New Soil Fertility Handbook Released!

Did you know that OMAFRA has a handbook that’s all about nutrients and soil fertility?

It’s called the Soil Fertility Handbook and was first published in 1998. The book covers topics such as soil testing, soil pH and lime and fertilizer application. There’s a chapter on organic nutrient sources, like manure, biosolids and cover crops, as well as tips for identifying nutrient deficiencies in the field. It’s comprehensive and written in plain language. The Soil Fertility Handbook is often included as reading in university courses, but it can just as easily be used as a handy, everyday guide. Continue reading

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First meeting of the Haskap Berry Growers Association of Ontario Inc. at the 2019 OFVC

Haskap 1

The newly formed Haskap Berry Growers Association of Ontario Inc. (HBGAO) will be holding their first Annual General Meeting on Thursday, February 21, at 3pm in room 221 of the Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls during the 2019 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC).

The newly incorporated association will be directly linked to the national organization, Haskap Canada Association.

The first elected board of directors will be installed at the AGM.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the HBGAO, please click here for a membership form.
Follow this link to review the HBGAO by-laws and terms of reference.
Send completed membership forms to:
Haskap Berry Growers Association of Ontario Inc.
C/O Graham Gambles
Box 586, Haileybury
City of Temiskaming Shores
Ontario, P0J 1K0
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Upcoming Resources for Farmers and Mental Health

Originally posted on onfloriculture: In honour of #bellletstalk day, click here to get an update on “In the Know”, a mental health literacy course designed specifically for farmers. The pilot course will soon be available by researchers at the University of Guelph. You may remember last year’s post on some of their stunning research; like how 45% of Canadian…

via Upcoming Resources for Farmers and Mental Health — ONfruit

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Summer Student Positions Available at the Simcoe Research Station, Norfolk County – Deadline Extended

Job Ad: Student – Horticulture Assistant
Organization: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Division/Branch: Economic Development Division / Agriculture Development Branch
Title: Student – Summer Research Assistant
Job Term: Temporary (7 positions) up to 16 weeks
Location: OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, Simcoe, Ontario (Norfolk County, on the north shore of Lake Erie, 2 hours southwest of Toronto)
Salary: $14.85 / hour based on a 36.25 hour work week

Are you serious about making your mark, getting hands-on work experience and learning more about careers in the Ontario Public Service?  These positions at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Simcoe Resource Centre will provide an excellent opportunity for those interested in a career in horticulture production, research or the agricultural service sector. These positions will provide the opportunity to learn about diseases, insects, and agronomy of the major field horticulture crops and specialty crops grown in the province.


  • Assist with summer research and demonstration projects conducted by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Horticulture and Specialty Crops Staff.
  • Activities will include the set-up and maintenance (weeding, planting, etc.) of research plots focused on production practices, soil health, weed control, pest management, and fertility etc., collection/entering of data and preparation of written reports. Training will be provided on research methods, technology transfer, and working in the public sector
  • Collecting, archiving and organizing digital photos of key growth stages and major pests of horticultural and specialty crops such as strawberries, tree fruit, hops, lavender, ginseng, sweet potatoes and industrial crops
  • Field work may include farm tours, field scouting, identification and monitoring of insects, weeds and crop diseases.
  • Assist staff with the collection and analysis of on-farm samples and data for research projects.
  • Assist staff to conduct literature reviews and develop written reports and presentation materials on key initiatives and industry issues.
  • Assist in the coordination of events and programs (e.g. workshops, demonstrations, field days etc.) working with key stakeholders and clients in delivery of programs and information.
  • Office work may include assisting with the production of technical information such as newsletters, updating web pages, blogs, scanning images, etc.

Please review the qualifications for this position. What we are looking for: 

  • You apply your interpersonal skills to work within a multi-disciplinary team
  • You apply your observational skills and attention to detail to conduct research, field monitoring and data entry
  • You apply your written communication skills to prepare a variety of documents (e.g. reports, factsheets, and articles).
  • You are familiar with computer based software applications including MS Word, MS Excel and database management software to perform data entry, conduct analysis, prepare reports, track and compile information
  • You can work in an outdoor environment with physical activity involved
  • You work independently or as part of a team; you plan, organize and prioritize your work to meet competing deadlines
  • You are familiar with farming and crop production
  • You are willing to travel to rural locations (frequently not accessible by public transportation)
  • You must have a minimum Ontario G2 Driver’s Licence

How to Apply:

  • You must demonstrate how you meet the eligibility criteria, skills and experience we are looking for clearly, completely and concisely. We rely on the information you provide to us.
  • You must be a resident of Ontario on the first day of employment.
  • You must be legally entitled to work in Canada.
  • You must be between 15-24 years of age (up to 29 with disability) on the first day of employment.
  • You must be currently enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary school, or have completed all academic requirements for graduation within 6 months of first day of employment.
  • You must provide your cover letter and resume electronically in one file to in any of the following formats: PDF, WORD, plain or rich-text format (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt and .rtf).  Or you could provide your cover letter and resume on paper to:

Jacquie DeFields
Simcoe Resource Centre
1283 Blueline Road,
Box 587 Simcoe, Ontario N3Y 4N5
Tel: 519-426-7122
Fax: 519-428-1142

You should receive confirmation within 2 business days if your application was received. If you do not receive a confirmation in that time, please call Jacquie DeFields.

If you have a disability and require accommodation to apply please contact

Posting Date: January 21, 2019

Closing Date: February 25, 2019

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Specialty Crop Content at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) will be held February 20 and 21, 2019 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls ( This year the program features substantial specialty crop content. Here are some highlights for specialty crop growers: Continue reading

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Presidio Fungicide Registered for Basil, Hops and Edible-Podded Beans

By: J. Chaput, OMAFRA, Minor Use Coordinator, Guelph

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of URMULE registrations for Presidio Fungicide for control of downy mildew on field and greenhouse basil and downy mildew of hops, and suppression of Phytophthora blight and pod rot and downy mildew on edible-podded beans (incl. edamame) in Canada. Presidio Fungicide was already labeled for use on a number of crops in Canada for control of several diseases. Continue reading

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Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting Dec. 5, 2018

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 5, 2018
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. An update will be provided on products currently in the minor use system. An update on current and future research on ginseng replant disease will also be given during the meeting.  Morning refreshments will be provided. No RSVP is required.

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