following farm equipment photo

Sharing the road – farmers and motorists

Now is the time for field crop harvest, and more motorists will be encountering farm equipment on rural roads, increasing the potential for accidents.

Harvest season generally brings a time when there is an increase in collisions between farm equipment and other vehicles.

Keep in mind the following safety tips for motorists as you share the road with farm equipment:

  • Farm machinery has a legal right to use public roads just as other motor vehicles.
  • Farm machinery can unexpectedly turn onto a public road from a field or driveway.
  • Farm machinery operators may not be able to see you because the large equipment or a load can block part of their rear view.
  • Slow-moving farm machinery traveling less than 25 miles per hour should display a slow moving vehicle emblem on the back of the equipment.
  • Extra-wide farm machinery may take up more than one lane to avoid hitting obstacles such as mailboxes and road signs.

Before passing farm machinery:

  • Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator is likely preparing to make a wide left turn.
  • Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass.

Rural road rage can be negated if everyone takes the responsibility to have extra patience, careful driving habits, and use high-visibility markings and lighting.

Hensall staff and local students plant a rain garden

Hensall Rain Garden at Thompsons Limited

Bean Leaf Beetle

Bean Leaf Beetles Showing up in Essex and Chatham Kent

Bean leaf beetles (BLB) are showing up in early planted soybeans that were treated with only fungicide seed treatment. As the result of area wide use of insecticide seed treatments, this pest had much of a presence over the last decade. Thankfully, rescue treatments are still possible if threshold has been reached. Read more

Canada Mexico and USA flags

Lots at stake for U.S. agriculture amid Mexican, Canadian trade threats

With risks to U.S. soybean trade with China already in the air, trade threats from Mexico and Canada may be the last thing the U.S. agriculture industry wants to see. But that is precisely what happened on Thursday.

The United States fiercely angered its neighbors by proceeding with steel and aluminum tariffs against them despite earlier talks of possible exemptions. Unless the issue is resolved quickly, the impact on U.S. agriculture could worsen.

Canada and Mexico were the Nos. 1 and 3 importers of U.S. agricultural products by value in 2017, respectively. Both countries hit back with their own list of U.S. goods to target hours after the United States decided to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Read more

back pain photo

Day-to-day work around the farm doesn’t have to be painful

Here are some tips to avoid injury by evaluating activities and preparing for them

Farmers take their aches and pains as part of their work, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Understanding factors that contribute to on-farm injury can be a start to reducing risk of getting hurt.

Why it matters: Farmers are busy, especially in certain seasons of the year, so reducing risk of injury when they need to be at their physical best can have important farm business implications.

Julie Anceriz, Syngenta Canada’s territory health and safety manager, told a recent Whole Farm Health seminar put on by the Ag Women’s Network, that there are ergonomic factors that affect risk of injury no matter what type of work one does, whether sedentary at an office chair or in a combine or tractor, or active, lifting and doing heavy work. Read more

Corn Nitrogen Response Curve

Nitrogen stabilizers

Nitrogen management has always been a challenge in high nitrogen demand crops such as corn and winter wheat.

The three pathways that can contribute to significant nitrogen loss are:

  • Volatilization (loss of ammonia nitrogen to the atmosphere from the soil surface),
  • Denitrification (which occurs when soils are saturated and in an anaerobic environment) and
  • Leaching (downward movement of nitrate nitrogen out of the rooting zone due to excessive rains)

The challenge has always been to make nitrogen available when the crop needs it and minimize the exposure of nitrogen to the weather scenarios that contribute to N loss. Consider the nitrogen response relationship for corn and winter wheat (below):

Corn nitrogen response curve

(Adapted from Richie, et.al, 2005, How a Corn Plant Develops).

Corn Nitrogen Response Curve

We often apply nitrogen early in the season before the crop actually utilizes it. For example, the demand for nitrogen in corn is at its peak at about the V10 growth stage (often around early to mid-July). Split-applying nitrogen has been a reasonably effective way to reduce the risk of nitrogen loss, however, with added application costs. Read more

Advance Trading video commentary

Grain marketing video commentary April 10, 2018

White hilum soybeans

Canada IP program for non-GM soybeans world’s best

But new competitors are trying to break into the market so Canada must stay vigilant

Canada has the best identity preserved program for non-GM (genetically modified) soybeans in the world.

That’s what Neoh Soon Bin, managing director of Soon Soon Group, a Malaysian flour and oilseed-processing company, told the Canadian Global Crops Symposium here March 27.

The quality of Canadian non-GM soybeans, used mainly in human food products such as soy milk and tofu, ranks among the best in the world, Soon Bin said.

“Canadian (soy)beans perform very well,” he said.

But it’s Canada’s certification system ensuring soybeans are non-GM that really stands out. Read more