Ontario farmers being pointed to wheat straw alternatives
By Chatham Daily News
May 22, 2015 - Turbulent market prices and poor weather are forcing wheat farmers in Ontario to improvise - but the latest solutions seem too good to be true.
A recent report by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs says biomass farmers are turning to switchgrass and miscanthus to fill a void left by the recent wheat straw shortage.
Among them is Ridgetown dairy producer and organic farmer Rudy Zubler, who says he wants to grow his own switchgrass to provide at least 50% of his animals’ bedding requirements.
But Zubler is also discovering other benefits to using switchgrass. In a ministry report on the subject, he said switchgrass is keeping his dairy cattle cleaner. And switchgrass also fits better with his organic program.
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