Month: May 2014

How Fair is “Fairtrade” Coffee?

Four years of micro-analysis in Uganda and Ethiopia led up to April’s publication by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University: Fairtrade, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia and Uganda (FTEPR) Final Report. The report, a detailed account of various plantations in both countries, suggests that perhaps “Fairtrade” coffee isn’t so fair after all. “Fairtrade may… Read more »

Growing On Up — This Week in Markets

Many grain market participants are blaming the end of the calendar month as the reason for some sharp losses this week, as funds try to shore up their books and withdraw cash to pay off clients requesting their investment back. It’s interesting to note that managed money went net short in Chicago last week and… Read more »

Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act Receives Royal Assent

Bill C-30, the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, received Royal Assent yesterday, May 29, 2014. The bill was introduced into the House of Commons on March 27 as a means to address level of service issues in Canada’s rail transportation system. The Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act includes amendments to the Canada Transportation… Read more »

Don’t Ship Treated Seed!

There’s a right way and a wrong way to get rid of treated seed. Using up most of what you have is a logical first step, but even the few kernels left in bins, trucks or augers could cause you major headaches down the line. Canada’s grain handling system has a zero tolerance level for… Read more »

Hold Politicians to Account Post-Election, Rural Voters

You see them at election time, in particular — politicians jockeying to get a photo op with a farmer, diving into a plate of homegrown food or trying to support agriculture in some other camera-friendly way, such as driving a tractor. Politicians should be a friend to agriculture every chance they get, not just at… Read more »

TechTour: That’s a Wrap, Brandon is Not Mexico, and the Screaming Child

Well, that’s a wrap on season one of TechTour. I thought it would be kind of fun to introduce you to someone that helped me tremendously along the way — Erin Bartlett. Erin works for AdFarm and was my “handler” for the tour along the five stops (to think they thought I needed a handler!)…. Read more »

On the Election Trail: Grain Farmers of Ontario Seek to ‘Raise The Cap’

The need to help farmers manage the increasing risks associated with farming is a key election issue for the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO). In this Ontario Election 2014 podcast, RealAgriculture.com’s Bernard Tobin speaks with Henry Van Ankum, chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario, about the organization’s ‘Recommendations for Smart Growth’ election platform it… Read more »

Canola School: Estimating Flea Beetle Damage & Protecting Beneficial Insect Populations

We’ve finally got a crop up in Western Canada, but as soon as those tiny canola plants emerge the attacks begin. Seedling blights are one concern at the establishment phase, but flea beetles can be a huge threat to the canola crop. In this episode of the Canola School, Lyndsey Smith is joined by Canola… Read more »

The Road Map to Achieving Goals — Mary Morrissey

Having one dark chapter in your life doesn’t mean that’s how the whole book has to be, says Mary Morrissey, a life coach and motivational speaker, who spoke at last month’s Advancing Women — Leadership in Agriculture conference. Morrissey is no stranger to set backs, challenges and being told her dreams were unattainable. But from… Read more »

Canola School Audio: New Canola Watch Feature Gets Growers Guessing

Just when you thought Canola School and Canola Watch couldn’t get any better, we go and combine the best of both worlds in this audio version of the Canola School! That’s right, in this episode of Canola School, Real Agriculture editor Lyndsey Smith is joined by Canola Watch editor, Jay Whetter, to talk about at… Read more »

Team Building & Bucket Filling with The Little Potato Company

In 1996, Jacob van der Schaaf, a Dutch immigrant to Canada, and his daughter Angela Santiago planted a small, one-acre plot of potatoes just outside Edmonton, Alberta. It was an experiment meant to test the waters of the potential potato market in Alberta, and was obviously an overwhelming success. Today, Jacob runs Tuberosum Technologies and Angela is the… Read more »

CLAAS Announces Dealer Expansion for Western Canada

In the wake of Kramer, Ltd. announcing its intent to exit the agricultural equipment business, CLAAS of America has made immediate plans to fill the gap left by its long-time dealer with two new, full-service dealerships in Saskatchewan. The move, part of a planned dealership expansion in Western Canada, will ensure that CLAAS customers in… Read more »

How Do You Deal With Farm Neighborhood Gossip?

Drive through any small town across the United States and Canada and you will find a coffee shop, diner or pub where people gather to talk shop and have a coffee or beer. Talking to the neighbors about the latest goings on in the local area or the big news nationally can have its positives… Read more »

Chris Proves that Physical Disabilities Should Not Prevent You From Farming

Do you ever feel that you face challenges? That there are some days that you cannot get the work done that you need to on the farm? Well then watch this great video by Apricot Lane Farms and director John Chester about a farmer that faces physical challenges that have been greatly overcome. This is… Read more »

Tolerance Levels for Ergot, Sclerotinia and Fusarium Changing for 2014

The Canadian Grain Commission recently announced upcoming changes to tolerance levels for Ergot, Sclerotinia and Fusarium. The new levels will help create uniformity and simplify assessment. “These grading changes are not only uniform between Eastern and Western Canada, they also ensure Canada’s grain continues to uphold its reputation for quality and safety.” said Elwin Hermanson, chief commissioner,… Read more »