Month: September 2014

Observing Canada’s National Biotechnology Week in 5 Posts — A Retrospective

Now in its 11th year, September 26 – October 3, 2014 marks National Biotechnology Week. Initiated by BIOTECanada (the national biotechnology industry association), this week is a dedication to exploring biotech across sectors and across Canada, with events including lectures, tours, networking and workshops (a full list of events here). Of course, biotechnology has and does play a massive role… Read more »

Mildew and Frost Could Result in Grading Differences Between Grain Buyers

The results are in. Wet weather early in the growing season and again during harvest took a toll on the quality of this year’s crop in Western Canada. Mildew is the most common downgrading factor in spring wheat this year, reports Daryl Beswitherick, Manager of Quality Assurance and Reinspection with the Canadian Grain Commission. “Last year,… Read more »

Potential Opening of Ontario’s Great Clay Belt to Beef Producers Could be a Boon for Young Ranchers

If you can’t see the embedded audio, click here. If Ontario wants to build an industry, the Beef Farmers of Ontario have a solution — open up just a portion of the Great Clay Belt crown lands to aspiring ranchers. The Clay Belt in northern Ontario and Quebec covers an astounding 180,000 sq. km, split… Read more »

Elevator Co’s Allege CN and CP Didn’t Meet Grain Shipping Minimums for Months

The organization representing major grain elevator companies in Western Canada says it believes both Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) have failed to meet weekly grain shipping requirements for extended periods of time since the weekly minimum thresholds were implemented back in March. The federal agriculture minister confirmed last week that the… Read more »

Eggs in the Aisle: Grocery Shopping in the United Kingdom

Last month, I had the opportunity to head to Scotland’s Aberdeenshire for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists congress. While there, I received requests to document some of the differences in prices and availability of food products. Instead of writing a comprehensive report outlining the experience (boring!), I decided to do a vlog, which is totally… Read more »

UAV Plant Stand Counts Help Crop and Marketing Decisions

Beyond the “cool” factor, the value of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for farmers comes down to how they help them make more-informed decisions. That includes helping a producer understand plant stand counts across entire fields early in the growing season, explains Kris Poulson, CEO of Casselton, North Dakota-based North Country Ag Services. “If we just talk about… Read more »

Why Aren’t Beekeepers Suing Farmers? A Closer Look at the Neonic Class-Action Lawsuit

Two large honey producers in Ontario recently hired a law firm to launch a class-action lawsuit against Syngenta and Bayer (the parent of Bayer CropScience) regarding the sale of the companies’ nenonicotinoid seed treatments for corn and soybean. The beekeepers are seeking $450 million in damages and losses to bee hives and honey production dating… Read more »

Tax Credit Aimed at Farmers Who Donate Food Rolls Out in Ontario

Originally announced last fall as part of the Local Food Act, Ontario’s agriculture minister Jeff Leal was on location today to formally roll out a tax credit for farmers who donate food to food banks. The “Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers” gives farmers a tax credit valued at 25% of the fair market value… Read more »

Terrain-Following Ability an Advantage with Case 500 Drill

The ability to follow the contours of a field sets the Case 500 drill apart from its competitors, but while it cuts the soil well, this unit could do a better job closing the soil. That’s according to Phil Needham of Needham Ag Technologies, who assesses the pros and cons of the Case 500T drill… Read more »

Corn School: The “Push Test” — Will Corn Stay Standing Until Harvest?

With corn harvest around the corner, the “push test” can help growers assess plant health and whether lodging will be a problem. As part of this episode of the Corn School, Dieter Schwarz, market develop agronomist for Western Canada with Pride Seeds, discusses the importance of plant health right through the dry-down process. Stalk integrity is critical… Read more »

An Easier Way to Calculate the Cost of Replacement Heifers

It’s fall again. That means three things: preg-checking, weaning and deciding on replacement heifers. Deciding on replacement heifer numbers should be a process that’s repeated yearly. The overarching goal of an operation should have a bearing on your decision (that is, are you hoping for herd expansion in the long run? Or are you maintaining, or… Read more »

The Markets This Week — Harvest Ruts, Hedge Funds and Higher Yields

Grain prices are in that seasonal rut thanks to #harvest14 selling pressure and favourable planting conditions as South America starts its seeding season. On the speculation side, hedge funds are starting to increase their optimism that grain and oilseed prices will begin to rise. That being said, in the last four decades, an ounce of… Read more »

Canada-EU Trade Agreement Text Finalized, Made Public

Today, at the Canada-EU Summit in Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, signed a formal declaration marking the end of negotiations for the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The final text of the deal — more than 1,600 pages long — was also made public for the… Read more »

Mandate Letter for OMAFRA Calls for “Meaningful Reduction” in Neonic Use by 2015

Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario, has rolled out mandate letters to each of the provincial departments. Of particular note on the agriculture file headed up by Jeff Leal, Wynne’s set priorities for the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, under the heading “Ensuring Sustainability of Agriculture,” states:   Strengthening pollinator health. You will work… Read more »

Cargill To No Longer Sell Anhydrous Fertilizer in MB

Staff at Cargill crop input retail sites in Manitoba are letting customers know that the company will no longer sell anhydrous ammonia (NH3) fertilizer after next spring. Due to its hazardous nature and the strict regulations surrounding the handling of NH3, it’s become harder to find reliable transportation, says the company. “Our decision was based on several factors including the increasing… Read more »