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NDVI Drones


Written By: Jonathan Hutchinson, Web DeveloperMay 30, 2017
ndvi imaging uk

Aerial imaging can be used as a good indicator of crop health. The emergence of drone technology makes this process more affordable, and accessible. A drone accompanied with a remote sensor, and the NDVI graphical indicator, is all you need to gain useful information on the health of your crop.
 
The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is a simple graphical indicator that can be used to analyze remote sensing measurements, typically but not necessarily from a space platform, and assess whether the target being observed contains live green vegetation or not.
 
NDVI was one of the most successful of many attempts to simply and quickly identify vegetated areas and their "condition," and it remains the most well-known and used index to detect live green plant canopies in multi-spectral remote sensing data. Once the feasibility to detect vegetation had been demonstrated, users tended to also use the NDVI to quantify the photosynthetic capacity of plant canopies.
 
The basic principle of NDVI relies on the fact that, due to the spongy layers found on their backsides, leaves reflect a lot of light in the near infrared, in stark contrast with most non-plant objects. When the plant becomes dehydrated or stressed, the spongy layer collapses and the leaves reflect less NIR light, but the same amount in the visible range. Thus, mathematically combining these two signals can help differentiate plant from non-plant and healthy plant from sickly plant.
 
 
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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with drones ndvi aerial imaging crop health remote sensor | More articles by Jonathan Hutchinson

Demand Grows for Vomitoxin Cleaning Services - excerpt


Written By: MIchelle Corry, Flaman MarketingApr 11, 2017
Below is an excerpt from "Demand Grows for Vomitoxin Cleaning Services" by Brian Cross of the Western Producer. For the full article visit the Western Producer Online

With fusarium graminearum and its toxic vomitoxin sidekick deoxynivalenol (DON) stealing potentially hundreds of millions of dollars a year from Canadian farm revenues, the thought of paying toll processors to clean up commercial grain deliveries is gaining momentum.

Mitch Flaman, operations manager with Flaman Grain Cleaning and Handling, said a lot of growers mistakenly assume that a sample with little or no FDK should easily meet industry standards or contract specs for vomitoxin. However, removing FDK does not guarantee that vomitoxin levels are also being lowered. Flaman said it’s critically important to know what you have in your bin and what you’re trying to remove from a sample.

“Early in the season, a lot of guys were getting away with selling their grain based on visual parameters only,” said Flaman, who sells a variety of grain cleaners, including colour sorters, gravity tables and highly specialized machines that sort grain using near infrared transmittance.“ In other words, if you could clean up your grain visually, there were some elevators that were buying based on visual grades only,” he said. “But what we started to find out later was that some stuff that looked very good visually still had very high levels of vomitoxin. So toward the end of the year, it seemed like almost every elevator started to price grain based on vomitoxin.”

The task of buying and selling grain can become a bit murky when FDK and vomitoxin are involved. In part, that’s because FDK is recognized in Canada as a visual grading determinant, while vomitoxin is not. However, vomitoxin is often mentioned in delivery contracts as a quality or contract spec, meaning high levels can significantly affect the value of grain being sold, regardless of how good the delivery looks. In some cases, farmers who cleaned up their samples to remove FDK were surprised to learn that they were facing substantial price discounts because vomitoxin levels were still above spec, Flaman said. “Understanding the difference between visual FDK and internal kernel toxicity (DON) has kept the industry busy with this year’s epidemic.”

“In the last few weeks, I’ve had more interest, more inquiries from people that are interested in (cleaning grain), than I could possibly handle in an entire year,” said Jason Basset, a grain farmer from Bruno, Sask., who also runs a grain cleaning company called Peterson Grain Processing. Basset is currently waiting to take delivery of a BoMill TriQ, a Swedish built grain cleaner that uses near infrared transmittance to remove vomitoxin. Unlike colour sorters that use near infrared reflectance to assess the external surface of a seed, the TriQ uses light to penetrate the seed coat. This allows the machine to assess a seed’s internal chemical composition. The TriQ has the ability to analyze each seed individually and sort seeds based on vomitoxin levels. Basset plans to use his machine to remove vomitoxin from malting barley. Vomitoxin specs for malting barley are typically.5 to one p.p.m. In one barley sample that Basset had analyzed, the TriQ removed 18 percent of the most heavily infected kernels and reduced total vomitoxin levels from two p.p.m. or higher to .5 p.p.m. or lower. In that scenario, a 10,000 bushel bin of barley that would otherwise be rejected by maltsters and sold as feed could potentially be cleaned and sold as 8,200 bu. of malt.

For the full article visit the Western Producer Online

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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with grain cleaning Bomill Vomitoxin Fusarium | More articles by MIchelle Corry

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. –
 
See more at: http://www.weyburnthisweek.com/news/monitoring-stored-grain-is-an-important-task-1.3523115

© 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.


See Grain Bins & Storage Solutions

See Grain Monitoring Systems


See how Grain Monitoring works! --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6VDIdEcUeI

 
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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

SEE FULL ARTICLE






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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 http://www.cropsphere.com/
 
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
 
Admission
  • Adults: $14.00
  • 2 day: $24.00
 
Parking
  • Free onsite parking. Parking lot shuttle is available.
 
You can visit their website at:
http://www.cropproductiononline.com/index.php
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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 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150707/dq150707c-eng.htm

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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 http://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=35430&posted=2015-07-06

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Posted in Ag news | More articles by Eric Anderson