Farm Facts & Furrows

by OMAFRA Ag Rep Brian Bell

2018 Spring Cereal Performance Trials

The 2018 spring cereal performance trials are now available on the website www.gocereals.ca

New Horizons – Ontario’s Draft Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy

We are pleased to inform you that a new document ‘New Horizons – Ontario’s Draft Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy’ is available online at ontario.ca/soil. We are engaging with Indigenous communities, stakeholder organizations and the public from November 1-December 31. This proposal is a follow-up to and builds on the discussion document ‘Sustaining Ontario’s Agricultural Soils: Towards a Shared Vision’, which was released for a 90 day public consultation from August 29 to November 27, 2016 (Environmental Registry posting number 012-8468). It includes the Vision, Goals and Objectives proposed in the discussion document and introduces a number of proposed actions under each of four theme areas: Soil Management, Soil Data and Mapping, Soil Evaluation and Monitoring, and Soil Knowledge and Innovation. During the comment period, OMAFRA will be hosting and participating in variety of engagement activities across the province, including regional open houses where people can connect with OMAFRA field staff on soil health issues that matter to them. Information about the open houses will be available at the link above. Healthy soil is fundamental to the success of Ontario’s agricultural sector and to a healthy environment. Maintaining and enhancing the health of our agricultural soil will help: Sustain and enhance the productive capacity of Ontario’s farmland; Contribute to the economic growth of the Agri-food sector and food security; Improve water quality and biodiversity; and Help the sector mitigate and be more resilient to the impacts of climate change. The draft strategy document is available directly at: www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/landuse/soil-strat-2017.pdf you may also access the proposal on the Environmental Registry at www.ebr.gov.on.ca by entering search number 013-1373 or search term ‘Soil Health.’ It will be available for public comment until December 31, 2017.  If you wish to provide input by other means, we encourage you to visit ontario.ca/soil and click on the link for more information, including a feedback form. You may also provide input by: Visiting the Environmental Registry posting and clicking the ‘comment’ button, emailing soilhealth@ontario.ca, Sending a fax to 519-826-3492 or Mail: Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy c/o Paul Smith, Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 1 Stone Road West, 3rd floor, Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2.