Thompsons + ANDE + Sylvite

Sylvite purchases Thompsons’ agronomy business from The Andersons Inc.

A message to our valued customers,

We are reaching out to inform you that The Andersons, Inc., the owner of Thompsons Limited, has signed an agreement to sell Thompsons’ agronomy business to Sylvite. Thompsons and Sylvite have been working together now for over 35 years and this collaboration is a great opportunity to have a larger retail network to benefit you, our customer. The Andersons will maintain ownership of Thompsons’ grain storage and food processing facilities and Sylvite will maintain and operate the farm inputs side at these locations.

We believe this new relationship is beneficial to all our stakeholders, especially our customers. Our two companies share the same values and a strong commitment to serving Ontario farmers. We look forward to working together at our shared locations to provide the best possible service to our customers. Sylvite will focus on growing in agronomy products and services. Thompsons/The Andersons will enhance its focus and commitment on the grain and food products businesses.

The final details of this agreement are still being finalized by Sylvite and The Andersons. The sale is expected to close in early to mid-September. Between now and then, we will keep you updated with our progress to better serve you our customer. Our goal is to make this a seamless transition and maintain our normal business operations.

Thank you for the great working relationship we have shared over the years. We plan on continuing our successful partnership with you our valued customer. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your account representative.

Sincerely,

Corey Jorgenson,
President, Assets and Originations, Trade Group
The Andersons, Inc.

Local rice? Experimental farm showcases crop in Chatham-Kent

Experimental crop is about a hectare in size, located off Queen’s Line on Drake Road

Source: Jonathan Pinto · CBC News ·

Rice is grown in Asia, Africa, the southern United States — and if Ontario FangZheng Agriculture Enterprise has its way — one day across Chatham-Kent.

On Friday, the company held an open house to celebrate the successful planting of its first-ever experimental crop of medium-grain rice, grown on a hectare of land on a roughly 29-hectare farm located off Queen’s Line on Drake Road.

Farm manager Wendy Zhang, who recently graduated from an agricultural masters program at the University of Guelph, said that the unusually wet spring that has concerned many local farmers actually helped her crop in a way, since rice is grown in wet conditions.

“I kept saying to my farmer friends, “I’m happy [that it’s raining today] — I save money on [gas for my water pumps!]”

Zhang explained that the goal is, once commercially viable, to export the rice internationally, particularly to the Chinese market.

“Canada has got a very good reputation in the international market with food quality and safety control,” she said. “We want to produce high quality, clean rice … in Canada we can ensure that.”

Tap on the player to hear reporter Jonathan Pinto talk about his visit to the farm on CBC Radio’s Afternoon Drive.

When asked if the current tensions between Canada and China may put a damper on Chinese demand for Canadian products, Zhang wasn’t concerned.

“As a Chinese citizen who lives in Canada, Chinese people [have liked] Canada for a very long time,” she said. “There’s something happening right now [between our two countries] but I truly believe it’s a temporary thing.”

Zhang also noted that her company is a private enterprise not controlled by the Chinese government.

University of Guelph professor John Zandstra, who has been providing assistance to the project, said he was initially skeptical of the idea of growing rice in Canada.

“I kinda laughed at first,” he said, explaining that he thought of rice as something only viable in the southern United States. “[But] when they got explaining where they grew it [in China] and when I went there and saw it, [I thought] ‘well yeah, this might work.'”

Gus Kotsakis, an industrial and commodities sales manager at Dainty Foods, which operates arice mill in Windsor — the only of it’s kind in Canada — said when he was first approached by Zhang, his company also didn’t think growing rice in Canada would work.

He was impressed with what he saw on the farm Friday.

“I’m going to bring pictures and everything that was discussed here,” he said. “I think it’s great news for the area. We look forward to working with them long term as a partner on this project, where we could help them with milling and processing the rice.”

This year’s crop will be harvested this fall, with the rice used to seed a larger crop for next year.

While there are still a few regulatory hurdles before the crop can become commercially viable — the government, for example, doesn’t have any approved fertilizers and pesticides for rice because the grain hasn’t been grown here before — Zhang is confident those issues can be quickly addressed.

“We want [commercial harvesting to] happen next year,” she said. “We have the passion to do it.”

Woman farmer talking with supplier

Trailblazing (part 2) – the curious leader – women farmers

When talking leadership for Country Guide, female trailblazers have repeatedly told me it was a real benefit to them that they had a curious parent in their earlier years. They also rank their own curiosity as a key contributor to their success.

The value of curiosity also came up repeatedly when I spoke to global leaders in food for my independent research. These leaders described curiosity as the foundation for continual growth in their leadership capability.

Throw the book out!

In looking at leadership in the past, Canadians have relied on American publications that saw success as a measurable thing. They defined an accomplished leader as one who meets concrete targets or who has a large following.

In my leadership studies and in my own business life, I never really fit into those definitions. You may not either. It’s why I Read more

4R nutrient stewardship logo

Thompsons is first agri-retailer to earn 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification in Ontario

First to pass rigorous 37 standards set by the program.

The voluntary program certifies nutrient service providers in the Western Lake Erie Basin and across Ontario that apply or make recommendations on fertilizers in accordance with 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles – which refers to using the Right Source of nutrients at the Right Rate, at the Right Time and in the Right Place. 

Read more

Planting seeds in field photo

Thompsons first 4R Certified Retailer in Canada

On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, Thompsons Limited successfully passed Fertilizer Canada’s 4R retailer certification audit, and doing so, the Company becomes the first retail site in Canada to achieve this status.

The company thanks the hard work from all staff at Thompsons Kent Bridge branch, and Colin Elgie, Thompsons Agronomy Solutions Specialist who headed up the effort and for making this important commitment to the sustainability of farming and the environment, our customers and future generations.

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