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Agriculture is more than an industry in Grey County, it’s a way of life! With over three thousand farms and more than half a million farmed acres of land Grey is the number one producer for hay, apples, sheep and lambs and the number two producer of cattle in all of Ontario!*

Agriculture production is not just limited to the traditional farming commodities. In Grey, farms also produce more exotic foods like buffalo, emu, wild boar and rare mushrooms.

Honey, maple syrup, fruits and vegetables, organic produce and various other home grown/made products find their way to farmers’ markets and farm gate roadside stands where you can literally taste the freshness that rural life brings!

If you want to get up close and personal, there are a number of Farm Bed and Breakfast operations in Grey County.
More details: Ontario Farm and Country Vacations – Grey Bruce Region.

*Figures from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs

Insects / Pests

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Invasion

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is an invasive pest and threat to Ontario agriculture. Please help us find it. 

BMSB has a wide host range that includes agricultural crops such as tree fruit / nuts, small fruit, grapes, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, soybeans, grain crops and ornamentals.  However, it also feeds and reproduces on many deciduous trees and shrubs.  As BMSB moves between hosts during the season, this can create a risk to nearby crops.  For more information please access the Ministry of Agriculture & Food (OMFRA) website.

Plowing Match

Grey County has a long history of being involved with the annual International Plowing Match and Farm Machinery Show. Grey County has hosted the International Plowing Match four times:

  • 1933 Derby Twp.
  • 1962 Norman Barber & neighbouring farms, Derby Twp.
  • 1987 John Lowe Family & neighbouring farms, St. Vincent Twp.
  • 2004 Meaford

Plowing Match Links

Ontario Plowmen’s Association

Weed Control Information

The Grey County Weed Inspector can be contacted at 519-376-7339 Ext. 1289. 

What is a Noxious Weed?

In general terms the definition of noxious is: Harmful to living things; injurious to health. In Ontario, 25 weeds are considered noxious under the Weed Control Act. A list of these 25 noxious weeds can be found on the Weed Control Act home page; Noxious Weeds in Ontario.

Who is Responsible for Control of Noxious Weeds Grey County's Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all land owners to control noxious weeds on their property. Grey County and local Municipalities have developed a proactive approach for the management and control of noxious weeds. It follows the Integrated Pest Management decision making process to manage pests from reaching damaging levels and for determining what actions to take when pest problems occur. For the last several years Grey County and local Municipalities have been identifying, mapping and updating Wild Chervil locations across the region, assisted authorities with field research and continued to control their right-of-way by mowing infested areas.

Responsibilities of Owners and Occupiers of Land

Owners and occupiers of land, municipal, rural and urban, are reminded that it is their responsibility to control all declared noxious weeds under the Noxious Weeds Act. Failure to do so leaves owners and occupiers liable for considerable fines. The aim of weed control is to deplete weed seed reserves and prevent further replenishment of the seed store by preventing growth of the weed.

Wild Chervil

Wild Chervil is an aggressive invasive weed that will smother out other vegetation and dramatically affect crop yields. It is a Biennial plant that will start to grow and flower in May and by early June can already be producing seed.

If Wild Chervil gets established it dramatically reduces crop yields, which has a significant impact on our local economy.  The only way to limit or slow the spread of the weed is to prevent it from going to seed.  Now is the time to cut it, preferably before it flowers.

Control and Disposal of Wild Chervil

Since Wild Chervil relies on seed to reproduce, weekly mowing is necessary to keep the plant from flowering. These plants are not toxic to touch and it is recommended to pull or dig out the tap roots if possible. If the plants have matured and are coming out in flower the plant is ready to go to seed, cut them as low to the ground as possible and place them in a clear plastic garbage bag so that the seeds won’t spread and leave it in the sun. Once the plants have dried up and died they can be incinerated.

Wild Chervil

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed is a toxic noxious weed that can cause serious health hazards. Its clear watery sap can cause severe dermatitis and burning of the skin and has known to blind a person if there is contact with the eyes. These plants have been known to grow over 6 feet tall and have a large flower heads that produce thousands of seeds.

Control and Disposal of Giant Hogweed

Extreme caution should be used when in contact and/or controlling Giant Hogweed. Once again, the sap to these plants is very toxic and protective equipment needs to be worn (long sleeved shirt, pants, goggles, rubber gloves). If you have Giant Hogweed on your property, search for information and control methods at www.weedinfo.ca or consult with a local authority in Weed Control

Giant Hogweed Plant and a person with Hogweed burns

Giant Hogweed produces a clear watery sap from the leaves and especially from the stem.  If the sap comes into contact with your skin it may cause severe blistering, burns and sometimes inflamed lesions.  Removal of the weed should only be performed by those who have been trained in proper removal and disposal procedures.

Wild Parsnip

After handling the fruit, flowers or leaves of Wild parsnip, humans can develop dermatitis. Aided by sunlight, chemicals in the plant cause inflammation of the skin. Mild cases cause burning sensations and reddening of the skin. Severe cases can lead to blistering and extreme burning sensations. Wild parsnip reactions often present as long spots or streaks on the skin and are commonly confused with the effects of poison-ivy.

Contact

Randy Scherzer
Director of Planning & Development

Address

Planning Department
595 9th Avenue East
Owen Sound Ontario N4K 3E3
Phone: 519-376-2205
Hours: Monday - Friday (8:30 - 4:30)