following farm equipment photo

Safely transport oversized loads

With larger farm equipment comes larger transportation challenges. Equipment wider than highway lanes poses a hazard to not only the equipment operator, but also to other motor vehicle operators. Tall equipment can come into contact with low-hanging wires, bridges and other vital pieces of infrastructure.

Collisions with other vehicles is a major concern while transporting all farm equipment on Read more

Grain auger and Bin photo

Maintain augers and create safe work zones to prevent entanglements

An auger in good condition is an essential tool when it comes time to move grain and feed around the farm. Per hour of use augers are one of the most hazardous machines on the farm, especially if they haven’t been properly maintained.

Although Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting statistics have identified runovers as the top cause of agriculture-related fatalities, the number of reported entanglements remain on that list and continue to be an area of concern. Read more

ATV safety

ATVs on the farm

Your family is your pride and joy. Whether you are raising children, watching out for your partner, or checking in on Dad after a long day in the field, you would do anything to keep them safe, while preserving the farm experience for future generations. ATVs on the farm ATVs are used on our farm […]

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Naahii Ridge students learn about agriculture

February 16 was Canada’s Agriculture Day and the students at Naahii Ridge Public School in Ridgetown, Ontario, had the chance to celebrate the day with many volunteers from the agricultural community.

“Canada’s Ag Day was a great opportunity for us to talk to the students about why the Canadian Ag industry is so important,” says Amy Caron, Communications Specialist for Dow Seeds. “Dow Seeds was very fortunate to work with some great community volunteers to bring that message to the students at Naahii.”

Travis Roodzant from Thompsons Limited – Blacks Lane branch.

Photo from Canada Agriculture Day

Students from grades 4, 5 and 6 listened to presentations on the importance of the Ag industry and the various career opportunities this sector offers. The students then participated in the “Canada’s Ag Day Trade Show” where they travelled around the gym to various stations to talk to the volunteers about what they do in the Ag industry.

Students had the opportunity to talk to: Cara McCready, a Greenhouse IPM Specialist with OMAFRA who talked about beneficial pests and pest management; Jane Lawton from Chatham-Kent 4H about the organization and how to become involved; Janice Anderson from Pioneer about the importance of Women in Ag; Rob Reid, Dairy Education Center Manager, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, who spoke on what happens in a dairy barn; Grace Jones, a Dow Seeds Territory Sales Rep, spoke on the importance of business and crop planning with farmers; Travis Roodzant from Thompsons Limited talked to the kids about agronomy and the use of drones in that process; Madison Trozzi, a high school senior who completed her co-op in the Dow Seeds Seed Lab showed the science behind ag industry and Eric Bastiaansen, an egg farmer from Thedford talked about how your eggs get from his farm to your grocery store.

Pictured are the Canada Agriculture Day volunteers, left to right: Cara McCready, Travis Roodzant, Grace Jones, Madison Trozzi, Rob Reid, Jane Sawton, Janice Anderson, and Eric Batiaansen. Absent from photo was Cassi Boersma.

Ag Day in Ridgetown, Ontario photo

Students from Grades 1 to 3 didn’t miss out on the festivities. Cassi Boersma, a part time teacher with Naahii and the Farm Safety Coordinator for Ridgetown, spoke to this group of students about the importance of ATV and farm safety.

Other organizations who helped support this event were FCC, Ag in the Classroom and Agriculture More Than Ever.

“We only had a couple of hours to share our stories with these students,” says Caron. “However, there were some great questions and hopefully some great conversations around their dinner table that night.”

Click for more information on Canada’s Agriculture Day.


Source: Ridgetown Independent News – 1 Main Street, Ridgetown, ON (519) 674-5205.

Record harvests of corn and soybeans that fortified bearish arguments in 2016

The big crops keep coming

With 2016 nearly in the history books, it seems fair to say that the year will be remembered for its record corn and soybean harvests. Never before has any country ever produced 15.23 billion bushels of corn or 4.36 bb of soybeans, let alone both in the same season.

Not only was 2016 a year of good harvest, it was the fourth consecutive year of good harvests and, because of that, ending surpluses grew larger. According to USDA, U.S. ending corn stocks will total 2.4 billion bushels in 2016-17 or 16.4% of annual use. That is the highest stocks-to-use ratio in 11 years, an impressive accomplishment that took DTN’s national index of cash corn prices below $3.00 a bushel in the fall to its lowest level in eight years. Read more

Soybean futures – will they outperform in 2017 too?

Soybean futures outperformed in 2016, rising for the first time in four years, by 14.4%, compared with a 1.9% decline in Chicago corn futures, and a 13.2% drop in wheat.

While the US harvested a record crop, demand has been strong too – supported by Chinese imports which also set a record high, with demand supported by a recovery in the fortunes of the country’s important hog producers.

Meanwhile, values of soybean oil have been supported by disappointing global output of rival palm oil, with the latest El Niño casting a long shadow over South East Asian production.

But will such factors continue to support soybean futures in 2017? Or will the US produce another record harvest to dampen price prospects?

Read more

loonie piggy bank image

Loonie the No. 1 Trend to Watch in Agriculture: FCC

The Canadian dollar will have the biggest – and a mostly positive – impact on Canadian agriculture in 2017, according to Farm Credit Canada (FCC).

In its annual list of main industry drivers farmers should keep an eye on in the New Year, FCC said the loonie will impact every business across the entire agri-food supply chain in 2017. “Varying against the relative value of the American dollar, it can uniquely drive profits either higher or lower and is therefore our No. 1 trend to watch.”

To that end, FCC forecast the loonie in 2017 will pick up right where it left off in 2016: It will be a generally positive trend for Canadian agriculture, remaining below its 5-year average of 88 cents US, and hovering around 75 cents throughout the year.

“Watch the loonie in 2017. It could easily have the largest impact of all possible trends and drivers on the profitability of Canadian agriculture and agribusiness throughout the year,” FCC said. “It’ll certainly show up in the prices Canadian ag producers will get and ultimately, their farm cash receipts. A low loonie makes Canadian manufactured food products more competitive in foreign markets, and domestically, it’ll help shield Canadian firms from foreign competition.”

Meanwhile, FCC also compiled a list of four other drivers it believes will also impact Canadian agriculture throughout 2017.

  1. Energy prices

The West Texas Intermediate oil price benchmark is expected to remain around the US$50 per barrel threshold. Commitments to cut oil production by major oil producing countries strengthened the outlook for oil recently. But there are serious questions about the likely supply and strength of demand throughout the year.

  1. Commodity prices

With production growth and high ending stocks the big story for 2017, commodity prices aren’t likely to get much better for Canadian producers. Will lower commodity prices keep consumption and export demand strong enough?

  1. Investment landscape

The U.S. Federal Reserve chose to hike its key interest rate in December. Interest rates should rise both in the U.S. and Canada, but it’s the spread between the different rates that matters. With an outlook for this spread to grow slightly in 2017, how much investment potential will the Canadian economy hold?

  1. Global economy

The global economy will be a bit of a wild card in 2017. It’s going to impact demand for ag commodities. But as China-U.S. trade flows evolve, the question of their capacity to influence commodity prices and the long-term health of Canadian ag exports remains.


Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

Information contained herein is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed by the parties providing it. Thompsons, DePutter Publishing Ltd. and their information sources assume no responsibility or liability for any action taken as a result of any information or advice contained in these reports, and any action taken is solely at the liability and responsibility of the user.

Iowa Farmland Values Slide for Third Straight Year

Gains in Canadian farmland values may be slowing; in Iowa they are continuing to slide.

According to the results of an Iowa State University survey released this week, the average value of Iowa farmland has shown a decline for the third year in a row — the first three-year losing streak since the 1980s farm crisis. At US$7,183, the average per acre price of farmland in the state was down $449 or almost 6% from November, 2015 and is now 17.5% below the historic high of $8,716 reached in 2013.

“The golden era of phenomenal, yet abnormal growth in farm income and land values, as we saw from 2006 to 2013, is already behind us,” said Wendong Zhang, assistant professor of economics at Iowa State University, who led the annual survey. “The land market is going through an orderly adjustment while the U.S. agricultural sector, a competitive industry, is trying to adjust to the old normal of zero industry-wise net profits.” Read more

Ontario crop retailer takes deeper jump into organics

By John Greig OrganicBIZ.ca.


RobWallbridge

 

One of the biggest challenges for organic crop farmers is to find solid agronomic information and markets that are reliable.

Larger conventional farm retailers have only made cautious steps into the organic market.

Thompsons Limited, however, has been putting more resources and focus on organic crops since July. The Ontario-based crop supply and marketing company has seen potential in the organic market, which makes some sense as it has a long history in marketing specialty crops.

The company hired Rob Wallbridge, a well-known organic consultant and former certifier to lead its greater push into organics. He’s also a Certified Crop Advisor.

“Thompsons has been in the organic grain markets for a number of years,” he says, including sourcing organic soybeans as part of its identity preserved and non-GMO soybean purchasing. “They found a growing demand for other organic crops.”

Thompsons is now buying organic corn, wheat, soybeans and some rye.

In the past Thompsons would have bought organic soybeans from a farmer, but the farmer would have had to find markets for his or her other crops. A more diverse crop rotation is necessary for organic production, and finding reliable markets for all of their organic production has proved challenging and a barrier for some farmers.

He’s very very knowledgeable. He’s farmed, he’s done the whole gammit. – Steve Hartman, organic crops and milk seller

Steve Hartman sells crops and milk organically, including some soybeans in the past to Thompsons in Granton. He says the hiring of Wallbridge shows that Thompson is serious about organics. Read more

London soybean farmers hope to match record set by wheat crop

By John Miner, The London Free Press


After harvesting a record wheat crop earlier this summer, some farmers in the London region are looking at scoring a repeat with soybeans.

“Soybeans are much better than anyone anticipated. Many people in the London area are having record yields,” Peter Johnson, a Southwestern Ontario-based agronomist with Real Agriculture, said Wednesday.

Soybeans are Ontario’s biggest cash crop with sales in 2015 at the farm gate exceeding $1.4 billion. In Middlesex County, soybeans typically bring in more than $100 million a year.

While the London region and much of Southwestern Ontario fared well, it wasn’t the same story in the Niagara Peninsula where it remained dry through most of August. Read more