Category: Features

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 »

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 »

Rural investment efforts get a huge global ally

With the Ontario election campaign in full swing, the drive to arm rural-friendly politicians with substance for strategic policies and talking points has received a huge global boost. The international Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has issued a report called Rural 3.0. – A Framework for Rural Development, saying rural regions will play… Read more »

TechTour: Culti Cam system offers automatic cultivator positioning in row crops

In another move towards automation, Claas has unveiled a system for automatic steering of cultivators in row crops. The Culti Cam uses a high-resolution camera to detect rows, and then adjusts the position of the implement, centring it between rows, independent from the tractor’s steering. Using colour and 3D surface information, Claas says the camera software… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Record basis levels set to change

The beef markets are riding an unusually high basis in both Canada and the United States, but that’s set to change. “So over the next eight weeks — between now and when June goes off — we will see the two converge,” says Gateway Livestock’s Anne Wasko, adding that in 2015 basis was +20 when… Read more »

Slow seeding jumpstarts prices — This week in the grain markets

Grain prices this week were mostly in the green as the market continues to weigh geopolitical risk versus weather risk (and thus, planting risk). And though planting is certainly behind in many areas of the major North American growing regions, it’s still early (relatively speaking). U.S seeding is well below behind the usual averages, and… Read more »

MYFB — Ep 31: Four elements of a human resource plan

Which questions do you ask potential new hires? Where to you find your next star farm employee? Is the employee handbook up to date? If you laughed and thought, we don’t even HAVE an employee handbook, this podcast episode is for you. In this Mind Your Farm Business episode, host Shaun Haney takes us on… Read more »

TechTour: Automatically adjusting spread patterns for wind, terrain, and fertilizer type

Spreading fertilizer can feel like a bit of a guessing game when it comes to knowing just how wide of a spray pattern is produced. Coverage depends on the type of fertilizer in the hopper, the terrain, and also, how much wind impacts the spray pattern. But Amazone claims it offers solutions to each of… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Strong basis prompts cattle feeders to remain current

A strong basis in Canada and the U.S. is prompting cattle feeders to sell sooner than later, and at lower weights. “When you pick up cattle prices in the South Plains $3-5 from last week — 121/122 — and the futures dropped as we’ve seen, you continue to get this widening spread,” says Anne Wasko of… Read more »

Competitive for acres, exports — This week in the grain markets

Grain prices this week ended mixed as speculative players took profits off the table amidst growing weather and geopolitical risk. Delays in U.S. corn plantings and concerns about Chinese trade dominated the headlines. It’s still early, but just 3% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of Sunday. Conditions this week weren’t great in… Read more »

TechTour: An electric tractor built for CTF

Designed for controlled traffic farming (CTF), the Multi Tool Trac built in the Netherlands offers a unique look based on a series of farmer-driven ideas. The electric tractor was developed for use in three-metre CTF, but takes transport into account with an on-the-fly adjustable gauge system that takes it down to 2.25 metres for the… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Trade news and cold weather keeping folks up at night

Whether we’re talking calving or barbecuing, it’s not ideal when temperatures are 20 degrees below their seasonal normal. The delayed onset of spring is not doing ranchers any favours, with calves hitting the ground in difficult conditions this spring (if we can call it that). At the same time, with large cattle supplies hitting the… Read more »

Staking a claim for ag in the social media jungle

Marketing and farming go hand in hand, says UK communications specialist Simon Haley. In a swing through Ontario that starts later this week, he’ll be urging farmers to use their intrinsic marketing skills to get back in touch with consumers. “Farming is where marketing started,” says Haley. But over the years – as nations became… Read more »

TechTour: Using camera technology to automate uniform seedbed preparation

It can be difficult, if not borderline impossible, to create a uniform seedbed out of a highly variably field. But Austrian equipment manufacturer Pöttinger is offering a new tool, with a camera-supported seedbed preparation system. Cameras mounted between a power harrow and the seeding equipment take real-time footage of the surface of the soil, measuring… 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 »