Category: FarmTech

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 »

EU neonic restrictions ‘a tragedy’ for beneficial insects, says UK researcher

The European Commission ‘severely restricted‘ three neonicotinoids — clothiandidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam — in an effort to protect honeybees, but critics say the regulations are doing for the very opposite. “In 2013 the European parliament voted to ban the use of neonics on flowering plant species, because of concerns about bee health,” said Simon Kightley,… Read more »

Leap-frogging a regulatory agency forward

No one loves red tape, but rules and regulations are necessary. That said, rules and regulations should evolve alongside the advancement of an industry to best meet the needs, demands, and challenges of the value chain. The Canadian Grain Commission is working at doing exactly that, says chief commissioner, Patti Miller. Just over a year… Read more »

More than pretty landscapes: how Canada stacks up globally on sustainability

Canada is internationally know for its clean water, Rocky Mountains, and endless prairie skies. Our agricultural groups use this “clean and pristine” currency to their benefit whenever they are selling our wares overseas, but does a blue sky and waving grain really sell more crops? More than that, can we quantify Canada’s record on soil,… Read more »

Next steps for the Do More Ag Foundation

While running their last venture, Farm At Hand, Kim Keller and business partner Himanshu Singh started a mental health initiative called “Here for Farmers,” a t-shirt fundraising campaign focused on supporting mental wellness in the agriculture community. Outside of the campaign, however, the calls kept coming in, asking for help finding mental health resources in… Read more »

Canola School: Innovation Team focuses on “training the trainer”

It’s a question people grapple with daily — is it better to be a generalist, with a knowledge on a great number of topics, or a specialist, who can talk with gumption about a specific field? The Canola Council of Canada has found a way to get the best of both worlds, with a group… Read more »

Want a profitable farm? Never stop learning

Just like highly successful people share several traits, highly profitable farms share consistent attributes. Regardless of farm type or geography, there are farmer traits and business management practices common to profitable farms. “The number one practice driving farm profitability is lifelong learning and your commitment to building your skills,” says Heather Watson, executive director of… Read more »

Cover crops and livestock trampling ‘part of the rotation equation’

A ‘good rotation’ is often thought of as a cropping plan that involves diverse species, cultivars, and chemical actives. But that definition may be expanding, thanks to an ever-evolving understanding of soil health. “When you look at that environment, you kind of come down to five principles on soil health,” says United States Department Agriculture… Read more »

Market access “probably the biggest issue” facing the grains industry

While much of the focus over the past several months has been on the pulse industry, with India’s tariffs on pulse crops, Canada’s cereal crop value chain has also had its hands full working on market access challenges. Italy, with its new country-of-origin labeling legislation and campaigns spreading doubt about the quality and safety of… Read more »

Canola Council looking forward amidst membership changes

Grower groups and value chain organizations are under constant pressure to deliver value for their membership. Proving relevance and value to an aligned value chain is a complicated balance of keeping an organization moving forward and towards agreed upon goals. But reaching that consensus on direction and capitalizing on opportunities can be a challenge when… Read more »

Who do we think we are? Canada’s shifting demographics shape food demand

For decades, the average Canadian was of British, western European, or even American descent. Over time, most people’s idea of “average” has stayed the same, but the actual demographics have shifted, and in some ways, the change is quite dramatic. Canadians are much older, more suburban, and more multicultural than ever. Instead of European influence,… Read more »

Pulses likely on the menu for Trudeau’s trip to India, but will they be on the agenda?

Pulses will likely be on the menu as Prime Minister Trudeau meets with his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Modi, later this month, but Canada’s pulse sector is counting on them also being on the business agenda. There’s no mention of pulse crops or India’s steep tariffs on Canadian pulse exports in the notice from the… Read more »

Alberta’s “bug counter” recognized for outstanding contribution to the industry

Every year the planning committee behind Edmonton’s renowned FarmTech conference recognizes someone who has made “an outstanding contribution to Alberta’s cropping industry.” This year’s award recipient is well-known to the agriculture community for his commitment to extension, people, and the industry he loves. Scott Meers graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor’s Degree… Read more »

Alberta wheat and barley groups moving ahead under shared management

Having shared office space and administrative staff since 2013, the Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley Commission are moving ahead under shared management. “This is a next logical step in our relationship,” explains Tom Steve, general manager of Alberta Wheat, and now, Alberta Barley. The move to shared management, which was announced at FarmTech in… Read more »

Market Recap: Record canola acres, pulse crop frustration, and wheat optimism

Are you holding out for $10 yellow peas, when you know you’re profitable at $8 per bushel? That’s just one of the gems we’ve mined from this quick market recap from none other than FarmLead founder, Brennan Turner. Earlier this week, Turner once agains joined Shaun Haney at the RealAgriculture booth at FarmTech to wade… Read more »