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.

Educating children in school

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.

Organic Agronomy Services

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

Hasta la vista, meat; more pulses needed to feed hungry world

Call to reduce world meat consumption could benefit Canada’s pulse growers

By

Everyone from university professors to investment bankers and even Arnold Schwarzenegger are adding their voices to calls for reducing world meat consumption, in favour of a greater focus on plant-based proteins. As that sentiment mounts, it could bode well for Canada’s pea and lentil growers.

A group of investors representing US$1.25 trillion in assets is the latest voice calling for a shift away from meat-based diets towards a greater focus on plant-based protein. The investment group, linked through FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return) and ShareAction, sent a letter to more than a dozen global food companies, including Kraft Heinz and Nestle, highlighting the risks of an over-reliance on factory farmed livestock and the need to diversify into plant-based proteins.

A recent report from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, published in April, expressed a similar sentiment, with the study focusing on both the environmental and health benefits to be gained from lowering the amount of animal-sourced foods in diets.

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron are campaigning in support of a Chinese government led initiative to reduce meat consumption by 50 per cent, under the tagline ‘Less Meat, Less Heat.’ Read more

Organic Agronomy Services - Rob Wallbridge

Thompsons welcomes Rob Wallbridge as Organic Specialist

Blenheim, Ontario, Canada –  July 14, 2016

Organic Agronomy Services - Rob Wallbridge

Thompsons Limited is pleased to announce that Rob Wallbridge has joined the company as Organic Specialist.

Rob grew up on conventional dairy and cash crop farms in Central and Eastern Ontario. He comes to Thompsons with more than 15 years of experience in organic crop certification, production and marketing.

Rob is a registered Certified Crop Advisor (CCA-ON) and is a board member with the Organic Council of Ontario. He is also a volunteer member of both the AAFC Organic Value Chain Roundtable and the Livestock Working Group of the Canadian General Standard Boards’ Organic Technical Committee.

This appointment will help solidify and build Thompsons profile as a major international player in the organics supply chain.

Follow Rob Wallbridge on Twitter.

About Thompsons Limited

Established in 1924, Thompsons was purchased by The Andersons, Inc., and Lansing Trade Group, LLC in 2013. Thompsons is an integrated supplier of value-added agricultural products and services to growers in Ontario, Minnesota and North Dakota and to food processing customers worldwide. Thompsons owns and operates 12 elevators, 11 retail farm centers, 2 seed processing plants, 5 bean processing plants, a wheat processing plant, and 9 certified organic facilities. For more information, visit Thompsons Limited online at www.thompsonslimited.com.


Media Contact:

Dawn Betancourt, President, Thompsons Limited
Phone: (519) 676-5411

Soybean Storage and Conditioning


Now that your crops are in the bin, it’s important to learn how to keep them conditioned and stored properly.
Throughout the winter months it’s important to monitor your soybean temperature, and to aerate your bins.
If you haven’t sold any beans then coring out your bin can be an option to remove some fines, and help stir the grain a bit.
It is important to make sure that soybeans are stored at a 14% moisture or lower. Don’t assume that because your beans went into the bin really dry, you don’t have to aerate. Those low moisture beans are still hot and need to have the field heat removed. Read more

IPM 2014

Chatham-Kent 2018 International Plowing Match

Volunteers are still needed Over the next three years the municipality of Chatham-Kent will construct a new town, located near the village of Pain Court, due west of Chatham. For a five day period in September 2018, this little city could double Chatham-Kent’s existing 100,000+ population. Its buildings will be constructed of canvassed vinyl, and sod […]

Amy Petherick. Photo: Deborah Deville.

The young are on board, literally

In Ontario’s Northumberland County, young farmers make up the majority on many commodity and farm boards. Here’s how we do it

There’s nothing like an unexpected dinner invitation to get the attention of a person who is normally responsible for daily meal preparation. The invitation arrived by text, and it didn’t take long to figure out whether to accept. Accept first, I said. Ask questions later.

When I did ask the question, I was right to think there might be a reason. “Be ready to explain why our executive is so young,” was basically how the next text read in response. Read more

The dirt on soil tests

With soil nutrient levels dropping, how do you need to change your soil-testing program and fertility rates?

By

Fewer farmers are sampling their soils. In Ontario, the numbers say fewer than 30 per cent of farmers test every three years, even though this trend is leading to a data gap at a time when everything else seems to be changing too, such as the rapid climb in yield potentials, and elite corn hybrids that are so much more efficient at extracting nutrients.

Also worrying is that the experts are lining up to tell us that, one way or another, more farmers are mining their soils. Read more