It’s been a challenging start for wheat in much of Western Canada this spring due to hot and dry conditions, which might lead growers and agronomists to ask “what if?” this cool season crop had been planted earlier. Wheat’s yield potential is determined early on, at the three to six leaf stage, explains Brunel Sabourin…
The federal government announced on Monday, June 21, the easing of some travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians returning to Canada. The Quarantine Act is still in effect however, requiring farm workers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) says that the requirements of the act, including transportation, food, wages, and accommodations, cost farmers between $1,750 and…
The federal government announced on Monday, June 21, the easing of some travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians returning to Canada.
The Quarantine Act is still in effect however, requiring farm workers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) says that the requirements of the act, including transportation, food, wages, and accommodations, cost farmers between $1,750 and $3,125 per worker.
“The financial hit will cause significant economic hardship for growers who depend on international workers on a seasonal basis because of a chronic shortage of domestic agricultural labour in Canada. For some, it may be the last straw that makes them reconsider if it’s economically viable to continue producing the food we put on our tables,” says OFVGA, in a press release.
The OFVGA says that in April 2020, the federal government announced it would provide farmers with up to $1,500 in relief for each temporary foreign worker who successfully completes the mandatory quarantine to help offset a portion of the associated costs.
This spring, the government changed direction on its commitment – months after most farmers had already made hiring arrangements for their international workers for the 2021 growing season, the OFVGA says.
As of June 16, the previous reimbursement of up to $1,500 per worker in isolation will be cut in half to a maximum of up to $750. The support program is scheduled to be eliminated entirely as of August 31.
The OFVGA is not asking for increased funding, only that the funding remain in place so long as the Quarantine Act is in effect.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has also announced its support for OFVGA and its call for continued financial support during enforcement of the Quarantine Act. “Farmers are committed to public safety, the safety of their workers and to abiding by all the public health safety measures that have been introduced throughout the pandemic. But if farmers are being mandated by the government to isolate their workers in the name of public safety, government should help cover those costs. We cannot ask farmers to sacrifice their livelihoods in order to protect us, especially when we rely on them to grow and raise the food we eat to live,” says Mary Robinson, president of CFA.
The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions are launching a consultation on amalgamating to form a single commission. The Commissions will be soliciting farmers’ opinions beginning in July with an online…
The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions are launching a consultation on amalgamating to form a single commission.
The Commissions will be soliciting farmers’ opinions beginning in July with an online survey, followed by virtual town hall events after harvest in October, and further dialogue and sessions during regional meetings in November.
The commissions have been operating with one management team serving two boards and separate financial structures since 2018.
The consultations with wheat and barley farmers stems from resolutions passed at the 2019 annual general meetings for both commissions. The resolutions challenged the commissions to complete a comprehensive review on the potential to formally merge.
“What started as a pilot project in 2018 to merge the management and staff of Alberta Barley and AWC has resulted in meaningful efficiencies and cost savings for both organizations,” says Tara Sawyer, Alberta Barley chair. “Through collaboration, the commissions have leveraged synergies, removed duplication and, in-turn, expanded key priority areas such as research and agronomic extension. The future of the organizations is at a crossroads so farmer participation is key during this pivotal time.”
To conduct the review of potentially merging, the commissions formed an amalgamation sub-committee comprised of current and past directors, regional representatives, and delegates from both commissions.
As a key objective for the amalgamation sub-committee, a draft model of a new governance structure has been developed for farmers’ consideration during the consultation period. The proposed model consists of one board of 12 farmers, representing wheat and barley farmers from six regions in Alberta. The delegate body would consist of four positions from each region, for a total of 24 farmers.
Research, market development, agronomy and extension, policy advocacy, and farm business management would remain top priorities for the proposed single organization, and funding would be merit-based, says the commissions.
“Currently the commissions operate with separate governance structures, yet share a management team that reports to both boards,” says Todd Hames, Alberta Wheat chair. “It’s up to Alberta wheat and barley farmers to determine whether this is sustainable or if merging is the path forward. We encourage wheat and barley growers to learn more and get involved in the consultation process.”
More information can be found at wheatbarleyconsultation.com.
CNH Industrial has reached an agreement to acquire Raven Industries for US$2.1 billion, in a move to enhance CNH’s position in the areas of autonomous and precision agriculture technology. The…
CNH Industrial has reached an agreement to acquire Raven Industries for US$2.1 billion, in a move to enhance CNH’s position in the areas of autonomous and precision agriculture technology.
The deal would see the parent company of Case and New Holland acquire 100 per cent of the capital stock in Raven for US$58 per share. It’s expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
“Precision agriculture and autonomy are critical components of our strategy to help our agricultural customers reach the next level of productivity and to unlock the true potential of their operations,” says Scott Wine, CEO of CNH Industrial, in a June 21 news release.
“Raven has been a pioneer in precision agriculture for decades, and their deep product experience, customer driven software expertise and engineering acumen offer a significant boost to our capabilities. This acquisition emphasizes our commitment to enhance our precision farming portfolio and aligns with our digital transformation strategy,” adds Wine. “The combination of Raven’s technologies and CNH Industrial’s strong current and new product portfolio will provide our customers with novel, connected technologies, allowing them to be more productive and efficient.”
Wine says Raven’s headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will “continue to be a true center of excellence” within CNH.
“Our relationship with CNH Industrial has expanded over decades, and we have a deep respect for one another and a shared commitment to transform agriculture practices across the world,” says Dan Rykhus, president & CEO for Raven Industries. “We look forward to CNH Industrial leveraging the Raven talent and culture, as well as the Sioux Falls community, as part of their vision and future success.”
In addition to its precision agriculture business, Raven also has business divisions focused on specialty films and liners, and aerospace — going back to Raven’s founding in 1956 as a maker of high-altitude research balloons for the U.S. government’s space program. CNH says it believes the engineered films and aerospace segments “represent attractive independent businesses” and that it plans to review each business to “best position them for future success and maximize shareholder value.”
Raven’s autonomous agriculture business has expanded over the last few years with the acquisition of Saskatchewan-based DOT Technology Corp. and its autonomous platform in 2020 and purchase of the AutoCart aftermarket driverless grain cart system from Smart Ag in 2019. Last month, Raven announced the launch of OMNi as its new brand for its autonomous agriculture business.
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