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Monitoring stored grain is an important task

Written By: Cory Jacob, regional crop specialistDec 20, 2016

Monitoring and appropriate management of stored grain (especially tough and damp grain) is essential to ensuring that grain will not spoil and will remain in good shape during storage.
Grain needs to be monitored while in storage, as no monitoring can lead to drastic losses, especially when a good portion of grain was harvested as damp and tough.
Grain moisture content and temperature are two important factors that affect grain storage.
Dry grain can spoil if the seed temperature is too high and grain initially within safe moisture and temperature levels can still spoil due to hot spots forming and moisture migration within the grain bin.
Grain acts like an insulator and can hold temperatures for a fair amount of time if left undisturbed. Actually, it is not uncommon for larger bins to have grain temperatures in the centre that have not changed much since harvest, though it is close to freezing outside the bin.
Moisture migration occurs when warm and or moist grain in the bin is at a warmer temperature than the temperature outside the bin, as a result cold air moves down the interior of the bin to the bottom of the grain mass and is drawn to the centre of the bin by an upward flow of warmer air.
As the cold air is drawn up the grain, it warms and flows to the surface of the grain. The warm air is cooled as it reaches the surface, condenses, and the cycle repeats. The condensation that occurs at the top of the grain creates a high moisture zone that is prone to spoilage and mold growth. Some fungal species can grow at relatively low seed moisture contents, and their growth results in the production of moisture, which allows other more harmful fungal species to develop.
Grain spoilage is relatively undetectable in early stages. Cooling the grain to under minus eight degrees Celsius will deactivate mold growth. For insects, temperatures below 18 degrees Celsius limit their movement and reproduction.
In the fall or winter, moving the grain during cold weather can help to decrease the temperature in the bin, eliminating hot spots and can kill grain storage insects depending how much the grain temperature is lowered and for how long.
A variety of methods exist to monitor stored grain; a monitor that continually records the temperature of the stored grain is the best indicator of how long the grain will store for. If a rapid temperature increase occurs, immediate action needs to be taken.
Management practices include cooling grain to within five degrees Celsius of the outside air temperature as soon as possible as this will equalize the temperature within the bin. Using aeration or moving grain will help to accomplish this.
As the outside temperature cools, you may wish to cool the grain until it is close to or below freezing for winter storage. Monitor multiple times a week for changes in grain temperature. Pay close attention to grain in large bins and grain bags, especially where grain is tough and damp. –
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© Copyright Weyburn This Week 2016

Author Cory Jacob holds MSc. and BSc. in agronomy from the University of Saskatchewan. He has held various agronomy-related summer jobs in private industry, and also has experience as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Saskatchewan. Cory works closely with producers and industry to help alleviate current and future issues in crop production. Cory grew up on a grain farm in southeast Saskatchewan in the Mutrie district.

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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with grain monitoring agriculture moisture temperature cables | More articles by Cory Jacob

Tillage Equipment recruited to deal with moisture issues

Written By: Lee Hart, Field EditorOct 21, 2016

Tillage recruited to deal with moisture issues

Necessity is the mother of invention, but weather appears to be the mother of necessity, these days. That seems to fit as producers talk about the need for tillage in this October Farmer Panel.

Largely in response to high residue levels, he says in some areas they are using a tandem disc and in others a vertical tillage tool.

“Tillage seems to be what a lot are looking at these days,” says Boles. “There is a bit of a craze going on to use some tillage. It’s all related to moisture in this area too. It was dry for many of the past 15 years, but since about 2010 we have had wetter seasons.” That contributed to excess moisture for seeding and harvest and big crops with plenty of residue.

Article By Lee Hart | GrainNews | October 18th 2016


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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with Tillage Prairie Oct 2016 Breaking Discs Farming Grain News Flaman | More articles by Lee Hart

Fertilizer prices to drop a bit more - time to buy a big bin and fill it

Written By: Eric Anderson, Jun 29, 2016
Fertilizer prices will likely decline in the short-term then grow in the long term.  So ‘yes,’ buying a big bin now and filling it makes sense.

First of all, what proof of a price decline is there?  The downtrend is highlighted by a recent potash sale to India by Belarus (one of the very few potash producers) at the lowest prices seen in over a decade; about a third less than last year’s level as global supplies of the crop nutrient exceed demand.

About the deal - one of India’s biggest fertilizer importers, Indian Potash Ltd. (IPL), will buy 700,000 tonnes of potash at $227 (U.S.) per tonne on a cost and freight (CFR) basis.

Belarus’ contract price is likely to become the benchmark for other suppliers to India, such as Russia’s Uralkali and North American trading group Canpotex Ltd., owned by Potash Corp, Mosaic, and Agrium.

For background see this story.

The underlying thing from this is, China usually sets the floor or lowest global price for potash with their purchasing, so given the bigger annual’ish China deal is still outstanding, prices will likely decline even further.

India and China, the world’s biggest fertilizer consumers, usually sign contracts earlier in the year. This year, deals were delayed as high stocks held by farmers meant there was no rush to agree a deal.

India’s deal is a rare instance of the country signing a potash supply contract with a major producer before China.  For more information, see this story.

But then, on the upside, Belarus and Uralkali (the Russians) are looking at working together again on potash marketing , thus ending the price war that has driven down the price of potash.  These two and Canpotex (PotashCorp, Agrium, and Mosaic) basically dominate the world potash market.

And, the major trend to drive fertilizer prices in the long term is that the world is adding about 1-million people per week to its population.  We need to feed this additional million per week from the same amount of farmland – so, fertilizer demand will grow.

Now, currently, crop prices are growing faster than fertilizer costs, so things do make sense to buy now.

To take advantage of the temporarily low fertilizer prices, a Meridian fertilizer bin is your best choice. 
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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with fertilizer meridian bin fertilizer prices | More articles by Eric Anderson

Visit Flaman at the 2016 Crop Production Show Next Week

Written By: Eric Anderson, Jan 07, 2016
Visit the Flaman booth at Crop Production next week in Saskatoon!  The show features the latest innovations in crop production and a great time to have a coffee with friends.

Last year’s attendance was nearly 19,000!
The Western Canadian Crop Production Show has become Western Canada's premier grain industry showcase by presenting information to producers on the latest technology, services, and products including:
  • Crop Production practices and products
  • Field Equipment
  • Crop inputs and application
  • Commodity marketing
  • Seed bed preparation
  • Seed & Soil information
  • Straw & chaff management
  • Grain handling, processing, storage & transportation
  • Harvest technology
  • Farm Financing & Real Estate

You can also attend the affiliated “CropSphere” agricultural conference.  The conference will feature sessions on market outlook, research, and agronomy, along with sessions specific to each crop.  Breakout sessions throughout the day will ensure growers can pick and choose which sessions to attend in order to support and grow their business operations. There will also be keynote speakers and networking opportunities.  See more at
Crop Production 2016 Show Hours
  • Monday, Jan 11: 12pm to 6pm
  • Tuesday, Jan 12: 9am to 5pm
  • Wednesday, Jan 13: 9am to 5pm
  • Thursday, Jan 14: 9am to 5pm
  • Adults: $14.00
  • 2 day: $24.00
  • Free onsite parking. Parking lot shuttle is available.
You can visit their website at:
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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with crop production | More articles by Eric Anderson

El Nino's Peak Has Weather Forecaster Warning of La Nina - with the opposite results

Written By: Eric Anderson, Jan 05, 2016
Bloomberg is reporting at here that a number of El Nino-Southern Oscillation indicators suggest that the 2015-16 El Nino has peaked and weather models predict it will decline in coming months, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on its website on Tuesday. Conditions will return to neutral during the second quarter with a chance of La Nina in the second half of 2016, it said.
La Nina is a cooling in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, sometimes thought of as El Nino’s opposite. The two are extreme phases of a naturally occurring cycle, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Based on the 26 El Nino events since 1900, about 50 percent have been followed by a neutral year with 40 percent by La Nina, according to Australia’s weather bureau.
“Neutral and La Nina are equally likely for the second half,” the bureau said. A repeat of El Nino is the least likely outcome, it said.
The current El Nino is rated as one of the three strongest since 1950. The warming of the equatorial Pacific changes weather worldwide, bringing drought to parts of Asia while the southern U.S. can get more rain. Its effects helped palm oil cap its best year since 2010, while sugar posted its first annual gain in five years.
Roiling Markets
La Nina can also roil agricultural markets as it changes weather. A large part of the agricultural U.S. tends to dry out during La Nina events, while parts of Australia and Indonesia can be wetter than normal. Citigroup Inc. has said that a transition to a strong La Nina may present significant upside potential for grains price volatility.
The previous La Nina began in 2010 and endured into 2012. Conditions typically last between 9 months and 12 months, while some episodes may persist for as long as two years, according to NOAA. Both La Nina and El Nino tend to peak during the Northern Hemisphere winter.
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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with el nino la nina weather | More articles by Eric Anderson

CN CP must repay grain revenues - millions

Written By: Eric Anderson, Dec 30, 2015
  • 30 Dec 2015
  • The Canadian Press

CN, CP must repay grain revenues

Railways have 30 days to cough up penalties for exceeding entitlements

The Canadian Transportation Agency says the country’s two main railways have exceeded their Western grain revenue entitlements for the 2014- 2015 crop year and must repay those sums along with penalties.

According to the transportation agency, Canadian National Railway’s grain revenue of $ 745,068,906 was $ 6,866,595 above its entitlement, while Canadian Pacific Railway received $ 2,137,168 above its revenue entitlement of $ 724,045,774.

The agency says CN and CP have 30 days to repay the amounts by which they exceeded their entitlements, in addition to a five per cent penalty of $ 343,330 for CN and $ 106,858 for CP.

Regulations stipulate that such payments must be made to the Western Grains Research Foundation, a farmer financed and directed organization set up to fund research to benefit Prairie farmers.

Officials with the railways were not immediately available for comment.

In the 2014- 2015 crop year, 41,306,191 tonnes of Western grain were shipped — 7.4 per cent more than in the previous crop year.
The Canada Transportation Act requires the agency to determine each railway company’s annual maximum revenue entitlement and whether such entitlement has been exceeded.

The maximum revenue entitlement is a form of economic regulation that enables CN and CP to set their own rates for services, provided the total amount of revenue collected from their shipments of Western grain remains below the ceiling set by the agency.
Entitlements are calculated using a formula containing numerous elements under the act.
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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with rail grain | More articles by Eric Anderson

Farm Input Prices Declining

Written By: Eric Anderson, Jul 07, 2015

Statistics Canada is reporting this morning that:

The Farm Input Price Index decreased by 0.4% in the first quarter.

The main reason for the decline was lower prices for machinery and motor vehicles (-4.2%), in particular for machinery fuel (-16.6%).

To a lesser extent, buildings (-1.4%) also contributed to the decline of the Farm Input Price Index.

Crop production (+1.1%), general business costs (+1.3%) and animal production (+0.1%) recorded price increases.

The index decreased in four provinces. Saskatchewan (-2.5%) posted the largest decline, followed by Quebec (-1.1%), Manitoba (-1.0%) and New Brunswick (-0.3%).

At the Canada level, farm input prices rose 2.7% in the first quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

The year-over-year increase was largely attributable to animal production (+13.6%).

Compared with the first quarter of 2014, the index was up in six provinces. Alberta (+8.3%) recorded the largest year-over-year increase.

We created some charts for you:




Full story at

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Posted in Ag news | More articles by Eric Anderson

MB and Cdn Government Invest in Hemp Seed Industry

Written By: Eric Anderson, Jul 07, 2015

The Canada and Manitoba governments will invest in new equipment to support the growth of the hemp seed processing industry, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn and Ted Falk, Member of Parliament for Provencher, announced today.

“Manitoba’s hemp industry continues to expand, creating new opportunities for farmers, processors and many other stakeholders,” said Minister Kostyshyn. “Hemp is a healthy and nutritious choice, and this is driving consumer demand here at home and around the world. We are pleased to invest in this new equipment with HOCI, as it will increase efficiency and support their ongoing commitment to food safety.”

Governments will provide nearly $390,000 to Hemp Oil Canada Inc. (HOCI) to purchase and install a new optical sorter and packaging system at its new processing facility in Ste. Agathe. The equipment will modernize the packing line, improve food safety and ensure the company can remain competitive in the international hemp seed market.

For more information see

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Posted in Ag news | More articles by Eric Anderson