“The place where farmers meet”, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show offers visitors an opportunity to see and learn about innovative advances in farm equipment, agriculture technology and agriculture sector initiatives. Each year since the farm show started, the Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and OMAFRA Crop Technology staff collaborate to prepare and participate in an interactive demonstration site.
This year’s theme “Crop Production with Healthy Soils” allowed staff from the field crop and horticultural crop units, in partnership with OSCIA field staff to offer visitors a hands-on look at unique perspectives in agriculture - most not featured in other areas of the farm show. Highlights of the site emphasizing aspects of soil sustainability and soil health included: cover crops with a soil pit combination showing impact of compaction on water movement and root growth through soil, long-term organic amendment demo and numerous in-tent soil demos including earthworm channels, and farmstead BMPs, Plots displaying disease risk and fungicide use, biofumigants using mustard varieties, biomass and new crops for industrial use and a woodlot management / tree crop site featured something for everyone.
Inside the tent displays, publications, and posters provided information about provincial weather data, crop heat unit data, management strategies to control insect pests, and hands-on finding a specific farm using the new Agricultural Information Maps (Ag maps), and information on current programs and cost share opportunities. Regional Soil and Crop displays featured special projects and events occurring across the province.
Close to 40,000 visitors from across the province had the opportunity to talk to staff.
Both the field plots and the tent display were designed to invite farm show goers over the three days to visit the displays, and to discuss and ask questions of the OSCIA and crop technology specialists. Situated beside the OSCIA-sponsored breakfast, and combined with ideal weather all three days, the site experienced excellent attendance.
OMAFRA Crop Team c/o Christine Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
OSCIA c/o Cathy Dibble email@example.com