Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC)

Jobs survey finds growing demand for agriculture graduates

Ontario Agriculture College boosts spots in its agriculture programs by 30 per cent

Written by John Greig, Field Editor, Country Guide

The University of Guelph continues to increase enrollment in its agriculture programs, but graduates will continue to find four jobs available for each of them.

The Ontario Agriculture College (OAC), at the university has boosted spots in its agriculture programs by 30 per cent since 2012 and by 50 per cent in its Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program.

University of Guelph

University of Guelph

However, in the five years since the university last did a similar survey, respondents in agriculture and food processing say they have even more trouble filling jobs in the sector than they did five years ago – 67 per cent of agriculture companies and 51 per cent of food companies report difficulties in recruiting qualified workers. That compares to 40 per cent of agriculture and 28 per cent of food companies reporting similar challenges in 2012. Read more

Thompsons Soil Sampling photo

Understanding in-field variability: soil sampling

Written by Alex Richardson, Agricultural Consultant, Thompsons – Blenheim.


Wheat harvest is complete and yields have given us great insight about our fields once again.

Variability was evident, and the results remind us it’s time to soil sample.

Soil sampling after wheat harvest is a great option to allow for the right conditions, and the time to do the sampling properly. It gives us the ability to plan using these results–not only for the remaining growing year, but for next year as well.

Results gathered now can be reviewed and used to apply some fall fertilizer or make spring plans for fertility management. Knowing what nutrients are already in the field is the best way to start that process.

Thompsons offers 3 main soil sampling packages, with options to suit any grower and any field.

Intensive Zone Sampling
Using data from numerous sources, grower expertise, and your local Thompsons Agricultural consultant, management zones will be mapped and generated throughout the field.  Soil samples will be taken across these zones to best represent the field following the topography, yield, or problem areas depicted in the zones.

Site-specific Sampling
Choose from a 1 acre, 2.5 acre or 5 acre sample area.  Your field will be overlaid with a grid, followed by samples taken in each grid from an area that best represents the lay of the land within that grid space.

Precision-Lite Sampling
Generate larger zones across the field to sample. Zones range from 10 acres to 25 acres in size, again based on numerous sources and grower expertise.  Monitor and map the variability in your field!

Talk to your local Thompsons Agricultural Consultant today about any of these sampling packages and customized options. We can build a soil sampling plan to suit your individual farm and management situation.

We all know our fields are variable and need to continue managing the variability on our farms!

All soil sampling options include a complete mapbook of your field and soil analysis, with lab results attached.

Once the results have come from the lab, the value of soil sampling begins as fertility management progresses. With the help of your local Thompsons Agricultural Consultant, your field’s fertility can be reviewed and a plan put in place to build and maintain your soil health.

150 years of Canadian agriculture

The 2016 Census of Agriculture marks the 22nd census since Confederation in 1867. Just as Canada as a country has evolved over the past 150 years, so too has the agriculture sector. Agriculture has used innovation to push the bounds of production, transforming farming from the small scale to a highly mechanized and advanced industry.

While there are fewer agricultural operations in Canada than there were in 1871, the average farm size has risen consistently—from 98 acres in 1871 to 820 acres in 2016. Canada reported 14 times as much wheat acreage in 2016 than was reported on the first Census of Agriculture in 1871. There were also 10 times as many pigs and 5 times as many head of cattle as reported in 1871. Read more

Horizontal motion portrait of a man in gray sport jacket and safety helmet and goggles driving mud-covered yellow ATV 4x4 quad bike with dirt spinning of the wheels photo

Use safety practices to avoid ATV rollovers

All terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be not only useful on the farm, they can add an element of fun to work. Whether using ATVs recreationally or as the best way to get to remote back fields, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association’s “Appealing to Adults” Canadian Ag Safety Week campaign urges farmers to protect themselves against rollovers.

Rollovers happen alarmingly fast. That’s why it’s important for everyone to take rollover prevention seriously, each and every time they plan a ride.

Always remember to wear an ATV helmet, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and boots, even when only travelling a short distance. Inappropriate gear, such as loose clothing, can get caught on controls and doesn’t provide protection. Read more

following farm equipment photo

Safely transport oversized loads

With larger farm equipment comes larger transportation challenges. Equipment wider than highway lanes poses a hazard to not only the equipment operator, but also to other motor vehicle operators. Tall equipment can come into contact with low-hanging wires, bridges and other vital pieces of infrastructure.

Collisions with other vehicles is a major concern while transporting all farm equipment on Read more

Grain auger and Bin photo

Maintain augers and create safe work zones to prevent entanglements

An auger in good condition is an essential tool when it comes time to move grain and feed around the farm. Per hour of use augers are one of the most hazardous machines on the farm, especially if they haven’t been properly maintained.

Although Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting statistics have identified runovers as the top cause of agriculture-related fatalities, the number of reported entanglements remain on that list and continue to be an area of concern. Read more

ATV safety

ATVs on the farm

Your family is your pride and joy. Whether you are raising children, watching out for your partner, or checking in on Dad after a long day in the field, you would do anything to keep them safe, while preserving the farm experience for future generations. ATVs on the farm ATVs are used on our farm […]

Photo

Naahii Ridge students learn about agriculture

February 16 was Canada’s Agriculture Day and the students at Naahii Ridge Public School in Ridgetown, Ontario, had the chance to celebrate the day with many volunteers from the agricultural community.

“Canada’s Ag Day was a great opportunity for us to talk to the students about why the Canadian Ag industry is so important,” says Amy Caron, Communications Specialist for Dow Seeds. “Dow Seeds was very fortunate to work with some great community volunteers to bring that message to the students at Naahii.”

Travis Roodzant from Thompsons Limited – Blacks Lane branch.

Photo from Canada Agriculture Day

Students from grades 4, 5 and 6 listened to presentations on the importance of the Ag industry and the various career opportunities this sector offers. The students then participated in the “Canada’s Ag Day Trade Show” where they travelled around the gym to various stations to talk to the volunteers about what they do in the Ag industry.

Students had the opportunity to talk to: Cara McCready, a Greenhouse IPM Specialist with OMAFRA who talked about beneficial pests and pest management; Jane Lawton from Chatham-Kent 4H about the organization and how to become involved; Janice Anderson from Pioneer about the importance of Women in Ag; Rob Reid, Dairy Education Center Manager, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, who spoke on what happens in a dairy barn; Grace Jones, a Dow Seeds Territory Sales Rep, spoke on the importance of business and crop planning with farmers; Travis Roodzant from Thompsons Limited talked to the kids about agronomy and the use of drones in that process; Madison Trozzi, a high school senior who completed her co-op in the Dow Seeds Seed Lab showed the science behind ag industry and Eric Bastiaansen, an egg farmer from Thedford talked about how your eggs get from his farm to your grocery store.

Pictured are the Canada Agriculture Day volunteers, left to right: Cara McCready, Travis Roodzant, Grace Jones, Madison Trozzi, Rob Reid, Jane Sawton, Janice Anderson, and Eric Batiaansen. Absent from photo was Cassi Boersma.

Ag Day in Ridgetown, Ontario photo

Students from Grades 1 to 3 didn’t miss out on the festivities. Cassi Boersma, a part time teacher with Naahii and the Farm Safety Coordinator for Ridgetown, spoke to this group of students about the importance of ATV and farm safety.

Other organizations who helped support this event were FCC, Ag in the Classroom and Agriculture More Than Ever.

“We only had a couple of hours to share our stories with these students,” says Caron. “However, there were some great questions and hopefully some great conversations around their dinner table that night.”

Click for more information on Canada’s Agriculture Day.


Source: Ridgetown Independent News – 1 Main Street, Ridgetown, ON (519) 674-5205.