Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cahoon is Innovative Farmer of the Year

Zac Cohoon who farms 1,200 acres in the Port Perry area is this year’s Innovative Farmer of the Year.

He was chosen for his devotion to increasing the organic-matter content of his sandy soils.

About 20 years ago he began to blend chicken manure with municipal paper by-products and spreading it on his fields.

Then about 10 years ago he blended leaves and yard waste with mushroom compost and food scraps in a barn that used to house chickens.

As an example, Cohoon says a sandy field he bought was yielding only 10 bushels of soybeans, but this year the soil’s organic-matter content is up by one per cent and it yielded 54 bushels an acre.

That's a direct contribution to reducing global warming and is far better than other government-backed initiatives such as electric cars which only reduce the rate at which we add carbon to the atmosphere, not reduce it.

The Innovative Farmer of the Year award will be presented at the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario Conference in London in February.