Thank you to all our participants, speakers, researchers and sponsors.

Together we learned and shared generously.

 A wealth of research, shared practical experiences and ideas,

headed back to Ontario fields for the 2020 growing season.

Conference 2021 dates.... Wed/Thurs Feb 17/18, 2021

Best Western Lamplighter Inn London

We have recorded the following 2020 conference presentations to share with you...

Michael Thompson
Carbon in a Regenerative Farm System: A Win Win Scenario For Farmers
Michael began his farming experience on depleted soil in a harsh, dry Kansas environment and turned that around by learning how to sequester carbon. Today, the Thompsons focus on rotationally grazed cattle and continuous cover practices that have increased soil organic matter, resilience to drought, water retention and
Kaytlyn Creutzberg
Vibrant Soil = Vibrant Food 
= Vibrant Opportunity
McCains, General Mills, Danone, McDonalds have all joined the regen ag conversation and are advocating for health soil,  bio-diversity, and changing consumer buying habits. What does that mean?
Regenerative farming practices build on what we already do as Innovative Farmers, such as minimal tillage, minimizing soil erosion, and using cover crops for greater resilience which are all key to on-farm profitability in the long term.
Dr. Marc Lucotte
Glyphosate: A Controversial Product That We Need to Use Wisely

Marc shared his research on AMPA rates in soil after glyphosate use and how it effects soil function.

How healthy soil with a vibrant microbiome life is able to dissipate glyphosate residue more efficiently. As well as what the agronomic impacts of the degradation of glyphosate into AMPA in soil.

Brian Ryberg
Strip Tilled 22" Corn, Soy and Sugar Beets: Reduced Input and labour Costs: But NOT Yield!
Brian Ryberg started strip tilling sugar beets five years ago. He now raises corn, soybeans and sugar beets in 22" rows interseeded with cover crops on 5,2000 acres without any hit on yield. These new practices have cut several expensive field operations, lowered fuel and fertilizer costs and benefited soil conservation with increased residue on his fields over winter.

Student Research Participation at Conference 2020

A new addition for our 2020 conference was providing an opportunity for our new crop of 

Ontario soil health researchers to share their research with our conference attendees.

It was a great success for both participants and the researchers.

Meredith Marshall

University of Waterloo

SM Sayem

University of Guelph

Jessica Awrey

University of Guelph

Sarah Hasenack

University of Guelph

Issac Noyes

University of Waterloo

Comment from Student Researcher Alex Sanders...
I would first like to say thank you for the opportunity to present my poster
at the IFAO conference. The major value for me was presenting my research findings
directly to growers, which provided a very different atmosphere than what I have experienced at purely scientific meetings. I knew I had to mold my results into a format
presentable to growers and retailers, and I know that going through this exercise
will prove useful when I begin working. In addition to these benefits, 
I was able to secure a farmer cooperator interested in performing trials this summer!    

Alex Sanders

University of Guelph

Mike Belan chosen as

2020 Innovative Farmer of the Year

Every year, the Innovative Farmers of Ontario chooses a farmer who exemplifies great soil stewardship, progressive thinking,

and a drive to explore ways to improve their farming practices. 

We are pleased to announce Mike Belan

as our 2020 Innovative Farmer of the Year recipient.

Mike Belan is a 3rd generation farmer in Lambton County,

 presently farming over 1,000 acres with his father and uncle.

In 2012 the Belans began to assess the merit of moving their goals from yield to profit per acre and consistency. They had been practicing no till for years but began to incorporate cover crops mix and add heifers to graze cover crops.

The Belans have seen a beneficial impact from these changes including

reduced soil erosion, increased water infiltration and reduced compaction.

They are pleased with the results they have seen

and now say they wouldn't farm any other way.


Compaction Video Series:

Please Note — it's important to read both documents below to correctly interpret the data results.

Thank you to Matthias Stettler, Shawridge Farms,  Ian McDonald, the amazing OMAFRA soil team,

our soil pit session speakers, the sponsors,the equipment drivers, and all who participated. 

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.

Innovative Farmers of Ontario wins Regional Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence 

The Innovative Farmers of Ontario

were the original instigators of the 

Soil Your Undies 

campaign to encourage and demonstrate

healthier soil management practices.

Our campaign went viral, with international media attention,

adoption by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada and a

Premier's Award from the Ontario provincial government.

Our Soil Your Undies campaign challenges farmers to bury a pair of white 100 % cotton briefs and then dig them up 8 weeks later.

The concept is if the briefs are eaten away and left in tatters, that shows healthy biological activity in their soil. If not, farmers could benefit by considering cover crops and other conservation methods to ramp up biological activity, increase soil organic matter and give their soils a healthy boost.