How the future of farming relies on internet access

You may not think twice about internet access, but less than half of Canadian farmers have high speed internet on the farm. Technology like drones and GPS tractors are on the rise, which means farmers need reliable internet. Mark Brock, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario was on CTV Your Morning to discuss the impact of internet access on Ontario farmers. Brock talks about the use of internet in data analysis, technology, farm management decisions and rural infrastructure. Check out the video to learn more about how farming and internet access go together.

Maple oatmeal pecan bars

Maple oatmeal pecan bars

Merry Christmas! Try these delicious maple oatmeal pecan bars for a festive holiday treat!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) butter

2 1/4 cups oats (quick, uncooked)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups brown sugar (firmly packed)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 egg (lightly beaten)

1 tsp vanilla

Topping:

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup maple syrup

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Melt butter and set aside to cool.

In large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt; mix well. (Dough will be stiff).

In a smaller bowl, combine melted butter, syrup, egg and vanilla; mix well. Add this mixture to the oat mixture and mix well.

Press dough evenly onto bottom of pan.

For topping, combine pecans and brown sugar in small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over dough. Press down lightly and drizzle syrup evenly over pecans.

Bake 35 to 38 minutes or until edges are set but middle is soft. Cool completely in pan on wire rack and cut into bars for serving.

World Soil Day: All About Soil Microbes

World Soil Day

Did you know that there are things that are alive and moving around in soil that you can’t see? These tiny but very important things are called soil microbes. Soil microbes promote nutrient cycling, contribute to soil structure, help with disease and pest control, and help to limit stress to the plant by helping to balance pH, soil salt content, soil moisture and soil temperature.

Soil microbes can range from being bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and micro-arthropods. All of them play a vital role in keeping crops healthy and productive. For example, in the recent drought that Ontario, bacteria might have kept some plants alive that would have died otherwise. When the soil ran out of moisture, dying bacteria produced a tiny bit of additional water that could be sucked up by the plant’s roots, keeping the plant alive just a little longer until the next rain came through.

There are good microbes and bad microbes – the bad can cause the plant to become diseased, and even damage or kill other soil life (like beneficial microbes). As a farmer, it is important to promote good soil health with good management practices!