Month: August 2014

Observations on a Rainy Day in Scotland

It’s drizzling rain, with autumn on its way. The telly is on, to provide background noise and prevent the inevitable feeling of loneliness that so often accompanies travel. The video pans across a house inspired by “earthship” designs.  An angry accent trembles through the air outside: a worried father. I’m writing from a hotel near Aberdeen,… Read more »

Hog Prices Fall From Record Highs (Will Bacon Prices Drop Too?)

Hog prices have dropped sharply since hitting record highs in the middle of July. It turns out PED (porcine epidemic diarrhea) virus took a smaller toll on U.S. hog supplies than was expected, explains Tyler Fulton, director of risk management for Manitoba-based Hams Marketing Services, in the interview below. Fulton says traders were expecting an 8-10… Read more »

This Week in Markets — Truth Behind the Numbers

As we close the month of August, the harvest itch was replaced in most areas with frustration as most of the U.S. Midwest and Canadian Prairies got hit with some untimely, heavy rains. The recent rains were seen as positive for both sides of the cornbelt with Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, & Nebraska all getting a… Read more »

Calling All Scientists! Agriculture Needs You to Speak Up, Too

If you support research-based solutions to agricultural challenges, rejoice. A new report from a group called the Council of Canadian Academies says Canadians have the lowest level of reservation toward science among 17 countries considered. That’s heartening for the pro-science crowd. It runs counter to the growing belief that precaution is prevailing among Canadians, rather… Read more »

Suspend COOL If WTO Rules Against US, Says Coalition

Following a report that says the World Trade Organization has sided with Canada and Mexico in the dispute over U.S. country of origin labelling rules, a coalition of American food and agriculture organizations is urging Congress and U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to immediately suspend COOL if the WTO rules against the U.S. Although the ruling… Read more »

TechTour: Captain the Seed Hawk Seeder From the Cab With Your iPad

If your tractor cab is beginning to look more like NASA’s launch station, you’re not alone. With a monitor for this and a monitor for that, plus your own phone or tablet to track what you’re doing (or stay entertained listening to a machinery podcast or two), before long, you’re out of room or frustrated… Read more »

How Corn Planter Deflectors Work & Tips for Installation

Protecting honeybees and pollinators is a key focus for Ontario farmers. Limiting exposure of the bees to certain insecticides, namely neonicotinoid-based corn and soybean seed treatments, plays an important role in a thriving bee population in the province. Corn planter air exhaust has been identified as a possible risk to moving neonicotinoid particles off the… Read more »

Kickin’ Tires — Ep. 4: Bleary-Eyed Bern Wraps Up the US Farm Progress Show

The largest outdoor farm equipment show in the U.S. — the Farm Progress Show — took place Tuesday and Wednesday in Boone, Iowa (Day 3 was cancelled due to rain and lightning risk.) Among the thousands of visitors was RealAg’s Bern Tobin. In the fourth episode of the Kickin’ Tires machinery podcast, Bern and Kelvin (filling… Read more »

Canola School: Swathing Before or After Frost

With the canola crop maturing later than normal in parts of Western Canada, there’s some concern about frost hurting the crop. Temperatures dipped close to freezing in some parts of the Prairies earlier this week, with reports of light frost in northern Alberta. In this Canola School, Warren Ward, agronomy specialist for Eastern Saskatchewan with… Read more »

Black Chaff, Melanosis, Glume Blotch: The Causes of Darkness on Wheat Heads at Harvest

It may have an ominous sounding name, but black chaff is rarely a cause for major concern in wheat, says a crop pathologist with Manitoba Agriculture. Black chaff is one of several wheat disorders that will catch a grower’s eye at harvest due to the dark colour and discolouration that appears on wheat heads. As… Read more »

Map Soil Organic Matter and PH Levels On-The-Go with the Veris MSP3

A better understanding of soil properties like electrical conductivity, organic matter and pH levels can go a long way in precision agriculture applications. As Veris Technologies president Eric Lund explains in the following video, mapping these properties is useful in variable rate fertilizer application, as well as for site-specific management when seeding, applying lime or irrigating. “There are… Read more »

PAMI Gets $735,000 Funding Boost For New Research Equipment

The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) will receive $735,000 under Growing Forward 2 for new equipment to support applied research projects for the agricultural sector, it was recently announced. Every year, PAMI conducts about 100 projects in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to address challenges in the agricultural sector, in areas such as equipment design, agronomy and… Read more »

Canola School: Determining Disease Impact Before Harvest

With canola swathing underway across Western Canada, now is the time for growers to assess the toll that diseases have taken on the crop. The “what to look for” list at this time includes the main suspects: blackleg, sclerotinia and clubroot. In this episode of the Canola School, Keith Gabert of the Canola Council of… Read more »

Wheat School: Finding Demand for High Fusarium Wheat

High disease levels have winter wheat growers in Western Canada concerned about the market prospects for the crop. Samples brought to elevators in some areas — especially central Manitoba — have contained up to 20 percent fusarium damaged kernels. Buyers have started discounting grain based on the related potential vomitoxin levels. So where will this… Read more »

Viterra To Build New Elevator In Red River Valley

Viterra has announced plans to build a new grain terminal near the company’s canola crush plant at Ste. Agathe, Manitoba. The company says it will have storage capacity of around 30 thousand metric tonnes with loading facilities for trains of up to 124 cars. The site also has access to service from both CN Rail… Read more »