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 currently on the market for home and work use. Continue reading “Green” lubricant alternative now available in Canada
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 Show last week.
The plots are part of a larger research project in conjunction with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) that is evaluating the potential of biomass crops in Ontario, including establishing a business case and determining possible market opportunities. Continue reading Growing plants for energy
Ontario lavender bunches
Lavender, hazelnuts and sweet potatoes are not crops we commonly associate with this province.
Yet they’re starting to emerge in Ontario’s south coast area, the fertile sand plains in Norfolk, Brant, Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford counties where tobacco used to reign supreme.
As the decline of the tobacco industry continued over the last decade, agricultural and economic development leaders in the area began grappling with key questions governing the future of their region, which is a key producer of many Ontario foods, including fruits and vegetables.
How can we bring new life and new value to this farmland? How can we keep farmers profitable and sustain the rural and regional economies? At the same time, is there an opportunity to bring new products to Ontario or to grow crops here that we’re currently importing from other places around the world? Continue reading New crops in local soils raising high hopes
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. Continue reading Apples – organic or conventional?
Southwestern Ontario’s burgeoning agri-food sector received a boost earlier this month with the launch of the Ontario Food Cluster.
My alma mater, University of Guelph, along with the City of Guelph and others are partners in this new initiative designed to attract more foreign investment and creating more businesses in our agri-food sector.
In addition to being home to some of Ontario’s best farm land and farmers that produce a multitude of field crops like corn, wheat and soybeans, as well as over 100 different fruits and vegetables – not to mention a wide array of meat, dairy and poultry – the Greater Toronto Area, Guelph-Wellington and Waterloo Region together boast more than 2,500 food and beverage companies. Continue reading New cluster promotes Ontario food and farming
The case of watermelons spontaneously exploding in Chinese fields made headlines recently. This coming weekend marks the annual Rural Romp in Wellington County – a county-wide food and farming open house of sorts. These two events are worlds apart, yet to me, they’re both part of the complex network our global food system has become.
Most Canadian farmers feel that agriculture is misunderstood and that the general public doesn’t “get” what they do. And they’re often a little amazed at how much people don’t know, especially about things that those of us in the food and farming world take for granted.
How could they not know that oranges don’t grow in Canada, why we spray to control weeds and pests, and that there’s a season for sweet corn and peaches? My response to that is often the opposite – how could they possibly know when there’s little chance to learn? Continue reading People could use a little reconnecting to the farm
Few relationships are more personal than the one we have with our food. We trust that what we eat will sustain us, nourish us and help keep us healthy.
In Canada, public trust in our food supply is high, a fact that’s been proven repeatedly in studies carried out by Ipsos Reid for AGCare and the Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC). But as increasingly fewer Canadians know how food is produced and where it comes from, those numbers won’t stay high forever.
This means farmers need to become involved in the discussion about the future of farming and food production that is good for people, animals and the planet. Two food industry experts will discuss the whys and hows of building trust in Canada’s food system at the upcoming AGCare and OFAC annual meeting and speakers’ program. Continue reading The whys and hows of building trust in our food