Assessing winter survival in wheat Factors affecting winter survival in wheat The ability of winter wheat plants to survive winter often depends on each plant’s ability to tolerate low temperatures. Winter wheat plants go through a process called ‘cold acclimation’ in the fall during which each plant acquires the ability to withstand the cold temperatures […]
Let’s (always) celebrate the food we love.
Top 10 reasons to celebrate Canadian agriculture
The first-ever Canada’s Agriculture Day was a huge success. In 2018, it’s getting bigger and better. And why not? There are so many reasons to celebrate our industry. Here are our top 10.
- The ag industry is a major employer. Agriculture employs over two million Canadians – that’s one in eight jobs.
- We’re a trading powerhouse. Canada is the world’s fifth largest agriculture exporter with over $50 billion in annual sales.
- Family matters. We love ag for the life it gives our kids now and the opportunities it will give them in the future. It’s not just our livelihood, it’s our legacy – 97% of farms are family farms.
- Ag plays a major role in our economy. It contributes over $100 billion to Canada’s GDP each year.
- We’re proud environmentalists. Ike Skelton once said, “Because of their connections to the land, farmers do more to protect and preserve our environment than almost anyone else.”
- We love and care for our animals. We believe in responsible animal care and follow nationally recognized codes of practice for the care and handling of our animals.
- Ag is innovative. Thanks to modern farming practices, the average household saves more than $4,000 on food annually – that’s about $60 billion across Canada.
- We believe in quality. Canada ranks number one in global food safety.
- We’re a trusted industry. A recent Canadian Centre for Food Integrity survey shows that consumers trust farmers more than any other group and 60% want to know more about farming practices.
- We love what we do. Agriculture isn’t just our business, it’s our passion and our way of life. So, let’s be proud to share our story, explain where food comes from and how it’s produced, and reach out to those not in the ag industry.
No matter how you look at it, Canadian agriculture is a success story. Let’s get out there and start having ag and food conversations. And let’s celebrate!
Safe operation of the most used equipment on the farm – the tractor
With a new year comes resolutions. This year, instead of making a resolution to do something you’ve never done before, what if you made a resolution to perform daily tasks properly and safely? Something like operating a tractor?
Tractors are essential to farm operations. From field work to feeding the livestock to cleaning snow, tractors are the most used machine on the farm. Firing up the tractor is pretty routine on the farm and operation seems pretty straightforward. As simple and as commonplace as using these machines are, the fact remains that the majority of agriculture machinery-related fatalities involve tractors. Reminders on basic safety while operating tractors can help everyone stay safe.
Did you know that the majority of deaths on Canadian farms involve a tractor? Runovers and rollovers are the top two ways people are killed on the farm. Unmanned machine runovers account for approximately half of all runover fatalities. This means that half of all runover deaths happen when no one is even driving the machine! Passengers and operators who fall from the machine are also killed in runovers all too frequently.
Bystanders are also in danger of being runover, unfortunately, most killed in bystander runovers are children under the age of nine. Runovers are easy to prevent if basic tractor operating procedures are followed. Before mounting the tractor, walk around the machine to check for obstructions, bystanders and to check the general condition of the tractor. If any systems are faulty, do not use the tractor.
Before starting the tractor, make sure that all controls are in their neutral positions, the parking brake is applied and the clutch and PTO are disengaged. Do not start or operate any of the controls from anywhere other than the seat. Be sure to drive at a speed slow enough to keep control of the tractor, especially over expected hazards like railroad crossings. Do not drive the tractor on ground that may collapse, like near ditches or embankments.
When coming to a stop, make sure you are parked on even ground, disengage the PTO (if connected), and lower any implements that are attached. Be sure to place all controls in the neutral position, apply the parking brake and turn off the engine. Remove the key. Never dismount if the tractor is still moving.
It cannot be stressed enough that tractors are not passenger vehicles. Except for those built with instructional seats, they are built for one person. There are far too many stories of extra riders being killed or injured. Keeping extra riders off the tractor is an easy way to prevent tragedy.
To sum up, watch for bystanders (keep kids in supervised, safe play areas), do not try to start the tractor from anywhere but the operator’s seat, drive cautiously and never, ever allow extra riders. Operating a tractor safely is one New Year’s resolution that will pay off in reduced injuries and fatalities.
Written by Alex Richardson, Agricultural Consultant, Thompsons – Blenheim.
Wheat harvest is complete and yields have given us great insight about our fields once again.
Variability was evident, and the results remind us it’s time to soil sample.
Soil sampling after wheat harvest is a great option to allow for the right conditions, and the time to do the sampling properly. It gives us the ability to plan using these results–not only for the remaining growing year, but for next year as well.
Results gathered now can be reviewed and used to apply some fall fertilizer or make spring plans for fertility management. Knowing what nutrients are already in the field is the best way to start that process.
Thompsons offers 3 main soil sampling packages, with options to suit any grower and any field.
Intensive Zone Sampling
Using data from numerous sources, grower expertise, and your local Thompsons Agricultural consultant, management zones will be mapped and generated throughout the field. Soil samples will be taken across these zones to best represent the field following the topography, yield, or problem areas depicted in the zones.
Choose from a 1 acre, 2.5 acre or 5 acre sample area. Your field will be overlaid with a grid, followed by samples taken in each grid from an area that best represents the lay of the land within that grid space.
Generate larger zones across the field to sample. Zones range from 10 acres to 25 acres in size, again based on numerous sources and grower expertise. Monitor and map the variability in your field!
Talk to your local Thompsons Agricultural Consultant today about any of these sampling packages and customized options. We can build a soil sampling plan to suit your individual farm and management situation.
We all know our fields are variable and need to continue managing the variability on our farms!
All soil sampling options include a complete mapbook of your field and soil analysis, with lab results attached.
Once the results have come from the lab, the value of soil sampling begins as fertility management progresses. With the help of your local Thompsons Agricultural Consultant, your field’s fertility can be reviewed and a plan put in place to build and maintain your soil health.
Late season nitrogen application has been a hot topic amongst farmers and uptake in this practice has increased in recent years. The expense and environmental impact has made growers think differently about nitrogen application.
Weather extremes has also caused growers to change the way they apply nitrogen to mitigate loses from excessive rainfall when applying all their nitrogen ahead of planting. Read more
Preparing grain bins for harvest should be done to maintain the quality of grain and to make sure the areas around bins are ready for the busy season ahead. It is also a good time to inspect any mechanical components and clean up around the bin. Simple maintenance and safety rules will make sure we don’t experience any difficulties in the season ahead.
A key reason why people become entrapped in grain is because grain stored in bins is spoiled. Making sure that the bins are ready to be loaded with newly harvested grain reduces the risk of spoilage. If the grain is in good condition, people don’t have to enter the bin, reducing the risk of entrapment. Read more
Heat stress can be a killer on the job site. Outside of the direct consequences such as heat stroke, heat stress can cause incidents due to loss of focus or excessive fatigue on the job.
Heat cramps are painful, brief muscle cramps. Muscles may spasm or spasm involuntarily. Heat cramps can occur during exercise or work in a hot environment or begin a few hours later.
There are two types of heat exhaustion. Read more
To be leaders in the food and agribusiness sector through sustainability, integrity, relationships, employee engagement, profitability and innovation.
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