 75+ organizations and
individuals to fill in, 2] increased awareness of agrometeorology research and services, 3]
covered a range of topics, and 4] fairly easy to tabulate. However, the drawbacks are 1] difficult
to get responses with a fair degree of reflection and detail, 2] respondents don’t always
understand the questions, 3] very limited ability for issues to be discussed and redefinition of
priorities, 4] co-chairs are largely responsible to assess research and services priority order, 5]
without a meeting people don’t learn from each other. OARSC will use this approach next time.
Co-chairs were very surprised that certain organizations with a long-standing involvement in
weather services or interests did not reply to questionnaire.

Ontario Water Management Research and Services Committee – Keith Reid for Paul
Sibley
Meeting on 28 September had reasonable representation. Water impacts most of agriculture, but
scope of committee is how does agriculture affect water quantity/quality and how is agriculture
[and rural to a lesser extent] affected by water quantify/quality. Three themes: 1] keep both
quantity and quality in view, 2] scaling and integrating across scales, 3] cost/benefit analysis.
Specific research recommendations, listed in order of priority (*=new): 1] develop databases of
water quantity/quality, 2] develop watershed level approaches to source water protection and
evaluate effectiveness, 3 (moved up in priority)] research BMPs and economic/environmental

                                                19
benefits, 4*] develop criteria around well-head protection and vulnerability, 5] develop
indicators of contamination of water quality/quantity, 6] establish guidelines for site evaluations
and continued monitoring of proposed intensive farming operations and biosolid applications,
7*] establish research programmes to investigate the relationships between speciality crops and
water quality/quantity, 8] develop contingency plans for natural disasters, 9] establish a
sustainable water extraction and sharing policy and monitoring system to ensure future supplies
are protected, 10] quantify current and future farm and watershed scale hydrologic water cycles.

Specific service recommendations/issue continues to be effective communications between all
the interested parties.

Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee – Anne Verhallen for John
Lauzon
Met two days in June 2006. A very large committee with 6 sub committees. Main points of
report are economics [production] and environment [more regulations]. Discussed in detail –
proposal to change soil test/fertility rating system from low, medium, excessive to “probability
of profitable response”, but this proposal has been sent back to subcommittee.

Many specific research recommendations under 8 headings, see report. New issues include
energy production, fibre crops, and energy crops. Soil quality is higher priority than last report.

    5. Consolidate list of issues and drivers
Split into two groups to discuss and consolidate issues and drivers that are impacting Ontario
agriculture industry and environment.

    6. Dominant Research Recommendations
Split into two groups to develop research and service recommendations
Merged similar/related recommendations and created over arching titles

    7. Criteria for Prioritizing research recommendations
Discussed the types of criteria that could be used and what group felt should use when
prioritizing. Suggested criteria discussed included:
    - time sensitivity – immediate, urgent
    - topics and ranking in sub-committee reports
    - emerging vs. long term
    - cost effectiveness
    - relevance to government priorities,
    - impact on health or economy
Relevance to government priorities should be decided upon by government staff during funding
decisions. In the end, impact seemed most reasonable to ask committee members to vote for
those research recommendations/priorities which they felt had the most potential impact on the
economy, health and other outcomes in the province. Received 5 votes/stickers for up to 9 topics.
Sub-committee reports provide their own topics and ranking.

   8. Prioritized research recommendations for 2007-2011

                                                20
See 2. Strategic Research Issues and Recommendations page 8 OSWARSC report.

    9. Other Business
- Timeline for final report and presentation to OASCC – pre-Christmas for draft report, week of
8 Jan for conf call and responses to draft version, end of Feb is OASCC meeting.
- Sub committee meeting dates

   10. Next Meeting

November 13, 2007

   11. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn by Pam. Meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.




                                               21
3.2.   Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee

                                      2006 Annual Meeting

                                            Minutes

The annual meeting of the Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee was held on
June 12 at AAFC-ECORC in Ottawa and June 13 at Kemptville Campus, University of Guelph.

Attendance:
Adam Hayes                           John Lauzon                    Bill Curnoe
John Rowsell                         Ron Baeyaert                   Janet Parsons
Godfried Amankwa                     Christine Brown                David Kroetsch
Lorna Wilson                         Anne Verhallen                 Marius Marsh
Doug Young                           John Finlay                    Keith Reid
Paul Brine, IRMB                     Donna Speranzini               Tom Bruulsema
                                     Ivan O’Halloran

Regrets: Dale Cowan, Ed Gregorich, Tiequan Zhang, Craig Drury, Pamela Joosse

Adoption of 2005 Annual Meeting Minutes: (Hayes,Curnoe). Carried.

Review of Membership:
It was suggested that we should approach Environment Canada to see if they would like to appoint a
representative. David Kroetsch suggested that Scot Painter would be a suitable candidate.

Bill Curnoe is retired, and should be replaced. He suggested we write a letter to Dr. Mike Goss
asking for a new representative from the college. Moved (Young, Kroetsch). Carried.

Sub-Committee Reports:
Field Crops – Ivan O’Halloran
Report attached.

Main item of discussion was the proposal to change the rating system for soil test results from
“L, M, H, E” to a probability of response.
Probability of response to added nutrients at different soil test levels
                                   Probability of profitable response Optimum fertilizer
                                                                         rates on responsive
                        Symbol                                                   sites
High Response             HR       Profitable response in most cases             high
Medium                    MR        Profitable response in about half          medium
                                                 the cases
Low Response               LR           Profitable response rare                 low
Very Low Response         VLR         Profitable response very rare            very low
Non-Responsive            NR        Generally not profitable to apply             nil
                                                fertilizer*


                                            22
*adding nutrients to soils with these levels of nutrients may reduce crop yields or quality by
interfering with the uptake of other nutrients.

Motion to accept in principle the concept of the rating of probability of response for OMAFRA
publications, and that a working group be formed to develop a communication strategy and
incorporate language around potential environmental impacts (Young, Rowsell) Carried.

Working Group: Donna Speranzini, Doug Young, Keith Reid, Soil Test Lab Representative,
Godfried Amankwa, Christine Brown.
Tom Bruulsema will serve as a reviewer. Proposals should also be reviewed by the editors of all
the publications.

There were also concerns from the committee regarding the details of Source Protection.
Motion to accept report: (O’Halloran, Hayes). Carried


Waste Utilization Subcommittee – Christine Brown
Report attached.

The committee shared information about what research is going on, and on developing research
and service recommendations. One of the concerns expressed is that, with Bruce Bowman
retiring, there is limited support for the continuation of this program which is an excellent
resource.

John Rowsell reported that the OMAFRA veterinarians are recommending that no manure be
spread within 60 days of harvesting for hay or pasture, for control of Johne’s disease. There does
not appear to have been any consideration of nutrient management requirements in this
recommendation. Referred back to the Waste Utilization Subcommittee.

Motion to accept report: (Brown, O’Halloran). Carried.


Soil Test Lab Subcommittee – Lorna Wilson (for Papken Bedirian)
Report attached.

The main concern continues to be the improvement of the prediction of nutrient availability
(N&P) from manure.

Some form of sample exchange program for manure within the province would be desirable, to
improve consistency among labs in methodologies and results.

Tom Bruulsema suggested that the group should also consider environmental soil test, such as P
saturation indices.

Motion to accept report: (O’Halloran, Young) Carried.




                                            23
Soil & Water Quality Subcommittee – Anne Verhallen
Report attached.

One key point of discussion was the difficulty in maintaining funding for long term comparisons
(e.g. crop rotations, tillage, agro-forestry). John Rowsell noted that access fees to research
stations will also mitigate against setting up long term research on U of G sites. Paul Brine
suggested that researchers need to imaginative in proposals for research funding to make on-
going plots look new.

Greenhouse gas mitigation funds supported 6 soil and nitrogen management workshops across
the province. There was also a soil management workshop held in Eastern Ontario.

Soil Resource Group was hired to review the literature on Soil Erosion. There was also a
literature review completed on the non-nutrient value of manure.

Motion to accept report: (Kroesch, Brown). Carried.


Horticultural Crops – Donna Speranzini
Report Attached.

Interest appears to have revived in manure, from the perspectives of nutrient availability, non-
nutrient value of manure, and food safety concerns. This also linked with discussion of organic
systems.

N recommendations for Ginseng were discussed at the meeting. The data had been referred to the
Ginseng production committee, who were not in favour of the results so they have not been brought
forward to OSMRSC. The suggestion was that the specialist for a given crop should be at the hort
subcommittee meeting to “champion” their commodity when any recommendation changes are
discussed. Keith suggested that comments from the production subcommittees is welcome, but that
the production subcommittee should not be able to veto changes to fertility recommendations.

Motion to accept report: (Speranzini, Rowsell) Carried


Tobacco Subcommittee Report - Godfried Amankwa
Report attached.

The cost of tobacco production in Ontario is becoming prohibitively high, so research is needed
on reducing the cost of production.

Tobacco acreage in Ontario has been consistently declining each year, but it is unclear what the
future of the industry is.

Motion to accept report: (Curnoe, Bruulsema) . Carried.



                                           24
OABA Report
Report attached.

Work is on-going with validation of the new N recommendations. Tom will be presenting a
summary of the impact on uncertainty on profitability of N application to corn at the ISSU
congress in Philadelphia in July, and at CSA in August.

Summary of Soil test results in Ontario (July, 2004 – June, 2005)
Soil Test P
28% < 20 ppm
26%>60 ppm

Soil Test K
40%< 120 ppm (median value for soil test K is just above 120 ppm)

Soil pH
10% of soils test <6.0

Motion to accept report (Brown, O’Halloran). Carried.


ECORC Report
Report attached.

May 2, 2005 the National Land and Water Information Service (NLWIS) had funding approved
for improving the delivery of land resource information. Proposal is to develop a seamless
1:50,000 scale soil map for the province. There will be significant challenges in developing
correlations of soil attributes and map unit boundaries across different scales and soil
descriptions. Data from larger scale maps will be retained as a separate data layer, where it is
available.

Motion to accept report (Kroesch, Rowsell). Carried.


Election of Executive:
Chair: Anne Verhallen moves up from vice-chair, for the term of 2007-08.

Vice-Chair:    Tom Bruuslema indicated that he would be willing to act as vice-chair.

Secretary:     Keith volunteered to continue as secretary

The new executive was approved unanimously by the committee.




                                            25
Peter Zwart has been hired as a backfill for Chrisoph Kessel’s position, while he has been
seconded to Landscape Ontario.

Action List from 2005
Proposal for Manure N availability: Data is currently being compiled to support the
development of a “single” system of manure N availability from manure, and should be ready for
discussion at the next Waste Utilization Subcommittee meeting.
Motion to accept report (Brown, Marsh). Carried.

Provincial Soil: Dave will re-circulate the list of “top ten” agricultural soils in Ontario. There
was considerable discussion about the value of naming a provincial soil to help to promote the
importance of soils to the environment and economy. Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta have
named provincial soils. Dave will bring back a recommendation to the next meeting.
Motion to accept report (Kroesch, Lauzon). Carried.

Nutrient Management Joint Research Program: A total of 34 proposals were received in
response to the call for proposals, and they are currently being reviewed. The Review Panel will
be meeting on Thursday of this week to consider the reviews, and recommendations will go to
ARIO on Friday. Funding for this program is until March of 2009. One concern that has already
been expressed is that the 3 year time horizon is too short for some projects.
Motion to accept report (Verhallen, Brown). Carried.

Changes in publications:
Fall N application on Turfgrass:
There was considerable discussion about the strength of the data supporting the change to the N
rates, particularly around the lower limit (0.25 kg N/100 m2).
Motion to accept the recommendation from the Hort subcommittee to reduce the maximum
application rate of late season N to 1.0 kg N/100 m2, and to ask the subcommittee to provide
more documentation for the lower limit (Curnoe, Marsh). Carried.

Nitrogen on Fertigated Peppers:
Questions to refer back to T.Q:
   1. Please provide more detail on the fertilizer application program for each treatment (is it
       zero N, preplant N, Preplant + 2 rates of fertigated N). List each treatment in detail.
   2. What is the previous crop?
   3. Was the water application rate the same on all treatments?
   4. How was the water and N amounts varied with precipitation?
   5. Please provide the P response data for all years.
   6. Please calculate a total N budget for the pepper crop (Inputs minus uptake or removal for
       each treatment).
   7. T.Q. should attend the OSMRSC meeting next year to be able to answer questions from
       the committee.

Motion to forward these questions to T.Q. Zhang, and request response to OSMRSC
through the horticulture subcommittee (Reid, Amankwa). Carried.




                                            26
Nitrogen on Fertigated Tomatoes:
Questions to refer back to T.Q:
   1. Please provide more detail on the fertilizer application program for each treatment (is it
       zero N, preplant N, Preplant + 2 rates of fertigated N). List each treatment in detail.
   2. Please include all six years of data
   3. What is the previous crop on each plot?
   4. Was the water application rate the same on all treatments?
   5. How was the water and N amounts varied with precipitation?
   6. Please provide the P response data for all years.
   7. Please calculate a total N budget for the tomato crop (Inputs minus uptake or removal for
       each treatment).
   8. T.Q. should attend the OSMRSC meeting next year to be able to answer questions from
       the committee.
   9. Other questions from the committee to be added.

Motion to forward these questions to T.Q. Zhang, and request response to OSMRSC
through the horticulture subcommittee (Reid, Lauzon). Carried.


Field Tour
David Kroesch and David Lapen led an interesting and informative tour of research at ECORC
and at the South Nation Watershed Evaluation of BMPs (WEBs) sites near Limoges.

Update on Research Funding Programs – Paul Brine
OMAFRA research funding is targeted to support the Ontario Provincial Government priorities –
Healthy Ontarians (Food safety, etc), Strong Economy (Maximum economic yields, crop
diversification, etc.), and essential services. There is also an intent to develop research capacity,
to replace researchers as they retire.

Funding divided between University of Guelph agreement ($34 million per year for research)
and competitive programs (New Directions - $1.35 million/year, Food Safety - $500,000/year,
Renewable Fuels - $1.1 million per year for 4 years; Life Sciences and Innovation Fund - $1.6
million/year for 4 years; NMJRP - $1 million/year for 3 years, jointly between OMAFRA and
MOE).

Research stations and agricultural college facilities have been transferred from Ontario Realty
Corporation to ARIO, which should provide more flexibility in management.

CARC has not had its funding from AAFC renewed, so the program is winding up over the next
six months. The Expert committees are free to continue, but there is no financial support
available at this time. AAFC does intend to have some form of research priorization process in
place, to be determined.

Motion to accept report (Brine, Curnoe). Carried.




                                             27
Strategic Review of Research Priorities:

Discussion of OSWARSC Issues from last strategic review: Most of the issues are probably still
valid, although there may be some overlap and some could be re-stated to more clearly reflect
our intent.

           1.   Managing Nutrients Efficiently
           2.   Managing Organic Amendments
           3.   Soil and Crop Management
           4.   Water Management
           5.   GHG Emissions/Climate Change
           6.   ID/Validation of BMP’s
           7.   Rural Air Quality
           8.   Energy Use Efficiency

Need to incorporate the concept of food quality and the impacts of nutrients and crop
management (under soil and crop management).

Christine noted that there has been a return to greater emphasis on erosion control.

Bill Curnoe suggested adding wording around conditions that would contribute to the success of
research (e.g. long term funding, easier sharing of data among researchers, etc.)

Tom Bruulsema suggested that, as the government increases emphasis on bio-fuels, that our
committee focus on the impacts of bio-fuels on the cycling of nutrients. There is also room for
economic analysis of the removal of crop residues. This may fit best as an “emerging issue”
(Rowsell).

Moved that Keith and John should organize the research priorities under the suggested
headings, and circulate them back to the group for comment (Young, O’Halloran).
Carried.

Service Recommendations:
The requirement for French translation is limiting the availability of information to the public
because information that has not been translated into both official languages is not made publicly
available. This is the case for both the federal and provincial governments. The OSMRSC
requests that either more funding be made available to the agriculture ministries for French
translations, or that the requirement for translation of some technical information be relaxed.

The ManureNet website has collected a large database of information regarding manure
management, but the person who has initiated and maintained the website (Bruce Bowman) has
retired. Possibilities for hosting this website need to be investigated, before this valuable
resource is lost. – University? Scientific Societies? Crop Nutrients Council?

Soil Management Technical Working Group (GHG offsets) – Adam Hayes: There has been
work on developing an offset trading system for greenhouse gases, but with the change in



                                            28
government the process is on hold. The proposal was to develop coefficients for the adoption of
various management practices, rather than requiring verification of actual carbon sequestration.

Bill Curnoe expressed appreciation for the shovel that was presented to him in honour of his 32
years of service on OSMRSC, and emphasized the importance of the collaboration that the
committee fosters among soil management research and extension.

Next Meeting:
Date: June 19-20, 2007
Location: Ridgetown Campus, U of G


Motion to Adjourn at 1:25 pm: (Young). Carried.




                                           29
                               OSMRSC Research Priorities

Managing Nutrients Efficiently
Optimum use of nutrients is critical for both the economic and environmental sustainability of
crop production in Ontario. Economically, under-fertilizing results in loss of yield and therefore
loss of income, while over-fertilizing results in increased expenses without a large enough
increase in marketable yield to pay for the extra fertilizer. Nutrient recommendations need to
take into account not only the needs of the crop, but also the availability of nutrients from the
soil and from added organic materials, to predict the optimum rate of fertilizer to apply. Adding
complexity to this picture is the impact that weather can have on the availability of nutrients, and
on the losses of these nutrients to the environment.

Research Recommendation MNE-1: Develop new N recommendation systems that account
for the supply of available nitrogen from soil organic matter and from added organic
materials like manure to improve the reliability of N recommendations. These systems will
also need to account for the synchrony between N availability and crop demand, as
influenced by weather conditions.

Background:
General N recommendations fail to account for the variability (both temporal and spatial) in
nitrogen supply from the soil, and from added organic materials. Fine tuning nitrogen
recommendations by conventional means (repeated N response trials for each crop over a wide
range of environments) would be extremely expensive and time consuming. Improving our
understanding of the timing of nitrogen uptake by various crops, and the rate of N mineralization
from SOM or from various added organic materials under different weather conditions could
provide an alternative method to improve nitrogen recommendations.

Specific Research Questions to be addressed:
   1. New N recommendation systems for crops. Improved prediction of N availability from
       soil and/or organic materials, particularly with year-to-year variation in weather. Spatial
       variability of N availability lower priority

   2. Research to match the timing of nutrient demand by horticultural crops with the timing of
      release of nutrients from different organic amendment types. Priority crops for this work
      include tomatoes, potatoes, vine crops, sweet corn and perennial crops like grapes.

   3. Develop methods of assessing the nitrogen status of crops in-season to fine tune the
      application of supplemental nitrogen to meet crop requirements while minimizing excess
      residual soil N at the end of the season. This will improve the utilization of nitrogen
      mineralized from soil organic matter or from added organic materials. Specific areas of
      emphasis include:
             (a) Calibration and creation of methods to assess in-season N availability for
                  horticultural crops, like the PSNT, sap and tissue analysis.




                                             30
                (b) Continue work on developing visual indicators of N status in corn and cereals.
                    Refine the interpretation of PSNT results for corn.

                (c) Develop methods to assess in-season N status of tobacco, through tools such
                    as the PSNT, quick soil N tests, or petiole sap analysis.

   4. Research to review different nutrient and soil management modelling programs to
      evaluate their effectiveness under Ontario conditions. Programs include: N-expert, KNS,
      and NABLE and other models that may work under Ontario conditions. Ideally the
      recommendations coming from these systems can be soil, site, management and crop
      specific. The greatest interest in this type of approach is coming from horticultural crop
      growers.


Research Recommendation MNE-2: Fertilizer recommendations need to be developed for
several crops for which there are currently no Ontario recommendations, while other crops
need to have their recommendations updated to reflect significant changes in production
systems.

Background:
New crops are being introduced to Ontario growers, like Saskatoon berries or sweet potatoes,
that have never had fertilizer recommendations. Other small acreage crops have
recommendations that were copied from other jurisdictions, but often without any field work to
validate them either in Ontario or in the jurisdiction they came from. Some crops are being
grown under radically different production systems that have huge impacts on yield and quality,
but fertilizer recommendations have not been changed to reflect this (e.g. fertigated tomatoes or
peppers). Differentiation of some crops on the basis of quality parameters will most likely have
an impact on nutrient requirements, but these have not been measured.

Specific Research Questions to be addressed:
   1. The following crops need OSMRSC approved fertilizer recommendations. It is necessary
       to develop them through research or develop an adequate data bank to support estimated
       requirements.

                Pickling onions                       Cucurbits (this group needs to be
                Field validation of                    differentiated between fresh market,
                 ginseng results                        processing, cucumbers, squash,
                Asian vegetables                       melons, pumpkins)
                Outdoor cut flowers &                 Saskatoons
                 herbaceous perennials                 Cranberries
                Agronomic herbs                       Sweet potatoes
                Deciduous and perennial               Tobacco float and dry tray seedling
                 trees & shrubs                         production methods




                                            31
   2. Determine the fertility requirements for tobacco with various plant populations used for
      automatic harvesters as compared to hand-priming, as well as the effects of varieties and
      disease pressure with various plant populations, on yield and quality.

Research Recommendation MNE-3: Develop analyses and interpretations for secondary
and micronutrients that are not currently included in the OMAFRA accreditation
program; improve the current tests for Mn and Zn.

Background: A number of questions have arisen from farmers and agronomists regarding
micronutrient and secondary nutrient use in Ontario. Atmospheric sulphur deposition is
declining, with air pollution reduction, which has led to the possibility of sulphur deficiencies in
some crops. Micronutrient deficiency symptoms are identified more frequently in field and
horticultural crops, possibly due to the greater proportion of cropland that does not receive
livestock manure, or to higher crop yields which may exceed the capacity of the soil to supply
the nutrient. Soil tests have not been developed or tested for most of these nutrients on Ontario
soils, so there is a lack of local information to develop fertilizer recommendations for these
nutrients. Being able to predict nutrient requirements before the crop is grown on the field may
improve net returns for growers by generating higher yields if the nutrient is limiting, or by
saving applications of nutrients that are not required.

Manganese and zinc do have accredited soil tests, but there are concerns that the equation used to
generate the availability index for these nutrients is inaccurate at high soil pH levels,
overestimating the ability of the soil to supply Mn or Zn to the crop.

Specific Research Questions to be addressed:
           1. Assess the utility of sulphate sulphur tests used in other jurisdictions for Ontario
              conditions, and develop calibrations for the most useful test.
           2. Investigate replacing the current manganese and zinc indices with tables of
              critical values at various soil pH levels.
           3. Assess the utility of micronutrient tests (particularly for B, Cu, Fe) used in other
              jurisdictions for Ontario conditions, and develop calibrations if possible.

Research Recommendation MNE-4: Assess the impact of fertilizer programs on the
quality of the crop for specific end uses, and incorporate this into the economic assessment
of fertilizer recommendations.

Background:
Growing crops to meet quality criteria for specific end uses is a way of increasing the
profitability of crop production. Some of these quality parameters are influenced by nutrient
supply to the crop, but the relationships are not well enough understood to have
recommendations for quality.

Specific Research Questions to be addressed:

   1. Impact of soil fertility on crop end-use quality – fertilizing crops for specific end-use
      requirements, e.g. biomass crops for burning, high protein wheat, functional foods, etc.



                                             32
       (Field Crops – M)

   2. Research is needed to improve and evaluate the nitrogen usage of crops through timing,
      fertilizer source, and application methods with respect to crop yield, quality (visual,
      chemical) and plant health.

   3. Study the effects of nitrogen on the quality and yield of flue-cured tobacco. (CTRF -
      Delhi) Specifics: i.) Determine the effects of nitrogen amount and timing on agronomic
      performance and leaf chemistry levels. ii.) Investigate nitrate levels resulting from both
      organic and inorganic sources as it relates to water quality. iii) Study the effects of
      nitrogen leaching:.


Research Recommendation MNE-5: Improve the N Index as a tool for managing the risk
of nitrate leaching to groundwater.

Background:
The N Index was developed primarily as a tool to manage nitrogen leaching from field crops
where manure was applied. Many horticultural crops require nitrogen applications much in
excess of crop removal because the crops are harvested before the plants are physiologically
mature, creating the risk of high levels of residual soil nitrogen unless some management
techniques are developed to mitigate this risk.

Specific Research Questions to be addressed:
   1. Continue to evaluate the N-Index as a tool for managing leaching in horticultural crops,
       including the development of crop removal values and the mitigating effects of cover
       crops.
   2. Determine the amount of nitrogen immobilization occurring with various cover crop
       species, and under various management systems.
   3. Characterize the temporal-spatial variability of factors affecting nitrogen application, use
       and uptake, to determine if there is significant variability across landscapes in risk of
       nitrate leaching.


Research Recommendation MNE-6: Investigate the options for managing soils with a high
P test to minimize adverse environmental impact.

Background:
Significant areas of Ontario farmland are very high in available phosphorus, either due to a
history of manure application or to the growth of crops with high phosphorus requirements, as is
the case for many horticultural crops. The response to phosphorus fertilization on these soils has
had little study. Many of these fields will continue to receive fertilizer or manure, unless there is
clear evidence of a negative response to fertilizer and/or of excessive losses from these fields

Specific Research Questions to be addressed:




                                             33
   1. Research is needed to outline the management of phosphorous on high phosphorus
      testing soils for horticultural crops with respect to the use of the P-index.

Managing Organic Amendments
Research Recommendation MOA-1: Delineate the impacts of various Manure
Management Systems on nutrient availability, soil health, food safety and environmental
losses, so that BMPs can be developed that are appropriate to specific situations.

Background: The increased intensification of animal agriculture and recent event such as in
Walkerton Ontario has resulted in more scrutiny of manure management practices. At the same
time the benefits of manure application may be overlooked due to concerns such as food safety
on horticultural crops. Data must be available to support an objective discussion of the benefits
and risks of manure application in various situations.

Specific Research Questions to be addressed:
   1. Continued research is required to determine the influence of manure application
       methods, timing of application, nutrient loading rates and tillage interactions soil health,
       nutrient availability, losses and loss pathways of nutrients and pathogens to the
       environment, carbon sequestration, and social acceptability of the practice

   2. Research to determine the impact on manure management on food safety in horticultural
      crops. Example: the refinement of days to harvest interval for manure and compost for
      different horticultural crops.

   3. Investigation of on farm composting for agricultural wastes, such as culled horticultural
      products, for the production of useful and saleable products or incorporation into farm
      soils.

   4. Validation of the current assumptions regarding ammonia retention from land application
      of surface applied manure. Impact of crop residue and standing crops on volatilization


Research Recommendation MOA-2: Develop methods to improve the prediction of
available nutrients from manure and other organic sources of nutrients. ST

Issue: Improved utilization of nutrients from organic sources, particularly N and P
Different treatment/handling systems may change interpretations from analytical results
Extractable or available P from organic sources (e.g. alum amended poultry manure)

Background: Increased fertilizer prices, and increased environmental scrutiny have both pushed
the agricultural industry to improve the efficiency of nutrient utilization from manure. Part of
this involves a better understanding of interactions within the soil, but another part is the
improvement of the chemical characterization of the manure. Changes to farming systems that
are increasing the importance of this are the trends towards anaerobic digestion systems, which




                                            34
may change the nature of the nitrogen in the manure, and alum treatment of poultry manure,
which may change the nature of the phosphorus in manure.

Specific Research Questions to be Addressed:
           1. Develop tests to improve the prediction of nitrogen availability from the organic
              portion of manure and other organic materials
           2. Develop tests to predict the availability of phosphorus from manure and other
              organic materials.
           3. Develop indicators that could predict the maximum levels of phosphorus that
              Ontario soils can absorb without creating unacceptable environmental risk.
           4. Determine the best “standard methodology” for manure analysis, and promote the
              use of this in all labs. This would be aided by the development of a “made-in-
              Ontario” manure sample exchange program.

Research Recommendation MOA-3: That spring nitrogen release from various cover
crops grown to immobilize manure nitrogen be further researched.

Issue: Nutrient uptake by cover crops following fall manure application has been well
documented, however questions around timing and fate of nutrient release by different cover
crops the following spring remain largely unanswered.

Specific questions to be addressed:
   1. How much of the nitrogen that is taken up by a cover crop in the fall and/or spring will be
       available to the following crop?
   2. When does the nitrogen become available from various cover crops? How do legume
       crops compare to non-legume cover crops?
   3. What are the nitrogen and non-nitrogen economic benefits of utilizing cover crops? to
       uptake nitrogen for spring release when nitrogen leaching is not an issue?
   4. What are the impacts of cover crops on weed pressure in succeeding crops?
   5. What are the impacts of cover crops on nitrogen leaching and denitrification?

Research and Service Recommendation MOA-4: Fine-tuning and improving technology for
inter-row application of manure and in-field transfers.

Issue: Increasing efficiency of manure nitrogen use through application f manure to standing
corn. Barriers to overcome include minimizing injection equipment and/or tire damage to corn,
minimizing manure transfer time (idle equipment) and minimizing horsepower requirements.

Background: Fertilizer nitrogen use efficiency is improved by applying nitrogen to a growing
crop when the nitrogen needs are highest, i.e. as a sidedress or topdress application. Improved N
use efficiency reduces the risk of nitrate leaching to groundwater and of GHG emissions. Liquid
manure application into standing corn rows may reduce environmental nitrogen loss, reduces the
need for commercial nitrogen while increasing potential crop yield, and increases the window of
opportunity for manure application. There are several methods currently available to inject the
manure in the rows. There is still many questions that need to be addressed in order to fine-tune
inter row application technology.



                                           35
Specific Research Questions to be Addressed:
       1. Is pre-tillage needed or can the manure be surface applied without losses through
           preferential flow to tile and surface run off.
       2. How much manure, or ammonium in manure, can be top-dressed before tissue
           burning occurs. What weather conditions enhance burning?
       3. What is the impact of a crop canopy on ammonia volatilization?
       4. What are the impacts of application method (surface applied, injection S-tine
           cultivator incorporation, aerway etc.) on nitrogen losses (volatilization,
           denitrification, runoff etc.)?
       5. Can manure be applied to every other row with out serious impact to the crop? If the
           manure is put in every row and the guess row is missed what are the consequences?
       6. What are the economic costs (e.g. fuel, labour etc.) and benefits (e.g. increased N
           availability,) of the various side-dress manure application methods?

Research Recommendation MOA-5: Develop methods to predict the amount and timing of
immobilization and re-mineralization of soil nitrogen when high C/N ratio organic
materials are added to the soil.

Background: Excess soil nitrate during the late fall and early spring are the greatest risk for
losses to groundwater or the atmosphere. Reducing the concentration of nitrate in the soil at this
time of year could significantly reduce the environmental impact. One of the remediation
methods that has been proposed is the addition of high C/N ratio organic materials to the soil, so
that soil biota will immobilize the excess N while they consume these organic materials. While
sound in theory, the quantity of material needed to immobilize a given quantity of nitrogen has
not been validated in the field, nor has the fate of the immobilized N been investigated. Further,
the nature of the material being added (both chemical [C:N ratio, lignin content] and physical
[particle size]) is sure to have an influence on its activity, and this needs to be quantified.

Specific Research Questions to be Addressed:
       1. Develop predictions of the amount and time of nitrogen immobilization with high
           carbon materials (ie solid manure with sawdust bedding, primary paper mill
           biosolids)


Soil and Crop Management
Research Recommendation SCM-1: Quantify the impacts, both short and long term, of
various crop rotations on crop productivity, nutrient cycling, and soil health.

Background: Past work on the impact of crop rotations and continuous cropping was done
within the framework of corn-based rotation systems. Since then, on-farm economics have
dictated a shift to soybean based rotations, but there has not been the same level of effort put into
understanding the impacts of this change on soil quality and crop productivity. Changes in soil
physical parameters happen slowly, so long term studies are critical to detecting differences in




                                             36
soil structure, moisture holding capacity, carbon content, etc. Without this data, we cannot
predict what the long-term impact will be of changes in crop rotations.


Specific Research Questions to be Addressed:
       1. Optimizing production under shorter soybean rotations
       2. Longer rotations – soil health, sustainability
       3. Consider impacts on cropping systems

Research Recommendation SCM-2: While the use of fibre crops and crop residues are
beneficial as a biomass source for anaerobic digesters, what is the long-term impact on soil
organic matter levels?

Background:
The economics of crop production is pointing toward increased crop use for bio-fuels and as a
combined source of biomass for anaerobic digesters (AD). Long-term crop production for
biomass and crop residue harvest without returning carbon to the soil has the potential to reduce
soil organic matter levels and long-term soil productivity.

Specific questions to be addressed:
   1. Where biomass crops such as silage corn is being harvested to be combined with manure
       for energy production in AD systems; and where digestate is being returned to the soil,
       what is the long-term impact to soil organic matter levels.
   2. How does the carbon in digestate compare to carbon in crop residues after it has gone
       through the AD process.
   3. What is the impact of rotation versus continuous fibre-cropping in these systems?
   4. What is the impact on soil microbial levels and activity from AD digestate?
   5. How does the crop nutrient uptake (N, P and K) compare from manure versus digestate?

Research Recommendation SCM-4: Refine our understanding of how management
practices including crop rotation, tillage, soil compaction, and fertilization affect tobacco
quality and yield and soil and water quality:

Background: Land management (including crop rotation, tillage, soil compaction, and
fertilization) will affect soil physical quality parameters such as soil strength, structure, bulk
density, water storage and transmission, but the magnitude and direction of these effects needs to
be studied in the sandy soils were tobacco is grown. Continuing support for maintaining long
term plots is essential.

Specific Research Questions to be Addressed:
   1. Study the immediate and long term effects of inorganic fertilizers and organic matter
       amendments on the quality and yield of flue-cured tobacco and the quality of soil and
       water. This includes:
       i) Determine the effects of organic matter sources, particularly, sorghum, millet, and
           manure, on agronomic performance and leaf chemistry levels.




                                            37
       ii) Determine if root-lesion nematodes can be controlled and pesticide use reduced
            through certain crop rotations.
       iii) Determine the effects of inorganic fertilizers (particularly, with respect to
            phosphorous and nitrogen) on a) agronomic performance and leaf chemistry levels,
            and b) soil and water quality.

   2. Study the effects of different tillage practices on tobacco quality and yield, and soil and
      water quality.

   3. Study the effect of soil quality and crop management on the incidence of bacterial soft rot
      and other pathogens.

Research Recommendation SCM-5: Determine the short-term and long-term impact on
soil macro- (ie worms) and micro-organisms from land application of ag and non-ag source
materials.

Issue: The impact of the application of manure and biosolids, and particularly the contaminants
in these materials, on soil organisms is poorly understood.

Background: There has been some research conducted by B Hale and E Topp on non-ag source
materials and their environmental impact.

Specific research questions to be addressed:
   1. What is the short-term impact of fire retardants, estrogens personal care products and
       other compounds applied from manure and biosolids on the soil ecology? What is the
       long-term impact?
   2. What is the bio-availability of metals in soil water and air?
   3. What are the options (also considering economics) of reducing these compounds from
       land application?

Research Recommendation SCM-6: Develop soil tests to address the particular needs of
organic agriculture

Background: Soil testing is already an important part of organic crop production, but the regular
soil tests may not reflect the nutrient availability within an organic system, or may not reflect the
parameters that organic farmers are interested in managing. Alternative tests targeted at the
organic agriculture market are beginning to appear, but with little or no scientific rigour attached
to the development or interpretation of the test. This presents a barrier to the adoption of organic
farming by a wider group.

Specific Research Questions to be Addressed:
           1. Determine the adequacy (or lack thereof) of current soil testing methods in
              organic crop production systems.
           2. Develop and calibrate tests to meet the needs of organic agriculture, if needed.




                                             38
Water Management
Research Recommendation WM-1: Develop tools to guide irrigation and fertigation
scheduling for high value crops.

Background:
Irrigation is an essential tool for profitable production of many horticultural crops, but it is
expensive and could increase off-site transport of nutrients if improperly managed. Most of the
irrigation scheduling tools have been developed for climate and soil conditions quite different
from Ontario, and need to be validated for our conditions. Recently, fertigation has become
popular as a way to simultaneously provide nutrients and water to the crop, greatly increasing
yields, but the impact of this practice on nutrient requirements for crops has not been determined
for most crops.

Specific research questions to be addressed:
   1. Develop tools for irrigation scheduling under Ontario climate and soil conditions,
       including work on various irrigation methods, soil moisture meters and the development
       of evaportanspiration coefficients
   2. Develop tools for optimizing nutrient use under fertigation, including crop nutrient
       uptake profiles so that nutrient application can match crop needs


Research Recommendation WM-2: Determine the short-term and long-term impact of
agricultural activities on water quality, including the impact on aquatic macro- (ie frogs)
and micro-organisms.

Background: Runoff from agricultural fields will physically (e.g. temperature) and chemically
(e.g. nutrients, EDCs, etc.) alter water draining to natural areas. There are specific concerns
about some compounds that can act as endocrine disruptors, and there have been reports of
biological species displaying morphological changes (ie male frogs displaying female
characteristics). There has been some research conducted by B Hale and E Topp on non-ag
source materials and their environmental impact.

Specific research questions to be addressed:
   1. What are the short-term impacts of fire retardants, estrogen personal care products and
       other compounds applied from manure and biosolids on the aquatic biology? What is the
       long-term impact?
   2. What are the transport mechanisms for each of the compounds?
   3. What are the options (also considering economics) of reducing these compounds from
       land application?
   4. Quantifying the quality of water leaving the field through tiles, groundwater and surface
       water pathways
   5. Methods of improving the water quality should be investigated if the quality of the water
       warrants it.




                                            39
Research Recommendation WM-3: Determine the short-term and long-term impact of
agricultural activities on the quantity of available water.

Background:
Agricultural activities have significant impacts on the partitioning of water in the landscape. Tile
drainage reduces the amount of surface runoff, but also may divert water to streams and rivers
that would have percolated to groundwater. Demand for water for livestock watering and
irrigation is increasing at the same time that demand is increasing for urban and industrial uses.

Specific research questions to be addressed:
   1. Determine the quantity of water available on a regional basis in the province
   2. Determine the impact of increased pond construction on available water resources in the
       province.
   3. Determine the net impact of tile drainage on regional hydrology

Research Recommendation WM-4: Develop options for management of low nutrient, high
volume solutions from horticultural greenhouse, nurseries and fruit and vegetable
washwater operations

Background:
Greenhouses and nurseries have begun recycling most of their nutrient solutions, to address
concerns about leaching to groundwater, but this generates substantial volumes of material that
cannot be discharged directly to surface water, but is dilute enough that it is expensive to move
long distances. Washwaters from fruit and vegetable processing facilities share some of the
same characteristics. Management options for these types of materials are necessary for the
continued development of these industries.

Specific research questions to be addressed:
   1. Develop options for land application of low nutrient high volume solutions.
   2. Develop treatment options for low nutrient high volume solutions

GHG Emissions/Climate Change
Research Recommendation GHG-1: Research focused on investigating greenhouse gas
emissions from soil, the rate of carbon sequestration in Ontario soil, nitrogen management
and techniques to limit carbon losses, increase sequestration of carbon in soil and reduce
nitrous oxide losses.

Background:
Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are primarily methane and nitrous oxide, with
emissions of carbon dioxide nearly balancing uptake. There is potential for significant
sequestration of carbon in agricultural soils, and for reduction of methane and nitrous oxide. The
principal barriers are uncertainty in emission coefficients and poorly defined BMPs that are
specific to the reduction of GHG emissions.

Specific research questions to be addressed:


                                            40
   1. Determine GHG emission levels from soil under a broader range of conditions than have
      currently been measured, to improve the emission coefficients.
   2. Develop predictive models for GHG emissions so effective management strategies can be
      developed.
   3. Develop crop management strategies (e.g. tillage practices, crop rotations, BMP’s) to
      limit carbon losses from agricultural soils
   4. Develop improved methods to sequester carbon in agricultural soils, suitable for Ontario
      climate conditions.
   5. Develop nitrogen management systems (including manure management) that reduce
      nitrous oxide emissions

ID/Validation of BMP’s
Research Recommendation BMP-1: Investigate alternative soil test methods that provide
comparable results to existing methods, but without the use of toxic chemicals.

Background: Hazardous wastes are generated as part of the analytical process (e.g. dichromate,
phenol, etc.), and disposal of these materials has become a challenge for soil test labs in some
other jurisdictions. While it has not hampered the operations of labs in Ontario yet, it is prudent
from both the perspective of preventing restrictions to business in the future, and from good
environmental stewardship, to investigate alternatives to these materials.

Specific Research Questions to be Addressed:
           1. Perform an audit of soil test methods to determine which methods use materials
              that could be considered hazardous.
           2. Investigate alternatives to the SMP buffer pH that do not contain phenols.
           3. Investigate alternatives to the Walkley-Black method for determining soil organic
              carbon that do not include dichromate.



Rural Air Quality
Research Recommendation RAQ-1: Determine the impact of volatile organic compounds
(VOC’s) emissions from manure and biosolids on air quality


Issue: Air quality issues are being examined, which includes ammonia volatilization from
surface applied manure and other volatile organic compounds from manure and biosolids.

Background: If the odour of manure and biosolids could be reduced, the air quality issue around
manure would also be reduced. The number of “smog days” have increased over the past
number of years resulting in reduced air quality and increased health issues. Greenhouse gas
emissions research is shifting to look at all pollutants including air contaminants/smog,
particulates, the ammonia portion of manure that volatilizes, hudrogen sulphide etc. These are
referred to as Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). Industrial pollution is being targeted,


                                             41
however agricultural VOC’s and bio aerosols (from manure and biosolids) are also starting to
be assessed.

Specific research questions to be addressed:
   1. What is the impact of VOC’s from manure and biosolids on air quality?
   2. What are the options (including economics) for reducing VOC’s?
   3. What is the relationship between VOC’s and odour, and will reducing odour eliminate
       VOC’s

Energy Use Efficiency
Research Recommendation EUE-1: Designing a “systems approach” to incorporating a
treatment technology in a manure handling system.

Issue: Design of manure handling and storage systems to optimize the performance of manure
treatment systems

Background: It seems unreasonable to design some of the treatment options as “add-ons” to
existing systems, knowing that it would be best to design the entire system to perform at
optimum levels. However, since there are so few treatment systems being used, it is completely
reasonable for farmers to do some tire-kicking without making a complete commitment.

Specific questions to be addressed:
   1. In moving to an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) system, should the farmer move away from
       using sand bedding?
   2. If an AD system is most efficient with fresh manure, should we build barns with no
       storage under the barn?
   3. What are the impacts of AD systems on pathogens?
   4. Are there barn modifications needed to accommodate a compost system or AD or
       separator or other treatment technology?
   5. does the treatment system change the properties of the manure to the extent that different
       land application options become available or are imposed?
   6. Are there interactions between some of the feed additives (such as growth promotants
       like Rumensin) and the use of the manure in a treatment system such as AD or
       composting?
   7. Economics (especially around manure treatment systems): It would be helpful for
       farmers to see more data on the total costs of some of the proposed systems. Sometimes
       studies don’t go into enough detail on costs to implement new technologies.




                                           42
3.3.     Ontario Water Management Research & Services Committee

                             Annual Meeting: September 28th, 2006

Present:

Sam Bradshaw, Ontario Pork
Paul Brine, OMAFRA
Julie Cayley, Ducks Unlimited
Samaresh Das, University of Guelph
Jon Gingerich, Coldspring Farms
Gary Parkin, Land Resource Science, University of Guelph
Keith Reid, OMAFRA
Paul Sibley Environmental Biology, University of Guelph
Donna Speranzini, OMAFRA
Stewart Sweeney, OMAFRA

Meeting Agenda:

    1)   Welcome and introductions
    2)   Committee mandate
    3)   Summary of final report 2005: highlights and recommendations
    4)   Individual reports and/or presentation of issues
    5)   Open discussion of emerging and existing issues and their prioritization
    6)   New business

OWMRSC Mandate

The mandate of the OWMRS Committee is to identify and discuss emerging and existing
research and service issues related to water management and to compile this information in an
annual report to provide guidance to the Ontario Soil, Water, and Air Research and Services
Committee (OSWARSC) and ultimately to the OMAFRA to assist it in the prioritization and
allocation of research funding. Historically, recommendations provided by the OWMRS
Committee have also assisted in the prioritization of research within Agriculture Canada. The
OWMRS Committee fulfils its mandate by meeting once annually to discuss historical and
emerging issues pertaining to water management (research and services) that are relevant to the
OMAFRA mandate.

Summary of Discussions for 2006

Many of the water quality and quantity issues discussed by the committee each year are
recognized as being long-term in nature. As in previous years, therefore, the committee agreed
that many of the issues and their recommendations presented in previous reports continue to be
relevant and many are, therefore, retained in the current report. However, the committee also
developed new recommendations for 2006 and re-prioritized others.




                                             43
Three important themes emerged from the 2006 discussions:

      The need to better integrate water quality and quantity in terms of managing agricultural
       water resources.
      The need to better integrate research across spatial scales.
      There is a strong need to undertake cost-benefit analyses for proposed actions, best
       management practices, and development of guidelines, especially when resources are
       limited.

Integrating Water Quantity and Water Quality

For many issues facing agriculture in Ontario, Canada and globally, it is increasingly difficult to
separate water quantity and water quality. One example discussed was the expanding
greenhouse industry in Ontario, which are faced with ensuring adequate supplies of good water
for greenhouse crops. One option is to recycle used water but this requires that the water be
treated to remove pathogens that could affect plant growth. Greenhouse effluent could be
discharged to the environment but this would lead to addition of high concentrations of nutrients
to local waterways. The need to better integrate water quantity and water quality in the
management of Ontario’s water resources, both rural and municipal, was one of the key
recommendations of the Walkerton Inquiry. Figure 1 presents a water management matrix that
illustrates the broad-level issues faced by agriculture in relation to surface water and
groundwater supplies and quality. Historically, each square of the matrix has been largely dealt
with separately with little attempt to integrate between sectors. While arguably easier to regulate
on this basis, such an isolationist approach may not best serve the interests on Ontario residents
if the goal is to ensure sustainable agriculture and water that is safe for drinking and recreational
purposes and is sufficient to support ecosystems requirements in agricultural areas.

Integrating Research Across Spatial Scales

Several of the recommendations listed below explicitly (2, 3) or implicitly (1, 8) address the
issue of scale. Best management practices and guidelines are largely developed for application
at the field scale, to be used by farmers to reduce impacts of the environment. While there is
need to continue to develop and use science-based information to establishing improved/new
best-management practices, there is also a need to recognize that the collective action of field-
scale activities influence processes at higher spatial scales such as the watershed level. For
example, one of the topics discussed by the committee was the increasingly difficult relationship
between agricultural practices and urban development. The environmental stresses imposed by
each cannot be solved at the field scale alone; many of these stresses become manifest at higher
spatial scales. It is critical therefore that research examining this relationship and the
development of policy from this research be conducted in a spatially integrative fashion. Indeed,
this was another key recommendation of the Walkerton Inquiry in relation to the idea of source
protection.




                                             44
                             Figure 1. Water Management Matrix
                         Water Quantity                       Water Quality
                                                      • Chemical
   Surface Water



                   • Capacity                              • Nutrients
                   • Demand                                • Pesticides
                   • Competing requirements                • Pharmaceuticals
                       • Livestock                    • Biological (ecological integrity)
                       • Crops (irrigation)                • Microbial communities
                       • Rural municipalities/homes        • Invertebrates communities
                                                           • Fish communities
                                                           • Waterfowl
   Ground Water




                   • Capacity                         • Chemical
                   • Demand                                • Nutrients (nitrates)
                   • Competing requirements                • Pesticides
                       • Livestock                         • Pathogens
                       • Crops (irrigation)           • Biological
                       • Rural municipalities/homes        • Microbial communities
                       • Fish habitat (spawning)




Enhancing Cost-benefit Analyses

Cost-benefit analysis permeates many of the proposed research areas listed below. The
importance of undertaking detailed cost-benefit analyses was discussed by the committee for
several of new recommendations. Recommendation number 4 provides much of the tenor of
this discussion and the committee agreed that it should continue to be given high priority. Cost-
benefit analyses could be undertaken as independent research projects or included as a
component of a research proposal. It was noted that the capacity to undertake effective cost-
benefit analyses would be greatly enhanced if there was a better sense of what research was
being conducted, what data sets are available and what agencies/individuals are responsible for
the information and could be contacted regarding establishing collaborative relationships (e.g.,
recommendation #1).

Recommendations for 2006

Research Issue A : Source Protection for Water Quality

Recommendation 1: Develop databases for water quality and quantity management




                                               45
Access to, and development of, databases pertaining to water quality and quantity was a primary
focus of discussion for the committee in both 2005 and 2006. Each year, the committee is
confounded in its efforts to strategically prioritize research and service water issues by a lack of
knowledge about the types of projects within and outside of OMAFRA. The committee agreed
that there is a need for a “base database” of information; a central repository that lists and
describes all sources of potential information related to water quality (surface water and
groundwater) and quantity. Further discussion on this topic, along with a generic framework for
creating such a database, is provided in Appendix A. The committee also recognized the need
for the development of databases directed toward specific needs such as hydrological or
contaminant occurrence information.

The committee also recognized that this subject is one that could be considered to be as much a
service issue as a research issue (it was identified as a service issue in previous years). In fact, it
arguably falls under both as knowledge of what research is being and has been conducted would
greatly facilitate the prioritization of research areas by the OSWARSC and the allocation of
limited resources by the OMAFRA.

Suggested research topics:

       Design a “base database” of information pertaining to research being conducted in
        Ontario and information databases that are available for research in the area of water
        quality and quantity.*
       Use GIS to create a map database of relative risk of harming surface and ground water
        quality for agricultural activities such as manure spreading and municipal biosolid
        application (could be integrated with one of the suggested research topics in
        Recommendation 2: develop criteria based on sound scientific and risk management
        principles to designate sensitive and vulnerable areas).*
       Design and maintain a web-based database for hydrological information and data
        required to run computer models of water flow and contaminant transport in Ontario.
       How to scale-up from field to farm to watershed.
       Design and maintain a web-based database that would have information on current and
        past groundwater and surface water quality and quantity in Ontario.
       Baseline monitoring of groundwater and surface water quality and quantity in Ontario
        with data available on the web site described above1.

Recommendation 2: Develop watershed-level approaches that address source protection
and evaluate its effectiveness

Protecting water at its source, as the first recommendation of the Walkerton Inquiry, must be
given greater priority in Ontario than is currently the case. One approach would be to develop a
pilot or model watershed approach in which research is focused on specific testing of
manipulated entities (hydrological, chemical, biological, etc.) to evaluate their individual and

        1
                The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has developed several databases that address
                some of these suggested topics.



                                              46
cumulative responses at both the local and watershed level. A long-term model watershed study
would facilitate evaluation of processes across spatiotemporal scales and could lend itself to the
development of databases as per recommendation #1 above. A model watershed approach might
also provide important feedback to assess whether a source protection approach achieves its
intended goals. In this context, there is also a need for environmental monitoring of watersheds
across Ontario to determine how successful source protection will be if and when it is fully
instituted.

Any effort to evaluate source protection should attempt to incorporate environmental
(ecological) risk assessment as a key component. Watershed-based approaches based on the
principles of risk assessment are common in the United States where they have been used to
assess the cumulative impacts of anthropogenic stressors on aquatic systems. Ecological risk
assessment is a well established and accepted approach that can be adapted for a wide range of
purposes in a quantitative, consistent and defensible manner. In the context of agriculture, it
would provide a strong basis on which to analyze alternative agricultural management practices,
proposed land use changes, impacts of new livestock operations, etc.

More specifically, research should be conducted to determine the total nutrient loading capacity
of a watershed. If the loading capacity is exceeded then the amount of reduction necessary to
achieve appropriate levels must be quantified. This policy would assist municipalities in
developing a consistent and fair mechanism to assist with land use decisions. Modeling will play
an increasingly important role as a method of assessing pollutant loading capacities and water
quality impacts, especially as we move toward a landscape or watershed-based approach to water
resource management and source protection. In developing models, its must be recognized that
no single indicator should be used as a basis for reaching a decision point; a weight-of-evidence
approach is more appropriate for making informed decisions. However, as models accrue more
data, they typically become more complex and more difficult to understand and communicate to
the average person. Thus, there is merit in maintaining simplicity in models as long as they
address the issues at hand. Second, there is a strong need for long-term, field level data to
support modeling efforts. Some sites, such as the AAFC site at Woodslee, ON, have been used
to develop long-term agricultural databases (e.g., a 10-year database consisting of crop yield,
water balance and tile water quality/quantity data that has been measured year-round and in real
time) but more attention should devoted to long-term monitoring to ensure appropriate data is
available for model development.

Suggested Research Topics:

     Establish a model watershed which can be used to assess cumulative hydrological,
chemical, and biological responses to stressors at the watershed level.
             Assess the amount of farming operations within a watershed versus amount of
      leaching and runoff losses of pathogens and nutrients to aquatic systems and
      groundwater.
             Assess the role and utility of wetlands for mitigation of source water quality
      issues.
             There is a need to develop comprehensive field-and-farm-drainage management
      approaches that can be coupled with a better understanding of watershed-level drainage


                                            47
       patterns. A key question is: How are land-use and drainage patterns at the local scale
       affecting watershed-level drainage patterns?
              Need to better evaluate the role of riparian buffers and vegetated buffer strips and
       afforestation of riparian areas as approaches to improve water quality/quantity.
              Develop quantitative, standard approaches to determine risk and integrate risk
       assessment calculations directly with enhancement or degradation of water quality.
      Establish a watershed nutrient loading capacity and identify sources of contamination
      Scale of individual farming operations versus amount of leaching and runoff losses of
       pathogens and nutrients.
      Identify surface water stress indicators related to excess nutrient load.
      Identification of transport pathways of bacteria and other pathogens to groundwater.
      Benchmark standards for tile water quality.
      Identification of transport pathways of NPK fertilizers and pesticides.
      Develop predictive models that integrate both watershed-scale phenomena and field-scale
       measurements to characterize the spatial/temporal impacts of farming operations on water
       quality. Field-scale measurements are particularly important as it is at this level that many
       functional processes (e.g., water balance and leaching dynamics) are best understood, that
       most BMP’s are directed, and at which most farming practices occur.

Recommendation 3: Best Management Practices and Economic and Environmental Cost-
Benefit Analysis

Best Management Practices for rural water quality, including alternative livestock manure
storage, nutrient management plans, partial, seasonal and complete livestock access restriction,
innovative rural septic beds, urban stormwater runoff controls, riparian buffer strips, vegetative
filter strips, wetlands, dead stock disposal, and other practices all vary in terms of cost and the
anticipated water quality benefit. Appropriately practiced best management practices can
contribute significantly to reducing water quality impairment and thus to achieving the goal of
source water protection.

Risk-benefit analyses should be a more explicitly included in research. This may require strategic
integration of science and policy in many cases, which, in turn would require that research
projects be more interdisciplinary. A thorough assessment of anticipated benefits and costs
would provide some guidance in prioritizing activities for the source protection plans proposed
in the Walkerton Report. The end product should be an analysis of options based on $/kg
phosphorus or $/E.coli bacteria. The committee also recognized the urgent need for public
discussion on how to meet the financial costs of actions to protect water quality and quantity,
much of which will be centered about cost-benefit evaluations.

Suggested Research Topics:

     For studies focusing on improving riparian habitat development, undertake cost-benefit
      analyses of afforestation and wetland construction relative to perceived benefits.
     Evaluate benefits of manure digestion versus manure spreading with respect to nutrient
      availability to crops and nutrient and pathogen transport to aquatic systems.
     Assess the potential for conflict between BMP’s, especially when many are put into


                                             48
      practice simultaneously. In situations where many BMP’s are used, what is the frequency
      of conflict and could this have a diluting effect, rendering some or all of the BMP’s less
      effective in maintaining water quality than they would be when applied alone for their
      specific purpose.
     Testing of BMPs for liquid and solid manure application timing and methods in terms of
      pathogen and nutrient fate.
     Investigate alternatives to land application of manure and condensing of liquid manure
      such as use of organic bedding material and composting.
     Pilot-scale testing of new methods of managing\utilizing liquid manure such as
      composting, condensing, pre-treatments, energy from manure (e.g. methane digestion).
     Evaluate the effectiveness of different types of injection/incorporation equipment and new
      controlled rate application technologies (flow meters with injection booms) vs. current
      methods.
     Leaching losses of feed supplements such as growth hormones, antibiotics, micro-nutrients,
      heavy metals.
     How to reconcile no-till crop production systems with recent recommendations to pre-till
      prior to manure application.
     Quantify the leaching losses of nitrogen and transport of pathogens from septic systems to
      groundwater.
     Determine the environmental impacts and relative cost of dead stock disposal options
      including burial, composting, and incineration.
     Studies are needed to better examine overall risks and benefits of tile drains from both an
      economic and ecological perspective.
     A thorough analysis of the impact of the Nutrient Management Act on the competitiveness
      of Ontario livestock farmers with respect to issues affecting water quality. The
      infrastructure required to accommodate cattle and prevent run-off as required under the Act
      may place the farmers at a competitive disadvantage relative to jurisdictions that do not
      have similar environmental requirements.
     Develop new or improved best management practices for handling dairy farm wash water.
      At present, wash water at point-of-use is often out of compliance with the 0,0 drinking
      water standard for E. coli. Can new BMP’s be developed that might lower or eliminate this
      concern?

Recommendation 4: Municipal Well Head Protection and Groundwater Vulnerability
Criteria

Municipalities across Ontario are compiling wellhead protection and groundwater vulnerability
maps based on characteristics such as depth to bedrock, physiography, depth to water table,
extent of aquifers and recharge rates. One of the driving factors is the desire to minimize
groundwater contamination by nitrates and areas deemed to be vulnerable and designated for
protection could represent a significant cost to farmers via lost land for crop and livestock
production. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) considers private well management to
be one of their highest priority issues pertaining to water supply and quality and has been
actively involved in programs directed toward well maintenance and decommissioning. It was
suggested that research on wellhead protection and/or decommissioning, should include a cost-



                                           49
benefit analysis to ensure that emerging policies, and the potential costs to farmers that
implement changes to comply with such policies, are fair.

Suggested Research Topics:

                      Conduct a comprehensive, private well survey of Ontario’s private wells
               to assess water well infrastructure, water quality, and the factors contributing to
               well deterioration and water quality impairment.
              Evaluate factors contributing to the biofouling of wells. The extent of private
               water well biofouling in Ontario is poorly documented but excessive encrustation
               by mineral deposits and bacteria can render wells unuseable, and lead to
               abandonment. Research should focus on establishing criteria to determine if this
               problem is occurring in wells and how water supplied are impacted.
              Develop criteria based on sound scientific and risk management principles to
               designate sensitive and vulnerable areas.
                      Rural development strategies to limit the number of new water wells and
               promote the use of innovative septic systems.
                      Develop fair land use designation tools.


Recommendation 5: Develop indicators of contamination and monitoring of water
quality/quantity

Current indicators used to assess surface and groundwater quality often suffer from inconsistent
capacity to indicate environmental condition, poor understanding of what they actually indicate,
or inconsistent methods of application between agencies. The need for improved harmonization
and standardization in the use and application of indicator measurements for all aspects of water
quality is a key requirement to ensure adequate assessments of water quality. Most indicators
used to assess water quality are structure-based but there was recognition of the need to better
explore functional endpoints for monitoring purposes. It was proposed that it might be
worthwhile to establish a sub-committee to investigate this further.

It was also recognized that there is a need to harmonize sampling schedules to seasonal events;
farming is a year round practice and monitoring must better reflect this seasonality.

Suggested Research Topics:

           Develop and evaluate a standardized suite of indicators of surface water quality based
       on new or existing (e.g., benthic macroinvertebrates, fish) indicators. These data could be
       incorporated into databases currently being developed by the Ministry of the
       Environment (e.g., Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network, the Ontario Drinking
       Water Surveillance Program, and the Ontario Benthic Biomonitoring Network and
       regional conservation authorities to develop a reference condition for minimally impacted
       sites as a basis for assessing changes in water quality that result from the implementation
       of new BMP’s and new legislation such the as Nutrient Management Act. Exploring the
       possibility of adopting a report card approach (currently used by some regional


                                             50
       Conservation Authorities) to assess water quality as a way of determining “how we are
       doing” should also be pursued.
           Need to develop mechanisms for assessing “ecological services” through evaluation
            of functional processes. This would allow us to better determine whether mitigative
            measures (e.g., BMP’s) are really working (i.e., cost-benefit).
           Do current indicators of water quality adequately capture the chronic nature of
       contamination in aquatic systems? What chronic toxicity data are available?* (see also
       R1).
           How do agricultural activities contribute to the pathogenic contamination of
       recreational areas and does this contribute to beach closings?*
           To what extent do nutrients originating from agricultural activities contribute to algal
       blooms and their attendant problems such as periodic hypoxia, poor taste and odor, and
       algal toxins in receiving water bodies?*
           Is DNA Fingerprinting of source contaminants a reliable method to identify the
       source of contamination?
           Can new indicators of pathogenic contamination be developed? Possible classes from
       which to draw indicators might be viruses, protozoans and bacteriophages, all of which
       are becoming more prominent in US-based surveys.
       Develop better models of pathogen transport in the environment relative to various
            best management practices.

Recommendation 6: Establish Guidelines for Site Investigations and Continued Monitoring
of Proposed Intensive Farming Operations and Biosolids Applications

Current guidelines for investigating potential contamination of groundwater and surface water
from existing and proposed farming operations have not been firmly established. Approved
methods and levels of intensity of investigations need to be developed. This information would
provide farmers, municipalities, Provincial government bodies, etc. with tools to determine
consistent and fair approaches for site investigations.

Suggested Research Topics:

   Scale of farming operation versus amount of leaching and runoff losses of pathogens and
       nutrients (See also R1 and R2).
   Determine most cost-effective method to assess impacts of large-scale farming operations
       and biosolids application, investigate use of non-intrusive methods of soil and
       groundwater characterization; if monitoring wells are required, how many to install?; are
       existing databases adequate to determine potential impacts?
   Determine minimum frequency of groundwater and surface water sampling required to
       monitor large-scale farming operations and biosolids application.

Recommendation 7: Establish research programs to investigate the relationship between
specialty crops and water quality/quantity

The specialty crop industry (e.g., greenhouse industry) has grown substantially in recent years
and with this growth has come increasing need for access to adequate supplies of water and


                                            51
increasing concern regarding the discharge or leaching of pollutants (e.g., nutrients, pathogens)
in the effluent to the environment. At present there is little guidance that can be offered to
farmers with respect to managing irrigation (i.e., amount, schedules) and how to properly deal
with the collection, containment, and treatment of the effluent. Some research has been
conducted to evaluate water recycling in greenhouses. While this work shows promise in terms
of reducing water demand, it introduces new problems such as pathogen control. An important
aspect of specialty crops is their link to food quality. This issue has received much attention in
the media lately with food contamination events associated with spinach and carrot juice.
Suggested Research Topics:

      Management of greenhouse nutrient solutions both inside and outside the greenhouse.
       How can nutrient solutions be treated to remove/recycle nutrients?

      With an estimated 100% of fruit and vegetable land requiring irrigation, studies are
       needed to assess management practices governing the use of water. For example, best
       management practices for ponds and conservation (including irrigation management and
       scheduling) are needed.

      Evaluation of influent water quality and how this affects food safety (e.g., testing
       methods, treatment methods).

      Establish best management practices for manure and compost utilization in horticulture
       crops with emphasis on assessing nutrient value and pathogen loading.

      Develop a nitrogen index and/or other tools for nitrogen management that will minimize
       occurrences of “Red Zone” designation under source protection and provide advice on
       how to take effective action when this does occur.

      Undertake a comparative assessment to evaluate environmental impacts associated with
       nitrogen loading from horticultural crops versus nitrogen loading from field crops and
       manure that accounts for soil type and is based on total acreage.

Recommendation 8: Develop Contingency Plans for Natural Disasters

Flooding and fire can be devastating to rural dwellers. To our knowledge there are no protocols
for protecting on-farm water resources from such disasters. The development of contingency
plans for well-head and local stream water protection would be beneficial to emergency response
teams, municipal governments and of course landowners. Emergency preparedness planning,
which is commonly undertaken for industrial sites, has not generally been done for protecting
rural water resources to our knowledge.

Suggested Research Topics:
                    Document current response protocols for flooding and fires in terms of
             protection of water resources (surface water and groundwater) in municipalities
             outside of Ontario.
                    Develop system design criteria for emergency preparedness plans for
             protecting water resources from disasters such as fire and flooding.


                                             52
                    Assemble a geographic distribution of current surface water and shallow
               groundwater quality to determine changes in water quality due to a disaster.

Research Issue B: Source Protection for Water Quantity

Recommendation 9: Establish a Sustainable Water Extraction and Sharing Policy and
Monitoring System to Ensure Future Supplies are Protected

The quantity of groundwater and surface water supplies could be at risk in the future, especially
if growth continues at the current rate and climatic changes bring more dry years. A sustainable
water extraction policy and an adequate monitoring system are required to ensure that future
supplies are available. The policy would assist planners in resolving issues in water use/overuse
conflicts and could be used as a decision-making tool when assessing applications to take water.

Suggested Research Topics:

     Should surface water or groundwater be the main sources of potable water?
     Irrigation management for water conservation and reduction of leaching losses of
      fertilizer and pesticide, affordable alternative irrigation methods.
     Defining water needs of the natural environment.

Recommendation 10: Quantify Current and Future Farm-and Watershed-Scale
Hydrologic Water Cycles

The water budget of a farm divides the received precipitation into four basic components:
evapotranspiration, runoff, drainage, and soil storage. A similar water budget exists for
greenhouse, although the role of soil storage is often reduced or non-existent (hydroponic
greenhouses). The amount of water that each component represents impacts not only water
quantity but also water quality issues. There is a lack of information available for different
regions of Ontario on how water is partitioned into the four basic components cited above. This
information could assist farmers, greenhouses growers, planners, etc. in resolving current and
future land use issues, site investigations for contaminant source identification, and resolving
conflicts in water sharing.

Suggested Research Topics:

          Determine the potential impacts of climate change on water surplus and deficits in the
           future for different regions in Ontario using computer simulation models.
          Quantify water pathways including runoff, tile drainage, deep drainage, and
           evapotranspiration, particularly in winter season.
          How to scale-up from field to farm to watershed.
          Develop improved indicators of crop-specific water consumption. Indices of water
           use that incorporate both water use efficiency and soil permeability may be more
           accurate but need to be developed. Water consumption indicators for specific crops
           that incorporate net water consumption (rather than just gross water consumption) are
           also required. Ideally, information regarding water consumption requirements for a


                                            53
          given crop should be readily available to the farmer, much in the same way that this
          type of information is available for nutrient use by specific crops. This type of
          information could be very useful in developing BMP’s aimed at reducing water
          consumption.

Service Issue A: Effective Communication

   The committee recognized that communication between researchers, government, and the
   farming community must improve. As new technologies are introduced, new BMP’s are put
   into effect, and new legislation is adopted, there is a need for more effective avenues of
   communication between scientists, policy-makers and the farming community to understand
   the basis, function, and benefits of these initiatives. Farmers need assistance in moving
   toward a mind-set of being a “re-tooled” sector for managing water quality in light of the
   many new ideas that are emerging about how water quality should be managed. These
   changes must be accessible to the farmer, which may require a behavioral shift by those that
   communicate, one that is offered in a broader spirit of cooperation and which is more likely
   to be viewed and received positively by the farming community and the public.




                                           54
                                           Appendix 3.A

        A perspective on the Need for Integrated Water Management and Planning

The committee also recognized that the manner in which the issues are discussed and prioritized
must reflect a broader integration of water management issues and better reflect the way in
which water management should be practiced - integrating cumulative impacts at the watershed
level with the goal of protecting water at its source. Indeed, this perspective is commensurate
with the recommendations brought forth from the Walkerton Inquiry, although a shift in the
focus of water management in Ontario, from one of local treatment of water resources to one of
source protection, has been slow. From the standpoint of OWMRSC and its role within the
OMAFRA, the committee felt that any approach used to identify and prioritize water
management issues should reflect this more integrated perspective and we have attempted to do
so in presenting the discussion and various recommendations that follow.

From the outset of the 2005 meeting, the OWMRS Committee recognized that one of the critical
needs in attempting to adequately prioritize research issues and hence to develop an integrated
approach to water management and planning is knowledge concerning what information is
currently available and from where and how it can be accessed. In past years, the committee has
achieved this prioritization by listing a series of recommendations and related research topics
within the broad categories of water quality (Research Issue A) and water quantity (Research
Issue B) and water service issues. In the absence of placing these recommendations in a more
holistic context it was felt that simply listing recommendations and research areas was less
informative for the prioritization process than it could be. In other words, the prioritization
process would be much more effective if information was available regarding existing and
previous projects and related databases for a given water quality, water quantity or service issue.
The committee agreed that there is a need for a “base database” of information; a central
repository that lists and describes all sources of potential information related to water quality and
quantity. In fact, the need for a central repository of information has been discussed in previous
meetings by this committee but has largely been viewed as a service issue (Service Issues A and
B in previous reports) where it has been a long-standing recommendation. Here, we argue that
the need for such a database is greater than ever and should be given high priority. In essence, it
is both a service and research issue insofar as it would serve as both a repository of information
and could help to better prioritize both research and management directions in the future.

How might this be achieved? In figure 2, we present a schematic diagram of an “information
management framework” that outlines an organizational approach that could be adopted for the
purpose of pulling together the many disparate information sources on water quality and quantity
in Ontario into a “base water management database” for the purpose of better directing water
management and planning and research prioritization. The framework recognizes that the
primary goal of water management and planning in Ontario, whether for water quality or
quantity, should be source protection. Effective source protection, which occurs at the watershed
level, demands an integrated approach and this, in turn, demands that all information that is
currently available be known and accessible. For convenience, we have split the databases into
those pertaining to water quality and those pertaining to water quantity, a division that is more
rooted in historical research patterns and archive development than a belief that they should



                                             55
actually be treated separately. Many different sectors have developed unique databases that can
be used to develop research priorities as part of an integrated water management and planning
approach in agriculture (a few examples are listed in Figure 2). The types of databases include
(but are certainly not restricted to): GIS and remote sensing databases, provincial databases such
as the Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network, the Ontario Drinking Water Surveillance
Program, and the Ontario Benthic Biomonitoring Network (all sponsored by the Ministry of the
Environment), numerous academic databases, and information from the farm community related
to Ontario farm and nutrient management plans. The committee proposed that a good starting
point that could be used in conjunction with a management framework would be to list water-
related projects with the Inventory of Canadian Agricultural Research Committee (ICARC).
Finally, to be effective, the databases must be openly available and accessible to all interested
parties and thus there must be communication among all sectors (government, industry,
academia, and the farming community) that have the databases (represented by the dashed-gray
box in figure 2).




                                            56
 Goal?
  The                                               Source Protection
                                     Integrated Water Management & Planning
     Requires?



                                                     (Research Prioritization)


                     Water Quality Databases                                      Water Quantity Databases
 Who has the
 information?




                                                 Provincial/
                                                                          Non-agricultural
                     The Farming                  Federal/                                             Academic
                                                                          Industries (e.g.,
                     Community                   Municipal                                            Researchers
                                                                          forest industry)
                                                Governments
 What information
  Is available?




                    - OFA farm plans                    - GIS databases                       - GIS databases
                    - Nutrient management               - Remote sensing/LIDAR                - Remote sensing/LIDAR
                      plans                               databases                             databases
                                                        - Environmental                       - Primary literature and
                                                           monitoring databases                 research databases




                                                                                                         Feedback,
                                            Base Water Management Database                             Communication &
                                                                                                         Monitoring
Figure2.                                                                                                                 2


                                               57
3.4.   Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Committee




              FOUR YEAR STRATEGIC REPORT


                               2006 - 2009



                                     TO



ONTARIO SOIL, WATER, AND AIR RESEARCH AND
           SERVICES COMMITTEE
                   and
    ONTARIO AGRICULTURAL SERVICES
        COORDINATING COMMITTEE


October 2006
Jon Warland, University of Guelph and Chris Duke, OMAFRA
jwarland@uoguelph.ca and chris.duke@ontario.ca




                                      58
                                  Table of Contents

1      Executive Summary                                                         60
2      The Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Subcommittee Overview   62
    2.1      Industry/Sector Scan                                                62
3      Introduction to 2006 OARSC Activities                                     63
    3.1      2006 OARSC Activities                                               64
    3.2      Web-based Questionnaire                                             64
    3.3      Results of Questionnaire                                            65
       3.3.1     Issues Survey                                                   65
       3.3.2     Sectorial Analysis                                              68
       3.3.3     Research and Service Needs                                      71
       3.3.4     Production and Environmental Barriers                           71
4      Recommendations                                                           72
5      APPENDIX A: Questionnaire Respondent Information                          74
6      APPENDIX B: Web-based Questionnaire                                       76




                                         59
Executive Summary

Agrometeorology plays a significant role in crop and livestock production. Though it
may often be thought of as referring simply to the weather, in fact it encompasses many
significant agricultural issues, including irrigation, air quality, climate change, and pest
management. One of the most notable findings in this report is that producers are
noticing the detrimental effects of a warming climate on production. This is occurring in
both crop and livestock, and represents a significant challenge to the agricultural sector,
as the warming is expected to continue.

A second notable finding of this report is that many producers are unaware of the range
of issues covered by agrometeorological research and service. This is particularly
unfortunate as producers also identified urban-driven climate and air quality policies as a
major concern. The is a clear feeling among producers that the regulatory cards are
stacked against them by urban voters who are unaware of what actually occurs on
working farms, however the authors of this report also noted that producers seem
unaware of the potential role agrometeorology could play in educating both urban and
rural dwellers about the true impacts of various policies on air quality and climate.

Strategic research and service direction results:
 Climate change will affect agriculture over time as both opportunities and constrains.
    Impacts and potential adaptations to increasing temperatures and changing
    precipitation patterns need to be studied.
 Knowledge dissemination for new markets, production systems, low air emission
    technologies, pest management, and weather adaptations need to be developed.
    Producer organizations need to co-operate with researchers and government groups to
    assist producers to adopt and adapt new techniques and knowledge into their
    operations.
 Advances in weather data provisions for crop and livestock production and quality
    should be explored.
 Local effects of topography, land cover, and regional weather conditions affect
    micrometeorology environment of agricultural systems. New and improving pest,
    water, and growth models should be pursued.
 Federal and provincial air quality objectives will impact agricultural production.
    Ammonia, particulates, ozone, and other gases require research attention, both in
    terms of emissions and impacts on agriculture.
 Climate and weather effects on animal and crop productivity. Improved water use
    efficiencies given increasing competition, regulation, restrictions, and price.
 Greenhouse operations require new technology and opportunities to capitalize on
    innovations in energy, CO2 capture from on-site sources.
 Crops and production system adaptations for changes in climate should be
    investigated.
 Soil management adaptations for alternate environmental benefits – i.e. soil cover for
    erosion control due to extreme storms, need to be developed and promoted.




                                             60
   GHG emissions will become agriculture’s concern over time whether through
    opportunities or through constraints. GHG emission information should become part
    of future research results and research should have the goal to reduce these emissions.




                                            61
The Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Subcommittee Overview

This annual committee report summarizes Ontario agrometeorology research and services
issues and priorities that were contributed by various agricultural groups and researchers.
The report is produced through the efforts of the OARSC, a subcommittee of the Ontario
Soil, Water, and Air Research and Services Committee (OSWARSC). OSWARSC is in
turn a committee of the Ontario Agricultural Services Coordinating Committee
(OASCC). OSWARSC has a broad, mainly academic, government staff, and industry
membership. Further details of OASCC and subcommittees can be found on the
OMAFRA website and the University of Guelph Office of Research webpage. This
year’s OARSC report is a “strategic” document that is produced every three years. The
other two years in the cycle focus on short-term research and services priorities.

The Ontario Agricultural Services Coordinating Committee (OASCC) operates under the
following mandate:
        To review regularly the broad aspects of agri-food research, extension, and
education in Ontario with the objective of:
Facilitating communication and coordination among different groups at the management
level;
Assessing immediate and future needs, and developing proposals for ways to address
them;
Advising on joint uses of facilities and people;
Contributing information and ideas about regional and national policies affecting
agriculture and food.

OARSC is a relatively small committee but agrometeorology has important implications
to agricultural economics, environment, soil, water, livestock, and crop management and
production. As such, the OARSC believes it is important that its reports and
recommendations make linkages to all the aspects of agricultural production and
management. Agriculture always adapts to the weather and climate and this means that
producers are able to change management strategies quickly as a part of normal
operations. The weather and climate can result in severe production and profit losses. The
unpredictable nature of weather and climate means that producers must often react to, as
opposed to plan for, seasonal growing conditions. A consequence is that production
expectations or environmental impacts are usually unpredictable.
It is important that OARSC identifies problems and barriers to improved agricultural
production and environmental management. These problems are discussed and analyzed
to determine what the subsequent research priorities should be. The OARSC report
results will be incorporated into the OSWARSC annual report. OMAFRA staff regularly
review these committee reports when formulating new research programmes such as
Healthy Futures.

Industry/Sector Scan
Ontario agriculture continues to face many environmental, production, economic, and
societal challenges. This list, while not exhaustive, provides some examples:




                                            62
      commodity prices continue to be low, particularly for certain crops such as grains
       and oilseeds,
      the 2006 growing season was generally quite good but somewhat lower sunlight
       amounts affected crop growth. June was dry for most of the province,
      the 2006 autumn has been very wet and soybean harvest has been problematic
       despite some very high yields being reported,
      the federal government cancelled the proposed Domestic Offset System when
       they were elected, and the recently announced Clean Air Act seems to have very
       limited need for GHG reductions in the near and medium term future. GHG
       emissions will be intensity based,
      several insect pests did not pose a significant problem this year such as the Asian
       Lady beetle,
      Corn ear mould has been problematic this season.


Introduction to 2006 OARSC Activities

The OARSC currently has two co-chairs and no regular members, however,
representatives of the agricultural, governmental, and academic communities are invited
to participate in meetings and to provide input. In the past several years this community
input has been low – likely due to the limited amount of research and services
investments in agrometeorology activities (other than national weather and climate
forecasting). Also, many may not be aware of agrometeorology’s role in agriculture and
the environment and therefore do not believe it is relevant to their industry. However, in
addition to the role of agrometeorology in crop production, pest management, soil
management, etc., several new opportunities and challenges are emerging that agriculture
could capitalize on:
     bioenergy – new crops for energy must be suitable to our climate,
     climate change – invasive species will be new threats to domestic production,
        changing weather patterns will encourage production of new cultivars and crops,
     global production – international production affects domestic markets,
     air quality – increasing attention to local and regional air quality will lead to new
        regulations regarding farm practices,
     greenhouse gas emissions – agriculture emits and assimilates greenhouse gas
        emissions that relate to the Kyoto Protocol and climate change,
     ammonia and particulate emissions from farms,
     federal regulation may force new rules on farm engine emissions,
     water quality – pesticide, fertilizer, and manure management impact water quality
        to a greater or lesser extent due to seasonal and short-term weather conditions.

OARSC has the challenge of recommending options for research and services that will
reduce risks in production and promote a healthy environment. The committee wishes for
insightful, diverse contributions from the agricultural community. In the past the valuable
contributions have come from an increasingly smaller number of individuals or groups.
Perhaps the perceived impact of OMAFRA programmes is too small to generate much
enthusiasm for this exercise.


                                            63
2006 OARSC Activities
Normally OARSC holds at least one meeting per year with members and invitees to
solicit and discuss research and service priorities. This year the co-chairs decided against
holding such a meeting and opted for an electronic approach. This report will report the
findings, elaborate on these findings and determine priorities, and evaluate this electronic
approach.

Web-based Questionnaire
This year the co-chairs of OARSC tried something new for any Ontario Agricultural
Services Coordinating committee (OASCC). The committee developed a web-based
questionnaire and created a database of agricultural organizations who would be invited
to complete it. The organizations were selected from a much larger database available on
the OMAFRA website (i.e. “The List”). Any organization that appeared to have some
connection to agricultural production, environmental management, or representing
similarly interested agricultural producers was solicited. Agrometeorology provincial and
federal researchers, Agricorp, and the Ontario Weather Network were also invited to
contribute. The questionnaire may be found in the Appendix of this report. It was
estimated that the 29 questions (and “sub-questions”) would take on average 15 minutes
to complete. Seventy eight potential organizations received an explanatory letter and a
paper copy of the questionnaire as well as a similar email (see Appendix). The letters
were sent out in early August requesting a response in 2 weeks, later extended by 3
weeks. A reminder email was sent after the 2 weeks. Fourteen responses were received,
though one response was to represent two organizations. One response was not
completed beyond the contact information.

While the number of responses was relatively low, the number of contributing
organizations was much larger than have participated in the last five years, and also
elicited responses from organizations that have never contributed to OARSC.

The questionnaire starts with a brief introduction, then requests different types of
information:
     general contact information,
     the name of the organization represented, membership numbers and geographic
       extent,
     organizations interest and collection of weather related data,
     a series of “issues” that the respondent prioritizes,
     where the industry is heading, barriers to development,
     specific research questions that need to be addressed,
     what weather monitoring is required,
     what developments are currently limited due to missing research, and
     general questions about OASSC and OARSC.




                                             64
Results of Questionnaire

The names of respondents and their organizations are listed in the Appendix. The
respondents were a mixture of small and large organizations. Interestingly, recent
committee members had a poor response rate, though Agricorp and AAFC participated
this year again. Recent and current members of OARSC are listed in the Appendix.
Respondents represented dairy, apiculture, tree fruit, chickens, organic agriculture, seed
corn, wheat and soybeans, swine, canola, and floriculture. The responding groups
represented anywhere from 60 to 20,000 members.

The respondents reported their organizations’ most important agrometeorology concern.
They reported temperature and precipitation effects on crop production and failure,
maturity prediction, insect and microbial disease prediction, farm operation planning,
heating and cooling costs of greenhouses, aphid movement, frost risks, winter injury, and
animal welfare.

The respondents were asked what weather or climate events have had notable impacts on
their industries. There were many impacts: in 2005 the dry hot season was very
detrimental to the canola crop and nut trees were adversely affected. Subsequent rains
were beneficial to the nut trees. In 2006 spring frosts affected fruit trees, rain split
cherries, and moulds and fungi affected wheat and fruit crops. Hot summer days were
reported to negatively affect poultry productivity and mortality. The cold winters of 2002,
03, and 04 caused higher than usual heating costs for the greenhouse industry. Wet spring
conditions could hamper beehive installations. Wet or humid summer conditions hamper
hay drying. A general observation here is that respondents identify weather conditions
mainly affecting yields, quality, heating energy, or management.

The Ontario Tender Fruit Producers and Agricorp seem to have the most detailed weather
monitoring, along with the Ontario Weather Network (now Weather Innovations, Inc.,
(WIN)). The Ontario tomato, wheat and soybean producers are the main clients of
OWN/WIN in the province. Otherwise, Ontario producers either have their own
thermometers and rain gauges, and/or rely on Environment Canada for weather
information. Generally, respondents use regional weather forecasts to plan their outdoor
work activities, and certain industries use specialized services such as tender fruit
growing conditions and crop microbial disease predictions.

Issues Survey
The survey included a list of issues that the respondents ranked on a scale of 1 to 5. The
list of issues encouraged the respondents to think about topics they may not otherwise
have done, and the results show how various issues rate in priority to others. The results
are summarized in Figure 1 below. The bars show the upper and lower range of the
middle 50% quartiles, the stars show the mean score, and the circles show the modal
response.

Weather and climate rank consistently high, as does production. Air quality generally and
the 8 specific aspects of air quality rank relatively lower than other issues. Greenhouse



                                            65
gas emissions and smog appear to rank the lowest. Odour is among the lower rankings
also. The survey respondents did not represent the full spectrum of the agricultural
industry, so these points may be skewed, but it does provide different perspectives than
seen in previous OARSC reports.




                                            66
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     Figure 1. Summary of OARSC 2006 survey of various agrometeorology issues. Bars represent upper and lower limits of first and third
Sectorial Analysis
This section summarizes the survey respondents’ comments, organized by topic.

Crop and Livestock Production
Several respondents noted recent impacts of weather on production. The spring frost of
2006 damaged many tender fruit species. The heat wave of 2006 slowed productivity of
chickens. Heat waves negatively affect cows' ability to be bred in the summer and to give
consistent milk weights and components (butter fat, protein). Though these concerns are
perennial and ageless in the agricultural community, it is significant to note the range of
operations that have been negatively impacted by high temperatures in recent years.

The best scientific evidence supports the belief that we are seeing an increase in
temperatures, and this increase will continue for the foreseeable future. If so, we can
expect increasing damage to the full range of agricultural operations in Ontario.
Adaptation will occur, most likely through cultivar and crop selection; however this
adaptation will occur painfully and only in fits and starts unless Ontario develops
appropriate scientific and extension expertise in this area.

To address the problems reported by the survey respondents, and to ensure a healthy,
sustainable future for Ontario agriculture, knowledge of potential new cultivars and
species for possible future climates needs to be developed. Further, means of expediting
the transfer of this knowledge from researchers to producers need to be developed.
Traditionally this was done through extension personnel, which allowed for clear two-
way transmission of information and interaction between stakeholders. Either this model
needs to be revitalized, or new methods developed which preserve the benefits of the old.

Integrated Pest Management
Several respondents brought up integrated pest management (IPM). There have been a
number of recent successes in linking real-time weather data to models to improve
management. These include DONCast and TomCast. Given the success of these projects,
it was felt that management of other pests and crops could be improved through similar
efforts.

Currently, the Ontario Weather Network (OWN, now Weather Innovations, Inc.) is the
primary provider of this type of service in Ontario. However, they have very limited
funding and so must pass the full cost of their operations on to subscribing producers.
This model does not promote early or lower income participants, as it either requires full
participation of all potential users from the start to fully spread out the cost, or it requires
a prohibitive investment from a few forward-thinking producers. As the benefits of this
work extend to society generally, through reduction of pesticides in the environment
while maintaining affordable, high-quality produce, it is reasonable to suggest that
support for further development of IPM models based on real-time weather data and
forecasts be supported by the provincial government.

Energy
The major concern raised about energy was the high cost in recent years. These increased



                                               68
costs have negatively impacted profitability of all operations. Survey respondents raised
several opportunities for the research and service communities to contribute to solving
these problems. Some producers requested more information on on-site energy
production opportunities. For example, advice on the feasibility of erecting a wind-driven
turbine. Other producers suggested more research on the effects of weather on energy,
with the aim to developing cost-effective conservation measures such as windbreaks
around farm buildings. Of all topics discussed by the survey respondents, energy use and
efficiency elicited the greatest call for more information and more research.

Water
When water was mentioned by respondents, quantity and availability were of more
concern than quality. Irrigation has increased in Ontario over the last decades, and is
likely to continue to do so. Though the effects of climate change on precipitation in
Ontario are highly uncertain, it is also likely that the frequency of drought conditions will
increase. This comes at a time of rapidly expanding suburban development, and so rural-
urban conflicts over water are likely to occur.

Though water availability was clearly a concern, there was little in the survey results to
suggest an appropriate course of action. The only notable exception was the comment
that transpiration models, similar to the pest models discussed above, be developed to
similarly advise producers on irrigation based on real-time weather data and forecasts. As
with IPM, accomplishing this will require an investment in research, as well as one in the
necessary infrastructure to allow for the requisite monitoring and product delivery. Both
of these costs will exceed what producers are able to support, however, as with IPM,
there are clear and tangible benefits to the general population from proceeding with this
work, and for this reason the survey respondents all agreed that government should be
helping to support these initiatives in cooperation with private industry.

Greenhouse Industry
The greenhouse industry is particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs, and was vocal
in supporting the above statements concerning energy. Further, a need was identified for
research into greenhouse water use. How much water is currently used, and is there room
for improved efficiency in water use? These questions also relate directly to the concerns
raised above about water.

Another agrometeorological problem raised concerning greenhouse operations was the
damage that structures can sustain in severe weather. Though in many ways this could be
considered an engineering problem, a careful cost-benefit analysis of construction costs
will need to correctly account for probabilities of damaging events. This further supports
the need, discussed below, for improved climatological predictions as the changing
climate means we cannot solely rely on historical records to analyze storm probabilities.

Weather Information
Weather information was clearly identified as a high priority. Producers are keen to have
accurate, local weather information available. The efforts of OWN were strongly
supported, however respondents also felt that OWN needed to do more, both in terms of



                                             69
upgrading and adding equipment, and in terms of expanding its services. When asked
who should provide the funds for this work, responses fingered either the government or
public/private partnerships. However, these issues are complex, as discussed above in
'Integrated Pest Management'.

The other significant aspect of weather information addressed in the survey responses
was the need for better long-range (2-3 weeks) forecasts. This was clearly a very high
priority across the range of commodities represented. Synoptic forecasting is not a
traditional role for agrometeorology, however it may be that the agricultural research and
service communities need to lend support to efforts by the forecasting community to
improve their knowledge and abilities. One of the greatest uncertainties and difficulties in
accurate forecasting is modelling the behaviour of the surface. In this respect,
agrometeorological research aimed at fundamental understanding of interactions between
the atmosphere and the earth's surface are essential and needed to improve forecasting
ability. This, in turn, will improve producers' abilities to manage their operations in a
sustainable and profitable manner.

Climate Change
Concerns about climate change were most clearly expressed in reference to the negative
impacts of hot weather on crop and livestock production (see above). Climate change will
also affect when and where water is available, thus dictating future irrigation
requirements, as well as future sources of irrigation water (see above). As agriculture
only contributes roughly 7% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, survey respondents
did not feel that efforts directed to reducing agricultural emissions would have any
significant impact and so were only interested in cases where such actions also produced
an economic benefit or were cost-neutral.

To address concerns about changing climate, a number of issues need attention. Because
Ontario agriculture has already seen negative impacts from climate change, we expect
more severe impacts in the future as temperatures continue to increase. Though it has
been shown to be too late to halt global warming, it is imperative that society in general
take immediate action to curb carbon dioxide emissions or risk losing food security.
Adaptation will occur, and will likely be led by innovative producers. The research and
service communities can aid this process as outlined above in 'Crop and Livestock
Production', 'Integrated Pest Management' and 'Water'.

Finally, work on improved climate modelling and long-range forecasting is deemed
essential to the agricultural community. This work does not fall in the traditional realm of
agrometeorology, however respondents clearly indicated their support for research in
these fields (see Weather Information, above).

Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases [GHG] did not register as a significant issue to the survey respondents.
The one exception was several comments expressing concern about potential legislation
that may seek to regulate agricultural emissions. Within this, animal emissions were the
greatest concern, and respondents were most interested in improved feed technology to



                                            70
limit emissions. Generally, there was very little interest agricultural GHG emissions.
Carbon credit trading was not generally a concern or interest. This could be due in part to
the cancellation of the Domestic Offset System by the current federal government. It
seems clear that producers are most concerned about day-to-day weather for production
and management, and not about the small contribution agriculture makes to increasing
GHG concentrations.

Air Quality
A number of concerns were expressed by the survey respondents about the impacts, both
current and potential, of air quality on production. In the case of seed corn, for example,
ozone damage was identified by one questionnaire respondent as a current affliction
causing reduced production. In several other instances, such as honey production,
concerns were expressed about the potential for air pollution to lead to product
contamination. In the first case, two courses of action suggest themselves. First, the
agricultural community needs to express strong support for efforts to reduce emission of
pollutants from urban development and industry. Second, more research is needed to
search for means of reducing the impacts of air pollution on plant growth. In the second
case, the problem identified is a potential problem. As such, work is needed to assess the
risk involved. This is a call for more research on the impacts of air pollution on
agricultural production, with the aim of identifying impacts on product quality.

Research and Service Needs
The respondents were asked about specific needs for research and services. We needed to
interpret the responses and sort which ones where specifically related to
agrometeorology. Since this year’s report is a strategic review, the questionnaire tried to
solicit information needs to promote production and environmental improvements for the
next 5-10 years. Gauging from the responses, production issues are the most important
considerations for their industries. This contrasts against recent federal and provincial
environmental initiatives that may have very significant impacts and opportunities for
agricultural production and management. The questionnaire first asked questions on
weather and climate barriers to their industry, then ask about research and services
required to overcome these barriers.

Production and Environmental Barriers
Disease and pest outbreaks remain a concern. Fungal and insect outbreaks of current
species were identified, though there are several examples of the high mobility of pests
such as soybean aphids, Asian Lady beetle, Asian Long-horned beetle, Emerald Ash
Borer, Brown Spruce Longhorn beetle, soybean rust, and others. Changes in weather and
agricultural management can have significant impacts on mobility, expansion, survival,
and growth rates of many new pests. A need was expressed for more integrated pest
management systems.

Issues of GHG emissions were either not a priority or the understanding was that their
industries were CO2 sinks, though this is quite debatable for the greenhouse industry.
Insufficient meteorological data was identified as hindering improved production and
management. Thermal inversions and wind could be important information to manage



                                            71
odours and subsequently minimum distance separations between barns and residential
areas. Short and long term weather forecasts could help management, though the
respondents did not clarify what this could be. Clearly new regulatory standards will be
one of the management objectives and new management practices may need to be
developed, especially those related to water quality. The limited amount of sunshine data
was identified, though it was not clear how this information could be used. Irrigation
planning and water balance calculations require pyranometer data. These data would also
be beneficial to assess the suitability of solar electricity production. The tender fruit
industry recommended innovations included hail nets, wind machines that reduce frost
risks, and IPM [and IPM specialists].

Research and service funding was sited as being largely the role of the provincial and
federal governments, though some producers were willing to pay for services such as pest
monitoring if the information is accurate and timely. Only the government was listed as a
source for research funds. The main services identified for improvements were improved
local weather station equipment, crop disease and irrigation advice, and extension
services to help farmers adopt conservation and green energy systems. Weather data
collected needs knowledge-added content and better dissemination.

Recommendations

Though this is a strategic year for OSWARSC, many of the responses could be classified
as tactical as opposed to strategic. The co-chairs have attempted to interpret the various
recommendations in the context of a 5 to 10 year strategic plan. A list of these strategic
recommendations is provided here, interpreted from above. There was no consensus from
the respondents on highest research and service priorities though we have listed the ones
below based on their common submissions and our own perspectives, in a decreasing
order of priority. There are none listed that are low priority.

                   Strategic Research and Service Direction                                   Service /
                                                                                              Research
1. Climate change will affect agriculture over time as both opportunities and constrains.     Research
Impacts and potential adaptations to increasing temperatures and changing precipitation
patterns need to be studied.
2. Knowledge dissemination for new markets, production systems, low air emission              Both
technologies, pest management, and weather adaptations need to be developed. Producer
organizations need to co-operate with researchers and government groups to assist producers
to adopt and adapt new techniques and knowledge into their operations.
3. Advances in weather data provisions for crop and livestock production and quality should   Both
be explored.
4. Local effects of topography, land cover, and regional weather conditions affect            Research
micrometeorology environment of agricultural systems. New and improving pest, water, and
growth models should be pursued.
5. Federal and provincial air quality objectives will impact agricultural production.         Research
Ammonia, particulates, ozone, and other gases require research attention, both in terms of
emissions and impacts on agriculture.
6. Climate and weather effects on animal and crop productivity. Improved water use            Research
efficiencies given increasing competition, regulation, restrictions, and price.
7. Greenhouse operations require new technology and opportunities to capitalize on            Research
innovations in energy, CO2 capture from on-site sources.


                                                   72
8. Crops and production system adaptations for changes in climate should be investigated.   Research
9. Soil management adaptations for alternate environmental benefits – i.e. soil cover for   Research
erosion control due to extreme storms, need to be developed and promoted.
10. GHG emissions will become agriculture’s concern over time whether through               Research
opportunities or through constraints. GHG emission information should become part of
future research results and research should have the goal to reduce these emissions.




                                                   73
APPENDIX A.: Questionnaire Respondent Information
Organization Contact                Address                              Email                         Website           Type of Number
                                                                                                                        Agriculture   of
                                                                                                                                    Members
Ayrshire ON      Louise      RR #2, Elmwood, N0G ahrens@highspeedfx.net                   www.ayrshireontario.ca        dairy cattle   60
                 Ahrens      1S0                                                                                        breed

ON Beekeepers' Brent         7328 Stone School            ab.halsall@sympatico.ca                                       beekeeping     450
Association    Halsall       Road Greely, ON

OTFPMB           A. Huisman Box 100, Vineland             adrian@ontariotenderfruit.com   www.ontariotenderfruit.com    Tree Fruit     500
                            Station, ON

Apple Producers A. Huisman Box 100, Vineland              adrian@ontariotenderfruit.com   www.cfo.on.ca                 Tree Fruit
                           Station, ON

Chicken          Mike Nailor 3320 south service           mnailor@cfo.on.ca               NA                            Chicken        1100
Farmers of ON                road, burlington, ON,
                             L7R 3Y8

AAFC             Elizabeth   960 Carling ave,             patteye@agr.gc.ca               www.agr.gc.ca                 field crops,   Many
                 Pattey      Ottawa, ON                                                                                 animal
                                                                                                                        production

Ecological       Karen       5420 Hwy 6 N, RR#5           info@efao.ca                    ww.efao.ca                    ecological and 400
Farmers          Maitland    Guelph, ON N1H 6J2                                                                         organic
                                                                                                                        farmers

Association of   Mary Lynn 825 Park Avenue West msantavy@seedcorngrowers.on.ca            www.seedcorngrowers.on.ca     seed corn      325
ON Seed Corn     Lister    Cambray
Growers          Santavy

OCPRO Canada Larry           100 Stone Rd. West,          ocpp@amtelcom.net               www.ocrpo.ca                  certified      1400
             Lenhardt        Suite 201, Guelph ON                                                                       organic

ON Canola        Carrie      AgriCentre 100 Stone         info@ontariocanolagrowers.ca    www.ontariocanolagrowers.ca   Canola         800




                                                     74
Growers         James      Rd. W. Guelph, N1G
Association                5L3

ON Wheat        Crosby     AgriCentre 100 Stone       crosby.devitt@ontariowheatboard.com   www.ontariowheatboard.com      Wheat and      20000
Producers/ ON   Devitt     Road W, Suite 201,                                                                              soybean
Soybean                    Guelph, Ontario, N1G
Growers                    5L3

Agricorp        Greg       1 Stone Rd West, #rd greg.brown@agricorp.com                     www.flowerscanadagrowers.com   Crop yield risk ~25000
                Brown      Floor NE, Guelph, ON                                                                            management
                                                                                                                           products

Society of ON   Ernie      979 Lakeshore Rd,          nuttrees@grimonut.com                 www.SONGonline.ca              Nut tree crops 300
Nut Growers     Grimo      RR3, Niagara-on-the-
                           Lake, ON L0S 1J0

ON Pork         Sam        RR # 2 Bayfield, On        sam.bradshaw@ontariopork.on.ca        www.ontariopork.on.ca          Pork           3200
                Bradshaw   N0M1G0

Flowers Canada Jamie       45 Speedvale Ave East, jamie@fco.on.ca                           www.fco.on.ca                  Floriculture   400
(ON)           Aalbers     Unit 7 Guelph




                                                 75
APPENDIX B: Web-based Questionnaire

Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Committee 2006 Questionnaire:

Chris Duke and Jon Warland, as co-chairs of the Ontario Agrometeorology Research and
Services Committee (OARSC) seek input on your organization's issues, activities, opinions, and
reports about issues related to agrometeorology research and service needs in Ontario. The
ultimate goal of OARSC is to ensure that Ontario agriculture has the agrometeorological
information and services required to be innovative and successful.
Agrometeorology deals with the air, weather, and climate factors of crop and animal production
and includes air quality, climate change, and other similar issues.
The Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Committee (OARSC) is a sub-committee
of the Ontario Soil, Water, Air Research and Services Committee (OSWARC), which in turn is a
subcommittee which reports to the Ontario Agricultural Services Coordinating Committee
(OASCC). Within this framework, OARSC is responsible for gathering and compiling the
current state and future needs for agrometeorological research and service, with input from a
spectrum of stake-holders. The last major OARSC report was in 2003. This year is a strategic
year for OSWARC and OARSC to review research and service priorities for the next 4-5 years.
Recognizing that it is difficult to get all stakeholders in a meeting at one time, we have designed
this questionnaire to capture key information to develop a strategic OARSC report. We are
sending this survey to numerous potential stakeholders in the province. This questionnaire
should be completed by 15 August so the results can be included in the August OARSC Final
Report. Please provide your responses to the questions, additional comments, and send us any
details of reports or research projects. If you have relevant documents, we would be pleased if
you'd mail them to us. If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please contact us
directly. Contact information is at the bottom of the survey. Please notify us of other groups who
you think should also receive this survey.

General questions
   1. Questions about you and your organization:
       Name:
       Organization/Sector you represent:
       Address:
       Phone:
       Email:
       Website:
   2. What type of agriculture does your organization represent?




                                            76
   3. Why would your organization/sector be concerned or interested in weather, climate, or air
      quality information?
      <
   4. How many members/clients does your organization represent?
   5. What region does your organization cover?
   6. Describe any recent impacts of weather, climate, or air quality on your
      organization/sector.
      <
   7. Does your organization/sector acquire or use any weather or climate related advice or
      service?
           Yes
           No

      If Yes, please describe.
      <
   8. Does your organization provide any weather or climate related advice or service to its
      members/clients?
           Yes
           No

      If Yes, please describe.
      <
   9. Would you be willing to provide continuing input on behalf of your organization to either
      the Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services Committee (OARSC) or the Ontario
      Soil, Water, Air Research and Services Committee (OSWARSC) annually?
           Yes
           No
Issues, Opportunities, and Concerns
   10. Which of the following topics are of interest to you and/or your organization, please rank
       from 1 to 5, with 1 being not important and 5 being very important.

      Site specific weather information (eg field scale)      1     2     3      4     5       N/A
      Regional weather information (eg county scale)          1     2     3      4     5       N/A
      Hourly site specific weather?                           1     2     3      4     5       N/A
      Hourly Regional weather?                                1     2     3      4     5       N/A




                                           77
   Daily site specific weather?                            1      2     3     4     5        N/A


   Daily regional weather?                                 1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Detailed climate information? (i.e. long-term
   trends)                                                 1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Local/site specific air quality?                        1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Wind events?                                            1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Local precipitation quantity/intensity?                 1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Hail, freezing rain?                                    1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   General regional air quality?                           1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Regional air temperatures?                              1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Regional precipitation?                                 1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Pest management?                                        1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Crop production?                                        1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Water management?                                       1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Best management practices?                              1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Climate change?                                         1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Soil management?                                        1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Greenhouse gas emissions?                               1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Air quality - ground level ozone                        1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Air quality - ammonia (NH3)                             1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Air quality - nitrogen oxides (NOx)                     1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Air quality - volatile organic compounds (VOCs)         1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Air quality - dust/particulate matter                   1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Air quality - odours                                    1      2     3     4     5        N/A
   Air quality - smog                                      1      2     3     4     5        N/A
11. What other weather or air quality related issues are important to your organization or
    sector?
   <


                                           78
   12. Is carbon-credit trading of interest to your organization or sector?
           Yes
           No
Where will (should) your industry be in the next 5-10 years?
   13. What do you see as the agrometeorology drivers that will lead to expansion, retraction, or
       change in your industry over the next decade?
       <
   14. What will (should) your industry be doing relating to climate variability or greenhouse
       gases?
       <
Now we will ask questions on agrometeorology RESEARCH needs, followed by SERVICE
needs below.

What research questions do you see as significant to help your industry achieve its
objectives?
   15. What activity, service, or product opportunities does your organization have that are
       currently hindered by the lack of agrometeorological research or services?
       <
   16. What type of innovation does your industry require that may be directly or indirectly
       related to weather or climate?
       <
   17. What weather, environmental, production, crop related monitoring is required that is not
       currently being done?
       <
What research questions do you see as significant to help your industry achieve its
objectives?
   18. Specific research or knowledge gaps that need to be filled?
       <
   19. What recommendations do you have to guide research?
       <
   20. What monitoring is required to guide research?
       <
   21. Do you have specific examples where past agrometeorological research has lead to
       innovation later on, or where a lack of research has blocked innovation?
       <
   22. Who should invest more in agrometeorological research and why?
       <



                                            79
What services are needed to help your industry achieve its next 5-10 year objectives?
    23. What specific service gaps need to be fill?
        <
    24. What key recommendations do you have to guide service development?
        <
    25. What monitoring is required as a service?
        <
    26. Do you have specific examples where past agrometeorological services has lead to
        innovation later on, or where a lack of agrometeorological data has blocked innovation?
        <
    27. Who should invest more in agrometeorological services and why?
      <
Questions specific to the OARSC and OSWARC reports.
    28. What soil and/or water related research or services do you feel are important to highlight
        here that are important to your industry's innovation?
        <
    29. What advice do you have for the Ontario Agrometeorology Research and Services
        Committee (OARSC) or for Ontario Soil, Water, Air Research and Services Committee
        (OSWARSC).
        <
 Submit your responses

Chris Duke                                          Jon Warland
Environmental Management Unit                       Department of Land Resource Science
Ontario Min of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs University of Guelph
1 Stone Road West, 3rd Floor SE                     Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1
Guelph, ON, N1G 4Y2                                 1-519-824-4120 ext. 56374
1-519-826-3557




                                            80
3.5.     OSWARSC Terms of Reference

The Ontario Soil, Water and Air Research and Services Committee (OSWARSC) was formed in
1971 and consists of three subcommittees, namely the Ontario Agrometeorology Research and
Services Committee (OARSC), the Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee
(OSMRSC), and the Ontario Water Management Research and Services Committee
(OWMRSC).

Duties and Terms of Reference

    1.     To identify soil, water and air research required in relation to present and future needs
           and opportunities for development of the agricultural industry in Ontario.
    2.     To assess and make recommendations on the priorities to be applied to these matters.
    3.     To facilitate means of meeting such needs efficiently with the resource available from
           time to time by:
           a. Considering and approving chair and membership of subcommittees;
           b. Evaluating cost-benefits of research;
           c. Examining the suitability of institutions or persons to assume responsibility for
              various research programs;
           d. Projecting resources needed for research;
           e. Describing how resources may be obtained or freed for new program
              requirements;
           f. Reviewing operations of subcommittees through reports submitted;
           g. Reporting to Ontario Agricultural Services Coordinating Committee (OASCC) on
              such matters as required; and
           h. Promoting greater interaction between scientists in soil management, water
              management, agrometeorology, and soil survey and land use, and between
              scientists and extension personnel.
Terms of Executive

   1. The term for both the Vice-Chair and Chair Positions are for two years each.
   2. The Chair is responsible for setting the meeting agenda and presenting an annual report to
       Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) for 2 consecutive years.
   3. The terms of these positions begin at the end of the annual OASSC/ARIO meeting and
       run for 2 years.
   4. The past chair can play a role in assisting with strategic planning.
   5. The vice-chair also assumes a secretary role and takes the minutes.
Hence the term of office is typically 2 years vice chair/secretary, 2 years chair and 2 years past
chair.




                                            81
3.6.   Membership Lists

Ontario Soil, Water and Air Research and Services Committee
Membership 2006:

 Dr. Pamela Joosse (Chair)                   Tel:    519-826-3853
 Environmental Policy and Programs           Fax: 519-826-3259
 Branch, OMAFRA                              E-mail: pamela.joosse@ontario.ca
 1 Stone Road West
 Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
 Dr. Craig Drury (Past chair)               Tel:       519-738-2251 ext. 473
 Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada             Fax:       519-738-2929
 Greenhouse & Processing Crops              E-mail:     druryc@agr.gc.ca
 Research Centre
 2585 Cty Rd. 20
 Harrow, ON N0R 1G0
 Dr. Chris Duke (Vice-Chair, OARSC Co-       Tel:    519-826-3557
 chair)                                      Fax: 519-826-3259
 Environmental Policy and Programs           E-mail: chris.duke@ontario.ca
 Branch, OMAFRA
 1 Stone Road West
 Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2

 Dr. John Lauzon (OSMRSC chair)              Tel:      519-824-4120 ext. 2459
 Department of Land Resource Science         Fax:      519-824-5730
 University of Guelph                        e-mail:   jlauzon@lrs.uoguelph.ca
 Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
 Dr. Jon Warland (OARSC Co-chair)            Tel:    519-824-4120 ext.
 Department of Land Resource Science         Fax: 519-824-5730
 University of Guelph                        E-mail: jwarland@uoguelph.ca
 Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
 Dr. Paul Sibley (OWMRSC Chair)              Tel:    519-824-4120 ext.
 Environmental Biology                       Fax: 519-
 University of Guelph                        E-mail: psibley@uoguelph.ca
 Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
 Mr. Keith Reid, Crop Technology             Tel:    519-271-9269
 Soil Fertility Specialist, OMAFRA           Fax:    519-273-5278
 581 Huron St.                               E-mail: keith.reid@ontario.ca
 Stratford, ON N5A 5T8
 Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph      Tel:      519-674-1635
 Dr. Ivan O'Halloran                         Fax:      519-674-1600


                                       82
P.O. Box 480                                E-mail:   IOHallo@ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca
Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0
Environment Program, University of          Tel:    519-824-4120 ext. 52768
Guelph                                      Fax:
Glenn Fox                                   E-mail: gfox@uoguelph.ca
Christine Taub (alternate)
1 Stone Road
Conservation Ontario
                                            Tel:     905-895-0716 ext. 224
Joanne Rzadki                               Fax:
Jennifer Havelock (alternate)               E-mail:    jrzadki@Conservation-
120 Bayview Parkway, Box 11                 Ontario.on.ca
Newmarket, ON l#y 4W3
Ducks Unlimited Canada
                                            Tel:    705-721-4444 ext. 238
Julie Cayley                                Fax:
Barrie, ON                                  E-mail: j_cayley@ducks.ca
AGCare                                      Tel:    519-837-1326
Jackie Fraser                               Fax:    519-837-3209
Ontario AgriCentre                          E-mail: jfraser@agcare.org
Suite 106, 100 Stone Road West
Guelph, ON, N1G 5L3
Kemptville Campus, University of Guelph     Tel:    613-258-8336 X.333
Mr. W.E. Curnoe                             Fax: 613-258-8477
P.O. Box 2003                               E-mail: bcurnoe@kemptvillec.uoguelph.ca
Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0
Ont. Soil & Crop Imp. Association           Tel:      705-753-0730
Janet Parsons                               Fax:
38 Second St.                               E-mail:   parview@onlink.net
Sturgeon Falls, ON P2B 3A8
Ont. Soil & Crop Imp. Association           Tel:      613-638-9647
(alternate)                                 Fax:      613-638-5671
Bob Cotnam                                  E-mail:   bob9647@nrtco.net
RR#1
Pembroke, ON K8A 6W2
Paul Brine                                  Tel:       519-826-4162
Research and Innovation Branch              Fax:       519-826-4211
OMAFRA, 1 Stone Rd.                         E-mail:    paul.brine@omaf.gov.on.ca
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
Ontario Ministry of the Environment         Tel:      416-235-6060
Environmental Monitoring and Reporting      Fax:
Branch                                      E-mail:    pradeep.goel@ontario.ca
Pradeep Goel
Senior Surface Water Scientist, Nutrient


                                       83
Management
West Wing, 125 Resources Rd
Etobicoke ON M9P3V6
Ontario Field Crop Research Coalition
Additional Agriculture and Agrifood Canada
Research reps
Additional University of Guelph reps
Environment Canada (suggestions)
Dr. B. Krishnappan
Mr. Scott Painter




                                      84
OSMRSC Membership 2006:


Dr. John Lauzon (chair)                      Tel:      519-824-4120 ext. 2459
Department of Land Resource Science          Fax:      519-824-5730
University of Guelph                         e-mail:   jlauzon@lrs.uoguelph.ca
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
 Mr. Adam Hayes (Past Chair)                 Tel:    519-674-1621
 Crop Technology, OMAF                       Fax: 519-674-1564
 Ridgetown College, University of Guelph     E-mail: adam.hayes@omafra.gov.on.ca
 P.O. Box 400
 Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0
Ms. Anne Verhallen (vice-chair)              Tel:    519-674-1614
Crop Tech. Hort.                             Fax: 519-674-1564
(Chair Soil and Water Quality                E-mail: anne.verhallen@omafra.gov.on.ca
Subcommittee)
OMAFRA, Box 400
Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0
Dr. R. Beyaert                               Tel:    519-457-1470 ext. 281
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada               Fax:    519-457-3997
1391 Sandford St.                            E-mail: beyaertR@agr.gc.ca
London, ON N5V 4T3
 Mr. Keith Reid (Secretary)                  Tel:    519-271-9269
 Soil Fertility Specialist, OMAF             Fax:    519-273-5278
 581 Huron St.                               E-mail: keith.reid@omafra.gov.on.ca
 Stratford, ON N5A 5T8
 Dr. Ivan O'Halloran                         Tel:    519-674-1635
 Ridgetown College, University of Guelph     Fax:    519-674-1600
 P.O. Box 480                                E-mail: IOHallo@ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca
 Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0
Dr. Craig Drury                             Tel:       519-738-2251 ext. 473
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada              Fax:       519-738-2929
Greenhouse & Processing Crops               E-mail:     druryc@agr.gc.ca
Research Centre
2585 Cty Rd. 20
Harrow, ON N0R 1G0
 Mr. John Rowsell                            Tel:    705-647-8525 ext. 221
 New Liskeard Agric. Res. Station            Fax:    705-647-7008
 Box 6007                                    E-mail: jrowsell@uoguelph.ca
 New Liskeard, ON P0J 1P0
 Mr. David Kroetsch                          Tel:    613-759-1892
 ECORC - AAFC                                Fax:    613-759-1937
 960 Carling Ave.                            E-mail: kroetschd@agr.gc.ca


                                       85
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6
Dr. Godfried Amankwa (Chair, Tobacco          Tel:    519-582-2370 x.282
Subcommittee)                                 Fax:    519-582-3678
Canadian Tobacco Research Foundation,         E-mail: gamankwa@ontarioflue-cured.com
P.O. Box 1
Delhi, Ontario N4B 2W8
Mr. W.E. Curnoe                               Tel:    613-258-8336 X.333
Kemptville College, University of Guelph      Fax: 613-258-8477
P.O. Box 2003                                 E-mail: bcurnoe@kemptvillec.uoguelph.ca
Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0
Dr. Pamela Joosse                             Tel:    519-826-3853
Resources Management Branch, OMAF             Fax: 519-826-3259
1 Stone Road West                             E-mail: pamela.joosse@omafra.gov.on.ca
Guelph, ON N1H 6N1
Ms. Donna Speranzini                          Tel:    905-562-1170
(Chair Horticulture Crops Subcommittee)       Fax: 905-562-5933
OMAFRA,                                       E-mail: donna.speranzini@omafra.gov.on.ca
Vineland, ON
Dr. Tom Bruulsema                             Tel:    519-821-5519
Potash & Phosphate Inst. Of Canada            Fax:    519-821-6302
18 Maplewood Dr.                              E-mail: tom.bruulsema@ppi-ppic.org
Guelph, ON N1G 1L8
Mr. Doug Young                                Tel:    519-674-1631
(Chair Field Crops Subcommittee)              Fax: 519-674-1600
Ridgetown College, University of Guelph       E-mail: dyoung@ridgetownc.uoguelph.ca
Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0
Mr. John Finlay                               Tel:      519-826-6941
Crop Technology, OMAF                         Fax:      519-826-3567
1 Stone Road West                             E-mail:   john.finlay@omafra.gov.on.ca
Guelph, ON N1H 6N1
Ms. Janet Parsons                             Tel:      705-753-0730
Ont. Soil & Crop Imp. Association             Fax:
38 Second Street                              E-mail:   parview@onlink.net
Sturgeon Falls, ON P2B 3A8
Mr. Max Kaiser                                Tel:      613-354-3018
Ont. Soil & Crop Imp. Association             Fax:      613-354-3020
(alternate)                                   E-mail:   mj.kaiser@sympatico.ca
4102 County Road 9, R.R. #3
Napanee, ON K7R 3K8
Mr. Papken Bedirian                           Tel:       519 837-1600
(Chair Ontario Soils Lab Subcommittee)        Fax:       519 837-1242


                                         86
 AgriFood Labs                                   E-mail:   pbedirian@agtest.com
 503 Imperial Rd., Unit 1
 Guelph, Ontario N1H 6T9
 Paul Brine                                      Tel:      519-826-4162
 Innovation and Risk Management                  Fax:      519-826-4211
 OMAF, 1 Stone Rd.                               E-mail:   paul.brine@omafra.gov.on.ca
 Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2

 Ms. Christine Brown                             Tel:      519-537-8305
 (Chair Waste Utilization Subcommittee)          Fax:      519-537-5351
 OMAF, P.O.Box 666                               E-mail:   christine.brown1@omafra.gov.on.ca
 Woodstock, ON N4S 7Z5
 Mr. Chris Attema                                Tel:      905-386-0272
 (OFAC representative)                           Fax:      519-824-9101
 c/o Ontario Cattlemen’s Association             E-mail:   cattema@niagara.com
 130 Malcolm Road
 Guelph, ON N1K 1B1
 Mr. John Maaskant                               Tel:      519-524-9081
 (OFAC alternate)                                Fax:      519-524-1849
 R.R. #2                                         E-mail:   j.maaskant@hurontel.on.ca
 Clinton, ON N0M 1L0

 Marius Marsh                                    Tel:      416-212-1523
 Ontario Ministry of Environment                 Fax:      416-327-6421
 Standards Development Branch                    E-mail:   marius.marsh@ene.gov.on.ca
 40 St. Clair Ave. W., 2nd floor
 Toronto, ON M4V 1M2

 Dale McComb                                     Tel:      519-826-3293
 Nutrient Management Branch                      Fax:      519-826-
 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food        E-mail:   dale.mccomb@omafra.gov.on.ca
 1 Stone Road, Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
 Dale Cowan                                      Tel:      519-837-1600
 Certified Crop Advisor                          Fax:      519-8237-1242
 Agrifood Labs,                                  E-mail:   dcowan@agtest.com
 503 Imperial Road, Unit #1
 GUELPH, Ontario N1H 6T9

Lorna Wilson from Accutest Labs, Nepean will be attending in place of Papken Bedirian.




                                            87
OWMRSC Membership 2006

Sam Bradshaw, Ontario Pork
Paul Brine, OMAFRA
Julie Cayley, Ducks Unlimited
Samaresh Das, University of Guelph
Jon Gingerich, Coldspring Farms
Gary Parkin, Land Resource Science, University of Guelph
Keith Reid, OMAFRA
Paul Sibley Environmental Biology, University of Guelph (Chair)
Donna Speranzini, OMAFRA
Stewart Sweeney, OMAFRA


OARSC Membership 2006

Chris Duke, OMAFRA (Co-Chair)
Jon Warland, University of Guelph (Co-Chair)




                                         88
3.7.    2007 Meeting Dates

Committee

OSWARSC                      Tuesday, November 13, 2007. Guelph

Sub-Committee

Soil                         Tuesday, June 19 and Wednesday, June 20, 2007. Ridgetown

Water                        September 2007. Guelph

Agrometeorology              Electronically

Sub-Subcommittee Meetings, 2007:

Field Crop                   9:00 am, Friday, Feb. 23, 2007. 1 Stone Rd., Guelph

Hort Crop                    9:00 am, Friday, March 23, 2007. Woodstock OMAFRA

Soil Test                    10:00 am, Tuesday, March 27, 2007. TBD, Guelph

Soil & Water Quality         9:00 am, Wed., February 28, 2007. Woodstock OMAFRA

Tobacco                      9:00 am, April 19, 2007. OFCTMB boardroom, Tillsonburg

Waste Utilization            9:00 am, Friday, March 2, 2007. Woodstock OMAF




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