Category: Features

Beef Market Update: Strong demand, Canadian basis levels & packer margins for Cargill

It’s been a volatile couple of weeks in cattle futures, with the market giving back most of last week’s gains in the last few days. Meanwhile, cash prices in Western Canada have remained strong, reports Anne Wasko in this latest Beef Market Update, with average prices for fed cattle getting back into the mid-150s in Alberta…. Read more »

Harvest for Kids organizers aiming for 300 combines in new record attempt

Organizers are aiming to create a harvest scene in southern Manitoba next month that’s never been seen before: 300 combines working simultaneously in the same field. The Harvest for Kids 2018 record attempt is planned for 2 pm, Saturday, August 4th in a winter wheat field just south of Winkler, Manitoba. Created to raise awareness… Read more »

Have your say about food waste from the farm

Food waste has become the poster child for inefficiency in agri-food. But how much are farmers contributing to the problem…or to the solution? That’s what a study led by Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International (VCMI) is trying to find out, in what they say is the world’s first comprehensive look at food loss… Read more »

Put on the plaid for dad this Friday

One in seven Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian men. This Friday — leading up to Father’s Day — will mark the fourth year where Prostate Cancer Canada has partnered with workplaces and individuals across the… Read more »

Beef Market Update – Strong beef demand, lower carcass weights, and the wall

It has been a busy week in the cattle markets, as Canada and the United States are on the brink of a trade war that we would not have imagined a year ago. Much of that is out of the control of feedyard owners and ranchers, but the impacts will most certainly be felt, depending… Read more »

Dairy Distillery turns waste skim milk into tasty spirit 

What started as a fascination with craft distilling and a chance discussion about dumping skim milk has evolved into a tasty new business at Almonte, Ontario. Neal McCarten is director of operations for Dairy Distillery, and it was his family’s farm background that led to a discussion with Omid McDonald, founder and CEO, about how… Read more »

Beef School, Ep 9: A flexible approach to year-round grazing

Year-round grazing may mean different things to different people, but to Doug Wray, it essentially means providing ‘locally grown’ sustenance to his herd — that is, feeding where the forage was grown. Wray implements strategies like swath grazing and bale grazing to achieve his goals, driving the cost of winter feeding down to about $0.80/head/day… 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 »

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 »