Canadian certified organic IMTA kelps hit market

Canadian certified organic IMTA kelps hit market

Cultivated kelps raised on a farm in the Bay of Fundy have been certified to the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard and will soon be making their way into the marketplace.

Field management to reduce blackleg risk

Field management to reduce blackleg risk

For many years, blackleg disease on the Prairies was managed fairly successfully through the use of disease resistant varieties and an extended rotation.

Humidity increases mold pressure in raspberries

Humidity increases mold pressure in raspberries

Continued humid conditions with moderate to warm temperatures are promoting Botrytis gray mold infection in fall raspberries.

Cold temperatures hamper soybean nodulation

Cold temperatures hamper soybean nodulation

The 2014 growing season was the worst year in recent memory for poor root nodulation and nitrogen (N) fixation in soybeans.

Researchers study myelin to help improve piglet survival

Researchers study myelin to help improve piglet survival

Reduced myelin may contribute to poor survival of low-birth-weight piglets, and improved myelination may help the piglets survive.

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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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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...
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Production

Egg Farmers of Canada is proud to be the 2014 recipient of the Crystal Egg Award for outstanding commitment to corporate and social responsibility EFC awarded Crystal Egg Award by International Egg Commission

  September 15, 2014 - The Egg Farmers of Canada is the 2014 recipient of the Crystal Egg Award for outstanding commitment to corporate and social responsibility.  It was presented to the organization by the International Egg Commission last week in Edinburgh, Scotland. The International Egg Commission, currently celebrating their 50th anniversary, made the announcement at their annual Gala where hundreds of delegates from across the world gathered to share best practices, discuss global trends and emerging opportunities in the international egg industry. "Social responsibility has been a pillar at Egg Farmers of Canada for many years. Through sponsorships and partnerships, donations and awareness campaigns, our farmers make it a priority to give back to their community", said Peter Clarke, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. "This award goes to all of our farmers and our dedicated staff who work hard every day and who live up to this mission". Egg Farmers of Canada is working with many national organisations, such as Breakfast Club of Canada and Food Banks Canada to promote healthy living at home and in the classroom. They also sponsor events such as the Forum for Young Canadians, who welcomes students from across the country in the nation's capital and teach them the roots of Canadian politics. "We sponsor many events through the year that are close to our farmer's heart. For example, we are very proud to be the Official Nutritional Partner of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, coming up on October 5th"," added Peter Clarke. Among many initiatives, Egg Farmers of Canada recently took part in a Heart and Stroke Foundation fundraising activity, gives staff time to volunteer and became a partner of BullFrog Power, a step taken under EFC's Office Green Initiative that aims to reduce the company's environmental impact. "At the end of the day, we know responsibility, integrity and community involvement are an important part of egg farmers' businesses and lives and it is important for us to live up to these principles and incorporate them into all aspects of our organization", concluded Clarke.  

Equipment

TOMRA Sorting Solutions launches new potato sorter TOMRA Sorting Solutions launches new potato sorter

September 3, 2014 – TOMRA Sorting Solutions recently released its new sensor-based systems to sort and process potato products at Potato Europe. The company demonstrated the Field Potato Sorter (FPS) and displayed the Halo sorter at Potato Europe, in Bockerode, near Hanover, Germany. “This is the first successful high throughput optical sorting solution in the industry for unwashed potatoes. The system enables growers, processors and packer companies to lower labour and potato storage costs significantly while raising product quality and yield,” explained Jim Frost, market unit manager, TOMRA Sorting Food.“ "Utilizing unique biometric signature identification technology, the FPS provides a representation of the visible and near infrared spectral zones, which allows it to analyze and identify organic characteristics and compositions of all objects. It can therefore distinguish clumps of dirt, stones, foreign material and rot from potatoes, even those with substantial soil covering.” Frost said the machine could be used for different varieties and sizes of unwashed potato while process and packer customers can use the data the machine produces for predictive analysis, to achieve purposes such as optimizing production lines. “The FPS is replacing hard-to-find manpower needed to clean the product stream going into and out of potato storage. The robust, weatherproof and user-friendly system is compact and available in various widths to fit all specific capacities up to 70,000 kilos an hour. The sorting machine is compatible with other potato grading equipment, but can also be used on its own to sort harvested potatoes, before or after storage.”

Research

Researchers could improve how produce shipped Researchers could improve how produce shipped

September 9, 2014, Gainesville, FL – A University of Florida-led research team’s development of a tracking system could change the way companies ship fresh fruits and vegetables, letting them know which produce is closest to expiration and providing consumers the freshest products available. Jeffrey Brecht, director of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Center for Food Distribution and Retailing, studied strawberries beginning with their harvesting from fields in Florida and California to their delivery to stores in Illinois, Washington, Alabama and South Carolina. Colleagues from the University of South Florida, Georgia Tech and industry partners collaborated on the project, funded by a $155,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation. Brecht delivered a presentation recently on his findings at the International Horticultural Congress in Brisbane, Australia. The researchers placed two radio frequency identification (RFID) devices into each pallet of strawberries as they were picked. The devices allowed them to track the strawberries’ temperature from the field, through pre-cooling and into trucks (which can hold 28 pallets), to distribution centers and then on to stores. Their theory is that if you know the quality of the produce and the temperatures to which it has been exposed, you will know which produce to deliver first to stores. They specifically researched the theory of “first in–first out,” known as FIFO in the food distribution industry. And they found that “first expired-first out,” or FEFO, was a better way to distribute delicate fruits and vegetables. Companies normally measure only the temperature of an entire truck. But Brecht explained that individual pallets can vary greatly in temperature, depending on what time of the day berries were picked and even their placement on the truck. Strawberries picked in the cool of the morning and placed on a refrigerated truck would stay fresher longer than strawberries picked in the afternoon heat. Brecht said under perfect conditions, strawberries can maintain a good quality, based on researchers’ scale of what’s acceptable, for up to 14 days. Less than perfect conditions, mainly due to a lack of temperature control, drastically reduce the berries’ postharvest life. It can take as long as four days to go from field to store, but that would be for a cross-country trip, such as from California to South Carolina. Maintaining good quality, he said, helps consumers buy what is freshest and reduces food waste. “If you improve the efficiency of postharvest handling, you reduce waste and losses and that improves sustainability,” Brecht said. “Because, of course, if you ship something to market that’s not going to end up being eaten by consumers, every single bit of input in growing it, harvesting, packing, cooling, shipping – everything is wasted.”