A weekly press release prepared by the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  If you require further information, regarding this press release, please call the Fergus Resource Centre at 519-846-0941.  Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For technical information, call the Agri­cultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or visit the OMAFRA


This workshop will be of interest to any producer or group considering the purchase of a reader to capture Electronic ID numbers from tags and software to use the numbers for multi-purposes within a production system.

The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration, coffee and refreshments. Lunch is provided – please call to reserve your lunch.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008  –  Listowel Agricultural Hall, Listowel

Thursday, April 10, 2008  –  Harvest Room, Douro Community Centre, Douro


–  Electronic ID background

–  Capabilities and limitations of readers and software

–  What questions to ask when considering a system?

–  What will a system do?  What records?  (shipping, health, treatments, performance, verification)

–  Demonstrations of readers and software

–  Industry presentations of their products


To register and to reserve a lunch, please call the:  Agricultural Information Contact Centre: 1-877-424-1300

or E-mail:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Delma Kennedy, OMAFRA, Guelph  519-826-3290; Don Blakely, OMAFRA, Fergus  519-846-3396 or Anita O’Brien, OMAFRA, Kemptville  613-258-8299


by John C. Benham, EFP Program Rep

The next two-day workshop is planned for April 21 and 28 in the Meeting Room at Gencor (just north of Guelph on Hwy. #6).  Keep in mind to qualify for financial assistance to improve the environment on your farm a completed Third Edition EFP workbook is required.  Lunch is being provided.  For more information or to sign for this upcoming workshop please call John at 519-846-3394.


This year, Monsanto Canada estimates it will provide approximately 50 scholarships to deserving high school students across the country entering their first year of post-secondary education in agriculture or forestry.  Each scholarship is valued at $1,500 and will be awarded to students who meet the following criteria:

ª    Students must be from an agricultural or forestry family farming operation with plans to enter their first year of post-secondary education in agricultural sciences or forestry;

ª    Students must have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership capabilities and active involvement in their local community;

ª    Complete applications, including an application essay, must be post-marked no later than May 16, 2008.

For more information or an application form please call Monsanto Canada’s CustomCare line at 1-800-667-4944 or visit


by John C. Benham, Weed Inspector

As soon as the snow goes beware – those bright yellow flowers will be appearing soon.  Many times they are confused with dandelions.  Remember the dandelion has a smooth flower stem and the Colt’s-Foot flower stem has scales.  Very few leaves will be present at flowering time.  Make note of the location so it can be destroyed later in the season.  Do whatever is necessary to eliminate the flower heads before they set seed.

I am told each flower head will contain about 3,500 seeds similar in structure to a dandelion.  They are distributed far and wide by the wind.  If the seed lands on bare soil it will establish itself and become extremely competitive smothering out all competing crops with its dense canopy of leaves.  Its underground creeping root system rapidly expands the patch. 

I have seen Colt’s-Foot leaves up to 14” across appear in late June to early July that are very effective in smothering all its neighbours.

Roundup is most effective in controlling this noxious weed when applied in late July and August when the plant is storing root reserves for next year.  Check the patch later since often there will be leaves under the canopy that do not receive the spray.

After all the living plants are destroyed recheck the spot since it is an inviting spot for new seedlings.

I can assure you that if you choose to ignore this plant it will never diminish or leave on its own accord. Check out those early yellow flowers and take appropriate action.


April 5 Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, Elmira.  Call 1-877-969-0094 or

April  5 Grower Pesticide Course – Orangeville – 8:45 a.m. – Separate Exam – 3:00pm. Call OPEP 1-800-652-8573 to register.