Steve Funk explains MNPs Risk Management Projector

Steve Funk, director of agriculture risk management resources for MNP, discusses business risk management and interconnected government, crop insurance and private insurance programs.

Brian Gilroy explains the lobby to exempt carbon taxes on energy

Brian Gilroy, president of the Canadian Horticultural Council, talks with Karen Davidson, editor, on lobby efforts to exempt Canadian agriculture from carbon taxes on all energy use.

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.

John Ketler shares the hard truths of a greenhouse shutdown

The Grower, goes 'Behind the Scenes' of the December cover story titled Hardest Harvest and speaks with John Ketler, vice-president, Nature Fresh Farms.

If a grower has product with old label instructions for a use that has been removed by a re-evaluation decision which required label amendments, there will be 24 months following that decision before updated label directions must be used.  Columnist Chris Duyvelshoff clarifies timelines for product use.

Millennials are sourcing recipes such as Vegan Baked Feta Pasta from TikTok.

The shift to remote work and the migration from food service to food retail are driving trends for the 2021 season writes Retail Navigator columnist Peter Chapman.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the entire horticultural industry, but also strengthened relationships between the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association and the provincial government.

In recent years, the mergers of global crop protection companies promised robust R & D pipelines.  But the reality is that fewer products and label extensions will come to horticulture. That’s because there’s a bottleneck of reduced trial capacity at the Pest Management Centre says apple grower Charles Stevens, Newcastle, ON. 



Carbon taxes vs climate change: a hot potato for farmers

The cost of energy-intensive fertilizer is set to increase under a new carbon tax regime. It’s yet another burning issue for horticulture, on top of labour and crop protection. 

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. 

Hardest harvest reveals hard truths and even harder questions

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. 

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.

The fifth anniversary of Canada Ag Day will be celebrated on February 23. New this year is a virtual farm tour with Sylvain Terrault, Hydroserre Mirabel, a greenhouse complex that produces cucumbers and peppers in Sainte-Clotilde-de-Châteauguay, Quebec.

In Western Canada, a group of well-known retailer brands owned by the Jim Pattison Group will be restructured under a subsidiary known as the Pattison Food Group.  



  • Pigweed Species Identification Guide available

    This resource provides excellent pictures and describes key features to identify the six different species found in Ontario: waterhemp, redroot pigweed, green pigweed, tumble pigweed, smooth pigweed and prostrate pigweed.  

  • Merivon fungicide is registered

    BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions has received registration for Merivon fungicide. It can be used to address key diseases such as black rot and bitter rot in apples, and Septoria leaf spot and botrytis gray mold in blueberries. 

  • Pigweed Species Identification Guide

    Currently in Ontario the Pigweed family have confirmed resistance to 6 of the 8 Herbicide Groups where resistance occurs. Browse or download the latest version of the Pigweed Species Identification Guide.

  • Online grower pesticide safety courses offered

    The Ontario Pesticide Education Program courses focus on product information, health and environmental risk management, pesticide application and pesticide safety practices. Growers can work through the course at their own pace. 

  • OFVGA elects 2021 board

    Bill George Jr. is re-elected for a third one-year term as chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association at the 162nd annual general meeting – held virtually for the first time.   

  • FARMS and CanAg Travel Service honoured for pandemic efforts

    The Niagara Peninsula fruit and vegetable growers are honouring the Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Service and CanAg Travel Service for their 2020 pandemic efforts. The Award of Merit cites extraordinary efforts in managing travel logistics for about 20,000 seasonal agricultural workers arriving in Ontario and advocacy efforts to secure federal quarantine funding.  

  • 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. 

Recent News

Financial protection needed in face of bankruptcies

The changing business landscape – with bankruptcies looming in the restaurant and institutional sectors – may finally persuade the federal government to consider financial protection legislation.  Similar to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act in the U.S., legislation would protect produce sellers if they’ve sold to a business that goes bankrupt.

BC tree fruit growers need bridge financing

British Columbia’s 350 tree fruit growers are facing unprecedented challenges, not the least of which are an increase of minimum wage rates to $15.25 per hour as of June 1 and hurdles in accessing labour for the 2021 season.  A Tree Fruit Stabilization Initiative is underway with the provincial government, with hopes for a draft plan by end of July. 

Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month kicks off

Canada’s ag minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has announced $1.6 million over two years to fund Agriculture in the Classroom Canada. The initiative launches Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month, now in its 10th year. 

Seed potato survey due by March 15

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is conducting a needs assessment survey to modernize seed regulations, including seed potatoes. Deadline is March 15. 

Register for Canadian Horticultural Council AGM

Horticulture Strong - Reflect. Adapt. Persevere. That’s the theme of this year’s 99th annual general meeting of the Canadian Horticultural Council to be held virtually on March 16 and 17th.

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Bill studied horticulture at the University ...
Chris Duyvelshoff, is OFVGA's crop protection ...
Gordon Stock is OFVGA's senior policy advisor ...
Owen Roberts is a journalist and a columnist ...
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