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On July 11, the Grain Farmers of Ontario and SGS were proud to unveil the new Grains Analytical Testing Laboratory, with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony.  This partnership marks the first time a Canadian producer organization has joined with a company to develop a new laboratory.  A first of it’s kind in Ontario, this laboratory will conduct dough and bake testing to measure the quality and characteristics of grain flour.

SGS is proud to partner with GFO, representing over 28,000 growers in Ontario, to expand our current scope of testing to include evaluations that will benefit participants in the entire supply chain. Click here to watch our video about the grand opening.


Livestock producers may face rescuing drought stressed corn and forage crops by chopping it for silage or cutting it for hay. However, feeding drought-stressed corn silage or green-chopped forage to livestock carries the concern of nitrate toxicity.

The lack of moisture during a dry summer reduces the flow of nitrates up the plant and its conversion to protein. The roots continue to bring nitrogen into the plant, where it accumulates first in the lower third of the stalks. Too much unconverted nitrate can become toxic to livestock.

Ensiling may reduce nitrate concentrations (30-60%), but to what degree is difficult to predict. Hence, either green chopped or ensiled corn or forages should be tested to determine the nitrate concentration. Checking silage nitrate levels when the pit is being filled usually provides an accurate indication of what the nitrate level will be in the future. Harvesting drought-damaged forage after rainfall should be delayed at least 5 days to allow accumulated nitrate to be metabolized and reduced in concentration. SGS is able to determine the nitrate content of various plant materials.

Click here to view our guidelines for feeding forages to livestock based on nitrate nitrogen and nitrate concentration.


For those in a corn-soybean-wheat rotation, soil sampling after the wheat rotation helps maintain the 3 year sampling cycle and often provides the best window of opportunity to collect samples and develop nutrient plans for the following crop.

The 4R training modules suggest that soil testing should be performed as frequently and intensively as economically feasible, to best capture variability and manage accordingly.

Where variability is known to exist, whether by soil texture, topography, or ultimately yield, it is best to identify and measure this variability by sampling these areas independently.  SGS can help establish management zones, based on yield data, remote sensing, or previous intensive sampling strategies.

For more information, please contact:

Jack Legg, CCA-ON 
Branch Manager, Agronomist 
Guelph, Ontario N1H 6T9 
503 Imperial Rd. N., Unit 1
t: +1 519 837 1600