Kawartha stewardship workshop tackles neonics
By Brandy Harrison
BETHANY Farmers looking to fall in line with a provincial goal to ditch neonics have to take a hard look at insect pressure, soil type, and cropping history, says OMAFRAs corn specialist.
Weve been talking about integrated pest-management for years trying to do as good a job as possible at identifying risk and using tools to mitigate it. One of the tool is neonics but farmers need to be aware of where they fit into the whole picture of insect risk, says Stewart, who is set to give farmers a strictly technical walk-through of the best-known science at the upcoming Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop on Feb. 7.
In November, the Ontario government proposed an 80 per cent reduction in the acreage planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds by 2017, aiming to have new rules in place by July 1.
Stewart will bring farmers up to speed on pests with OMAFRAs new soil insect risk assessment, aiming to help them determine where neonic use may be curbed. Neonics mainly target grubs, wireworm, and cutworm but dont provide slug control and are less effective at combating corn rootworm than using the right genetically-modified hybrids, he says.
The workshop will also cover creative options for livestock watering, the benefits of wetlands and biofilters in farm drainage, and the four Rs of nutrient stewardship the right source at the right rate and right time in the right place.
Farmers can win one of 10 $100 vouchers toward on-farm soil testing and members of the Kawartha Farm Stewardship Collaborative will be on hand to detail technical assistance and funding opportunities for on-farm stewardship projects.
It kicks off at 9 a.m. at Rolling Hills Public School in Bethany, 20 minutes west of Peterborough.
Tickets are $25, including a hot lunch. Get a $5 discount by attending both the workshop and the Kawartha Lakes Woodlot Conference and Trade Show on Feb. 21.
Register online at www.kawarthafarmstewardship.org or contact Holly Shipclark at 705-328-2271 ext. 240 or