Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC)

Jobs survey finds growing demand for agriculture graduates

Ontario Agriculture College boosts spots in its agriculture programs by 30 per cent

Written by John Greig, Field Editor, Country Guide

The University of Guelph continues to increase enrollment in its agriculture programs, but graduates will continue to find four jobs available for each of them.

The Ontario Agriculture College (OAC), at the university has boosted spots in its agriculture programs by 30 per cent since 2012 and by 50 per cent in its Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program.

University of Guelph

University of Guelph

However, in the five years since the university last did a similar survey, respondents in agriculture and food processing say they have even more trouble filling jobs in the sector than they did five years ago – 67 per cent of agriculture companies and 51 per cent of food companies report difficulties in recruiting qualified workers. That compares to 40 per cent of agriculture and 28 per cent of food companies reporting similar challenges in 2012. Read more

USDA Chart

USDA Throws Corn a Curve Ball

Divide Between USDA, Trade Yield Estimates Mostly Due to Different Methodologies

In a ballgame eerily similar to last year, USDA threw a curve ball at the corn market Thursday. But unlike last August when the bulls were able to hit that bearish offering and close higher, this year they clearly swung and missed.

Read more

Canola and wheat field photo

Principal field crop areas, June 2017

Canadian producers reported seeding record areas of canola and soybeans in 2017, with the canola area exceeding wheat (all varieties combined) for the first time ever. Seeded acreage of corn for grain and oats also increased. Meanwhile, the areas seeded to all wheat, lentils and barley declined from 2016.

Due to unseasonal early snow last fall, harvesting in some parts of the country was delayed until this spring. Additionally, localized areas reported very wet spring conditions and some flooding occurred in Ontario and Quebec. These conditions may have affected some of the seeded areas reported. Read more

150 years of Canadian agriculture

The 2016 Census of Agriculture marks the 22nd census since Confederation in 1867. Just as Canada as a country has evolved over the past 150 years, so too has the agriculture sector. Agriculture has used innovation to push the bounds of production, transforming farming from the small scale to a highly mechanized and advanced industry.

While there are fewer agricultural operations in Canada than there were in 1871, the average farm size has risen consistently—from 98 acres in 1871 to 820 acres in 2016. Canada reported 14 times as much wheat acreage in 2016 than was reported on the first Census of Agriculture in 1871. There were also 10 times as many pigs and 5 times as many head of cattle as reported in 1871. Read more

Preparing grain bins for harvest

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

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-related illnesses

Heat cramps

 

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.

Heat exhaustion

There are two types of heat exhaustion. Read more

CBOT building

CBOT weekly outlook: Weather watching trade in summertime

Corn and soybean futures at the Chicago Board of Trade are hanging in a seasonal weather-based market, with traders watching crop conditions week-to-week.

Corn

Corn futures have downside potential, gathering influence from wheat futures and crop ratings in the near term.

“I’m looking for an improvement in crop ratings next week, which might put a little light pressure on corn,” said Terry Reilly of Futures International.

The market had a support level at $3.7125, he added (all figures US$). Prices broke below that level on Wednesday.

Spreading between wheat and corn markets has also kept CBOT corn from rallying over the past several sessions, Reilly said. Read more