4th Annual GOHCBC Filling Up Fast!

BeerLogo_2015_NODATERegistration is filling up fast for the 4th annual Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition taking place on February 17, 2016.  There are only 6 spots left for interested Ontario hop grower/brewer teams.

This year’s beer style is American Amber Ale:

Overall Impression: An amber, hoppy, moderate-strength American craft beer with a caramel malty flavor. The balance can vary quite a bit, with some versions being fairly malty and others being aggressively hoppy. Hoppy and bitter versions should not have clashing flavors with the caramel malt profile.

Please review the full style guidelines in the Beer Judge Certification Program 2015 Style Guidelines at:  http://www.bjcp.org/docs/2015_Guidelines_Beer.pdf

Competition guidelines, rules and registration forms can be found on the GOHCBC website: http://www.ONHops.ca

Submit your registration today!

Photo by Denis Cahill courtesy The Grower

“The Bottomless Cup” Photo by Denis Cahill courtesy The Grower


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Understanding Changes to the Canadian Organic Standards – COG Webinar Series

The Canadian Organic Growers (COG) will be hosting a series of webinars beginning on the 16th of October, 2015 entitled “Changes to the Canadian Organic Standards – an Essential Update”.  Specialty crops such as sprouts, mushrooms and wild-crafting will also be discussed during the crop webinars.

“The Canadian Organic Standards have been revised and updated and the new standards are being launched November 9, 2015. To ensure operators, producers, processors, certifying bodies, and verification officers are up to date on the revisions, COG is pleased to offer informative webinars – Changes to the Canadian Organic Standards – an Essential Update. Continue reading

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Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting – 2015


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

Where: Simcoe Research Station Auditorium
When: Tuesday, December 1, 2015
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.

Following this meeting there will be a Ginseng Replant Research Update Meeting held in the afternoon at the same location. Details of that meeting will be sent out closer to the date. Mark your calendars!

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How active is your soil? Try the underwear test!

Originally posted on ONfruit:

by Contributor:  Claire Coombs1, Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph

Soiled underwear has taken on a whole new meaning in my world, where the dirty and decrepit reign. In June, I planted something in the ground that I had never even considered burying, 7 pairs of men’s cotton briefs.

Soil biology can be a difficult concept to study, measure and teach. There are several tools and methods that can be used to measure soil biology, however these do not generally provide interesting or engaging, extension material. All this changed, when myself, and soil management specialist, Anne Verhallen, heard a presentation at a Midwest Cover Crop Council meeting. Using the cotton test, a soil biology measure using cotton swatches, as a basis, this researcher placed men’s 100% cotton briefs in the soil and removed after a set period of time to measure biological activity. The cotton test uses pre-measured squares of…

View original 571 more words

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Webinar – Wild bees as crop pollinators: a case-study in Haskap

On Wednesday, 30 September 2015, at 12pm Central Time (UTC) Danae Frier, M.Sc. Candidate at the University of Regina will present a webinar on wild bees as crop pollinators using Haskap as a case-study.

This talk will be presented as a Webinar:
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2480962595540713986#







In-kind support for the Speaker Series provided by the Department of Biology at the University of Regina and Royal Saskatchewan Museum. This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of the Environment. Ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada agissant par l’entremise du ministère fédéral de l’Environnement.

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Mark your calendars! University of Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming Open House.

You’re invited to attend the University of Guelph’s Centre for Urban Organic Farming open house on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, from 1-4 pm.

Learn about ongoing high tunnel and field research projects with horticultural crops and specialty crops including cherry tomato, pea shoots and pods, bitter melon and edible chrysanthemum.


The day will include discussions on high tunnel construction, project set-up, initial experiences of organic vegetable crops grown in high tunnels and field production, understanding environmental variables when growing organic crops in high tunnels versus field production, site tours, and more!

Date: 30 September, 2015
Time: 1-4 pm
Site Tours:University of Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming, College Ave. East & Dundas Lane, Guelph, Ontario.
Presentations: Cutten Fields, 190 College Ave East, Gueph, Ontario.

12:30:             Registration
1:00 – 1:45:    Site Tours (every 15 mins, 3 tours available starting at 1pm)
2:15:               Presentations
2:15 – 2:30:   Introduction to the High Tunnel Project  – Dr. Youbin Zheng
2:30 – 3:00:  Lessons Learned in High Tunnel Construction – Dave Llewellyn
3:00 – 3:30:  Environmental Monitoring in High Tunnels – Dr. Dave Lubitz and Dave Llewellyn
3:30 – 4:00:  Preliminary Results of High Tunnel Production of Organic Crops –
Yun Kong and Dr. Youbin Zheng
4:00:              Adjourn

To learn more, visit the farm’s website at https://www.uoguelph.ca/gcuof/visit-farm  and stay tuned to ONSpecialtyCrops and ONOrganic for more details!

This research is funded by the AgriInnovation Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Growing Forward 2 Policy Framework (a federal-provincial-territorial initiative) and Organic Federation of Canada through the Organic Science Cluster II, an industry-supported research and development endeavor initiated by the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University in collaboration with the Organic Federation of Canada.


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How are pesticides registered in Canada?

Pesticide Registration in Canada and Ontario

By Allison Moorman, OMAFRA-University of Guelph USEL Student

A pesticide, or pest control product, is a substance (insecticide, fungicide, or herbicide) used to prevent, destroy or repel pest organisms. All products applied to a plant for the purpose of controlling a pest in Canada, whether conventional or organic, must be registered federally by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). The PMRA is an agency of Health Canada, which registers each pesticide under the federal Pest Control Products Act and re-evaluates previously registered pesticides to determine acceptability for future use. When registering a pesticide for use in Canada, the PMRA evaluates many factors including the potential risk to human and animal health, the impact on the environment and the usefulness of the pesticide to the agricultural industry. These regulations are designed to ensure pest control products are used with minimal risks to worker health, food and the environment.

If a company wants to sell their pest control product in Canada, they are required to provide detailed information to the PMRA. The registration process is extensive, involving several steps, which can take several years to be completed.

First, Screening Officers look at the submission package to make certain everything is complete and correct. Pesticides are then evaluated by various groups within the PMRA; they assesses potential impacts of the pesticide on human health and various groups within the division evaluate:

  • Short and long term human health effects
  • Occupational exposure for applicators and bystanders, and the personal protective equipment required
  • Maximum residue limits (MRLs) to determine how much residue can safely be present on the food product before consumption
  • The fate of the products in the environment and any recommendations (e.g. buffer zones, rate, etc.) to reduce environmental impacts
  • A value/efficacy assessment which determines whether the product has value for the purposes claimed, and establishes the lowest dose required to still achieve product effectiveness while limiting the potential risks to human health and the environment.

If the product being assessed does not pose any significant threats and provides substantial benefit to the agricultural industry, the pesticide will be considered for registration with a five-year probation period. The pesticide will be given a label, which contains important usage information and is a legal document that users are required to follow. If the product poses substantive environmental or health risks, then a recommendation of refusal of registration may be made.

Once a pest control product is federally registered for use in Canada, it cannot be sold or used in Ontario until it is classified under the provincial Pesticides Act, which places all pest control products into one of 12 classes on the basis of its toxicity, persistence and other factors.  Each classification determines how the product can be distributed, sold and used in Ontario.  In order for growers to buy and use Class 2 and 3 pest control products, they must take a Grower Pesticide Safety Course and become certified, while homeowners are only permitted to use Class 5, 6 and 7 products. The Ontario Pesticide Advisory Committee (OPAC) reviews and recommends pesticide classification to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), which is responsible for regulating all pesticides provincially.

Click on the following links for more information on Using Pesticides in Ontario and on pest control products for specialty crops.

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