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



submitted by Jason French

The Eramosa 4-H Dairy Calf Club is holding their first meeting on April 29th at Walkerbrae Farms at 7041 Wellington Road 31. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. and we welcome all returning members and invite any interested young people to join our exciting club.  If you require further information then please contact Jason French 519-843-7800, Steve Fraser 519-787-7735 or Roger Turner 519-827-1572.


submitted by Kate Vsetula, Project Coordinator,

Wellington County Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Map

A gathering of businesses, agencies and consumers looking to connect the dots around local food on Monday, May 5th, May  2008 at the Guelph Community Health Centre, 176 Wyndham Street, North, Guelph from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Limited space – please R.S.V.P by May 1st to Kate Vsetula at 519-821-5363 ex 335 or

Come and Learn about different local food initiatives in Guelph and Wellington County.  Guest Speakers will speak at 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and they are:  Kate Vsetula, Wellington County’s Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Initiative; Karen Landman, University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development; Nelson Wideman, Elmira Produce Auction and Peter Katona, Foodlink Waterloo Region.  Local Food – Lunch Served at 12:00 p.m. – Discussion and Networking 12:15 p.m. -1:00 p.m.  


by Keith Reid, Soil Fertility Specialist, OMAFRA, Stratford

A number of fertilizer recommendations are adjusted according to the “Price Ratio”. However, many growers don’t really understand what is meant by the term, or why it is important.  The calculation of the price ratio involves dividing the price of nitrogen (N) fertilizer by the value of the grain. Since we generally buy nitrogen fertilizer by the tonne and sell grains by the bushel, there is some additional math to get them into the same units (cents per pound of N divided by cents per pound of grain).  The easiest way to understand price ratios is to think of them as the amount of yield you need to buy a pound of nitrogen fertilizer.

The reason this relationship is important is that crop response to nitrogen generally follows the “Law of Diminishing Returns”.  The first pound of added nitrogen produces the largest yield increase, and each additional pound of N generates a slightly smaller yield increase up to the point where a maximum yield is reached. After this point, adding more N has either no impact on yield or causes yield to decline.

  At some point below the maximum yield, the value of yield increase from the last pound of N that was applied is exactly equal to the cost of that N. This point is called the Maximum Economic Rate of N (MERN).  Applying higher rates of N will generate more yields, but the value of that yield will be less than the cost of the fertilizer, so the net return to added fertilizer will be negative. 

The fertilizer rate that corresponds to the MERN will depend on how many pounds of grain it takes to pay for a pound of fertilizer – in other words, the Price Ratio.  At higher price ratios, you need more yield to pay for each pound of N, so the MERN will be less.  This was the case in 2006, when N fertilizer prices were high but the price of corn was very low.  In 2008, the prices of both corn and fertilizer have gone up, so the price ratio is much closer to normal.  The practical challenge in calculating the price ratio is the uncertainty about the selling price of grain that should go into the equation.  This will involve a combination of guesswork based on market trends, and fixed values based on crops that have been pre-sold.


by John C. Benham, EFP Program Rep

Good News!  Word has been received that the Cost Share Programs have been renewed for one more year.  New forms and brochures are expected soon.  To qualify for the Cost Share Programs participants must have a farm business registration number and a deemed appropriate Third Edition EFP workbook.

The 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 sponsored by the Wellington Stewardship Council.  The refreshments are sponsored by the Wellington Federation of Agriculture.

For more information about the program and to sign up for the workshop, please call John Benham at 519-846-3394.