water

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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Farmers take safe pesticide application seriously

Sometimes I wonder whether we’re actually hard-wired to be instantly attracted to bad news and shocking revelations. I see negativity often dominating our 24-hour news cycle, leaving the less sensational but equally important good news to fall by the wayside. More and more people are now writing and reporting about food, farming, science and the […]

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Finding markets for the whole soybean – even hulls

One of the things I enjoy a lot about my job as a freelance food and farm journalist and corporate writer is the chance to learn about really cool new things. The story below about soybeans, which I originally wrote for Ontario Grain Farmer and is published in the May/June 2010 issue, is one of […]

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Farmers’ environmental commitment evident in program funding demand

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) has long been a popular program but when the annual cost-share funding for 2009 was fully allocated in just over two months, program representatives were both surprised and pleased at the demand. One of the things driving the uptake of cost-share is the awareness that is developed through the EFP […]

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Trail signs highlight “green” farming

A series of hiking trail signs highlighting environmental accomplishments by farmers are being unveiled today in the Greenbelt. The signs have been installed along popular hiking trails in the Greenbelt – an area of permanently protected farmland, forests, wetlands and greenspace in southern Ontario – as a way of showcasing the many environmental advancements made […]

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Take action for the environment – by learning from farmers

The federal government has developed a series of suggestions for Canadians to be more environmentally conscious. The tips – listed on a website called Take Action for the Environment – cover a variety of areas, but some of them, in my opinion, come directly from agriculture and represent things that farmers have been doing for […]

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Making a green industry greener

It has a long and proud history – and now, seemingly, also an exciting future that may help make a green industry even greener by solving some major issues facing Canada’s horticultural sector. The new Vineland Research and Commercialization Centre is what is evolving out of the old horticulture research station once run by the […]

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UK water rules sign of future for Canada’s farmers?

A new strategy on water usage in agriculture unveiled by Britain’s Environment Agency paints a potentially grim picture for farmers. This according to a report in Farmers Weekly, a leading British agricultural publication. The strategy includes tighter restrictions on agricultural irrigation as well as increased costs for water recycling and construction of on-farm reservoirs.

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Spring, farmers and the lure of the land

The following column I wrote was published in the Guelph Mercury yesterday. We were sitting on the deck with the dog as I was musing about the topic of this month’s column. My husband jokingly suggested I write about the relationship between man and his dog. I laughed it off — what did that have […]

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Treating industrial wastewater – with soy

Soybean hulls are primarily a by-product of processing or oil extraction. Traditionally, they are used as a fibre supplement in animal feed as way of creating some value-added use for them. But research at the University of Windsor focuses on a new and environmentally friendly use for these seed coats as well – in industrial […]

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The green crystal ball

The following article was printed in the Ontario Corn Producer, December 2008. By Lilian Schaer These days, it seems hard to predict what may happen with any degree of accuracy three months from now, let alone three years into the future. But although we live in volatile times, there are some fairly safe bets on […]

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We can’t take water for granted

The following column was printed in the Guelph Mercury today, October 30 2008: We mustn’t take water for granted By Lilian Schaer It’s widely been touted as the new oil over which the wars of the future will be fought. That’s something that is hard for many Canadians to fathom — after all, our country […]

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Mud, minerals, water…ahhh!

Earth, nutrients and water are the fundamentals of growing food. But today I had the chance to experience these fundamentals from an entirely different perspective – a mud bath and healing waters in a Slovak health spa.

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World water congress

It often comes up as an issue widely expected to spark future wars and dominate human consciousness some day – much the way oil currently occupies our thoughts and drains our wallets. And for some, the lack of water is already a pressing problem.

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Farmers doing more than their share

The following editorial was published in the Waterloo Region Record on Friday August 1. Farmers doing more than their fair share for the environment August 01, 2008 Lilian Schaer Food and farming are never far from the collective consciousness of Waterloo Region. After all, we’re home to one of the most diverse agricultural areas in […]

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