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



The 2008 Ontario Rural Summer Jobs Service is now accepting applications from employers who plan to create summer jobs for rural youth.  This year, we are encouraging employers to use the new online application feature, located on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website.

The goal of the Rural Summer Jobs Service is to help create jobs which enhance the skills and work experience of students in rural Ontario.  The program provides up to $3 million each year to help employers create student employment opportunities.  Businesses and community organizations in rural Ontario can receive a hiring incentive of $2 per hour.

Employers can benefit from the program for up to 16 weeks.  To qualify, the student employment must be created sometime during the six-month period from April 1st to September 30th, and students must be between the ages of 14 and 24. Approved applicants receive an allocation based on the number of positions and numbers of weeks they plan to employ students.  This year, we expect to help up to 4,000 students find summer jobs in rural Ontario.


•    Since 2003, the Rural Summer Jobs Service Program has provided a wage subsidy to over 5000 employers for the placement of over 16,000 students.

•    The application deadline is April 13, 2008.

•    For more information on the Rural Summer Jobs Service program call 1-866-306-7827 or e-mail

The web address for the Rural Summer Jobs Service is:


by Jack Kyle, Grazier Specialist, OMAFRA, Lindsay

Frost Seeding:  Late winter and early spring is the ideal time to frost seed pastures.  Broadcasting 1-3 lbs of legume seed in March will provide several benefits to the pasture productivity.  A pasture that has 35% or greater legume content should provide sufficient nitrogen to meet the needs of the grasses.  This nitrogen will promote increased grass growth and improved feed quality.

The clover or trefoil provides excellent quality feed that compliments the grass species in the pasture.

Frost seeding is most successful when the existing stand has been grazed short in the fall, providing an opportunity for the seedling legumes to establish with minimal competition.  The seeding year will see minimal or limited growth.  If germination is successful, it will be the second year (possibly the third) before you will see many plants.  Patience is a requirement.

Grass species do not usually establish well with frost seeding.  The light seed and rough seed coat prevent the grass seed from getting good seed-to-soil contact.  Under ideal conditions, some limited success has been achieved with rye grass and orchard grass.

Annual Pasture Crops:  Annuals can be an important part of a grazing program.  Cereals, turnips, sorghum-sudan and corn are ideal crops for grazing.  These annual crops can provide feed from mid-July through to the end of the year.  Sorghum-sudan or corn should be planted in late-May.  The sorghum-sudan should be ready to graze by mid-July and the corn can be grazed anytime from mid-August through the winter.  The turnips and cereals are best planted in late-July or very early-August to begin grazing in late-September.

Do you have a suitable field with fencing or one that can be fenced?  Can you provide water to that field?  Grazing an annual crop will take pressure off your permanent pastures and prevent over-grazing in the late-summer and early-fall.  A few weeks of feed from one of these crops can make a significant impact on stretching your pastures with out causing undue stress.

For further information refer to:Annual Forages for Grazing or Stored Seeding a Cheaper Alternative:

Forage Production from Spring Cereals and Cereal Pea Mixtures:


by John C. Benham, EFP Program Rep

April 1st has come and gone and I have no News regarding the Environmental Cost Share Programs.  We know there will be a new program and to qualify for cost share dollars a completed Third Edition EFP Workbook is required.  If you have not completed the Third Edition, now is a good time before gets too busy! 

Our next two-day EFP Workshop will be held April 21st and 28th in the meeting room of Gencor, north of Guelph on Highway #6.  Lunch will be provided.  This workshop is filling up quickly and there is a cap on the number of participants.  For more information and to sign up for this workshop, please call John Benham at 519-846-3394.


April 15- Wellington Cattlemen’s Association Farmer Information Night at Damascus Library. 7:30 pm start, covering topics such as: “Quality Starts Here / Verified Beef Production, On-Farm Food Safety Workshop, and other programs and resources. For more information, contact: 519-843-3202.

April 17 – AGCare and Ontario Farm Animal Council Annual General Meetings and 20th Anniversary Banquet, Guelph Place, 492 Michener Road Guelph

April 17 – Wellington Junior Farmer Spaghetti Night at the Drayton Community Centre.  For  information contact Barclay at: 519-223-1287.