Farm Facts and Furrows

Produce, honey and maple grading changes

The Ontario Government is considering making changes to Ontario Regulation 119/11 Produce, Honey and Maple Products to make provincial grading, labelling and colour classification standards consistent with federal requirements. Other potential changes to the regulation will be discussed which could strengthen food safety and enhance product quality, support innovation and growth of the maple industry in Ontario. Your input is important. Participate in the discussions and provide your comments and feedback on possible changes to the regulation. Attend a public meeting in person, or visit ontario.ca/producesafety to access the discussion paper. Provide feedback by July 13, 2015: By email to andrea.smallwood@ontario.ca or by mail: Andrea Smallwood, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch, 1 Stone Road West, 2nd Floor, Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2. The closest public meeting will be held June 23, 2015 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Espanola. Register for a meeting by contacting the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca

Scouting: learn what to look for 

Scouting is always the best method to determine if fields are actually at risk. Springtime assessments help determine what impact winter and early spring conditions have had on the early season pests. Harsh winters can have a large impact on bean leaf beetles for example, while grubs are well protected from extreme temperature fluctuations by hibernating below the frost line. Spring scouting is also the best time to monitor for those pests that overwinter in the US and migrate here in early spring (e.g. black cutworm). Scouting prior to planting informs growers of field conditions that have increased their risk to pests. Some additional cultural control measures could be implemented or decisions made as to where to best target the insecticide seed treatments. Fields found to be at low risk of the major soil insect pests can targeted for planting fungicide-only treated seed in and experience little to no crop loss due to these insects. The Guide to Early Season Field Crop Pests provides additional information on how to scout for other soil insects.

To learn more about how to use baits to find wireworm populations and how to dig and assess for grubs and some of the key root feeding pests refer to OMAFRA’s webpage “Scouting for Soil Insect Pests in Field Crops”