Regeneration of fallow fields for vegetable production 2020 Research Report Cover Crops
Description
IN A NUTSHELL Eric compared five methods of preparing fallow land for vegetable production with respect to soil regeneration and cost to implement.
  • Cover crops with micronutrient amendments increased active carbon, a sensitive indicator of soil health and soil regeneration potential.
  • Micronutrient amendment alone did not increase active carbon; and Eric saw no added benefit with respect to soil health of adding chicken manure or woody compost with cover crops.
  • Balancing cost and soil health benefits, Eric will focus on micronutrient application and full season cover crops in areas that require regeneration.
Publish Date
August 11, 2021
Farmer(s)
Eric Barnhorst
Effects of liquid and biological amendments on emergence and yield of no-till planted spring cereals 2020 Research Report Soil Health
Description
N A NUTSHELL To try to hasten emergence and improve yield of no-till planted spring cereals, Ken compared liquid amendment, biological amendment, a combination of amendments and a no-amendment control.
  • There was no observable difference in emergence due to amendments.
  • There was no significant difference in yield among the different treatments.
Publish Date
August 11, 2021
Farmer(s)
Ken Laing
Assessing methods for nutrient application to prevent chlorosis in chestnuts 2020 Research Report Soil Health
Description
IN A NUTSHELL To prevent chlorosis in chestnuts, Derick compared broadcasting and localized application of nutrient amendments to no amendment controls. After a year of growth, he measured tree height and leaf nutrient status.
  • Derick detected no difference in plant health or leaf nutrient status between the two amendment methods. Given the extra labour involved with the localized treatment, he will not broadcast any amendments moving forward.
  • He detected higher leaf potassium levels in the amended trees, which is important for iron availability in the plant.
Publish Date
August 11, 2021
Farmer(s)
Derick Greenly
No-till fall broccoli in northern Ontario 2020 Research Report Cover Crops
Description
IN A NUTSHELL Ryan and Isabelle tested whether a crimped cover crop of rye and hairy vetch reduced tillage, cultivation and irrigation for their fall broccoli crop.
  • Compared to tillage, the cover crop residue provided sufficient mulch to significantly reduce weeding time and increase soil moisture throughout the growing season by 11%. There was adequate rainfall, so they didn’t need to use irrigation in the tillage plots.
  • Broccoli grown in crimped cover crop mulch had around half the marketable yield compared to the tilled plots.
  • The yield loss combined with no difference in total labour made this no-till system as tested unviable for broccoli production.
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Publish Date
August 11, 2021
Farmer(s)
Ryan Spence & Isabelle Spence-Legault
Direct seeding into compost mulch 2020 Research Report Soil Health
Description
IN A NUTSHELL To reduce tillage for crops that are direct seeded, Jason tested different composts in a no-till deep bed system in one trial each of lettuce and carrots.
  • The substrates for deep compost mulch differed with respect to growing lettuce and carrots, but bare ground control produced the highest seedling count for lettuce and the greatest yield for carrots.
  • Optimizing the use of deep bed compost requires a systems approach since seeding depth and irrigation rate, etc. differ by substrate. It was not practical, however, for Jason to test each substrate in a systems- context which limits the applicability of these results.
Publish Date
August 11, 2021
Farmer(s)
Jason Hayes
Southern Ontario Pepper Breeding Project 2020 Research Report Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Continuing our work that began in 2016, members of the SeedWorks Plant Breeding Club worked together to breed and release an early, blocky sweet red pepper with good flavour that is adapted to ecological growing systems in southern Ontario. We continue to select for a yellow sweet bell pepper for release in fall 2021/winter 2022.
Publish Date
July 14, 2021
Farmer(s)
Annie Richard, Kathy Rothermel, Greta Kryger, Rebecca Ivanoff, Kim Delaney
Regeneration of fallow fields for vegetable production continued 2020 Research Protocol Cover Crops
Description
Eric is continuing his research into different methods to regenerate a fallow field in preparation for organic vegetable production. Specifically, he would like to continue the treatments that he established in 2020 and start another replication of the trial in a second field that has been regularly amended for vegetable production.
Publish Date
April 1, 2021
Farmer(s)
Eric Barnhorst
Quinoa screening trial 2020 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Quinoa appears to be a very accessible grain for direct marketing to consumers, as consumers generally use unprocessed Quinoa in meals. Even more, the crop appears to be relatively well suited for growing in colder North American regions, such as Ontario. Challenges appear to be seed availability, as well as access to regionally adapted varieties. Dean will test six varieties of quinoa to narrow down the best variety for organic production in southern Ontario.
Publish Date
April 1, 2021
Farmer(s)
Dean Orr
Microclimates for Summer Lettuce 2020 Research Protocol Disease & Pest Control
Description
Mid-late summer is a hard time to grow lettuce in southern Ontario, due to hot temperatures. To find a system for growing consistent lettuce from midsummer plantings (late August/early September) in eastern Ontario, Luke wants to try a combination of landscape fabric and shade cloth to create microclimates that reduce heat and grow consistent summer lettuce. 
Publish Date
April 1, 2021
Farmer(s)
Luke Sheldrick
Organic field corn screening trial 2020 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
This is Michael’s first year growing corn organically. When he talked to other organic farmers about variety selection, he found that not a lot was known about the best varieties for his region. Michael preformed a screening trial to narrow down varieties of organic field corn that are best suited for production on his farm. 
Publish Date
April 1, 2021
Farmer(s)
Michael Oeggerli