Future Planning
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
Published in Business & Policy
Tile drainage is more affordable and more attractive than ever in Western Canada, but it is still a major investment with many implications that should be considered before calling for tenders.
Published in Soil
From humble beginnings, soybean acreage hit 2.3 million seeded acres in Manitoba in 2017. Can those acres be sustained? The answer lies with managing glyphosate resistance.
Published in Soybeans
In high yielding cereal crops, lodging is a common cause of yield loss. Under the right conditions, plant growth regulators (PGRs) can reduce plant height and reduce lodging. Plant growth regulators are synthetic compounds that can beneficially modify plant growth and development. Research continues to help address the many questions around PGRs, including responsive cultivars, appropriate timing, optimal conditions and other factors.
Published in Cereals
The outlook for hard white wheat production in Western Canada nudged upward this past winter for the first time in approximately six years.
Published in Cereals
About a decade ago, Kyle Folk was at his parents’ grain farm helping his dad load up a semi of canola to meet a contract when the two made an unpleasant discovery.
Published in Storage
A three-year research project with the goal of streamlining dry bean breeding projects shows promising developments that could lead to significant increases in yield for dry bean crops.
Published in Plant Breeding
Know the enemy. That’s the goal of a project now underway in Ontario. In this case, the enemy is soybean disease – a continually changing foe, with new pathogen species spreading into different growing areas and new strains evolving to overcome control measures.
Published in Soybeans
Farmers can now submit their cash advance applications for the 2018-19 Advance Payments Program through the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). This year, CCGA is providing farmers with the earliest ever pre-application period as well as a reduced administration fee.

Through CCGA, farmers can access advances on 45 field crop and livestock commodities. Farmers can apply for a cash advance of up to $100,000 interest-free and an additional $300,000 at prime. Combined, that amounts to $400,000 at a blended interest rate of below prime.

Farmers wanting to apply for a cash advance are encouraged to call CCGA’s Winnipeg office at 1-866-745-2256 to apply over the telephone. They can also download an application form from CCGA’s website.

For farmers who have short-term financing needs, CCGA will continue processing applications for the 2017-18 cash advance program through March. The final date CCGA can issue an advance under the current program is March 31, 2018, and the deadline for repayment on a 2017-18 grain advance is September 30, 2018. | READ MORE
Published in Business Management
The future of Canadian agriculture is bright and the Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation (CABEF) provides financial support to encourage young people to pursue an education in agriculture. CABEF awards six $2,500 scholarships annually to Grade 12 students enrolling in an agricultural university or college in Canada.

These scholarships are funded through generous donations from the Canadian agriculture industry. In 2017, CABEF raised close to $114,000. Fundraising efforts in conjunction with Best of CAMA (Canadian Agri-Marketing Association) raised $54,270 from live and silent auctions, and the Wall of Wine raffle for 24 bottles of wine. Other donations were made in cash, auction items and donated advertising space to promote the CABEF scholarship application deadline and the announcement of the scholarship recipients.

One scholarship will be awarded in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Québec, with one additional scholarship to be awarded in the rest of or all of Canada.

Applicants will be assessed on a combination of their leadership attributes, academic standing, and essay response to the question "What do you consider to be the three main opportunities for the Canadian agriculture industry and which one inspires you the most?"

There is still time to apply as the 2018 scholarship application deadline is April 30, 2018. Application information can be found at cabef.org.
Published in Corporate News
The fababean crop has been growing in popularity in Western Canada. In Saskatchewan in particular, it is promoted as the pulse to grow in the northern and eastern areas of the province that are not ideal for lentils or chickpeas. However, while export markets are currently limited for Western Canada’s fababeans, a recent study looking at potential markets the crop reveals opportunities closer to home that producers can tap into.
Published in Pulses
Marrowfat pea is a very large-seeded, green-coloured pea with a blocky shape and a unique taste that makes it the pea of choice for certain specialty markets. Depending on the marketplace, this pea can command a premium price, but it has some challenges.
Published in Pulses
While attending Farm Tech in Edmonton this year, Darrell Bricker, CEO for IPSOS Public Affairs, spoke as the keynote to hundreds of farmers, crop scientists and industry professionals about the future of consumers – “the new Canada” – and what this means for agriculture.
Published in Consumer Issues
When small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations come together to generate bold ideas, Canadians benefit from more well-paying jobs, groundbreaking research and a world-leading innovation economy.

This is what businesses and partners from the Prairie provinces will do as part of the Protein Industries Supercluster, which was selected as part of the Government of Canada's $950-million Innovation Superclusters Initiative. This was the message delivered today by Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, on a visit to the Bio Processing Innovation Centre.

Through plant genomics that improve nutrition, novel processing technology and digital solutions from farm to fork, the Protein Industries Supercluster will help Canada increase the value of key crops in premium markets and answer the increasing demand for plant-based meat alternatives in North America.

In 2017, the Government of Canada challenged Canadian businesses of all sizes to collaborate with other innovation actors, including post-secondary and research institutions, to propose bold and ambitious strategies that would transform regional economies and develop job-creating superclusters of innovation, like Silicon Valley.

The Innovation Superclusters Initiative is a centrepiece of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to prepare Canada for the innovative jobs of today and tomorrow.
Published in Corporate News
Making more money on the same amount of land – it’s a mantra for today’s farmers, and one that’s increasingly relevant as land prices and production costs continue to rise.

A Sarnia refining company is helping local farmers expand their return per acre by providing a market for an otherwise low-value material: the corn stalks and wheat stubble left over after harvest.

With planning for a new facility well underway, Comet Biorefining is expanding its partnership with Ontario farmers who are members of the Cellulosic Sugar Producers’ Cooperative – a partnership that started in 2014 – to turn an additional 60,000 tonnes of crop residue into 30,000 tonnes of cellulosic dextrose, or industrial processing sugar, each year.

The facility will also produce 30,000 tonnes of hemicellulose and lignin or organic compounds found in plant cells that can be used in many industrial applications.

“Dextrose is used in everything from food products and animal feed to a wide range of industrial processes. Generating that dextrose from crop residues means farmers are increasing the value they get from every acre,” says Comet CEO Rich Troyer.

With support from BioIndustrial Innovation Canada and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, both non-profit organizations that work to promote the development and adoption of clean technologies and markets, construction of the new Sarnia refining facility is to begin this spring.

Troyer says the total North American market for dextrose is about six million tonnes every year and growing.

“There’s a very significant market opportunity here; we’re actually adding capacity at a much slower rate than market growth,” he says.

According to Cellulosic Sugar Producers’ Cooperative general manager Brian Cofell, farmers interested in participating are asked to contribute a membership fee of $500, and an initial investment of $200 for each acre they wish to commit to harvesting crop residues for the new refinery.

Yearly returns for that investment begin with a preferred dividend of $50 per acre for the first five years, then continue at $30 per acre each year after that. However, Cofell says they anticipate a return of $100 per acre by 2029, due in part to steady demand for dextrose and the capacity of the new Comet facility.

The price farmers will receive for their corn stover and wheat straw is added on top of that dividend, and is locked in at $25 and $40 per dry metric tonne respectively.

As of this past December the cooperative was supported by 80 farmer members, though Cofell says that number is steadily increasing.

While the new facility is under construction, Coffell says the immediate goal for the cooperative is to continue expanding its member base, while planning for an initial harvest in fall 2018. The new facility will reach full production in 2019.

“The cooperative will own 27.5 per cent of Comet Biorefining’s new plant. It’s an opportunity for the growers themselves to be part of creating a final product,” he says.
Published in Corn
The Manitoba government and J.R. Simplot Company (Simplot) announced a major investment and expansion in the company’s Manitoba-based operations near Portage la Prairie. Premier Brian Pallister and Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler were joined by ‎Mark McKellar from ‎Simplot to make the announcement.

“Our government is excited to join Simplot today to announce a historic investment and expansion of their Manitoba operations,” said Pallister. “Simplot has already established itself as a member of the community of Portage la Prairie and now they are doubling their operations and investing in the future of Manitoba. Simplot, like others before them, has taken notice of a renewed focus on improving the business climate and our efforts to create opportunities for growth and investment.”

“Manitoba delivers in so many ways that will help make this project a success,” said Mark McKellar, food group president, Simplot. “It has access to quality potatoes, a strong grower community, availability of highly skilled employees and distribution routes that continue to expand our footprint. We are convinced Manitoba’s business-friendly environment made this the right decision for the J.R. Simplot Company.”

Simplot confirmed the $460 million construction project is expected to begin this spring and will increase the size of the facility from 180,000 to 460,000 square feet. The expansion will more than double the plant’s need for potatoes from regional growers, while increasing its employment by 87 expected new full-time positions. Current operations are expected to continue during construction, with expanded processing capacity expected in fall 2019.

“Simplot has been an outstanding corporate and community partner since establishing its operations in Manitoba,” said Eichler. “This investment further cements their reputation as a pillar in Manitoba’s agriculture and food processing sector. The plant’s increase in capacity also presents a tremendous opportunity for Manitoba farmers to strengthen their partnership with a reliable local processor and increase potato production in Manitoba.”

The investment package provided by the Manitoba government includes tax increment financing up to $6.31 million to assist with anticipated capital investments and road improvements. Manitoba will also provide up to $522,000 in employee training contributions, based on the number of new positions.

Manitoba Hydro will provide $1 million in PowerSmart program funding for electrical and natural gas efficiency projects, based on the plant meeting program guidelines.

“Simplot has long been an outstanding partner and contributor to the community of Portage la Prairie and the surrounding area,” said Kam Blight, reeve for the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie. “We are beyond excited for them to grow their operations here and create even more economic opportunities for the region. In addition to the recent announcement of Roquette, business truly is booming for Portage la Prairie.”

"This is a great day for the Portage region,” said Irvine Ferris, mayor, City of Portage la Prairie. “Simplot has been a strong corporate citizen in our community since 2003. We welcome today's announcement, that Simplot will double production in Portage. This significant investment will create more jobs, business opportunities and prosperity for the entire region."

As part of the expansion, Simplot will incorporate similar industry-leading energy and water efficiency processes which were first established at the company’s plant in Caldwell, Idaho. It was recently awarded Food Processing Green Plant of the Year in 2017 by a leading industry publication.

Founded in 1929, J.R. Simplot Company is headquartered in Boise, Idaho and has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and China, marketing products to more than 40 countries worldwide.

Manitoba growers annually harvest over 65,000 acres of potatoes, representing one-fifth of the Canada's total potato crop and making Manitoba the second-largest producer in the country.
Published in Corporate News
Farmers help drive economic growth in Canada, but they can also face risks that threaten the viability of their farms, such as unpredictable weather.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with the sector to explore and develop new risk management tools that meet the needs of Canadian farmers when faced with serious challenges beyond their control.

Member of Parliament for London North Centre, Peter Fragiskatos, speaking on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, at the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) annual general meeting, announced a federal investment of more than $340,000 to OSCIA for the development of a tool that farmers can use to make more precise decisions on the economic benefits of their individual farm.

The tool will use satellite data of field crops during different weather and soil events and demonstrate the potential benefits of managing water flow from fields using tile drainage.

"On farm fields with shallow slopes, scientists have confirmed that in a drought year, holding the water back by restricting the outflow with valves at the end of tile drains, corn yield can be increased by as much as 25%. Our analysis has confirmed that the economic payback from adoption of controlled tile drainage benefits can range from $18-$48 per hectare per year. In addition, Nitrate-N and Phosphorus output from tiles can also be reduced, calculated to be worth over $25 per ha in nutrient savings, certainly a win for improved water quality as well," said Mark Emiry, president of OSCIA.
Published in Corporate News
The world's population is hungry and growing hungrier, but Canadian agriculture took a giant leap forward to meet those needs through value added development of Canada's food and feed sectors. At a recent ceremony in Ottawa, Protein Industries Canada was named one of the winning supercluster proponents under the federal Innovation Superclusters Progam.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced that Protein Industries Canada will share in the innovation supercluster program $950 million pool of funds.

Protein Industries Canada (PIC) is an industry-led alliance of over 120 private-sector companies, academic institutions, and other stakeholders across Western Canada aimed at fully developing the potential of plant-based proteins from crops such as canola, pulses, grains, hemp, and flax.

PIC's work will focus on improvements and opportunities in four areas: crop breeding, crop production value-added processing, and export development

"I want to thank the federal government for their vision in investing in this project and particularly Ministers Goodale, Nohi, and Carr for their work in securing the investment. This is an exciting opportunity for agricultural across the Prairies and food processors across Canada," said Frank Hart, board chair of PIC.

By 2050, the global population is expected to be 30 per cent larger. At the same time, people are becoming more affluent, demanding more protein, and turning to crop proteins to supply a healthier diet. These trends add up to a projected need for 59 to 98 per cent more crop protein by 2050.

"Plant based protein is a $13 billion market of which Canada currently has a minimal share. We need to seize this opportunity before our competitors do," said Hart.

The federal funding supplements roughly $400 million of cash, in-kind commitments and venture capital support that PIC has already secured from its members

According to an independent study, this initiative is estimated to generate over $700 million in new commercial activity and billions in incremental GDP over the next decade together with approximately 4,700 new jobs.

"This has huge implications for the western Canadian economy. Farmers, service companies, value added processors, academic institutions, consumers and through spinoff benefits, everyone on the prairies and throughout Canada will stand to benefit," said Hart
Published in Corporate News
According to Canada's agriculture ministry, pea plantings will probably decline to a seven-year low this spring, while lentil acreage drops by 27 per cent. Sowings will decline as farmers swap land for wheat and canola.
Published in Pulses
The Manitoba Flax Growers Association (MFGA) has announced that it will be moving its office to Carman.

Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers will will administer its operations and programming effective March 1, 2018.

The relocation follows the recent closure of the Flax Council of Canada’s Winnipeg office, where MFGA operations were being run. | READ MORE
Published in Corporate News
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