Green Plan Banner

Conservation Clubs Banner

PROJECT LIST


Title: Well Steward Conservation Club Demonstration Project

Club Name: Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association
Contact: Andy Graham, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, (519) 767-3179.
Funding/Duration: $175,000 to conduct a four year project

Objectives:

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.

Project Description:
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 work.

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.

Achievements:
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

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

 

Title: Variable Input Application

Club Name: Kent Precision Farming Club
Contact: Doug Smith, Project Leader, (519) 692-5240
Funding/Duration: $57,000 to conduct a four year project

Objectives:

To develop techniques for calculating optimum nitrogen rates for corn and soybeans based on both yield maps and soil history.

Project Description:
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 application rate);
  • 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 precise.

Achievements:
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.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Solar Powered Watering Facilities

Club Name: Alternative Livestock Watering Devices Association
Contact: Terry Davidson, c/o Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, (613) 692-3571
Funding/Duration: $60,480 to conduct a three year project

Objectives:

The project involves researching and developing a design manual for farmers and extension personnel interested in installing a Solar Powered Watering Facility.

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:
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.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Pilot Constructed Wetland Project

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

Objectives:

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.

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:
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 been monitored.

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 Report
Results in Manure Overview Document

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Grumble Hill Farm Constructed Wetland

Club Name: South Simcoe Conservation Club
Contact: Mark Peacock, c/o Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, (705) 424-1479
Funding/Duration: $11,717 to conduct a one year project

Objectives:

To complete development of a constructed wetland (three-stage treatment) for processing barnyard runoff and milkhouse washwater, with involvement from many local farm groups.

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: 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

Objectives:

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 biosolid by-products.

Project Description:
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" guard rows.

Achievements:
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 plots.
  • 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.

Status: Completed

Table of Contents

Title: Conservation Farming for Profit

Club Name: Peel Soil Conservation Club
Contact: Yves Lavictoire, Agricultural Representative, (905) 873-9930
Funding/Duration: $8,450 to conduct a two year project

Objectives:

This Club was formed to encourage a "hands on" approach to conservation farming.

Project Description:
The project consisted of two components:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 final report.

Achievements:
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.

Status: Completed

 Table of Contents

Title: Improved Placement & Utilization of Biosolids in a Conservation Cropping System

Club Name: Halton Conservation Club
Contact: Richard Sovereign, Chairman, (905) 335-9506
Funding/Duration: $16,064 to conduct a four year project

Objectives:

To improve upon biosolids application systems so as to achieve:

  1. a smoother soil surface after biosolids injection which will allow for no-till;
  2. more uniformity of nutrients in the root zone (no stripping effect); and
  3. a greater awareness amongst regional farmers of the Sludge (Biosolids) Utilization Program and how it can be integrated with conservation tillage.

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:
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.

Status: Completed

 Table of Contents

Title: The Use of Vegetative Filter Strips to Treat Beef Feedlot and Yard Runoff

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

Objectives:

To study the effectiveness of vegetative filter strips as a means of treating barnyard runoff.

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:
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.

 View/Download Report [30 KB pdf]

See Results in Manure Overview Document

Status: Completed

 Table of Contents

Title: Conservation Farming

Club Name: Wellington County Conservation Club
Contact: Elaine Williamson, Coordinator, (519) 856-2165
Funding/Duration: $3,225 to conduct a one year project

Objectives:

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:

Status: Completed

 Table of Contents

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) 837-1660
Funding/Duration: $53,600 to conduct a two year project

Objectives:

The objectives of this study are two-fold:

  1. 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 crop, and
  2. 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 reduced tillage.

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:
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 replacement value;
  • 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 corn crop.

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.

Status: Completed

View / Download Final Report  [41 KB pdf]   

 Table of Contents

Title: The Effect of Different Maple Bush Management Techniques on Tree Growth

Club Name: Association des producteurs francophones d'acériculture de l'Ontario
Contact: Charles de Maisonneuve, c/o Collège d'Alfred, (613) 679-2218
Funding/Duration: $47,020 to conduct a three year project

Objectives:

To test different maple bush management techniques on four sites in Prescott-Russell County.

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:
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.

Status: Completed

 Table of Contents

Title: Water & Chemical Management Systems for the Turfgrass Industry

Club Name: Guelph Turfgrass Institute/University of Guelph
Contact: Gary Kachanoski, Associate Professor, (519) 824-4120 ext. 2498
Funding/Duration: $129,750 to conduct a three year project

Objectives:

The objectives of this project which began in the spring of 1994 are to:

  1. measure the quality (fertilizers, pesticides) and amount of excess drainage water under conventional management systems;
  2. demonstrate/compare the impact of innovative water conserving irrigation systems on the amount and quality of drainage water;
  3. demonstrate/compare the impact of innovative chemical management systems on the quality of drainage water;
  4. document the costs/benefits of the different management systems including the impact on the turfgrass quality; and
  5. develop an irrigation scheduling system for turfgrass.

Project Description:
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 is ongoing.

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.

Achievements:

Status: Completed

 Table of Contents

Title: Reduced 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

Objectives:

The objectives of the project which began in the spring of 1994 are as follows:

  • 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 tillage methods;
  • to compare the contribution margin of various treatments; and
  • to educate the producer on the economic and environmental benefits of the reduction of water and wind erosion

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:
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.

Status: Completed

 Table of Contents

Title: Milkhouse 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

Objectives:

To assess the effective of a vegetative filter strip for processing Milkhouse Washwater.

Project Description:

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 be required.

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.

Achievements:
Status:
Completed

View / Download Final Report  [32 KB pdf]

 Table of Contents

Title: Fertilizer Placement With No-Till

Club Name: Arcadia Cooperative Group
Contact: Jim Nelson, Arcadia Cooperative Group, (613) 475-2728
Funding/Duration: $17,715 to conduct a three year project

Objectives:

To evaluate crop response to fertilizer applied by broadcast application or banding using an air operated fertilizer applicator under conditions encountered on the farm.

Project Description:
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.

Achievements:
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 surface.

Status: Completed


 

Table of Contents

Clubs Home | Green Plan Home

 

Last Revised: Sunday, May 15, 2011 08:48:47 PM