Club Name: Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association
Contact: Andy Graham, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association,
Funding/Duration: $175,000 to conduct a four year project
To involve the participation 100 farm families across the province
in a well water monitoring and remedial action program, focussing
on older drinking water wells where the risk of groundwater contamination
is relatively high.
Up to two well sites will be selected in each county/district by the
OSCIA Peer Review Committee. To date, 53 demonstration well sites over
31 counties and districts have been secured for participation. Additional
sites have been arranged, however the Water Well Inventory and Remedial
Action Plans have not yet been forwarded to the OSCIA Provincial Office.
All wells receive bacteria and nitrate sampling before and after remedial
Remedial measures may include:
- Establishing permanent grass buffers around the well and ending
the use of pesticides and fertilizers on the buffer,
- Installing a proper well cap and screening vents,
- Performing minor land grading to divert all surface flows away
from the well head,
- Repairing visible cracks in the well seal at ground level,
- Properly capping and protecting unused wells and clearly identifying
their status and location on farm records,
- Extending casing height at least 30 cm above ground level,
- Installing anti-flow devices on all faucets with hose connections,
- Installing pitless adaptors on drilled wells.
Of 34 completed demonstrations, four involve plugging abandoned wells,
18 involved drilled wells where typically the steel casing was extended
above the ground surface and pitless adaptors installed, 10 involve
dug or bored well where typically the concrete casing was extended above
the ground surface and a proper cap installed, and two involve mock
demonstrations at major outdoor farm events, showing good and poor well
head protection practices.
Well Steward Brochure - Protecting Your Family by Protecting Your Well Head
Club Name: Kent Precision Farming Club
Contact: Doug Smith, Project Leader, (519) 692-5240
Funding/Duration: $57,000 to conduct a four year project
To develop techniques for calculating optimum nitrogen rates
for corn and soybeans based on both yield maps and soil history.
The basic elements of a system for "precision farming" are:
- information on your position in the field using global positioning
system (GPS) or dead reckoning;
- a means to record what you're doing (e.g. planting rate, fertilizer
- a means of controlling your inputs on the "fly" either manually
or automatically determining the yield at the end of the season
(e.g. yield monitoring);
- integrating the above information with soil test data and other
observations into a field mapping system which can then be used
to provide management information to further refine the system next
year - this information loop is utilized by farm managers everywhere
but with more precise information the management can also be more
This year, field scale trials were set up to compare variable rate seed
and nitrogen application on corn. Rates were varied using previous years'
yield maps; two other club members' combines were fitted with yield
monitors and data recorders to generate yield maps during the 1994 corn
and soybean harvests.
The variable rate planter drive was tested using pre-programmed information
to adjust seed rates "on the go." Nitrogen rates were also varied using
the same system. Also, a Micro-Trak (impact type sensor) and an infrared
(R.D.S.) sensor were combined on a member's combine to give even more
accurate yield maps.
The major goal for 1995-96 will be to get a better handle on variable
rate nitrogen application. The University of Guelph and Ridgetown College
will be working with the Club in this area.
Club Name: Alternative Livestock Watering Devices Association
Contact: Terry Davidson, c/o Rideau Valley Conservation Authority,
Funding/Duration: $60,480 to conduct a three year project
The project involves researching and developing a design manual
for farmers and extension personnel interested in installing a Solar
Powered Watering Facility.
Livestock that have direct access to watercourses create adverse impacts
on surface water quality such as bacterial contamination, nutrient loading,
sediment loading, and disease transmission. The best solution to this
problem is to fence livestock out of all watercourses. However, there
remains the livestock drinking water requirement.
In many isolated pastures it is necessary to use the watercourse
for the drinking water supply. This can be accomplished by many alternative
systems such as mechanically driven pumps, electrically driven pumps,
and gravity systems. One alternative that this Club plans to research
is to use solar energy to supply the electricity.
The project will also establish demonstration sites of solar powered
watering facilities for livestock throughout the province of Ontario.
The project will be managed by the following three conservation authorities:
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Rideau Valley Conservation
Authority and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.
Three solar powered watering stations will be established in different
counties within the three watersheds. This is necessary to collect information
on how these systems respond to different climatic regions within the
province (eastern, central, and southwestern Ontario). Also, two stream
types will be examined: one with satisfactory depth to support a floating
submersible pump and the other with insufficient depth and the need
for a stilling well.
The major accomplishments in 1994-95 consisted of securing sites for
the demonstration projects and preparing final design plans. Demonstration
project locations include beef operations at Upper Rideau Lake in Westport,
Ontario; and two in Mount Albert, Ont. located near Vivian Creek. Dairy
operation locations are near the Rideau River in Nepean, Ont.; Halls
Creek in Ingersoll, Ont.; and near Wye Creek in Thorndale, Ont.
Club Name: South Nation River Conservation Authority
Contact: Mary-Ann Wilson, c/o South Nation River Conservation
Authority, (613) 984-2949
Funding/Duration: $53,000 to conduct a four year project
This project involves designing and developing a constructed
wetland to treat two waste sources - runoff from a manure storage
(which also contains milkhouse wastewater), as well as treat the
runoff from a large adjacent feedlot area.
The wetland will be very large in scope because the site is located
on an expanding dairy farm operation (100 dairy cows and 170 heifers).
Consequently, a large volume of wastes will be treated. The site is
unique in that it has a high fluctuating water table. In the fall the
water table is located just below the soil surface. Among other measures
this will require that the wetland system be constructed above grade
in order to protect the groundwater quality from contamination. As a
result pumping will also be required.
The present runoff lagoon is too small and needs to be expanded to
provide flexibility for operating the system. This will also allow for
a "safety factor" if the system should fail. The system is being designed
for 10 year drought and 10 year wet weather conditions in order for
the system to operate with maximum efficiency under a wide range of
conditions. The constructed wet-land will consist of three treatment
areas as follows: a marsh, a pond, and an overland filter strip.
This year, the project design and blueprint were completed and construction/
excavation will be completed in November 1995. The site was partially
revegetated (seeding and cattails), and ground & surface waters have
The Club's goals for 1995-96 are to begin loading wastewater into
constructed wetland for treatment, monitor surface water quality, groundwater
quality, soils and vegetation establishment, as well as complete revegetation
and modify the wetland as required.
Executive Summary and Download Final
Results in Manure Overview
Club Name: South Simcoe Conservation Club
Contact: Mark Peacock, c/o Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority,
Funding/Duration: $11,717 to conduct a one year project
To complete development of a constructed wetland (three-stage
treatment) for processing barnyard runoff and milkhouse washwater,
with involvement from many local farm groups.
The wetland, the first of its kind in the Simcoe County area, consists
of a three-stage treatment, as follows:
Barnyard runoff and milkhouse washwater is directed into the first chamber,
while a large pond is planted with wetland vegetation. Heavy solids
entering the wetland will be able to settle out in this chamber.
The wastewater then drains into the second chamber via a top drawoff
which empties into a winding 8-12 foot wide channel planted with wetland
vegetation. This cell will see intensive wetland nutrient uptake. Wetland
vegetation, associated microorganisms and natural processes will use
up excess nutrients and act to purify the water.
The channel leads to a third cell which is also heavily planted with
wetland vegetation. This cell is the polishing pond. When the system
is fully vegetated, very little contaminated water should be leaving
the system. The final outlet of the project is an extensive grassed
waterway that should act as a fail safe for the project.
Screening of Biosolids Approved for Land Utilization in Corn
Club Name: Dundas Soil and Crop Improvement Association
Contact: Dean Williams, (613) 989-3221
Funding/Duration: $6,342 to conduct a two year project
To determine if there is any indication of potential environmental
and/or agronomic problems/benefits associated with land utilization
of the following approved biosolids: Casco, Ault, and Champlain
With a research permit from the Ministry of the Environment, the biosolids
will be inter-row injected six inches deep into standing corn with a
Nuhn six row injection system.
The project area is on a portion of 25 acres of North Gower Clay
loam in Dundas County. The area taken by the project is approximately
1.86 acres and planted into corn (Pioneer 3902). Each treatment consists
of six 30" rows 459 feet long. Each treatment is flanked by two 30"
Activities in 1994 were as follows:
- Force insecticide was applied to eliminate any more variables;
soil conditions were much more loamy in biosolid plots than in fertility
check. Biosolid plots were planted without any starter fertilizer
banded with the seed. Due to a cool spring, fertility check with
fertilizer banded with the seed emerged two days prior to biosolid
- Corn plots were harvested in October, with a slight variance
in yield data, however there is insufficient replication at this
stage to determine any trend or significant difference.
- Water samples were taken with the groundwater piezometer in
June and September, and tested for heavy metals and nitrate. There
were no metals detected and nitrate levels were .10 in June and
.08 in September; all well below harmful levels.
- Soil nitrate tests ranged from a 46 lbs/acre to 75 lbs/acre.
Samples were taken in November with the only significant differences:
higher phosphorus, magnesium, organic matter and sodium in biosolid
compared to fertility check. Organic matter and phosphorus are about
23 per cent higher in biosolids.
Club Name: Peel Soil Conservation Club
Contact: Yves Lavictoire, Agricultural Representative, (905)
Funding/Duration: $8,450 to conduct a two year project
This Club was formed to encourage a "hands on" approach to conservation
The project consisted of two components:
- field studies - side-by-side demonstration plots compared
a member's normal farming practice to a conservation farming method.
Through field observations and yield checks, the new and normal
practices were able to be compared and assessed for their effectiveness.
- classroom guest speakers reinforced the knowledge of
the presenting individual, and transferred this information to all
participants. Each participant conducted one project but had the
results of other participants' projects as they presented their
Other instructional activities included a newsletter, local field trips,
and bus tours to various operations. Without a doubt, the focus on "Education,
Economics and Experience" was met.
Club Name: Halton Conservation Club
Contact: Richard Sovereign, Chairman, (905) 335-9506
Funding/Duration: $16,064 to conduct a four year project
To improve upon biosolids application systems so as to achieve:
- a smoother soil surface after biosolids injection which
will allow for no-till;
- more uniformity of nutrients in the root zone (no stripping
- a greater awareness amongst regional farmers of the Sludge
(Biosolids) Utilization Program and how it can be integrated
with conservation tillage.
Current application systems of biosolids ridges soil and places biosolids
in bands which has a stripping effect on nutrients. The ridges make
planting difficult, especially in a no-till system. Levels of nitrate
nitrogen, phosphorous, and heavy metals in soil and heavy metals in
leaf issue after biosolid application will also be studied.
Three application sites are located in Milton (2) and Moffat, Ontario.
In 1994/95, year one plots were prepared, planted, tested and harvested,
and the data analyzed as planned.
Results of tissue analysis revealed no heavy metal uptake and indicated
that the late, wet spring was a dominant factor in those results. Biosolid
injection equipment was modified and proven to be effective in trials,
and plots were surveyed and soil benchmark testing done. Crop tours
were also facilitated during the growing season.
Club Name: Ontario Cattlemen's Association
Contact: Peter Doris, Special Projects Manager, Ontario Cattlemen's
Association, (519) 824-0334
Funding/Duration: $63,139 to conduct a three year project
To study the effectiveness of vegetative filter strips as a means
of treating barnyard runoff.
Beginning in the spring of 1994, five farmers throughout the province
established vegetative filter strips (VFS) on their farms, constructed
to be level across their width and to have slope in the range of 0.5
to 4 per cent. Grass species such as reed canary, brome or orchard grass
will be planted. The goal is to have the runoff evenly distributed across
the strip in order for the volume of runoff to be controlled to allow
time for proper treatment.
Activities this year included site selection, VFS construction, and
initial monitoring. There has been a relatively high level of interest
in this project, with more than 20 farmers volunteering to have their
farm considered as a possible candidate site.
Goals for the next year include monitoring the "survivability" of
the VFS through a Canadian winter, and monitoring to determine the effectiveness
of the VFS at treating barnyard runoff.
Report [30 KB pdf]
See Results in Manure Overview Document
Club Name: Wellington County Conservation Club
Contact: Elaine Williamson, Coordinator, (519) 856-2165
Funding/Duration: $3,225 to conduct a one year project
This repeat of the successful "Conservation Tillage for Profit" course
was comprised of classroom sessions, field demonstrations and individual
on-farm projects. Participants were required to submit a report on the
results of their individual projects. This information has been summarized
in one published report, which will be distributed to other farmers
through the Wellington County Conservation Club.
Title: Assessing and Predicting the
Effect of Cover Crops and Reduced
Tillage on Nitrogen Management
Club Name: Ontario Corn Producers' Association
Contact: Ken Hough, Ontario Corn Producers' Association, (519)
Funding/Duration: $53,600 to conduct a two year project
The objectives of this study are two-fold:
- to evaluate various cover crops and management techniques
for their potential in absorbing residual soil nitrate and releasing
it in a manner which can be efficiently used by the succeeding
- to give Ontario producers more exposure to the soil nitrate
test and provide specific suggestions on how these tests can
be interpreted when used in the presence of cover crops and
This project came out of the concern for potential contamination of
surface and groundwater. Nitrate leaching and runoff from organic and
inorganic sources appears to pose the greatest risk. The potential for
nitrate to move out of the plow layer is generally considered to be
highest in the November to April period, when the difference between
evapotranspiration and precipitation is usually high and the ability
for grain crops to use or immobilize soil nitrogen is diminished. In
addition, fall tillage has often left the soil with little surface residue
to protect against runoff and soil erosion.
The following specific information will be provided to Ontario corn
producers and other agriculturalists as a result of this study:
- an economic assessment of cover crops in terms of their nitrogen
- environmental assessment of cover crops and reduced tillage
systems in terms of their impact on the potential for nitrate contamination
in surface and groundwater; and
- the refinement and demonstration of the soil nitrate test as
a management tool for a wide variety of conservation cropping systems
and soil types across Ontario.
In this, the first of the two year study, each of the cover crops
examined (red clover, oilseed radish, oats, fall rye) reduced soil nitrate
amounts during the post wheat harvest period when they were actively
growing. Only red clover, and perhaps oilseed radish in the plow tillage
system, provided a significant nitrogen contribution to the succeeding
Allowing an over-wintering cover crop (ie, fall rye, red clover)
to regrow in the spring before killing in a no-till system decreased
the nitrogen contribution of the cover crop to the succeeding corn crop.
Mineralization of nitrogen from cover crop biomass occurred at a
faster rate in a plow tillage system than in no-till. Following red
clover, and to a lesser degree after oilseed radish and fall rye, the
corn yield response to added nitrogen was smaller in the plow system
than in no-till. The project also indicated that sampling for soil nitrate
levels close to sidedress time was, at least in relative terms, a fairly
good indicator of actual corn nitrogen requirements. The results from
a nitrogen contribution survey following red clover indicated that a
planting time soil nitrate test may over-estimate actual nitrogen requirements
by as much as 40 kg-N/ha or more.
View / Download Final
Report [41 KB pdf]
Club Name: Association des producteurs francophones d'acériculture
Contact: Charles de Maisonneuve, c/o Collège d'Alfred, (613)
Funding/Duration: $47,020 to conduct a three year project
To test different maple bush management techniques on four sites
in Prescott-Russell County.
The effect of thinning, drainage and vehicle traffic on tree growth
will be evaluated. Sites with proven compaction, drainage, and tree
density problems will be rehabilitated.
Project activities to date include selection of sites based on woodlot
management problems. Various problems have been corrected with different
progressive management techniques, with various treatments identified
with signs on-site.
Goals for the next year include measurements on tree growth as a function
of treatment, evaluation of drainage rate, replacing and planting various
trees on all plots, and communication activities including site visits.
Club Name: Guelph Turfgrass Institute/University of Guelph
Contact: Gary Kachanoski, Associate Professor, (519) 824-4120
Funding/Duration: $129,750 to conduct a three year project
The objectives of this project which began in the spring of 1994
- measure the quality (fertilizers, pesticides) and amount
of excess drainage water under conventional management systems;
- demonstrate/compare the impact of innovative water conserving
irrigation systems on the amount and quality of drainage water;
- demonstrate/compare the impact of innovative chemical management
systems on the quality of drainage water;
- document the costs/benefits of the different management
systems including the impact on the turfgrass quality; and
- develop an irrigation scheduling system for turfgrass.
The quality and use of rural water resources affects the lives of all
rural communities. Innovative systems which combine water-conserving
irrigation scheduling linked to meteorological conditions, slow release
fertilizers, split application of chemicals, etc. are available but
their impact and feasibility (economic, effort) have not been demonstrated.
In plot studies at the University of Guelph, three 25x25 metre areas
have been instrumented in detail. Two of the plots have been lain with
Kentucky Bluegrass Sod, the third with perennial ryegrass. Each of the
divided 25 subplots were instrumented before sodding with sampling wires
and tubes running under the grass thatch, and each has four porous stainless
steel solution samplers at 5, 15, 30 and 60 cm. depths. To date, construction
On-farm studies have also been conducted with 13 cooperating producers,
covering major sod producing areas in the province including eastern
Ontario. Work this year focused on a preliminary water sampling survey
and assessment of water quality coming from the different fields. In
addition, chemical management practices of four of the producers were
investigated in detail.
Tillage in Spring & Winter Canola Production
Club Name: Ontario Canola Growers' Association
Contact: Murray Smeltzer or Linda Piper, Ontario Canola Growers'
Association, (519) 291-4811
Funding/Duration: $54,900 to conduct a three year project
The objectives of the project which began in the spring of 1994 are
- to demonstrate that no-till or minimum till has an economic
advantage over conventional till;
- to compare yields of no-till/minimum till with more conventional
- to compare the contribution margin of various treatments;
- to educate the producer on the economic and environmental
benefits of the reduction of water and wind erosion
This project involves replicated field scale tillage treatments with
spring and winter canola in four sites throughout the canola growing
area. These sites are located in the Counties of Dufferin, Wellington/Perth,
Bruce/Huron, and the District of Temiskaming.
Canola is a crop that has shown fair success to minimum and no-till
application. This project is designed to demonstrate no-till and minimum
till planting options for canola growers. These procedures need to be
further fine-tuned and growers need to be shown on a field scale that
these methods are not only environmentally sound but do in fact give
them an economic advantage.
This year, project activities included comparing the contribution margin
between treatments of varying types of tillage in spring canola, and
the contribution margins of Tilt applications on spring and winter canola.
Goals for 1995-96 include nitrogen placement on no-till canola, and
applying the research methods of sclorentinia control.
Washwater Control Using a Vegetative Filter
Club Name: Farm Pollution Control Alternatives Association
Contact: Luc Brunet, Project Leader, (613) 258-8457
Funding/Duration: $23,550 to conduct a three year project
To assess the effective of a vegetative filter strip for processing
A site has been chosen and the land levelled, with minimal disruption
to surrounding vegetation and topography. A septic tank which will perform
the primary treatment of the wash water was placed on-site in November
1994, and further modifications to the septic distribution systems will
The main piece of monitoring equipment purchased was an automatic
water sampler. This will be installed at the bottom of the strip to
record the quantity and quality of any runoff during a rain event. Other
equipment to be purchased include a rain gauge, sump pump with plastic
sump hole, and data logger.
Next year, the vegetative filter system will be completed and put
into operation. Data logging equipment will be installed, calibrated
and monitoring will begin.
View / Download
Final Report [32 KB pdf]
Club Name: Arcadia Cooperative Group
Contact: Jim Nelson, Arcadia Cooperative Group, (613) 475-2728
Funding/Duration: $17,715 to conduct a three year project
To evaluate crop response to fertilizer applied by broadcast
application or banding using an air operated fertilizer applicator
under conditions encountered on the farm.
The Orbit Air Gandy Fertilizer Applicator was chosen for the project.
Soybeans were planted on three properties; plot size was approximately
60 by 400 feet. Lot yields after harvest were approximately 700 to 900
lbs. Banding the full rate of fertilizer with the seed reduced the yield
on all locations an average of nine per cent lower than where the fertilizer
was broadcast on the surface. As the amount of banded fertilizer was
reduced, yields were increased. On all three properties, using one-quarter
of the normal rate of fertilizer banded with the seed gave higher yields
than were obtained with the full rate broadcast to the surface. The
average yield was 4 per cent higher with the banded fertilizer.
Samples were analyzed for crude protein, phosphorus and potassium,
with no differences revealed in the analysis due to the treatments.
All locations did show slightly lower crude protein with banding at
the high rate of fertilization.
The combination of soybean yield and crude protein content indicated
on all properties that banding at the full rate reduced production of
crude protein by 15 per cent. Banding with the 1/2 rate produced nine
per cent less protein whereas banding with the 1/4 rate gave two per
cent more total protein than 100 lbs. of fertilizer broadcast on the
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