OMAFRA Report: Are you waste wise?

A weekly report prepared by the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).  If you require further information, regarding this report, call the Elora Resource Centre at 519-846-0941.  Office hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm.For technical information call the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or visit the OMAFRA website:

December 17, 2021


Disposing of non-nutrient agricultural waste responsibly needs to be a year-round effort.

Burning and burying non-nutrient agricultural waste can pollute the air, contaminate water and can have other potential harmful impacts on the environment, which can harm people and livestock. Consider recycling or reusing your waste instead – recycling and reuse not only lowers your dump costs, it can also help you keep your property waste-free, and protects your soil and local drinking water supplies.

Not sure where to start? See CleanFARMS’ Guide to Recycling Non-Nutrient Agricultural Waste in Ontario for ways to reduce the amount of agricultural waste going to landfill.

There are different programs and resources in Ontario that can help you dispose of your waste responsibly.

Many municipalities in Ontario have agricultural waste recycling programs, such as Kincardine’s Agricultural Film Recycling Program. Contact your municipality to see how you can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

You can prevent containers, machinery fluids, electronics, hazardous materials and other non-nutrient agricultural wastes from ending up in landfills. Check out the CleanFARMS recycling programs and collection sites across the province.

Visit the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s website to learn more about Ontario’s plan for waste reduction and the new Waste-Free Ontario Act, and other waste-diversion programs in the province. Contact the ministry at 1-800-565-4923 or submit a message on their website.

Add the disposal of farm wastes into your Environmental Farm Plan.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has two factsheets, Recycling Farm Plastic Films and Responsible Disposal of Unwanted Medicines and Sharps on safe non-nutrient waste disposal.

Visit the OMAFRA website at for more information.

By the OMAFRA Field Crop Team.

Dec. 3, 2021


Farmers who may be struggling to get corn dried this year are looking for alternate options.  It is possible to use natural (unheated) air to dry the corn. Natural air drying is gentle and does not require any specialized equipment, other than a grain bin with a reasonably-sized fan, and maybe a small heater.

However, the drying speed and final moisture depend on the air temperature and humidity. There is a risk drying may not complete before grain begins to spoil.

Among the steps for natural air drying success are:

– harvest corn at 22 per cent moisture or less. Corn above 22% moisture may not dry quickly enough before spoilage starts to occur;

– use a storage bin equipped with a fan capable of at least two  CFM of airflow per bushel of grain. As a rule of thumb, most fans produce about 1,000 CFM per one horsepower, but this depends on fan type;

– install at least 1 square foot of vents per 1000 CFM of fan airflow. Vents should be spaced evenly around the bin, and kept back from the eave. Large bins (greater than 36 feet diameter) require multiple rows of vents;

– fill bins 12-15 feet deep or less. Deeper grain creates more back-pressure, or “static pressure”, which makes the fan work harder and reduces the airflow.

– core the bin after filling. Fines collect in the centre of the bin and take up space between the kernels, creating more static pressure and reducing airflow.

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