Some fungi such as Fusarium and Penicillium can infect the grain of corn, wheat and other cereals and may produce toxins under certain conditions. Preventing or minimizing the accumulation of these toxins is very important for ensuring food and feed safety and for maintaining the grain’s value in the marketplace. A recent study shows that ultraviolet (UV) light might offer another way to decrease fungi and fungal toxins in harvested cereals.
Published in Storage
About a decade ago, Kyle Folk was at his parents’ grain farm helping his dad load up a semi of canola to meet a contract when the two made an unpleasant discovery.
Published in Storage
Join us March 13, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern for an interactive webinar for updates on a special crop sequencing study in Saskatchewan.
Published in Webinars
A seed treatment is a vital and effective product, so long as it stays on the seeds where it can do its work. When it is released into the surrounding environment, however, it can cause significant political and environmental concern.
Published in Seed Treatment
One of the first research questions was to determine what we expected aeration to do and what the main objectives were,” says Ron Palmer, IHARF research engineer. “The first reason was to remove some of the moisture from the grain, especially if it is tough.
Published in Storage
Weed management is always an important topic to producers. Weeds evolve and change year to year: What plagued fields last year may be completely di erent from what growers will see in their fields this year. Decisions on what to spray can become overwhelming. That’s why we’ve continued to make updates to our Weed Control Guide for 2018. We’ve laid out the products available to you (at the time of publication) in alphabetical order, followed by tank-mix partners.
According to Peter Sikkema, professor of field crop weed management at University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane was first found in eight fields in Ontario’s Essex County in 2010.
Published in Weeds
With the introduction of Monsanto’s glyphosate- and dicamba-resistant soybean into the Canadian market in 2017, producers may be wondering if there is any benefit to tank-mixing the two herbicides for weed control.
Published in Herbicides
Weed management – a top priority for producers – seems to become more complex year after year. At times, the decisions may seem overwhelming: which products should be applied when and in what combinations? To aid you in your decision-making, Top Crop Manager is pleased to bring you our annual Weed Control Guide for corn, soybeans and cereals.
Know the enemy. That’s the goal of a project now underway in Ontario. In this case, the enemy is soybean disease – a continually changing foe, with new pathogen species spreading into different growing areas and new strains evolving to overcome control measures.
Published in Soybeans
Corn growers across Ontario and Quebec now have the option of applying Delegate insecticide by air for control of Western bean cutworm (WBC) and European corn borer. 
Published in Insecticides
Pea leaf weevil is an invasive pest species that first hit Alberta in 1997 and has since continued to spread across Canada.
Published in Insect Pests
With proposed limitations and even all-out bans on the horizon, we could say the future of seed treatments has never been so uncertain. Although changes are coming down the pipeline (like the new mitigation measures for the neonicotinoids clothiandin and thiamethoxam), what won’t change is the fact that seed treatments are a very important tool in the grower toolbox.
Published in Seed Treatment
Dr. Peter Sikkema and Dr. Darren Robinson, weed scientists at the University of Guelph, will be hosting an intensive course on herbicide activity (mode-of-action, selectivity, efficacy, crop injury) and weed identification in London, Ont., this coming fall. 
Published in Weeds
For Dan Breen, soil is a living, active bio-system that needs protecting. It’s like the “skin” of the earth, he believes, and much like people cover their bare skin when going outside in the winter, fields too need covering to protect them from the elements.

The third generation Middlesex County dairy farmer, who farms with his wife, daughter and son-in-law near Putnam, has been named the 2018 Soil Champion by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). The award is handed out annually to recognize leaders in sustainable soil management.

Breen had just bought the 100-acre family farm from his parents in late 1989 when he faced a major decision: replace the operation’s worn-out tillage equipment or come up with a different strategy.

A chance encounter introduced him to an emerging new cropping system—and in spring 1990, Breen made his first attempt at no-till, planting 40 acres of corn with a used two-row planter he’d modified. He’s been gradually growing his farming business ever since, today farming 300 owned and 500 rented acres.

“I treat the rented acres like the ones I own and that’s crucial. It’s all about stewardship so whether you own or rent, you have the responsibility to do the best things you can,” he says. “Nature is in balance and we mess up that balance with excessive tillage, taking out too many nutrients, or not providing biodiversity, so we need to provide a stable environment as we go about our farming practices.”

His typical rotation involves corn, soybeans, wheat, and cover crops, which he started planting 12 years ago. About 100 acres are rotated through alfalfa and manure is spread between crops when favourable soil and weather conditions allow.

“The only acreage that doesn’t have year-round living and growing crop is grain corn ground. I try to keep everything green and growing all the time and never have bare ground,” he says, following the motto, keep it covered, keep it green, keep it growing.

According to Breen, no single activity will result in healthy soil and there’s no set recipe for farmers to follow due to the variability of soil type, topography and climate. Instead, it’s important to consider what crop is being grown, what it needs, and what the nutrient levels and biological activity of the soil are.

“A true no-till system is more than just not tilling, it is biodiversity, water retention, and nutrient cycling,” he says. “When I first started no-till, it was just to eliminate tillage, now it is to build a whole nutrient system—cover crops weren’t even on the radar when I started farming.”

One of the pillars of his soil success over the years has been a willingness to try new things—as long as they support the goal of building stronger, more stable soil—and adapting to what a growing season brings.

To other farmers considering a switch to no-till, Breen recommends perseverance to keep going when success looks doubtful, strength to resist naysayers, and starting the transition gradually, such as with no-till soybeans after corn, and then no-till wheat after soybeans.

“It’s a considerable honour and it’s humbling to win this award. It’s not something I was looking to achieve—I do what I do because I love it,” he says. “As a farmer, I’ve had an opportunity to be a caretaker of this land, but I only have tenure for a blip in history. I hope I leave it in better shape than when I found it—and I hope my daughter and son-in-law will do the same thing.”
Published in Soil
The Canola Council of Canada has just released an educational video highlighting blackleg in canola and the management tools available for producers. 

Give it a watch and check out a couple of our research articles here, here and here

Sign up for our newsletters to get more information on canola research and the status of blackleg in canola.
Published in Canola
PartnerRe Ltd. today announced an innovative deal with Farmers Edge, a global leader in decision agriculture, that will help insurers to close the insurance gap among farmers across all continents.

This exclusive, four-year agreement between Farmers Edge and PartnerRe brings together precision farming technology and agriculture insurance in a landmark deal that will fundamentally advance the $5 trillion global food and agriculture industry.

Under the terms of the agreement, PartnerRe and Farmers Edge will jointly develop new agriculture insurance products in main crop growing areas worldwide, aimed at addressing the specific needs and challenges of farmers.

For farmers, the insurance product with integrated precision-farming capabilities will improve the efficiency and sustainability of their operations, and will enable them to obtain insurance, which is customized to their individual needs and parameters. Insurers will also benefit from a more efficient loss adjustment process.

The Farmers Edge platform is a comprehensive turnkey system that includes: variable rate technology, soil sampling and analysis, field-centric weather monitoring, in-field telematics and data transfer, daily satellite imagery, data analytics, predictive modelling, access to integrated farm management platform and real boots on the ground. Leading the development and application of new technologies on the farm, Farmers Edge allows farmers to collect, store and transfer data, enabling them to make advanced management decisions and measure results.
Published in Corporate News
As swede midge populations continue to rise in Quebec, canola growers are looking for better ways to manage the pest. Entomologist Geneviève Labrie is leading a two-year research project to help advance integrated management strategies for swede midge.
Published in Insect Pests
A group with the support of thousands of farmers will appear before the Supreme Court of Canada to oppose a legal ruling that allows energy companies to walk away from unprofitable wells on agricultural land.

The court recently announced that it will hear from the Action Surface Rights Association in an appeal of the so-called Redwater decision. It allows bankrupt energy companies to abandon wells during bankruptcy proceedings without having to clean up the sites. | READ MORE

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Corporate News
Manitoba farmers will continue to benefit from expanded, comprehensive coverage through AgriInsurance in the upcoming year, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler recently announced.

"The Government of Canada is committed to providing responsive programs that support our farmers in Manitoba," said MacAulay. "The improved coverage and protection under these programs will ensure our farmers have the tools they need to grow their businesses and stay competitive."

The ministers noted total AgriInsurance coverage for 2018 is expected to be $2.7 billion on 9.4 million acres in Manitoba, with premium rates down by an average of seven per cent, as compared to last year.

"AgriInsurance continues to be an essential risk management tool that acts as the first line of defence for Manitoba farmers," said Eichler. "The improvements planned for 2018 reflect the changes in our industry, ensuring coverage remains comprehensive and responsive to the needs of producers."

Program changes for the 2018 growing season include:
  • Creating a permanent insurance area to protect more than 200,000 acres of soybeans grown in areas previously eligible for coverage only on a test basis;
  • Changing the soybean premium rate calculation to put more emphasis on actual losses, which will benefit producers and governments by lowering premiums;
  • Removing the pre-harvest claim deductible for corn and soybeans, which will provide equitable coverage for all major crops;
  • Introducing a novel crops insurance program for new and non-traditional crops (quinoa for example), which is expected to include 10,000 acres and represent about $1.8 million in coverage;
  • Offering separate coverage for Canada Northern Hard Red Wheat, to represent higher expected values and yields than other varieties in the former feed wheat category; and
  • Continuing coverage for feed wheat and other wheat varieties under one category called 'other spring wheat'.
More than 8,400 farms are enrolled in AgriInsurance. Manitoba has the highest level of AgriInsurance participation in Canada, covering more than 70 different crops and over 90 per cent of annual crop acres. AgriInsurance is also available to protect forage yields, as well as stand establishment, and to assist farmers who cannot seed in the spring due to wet conditions.

The total governments' share of AgriInsurance premiums for 2018-19 is expected to be $130.9 million.

Under AgriInsurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating producers, 36 per cent by the Government of Canada and 24 per cent by the Manitoba government. Administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Manitoba.

In July 2017, federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture reached agreement in principle on the key elements of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion investment that will set a solid foundation for the future of Canada's farmers and food processors, and continue to help them grow, innovate and prosper. It is set to launch on April 1.

More information is available at AgriInsurance is a risk management program administered by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC). For more information about it and other programs, visit a local MASC office or
Published in Corporate News
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