Archive: soil health

2018 Farm Smart Conference

On January 20th, 2018, I was able to attend the Farm Smart 2018 Conference. Farm Smart is a day-long event featuring workshops and speakers on agriculture and ag-related topics. The conference is an excellent educational opportunity for farmers, ranging from practical workshops such as “Direct Marketing Strategies” to inspirational workshops such as “New Ventures and…

Soil in the Spotlight

Pushing right to the end of the year, December 31 saw the close of the consultation window on “New Horizons: Ontario’s Draft Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy.” The Soil Health Strategy puts the spotlight on something which does not have the charm or public appeal of cute baby animals or sprawling green vistas. It…

Summit on Canadian Soil Health

This August the Soil Conservation Council of Canada hosted a Summit on Canadian Soil Health, including a Pre-Summit Tour at sites in Wellington and Perth. After two days of site visits, and excellent speakers, Don Lobb, farmer and award-winning soil health leader, closed out the presentations with a challenge to all present. He encouraged a…

Deflating Soil Compaction

Technology continues to bring in new ideas to lower negative impacts on soils during crop production. For example, scientists are concerned that the compaction of soil, due to heavy machinery, is taking away the full potential of food production. In 2011, Ontario hog producer Jake Kraayenbrink won the Premiers Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, thanks…

National Soil Conservation Week

Today is the final day of National Soil Conservation Week. While soil stewardship is important all year round it is helpful to have a week to put soil in the limelight. Soil health plays a vital role in the quality of our food, but also of our water and air. Soil Conservation Week is promoted…

Soil Health Part III – Innovation with Cover Crops

This year has been declared the International Year of Soils by the United Nations. This is the third of three commentaries highlighting speakers from the Soil Health Day I recently attended organized by agricultural consultant Ruth Knight. I previously discussed the important relationship between living plants and soil life and maximizing the value of animals.…