59th Annual American Hop Convention – January 20-23, 2015

P1100410The 2015 American Hop Convention and Hop Research Council Winter Meeting is scheduled for January 20-23, 2015 in San Diego, California.

The meeting provides a venue for the Hop Research Council Committee meetings to discuss hop research reports in addition to general sessions and panels on hop production technology and marketing.

Cost: $525.00 USD (Pre-registration rate by January 9, 2015)

Please click the following link to download the 2015 American Hop Convention Registration Pkt which includes the agenda and information on guest speakers, conference tours and registration information.

For additional information please contact the Hop Growers of America by calling 1.509. 453.4749 or email info@usahops.org.

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Lavender Propagation Workshop – October 27 2014

The Ontario Lavender Association, the University of Guelph and OMAFRA are hosting a lavender propagation workshop titled “Tips and Tricks for Propagating Lavender Successfully”.

Where: Simcoe Research Station; 1283 Blueline Road, Simcoe ON N3Y 4K3
When: Monday, October 27, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm
Cost: $10 for OLA members, $20 for non-members

This hands-on workshop will cover how to collect cuttings from the field, preparing cuttings for planting, optimal rooting media, rooting hormones, and environmental conditions for optimal rooting.  It will also cover the best times of the year to propagate lavender and how to handle rooted cuttings over winter.

To register email Cathy Bartolic at cbartolic@yahoo.com.

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New to Farming in Ontario? Here’s a place to start…

Are you a new farmer in Ontario?  We find many specialty crop growers are also new to farming and are looking for resources to help them navigate the world of agriculture in Ontario.  Did you know OMAFRA has a publication entitled Starting A Farm In Ontario (Publication 61)? This publication provides an introduction to new farmers on everything from buying a rural property to obtaining a Farm Business Registration Number and managing your farm operation.  Basics on crop and livestock production, business plans and record keeping are covered in this resource.  For more information and to order your copy of Starting A Farm In Ontario, please visit the OMAFRA Website or contact Service Ontario at 1.800.668.9938 .

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Ginseng Crop Update – October 3, 2014

Ginseng harvest is in full swing and tops are senescing rapidly at this time. For gardens not being harvested this year, it is important to consider one last protectant fungicide over the next few weeks before winter. Foliar diseases like Alternaria and Botrytis will have no impact on root development this late in the season. However, inoculum from this year can remain on dried ginseng stems and in the straw over the winter. These could start new infections in the spring. In addition, root diseases like Rhizoctonia and Cylindrocarpon can continue to develop and spread under the cool conditions of late fall and early spring. It is a good idea to apply a broad spectrum fungicide to control diseases on both the remaining stems and in the soil before winter. Continue reading

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Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting – 2014

Ginseng growers, researchers and industry representatives are invited to attend the annual Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting

Where: Simcoe Research Station Auditorium
When: Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

This is an opportunity to discuss the production issues over the past year, establish research priorities for the coming year and to prioritize products for the minor use system. Jim Chaput, OMAFRA Minor Use Coordinator, will provide an update on products currently in the minor use system. As part of this meeting, upcoming changes to OMAFRA ginseng publications will also be discussed.

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Ontario-wide Farm Invention Challenge

Specialty crop growers may be interested in entering Farm & Food Care’s Farm Invention Challenge.

The competition has two main categories with a total of $9 000 in cash prizes.

Competition information as outlined on the Farm & Food Care Ontario website (as of 30 Sept 2014):

A. Animal Care
Large farm gadgets and gizmos – Whether it`s welding up a new attachment for your skid steer or designing a whole new feeding system, share with us your large scale farm innovations.
Small farm gadgets and gizmos – Have you ever fixed something with a rubber band or used a cotter pin in an unusual way? We want to hear about the simple fixes that have revolutionized animal care on your farm.
Farm hacks – Tell us how you have made simple changes around your barn to save time and headaches on your farm.

B. Water Efficiency & Quality
Water quality and nutrient management – What changes to equipment or practices have led to improved water quality and less nutrient runoff from farm lands? Share your ideas that help Ontario farmers better manage nutrients and minimize off-site impacts on surface and ground water quality.
Water use efficiency – Have you built a custom control system or use a different moisture sensor system to minimize overuse of water? Enter your equipment ideas or conservation practices that are working to improve the use of water around your farm.
Community/other – Tell us about your community organized or farm group projects that have helped to protect and/or improve water resources in your area.

$1,000 first prize in each category
$500 second prize in each category

All entries must be original by the participant.
The competition is open to all residents of Ontario.

For more information please visit the Farm & Food Care Ontario website at: http://www.farmfoodcare.org

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Hop Sample Request for University of Guelph Research Project

Growing_Hops_Ontario_Logo_5 with shadingThe hop research trials being conducted by the University of Guelph (U of G) through the OMAFRA New Directions research program include funding to collect hop samples from farm sites across the province in order to develop Ontario baseline data of hop profiles (i.e. brewing values and essential oils) by cultivar.

The U of G research team is requesting any interested Ontario hop growers to submit samples this fall for testing.  Please note:

  • A total of 100 samples will be collected in 2014 on a first come, first served basis. Growers can submit up to a maximum of 10 samples per farm (sample submission via post or courier is paid for by the grower).
  • Minimum individual sample size for submission is 15 g (~1/2 oz.).
  • There is no cost for testing.
  • Growers will receive an individual report for the samples they submit. Due to the nature of the project, hop analysis and data compilation will be completed throughout the winter months and therefore growers should not expect a quick turnaround for their individual report.
  • The public research report will not identify growers directly but rather group analytical results in general categories for confidentiality.
  • A call for samples will also take place in the 2015 growing season in order to obtain a minimum of 2 years of data.

If you are interested in submitting samples for testing, please email Cathy Bakker (U of G) cbakker@uoguelph.ca or Evan Elford (OMAFRA) evan.elford@ontario.ca for further instructions.

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