Industry News
It's been a busy year for managing water quality in our Great Lakes and surrounding waterways. This year saw above normal rain across many locations of the Great Lakes Basin resulting in above average water levels throughout the summer months in all the lakes. Lake Ontario set new record high water levels in June and July, the highest since records began in 1918. Unfortunately, significant spring and summer rainfall resulted in a larger than average algal bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie and several smaller lakes in the U.S. have also reported toxic algae issues.Because of this, the reduction of phosphorus levels in the Great Lakes is a top priority for the Grow Ontario Together (GOT) coalition. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and our GOT partners have been working collaboratively to address ways and means of reducing the agricultural risk through the work on the draft Canada-Ontario Domestic Action Plan. The Action Plan's goal is to achieve phosphorus reductions in Lake Erie from Canadian sources. Although farmers are only one part of a complex problem, we can provide solutions. Adoption of best management practices and 4R nutrient management guidelines are already making positive changes.The Domestic Action Plan will be finalized in 2018. On the other side of the border, the draft U.S. Domestic Action Plan was released for public comment in August 2017.Water quality is a top priority for farmers, and it always has been. OFA works with government and industry within the GOT collaborative working group to address issues like phosphorus management. OFA has been working with the GOT coalition, The Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative and the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative to ensure success.This work has led to the development of new tools, practices and technologies to help farmers and municipalities reduce phosphorus and algal blooms in watersheds that feed Lake Erie.As The Domestic Action Plan is being finalized in Canada and the U.S., Ontario farmers are already taking measures to reduce phosphorus entering the Great Lakes watershed. Canada and the U.S. have committed to a 40 per cent reduction in the total phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 2025. This is an important goal and with the right measures put in place we can meet it, and Ontario farmers are committed to be part of the solution.
Manitoba introduced legislation November 30 that could fundamentally change how water and wetlands are managed in the province.
Springfield Plastics launched its 4th Annual Drain for the Cure campaign in October and is excited to announce it has resulted in a donation of $73,136 for the Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University in Springfield. The Drain for the Cure campaign started in 2014 in an effort to raise money for cancer research. Since its inception in 2014, the campaign has raised over $188,000. 2017's total of $73,136 far surpassed expectations!
Ontario municipalities and counties have been told, through the Endangered Species Act (ESA), that if endangered species are found in the drains and drainage ditches adjacent to farms, they will have to protect those at-risk species.
I can’t think of many things more underappreciated than soil. The earth below our feet is vital for life: the vast majority of our food depends upon it and without it humanity would end. Yet how many people make that association? For example, the vitality of oxygen and water is embedded in our minds as essential to life.
It was recently announced that nearly all producers in Minnesota will now have to install buffers along drainage ditches.
Nine years ago, one of the first bioreactors in Iowa was installed on Mike Bravard's farm near Jefferson, Iowa.
A study of drainage issues was recently completed in Delta, B.C., by researchers from the University of B.C. According to the reasech, during key periods, the drainage systems were not that effective.  
The 17th annual Drainage Research Forum will provide results and updates on drainage research and farm projects on Nov. 15 at the Iowa State University Alumni Center.
The history of drainage can be traced back to writings as early as 200 B.C., with ancient Romans using brush, straw, poles and even stones to line ditches. In America, John Johnston of Seneca, NY is credited as being the “father of tile drainage” since he was the first to install ceramic tile in 1835.
Seven farms in St. Johns County, Florida have been awarded grants for projects to install drain-tile irrigation systems which not only reduce water usage, and thus runoff, but also raise the bottom line for farmers through cost efficiencies.
Almost all Minnesota landowners required to put in 50-foot buffers along rivers and other public waters have installed them or are in the process of doing it as the Nov. 1 deadline approaches.
Dr. Laurent Ahiablame, from the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering, at South Dakota State University teamed up with Dr. Srinivas Janaswamy, from the department of dairy and food science.
With increasing demand from its customers to bring quality drainage pipe to the north central Iowa area, Springfield Plastics, Inc. (SPI) is proud to announce it will open a new pipe yard in Humboldt, Iowa in late fall.
Keynote Speaker, Doug Dvorak will speak on business ethics at the LICA winter convention on Friday, February 23 in Charleston, SC.
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