GFM Network News


Lisa Thompson. (Lisathompsonmpp.ca video screengrab via YouTube)

Ontario names new ag minister in shuffle

Lisa Thompson replaces Ernie Hardeman

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has drawn another aggie from his existing cabinet to replace Ernie Hardeman as his agriculture minister. Ford on Friday announced a major cabinet shuffle, dropping Hardeman, the long-time MPP for Oxford, from the cabinet table and naming Lisa Thompson as minister for agriculture, food and rural affairs. Thompson, who until Friday […] Read more

University of Guelph president Dr. Franco Vaccarino (right) and Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal sign a new research partnership agreement, with Guelph-area MPP Liz Sandals. (John Greig photo)

Ontario, U of Guelph renew ag research partnership

Up to $713 million in agriculture research will be funded at the University of Guelph over the next 10 years through a renewal of the university’s agreement with the provincial ag ministry. The new agreement has been updated to manage digital data and is aimed to provide a base from which to leverage more research […] Read more


Canola plants with clubroot galls from a field near Verner, Ont., about 50 km west of North Bay. (OntarioCanolaGrowers.ca)

Clubroot arrives in Ontario canola

Ontario has its first case of clubroot disease in canola — and further testing has confirmed clubroot in canola fields across the province. During the 2016 growing season an agronomist in the Verner area of northern Ontario examined a canola field and found the distinctive clubbed roots, said Meghan Moran, canola and edible bean specialist […] Read more

OMAFRA headquarters in Guelph. (Photo courtesy OMAFRA)

Ontario names new top ag bureaucrat

Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has a new deputy minister. Greg Meredith will become deputy minister on Jan. 9. A deputy minister is a ministry’s chief civil servant, managing its implementation of government policy. Meredith replaces Dr. Deb Stark, who recently retired as deputy minister, capping a 30-year career in public […] Read more


The use of cover crops such as radish has spread rapidly in Ontario in the past five years. Ontario’s environmental commissioner wants to see that continue. (John Greig photo)

OMAFRA seen needing a soil health ‘tuneup’

Ontario’s environmental commissioner is calling on the provincial ag ministry to rebuild its soil health expertise and find ways to encourage farmers to adopt soil-friendly production practices, to deal with what she calls a “catastrophic” loss in soil organic matter levels. The report recommends better soil carbon level monitoring and 10-year programs to financially encourage […] Read more

Ontario’s Agricorp to offer direct deposit

Farm program payments handled by Ontario’s farm support delivery agency, Agricorp, will soon be available through direct deposit. Agricorp announced Tuesday that farmers can expect to see direct deposit enrolment information in their packages during the spring program renewal period, and can apply for direct deposit starting in March. Customers who sign up for direct […] Read more