Tag Archives: northern ontario

Growing Agriculture with Northern Ontario Community Pastures

There are six community pastures located across northern Ontario. Partnerships between organizations and the provincial government were instrumental in the formation of the pastures. In the early 2000’s the Association of Community Pastures (ACP) was created and they subsequently ownership of some of these pastures. The pastures are available for farmers to rent for the summer, allowing them to increase their herd by providing extra grazing opportunities. Community pastures are also used as sites for research and information workshops.

Economic benefits of community pastures

Since the first community pasture was established in the early 1960’s, they have come to provide a source of economic benefit to the communities where they are located. To see what kind of overall benefit community pastures have for the northern Ontario, data was collected for all six of the pastures in 2016.

Charges for using the pasture is done in one of two ways; either a flat rate per animal/animal pairs for the season, or a per-day rate. Table 1 shows the number of animals at each location and the rental rates charged in 2016.

It is clear that there is consistent positive revenue being generated by the northern community pastures. Overall the pastures benefit communities by providing jobs and allowing farmers an opportunity to increase the livestock they raise and subsequently increase their revenues.

Table 2 highlights the overall financial impact of the community pastures in 2016 (based on the assumption that the sale of Cow/Calf pairs and bulls to be $1200 and sale of yearlings to be $1500), which also generates jobs, and benefits the local economy.

In summary, community pastures demonstrate economic benefits by contributing to local research, and positively impacting the economy though the generation of profit from hosting the cattle on pasture, generating jobs, and increasing a farmers revenue opportunities.

Table 1

northern blog.PNGblog 2

Table 2 






Authored by Barry Potter and Kaitlyn Schenk



#Agsplore The North

pic-1-modifiedAt the end of September 2016 a bus load of University 
of Guelph, Ontario Agriculture 
College (OAC) students headed north from Guelph to tour the Nipissing and Temiskaming farming districts. Through pictures and quotes here is a summary of their trip.

Two OAC students from the Temiskaming District, Emily Potter and Tanja Gahwiler, decided their fellow aggies should experience the agriculture found in northern Ontario, so they set about to organize a bus trip to northeastern Ontario.

With assistance and sponsorship from enthusiastic farm associations, the two brought 50 of their fellow students to the region. Continue reading #Agsplore The North

Diversifying the Cash Crop Industry in Northern Ontario

Northern Ontario, with its cooler growing conditions, is known to grow good quality forages and spring grains. However, the past three decades has seen a diversification and expansion of the cash crop sector in the north.

With fewer livestock farms in the north, resulting in fewer acres of forages being grown (less livestock, less feed required) and the expansion of overall farm acreage, producers have been looking at different crop alternatives. Continue reading Diversifying the Cash Crop Industry in Northern Ontario

5 Ways to Positively Impact the Economic Viability of Agriculture in Northern Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is leading the development of the Northern Ontario Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing sector strategy.

Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing is a priority sector that can help grow and diversify Northern Ontario’s economy under the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario,

OMAFRA needs input from a broad array of producers, organizations and communities to create an effective strategy which will guide long term decision-making and investment planning in Northern Ontario.

The discussion paper is a first step in the development of this strategy. We look forward to having a dialogue on the questions presented in the discussion paper and other comments and ideas that may arise.

How to Comment on the Discussion Paper

Interested parties may provide input into the development of the Strategy in a number of ways.

Provide comments in writing through one of the following:

  1. Ontario’s Environmental Registry – EBR Registry Number 012-7458.:
  2. By email to: northernagrifood@ontario.ca
  3. By delivery to any OMAFRA office
  4. By mail/courier to:
    Economic Development Policy Branch

1 Stone Road West
2nd Floor NE
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 4Y2

5. By Fax: (510) 826-4328
attention: Economic Development Policy Branch

To obtain an electronic version of this discussion paper, please go to OMAFRA’s website.

Written comments must be submitted by July 3, 2016.

OMAFRA will provide participants with overall summaries of both consultations and submitted written comments by the public. Your input towards the Northern Ontario Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing sector strategy will positively impact the economic viability and advancement of Northern Ontario and the province as a whole.

Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station

In an age of patented crop varieties and technology use agreements, how does one put a value on the economic impact of a small, independent research station?

Driven by a belief that location specific research is important to the sustainability and advancement of the local and regional agricultural and agri related industries, the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association has been managing the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS) since 2003.

With its small plot work, TBARS seeks to improve the economics of local agriculture through crop diversification and improved soil and crop management adapted to the local environment. Building on relationships with researchers and suppliers in western Canada, eastern Canada and internationally, TBARS takes the risks to demonstrate what the possibilities could be for producers in the region. The detailed Annual Reports that are produced are sought after in many other jurisdictions.

Edible bean plots at TBARS

Long before soybeans became a major western crop, TBARS had shown local producers and the rest of Ontario that there were varieties that could thrive in the long daylight environment of northern latitudes. The dominant dairy industry was quick to capitalize on a homegrown protein source. More recently, chick peas, lentils and edible beans have been shown to produce economic yields at the station. Continue reading Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station

Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture

Mun reg toolkit for ag

The Regional Economic Development Branch, North Region Team (NRT) provides support to municipalities involved with the agriculture sector. This support often comes in the form of responding to specific questions about agriculture related economic development opportunities, and frequently about regulatory aspects of the industry. In response to these inquiries, the NRT developed the “Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture” (designed to meet the needs of northern Ontario Municipalities). Continue reading Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture

Promoting Agriculture at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop

Participants at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop listening to OMAFRA “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” session.

On September 24th OMAFRA Regional Economic Development Branch staff Pierrette Desrochers, Agriculture Development Advisor; Monique Legault, Manager North Region in collaboration with John O’Neil OMAFRA Planner for the north presented a workshop entitled “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop in Sudbury.

Continue reading Promoting Agriculture at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop

Farming the North – Growing opportunities for agriculture in Northern Ontario

farmnorthbanner 60OMAFRA is working with the agriculture community to provide opportunities to expand agriculture in Northern Ontario with a website that offers clients information to help them make their expansion or investment decisions. September 1, 2015 is the launch date for the website. Check it out farmnorth.com. Continue reading Farming the North – Growing opportunities for agriculture in Northern Ontario