Putting the moisture where it counts

Putting the moisture where it counts

Subsurface drip irrigation delivers water directly to root systems.

Weather impacts on canola quality

Weather impacts on canola quality

Along with good agronomic practices, weather and growing conditions impact harvest seed yield

Integrated weed management for wild oat

Integrated weed management for wild oat

Neil Harker, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Lacombe, Alta.

Seed treatment guide 2018

Seed treatment guide 2018

Choose which seed treatment is right for you with this easy-to-read guide.

Manitoba Agriculture’s clubroot distribution map shows an increase in clubroot symptoms observed in central Manitoba.
Strip till offers several benefits to soybean growers on heavy residue stubble. A key benefit on sandy loam soils is leaving residue on the soil surface to protect against soil erosion by the wind – an occurrence in recent years after snow melts on tilled soils.
Soybean production is intensifying across Western Canada, and for producers, managing herbicide-resistant volunteer canola populations can be challenging. Volunteer canola is one of the top abundant weed species in Western Canada and can be very competitive in all soybean crops.
In Ontario there are a few pests to be concerned about before crops are harvested. OMAFRA's field crop team breaks down how to look for and treat Western bean cutworm, bean leaf beetle, stink and tarnished plant bugs in their latest crop report. 
All the Prairie provinces, especially southern regions, are experiencing moderate drought conditions, according to Canada’s Drought Monitor.
Dry conditions and insufficient rainfall in Ontario has resulted in a stressful season. OMAFRA breaks down how growers can create the conditions for crop contentment in their latest crop report. 
Add just enough fertilizer, and crops thrive. Add too much, and you may end up with contaminated surface and groundwater.
Recent rains result in increased risk for root rot, as well as black point or smudge in harvested wheat. Winter wheat yield reports are below average, but yield and quality are better than expected considering the heat and moisture stress endured throughout the season in Ontario, according to OMAFRA's latest crop report. 
The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) released a new web-based application to help producers with combine adjustments during harvest, maximize yield and edge growers closer to an average yield of 52 bu/ac by 2025.
Prairie cereal growers in warm, humid zones will be on the lookout for Fusarium outbreaks in the flowering stage. 
The wheat harvest survey shows good quality and progress for all classes of wheat across Ontario.
The latest crop report covers post-harvest weed management and pest control for corn, soybeans and edible beans.
Health Canada has announced its plan to phase out most uses of the neonicotinoids clothianidin and thiamethoxam, citing that the two insecticides are being measured at levels harmful to aquatic insects.
A Brazilian judge has suspended the use of products containing the agrochemical glyphosate, a widely employed herbicide for soy and other crops in the country, according to legal filings.
Fortenza insecticide is now registered as a soybean seed treatment for control of below-ground pests such as European chafer, June beetle, wireworm and seed corn maggot, according to a release by Syngenta Canada. 
Presented by Franck Dayan, professor, department of bioagricultural sciences and pest management, Colorado State University, at the Herbicide Resistance Summit, Saskatoon, Feb 27-28, 2018.Group 14 herbicides are part of a group of chemistries that require light to be effective as an herbicide. In Canada, one of these compounds is called Heat (saflufenacil), and is a protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO-inhibiting) herbicide. There are other light-dependent herbicides, as well. Photosystem II (PS II) is a chemistry that interferes with photosynthesis and disrupts plant growth. An example would be AAtrex (atrazine) (Group 5). There’s also inhibitors of PS I, another part of photosynthesis, including compounds like Gramoxone (paraquat) (Group 22). These two chemistries are related and affect the transfer of electrons within photosynthesis. Plants also need chlorophyll and carotenoids for photosynthesis to occur, and there are compounds that are inhibitors of PDS like Solicam (norfluzaron) (Group 12). Another compound inhibits one of the precursors to the carotenoid pathway such as Command (clomazone) (Group 13). Some of the new chemistries, the HPPD inhibitors like Callisto (mesotrione) (Group 27), are also part of this class of chemistries. All of these are called light-dependent herbicides because they affect one aspect or another of photosynthesis, either through the transfer of electrons or the synthesis of the pigments, and require light to be active. I’ll be talking about PPO inhibitors, an enzyme that is involved in porphyrin and chlorophyll synthesis. Why do we care about these compounds? When they work they work really, really well. PPO-inhibiting herbicides were first commercialized in the 1960s and their market share in the U.S. reached about 10 per cent in the late 1990s. A lot of herbicides have been synthesized that target this enzyme or pathway. About 100,000 compounds may have been synthesized that can inhibit this enzyme. Of course not all of them make it to be an herbicide. These PPO-inhibiting herbicides were initially used mostly as post-emergent, broad-spectrum weed control in soybean fields. That’s how they were primarily used for the longest time. Some like carfentrazone (Aim in Canada) were developed for cereal crops. Some were so active that they were used as non-selective herbicides. Mode of actionWhen the herbicide is applied, it lands on the leaf surface and then goes through the top layer, called the cuticle. It goes through the epidermis, and then has to get to the target site. There it inhibits an enzyme that produces a compound called Proto IX. Proto IX is supposed to be in the chloroplast, but when you apply the herbicide, Proto IX accumulates outside of the chloroplast. When the sun comes out, Proto IX reacts with sunlight, what’s called reactive oxygen degradation, and basically destroys the cell structure of the plant. Within a few hours the plant dries up. It becomes paper-thin and completely dehydrates. Injuries like leaf cupping, crinkling, and bronzing appear on some plants, and then typically necrosis and completely dead tissue within a few hours. It’s a pretty fast-acting herbicide, and it works really well under the right circumstances.Some plants are very sensitive because they can’t metabolize the herbicide. Some plants are very tolerant because they metabolize the herbicide very quickly. Since some plants can metabolize it very quickly, a plant can become resistant by developing the ability to metabolize this chemistry, which would be non-target site resistance. Most PPO inhibitors degrade very quickly in the environment. Most compounds have a very short half-life and have very poor pre-emergence activity. However, a compound like sulfentrazone (Authority; Authority Charge) can have a very long half-life, 280 days. In the south US that may actually affect rotation of your crops because of the long residual activity of some of that chemistry. [Ed. Note: In Canada, carfentrazone has a short half-life and when used as a pre-seed treatment, there are no cropping restrictions. Sulfentrazone’s longer half-life means it can be used as a pre-seed surface application that provides residual weed control, but also means there are re-cropping restrictions.]The PPO inhibitors are very rapidly metabolized and don’t stick around in water. They’re considered to be a pretty safe chemistry.A resurgence in use There used to be a lot of use of the PPO chemistries in the 1990s. In 1996, the first Roundup Ready crops were introduced and their use dramatically decreased. Where PPOs were used extensively for weed control in soybean, it was replaced by glyphosate. But the use has picked up again because of glyphosate resistant weeds. It is a great tool to manage glyphosate resistant weeds in the south and the Midwest as well. In Canada it might be a good tool in the future as you see more and more glyphosate resistant weeds. Chart: Use of PPO inhibitors Some plants have become resistant to PPO chemistry. For most of them we don’t know the mechanism. But for waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, and ragweed, we know there have been mutations on the target site gene. That’s similar to what happens with ALS inhibitors and ACCase inhibitors. That’s what happens with some glyphosate resistance in some cases. At the target site, there are two genes that make two proteins. One goes to the chloroplast; one goes to the mitochondria. When the plant became resistant, many scientists sequenced the gene for the protein that goes to the chloroplast because that’s where the herbicide works by preventing chlorophyll synthesis. However, no mutation was found at that location. Dr. Tranel at the University of Illinois sequenced the other gene that goes to the mitochondria. He found that there was a mutation where a whole amino acid was removed, and that was kind of unusual. But there was also something added to the gene, and that was the first time this was reported to happen in plants. This was very unusual. The herbicide is supposed to inhibit the chloroplast enzyme, but that little bit of DNA that was added to the sequence made the mitochondrial gene also go the chloroplast. So now you have a plant cell where a resistant trait is in both locations – the mitochondria and the chloroplast. That’s important because these resistant plants now have the capacity to do the deletion and develop resistance, and have the capacity to move it to both locations. This has proven to be true in Palmer amaranth, water hemp, and ragweed. There’s no other herbicide so far that we know where plants have become resistant by this mechanism.We looked at many genetic sequences to look for all the potential plants that have the same gene structure that could have a deletion. One of the plants is kochia. Kochia is a big weed in Colorado and in Canada. We now know that kochia is already predisposed to that mutation. If we keep using PPO chemistry the way we’ve been doing it and try to control kochia, most likely kochia will become resistant to that chemistry in exactly the same way that Palmer amaranth has become resistant. If you know a weed is predisposed to the mutation, then you should be scouting for weed escapes when you use that herbicide.Now because you have resistance doesn’t mean you have resistance. What? Some interesting research was conducted by Peter Sikkema in Canada where fleabane escaped control by PPO chemistry. He demonstrated in the greenhouse that those seeds he collected in the field were resistant. What’s interesting is he went back the next year to the same field, applied the same herbicide and had 100 per cent control. An escape does not mean that your field is infested with the resistant weeds. In this case, it could be that the resistant weeds did not over-winter very well. So be on the lookout, but don’t freak out. If you have an escape it could be just something that’s a freak accident. But always be on the lookout for those escapes because we know that it can happen. Management strategiesI’m not very familiar with the Canadian system, so suggested management strategies come from Arkansas where they deal with PPO resistance all the time in soybean. These may not necessarily be applicable to Canada. Use two active ingredients at planting, typically metribuzin (Group 5) and a Group 15 such as acetolachlor. Both are needed for successful residual activity. Then 21 days later use a post-application of glufosinate (Group 10), dicamba or 2,4-D (Group 4s) tank mixed with Dual (s-metolachlor; Group 15) for additional residual activity. In Arkansas, glyphosate is not useful because most major weeds including PPO resistant biotypes are already resistant to glyphosate. ALS herbicides are not useful in Arkansas either, as about 50 per cent of weeds have resistance to this group.For more stories on this topic, check out Top Crop Manager's Focus On: Herbicide Resistance, the first in our digital edition series.
Weed resistance to herbicides is not a new issue. Canada has reported resistance issues in weeds to at least six different herbicide groups. As an increasing number of weeds no longer respond to herbicide, it is important to know more about the issue and how to detect it. 
The big story in 2017 was that canola surpassed wheat as the number one crop, and the most common rotation in Western Canada is canola-wheat, which certainly has implications for resistance management.
The first resistant population identified in Europe was a pigweed resistant to atrazine in Austria in 1973. Later on through the 1980s and 1990s, many weed species developed resistant to PSII inhibitors (Group 5), mostly to atrazine. More recently, there has been a dramatic increase in resistance to ACCase (Group 1) and ALS (Group 2) inhibitors in grasses since 1990. 
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.
Saudi Arabia’s main state wheat buying agency has told grains exporters it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley in its international tenders, European traders said on Tuesday, as a diplomatic dispute between the two countries escalates.
The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) issued a statement urging the federal government to be more active in helping farmers maintain their businesses and minimize the effects of ongoing trade disputes with the United States. 
Changes to the Official Grain Grading Guide and variety designation lists will be coming into effect on August 1, 2018 for western wheat classes. 
July 20, 2018 - Japan resumes purchases of Canadian wheat after testing showed no evidence of genetically modification in imported wheat. 
South Korea has resumed imports of Canadian wheat after testing and finding no evidence of genetically modified wheat in commercial shipments.
Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering support for customers growing fruit and vegetables or operating wineries facing financial hardship as a result of recent widespread frost throughout all three Maritime provinces.
Alberta products stood out at the world's largest annual food trade show. Gulfood attracts about 100,000 visitors from all over the world and took place February 18 to 22, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Alberta’s delegation was comprised of a range of companies offering commodities like pulses, cereals and grains, to value-added products including honey, halal beef and lamb. | READ MORE
WASHINGTON - The leaders of the U.S. National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) in a joint statement today urged Canadian and U.S. officials to preserve the strong, longstanding trade relationship between the two countries.
The average price of farmland in Canada has more than doubled in the last 10 years, leading to concerns about the future of agriculture in this country as a large group of farmers retires over the next decade. | READ MORE
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).
Agricultural equipment dealers are working with Saskatchewan high schools to find a new generation of employees. | 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!
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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