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


by Robert Wright, OMAFRA

A stable is in quarantine near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as a result of a highly contagious form of Equine Herpes (Rhinopneumonitis EHV-1).  The first incident was noted on March 13, when the operators of a stable noticed some horses running fevers and stumbling.  As of April 4th, one horse has been euthanized; three others were showing milder clinical signs.  Herpes may present as a severe respiratory infection, but it may also cause a neurological disease or abortion in pregnant mares.  (Source: ProMed Mail. March 26 and April 4, 2008,; Western College News,

This is the latest in the sporadic occurrence of this virus.  Currently, none of the available vaccines protect from the neurological form.

 It is our job to prevent the spread and effect of the more significant infectious diseases, including:  Equine Herpes virus (Rhinopneumonitis), Influenza, Rabies, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile virus, Strangles and Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).  Management strategies to reduce transmission of infectious diseases include:

• Physically separate and minimize contact of newly arrived horses with established horses.

• Reduce activities that induce stress to prevent virus reactivation (e.g., herpes virus).

• Minimize stall movement of horses.

• Vaccinate horses appropriately before exposure.


submitted by Jamie Ferguson

A FREE, interactive workshop for the equestrian community will be held on Saturday, June 7, 2008 from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Caledon Village Place (18313 Hurontario Street, intersection of Highways 10 and 24).  Refreshments and sign-in at 9:00 a.m.  Each participant receives morning coffee and lunch.

Come join us for a day with:

ª Bronwynne Wilton, University of Guelph:  Horse Farms in the Rural Landscape.

ª Susan Raymond – Equine Guelph: “A Breath of Fresh Air” – Horse housing for horse health.

ª Gayle Ecker – Equine Guelph: “Horse Health Check” – Get hands-on and assess how a healthy farm raises healthy horses with Gayle Ecker, one of Western Horse Review magazine’s top 15 horse people of 2007.

ª Your fellow equestrians:  Tell us how you want to “Reduce your Hoof-print" and participate in the development of an Equestrian Stewardship Program.

To register, call 416-661-6600, ext. 5660.  Space is limited.  If you are unable to attend and would like more information about these stewardship topics, please leave your name and address on the registration line.


by John C. Benham, EFP Program Rep

Here are some interesting numbers concerning the Cost Share Programs.  In total, from April 2005 to March 2008, more than 2.5 million dollars of federal money was provided to Wellington County farmers to make improvements to the environment of their farms.  The most popular category was the upgrading of existing wells and sealing of unused wells followed by the improved manure storage and handling.  About half of the total money was provided for this category for manure storage and handling.

In addition, the Wellington Rural Water Program in many cases combined with the EFP Cost Share provided 80% of the cost up to generous caps for qualifying projects. The improvement to the environmental protection in Wellington with only these two categories is huge. The improvements not only help the environment on the participating farm but to agriculture as a whole in the county.

Two more popular categories were the purchase of GPS units which reduce overlapping and misses in field operations and financial support for the preparation of Nutrient Management Strategies and Plans.  It is possible that the Nutrient Management Plans when adhered to may be the most important tool of all.

To qualify for these projects and many others a Third Edition EFP is required.  Two-day workshops are held, when sufficient farmers sign up, to help in the completion of the Environment Farm Plan.

If you have any questions or wish to participate, please call John at 519-846-3394.