2016
Feb
19
Listening and learning about agriculture in south-west Ontario

Thank you very much to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for hosting ECO staff and myself on an agricultural tour of southwestern Ontario last week. I was pleased to note the rapidly growing awareness of the importance of controlling phosphorus runoff, partly through the excellent work of the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative. It was encouraging to be assured, by two separate Certified Crop Advisors, that farmers now have all the tools they need to cut phosphorus runoff by the 40% needed to protect Lake Erie.

Some farmers approach the issue with high precision equipment, detailed sampling and “just in time” variable fertilizer application to avoid wasteful applications of unneeded phosphorus. Others focus on soil health, soil conservation and cover crops, to keep fertilizers in the soil and on the farm.

It was also interesting to have further conversations about tax and funding policy, and opportunities to recognize and support the ecosystem services that farmers can provide.

Thank you also to the Soil and Crop Association for hosting us at their annual dinner in London.

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