Canada has always been an agricultural powerhouse, but these days it’s not just about selling prairie wheat, P.E.I. potatoes and maple syrup to the world. Now we’re also building bio-cars from ag-based fibres, composites and foams. We’re creating naturally derived pharmaceuticals and functional foods that help fight disease. We’re cutting carbon emissions by finding valuable uses for agricultural wastes, and we’re boosting agricultural productivity in all kinds of ways.
Published in Biomass
Two hay tool innovations from John Deere Ottumwa Works have been honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) with the AE50 Award for 2018.

The awards are for the BalerAssist feature on the large square balers and the Plus2 Bale Accumulator for large round balers, both introduced in late 2017. The AE50 Award highlights the year’s 50 most innovative designs in product engineering in the food and agriculture industry, as chosen by a panel of international engineering experts.

The BalerAssist option on the L331 and L341 Series Large Square Balers was recognized for allowing the operator to more quickly and easily clear plugs between the baler pickup and rotor, without leaving the tractor cab.

“This significantly reduces downtime and increases bale-making productivity, especially in tough crop conditions,” says Travis Roe, senior marketing representative for large square balers. “In addition, this feature makes it easier for operators to access service points inside the baler and improve overall operational control and maintenance.”

Also receiving an award are the A520R and A420R Plus2 Round Bale Accumulators, which give customers the ability to carry up to two round bales behind the baler while making a third bale in the chamber. The Plus2 Accumulators are fully integrated into the design of the balers and can be used with 6-foot (1.82 m) diameter John Deere 7, 8, 9 and 0 Series Round Balers.

“These accumulators allow operators to strategically place the bales where they can be removed from the field most efficiently,” says Nick Weinrich, product marketing manager for pull-type hay tools. “This dramatically reduces the damage to crop regrowth from excessive field travel, as well as fuel and labor associated with collecting individual bales scattered across the field.”

ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. The awards will be presented at the ASABE Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, in February. Information on all award winners will be included in the January/February 2018 ASABE’s Resource magazine and on the ASABE website. Further information on the Society can be obtained by visiting
Published in Combines/Harvesters
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
John Deere 5R Series Tractors have received the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ (ASABE) AE50 Award for 2018. The AE50 Award recognizes innovative designs in product engineering as selected by a panel of international engineering experts.

Introduced in 2017, 5R Series Tractors leverage existing technologies normally found in large tractors and feature four models ranging from 90- to 125-engine horsepower.

“John Deere engineers designed tractor features to provide customers with unrivaled maneuverability, an easy-to-use transmission, increased visibility, loader integration and operator comfort,” said Nick Weinrich, product marketing manager for Deere.

A 7.4-foot (2.25 m) wheelbase, paired with a 60-degree steering angle, provides a tight turning radius of 12.1 feet (3.68 m). “For customers working in confined areas such as barns, this is a big improvement because they can more easily maneuver the tractor while increasing their productivity,” said Weinrich.

Customers can choose from two fully electronic transmission options, CommandQuad Manual and Command8. Weinrich said Deere made it easy for operators to toggle from B range through D range without stopping, thanks to a multi-range selection feature. Base equipment on 5R Tractors also includes AutoClutch, a feature leveraged from larger Deere row-crop tractors that completely eliminates the need for clutching. Operators can automatically re-engage the clutch by depressing the brake pedal.

Deere engineers improved upward and forward visibility from the tractor to help make 5R Series Tractors an even better fit for loader applications. Engineers also integrated an interactive display into the tractor’s right hand cornerpost. Operators can use the display to customize a variety of tractor functions to fit their preferences.

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Tractors
Kinze Manufacturing, an industry leader in planter and grain cart equipment, is expanding its offerings with the addition of four high-speed disc tillage models, Mach Till 201, 261, 331 and 401.

Susanne Veatch, Kinze president and chief marketing officer, said the new Mach Till high-speed disc products support farmer interest in faster tillage that enables them to stay ahead of the planter and be more productive by covering more acres in less time.

"Farmers will now be able to obtain three types of equipment from their Kinze dealer, all with the same standard of quality," she said.

The new product line is based on a Canadian design, produced by Degelman Industries, that has been licensed to Kinze to build at its manufacturing facility in Williamsburg, Iowa. Kinze will exhibit one of its first tillage models - the Mach Till 331 - at the 2018 National Farm Machinery Show Feb. 14-17 in Louisville, Kentucky.

"We are constantly evaluating opportunities in the market for new products that would be a good fit for Kinze," Veatch noted. "The Mach Till product line allows us to improve our already strong brand and have instant access to the growing high-speed disc segment with an already proven product."

In addition to high speed (8-12 mph) and high capacity, the versatile Mach Till lineup also offers simple setup and ease of use, maintenance-free parts and the ability to perform in various soil types, from fall primary tillage and residue management to spring secondary tillage and seedbed preparation.

The product is built heavy for high speed and deep working depth, but provides great flotation for lighter seedbed preparation that minimizes soil compaction. Veatch said the tillage products will be available from Kinze dealers in the United States and Canada, as well as for export to customers in Eastern Europe and Russia. Pricing information will be released this spring, with product availability beginning in fall 2018.

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Tractors
With Canadian pulse exports nearing $3.4 billion in 2017, supporting the continued growth of this sector is vital to achieving the Government of Canada's trade target of growing agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

Speaking at a meeting with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay announced an investment of over $575,000 to Pulse Canada for food service market research and development projects that will benefit farmers and processors.

Under the Growing Forward 2, AgriMarketing Program, Pulse Canada will receive $178,500 to explore new markets for pulses and pulse ingredients in China, Eastern Asia, the United States and Canada. An additional investment of $221,680 under the same program will go towards a project that focuses on promoting pulses to the Canadian foodservice industry

An investment of $175,721 was also provided to Pulse Canada through the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program, towards pulse innovation in the Chinese market. This project will help the industry expand the use of pulses in a wide range of Chinese foods and investigate the health benefits of eating pulse snacks.

"Trade is vital for our agricultural industry and Canadian pulses are an integral part of Canada's export strategy. Thanks to organizations like Pulse Canada, we are a world leader in pulse exports. Government investments like these help build prosperity for our sector, which helps strengthen our economy and creates good middle class jobs for Canadians," MacAulay said.

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Pulses
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade today issued the following statement on the successful conclusion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP):

"Reaching this milestone on the CPTPP is great news for Canadian farmers and food processors as it will help grow the Canadian economy, including the middle class, and deliver prosperity to rural communities across the country.

"It will give the Canadian agricultural industry preferential access to all CPTPP countries and will provide new market access opportunities for a wide range of Canadian products, including meat, grains, pulses, maple syrup, wines and spirits, seafood and agri-food products.

"The agriculture and agri-food sector is a key driver of Canada's economy, and the CPTPP will help Canada reach our government's ambitious goal of increasing agri-food exports to $75 billion annually by 2025.

"The Government of Canada is committed to negotiating trade deals that benefit Canadians and help grow our middle-class. This deal will expand our market access and allow Canadian farmers and food processors to seize key opportunities around the world.

"We look forward to discussing what this agreement means for the sector and how we can continue to work together to help grow the Canadian economy."
Published in Imports/Exports
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
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:
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
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