Green Plan Banner

Conservation Clubs Banner


= Final Report available in pdf format

Table of Contents

  1. Long Term Economical & Environmental Feasibility Study of Using a Vegetation Detecting Sprayer for Weed Control in Conservation Cropping - Rondeau Agricultural Conservation Corporation
  2. "Para-Tillage": A Jump Starter for a Conservation Tillage Program - South Lambton Conservation Tillage Club
  3. Constructed Wetland Facility - The Belle River Conservation Club
  4. Alternative Methods for Colorado Potato Beetle Control - Southwestern Ontario Potato Beetle Club
  5. Upper Avon River Rural/Urban Conservation Club - Upper Avon River Conservation Club
  6. Integrated Weed Control, Nutrient Management and Reduced Tillage in Corn and Soybeans - Carleton Soil & Crop Improvement Association
  7. Manure Management in High Residue Applications - Charing Cross Conservation Club
  8. Manure Management for Swine - Essex Manure Management Club
  9. Forages for Soil and Profit - Renfrew Soil and Crop Improvement Association
  10. Wilkesport Conservation Club- Wilkesport Conservation Club
  11. The Community Supported Agriculture Project - Community Supported Agriculture Project
  12. Development and Demonstration of Approaches to Manage Drinking Water Quality on the Farm- Waterloo Centre for Groundwater Research
  13. Introducing No-Till Systems into Crop Rotation Based upon Tomato Production- Kent County Vegetable Growers Association
  14. Ridge Till and Strip Cropping Field Days; Comparison of Strip Cropping with Field Cropping Management- Ontario Ridge Till and Strip Cropping Club
  15. Pre-Tillage Equipment Evaluation on Cereal (Winter Wheat) Stubble- Middlesex Pre-Till Club
  16. Soil Life Demonstration Project - Essex Conservation Club
  17. Management of Corn Rootworms on Farms by Monitoring Eggs - Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph
  18. Non-Chemical Methods of Control of the Colorado Potato Beetle in Potatoes- Ontario Potato Pest Management Club
  19. Ontario Land Care - Extension Project Sites -Ducks Unlimited Canada
  20. Farming for Maximum Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability - Innovative Farmers of Ontario  
    - E PlusTM Program
  21. Well Steward Conservation Club Demonstration Project - Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association - Well Steward Brochure - "Protecting Your Family by Protecting Your Well Head"
  22. Variable Input Application - Kent Precision Farming Club
  23. Solar Powered Watering Facilities -Alternative Livestock Watering Devices Association
  24. Pilot Constructed Wetland Project -South Nation River Conservation Authority
  25. Grumble Hill Farm Constructed Wetland - South Simcoe Conservation Club
  26. Screening of Biosolids Approved for Land Utilization in Corn- Dundas Soil and Crop Improvement Association
  27. Conservation Farming for Profit - Peel Soil Conservation Club
  28. Improved Placement & Utilization of Biosolids in a Conservation Cropping System - Halton Conservation Club
  29. The Use of Vegetative Filter Strips to Treat Beef Feedlot and Yard Runoff - Ont. Cattlemen's Association
  30. Conservation Farming - Wellington County Conservation Club
  31. Assessing and Predicting the Effect of Cover Crops and Reduced Tillage on Nitrogen Management- Ontario Corn Producers' Association
  32. The Effect of Different Maple Bush Management Techniques on Tree Growth- Association des producteurs francophones d'acÚriculture de l'Ontario
  33. Water & Chemical Management Systems for the Turfgrass Industry - Guelph Turfgrass Institute, U. of Guelph
  34. Reduced Tillage in Spring & Winter Canola Production Ontario Canola Growers' Association
  35. Milkhouse Washwater Control Using a Vegetative Filter -Farm Pollution Control Alternatives Association
  36. Fertilizer Placement With No-Till - Arcadia Cooperative Group

Table of Contents | Clubs Home | Green Plan Home


Title: Long Term Economical & Environmental Feasibility Study of Using a Vegetation Detecting Sprayer for Weed Control in Conservation Cropping

Club Name: Rondeau Agricultural Conservation Corporation
Contact: Herb Groenewegen, (519) 676-4806
Funding/Duration: $100,000 for a five year project


To test the feasibility of Using a Vegetation Detecting Sprayer for Weed Control in Conservation Cropping

Project Description:
In December 1991, articles in several agricultural papers reported on the development of a sprayer which would identify individual green weeds, and activate a nozzle to spray the vegetation, thereby reducing usage of chemicals in the process. Testing this sprayer is the goal of Club members. Individual nozzles spray where there is green vegetation by utilizing tractor-mounted sensors that compare the irradiance from the ground. When green vegetation is detected a microprocessor activates a relay which opens up the nozzle. The sensor is set ahead of the nozzles depending on the travel speed of the tractor unit. The theory behind this weed sprayer is that green vegetation selectively absorbs the blue and red wavebands given off by the nozzle and reflects strongly in the near-infrared wavebands. In order to be properly evaluated, the Vegetation Detecting Sprayer requires testing over a relatively large area (500 acres or more) and over a long period of time (5 years minimum). The main objectives of this project are to evaluate and demonstrate the sprayer's economic viability, its impact on farming practices through reduced use of farm chemicals, and its multifaceted use capabilities.

Approximately 10 areas of 50 acres each are being used as test plots in the Rondeau Bay Watershed, Kent County. A self-propelled sprayer was purchased and a vegetation detection boom integrated with the unit. The sprayer was used in a variety of applications this year, including spring detect spray alone, spring detect spray and overall spray; pre-harvest in wheat and soybeans, and post-harvest. The sprayer is working well, and efforts will be made next year to modify the hydraulics, as well as connect the system to a radar gun to avoid having to adjust sensors when the speed is changed.

The project has been featured on the television show Family Farmer, and been the subject of workshops and tours.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: "Para-Tillage": A Jump Starter for a Conservation Tillage Program

Club Name: South Lambton Conservation Tillage Club
Contact: Earl Elgie, (519) 683-4659.
Funding/Duration: $16,200 for a four year project


It is the objective of this group to show that a conservation tillage system can be used without any accompanying yield reduction on Brookston clay soils.

Project Description:
This year, two of four planned two-acre plots of harvested wheat stubble were set up for research to enable club members to make soybean yield comparisons using para-tillage and no tillage systems. Each site was soil tested and planted, and residue counts were taken. Weather data was also recorded. Test areas are located in Lambton County.

Upon harvest, yield data indicated no advantage to para-tillage apparent from the two replications; however, harvest deficiency could decrease due to rougher surface conditions on the para-tilled plot. Para-tillage had little effect on residue levels.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Constructed Wetland Facility

Club Name: The Belle River Conservation Club
Contact: Paul Hermans, Soil & Water Conservation Technician, Essex Region Conservation Authority, (519) 776-5209 ext. 246.
Funding/Duration: $35,800 for a four year project


To evaluate the effectiveness of a constructed wetland for disposing of livestock wastes from a dairy operation.

Project Description:
Members constructed a three-stage wetland treatment facility to dispose of livestock wastes from a dairy operation in the Essex County town of Woodslee. Wastewater from the farm is being stored in a pond and released into the wetland during the summer months. The wetland, which is composed of cattails, bulrushes and other vegetation, provides both an anaerobic and aerobic environment which will effectively remove harmful nitrates, phosphorous and bacteria from the wastewater.

Groundwater monitoring devices were installed around the facility prior to construction. Weekly water samples were obtained from piezometers prior to and during construction to obtain background water quality data. Ground and surface water sampling continued, and sediment and benthic samples were taken. Vegetation was established in the spring of 1994, and vegetation assessments were completed.

All activities for the wetland treatment facility are being completed on track. Next year's activities will include increasing the size of the final polishing pond, and installing a transfer pump from the polishing pond to the grassed waterway. Flow meters will also be added from the storage pond to the wetland, and from the wetland to the polishing pond.

  Download Report  [145 KB pdf]

See Results in Manure Overview Document

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Alternative Methods for Colorado Potato Beetle Control

Club Name: Southwestern Ontario Potato Beetle Club
Contact: Richard Parry, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, (519) 271-0280
Funding/Duration: $19,180 to conduct a two year project


The objectives of this project were to test the effectiveness of various cultural and biological control measures for the Colorado Potato Beetle and to reduce insecticide use on test plots in Kent and Essex Counties.

Project Description:
The Colorado Potato Beetle is the major insect pest of tomatoes and potatoes and its resistance to insecticides is increasing.

Any club member who wishes to try one of the following alternative techniques will be helped in doing so by a summer student under the supervision of Dr. J. Elmhirst. The alternative techniques will be set up on field demonstrations with control plots: (1) propane flamer on potatoes & trap strips, (2) plastic-lined ditches, (3) late-summer trap strips, (4) beetle predator release In trap strips and, (5) evaluation of the dip test for resistance.

The achievements of the program are as follows:

  1. Dip Tests were evaluated for accuracy vs. field sprays on two fields. Dip tests showed very high resistance levels (40-60%), but with large variations from field to field. Test results were quite consistent and fairly close to field spray results.
  2. Plastic-lined trenches were tested on three fields. They captured about 50 per cent of the beetles, however, the installation of these trenches was extremely labour intensive. Regardless, growers have shown much enthusiasm for this method.
  3. A potato planter was purchased and trap strips were planted in tomato fields (eight potato; two eggplant; two control). Trap Strips amassed 90-100 per cent of the beetles in the spring. Tomatoes in trap fields required no insecticide applications vs. three applications in control fields. Ladybug populations were 10x higher in unsprayed trap fields.
  4. The damage threshold on tomato plug plants was evaluated on one field. Yield Loss occurred when as few as 5 per cent of Tomato Plug Plants were stripped of leaves at transplanting.
  5. The Perillus Bug Predator was released and evaluated on two sites (one potato; one potato trap strip). Predacious Perillus Bugs released in potato edge rows quickly dispersed, although total egg predation in the small two-acre field was 25-30 per cent. In trap rows, Perillus bugs were not effective since the trap row was defoliated too severely by very high beetle pressure.
  6. A commercially made propane flamer was purchased and evaluated in potatoes and potato trap strips, and proved mildly successful in limited trials.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Upper Avon River Rural/Urban Conservation Club

Club Name: Upper Avon River Conservation Club
Contact: Craig Merkley, Rural Water Quality Specialist, Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, (519) 451-2800.
Funding/Duration: $80,000 to conduct a four year project

The objectives of the project include:

  1. developing individual environmental farm plans for cub members in the watershed,
  2. seeking to expand membership to include all landowners in the basin,
  3. monitoring the status of water quality in the tributaries and main branch of the Avon through to Lake Victoria in the town of Stratford,
  4. identifying major sources of nutrient contamination to the river, and implementing necessary remedial measures,
  5. developing a network of volunteers to assist with water quality monitoring and in stream rehabilitation,
  6. coordinating local environmental and community group involvement.

Project Description:
Previous research conducted by the Stratford/Avon River Environmental Management Project (SAREMP) and the Thames River Implementation Committee (TRIC) identified the causes of poor water quality in the Avon River watershed, but little follow-up in the watershed to promote the solutions to these problems was done.

Landowners in the Upper Avon River Watershed have long been involved individually with various conservation efforts. With the creation of the Upper Avon Rural Conservation Club in 1993 came the opportunity to coordinate and provide focus for the ideas and initiatives that were developing in the watershed over the years. It was also an opportunity to harness the growing body of enthusiasm for environmental awareness in the nearby city of Stratford

All work will be carried out within the Upper Avon River watershed. Initially, efforts will be concentrated on the Cook and Kuhn tributaries as well as the main branch of the Avon River as it enters Stratford.

The achievements for 1994-95 are:

  1. Community groups participated in site preparation and tree planting: a 1500' hardwood buffer strip, two acres of block planting and 1700' of wildlife corridor. An effort was made to look at the overall existing woodlot locations; to enhance linkages between them in order to promote other components to achieve the Club's goal of improving the health of the Upper Avon watershed.
  2. A series of erosion prediction maps were produced for the Upper Avon watershed. These maps are a valuable tool for the Club to use to identify properties that contribute the most to the water quality problems of the river from soil erosion.
  3. University of Waterloo student Suzanne Schlotzhauer used the School House Drain tributary as the field location to develop a temperature model that would predict the effect of treed buffer strips on the water temperature changes in the stream. The model will help identify areas which, when planted, have the most impact on reducing the overall water temperature in the river.
  4. University of Western Ontario students collected Benthic organisms which live in the stream bottom of the School House Drain tributary, and later conducted a workshop for Club members to review the details of the work. Each year the sites will be revisited and monitored for change.

Goals for 1995-96 are to extend the treed buffer strip, complete wildlife corridor plantings, utilize the computer mapping systems, organize global positioning system trials and create an information display for the Stratford fall fair.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Integrated Weed Control, Nutrient Management and Reduced Tillage in Corn and Soybeans

Club Name: Carleton Soil & Crop Improvement Association
Contact: Paul Sullivan, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, (613) 828-9167.
Funding/Duration: $60,000 to conduct a three year project

The objectives of the project are:

  1. to evaluate on-farm the feasibility of reduced herbicide use on large scale corn and soybean acreage.
  2. to incorporate use of nitrogen soil testing into farm use.
  3. to improve nitrogen management and reduce rates by sidedress application.
  4. to have effective weed control with less emphasis on herbicide reliance.
  5. to test no till corn and soybeans in the 2nd and 3rd year of the project
  6. to evaluate crop productivity through yield and input cost monitoring.

Project work will be located on three sites in Rideau Township.

Project Description:
Year 1
- The project will involve modifying a 12 row narrow, semi-mounted 900 IH planter with a Land Tracker conservation tillage caddy, carrying tank and band spraying kit on the planter. A Hiniker 12 row Model 5000 cultivator will be purchased for interrow cultivation. A Navigator guidance system will also be purchased to improve the efficiency of cultivating large acreage. The cultivator will be set up for postemerge herbicide band application. While cultivating, NH3 will be applied sidedress during the 2nd cultivation and nitrogen soil tests will be used for determining nitrogen requirements.

Year 2 - Purchase of CoulterPro coulter tool bar to adapt onto the Land Tracker caddy allowing zone tillage with the planter for corn and soybeans.

Year 3 - Continuation of the evaluation of the total system with side-by-side plots comparing the agronomic performance and economic returns of these new cropping components.

A number of activities and achievements were completed this year:

  1. Weed Control in Corn - averaged over three plots, weed control was as good with band spraying and inter-row cultivation compared to broadcast spraying. Crop yield was higher where cultivation was done. Band spraying reduced costs by approx. $16/acre.
  2. Tillage Comparison in Corn - No-till corn planted with a zone till planted cut yielded the conventional tilled corn. Initial results look promising for no-till corn to perform well in the area. There is no cost difference between no-till and conventionally-planted corn.
  3. Tillage Comparison in Soybeans - No-tilled 30 inch row soybeans yielded the same as when conventionally planted; average yield was apx. 47 bushels per acre. Solid seeded no-till soybeans didn't yield as well due to plugging problems with the drill at planting time.
  4. Nitrogen Rates on Corn - response was limited to the medium rates of applications. Economic response to nitrogen application ranged from 70 to 105 pounds per acre.
  5. Yield Monitor Evaluation - the Ag. Leader Yield Monitor performed extremely well in corn and soybeans. When compared to actual weights over a scale or weigh wagon, the unit was within two per cent. Wet weather during harvest affected weights due to surface moisture, causing inaccurate moisture sensing.

Goals for next year include further no-till plots with corn and soybeans, continued nitrogen rate trials, making better use of manure nutrients, and yield mapping on fields.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Manure Management in High Residue Applications

Club Name: Charing Cross Conservation Club
Contact: Rob Smyth, (519) 436-0501
Funding/Duration: $80,000 to conduct a four year project


To develop a technique to fully utilize manure in an environmentally friendly manner into a high residue crop management system. The test sites will be located in Kent County.

Project Description:
The project involves developing a system that will allow the integration of manure into a high residue program. Different coulter designs and configurations will be experimented with in order to reach this goal. Club members believe that this will be of benefit to all soils, especially clay, because it will build up soil organic matter and improve soil structure.

Well signed plot areas, tours, field days, open meetings, word of mouth and other media will raise community awareness. Also, videotaping of actual field operations will prove to be an advantage for presentations made to the community

In trial number one, the only visible difference in the crop seeded using the coulter caddy and conventionally tilled crop was a slightly shorter plant. However, this was not the case when the yield was measured. Other measurements taken included plant emergence counts, plant stand at harvest, ear count, plant height at harvest, shelled weight, shelled moisture, and seed bu/acre.

Average yield for this in-bred is approx. 52 bu/acre. All yields were fairly good, with treatment one averaging 60.31 bu/acre (fall treatment, coulters spaced out evenly across toolbar at 7 inches); treatment two yielded 56.04 bu/ac (fall treatment, 38 inch rows, 7 inch zone in row tilled, three coulters/row); treatment three yielded 50.19 bu/acre (spring treatment, 7 inch zone pre-tilled, three coulters/row). A random test in an area of conventionally tilled ground nearby showed 48.78 and 45.62 yields.

Status: Completed

  View / Download Report   [127 KB pdf]

Table of Contents

Title: Manure Management for Swine

Club Name: Essex Manure Management Club
Contact: Paul Hermans, Essex Region Conservation Authority, (519) 776-5209
Funding/Duration: $31,250 to conduct a four year project

To develop an innovative system in which livestock manure can be economically utilized while ensuring environmental concerns are monitored and addressed.
The major objectives are:

  1. to evaluate the environmental/economic sustainability of irrigating 3rd stage lagoon effluent on an intensive rotational pasture system.
  2. to monitor the impacts of the manure management system on environmental aspects such as water quality on adjacent watercourses.
  3. to monitor economic criteria such as pasture species yield response, effluent application rate and grazing capacity.

Project Description:
A two stage earthen lagoon will be constructed in Sandwich South Township to receive liquid swine manure from a primary tank under the farrowing barn. The effluent from the 3 rd stage of the manure storage will be irrigated onto a 20 acre pasture grazed by cattle. Irrigation and pasturing will be rotated for optimum production, utilizing electric fencing for pasture control.

Banks were shaped to a three to one slope for stabilization and ease of maintenance. A different mixture was used in each of the four paddocks in order to evaluate pasture mixtures in an irrigated rotational grazing program. The mixtures are as follows: Birdsfoot Trefoil and Creeping Red Fescue; TPR Pasture Blend/Creeping Red Fescue/Grassland White Clover/Perennial Ryegrass and Kenny Hybrid Fescue; Ryegrass/Tall Fescue/Reed Canary Grass and White Dutch Clover; and, Reed Canary Grass and White Clover.

Five piezometers were installed around the project site in order to monitor groundwater quality. Monitoring of both ground and surface water quality continued throughout the year.

Due to harsh winter conditions in 1993/94, specific areas of the pasture had to be revegetated for 1994. All areas have been rejuvenated and will be ready for the introduction of cattle in 1995. This year, the manure was applied onto pasture and soil and tissue samples were taken for the nitrogen balance study. Further goals for next year include continued monitoring of manure application rates, grass mixtures and water quality.

Status: Completed

View / Download Report  [869 KB pdf]

Table of Contents

Title: Forages for Soil and Profit

Club Name: Renfrew Soil and Crop Improvement Association
Contact: Paul Sullivan, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, (613) 828-9167.
Funding/Duration: $7,500 to conduct a two year project


Club members believe that more information is needed by farmers in Renfrew County to enhance their hay production practices. By gathering information on forage production in the County, this project aimed to identify the most important production inputs for growing and harvesting hay.

Project Description:
Activities for the Club started in early May 1993. A total of thirteen farm operations are involved (nine dairy farms, two beef farms, and two cash crop hay).

Club members participated in a project initiated by the Ontario Crop Insurance Commission which looked at changing the Forage Drought Program. The project was intended to evaluate on-farm yields for hay coverage. Data on input information, yields, and feed quality was collected over the summer and fall of 1993. Yield information showed higher yields from three cut versus two cut systems. Fields seeded less than three years ago yielded higher than older fields.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Wilkesport Conservation Club

Club Name: Wilkesport Conservation Club
Contact: Gabrielle Ferguson, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, (519) 882-0180
Funding/Duration: $48,800 to conduct a four year project


The objective of the members of this Club is to produce crops using no-till/conservation systems to maintain or improve yields while at the same time reducing costs and maximizing profits. Members hope to determine the most appropriate conservation system for clay soils in Lambton County.

Project Description:
Projects will be demonstrated in an effort to look at a total farm package that can be applied to area farms. In addition to the conservation tillage systems used to plant the crops, projects to be demonstrated will include a Nitrogen study, starter fertilizer, residue management, pre-zone tillage, cover crops and gravel beds over exiting tiles to filter excess water.

A 30-acre field site located in Lambton County has been divided into seven separate sections. Four sites have a conservation emphasis and three sites are sown conventionally. Tillage, fertility, weed control, pest management, and economics are being studied and compared within each section.

Information sessions and tours were held in the summer. A successful planter and drill demonstration was held in June; a tour of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority was attended by two bus loads of stakeholders; a summer tour of the Lambton Soil & Crop Improvement Association attracted more than 100 farmers and agri-business participants, while that Association's annual banquet allowed the Wilkesport Demonstration Farm activities to be shared with more than 200 farmers.

Plans are already under way for next year. Twenty of 31 acres available are planted with winter wheat, to demonstrate alternatives to underseedings and encourage green manure for soil structure enhancement and nitrogen sources as fertilizer prices increase. Fall pre-tillage trials will also be implemented to explore solutions to wheat residue with no-till.

Status: Completed



Clubs Home | Green Plan Home


Last Revised: Monday, May 16, 2011 07:33:00 AM