environment

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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Canadian farmers evoke consumer confidence

Canadians generally feel good about our food and the farmers who produce it, says a new study recently completed by Ipsos Reid. And although they are concerned about the economy and climate change, they’re confident in the safety of our meat, milk and eggs.

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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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The right to farm and feed the world

The world’s demand for food and food-based products is set to double – if not triple – by 2050 and farmers must speak up for their right to meet that demand using conventional farming methods combined with new technologies. If they don’t, a US researcher told delegates at the Beef Industry Convention in London ON […]

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Buying local for Valentine’s Day

There are more ways to buy local than just food. This Valentine’s Day, why not try fresh Ontario flowers? The perfect example, say Ontario flower growers, are potted miniature roses – ideal for the upcoming Valentine’s occasion.

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Fed dollars for ethanol research

One of the criticisms often lobbed at the ethanol industry is that using corn for fuel means there is less available for food. But a new research investment by the government of Canada aims to change that.

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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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Coffee for cars?

We may soon no longer be the only big consumers of coffee. Researchers in Nevada have found that used coffee grounds can be turned into a source of cheap, environmentally friendly fuel for cars and trucks.

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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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A global environmental research hub

Ontario is emerging as one of the world’s leading centres of environmental research. That was the message Ontario farm writers heard at the University of Western Ontario’s Biotron at a tour there recently. The tour was a follow up to a presentation made by former Biotron General Manager Amar Singh, who first spoke about the […]

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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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Talking tomatoes

A tomato is a tomato, right? Well, yes, but also definitely no says a Leamington area greenhouse grower. Dean Tiessen of Pyramid Farms introduced a group of budding chefs to the breadth and depth of tomatoes on a recent tour of his farm by St. Clair College culinary students.

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A bird’s eye view

I had a bird’s eye view of rural Ontario today – and it was one fo those “stop and think” sort of moments. I took a flight to Ottawa from Kitchener on Bearskin Airlines this afternoon. The plane was a small one – small enought ot make an already nervous flyer like me even more […]

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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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Weathering the weather

The following column was published in the Guelph Mercury August 28 2008. ********** Ontario farmers weather rainy summer – By Lilian Schaer It seems to be our national obsession. We talk about it constantly — in the news, on the street, at the coffee shop — and we even have a television channel exclusively dedicated […]

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