Maximizing Your Lavender Essential Oil Distillation

Lavender essential oil is extracted using various models of steam distillers. Many lavender growers have relatively small distillers, which make maximizing oil extraction efficiency very important. Over the past two years OMAFRA and the University of Guelph have been testing various methods for getting the most oil out of your lavender.

Results in 2013 with a replicated research trial showed that it was better to keep some stem material on the lavender in the distiller than to try to remove all of the stems. When the distiller was filled with mostly flowers and less stems, the vessel became too tightly packed and less oil was extracted per weight of flowers. This was probably due to the development of channels through or around the flowers where steam by-passed the plant material and was unable to pick up the oils from the buds in the centre of dense areas of flowers. Continue reading

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IPM Scout Training Workshops for 2015

Here are the updated IPM scout workshops available for those who will be scouting horticultural crops this year. To register contact: Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300

Workshop: Introduction to IPM
Date & Time: Apr 29, 8:30am to 4:00pm
Location: Conference Rm 2 and 3, 1st Floor, 1 Stone Rd., Guelph
Workshop Leader: Denise Beaton
Materials Needed: Lunch on your own, Handouts provided
Notes: Have to pay for parking

Workshop: Tomatoes & Peppers
Date & Time: May 1, 8:30am to 1:00pm
Location: PSC 002 in the lower level of the Pestell Bldg. at Ridgetown Campus
Workshop Leader: Janice LeBoeuf
Materials Needed: Lunch on your own, Handouts provided

Workshop: Lettuce, Celery, Onions, Carrots
Date & Time: May 5, 10:00am to 2:00pm
Location: Conference Rm.1, 1st Floor, 1 Stone Rd., Guelph
Workshop Leader: Marion Paibomesai
Materials Needed: Handouts provided, Lunch on your own
Notes: Have to pay for parking

Workshop: Tender Fruit
Date & Time: May 8, 9:00am to Noon
Location: Vineland, Rittenhouse Hall
Workshop Leader: Wendy McFadden- Smith
Materials Needed: Bring your laptop, Lunch on your own

Workshop: Grapes
Date & Time: May 8, 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Location: Vineland, Rittenhouse Hall
Workshop Leader: Wendy McFadden- Smith
Materials Needed: Bring your laptop, Lunch on your own

Workshop: Apples
Date & Time: May 11, 9:00am to 3:00pm, following with orchard visit
Location: Auditorium, Simcoe OMAFRA Resource Centre
Workshop Leader: Apple IPM specialist
Materials Needed: Handouts provided, If possible bring copy of Pub #360 & 310, Lunch on your own

Workshop: Strawberries and Raspberry (Blueberry training upon request)
Date & Time: May 13, 9:00am sharp to 3:00pm
Location: Auditorium, Simcoe OMAFRA Resource Centre
Workshop Leader: Pam Fisher
Materials Needed: OMAFRA Publication #360 Guide to Fruit Production $20, Lunch on your own
Follow up field training: Spotted wing drosophila ID training provided at workshop

Workshop: Sweet corn, Peas and Beans
Date & Time: May 14, 9:30 am to noon
Location: Ridgetown
Workshop Leader: Elaine Roddy
Materials Needed: Lunch on your own

Workshop: Cucurbit Crops
Date & Time: May 14, 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Location: Ridgetown
Workshop Leader: Elaine Roddy
Materials Needed: Lunch on your own

Workshop: Cole Crops
Date & Time: May 15, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Large Boardroom, 401 Lakeview Dr., Unit#1 Woodstock OMAFRA office, Woodstock
Workshop Leader: Marion Paibomesai
Materials Needed: Handouts provided, Lunch on your own

Workshop: Asparagus
Date & Time: May 21, 8:45 am to Noon
Location: Webinar* Need to register with Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300
Workshop Leader: Elaine Roddy

Workshop: Potatoes
Date & Time: May 29, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
Location: Conference Room 3, 1st Floor, 1 Stone Rd., Guelph
Workshop Leader: Eugenia Banks
Materials Needed: Potato Scouting Manual Provided, Lunch on your own
Recommended: OMAFRA publication #823; Potato Field Guide
Notes: Have to pay for parking
Follow-up field training: Field training dates TBA

Workshop: Ginseng in field workshop
Date & Time: June 4, 1:30pm to 4:00pm
Location: TBA
Workshop Leader: Sean Westerveld, Melanie Filotas

*Webinar meeting : Asparagus IPM Scout Training / Elaine Roddy
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015
Time: 8:45 am
– Within 15 minutes of meeting start time, go to:
https://omafra.webex.com/omafra/j.php?MTID=ma5d3a430aaf1c3ed91147f0385c4c106
– Login by entering your name and e-mail address
– If required, enter the meeting password: omafra
– For the audio component, join the teleconference: 416-212-8013 or Toll free 1-866-633-1033 / Pass Code 1931240

For more information contact:
Margaret Appleby
IPM Systems Specialist
OMAFRA Brighton, 613-475-5850         Email: margaret.appleby@ontario.ca

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FAO: State of the Art Report on Quinoa Around the World in 2013

FAO Report on QuinoaOntario specialty crop growers may be interested in a new report released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).  The report is a follow up from the International Year of Quinoa in 2013.

“The scientific studies and articles compiled herein describe with precision the potential contribution of quinoa and its limitations with regard to its cultivation, and promote its consumption in different parts of the world. The state of the world’s quinoa tracks the “footsteps” of quinoa to determine current sectorial trends in 2013 for this exceptional crop which, due to its nutritional qualities, its diversity and its resistance to drought and cold, has been identified as an important alternative to contribute to global food security, especially in areas where the population has no access to adequate sources of protein, or where there are environmental constraints to food crop production.”

The 605 page report is available as a free download from the FAO website.

For Ontario specific information on quinoa, please refer to the following sources:P1100969
1. OMAFRA Specialty Cropportunities Quinoa Crop Profile
2. OMAFRA ON Organic Newsletter, Vol 6. Issue 10: Keen-what? Quinoa: Things to consider for quinoa production.

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Agricultural Biomass: What’s It All About?

Ag. Biomass Day- Research and Markets: March 27, 2015

The Ontario Biomass Producers Co-operative (OBPC) is holding its Ag Biomass Day 2015 on Friday, March 27 in Guelph, Ontario. The event will focus on research activities of interest to switchgrass and miscanthus growers as well as development of new markets.

Date & Time: March 27, 2015: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: 95 Stone Road W., Guelph, ON
Registration:

  • OBPC Members- $25. OBPC members get a $50 discount. Up to 2 guests are allowed per member at the professional rate of $25/guest.
  • Non-members-$75. No discount for non-members. If membership is purchased at gate, entrance fee will be reduced to $25.
  • Poster Exhibition Students- Free

For more information and registration details, please click on OBPC website here

And about the event announcement on Youtube

DSCN3981 P1000788

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Eight New Crop Profiles Added to Specialty Cropportunities

Specialty Cropportunities is OMAFRA’s online specialty crop resource. It includes general information on specialty crop agronomics, business planning and marketing and provides specific agronomic information on over 100 specialty crops. We recently added 8 new crop profiles to the module. The following new profiles were added:

Medicinal Herbs:
Valerian

Culinary Herbs:
Sweet Fennel

Specialty Vegetables:
Florence Fennel

Specialty Grains:
Spelt

Industrial Crops – Oilseeds:
Borage
Crambe
Meadowfoam

Industrial Crops – Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical:
Corn Gromwell

Lithospermum_arvense_1 Flowering Crambe
Corn Gromwell (left – photo credit Fornax, wikipedia.org) and Crambe (right) are grown for industrial purposes.

To see the new profiles click on their respective crop categories in Specialty Cropportunities.

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Grey County Agricultural Services Centre: Specialty Cropportunities Workshop -18 March, 2015

Considering growing a new crop? Not sure what crops can be grown on your farm? Want to find out what is ‘hot” right now? Growing specialty crops presents some unique challenges compared to traditional crops. These include: few options for pest management; minimal agronomic information; undeveloped or small markets; and specialized equipment. Facilitators, Evan Elford and Jim Todd from OMAFRA, will review new, specialty or non-traditional crops that are proving to have merit in this area of Ontario. The crops to be discussed will include: quinoa, grain amaranth, teff, edamame, industrial oilseeds and energy/fibre crops.

Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Grey County Agricultural Services Centre, 206 Toronto St. South, Unit 3 Markdale, Ontario
Cost: $10/person.
Pre-Register By: Friday March 13th, 2015
T: 519-986-3756
E: info@greyagservices.ca
Website: http://www.greyagservices.ca

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IR-4 Project Newsletter Highlights Quinoa

Ontario growers interested in learning more about quinoa may be interested in a recent newsletter article published by the US based IR-4 Program (Vol. 46 No. 1 Winter 2015).  The article provides a good overview of crop history, pest issues and current market values and issues. Please click here to access a copy of the IR-4 article.

To access other quinoa resources please visit the following links on the OMAFRA website:

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