WINCHESTER — After a two-year pandemic pause, Ontario’s annual Field Crop Diagnostic Days are returning as in-person field events this month — but not in Eastern Ontario.
Because of a tight supply of staff presenters, organizers have consolidated the event at Ridgetown for 2022, eschewing the traditional three-site arrangement that previously included Elora and Winchester research stations. They will now go for a third consecutive year without boots-on-the-ground diagnostic days.
This year’s diagnostic days are set for July 20 and 21 at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus. For those not interested in making the trip, the sessions will be recorded on video and broadcast later.
The Winchester Research Station’s Holly Byker says she’s hopeful for the return of a diagnostic day at that facility in 2023. But Winchester might still host a twilight-style meeting in late August or early September this year, she says.
In the meantime, those interested in going to Ridgetown this year must register by July 11. (Cost is $125 plus HST.) Organizers have slated eight 30-minute agronomic topic sessions repeated each day on July 20-21.
Historically, field crop diagnostic days have provided some of the best opportunities for certified crop advisors to pick up continuing education units. 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. The last two years were held as virtual events exclusively.