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In This Issue ...                                                                 May 19, 2016


Dateline : online calendar for events, workshops and conferences

OMAFRA Specialists on Twitter Lists

OMAFRA Contact Centre 1-877-424-1300
Dear Valued Subscriber,
Please take a few minutes to let us know how we are doing and what we can do to improve. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Celebrate Local Food Week
June 6-12

Local Food Week presents an opportunity for Ontario's farmers, farm organizations, agribusinesses, government partners and consumers to come together and celebrate and promote the good things that are grown, made and harvested right here in our province.
There are many activities and events being planned by individuals and organizations across the province for Local Food Week. Farm & Food Care Ontario, with the support of the Ontario government, will be running and participating in a number of events, including a #loveONTfood social media contest, Breakfast on the Farm in Woodstock on June 11 and a Holland Marsh-area Food Influencer tour on June 8. We welcome help in promoting these events, and would be happy to support and promote your events as well.
Share what you did or plan to do to celebrate local food with us by email at, or by tweeting #loveONTfood.  Spread the word!  

Economic Development
Using Driving Time to Help Analyze Regions
Author:  Darren Shock, Economic Development Specialist, OMAFRA

Analyst is a web-based tool that provides data on regional economies and work forces. It was developed to help economic development professionals better understand their region so they can make informed decisions about how to build strong regional economies.

Analyst combines multiple national data sources, harmonizing them to take advantage of the strengths of each source, and brings it to you in a format that's easy to access, easy to understand, and easy to use.

Recently updated, one of the key enhancements to Analyst has been the addition of Google Maps to Economic Modelling Specialist Intl.'s mapping tools. This addition helped pave the way for the inclusion of Drive Time to Analyst. Drive Time is an easy way to select a region based on the time it takes to drive from one point to another (city/town, address, business, or landmark).

Drive Time offers an approach to regional analysis that allows the creation of custom regions that use travel time to study demographics, industries, occupations, and programs in Analyst. As a result, Drive Time can assist with answering a wide range of questions. For example, businesses may want to know what the average wages are for a certain occupation within a one-hour commuting distance. Education and training institutions may be interested in the profile of the workforce within 45 minutes of their location to assess potential interest in new professional development courses.

Consider the following: A small business owner contemplating opening a new machine shop location in ABC County, wants to know how many key customers are located within a two-hour drive. This information is now easy to get as Analyst allows you to specify a drive time of 120 minutes from one reference point to another. The business owner can now make decisions based on knowing how many potential customers are within a two hour drive from the new shop location.

For more detailed information on accessing Analyst and exploring the new Drive Time feature, visit the Economic Development Analysis Resources program website , or contact the   Economic Development Analysis Resources Team or the network of advisors at the  Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the  Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

CollaborationThe Basics of Collaboration
Rural Ontario is unique

When working on a project that pertains to rural Ontario, it is important to be aware of its unique circumstances:
  • Rural Ontario is vast and has a low population density. This makes services, such as transportation and high speed internet, challenging or non-existent in certain areas.
  • There is a significantly large senior (65+) population in rural areas with consistent youth outmigration.
  • Each rural community is different and it is important to be aware of their unique characteristics.
  • There is a high rate of volunteerism and entrepreneurship.
  • Many groups and organizations in rural areas have limited staff.
Introduction to Collaboration             

What is it and why is it beneficial?
Collaboration is a process where groups or individuals partner with others and share a common purpose. These relationships are mutually beneficial.

As collaboration requires some degree of effort, collaborators need to gain something from the process. Groups and individuals will be stronger, more resilient and efficient when they collaborate because they will:
  • have a unified voice to influence policy and bring change
  • have access to creative, financial, technical and human resources
  • limit duplication
  • share knowledge
  • be able to accomplish more
  • be mutually beneficial
As collaboration requires some degree of effort, collaborators need to gain something from the process. Groups and individuals will be stronger, more resilient and efficient when they collaborate because they will:
  • have a unified voice to influence policy and bring change
  • have access to creative, financial, technical and human resources
  • limit duplication
  • share knowledge
  • be able to accomplish more
Agriculture Development
ControllingControlling House Flies in Your Poultry Barn
Got house flies in your poultry barn? Are you searching for control options?
Poultry barns provide an ideal environment for house fly populations to thrive if sufficient control methods are not in place. Controlling house fly populations is important for main taining a health y barn environment. Without control  methods, large fly populations can:
  • damage equipment and increase biosecurity risk
  • decrease poultry production
  • affect relationships with neighbours
Flies can also be carriers of food-borne diseases, carrying bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli from one location to another.
Controlling flies involves the combined use of different methods:
  • barn management
  • biological control
  • mechanical control
  • chemical control
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs' (OMAFRA) book, "House Fly Control in Poultry Barns," describes integrated pest management practices and provides information on different control methods for effective house fly control. The book is a great resource that can help you tailor fly control strategies to match your unique farming situation.

Visit to download a PDF version of the book. You can also order free copies from ServiceOntario at or 1-800-668-9938.
Visit for links to poultry resources, such as nutrient management and biosecurity information, and for information about poultry housing. Contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or for more information on pest management, normal farm practices and poultry farming.

IntegratedIntegrated Pest Management Course for Corn and Soybeans
Online and In-Class course offered for FREE until August 31, 2016.
Starting on August 31, 2016, successful completion of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Course for Corn and Soybeans will be required in order to purchase or plant neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed. Following successful completion of the course, farmers will receive a certificate number. Farmers will need to submit their certificate number along with their Pest Assessment Reports (Inspection of Soil or Inspection of a Crop) to a sales representative, vendor or custom seed treater to purchase neonicotinoid-treated seeds. 
Farmers that choose to use untreated seed (e.g. non-neonicotinoid treated seed) or fungicide only treated seed on their operations are not required to become certified. However, the training is available to all growers who are interested in learning more about IPM.
IPM training is designed to be flexible, accessible and convenient and will be delivered free of charge until August 31, 2016. 
Farmers are able to take IPM training in a classroom at various locations or online through the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. Certification is valid for five years after the date of completion (i.e. farmers will only need to take the course once every five years).
The online course requires a commitment of four hours over two days. High speed internet, competence with a computer and being a self-directed learner are requirements for success.
The half-day classroom course is offered in a traditional classroom setting with an instructor. The classroom course is offered in various locations across Ontario. Instructors will present course material following the manual using PowerPoint, videos, handouts and will answer your questions to aid in your understanding of the topics. 

Register today for the online course or find a course near you at:  

To learn more about the neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed regulation, visit: 

AgricultureAgricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is pleased to announce a new initiative that may be of interest to your networks. The Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative   supports employers who wish to hire youth to undertake environmentally beneficial activities on their farm; or employers who employ youth in the agriculture sector to undertake environmentally beneficial activities. 

Check out this special issue of the Agri-info newsletter:  Applications now being accepted for Youth Green Jobs Initiative - May 3, 2016

Environmental The Environmental Farm Plan,Turns 25
Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association 

Guelph - The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), one of Ontario agriculture's flagship programs, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

The EFP, which has been adapted across Canada and its workbook shared with more than 30 countries, provides training, self-assessment, and action plan development for 23 environmental areas on and around the farm and outlines best management practices.
Since EFP's inception, over 40,000 Ontario farm businesses have voluntarily participated in almost 3,550 educational workshops, resulting in a total estimated investment of $390 million in on-farm environmental improvements, supported by associated incentive programs.

According to the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), which administers EFP and its related programs, government has contributed approximately one-third of that total and the remainder has come from farmers themselves and other funding sources. Studies have confirmed that many additional environmental projects have been completed without any off-farm funding support.

"The success of the Environmental Farm Plan is a remarkable accomplishment for the Ontario farm community and the government partners that have supported the program for the last 25 years," says dairy farmer and OSCIA President, Gord Green. "As we mark National Soil Conservation Week April 17 to 23, this an achievement we can be proud of because it truly shows that Ontario farmers are environmental stewards who take their commitment to soil, air and water seriously."

Farmers driving environmental change
EFP's origins can be traced back to action taken by farm organizations after reading political signals being sent by Ontario's newly elected government in 1990, remembers then-OSCIA Program Manager, Harold Rudy, and the concern farmers felt over the prospect of proposed new environmental regulations.

"The farm leaders of the day got together to develop ways and means to address these concerns proactively," explains Rudy. "It was suggested that we in the industry come together and define the environmental agenda as we move forward, which we did."

They developed Our Farm Environmental Agenda-key was a recommendation that every farm complete an Environmental Farm Plan. A special committee was set up to define the criteria and lay the ground work for what eventually became the EFP: a workbook, supporting workshop, and a local verification process for the action plans developed through the process.