OMAFRA Welcomes Dennis Van Dyk as Vegetable Crops Specialist


OMAFRA Vegetable Crop Specialist Dennis Van DykDennis Van Dyk recently joined the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) as a Vegetable Crops Specialist. Based out of the Guelph office, he will primarily focus on the root vegetable crop portfolio, including: potato, carrot, rutabaga, turnip, parsnip, radish and horseradish.

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Phytophthora Root Rot of Lavender: Overwintering Potential

Last year there were several reports of Phytophthora root rot on lavender across southern Ontario and much of the United States. Symptoms of Phytophthora root rot begin as sections of plants wilting down in the middle of the growing season, which usually rapidly progresses to complete plant death. The disease often begins to spread down the row and in rough patches in the field, especially under wet conditions. It is caused by the water mould Phytophthora nicotianae and several other Phytophthora species. In 2015 Phytophthora nicotianae was confirmed on all affected plants. Continue reading

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Announcing the 5th Annual Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition!

BeerLogo_2015_NODATEIt’s the event that all local hop growers and Ontario brewers have been waiting for…

Registration is now open for the 5th annual Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition taking place on February 21, 2017.

This year’s beer style as chosen by participants and the public is Belgian IPA:

Overall Impression: An IPA with the fruitiness and spiciness derived from the use of Belgian yeast. The examples from Belgium tend to be lighter in colour and more attenuated, similar to a tripel that has been brewed with more hops. This beer has a more complex flavour profile and may be higher in alcohol than a typical IPA.

Please review the full style guidelines in the Beer Judge Certification Program 2015 Style Guidelines at:

Competition guidelines, rules and registration forms can be found on the GOHCBC website:

Entry forms must be received by 16:00 on October 31, 2016.


Photo by Denis Cahill courtesy The Grower

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Ginseng Crop Update – August 19, 2016

The hot and dry weather in early August has resulted in a number of issues in ginseng gardens. These issues include poor berry development, premature senescence, discolouring of leaves due to various root diseases and probably poor root growth. Recent rains and slightly cooler temperatures may have reduced the stress at least temporarily. However, the rains were relatively light in many ginseng production areas and would not have been enough to eliminate moisture stress if plants were not irrigated regularly. Continue reading

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Interested in On-Farm Processing? Check out the ‘Transition Smart’ Workshop this Autumn

Many specialty crop growers add value to their product through on-farm processing.  A new two-day workshop available this November will help guide producers through the steps of adding value to your crop.  Click the flyer below for more information.

Transition Smart 2016

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Haskap & Specialty Fruit Workshop: 24 August, 2016

Haskap and Specialty Fruit Workshop

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Lavender Fertility and Irrigation Workshop – August 23

Lavender Ontario is hosting a Fertility and Irrigation Workshop on Tuesday, August 23 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Apple Hill Lavender, 1795 Windham Rd. 11, Windham Centre.  To register for this workshop, follow this link: LAVENDER FERTILITY AND IRRIGATION workshop

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