Two important surveys have near-term deadlines. The federal government’s housing survey regarding temporary foreign workers is due December 9, 2020. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council is surveying farmers about labour impacts. That survey is due January 5, 2021.

The fifth annual report is an intriguing mix of newly-emerged patterns and existing trends radically altered by the pandemic Jo-Ann McArthur, president of Nourish Food Marketing and Len Kahn, president of Kahntact, share their top 12 trends.  

Dejected workers gather to tear down the brittle leaves of a cucumber crop that perished after Nature Fresh Farms was shut down by public health authorities on June 30, 2020. In a recent short documentary, the story is told how 199 asymptomatic workers tested positive for COVID-19 but no one was ever hospitalized. The devastating effects of losing 7.8 million pounds of produce aren’t just economic but emotional as guest workers have testified. 

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Pressure testing your financial health

John Molenhuis, business analysis and cost-of-production specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) worked with the grape, tender fruit and apple groups for years, updating baseline measurements every five years that compare the average of the group to the top 25. 

Wired for launch

Events by invitation-only became the norm in 2020 as the pandemic curbed in-person contact. The impacts of COVID-19 on research, new product launches and extension efforts will be felt for years to come. 

Growing live, virtually

Meetups are increasingly scarce. That’s why technology transfer is challenged in the age of COVID-19. Ontario vegetable crop specialist, Travis Cranmer and his colleagues are using new platforms to reach garlic growers Ian and Nathan Teetzel near Exeter, Ontario.

Grape expectations: up and down

After 45 years of farming, it’s safe to say 2020 has been a year like no other for Ernie Wiens. Due to scant rainfall and high temperatures, grape tonnage volumes are expected to be down by 20 per cent. He’s poised to take a brix test of Chardonnay grapes, one of many varieties grown at the family’s 400 acres of vineyards near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

How robots will give a hand to food security

The repetitive task of crop scouting in greenhouses is being replaced by an automated system with artificial intelligence which can detect pests and disease in real time. This bleeding-edge technology is not for everyone. But it’s a new consideration for Jake Neufeld who manages a labour-intensive crop of high-wire cucumbers near Leamington, Ontario. 

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Bob Tosh with MNP shares insight on transitioning wealth

Karen Davidson, editor of The Grower, talked to Bob Tosh, MNP, to find out how this accounting company offers more than tax planning and accounting.

Scott Hodgins crystal balls the future of crop protection research

Scott Hodgins has been in the crop protection business for 20 years and shares his thoughts on the impacts of COVID-19 on research for horticulture.

An easier way to manage paperwork for temporary foreign workers

Software developer Cliffe Hodgkinson has finetuned a web-based program called FarmHR that eases the load of record-keeping for temporary foreign workers.

Travis Cranmer describes a new interactive platform for technology transfer

Travis Cranmer, Ontario vegetable crop specialist, OMAFRA, describes Slido.com, a question-and-answer polling platform that allows participants to see photos and slides on technical subjects.

Joe Pillitteri: an equipment dealer steers through the COVID-19 crisis

Joe Pillitteri, owner of Lakeview Vineyard Equipment shares the roller-coaster of managing his Ontario company through a pandemic that’s resulted in cancelled field days and trade shows. 

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Artificial intelligence is coming to greenhouse vegetables operations

Smart algorithms can optimize and steer climate, irrigation and energy in daily operations of greenhouses. A January 28 webinar delves into how artificial intelligence can reduce dependency on human expertise in controlled environments. 

Hoskin Scientific – Your Trusted Partner in Growing and Agriculture

SPONSORED CONTENT

For over 70 years, the Environmental Department of Hoskin Scientific provides expert consultative support to find the right product to fit your application needs.

Telus launches agriculture division

Telus Corporation, a Canadian telecom company, has announced its acquisitions of several data management and analytics companies to come under the umbrella of Telus Agriculture.   

Nobel Prize winners for chemistry discovered genetic scissors

Two scientists – one in Germany, one in the United States – are winning global accolades for their development of a method of genome editing. They are Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna.  

 

Cascades introduces thermoformed cardboard food tray

Recycled and recyclable, this thermoformed cardboard food tray features a water-based coating that protects from moisture.  

A letter to a local mayor of Haldimand-Norfolk paves the way for upcoming talks about housing accommodations for seasonal workers in 2021.  Ontario’s Norfolk County hosts one of the largest concentrations of workers in the country.

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Serifel fungicide label expanded

BASF has received label expansion for Serifel, a fungicide and a biological that can be used on a range of fruiting, leafy, root and cucurbit vegetables and berries.

Cormoran insecticide label expanded

Another tool is available for managing spotted-wing drosophila in blueberries. ADAMA Agricultural Solutions has announced that the crop protection product can be used on both highbush and lowbush blueberries.

Miravis fungicide labels expanded

Syngenta Canada has announced key additions to the Miravis fungicide lineup.  This is news pertinent to diverse horticultural crops such as potatoes, strawberries and highbush blueberries.

Phosmet approved with more risk mitigation measures

The broad-spectrum insecticide has been re-evaluated and approved by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency for continued use in Canada.  The product is used in tree fruit, berries, carrots, celery and potatoes. 

Sharpen awareness of how to avoid pesticide resistance

Ontario growers are encouraged to register for an OMAFRA pesticide resistance management series. From Jan 25-28, 2021, learn more about how resistance occurs, Ontario-specific issues and management when using herbicides, insecticides and fungicides in field fruit, veg and specialty crops.

Effective November 21, all travellers to Canada are required to submit information electronically through ArriveCAN before boarding a flight. Employers of temporary foreign workers can submit this data.

RELATED NEWS

Ontario welcomes tree fruit specialist

Erika DeBrouwer has joined the horticulture crops unit, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. She will be based in Simcoe.

Nature Fresh Farms hires manager for Mexican greenhouse

Robert Van Der Geest becomes general manager for Nature Fresh Farms Mexico  leading operations of a 15-acre pepper greenhouse in the central region of the country. Another 15 acres are under construction. 

Leonard Pennachetti named to Order of Canada

The president and co-founder of Cave Spring Cellars has been named to the Order of Canada, capping a lifetime of achievements in the wine and hospitality industry of the Niagara Peninsula.  

CanAgPlus elects board

The annual general meeting of CanAgPlus, the not-for-profit corporation that owns and operates the CanadaGAP Program, has elected two new and two returning directors. This is the oversight board for food safety. 

Lana Popham continues as BC ag minister

British Columbia’s premier announced his new NDP cabinet on November 26, keeping Lana Popham in her role as minister of agriculture, food and fisheries. 

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FEATURES

  • Ontario welcomes tree fruit specialist

    Erika DeBrouwer has joined the horticulture crops unit, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. She will be based in Simcoe.

  • Robert Van Der Geest
    Nature Fresh Farms hires manager for Mexican greenhouse

    Robert Van Der Geest becomes general manager for Nature Fresh Farms Mexico  leading operations of a 15-acre pepper greenhouse in the central region of the country. Another 15 acres are under construction. 

  • Leonard Pennachetti named to Order of Canada

    The president and co-founder of Cave Spring Cellars has been named to the Order of Canada, capping a lifetime of achievements in the wine and hospitality industry of the Niagara Peninsula.  

  • CanAgPlus elects board

    The annual general meeting of CanAgPlus, the not-for-profit corporation that owns and operates the CanadaGAP Program, has elected two new and two returning directors. This is the oversight board for food safety. 

Recent News

Hoskin Scientific – Your Trusted Partner in Growing and Agriculture

SPONSORED CONTENT

For over 70 years, the Environmental Department of Hoskin Scientific provides expert consultative support to find the right product to fit your application needs.

Longos tops in customer experience

Leger’s 10th annual WOW index ranks Longo’s, the family-owned retailer as number one in customer experience, followed by Whole Foods, Farm Boy, Fortinos and Zehrs. The research ranks Ontario grocers on factors such as products, service and quality. 

BC-sponsored quarantine program for TFWs continues

The British Columbia government spent $15 million in 2020 protecting temporary foreign workers in its quarantine program. Having workers self-isolate before going to farms was a successful strategy in preventing further transmission of COVID-19. 

Ontario workplace inspections underway

Growers employing temporary foreign workers are encouraged to sign up for a February 3 webinar organized by Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.

Grocers under the lens

Fair trade? Michael Graydon, CEO, Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada, presents a January 28 webinar on the effects of Canadian grocers shifting costs disproportionately to food manufacturers and farmers.

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