Crop Chemicals
Richardson International Limited is adding another crop inputs location to its growing network of retail crop inputs centres across the Prairies. The company recently announced the acquisition of Bestland Air Ltd., an independent crop inputs retailer located near Starbuck, Man. The transaction closed on Dec. 8, 2017.

“This business is an excellent addition to our Richardson Pioneer network as it will be an extension of our full-service Richardson Pioneer Ag Business Centre in Starbuck,” says Tom Hamilton, vice-president, Agribusiness Operations. “It will provide us with additional capacity and enhance our ability to continue providing local producers with leading seed, fertilizer and crop inputs technologies.”

Richardson is focused on building its crop inputs network across Western Canada through both acquisitions and new builds. The company acquired 10 retail crop inputs locations from CHS Canada in October and purchased two independent, full-service retail crop inputs centres in Vermilion and Forestburg, Alta., last summer.

Richardson is also expanding its network by building new crop inputs facilities in strategic locations across the Prairies. Two new crop inputs centres opened in Elrose, Sask., last summer and in Pasqua, Sask., in November. A third new crops inputs facility is currently under construction in Wakaw, Sask., and will be open for business in 2018.
Published in Corporate News
Top Crop Manager is pleased to present the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit, and we’re giving away 40 free passes during the month of December!

Enter our Summit Sweepstakes for a chance to win a free pass to the Herbicide Resistance Summit, to be held Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask. Your ticket gets you access to the entire conference, including lunch, all networking breaks and happy hour on the 27th, plus breakfast on the 28th – a $120 value!

We’re giving away 10 passes per week, and you can enter once per day. Each week’s winners will be determined on Friday by 4 p.m. (EDT). Winners will be notified via e-mail the following Monday before 5 p.m. Be sure to enter every week by December 22, 2017 for your chance to win the grand prize of two free passes and a one-night stay at the Holiday Inn Saskatoon Downtown on Feb. 27! The grand prize winner will be announced December 28.

The Summit, which has been approved for 5 CCA-CEUs and 7.5 CCSC-CEUs, will give you the opportunity to hear directly from leading researchers on key issues faced by farmers, agronomists and crop protection researchers in meeting the challenges herbicide resistance poses to agricultural productivity in Canada. You’ll walk away armed with knowledge of specific actions to help minimize the devastating impact of herbicide resistance.

Enter now for your chance to win starting! Visit, https://www.weedsummit.ca/event/giveaway 
We hope to see you Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon!
Published in Corporate News
Argentina recently authorized the use of genetically modified soybean seeds resistant to herbicides other than glyphosate, as the European Union (EU) debates whether to extend the license of weed-killers containing the ingredient.

The EU debate comes amid concerns the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.'s popular weed-killer Roundup causes cancer. That has caused concern in the South American country, the number one exporter of soybean meal and soybean oil and number three raw soybean exporter, that its exports to the EU could be in jeopardy.

In a statement, the Agriculture Ministry said the SYN-000H2-5 seed needed different herbicides which had not raised health concerns around the world. Syngenta AG and Bayer AG had requested government approval for the seed. For the full story, click here.
Published in World Outlook
AMVAC Chemical Corporation recently announced its new broad spectrum, low use rate corn herbicide, ImpactZ, has received federal registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ImpactZ herbicide will give growers a new safe and flexible solution for control of tough broadleaf and grass weeds - including glyphosate resistant species - in corn.

ImpactZ herbicide is registered for use in field corn, seed corn, popcorn and sweetcorn, with no restrictions on soil type, tank mix partners or insecticides. ImpactZ herbicide contains both Impact and Atrazine for highly effective control of grass and broadleaf weeds in corn.

"Impact herbicide has long provided value to corn growers as an excellent tool for weed resistance management," said Jim Lappin, AMVAC crop marketing manager, corn and soybeans. "ImpactZ herbicide provides safe, effective broad spectrum control in corn."

ImpactZ herbicide provides excellent control of tough grass weeds, including barnyardgrass, crabgrass and foxtails. It also controls a broad spectrum of broadleaf weeds, including waterhemp, palmer amaranth, lambsquarters and velvetleaf.

Corn growers will have flexibility to apply ImpactZ herbicide from weed emergence until corn reaches 12-inches in height as a sequential, early post or total post emergence program.

"AMVAC recognizes the challenges that corn growers face, and we work to deliver products that offer superior performance, crop safety and flexibility," said Lappin. "ImpactZ herbicide is an excellent tool to take on key grasses and broadleaf weeds that challenge yield potential in corn"

Individual state registrations for ImpactZ herbicide are pending. For more information on ImpactZ herbicide or additional AMVAC products and crop protection technologies, visit www.amvac-chemical.com.
Published in Herbicides
Two years ago, an unusually warm, dry, long fall across much of Ontario meant that wheat grew unusually big before winter freeze-up. Strong fall growth brings with it both pros and cons. While vigorous early growth can ultimately produce high yields, it also leaves plants susceptible to lodging.
Published in Cereals
Montreal-based Inocucor Technologies Inc., one of Canada's leading agri-tech companies, has received approval for up to $7.7 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm's-length foundation of the Government of Canada that works with Canadian companies to bring early-stage clean technologies to market. The funding will support the development of Inocucor's second product, Synergro Free.

Synergro Free is a bio-fertilizer that naturally increases yields in commodity row crops such as soybean, corn and wheat. The SDTC funding will support improvements in manufacturing efficiencies as well as production scale-up and marketing of Synergro Free to large-scale farmers in Canada and the U.S. For the full story, click here
Published in Corporate News
As swede midge populations continue to rise in Quebec, canola growers are looking for better ways to manage the pest. Entomologist Geneviève Labrie is leading a two-year research project to help advance integrated management strategies for swede midge.
Published in Insect Pests
A large, prospective cohort study conducted among agricultural workers, farmers and their families in Iowa and North Carolina in the United States reports that there are no associations between glyphosate use and overall cancer risk or with total lymphohematopoietic cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma.

The long term study updated the previous evaluation of glyphosate with cancer incidence, and is part of the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a large and important project that tracks the health of agricultural workers and their families.

Led by AHS principal investigator Laura Beane Freeman, the study results state that among 54,251 applicators studied, 44,932 (82.8 percent) used glyphosate. "Glyphosate was not statistically significantly associated with cancer at any site," the study said. For the full story, click here.
Published in Seed/Chemical
Bayer has announced the launch of Prosaro® XTR, a powerful cereal fungicide that allows growers to strive for their best yield yet, while maintaining superior quality and disease control.

The latest innovation to join Bayer’s leading fungicide family, Prosaro XTR offers high protection for grain quality like Prosaro (retaining prothioconazole and tebuconazole), with an enhanced formula to help plants metabolize and remove stressors faster, delivering a healthier and higher yielding crop.

“At Bayer, we are committed to supporting growers in their efforts to safeguard the world’s food supply. Achieving maximum yield potential, without compromising on quality and disease control is a priority,” said James Humphris, Crop Manager, Cereals at Bayer. “Prosaro XTR delivers the high protection for grain quality that growers trust in Prosaro, in a new enhanced formulation that delivers increased yield.”

Recent Prosaro XTR trials in wheat demonstrated an impressive +2.0 bu./ac. yield advantage over the industry leading Prosaro and a +2.6 bu./ac. increase in barley. Ten years of field-scale cereal fungicide trials continue to show that application at head timing delivers the best results in terms of yield and quality.

“Prosaro XTR delivers exceptional foliar and head disease control,” said Humphris. “Application at head timing continues to offer growers the best of both worlds: protection of the flag leaf and of the head during the critical grain fill period, and peace of mind they are doing the most to protect the yield and quality of their crop.”

Prosaro XTR delivers the same performance, handling and stability attributes of the current Prosaro formulation. In addition to being registered on wheat, barley and oats, growers will be able to apply Prosaro XTR on rye, triticale and canary seed.

For more information regarding Prosaro XTR, growers are encouraged to talk to their local retailer or visit cropscience.bayer.ca/ProsaroXTR
Published in Corporate News
A scientist from Agriculture Canada and an engineer from the University of PEI are teaming up on a project they hope will revolutionize how farmers deal with weeds in their fields. Their idea is to mount a camera and sensors on a sprayer.

It then uses software to identify what's a plant and what's a weed and turn the sprayer on and off to target the weeds. This summer's work was the start of a five-year project, researchers are hoping to do field-scale demonstrations by year three. READ MORE
Published in Sprayers
The World Health Organization’s cancer agency dismissed and edited findings from a draft of its review of the weedkiller glyphosate that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer.

Documents seen by Reuters show how a draft of a key section of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) assessment of glyphosate - a report that has prompted international disputes and multi-million-dollar lawsuits - underwent significant changes and deletions before the report was finalised and made public. For the full story, click here
Published in Seed/Chemical
BASF has signed an agreement to acquire significant parts of Bayer’s seed and non-selective herbicide businesses. Bayer intends to divest these assets in the context of its planned acquisition of Monsanto.

The all-cash purchase price is €5.9 billion, subject to certain adjustments at closing. The assets to be acquired include Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium non-selective herbicide business, commercialized under the Liberty®, Basta® and Finale® brands, as well as its seed businesses for key row crops in select markets: canola hybrids in North America under the InVigor® brand using the LibertyLink® trait technology, oilseed rape mainly in European markets, cotton in the Americas and Europe as well as soybean in the Americas. The transaction also includes Bayer’s trait research and breeding capabilities for these crops and the LibertyLink® trait and trademark.

For the full year 2016, sales of the business to be purchased from Bayer amounted to around €1.3 billion and EBITDA to around €385 million. The transaction is subject to the closing of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto and approval by relevant authorities. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

“With this investment, we are seizing the opportunity to acquire highly attractive assets in key row crops and markets. It will be a strategic complement to BASF’s well-established and successful crop protection business as well as to our own activities in biotechnology,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. “The acquisition will further enhance our agricultural solutions offer, which is a core pillar of BASF’s portfolio.”

The acquisition complements BASF’s crop protection business, strengthening the company’s herbicide portfolio and marking its entry into the seed business with proprietary assets in key agricultural markets.

“Building on the competent new team members and the enhanced portfolio, we will offer farmers a greater choice of solutions addressing their needs for high-quality seeds, chemical and biological crop protection,” explained Saori Dubourg, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment. “Moreover, this transaction will create new opportunities for future growth and strengthen our global innovation potential.”

More than 1,800 commercial, R&D, breeding and production personnel shall transfer from Bayer to BASF. These employees are primarily located in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Canada and Belgium. Furthermore, BASF will acquire the manufacturing sites for glufosinate-ammonium production and formulation in Germany, the United States, and Canada, seed breeding facilities in the Americas and Europe as well as trait research facilities in the United States and Europe.

“We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to BASF. As highly experienced, dedicated and motivated professionals they will enrich our team with their expert knowledge in crop protection, seeds and traits. Together, we will shape the long-term success of BASF, serving the needs of farmers around the globe,” said Markus Heldt, President of BASF’s Crop Protection division.

For further information, please visit: basf.com/grow-with-us
Published in Corporate News
Nitrogen can present a dilemma for farmers and land managers.

On one hand, it is an essential nutrient for crops.

However, excess nitrogen in fertilizers can enter groundwater and pollute aquatic systems. This nitrogen, usually in the form of nitrate, can cause algal blooms. Microbes that decompose these algae can ultimately remove oxygen from water bodies, causing dead zones and fish kills.

In a new study, researchers have identified nitrate removal hotspots in landscapes around agricultural streams.

“Understanding where nitrate removal is highest can inform management of agricultural streams,” says Molly Welsh, lead author of the study. “This information can help us improve water quality more effectively.”

Welsh is a graduate student at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She studied four streams in northwestern North Carolina. The streams showed a range of degradation and restoration activity. One of the streams had been restored. Two others were next to agricultural lands. The fourth site had agricultural activity in an upstream area.

The researchers analyzed water and sediment samples from the streams. They also analyzed soil samples from buffer zones next to the streams. Buffer zones are strips of land between an agricultural field and the stream. They often include native plants. Previous research showed they are particularly effective at absorbing and removing nitrate.

Welsh’s research confirmed previous findings: Nitrate removal in buffer zones was significantly higher than in stream sediments. “If nitrate removal is the goal of stream restoration, it is vital that we conserve existing buffer zones and reconnect streams to buffer zones,” says Welsh.

Within these buffer zones, nitrate removal hotspots occurred in low-lying areas. These hotspots had fine-textured soils, abundant soil organic matter, and lots of moisture. The same was true in streams. Nitrate removal was highest in pools where water collected for long times. These pools tended to have fine sediments and high levels of organic matter. However, pools created during stream restoration by installing channel-spanning rocks did not show high levels of nitrate removal. Creating pools using woody debris from trees may be more effective than rock structures for in-stream nitrogen removal.

The researchers also tested simple statistical models to understand which factors promote nitrate removal. Bank slope and height, vegetation and soil type, and time of year explained 40% of the buffer zone’s nitrate removal. Similar to the hotspots identified in the field experiment, fine sediment textures, organic matter, and dissolved carbon content were key to removing nitrates in streams.

“Our results show that it may be possible to develop simple models to guide nitrogen management,” says Welsh. “However, more work is needed in terms of gathering and evaluating data. Then we can find the best parameters to include in these models.”

Welsh continues to study how stream restoration influences the movement of water and nitrate removal. She is also examining how steps to increase nitrate removal influence other aspects of landscape management.

Read more about Welsh’s work in Journal of Environmental Quality.

Funding was provided by the United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship.
A team of University of Guelph researchers at the cutting edge of discovering how plants communicate with one another has proven the stress of “seeing” weed competition causes a plant to significantly change growth patterns and drop yield.  
Published in Weeds
Harvest quality of milling oats is very important, and growers sometimes utilize harvest aids such as pre-harvest glyphosate. A properly timed application can help growers control perennial weeds and improve crop harvestability, while meeting maximum residue limit (MRL) requirements. However, some buyers have placed restrictions on the use of pre-harvest glyphosate on oats they purchase.


Christian Willenborg, associate professor with the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, initiated a small study in 2015 to collect some initial research data and find a way to lend science to the decision-making process.

“We were surprised at the announcement that some milling quality oats would not be accepted if treated with glyphosate, and frankly, this didn’t sit well with me. But there was no science on this and so we immediately established a one-season ‘look-see’ trial in 2015 at two locations near Saskatoon to compare different harvest systems and their effects on quality of milling oats,” he says. “We compared two different oat cultivars: CDC Dancer, a medium maturity cultivar, and AC Pinnacle, a later maturing cultivar. The oats were managed using typical agronomy practices, including a seeding rate of 300 seeds per square metre (seeds/m2) targeting 250 plants per square metre (plants/m2) and fertilized for a target yield of 150 bushels per acre.”

The second factor was a comparison of three different harvest systems, including swathing at the optimum timing of 35 per cent moisture, direct combined (at approximately nine per cent seed moisture content alone and direct combined with a pre-harvest glyphosate application. The pre-harvest glyphosate was applied according to label requirements at 30 per cent seed moisture content using the recommended label rate. The project compared various harvest quality parameters, as well as functional quality characteristics and residue testing across the different treatments.

Through funding from the Prairie Oat Growers Association and the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund, the initial 2015 trial has been expanded into a fully funded, much larger three-year project that will involve several additional experiments.

“We gained some very good insights in the initial trial, but these very preliminary results will be compared again in this larger expanded trial over the next three years. Until we get the final results at the end of 2018, these early one-season informational highlights have to be considered very preliminary,” Willenborg says.

The 2015 preliminary results showed that, as expected, cultivar had an impact on all of the quality parameters, such as yield, plump kernels, 1,000 kernel weight and test weight. However, there was no cultivar by harvest system interaction – the effects of the harvest system were consistent regardless of which cultivar was planted.

“The harvest system did have an impact on several of the quality parameters, however the preliminary results did not show any negative effects of a pre-harvest glyphosate application,” Willenborg explains. “In terms of yield, swathing resulted in a 15 to 18 per cent yield reduction compared to direct harvest, however some of that reduction may be a function of our plot harvesting equipment, and this may be different with field-scale grower systems. The direct harvested plots, with and without a pre-harvest glyphosate treatment, had virtually equal yield. Swathing produced the highest test weight, with direct harvest plus pre-harvest glyphosate equal to the swathing treatment; direct harvest with no glyphosate had a significant lower test weight.”

The swathing treatment also produced the highest percentage of thin kernels, with direct harvest and no glyphosate intermediate and the lowest percentage of thin kernels with direct harvest plus glyphosate treatment. On the other hand, the percentage of plump kernels was the same in both direct harvest treatments, but slightly lower for the swathing treatment. Overall, the pre-harvest glyphosate reduced the percentage of thin kernels in the sample, which is a benefit for growers.

“For the initial and longer term project, we partnered with Dr. Nancy Ames at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to compare the functional aspects of the oat cultivars under the different treatments,” Willenborg says. “Her preliminary functional test results were similar to the seed quality results, with no major impacts on functional quality among the treatments. For the glyphosate testing, we partnered with Dr. Sheryl Tittlemier at the Canadian Grain Commission to develop a glyphosate residue test for oat. Her initial test results from the 2015 treatments showed that the direct harvest plus pre-harvest glyphosate treatment did have very small levels of residues at four [parts per million], which is well below the MRL threshold levels in North America. We will continue to use this test for the larger project.”

The expanded three-year study will include the same harvest treatments, with some additional trials assessing seeding rate and stand uniformity. Stand uniformity is related to the question of whether or not additional tillers in the stand may be a factor with potential glyphosate issues. The three harvest treatments will also be compared at a range of different moisture contents, from 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 per cent at the time of swathing, or direct harvest alone and direct harvest plus pre-harvest glyphosate.

Willenborg will also be investigating alternative cultural and herbicide combinations for managing perennial weeds in oat. The full analysis and final project results will be available in 2019, including seed quality and functional analysis.

“So far it doesn’t appear that glyphosate is having an adverse effect on oat seed quality or functionality, and if anything is showing a small quality benefit to having glyphosate applied prior to harvest,” Willenborg says. “The key is to follow the label directions for pre-harvest application and make sure the crop is at 30 per cent moisture or lower, which corresponds roughly to the hard dough stage of development. All of our research treatments have been completed according to the label, but once you get off label in terms of timing we don’t know what will happen with glyphosate residues.

“For example, in some of our earlier work with lentil, the results were fine as long as label directions were followed, but as soon as application got off label in terms of timing and at higher moisture content, [that’s] where problems with quality and MRLs showed up. We expect that may be similar to oat, which is often harvested late in the season, when growers are between a rock and a hard place, with frost or heavy rains threatening harvest.”

Although it can be a challenge to apply glyphosate at the proper timing, there can be serious consequences due to not adhering to the label timing. Always follow the label, and check with your grain buyer about the acceptance of all pre-harvest and other product use and MRLs for all crops, including oats.
Published in Herbicides
Ontario producers planted 2.2 million acres of corn this spring, up by more than 200,000 acres over each of the past three years. The huge acreage places corn second only to soybeans in total planted area and often first in total farm value in Ontario. Though these statistics prove corn is key to Ontario’s agriculture sector, producers are not yet capturing the crop’s per acre potential. Every corn grower should brush up on their pre-harvest and harvest-time best management practices in order to get the most from their crop.
Published in Harvesting
A group of international scientists is meeting in the national capital to try to convince parliamentarians there is no longer any doubt that common agricultural pesticides are proving toxic to ordinary honey bees.

Jean-Marc Bonmatin of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, represents a task force on pesticides within the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which in 2015 released a comprehensive review of more than 1,100 peer-reviewed research studies on neonicotinoids. READ MORE
Published in Insecticides
Though often abused and neglected, mixed forage stands can respond to fertilization. Still, some growers are hesitant to apply fertilizer to meet fertility needs, perhaps because forage yields tend to decline over time or because lack of spring rainfall can limit yield responses.
Published in Other Crops
Much of our Prairie landscape has gently rolling to hummocky topography. The parent geological material on which these soils formed is often glacial till that remained after the glaciers retreated 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.
Published in Soil
Corn and soybean growers in Canada have a new tool in the fight against tough and resistant weeds. ZIDUA™ SC is a new Group 15 herbicide from BASF that contains the active ingredient pyroxasulfone.

"BASF focuses on providing Canadian growers with tools that support current and emerging resistance challenges," said Deven Esqueda, Crop Manager, Corn and Soybeans for BASF. "ZIDUA SC, backed by ten years of research, allows growers to add residual Group 15 activity to their weed management strategy and become less reliant on glyphosate."

Recently registered by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, ZIDUA SC herbicide will be available for use in the 2018 season. ZIDUA SC is currently labelled for use in herbicide-tolerant soybeans and field corn.

ZIDUA SC is a stand-alone solution and can also be tank-mixed with glyphosate, ERAGON®LQ, MARKSMAN® or ENGENIA™ in Eastern Canada, and HEAT® LQ, ENGENIA™ or ARMEZON® in Western Canada, to provide multiple modes of action for resistance management.

Resistance has been increasing across Canada in pigweed species, including waterhemp and redroot pigweed. A study by the Canadian Journal of Plant Science states glyphosate-resistant waterhemp was first identified in Ontario in 2014. In Alberta, Group 2-resistant redroot pigweed was identied by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2010.

The residual Group 15 activity in ZIDUA SC helps to inhibit early root and shoot growth in these tough to control weeds, maximizing corn and soybean yield through the critical period for weed control. ZIDUA SC also provides flushing control of barnyard grass, crabgrass, green and yellow foxtail, common waterhemp and redroot pigweed.

For more information on ZIDUA SC herbicide, contact AgSolutions® Customer Care at 1-877-371-BASF (2273), or visit agsolutions.ca. Always read and follow label directions.
Published in Herbicides
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