environment

Farmer saves Ontario snakes

This is the final story in our Earth Day series this week about farmers doing good things for the environment. Thanks for reading! The north shore of Lake Erie is a known habitat for the Eastern Fox Snake, Ontario’s second largest snake species. It’s protected under the province’s Endangered Species Act, so when Dale Vranckx […]

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Certified hay protects endangered birds

Many of Ontario’s species at risk – such as grassland birds – make their homes in farmers’ fields. In honour of Earth Day this week, here’s a glimpse at a program that lets rural landowners do their part to protect those species. Attempts to protect habitats for grassland birds can be a hard sell to […]

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New water storage decreases ground water use

This is the third article in a series this week where we’re profiling Ontario farmers and some of their on-farm environmental improvements – in honour of Earth Day, of course. The hot, dry summer of 2012 was the tipping point for Oxford County farmer Jan Veldhuizen, who was using up to 6,000 gallons (22,700 litres) […]

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Purifiying vineyard waste the natural way

This is the second in a series of stories showcasing the innovative things Ontario farmers are doing on their farms to improve the environment – in honour of Earth Day. Tough new regulations governing vineyard waste management meant the owners of Sixteen Mile Cellar in the Niagara Region had some tough choices to make. Previously, […]

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Community & sustainability at heart of local blueberry farm

This is the week we mark Earth Day, on Tuesday to be exact. Many of us give a bit more thought to the environment this week or do a few extra things to mark this day. And those are all good things. Farmers, in my opinion, have a special relationship with the environment, a stronger […]

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Biotechnology key to production growth in Argentina

Most of the time what I write about on these pages have to do with food and farming in Canada. This is the second in a series of articles about agriculture in Argentina – a key global competitor for Canada’s farming sector. Public perceptions and consumer attitudes can make some Canadian farmers think twice about […]

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New stream crossing in Niagara vineyard improves fish habitat

Fish are once again flourishing in their natural habitat in a small tributary to Niagara Region’s Sixteen Mile Creek, since an eroded culvert was replaced with a new clear-span bridge crossing. Now, fish can make their way downstream and farmers can easily cross the stream with equipment without endangering the habitat.

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Returning land to its original state builds habitat, improves water quality

They say you can’t turn back time. Yet Wellington County landowner Daryl Hutton has done just that by turning an old pasture on his farm near Harriston back into a wetland. And in doing so, he is helping improve water quality and increase wildlife habitat in his community.

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Innovations protect fruit crops against weather, predator damage

Newcastle – Damaging weather and predators can mean the difference between a good year and a bad one on the farm. No one knows that better than Charles Stevens, who grows apples and blueberries on his farm near Newcastle, east of Toronto. He’s turned to technology and innovation to protect his apples against hail and […]

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Sustainability, stewardship at heart of fifth generation family farm

(Haliburton Highlands) – If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you. That’s the philosophy of Godfrey and Jean Tyler who farm their family’s fifth generation century farm in the rocky Haliburton Highlands. With no off-farm income, the Tylers use all four seasons to grow and sustain their small farming […]

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Producing wine and cranberries in cottage country

Winemaking and farming aren’t two things most people associate with Muskoka. Yet fruit wines and an iconic fall holiday berry are helping farmer Murray Johnston and his wife Wendy Hogarth put their family business on the map. The couple, with help from their four sons, run Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery near Bala, […]

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“Green” lubricant alternative now available in Canada

A new vegetable oil-based multi-purpose lubricant is now available for sale in Canada – with the potential to open up significant new markets for Canadian grain and oilseed farmers. Smart Earth Corporation’s new Ecolube product was developed in Canada by Linneaus Plant Sciences Inc. as an environmentally friendly substitute for popular lubricant and penetrant products […]

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Growing plants for energy

Biomass is a promising emerging market in Ontario and farmers can learn more about growing and making money from these purpose-grown crops on a series of upcoming regional car tours. The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) also showcased miscanthus (seen in the image at left) and switchgrass test plots at Canada’s Outdoor Farm […]

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Apple grower featured in Faces of Farming calendar

She was the winner of the Golden Apple Award for industry service and leadership at the 2011 OFVGA annual meeting. Now, in 2012, Cathy McKay will also be a calendar model. She is the first-ever apple grower to be featured in the popular Faces of Farming calendar, produced annually to promote awareness of food and […]

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Apples – organic or conventional?

The debate over organic versus conventional agriculture is an ongoing one in the world of food production. For one Ontario apple grower, though, that debate ended a decade ago after some firsthand research into the issue. But first, a little bit of background.

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