Month: March 2018

Finding bullish hope in acres — This week in the grain markets

Grain markets finished the end of March and the calendar quarter on a bit of a high as the USDA provided a slightly bullish catalyst on the last day of trading. This could provide some active, but volatile, trading in the first week of April. Until Thursday, soybean prices and corn prices headed lower as… Read more »

Grain movement picking up, as first ship arrives at Thunder Bay

The numbers show grain movement has started to improve in Western Canada in the last few weeks, but it’s up for debate how much credit should go to the railways for their internal actions; the government for increasing its scrutiny; or, simply the warmer temperatures and the arrival of spring. The rail backlog this winter… Read more »

Urban Ontario gives its rural cousin a mixed review

Rural Ontario has long been seething at provincial Liberals for a list of problems it lays at their feet. Now, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has added a new villain to the list of those it says should show more love for rural Ontario: that is, urbanites. Prior to the provincial budget being announced,… Read more »

Remote-controlled robots steal the show working in steep terrain

For a long time, remote control ‘toys’ were just that — something for little ones to find under the Christmas tree, or beside their birthday cake. But, remote control technology is growing, in both size and scope. Italy-based MDB offers remote control technology to help with processes like shredding, mulching, and stump grinding, among others…. Read more »

Pop the bubble: Why farm groups need to spend more on lobbying

Whether the government brings forward small business tax change legislation, the U.S. closes the border to Canadian cattle, or a bill (i.e. C-49) ends up locked in the Senate and going nowhere fast, our industry associations and member-based organizations lobby for change on behalf of farmers. According to Wikipedia, lobbying is defined as: the act of attempting… Read more »

RealAg Radio, March 30: Gene editing, labour vs automation, and Canadian acre intentions

Starting off the show, Shaun Haney reflects on yesterday’s show, and specifically his conversation with Tyne Morgan. Considering struggles like those faced in the U.S., are arguments against supply managed dairy realistic? Are Canadian producers really held back in terms of innovation and growth compared to their counterparts without the system? Then: The news this… Read more »

Canola School: The mysterious canola flower (not swede) midge

Seven years after swede midge was identified in Ontario, three adult midge were found in Saskatchewan, in 2007. It was then believed the insects were the same species (Contarinia nasturtii), but researchers have since discovered differences between the two. “We have now behavioural evidence — we know that what we thought was swede midge in… Read more »

RealAg Radio, March 29: USDA acreage surprises, American dairy struggles, and this week’s Word

It’s Opening Day, and baseball fans are gearing up to see the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the New York Yankees. And that’s where Shaun Haney and Kelvin Heppner start off their discussion in this episode of the show (but don’t worry if you’re not a baseball fan, it’s a shortstop — you’re safe)…. Read more »

Higher spring wheat and lower soybean acres headline USDA planting intentions report

Add over a million acres of spring wheat, and subtract more than two million acres of soybeans… There were a few surprises in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report published on Thursday. The department pegged soybean acres at 89.0 million acres — more than two million below the average trade estimate of 91.1 million,… Read more »

Railways should pay demurrage fees, says APAS president

The president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan says railways should have to cover the cost of having ships wait in port for delayed grain shipments. Todd Lewis has written a letter to Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay calling for CN and CP to pay demurrage charges caused by rail… Read more »

No mention of agriculture in Ontario pre-election budget spending spree

While the deficit amount as a percentage of GDP is small, the real number is large. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government unveiled its 2018 budget which includes a $6.7 billion deficit, with planned deficits for the next six years. Rolling out $20.3 billion in new spending over three years, this pre-election budget is focused on health… Read more »

Soybean School: Mind your fencerows to reduce weed resistance

Are we doing enough to reduce the herbicide-resistance weed seedbank on Ontario farms? That’s a question AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan wants farmers in the province to consider when they’re planning their weed control programs for this year. Cowan recently attended the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California, where he talked with farmers from Mississippi who… Read more »

TechTour: Compensating for sprayer boom sway right down to each nozzle

When spraying it’s inevitable that there will be some swaying along the boom, where parts of the boom move faster or slower relative to other parts, resulting in uneven application rates. German agricultural machinery company Amazone, together with Dutch spraying company Rometron, have developed a precision spray application system that compensates for changes in horizontal… Read more »

Lightweight narrow-row corn head heavy on efficiency

Want to maximize combine productivity and put every corn kernel possible in the grain tank? That’s what New Holland is promising farmers who invest in the company’s new 9200 CornMaster Series of corn heads. The narrow-row heads are specifically developed for farmers planting in 20- and 22-inch row spacings and range from 12-row to 18-row… Read more »

Wheat Pete’s Word, March 28: Monitoring stored grain, seeding alfalfa and timing nitrogen applications

Today’s show comes to us all the way from Salina, Kansas, and sees host Peter Johnson starting off the show with a correction, then: seeding alfalfa, fertility, corn into rye, and more. Find a summary of today’s show topics and times below the audio. Have a question you’d like Johnson to address? Or some yield… Read more »