CMHA Ontario launches suicide prevention program to support farmers

Farmers experience chronic stress more than the general population. Yet farmers are less likely to seek mental health support — sometimes with devastating consequences.

To help, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario has launched the Guardian Network, a volunteer suicide prevention network which supports Ontario’s farming community. A Guardian is an individual, over the age of 18, who is likely to be in contact with farmers through their work, volunteer activities, or their place in their community and has successfully completed The Guardian Network training program. Guardians are equipped with strategies and tools to identify the signs of mental distress, react to farmers at-risk, and connect individuals with appropriate mental health and crisis resources.

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Ginseng Crop Update – August 26, 2022

Other than localized damage from summer storms, weather conditions to this point of the season have been ideal for ginseng production with seasonable temperatures and only timely rains, which is in contrast to the excessive rains last year. The biggest issue growers are dealing with is left-over root phytophthora issues from last year. Alternaria is a constant battle, but outbreaks of disease are often a result of poor spray coverage, lack of timely fungicide application, or improper choice of fungicide. No major insect issues have been reported over the past few weeks.

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Lavender Crop Update – Late Summer Tasks – August 26, 2022

Lavender bloom is long finished, and most growers are wrapping up distillation for the year. Here are some things to consider at this time of year:


If you have not pruned already, August is a good time to prune lavender to get plants back into a rounded shape and to ensure plants are dense, which will improve winter survival. Pruning beyond Labour Day is not recommended in Ontario since it will encourage new growth that may be more tender going into the winter and may open up the canopy allowing cold air to penetrate more deeply into plants.

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2023 ONHops BrewOff Registration Now Open!

Celebrating 10 Years of Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer at the OFVC!

The ONHops BrewOff (OHBO) is back at the OFVC! This year we’re celebrating 10 years of friendly competition highlighting Ontario grown hops and Ontario craft beer! Formally “The Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition”, OHBO was conceived to bring together Ontario hop producers and the most significant end-user of the crop, the Ontario brewing industry. The goals are to:

  • Create a credible venue for hop growers and brewers to work together and encourage commerce.
  • Introduce the next generation of Ontario brewers to the hop growing community.
  • Promote the use of Ontario-grown hops.

In honour of our milestone, we are returning to the inaugural 2013 beer style: BJCP 21A American IPA. Here’s the description from the BJCP Style Guidelines

“A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong, pale American ale. The balance is hop-forward, with a clean fermentation profile, dryish finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through… A prominent to intense hop aroma often featuring American or New World hop characteristics, such as citrus, floral, pine, resin, spice, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, or melon. Low to medium-low clean, grainy maltiness supports the hop presentation.”

Continuing in 2023 – Closed Judging and Public Event:

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Essential Oil Yield of Lavender Cultivars

By: Jason Carter, Summer Research Assistant, OMAFRA and Sean Westerveld, Ginseng and Herbs Specialist, OMAFRA

There are many different lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and lavandin (L. x intermedia) cultivars that can be grown in Ontario. When choosing which cultivars to grow, lavender growers do not always consider (or have access to) the potential oil yield of the cultivars. Instead, they think of overall flower characteristics more than yield. 

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SuffOil-X® spray oil emulsion label expanded via Minor Use Program to help manage aphids and spider mites on various crops and crop groups in Canada

By Josh Mosiondz, Minor Use Coordinator, OMAFRA

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of a minor use label expansion registration for SuffOil-X® spray oil emulsion for management of aphids and spider mites on various crops and crop groups in Canada. SuffOil-X® spray oil emulsion was already labeled for management of insects and diseases on a wide range of crops in Canada. These minor use proposals were submitted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs as a result of minor use priorities established by growers and extension personnel. 

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Posted in Culinary, Ginseng, Ginseng Pest Management, Herbs, Lavender, Specialty Vegetable Pest Management, Specialty Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment