Year: 2018

Wheat School: Planting wheat with a planter

It’s an established fact that seeding depth and plant spacing are critical factors in maximizing yields and uniformity in some crops. That’s why corn and soybeans are planted with planters designed to singulate each seed and place it at a precise depth. Wheat isn’t generally — or ever — seeded with a planter, but as… Read more »

NAFTA talks ignore the Congressional line in the sand……now what?

Last week we heard House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) lay down a congressional schedule deadline of May 17th. The negotiators did not meet the deadline and in fact it was ignored like it never existed. Each country is spinning their version of what is left to do to complete this arduous process.  Last week finished… Read more »

Benchmark study shows health challenges for dairy cull cows at auction

The first benchmark study of the condition of culled dairy cows in Canada shows many animals in less than optimal condition are transported to auction in Ontario, and sold at discounted prices. The study, by a University of Guelph research team, involved 4,460 cows at three Ontario auctions. Over 16 weeks last May through August,… Read more »

Can Doug Ford make populism work in Ontario?

Ontario’s provincial election is shaping up to be a two-horse race. Major polls this week show the Progressive Conservative party and Doug Ford holding the lead but  Andrea Horwath’s campaign for change is gaining ground as voters leave the fading Liberals and consider the front-runners. An Ipsos poll earlier this week pegged PC popular support at… Read more »

This week, grain markets say “meh” to plant ’18

So, how about that late start to the #plant18 campaign? Recent crop reports suggest it doesn’t really exist. In the U.S., planting caught up to the long-term averages in corn and soybeans, but American spring and durum wheat seeding campaigns are certainly running behind schedule, which has helped prices a bit. According to the latest… Read more »

RealAg Radio, May 18: Crusty Bob, falling cattle prices & where in world would you go to tour a farm?

On Friday’s show, with host Shaun Haney: Top ag news, with Kelvin Heppner, discussing the missed NAFTA deal deadline, Ag Minister Lawrence MacAulay’s trade mission to China, and more. Beef Market Update with Anne Wasko of Gateway Livestock — can barbecue season help protein demand? RealAg Issues panel with Lyndsey Smith and Kelvin Heppner Favourite… Read more »

Beef Market Update: “Frustrating” prices heading into grilling season

Live cattle led the futures market lower this past week, with cash prices in tow, thanks to large supplies hitting the market. Cash cattle values in Canada fell by ten to 12 dollars, while U.S. prices were five to six dollars lower on the week. What’s frustrating for beef producers is demand and retail prices… Read more »

Canadian government “closely monitoring” U.S. ethanol discussion

The issue: The Canadian government says it is closely monitoring U.S. biofuel policy discussions, but isn’t publicly saying whether it would challenge a proposed policy that the Canadian biofuel industry says would amount to an export subsidy for American ethanol. As part of the ongoing negotiations between U.S. energy and agriculture interests over the future… Read more »

Cool in the east, dry in the west & similarities to 1936: Drew Lerner’s summer outlook

A transition between weather patterns over the next three weeks will go a long way in determining the kind of weather we can expect for the rest of summer, while potentially offering some short-term relief in dry areas, according to Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. Lerner joined RealAg Radio on Wednesday to discuss his… Read more »

RealAg Radio, May 17: Livestock Farmer Rapid Fire and sacred cows

On Thursday’s show, with host Shaun Haney: Top ag news stories of the day, including the NAFTA “deadline,” seeding updates & more (Kelvin joins Shaun for the final minute of news after scrambling to get back on-air after his power went out during the commercial break.) A new segment: Farmer Rapid Fire, Livestock edition, with… Read more »

“The grocery store — the most confusing place in the world”

Food companies go to great lengths to differentiate and sell their products, using all kinds of marketing claims displayed on food packaging. Peel Back the Label, a campaign funded by U.S. dairy producers, and the well-known comedy outfit Funny Or Die, recently launched a tongue-in-cheek video highlighting the problems with food labeling and what happens… Read more »

Keeping baby safe: Tips for farming with kids under 2

The joy of farming includes working from home — it’s a short commute, sometimes there’s a hot, mid-day meal (inexplicably referred to as dinner by many), and you get the chance to work with family, including many days being “bring your kids to work day.” The trouble is, farms are also work sites, and dangerous… Read more »

Inocucor changes name to Concentric

Inocucor Corporation, a startup company that specializes in microbial products for crop and soil health, has announced it is changing its name to Concentric Ag Corporation. The company, which has facilities in Manitoba, Quebec and Colorado, says its new name means “having a common centre” and “symbolizes growth and vitality in nature like rings in a… Read more »

European court upholds partial ban on neonics

The European General Court issued a verdict on Thursday upholding the European Commission’s decision in 2013 to restrict the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments (neonics). The ruling is seen as a win for the movement to restrict European farmers’ access to the chemicals used to prevent pest damage to crops. Neonic manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta,… Read more »

Cream or sugar? Same lingo, same protection, but different countries

Nearly all of Canada’s international trade negotiations, at some point, involve discussions about the future of supply management for our dairy and poultry sectors. We’ve heard the U.S. dairy industry push hard against the supply management system for dairy in NAFTA 2.0 talks, especially Canada’s new class 7 pricing. Some Canadians cheer this U.S. rhetoric… Read more »