Global
Inspired by NASA's experiments to grow wheat in space, Australian scientists have developed the world's first 'speed breeding' technique that can boost the production of the crop by up to three times.

The NASA experiments involved using continuous light on wheat which triggered early reproduction in the plants. | READ MORE
Published in Corporate News
Canada and the United States share deeply integrated economies and enjoy the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. As negotiations on a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continue to progress, the Government of Canada is working hard to strengthen the Canada-U.S. trade relationship and create new opportunities for producers and food processors on both sides of the border.

As part of these efforts, Minister MacAulay travelled this week to Nashville, Tennessee, where he delivered a keynote address to the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) annual convention. Minister MacAulay reiterated the importance of NAFTA as an engine of growth and prosperity for Canada, the United States and Mexico.

While in Nashville, Minister MacAulay participated in a roundtable with key U.S. agricultural producer and business groups to discuss opportunities for cooperation, hosted a breakfast for all State Farm Bureau Presidents, met with Zippy Duvall, President of the AFBF, with Kevin Paap, Minnesota State Farm Bureau President, and with Jai Templeton, Commissioner of Agriculture for Tennessee, to discuss bilateral trade opportunities. He also met with AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers.
"The Canada-US relationship is strong, balanced and beneficial to both of our great nations. The Government of Canada is committed to continue working with the United States to strengthen our partnership for the good of our businesses, our jobs, our citizens and our economies."
- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick Facts
  • Canada and the United States are each other's largest trade partners for agriculture and agri-food, with bilateral agriculture trade reaching $62 billion (CAD) ($47 billion (USD)) in 2016.
  • Canada is the top agriculture and agri-food export market for 29 states.
  • Canada-United States trade supports millions of middle class jobs on both sides of the border.
  • The AFBF is a non-partisan, non-sectarian national organization that represents farm and ranch families at all levels.
  • The AFBF convention is a gathering of more than 5,000 delegates bringing together agricultural producers from all levels and sectors representatives from the local, state and national levels.
Published in Imports/Exports
The tariffs India imposed on imports of pulse crops last fall are expected to affect how much land Canadian farmers seed this year.

The Asian country is charging a 50 per cent duty on pea imports and 30 per cent on chickpeas and lentils.

Dan Mazier of Manitoba’s Keystone Agricultural Producers points out that India is the biggest importer of Canada’s pulse crops, so the tariffs are bound to have an impact.

Simon Ellis, co-owner of Ellis Seeds in Wawanesa, Man., says sales for seeds have already noticeably dropped and he expects fewer hectares to be planted in the spring. For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in Pulses
Canada’s agriculture industry should still be able to meet a Liberal target that calls on the sector to grow its exports to $75 billion by 2025 — despite ongoing uncertainty about this country’s key trading markets, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says.

The $75 billion export target was included in the Liberals’ 2017 federal budget, which flagged the agriculture sector as one of a handful the government felt could spur future economic growth. Currently, Canadian agriculture exports hover around $55 billion. For the full story, click here
Published in Corporate News
Scientists say they have made a step forward in the fight against a wheat disease that threatens food security.

Researchers from the UK, U.S. and Australia identified genetic clues that give insights into whether a crop will succumb to stem rust.

They discovered a gene in the fungus that triggers a wheat plant's natural defences. A second pathway has been discovered which switches on a wheat plant's immune response. READ MORE
Published in Cereals
Linamar Corp. recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the outstanding equity interests of MacDon and its Group of Companies for an aggregate purchase price of C$1.2 Million, less the assumption of small transaction related expenses, and subject to certain customary adjustments.

Headquartered in Winnipeg, Man., MacDon is a global innovative market leader in the design and manufacturing of specialized agriculture harvesting equipment such as drapers and self-propelled windrowers.

MacDon is an industry-leading manufacturer with a strong customer following and advanced agriculture equipment technologies.

It has developed an indstury-leading reputation for quality, reliability and passion for harvesting technology over its 67 year history as a family owned company. MacDon’s mission is to manufacture reliable machines that make harvesting easier and more productive for its customers in over 40 countries worldwide.

MacDon’s products excel in the toughest real-world conditions, and its pioneering, industry-leading innovations like the FlexDraper® have propelled the company’s strong reputation for providing customers with quality, innovative equipment. Further, MacDon has developed strong relationships with a global dealer network of approximately 1,400 leading dealers and distributors, a major competitive advantage in the industry.

Linamar sees a compelling cultural fit with MacDon given its strong family legacy and looks forward to building on that foundation, which has been a key driver of MacDon’s success. This platform acquisition positions Linamar as a leading global agricultural equipment manufacturer.

MacDon will be combined with Linamar’s existing agriculture harvesting business in Hungary to position both businesses for significant growth. Linamar’s existing harvesting business is highly complementary to MacDon product plan allowing Linamar to offer a full lineup of grain and hay harvesting equipment. Linamar plans to expand its agricultural platform by increasing penetration in both new and underserviced markets globally.

Linamar expects to realize modest synergies from the transaction and create opportunities to utilize existing distribution channels for agricultural products. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share and free cash flow per share even before accounting for these synergies. As it expands, MacDon will benefit from Linamar’s established manufacturing footprint in Asia and Europe along with employing best practices from both Linamar and MacDon.

Linamar has a long track record of executing strategic, accretive acquisitions followed by seamless integration. Its previous acquisitions of Skyjack, Montupet and Seissenschmidt are compelling case studies of Linamar building its global manufacturing platform with broader product lines, additional capabilities in new markets and incremental geographic presence, while continuing to deliver outstanding financial performance and returns to its shareholders.

“The acquisition of MacDon provides a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move our agriculture business into a market leading position while providing meaningful diversification to the end markets we serve. We believe the long-term growth fundamentals for the agriculture industry are very strong given the growing and developing global population, noting the market is in the early stages of cyclical recovery.” said Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar’s CEO, “MacDon is a strong, well-managed company and an innovative market leader in both customer penetration and technology evolution; it will be the centerpiece of our agriculture business, which includes our existing European corn header business, highly complementary to MacDon products. We get diversification, innovation, growth and a solid deal, we couldn’t be happier."

For more information, visit http://www.linamar.com/
Published in Corporate News
The European Commission recently published an implementing decision that will allow Canadian canola continued access to the EU biodiesel market. The decision affirms the greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved when Canadian canola is used to make biodiesel according to a detailed life cycle methodology that reflects the entire canola growing process.

“This decision means continued access to an important market for Canadian canola,” says Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC). “The Canola Council has worked hard on this over the past two years and this confirmation is very good for the entire value chain.”

The European Commission’s decision details the greenhouse gas emission intensity of Canadian canola production, a requirement for access to the EU biodiesel market. As of January 2018 all EU biodiesel must demonstrate greenhouse gas emission reductions that are greater than 50 per cent compared to fossil diesel, a requirement that must also be met for canola biodiesel in the U.S.

According to the values published by the EU Commission, biodiesel produced from Canadian canola will meet this requirement, resulting in emission reductions of more than 50 per cent versus fossil diesel.

“This decision shows the environmental benefits of using canola for biodiesel,” says Everson. “The EU is far ahead of North America in using renewable fuels which creates a good export opportunity for us.”

To arrive at its decision, the Commission considered a report on the lifecycle emissions of Canadian canola that was submitted by the Government of Canada. It outlined emissions from all stages of canola production including fertilizer, field emissions and fuel used by farm equipment. It calculated how these emissions change based on specific geographical differences such as moisture levels and soil types. Over the last two years this involved close cooperation between the CCC and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

“We’re thankful for the efforts of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, including Minister Lawrence MacAulay, in helping to support today’s decision,” says Everson. “The value of canola is determined by export demand, and today’s decision allows us to keep serving the EU market.”

Over the last three years, average annual exports of seed, oil and meal to the EU have totaled approximately $200 million. In 2016, 597,000 tonnes of canola seed and 37,000 tonnes of canola oil were shipped to the EU.
Published in Imports/Exports
The Herbicide Resistance Summit is a bi-annual conference brought to you by Top Crop Manager (TCM) and a group of generous sponsors that aims to facilitate a more unified understanding of herbicide resistance and promote awareness that all industry members have a role to play in managing the growing threat of herbicide resistance.
Published in Herbicides
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, issued the following statement today on the export of Canadian pulses to India:

“The Government of Canada is deeply concerned and disappointed with the recent regulatory and tariff decisions made by the Government of India affecting Canadian pulse trade.

“We have been steadfast in our efforts to find a mutually acceptable way forward with the Government of India to provide stable, sustainable access for Canadian pulse exports to India.

“In addition to efforts by Government of Canada senior officials to seek a long-term solution, we have also been actively engaged with our counterparts directly, most recently during the Government of Canada’s mission to India by Ministers Champagne, Bains, and Garneau. Despite these efforts, progress has stalled and a solution to this important issue remains elusive.

“The most recent derogation for the fumigation of pulses expired on September 30, 2017 and, for the first time since 2004, a renewal of the extension has not been granted by the Government of India to Canada. Other trade partners have received extended derogations to December 31, 2017, indicating that India is applying discriminatory treatment to Canada.

“To this, on November 8, 2017, India announced a 50% tariff on dry pea imports from all countries, a decision that was made without advance notice.

“The Government of Canada stands ready to work constructively with the Government of India, in close consultation with the Canadian pulse industry, to resolve this issue and obtain a commercially viable solution, helping to ensure India’s long term food security.

“Canada is a safe and reliable global supplier of pulses, which account for a large share of Canada’s exports to India. In 2016, Canada’s exports of pulses, including dry peas, to India were worth over $1.1 billion and accounted for 27.5 percent of Canada's global pulse exports.”
Published in Imports/Exports
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
India’s decision to impose a steep tariff on pea imports could jeopardize $1 billion worth of pulse trading with Canada, which may cause farmers there to trim their pea acreage by nearly one-third.

Earlier this month, India imposed a 50 per cent import tax on peas, as pulse prices fell below their government-set support levels because of record output.

The duty is expected to lift domestic pulse prices and spur farmers in India, the world’s biggest buyer of pulses, to boost pulse plantings, reducing import requirements in 2018. READ MORE

Related: Statement by the Government of Canada on pulse exports to India
Published in World Outlook
Trimble announced that it has added four new distributors to its Vantage network—a global network of independent experts that provide growers, advisors, retailers, co-ops and local OEM dealers with precision agriculture expertise for the entire farm.

The new Vantage distributors include: 
  • Vantage NSW: Vantage NSW in Australia was established from NFS Agribusiness—a Trimble authorized reseller since 2006. Located in the heart of the Liverpool Plains, Vantage NSW will provide Trimble total farm solutions throughout the central and northern parts of New South Wales, Australia.
  • Vantage Northeast Australia: Vantage NEA was established from Trimble's authorized reseller, BMS LaserSat, which has been in operation since 2001. Vantage NEA will provide Trimble total farm solutions throughout Northern New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territories and Tasmania, Australia.
  • Vantage Canada West: Vantage Canada West is a new authorized distributor with offices in Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia. Vantage Canada West will provide Trimble total farm solutions throughout Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Vantage Benelux: Vantage Benelux was established from Trimble's authorized reseller in the Benelux—Agrometius BV. With offices in Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Sint-Truiden (Belgium), Vantage Benelux focuses on Trimble total farm solutions including precision ag services for growers, contractors and crop advisors throughout the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
 For additional information about Vantage, visit: www.vantage-ag.com.
Published in Corporate News
Farmers in Australia will soon be growing a Canadian oilseed used to make bio jet fuel thanks to a new "farm-to-flight" deal between Quebec-based Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., and Qantas Airlines.

The partnership is the first of its kind in Australia and will see Agrisoma work with Australian farmers to grow the Carinata seed, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed that produces high-quality oil ideal for renewable aviation jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel.

In 2018, Qantas will operate the world's first bio-fuel flight between the U.S. and Australia. For the full story, click here. 
Published in Corporate News
Despite being at opposite ends of the planet, Canada and Australia have long been soul sisters, But it’s in agriculture where the similarities come to the fore, with very similar commodity profiles, particularly for grain, dairy and protein.

And despite very different target markets, trade agreements and government attitudes, each country’s agricultural communities are after one thing — a profitable and expanding appetite for their produce. | READ MORE
Published in World Outlook
Most experts agree food production will need to double by the time Earth’s population grows to nine billion people by 2050. This is a challenge that motivates scientists the world over and Australian crop scientist and plant nutritionist Peter Kopittke is no exception.

The young scientist spent a few days this past summer in the heart of Canada’s wheat belt working on the problem of aluminum toxicity in acidic soil. It’s a problem that affects wheat growers in many parts of the world although not in Saskatchewan, home to the CLS, where Kopittke spent an intense 36 hours earlier this year.

Globally, it is estimated that acid soils result in more than US$129 billion in lost production annually. In Western Australia, farmers lose A$1.5 billion annually because the aluminum in the soil destroys the root system, killing the plant. For the full story, click here
Published in Soil
Real-time DNA sequencing, anywhere, anytime, is one step closer to making the jump from science fiction to science fact, according to researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. A recent paper published in Scientific Reports outlined how the team used a MinION portable DNA sequencer to analyze plant species in the field.
Published in Genetics/Traits
Seed Hawk Inc. is pleased to announce that the company will officially be renamed Vaderstad Industries Inc. on October 31, 2017. The name change reflects the fuller integration of the Seed Hawk brand within the Väderstad Group, bringing precision and quality together.

“We are pleased to become a part of Väderstad. Both businesses are leaders in the development of some of the world’s most innovative agricultural equipment,” says Nigel Jones, CEO of Vaderstad Industries Inc., and continues, “the joining of our businesses will positively impact the advancement and availability of our equipment for farmers in North America and around the world.”

Seed Hawk and Väderstad have been working together since 2006. In 2013, the Swedish high quality agricultural equipment manufacturer took full ownership of Seed Hawk. The current name change reflects the fuller integration of the Seed Hawk brand within the Väderstad Group. This transition was signaled by the change earlier this year to red paint on all Seed Hawk seeding systems, consistent with Väderstad branded equipment.

“Väderstad and Seed Hawk have brought quality and precision together for the last ten years. Our name change to Vaderstad Industries Inc. reflects the long-term commitment we put behind this promise to our customers.” Jones says, and adds:

“The company name is changing to Vaderstad Industries Inc. The Seed Hawk seeder will continue to be sold under the same equipment name and by the same local people our customers know and trust.”
Published in Corporate News
A meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership countries in Vietnam this week provides a window of opportunity for Canada to take the next step in TPP implementation, increasing the value of canola exports and benefiting the entire canola value chain. The 11 country members are meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Week, November 6 to 11.

“The canola industry is urging the federal government to advance the TPP during these discussions,” says Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada. “Implementing the TPP will increase value-added processing in Canada, maintain existing markets and ensure that Canada remains competitive to other oilseed producing countries.”

The United States has decided not to proceed with TPP negotiations. However, implementing an agreement with the remaining 11 countries would provide Canadian canola a competitive advantage over competing oilseed products entering TPP countries, such as U.S. soybean oil into Japan.

Japan is a long-standing and consistent market for canola seed, but tariffs of approximately 16 per cent have prevented oil exports. As agreed to during the TPP negotiations, the TPP would open new markets for value-added canola products by eliminating canola oil and canola meal tariffs and establishing more effective rules to prevent non-tariff barriers. When tariffs are fully eliminated in Japan and Vietnam over five years, exports of Canadian canola oil and meal could increase by up to $780 million per year.

In addition, Australia already has a free trade agreement with Japan that is eliminating tariffs on Australian canola oil. As a result, Canadian canola oil currently faces a six per cent higher tariff than Australian canola oil – a competitive disadvantage that will grow each year that the TPP is not implemented.

“Australia is able to ship value-added product to Japan, while Canada cannot,” says Everson. “Each year that passes without implementation means that Canada falls further behind our main competitor in the Asia-Pacific region – risking our current $1.2 billion annual exports to Japan.”

The TPP is an important enabling step for the canola industry to increase value-added processing and productivity. The industry’s strategic plan, Keep it Coming 2025, includes the objective of nearly doubling the amount of canola processed in Canada over the next 10 years. Processing 14 million tonnes of canola in Canada requires that barriers to exporting canola oil and meal are removed – such as tariffs that the TPP would eliminate.
Published in World Outlook
On Oct. 9 - 13, 100 young agricultural enthusiasts, aged 18-25 and from 49 different countries, gathered in Brussels, Belgium, for the third edition of the Youth Ag-Summit.

Organized by Bayer, together with the two Belgian young farmers associations Groene Kring and Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs, the event provided an opportunity for delegates to work on concrete solutions to one of humanity's greatest challenges: How to feed a growing world population in a sustainable manner.

At the Youth-Ag Summit, delegates, including four from Canada, worked throughout the week in groups of 10 to develop their ideas, before pitching to a jury of experts and the audience. The jury and the audience then selected the winners on the basis of criteria such as feasibility, innovativeness and creativity:
  • Third place went to "Imperfect Picks", a group who was assigned to work on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. These delegates impressed with their cartoon campaign to promote "ugly fruits" to children, and enable a broader cultural shift towards accepting food that appears blemished but is still of good quality. They won €3,000 to further develop and implement their project.
  • Second place went to "Seeds of Change", a group of delegates focusing on SDG 4: Quality Education. They will use their prize of €5,000 to fund a project aimed at promoting agriculture in schools through young agricultural champions, in order to bridge the disconnect between people who consume, and people who produce food.
  • Finally, first place was awarded to the group "AGRIKUA" ("kua" being the Swahili word for "grow"), whose project focuses on promoting Gender Equality (SDG 5) in the agricultural sector. Their plan to create an online professional platform for young Kenyan women seeking opportunities in agriculture impressed the jury and audience alike, and they took home the grand prize of €10,000. On top of this funding, the AGRIKUA delegates will also receive dedicated training and coaching to help make the project a reality. They will also be invited back to Europe to present their project to a relevant industry platform.
Cassie Hayward from Halifax, Nova Scotia, was one of four Canadian delegates to attend the Summit. She was part of the winning AGRIKUA team and feels that this experience has been life-changing.

"I'm very fortunate to have been part of such an amazing team. The outcome we achieved is because of the collaboration and commitment of our group to make a real impact in addressing food security," said Hayward. "Within 24 hours our lives changed. Since my teammates and I arrived at home, various groups have expressed their interest in our project."

Hayward wasn't the only Canadian to garner attention at the Youth Ag-Summit. In fact, all of the top teams had representation from Canada—the only country in attendance to do so.

"We are extremely proud of our Canadian delegates," said Al Driver, president and CEO, Bayer Crop Science. "These four delegates used their diverse experience and backgrounds to find tangible solutions to addressing food security. They should all be proud in the manner they represented their country to the world."

Speaking about this year's crop of winners, Fleur Wilkins, Head of strategic messaging and executive communications for Bayer Crop Science and member of the jury, said, "We were blown away by the level of creativity, intelligence, and diligence shown by each of the delegate groups in the final projects they presented. Bayer is thrilled to be funding three of these for future development, but we are convinced that all of this year's Youth Ag-Summit delegates will continue to champion and contribute to a more sustainable food system."

As well as working in groups to develop their projects, delegates spent the week hearing from world-renowned speakers and partner organisations, who inspired them to each commit to doing "Three Little Things" in their everyday life to foster greater food security.

They also paid a visit to the EU Committee of the Regions, and met with Members of the EU Parliament Tom Vandenkendelaere and Richard Ashworth to discuss agricultural policy. Another highlight of the week was a visit to Hof ten Bosch, a Bayer ForwardFarm nestled in the heart of the Belgian countryside.

Visit www.youthagsummit.com to meet the delegates and to learn more about the Summit.
Published in Corporate News
Trelleborg announces the launch of its latest innovation – the PneuTrac, a solution that combines the advantages both of radial argicultural tires and tracks.

Vineyards and orchards form two critical parts of agricultural production and both face unique challenges, notably in root protection and terrain. Vineyards often incorporate steep terrain and along with orchards, typically have narrow row operations with small spaces between vines or trees.

Tracked applications can often be too wide to pass between rows with a comfortable margin for error.

“PneuTrac delivers unbeatable performance on both steep slopes and muddy terrain, reducing downtime to zero in demanding conditions. PneuTrac combines the advantages of a radial agricultural tire in terms of fuel efficiency, comfort and handling, with the footprint and traction benefits of a track.." said Lorenzo Ciferri, VP marketing and communications at Trelleborg Wheel Systems.

PneuTrac contains the best-in-class features of Trelleborg agricultural tires along with a new sidewall utilizing CupWheel Technology by Galileo Wheel Ltd. The innovative “Omega” design of the sidewall helps the carcass to sustain load, simultaneously providing flexibility and an extra-wide footprint, resulting in very low soil compaction.

This new design allows the tread to work at 100 per cent of its potential efficiency. The Progressive Traction technology on the tread itself enhances traction whilst the inter-lug terraces improve the self-cleaning capability of the tire. The wide lug bases combined with a robust shoulder feature, increase lateral stability, especially on slopes.

“When designing the PneuTrac we focused on the specialist requirements of key producers. For example, the roots of vines are incredibly precious and susceptible to damage. As with conventional agriculture, the top soil needs to be protected and machine slippage could easily be a disaster for both the soil and roots," Ciferri said. “We firmly believe that PneuTrac is a game changing innovation and that it again demonstrates our commitment to sustainable farming, helping to protect some of our most valuable agricultural assets.”

PneuTrac will be on display at Agritechnica 2017, November 12 to 18 in Hannover, Germany. 
Published in Corporate News
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