GFM Network News

Lisa Thompson. ( video screengrab via YouTube)

Ontario names new ag minister in shuffle

Lisa Thompson replaces Ernie Hardeman

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has drawn another aggie from his existing cabinet to replace Ernie Hardeman as his agriculture minister. Ford on Friday announced a major cabinet shuffle, dropping Hardeman, the long-time MPP for Oxford, from the cabinet table and naming Lisa Thompson as minister for agriculture, food and rural affairs. Thompson, who until Friday […] Read more

University of Guelph president Dr. Franco Vaccarino (right) and Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal sign a new research partnership agreement, with Guelph-area MPP Liz Sandals. (John Greig photo)

Ontario, U of Guelph renew ag research partnership

Up to $713 million in agriculture research will be funded at the University of Guelph over the next 10 years through a renewal of the university’s agreement with the provincial ag ministry. The new agreement has been updated to manage digital data and is aimed to provide a base from which to leverage more research […] Read more

Canola plants with clubroot galls from a field near Verner, Ont., about 50 km west of North Bay. (

Clubroot arrives in Ontario canola

Ontario has its first case of clubroot disease in canola — and further testing has confirmed clubroot in canola fields across the province. During the 2016 growing season an agronomist in the Verner area of northern Ontario examined a canola field and found the distinctive clubbed roots, said Meghan Moran, canola and edible bean specialist […] Read more

OMAFRA headquarters in Guelph. (Photo courtesy OMAFRA)

Ontario names new top ag bureaucrat

Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has a new deputy minister. Greg Meredith will become deputy minister on Jan. 9. A deputy minister is a ministry’s chief civil servant, managing its implementation of government policy. Meredith replaces Dr. Deb Stark, who recently retired as deputy minister, capping a 30-year career in public […] Read more

The use of cover crops such as radish has spread rapidly in Ontario in the past five years. Ontario’s environmental commissioner wants to see that continue. (John Greig photo)

OMAFRA seen needing a soil health ‘tuneup’

Ontario’s environmental commissioner is calling on the provincial ag ministry to rebuild its soil health expertise and find ways to encourage farmers to adopt soil-friendly production practices, to deal with what she calls a “catastrophic” loss in soil organic matter levels. The report recommends better soil carbon level monitoring and 10-year programs to financially encourage […] Read more

Northern Ontario website up and running

News Roundup from the November 2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Anyone tempted to take a look at northern Ontario as a place to expand their beef operation can start their search on a new website, developed by the Northern Farm Innovation Alliance working with OMAFRA, the provincial Agriculture Department. It provides profiles of the 10 northern regions that offer everything from soil types to […] Read more

Facilities for Ontario beef cattle

Facilities for Ontario beef cattle

News Roundup from the June 2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The phone rings and the question is, “I want to build a new barn for my beef cows, are there any new designs? The Canada Plan Service plans date back 30+ years.” The observation that beef barn design has not changed much is somewhat true. There are new fabric barns, and new flooring discussions, but […] Read more

three cattle grazing pasture

Ontario looks north for more cows

News Roundup from the April 2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Coming out of the Beef Farmers of Ontario’s annual general meeting this spring, president Bob Gordanier was reminded of the saying, “Opportunity never arrives. It’s here!” BFO’s northern cow herd expansion project presents an opportunity for beef farmers unlike any since the settlement years with the prospect of opening up provincial Crown land in the […] Read more

harvesting a forage crop

Getting back to the basics: The fundamentals of good forages

New market opportunities may beckon, but quality remains the key

Every time commodity prices start to cycle lower, questions are asked and pencils are put to paper: “Should I start thinking of a cropping alternative?” In Eastern Canada the considerations are often edible beans, identity-preserved soybeans, oats…  maybe even barley or flax. But what about forages? The answer can be less than straightforward, depending on […] Read more

Ontario’s Agricorp to offer direct deposit

Farm program payments handled by Ontario’s farm support delivery agency, Agricorp, will soon be available through direct deposit. Agricorp announced Tuesday that farmers can expect to see direct deposit enrolment information in their packages during the spring program renewal period, and can apply for direct deposit starting in March. Customers who sign up for direct […] Read more