The summer of 2017 saw the Ontario Forage Focus hosted by Oxford County hosted the western location on Thursday, June 29th at Dual Lane Farms, the farm of Dwayne Kloepfer and Family in Ingersoll ON. Ottawa/Carleton County hosted the eastern location at Hillisle Farm, owned and operated by Bruce, Cheryl and Spencer Hill in Nepean, on July 6th, 2017. A special thank you to our lead contacts in each county; Evert Veldhuizen in Oxford, and Spencer Hill in Ottawa/Carleton..
The 2017 Ontario Forage Expo gave farmers and agribusiness an opportunity to see demonstrations of the latest innovations in forage harvest technologies and to harvest forage quickly with minimum losses and maximum quality. Despite the wet weather, over 350 farmers and agribusiness attended the event.
The Expo was sponsored and organized by the Ontario Forage Council, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, and the Oxford and Carelton County Soil & Crop Improvement Associations. OMAFRA and the Forage Council worked with the equipment industry to ensure the latest technology was present and demonstrated at the event. The demonstrations were important to help farmers make critical decisions on expensive investments to enhance their farm operations in capacity, minimizing harvest losses, product quality and profitability.
Demonstrations were done throughout the day by equipment manufacturers and dealers showcasing the latest in forage harvesting equipment. This equipment included various mowers, conditioners, rakes, tedders, reconditioners, GPS monitors, large round balers, large square balers, small square bale bundlers, bale wrappers and bale grapplers. This provided an excellent opportunity for farmers to view the latest technology available to harvest forage quickly with minimum losses and maximum quality. The continuous increase in equipment size, capacity and technology enhances a farmer’s ability to achieve quality forage production under a wide range of conditions by increasing speed of operations, and handling forages in ways that enhance product quality. This becomes extremely important when variable weather is a critical factor in forage production.
Wet weather played tag with the event in Oxford but we got through the demonstrations and people got to spend time with the exhibitors. In Ottawa, the weather cooperated for once this season in the area deluged by rainfall, and 150 people enjoyed the day. Attendance was down as the event fell in the middle of what was a very few days of dry weather for local producers to actually “make hay” last summer.