Success in Agriculture
The Canadian agriculture industry rallied in support of the Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation (CABEF) raising $98,338 in 2016.

CABEF awards six $2,500 scholarships annually to students enrolling in an agricultural university or college in Canada. Fundraising efforts in conjunction with Best of CAMA (Canadian Agri-Marketing Association) raised $42,642 from live and silent auctions, and the Wall of Wine raffle for 24 bottles of wine. Other donations were made in cash, auction items and donated advertising space to promote the CABEF scholarship application deadline and the announcement of the scholarship recipients.


The 2017 scholarship application deadline is April 30, 2017.  Application information is located at cabef.org.
Published in Corporate News
We've just released another block of tickets to the SOLD OUT Field Crop Disease Summit, taking place Feb. 21 and 22 in Saskatoon. There are only 48 spaces available, so sign up now at topcropsummit.com. Once the tickets are gone, they're gone! 
Published in Corporate News
Canadians can visit any farm or processing plant of their choosing from the comfort of their own home with the newly-launched FarmFood360° (FarmFood360.ca). The website uses 360° cameras and virtual reality technology to bring viewers a unique chance to tour real, working farms and food processing plants. The website is the latest version of the Virtual Farm Tours initiative (first launched in 2007), and features all of the original 23 farms plus three new virtual reality tours, including a dairy farm with a Voluntary Milking System, as well as two individual milk and cheese processing facilities.
Published in Corporate News
Guelph, ON – The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has launched a new partnership through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) AgriRisk Initiatives (ARI) program. The project, entitled “Controlled Tile Drainage – Calculate Your Benefits,” will partner OSCIA with scientists at the University of Ottawa to research the crop yield benefits of controlled tile drainage.

“The research indicates that there may be economic benefits to farmers under specific field conditions”, says Gord Green, President of OSCIA. “Under drought conditions, research has confirmed as high as a 25 per cent increase in corn yield where controlled drainage was used to retain water to better supply the growing crop.”

Research shows the benefits from controlled tile drainage vary depending on the crop, amount of rainfall, and timing of rainfall in relation to the stage of crop growth. Under the new partnership, a new tool will be developed to allow extension staff and farmers to better calculate the crop yield benefits of controlled tile drainage under varying conditions.

“With extremes in weather increasing due to climate change, every competitive edge counts”, says Dr. Michael Sawada, scientist at the University of Ottawa. “Additionally, controlled drainage can reduce the flow of phosphorus and other nutrients to help protect our water resources.”

The collaborative project runs until the winter of 2018.

Funding for the “Controlled Tile Drainage – Calculate Your Benefits” project is provided through Growing Forward 2, AgriRisk Initiatives, which supports the research and development, as well as the implementation and administration of new risk management tools for use in the agriculture sector.
Published in Corporate News
While North American farmers are in the process of wrapping up a fourth-straight bumper harvest, according to the BMO 2016 North American Agriculture Report, foreign exchange developments have yielded very different experiences for producers in Canada and the United States.

"In the United States, the lofty greenback, which has gained 20 per cent on a trade-weighted basis since the start of 2014, has been yet another bearish factor for crop prices and revenue," said Aaron Goertzen, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Canadian producers, in contrast, have benefitted from a drop in the loonie, which is down 17 per cent against the U.S. dollar since the start of 2014 and has provided a like-sized lift to crop prices north of the border."

Mr. Goertzen added that as a result of the weaker loonie, domestic crop prices in Canada are 18 per cent below all-time highs – compared to nearly 30 per cent in the United States – and have risen five per cent from their recent low in mid-2014. The lower loonie has been a particularly fortunate development given the country's mediocre crop yields over the past few years.

Canadian Outlook
In Canada, composite crop yields, which consist of corn, soybeans, wheat and canola, picked up modestly on last year's subpar result. However, they remained on-trend overall as a near-record crop of canola on the prairies was offset by a decrease in corn and soybean yields in Ontario.

"Canadian producers have undoubtedly been supported by the weaker loonie," said Adam Vervoort, Head of Agriculture Banking, BMO Financial Group. "This means now, with extra capital available, is an ideal time to invest in technology, which is driving the current string of bumper crops we've seen on a North American scale."

He added, "Those producers who have adopted modern agricultural practices, particularly in the corn space, have grown trend crop yields substantially. There's still room for autonomous, satellite-informed equipment to be refined and used, as the innovation trend shows no sign of slowing down."

Producers in Canada's Western regions, namely Alberta and Saskatchewan, have experienced a more difficult season impacted by weather challenges since October that have delayed their harvest timeline. However, the prairies remain on track for a near-record crop of canola.

Mr. Vervoort affirmed that producers in the West could have potentially seen stronger results weather permitting, but have managed to still sustain a decent crop turnaround. "The harvest conditions have not been ideal, but we continue to work with farmers negatively impacted by adverse weather."

While Canadian producers benefitted from a timely fall in the loonie that lifted crop prices north of the border, it also raised the cost of internationally-priced inputs like energy and fertilizer. Most producers face a wide variety of Canadian dollar-dominated expenses though, so margins have ultimately benefitted on balance.

From mid-2014 to early this year, the weaker Canadian dollar also caused food prices to inflate four per cent yearly. Consumers have been somewhat relieved as a result of the partial bounce-back of the dollar in the latter half of the year and a decrease in livestock prices.
Published in Markets
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has announced an investment of up to $780,040 to 4-H Canada to host the 2017 Global 4-H Network Summit.
Published in Corporate News
Andrew and Jennifer Lovell of Keswick Ridge, N.B. and Dominic Drapeau and Célia Neault of Ste-Françoise-de-Lotbinière, Que. have been named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2016. The two farm families were chosen from seven regional farm couples across Canada between the ages of 18 and 39 at Outstanding Young Farmer’s (OYF) national event last week in Niagara Falls, Ont.

“It was extremely difficult for the judges to make their decision, but ultimately our winners stood out for their state-of-the art thinking and commitment to the future of Canadian agriculture,” says OYF President Luanne Lynn.

Although the Lovell’s didn’t grow up on a farm, four years ago they purchased River View Orchards (with roots tracing back to 1784), and created a diversified u-pick farm market operation. Although they suffered $100,000 in damage in 2014, they adapted their plans until they were able to begin full production again. Fence and trellis construction services and building attractions brought over 1,400 visitors to their farm.

Drapeau and Neault are third-generation dairy and field crop farmers. When Drapeau was 16, he was performing artificial insemination on cows and developed his management skills by taking over the herd and feeding responsibilities. In the barn, Drapeau and Neault use genomic testing on young animals, motion detectors for reproduction, a smart scale on the mixer-feeder and temperature probes close to calving. In the fields, the farm uses a satellite navigation system for levelling, draining, seeding, fertilizing and spraying. With these technological innovations over the last four years, they have enabled the farm to increase overall yields by five to 10 per cent each year.

For more information on Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer’s program, visit www.oyfcanada.com


Published in Corporate News
Conducting regular soil tests is one of the simplest, fastest and least expensive ways to optimize one’s fertilizer program and maximize crop yield. Yet many producers still underuse this vital tool.
Published in Soil
Soil microbes provide billions and billions of teeny helping hands to your crops. Those helping hands are key to sustainable, profitable crop production. Crop growers can choose practices that promote healthy soil microbial communities, and researchers like Bobbi Helgason are developing ways to further enhance agriculture’s ability to tap into the remarkable capacity contained in soil microbial life.
Published in Soil
A new factsheet from the Weed Science Society of America is now available for free download, exploring research of weed seed longevity. It highlights the unique ways weed seeds can travel (earthworms can collect and move them into their burrows), their viability (moth mullein seeds buried in 1879 were able to germinate more than 130 years later), ways they can be eliminated (carabid beetles can consume large quantities of weed seeds that drop to the soil) and more. Download the factsheet here and visit www.wssa.net for more information.
Published in Weeds
CN and 4-H Canada have announced the 2016 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction (L.E.A.D.) recipients, four exceptional senior youth members from across Canada who exemplify leadership excellence and academic achievement. 

This scholarship recognizes four community leaders each year, outstanding 4-H’ers who epitomize 4-H youth empowerment, and who demonstrate personal and community impact, and leadership excellence in each of 4-H Canada’s four Leadership Development Pillars. The 2016 4-H Canada L.E.A.D. recipients are: 

Community engagement and communications L.E.A.D. recipient: Joshua Power (NL) 

Science and technology L.E.A.D. recipient: Erinn Jones (AB) 

Environment and healthy living L.E.A.D. recipient: Eveline Juce (MB) 

Sustainable agriculture and food security L.E.A.D. recipient: Jessica Mayes (MB) 

L.E.A.D. recipients each benefit from a $20,000 scholarship towards their four-year post-secondary studies. They are also matched with a high-impact mentor who plays a leadership role in their industry and community. This mentorship relationship is an important component of the award program and helps L.E.A.D. recipients as they forge their careers. 
Published in Corporate News

Nominations are now open for the title of Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmer. The Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) Program is a unique program designed to recognize farmers and farm couples who exemplify excellence in their profession. Any organization or any person can nominate a young farmer or couple for the regional recognition award as long as the nominee meets the following program eligibility requirements:

•    must be between the ages of 18 and 39,
•    must be farm operators, and
•    must derive a minimum of two-thirds of their income from farming.

Each region across the country holds an event where five or six nominees are judged on the following criteria: 

•    progress in agriculture career
•    extent of soil, water and energy conservation practices
•    crop and/or livestock production history
•    management practices, and
•    contribution to the well-being of the community, province and nation.

The Ontario Region OYF will be holding their next annual event in September 2017 in London, in conjunction with Canada's Outdoor Farm Show. The regional winners will represent Ontario at the annual national event where they compete to be named Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers. 

Nominations for the 2017 award are now being accepted by Dianna Forth, regional co-ordinator via email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it More information and nomination forms can be found on the website. Nominations close on January 15, 2017. 

Published in Business & Policy

Farm Management Canada (FMC) has launched an enhanced version of its former Step Up mentorship program to help bridge the gap between generations of farmers to provide Canada's future farmers with the best chance for success. 

Succession planning – also called transition planning, ensures farm business continuity: it is the only process that links one generation to future generations involved in the farm business, and addresses how the vision, goals and dreams of a farm will carry on. 

"According to the recent study, Making Dollars and Sense, less than one-third of Canada's farmers have a succession plan, while close to 40 per cent are in the succession stage of their farm business," says Heather Watson, executive director of Farm Management Canada. She goes on to note, "this signals not only a significant risk to the Canadian agricultural sector, but also an immense opportunity to promote and provide the information, tools and resources for farmers to improve their succession planning practices."

The Bridging the Gap: Step Up to Succession program is comprised of a series of succession and Transition planning workshops for farm families coupled with a successor development program, exclusively for young farmers.

FMC will be working with renowned farm family coach Elaine Froese and business management consultant Cedric MacLeod to help lead the program and coach participants throughout their journey.

Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers' Program, the Canadian Young Farmers' Forum and 4-H Canada are partnering with FMC for this program. 

For more information on the program, please visit Farm Management Canada's website.

Published in Business & Policy
Do you know someone who has made an extraordinary contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada?

Farm Management Canada is seeking to honour individuals or groups with the 2016 Wilson Loree Award. This award was established over fourteen years ago, to honour those that have made an extraordinary contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada.

FMC encourages the nomination of individuals or groups that
  • have made significant contributions in the area of business management regionally or nationally;
  • have demonstrated innovation in areas such as turning research into practical management tools, adapting best practices from other sectors to agriculture, and finding new ways to deliver training, information and resources to farm managers;
  • have served as a role model and a mentor to colleagues, partners and clients, inspiring them to achieve their full potential;
  • have demonstrated the ability to network and develop partnerships to include others in furthering the shared goals and vision of the agriculture industry.
Nominations are required by Oct. 14. FMC staff and board members are not eligible for the award. The winner will be revealed during the Agricultural Excellence Conference on Nov. 23. All are welcome to attend.

Visit www.fmc-gac.com for more information on the award and the conference.
Published in Corporate News

Sept. 15, 2016 - Alberta Barley is seeking nominations for its farmer-led board of directors and delegate body. There are 20 positions available, including two directors (regions three and four) and one director-at-large (region one, two, three or six). Seventeen spots are available for delegates with at least one opening in five of the six Alberta Barley electoral regions.

“Volunteering your time as a delegate or director is a great opportunity to become involved in shaping Alberta farm policy,” says Mike Ammeter, outgoing chair. Ammeter, a Sylvan Lake-area farmer, proudly served as region three’s director-at-large from 2010-2016 and spent his final two years as the organization’s chair. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Alberta Barley and I’d say to any farmer in Alberta looking to make a difference in their industry, now is the time.”

Region four director Bernie Klammer will also retire alongside Ammeter from the Alberta Barley board of directors after two successive terms.

Any farmers seeking a director or director-at-large position must submit paperwork via fax to Alberta Barley at 403-291-0190 or by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it on or before Oct. 31, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Votes for the director-at-large will be cast at all six regional meetings, tabulated and then announced at the Alberta Barley AGM, Dec. 8 in Banff, AB.

Delegates are nominated and elected from the floor at each regional meeting.

All farmers running for a delegate or a director position must have produced barley in the region they are running for election in and paid a service charge on barley either in the current or previous two crop years, according to Section 17 of the Alberta Barley Plan Regulation. A director-at-large position allows a farmer to be eligible by having grown barley in any area of Alberta.

The following delegates are up for re-election. Delegates serve two-year terms with Alberta Barley.

Region 1 – Glenn Logan, Brian Otto and Greg Stamp

Region 2 – Jamie Christie, David Eaton, Doug McBain, Doug Miller, Doug Robertson, Matt Sawyer and Kenton Ziegler

Region 4 – David Korpan, Charlie Leskiw, Brian McGonigal and John Wozniak

Region 5 – Darrel Hennig and Ken Wagner

Region 6 – Ron Heck

There is one director up for re-election with two additional vacancies. Directors and directors-at-large serve three-year terms with Alberta Barley.

Region 1, 2, 3 or 6 – Vacant (director-at-large)

Region 3 – Jason Lenz (director) 

Region 4 – Vacant (director)

Click here for the director nomination form.

Click here for the director-at-large nomination form.

Background

A nine-person board of directors governs Alberta Barley with six directors representing individual regions and three directors-at-large representing the province’s interests as a whole. Following the annual general meeting each year, the board of directors elects the executive team, which consists of the chair and vice-chair.

A farmer interested in running to be a director must have 10 signatures from fellow farmers in his or her specific region. For a director-at-large vacancy, a person is allowed to collect 10 signatures from farmers anywhere in Alberta. A director and director-at-large position are three-year terms. Documentation must be submitted in person or as a faxed copy to Alberta Barley at 403-291-0190.

If more than one person is nominated for a vacant position, an election will be held at regional meetings. Votes for regional directors will be tabulated and announced at the regional meetings while votes for the director-at-large will be tabulated and announced at the December 2016 annual general meeting. This year’s annual general meeting takes place at the Banff Springs Hotel, Dec. 8, 2016.

Published in Corporate News
Sept. 15, 2016 - When we talk about safety, we often talk about immediate consequences. For example, getting too close to a running power take off can result in immediate, and often catastrophic consequences. It’s important to talk about preventing these life-altering incidents, but it’s also important to talk about how exposure to things in your environment can affect your health, weeks, months or even years down the road.

We make decisions daily that can affect our future selves. We’ve all taken a minute to either thank or criticize our past selves for things we’ve done or not done. Why not set yourself for a healthy future?

There are environmental exposures that occur on and off the farm that can affect our hearing, our respiratory function, and our bones and joints This advice isn’t meant to capture all of these hazards, but is to get you to start thinking about what you’re exposed to.

One of the most wonderful human functions is hearing. The boom of a well-placed slap shot, the hum of a finely-tuned engine, and the pure laughter of a baby are all small joys that we enjoy when our hearing is optimal. Unfortunately, many people experience hearing loss due to noise exposure. This loss is entirely preventable. (If you’ve already lost some hearing – you can retain what you have.) But you have to make a commitment to make some changes. Here are some easy tips to protect your hearing:

  • Recognize when you are being exposed to excessive noise. This isn’t always easy, sometimes you might not expect a task to be noisy, but if you can’t carry on a conversation with someone three feet away without yelling, it’s a good idea to remedy the situation
  • Control excessive noise. Maybe you need a new muffler on that equipment?
  • Create a noise barrier. Close the window to your truck or tractor
  • Select the quietest tool or equipment to do the job.
  • Lastly, select the best and most effective hearing protection for you. Ear plugs and ear muffs work only if you use them consistently and correctly.
Breathing is a good thing. On this, everyone can agree. Keeping our respiratory health in tip-top shape means being aware of the hazards that occur on the farm. Unfortunately, farmers and farm workers have the potential to be exposed to a tremendous variety of respiratory hazards. Some of the most common respiratory hazards include: grain dust, crop protection residues, waste and waste byproducts from insects and animals, and exhaust and fumes from equipment and tools. The health consequences from exposure to these respiratory hazards is long and complicated and varies in severity from mild to catastrophic. Keep these tips in mind:
  • Decrease the generation of dusts and gases by improving management procedures or through engineering controls. An example would be reducing the distance the grain falls when unloading. A short fall means less dust.
  • Remove any contaminants that are in the air. Have good ventilation!
  • Use the right kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job. Make sure the PPE fits, is comfortable and most importantly, wear it! (And replace it once it becomes dirty or worn.)
(These tips do not take into account confined spaces which are very hazardous and require extensive training and equipment to enter safely.)

Creaky bones, sore knees and hip and achy backs are all too common in the farming community. Farmers start out young and strong, but eventually all that repetitive lifting, kneeling, stooping, twisting and shoveling catches up resulting in conditions like arthritis, repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis, muscle inflammation and chronic pain.
  • Try to vary your posture, especially when bending over or when your hands are over your head.
  • Practice good lift hygiene. Lift properly and keep the load close to your body. Ask for help for heavy loads or use a mechanical solution.
  • Use well-maintained, proper tools for the task. Let the tool do the work, not your body.
  • Limit your exposure to vibrations. On older tractors, use vibration-dampening seat cushions. Take breaks from equipment that causes your body to vibrate.
It’s easy to forget that each thing that we do can affect our health in the future. Reminding ourselves that although we may not immediately feel the effects of bad decisions, it can damage our health and vitality in the future.

For more information about farm health and safety, please visit www.casa-acsa.ca.
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 15, 2016 - 4-H Canada recently announced the launch of a new 4-H alumni program. The new initiative, dubbed Club 1913, is an online community for the more than 350,000 4-H alumni across Canada, who were at one time a youth member in Canada’s longest standing rural youth organization and who are looking to get back to their roots.
 
4-H Canada is encouraging alumni across Canada to register online at www.Club1913.ca, the URL being an online hub for 4-H alumni who are interested in re-connecting and networking with other alumni, and finding unique opportunities at the local and national level, while celebrating their pride in being part of the 4-H Canada community.

“I often speak with individuals, both within agriculture community and beyond, who are excited to tell me about the profound and positive impact 4-H had in their lives,” says Donna Bridge, president of 4-H Canada’s board of directors. “For most, 4-H served as the foundation for their success, no matter how they define the word.”
 
Since 1913, 4-H Canada has been empowering young Canadians to become responsible, caring and contributing leaders who are passionate about making meaningful contributions to the world around them. Across Canada, 4-H alumni continue to use their heads, heart, hands and health to make a difference as community champions, Olympic athletes, industry leaders and politicians at every level of government.
 
Being a member of 4-H’s Club 1913 also represents an opportunity for 4-H alumni to help grow future generations of leaders, by volunteering, becoming mentors and engaging in knowledge and skills transfer opportunities with 4-H youth.

“Our wide network of 4-H alumni are proof that 4-H programming builds strong leaders, who are equipped with confidence, positive values, decision-making abilities and other invaluable skill sets,” says Shannon Benner, CEO of 4-H Canada. “In the Canadian economy, and in the Canadian agriculture sector, we see a growing demand for these skills, and our alumni can play an instrumental role in addressing these gaps. There is no greater time than now for 4-H.”

4-H alumni are encouraged to register today and share their stories of the positive impact 4-H Canada has had in their lives, using #4HClub1913.
Published in Corporate News
Sept. 13, 2016 - The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) has announced the new Soil Health Improvement Program (SHIP) for agricultural producers in the Lake Simcoe, Nottawasaga, and South-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds.

With funding by Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund, SHIP offers financial support for implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) that improve soil health and reduce edge of field phosphorus loss.

SHIP, which has a similar structure to the Farmland Health Incentive Program, requires producers to complete an on-farm soil health assessment by working with a participating Certified Crop Advisor (CCA). Free of charge to producers, the Soil Health Check-Up and the Muck Soil Health Check-Up offer producers a unique opportunity to develop BMPs that are tailored to the specific needs of their operation.

“This isn’t a one-size-fits-all program," says Christine Schmalz, environmental program manager at OSCIA. "Through working one-on-one with a CCA, producers gain an in-depth understanding of their operation’s Soil Health Challenges and work to develop BMPs that will benefit their farm and the health of the greater watershed.”

The Soil Health Improvement Program offers up to 50 per cent cost-share to a maximum of $20,000 in funding to producers in the Lake Simcoe, Nottawasaga, and South-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds who implement BMPs after completing a Soil Health or Muck Soil Health Check-Up. Eight BMPs are eligible for cost-share under SHIP: cover crops, crop nutrient plans, buffer strips, windbreaks and windstrips, equipment customization, erosion control structures, fragile land retirement, and water runoff management.

This program will begin accepting applications on Sept. 28, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. and funding will be allocated to eligible projects in the order in which applications are received. Producers interested in the program are encouraged to complete their Soil Health Check-Up in preparation. Program materials are now available online as well as a list of participating CCAs who are keen to complete Check-Ups in the eligible area.

For more information on eligibility criteria, the application process, and program deadlines visit the OSCIA website at www.ontariosoilcrop.org  or contact OSCIA directly at 226-706-8671 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Published in Soil
After the pain, you could say there’s been some gain for the edible dry bean industry in Ontario.

“That rejected shipment in 2008 forced the entire industry to sit up and take notice,” says Chris Gillard, dry bean agronomy and pest management professor at the University of Guelph at Ridgetown.

That year, glyphosate was detected at more than two parts per million (ppm), which is the maximum residue level (MRL) for beans exported to Japan.

The incident prompted questions about desiccant application rates, timing and tank-mix combinations.

Eight years after the original incident, Ontario bean growers have new product options and much more information at their fingertips for the sensitive tasks associated with bean dry-down and weed control at harvest time.

Gillard was one of four scientists in three provinces who searched for dilemma-solving options on behalf of Canada’s bean industry in 2010 through 2012. Preliminary results of their efforts were available to growers in 2013, but it was June 2015 before final results were published in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science.

Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta are Canada’s major dry bean producers, responsible for about 45, 40 and 15 per cent, respectively, of the national dry bean acreage in 2014. They grow five classes of beans: navy, cranberry, kidney, pinto and great northern. In Ontario, six desiccants are registered to aid growers by drying down the mature bean crop for harvest.

In 2008, growers had the option of desiccating the bean crop with carfentrazone, diquat, glufosinate or glyphosate. Concerns over price and ability to control weeds at harvest led many growers to select glyphosate.

At the time, the stage was ripe for seed residues to create obstacles in exporting the bean crop.

Gillard and colleagues wrote: “Although desiccants have long been used to aid dry bean harvest, little [was] known about seed residue levels following application, relative rates of desiccation between harvest aids, and possible yield or quality impacts, making it difficult for producers and contractors to confidently choose a desiccant.”

Now, Canada’s dry bean growers have the science and data to confidently choose their product for the sensitive dry-down period.

“Glyphosate still is registered as a pre-harvest aid for weed control in dry beans, but it is not a true desiccant. True desiccants are relatively quick in their activity. Glyphosate is not a quick-acting chemical, so it’s never been registered as a desiccant,” Gillard says.

Two new desiccants have been registered in Ontario since 2008. Flumioxazin (trade name Valtera) was registered in 2009 and saflufenacil (Eragon) was registered in 2013. Both were in the testing program that followed the MRL incident.

“They tend to be more expensive than glyphosate but have use rates much lower than several of the other desiccants on the market,” he says. “Both are in the same protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitor class as a third chemical that was registered a few years before: carfentrazone-ethyl (Aim EC). All three are relatively fast acting and carry a low risk of residue because they don’t translocate within the plant.”

The three-province study used all six products at 11 sites and generated a lot of data. Three professional papers were published.

This research examined the speed of crop and weed desiccation for each registered product, alone and in combination with glyphosate. Impact on dry bean yield and quality was measured, and MRLs were examined.

Research results
One difference was speed of desiccation.

“Eragon probably is the fastest PPO-inhibitor, followed closely by Valtera,” Gillard says. “Guys have to be careful with using Eragon. In a timing study, we put it on early and at 70 per cent crop maturity it caused a yield loss due to smaller seed. It’s so fast-acting that it can kill the plant before the seed finishes filling.”

A second reason for being careful with Eragon is that it can’t be used on any beans going to Europe. To this point, the European Union has not set MRLs for Eragon. However, it is accepted in the United States, Japan and countries that rely on the international Codex Alimentarius food standards for safety, quality and fairness.

“Diquat has been around forever. It’s relatively expensive and it has some issues. It’s fairly toxic to people, so it’s not as safe to use [as Eragon]. On the other hand, it is very fast acting. I think Eragon is as fast as diquat, and it doesn’t have the user exposure problems,” he says.

“Ignite has been around forever. It has an advantage in that it can be sprayed a little earlier. It’s halfway between a true desiccant and glyphosate in speed of activity. It can be put on the plants at about 70 per cent pod maturity.”

But, the residue analysis testing of seed samples identified an issue for Ignite.

“We actually found some residue issues with Ignite when it was applied a bit after its minimum application date,” Gillard says. “That generated some concern, because we can’t have residues on the seed that are above the MRLs allowed for end use markets.”

That leads into another point. Residue limits vary from market to market. Some markets don’t even have residue limits for some products. If residue analysis detects a product that isn’t listed for a residue limit, the country can reject the shipment.

“If you’re growing a crop that will be exported, you need to work with the processor to understand the MRLs for the country where the crop will end up,” Gillard says.

“You can use a product so long as it’s used properly. But, for instance, there is no MRL set in the U.S. for diquat on dry beans. If you use the product, and if they detect it, in their mind they can refuse delivery because you have used an unregistered product.”

For an exporter, the lack of an MRL for a product in a particular market can be seen as a non-tariff trade barrier.

While the industry here can encourage a market to set an MRL for each product registered here, in practice the responsibility for meeting market standards rests with growers.

“It’s a three-step process,” Gillard says. “First, start with the dealer or processor. Find out what products are available to use based on where the crop will end up. Second, look at the accepted products. See how fast-acting they are. Follow the label closely for timing and for water volume. Determine which one will do the best job of desiccating the crop. Third, look at weed control. What productivity do you want on the weed escapes that will be in the crop close to harvest? All of these desiccants are herbicides with unique advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the weed species controlled. That’s three-tiered decision-making.”

Online information
Data from the three years of study and two years of residue analysis is now bearing fruit. According to Gillard, today Canada’s pulse industry is stronger and better informed. Detailed information relating to MRLs, rates, timing and tank mixes are available through processors and contractors.

Summary information is available online at websites operated by Saskatchewan Pulse Growers.
Published in Pulses
Sept. 12, 2016 - Alberta Barley, the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley), the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) and the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) have announced a commitment of over $2.4 million to the barley variety development program at the University of Saskatchewan's Crop Development Centre (CDC).

“Producers have played an important role in funding barley variety development,” says Dave Sefton, WGRF chair. “Since 1995 producers have invested almost $15 million into barley variety development through the Western Grains Research Foundation. Renewing our agreement with the CDC and having all of the prairie barley commissions and associations investing together is an important step to ensuring producers continue to get good value for their check-offs.”

CDC has released more than 70 malt, feed and food barley varieties since 1971, including Harrington, CDC Copeland and CDC Austenson. In the past five years alone, the program has released new malting varieties, including CDC Clear (2011), CDC Bow (2014), CDC Platinum Star (2014) and TR12135 (to be named CDC Fraser), in 2015.


We are extremely pleased to have the three provincial commissions joining WGRF in supporting barley breeding at the CDC, demonstrating continued producer support for research targeting improved yield, disease resistance, and malt quality,” adds Kofi Agblor, managing director of the CDC. “This funding provides stability to the program for maintaining long-term, highly qualified technical staff, as well as resources for marker development and use in the breeding program.”

Published in Cereals
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