Programs, Grants & Awards
The Ontario Soil Network (OSN), is a one-year pilot project that aimed to support farmers who are improving soil health by implementing beneficial practices, like no-till and cover crops.
Published in Soil
More than 75 people gathered to honour fifth generation farmers, Brooks & Jen White of Borderland Agriculture of Pierson, Man., as Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018. The winners were announced at the Manitoba regional event held at the Fort Garry in Winnipeg on March 3.

Brooks and Jen White were proud to take over the family grain farm and bison ranch in 2012 located in SW Manitoba. Their farm name, Borderland Agriculture, represents the boundaries of their farmland with the southern edge resting on the US border and the western side creeping into Saskatchewan.

By implementing their vision statement of “Regenerate”, they have taken an approach towards regenerative agriculture. They focus on regenerating their soil by promoting environmental growth, through their regenerative production system. They also regenerate their business by following their business plans while continuing their education to improve their operation. Finally, they regenerate agriculture by contributing back to the agricultural community through industry groups as well as their local community wherever they can.

Brooks and Jen’s goal for the future is growth in terms of integration and profitability rather than size. They feel there is value to be found in multiple profit centres from the same acres so they are integrating their bison herd more with their crop land. This improves their soil health while at the same time growing better crops and healthier, more productive bison with their main goal being grazing bison for 365 days a year.

The Manitoba Region of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program welcomed Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler and Deputy Minister of Agriculture Dori Gingera in attendance to honour two couples at their 2018 Regional Event. The couples recognized were:

Amy & Jamie Bell- Birtle, Man.
And winners Brooks & Jen White-Pierson, Man.

About Outstanding Young Farmers' program
Celebrating 38 years, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative. The national media sponsor is Annex Business Media, and the program is supported nationally by AdFarm, BDO and Farm Management Canada.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018 will be chosen at the National Event in Winnipeg, MB from November 29 – December 3, 2018.
Published in Corporate News
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
Published in Corporate News
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
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
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
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
More than 60 people gathered to honour fourth generation farmers Craig and Jinel Ference of Double F Farms (located in Kirriemuir) as Alberta’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018. The winners were announced at the Alberta regional event held at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites in Olds, Alta., on February 9.

After receiving university degrees, in Ag-business for Craig and Education for Jinel, they returned to take on the responsibilities of full-time farming in 2004 and today crop 10,000 acres, manage an 8,000 head feedlot and 4,000 mother cows, as well as a number of custom farming contracts. Their goal today continues to be one of creating a diverse business that involves many agriculture sectors.

As caretakers of the land, Craig and Jinel focus on improving the land for future generations by increasing organic matter from one to four per cent. New technology in product and equipment advancements continues to bring change to their farming techniques both in Alberta and their new expanded operation in Biggar, Sask.

The Alberta Region of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program were pleased to honour three couples at their 2018 Regional Event. The couples recognized were:
  • Craig & Celeste Christensen, Parflesh Farms, Standard, AB;
  • Roelof & Mary VanBenthem, VanBenthem Dairy, Red Deer County AB;
  • and winners Craig and Jinel Ference, Double F Farms, Kirriemuir,AB.
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018 will be chosen at the National Event in Winnipeg, MB from November 29 – December 3, 2018.
Published in Corporate News
Calls abound for programs and leadership to help strengthen rural Canada, to make sure the voices of this country’s farmers are heard outside the farm gate, and to help urban people understand farmers’ crucial, daily role in feeding the world.

The question is, who’s responsible for developing leaders? Not everyone’s ready or willing to stand up and say 'hold my beer, I’ll put fuel in that rocket.' But maybe one answer to the leadership question is right under everyone’s nose.

At least, that’s the thinking at DuPont Pioneer. Rather than reinvent the wheel and develop an entirely new leadership approach, the company – represented in Canada by Guelph’s Kahntact Marketing -- believes it’s effective to support and further develop programs and organizations that are already on the ground.

So, through its Canadian community investment program for youth in rural communities, it’s started a new initiative called Growing Today, Leading Tomorrow. For the full story, CLICK HERE.

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Corporate News
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
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 Canadian organic industry is one of Canada's fastest growing agricultural sectors, thanks to Canada's hardworking organic farmers and food processors who are respected around the world for supplying nutritious, sustainable, and high-quality organic products. With more than $5.4 billion in retail sales in 2017, growing the Canadian organic sector will contribute to our government's ambitious goal of reaching $75 billion in annual agri-food exports by 2025.

Speaking recently at the Guelph Organic Conference and Tradeshow, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced the Government of Canada is providing the essential support to update the Canadian Organic Standards.

The Government of Canada will provide the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) the necessary funds to cover costs associated with the 2020 Canadian Organic Standards review. The review is done every five years to ensure production methodologies reflect current practices and technological advancements being employed by the organic industry.

Recognized product standards are a key factor in the facilitation of international trade and AAFC officials will continue working with the sector to further support its sustainability and growth.

Minister MacAulay also announced $72,500 for the Canadian Organic Growers for the development of a user friendly guide to the Canadian Organic Standards. This guide will provide organic producers, processors, handlers and manufacturers in Canada as well as those wishing to enter it, a clear understanding of what is required to become a certified organic producer in Canada.

As well, the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) has received an additional $95,114 through the AgriMarketing Program, towards their international market development strategy. This investment will enable COTA to attend international conferences and trade shows and lead outgoing missions to raise awareness of Canadian organic products in key markets in Europe, United States, Asia and Latin America.

"Canadian organic farmers and food processors are producing a quality product that consumers in Canada and around the world demand. Our government is pleased to work closely with this important sector, so that together we can help reach our government's goal of $75 billion in exports by 2025, while supporting well-paying middle class jobs. Finding a solution to updating the Canadian Organic Standards is a key part of that, since they ensure our organics are recognized internationally for their quality," MacAulay said.

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Corporate News
Farm Management Canada (FMC), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (PEIDAF) are pleased to announce the recent launch of the Growing Your Farm Profits (GYFP): Planning for Business Success Online Farm Business Self-Assessment Tool.

This tool will provide producers across Ontario and Canada with the first step in the business planning process. Producers will come away with a comprehensive assessment of their farm business practices, priorities, key goals and ultimately, an Action Plan as a starting point towards the farm's business plan.

"Less than 25 per cent of our farmers have a written business management plan for the farm," says Heather Watson, executive director of FMC. "Creating a plan is essential for every farm - it means setting goals, figuring out the best ways to achieve them and finding the right resources and actions to get there. Most important, when you write it all down, you can invite others to share in creating the farm dream - your family, staff, lenders, business partners, and advisors, who will help realize your vision."

Producers can complete the online assessment on their own, or alternatively invite other members of the farm team to complete the assessment so that they can compare results before creating their roadmap to success; their business plan. Comparing assessments can lead to positive discussions regarding the future of the farm and ensure everyone's perspective is taken into account.

Once completed, the Action Plan can be submitted for validation. Producers may be eligible for cost-share opportunities to hire a consultant or participate in training and learning events to improve their business practices.

"Our goal with this project was to make the Growing Your Farm Profits assessment tool more accessible to producers to help increase the adoption of farm business planning practices," says Aileen MacNeil, director of the Agriculture Development Branch at OMAFRA. "Now producers have the online tool, the GYFP workshop and new GYFP eLearning Course as options to complete the assessment and action plan in the way that best suits their needs and preferences."

As a result of the partnership, FMC will offer a national version of the self-assessment tool, while OMAFRA will offer a customized Ontario version and the PEIDAF will offer a customized version of the tool, called Planning for Business Success, for PEI producers.

"The Planning for Business Success has proven to be an invaluable tool for Prince Edward Island producers in order to achieve a more productive and profitable operation, " says Alan McIsaac, PEI Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. "Our department is committed to helping producers grow and succeed."

The Growing Your Farm Profits: Planning for Business Success Online Business Self-Assessment Tool is available from the following links:

English -
French -

More information about the Growing Your Farm Profits suite of learning tools offered by OMAFRA is available at

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Business Management
Around the globe, there is less and less agricultural land available and producers are looking to technology to help them make better use of resources. Thanks to investments by the Government of Canada in the development of clean technologies, Canadians could see a direct benefit in the food on their plate. Investments in innovative sensors and web-based platforms for better irrigation and crop management could help yield more crops while reducing the amount of pesticide used.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a federal investment of $5.9 million, through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), to advance technologies being developed by Hortau, a firm with innovative clean tech ventures.

This investment in Hortau supports a precision agriculture platform—composed of hardware, software and communication systems—that can provide a more complete approach to managing crops and irrigation. This includes monitoring five elements that can influence crop development: water, nutrients, pests, temperature and salinity.

With this technology, Hortau is targeting high-value irrigated crops in Canada and the United States, representing a market of about 9.5 million acres. Hortau made the prestigious 2017 Global Cleantech 100 top companies to watch list as an up-and-coming company that is catching the attention of leading investors and corporations in the market.

Investments in clean technology are part of the Government's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Investments in clean technology also support the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Corporate News
The food processing industry in Saskatchewan will benefit from the opening of the state-of-the-art Agri-Food Innovation Centre, a new facility operated by the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc. (Food Centre).

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness celebrated the opening of this new $15.7 million facility, which provides fully integrated concept-to-commercialization services through applied research for agricultural products, product and process development, and incubation for entrepreneurs and agri-food processors.

In addition, he also announced two new investments totalling $417,500 for the Food Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The first investment of $117,500, through the Western Diversification Program (WDP), will enable the Food Centre to purchase equipment to separate and isolate protein from alfalfa and split field peas on a pilot-scale level.

The second WDP investment of $300,000 will also help the Food Centre purchase additional equipment and develop commercial uses for western Canadian pulse starch by-products, left over from the protein separation process.

The Food Centre is the primary provider of food product development, technology transfer, commercialization and food safety training for Saskatchewan's food industry. It has been instrumental in developing hundreds of products, many of which have already been introduced to market. It is also an integral part of Saskatchewan's value-added food sector, particularly in development related to cereal grains, oilseeds, pulses and edible oils.

Canada's Innovation Agenda promotes clean growth, good jobs and higher living standards for the middle class. The investments announced today are an example of this vision in action.

"With support from the Government of Canada, the Agri-Food Innovation Centre will further position our industry to be strong leaders in innovation and technology for the food processing sector. The new investments announced today, coupled with the Food Centre's expertise in applied research and development, will pave the way for new food concepts in a changing market," said Dan Prefontaine, president, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc.
Published in Corporate News
The Government of Canada is investing in science and innovation to help meet increasing global food demand, grow exports for Canadian farmers and producers, and create good paying jobs that help grow Canada's middle-class.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, joined newly hired researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Harrington Research Farm to announce the completion of a $6.8-million upgrade of the world-class facility.
The Government of Canada is commitment to discovery science and innovation, and to reaching its goal of growing agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

The upgrades included $2.97 million for 10 new and renovated laboratories and the purchase of a $1.3-million nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer for the Charlottetown Research and Development Centre, and $2.54 million for an expansion of the Harrington Research Farm greenhouse. The spectrometer allows scientists to study farm soil at the molecular level, which will help farmers improve the soil health and productivity of their land.

Three of the five scientists hired by the research centre over the past 18 months occupy new positions that expand the facility's areas of research. The five specialists are a microbial ecologist, an agro-ecosystem modeler and data scientist, a weed specialist, an environmental chemist and a cereals and oilseeds biologist.

"Having farmed on PEI and travelled around the world as Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, I see how science and innovation opens markets and creates new opportunities for our farmers and ranchers. This government is committed to innovation through world-class science and to helping farmers have access to the most current tools and knowledge to continue to grow the best food in the world," said MacAulay.
Published in Corporate News
The University of Guelph (U of G) recently launched a new initiative to turn cutting-edge agri-food innovations into products and applications that will improve life and help grow the economy.

The announcement was made during an “innovation showcase” that featured leading-edge U of G agri-food projects and was attended by University, industry and government officials.

Accelerator Guelph will assist U of G researchers in commercializing their novel ideas and discoveries. It will help bolster U of G’s already strong reputation for ingenuity and inventiveness in agri-food, said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research).

“The University of Guelph’s expertise and strength in agri-food innovation is unmatched,” Campbell said. “Our researchers have bold, ambitious ideas, and their work addresses gaps and helps solve problems while shaping the future of food and agriculture in Canada and beyond. They also promote industry collaboration and accelerating growth in the thriving agri-food sector.”

Campbell added that U of G’s innovation activities and goals “align, illustrate and enhance the incredible agri-food innovation supercluster that is Canada Food Nexus.” U of G is part of this collaboration of private sector firms, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations.

“The shared goal is fostering a culture of innovation and economic development in the agri-food sector, and positioning Canada as a world leader in food,” Campbell said.

Accelerator Guelph will help move such ideas to market, Campbell said. Modelled after some of the world’s top accelerator programs, its four-phase program will mentor U of G agri-food entrepreneurs with business planning, executive leadership training, financial and accounting expertise, and human resources management.

Accelerator Guelph will complement the successful Gryphon’s LAIRR (Leading to Accelerated Adoption of Innovative Research) program, in which U of G researchers pitch creative ideas for research commercialization to a panel of industry leaders. Winners receive up to $125,000 to support their proposals, and receive assistance from industry collaborators in Ontario’s agri-food and rural sectors.

This year, 15 projects will receive funding under the Gryphon’s LAAIR program. The winners were also announced and highlighted during the innovation showcase.

Examples are:
  • Engineering professor Michele Oliver heads a team developing a cost-effective seat cushion to reduce seat vibration in farming machinery. Mobile agricultural equipment is used in virtually all Ontario farms, but its use exposes the operator to whole-body vibration levels that can harm health. Oliver’s invention will lead to cost savings and improved health for operators.
  • Blockchain technology can help trace products through the food supply-chain, but using blockchain for food traceability faces a number of challenges. Computer science professor Rozita Dara and a team are looking at soybean traceability using blockchain, developing processes to collect, analyze and store data on soybeans while also understanding the legislative and stakeholder context.
  • Researchers in U of G’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC) made the world’s first compostable coffee pods and are now pursuing new innovations. Prof. Manjusri Misra is developing products for the greenhouse industry that will reduce manual labour in growing tomatoes and other crops. Prof. Amar Mohanty is investigating the use of low-value agricultural residues to develop lightweight biocomposite products for the automotive industry.
“The diversity of these projects is a testament to the breadth and depth of our expertise in agri-food,” Campbell said. “They will help expand the commercial and societal impact of U of G innovations.”

Gryphon’s LAIRR is funded through the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – U of G partnership and Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
Published in Corporate News
Producers will find greener pastures and more green in their bank accounts thanks to the return of a popular forage seed program offered by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Crop Production Services (CPS).

Under the program, Alberta producers receive a $100 rebate on every 50 lb. bag of Proven Seed forage varieties purchased at CPS retail locations. While the program is best suited to producers in the parkland and prairie regions, farmers located close to DUC habitat priority boundaries may also be eligible.

The growing need for more pastureland is expected to make this year's program especially attractive, says Craig Bishop, lead of DUC's regional forage program. It also has the potential to cover approximately 40 to 50 per cent of a producer's seed investment.

The benefits of more seeded forage acres and increased perennial cover include decreased soil erosion, retained nutrient values and better waterfowl nesting habitat. It also helps other conservation efforts like wetland restoration.

Last year in Alberta, 12,905 cultivated acres were seeded to grass under the DUC/CPS forage program. A similar program offering in Saskatchewan and Manitoba brought the total number of seeded forage acres up to 20,768 acres across the Canadian prairies.

For more information about the program, visit any CPS retail location or area DUC conservation specialist, or call the Forage Help Desk at 1 800 661 3334.
Published in Seeding/Planting
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