Ontario ag retailers make 4R stewardship a priority
Courtesy of Bernard Tobin and Real Agriculture
Ontario ag retailers need to provide leadership in helping farmers adopt 4R nutrient stewardship and a new audit program can do just that, says AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan. In 2015, OMAFRA, the Ontario Agri Business Association, Fertilizer Canada, and ag retailer stakeholders signed a memorandum of understanding stating that 4R nutrient stewardship – right source, rate, time, and place – is a good voluntary process for the agriculture industry to adopt to help reduce phosphorus loss past the field edge.
Cowan explains that 4R Ontario was formed out of that agreement, and a steering and technical standards committees have now developed a voluntary 4R Audit Program for ag retailers. “We didn’t have to look far,” says Cowan who notes that the new program is based on a successful approach used in Ohio. 4R Ontario’s science and technical committees are currently working to finalize certification and audit standards. Four Ontario retailers have participated in a pilot program and 37 audit standards have been developed to reflect Ontario conditions. A third-party auditor will determine whether retailers pass or fail.
Ridgetown Offering Free Integrated Pest Management Course For Corn, Soybean Growers The University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus will soon be offering classroom and on-line Integrated Pest Management Courses for corn and soybeans. These half-day courses are among the requirements farmers need to buy and use neonic-treated corn or soybean seeds under the new provincial government regulations.
The theme for this year’s 4-H Essay Contest is: “How can co-operatives demonstrate their value to the next generation of agriculturists?" The contest is open to all Ontario high school students who are members of 4-H.
You can get started by visiting the GROWMARKor 4-H Ontario website to learn the full details on the program. Fill out the requested title page, write an impressive essay and email or mail your package to GROWMARK Ontario region office for a chance to become the Ontario provincial winner for 2018.
First place will receive $500 and the winner’s 4-H Association will also receive $300. Two runners-up each win $125.
Essays should be approximately 500 words, typed and double-spaced. The postmarked entry deadline for Ontario 4-H members is May 15.
The essay contest has been in place for many years, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member co-operatives, in conjunction with US state FFA leaders and 4-H Ontario, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues affecting agriculture, and understand the unique role of co-operatives.
Check out our FS Agri-Finance Program! Contact your local AGRIS Co-operative branch or Mary Bell at 519-380-2370 or more details!
The Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative (CSPC) is an Ontario-based farmer’s co-operative strives to develop new markets for crop residue materials and new business opportunities, by extracting cellulosic sugars from crop residues. With this, farmers can explore new markets without having to compete for land.