Category: Features

TechTour: Väderstad’s ultra-shallow disc cultivator in action

In recent years we’ve seen dramatic shifts into the areas of low-till and no-till. And now, Väderstad is offering another option with its Carrier lineup of disc cultivators — ultra-shallow tillage. “The idea behind this is when the farmer has done his combining, especially after oilseed…if he do a very shallow tillage then (and with that we… Read more »

Beef School, Ep. 8: Improving on-ranch vaccination implementation

From storage requirements to difficult-to-spell words like ‘Mannheimia haemolytica’ and ‘rhinotracheitis,’ there’s a lot to consider when it comes to vaccinating cattle. And that complexity is one of the reasons Cody Creelman, veterinarian and managing partner of Veterinary Agri-Health Services, suggests producers develop a customized, written vaccination protocol, with annual reviews. “It’s important to [re-assess it] every… Read more »

TechTour: High precision manure application with John Deere’s real-time nutrient sensor

With more than 4000 measurements taken per second, John Deere’s manure sensing technology offers farmers a solution to the otherwise extreme variability in nutrient content when spreading manure. With farmers in Europe (and parts of North America) facing increasing regulatory oversight over nutrient application, Deere has developed the high-tech manure sensor technology to measure and… Read more »

Beef Market Update: StatsCan confirms Canada isn’t following U.S. herd expansion

Statistics Canada has confirmed once again that Canadian cattle producers are not following their American counterparts in expanding the beef herd. The federal agency published its January 1, 2018, inventory report this week, and Anne Wasko, of Gateway Livestock, walks us through the numbers in this Beef Market Update. First of all, for the not-so-analytical… Read more »

Needed: Free-flowing ag sector employment pipeline

A massive turnover in the agricultural workforce caused by retiring baby boomers means the employment pipeline needs to be flowing more freely than ever. That’s the word from Scott MacDonald, insecticide marketing manager and horticulture lead for BASF. He says universities will be the key source for providing agriculture with new talent. “They’ll make a… Read more »

TechTour: Meet Dino, a robot that specializes in removing weeds

Alongside its vineyard-weeding robot family member Ted; Little Oz the research robot; and market garden weeder Oz, Naïo Technologies now has a large-scale vegetable weeding robot hitting farm fields. Guided by RTK GPS, and a set of cameras to ensure it stays between rows, Dino is electrically driven, lighter than a tractor and requires no… Read more »

The business of peddling fear and fake hope

The first time I read it, it seemed like some kind of sick joke. A man, convicted in the death of his son, was recently slated to speak about healthy living at a “wellness expo.” Some backstory: David Stephan and his wife believed herbal treatments would cure their son’s meningitis. When they finally called 911,… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Riding spring highs into March

Cattle markets have remained strong, although we saw a technical correction lower on the futures market this week. “Maybe we’re getting a little numb to it, but futures markets continue to be extremely explosive whenever they tend to move. Up until this week, the market’s been building to recent highs, but futures markets, led by… Read more »

Young leaders grow where they’re planted

Calls abound for programs and leadership to help strengthen rural Canada, to make sure the voices of this country’s farmers are heard outside the farm gate, and to help urban people understand farmers’ crucial, daily role in feeding the world. The question is, who’s responsible for developing leaders? Maybe one answer to the leadership question… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Tight supply, strong basis inspire northward migration of feeder cattle

Though you may not be able to tell from the last week of quiet trading, it’s been a busy month for the cattle markets. On January 31, the United States Department of Agriculture released its cattle inventory report for January 1, showing a one percent increase in all cattle and calves in the U.S. compared to… Read more »

TechTour: A quantum leap in weed control

Bayer and Bosch are working together on a three-year research collaboration to develop a precise spraying technology that will minimize herbicide use, while also mitigating against resistance development. The technology, called Smart Spraying, will see camera sensors identifying weeds, and precise herbicide application targeting them on a single pass, within a fraction of a second. According… Read more »

TechTour: Kuhn spices up the plow with sectional control

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of plowing land is the bumpy ride around the headlands that follows. That’s where Kuhn’s Vari-Master Smart Plow comes in. The Smart plow offers sectional control through an electro-hydraulic system which automatically raises and lowers individual bodies based on GPS positioning data, creating a straight furrow edge where… Read more »

Wheat Pete’s Word, Jan 31: Planter pressure, cover crop queries, and cold, dry weather

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty on this week’s top agronomy questions, shall we? Peter Johnson is back for this last January 2018 instalment of Wheat Pete’s Word, and it’s an action-packed episode. Out west, farmers have two main concerns — lack of moisture and lack of moisture. This brings up two questions in this… Read more »

Nominations wrapping up for $100,000 ag and food prizes

Nominations are closing this week for two unique global food innovation awards — and there’s every reason to believe Canadian agriculture could produce a winner. The awards are the first Arrell Global Food Innovation Awards, from the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph. The institute was created from a $20-million donation from the… Read more »

Researchers put veal calf health under the microscope

It’s true that most male calves won’t be members of a herd for long. Nonetheless, being in good health is vital for their success on the veal or dairy beef farm where they’re headed. And maintaining good health is becoming more of a challenge in the rapidly changing livestock industry. Consumer demands for more natural… Read more »