Success in Agriculture
AgriBrink Ltd. and Farm Health Monitor Ltd. are among the 26 companies selected to receive grants of up to $30,000 in the latest round of the program funded through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
Published in Corporate News
Kier Miller of Sussex Corner, N.B., said he was “speechless” when he found out the New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association had named his operation the province’s 2017 farm of the year. Miller Farms comprises 23 acres, nine of which are cleared, with the remainder in woodland. They also lease 180 acres. On top of that, the Millers do custom planting of corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, and barley for other area farmers each year totalling about 1,200-1,500 acres. In the fall, they do about 1,500 acres of combining for others, although not necessarily the same crops they planted. | READ MORE
Published in Agronomy

David MacTaggart from the University of Saskatchewan has been selected the winner of the 2017-2018 Excellence Award for Ag Students competition. 

Farm Management Canada and the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs collected submissions from agricultural students across Canada. Students were asked to submit a multimedia presentation, a video, a Twitter chat, a blog or a Wiki, answering the question: "What aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be addressed and amended in the current negotiations that will benefit Canada's agriculture sector?"

MacTaggart will receive a scholarship towards furthering his education in agriculture. You can view his video here

Published in Corporate News
Farm Management Canada and the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs are accepting submissions from agricultural students across Canada for the 2017-18 Excellence Award for Agricultural Students. 
Published in Corporate News
Tile drainage is more affordable and more attractive than ever in Western Canada, but it is still a major investment with many implications that should be considered before calling for tenders.
Published in Soil
Cutworms are present across the Prairies, and in some years some species of cutworms can reach levels that are of economic concern in field crops. The focus of a five-year project conducted across the Prairies resulted in the development of better identification tools, a better understanding of cutworm biology and their natural enemies, and a management guide to improve cutworm monitoring and control in different crops.
Published in Insect Pests
The goal of irrigation scheduling is to ensure the crop is never under water-induced stress that would limit yield potential. It involves determining the correct amount of irrigation water to apply to a crop at the right times to achieve optimum yield.
Published in Irrigation
Pivot irrigation is by far the most common method of irrigating crops in Western Canada. Over 80 per cent of the 1.7 million acres of Alberta’s irrigated land uses pivot systems. Low pressure pivots with drop tubes and spray nozzles have become the most common form of pivot irrigation due to water application and energy efficiency.
Published in Irrigation
Wanted: farmer plant breeders. In a pilot project initiated by Martin Entz with the University of Manitoba’s plant science department, and Stephen Fox of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), organic wheat farmers participated in the selection of organic wheat lines to see how farmer-selected wheat populations compared with conventionally developed registered varieties.  
Published in Plant Breeding
From humble beginnings, soybean acreage hit 2.3 million seeded acres in Manitoba in 2017. Can those acres be sustained? The answer lies with managing glyphosate resistance.
Published in Soybeans
Nuffield Canada is on the hunt for the recipients of its 2019 scholarships. 
Published in Business & Policy
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
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 cabef.org.
Published in Corporate News
When small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations come together to generate bold ideas, Canadians benefit from more well-paying jobs, groundbreaking research and a world-leading innovation economy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manitoba growers annually harvest over 65,000 acres of potatoes, representing one-fifth of the Canada's total potato crop and making Manitoba the second-largest producer in the country.
Published in Corporate News
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 www.asabe.org/.
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
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