Neil Harker, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Lacombe, Alta.
Choose which seed treatment is right for you with this easy-to-read guide.
A Quebec project is assessing integrated pest management options.
While applying fertilizer at the time of seeding has many benefits, it is important to use the right amount. Mark Cutts, crop specialist at the Alberta Ag-Info Centre, evaluates placement, impact, and types of fertilizer. “Applying too much fertilizer with the seed can impact crop emergence,” says Cutts. “To ensure seed-placed fertilizers are being managed properly, producers need to understand the factors that influence their impact.”
Pastures and hayland were stressed last year due to dry conditions, grasshoppers, over grazing, and a long winter. Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry looks at how producers can plan this spring to avoid a feed shortage next winter. “It is difficult to estimate how the stands will respond this spring or what the yield potential is for this year,” Yaremcio says. “With many feed yards and silage pits nearly empty or empty, the amount of carryover feed for the winter of 2018-19 is minimal.”
Field activity has ramped up with the warmer temperatures and many areas receiving spotty rains allowing soils to dry up. There is tremendous capacity in the country side from the input suppliers to growers with the ability to plant a significant acreage in a day. If the weather holds what started out as a slow spring will finish up close to normal timing.WheatThe winter wheat crop has put on significant growth in the last week with the warm temperatures. The most advanced wheat, in south Essex County, is at the flag leaf emerging stage (Z37). The wheat in the rest of the province ranges from Z30 to Z32. Almost all of the nitrogen has been applied to the crop. Herbicide applications have begun as annual weeds like common ragweed have emerged. Some early fungicide applications have been made. To date, disease pressure has been very low in Ontario although stripe rust has been confirmed in Kentucky and southern Illinois and this week has begun to increase in very susceptible varieties in those states. Storm fronts could move strip rust spores into Southern Ontario. In the past few years, stripe rust has been detected around the third week of May in southern Ontario so continue to scout susceptible varieties especially over the next two weeks.Less than 10 per cent of wheat fields have not progressed in the last week and will need careful observation as to whether they should be terminated and planted to another crop. Generally, a stand of five healthy plants per foot of row will provide about 80 per cent of your anticipated yield potential.Spring cerealsThe majority of the crop has been planted.ForagesPasture and hay fields have had a slow start, with very little grass growth until the recent warmer temperatures. Management is critical to minimize damaging wet pastures: daily moves can reduce pugging damage.There are some concerns about alfalfa winter injury, particularly on fields that were cut late in the fall or had late manure application. Wet conditions and potato leafhopper damage also increased injury risk on new seedings. Poorer stands can be supplemented by adding Italian ryegrass and other grasses to maintain yields if the field must be kept.Fertility is often a concern on forage fields. Generally, potash is the most limiting nutrient. Use a soil test to ensure the crop has adequate P and K before worrying about secondary nutrients like sulphur and boron. The window for producers applying Priaxor fungicide to alfalfa is rapidly closing, as preliminary research suggests the biggest yield boost when applied 21 days before harvest (PHI is 14 days), and when the crop is four to eight inches high.CornA significant percentage of the corn planting on the lighter soils is complete. The spotty rains and warmer temperatures have allowed planting to begin on the loam and clay soils. As of May 10, about 20 per cent of the crop is planted. Planting date and yield potential research by Dave Hooker, U of G, Ridgetown Campus, found that one can expect 95 per cent of corn yield at Elora when planted May 20, Exeter at May 25 and Ridgetown at May 30.SoybeansA few soybean fields have been planted but it will likely be another week before soybean planting ramps up as growers complete corn planting.Canada fleabane rosettes, with the increase in air temperatures, are beginning to grow quickly. Delays in controlling such weeds will increase the probability of poor control. The pre-plant tank-mix of glyphosate plus Sencor 75DF (220 g/ac) plus Eragon LQ plus Merge has been the most effective way to control glyphosate resistant populations of this weed (University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus). If growing Xtend soybeans (dicamba and glyphosate resistant), pre-plant applications of Engenia or Xtendimax at their highest label rate are also effective.InsectsDespite the slow start to spring, we are now accumulating growing degree days (GDDs) quickly, especially due to the warmer nights. Crops already growing are soon to see some insect activity. Locations in the southwest have accumulated enough GDDs to start experiencing alfalfa weevil larvae and cereal leaf beetle (both adults and young larvae) feeding. If temperatures continue as is, central and eastern locations will start to see activity in a week or so.For crops like corn that are still being planted, the insects are getting the head start. Black cutworm moth migration in Ontario has increased due to the recent storm fronts. With GDDs accumulating quickly, larvae from their eggs will develop quickly. They will feed on weeds or cover crops until the corn plants start to emerge. Fields in southwestern Ontario could to see emerging corn plants being cut as early as later next week.Weed controlThe increase in air and soil temperatures saw a significant amount of annual weeds emerge in the past week. Glyphosate should be applied to emerged weeds before they are 10 centimetres tall to maximize control. Most other post-emergence herbicides must be applied to emerged weeds prior to them reaching the eight-leaf stage of growth, otherwise control is significantly reduced.
Preliminary findings indicate Prairie winter wheat seems to have survived periods of extreme cold and low snowfall, according to Farm Credit Canada. “Across the Prairies, the recovery has been anywhere from excellent to fair,” says Janine Paly, an agronomist withn the Western Winter Wheat Initiative. | READ MORE
With planting delayed briefly due to rain, it is the perfect time to get out and set up some wireworm bait stations. Soil temperatures are quite warm now and recent University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus research has found that spring is the better time to successfully bait for wireworms. Tracey Baute, OMAFRA field crop entomologist, has further directions on FieldCropNews.com. | READ MORE
Like most crop diseases in 2017, infestation levels and severity of stripe rust were low, because of the warm, dry weather that occurred in many parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Going into 2018, the risk of stripe rust developing in Alberta will depend on the spores blowing up from the United States.
Rust is one of the issues targeted in a major project to advance disease management in fall rye. Not only is this project breaking new ground by breeding for rust resistance in western Canadian rye cultivars, but the research could also help shed light on some of the basics about this little-studied disease problem on the Prairies.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) on canaryseed is on the radar for growers and researchers. Although it was only recently confirmed at the University of Saskatchewan by Paulina Cholango Martinez and Randy Kutcher, Kevin Hursh, executive director of the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan, says that Fusarium has been showing up in seed tested for germination when a disease screening was also conducted.
High-yielding crops require large amounts of water during the growing season. A healthy, high-yielding wheat or canola crop requires up to 480 millimetres (mm) or 19 inches of water during the growing season. A good, average crop will take up 300 mm (12 inches) of water from the soil over the course of the growing season, which works out to about 2,718,000 lb/ac of water over the growing season.
Until recently, iron (Fe) deficiencies in field crops in the prairies were mostly unheard of until soybean acreages began to expand. In Saskatchewan, with the growing acreage of soybeans, iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) began to show up in some soybean fields under certain soil and environmental conditions.
Those humble wild sunflowers you see growing along prairie roadsides are key weapons in the fight against sclerotinia in sunflower crops. Through a long, complex process, researchers are transferring resistance genes from wild species into cultivated sunflower and gradually upping the crop’s ability to fight off this pathogen.
According to Angela Brackenreed, an agronomy specialist for the Canola Council of Canada, seed losses during canola harvest are often higher than producers might think – about two bushels per acre on average, but can reach double digits in in extreme cases.
In Western Canada, more phosphorus (P) continues to be removed in cropping systems than is being replaced. On average only about 75 per cent of P is being replaced every year, and although the gap is closing, it is probably not quick enough.
The government of Saskatchewan and Fertilizer Canada have signed a three-year extension to their 2016 Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) in support of 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place).
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in Canada has granted approval for the registration of Lumisena fungicide seed treatment.Lumisena, from Corteva (the agriculture division of DowDuPont), provides protection against Phytophthora root rot, the leading soybean disease in North America. Lumisena moves within the plant to protect against multiple stages of the Phytophthora pathogen's life cycle through preventative, curative, eradicative and antisporulant activity. In multiyear, on-farm trials, Lumisena was shown to significantly improve soybean stands and plant health under Phytophthora pressure, according to a press release. Growers can expect Lumisena to be commercially available at 2019 planting timing.
All plants need nitrogen. While healthy bacteria can occur naturally in the soil, especially in fields that have grown nitrogen-fixing crops like soybeans in the past, sometimes nature requires a little help for increased production.
Gowan Canada's Edge herbicide has been granted a minor use label extension for industrial hemp.
BrettYoung Seeds Limited has launched Recover PO4 phosphate solubilizing inoculant for Canada.
Foliar diseases in barley can be a challenge for growers; increasingly so as the trend to shorter rotations continues. Fungicides are just one of many disease-management tools. Protecting the upper leaves in the barley canopy are important for grain filling and yield, with flag leaf to head emergence in barley as the recommended fungicide application timing.
Canadian growers may find it challenging to remain globally competitive due to an accelerating reduction in access to pest management tools. Two ongoing issues have reduced the competitiveness of Canadian farmers for decades: The continuing loss of or lack of access to pest management products due to regulatory issues, and regulatory impediments to the registration of new crop protection products.
A seed treatment is a vital and effective product, so long as it stays on the seeds where it can do its work. When it is released into the surrounding environment, however, it can cause significant political and environmental concern.
With the introduction of Monsanto’s glyphosate- and dicamba-resistant soybean into the Canadian market in 2017, producers may be wondering if there is any benefit to tank-mixing the two herbicides for weed control.
Corn growers across Ontario and Quebec now have the option of applying Delegate insecticide by air for control of Western bean cutworm (WBC) and European corn borer.
With proposed limitations and even all-out bans on the horizon, we could say the future of seed treatments has never been so uncertain. Although changes are coming down the pipeline (like the new mitigation measures for the neonicotinoids clothiandin and thiamethoxam), what won’t change is the fact that seed treatments are a very important tool in the grower toolbox.
Applications are now open to Manitoba farmers for many activities included under the Ag Action Manitoba program.
As of March 31, 2018, total stocks of wheat and barley were lower compared with the same date in 2017. Meanwhile, total stocks of canola, corn, soybeans, oats, dry peas and lentils were up. Many of the increases were a result of increased on-farm stocks.WheatTotal wheat stocks were at 16.4 million tonnes as of March 31, 2018, down 3.9 per cent from the same day a year earlier. This decrease was the result of lower stock levels being held on farms, down 1.3 per cent to 12.5 million tonnes, as well as an 11.3 per cent decrease in commercial stocks to 3.9 million tonnes. Farm stock levels in Saskatchewan decreased by 5.6 per cent to 5.7 million tonnes, while farm stocks in Alberta increased 4.9 per cent to 4.4 million tonnes.CanolaAs of March 31, total canola stocks were up 14.4 per cent from the same day a year earlier to 9.1 million tonnes. This increase resulted from a 18.2 per cent rise in on-farm stocks to 7.5 million tonnes. On-farm stocks in Saskatchewan were up 15.3 per cent to 3.8 million tonnes, while they increased 22.7 per cent in Alberta to 2.7 million tonnes. Commercial stocks, however, edged down 0.8 per cent to 1.6 million tonnes.Corn for grainCorn for grain stocks were up 4.3 per cent from the same date a year earlier to 8.7 million tonnes. Commercial stocks were down 25.5 per cent to 2.1 million tonnes, while farm stocks were up 19.1 per cent to 6.7 million tonnes. Farm stocks in Ontario increased 34.1 per cent to 3.7 million tonnes.SoybeansSoybean stocks increased 38.7 per cent to 2.6 million tonnes as of March 31, likely the result of record production of 7.7 million tonnes in 2017. On-farm stocks were up 58.1 per cent to 1.5 million tonnes. Manitoba was the main driver, as on-farm stocks in the province increased by 150 per cent to 700,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, commercial stocks increased by 18.3 per cent to 1.1 million tonnes.Barley and oatsTotal barley stocks decreased 25.5 per cent to 3.4 million tonnes as of March 31, after a 10.7 per cent production decline in 2017. Farm stocks decreased 28.3 per cent compared with the same day a year earlier to three million tonnes. However, commercial stock levels increased 12 per cent to 355,000 tonnes.Total oat stocks increased 19.8 per cent to 2.1 million tonnes compared with March 31, 2017. Both on-farm stocks (+21.8 per cent) and commercial stocks (+4.9 per cent) contributed to the overall increase. These stock levels follow a 15.3 per cent rise in oat production in 2017 over 2016.Dry peas and lentilsTotal stocks for lentils increased 34.8 per cent from March 31, 2017, to 1.5 million tonnes, mainly driven by on-farm stock levels that rose 41.1 per cent to 1.4 million tonnes. Meanwhile, stocks of dry peas rose 12.7 per cent to 1.9 million tonnes. These increases continue a pattern seen for the commodities in the last stock report taken on December 31, 2017. The current stock increases as of March 31, 2018, could be attributable to a rise in import tariffs introduced by India. Exports of both dry peas and lentils on March 31, 2018, are down substantially from the same date last year, with dry pea exports declining 40.7 per cent to 1.8 million tonnes, and lentil exports down 49.6 per cent to one million tonnes.
Ontario’s average farmland values gained steam in 2017, while the Canadian average increase held relatively steady, a sign of a strong and stable agriculture economy, according to J.P. Gervais, chief agricultural economist for Farm Credit Canada (FCC).
Every day farmers make difficult decisions. The farming business needs swift action, flexibility and the ability to adapt. Just think about what one big storm can do to a carefully planned growing season.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership was launched April 1, with the intent to chart the course for government investments in the sector over the next five years. The partnership aims to continue to help the sector grow trade, advance innovation while maintaining and strengthening public confidence in the food system, and increase its diversity, according to a press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Lawrence MacAulay, the federal agriculture minister, says he has no immediate solution for getting Canadian grain moving again as farmers begin planning for spring seeding. | READ MORE
Spring planting is only weeks away, and with it comes many expected as well as a few unexpected operating expenses. From crop inputs, fuel, wages and repairs, to small asset purchases, a Cash Advance from CCGA offers farmers financing below prime. Whether you grow a mix of field crops, or raise livestock, Cash Advance has options on 45 commodities.
Nuffield Canada is on the hunt for the recipients of its 2019 scholarships.
While the proposed tax amendments will affect all private corporations, several of them will significantly impact tax planning for family farm corporations – an estimated 25 per cent of Canadian farms, according to Norm Hall, a producer in Saskatchewan and first vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.
Trimble has released Advisor Prime, a web-based data-sharing solution featuring a streamlined workflow for creating and sharing management zones and variable rate prescriptions.
Canada's seed industry has received an investment of more than $760,000 through Growing Forward 2 programs to help improve and enhance the certification of seed crops, identify and assess risks and opportunities facing the industry, and expand seed trade in global markets.The Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA) will receive $499,814 under Growing Forward 2's AgriRisk program to better understand the risk and opportunities within the seed system and develop options for the future. CSGA will receive an additional $203,400 under the AgriMarketing program, Assurance Systems stream to modernize seed production standards and guidelines.The Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) will receive $65,154 under the AgriMarketing program, Market Development stream to help build Canadian seed innovation and trade and break down barriers to trade.
Trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries signed a sweeping free trade agreement Thursday to streamline trade and slash tariffs on the same day that U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to formalize new tariffs on aluminum and steel to protect U.S. producers.The ministers dropped key provisions that the Americans had required on protection of intellectual property, among others. The renegotiated pact signed in Chile’s capital was also renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP. | READ MORE
It’s 5 a.m. on a calm, sunny morning in June. Perfect time to spray? Not so fast. A temperature inversion is likely, which could result in small spray droplets remaining suspended in the air and moving off-target.
The Truck King Challenge does “real world testing” in order to determine which truck will come out on top. The judges, a group of automobile journalists, drive the trucks on a course with no payload, then with payload, and finally towing a trailer – all on the same route, one after the other, back to back.
The Government of Saskatchewan recently approved a new recycling program for agricultural grain bags. The program, set to launch this month, provides a responsible option for producers to return these large, heavy bags for recycling and to prevent environmental harm from open burning or improper disposal.The recycling program will be operated by Cleanfarms, a non-profit environmental stewardship organization, and regulated by The Agricultural Packaging Product Waste Stewardship Regulations, which came into effect in July 2016.With the assistance of funding from the Ministry of Agriculture, Cleanfarms will establish 20 grain bag collection sites in 2018, with more sites planned for 2019.The Ministry of Agriculture funded a grain bag recycling pilot program from 2011 to 2017, operated by Simply Agriculture Solutions. Through the program, 4,209 metric tonnes of material was shipped to recyclers – equivalent to approximately 28,000 grain bags.The new program will include an environmental handling fee of $0.25 per kilogram, which will be paid at the point of purchase effective November 1, 2018.
Canadian National Railway Co. is apologizing for failing to keep grain shipments moving reliably by rail, and says it’s taking immediate steps to clear the backlog – including mobilizing more train cars and workers.
Bayer has launched Zone Spray, a feature inside Bayer Digital Farming’s Field Manager. Zone Spray's main goal is to ultimately "help canola farmers improve their economic return by using data to optimize fungicide applications," according to a press release. The feature uses satellite imagery to assess field biomass, where it's categorized into zones. Farmers are able to review and then control where they want to apply a fungicide. By targeting higher biomass field zones, farmers can use inputs more sustainably by applying the fungicide exactly when and where it is needed.Zone Spray utilizes a simple interface and is designed to integrate with precision agriculture equipment already available in cabs.For more information, visit digitalfarming.ca.
Bill Prybylski produces thousands of bushels of grain on his farm in Willowbrook, Sask., about two hours northeast of Regina.But most of his product is still in storage or loaded onto trucks when it should have been shipped already. Prybylski is one of thousands of people in Canada's agriculture industry affected by a rail car crunch.Just 25 per cent of Prybylski's grain has been transported this season. Usually, he said, 50 per cent of his product is hauled by now. | READ MORE
Horsch has introduced two new models to its line of Joker RT high-speed discs: the RT18 and RT22.
Two hay tool innovations from John Deere Ottumwa Works have been honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) with the AE50 Award for 2018. The awards are for the BalerAssist feature on the large square balers and the Plus2 Bale Accumulator for large round balers, both introduced in late 2017. The AE50 Award highlights the year’s 50 most innovative designs in product engineering in the food and agriculture industry, as chosen by a panel of international engineering experts.The BalerAssist option on the L331 and L341 Series Large Square Balers was recognized for allowing the operator to more quickly and easily clear plugs between the baler pickup and rotor, without leaving the tractor cab. “This significantly reduces downtime and increases bale-making productivity, especially in tough crop conditions,” says Travis Roe, senior marketing representative for large square balers. “In addition, this feature makes it easier for operators to access service points inside the baler and improve overall operational control and maintenance.”Also receiving an award are the A520R and A420R Plus2 Round Bale Accumulators, which give customers the ability to carry up to two round bales behind the baler while making a third bale in the chamber. The Plus2 Accumulators are fully integrated into the design of the balers and can be used with 6-foot (1.82 m) diameter John Deere 7, 8, 9 and 0 Series Round Balers.“These accumulators allow operators to strategically place the bales where they can be removed from the field most efficiently,” says Nick Weinrich, product marketing manager for pull-type hay tools. “This dramatically reduces the damage to crop regrowth from excessive field travel, as well as fuel and labor associated with collecting individual bales scattered across the field.”ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. The awards will be presented at the ASABE Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, in February. Information on all award winners will be included in the January/February 2018 ASABE’s Resource magazine and on the ASABE website. Further information on the Society can be obtained by visiting www.asabe.org/.
If you are a part of the farming industry or run an agriculture-based business, you must already be aware of the importance of accurately ascertaining the output your day-to-day activities yield. The accuracy of the said measurement is especially important as your overall profitability is directly depending on it. It also helps you understand how much output you are able to produce with the given resources and plan for the future accordingly. In order to bring about accuracy in measurements, you must think about incorporating the right type of weighing scales into your process in order to assess your output and optimize operations.Following are the most popular farming weighing scales available:1. Grain cart scalesGrain cart scales are the ideal harvest weighing system for grain and crop produces. Being able to scale your grain farming is especially important as it is a very specialized form of farming and requires a lot of attention to detail due to the large quantities of produce. Therefore, grain carts are also designed in a manner that help grain farmers accurately weigh their produce while keeping in mind the intricate details that go into harvesting grain produce.2. Weighbridge truck scalesIf you run a larger farm or are planning to scale your operations, you can also go for weighbridge truck scales. Weighbridge truck scales are perfect for larger, high-volume applications for multiple types of crops in order to cut down on labor hours. However, these scales are not beneficial to small scale farmers as their yields are much lower.3. Yield load scannersThe yield load scanner is the ideal option for farmers who are planning on automating their harvest management process to optimize their operations. These scanners feature a 3D scanning device that converts volume data into weight using advanced software to provide accurate measurements.4. On-board weighing scalesOn-board scales are a type of weighing scale that are integrated on trucks and different types of equipment. These scales offer immediate weight readings without the requirement of an external scale unit, making it the quickest way of measuring your harvest. Since these scales are directly attached to the equipment, it can measure larger quantities of output, thereby reducing labor hours required and bringing about efficiency in operations. If you produce large quantities of crops, you must consider installing on-board weighing scales at your farm.Implementation of electronic weighing scales can enhance the overall harvest operation by bringing about accuracy while reducing the amount of manpower required by automating the harvest procedure. Carefully understand your requirements and pick a scale system that is best suited to your operations.Kevin Hill heads the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
John Deere 5R Series Tractors have received the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ (ASABE) AE50 Award for 2018. The AE50 Award recognizes innovative designs in product engineering as selected by a panel of international engineering experts.Introduced in 2017, 5R Series Tractors leverage existing technologies normally found in large tractors and feature four models ranging from 90- to 125-engine horsepower.“John Deere engineers designed tractor features to provide customers with unrivaled maneuverability, an easy-to-use transmission, increased visibility, loader integration and operator comfort,” said Nick Weinrich, product marketing manager for Deere.A 7.4-foot (2.25 m) wheelbase, paired with a 60-degree steering angle, provides a tight turning radius of 12.1 feet (3.68 m). “For customers working in confined areas such as barns, this is a big improvement because they can more easily maneuver the tractor while increasing their productivity,” said Weinrich.Customers can choose from two fully electronic transmission options, CommandQuad Manual and Command8. Weinrich said Deere made it easy for operators to toggle from B range through D range without stopping, thanks to a multi-range selection feature. Base equipment on 5R Tractors also includes AutoClutch, a feature leveraged from larger Deere row-crop tractors that completely eliminates the need for clutching. Operators can automatically re-engage the clutch by depressing the brake pedal.Deere engineers improved upward and forward visibility from the tractor to help make 5R Series Tractors an even better fit for loader applications. Engineers also integrated an interactive display into the tractor’s right hand cornerpost. Operators can use the display to customize a variety of tractor functions to fit their preferences.Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Kinze Manufacturing, an industry leader in planter and grain cart equipment, is expanding its offerings with the addition of four high-speed disc tillage models, Mach Till 201, 261, 331 and 401.Susanne Veatch, Kinze president and chief marketing officer, said the new Mach Till high-speed disc products support farmer interest in faster tillage that enables them to stay ahead of the planter and be more productive by covering more acres in less time."Farmers will now be able to obtain three types of equipment from their Kinze dealer, all with the same standard of quality," she said.The new product line is based on a Canadian design, produced by Degelman Industries, that has been licensed to Kinze to build at its manufacturing facility in Williamsburg, Iowa. Kinze will exhibit one of its first tillage models - the Mach Till 331 - at the 2018 National Farm Machinery Show Feb. 14-17 in Louisville, Kentucky."We are constantly evaluating opportunities in the market for new products that would be a good fit for Kinze," Veatch noted. "The Mach Till product line allows us to improve our already strong brand and have instant access to the growing high-speed disc segment with an already proven product."In addition to high speed (8-12 mph) and high capacity, the versatile Mach Till lineup also offers simple setup and ease of use, maintenance-free parts and the ability to perform in various soil types, from fall primary tillage and residue management to spring secondary tillage and seedbed preparation. The product is built heavy for high speed and deep working depth, but provides great flotation for lighter seedbed preparation that minimizes soil compaction. Veatch said the tillage products will be available from Kinze dealers in the United States and Canada, as well as for export to customers in Eastern Europe and Russia. Pricing information will be released this spring, with product availability beginning in fall 2018.Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
What started as a move back to the Ontario family farm for Norm Lamothe turned into a big move forward in crop scouting technology for Canadian farmers.Lamothe left a 10-year career in the aviation industry to return to be the sixth generation on the family farm near Peterborough. At the encouragement of a neighbouring farmer, Lamothe bought his first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone in 2015. He had a small group of area farmers already signed up to have a block of acres viewed by the new technology and help share the investment risk."We quickly identified the opportunity for farmers to save money and increase their crop yields by mapping their fields to identify areas of stress," says Lamothe.Word spread and Lamothe was soon looking to expand across Ontario when a chance meeting with David MacMillan took his fledgling UAV imagery business to much higher heights. MacMillan was with a mining company called Deveron, looking to expand into the drone business.The two created Deveron UAS, a new Ontario-based company dedicated to UAV imagery in the agriculture sector across North America. With 15 pilots and their UAVs, the company is providing aerial crop scouting to farmers from Alberta to the Maritimes, and some parts of the U.S.For the first time, growers can make in-season decisions about their crop by using UAV imaging."We can scout 100 acres in 20 minutes, providing more accurate information than just walking the rows because we see the entire field," says Lamothe. "We measure plant stress using multispectral imaging and are able to see things we just can't see with the naked eye."Information from the UAV images arms on-the-ground agronomists and scouts to zero in on areas of higher plant stress to make recommendations and adjustments on fertility, pest and decision pressure, or even water usage.The technology lends itself to variable rate fertilizer application, and that's where Lamothe says customers are seeing the biggest return on investment in corn and wheat."We fly a field, take an image and a prescription is written based on the images captured," he says.The grower then applies nitrogen to fit just what's required for various areas of the field. In high value vegetable crops, the return on investment is similar for fertility, as well as detecting pest and disease infestations."The technology is proving its worth through increased yield and decreased input costs - because inputs are matched and used optimally to match the stresses in the field," says Lamothe.Deveron has recently partnered with The Climate Corp to provide growers with a new option for how and where they store on-farm data generated by UAV imagery."Efficiency is going to be a necessity on farms as they get larger and personnel is more difficult to find and retain," says Lamothe. "UAV technology has a big role to play, providing insights to make decisions that will help us grow more food on less acres."Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Canada has always been an agricultural powerhouse, but these days it’s not just about selling prairie wheat, P.E.I. potatoes and maple syrup to the world. Now we’re also building bio-cars from ag-based fibres, composites and foams. We’re creating naturally derived pharmaceuticals and functional foods that help fight disease. We’re cutting carbon emissions by finding valuable uses for agricultural wastes, and we’re boosting agricultural productivity in all kinds of ways.
Biofuelnet Canada (BFN) has launched a call for expressions of interest (EOI) for our proposal to the Agri-Science Cluster program of Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada (AAFC) later this fall.Through mutual agreement, your EOI may also be used in future BFN proposals to other funding programs, including those run by the Networks of Centres of Excellence.The purpose of this new Agri-Science cluster is to engage Canada’s agricultural operators, industry, universities, government and other R&D organizations to sustainably increase food and biomass production, in the context of a changing climate.This call for EOI is focussed on advancing the emerging technologies that will help agricultural producers across Canada sustainably meet the needs of Canada’s and the world’s growing population, and provide the biomass (crop residues, purpose-grown on marginal lands, animal residues) needed by the bioenergy and bioproducts industries.The new cluster will bring together Canada’s considerable entrepreneurial and technological strengths to: Extend agricultural production to northern latitudes, by using advanced greenhouse technologies such as biomass combined heat and power (CHP) to extend the growing season, CO2 enrichment and biologicals to accelerate growth and improve stress resistance in plants being grown locally as biomass for the greenhouse operation. Increase agricultural production and reduce input costs by developing biologicals for Canadian applications on a range of important economic crops and biomass for bioenergy. The choice of biologicals must pass all government health and environmental assessment requirements. Increase agricultural production and reduce input costs by accelerating the uptake of advanced information technologies, including novel instrumentation, remote sensing, automation, precision farming, use of “big data”, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things etc., to increase the profitability of food and biomass production for the agricultural sector. Develop evidence-based agri-economic models, tools and policies to enable the agricultural sector to benefit from the emerging carbon markets. This call is open to companies incorporated in Canada at the federal or provincial levels, R&D organizations, universities, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals. Applicants are also encouraged to include self-funded participants such as municipalities, government research labs and international partners.The Agri-Science Cluster program requires that the cluster be industry-led and that industry provide 25 per cent co-funding.The deadline for the EOI is Sept. 15, 2017. Learn more here.
US researchers have maintained that miscanthus, long speculated to be the top biofuel producer, yields more than twice as much as switchgrass in the US using an open-source bioenergy crop database gaining traction in plant science, climate change, and ecology research. "To understand yield trends and variation across the country for our major food crops, extensive databases are available — notably those provided by the USDA Statistical Service," said lead author Stephen Long, Gutgsell professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He added: "But there was nowhere to go if you wanted to know about biomass crops, particularly those that have no food value such as miscanthus, switchgrass, willow trees, etc." To fill this gap, researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology created BETYdb, an open-source repository for physiological and yield data that facilitates bioenergy research. The goal of this database is not only to store the data but to make the data widely available and usable. | READ MORE.
According to research by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, extraction with deep eutectic solvents (DESs) offer an efficient, sustainable and easy method for dissolving proteins from agrobiomass by-products. DESs are mixtures of solids that form a liquid solution at low temperatures when mixed in suitable ratios. The method has been tested on separating protein from BSG, rapeseed press cake and wheat bran, all of which contain significant amounts of protein. These food industry by-products contain significant amounts of fibre, which decreases their suitability as feed for production animals that are not ruminants. Brewer's spent grain responded best to protein separation with DES: almost 80 per cent of the protein in BSG could be separated, while conventional extraction methods can achieve no more than 40 per cent. The separation of other substances, such as carbohydrates, can be optimised through the choice of DES. This new protein enrichment method can particularly benefit breweries and animal feed producers, but there are hopes that after further research, this method could also find applications in the food industry. | READ MORE.
As OMAFRA’s industrial crop specialist based at the Simcoe Research Station, Jim Todd works with non-food crops that have a variety of industrial uses – including energy production, or as a source of specialty oils, chemicals or medicinal compounds. Although predominantly used as an energy source, petroleum also serves as an industrial feedstock for the manufacture of many products used in daily life. For various reasons, countries around the world are searching for renewable replacements for petroleum. One promising alternative comes from the seed oils of plants. There are hundreds of different types of plant seed oils, many of which contain fatty acids that are structurally similar to those obtained from petroleum and so could be used in the manufacture of sustainable, environmentally friendly designer oils with specific end uses. Researchers from OMAFRA and the University of Guelph are currently investigating the potential of growing two unique plants, Euphorbia lagascae from the Mediterranean and Centrapalus pauciflorus from Africa, as sources of vernolic acid, a naturally occurring epoxidized fatty acid that can directly substitute for the synthetic vernolic acid made from petroleum, soy or linseed oil. Epoxidized fatty acids are useful as raw materials for a wide variety of industrial processes including the synthesis of chemicals and lubricants. Vernolic acid is most commonly used as a plasticizer in the manufacture of plastic polymers such as polyvinyl chloride or PVC. The main goal of the three-year study is to test the suitability of Euphorbia and Centrapalus for commercial cultivation under Ontario’s climatic conditions. Trials to identify suitable varieties and provide information on the agronomic requirements for successful cultivation are ongoing. Other factors being evaluated include seeding practices, fertility and water requirements, harvesting methods, and weed/pest control. Oil has been extracted and analyzed to determine the range of total oil yield and vernolic acid content. Overall, both plants have performed well, but researchers have identified a few key areas that need further research. Field germination rates remain low, indicating a need for breeding to improve this trait and efficient harvest of Centrapalus will require the development of specialized harvest and seed cleaning equipment.
As foreign competition and falling U.S. demand are hurting American tobacco farmers, a Virginia company is preparing the crop’s second act as a biofuel. Tyton BioEnergy Systems of Danville is testing its technique for extracting the plant’s fermentable sugars on a small scale and plans to start industrial production in 2017, Peter Majeranowski, the company’s co-founder and president, said during a recent investor webinar. Tobacco has a lot to recommend it as a biofuel source. Most industrial crops are high in either sugar or oil. Tobacco has both, and Tyton’s plant breeders have doubled or tripled the content of both in the company’s specialized lines, Majeranowski says. Tobacco is relatively low in lignin, the compound that gives plants their rigidity. “It’s kind of a soft plant and requires a less aggressive or more mild process to break it down,” Majeranowski says. Easier breakdown leads to lower processing costs, he says. | READ MORE.
The Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative (CSPC) and its partners have almost finished putting all the pieces in place for a southern Ontario value chain to turn crop residues into sugars. Those pieces include a feasibility study, a technical-economic assessment and a collaboratively developed business plan. Some important steps still have to be completed, but they are aiming for processing to start in 2018.
Jan. 20, 2017 - The Vancouver Declaration resulting from the First Ministers' Meeting in March 2016 saw the beginning of a co-ordinated national approach to carbon risk mitigation. Buoyed by support from high-profile business groups (including key oil and gas sector leaders), the First Ministers' Meeting on Dec. 9, 2016 in Ottawa saw the adoption of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which included several significant announcements regarding federal investment in green infrastructure, public transit, and clean technology and innovation. Canada's industrial powerhouse, Ontario, is ahead of the pack when it comes to low-carbon electricity policy, and has been for quite some time. Ten years after the launch of the province's early procurement programs for wind, solar, hydro and other forms of renewable energy, the province enjoys a vibrant renewable energy sector with leading-edge manufacturing capabilities, a coal-free electricity system, and a project development and finance sector that is active around the globe. Across the U.S. border, things have changed somewhat recently, at least, at the federal level. | READ MORE.
Today many biofuel refineries operate for only seven months each year, turning freshly harvested crops into ethanol and biodiesel. When supplies run out, biorefineries shut down for the other five months. However, according to recent research, dual-purpose biofuel crops could produce both ethanol and biodiesel for nine months of the year – increasing profits by as much as 30 per cent. “Currently, sugarcane and sweet sorghum produce sugar that may be converted to ethanol,” said co-lead author Stephen Long, Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois. “Our goal is to alter the plants' metabolism so that it converts this sugar in the stem to oil – raising the levels in current cultivars from 0.05 per cent oil, not enough to convert to biodiesel, to the theoretical maximum of 20 per cent oil. With 20 per cent oil, the plant's sugar stores used for ethanol production would be replaced with more valuable and energy dense oil used to produce biodiesel or jet fuel.” A paper published in Industrial Biotechnology simulated the profitability of Plants Engineered to Replace Oil in Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum (PETROSS) with 0 per cent, 5 per cent, 10 per cent, and 20 per cent oil. They found that growing sorghum in addition to sugarcane could keep biorefineries running for an additional two months, increasing production and revenue by 20-30 per cent. | READ MORE
Dec. 9, 2016 - The federal and provincial governments have teamed up to help implement a bioeconomy strategy for Northern Ontario. The two senior levels of government are providing a total of $216,792 to help put a plan into action aimed at creating new renewable energy opportunities throughout the North. Developed in 2015 by the Biomass North Development Centre, in partnership with the Union of Ontario Indians, the strategy will look to reduce policy and regulatory barriers for the industry, develop a skills and training road map for future workers and better inform the public and potential partners about biomass applications and concepts. “This is an opportunity of partnerships and benefits for all of the North,” said Dawn Lambe, the biomass development centre's executive director. | READ MORE.
Dec. 1, 2016 - An Italian company is interested in turning biomass into a new southern Alberta industry. And the Alberta government is providing the data to show what would work. Representatives from Alberta Economic Development and Trade, along with a spokesperson for Beta Renewables from Tortona, Italy, outlined the potential to Lethbridge County Council on Monday. Earlier this year, the county was one of five Alberta jurisdictions to sign onto a formal biomass mapping project across the province. The study found 12 million tonnes of biomass available annually in the form of straw and other byproducts of the region’s grain and speciality crop production – plus 633,000 tonnes of waste from livestock production. “This is good news,” Reeve Lorne Hickey said, as council members asked for more details. For Lethbridge-area farms growing flax, one councillor pointed out, it could provide a way to get rid of flax straw – too strong to be used like other straw. | READ MORE.
The president of a new farm co-op says it's working to sign up 200 to 300 members to supply corn stalks and leaves, also known as stover, as well as wheat stalks, to a proposed new plant in Sarnia, Ont., that will turn the biomass into sugar. The Sarnia Observer reports. | READ MORE
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