GHGMP News Releases

Production and environment topics on farm show, conference agendas

Guelph, Ont., September 16, 2005

The benefits of improved land and crop management practices will be emphasized to Ontario farmers through field demonstrations, workshops and conferences being planned this fall and winter.

Starting with Canada's Outdoor Farm Show at Woodstock mid-September and continuing with other conferences and presentations scheduled into March 2006, the economic and environmental value of Beneficial Management Practices, referred to simply as BMPs, will be explained to producers, says Deanna Deaville, special projects co-ordinator with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA).

"The point we want to make to producers is if they adopt these beneficial management practices it not only benefits production and crop production economics, but is also good for the environment," says Deaville.

"Planting cover crops after winter wheat is harvested, for example, not only protects the soil but helps use surplus soil nitrogen that could be leached into ground water or lost to the atmosphere as nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas," she explains. "Later, that cover crop can be returned to the soil as green manure which helps to improve soil quality."

Many of the field demonstrations are funded in part by the federal Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program for Canadian Agriculture (GHGMP). The soils sector of the five-year program is administered through the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC). Specific demonstration projects in each province are designed by a group of producers, industry and research representatives known as the Taking Charge Team.

In Ontario, delivery of the GHGMP is a joint effort involving OSCIA, the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario, the University of Guelph, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and industry partners. Deaville is one of the OSCIA specialists co-ordinating GHGMP demonstrations.

At the Outdoor Farm Show OMAF specialists explained the details of improved soil, nutrient, and manure management practices, and other BMPs, while Deaville helped make the connection between how improved practices can improve cropping economics and benefit the environment. Field demonstrations include alfalfa trials, corn row spacing, various rates and timing of nitrogen applications, seed drill calibration, cover crops and perennial tree lots.

"Along with providing handouts that describe various practices, producers also were able to see how the different treatments looked in the field," says Deaville.

More details about production practices that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be presented to farmers in early 2006 as part of three winter conferences. The GHGMP will be on the agenda at the Farm Smart Conference in Guelph January 9, the South West Ag Days in Ridgetown, January 14 and 15 and at an Eastern Ontario conference being planned in Kemptville also this coming winter.

As well, best management practices and the greenhouse gas mitigation program will be explained to producers in a series of one-day workshops to be held in five Ontario communities in March 2006.

"We want to show producers that good production practices, economics and environmental benefits are all connected," says Deaville.

The GHGMP supports a broad range of projects across Canada with the goal to promote awareness of agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information on activities, visit the SCCC's Web site at www.soilcc.ca.



For more information, contact:

Deanna Deaville
OSCIA
Guelph, Ontario
Phone: (519) 826-4219

Doug McKell, Executive Director
Soil Conservation Council of Canada
Indian Head, Sask.
Phone: (306) 695-4212