Nov 2018 messages

From Phil Oegema, Provincial Director (Elgin)

Once again mother nature has proven to be the boss.  As I sit to write this message I’m watching the ponds in the fields slowly shrink after having received 3 inches of rain in the past few days.  We all know farming is fraught with challenges and risk, but this fall takes the cake.

Soybeans that got harvested were a welcome bright spot, but with the DON issues weighing heavily on our local markets, and even more heavily on our minds, answers seem few and far between.  The current issues with the corn crop raises the question of how to build resiliency on our farms. Crop rotation, planting multiple hybrids, and even spreading out planting date can lead to a crop that on the average is more resistant to specific seasonal challenges.  By spreading your risk, you may not hit a home run every year, but in the long term you can build a farm that can better withstand a season when mother nature puts us in our place.

Finally, OSCIA on the provincial level as well at the local level is supporting research into mental health on the farm.  In stressful times like these, let’s take care of each other.  Visit with a neighbor, sit down, have a coffee.  You never know how a small gesture or positive word might help keep somebody going.  Best to you all as you finish out this year.

From Scott Innes, Regional President (Oxford)

 Welcome to the November issue of the Thames Valley News.  It is the end of the 2018 growing season.  As I travel across the countryside there is still the odd bean field yet to be harvested.  Yields of beans and corn are reported strong across our area with excellent bushel weight but high levels of toxins are making corn harvest a challenge for some.  It seems we just can’t have it all.

I hope many of you had time to attend the many meetings put on by your local county committee’s over the past summer.  It takes a lot of effort of the people involved to put these on.  We are entering the annual meeting season so I hope everyone can attend.

Have a safe and happy harvest

From Elgin President, Adam Pfeffer

Soybean harvest is mostly wrapped up in Elgin county but there are still a few fields left out.  Corn harvest has had a slow start and now we’ve had 3-4” of rain in the last week to ten days so ground conditions are very wet.  The big topic of conversation is Vomitoxin in the corn crop; everyone is trying to find answers for what happened but the bigger question is how are we going to handle it and what markets can open up so we can get the rest of our crop off and ground work finished.  There have been a lot of anxious conversations on all sides of the issue and hopefully a resolution can be found quickly.

We had a narrow window to plant wheat in marginal ground conditions approximately 3 weeks ago and we haven’t seen that wheat emerge yet.  With the excess rain we’ve had it will also be very challenging to balance fall ground work and harvest activities with adequate ground conditions.  Proper tire configurations, pressures and tracks will pay dividends this year; make sure to take advantage of the CAP program for compaction alleviation technology if you haven’t already done so! (from the editor: see Adam’s low pressure tires on the inside front cover)


We are busy planning for our annual winter meeting which will be held in early January 10th at the Shedden Keystone complex.  We are also planning on running our compaction event in August 2019 so mark your calendars!

Wishing everyone a safe finish to harvest and hopefully some relaxation ahead of the Christmas season!

From Adam Learn, Oxford President

Good afternoon from Oxford County.

As I take a few minutes to sit and write this I look out to see the rain falling again. This last week of heavy rains has put a halt to corn harvest once again. ‘This weather is starting to feel a lot like it did in the spring This year’s weather has also brought great soybean and corn yields. Unfortunately with the great corn yields there are major issues once again with the vomitoxons. This year there seems to be more questions then answers to what has been the big reason for the high levels. It looks like there’s going to be lots of trial work to do on corn and how to reduce the risks of vom.

On a happier note I hope some of you were able to attend some local meetings or had a chance to stop by the soil and crop exhibit at the Outdoor Farm Show.

Hope everyone has a safe harvest and can enjoy some down time with the holiday season approaching

Cathy’s Comments

Hello everyone! Well, this growing season certainly has presented it’s challenges, from hot and dry to wet, wet, wet. Too wet! Today (Nov 9) there are still many soybean fields standing and it’s been too darned wet to make much headway at corn either. Those who have been able to get their beans off have seen superb yields, our son-in-law hit his record of 75 bpa (and beat his dad too! Glad we didn’t have soybeans to compete with him this year). From what I have been hearing, VOM levels in and around our area aren’t as high as things are west of here, so far at least. Fingers crossed. (and, apologies for the cover shot—just haven’t had many sunny days to get a good crop shot!)

On the Soil & Crop side of things, plans are starting up for this winter’s round of annual meetings, trade shows and other events. Workshop dates are being set for EFP and GYFP if you need to renew yours (every 5 years). Don’t forget, if you have applied for funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and LEADS programs—get your claims in! Claim deadline for LEADS is December 1, 2018.

Please check your mailing label or email to see if you need to renew your membership soon. Also, please check to see that we have your full, correct mailing address. And let me know if you would prefer to receive this via email rather than paper copy. Here’s hoping the postal strike doesn’t make this edition late!

The next large issue of the news is not due out until March, but watch your mailboxes in late December for more details regarding our annual meetings set for January and February.

Until then, good luck with the rest of your harvest, and please play safe!