Milton Citizens of the Year

The Halton Soil and Crop Improvement Association would like to congratulate Peter and Liz Lambrick on winning Milton Citizens of the year award. More about their achievement and this award can be found through the link below 

2018 10% Off Soil Testing Coupon Now Available


To complete this form you will need to get it signed by a member of the HSCIA Executive (Nicole, Adam, Jen, Dave or Cecil). Copies of the signed form will be available at the Annual General Meeting on January 17th. Members can also email for a signed pdf copy.

GMOs: Facts & Misconceptions Event

Two screenings of Food Evolution are being organized in collaboration by OAFT, LSO, RCIS, Croplife Canada, University of Waterloo, Food Starter and Partners in Research. The first screening will take place in Toronto at the Isabel Bader Theatre on January 16 and the second in Waterloo at the UofW Humanities Theatre on January 17, each followed by an esteemed panel discussion and Q&A.

A screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Food Evolution directed by academy award-nominated Scott Hamilton Kennedy and narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson followed by a panel discussion with local and global experts including:
Director Scott Hamilton Kennedy, 
Carol T. Culhane, CEO of International Food Focus Ltd.,
Dr. Maria Trainer, Managing Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife Canada, 
Greg Hannam, Ontario Grain Farmer (Woodrill Farms),

6:30PM - Doors open 
7:00PM - Introduction by Scott Hamilton Kennedy
7:30PM - Movie starts 
9:00PM - Panel starts


Toronto registration:

Details: $10 +HST

January 16, 2018

Isabel Bader Theatre


Waterloo registration:

Details: $10 +HST

January 16, 2018

University of Waterloo Humanities Theatre

Ontario's Draft Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation

OMAFRA would like to hear your thoughts and feedback on the draft strategy. Your input will help guide the development of a final Soil Health and Conservation Strategy for Ontario which will be released in spring 2018.

The Deadline for feedback is December 31, 2017.


If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to read through the strategy: 

This proposed strategy builds on the vision, goals, objectives and concepts presented in the Sustaining Ontario’s Agricultural Soils: Towards a Shared Vision discussion document and incorporates feedback from our agricultural and academic communities, as well as technical experts, Indigenous communities, partner organizations and the public. It was also guided by recommendations from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.


The final strategy will be a long-term framework, spanning 2018 to 2030, to guide soil health action, research, investments and activities for decades to come.  


There is a Webinar/Teleconference on the Draft Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy December 11th, 1:00 to 3:00 pm

 To register for the webinar / teleconference please call the Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC at 1-877-424-1300) or email

You can submit your feedback in many ways:
1. Submit your comment through the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry at registry number 013-1373

2. Fill out this feedback form

3. Email:

4. Fax: 519-826-3492

 5. Mail: Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
1 Stone Road West, 2nd floor
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2

2018 OSCIA Soil Champion Nominations

Do you know someone who:

  • Makes the most efficient use of nutrients?
  • Supports systems with no net loss of organic matter and soil aggregate stability?
  • Builds the population and diversity of soil organisms? 
  • Efficiently manages surface water to support reduced tillage systems?
  • Is a resident of Ontario and has contributed to soil management in a way that improves soil health and supports sustainable crop production

Then nominate them for the 2018 OSCIA Soil Champion award! Nominations close November 1, 2017. 

You can nominate an eligible candidate using the link below. 



Eligible practices that may be considered include:

  • Minimal use of tillage (primary tillage is not eligible)
  • Protect and enhance organic matter, soil biota and soil aggregation
  • Efficient and careful use of nutrients
  • Effective surface water management
  • Windbreaks and land retirement
  • The advancement of science and advocacy of soil care 



Queen of the Furrow 2017-2018

The Halton Soil and Crop Improvement Association would like to congratulate Halton's own Kailey Donaldson for being crowned the 2017-2018 Queen of the Furrow at the International Plowing Match! Kailey will spend the next year promoting the 2018 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo and the Ontario Plowmen's Association. 

Diversified Heritage Grain Production Workshop


How can small-scale farmers diversify their grain production? Learn from Dr. Martin Entz from the University of Manitoba who is the lead researcher of the only Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) project in the country. The PPB is an innovative program that re-engages farmers to contribute to the development of new varieties suitable for ecological farming conditions. This workshop will take place at one of the participants to the PPB; Against the Grain Farms. Our hosts, Shelley Spruit and her husband Tony are successful farmers and food entrepreneurs who have been experimenting with corn and barley varieties not traditionally grown in Ontario.


This is a half day on-farm workshop that will equip you with all of the skills you need to start diversifying grain varieties on your own farm!


Date: July 14th, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm


Where: Against the Grain Farms (Kemptville area)


Registration: Please contact Marie-Eve Levert from the Bauta Family Initiative on Seed Security to register at

150 Years of Farming

As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance along with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture would like to celebrate the key role that agriculture and family farms have played in the building and growth of the province.  We are looking for families that have been actively farming for 150 years or more.   The following criteria has been established to help identify the 150 Farm Families:

  • At the time of application, your family have been actively farming for a minimum of 150 years within Canada
  • You can provide evidence clearly demonstrating the ties between you and the original farm family
  • You can provide the date of establishment of the original farm and a brief history of the evolution of the farm
  • You can provide proof that you are currently considered a farmer in the Golden Horseshoe

If your farm meets the criteria, please email


Ontario Forage Masters Competition

The Ontario Forage Masters Competition is back for 2017! This program promotes excellence in growing, harvesting and storage of forages by acknowledging outstanding producers that employ award winning management practices. 


The newly refined program takes a page from the very successful Environmental Farm Plan, with the emphasis on producer eduction.


Click the link below for a PDF submission form. The deadline is July 15, 2017! 

Congratulations to Quinta Quinoa and Katan Kitchens on receiving the OFFMA 2017 Food Innovation Award!

GUELPH, ONTARIO, February 28, 2017 — Quinta Quinoa has proudly accepted the 2017 Food Innovation Award from the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association (OFFMA). The award was accepted at the 2017 Awards of Excellence Banquet, which took place at Marriott On the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Tuesday February 21st, 2017. 

Ontario Soil Network   2017 Leadership Course Starting March 23-24


This is a 10 month Soil Health Leadership Training course held in London Ontario, kicking off in March and focused on farmers in SW Ontario.


The course will cost $50 and is limited to 25 people.


Applications are due February 28, 2017.

OFA Survey on Use of Beneficial Management Practices

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is conducting a survey to gather information from Ontario farmers regarding the use of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) or fam stewardship practices to improve soil health and reduce nutrient loss. The survey is open to all Ontario farmers.


They are looking for input and feedback on technical and financial support mechanisms that could be used to help improve and update support programs.


Your responses will be kept anonymous and only be reported in aggregate form. The survey should only take 10-15 minutes to complete. 


The deadline to complete the survey is Monday February 27, 2017. 

2017 Annual General Meeting Highlights

The HSCIA Annual General Meeting, held on January 11, 2017, was another great success! The brand new HSCIA tradeshow display was unveiled to the association members, along with a demonstration on how to use the website. Members were introduced to their new Provincial Director, Steve Sickle, who did a presentation on all the exciting things planned at OSCIA for 2017. The group was also given an update on different workshops and funding available through OSCIA, all of which can be found at the link below:


Paul Smith from OMAFRA gave us a presentation on Ontario's Agricultural Soil and Health Conservation Strategy. His presentation can be downloaded by clicking the link below. His presentation provided a background on the development on the strategy, the next steps in the development, and opened discussion with the members. Overall, it was a very informative presentation!

soil health.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 5.2 MB


Conservation Halton did a presentation on funding that is available through the Halton Stewardship Programs. If you're interested in finding out more, please visit their website:


 James Dyck from OMAFRA talked about how the new Cap and Trade system could potentially impact farmers. More information on climate change and cap-and-trade can be found at OMAFRA's website:

Part 2 of the HSCIA's tier one grant project, "Assessing Innovative Soil Sampling Technology in Relation to Biosolids Application within Halton Region" was presented by Greg Kitching. Look for the report for the second half of this project coming soon! 


This year, HSCIA awarded an Award of Merit, which is given to a member who has contributed to the association and the advancement of crop production. This year's recipient was long time HSCIA member Lance Pocock. Lance has been an important advocate for farm education in Halton Region and a has contributed a lot to the HSCIA. Congratulations to Lance on all his achievements! 

Join us for our 2017 Annual General Meeting!

Join us on Wednesday January 11, 2017 at the Hillcrest United Church for our 2017 Annual General Meeting! There will be many great speakers, including speakers from OMAFRA, Conservation Halton and OSCIA. 


There will also be updates on Agricultural programs and commodities, an open discussion on agricultural issues, great door prizes and a chance to meet with our corporate sponsors. 


And most importantly, there will be a great hot lunch and even better company!


New members are always welcome. New memberships and membership renewals are available at the door for $40. 

Development of an Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy

Healthy agricultural soil is a living and dynamic ecosystem, and one of the foundations of life. Wise management can ensure the soil is fertile and full of the living organisms that are essential to grow food and other agricultural products, now and for future generations. It takes many years for natural processes to make healthy soil, and very little time to destroy it, so thoughtful stewardship is a must. 


OMAFRA developed the proposal below in collaboration with the agricultural industry. They are currently reviewing public feedback on the document. These ideas will help them shape a provincial Soil Health and Conservation Strategy. A new strategy will be built on the extensive soils work by both stakeholder organizations and OMAFRA, and ensure that both the government and industry are doing the right things to address soil issues. 


For more information on the provincial Soil Health and Conservation Strategy, join us at our annual meeting (see the events page) as we will have a representative from OMAFRA speaking on the strategy as well as answering farmer questions. 

Nutrient Application: Timing Matters!



OMAFRA is working with livestock organizations to reduce the amount of phosphorus runoff from farmland, in turn reducing the amount of phosphorus entering our waterways. Phosphorus loading contributes to harmful algae blooms, impaired water quality and other environmental problems.


One of OMAFRA's strategies is to promote that timing matters when it comes to nutrient application. Applying nutrients on frozen or snow covered ground, saturated soil or before major rain events can lead to phosphorus runoff. Instead, think 4Rs: apply nutrients from the right source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place. It's the right thing to do.


OMAFRA has developed material in co-operation with Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Pork, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Beef Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency that help to educate and inform farmers on right timing.


For more information, please follow the link below! 


Cover Crop Twilight Tour

The HSCIA held their summer twilight tour at the farm of John Nurse. John showed us some of his cover crops, talked about blends he uses (the "John Nurse Special"!), and about the benefits he's seen using cover crops on his farm. General Seed also did a talk about the different species of cover crops and held a question and answer period with the farmers. 


Representatives from Credit Valley Conservation and Conservation Halton did a quick presentation on some of the incentives and programs they have for farmers. They also discussed the idea of having a cover crop cost share program in Halton Region, and seemed to have a positive response from our farmers. Hopefully we'll see this program roll out in the next few months! 


Our new logo was also revealed at this meeting. We are hoping that this new logo, along with a new website and display board will help create a new identity for the HSCIA. 


Finally, our president Adrian Mohammed brought his famous potato salad and had a BBQ for our members. Overall, it was a great night, with great food and great people! Thanks to all of those who attended! 


For more information on the programs offered by the conservation authorities, follow the links below.

Soil Champion Nominations Extended

Nominate a Halton farmer for the Soil Champion! 

The deadline for nominations for Soil Champion has been extended to November 1, 2016. To be eligible for the Soil Champion Award, an individual must be a resident of Ontario or have contributed to soil management in a way that directly influences improved soil health and crop production sustainability in Ontario.


Sustainable management practices may be defined as those that: 

  • Make the most efficient use of nutrients
  • Support systems with no net loss of organic matter and soil aggregate ability 
  • Build the population and diversity of organisms
  • Effectively manage surface water to support reduced tillage systems 

If you think a farmer in Halton meets all of the above criteria, click the link below to nominate them before November 1! 

Tier 1 Project Update

HSCIA undertook a Tier 1 project in January of 2015. The project looked to investigate new soil sampling technologies that support the sustainable application of nutrients. For a full outline of the project, click the link below.