REMINDER – ONHoppenings Lunch and Learn session next Tuesday May 16 @ noon

Just a reminder that the first ONHoppenings Lunch and Learn session of 2023 is scheduled for next Tuesday, May 16 at noon. OMAFRA specialists Evan Elford and Melanie Filotas are back with two online Zoom discussions for Ontario hop growers for the 2023 growing season.  Each session will feature an initial 30-45 minute presentation from Melanie or Evan, after which we will open it up for participants to ask questions about any topic pertaining to hops.  This month we will focus on pests and disorders to watch out for in 2023. Melanie will be providing an overview of the major pests of hops and their approximate timing during the growing season. Evan will provide an update on nutrient deficiency symptoms in hops based on a recently completed project conducted in Simcoe. Participants will then have the opportunity to ask Melanie or Evan questions about agronomics, pests or any timely issue affecting hops. 

Attendance is free and open to everyone, however you must pre-register to receive the meeting log-in details. Register in advance by clicking on this link:

Anyone wishing to ask questions in advance can email Melanie ( or Evan ( by 8:30 the day of the session OR enter it in the question field during registration, and we will do our best to have an answer for during the session. 

Posted in Hops, Hops Meetings, Hops Pest Management, Hops Production | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ginseng Crop Update – Spring Pests – May 5, 2023

The prolonged cool period over the past two weeks has delayed ginseng emergence, but plants should emerge rapidly over the next week. There has been at least some precipitation 13 of the last 14 days keeping the soil very moist over that period. A freeze to around -2°C occurred last week in most areas, but dewpoints were high, suggesting that temperatures at the ground level were not any colder. It is unlikely this caused any significant damage unless emerging older plants were exposed due to thin straw cover. Temperatures have been cool since then. In some recent springs, prolonged cold temperatures without a significant frost have caused incomplete development of the tops including distorted leaves and shorter stems, which then led to higher Alternaria problems later in the year. While it has been cool over the past week, it has not been as cool as some previous springs due to a very moist airmass that prevented night temperatures from dropping too much. It is unlikely temperatures were cold enough to cause damage, but this is something to watch out for.

Continue reading
Posted in Ginseng, Ginseng Pest Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Guide to Soil Sampling for Lavender

Soil sampling is an important aspect of crop management. It is essential for managing nutrients, especially phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), and adjusting the pH of the soil. It can also be an important tool for diagnosing soilborne pest issues such as plant parasitic nematodes and fungal pathogens. Many lavender growers are new to farming and/or are too small to work with farm supply companies for custom sampling. Improper sampling methodology can lead to skewed results that can lead to improper fertilizer application rates. Here are the basics of soil sampling in lavender:

Soil Nutrient Sampling:

The very first step in growing lavender should be soil sampling for nutrients, pH and potentially soil texture (to understand soil type and potential drainage issues). Soil sampling is primarily used for pH, P and K management, but can also be useful for several other nutrients (e.g., magnesium, manganese, zinc) and salt and organic matter content. It is best to sample for nutrients every 2 to 3 years to track changes in nutrients over time and ensure your fertility program is working for correcting deficiencies.

Continue reading
Posted in Herbs, Lavender | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resistant Weed Testing is Available for the 2023 Field Season

By: Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA Weed Management Specialist

Resistant weeds are becoming the new norm in weed management for many Ontario farmers.  This is a reminder that genomic resistant weed testing will be available again at no cost to the grower due to funding from the Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario, the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers, Bayer Crop Science Canada, and Syngenta Canada Inc.  It is important to get suspected resistant weeds tested on a field-by-field basis.  This ensures that you have a resistance profile for each field.

There are now 26 different genetic tests available to Ontario growers, plus two species differentiation tests.  The Amaranthus species differentiation test has been instrumental in identifying waterhemp and hybrids of waterhemp with other pigweed species. 

Continue reading
Posted in All Specialty Crops, Culinary, Ginseng, Ginseng Pest Management, Herbs, Hops, Hops Pest Management, Industrial and Misc. Crops, Industrial Hemp, Specialty Fruit and Nuts, Specialty Grains, Specialty Vegetable Pest Management, Specialty Vegetables, Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Pest Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ginseng Crop Update – Crop Emergence – April 21, 2023

The warm temperatures and sunny conditions last week have accelerated ginseng crop emergence. As of April 20, 103 Growing Degree Days (GDD) (Base 5) has accumulated at Delhi. This is 30 GDD above normal for this time of year. On average 4 GDD accumulate every day at this time of year, which would put 2023 about 7 or 8 days ahead of normal. It also puts 2023 in the top 5 for GDD accumulation to this point of the year over that period (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Total Growing Degree Days (GDD) base 5 accumulated up to April 20 for the past 21 years. The average for the period was 73.7.

Continue reading
Posted in Ginseng, Ginseng Pest Management, Ginseng Production | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tank Mixing Update – Implications for Users of Pest Control Products

By: J. Mosiondz (OMAFRA) with input from J. Deveau (OMAFRA)

Tank mixing, a practice commonly performed by growers across the agricultural spectrum, is an important practice used to reduce the number of sprayer passes per season, prevent resistance development, and to improve product performance.

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced clarifications to the tank mixing policy in a new guidance document on December 22nd, 2022, entitled “PMRA Guidance Document Tank Mix Labelling”. 

Previously, products could be tank mixed if there were no restrictions on any of the partner labels. Under the updated policy, a tank mix can only be applied if the partner labels specifically allow tank mixing. This could appear on the label in one of two forms given below. Additional instructions such as mixing order, or instructions for performing compatibility testing such as the jar test method may also be included in these statements.

Continue reading
Posted in All Specialty Crops, Culinary, Ginseng, Ginseng Pest Management, Haskap, Herbs, Hops, Hops Pest Management, Industrial and Misc. Crops, Industrial Hemp, Lavender, Specialty Fruit and Nuts, Specialty Grains, Specialty Vegetable Pest Management, Specialty Vegetables, Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Pest Management, Tree Nuts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment