Success in Agriculture
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
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
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
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
What started as a move back to the Ontario family farm for Norm Lamothe turned into a big move forward in crop scouting technology for Canadian farmers.

Lamothe left a 10-year career in the aviation industry to return to be the sixth generation on the family farm near Peterborough. At the encouragement of a neighbouring farmer, Lamothe bought his first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone in 2015. He had a small group of area farmers already signed up to have a block of acres viewed by the new technology and help share the investment risk.

"We quickly identified the opportunity for farmers to save money and increase their crop yields by mapping their fields to identify areas of stress," says Lamothe.

Word spread and Lamothe was soon looking to expand across Ontario when a chance meeting with David MacMillan took his fledgling UAV imagery business to much higher heights. MacMillan was with a mining company called Deveron, looking to expand into the drone business.

The two created Deveron UAS, a new Ontario-based company dedicated to UAV imagery in the agriculture sector across North America. With 15 pilots and their UAVs, the company is providing aerial crop scouting to farmers from Alberta to the Maritimes, and some parts of the U.S.

For the first time, growers can make in-season decisions about their crop by using UAV imaging.

"We can scout 100 acres in 20 minutes, providing more accurate information than just walking the rows because we see the entire field," says Lamothe. "We measure plant stress using multispectral imaging and are able to see things we just can't see with the naked eye."

Information from the UAV images arms on-the-ground agronomists and scouts to zero in on areas of higher plant stress to make recommendations and adjustments on fertility, pest and decision pressure, or even water usage.

The technology lends itself to variable rate fertilizer application, and that's where Lamothe says customers are seeing the biggest return on investment in corn and wheat.

"We fly a field, take an image and a prescription is written based on the images captured," he says.

The grower then applies nitrogen to fit just what's required for various areas of the field. In high value vegetable crops, the return on investment is similar for fertility, as well as detecting pest and disease infestations.

"The technology is proving its worth through increased yield and decreased input costs - because inputs are matched and used optimally to match the stresses in the field," says Lamothe.

Deveron has recently partnered with The Climate Corp to provide growers with a new option for how and where they store on-farm data generated by UAV imagery.

"Efficiency is going to be a necessity on farms as they get larger and personnel is more difficult to find and retain," says Lamothe. "UAV technology has a big role to play, providing insights to make decisions that will help us grow more food on less acres."

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Precision Ag
Organic sales in the United States were worth $47 billion in 2016, and organic food sales represent more than five per cent of total retail sales. In Canada, over 55 per cent of consumers purchase organic products on a weekly basis. With its new Certified Organic linPRO and linPRO-R animal feed ingredients, O&T Farms is helping its customers serve this growing market segment.

O&T Farms is a proven leader in the Omega-3 animal feed ingredient market, using its patented dry-extrusion process in the manufacturer of linPRO and linPRO-R. These specialty feed products aid in the consistent and reliable enrichment of Omega-3s into eggs, dairy and meats. The organic LinPRO products now provide the same nutritional advantages of enhanced digestibility, energy availability and improved rumen escape values only now using verified organic ingredients.

“We always strive to be responsive to changing markets, such as the incredible growth in organics, and develop products that allow our customers to be as versatile and serve as many markets as possible,” says Elan Ange, CEO of O&T Farms. “The organic certification of linPRO(organic) and linPRO-R(organic) means our flaxseed-based products can offer animal health and production benefits to a wider range of livestock producers. They open the door for the production of Omega-3 enriched organic alternatives for consumer food products such as milk, eggs, beef and chicken.”

LinPRO and linPRO-R are certified through International Certification Services Inc. under the National Organic Program (NOP) in accordance with USDA Agricultural Marketing Services and the Canadian Organic Regime (COR). The LinPRO brand offers high-energy, flaxseed-based feed products with high levels of fatty acids and amino acids.

The Omega-3 fatty acids contained in flaxseed have been associated with many animal and human health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to provide immunological benefits and potential production benefits to livestock, as well as human benefits that include improving brain and eye health and lowering the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia and arthritis. Additionally, feeding linPRO branded products to livestock is a natural way to improve the nutritional value of the end product (i.e. milk, eggs and animal protein) and therefore offer healthier alternatives to consumers.

RELATED: Flaxseed in animal feed has exciting potential
Published in Corporate News
The Organic Agricutural Complex at Cégep de Victoriaville is seeking Canada’s budding organic farmers. The school, home to a three-year technical program in agricultural study, is preparing an additional 4,400 sq. m in new facilities that include ultra-modern greenhouses, along with an investment in state-of-the-art equipment and an increase in room outdoors for young farmers to do their work.

Until recently, most of the CEGEP’s experimental farming had been done off their property, which limited research possibilities. In 2016, the school invested $550,000 to acquire 55 hectares now dedicated to development, crop breeding and vegetable production.Thanks in part to a $4.28-million grant from the federal government, which was matched by private donations and provincial funding, the complex should fully open its doors in 2018. Once complete, it will be among the largest agricultural campuses in the country. For the full story, click here.
Published in Corporate News
John Deere grain and cotton harvesting equipment have been honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) with the AE50 Award for 2018. The AE50 Award highlights the year’s most innovative product-engineering designs in the food and agriculture industry, as chosen by a panel of international engineering experts.

The John Deere S700 Series Combine was recognized for its significant innovations in “smart” technology, improved operator comfort and data capabilities for more efficient grain harvesting, said Matt Badding, John Deere marketing manager for harvesting equipment.

“The S700 Combines integrate new technologies that optimize and automate grain harvesting, making it easier, faster and more efficient for the operator,” Badding said. “By automating more adjustment and calibration tasks, we’ve enhanced the operational intelligence of these machines while improving overall durability and productivity, based on each customer’s crop and field conditions.”

The latest features include the Combine Advisor package that incorporates seven technologies to help operators set, optimize and automate the combine performance as crop conditions change; Auto Maintain and ActiveVision cameras for maximum threshing performance and grain quality; and Active Yield technology that automatically calibrates the mass flow sensor to eliminate the need for manual calibrations and ensure the best data is collected during harvest.

In addition, the CP690 Cotton Picker and CS690 Cotton Stripper were recognized for innovations in precision cotton-harvesting technologies that include moisture sensing, round module weighing, Harvest Identification, Cotton Pro and John Deere Operations Center Field Analyzer.

ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. From the many entries submitted each year, an expert panel of engineers selects approximately 50 products for recognition. The award-winning products are those ranked highest in innovation, significant engineering advancement and impact on the market served.
Published in Combines/Harvesters
A pilot project connecting Prince Edward Islanders in need of jobs with work on farms has had an added bonus.

The Harvest and Prosper Project ended in December, but some of the participants have been offered full-time employment this winter, helping fill a void on P.E.I. farms.

The Harvest and Prosper project helped newcomers, people on social assistance or disability support, to find short-term work in the agriculture industry without affecting any benefits they were receiving. For the full story, click here
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
After 32 years of representing the interests of all agricultural and industrial flax interests, the Flax Council of Canada’s Executive Committee regrets to announce the closure of its office at 465-167 Lombard Avenue in Winnipeg, effective January 31, 2018.

The Flax Council of Canada will continue to operate on a reduced service basis.

The Flax Council of Canada is a national organization, funded by a voluntary export levy. Established in 1986, the Flax Council promotes the advancement of Canadian flax and flax products including nutritional and industrial uses in domestic and international markets.

“Over the course of the past year, the formation of a combined oilseed council was thoroughly discussed at the request of some of our members that contribute significant levy dollars to the Council. Through these discussions, it became apparent that the formation of an oilseed council would not materialize in the foreseeable future. The result of this is a significant loss of funding to the Council, necessitating cost reduction measures.”

Recognizing the importance of a national voice, further dialogue will be needed to see what opportunities may lay ahead as the flax industry decides the merit of a national organization.

The Flax Council played a key role in managing the aftermath following the detection of CDC Triffid seed in shipments to the EU, providing financial support to significant testing protocols in an effort to remove Triffid from the seed supply in Canada.

Since 2013, the Flax Council has managed more than 6.2 million dollars in research and market development programs with the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Manitoba Agriculture, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and both the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission and Manitoba Flax Growers Association.

The Flax Council Executive and Board of Directors wishes to thank its staff who have worked hard and with professionalism for the flax industry during their time with the Flax Council of Canada. We wish them well in their future endeavours.
Published in Corporate News
Ontario is transferring the operating and research programming of the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station to Lakehead University to help foster innovation and strengthen Ontario's competitive edge by expanding agri-food research in Northwestern Ontario.

Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, made the announcement on behalf of Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Thunder Bay on Dec. 8, 2017.

The partnership with Lakehead University will support the long-term sustainability of the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station and will increase the university's capacity to build new programming and research that will benefit Northwestern Ontario.

The investment builds on the province's efforts to develop a sustainable, co-ordinated plan to expand agriculture in Northern Ontario, such as the Northern Livestock Pilot and field crop and beef research in New Liskeard.

“This investment reaffirms our government’s commitment to expanding agriculture in Northern Ontario. By investing in research and innovation, we are boosting the competitiveness of Ontario’s agri-food sector and ensuring that our farmers in Northwestern Ontario have the tools and resources they need to succeed," Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a press release. 
Published in Corporate News
Matt Dykerman hopes that creating a division of Farm & Food Care in Prince Edward Island will help teach Islanders where their food comes from, including family farms like his.

“Sometimes in the business, farmers like myself can forget to share our stories with the people who are consuming the fruits of our labour,” says Dykerman, owner of Red Soil Organics in Brookfield. “I am hopeful that Farm & Food Care PEI will engage consumers in a meaningful discussion on how food is produced and the hard work that goes into making it grow.”

Farm & Food Care is a coalition of farmers, agriculture and food partners and government working together to provide credible information on food and farming. Prince Edward Island is the third Canadian province to launch the organization, and the provincial government will invest $100,000 in it over the next year. For the full story, click here.

RELATED: Farm & Food Care Ontario unveils updated flagship publication
Published in Consumer Issues
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
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