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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[145 KB pdf]
in Manure Overview Document
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- A commercially made propane flamer was purchased and evaluated
in potatoes and potato trap strips, and proved mildly successful
in limited trials.
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:
- developing individual environmental farm plans for cub members
in the watershed,
- seeking to expand membership to include all landowners in
- monitoring the status of water quality in the tributaries
and main branch of the Avon through to Lake Victoria in the
town of Stratford,
- identifying major sources of nutrient contamination to the
river, and implementing necessary remedial measures,
- developing a network of volunteers to assist with water
quality monitoring and in stream rehabilitation,
- coordinating local environmental and community group involvement.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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:
- to evaluate on-farm the feasibility of reduced herbicide use
on large scale corn and soybean acreage.
- to incorporate use of nitrogen soil testing into farm use.
- to improve nitrogen management and reduce rates by sidedress
- to have effective weed control with less emphasis on herbicide
- to test no till corn and soybeans in the 2nd and 3rd year of
- to evaluate crop productivity through yield and input cost monitoring.
Project work will be located on three sites in Rideau Township.
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
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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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
View / Download Report
[127 KB pdf]
Club Name: Essex Manure Management Club
Contact: Paul Hermans, Essex Region Conservation Authority, (519)
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:
- to evaluate the environmental/economic sustainability of
irrigating 3rd stage lagoon effluent on an intensive rotational
- to monitor the impacts of the manure management system on
environmental aspects such as water quality on adjacent watercourses.
- to monitor economic criteria such as pasture species yield
response, effluent application rate and grazing capacity.
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
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
View / Download Report
[869 KB pdf]
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Monday, May 16, 2011 07:33:00 AM