Farm collaborators and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers from the Living Lab -Ontario project, and other on-farm researchers will share results and takeaways from the 2021 on-farm research season in this speaker series, held as part of each Living Lab partner’s respective annual conference or AGM. The free series will give participants a chance to experience attending various Ontario farming conferences, and preview the results of this year’s research.
The Living Lab — Ontario project is a research collaboration funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Led by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), Living Lab – Ontario collaborators include farmers, agricultural and conservation organizations, and scientists from AAFC and Environment and Climate Change Canada. The organizations collaborating on this initiative include: Essex Region Conservation Authority, Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, Ontario Soil Network, and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.
“The goal of Living Lab – Ontario is to share forward-looking farm practices that improve soil health and water quality, in order to increase their adoption and ultimately help make farms more resilient in the face of climate change. A collaborative online speakers series is the perfect way to engage the broader farm community in what these six amazing farmers are doing! ” says Ali English, Executive Director of EFAO.
Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) is one of 9 partners deploying on-farm research trials focused on reduced tillage and continuous cover, two farming practices that can support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from farming. One of EFAO’s trials focuses on organic field crop production, in collaboration with Brett Israel from 3GenOrganics in Wallenstein. The other, led by Ken Laing from Orchard Hill Farm in St Thomas, focuses on organic vegetable production. Both LL-ON collaborators will be presenting at EFAO’s conference.
“We’re working to develop effective systems with reduced tillage for organic vegetables. Developing a horticultural system for vegetables with no tillage is very challenging because we often use tillage to terminate one crop and get another established, and then we come in again with tillage to control weeds.” says Laing. “A lot of farmers could benefit from having a leg up in using no-till strategies or knowing where to start.”
In addition to the Living Lab – Ontario sessions, this year’s EFAO Conference will host over 65 speakers across 30 sessions, including EFAO’s annual Research Symposium, community conversations, and numerous opportunities to connect with fellow farmers.
The theme of the conference, “Cultivating Common Ground” reflects EFAO’s efforts to broaden the network of farmers and organizations it works with, and to work to bring more equity and diversity to EFAO as an organization, membership, and community.
At this point, day passes for each day of the conference are available until 6 p.m. the night before.
Living Lab – Ontario Inter-Conference Speaker Series sessions include:
- Innovations in Small Grains: Dec. 1st, 9:30 am, EFAO Conference
Featuring Greg Vermeersch, Brett Israel, Eric Page and Joe Wecker discussing their experience with relay cropping in barley, double-cropping and ancient grains.
- Doing On-Farm Research: Jan. 21, 10 am, Ontario Soil Network
Andy Van Niekerk, Dr. Sarah Larsen, Dr. Ian Scott and other LL-ON farmers & researchers discuss their on-farm research … and help you plan your own trials!
- Grazing Cover Crops: Feb 8, 1pm, OSCIA’s Annual General Meeting
Mike Groot and others discuss how to integrate sheep, cattle and other livestock into your crop rotation, and what it does for your soil!
- Full time cover crops: Feb 17, 1pm, IFAO Conference
Woody Van Arkel, Ken Laing, Dr. Xueming Yang and Anne Verhallen at the IFAO conference to discuss perennial cover crop strips, planted green field crops and vegetables; taking cover crops to a whole new level.
- Healthy Soil, Clean Water: Mar. 8, 10am
Henry Denotter, Dr. Katie Stammler and others discuss the results of watershed and edge-of-field water quality monitoring from several projects with ERCA, LTVCA and UTRCA.
To Register for the Living Lab – Ontario Speaker Series: https://form.jotform.com/212896937079070
EFAO Conference Information & Registration: http://conference.efao.ca