Category: Features

TechTour: Claas aims for the best of both tracks and wheels

Claas unveiled a fierce-looking hybrid machine that it describes as the first half-track tractor with full suspension at Agritechnica 2017 in Hanover, Germany. “It’s combining the best of two worlds. We have the traction efficiency with the tracks on the rear, but we have the driveability and comfort of a wheeled tractor integrated,” explains Henning… Read more »

Real Dream Workshops, Ep. 2 — Barry and Tyler McBlain

Are you planning to build a new farm workshop? How big should it be? What features should you incorporate? What cool ideas would make it a ‘killer shop’? Are there pitfalls you should avoid? In episode 2 of Real Dream Workshops, Peter Johnson visits Barry and Tyler McBlain at their farm shop near Brantford in… Read more »

Unique research program targets fusarium head blight

For researchers at the University of Guelph, addressing fusarium head blight — one of wheat’s most nagging diseases — is an agronomic time trip through the geography and history of Canada. The researchers, led by Ali Navabi, have gone back to the 1880s through to the present to look at the genetic diversity of 450… Read more »

Livestock disease winging its way north as climate warms

Flying, biting midges (Culicoides spp.) — sometimes called no-see-ums — are a scourge to wildlife. Hunters recognize their effects on deer in particular, which are highly susceptibility to a group of midge-transmitted viruses. But there are growing concerns about their potential effect on livestock, too. Here’s why. A midge swarm will blood-feed on animals, causing… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Setting up a sellers’ market

Live cattle futures have found reasons to rally since early September, even in the face of large placements in a bearish cattle on feed report last week. It’s a combination of market fundamentals — profitable margins, lower carcass weights, and strong demand — driving the market out of the lows set around Labour Day, says… Read more »

New technology to reduce antimicrobial use in pigs

An all-Canadian product that promises better pork health is coming onto the domestic market this month. It’s designed to reduce antimicrobial use in piglets, by making them healthier from the start. The product is called Nuvio. Its producers, MicroSintesis and Bio Agri Mix, call Nuvio technology  “proteobiotics.” That’s the name they’ve given molecules produced by… Read more »

Beef Market Update: A flavour for strong beef demand

There’s a flavour for strong beef demand in the country, says Anne Wasko, market analyst with Gateway Livestock, which has producers feeling good about market positioning. Last week’s slaughter report showed a 6.3 percent increase in animals killed in federally inspected plants in Canada, when compared to last year at this time. It’s good news… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 29: Putting together a solid farm business plan

No two farm business plans are identical. A young, aggressive producer focused on expanding likely needs a comprehensive business plan with detailed cash flow and business projections to satisfy investors and partners. On the other extreme, the business plan for an established farm with no children interested in taking over can be very simple —… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Market proving itself after bearish Cattle on Feed report

Last week’s Cattle on Feed report, published by the United States Department of Agriculture, listed a 4 percent increase in cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market, when compared to September 1, 2016. In August, placements totalled 1.93 million head, up 3 percent from 2016. “There was a bearish surprise to the placement,”… Read more »

Swiss food security vote: because you can’t live on chocolate alone

In our country, referendums are rare, and not for the faint of heart. Remember the Quebec separation referendums back in the 1990s? They nearly tore the country apart. It’s a different story in Switzerland, which like us, is an agricultural nation. Here, referendums — like the one on food security that concluded on Sunday —… Read more »

Efforts intensify in Ontario to regulate organic products

Recent efforts to address consumer questions and confusion over certified organic food production have taken a step forward in Ontario. On Wednesday, MPPs Peter Tabuns and Sylvia Jones announced a co-sponsored private member’s bill for organic products regulation in Ontario. “This bill will provide further transparency and help ensure that the growing organic industry continues… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Rising loonie pressuring cattle prices

A changing supply environment has the second half of 2017 shaping up much differently for cattle markets than the first. “Already things are changing. If you’re in Canada, you’re well aware — and we’ve talked about this all year long — we’ve been in this strong basis environment where Canadian prices, because we’re tight on… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 28: The senior partner’s perspective on succession

Every farm succession plan starts and stops with the older generation. In most cases, it’s up to mom and/or dad to determine how and when the transition moves forward. For farm families who are stuck in that process, it’s usually not from a lack of desire to execute, but from paralysis — not knowing where… Read more »

Real Dream Workshops, Ep. 1 — Shawn Schill

Are you planning to build a new farm workshop? How big should it be? What features should you incorporate? What cool ideas would make it a ‘killer shop’? Are there pitfalls you should avoid? Real Agriculture will try to answer all these questions on our new Real Dream Workshops series. To kick things off, Real… Read more »

Getting crunched: Government squeezes on farms are adding up

I’m fortunate enough to get to meet all kinds of farmers. Usually when we meet, the conversation is a standard one. What’s the weather been like or how is the harvest going? Politics, just like sex and religion, is usually left out of it. Until recently. Farmers keep bringing it up in their conversations. That… Read more »