Year: 2015

Farm Input Costs Should Drop With Low Oil Prices, Eventually

Low oil prices should translate into reduced input prices for farmers, but don’t expect to see major declines in fertilizer prices before the 2015 growing season, according to a lending institution consultant speaking at St. Jean Farm Days in Manitoba this week. “I think in the long run we will see our cost of production… Read more »

Soybean School: How Long Do I Need to Keep Soybeans Weed Free?

Start clean, stay clean is a smart motto when it comes to corn and soybean fields, but what’s the right amount of “clean” in relation to weed cover and yield potential? Dr. Peter Sikkema, professor of plant science with the University of Guelph — Ridgetown Campus, took to the field to answer that question. If,… Read more »

This Cinderella Crop is Beginning to Act Like a Real Princess

It’s rare to find a western Canadian farmer who doesn’t have a tale to tell of the roaring comebacks canola has made in a growing season. Sure, there have been some wrecks — wicked windstorms that flip swaths or hail that leaves nothing but sticks — but the “Cinderella crop” (you’ve heard the song, right?)… Read more »

This Week on Real Ag — Nasty Tweets, Canola Disease and Weather — January 8, 2015

With the holidays now behind us, the machine that is Canadian agriculture is revving up again for a busy few months of meetings and planning. Calving and another seeding season will be here before we know it. From the social media frenzy surrounding the #farm365 hashtag to a new disease found in canola — here’s a farm… Read more »

The Dilemma of an Empathetic Omnivore

To some, animal agriculture is no more than the exploitation of innocent lives, often likened to human slavery, rape and torture. The animals didn’t ask to be confined to cages, separated from their mothers or artificially inseminated, opponents argue. Thus, humans should take on a vegan diet, void of any animal products or by-products. Instead, it’s plants humans… Read more »

Farmers Speak Up — Perspectives on the #farm365 Activist Backlash

What started out as a commitment to agvocacy has quickly turned into a social media frenzy of a very nasty kind — animal rights activists have highjacked the #farm365 hashtag and are posting memes, pro-vegan slogans and calling out farmers as, well, murderers. Of course, there’s also a hefty dose of other farmers following Andrew… Read more »

Canola School – Bees & Beneficials – Defining Terms, Protecting Habitat and Recognizing Benefits

“Neonicotinoids,” “Colony Collapse Disorder,” “Varroa,” “Nosema”… Defining those colloquialisms (and others) was just one of the goals the Canola Council of Canada’s Gregory Sekulic had in mind when he presented “Buzzwords about Bees” at the Farming Smarter Conference in Medicine Hat. Sekulic wanted to clear the air on jargon that so often exacerbates misunderstanding “We really lose… Read more »

Canada’s National Beef Strategy Addresses Four Key Pillars for 2020

In 2013, the Canadian beef industry initiated efforts to create a comprehensive strategy that identified a vision, mission and priorities for the sector, while aligning key industry players. Today, that work went to print, and The National Beef Strategy was released. “The need for industry to push itself is now,” said Martin Unrau, co-chair of the… Read more »

Are Young Farmers Really Going Extinct? Or Is Their Demise Greatly Exaggerated?

In less than 20 years, there will be no farmers or ranchers under the age of 35 left in the state of Wyoming, according to a study published in the U.S. journal Rangelands last week. Researchers analyzed demographic trends among farm and ranch operators in the state from 1920 to 2007, and as you would expect,… Read more »

Canterra Seeds Receives Exclusive Distribution Rights for CDC Dry Peas in the U.S.

Canterra Seeds, a Winnipeg-based seed company, announced yesterday that it had successfully bid in an open competition for exclusive U.S. distribution rights for dry pea pedigreed seed varieties developed at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC). “This relationship was built on our strong track record, both with the CDC and with US farmers,” said… Read more »

Wheat School – Spotting Herbicide Resistant Wild Oats

Herbicide resistant wild oats are pretty easy to identify, says Neil Harker, a research scientist in weed ecology and crop management at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lacombe Research Centre. “You generally see them in patches. If you see [wild oats] in real straight lines, then you suspect a sprayer error, but if you just see them in… Read more »

First North American Case of Canola Disease Found in Manitoba

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Thursday, January 8th with additional information from the CFIA about the location of the case of verticillium wilt in canola. The first North American case of a disease that has caused serious economic losses in Europe’s rapeseed crop has been found in a canola trial plot in Manitoba…. Read more »

Jerry Wulf on Growing Your Cattle Business and Looking for the Win/Win

Wulf Cattle started in 1955 as a feeding operation and has evolved into a player in the seedstock business as well. Marketing more than 40, 000 head of value-added fed cattle annually, Wulf Cattle now owns feedyards in Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska, making it one of North America’s largest integrated beef companies. “I think it’s human nature not to move… Read more »

Equipment Dealers Focusing on Services, Offsetting Slowdown in Machinery Sales

Farm machinery dealers are hoping to offset recent declines in equipment sales by expanding the services they provide to producers. After six consecutive years of strong growth, year-over-year sales of new equipment declined by as much as 25 percent for dealers in parts of Western Canada in 2014, according to John Schmeiser, CEO of the newly-formed Western Equipment Dealers… Read more »

Save a Cow, Eat a Carrot? New U.S. Dietary Guidelines May Recommend Limiting Red Meat Consumption

Every five years the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is reviewed, updated and re-published, an endeavour involving collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This year, those guidelines might recommend Americans change their diets for the sake of sustainability. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee held its final… Read more »