Updates from RAIN’s #plant17

by Christine O’Reilly, Research Technician It’s spring in Algoma, and that means that RAIN’s field staff are trying to get new projects into the ground. We have three research projects and a crop demonstration to plant on ten different sites across the district. We’ve got a good start on two of these. Our Cross-seeding Forages Project is evaluating different ways …

Five marketing tips from Slate River Dairy

Slate River Dairy is owned by Jim and Wilma Mol, the Dairy produces, pasteurizes and distributes local milk and dairy products in Thunder Bay. The farm’s aim is to provide Thunder Bay with the freshest dairy products possible and to operate a bottle-washing system for reusable glass milk bottle packaging. The products (ranging from cocoa milk, yogurt, kefir, and whole …

deep ripper

Keyline Plowing and Soil Moisture

by Mikala Parr, RAIN Research Assistant In 2015 a trial involving a keyline subsoiler plow was put in place. Subsoiling can sometimes increase a soil’s water holding capacity by fracturing compacted layers (plow pans) and creating channels for water to infiltrate the soil. The keyline pattern runs across a slope – like contour cropping – and attempts to distribute water …

Management Tools for Syrup Producers

The Next Generation North program had a number of workshops over the last three months on topics of marketing, financial management and value-added processing. Not a lot of time was specifically on maple syrup producers, so this blog post summarizes some tools that producers may find useful. These tools come from Michael Farrell (Extension Associate) of Cornell University who spent …

Grazing Management 2016

by Mikala Parr, Research Assistant Soil Nutrients The pasture improvement demonstration and assessment project was looking at the effects of transitioning from continuous grazing to rotational grazing management in pastures. Soil samples were taken October 2016. When looking at the nutrient analysis, the only significant difference was sodium (Na). There was significantly more Na in the continuously grazed areas in …

biomass willow

Relative Forage Quality of Trees

by Mikala Parr, Research Assistant In 2007 a short rotation woody coppice plantation was established by the Canadian Forest Service to assess the potential of fast growing willow and poplar for bioenergy. A section of this plantation was fenced off in 2015. The idea of this project was to determine if willow and poplar regrowth would be an adequate food …

Algoma Forum for Food, Farms & Tourism

You are invited to attend the Sault Ste. Marie / Algoma Forum for Food, Farms & Tourism. March 9th, 2017 – 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Quattro Hotel, Sault Ste. Marie Algoma has many opportunities for promoting authentic attractions and cuisines. No matter what the season, there are many different experiences for visitors: Gilbertson’s Maple Products Pancake House, located …

barley trial

ASCIA head-to-head barley variety trials

by Mikala Parr, Research Assistant The Algoma Soil and Crop Improvement Association conducted an on-farm assessment of several varieties of feed barley. One location near Thessalon on River Road was comparing CDC Austenson and AC Encore. This field was underseeded with alfalfa, clover, and timothy. Both varieties were sprayed with Cobutox 625 and MCPA 500, and given 8-32-16 fertilizer.  Across …

sorghum sudangrass

Assessing the Nitrogen Requirements of Sorghum Crops

Sorghum-sudangrass is a hybrid of forage sorghum and sudangrass that does well in Ontario’s climate. It is often used as emergency forage because it is sown in early summer. As a warm season grass, sorghum-sudangrass grows rapidly under hot conditions when most of Ontario’s other forages slow down. OMAFRA’s factsheet on sorghum-sudangrass suggests applying 100-125 kg/ha (90-110 lbs/ac) of nitrogen …