Farmers Forum staff
WINCHESTER — After a three-year hiatus, Eastern Ontario Field Crop Diagnostic Day is set to attract farmers back to the Winchester Agricultural Research Station later this month.
The annual event hasn’t been held at the Baker Road facility, operated by the University of Guelph, since 2019. The pandemic nixed the popular gathering in 2020 and 2021 (replaced by online presentations). Eastern Ontario was skipped again in 2022 when the provincial organizing committee revived in-person crop diagnostic days at one location, the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus.
Rather than the full-day format last seen in Winchester, this year’s attendees can choose between two half-day events on Wednesday, July 19 (1 to 4 p.m.) and Thursday, July 20 (9 to noon), with both days featuring the same content. Winter wheat production is this year’s focus, according to the site’s agronomy manager Holly Byker.
Farmers will rotate through three 25-minute sessions followed by a longer combined panel discussion on winter wheat management. The following agronomists — U of G’s Josh Nasielski, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Joanna Follings, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Gavin Humphries, C&M Seeds’ Tim Meulensteen — will offer insights on growing a great wheat crop.
The shorter sessions will feature topics ranging from insect resistance management and the future of Bt corn in Ontario to nitrogen management and superior soybean management.
Byker says she expects about 300 attendees between the two days, about as many as attended the single-day event in the past. Rather than serving lunch, organizers have arranged for food trucks to be on site so farmers can buy their own.
She says it’ll be great to see the crop diagnostic day in Winchester again at the site of ongoing research.
Historically, field crop diagnostic days have provided some of the best opportunities for certified crop advisors to pick up credits towards their certification. The events are jointly put on by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph.
Register online at the Eastern Ontario Field Crop Diagnostic Day website. Or call 1-877-424-1300. Register before July 14 and the per person cost is $60 (general admission) or $50 (OSCIA members) or $30 (students). Admission is $75 for each registration after July 14.