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
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.
Nitrogen loss is real. University of Minnesota researcher Fabian Fernandez says growers could seriously shave the fertilizer budget by taking a different approach to nitrogen (N) applications.
Dealing with weeds? Of course you are. And thanks to the ever-evolving nature of weeds, what you dealt with in 2017 might not help you with what could happen in 2018. Of course lessons are learned, but as a producer, your goal should always be to learn more, stay informed and be diligent – otherwise your crop yields (and your bottom line) suffer.
Published in Corporate News
The Government of Saskatchewan recently approved a new recycling program for agricultural grain bags. The program, set to launch this month, provides a responsible option for producers to return these large, heavy bags for recycling and to prevent environmental harm from open burning or improper disposal.

The recycling program will be operated by Cleanfarms, a non-profit environmental stewardship organization, and regulated by The Agricultural Packaging Product Waste Stewardship Regulations, which came into effect in July 2016.

With the assistance of funding from the Ministry of Agriculture, Cleanfarms will establish 20 grain bag collection sites in 2018, with more sites planned for 2019.

The Ministry of Agriculture funded a grain bag recycling pilot program from 2011 to 2017, operated by Simply Agriculture Solutions. Through the program, 4,209 metric tonnes of material was shipped to recyclers – equivalent to approximately 28,000 grain bags.

The new program will include an environmental handling fee of $0.25 per kilogram, which will be paid at the point of purchase effective November 1, 2018.
Published in Storage & Transport
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.
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
Over the long-term, crop rotation, fertilizer strategies and management practices impact field productivity, nitrogen cycling and balance, and soil properties. These long-term practices also have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions such as nitrous oxide (N2O) and provide opportunities to reduce environmental Nitrogen (N) losses.
While attending Farm Tech in Edmonton this year, Darrell Bricker, CEO for IPSOS Public Affairs, spoke as the keynote to hundreds of farmers, crop scientists and industry professionals about the future of consumers – “the new Canada” – and what this means for agriculture.
Published in Consumer Issues
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.
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
The Manitoba government has launched a consultation focused on agricultural Crown lands, to ensure upcoming policy changes reflect the views of the livestock industry while improving fairness and transparency in the system, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler has announced.

A consultation document released today highlights a number of areas to provide input on including:
• possible limits on how much agricultural Crown land a person or farm entity can hold under a lease or permit,
• what additional eligibility criteria should be considered to hold a lease or permit,
• design considerations of a forage tendering process, and
• appropriate terms for the length of forage leases and renewable permits.

The public consultation document is available online at under Surveys and Consultations. The deadline to submit comments is April 6.

The new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation was introduced in December 2017 and deals with forage leases, hay and grazing permits, and cropping leases. As of Jan. 1, agricultural Crown lands for grazing and haying will be made available through a tendering system, consistent with how these lands are accessed for other uses such as growing crops.

The minister noted the system will ensure prices paid by producers for these leases and permits will more accurately reflect their market value. He added the shift to a tendering system for all agricultural Crown lands is expected to be in place for fall 2018.
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
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
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
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
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
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