Breeding for very early maturing soybeans

Breeding for very early maturing soybeans

Expanding soybean production to the west and north of southern Manitoba requires shorter season varieties that still produce good yields.

WI farmers encouraged to use tools for late fall manure spreading

WI farmers encouraged to use tools for late fall manure spreading

Farmers need to plan ahead and use the tools at hand in case a late harvest and early freeze narrow the window for manure spreading this fall.

Mysterious mycotoxins

Mysterious mycotoxins

As a child, the scariest thing about the Boogeyman was that he was hiding so close by that he could attack at any minute but couldn’t be seen.

Mandarin Oranges:

Mandarin Oranges:

The identity and amount of aroma volatiles is important in determining their contribution to the flavor of whole, fresh mandarins.

Growing new produce for new Canadians

Growing new produce for new Canadians

Canada’s changing demographics are creating new market opportunities for farmers looking to expand their businesses.

video
North American Manure Expo comes to Canada...
For the first time ever, the North American Manure Expo is being hosted within a Canadian province. The annual show is being held August 20 and 21, 2013, at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, located near Guelph, Ontario. So, what's a Manure Expo and why should you attend? This video will provide all the dirt.
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Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitatio...
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitation
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The population explosion...
With the world's population increasing exponentially and farmland staying the same, BASF took to the streets to ask consumers if this trend is sustainable.
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Lily Tamburic...
Lily Tamburic

Energy

ARPA-E has opened a funding opportunity aimed at increasing bioenergy crop yields. ARPA-E opens funding opportunity for feedstock development

October 6, 2014 - T he U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy has opened a $30 million funding opportunity that aims to increase energy crop yields. The program, titled the Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture program, aims to rapidly accelerate biomass yields gains through automated, predictive and systems-level approaches to biofuel crop breeding. According to ARPA-E, the TERRA program seeks to develop technologies that can increase the precision, accuracy and throughput of energy crop breeding to enable predictive algorithms for plant growth, more detailed measurements of plant physiology and more sophisticated bioinformatics for gene discovery and trait association. Up to $30 million is being made available for the program to develop automated, predictive and systems-level approaches to enable the quick and easy identification of traits that can be leveraged to increase biomass yield through accelerated breeding cycles. READ MORE

Production

(L-R) Mark Belanger, Kurt Bartman, Melissa Wiens Barkman, and Marianne Bonner Three young farmers awarded look at Aviagen's operations

October 15, 2014 - Aviagen recently announced that three young poultry farmers from Canada visited the company’s world headquarters to get a first-hand look at the most advanced poultry breeding operation in the world. This year, three farmers — all selected from the 2014 Canadian Broiler hatching Egg Producers Association’s (CBHEPA) young farmer’s program — spent a week at Aviagen facilities in Huntsville, Alabama and the surrounding areas.  This year’s CBHEPA young farmer’s program participants are Kurt Barkman and Melissa Wiens Barkman, both of Bredenbury, Saskatchawan, and Marianne Bonner from Chilliwack, British Columbia. The visit allowed the Barkmans and Bonner to tour an Aviagen farm and hatchery, in addition to the company’s product development facility. In their tours and meetings the Barkmans and Bonner gained in-depth knowledge of the US poultry industry, biosecurity practices, production planning, shipping and export processes, Ross® brand broiler/breeder traits and development, and Aviagen’s commitment to sustainability and animal welfare. Canadian Technical Manager Mark Belanger hosted the tours and meetings on behalf of Aviagen. “The young farmer’s tour at Aviagen is allowing me to gain more understanding of the genetics behind the birds and also the performance improvements of the Ross breeder as a result of the natural selection process,” said Kurt Barkman, whose father built the Barkman family’s first breeder barn shortly after Kurt was born. “I have always wanted to see the place where our birds originate from and meet some of the people behind the scenes.” For Bonner, whose farming operation produces 30 acres of blueberries in addition to breeders and broilers, joined her parents’ poultry business after first starting a career as a certified dental assistant. “Over the years, my sisters left and I remained,” said Bonner, who manages both breeders and pullets. “I attend every breeding and production seminar I can and have a real zest for knowledge. On any day you will find me walking through the barns, working the egg belts, balancing the finances, and any other chore that is necessary to keep the farm running as smooth as possible.” “These three young farmers exemplify the industrious and creative people who will shape the poultry industry of tomorrow. It’s an honour to show them our operations and give them an opportunity to get to know today’s leaders at Aviagen. From a breeder, broiler and blueberry farmer to an enthusiastic husband-and-wife poultry farming team, this year’s recipients truly impresses,” says Aviagen’s Canadian Regional Business Consultant, Scott Gillingham.  

Equipment

Efficiency on wheels Efficiency on wheels

Nuhn Industries’ Lagoon Crawler is known by many names – the Batmobile, the F1 racecar, Hot Wheels. But to the custom manure applicators who are actually getting this bright red agitation boat manure-splattered, it has one important label – efficient. “It will do the job of four lagoon agitators in less time,” says George Lorenz of L&M Industries, based in Black Creek, Wisc. “With an agitator, you’re really only reaching the manure in a 50-foot diameter around it. You only wish it was doing as good a job as this crawler.” L&M Industries handles about 350-million gallons of dairy manure annually, mostly in Wisconsin. Of that volume, about 40 percent is sand-laden. And if there’s one thing the Lagoon Crawler appears to excel at, it’s mixing liquid manure and sand into suspension. “Sometimes, it does too good of a job,” admits Lorenz with a laugh. “We can mix for an hour and then we have to shut the machine down. The manure is so well-mixed, it can become too thick to pump.” Lorenz had his first glimpse of Nuhn’s creation in August 2013 during that year’s North American Manure Expo, held in Guelph, Ont. He had a second look at the machine during a farm show later that same year in Oshkosh, Wisc. When he discovered another custom manure applicator in Wisconsin had purchased one, he managed to wrestle a test drive. “We convinced them to rent it to us. We put 77 hours on it.” The brainchild of Ian Nuhn, a prototype of the amphibious lagoon agitator was designed and constructed by Nuhn Industries in 10 days so it could be displayed at the 2013 expo. The company worked from August 2013 to January 2014 perfecting the prototype before shipping the first unit in February 2014. “The idea came from our customers,” explained Nuhn. “We talked to our customers and dealers about what they needed, what they were looking for. They said it needed to have wheels to get in and out of the pit.” Besides hydraulic wheels, the Lagoon Crawler also features a 275 horsepower Cummins/John Deere motor, which can pump close to 10,000 gallons of manure per minute. It has a hydraulic lift undercarriage to help it maneuver in and out of lagoons and is remotely operated. There are currently 35 Lagoon Crawlers in use, mostly in Wisconsin and California. There are another 25 on order, including some heading to Russia, a country Nuhn described as “an untapped market.” Earlier this year, L&M Industries took delivery of its first lagoon crawler, which currently has 110 hours on its 275 horsepower engine. A second one is on order. “It’s great,” says Lorenz. “I like the fact that, so far, it hasn’t plugged up. If you get it stuck on a sand bar, you’re able to drive it right off. You can drive it out of the pit and around the yard. One person can load it.” That ease of handling was one of the features that struck a chord with custom manure applicator Jim Jolivette of Jolivette Hauling out of Taylor, Wisc. “The labor efficiency really struck me as something positive,” he said. “It really helps when you’re short on labor. It’s easy to manage and easy to run with one person. “And there’s the safety aspect, too. It’s handy to drive in and out. You don’t have to crane it in.” Jolivette Hauling handles between 90- and 100-million gallons of manure annually, almost all of it dairy with about 40 percent sand-laden. “It does a very good job agitating,” said Jolivette. “There’s getting to be more sand used as bedding in the area. It suspends the sand a lot better.” Jake Zutz of Braun Electric Inc. in St. Nazianz, Wisc., has experienced first-hand the time-saving aspects of the crawler. “We have a client who we usually end up leaving with about six-feet of sand remaining using pumps and props,” he said. “With this boat, he was left with six-inches [of sand] remaining in the entire concrete-lined lagoon. “It does an excellent job agitating and can do a way better job than a lagoon pump. You don’t need three tractors and three pumps. The boat makes you way more mobile.” Braun Electric, which handles 150- to 175-million gallons of manure annually – about 50 to 70 percent of which is sand laden – currently has two crawlers available for rent and custom work. “We have a couple hundred hours on ours,” said Zutz. “I’ve tried to get it stuck and I haven’t been able to. It’s just a great idea on wheels.” Custom manure applicators, farmers and other people involved in the manure handling industry had an opportunity to see Nuhn’s Lagoon Crawler in action during the 2014 North American Manure Expo, held in Springfield, Missouri. It was one of many lagoon boats showcased during a demonstration at Chapman Dairy, a pasture-based dairy located near Pierce City.      

Business/Policy

U.S COOL rule still trade-distorting according to WTO. WTO rules in favour of Canada on country-of-origin labelling requirement

October 20, 2014 - The National Cattle Feeders' Association (NCFA) says it is pleased with the ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel on the US mandatory Country-of-Origin Labelling requirement (COOL). The WTO released the panel report today in Geneva. The panel report ruled overwhelmingly in Canada's favour in a dispute over COOL that has been ongoing in the WTO for nearly six years. This is the third time Canada has prevailed in demonstrating that the US COOL law violates the WTO obligations of the United States. "Since the beginning of this dispute we believed the US was not adhering to the agreed rules of trade and the latest report of the WTO panel confirms this again", said NCFA Chairman, Jeff Warrack. "Canada and the US are trading nations and each other's biggest customers so it is vital that both countries adhere to the rules of the game and unfortunately the US has not done so," added Warrack. COOL legislation has cost the Canadian hog and beef sectors well in excess of $1 billion. The effect of the law is to force US packers to segregate Canadian beef from US beef. NCFA claims that discriminatory treatment of Canadian cattle breaks the WTO rules. "This has been a long and arduous road and we are perplexed with the behavior of the US administration and its refusal to abandon COOL and bring the US into compliance with WTO trade law", stated Warrack. Canada's frustration on this matter prompted the Minister of Finance to direct his department to publish in the Canada Gazette in June 2013, a list of proposed products on which Canada would impose WTO sanctioned retaliation against the United States. The retaliation would take the form of a 100 per cent surtax on selected products. "It's regrettable that we were forced to move in this direction but we were left with no choice and we fully support the intention of the Canadian government to retaliate if the United States does not now abide by the WTO ruling by removing this discriminatory measure", said Warrack.The retaliation in this instance would be sanctioned by the WTO because of the refusal by the United States to respect repeated WTO rulings on this matter. Pursuant to WTO requirements, the surtax would be applied only to products of United States origin leaving Canadian purchasers free to import the same products from other countries. The Canadian government would keep the retaliation in effect until the United States fully complied with the WTO ruling.