Corporate News
With a shared passion for the future of Ontario’s agriculture industry, AgScape and 4-H Ontario will co-host Your Future in Agriculture to launch a new leadership certificate course and career competition for Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students in Ontario.

The October 26, 2017 event at the Mount Forest Sports Complex marks a new partnership between the two organizations to collaborate and share resources and networks to deliver engaging, fact-based information about the agri-food industry to Ontario students.

“There is a natural synergy between 4-H and what we are working towards every day to ensure future consumers are informed and aware of all the opportunities in the agri-food industry,” says AgScape Executive Director Colleen Smith. “Our organizations have been working together for many months to uncover new opportunities to bring ag literacy to more students across the province, and Your Future in Agriculture is the start of a great partnership.”

Your Future in Agriculture is the official launch of 4-H Ontario’s new SHSM Leadership Certificate curriculum specifically designed for SHSM students. AgScape is collaborating to deliver another SHSM component bringing real world, experiential opportunities to explore a variety of agri-food careers. SHSM students from a number of school boards have been invited to participate in the event, with the day split between getting a sample of the 4-H leadership certificate course curriculum and AgScape’s career competition.

Your Future in Agriculture is designed to meet two of the five elements of the SHSM program: sector-recognized certification and experiential learning. Both activities will feature hands-on opportunities to explore aspects of leadership and agriculture industry careers.

“This event is a new way for youth to learn and practice leadership skills in a fun environment”, says 4-H Ontario Executive Director Debra Brown. “Every night, in communities across Ontario, 4-H volunteers run clubs where youth build leadership and life skills. We are pleased to be able to bring this experience to students during a school day.”
The Oscar-winning Cameron appeared Monday in Vanscoy, a village southwest of Saskatoon, to say the couple have formed Verdient Foods to handle 160,000 tonnes of organic pea protein.

He said that, once operational, the plant will become the largest organic pea protein facility in North America. 

The Camerons have entered into a four-year research contract with the non-profit Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre.

The aim is to develop value-added organic food products that will be produced by Canadian and global companies using ingredients from the Verdient plant. READ MORE
A strong and competitive agriculture sector is vital to Canada's prosperity; creating good jobs, growing the middle class, and bringing high-quality products to the tables of Canadian consumers.

Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, Kent Hehr, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, was in Calgary earlier this week to announce our Government is investing $4.4 million to help farmers stay on the cutting edge of innovation, expand markets and manage their business risk.

As part of this investment, our Government has committed $2.2 million to projects that will help support the world-class cattle industry in Alberta and across Canada.

Projects include:
  • $839,485 for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association to explore the use of remote sensing as a tool to insure forage crops.
  • $901,240 to help the Alberta Beef Producers develop satellite data to help improve forage insurance.
  • $255,000 to help the Canadian Angus Association develop tools that will improve better breeding cattle.
  • $205,500 for the National Cattle Feeders Association to develop and implement a national feedlot animal care assessment program.
  • The remaining funds, just over $2.2 million, will support a number of innovative projects that will help market development, emergency planning, competitive pricing, animal care assessments and farm software development.
  • These investments are part of our Government's plan to grow the economy in a way that works for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
"Pasture is the lifeblood of the beef cattle industry and when things go wrong, rapid response and alternatives for feeding the cow herd must be timely. Using satellite measurements on a very localized scale, predictions of pasture productivity field by field, week by week, will be a significant tool for producers' risk management on a yearly basis," said Rob McNabb, Canadian Cattlemen's Association General Manager.
It’s a good time to be entering Ontario’s agriculture and food industry because there are jobs galore.

In fact, there are currently four jobs for every graduate of the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), according to a new report.

“It’s a sector that has to grow no matter what, because people have to eat,” said OAC dean Rene Van Acker. “But it’s also a sector that has a chronic challenge in attracting people.”

Commissioned by OAC, the employment study titled Planning for Tomorrow 2.0 reveals that the agriculture and food industry is thriving but there aren’t enough qualified people to fill all the jobs.

Based on a survey of 123 Ontario employers in the sector, the report provides a snapshot of hiring trends and demands in agriculture and food. The new survey updates a report from five years earlier that found there were three jobs for every graduate of an OAC undergraduate program.

As a national and international leader in agriculture and food, U of G provides a majority of the graduates for this sector in the province, said Van Acker.

He said OAC wanted to update its survey to accurately gauge job demand and see where to focus recruitment efforts and enhance programs.

“It’s great news for students entering and coming out of the programs because of the tremendous demand for their skills and the many opportunities for them. On the other side, it remains a challenge for us at the University to help the sector find the people they need to grow.”

Not only did the report reveal an increase from three to four jobs available for every graduate, but it also found employers predicting even more jobs over the next five years.

With job availability on the rise, OAC is putting more aggressive strategies in place to meet demand. Enrollment in OAC’s programs has grown each year over the past seven years, but not fast enough, said Van Acker.

“We have work to do among potential students to let them know that this sector has great career opportunities, and that employers are looking specifically for people coming out of our programs.”

The college is pursuing new initiatives to inform students about growth prospects in the high-tech food and agriculture sector, said Van Acker.

“You don’t have to grow up on a farm to work in agriculture. There are all sorts of careers in the sector, and with many of them you can work in urban centres and live an urban lifestyle.”

Ippolito Group, one of North America’s leading produce companies based in Burlington, Ont., is exploring automated food processing approaches that require significant technical expertise, said Robert March, chief operating officer.

“We recently utilized U of G people for a project that involved incorporating cutting-edge technology into our production line, and we will be looking to U of G graduates for future projects as well,” said March. “U of G is where we will be sourcing our brainpower.”

Food processors and growers, input suppliers, financial institutions and government agencies were among those surveyed in the report funded by the OAC Dean’s Office, OAC Alumni Foundation, Farm Credit Canada and RBC Royal Bank.

In an effort to promote and grow its programs, OAC plans to strengthen liaison efforts with schools and connect with food companies to create programs geared to the industry, said Van Acker.

“We are so excited about this sector because we know it and understand it. We want to transplant that excitement into young people who are looking for opportunities because there is so much opportunity here.”

Among the survey’s specific findings:
  • 44 per cent of food employers and 56 per cent of agriculture employers project a general increase in the average number of new hires over the next five years.
  • 77 per cent of food employers and 79 per cent of agriculture employers state a preference for formal training in food and agriculture graduates.
  • 50 per cent of food employers and 57 per cent of agriculture employers state that more than half of their employees require or have post-secondary education.
  • 51 per cent of food employers and 67 per cent of agriculture employers report difficulties in finding recruits.
More details on the findings can be found on the OAC website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/oac/about/planning-tomorrow-20
SG Ceresco (Ceresco), a Canadian leader in soybean processing, is being sold to Quebec interests. The company is owned by co-founders Thierry Gripon and Mireille Raymond, and the closing of the transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions.

Purchasers Transit BD and Alain Létourneau Holdings will continue the company’s export sales activities in food grade soybeans, as well selling non-GMO soybean seeds to Canadian farmers. Thierry Gripon will remain as leader of the international soybean sales team and Mireille Raymond will be responsible for operational management until a new General Manager is in place.

"We are very pleased to have concluded this transaction with the founders of the company. Ceresco has a significant international development potential and we are very enthusiastic about further developing this Quebec jewel," says Transit BD shareholder Pierre Dagenais.

"Ceresco possesses an excellent customer base of soybean producers with whom we can build the future. We are particularly pleased to continue the work of the founders who have built this fine company over the last 30 years," adds Alain Létourneau.

Ceresco’s Thierry Gripon states: "We are convinced that the new group of shareholders will be successful in carrying out projects and the future destiny of the company. We have put in place a strong management team that will support the new owners. We are particularly proud to have built this beautiful company with our employees, soybean producers and international customers. We both pass on, Mireille and I, a wonderful project that we have successfully completed."
A Food Policy for Canada will set a long-term vision for the country's health, environmental, social, and economic goals related to food, while also identifying actions that can be taken in the short-term to improve Canada's food system.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Kim Rudd, along with the Member of Parliament for Guelph, Lloyd Longfield, participated in a regional engagement session in Guelph, Ontario, as part of the ongoing consultations regarding the development of A Food Policy for Canada.

Stakeholders, Indigenous representatives, experts, and key policy makers were invited to join this session, part of a series being held across the country. The sessions began in August in Charlottetown and Saint-Hyacinthe, continuing in September in Vancouver, Yellowknife, and today's session in Guelph, and will conclude at the end of the month in Winnipeg.

Public consultations on A Food Policy for Canada were launched on May 29, 2017, with an online survey that asked Canadians for their input on food issues related to:
  • increasing access to affordable food;
  • improving health and food safety;
  • conserving our soil, water, and air; and
  • growing more high-quality food.
Response to the survey from across the country was strong, with more than 40,000 responses received before it closed on August 31, 2017.

"As Canadians, we know that having a reliable supply of affordable, nutritious, and safe food also depends on maintaining our country's natural resources. As a government, we must support growth and access while conserving the land. That is why I am so pleased to participate in today's A Food Policy for Canada engagement session – taking part in conversations like the one we are having today ensures that we build a Food Policy that reflects what is most important to Canadians when it comes to our food," said Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources.
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. announced that the Canadian Competition Bureau ("CCB") has granted unconditional regulatory approval for the proposed merger of equals by issuing a no-action letter dated September 11, 2017.

The CCB concluded that the proposed transaction is not likely to lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition with respect to potash fertilizer, phosphate fertilizers and nitric acid.

The CCB found that global prices of potash are correlated with prices in Canada and that customers can source potash from multiple suppliers. The issuance of the no-action letter satisfies the Canadian regulatory condition of closing of the proposed merger of equals transaction.

The companies previously received unconditional clearance for the merger in both Brazil and Russia. The regulatory review and approval process continues in the U.S., China and India and the parties expect to close the transaction by the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.

Upon closing the merger transaction, the new company will be named Nutrien. As the largest global provider of crop inputs and services, Nutrien will play a critical role in "Feeding the Future" by helping growers to increase food production in a sustainable manner.

Additional information on the merger between Agrium and PotashCorp can be found at the following website http://www.worldclasscropinputsupplier.com/

Information about Agrium and PotashCorp can be found under their respective corporate profiles on SEDAR at www.sedar.comor on EDGAR at www.sec.gov, respective websites at www.agrium.com and www.potashcorp.com
In response to the Federal Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Agricultural Ministers' commitment to a comprehensive review of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs over the coming year, several agricultural organizations have formalized their structure and plans as the AgGrowth Coalition. The Coalition has committed to advocacy efforts and policy research to position industry as a trusted, authoritative partner in this critical review process.

At a recent meeting in Toronto the Coalition discussed and agreed to a strategy for the path forward in ensuring meaningful participation of industry in the BRM review. Members committed time and resources to guarantee that agriculture has a significant voice in shaping the next generation of farming policy and programs.

To that end, the AgGrowth Coalition is pleased to announce the coalition's Chair, Mark Brock and Vice Chair, Jeff Nielsen. Mark Brock is Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario and an active corn, soybean, and wheat farmer. Jeff Nielsen is President of Grain Growers of Canada and grows canola, wheat and barley in Central Alberta.

Additionally, the AgGrowth Coalition is undertaking an independent research and policy process – it is the expectation that this will be done in partnership with FPT governments.

"Modern farming is a smart global business supporting strong communities across the country with sustainable practices. It's time to modernize our agriculture programs, reflect the risks that are part of this reality and support the opportunities in front of us," says Mark Brock, Chair of AgGrowth. "This is a rare opportunity to improve agriculture policy and programs to enhance the economic, environmental, and social contributions of farming in Canada."

In cooperation with the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and the Canadian Pork Council, AgGrowth is committed to undertake research and policy development to actively support the BRM review process.

"The AgGrowth coalition has created an industry business risk management committee to conduct research and analysis, develop policy positions and ultimately present options for improvement from a farmer perspective," said vice-Chair Jeff Nielsen. "We would like to do this in partnership with government."
Farmers in Alberta are being given the tools to take charge against climate change by adopting on-farm best management practices that are scientifically proven to limit the impacts of agriculture on natural resources like air, water and soil.

Fertilizer Canada is proud to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Agricultural Research & Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) that includes integration of 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®) into the province's Environmental Farm Plan (EFP). This agreement marks a significant milestone on Fertilizer Canada's journey to create truly sustainable and climate-smart agriculture in Canada.

"We are pleased that ARECA has officially recognized 4R Nutrient Stewardship as a best practice for nutrient management on Alberta farms," said Garth Whyte, President and CEO of Fertilizer Canada. "By encouraging farmers across the province to use fertilizer effectively, Alberta is joining the front lines in the fight against climate change and ensuring their place among the world's leaders in sustainable agriculture."

"ARECA is a long-time supporter and promoter of 4R Nutrient Stewardship," said Janette McDonald, Executive Director. "There is no doubt this formalized partnership with Fertilizer Canada will aid us in expanding awareness of the program as a best practice for nutrient management planning."

4R Nutrient Stewardship is a science-based nutrient management system that is universally applicable yet locally focused. By applying the right source of fertilizer at the right rate, the right time and the right place, farmers can ensure nutrients are efficiently taken up by their crops and are not lost to air, water or soil. This increases crop productivity and reduces unwanted environmental impacts.

Managed by ARECA, the province's EFP self-assessment process encourages producers to assess and identify environmental risks on their farms and take action to improve their practices.

"While Alberta's EFPs already include a section on nutrient risks, adding information about the positive long-term benefits of 4R Nutrient Stewardship will expand awareness among the province's farmers," said Paul Watson, EFP Director at ARECA.

As growers in Alberta adopt 4R Nutrient Stewardship under the Alberta EFP, the acres they manage will be counted under Fertilizer Canada's 4R Designation program, which tracks the amount of Canadian farmland using 4R Nutrient Stewardship to boost productivity and conserve resources. Fertilizer Canada aims to capture 20 million 4R acres by 2020 – representing 25 per cent of Canadian farmland – to demonstrate to the world the commitment Canada's agriculture sector has made to adopt climate-smart and sustainable farm practices.

To learn more about 4R Nutrient Stewardship and the benefits it offers, visit www.fertilizercanada.ca

Learn more about the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan and the benefits it offers by visiting www.AlbertaEFP.com
Deere & Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Blue River Technology, which is based in Sunnyvale, California and is a leader in applying machine learning to agriculture.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with a Blue River Technology team that is highly skilled and intensely dedicated to rapidly advancing the implementation of machine learning in agriculture," said John May, President, Agricultural Solutions, and Chief Information Officer at Deere. "As a leader in precision agriculture, John Deere recognizes the importance of technology to our customers. Machine learning is an important capability for Deere's future."

As an innovation leader, Blue River Technology has successfully applied machine learning to agricultural spraying equipment and Deere is confident that similar technology can be used in the future on a wider range of products, May said.

Blue River has designed and integrated computer vision and machine learning technology that will enable growers to reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present, optimizing the use of inputs in farming – a key objective of precision agriculture.

"Blue River is advancing precision agriculture by moving farm management decisions from the field level to the plant level," said Jorge Heraud, co-founder and CEO of Blue River Technology. "We are using computer vision, robotics, and machine learning to help smart machines detect, identify, and make management decisions about every single plant in the field."

Already in 2017, Blue River Technology has been listed among Inc. Magazine's 25 Most Disruptive Companies, Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, CB Insights 100 Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies in the World, and the Top 50 Agricultural Innovations by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Deere said it will invest $305 million to fully acquire Blue River Technology. Deere plans to have the 60-person firm remain in Sunnyvale with an objective to continue its rapid growth and innovation with the same entrepreneurial spirit that has led to its success. The transaction is expected to close in September.

May said the investment in Blue River Technology is similar to Deere's acquisition of NavCom Technology in 1999 that established Deere as a leader in the use of GPS technology for agriculture and accelerated machine connectivity and optimization.
AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has unveiled IDEAL, its new top range combine harvester, in Breganze, Italy. “The IDEAL combine is the result of many years of R&D, countless engineering hours, committed teamwork, and leading industry expertise,” said Martin Richenhagen, AGCO Chairman, President and CEO.

The development of the IDEAL combine is also a significant step to continuously strengthen AGCO’s global harvesting offering and to solidify AGCO’s position as the leading full line manufacturer of agricultural solutions.

The new generation of combines is the result of a global “Voice of Customer” study. The findings showed that there is a need for an entirely new combine platform.

A global team from different AGCO sites developed the features customers had pointed out in the study. 

Close to 50 combine prototypes were built and tested in the lab, on the field and around the globe in varying environments to develop a unique combine that is able to be used for all crops and operate in all conditions, in all parts of the world.

At the heart of the IDEAL combine is an efficient processing system which outperforms on grain and straw quality, grain handling, power efficiency, and capacity in a wide variety of conditions.

The IDEAL combine features the latest patented innovations from AGCO’s Fuse Connected Services division, is fully connected, offers an automated combine adjustment system, and Real Time Crop Flow visualization.

IDEAL stands for ease of use and optimizing complex harvesting operations by providing the efficiency, visibility and the comfort farmers need on the field.

IDEAL is the first high capacity combine of its kind with such a narrow body and unique for its impressive design. IDEAL is designed for convenient road transportation.

IDEAL will be available in three of AGCO’s core brands: Challenger, Fendt and Massey Ferguson and will debut at Agritechnica in November 2017.

The new combine will be launched into different markets in 2018. IDEAL will be offered in 3 different models, 7, 8 and 9, will be available with tires or tracks, and also in ParaLevel version.
This year’s “Canada 150” celebrations, marking 150 years since Confederation on July 1, 1867, have prompted reflection about the past, present and future of our country.
The Dow Chemical Company and E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company have completed a merger of equals and is now operating as a holding company under the name “DowDuPont” with three divisions: agriculture, materials science and specialty products.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the storied histories of our two companies,” said Andrew Liveris, executive chairman of DowDuPont. “We are extremely excited to complete this transformational merger and move forward to create three intended industry-leading, independent, publicly traded companies. While our collective heritage and strength are impressive, the true value of this merger lies in the intended creation of three industry powerhouses that will define their markets and drive growth for the benefit of all stakeholders. Our teams have been working for more than a year on integration planning, and – as of today – we will hit the ground running on executing those plans with an intention to complete the separations as quickly as possible.”

Unlocking value for all stakeholders
By merging the highly complementary portfolios of Dow and DuPont and subsequently creating intended industry leaders, DowDuPont expects to maximize value for all its stakeholders.

Shareholders are expected to benefit from the stronger, focused investment profile of each intended company and substantial cost synergies, as well as from long-term growth and sustainable value creation following the intended separations into three independent companies. The transaction is expected to result in run-rate cost synergies of approximately $3 billion and the potential for approximately $1 billion in growth synergies. The company expects to reach 100 per cent run rate on the cost synergies within the first 24 months of merger closing.

Customers will benefit from superior solutions and expanded product offerings. By combining the complementary strengths of Dow and DuPont, each intended company will be able to respond faster and more effectively to rapidly changing conditions with innovative products and greater choice.

Paths to separation
DowDuPont intends to separate the divisions to stand within their own legal entities, subject to board approval and any regulatory approvals. The intended separations are expected to occur within 18 months.

The intended companies are expected to include a leading agriculture company that brings together the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences to better serve growers around the world with a superior portfolio of solutions, greater choice and competitive price for value. The combined capabilities and highly productive innovation engine will enable the intended agriculture company to bring a broader suite of products to the market faster, so it can be an even better partner to growers, delivering innovation and helping them to increase their productivity and profitability. The intended agriculture company will be headquartered in Wilmington, Del., with global business centers in Johnston, Iowa, and Indianapolis, Ind.

A leading materials science company, to be named Dow, and a leading specialty products company are also expected to emerge within the next 18 months.
Relatively warm and dry weather has allowed producers to continue making good time with harvest, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report. Twenty-six per cent of the crop is now in the bin, well ahead of the five year (2012-2016) average for this time of year of 16 per cent combined. Twenty-four per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Harvest is most advanced in the southwestern region, where 49 per cent of the crop is now combined. The southeastern region has 37 per cent combined, the west-central region 23 per cent and the east-central region 14 per cent. The northeastern region has four per cent combined, while the northwestern region has five per cent of the crop in the bin.

Ninety-eight per cent of fall rye and winter wheat, 76 per cent of lentils, 74 per cent of field peas, 42 per cent of mustard, 32 per cent of durum, 26 per cent of barley, 21 per cent of triticale, 14 per cent of spring wheat and 10 per cent of canola have now been combined. Eighteen per cent of soybeans, seven per cent of oats and chickpeas, two per cent of canary seed and one per cent of flax have been combined. Thirty-nine per cent of canola and 25 per cent of spring wheat and mustard are swathed or ready to straight-cut.

The majority of the province received little to no rainfall this past week; the highest rainfall for the week (10 mm) was reported in the Rama area. The Pierceland area still holds record for the most rainfall in the province since April 1st at 543 mm.
Richardson Pioneer Limited has announced the acquisition of two new crop inputs facilities in northeastern Alberta.

Richardson Pioneer is acquiring Webb’s Crop Services Ltd. in Vermilion, AB and Agro Guys Inc. near Forestburg, AB. Both businesses are independent, full-service retail crop inputs centres that provide local customers with seed, fertilizer and crop protection products. The acquisitions will close on August 31 and employees will join the Richardson Pioneer team on September 1.

While these two new locations will provide customers with crop inputs products and services in their local area, producers will also have access to grain handling and merchandising support through Richardson Pioneer’s Ag Business Centres in Lamont, Lavoy and Legacy Junction in Alberta and Marshall in Saskatchewan.

These Alberta locations are the latest additions to Richardson Pioneer’s growing network of retail crop inputs centres across the Prairies. Richardson acquired Crop First Agro in Grenfell, SK in January and it is also expanding its network through new builds. Richardson Pioneer recently opened a brand new crop inputs location in Elrose, SK and construction will be completed on a facility in Pasqua, SK later this fall. Next spring, Richardson Pioneer will open another new crop inputs centre near Wakaw, SK.
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