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Fusarium Field Day


Written By: April, Flaman MarketingJul 21, 2017
We’re going on a Field Trip! On Tuesday, July 25th 2017, we’re off to Melfort Research Farms, located 1.6 miles south of Melfort, Sk on Hwy 6. They are putting on a morning event all about Fusarium Head Blight. With two industry experts to walk you through all the activities and information, the day is scheduled to start at 9AM and topics include:
  • Fusarium Head Blight Biology
  • Effects of FHB on Cereal Crops
  • Optimal Application Technology
  • How to Improve Grade Out of the Field
PLUS! Bring your Grain Samples and have it cleaned and tested! If you have a sample of grain (minimum two, 5 Gallon pails) bring it and have it tested for vomi-levels before, cleaned, and tested after so you can see in live action how you are able to Improve the Grade of your grain this harvest. Machines will be on site complete with staff to operate them and explain how it works.

Everyone is welcome and it’s completely FREE! Pre-registration is requested to ensure enough chairs and space is made available. Just click here to send in your name, email, and how many people are attending (don’t forget to count yourself).
In addition to Tuesday’s Fusarium day, Melfort Research Farms is hosting a second Field day the following day, Wednesday July 26th 2017. You can use the same registration link to sign up for Tuesday, Wednesday, or both days.

See you there!
 
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Posted in Technology | Tagged with fusarium head blight melfort research farms FDK information vomi-toxin vomi level testing grain cleaning fusarium | More articles by April

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

Intercropping Has Merit


Written By: Robin Booker, Western ProducerMay 18, 2017

 Trials have shown reduced disease with a chickpea-flax intercrop, but some are skeptical about a mustard-pulse


Growers might have noticed healthier crop stands where wild mustard was present.

“There are a lot of anecdotes where they said the only place where they had any kind of lentils worth harvesting is where they had some wild mustard weeds. The lentils were climbing up the wild mustard and they did better under those conditions than where there wasn’t mustard or canola,” said Lana Shaw, crop researcher at South East Research Farm. 

Shaw said she also had good results with a small trial she ran last year, which she is expanding this summer.

“We have a trial this year where we are doing mustard with peas, and mustard with lentils, both yellow mustard and brown mustard,” Shaw said.

“There are some very good reasons to expect less diseases, based on lab results. Mustard type of residues have in the past reduced aphanomyces pressure in susceptible pulse crops, so lentils and peas.”

She said the possibility of biofungicide properties that may reduce root rot is a research area that is only beginning to be explored.

Shaw has researched intercrops for years and her research into a chickpea-flax intercrop had shown a reduced disease incidence and increased tolerance to excessive moisture compared to monocrops.

“The chickpeas hold up better. They mature more consistently, and on the years where we’ve had disease pressure, they’ve held up to disease pressure and lodge less,” Shaw said.

When there is crop disease present, it doesn’t seem to spread as well when there is another other crop in the mix.

If the disease spores land on a non-target plant they are unable to spread, and the microclimate in the canopy is less humid, she said.

“A chickpea crop on its own tends to have a lot of horizontal branches that kind of seal in moisture. Whereas with a flax crop, most of your stems are vertical, so I think there is more air movement, but that is something that we haven’t quantified so far,” Shaw said.

She said growers who want to grow peas or lentils in wet conditions will not add to their risk by adding a small amount of mustard or canola seed.

“A mustard or canola in there at a very low rate, we’re talking like three or four pounds an acre for mustard, and for some kinds of canolas you might do two pounds of a hybrid canola with pea,” Shaw said.

Growers can plant a Clearfield pea with a small amount of Clearfield canola and can have Solo as an in-crop herbicide option.

“If you’ve already got a bunch of Group 2 resistant weeds, than maybe it’s not worthwhile worrying about it and you just go with non-Clearfield mustard with a lentil. It might work fantastic,” Shaw said.

Brent VanKoughnet manages a farm in the Carman, Man., area and is owner of Agri Skills Inc., a company that performs agricultural research and has studied pea and canola intercropping.

“I don’t see it (pea-canola intercrop) much as a moisture strategy, I see it more of a nutrient efficiency strategy. If everything goes well, you can get 60 percent of two different crops,” VanKoughnet said.

He said the canola does reasonably well with very little additional nitrogen added, and that it must be grabbing some nitrogen from the peas.

“It (canola) captures the efficiency of the peas and their ability to produce nitrogen, and if we get that right, can they produce more than they need for themselves and give some of that to the canola? That’s the theory anyway.”

However, when it comes to using canola to help manage diseases in pulse crops, he said most growers need compelling evidence that it works before they try it.

“I think those are long shots. Producers generally want to be clean. If they thought a crop was going to be in trouble clean, they would grow another crop. It’s the reason we’re not growing lentils in Manitoba. We just expect the moisture to be high,” VanKoughnet said.

In experiments at Agri Skills, they were striving for two crops, rather than seeding a small amount of canola to help the peas climb and for possible biofungicide benefits from the canola roots.

But in VanKoughnet’s experience, airflow in the canopy was not improved.

“There is an amazing mass of material when you have 60 percent of a pea crop wrapped around 60 percent of a canola crop. If you ever thought it was tough to scout a canola field, just double that when you’ve got it all woven together with pea vines. You need a machete to walk your way through it,” VanKoughnet said.

He said most growers don’t want to complicate their operations by making their spraying windows harder to hit and limiting their herbicide options.

He said people in his area love growing soybeans because they are simple, easy to harvest and clean.

“You don’t want to upset the flow of efficient commercial operations.”

“When you think of how many farms that have doubled in size in the last decade, just logistics and getting stuff done efficiently matters,” VanKoughnet said.

If there was a market for peas and canola grown together where growers could haul in their mixture directly to without having to clean it, VanKoughnet thinks more growers would be interested.

He said most growers aren’t interested in taking off a crop that requires cleaning before marketing.

“The cleaning is a pain too. It works with a pretty simple corn screen that takes the canola out of peas pretty easily. But it slows things down. It’s just another step and generally people want to be able to move through harvest as quickly as possible.”

Shaw said it’s difficult to track the amount of acres in intercrops because there are no stats available on the practice, but she estimates there were about 20,000 acres in Saskatchewan last year.

“This is a daring comparison, but I think this (intercropping) will be as transformative to agriculture here as no-till was. In 10 years, I think we will see this taking over a lot of the acres,” Shaw said.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized | More articles by Robin Booker

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

Kenaston, Sk Has New Grain Cleaning Technology


Written By: April Basset, Marketing CoordinatorFeb 03, 2017
Spectrum Grain Solutions, located in Bashaw, Alberta, has purchased a BoMill TriQ grain sorter that has been installed in Kenaston, Sk. The Swedish-made BoMill TriQ has the capabilities to sort grain based on the interior make-up of each kernel, rather than the exterior appearance. It uses NIT (Near Infrared Transmission) technology to analyze each kernel and thus can sort grain based on fusarium, protein, vitreousness, seed quality and falling number at a speed of 25,000 kernels per second.
For a full article click here.
 
Learn more about the new technology in BoMill products on our Flaman Grain Cleaning website.
 
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged with BoMill Grain Sorting Grain Cleaning New technology Flaman Grain Cleaning | More articles by April Basset

Booming Lentil Prices Are Back After Canada Harvest Washout


Written By: Jen Skerritt and Megan Durisin, Jan 13, 2017

Booming Lentil Prices Are Back After Canada Harvest Washout


by 
Jen Skerritt
and 
Megan Durisin
January 12, 2017

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-12/booming-lentil-prices-are-back-after-canadian-harvest-washout
 
 
Rain, snow cause quality issues and losses in lentil crop
North American lentil acres will probably fall in 2017 
The lentil market has gone from boom to bust, and back to boom again.
In the middle of 2016, prices for the pulse crop had plunged from record highs on the outlook for large global harvests. Now, the curry-and-soup food staple has rebounded more than 40 percent since August after rain and snow damaged a bumper crop in Canada, the world’s top exporter. Some output was lost because of harvest delays or is of too poor quality to be sold, said Marlene Boersch, managing partner of Mercantile Consulting Venture in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“We had a lot of quality problems, also losses of acres with the really late harvest,” Boersch said in a telephone interview. “In spite of all odds we’re actually quite tight on shippable product.”


 

Continued rain and snow delayed harvest operations in parts of Canada’s prairies as excess moisture reduced quality and yields. The price of no. 2 green lentils climbed 43 percent to as high as 66 Canadian cents a pound as of Jan. 10, up from a low of 46 cents in August, according to Brian Clancey, president and senior market analyst at Vancouver-based Stat Communications Ltd. 

The 2016 Canadian harvest was one of the longest on record as some farmers were unable to complete it until the end of November because of delays from cool, wet weather, Alberta’s agriculture ministry said in a Nov. 29 report. Despite the setbacks, Canada shipped 549,700 tons of lentils from August to early January, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, Canadian Grain Commission data show.

Spot prices paid to farmers for Richlea lentils in North Dakota and Montana, the largest U.S. producers, were at about $40 per 100 pounds as of Jan. 10, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. That’s up 70 percent from mid-September,when that harvest was wrapping up.

Crop Rotation

The price gains come even as U.S. production more than doubled last year and Canada had record output. U.S. production in 2016 was probably 575,380 metric tons, up from 238,730 in the prior year, the USDA forecast on Thursday. Canada collected a record 3.2 million metric tons of the pulse grain in 2016, up 28 percent from a year earlier, Statistics Canada data show.

After last year’s problems with the Canadian harvest and as growers rotate crops, planted lentils may fall by 1 million acres this year, said Bruce Burnett, a weather and crop specialist with grain marketer G3 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Still, lentils are profitable compared with other grains and oilseeds, he said.

“After last year’s experience we’ll see a retreat in acres,” Burnett said in a telephone interview.

After recent rapid expansion in U.S. acres, gains in 2017 may be more modest as farmers also rotate crops, said Joseph Janzen, an assistant professor at Montana State University in Bozeman. U.S. plantings of 933,000 acres last year were a record and more than triple the amount sown in 2014, USDA data show.

“A 10 percent increase in U.S. acres would be small relative to what we’ve seen over the last two years,” Janzen said in a telephone interview.

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Posted in Uncategorized | More articles by Jen Skerritt and Megan Durisin

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

Harvest is Progressing


Written By: Flaman, Sep 09, 2016
Harvest is progressing at a steady rate across the province. This is ahead of the five-year (2011-2015) average of 28 per cent combined for this time of year.

Harvest is furthest along in the southeast region, with 34 per cent of the crop in the bin.

Provincially, 92 per cent of winter wheat, 64 per cent of field peas, 40 per cent of lentils, 10 per cent of durum and spring wheat and seven per cent of canola is combined, with 52 per cent of canola swathed.

As for the hay crop, it is estimated that four per cent of forage acres will not be harvested due to a wet and humid haying season.

By David Giles Senior Web Producer  Global News

SEE FULL ARTICLE


SASKATCHEWAN CROP REPORT

Saskatchewan producers made good progress with harvest. Thirty-two per cent of the crop has been combined and 38 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.
Provincial Estimated Crop Yields: See Saskatchewan Crop Report
 

Weather Derivative Program Maps

Forage Rainfall Insurance Program

Corn Heat Unit Program

Other


MANITOBA CROP REPORT

Issue #19 of the 2016 Manitoba Crop Report  and the Crop Weather Report  are now available. 
The Crop Report is a weekly summary of Manitoba’s crop and weather conditions during the growing season across five reporting areas in Manitoba. Archived reports of past issues are available on our website.
The Crop Weather Report is a weekly summary of temperature (max., min., avg) and total rainfall along with seasonal accumulations of degree days, corn heat units and rainfall (actuals and % of normal) are provided for about 50 locations in the five regions.
Following are links to weather maps in pdf format:


The above maps will be updated every Monday during the growing season. They are available on the Manitoba Agriculture weather web site at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/weather/index.html .
For more information or to subscribe to the weekly Crop and Weather reports send your request to crops@gov.mb.ca
Follow us on Twitter at @MBGovAg to get these seasonal reports and more.


ALBERTA CROP REPORT


When compared to the 5-year average (2011-2015), harvest progress is a little ahead in the South and Central Regions, but five per cent behind provincially. The recent moisture will also have a potential impact on crop quality. SEE ALBERTA CROP REPORT

The Alberta and Agriculture and Forestry Weather Forecast --- Click Here

 

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Posted in Uncategorized | More articles by Flaman

Seeded crop areas 2000-2016 charts


Written By: Eric Anderson, Jun 30, 2016
I have downloaded data from Statistics Canada and created charts (below) for acres seeded to give some historical perspective.  The first is for major crops in Saskatchewan only, the 2nd and 3rd are for AB SK and MB, with the first being major crops and the 2nd being secondary crops.






 
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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with seeded area crops prairies | More articles by Eric Anderson

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

Prepare for that great crop - storage and cleaning


Written By: Eric Anderson, Jun 28, 2016
With everybody forecasting a great crop, are you prepared to harvest it? 

Are the combine(s) fast enough? Are there enough trucks ready to move the grain to a bin or bagging area?  Maybe the ground is wet, so is a grain cart ready to move the grain off the field towards a truck, bin, or bagging area?  Is the bagger ready with enough bags? Are the transfers, augers or conveyors able to quickly unload the grain and move it, which allows for the combine to keep moving without having to wait for unloading?

And once it's off, if you didn’t catch the fusarium with spraying, well it’s not too late.  You can use (1) a gravity table to separate the lighter infected kernels – the current best option for farmers, (2) a colour sorter/separator to pull then visually infected kernels – maybe not as good as a gravity table, or (3) a BoMill which is best used by end-users such as food processing facilities.”

Flaman Grain Cleaning and handling has all you need to get the crop into the bank.



 
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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with crop report auger conveyor grain handling | More articles by Eric Anderson

Protect that crop from fusarium


Written By: Eric Anderson, Jun 28, 2016
It seems everybody is forecasting a great crop this year!  Now, we can't control the weather, but we can protect the crop from things like fusarium, otherwise it's value will quickly decline.

With the recent warm and wet weather, the fusarium risk is growing in Saskatchewan and ongoing in Manitoba.  Today's risk maps reveal the situation:






So, here are some handy charts to help you assess the risk and plan your spray:






This spraying requires the safe and accurate handling of chemical, and Flaman has what you need to do this.
 
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged with fusarium crop assessment crop report | More articles by Eric Anderson

Great crops forecasted - at least twice


Written By: Eric Anderson, Jun 28, 2016
Today's crop assessment map demonstrates a crop developing at higher than normal rates and the complete opposite of last year's lower than normal rates (see below).  This confirms the need for a warning by APAS last week when, "The potential for this year's crop to be a record setting event has been confirmed by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS).  In a recent press release, APAS issued notice to rail companies to be prepared for what could be a large crop this year.  You can see their actual press release here."

This year:


Last year:

 
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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with crop assessment crop condition protect fusarium | More articles by Eric Anderson

Is everybody ready for a potentially record setting crop?


Written By: Eric Anderson, Jun 23, 2016
The potential for this year's crop to be a record setting event has been confirmed by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS).  In a recent press release, APAS issued notice to rail companies to be prepared for what could be a large crop this year.  You can see their actual press release here.

APAS said it's anyone’s guess whether it will reach the record-setting levels farmers experienced in 2013 (38.4 million tonnes, according to Statistics Canada), but either way, APAS president Norm Hall wants rail companies to be ready.  “If you remember three years ago when we had the potential of a huge crop, and turned out to be the largest crop on record, the railroads used the excuse that oh, we didn’t know this was coming, we weren’t prepared for it,” explained Hall in an interview with News Talk Radio.

So, APAS is asking the railroads to be ready to handle the grain - but they are the end of the system - the system begins with farmers?

Are farmers ready to harvest the crop within the small window of opportunity presented by crop development and the weather.

Are the combine(s) fast enough? Are there enough trucks ready to move the grain to a bin or bagging area?  Maybe the ground is wet, so is a grain cart ready to move the grain off the field towards a truck, bin, or bagging area?  Is the bagger ready with enough bags? Are the transfers, augers or conveyors able to quickly unload the grain and move it, which allows for the combine to keep moving without having to wait for unloading?

And after moving the grain by rail, are the ports and ships ready?

APAS has put rail on notice, but what about the rest of the system?




 
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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with harvest augers carts bins bagger | More articles by Eric Anderson

Craig Reynolds Speaks to Flaman on 'Change'


Written By: Eric Anderson, Mar 28, 2016
The Flaman Agriculture division meetings were highlighted by a presentation on “change” by Craig Reynolds, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.  
 
Clearly the Riders have seen significant change this year and Craig provided some key insights as to how and why change happens. Both business and football have competitive environments were change is sometimes necessary.
 
The image below features Flaman’s Saskatchewan agriculture team, with Craig standing just left of centre.


Thank you Craig for coming to our meeting and sharing with our team!
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Getting ready for spring


Written By: Eric Anderson, Feb 29, 2016
We saw geese and blue birds this weekend - I guess spring is coming early.  And it doesn't look like flooding will be an issue - well unless we get a big dump of snow - and we may even be able to reclaim some land from the sloughs that grew over the past few years.  So it's time to get into the spring activities list and Flaman has a lot of good used equipment to fix everything.

We have 13 discs, 2 heavy harrows, and 2 rock diggers to reclaim that lost land.

We also have augers ranging from 8" to 13", from swing to stick, to well, you name it.  We have 18 used augers on hand, all in good working condition.  See http://www.flaman.com/clearance/listings.php?subCategoryID=30

You can see a full list of our used equipment ad featured products at http://www.flaman.com/clearance/.
 
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10th Annual Frank J. Flaman Foundation Gala 2016


Written By: Eric Anderson, Feb 08, 2016
The 10th Annual Frank J. Flaman Foundation Gala is taking place on March 18th, 2016 in Edmonton, AB. (By the way, Frank Flaman founded "Flaman.")


The location is new – it will be at the Fantasyland Hotel - and the theme is “The Roaring Twenties!”  There will be prizes for best costumes and the evening is sure to be an extraordinary and unforgettable one.
 


Frank Flaman funds the administration and overhead costs of the Foundation, so 100% of every dollar donated goes to a charity, event, or someone in need.  To date, over $10-million has been donated to various charities.

The Frank J. Flaman Foundation’s and Frank’s mission to help those that need assistance in our community, our country, and around the world.  The Foundation will focus more on the needs of children and families locally in 2016.



Read more about "Why Frank Cares" here.

The goal is to raise $80,000 at the Gala, with the funds, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the Frank J. Flaman Foundation gives each year, being pledged to various charities including the ones mentioned here [https://www.flaman.com/foundation/charities ].   Through these joint partnerships, the Foundation hopes to improve the quality of life for all in need and help to end world suffering. 

The Frank J. Flaman Foundation’s “Gala” is the annual main fundraiser for the Foundation.  During this elegant and fun evening, a silent auction takes place as well as dinner and dancing. But this event is not just about raising money, it’s also about showing attendees and supporters how their contributions are making a difference. Representatives from a number of charities are on hand to receive their donations from Frank himself. As well, charitable groups are showcased for everyone to learn about the great work that they do.



Why does Frank want to make a difference in the world?  Frank has spent many years learning, reading and researching opportunities in the world and how he can help to end global suffering.  He has discovered two major things:
  1. The lack of unsafe water and sanitation are the world’s largest causes of illness.
  2. Food security is of utmost importance!  Lack of sustainable food sources leads to malnutrition and death in most parts of the world.
And, in the words of Mother Theresa, "If you can’t feed 100 people, then feed just one."

So, for over 30 years, Frank has personally funded and helped countless charities, both locally and around the globe.  In 2005, he formally established the Frank J. Flaman Foundation to expand these philanthropic efforts.  In the first two years alone, he brought aid to thousands worldwide and every year following the foundation continues to spread the generosity of Frank and other donors to those in need.
The Frank J. Flaman Foundation is funded by Frank’s share of the profits from the Flaman Group of Companies, as well as private donations from others. 


 
The cost per ticket is $150 and per table of 10 is $1350.

Also, you can support the event with your donation of silent and live auction items.  “One of a kind” or unique items bring in the most money in an auction.  Examples of items that have been very popular at auctions include sports memorabilia, artwork, gift certificates and rare or different collectibles.  For any item you donate, you will receive a charitable receipt in the amount of the full retail value of the item along with recognition at the event!

Contact is Syndy Harriott @ 780-955-3402 or email her at syndy.harriott@flaman.com

For hotel reservations, please contact the Fantasyland Hotel (780-444-3000 or 1-800-737-3783).  Ask for the Frank J. Flaman Foundation Dinner or Frank J. Flaman Foundation Gala.  The pricing is $175/night/room.  There is a room block set aside at this special price.  Their address is 17700 – 87 Ave NW.  Edmonton, AB.  T5T 4V4. 
 
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Why Frank Cares


Written By: Eric Anderson, Feb 08, 2016
Why does Frank Flaman want to make a difference in the world?  (By the way, Frank founded "Flaman.")  Frank has spent many years learning, reading and researching opportunities in the world and how he can help to end global suffering.  He has discovered two major things:
  1. The lack of unsafe water and sanitation are the world’s largest causes of illness.
  2. Food security is of utmost importance!  Lack of sustainable food sources leads to malnutrition and death in most parts of the world.
And, in the words of Mother Theresa, "If you can’t feed 100 people, then feed just one."

So, for over 30 years, Frank has personally funded and helped countless charities, both locally and around the globe.  In 2005, he formally established the Frank J. Flaman Foundation to expand these philanthropic efforts.  In the first two years alone, he brought aid to thousands worldwide and every year following the foundation continues to spread the generosity of Frank and other donors to those in need.
The Frank J. Flaman Foundation is funded by Frank’s share of the profits from the Flaman Group of Companies, as well as private donations from others. 

Frank funds the administration and overhead costs of the Foundation, so 100% of every dollar donated goes to a charity, event, or someone in need.  To date, over $10-million has been donated to various charities.



The number of organizations that have received support from the Foundation is includes both local and global charities. Frank believes that every one of us can make a difference and that a needy person is a needy person, whether they live just down the street or thousands of miles away.   The Foundation will focus more on the needs of children and families locally in 2016.



Charities supported by the foundation include: 
  • Crystal Kids (mentoring children and teens in the urban Edmonton area)
  • E4C Snack Program (offering school lunch programs in Edmonton inner-city schools)
  • Kid’s Kottage (promoting the health and wellbeing of children and their families and helping end child abuse and neglect)
  • Lurana Shelter (meeting the needs of women and children fleeing from domestic violence)
  • Mennonite Central Committee (the foundation assists MCC in their quest to ensure sustainable food sources, adequate housing, education and independent living),
  • Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity (serving the “poorest of the poor” with more than 500 missions in over 100 countries)
  • Operation Eye Sight (with Frank’s donations over 5,000 individuals in the developing world have had their eyesight restored)
  • Oxfam (tackling the root causes of poverty and inequity, and helping people to create self-reliant and sustainable communities)
  • Partners in Health (saving lives, revitalizing communities & transforming global health)
  • Pilgrims Hospices Lottery (Edmonton’s only free-standing voluntary Hospice)
  • Room to Read (transforming the lives of millions of children around the world by focusing on literacy and gender equality)
  • The Salvation Army (largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in Canada)
  • Effect Hope (healing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people affected by leprosy living in the poorest areas)
  • Water Ambassadors Canada (changing lives with clean water)
  • YESS - Youth Emergency Services Shelter (empowering youth from difficult realities)
  • WIN House (Edmonton Women’s Shelter Ltd)
  • ADF - Alberta Diabetes Foundation (Funding life changing diabetes research in Alberta)
  • Change for Children (the Foundation assists Change for Children in promoting action for systemic change and sustainable development.   It aims to support the poor in securing their own food sources, safe water and political autonomy.)  
  • Catholic Social Services (offering over 100 programs to all faiths and cultures in central and north east Alberta)

The Frank J. Flaman Foundation also takes volunteers, staff members from the Flaman Group of Companies, and others interested, on mission trips around the world including to Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.   You can see the trip photo albums here.  At these locations, teams work to build schools, medical facilities, and water infrastructure.



The Frank J. Flaman Foundation’s “Gala” is the annual main fundraiser for the Foundation.  During this elegant and fun evening, a silent auction takes place as well as dinner and dancing. But this event is not just about raising money, it’s also about showing attendees and supporters how their contributions are making a difference. Representatives from a number of charities are on hand to receive their donations from Frank himself. As well, charitable groups are showcased for everyone to learn about the great work that they do.

This year’s gala is March 18th at Edmonton’s Fantasyland Hotel; the theme is “The Roaring Twenties” - there will be prizes for best costumes and the evening is sure to be an extraordinary and unforgettable one.  The goal is to raise $80,000 at the Gala, with the funds, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the Frank J. Flaman Foundation gives each year, being pledged to various charities including the ones mentioned above.   Through these joint partnerships, the Foundation hopes to improve the quality of life for all in need and help to end world suffering. 

For ticket sales or more information, please contact Syndy at 780-955-3400 or see http://www.flaman.com/foundation/events/
 
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Vegetarian starts eating meat again, takes 40-minutes off her triathlon bike time


Written By: Eric Anderson, Feb 03, 2016
Canada's fitness information leaderKathleen Trotter – took 40 minutes off her triathlon bike time when she started eating meat, after being a vegetarian for 18-years. So, she was already in great shape to complete a triathlon, then eating meat gave her an extra boost.

Kathleen revealed this during a CTV Morning Live Atlantic interview on February 1st.



Kathleen often states "knowledge is power" and during the interview she passed along that "protein is the building block of muscle."

On a side note, the more muscle you carry the more calories you burn while doing nothing.
Back to the interview.

Kathleen stated that when trying to lose weight it can be helpful to pick protein sources that are nutrient dense, are a complete protein, and come at a low caloric cost. Beef is a great nutrient dense and unprocessed option. During the interview she demonstrated that you only need to consume 180 calories of beef to get the same amount of protein as you would from 550 calories of humus, or 700 calories of peanut butter, black beans, or even quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).

Another way of looking at that would be, to get the same amount of protein, you need only eat a fraction of the calories by consuming beef. Think of it as the "caloric cost" of the protein your are acquiring.

Kathleen also noted that the sugar craving you may get at 3:00 pm, may be due to a lack of protein at lunch.

And, if all the details is confusing, just remember that a seasoned triathlete took 40-minutes off her bike time when she started eating meat after being a vegetarian for 18-years.

If you want to learn more, go to #beefadvantage or here
 
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Crop Production Show - Optimism


Written By: Eric Anderson, Jan 15, 2016
The mood at the Western Canada Crop Production Show this year was positive.

Moisture was a big topic - there is enough and land that has been under water for a few years can be seeded this year.  Some farmers had 30% or more of their low-lying fertile land under water.

Crop prices are good.

No-one was nay-saying.

Flaman had a huge presence at the event, here are some images from our three booths - ag, grain cleaning, and parts/rental/hardware:















 
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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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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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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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New Laws for Saskatchewan Farmland Ownership Proclaimed


Written By: Eric Anderson, Dec 21, 2015

New Laws for Farmland Ownership Proclaimed


Released on December 21, 2015
Amendments to The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act, clarifying who can and cannot own farmland in Saskatchewan, have been proclaimed and will come into effect on January 4, 2016.

“The people of Saskatchewan provided very clear direction during the consultation process,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said.  “The legislation reflects the views of Saskatchewan residents, provides clarity around farmland ownership and gives the Farm Land Security Board the tools it needs to enforce the rules.”

The amendments include:
  • Making pension plans, administrators of pension fund assets and larger trusts ineligible to buy farmland;
  • Defining “having an interest in farmland” to include any type of interest or benefit (i.e. capital appreciation), either directly or indirectly, that is normally associated with ownership of the land; and
  • When financing a purchase of farmland, all financing must be through a financial institution registered to do business in Canada, or a Canadian citizen.
Non-Canadian citizens can still own up to 10 acres of farmland, and exemptions can still be granted for economic development initiatives.  These rules were in place previously and will not change.

In addition, the Farm Land Security Board (FLSB) will receive new and expanded authority to enforce the legislation, including:
  • At the discretion of the FLSB, any person purchasing farmland must complete a statutory declaration;
  • Placing the onus to prove compliance with the legislation on the person purchasing the land;
  • Increasing fines for being in contravention of the legislation from $10,000 to $50,000 for individuals and from $100,000 to $500,000 for corporations; and
  • Authorizing the FLSB to impose administrative penalties to a maximum of $10,000.
The amendments put into law the regulations announced in April.

The Ministry of Agriculture conducted consultations on farmland ownership from May 20 through to August 10, with more than 3,200 people participating. 

-30-

For more information, contact:

Sarah Hein
Agriculture
Regina
Phone: 306-787-5389
Email: sarah.hein@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-527-9102
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Group looking to buy Port of Churchill Rail Line


Written By: Eric Anderson, Dec 21, 2015
19 Dec 2015
Leader-Post
The Canadian Press
 
First Nations group looking to buy rail line
 
 
 
A troubled rail line and port in northern Manitoba may be sold to a group of First Nations communities in the area.
 
Denver-based OmniTrax says it has accepted a letter of intent from the group over the sale of the Port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay rail line.
 
The company says there’s a 45day period of due diligence before a sale can be completed, and the federal and provincial governments will be asked to support the group buying the assets. OmniTrax took over the rail line and port in 1997.
 
Churchill is Canada’s only deepwater northern port and relies heavily on grain shipments from western farmers.
 
Those grain shipments were less than half the normal 500,000 tonnes this year, which prompted OmniTrax to look for a new owner.
 
Earlier this month, the Manitoba government said it was looking for federal help to ensure the continued operation of the northern line. Manitoba Transportation Minister Steve Ashton met with federal counterpart Marc Garneau in Ottawa.
The line is the only land link to Churchill and three other communities from the south.
 
Omnitrax Canada president Merv Tweed indicated that service could be discontinued if no new buyer were found. He also suggested governments could have the railway operate as a utility, presumably with regulation of rates and some form of subsidy in poor years.
 
Ashton suggested the long-term survival of the port and railway could depend on expanding port storage facilities to handle potash and other goods.
 
The northern rail line, which crosses hundreds of kilometres of bog and permafrost, has been plagued by derailments that have intermittently forced the suspension of both freight and passenger services.
 
OmniTrax had thought of shipping crude oil along the railway, but backed off the plan last year.
 
The proposal was opposed by First Nations groups, environmentalists and the government of Manitoba.
 
 
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Saskatchewan Water Security Agency Releases Fall Conditions Report


Written By: Eric Anderson, Dec 10, 2015
Saskatchewan Water Security Agency Releases Fall Conditions Report
Dec. 10 - 2015
[Full report is here ]
[Note:  As snowfall can dramatically impact runoff, the report is not a runoff forecast but rather an early indication of what areas are more vulnerable to above or below normal runoff.]
 
Today, the Water Security Agency (WSA) released the 2015 Conditions at Freeze-up Report.  The report summarizes the water supply conditions during the late fall and early winter period.  This report helps provide a better understanding of the conditions on the ground in preparation for spring runoff in 2016.

The majority of the province has normal moisture conditions for this time of year; however, some areas in eastern Saskatchewan still have a higher than normal amount of moisture on the landscape going into winter.

The Pipestone, Qu’Appelle, Assiniboine, Red Deer, Torch, and Carrot River Basins all have above normal moisture conditions for this time of year.  Some stream flows in the Qu’Appelle, Pipestone and Assiniboine Basins were at above normal levels at the end of October.

While spring and early summer precipitation was well below normal across much of the province, above normal late summer and fall precipitation resulted in near normal precipitation accumulations across most of Saskatchewan between April 1 and October 31, 2015.

On October 26, 2015, topsoil moisture conditions were generally described as adequate across the grainbelt with the exception of an area in the northeast and a few pockets in east central areas of the province where conditions are described as surplus.  However, precipitation received during the first three weeks of November has resulted in additional areas with surplus soil moisture conditions.

Long range forecasts for this winter are suggesting below normal precipitation.

Overall, since 2010, the WSA’s groundwater observation well network has shown an overall increase in groundwater levels throughout the province.

The initial Spring Runoff Outlook for 2016 will be issued in early February.   For more information ,visit www.wsask.ca.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Patrick Boyle
Water Security Agency
Moose Jaw
Phone: 306-694-8914
Email: Patrick.Boyle@wsask.ca
Cell: 306-631-6997
 
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Major U.S. firms support Canada in meat battle


Written By: Eric Anderson, Dec 10, 2015
10 Dec 2015
ALEXANDER PANETTA THE CANADIAN PRESS

U.S. firms support Canada in meat battle

WASHINGTON Canada is getting the backing of considerable American corporate muscle at a determining moment in an ongoing trade struggle with the United States Congress.
About 250 U.S. companies and trade associations have sent a letter to every member of the U.S. Senate, urging them to heed Canadian and Mexican concerns over meat-labelling rules.
This comes after the World Trade Organization sided with Canada and Mexico in the dispute, opening the door to the imminent imposition of tariffs on American goods including meat, wine, and frozen orange juice.
The letter warns that the U.S. will face US$1 billion in tariffs on a wide range of products unless the chamber does away with a requirement that meat on American grocery shelves be labelled by its country of origin.
It’s signed by some of the country’s best-known companies, including Coca-Cola, Kraft and General Mills, as well as trade associations representing everything from livestock-producers to vineyards.
“There’s a lot of powerful U.S. paddlers joining Canada in this canoe to get repeal of COOL (country-of-origin labelling),” Gary Doer, Canada’s U.S. ambassador, said of the letter.
After a years-long dispute, the issue could be decided by the holidays.
Proponents of meat-labelling call it a fair system for letting consumers know where their food comes from. Opponents say it does nothing for food safety — for which there are already inspections.
They argue that it’s just disguised protectionism — a system that forces importers to spend extra money to separate foreign and domestic livestock, drives up the cost of imports and makes them less competitive.
The World Trade Organization has sided against the U.S., allowing penalties on American products.
Now the letter-signers want the Senate to adopt a bill passed in the House of Representatives that does away with the requirement that meat sold in the U.S. be labelled by country of origin.
 
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SK Snowmobile Registration Changes


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 30, 2015
The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association reminded riders last week that effective November 1, 2015 snowmobile registrations have changed to coincide with the snowmobile season, which is July 1st - June 30th as defined in The Snowmobile Regulations.
This was done to ensure the proper snowmobile registration fees were being collected.  Prior to this change, some snowmobile owners paid the snowmobile registration fee once but the snowmobile registration spanned over two riding seasons.  This change will close that loophole.
Please be advised that you may still pick any expiry date for your snowmobile registration, but the registration term cannot extend past June 30th of any given year.  For example, you could register your snowmobile from November 1st to April 15th.
All snowmobiles must be registered and the operator licensed before being driven on public land (i.e. roads (where allowed), ditches, other highway rights of way, provincial parks, Crown land, designated snowmobile trails, rivers or lakes).  And, to clarify, registration is not required to drive on privately-owned land if permission is granted by the owner/tenant.
And on a side note, although an ATV cannot be registered, it must be insured with a $200,000 liability policy before it can be operated in public areas.
For more information and a link to the “Snowmobile Act” go here
The guide from SGI called “Snowmobiling in Saskatchewan” is here
 
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Manitoba winter fertilizing ban back on until April


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 20, 2015

Manitoba winter fertilizing ban back on

Posted Nov. 19th, 2015
Ag Canada

Snow’s arrival throughout Manitoba means no more extensions for the province’s farmers to apply winter fertilizer or manure.
The province said Thursday its second extension, which was to run until the end of the day, has been rescinded, and the winter nutrient application ban is in place effective immediately, given “recent snowfall accumulations.”
The winter nutrient application ban continues until midnight, April 10, 2016 — unless soils can support an earlier date next spring — and applies to all forms of nutrients, including livestock manure and inorganic fertilizer.
The province set up the ban in 2008 to prevent nutrients from being applied when the ground is frozen, to reduce nutrient loading in waterways through field runoff.
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Ethiopia to buy more wheat to avert drought crisis


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 20, 2015
Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:36am EST
Reuters

Ethiopia to buy more wheat to avert drought crisis

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, Nov 18 Ethiopia expects to open a tender to buy additional wheat after purchasing one million tonnes to tackle extreme food shortages due to drought, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Failed rains during the spring and summer have sparked food and water shortages in the Horn of Africa nation, which boasts one of the continent's highest growth rates but depends heavily on rain-fed farming.

The United Nations says 8 million people in the country of 96 million will need food aid but the number could rise to 15 million by early 2016, owing to shortages exacerbated by the effects of the El Nino weather pattern.

"In total, nearly a million metric tonnes have been purchased," government spokesman Getachew Reda told a news conference, adding around $280 million has so far been spent to tackle the crisis.

"A significant part of it is going to be used to address this challenge. An equally significant part will also be meant to address inflationary pressures that could result from some misguided moves in the market," Getachew said.

El Nino, marked by warming sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, causes extremes such as scorching weather in some regions of the globe and heavy rains and flooding in others.

Meteorologists expect El Nino to peak between October and January.

Humanitarian agencies say Ethiopia needs $600 million to cope with the crisis. The United Nations says 350,000 children are expected to require treatment for acute malnutrition in the country by the end of 2015.

"We are going to be okay for the next three or four months, at least from the reserves that we have," Getachew said, adding there had been no loss of life owing to the drought so far.

"We are ready for any eventuality. What that means ... is we will be out in a shopping spree (to buy wheat) once again."

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; editing by Drazen Jorgic and David Evans)

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Alberta Farm Safety Rule Changes Proposed


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 18, 2015
18 Nov 2015
Calgary Herald
JODIE SINNEMA

Farm safety breakthrough

Proposed rules to ensure safe workplaces, protect workers

New sweeping farm safety legislation proposed by Alberta’s NDP government will give farm and ranch workers the same rights and safety protection offered to all other workers in the province.
The Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, tabled in the legislature Tuesday, will require all farms and ranches to follow basic occupational health and safety regulations starting Jan. 1, with specific details to be hammered out at five public town halls across the province in November and December.
Until now, Alberta has been the only province that doesn’t apply such workplace legislation to farms and ranches, leaving provincial investigators unable to enter farm property to investigate serious injuries, deaths or even complaints of unsafe work practices.
The new legislation will mean farmers and ranchers must provide safe work conditions and training to everyone doing any commercial work — not regular farm chores — on their property, including children, unpaid workers, friends and family.
“We want to ensure these devastating incidents do not go uninvestigated so we may better understand and help producers and the industry manage the risks related to farming operations,” said Labour Minister Lori Sigurdson, while visiting a large grain farm near Gibbons. “The people in this industry deserve our utmost gratitude and respect. They also deserve the same basic workplace protections enjoyed by workers in all industries.”
In 2014, 25 people died in farmrelated incidents, up from 16 in 2013 and 10 in 2012. Of the 25 fatalities, 12 were over the age of 65 and two were under 18 years old. For every fatality, there were 25 hospital admissions. Sixty per cent of the fatalities involved machinery.
The proposed bill will require Alberta’s 43,000 farms and ranches to purchase insurance coverage to protect workers if they’re injured on the job, and protect the operation if the farmer is sued. Until now, farmers could opt out, leaving about 60,000 workers without pay or access to health or physiotherapy benefits to get them back on the job.
“The important changes we’re proposing would give farm and ranch workers the duty to see what went wrong and prevent future incidents,” Sigurdson said. “We are proposing these changes because every worker in Alberta has a right to a safe, healthy and fair workplace.”
Under the proposed changes to various bodies of legislation, workers will have the right to refuse unsafe work without fear of being fired. Provincial investigators will be able to enter a farm site to do safety inspections and impose penalties. Workers will be able to join unions and bargain for wages, and they will be paid minimum wage, overtime and vacation pay. Such labour rights and employment standards will be hashed out for spring 2016 with room for some finagling.
“We know that harvest, for instance, does not fit neatly into an eight- hour day. And the calving season does not conform to a statutory holiday,” Sigurdson said. “We also know the farm and ranch industry is not the same as the oil and gas industry or any other industry for that matter. One size does not fit all.”

She said while farmers and ranchers need to follow occupational health and safety regulations starting Jan. 1, they will be given time to learn the rules, train their employees and come up to speed. No additional government money will be made available beyond the current budget.
Mike Kalisvaart, who has a 12,000- acre grain farm near Gibbons and purchases employment insurance for his eight workers, said the new legislation was long overdue. He suspects many farmers are scared of being overregulated and having inspectors on their properties.
“I think there are some compromises we’re going to have to make and accept some uncomfortable new rules, but the end result is that I think workers will have more protection and a safer work environment,” Kalisvaart said.
He said accidents will still happen. Children drown in swimming pools, despite lifeguards on duty, for instance. Legislation also wouldn’t have prevented the three Potts sisters from suffocating in a truckload of grain in central Alberta in early October, although inspectors would be allowed to investigate if Bill 6 is passed.
“It’s not going to prevent all injuries, but it’s going to make safety part of conversations in every farm in Alberta and that can only improve the situation,” Kalisvaart said.
John Bocock, an 81- year- old dairy farmer north of St. Albert, agreed.
“When people’s health is a concern, maybe it should be tough and ( you) put up with the intrusion into your privacy,” said Bocock, whose employee was covered by insurance about 10 years ago when a tractor rode over him. “I guess if the truth hurts, maybe it ought to.”
Grant Hunter, Wildrose’s jobs critic, said the legislation is being rammed in too quickly, without proper consultation. He said differentiated rules need to be made for small family farms versus large commercial operations.
Liberal Leader David Swann backed the legislation without hesitation.
“This is good for rural Alberta,” Swann said. “This is bringing Alberta into the 21st century.”
 
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Wheat and durum exports high, canola down


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 17, 2015
Today's data from Statistics Canada reveals that September 2015; wheat exports were down slightly from 2014, but up over every other previous year; durum exports were the best ever; and canola was down from historical levels.


The long term yearly trends revealed that wheat and durum continued a staircase style climb while canola plunged.
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New agriculture research chair now on the job


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 13, 2015
13 Nov 2015
THE STARPHOENIX

New agriculture research chair now on the job

SASKATOON — The University of Saskatchewan has appointed a former student and adjunct professor as research chair in feed processing technology at the Canadian Feed Research Centre in North Battleford.
Rex Newkirk will collaborate with U of S plant and animal scientists to develop new feed and pet food products and new markets for Saskatchewan crops. The former vice-president of research and innovation at the Canadian International Grains Institute in Winnipeg will contribute to the valueadded segment of the province’s agricultural industry, according to a news release.

“Professor Newkirk is globally renowned in the processing of a wide variety of crop products to provide a myriad of end products,” College of Agriculture and Bioresources dean Mary Buhr said in a statement. “As the research lead for the U of S Canadian Feed Research Centre, he will drive integrating crop characteristics with processing features and nutritional availability in desirable end products.”
Newkirk’s tenure began Nov. 1 and will involve working with the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, the Crop Development Centre, Prairie Swine Centre and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.
 
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Pulses campaign may benefit Sask


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 12, 2015
12 Nov 2015
The StarPhoenix
ALEX MACPHERSON

Pulses campaign may benefit Sask

Farmers look to boost market share
 
     A yearlong celebration of pulse crops that began this week could benefit Saskatchewan, which has become the world’s largest lentil producer and a significant contributor to Canada’s $3-billion pulse crop industry.
     International Year of Pulses was launched Tuesday in Rome by the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating world hunger. The global event is intended to raise awareness about pulses’ importance to health, environmental sustainability and global food security. But it may also create new opportunities for Saskatchewan farmers.
     “It is about winning the hearts and minds and stomachs of consumers, not just in the traditional parts of the world that have eaten pulses for many years, but in the whole world,” said Pulse Canada chair Lee Moats, who has been growing pulses at Riceton, near Regina, since 1991.
     “If you look at North America, we grow a lot of pulses, but we don’t consume that many. From a grower’s standpoint, this is about increasing the market opportunity.”
     Saskatchewan was not always a global leader in pulse production. In the first half of the 20th century, the province’s agricultural industry was dominated by cereals such as wheat and barley. By the 1960s, farmers were experimenting with oilseeds and pulses, a family that includes lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans. According to University of Saskatchewan plant scientist Bert Vandenberg, the crops’ benefits were readily apparent.
     “Pulse crops fix nitrogen, and there’s substantial benefits that come with that in crop rotation,” he said. “Plus, you’re breaking disease cycles. It’s basically going back to basic farming principles that have been known for 10,000 years.”
     Because pulses were not controlled by the nowdefunct Canadian Wheat Board, farmers could sell them as a cash crop.
     The upshot is that Saskatchewan pulse production increased dramatically, from about 45,000 acres in the early 1980s to four million acres, or 10 per cent of the province’s arable land, in 2015, Vandenberg said.
     More production conferred yet more benefits on Saskatchewan producers.
     Because Saskatchewan grows half the world’s lentils, production problems at home and shortages abroad both guarantee higher prices, Vandenberg said.
     “It’s a hedge both ways,” he added.
     Moats, who is also a director of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, hopes International Year of Pulses will further expand the market for Saskatchewan pulses.
     While farmers in the province are familiar with the protein-rich crops’ benefits, the bulk of their pulses are exported to Turkey, India, Bangladesh and other foreign markets.
     A broad conversation about global food production, one that taps into concerns about health and sustainability, could help the North American market grow, Moats said.
     “We think that International Year will bring attention to these crops, why consumers should be interested in them and how to use them and incorporate them into their diets. International Year gives (us) a platform at a whole new level.”
 
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Used-grain bag rollers make clean-up easy and qualifies for rebate


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 05, 2015
Used-grain bag rollers make clean-up easy and qualifies for rebate
 
The Arc Alloy Pro Grain Bag Roller Model 1510 from Flaman, allows you to quickly roll-up your used gran bags – it sort of turns the stretched out empty bag into a round bail.  A bumper pull or skid mount options can be added to the base model.
 

See it in action at:  https://youtu.be/4Q6rzkWe2bI
See it at http://www.flamanagriculture.com/pro-grain-bag-roller-p470
And, it qualifies for a 50% rebate* with a Saskatchewan Environmental farm Plan
For details on project eligibility and to download a rebate application, contact the Saskatchewan Financial Programs Branch at 1.877.874 or visit www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/Plastic-Grain-Bag-Roller-BMP
*50 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $5,000; all work must occur before January 31, 2018
 
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Optimism greets new Federal ag minister


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 05, 2015
  • 5 Nov 2015
  • The StarPhoenix
  • ALEX MACPHERSON

Optimism greets new ag minister

Policies fit province’s goals

Despite his unfamiliarity with the Saskatchewan agriculture industry, incoming federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay could bring good news for the province’s farmers, according to the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.
“A lot of their ag policies align very closely with a lot of the policies that we were putting out, and their answers were very close to what we wanted to hear,” Norm Hall said, referring to the Liberal party’s agriculture platform. “We’re very encouraged by what the Liberal government was putting out.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed 69-yearold potato farmer and veteran Prince Edward Island MP Lawrence MacAulay as agriculture minister on Wednesday. He replaces Gerry Ritz, the Conservative MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster, who has held the post since 2007.
While the agriculture minister has little impact on day-to-day farm and manufacturing operations, his influence on policy is enormous, Hall said.
“It’s huge. We’re all under some federal act, and there’s all kinds of updates that need to happen to Canadian laws and acts. In some cases they’re slow coming, and we need to convince government there’s a better way to do it.”
Grain transportation and international trade are particularly important for the new government to address because Saskatchewan producers rely on the country’s rail network and trade laws to get their grain into foreign markets, and both are in a state of flux, Hall said.
Canada’s Transportation Act is undergoing a major review, while a pair of major free trade agreements — the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership — are being negotiated. Hall expects MacAulay will throw his support behind both issues.

“We’re very hopeful about the future for ag under this government,” he said.
Saskatchewan’s agriculture minister takes a similarly optimistic view. Although he lacks the in-depth knowledge of Saskatchewan agriculture his predecessor possessed, MacAulay is a farmer and a veteran MP, meaning he should have little trouble acclimating to the role, Lyle Stewart said.
“He has quite a record, and a very positive one,” he said. “I’m quite looking forward to meeting him.”
Stewart said he hopes MacAulay will support the Trans-Pacific Partnership and pursue the outgoing Conservative government’s challenge of country of origin labelling at the World Trade Organization.
The Canadian Transportation Act review is also vital to Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry and broader economy, he added.
“We export virtually everything we produce, and the vast majority of it goes west, so rail transportation is critical to our economy. Certainly, having the right rules that motivate the railways to act in a responsible, efficient and highly-motivated fashion is important to us.”
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan (ACS), which distributes federal dollars to industry-led projects, hopes the new government boosts its contributions to Western Canada.
“Funding programs and support for the agriculture sector helps growth, assists with growth, provides opportunities for growth,” ACS executive director Bryan Kosteroski said. “And also provides more opportunities for smaller agriculture companies to grow in Western Canada and in Saskatchewan.”
 
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SK Announces Incentive Program To Sell Agricultural Crown Land


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 05, 2015

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES INCENTIVE PROGRAM TO SELL AGRICULTURAL CROWN LAND


Released on November 4, 2015
Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart today announced a new incentive program to encourage the sale of eligible occupied agricultural Crown land.  The program, which comes into effect immediately, offers purchase incentives on the sale of the land to current lease-holders.

“As a government, our priority is administering land that has a higher public good from an ecological, environmental, heritage or economic perspective,” Stewart said.  "The government still owns a lot of land that does not serve these purposes.  We want to sell eligible agriculture crown land to lessees.”

All agricultural Crown land including cultivated, grazing and hay land that is deemed to have no public and low environmental benefit will be eligible for the program.  The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that approximately 600,000 acres of land will be sold under this program.  From now until March 31, 2016, a 15 per cent discount will be applied to all sales.  The incentive drops to 10 per cent on April 1, 2016 and five per cent on January 1, 2017.

This new incentive program is similar to the Agricultural Crown Land Sale Program that was in place from November 2008 through December of 2014, which sold more than 500,000 acres of Crown land.

If a lessee does not purchase the land, they may continue leasing.  However, rental rates on cultivated lands and previously cultivated lands will increase for the 2016 cropping season by approximately 15 per cent over the formula rate and by 30 per cent over the formula rate for the 2017 cropping year.

"During our recent review of farmland ownership rules, a large majority of producers told us they opposed large institutions owning farmland,” Stewart said.  “The provincial government is probably the largest institutional owner of farmland and owning farmland is not a business the government needs to be in.

“Our first priority for sale is cultivated lands as they are easily identifiable and the least likely to have any ecological or environmental value because they are already broken.  This program allows Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers, individuals who have managed the land for the better part of a century, to purchase this land and realize the benefits of ownership.”

Land that is designated as having high ecological value under The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act (WHPA) is not eligible for sale and discounts will not be applied to land classified as having moderate ecological value.  Lands classified as low are eligible for the incentive program.  Sales associated with public tenders and Treaty Land Entitlement are not eligible for the program.  Any parcel of land that has previously been determined as ineligible for purchase will remain as such.

Lessees interested in purchasing their leased agricultural Crown land can contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 or visit www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/crown-land-sale.

Background:

Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is offering a purchase incentive program to encourage the sale of eligible occupied agricultural Crown land
 All eligible agriculture Crown land is available for the incentive
o Eligible is defined as: all current Crown land, held by a lessee that has no higher public value (i.e. sand and gravel, oil and gas, heritage or environmental concerns) or third-party interests;
o Land that has been designated low ecological value under The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act.
 Phase 1: 15% purchase incentive (Now to March 31, 2016)
 Phase 2: 10% purchase incentive (April 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016)
 Phase 3: 5% purchase incentive (January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017)
 Lessees are not required to purchase their lease land.
 If Lessees decide to not purchase their sale incentive eligible agriculture Crown lease, they should be aware that rental rates will be increasing on cultivated and previously cultivated lands in the 2016 and 2017 cropping seasons,
o 2016 rental rates: formula rate + 15%
o 2017 rental rates: formula rate + 30%
 Note: These increases will not apply to native prairie pasture land (never been broken), former Federal community pasture lands or lands under lease to grazing co-ops.
 Crown land not eligible for incentive:
o Land designated under The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act as having high or moderate ecological value;
o Crown land sold through public tenders;
o Crown land sold through Treaty Land Entitlement;
 For more information: contact Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 or visit agriculture.gov.sk.ca/crown-land-sale
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Just because something raises the risk of cancer doesn't mean it will cause cancer


Written By: Eric Anderson, Nov 02, 2015
Extract from . . . .

Moderation is key when weighing cancer risk of meat 

LESLIE BECK
Special to The Globe and Mail
Last updated Monday, Nov. 02, 2015 3:18PM EST
 
 
 
Last week’s headlines tying some types of meat to colorectal cancer left many people wondering whether they should banish them from their diet altogether.
 
Is it finally time to give up that juicy steak? Should you trade in cold cuts for tuna?
 
To recap, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a subsidiary of the World Health Organization, ruled that processed meat causes colorectal cancer and red meat (e.g., beef, pork, lamb, goat) probably does.
 
The term “processed meat” refers to meats preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives.
 
Ham, bacon, corned beef, pastrami, salami, bologna, sausages, hot dogs, bratwursts, frankfurters and beef jerky are processed meats.
 
So are turkey (and chicken) sausages, smoked turkey and turkey bacon. However, most studies have looked only at processed red meats.
 
While the IARC’s conclusion means there is an established and scientifically valid association between red and processed meats and the risk of cancer, there’s no need to panic.
 
Just because something raises the risk of cancer doesn’t mean it will cause cancer.
 
Dose matters – how much meat you eat, how often you eat it and for how long you’ve been eating it. And, it’s important to note, other dietary and lifestyle choices will affect the risk, too.
 
You don’t have to stop eating red meat. It is a good source of high-quality protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc. That said, if you eat red meat frequently and in large portions, you should cut back.
 
Based on an expert review of 7,000 studies that was published in 2007, the American Institute for Cancer Research advises eating no more than 18 ounces (500 grams) of red meat each week. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends a stricter limit of three servings – three ounces each – per week.

 
Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is based at the Medisys clinic in Toronto.
 
 
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Cancer 'hazard' not a cancer 'risk', meat industry cautions


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 27, 2015
From Ag Canada

A new report classifying processed meats such as hot dogs and bacon as “carcinogenic” to humans doesn’t set out a cause-and-effect link between meats and cancer, industry groups caution.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization, on Monday published a report placing processed meats in its Group 1 category, which includes substances such as tobacco and asbestos with “sufficient evidence” of links to cancer.
The IARC on Monday also put red meat, such as beef, pork and lamb, in its Group 2A — where glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, was recently also classified as a “probable” carcinogen. (The IARC’s Group 2B, of “possible” carcinogens, recently saw 2,4-D herbicide added to the list.)
In its response Monday to the report, the Canadian Meat Council emphasized that the IARC defines an agent that “may cause cancer at some level, under some circumstance,” as a “cancer hazard.”
However, the CMC said, actual “cancer risk” gauges the likelihood of experiencing cancer after being exposed to a “cancer hazard,” and the IARC identifies such hazards even when the risks are “very low.”
Such findings aren’t unusual for the IARC, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said in a separate release, saying the agency “has found hazards in about half of the agents it has reviewed.”
For its 2A classification for red meat, the CCA said, the IARC’s review of existing epidemiological studies “concluded that there is limited evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat,” and “no clear association was seen in several of the high quality studies and residual confounding from other diet and lifestyle risk is difficult to exclude.”
Colorectal cancer was the IARC report’s “principal focus” relative to red meat, the CCA said. The report had cited 10 cohort studies with a “statistically significant dose–response relationship,” with a 17 per cent increased risk per 100 grams per day of red meat.
Given that the American Society of Clinical Oncology (has estimated a person with an “average” risk of colorectal cancer has about a five per cent chance of developing colorectal cancer overall, consuming 100 g per day of red meat would increase the risk of colorectal cancer by just under one per cent in absolute terms, the CCA said.
The meat industry has previously estimated Canadians, on average, eat only about 50 g of fresh red meat per day. Thus, the CCA said, “if there is an increase in the potential risk of colorectal cancer from red meat consumption, by these estimates it is small and must be considered relative to the very significant nutritional benefits that red meat provides.”
“It is regrettable that, in arriving at its split decision, the IARC panel reportedly chose to disregard certain studies which present high quality evidence to the contrary,” CMC president Joe Reda said.
“Furthermore, the agency did not balance its verdict by taking into account either the proven benefits of meat or the substantive implications of removing meat from the diet… Risks and benefits should both be considered before recommending what people eat and drink.” — AGCanada.com Network
 
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Five questions about the WHO's cancer-causing meat announcement answered


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 26, 2015
Five questions about the WHO’s cancer-causing meat announcement answered 
 
Carly Weeks
 
The Globe and Mail
 
Published Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 2:10PM EDT
 
Last updated Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 2:37PM EDT
 
 
 
Bacon causes cancer and a New York strip steak probably does too. On Monday, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that processed meat is carcinogenic and that red meat, including beef, veal, pork and lamb, probably causes cancer. The announcement has many rethinking what they eat and whether they can ever enjoy a guilt-free hot dog or hamburger again. It’s critical to look beyond the headlines to answer those questions.
 
What happened?
 
The IARC decided to study processed and red meat on the advice of an international advisory committee that highlighted the mounting evidence linking both to cancer. This month, 22 scientists from 10 countries met in Lyon, France, to figure out once and for all what those risks are.
 
The group looked at more than 800 studies from around the globe. The relationship between meat and colorectal cancer was the most widely studied. In their assessment, the researchers gave the most weight to prospective studies – ones that followed a group of participants for a period of time to track their health outcomes.
 
After reviewing all of the information, the working group concluded that there is enough evidence to classify processed meat as carcinogenic. Processed meat refers to meat that has been cured, smoked, salted or otherwise processed to increase flavour and shelf life: anything from bacon to ham to lunch meat to pepperoni.
 
Specifically, the group ruled that processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer. A person who consumes 50 grams of processed meat a day (roughly equivalent to a hot dog, two pieces of bacon or a few slices of smoked turkey) has an 18 per cent increased risk of developing that type of cancer.
 
The story was slightly different with red meat. The working group found that while there is evidence that red-meat consumption raises the risk of colorectal cancer, the currently available data are not sufficient to definitively declare red meat as carcinogenic. The group also pointed out that some studies have found that red meat may increase the incidence of pancreatic and prostate cancer.
 
Although red meat, such as beef, pork and lamb, contains important vitamins and nutrients, the IARC said consumption leads to the formation of N-nitroso compounds, which are carcinogenic, in the colon. Cooking meat can also produce certain carcinogenic chemicals.
 
More study is needed to figure out the exact underpinnings of the relationship between meat and cancer, but enough evidence is in to determine that it is a risk.
 
Does this mean processed meat carries the same risk as tobacco?
 
It is incorrect and misleading to equate the dangers of smoking and processed meat. What they now have in common is that they are both in Group 1, IARC’s list of known carcinogens. Group 1 carcinogens are those for which the evidence clearly shows that they cause cancer. Red meat belongs to Group 2A because there is limited evidence that it probably causes cancer.
 
The risks associated with tobacco products are much greater than processed meat, however. The Global Burden of Disease Project estimates that 34,000 people die of cancer every year as a result of consuming processed meat. Compare that with the more than one million people who die from cancer worldwide annually as a result of tobacco. Not to mention the millions of others who die as a result of tobacco-induced respiratory diseases, heart disease and other problems.
 
So now do I have to break up with bacon and steak?
 
Not necessarily. Declaring that something is carcinogenic lets people know that it poses a risk. It doesn’t mean we should banish the item in question. As the American Cancer Society points out, there are plenty of cancer-causing substances that are unavoidable, such as radiation, to which we are exposed through the soil as well as X-rays and other medical procedures, as well as estrogen, which occurs naturally in the human body.
 
Another known carcinogen on the IARC’s Group 1 list? Wood dust. Of course, that doesn’t mean anyone who has ever walked through a lumberyard or endured a major home renovation is going to develop a disease as a result.
 
The key is finding a balance of how to manage potential risks, says Sian Bevan, director of research at the Canadian Cancer Society. “It’s important to remember it’s a relative risk,” she said. “An individual’s personal risk [for colorectal cancer] is already relatively low.”
 
Cancer Research UK, a London-based charity, crunched the numbers to provide some much-needed perspective. According to the organization, 61 out of every 1,000 people in the United Kingdom will develop colorectal cancer during their lives. For those that eat the least amount of processed meat, that number is 56 out of 1,000. Using the results of a study conducted in 2011 by the World Cancer Research Fund, the rate for people who consumed the highest amount of processed meat is 66 out of 1,000. In other words, eating a diet rich in bacon, ham, salami and other processed meats does pose a higher risk, but it isn’t the equivalent of a cancer diagnosis.
 
What about “natural” processed meats?
 
You’ve probably seen a new crop of hot dogs and bacon in your grocery store with the word “natural” emblazoned on the packaging. According to the labels, those types of products are made using such easy-to-pronounce ingredients as sea salt, vinegar and cultured celery extract. However, that doesn’t mean those products have a lower cancer risk or are otherwise healthier. The “natural” preservatives are still a source of nitrates and nitrites, compounds that have been linked to an increased cancer risk.
 
Cancer isn’t the only concern
 
Keep in mind that cancer is just one negative health outcome. Choosing salty, fatty, highly processed meat products can also raise the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular disease and a host of other health issues.
 
That’s why groups such as the Canadian Cancer Society are preaching moderation – sure, you can enjoy a nice steak dinner, but don’t forget about fruits, vegetables, fish and grains.
 
So what might a moderate balanced diet look like? The society recommends people limit their consumption of red meat to three times a week and to reserve processed meat for special occasions.
 
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2016 Government of Saskatchewan Agriculture Scholarship Announced


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 26, 2015

2016 Government of Saskatchewan Agriculture Scholarship Announced


Released on October 23, 2015
Today, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced the 2016 Saskatchewan Agriculture Student Scholarship.

“This year’s scholarship theme, Stewards in Sustainability, is designed to get young people thinking about the relationship between agriculture and the environment,” Stewart said.  “With this scholarship, passionate youth will have the opportunity to pursue careers in the many professions that the industry has to offer.”

Interested students can apply for the scholarship by submitting a creative, three minute video or well-researched 1,000 word essay based on topics surrounding agriculture and sustainability.  These topics include technology’s role in agricultural sustainability, sustainable production practices, youth’s role in sustainability and environmental success stories.

"This scholarship is such a generous and amazing opportunity for students who are starting their agricultural education,” winner of the 2015 Saskatchewan Agriculture Student Scholarship Morgan Heidecker said.  “Simply completing the application myself -- which was in the form of a video -- made me realize how excited I am to pursue my future career in the agriculture industry!  I'd definitely recommend that anyone who's interested in it apply!"

One winning scholarship of $4,000 and three runner-up scholarships of $2,000 will be awarded to students in Grade 12 and recent graduates entering agriculture-related post-secondary studies in 2016
.
The application deadline is March 1, 2016.

For more information on the Saskatchewan Agriculture Student Scholarship and to view last year’s winners, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/business/agriculture-natural-resources-and-industry/agribusiness-farmers-and-ranchers/thinkag/prepare-for-career/scholarships.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Trelle Kolojay
Agriculture
Regina
Phone: 306-787-5155
Email: trelle.kolojay@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-527-0521
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Mustard prices highest ever due to shortages


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 23, 2015
Reuters

Mustard prices rise on back of weak harvest

From canada to India, there is a squeeze on mustard that has put producers in a pickle.
Prices of the yellow condiment dabbed on hotdogs and pretzels have leaped to their highest level in seven years this autumn as growers in Western canada, which supplies three-quarters of the world’s traded mustard seed, turn in their smallest crop in nine years.In India, the price of a contract representing both mustard seed and rapeseed, related crops grown in the same areas, has surged by a fifth to record highs in the past three weeks over fears that unseasonably hot weather will prevent sowing that would normally begin later this month.
The higher prices threaten to drive up costs for Kraft Heinz Co., maker of Grey Poupon, and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, maker of French’s, which hold more than 40 per cent of the market share for North America’s fourth-favourite condiment by sales according to some estimates.
but it is smaller producers like barhyte Specialty Foods in Pendleton, Ore., that are feeling the most immediate pinch. It lost customers after raising its price on organic brands to cover the cost of buying extra supplies from canada.
“We took a big spike this year,” said chief executive chris barhyte, whose company makes private label mustard as well as its own Suzie’s brand. Although the bulk of his mustard seed comes from domestic farmers, he increased purchases from canada to meet heightened demand for organic products that now make up roughly 40 per cent of his overall needs. Prices for canadian organic seed were nearly 30 per cent higher than in past years, he said.
While farmers savour rising prices and food makers bemoan higher costs, those hurting most may be the middlemen who buy crops from farmers on the spot market to meet forward sales.
Some exporters are “panic buying” due to scarcity, said bob Waldbauer, director of mustard seed sales at broadGrain commodities in dafoe, Saskatchewan. “It’s not a matter of price, it’s a matter of supply.”
He declined to name any specific firms. The biggest exporter to the United States is Viterra Inc., a canadian grains trader owned by Swiss mining and trading firm Glencore Plc, according to data from PIerS. company representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

To be sure, ructions in the niche mustard market barely register amid the meltdown engulfing larger commodities.
U.S. imports of mustard seed came to just $52 million last year, almost all of that from canada, and the entire U.S. retail market is worth about $430 million, according to euromonitor. consumers may barely notice, as seeds make up only 15 per cent of the average retail price for a bottle of mustard, said Walter dyck, seed division manager at Wisconsin-based mustard manufacturer Olds Products company.
The crop is a mere blip on the canadian Prairies, where farmers planted 75 times more wheat than mustard this year.
The problem emanates from canada, where farmers sowed only 325,000 acres (131,523 hectares) of mustard this year, less than half the 2003 record high. It has fallen out of favour with many farmers for relatively lower returns.
In addition, dry weather cut yields, producing only 109,300 tonnes of mustard this year, down 45 per cent from last year’s output, according to Statistics canada.
Processors have recently paid farmers 45 to 50 canadian cents per pound for yellow mustard seed on the spot market, where they are likely to source about half their supplies this year, dyck said. “It’s really, really tight.” The impact is felt most keenly in the United States, where local production covers barely a tenth of domestic demand. The rest is imported from canada, with shipments up 15 per cent this year, according to U.S. International Trade commission data.
big, diversified food companies have been partly protected from this year’s rise, thanks to extensive advance purchases, but next year may be a different story, as high spot prices influence a new set of supply contracts.
“clearly when the price goes up, things change. demand and price go hand in hand,” said elliott Penner, president of French’s Food company, which commands 30 per cent market share with sales of $132 million, according to euromonitor.
Kraft Heinz’s Grey Poupon, which is second in the market with 11.5 per cent, is also competing for more seeds, and launched a strategy this year to boost mustard sales. Kraft Heinz declined to comment.
conAgra Foods Inc, whose Gulden’s brand is third at 6 per cent, said it had not experienced any disruption in production.
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Grain deliveries hit record high in September


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 23, 2015
CNS Canada — September was a very busy month for grain handlers in Western Canada, as farmer deliveries into the commercial pipeline hit their highest levels ever.
Producers made deliveries of 5.879 million tonnes of the major grains and oilseeds during the month, topping the previous monthly record of 5.819 million tonnes set two years earlier in September 2013, according to Statistics Canada data that goes back to 2001. The major grains and oilseeds included in the total are wheat, durum, oats, barley, rye, flaxseed and canola.
Canola deliveries hit a monthly record of their own, at 2.384 million tonnes. That compares with the previous record, of 1.956 million that was also hit in September 2013, according to the StatsCan data.
Canada grew a record 18.5 million-tonne canola crop in 2013, which accounted for the heavy deliveries at the time. However, official production numbers in 2015 are considerably more modest, with StatsCan currently forecasting the 2015 canola crop at 14.3 million tonnes.
Wheat was also moving out of producers’ hands at a very brisk pace in September, with the monthly deliveries of 2.846 million tonnes the third highest on record. The large wheat deliveries also came despite the fact that Canada’s 2015 wheat crop, at 26.1 million tonnes, was well off the previous record of 37.5 million tonnes set in 2013.
Farmers delivered 570,210 tonnes of durum, 311,416 tonnes of oats and 278,140 tonnes of barley during the month. None of those were a record in their own right, but deliveries were still well above the averages.
 
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Legislation for Saskatchewan Farmland Ownership to be Introduced


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 20, 2015
Released on October 20, 2015
Today, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart introduced amendments to The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act.  The legislative amendments will clarify who can own farmland and will provide the Farm Land Security Board (FLSB) with more authority to enforce the Act.

“This summer, we asked the people of Saskatchewan to share their views to help us inform our decision on farmland ownership,” Stewart said.  “They did, and as a result we are making changes that will keep farmland accessible to Saskatchewan’s farmers and ranchers.  I am pleased to announce that we are clarifying the rules around farmland ownership in the province.”

Legislative amendments to The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act will enshrine the regulations introduced in April as law.

Amendments including:
  • Making pension plans, administrators of pension fund assets and trusts not eligible to buy farmland;
  • Defining “having an interest in farmland” to include any type of interest or benefit (i.e. capital appreciation), either directly or indirectly, that is normally associated with ownership of the land; and
  • When financing a purchase of farmland, all financing must be through a financial institution registered to do business in Canada, or a Canadian resident.
In addition, the FLSB will receive new and expanded authority to enforce the legislation, including:
  • At the discretion of the FLSB, any person purchasing farmland must complete a statutory declaration;
  • Placing the onus to prove compliance with the legislation onto the person purchasing the land;
  • Increasing fines for being in contravention of the legislation from $10,000 to $50,000 for individuals and from $100,000 to $500,000 for corporations; and
  • Authorizing the FLSB to impose administrative penalties to a maximum of $10,000.
“Our government understands that to many in the province, farmland is not just an asset,” Stewart said.  “It is a connection to our history and who we are as people.  Farmers and ranchers want the opportunity to own the land they farm.”

Through the consultations, the views of more than 3,200 individuals, businesses and organizations were heard.  Overwhelmingly, the majority voiced support for making pensions and large investment trusts ineligible to purchase farmland, and limiting the ownership of farmland to Canadian residents and 100 per cent Canadian-owned corporations.

The complete results of the consultation are available at www.saskatchewan.ca/farmland.

Following passage of the legislation and regulations, the new rules are expected to come into effect by the new year.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Sarah Hein
Agriculture
Regina
Phone: 306-787-5389
Email: sarah.hein@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-527-9102
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Most of farm file's handlers to return to Commons


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 20, 2015

Most of farm file’s handlers to return to Commons

Trudeau's Liberals have former ag minister, critics on roster

From http://www.agcanada.com/daily/most-of-farm-files-handlers-to-return-to-commons
Most federal parliamentarians with experience in the agriculture and agri-food portfolio will be back in the House of Commons under a new majority Liberal government.
As of Tuesday morning, prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were elected or leading in 184 of 338 seats, for a decisive majority following Monday’s federal election. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives return to opposition, elected or leading in 99 seats.
Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats are demoted to second opposition, elected or leading in 44 seats, followed by the Bloc Quebecois in 10, and the Green Party, whose leader Elizabeth May hung onto the party’s lone seat.
The Liberals, who’d had just 34 seats after the 2011 election, will return to power with a largely rookie caucus, but their returning veterans carry years of experience on the agriculture file.
Ralph Goodale, the Liberals’ agriculture minister from 1993 to 1997 and minister for the Canadian Wheat Board from 1993 to 2003, easily held his riding of Regina-Wascana on Monday night by a spread of more than 10,000 votes over the Tories’ Michael Kram.
Goodale, who’d started his federal political career in 1974 as a rookie MP for then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, returned to Regina in 1986 as leader of the provincial Liberals. He rose through cabinet during the Chretien administration and handled the finance file during Paul Martin’s short stint as prime minister (2003-06).
Paul Martin’s parliamentary secretary for agriculture and agri-food will also return to Ottawa. Wayne Easter, the MP for the Prince Edward Island riding of Malpeque since 1993, easily held his seat by a 10,003-vote margin over Tory candidate Stephen Stewart.
Easter, who led Canada’s National Farmers Union (NFU) for 11 years before entering politics, was the parliamentary ag secretary from 2003 to 2006. On the opposition benches, he served as the Liberals’ critic for agriculture and the CWB (2006-11) and for international trade (2011-13).
The Liberals’ incumbent agriculture and agri-food critic since 2013, Nova Scotia MP Mark Eyking, also returns to the Commons, handily winning his riding of Sydney-Victoria by over 24,800 votes over NDP contender Monika Dutt.
Eyking, who with his wife Pam farmed and earned the Outstanding Young Farmers of Nova Scotia award before he entered politics, also served as Martin’s parliamentary secretary for agriculture and agri-food (2003-04) and for international trade (2004-06). On the second opposition bench, Eyking also served as critic for foreign affairs (2007) and rural affairs (2010-11).
Among other files of interest to farmers, the Liberals’ critic for international trade, Toronto MP Chrystia Freeland, will return in the redrawn riding of University-Rosedale, while their transport critic, David McGuinty, held his riding of Ottawa South.
Opposition
The Conservatives head back to the opposition with most of their bench strength on the agriculture file intact, led by their incumbent agriculture minister Gerry Ritz.
Ritz on Monday easily held his western Saskatchewan riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster by a spread of more than 14,600 votes over NDP challenger Glenn Tait, a grain farmer involved in both the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and the NFU.
Other Tory MPs well known for their work on the ag file will also return to the Commons on the opposition side, among them southern Ontario MP Bev Shipley (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex), the incumbent chair of the Commons’ standing committee on agriculture.
Previous ag critics and standing ag committee members such as Larry Maguire (Brandon-Souris, Man.), Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, Alta.), Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, Alta.), Larry Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, Ont.), Earl Dreeshen (Red Deer—Mountain View, Alta.), David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Sask.) and Randy Hoback (Prince Albert, Sask.) will also return for the Tories.
Harper’s minister of state for small business, tourism and agriculture (2013-15), veteran Quebec MP Maxime Bernier, also held his riding of Beauce by a spread of more than 20,000 votes over Liberal contender Adam Veilleux. Former parliamentary ag secretary (2006-07) Jacques Gourde held his riding of Levis-Lotbiniere by a spread of almost 18,000 votes over the Liberals’ Claude Boucher.
Tory MPs who lost their seats Monday include former parliamentary ag secretary Pierre Lemieux (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Ont.) and former New Brunswick ag minister Rodney Weston (Saint John-Rothesay, N.B.).
The Tories’ incumbent transport minister, Lisa Raitt, held her southern Ontario riding of Milton; the party’s incumbent minister for international trade, Ed Fast, also hung onto his B.C. riding of Abbotsford.
NDP critics out
Monday’s election also cost the federal New Democrats their lead agriculture critic. Malcolm Allen, who had represented the Niagara-area riding of Welland since 2008, lost in the redrawn riding of Niagara Centre by over 2,300 votes against Liberal contender Vance Badawey.
Pat Martin, the veteran NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre since 1997, who served as critic (2011-13) and assistant/associate critic (2007-11) for the Canadian Wheat Board, was also unseated, losing by a spread of almost 9,000 votes against Liberal contender Robert-Falcon Ouelette.
The NDP’s remaining caucus, while light on experience in the agriculture file, still includes its incumbent deputy ag critic. Ruth Ellen Brosseau, who won the riding of Berthier-Maskinonge as a rookie for the NDP in 2011, held the riding Monday night by almost 9,000 votes over Bloc Quebecois contender Yves Perron.
Don Davies, the NDP’s critic for international trade, hung onto his riding of Vancouver-Kingsway on Monday night; the party’s transport critic, Toronto MP Olivia Chow, lost her riding of Spadina-Fort York to Liberal contender Adam Vaughan.
The Bloc Quebecois, while also light on ag experience in its slightly larger new caucus of 10 MPs, still includes veteran Louis Plamondon, a former Progressive Conservative MP who helped found the Bloc in 1991 and served as its ag critic briefly in 2004.
Plamondon, who sat on the Commons standing ag committee for the Tories (1984-86) and again for the Bloc from 2002 to 2004, easily held his riding of Becancour-Nicolet-Saurel against Liberal contender Claude Carpentier by a spread of over 8,000 votes. — AGCanada.com Network
 
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Ottawa vows to crack down on chickens smuggled into Canada from the U.S.


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 19, 2015
  • 17 Oct 2015
  • National Post - (Latest Edition)
  • By Damon van der Linde Financial Post dvanderlinde@nationalpost.com Twitter.com/DamonVDL

fowl or fair

With TPP in place, Ottawa vows to crack down on chickens smuggled into Canada from the U.S.


It seemed like just another unassuming day at the chicken warehouse — until the authorities moved in. They had come for chickens that were passing themselves off as low-grade poultry. It was a lie.
United States Department of Agriculture agents raided the warehouse last year in upper New York State and found the evidence they were looking for: pallets stacked with chicken ready for export to Canada. Chicken that could have eventually found its way to Swiss Chalet rotisseries and supermarket deli counters across the country.
The crime? These chickens weren’t labelled as broiler chickens — the meaty and juicy birds we roast up or fry for the dinner table — they were slapped with stickers calling them something else: spent fowl.
Spent fowl are chickens, too. But they’re tough and scrawny hens. It’s not their fault: They were born to lay eggs or to breed chicks, so their meat — a.k.a. mechanically separated chicken — isn’t much good except as an ingredient in chicken hot dogs and pot pies. That’s why Canada lets it in tariff free.
Now, broiler chickens — that’s the market Canada’s supply-managed poultry producers have locked up, subjecting the tastier fowl to import quotas or tariffs of more than two times the meat’s original value. Or at least they thought they did — until investigators realized that the lock was broken: U.S. broilers were being snuck across the border disguised as spent fowl. And that’s just one of several ways that Canadian poultry producers say a market they were promised a tight grip on is being infiltrated by grey-market foreign fowl.
And it appears to be happening at a remarkable scale: Farmers say the industry is hemorrhaging more than $100 million a year due to importers circumventing the country’s quota system. They do it by intentionally mislabelling chicken as something else and using tactics that range from clever loopholes to outright fraud.
“These types of actions are like tax evasion versus tax avoidance: One’s illegal and one’s a smart business practice,” said trade expert Adam Taylor, director of ENsight Canada, a government relations firm.
Now, with the federal government committing in the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, announced earlier this month, to permit an increase in chicken imports of 2.1 per cent, it’s also promising to finally crack down on those who keep finding new ways to get around the rules of the supply-management system, which farmers say have been unenforced for years.
“We accept it as a great first step,” says Mike Dungate executive director of the Chicken Farmers of Canada. “This has been a problem for a long time and something needs to be done.”
At the heart of the matter is how the Canadian Border Service Agency classifies what actually counts as “chicken” when it comes to the quota system.
For instance, there’s an import classification that includes value-added products like TV dinners, which might come packaged with veggies and rice along with some chicken. If the package is less than 87 per cent chicken, it qualifies as a general “meat product” and the chicken quota does not apply.
If it’s is more than 87 per cent chicken, the quotas kick in: the current trade rules state that only 7.5 per cent of Canadian domestic consumption can be imported with little to no duty. This year, if the national total of imported chicken exceeds 80.2 million kilograms, any further imports will be slapped with a whopping 238 per cent tariff.
If they’re spotted, that is. Some importers have been able to slip past the punitive tariffs by getting creative. A distributor might take a box of nothing but chicken wings, or chicken breast, and throw in a packet of marinade or sauce heavy enough that it equals 13 per cent of the total weight. That keeps it from facing quotas.
“(Importers) say it’s no longer chicken,” Dungate says. “This is where we would argue the ludicrousness is.”
But the thing is, the sauce would almost always have to be left as a separate item, rather than actually being put on the meat: in that kind of quantity, Dungate says, it would be far too much sauce for consumers to want to eat.
“People don’t want their wings drenched in sauce ... just in order to get it in freely traded,” he said.
As part of the TPP agreement, the federal government has promised to modify the definition of these combined products so that chicken products with added sauce packets are no longer able to avoid the tariffs.
But, apparently that’s only for products with sauce packets. And Dungate says he has already seen importers developing new methods so that the added weight looks like something other than a “packet” — by simply putting the weighty sauce in a different sort of container.
“Now, they put the chicken in a plastic tray and cover it with a film and in another one there is the sauce,” he says. “The know absolutely what they’re doing.”
Taylor says that when it comes to import quotas, businesses will always look for creative ways to slip through. And when they figure out a successful manoeuvre, it takes some time for authorities, and the national industry, to catch on.

“One man’s trade circumvention is another’s clever business practice… that’s often the debate,” he said.
But Dungate says the spent fowl ruse is the most difficult one to detect in protecting against illegal chicken imports. In one instance, he says a Canadian meat distributor received a pallet of broiler chickens from an importer, and noticed that one label had been stuck on top of another.
“It was not quite adhered and they pulled it back and saw it labelled ‘spent fowl’ out of the U.S and approved by the United States Department of Agriculture,” he said. Presumably it had been properly relabelled as more expensive broiler chicken only after it was safely across the border. Unlike the sauce trick, these are the ploys that get exposed strictly by accident.
But it’s happening at such a scale that the Chicken Farmers of Canada say they’ve discovered that there is more spent fowl meat recorded as being brought into Canada than is produced in the entire United States.
In 2012, the amount of spent fowl imported to Canada was equivalent to 101 per cent of U.S. production — that is, all the mechanically separated chicken produced for American consumption and export — and this year that amount has already reached more than 84 per cent.
“That would mean that the Americans would not be eating (any) Chicken McNuggets,” said Pierrette Ringuette, a Senate Liberal who tabled a motion in 2014 to study the trade between the U.S. and Canada under NAFTA.
Dungate also says a lot of what is being brought in as spent fowl is labelled as breast meat — the most valuable cut of a chicken. He says in 2012, 48 per cent of spent fowl imports were breast meat, while this year it’s up to 72 per cent.
He says that looks very suspicious, given that breast meat is not a traditional cut for spent fowl, since the birds have so little meat on them.
“How is it that we could be importing more than they produce? This is why we think there is a huge amount of fraud,” he said.
To put an end to this practice, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs says imported spent-fowl meat will require certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to verify that the product actually is what its label says.
But that requires thorough co-operation from the U.S. side. The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association says a number of spent-fowl producers are willing to help out, but the American group says that all it can say about these supposedly subversive imports is what it has heard from Canadians.
“All we know is that there have been suggestions or accusations this has happened,” said association president Jim Sumner. “We have no idea who is doing it, but we have asked our government to investigate and to make sure this is not happening because it would be fraudulent if it was.”
Dungate claims that these unsavoury imports have already cost Canada 9,000 jobs in the poultry industry, but notes that the objective is to find fixes that are sustainable for enforcing the quotas in the long term.
“We’re not trying to add a level of red tape to our business. If we just try to tackle one specific issue, it’ ll pop up someplace else and it’ ll just keep on moving,” he said. “We’re prepared to ... suck it up until we get a permanent solution.”
The CFC has already invested more than $250,000 in a joint effort with Trent University to develop a DNAtesting device — it works like a hole punch for poultry —that can determine whether meat is spent fowl or broiling chicken. That would allow customs agents to spot imposter chickens at the border.
But Ringuette, the New Brunswick Senator, says she would have liked to see more decisive action on the part of the government to address rules that have existed since NAFTA came into effect in 1994.
“If the current government cannot enforce NAFTA, how can they commit to enforce the TPP and that we will believe them?” she said. “As far as I’m concerned, (chicken farmers) have been extremely patient.”
That may be because investigating a fraudulent chicken can be a lot harder than you’d think — not merely a matter of pointing the finger at the producer named on the label.
When the USDA charged that American spent-fowl exporter for the mislabelled chicken in upstate New York, the company argued that the stickers were also bogus: It hadn’t used those kinds of export labels in years, and the slaughter dates they had written down on them were for a week that the plant had been closed for cleaning. The charges were dropped.
“Clearly somebody had gotten ahold of some old labels, put in a slaughter date, had no idea this plant was closed down and got caught,” said Dungate.
No one el s e was ever charged for that chicken.
 
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Provincial farmland purchase laws compared


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 16, 2015
From:
16 Oct 2015
National Post - (Latest Edition)
By Peter Kuitenbrouwer Financial Post
 
Land lovers
Agribusiness sector sprouts with Canadian farmland boom
 
 
Residential real estate booms in Vancouver and Toronto overshadow another property boom that is underway in Canada: the price of farmland.
 
A hungry planet with a growing population needs food. Canada has lots of space to grow it, and that makes the country’s farmland more and more desirable.
 
Figures from Farm Credit Canada show that the value of farmland rose 14.3 per cent in 2014, and 22.1 per cent in 2013. The boom hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board made waves in 2013 when it bought about 50,000 hectares of Saskatchewan farmland.
 
Anyone wanting to get in on this action should be forewarned: several provinces in Canada have very restrictive rules on trade in farmland, to preserve the land for the next generation of local farmers. Small wonder, then, that the inaugural edition of Chambers Canada ranks lawyers and firms in a new practice area, agribusiness.
 
In 2013 Quebec strengthened its 1979 Loi sur la protection des terres agricoles du Quebec, a law to protect farmland. The new rules require the commission to examine the impact of foreign bids for farmland on the price of farmland and the economy of the region. And the commission can permit a maximum of 1,000 hectares of Quebec farmland a year to fall into foreign hands. Even that is an illusory goal: the commission so far this year has granted applications for only 31.42 hectares.
 
“In a world that needs more food and energy, agriculture has become more of a focus,” says Danielle Drolet, a lawyer in the Quebec City office of McCarthy Tétrault LLP. The firm is ranked Band 2 for agribusiness in Chambers Canada.
 
“The new act is more challenging and it takes a long time,” Drolet adds. The commission this month granted an application she made in December 2013. “I think it’s really important to maintain the opportunities for the next generation but at the same time we should have reasonable access to farmland, if it is for farming.”
 
After the CPPIB land grab, Saskatchewan ordered a review of rules on purchase of farmland by non-residents of Saskatchewan.
 
“Nobody contemplated that they would be buying up the quantity of farmland that they did,” says Jeff Grubb, who works in the Regina office at Miller Thomson LLP. The firm has a Band 1 ranking for agribusiness. “The price of farmland in Saskatchewan was a bargain and people were saying, ‘ We want to get in on that.’
 
“In the last 10 years a number of parcels of land have sold to Chinese and Indians,” adds Grubb, who has represented buyers at the province’s Farmland Security Board. “They will send people who will take up residency.”
 
His advice to farmland shoppers: “Get your Canadian citizenship and away we go.”
 
British Columbia and Ontario have no restrictions on foreign buyers of their farmland. Wendy Baker, in the Vancouver office of Miller Thomson, instead deals with clients who seek to remove farmland from B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve. In May the B.C. government fired Richard Bullock as chair of its Agricultural Land Commission, and replaced him with former Saanich mayor Frank Leonard.
 
“The commission was very interested in maintaining the integrity of the ALR,” Baker says, adding that she does not know yet whether the new management will be more permissive, as Bullock has suggested.
 
Along with farmland, foreigners show increased interest in farm operations. Bruce King, a lawyer at Pitblado LLP in Winnipeg, represented an Asian entity that bought “a significant portion of a significant hog operation” in Manitoba. Chambers ranks Pitblado as Band 3 for agribusiness.
 
In Manitoba, non-residents and foreign entities may own only up to 16 hectares of farmland; King says that on one hand, those rules make sense.
“The rule came in place when people asked, ‘How are the sons and daughters of Manitoba farmers going to be able to own land?’” he says. “But who knows whether that philosophy should exist today? Right now the trend in farms is less family farm. Shouldn’t those people selling and retiring be able to sell at the highest possible price? Perhaps we should let foreigners pay market price, and not just Canadian buyers.”
 
Agribusiness is at the core of what makes Manitoba tick, King says. Grain companies and farm equipment manufacturers represent a great number of jobs.
 
“Manitoba is not boom or bust, it’s just steady as she goes,” he says.
 
Still, agribusiness is big business in every province in Canada. There are mergers and acquisitions, commodities exchanges, foreign investment, financings, and lots of regulation. Which means that there is lots of business for lawyers.
 
“It’s less glamorous than hightech, but people still need advice,” says Karl Delwaide, a lawyer in Montreal at Fasken Martineau LLP who cut his teeth in agricultural law as a Quebec civil servant. Chambers ranks Fasken as Band 2 for agribusiness. “There are a lot of rules. Not very many lawyers in downtown Montreal understand the laws. We represent companies who have difficulties.”
 
The end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly created many unique opportunities for investment on the prairies, notes Scott Exner, a McPherson Leslie & Tyerman lawyer based for years in Regina, and now based in Calgary. The firm is ranked as Band 2 practitioner for agribusiness.
 
Global Grain Group, or G3, coowned by Bunge Ltd, registered in Bermuda, and a Saudi Arabian company, this year paid $250 million for a 50.1 per cent stake in the Canadian Wheat Board.
 
“The Middle East is looking to invest in Canada to own grain handling facilities for grain to ship to the Middle East,” Exner explains.
 
Exner has helped arrange other major deals; he helped Saskatchewan farmers set up West Central Road and Rail to get their grain to market after the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool went public in the 1990s; West Central sold out to AGT Foods this past summer.
 
“The reason they invested was to keep their community alive,” Exner says.
 
In the end, they did more than just that: farmers who had bought West Central shares for $100 each cashed out at $310 to $340 per share.
 
But anyone investing in farmland or farm operations should have a long-term view, Exner says.
 
“In agriculture you’ll never get 80 per cent return in one year, but you’ll get steady returns.”
 
Band 1 Miller Thomson LLP
 
Band 2 Fasken Martineau LLP Fillmore Riley LLP MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP McCarthy Tétrault LLP
 
Band 3 Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Pitblado LLP Stikeman Elliott LLP
 
 
 
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Saskatchewan crop report - almost done harvesting


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 15, 2015
October 15, 2015
Warm and relatively dry weather earlier in the week allowed many producers to return to the field.  Ninety-one per cent of the 2015 crop is now combined, up from 84 per cent last week.  The five-year (2010-2014) average for this time of year is 93 per cent combined, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.

Regionally, producers in the southwest are furthest advanced, having 96 per cent of the crop combined.  Producers in the southeast have 95 per cent combined.  Eighty-eight per cent of the crop is combined in the west-central and northwest regions; 87 per cent in the east-central region and 83 per cent in the northeast.

Ninety-five per cent of durum, 93 per cent of barley, 91 per cent of spring wheat, 89 per cent of canola, 85 per cent of soybeans, 78 per cent of chickpeas, 63 per cent of canary seed and 61 per cent of flax have been combined.

Rainfall this past week ranged from trace amounts to just over an inch in some areas of the province.

Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 10 per cent surplus, 84 per cent adequate, five per cent short and one per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as four per cent surplus, 83 per cent adequate, 11 per cent short and two per cent very short.

Strong winds blew remaining swaths around and shelled out some standing crops over the weekend.

Most livestock producers are indicating they have adequate amounts of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain for their winter feeding supplies.

Farmers are busy harvesting and completing fall work.

 
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Wheat Importers Stock Up on Cheap Grain as Dry Weather Looms in Russia


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 15, 2015
Bloomberg, October 13 2015

The wheat market is seeing a flurry of business, signaling buyers may be locking in supplies as concerns develop about Russia’s next crop.

Major importing countries including Egypt, Algeria and Saudi Arabia have all bought wheat in international tenders in the past week, lured by prices that are about 14 percent lower than at the start of the year. While record crops worldwide have meantbargain prices this year for buyers, wheat costs in Chicago, Paris andRussia’s port city of Novorossiysk have all increased from the lows reached in late August or early September.

Russia, set to overtake the U.S. and Canada this season as the world’s biggest wheat exporter, has seen less than 40 percent of the normal amount of rain in the past 30 days across large swathes of its central and western growing regions, World Ag Weather data show, and much of Ukraine is in similar shape. While Black Sea-region farmers are still planting crops for next year’s harvest, and there’s plenty of time for a recovery in moisture, the concern has been enough to bring some buyers to the market.

“We’ve just started to see some risks looming for the 2016 crops,” Benjamin Bodart, a director at CRM Agri-Commodities in Newmarket, England, said by phone on Monday. “We’re not anywhere near a tight supply situation, but probably some major importing countries just took the opportunity to book forward some commodities.”

Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat importer, bought 180,000 metric tons in a tender on Friday, with supplies coming from Russia and Romania. Algeria, the largest buyer from France, purchased at least 675,000 tons, Reuters reported, citing traders in Europe.
Saudi Arabia’s state grains agency bought 740,000 tons of hard wheat, according to a statement on Monday.Wheat prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, the global benchmark, traded at $5.075 a bushel by 7:05 a.m. local time on Tuesday, about 9.5 percent higher than a four-month low reached in early September. Futures on Euronext in Paris, which traded at the lowest in almost a year on Sept. 4, are up almost 9 percent since then, while Russian prices climbed 8.4 percent since late August, according to pricing from the Moscow-based Institute for Agricultural Market Studies.

Even though prices have rebounded from recent lows, there are still plenty of wheat supplies around to stave off a larger rally, Bodart said. Global wheat stockpiles this season will reach the largest on record, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Ample supplies will send the world’s food

import bill this year to a five-year low, according to the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization in Rome.In other markets,
corn for December delivery fell 0.4 percent to $3.7925 a bushel in Chicago while soybeans for November delivery increased 0.7 percent to $8.9375 a bushel. Soybean meal for December delivery gained 0.7 percent to $311.50 for 2,000 pounds.
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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with wheat Russia wheat demand Egypt | More articles by Eric Anderson

India's drought a bonanza for Canadian pulse growers


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 15, 2015
Winnipeg/Mumbai | Reuters — Prices for Canadian pulses typically ease toward the end of the year but a recent dry spell in distant India, the world’s top producer and consumer, is driving them up.
Back-to-back drought years for the first time in three decades has eroded India’s output of pulses and boosted imports. Global prices of chickpeas, yellow peas and lentils have as a result hit record highs in what is a windfall for farmers in Canada, Australia, Russia, Myanmar and the U.S..
Lee Moats, who farms near Riceton, southeast of Regina, said he was selling red lentils for 50 per cent more than a year ago, and was holding back crops in the hope that prices will climb higher.
“India is a very large pulse importer, and there is a shortfall, and that’s where Canada comes in,” he said.
Canada is the top supplier of pulses to the Asian country, which is expected to import one million tonnes more this year.
Bids to buy Canadian red lentils and yellow peas are far higher than normal for this time of the year, typically a period when prices ease with new supplies, said Chuck Penner, analyst at LeftField Commodity Research in Winnipeg.
Prices should get a further boost with Canada’s 2015 pea output projected, by Statistics Canada, to drop 17 per cent from a year ago to 3.16 million tonnes. Exports from Aug. 1 to Oct. 4 rose five per cent to 906,000 tonnes, data from the Canadian Grain Commission shows.
“Things are going to get even tighter… We are going to have to hit the brakes hard in terms of what we can supply to India,” Penner said.
India’s appetite
Pulses are a key source of protein in India, which has been struggling to increase its output to meet local demand.
Imports could rise to 5.5 million tonnes this year, said Nitin Kalantri, a miller from the state of Maharashtra. This would cost India $4.5 billion, versus the $2.6 billion it spent to import 4.5 million tonnes in the year ended March, he added (all figures US$).
India, which consumes nearly 22 million tonnes of pulses annually, sources yellow peas and lentils mainly from Canada and the U.S., chickpeas from Australia and Russia, and green gram and pigeon peas from Myanmar.
This year, India suffered a poor summer harvest and there are worries the drought will hit winter-sown chickpea after growing regions received as much as 40 per cent less rainfall.
Canadian farmers are likely to plant more pulses next spring, assuming they will provide better returns than grains and canola, said Darren Lemieux, head trader for Simpson Seeds, a special crops processor and exporter at Moose Jaw, Sask.
Rod Nickel and Rajendra Jadhav report for Reuters from Winnipeg and Mumbai respectively.
 
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MB crops - harvest nearly done, yields average +, quality average


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 13, 2015
Crop Report: Issue 24, October 13, 2015
 
Weekly Provincial Summary 
  • Provincially, harvest in Manitoba is over 95% complete. Edible beans and field pea harvest is 100% complete, spring cereal crops are 99% complete, canola 98% complete, flax and soybeans 85% complete, sunflowers 50% complete and grain corn 45% complete.
  • Crop yields in Manitoba are generally at or slightly above 10 year average yields. However, lower than average yields for various crop types were reported in some areas of the province, largely due to extreme weather events during the growing season including May and June frost events, wind resulting in lodging, hail and extremes in moisture.
  • Quality for majority of crop types is average. Cereal crops harvested later in the season saw a decrease in quality due to poorer weather conditions at harvest.
  • Germination and stand establishment of winter cereal crops this fall is rated very good to excellent.
  • Fall field work, including tillage, soil testing, post-harvest weed control and fertilizer applications of anhydrous ammonia is on-going.
 
Southwest Region
Growing conditions were favourable in 2015 across most of the Southwest Region. With an early spring, seeding operations started earlier than the previous year. There were cooler weather conditions in early May followed by normal temperatures. However, frost events near the end of May and first week of June across most of the region resulted in crop damage leading to reseeding of impacted acres. Total rainfall over the growing season starting May 1 ranged from 76 to 156% of normal. Precipitation was often timely, which benefited crops. The biggest weather story of the year was the F2 category tornado that touched down near Tilston. Normal to above normal September temperatures allowed most of longer season crops to reach maturity.
 
Overall, harvest is nearly complete in areas south of Highway #1; there may be the odd, later sown field remaining. Harvest operations north of Highway #1 is 80 to 85% complete as precipitation over the last two weeks slowed progress. There was 15 to 30 mm of rain in areas along Highway #16 last week and on the weekend.
 
Winter cereals were good this year due to good growing conditions. There were some reports of frost injury in early June, but most fields recovered very well. Most of the winter wheat harvest was done by mid to end of August. Yield range was 60 to 80 bu/acre. Quality was good due to less fusarium head blight infection. The fall rye crop was average with yields in the 50 to 60 bu/acre range.
 
Spring wheat harvest is nearing completion with yield reports of 50 to 60 bu/acre. Quality loss is noted in some spring wheat samples; however, the majority of the crop was graded as either #1 or #2 CWRS with protein levels averaging 13 to 14.5%. There is still less than 3% of spring wheat to be harvested in areas of north of Highway #1 due to poor harvest conditions. Most of these fields will be downgraded to feed grade due to mildew and sprouting.
Barley yields range from 70 to 80 bu/acre with good quality. Oats yields are average to above average with good quality. Yields range from 95 to 100 bu/acre.
 
The canola crop struggled early in the season as frost at the end of May and first week of June resulted in reseeding of a significant number of canola fields in the Southwest Region. There were also some reports of canola being reseeded due to flea beetles. However, canola yields were generally very good to excellent. Non-reseeded canola is completely harvested with average yields of 40 bu/acre. Approximately 10 to 15% of the reseeded canola remains left to be harvested in northern areas of the region. Reseeded canola yielded approximately 50 bu/acre. The latest harvested canola also has higher moisture levels in the 11 to 13% range and will need to be dried prior to long term storage. Many canola fields had blackleg infection, but sclerotinia was minimal. Quality of the canola crop is good to excellent with majority grading #1 CAN. Minimal downgrading due to green counts occurred this year.
 
Flax harvest continues with progress at 60 to 70% complete, with yields of 30 to 35 bu/acre. Quality is good to excellent. Field peas were very successful in the Southwest Region this year. Most fields yielded 45 to 50 bu/acre with good quality.
 
The soybean harvest experienced better progress later in the week as moisture levels approached dry levels. The soybean harvest is 70 to 75% complete with yield reports continuing at well above long term averages at 40 to 45 bu/acre.
 
Sunflower and grain corn harvest has just nicely started with no reported yields.
 
Established winter wheat and fall rye continue to respond favourably to recent rainfall and periods of above normal temperatures. Most fields are in the 2 to 3 leaf stage, 1 tiller stage of development.
 
Early in the year, hot dry weather prevailed but most areas received timely rains starting in July which benefited hay fields and pastures. Feed supplies are considered adequate in most areas. Some areas report that feed quality is less than average and supplementation to improve feed quality will be required. Greenfeed and silage crops have average to above average yield and quality; in some cases making up the difference for poor hay crops. Straw supplies are adequate.
 
The recent rainfall allowed for excellent conditions for the application of anhydrous ammonia which began across much of the region last week. Subsoil moisture conditions are reported to adequate. However, some areas that received heavier precipitation amounts report excess moisture conditions. Water supplies are adequate.
 
Northwest Region
Favourable harvest weather including drying winds and warm temperatures in the Northwest Region generally resulted in completion of harvest operations. Some fields of flax and soybeans are still remaining; harvest of hemp is just beginning. The favorable weather allowed major progress to be made in fall tillage operations and fertilizer applications.
Wheat harvest is generally complete in the region. The average yield for hard red spring wheat is 45 to 50 bu/acre with about 25% of the crop grading #1 CWRS, 55% grading #2 CWRS, and 20% grading #3 CWRS or less. Some producers are reporting high protein wheat and heavy bushel weights.
 
The canola harvest is also wrapping up at 95% complete. Those acres remaining were reseeded due to spring frost or delayed emergence due to dry spring conditions. Reported canola yields averaged approximately 45 to 50 bu/acre. The quality of canola harvested is average for the region with 70% #1 CAN and 30% #2 CAN.
Approximately 70% of the soybean crop is harvested. The average yield is estimated at 35 to 50 bu/acre, with 75% grading #2 CAN and 25% grading #3 CAN. Harvest of the field pea crop is complete with an average yield of 45 bu/acre grading #2 CAN. The flax crop is approximately 80% complete with an average yield of 25 bu/acre. Most of the flax is grading #2 CW.
The major limitation to crop production for 2015 in the Northwest Region was an early season frost resulting in reseeding of canola. Some canola was also affected by dry conditions in the spring which delayed germination and emergence. These reseeded acres and delayed emerging fields were later staged than the rest of the canola crop.
Producers were able to limit disease and insect pressure due to appropriate application of fungicides and insecticides to susceptible crops at the most beneficial stage.
Some second cut hay harvest still continues due to lack of frost in some areas of the North ‎Parkland. Producers are still cutting meadows in native hay lands as well. Silage harvest is still occurring due to wet conditions delaying operations. Many producers still have cattle on pastures with the warmer weather a allowing for extended grazing. Water supplies are adequate.
 
Central Region
Rainfall over the weekend resulted in 10 to 25 mm of precipitation across most of the Central Region. Unusually warm weather allowed for excellent harvest, field work and fertilization progress. Fall frosts had minimal impact on quality, as crops had matured prior to the frost. Isolated areas in the northwest are still wet, limiting harvest progress, as well as fall field work.
The winter of 2014/15 saw lower than normal snow accumulation. Spring melt was early, and runoff lower than normal for much of the region. Wet conditions last fall delayed the start of seeding in the northwest part of the region, including the Plumas and Glenella areas, but for many producers seeding started in April. The majority of cereals were seeded by the first week of May.
All areas reported dry conditions early in the season and some producers faced the dilemma of choosing to seed shallow into dry soil, or deeper into moisture. Pastures and hay fields were also slow to recover. However, rainfall later in May was very welcome.
Spring growth in general was slow due to cool temperatures through much of May. Very little pre-seed burnoff was done, accounting for some weed issues in the less competitive crops. Snow, sleet and wind in the third week of May was followed by frost at the end of May. Damage to crops resulted in reseeding of canola, and also some soybeans. Heavy rains resulted in crop damage of some degree in much of the region, and hail hit several times through the growing season. Herbicide applications were a struggle due to adverse weather conditions; both weed control and crop tolerance issues resulted. An extended dry period in August limited fill in some crops, dependent on crop stage. Strong winds at intervals through the growing season had a bigger impact than normal, and lodged crops caused many harvest challenges. Smoke from forest fires in July and late August tempered some of the hottest temperatures. The resulting haze may have had some impact on length of bloom period in canola. The late August haze slowed drying time for morning dews, and limited harvesting hours.
Harvest presented challenges as wet conditions caused problems for some producers. Lodged crops were a much bigger concern than in most years. The majority of the winter wheat, spring wheat, oat and barley crops were generally good quality. Later rains resulted in some downgrading, but to a fraction of the crop as compared to 2014.
 
Winter wheat and fall rye came through winter well. Most fields were reported to be in excellent and good condition, with only a fraction of acres rated as fair. Minimal acres were re-seeded; a result of poor germination due to dry conditions last fall. Harvest of winter and spring wheat started in August, with the majority complete by late August/early September.
 
Winter wheat yields ranged from 55 to 90 bu/acre, averaging 60 to 70 bu/acre. Proteins were average to good. Quality was generally good, with average to low fusarium damaged kernel levels. Some downgrading occurred due to mildew and sprouting when poor harvest conditions prevailed. Hybrid and fall rye had some excellent yields, ranging from 60 to 100 bu/acre. There were few if any reports of lodging in winter wheat, fall and hybrid rye.
Spring wheat yields ranged from 45 to 90 bu/acre, with most reporting 55 to 70 bu/acre average. Variability in quality was due to excess moisture causing downgrading at harvest. There is much lower with little if any impact from fusarium head blight. Protein levels were good to excellent. CPSR and general purpose wheats ranged from 50 to 100 bu/acre, averaging 60 to 70 bu/acre, with lower proteins on the higher yielding fields. On average, proteins were higher than last year. Lodging was a significant issue in many of the spring wheat fields. Although some yields were lower than expected, yields were remarkable for the extent of lodging.
Barley yields ranged from 70 to 90 bu/acre, with the majority averaging 70 to 85 bu/acre. Quality is good. Oats ranged from 90 to 140 bu/acre, averaging 110 to 125 bu. Less of the crop was downgraded this year; majority is grading #3 CAN or better. Downgrading that did occur was due to mildew where rain during harvest was an issue. There were higher number of thin kernels noted in some fields, but the majority of acres had good to excellent bushel weights. The oat crop was better than anticipated, following the extensive lodging problems or delayed harvest due to green stems.
Canola yields were good to excellent, although the average yield is down from last year. The crop struggled early on; seed sat in cold ground for an extended period making it more susceptible to flea beetles and seedling diseases. Cutworms were an issue in some fields. Some fields were reseeded due to the early season stresses, with the late May frost having the biggest impact. Many fields had problems with blackleg. Sclerotinia had a somewhat bigger impact than last year, and in combination with lodging due to strong winds in July, harvest was a challenge. Yields were variable, ranging from 15 to 60 bu/acre, averaging 40 to 45 bu/acre. Many yields benefited from the crop being swathed late, or straight cut. Excess water and quality is excellent for the most part, with the crop grading #1 CAN. Minimal if any downgrading due to green count this year, although there were some reports of sprouts where swaths sat for extended periods.
 
Flax yields range from 18 to 37 bu/acre; average is expected to be in the 25 to 33 bu/acre range. Quality is good. Peas ranged from 40 to 60 bu/acre; average 50 bu/acre. Harvest is complete.
 
Edible bean harvest is complete. Yields are lower than last year, averaging 1500 lbs/acre, with most ranging from 1200 to 2000 lbs/acre. Quality is good. White mould was reported, but no significant yield or quality loss.
 
Soybean harvest is essentially complete. Yields vary from 15 to 60 bu/acre, averaging 35 to 40 bu/acre. Higher yields were obtained in areas receiving timely rains. A stretch of hot dry weather limited pod fill in some cases. White mould was reported, with minimal impact to yield or quality. Phytophthera was evident in almost every field, although impact was limited. Root rots related to fusarium, pythium and rhizoctonia were also evident. There was also little if any impact from soybean aphid, but cutworms were an issue in some fields early on, and some reseeding took place.
 
Sunflower harvest continues. Yield reports to date range from 1500 to 3000 lbs/acre, with average expected to be in the 1800 to 2200 lb/acre range. Sclerotinia had some impact with some lower test weights reported. Desiccation prior to harvest continues to increase, improving quality and yield with earlier harvest.
Grain corn harvest continues. Early yields range from 100 to 140 bu/acre, with average yields to date in the 100 to 120 bu/acre range. Kernel moisture levels range from the low 20% to 30% for the later maturing hybrids, but are declining. Many will wait for dry down before harvest to limit the cost of drying. Corn silage is wrapping up; average yields of 12 to 15 tons/acre.
 Potatoes ‎in the MacGregor area yielded 320 to 350 cwt and in the Carberry area, yield is 400+.
 
Winter wheat seeded acres are flat to lower in the region; there are fewer acres in some areas but increased in others. There is pressure on winter wheat acres, including excellent yields seen in hard red spring, general purpose and CPSR wheats. However, producers continue to include winter wheat into rotation to spread out work load and feed supply requirement. Germination and stand establishment is good to excellent this year. Crop development ranges up to the four leaf stage.
 
Impact of disease in most crops was minimal in 2015. Root rots were evident in many crops, both early in the season, and later when soils dried out. Sclerotinia was evident in all susceptible crops, generally at lower levels, but with some impact to yield. Most of the later canola fields were not treated with fungicide. Blackleg lesions were evident in many canola fields, and levels are increasing every year. Aster yellows were almost non-existent in canola. Leaf spotting diseases including brown spot and bacterial blight were evident in soybeans, and bacterial blight in edible beans. Fusarium head blight was not the issue in cereals as it was in 2014.
 
The main insect problems this year were flea beetles, cutworms and grasshoppers. Isolated spraying continued to the end of August for grasshoppers. There were some wireworm problems early in the season. Some diamondback moth larvae feeding and some lygus damage were noted. Minimal insecticide applications were necessary. High numbers of beneficial insects were seen in many fields.
Soil testing continues. Results are variable, but there are many reports of very low soil test nitrogen and phosphorous. In the case of phosphorous (P), there are several reasons: tighter rotations leaning to big phosphorous-use crops, changes in seeding implements that limit the amount of P safely applied with seed, changes to crops in rotation (i.e. soybeans) that are very sensitive to seed-placed P but are big users of P, and trend to higher average yields while applied P levels remain the same.
 
Fall cultivation continues with excellent progress made in much of the region; majority of harvested fields have seen one tillage pass, except in the northwest areas. Post-harvest weed control has wrapped up with recent frosts. Fall fertilizing has begun, but progress is slower than normal, mostly due to warmer than normal temperatures. Good conditions allow for anhydrous ammonia applications. Many have waited for soil temperatures to cool and harvest to be completed. There continues to be an increase in fall phosphate fertilizer applications, due to low soil test P levels, as well as equipment limitations for spring seed-placed or side-banded applications at ‘seed-safe’ levels.
 
Manure applications are made as conditions allow. The percentage of crop residue burned is very low this year. Demand for straw continues to be good, and much of the straw is baled. Excellent choppers improved the ease of returning straw to the soil.
 
Hay fields are in fair to good condition. Alfalfa hay saw average yields of 1.25 tonnes/acre for first cut, 0.6 tonnes/acre for second cut and 0.4 tonnes/acre for third cut. Brome/alfalfa hay had average yields of 1.5 tonnes/acre for first cut and 0.6 tonnes/acre for second cut. Other tame hay had an average first cut yield of 1.25 tonnes/acre. Wild hay had an average first cut yield of 0.8 to 1.0 tonnes/acre. Greenfeed had an average yield of 2.0 tonnes/acre. There is an adequate to good supply of almost all classes of feed, including straw, for most of the region. Some shortages will be seen, including around Lake Manitoba due to continuing wet conditions. Quality of feed is good, with some issues due to maturity and rain during harvest periods. Cattle will be coming off summer pasture soon. Some cattle were moved to harvested crop land; others will be moved to second or third cut hay fields for fall grazing. Late fall corn grazing should start mid to late November, to be supplemented with hay. Pastures in the south and west areas of the region are rated as fair to poor due to dry conditions; northwest area pastures are rated as good. Dugouts range from 60 to 100% full.
 
Eastern Region
Over the weekend, rainfall occurred across most districts of the Eastern Region. Rainfall accumulations ranged from 10 to 26 mm with higher accumulations occurring in northern areas. Rainfall events were accompanied by winds up to 70 km/hr with gusts to 100 km/hr. Some lodging of sunflower and corn crops awaiting harvest occurred but damage appears to be minimal. Harvesting and other field operations are expected to resume later in the week. Producers in the Eastern Region are mostly caught up with their field work. Manure application is on-going when weather permits. Topsoil moisture conditions for both crop land and hay/pasture land across the region are rated as adequate.
Winter wheat had an average yield of 63 bu/acre with the crop grading 45% #2 CWRW, 45% #3 CWRW and 10% CW Feed. Producers expressed concern with generally lower than expected yields and sometimes higher than expected levels of fusarium head blight infection. The acres seeded to winter wheat this fall has dropped by approximately 35% compared to the fall of 2014.
 
Spring wheat had an average yield of 52 bu/acre with the crop grading 10% #1 CW, 80% #2 CW, 5% #3 CW and 5% CW Feed. While fusarium head blight was present, it was not considered a significant quality issue. Oats had an average yield of 100 bu/acre with the crop grading 60% #2 CW, 30% #3 CW, 5% #4 CW and 5% Feed.
Canola had an average yield of 42 bu/acre with 100% of the crop grading #1 CAN.
The soybean harvest in the Eastern Region is virtually complete with only a few fields remaining to harvest. Soybeans have an average yield of 39 bu/acre with 100% of the crop grading #2 CAN. Corn harvest is around 35% complete with average yields of 145 bu/acre; 100% of crop grading #2 CW thus far. Sunflower harvest is approximately 60% complete; average yield to date of 1750 lbs/acre with grading still to be determined. Quality problems are anticipated, particularly with confectionary types. Significant levels of head rot were noted in many sunflower fields.
Alfalfa hay saw average yields of 2 tons/acre for first cut, 2 tons/acre for second cut and 1 ton/acre for third cut. Brome/alfalfa hay had average yields of 2.25 tons/acre for first cut and 1.75 tons/acre for second cut. Other tame hay had an average first cut yield of 1.75 tons/acre. Wild hay had an average first cut yield of 1 ton/acre. Greenfeed had an average yield of 2.5 tons/acre. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 15% surplus and 85% adequate. Straw, greenfeed and feed grain supplies are all rated as adequate. Overall, winter feed supplies in most areas are good with producers having a surplus of hay. With the rains this past summer, hay quality is down from last year. Most cattle are still out on pasture, and some producers have moved calves home or to market.
 
Interlake Region
Overall, the 2015 cropping year was considered average in the Interlake Region. Weather events such as thunderstorms and hail throughout the season caused crop loss through reduced stands or shattering of standing/swathed crops. In some areas of the region including Eriksdale, Ashern and Moosehorn areas, dry conditions resulted in poor crop germination, limited pasture use and reduced hay yields. However, excess moisture impacted many acres in the region, including Arborg, Riverton, Teulon, Selkirk and Woodlands areas. Drier conditions were experienced in the Eriksdale, Ashern and Moosehorn region.
 
Over the past week, above seasonal temperatures along with minimal rainfall allowed producers to continue and finish up harvest in some areas. Harvest is estimated to be 95% complete in the Interlake Region. Soybeans, sunflowers, and grain/silage corn are all that is remaining to be harvested
.
Winter wheat averaged 60 to 70 bu/acre with proteins ranging from 10.5 to 11.0%. Most winter wheat was graded #2 CWRW with very few samples showing any fusarium head blight.
Spring wheat yields varied throughout the region. South Interlake had many producers reporting 60 to 70 bu/acre while north Interlake reports came in at 40 to 60 bu/acre with proteins ranging from 13.5 to 16.0%. Most spring wheat graded #2 CW due to environmental conditions during harvest. Barley and oats came off good this year with barley averaging 70 to 80 bu/acre, and oats averaging 90 to 110 bu/acre with the majority grading a #2 CW. Overall, there was very little disease pressure in cereal crops this year.
Canola yields ranged from 30 to 40 bu/acre with some reports of yields going as high as 50 to 60 bu/acre in certain areas. Majority of canola was graded #1 CAN. Flax yields ranged from 10 to 25 bu/acre. Peas came in at 50 to 60 bu/acre and all graded a #1 CAN. Soybean yields range from 30 to 40 bu/acre with no grading issues noted.

Harvesting of sunflowers is still ongoing with no reports on yields and grain corn harvest is expected to start later in the week.
 
Fall tillage is on-going but with recent rain events progress will be slowed for a few days.
Rains over the Thanksgiving weekend brought many of the soils in the Interlake Region up to field capacity for moisture. Some corn silage has yet to be harvested; second and third cut alfalfa is virtually complete. Cattle are being moved home or to market from summer pastures. 
 
 
 
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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with Manitoba. crop report crop conditions | More articles by Eric Anderson

Alberta crops - yield index improved to 87% of the 5 year yield average


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 09, 2015
Alberta Crop Conditions as of October 6, 2015

Producers were able to make good use of a few days of good harvest weather this past week before being shut down again by cool, wet conditions on the weekend. Over 72% of the province has now been harvested, up 15 percentage points from last week. A further 17% of crops in the province are in the swath with 11% remaining standing. In 2014, 82% of harvest in the province had been completed. Most areas received between 15 – 50 mm of rain this past week end with light snow reported along the foothills. Hard frosts were reported on several days which should be beneficial in killing off green growth and enhancing dry down.

Reported yields for all crops continue to improve in all regions. The provincial yield index improved to 87% of the 5 year yield average, up 3.5 index points from 2 weeks ago. Yields remain below long term averages but better than originally anticipated reflecting the good soil moisture conditions early in the season and the willingness of producers in all regions to use good soil moisture conservation production practices. Crop quality has declined due to the slowness of the harvest progress though generally is in line with the longer term 5 and 10 year averages. 76% of the spring wheat is grading #1 or #2 CWRS with 8% grading Canada Feed. Long term 10 year averages are 71% grading #1 & #2 with 9% grading Canada Feed. 82% of canola is expected to grade 1 Canada versus the 10 year average of 79%.

The crop condition ratings of the 2015/16 fall seeded crops are: 8% Poor; 27% Fair; 49% Good; 16% Excellent.

Provincial soil moisture ratings continue to improve as a result of the continuing precipitation. Surface moisture is rated 60% good or excellent while sub soil moisture is rated at 51% good or excellent.



Regional Assessments:
The 2015 Alberta Crop Report Series provides summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • Harvest is virtually completed with the exception of some late harvested crops such as sugar beets, grain corn, flax.
  • The regional 5 year yield index sits at 82.0%, the lowest of all regions and 5 index points below the provincial average.
  • Spring wheat yields at 84% of their 5 year average, durum at 78%, barley at 87%, canola at 79%.
  • 55% of surface soil moisture and 48% of sub soil moisture rated good or excellent.
  • Approximately 75% of fall seeded crops are grown in this region. Crop conditions are rated 8% Poor; 24% Fair; 48% Good; 20% Excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Harvest progress advanced by more than 20 percentage points this past week to 61% complete & 20% swathed.
  • The regional 5 year yield index sits at 90.8%, up more than 1 index point from last report.
  • Spring wheat yields at 90% of their 5 year average, durum at 74%, barley at 92%, canola at 93%.
  • 66% of surface soil moisture and 72% of sub soil moisture rated good or excellent.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Harvest progress advanced by 14 percentage points for the week to 58% complete & 32% swathed.
  • The regional 5 year yield index showed another big increase this week and sits at 85.7%, up 4.5 index points.
  • Spring wheat yields at 86% of their 5 year average, barley at 78%, canola at 89%.
  • 70% of surface soil moisture and 57% of sub soil moisture rated good or excellent.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Harvest progress advanced 11 percentage points for the week to 52% complete & 31% swathed.
  • The regional 5 year average yield index increased more than 6 index points to 86.0% this week due to significant yield improvements for all crops, but specifically barley and canola.
  • Spring wheat yields at 88% of their 5 year average, barley at 80%, canola at 87%.
  • 33% of surface soil moisture and 14% of sub soil moisture rated good or excellent.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Harvest progress is second highest of the regions with 85% complete, up 17 percentage points for the week. 8% swathed.
  • The regional 5 year yield index rose almost 3 index points to 94.4% based upon yield improvements to all crops but particularly a 1 bushel/acre increase to canola since last reported.
  • Spring wheat yields at 85% of their 5 year average, barley at 97%, canola at 100%.
  • 44% of surface soil moisture and 38% of sub soil moisture rated good or excellent.


 
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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with Alberta crop report yield estimates | More articles by Eric Anderson

Provincial response to TPP varies - SK applaudes, AB needs to review, MB nothing


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 08, 2015

The government of Saskatchewan = "applauding today’s announcement " - see https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2015/october/05/tpp-deal

The Government of Alberta = "we need to review in detail" - see http://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=3863239B3C676-ABDC-3083-2BD033C7D3D9951B

The Government of Manitoba = no official release posted - see http://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html

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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with Trans Pacific Partnership TPP Alberta trade Saskatchewan Manitoba | More articles by Eric Anderson

Alberta government "needs to review" TPP


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 08, 2015

Agriculture Minister issues statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier issued the following statement in response to the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade negotiations:

“Alberta is a trade-focused province and we support the responsible growth of trade opportunities for our export sectors. This is a wide-ranging agreement that we need to review in detail before we know what the overall consequences are for Albertans.”

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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with Trans Pacific Partnership TPP Alberta trade | More articles by Eric Anderson

Saskatchewan crop yields within average range


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 08, 2015
Crop report for the period September 29 to October 5, 2015
 
Released on October 8, 2015
 
Wet and cool weather over the weekend has slowed harvest progress for many producers, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.  Eighty-four per cent of the crop is now in the bin, up from 74 per cent last week.  Twelve per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut.
 
The five-year (2010-2014) average for this time of year is 83 per cent combined and 12 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut
 
Regionally, producers in the southeast are furthest advanced, having 94 per cent of the crop combined.  Producers in the southwest have 92 per cent combined.  Eighty-one per cent of the crop is combined in the west-central region; 75 per cent in the east-central region; 74 per cent in the northeast and 73 per cent in the northwest.
 
Eighty-six per cent of barley, 85 per cent of durum, 84 per cent of spring wheat, 81 per cent of canola, 79 per cent of soybeans, 61 per cent of chickpeas, 47 per cent of flax and 45 per cent of canary seed have been combined
 
Crop yields vary from region to region but are generally within the average range.  Average yields are reported as 37 bushels per acre for spring wheat, 32 bushels per acre for durum, 59 bushels per acre for barley, 34 bushels per acre for canola and 32 bushels per acre for peas.
 
Of the hard red spring wheat that has been harvested so far, 27 per cent is expected to fall into the 1CW grade, 41 per cent into 2CW, 23 per cent into 3CW and nine per cent into CW feed.
 
Rainfall last week ranged from trace amounts to nearly two inches in the southwest.  Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 14 per cent surplus, 78 per cent adequate and eight per cent short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as five per cent surplus, 80 per cent adequate, 11 per cent short and four per cent very short.
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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with Saskatchewan crop production crop reports | More articles by Eric Anderson

Saskatchewan Welcomes Trans Pacific Partnership Deal


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 05, 2015
Released on October 5, 2015
 
Premier Brad Wall is applauding today’s announcement from Atlanta of an agreement, and Canada’s participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of the most ambitious free trade agreements in history.
 
Negotiations involving 12 nations have just concluded on the TPP, which will represent a market of nearly 800 million consumers and a combined GDP of $28.5 trillion.  Member countries include Canada, the United States, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, Peru and Brunei.
 
“This is a huge deal for Canada as a trading nation and Saskatchewan as a trading province,” Wall said.  “The agreement builds on the strengths of the other free trade deals Canada has struck and opens up new opportunities for our exporters in the fast-growing and lucrative pacific markets.”
 
Saskatchewan exported more than $25 billion in goods to TPP countries in 2014, or 71 per cent of our international exports.  The premier said the TPP increases access to those markets for our exporters and keeps them on a level playing field with their competitors.
 
“International trade has always been vital to our province’s economy and our government’s Growth Plan calls for us to double our global exports by 2020,” Wall said.  “Agreements like the TPP and Canada’s free trade deals with the European Union and Korea will help us reach that goal.”
 
From 2007 to 2014, Saskatchewan’s total exports to the world increased by 77 per cent to more than $35 billion a year. Saskatchewan’s agricultural exports more than doubled in that same period.
 
Wall said the TPP agreement will open new markets and increase Saskatchewan exports even further.
 
“Our agricultural producers are looking forward to having an even stronger presence in pacific markets, in particular Japan,” Wall said.  “The TPP will encourage major growth and investment in our value-added agriculture sector through better access to these markets for our processed products, such as canola oil and meal, malt barley, beef and pork.”
 
Wall called on all the federal party leaders to commit to honouring the agreement if they are elected on October 19.
 
“This trade agreement is now in place with 11 of our most important trading partners representing 800 million people,” Wall said.  “It would be disastrous if Canada were to pull out now and leave Canada and Saskatchewan on the outside looking in when it comes to selling our exports to these countries.  I urge all the parties and leaders to support this important agreement when it comes before Parliament following the election.”
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Canadian business owners applaud signing of TPP


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 05, 2015

The Globe and Mail is reporting this morning that . . .

A broad-cross section of Canadian businesses – from cattle ranchers and grain exporters to small-scale manufacturers – applauded Canada’s signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a monumental trade deal that will open up new export opportunities in a number of fast-growing markets along the Pacific Rim.

The deal – signed Monday following negotiations that stretched over the weekend between 12 nations representing 40 per cent of global GDP – has the potential to dramatically reshape Canada’s trade landscape. It will gradually reduce steep tariffs on a number of Canadian exports to mature markets such as Japan and Australia, as well as emerging markets such as Malaysia and Vietnam, even as it opens up Canada to imports from those countries.

Outside of a few sectors in Canada that will face bruising new competition from Japanese and U.S. companies – such as Canadian dairy farmers, domestic automobile-makers and car-parts manufacturers – many businesses were hopeful that the TPP deal would give their businesses and sectors new momentum, even if details were thin on Sunday evening.

“From our perspective, agreements that work to remove tariffs and other barriers to our products are good news,” said Wayne Guthrie, a senior vice-president for sales and marketing at Canfor Corp., one of Canada’s largest forestry companies. “About $1-billion in Canadian forest products were subject to tariffs last year, so we are hopeful the TPP will improve access and eliminate unfair treatment of Canadian products in key Pacific markets.”

For many exporters in Western Canada, the best part of the new trade deal was clearly better and cheaper access to Japan, the world’s third-largest economy after the United States and China – the latter of which is not part of the TPP. Betty Lou Pacey, who founded a firm that offers optical fiber lights and other lighting products in Vancouver, said that just last week she had a meeting about hiring new staff – including one who could speak Japanese. “I do feel that it will provide opportunities for us to grow as a company,” Ms. Pacey said of the new trade deal.

For ranchers in Alberta, too, TPP offered the prospect of reduced tariffs and better access to 127-million Japanese consumers, many of whom are wealthy and discriminating buyers of seafood and beef. For Doug Sawyer, a fourth-generation cattle farmer near Pine Lake, Alberta, the trade deal promised a chance to catch up with cattle ranchers in Australia, which had already struck a bilateral partnership with Japan that reduced the steep tariffs that protected Japan’s dwindling number of ranchers – who produce extremely high quality, intensely marbled wagyu beef.

“This is a huge deal for the beef industry,” said Mr. Sawyer, who also sits on the foreign trade committee of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

“Before our exports were to Calgary. That was a big ‘to do,’ ” he said with a laugh, before noting that roughly 50 per cent of what Canadian beef producers put on the market is exported around the world. “At present, we’re selling about $100-million a year into Japan at a 38.5-per-cent tariff. As the deal progresses, and the tariffs come down, we feel we could double or triple that,” he said.

The Mining Association of Canada welcomed the deal, saying it provide greater access for metals and minerals producers. The sector exported an average $158.6-billion (U.S.) per year to members of the TPP deal. Canadian exporters face tariff walls in key countries, including 40 per cent in Vietnam and 50 per cent in Malaysia.

“This will be beneficial to Canada’s mining sector,” association president Pierre Gratton said. “I am not expecting any downside.… The risks to our sector would come from Canada pulling out.”

But not all Canadian industries looked forward to TPP coming into effect. For some producers in Canada’s protected dairy sector, the deal could spell disaster. It is for this reason that Canadian dairy farmers and auto-makers lobbied intensely against the bill, as did Japan’s farmers – who fear their smaller operations would be bankrupted by large U.S. agri-businesses flooding their market with cheaper, inferior products.

But Yuen Pau Woo, a fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Jack Austin Centre for Asia Pacific Business Studies, notes – like Mr. Sawyer, who is already behind Australian competitors – that even if the fine print of the trade deal is not yet known, Canada would likely be left behind if it had been frozen out of the TPP.

“It is impossible to know if Canada negotiated a good deal or not until we see the final TPP agreement. But we will almost certainly be worse off outside the deal than in it because of the erosion of our NAFTA preferences,” said Mr. Woo.

Of course, not every industry sees immediate benefit from the TPP. At Burnaby, B.C.-based Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Ltd., the world’s largest auction house for used industrial equipment, CEO Ravi Saligram said TPP could “buoy the overall Canadian economy” as businesses make new investments and build new infrastructure to handle the increase in trade, but that it wouldn’t have a clear impact on Ritchie’s.

“We don’t expect it will have an immediate or direct impact on our business,” Mr. Saligram said. “Cross-border transactions in used machinery, which Ritchie Bros. specializes in, are impacted most by non-tariff trade barriers such as differing emission standard certifications, and it’s still unclear whether these barriers would change with the new proposed trade agreement.”

And although the biggest markets for Canadian grains, pulses and oilseeds remains China and India, not signing the TPP agreement would still have left producers on the Prairies out of fast-growing markets such as Vietnam and Malaysia, as well as at a disadvantage selling into mature economies such as Japan and the U.S.

“We cannot afford to be left out,” said Jean-Marc Ruest, Winnipeg-based Richardson International Ltd.’s senior vice-president for legal and corporate affairs.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged with TPP international trade | More articles by Eric Anderson

Wheat production estimates up significantly, Canola expected to keep climbing further


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 02, 2015

CNS Canada — Despite an upward revision of nearly a million tonnes in Statistics Canada’s latest report [this morning’s], most analysts expect canola production will keep climbing further.

 

StatsCan on Friday morning released its updated grain/oilseed production estimates, with data collected through surveys taken between Sept. 3 and 13.

 

Canola production numbers came in at 14.3 million tonnes, which compares to 13.3 million in the previous report. Canada grew 16.4 million tonnes of canola in 2014.

 

Jonathon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions, near Grunthal, Man., described the report as pretty uneventful.

 

“Most numbers came in line with what the trade was expecting. Probably in the case of canola the number is pretty close to the recent number StatsCan has put out with their different methodology,” he said, referring to the agency’s September report which took into account satellite data and environmental factors along with survey responses.

 

Another analyst agreed with the notion that canola will likely keep increasing in subsequent reports.

 

“The next report is going to be closer to 15 (million tonnes) than 14.5, I can guarantee you,” said Wayne Palmer of Agri-Trend Marketing in Winnipeg.

Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada said he thinks the StatsCan survey likely missed the period when yields started to increase as a result of the late summer rain.

 

“The last third or half of this harvest is probably where some of the bigger yields are. This survey was from the 3rd (of September) to the 13th, so it didn’t capture that.”

 

Most of the other crop estimates, he said, were in line with what he expected, except for barley.

 

“StatsCan boosted the harvest area by 138,000 acres, which is a bit unusual,” he said, adding that if anything, he thought barley would have lost acreage. Canada grew 7.1 million tonnes of barley last year.

 

StatsCan pegged barley production in today’s report at 7.6 million tonnes, compared to 7.3 million in the previous report.

 

All-wheat production also rose by a significant margin. StatsCan pegged it in today’s report at 26.1 million tonnes, which compares to 24.6 million in the previous report. Last year Canada grew 29.4 million tonnes of all wheat.

 

Keith Ferley of RBC Dominion Securities in Winnipeg said he was a little surprised by the increase but doesn’t expect it to rise much further in any subsequent reports.

 

“The cereals didn’t respond in the dry western regions as well as the canola did, because the rains came too late for them,” he explained.

For Jubinville’s part, he thinks all-wheat production numbers could still keep climbing.

 

“I won’t be surprised if the yield average gets bumped up more… we could see a 27 million (-tonne) wheat crop,” he said.

 

Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow CNS Canada at @CNSCanada on Twitter.

 

 

Table: A quick summary of Statistics Canada’s latest crop production estimates for 2015-16, in millions of tonnes. Pre-report estimates and final 2014-15 figures included for comparison.

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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with crop conditions prairie crops crop reports cwb saskatchewan | More articles by Eric Anderson

Saskatchewan crop report - harvest on schedule


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 02, 2015

Released on October 1, 2015

Warm and relatively dry weather has allowed many producers to return to the field following last week’s rain delay.  Seventy-four per cent of the crop is now in the bin while 19 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.  The five-year (2010-2014) average for this time of year is 71 per cent combined and 20 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Regionally, producers in the southeast are furthest advanced, having 88 per cent of the crop combined.  Producers in the southwest have 85 per cent combined.  Seventy per cent of the crop is combined in the west-central region; 66 per cent in the east-central region; 57 per cent in the northwest and 59 per cent in the northeast.

Eighty-seven per cent of mustard, 79 per cent of durum, 77 per cent of barley, 72 per cent of spring wheat, 70 per cent of canola, 46 per cent of soybeans and 33 per cent of flax have been combined.

The majority of the province did not receive any rainfall this past week. Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as five per cent surplus, 86 per cent adequate, eight per cent short and one per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as three per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate, 18 per cent short and three per cent very short.

Many areas received frost this past week, although damage is minimal in most cases as crops were mature.  Weather-related quality issues continue to cause concern in most areas.  While overall yields are reported to be about average, they vary from region to region.

The Ministry of Agriculture has a Forage, Feed and Custom Service listing for producers to advertise and source feed products.  It is available at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/FeedForageListing.

Farmers are busy harvesting and hauling grain and bales.

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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with Saskatchewan crop production crop estimates new model | More articles by Eric Anderson

Prairies' harvest a tale of two wheat crops


Written By: Eric Anderson, Oct 02, 2015

CNS Canada — Prairie farmers are in the final stages of harvesting the 2015 wheat crop, and while yields continue to beat earlier expectations, there’s a distinct quality difference between crops harvested early and those harvested late.

“In our country, all of the grain was top grade, but anything that was left out at this stage is probably a No. 3,” said Bill Craddock, a Manitoba farmer and local trader.

That sentiment is even more pronounced in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“The first half of harvest had quality patterns in the top tier,” said market analyst Jon Driedger of Farm Link Marketing Solutions.

However, while the early-harvested wheat was generally hitting No. 1 or No. 2 quality levels, the last half was hit by rain and a good portion of that will grade No. 3 or lower.

The question now is how much will be pushed all the way down into feed-grade and how much is still salvageable for milling quality, said Driedger. “The longer this drags out, the worse it gets.”

However, grade spreads for the good-quality early-harvested wheat are not widening out as much as could be expected, with the trade still feeling it will be able to work with the supplies available, he said.

The supply of good-quality grain is still better than last year when there was more widespread degradation, said Neil Townsend, director of market research services at G3 Canada, formerly CWB.

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Above average temps and average precip for next 9-months


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 30, 2015

Environment Canada published their long range forecast maps today.  The below maps reveal higher probability of above average temperatures (yellow and red colors) for each of the next 3-month windows (the three maps), with about average precipitation (represented by the white/no-color regions) in the following three maps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with weather weather forecasting Canada | More articles by Eric Anderson

Next StatsCan survey expected to show larger canola, wheat crops


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 30, 2015

CNS Canada — Yields are generally beating earlier expectations as the harvest progresses across Western Canada, which should lead to upward revisions to canola and wheat when Statistics Canada releases its latest production survey results Friday.

However, those numbers still may be underreported, and further revisions are expected in subsequent reports.

“As the harvest is moving along, we’re seeing harvest results come in better than what people were thinking prior to getting in the field,” said Jon Driedger, senior analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions.

“StatsCan is notorious for revising crop estimates higher long after the fact,” he added.

Pre-report trade estimates for canola range from roughly 13.5 million to 15.2 million tonnes, which would compare with the August estimate of 13.3 million tonnes and the model-based forecast released in September of 14.4 million. In 2014-15 Canadian farmers grew 16.4 million tonnes of canola.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the final number came in above 15 (million),” said Driedger, although he was uncertain if the October report would be that large.

All-wheat production is forecast at anywhere from 24.7 million to 26.5 million tonnes, which compares with the August estimate of 24.6 million and the year-ago level of 29.4 million tonnes.

Of that total, durum production is estimated at 4.5 million to 5.1 million tonnes. Canadian farmers grew 5.2 million tonnes of durum in 2014-15.

While drought conditions caused concerns early in the growing season, “weather conditions improved as we went along… with better yields even in some of the worst-hit areas,” said Neil Townsend, director of market research services for G3 Canada, formerly CWB.

Townsend attributed the better-than-expected crops in part to improved varieties and genetics.

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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Canadian economy grows again, pointing to stronger second half


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 30, 2015

The Globe and Mail

The Canadian economy posted its second straight month of impressive growth in July, strengthening the case that the country’s economic fortunes have turned a corner following a trying first half of the year.

Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s real gross domestic product grew by 0.3 per cent month-over-month in July, building on the 0.4-per-cent growth posted in June. The two-month upturn marks a sharp reversal from the first five months of the year, when the economy contracted each month, bogged down by the impact of the oil shock and an unusually harsh winter. After a cumulative GDP decline of 0.9 per cent over the first five months of 2015, the economy has now rebounded by nearly 0.8 per cent over the past two months of data.

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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with GDP Canadian economy economic reports | More articles by Eric Anderson

Spot mustard prices hit fresh highs on reduced acreage


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 30, 2015

CNS Canada — Producers who opted against selling mustard earlier in the season are now relishing the spot market, which is reaching fresh highs not seen since 2008 against contract prices.

Delivered elevator prices are between 45 to 46 cents per pound for yellow mustard, 31 to 33 for brown, and 34 to 36 for oriental, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire.

Those prices are the highest they’ve been against contract prices in seven years, said Walter Dyck of Olds Foods Products.

“I think the market is moving now because it anticipates a small crop,” he said. “I think that caught a lot of people by surprise.”

This year’s production is estimated at 109,400 tonnes, compared with 198,000 in 2014, according to Statistics Canada.

Farmers only have limited amount of land they can put into oilseeds, so this may have just been one of those years where it was tricky for producers to work mustard into their rotation, Dyck said.

There was also a shortage of certified planting seed in Canada this year.

Despite minor complications, the mustard harvest has been progressing well in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

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South Africa to have smallest wheat crop since 2011


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 30, 2015

Bloomberg is reporting that:

South Africa cut its forecast for wheat production by 3.3 percent for this season as poor conditions in the biggest growing region reduced yields, the Crop Estimates Committee said.

Local growers may reap 1.64 million metric tons in the 2015 season,  Marda Scheepers, a senior statistician for the Pretoria-based committee, said by phone Tuesday. This is less than the 1.67 million-ton median estimate by five analysts in a Bloomberg survey and smaller than the CEC’s August prediction of 1.69 million tons. This would be the smallest harvest since the 2011 season.

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Researchers tout 'smart' fertilizer - Chemical coating 'reads' the signals from plants and releases nutrients


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 28, 2015

26 Sep 2015
Ottawa Citizen
TOM SPEARS

 

Researchers tout 'smart' fertilizer

Chemical coating 'reads' the signals from plants and releases nutrients

She never planned to study fertilizers. Maria DeRosa, a chemistry professor raised in Ottawa, dreamed of designing drugs that deliver themselves directly to targets inside the human body.

Maria DeRosa in her lab at Carleton U holds a handful of soil.

A decade later she is proudly showing off the results that came when a colleague persuaded her to take a sharp turn, and to deliver "smart" fertilizers to farm crops instead.

DeRosa, from Carleton University, and Carlos Monreal of Agriculture Canada, have designed a way to make fertilizer release its nutrients when crops need them, and lock them up tight when crops don't need feeding. This prevents fertilizer from washing away unused and polluting lakes and rivers.

And the clue to it all was realizing that plants send out signals into the soil, and that DeRosa and Monreal could eavesdrop on them.

The soil under a wheat or canola field is a complex place.

"The soil has microbes and all sort of things going on that are living there," DeRosa said. For instance, a whole community of tiny fungi and bacteria interact with plant roots to help the plant absorb nutrients.

And when wheat or canola need nitrogen, they release chemicals that appear to be a sort of signal — possibly to the soil microbes, telling them to deliver the plant food.

Monreal says ordinary soil contains millions of organisms — bacteria, viruses, insects, worms, fungi — all interacting in a complex world that we don't yet understand. Some of them help plants absorb nutrients.

"We have the Hubble Telescope and we're all the time looking at the stars and galaxies. We're very good at that," he said. "But we invest so little to study what is under our feet, because it's hidden and we don't think about it."

Still, the signal was a clue to feeding plants when they need it most.

Monreal and DeRosa gave the fertilizer a chemical coating. This is the part that qualifies as a smart fertilizer: Chemicals in the coating, called aptamers, react to the "feed me" signal from wheat and canola, and they make the coating break down. This releases the plant food when the plants need it.

It can be adapted for microscopic fertilizer particles or for much larger ones.

It's estimated that farmers in Canada lose $1 billion a year in fertilizer that never reaches the crops, DeRosa said.

"I didn't even realize (at first) that this was a problem."

Yet when fertilizer washes into a body of water, it stimulates the growth of weeds and algae blooms.

At Agriculture Canada in Ottawa, Monreal is studying the signals that comes from plants, hoping to find out how many kinds there are. There's a lot still to learn.

What about home garden applications?

"Sure, tomatoes! Everyone wants to know," DeRosa said. So far, the research is just on grains, which use fertilizers on a much bigger scale. But she advises that patience will pay off for gardeners eventually.

"The mechanism should be the same."

The technique hasn't been commercialized yet, but the pair have been working with industrial partners along the way, and expect patenting and commercial production will follow.

"At the beginning this was science fiction and now we're starting to say: 'Hey, this could actually work'."

But she is also excited to think that the lessons from a wheat field could lead to drug delivery and more uses of smart chemicals, such as delivering a drug to a cancer cell and not to a healthy cell.

"From a science point of view the applications are so broad."

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Saskatchewan crops average with some quality issues


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 25, 2015

Saskatchewan's current crop report is full of the phrase "average but some quality issues."  Progress is ahead of average.

Details here

Summary below:

CROP REPORT FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 15 TO 21, 2015

Released on September 24, 2015

Cool and wet weather during the week slowed down harvest operations.  Sixty per cent of the 2015 crop is now combined and 28 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.  The five-year (2010-2014) average for this time of year is 56 per cent combined and 27 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Regionally, producers in the southwest are furthest advanced, having 81 per cent of the crop combined.  Producers in the southeast have 79 per cent combined.  Fifty-two per cent of the crop is combined in the west-central region; 47 per cent in the east-central region; 32 per cent in the northwest; and 34 per cent in the northeast.

Rainfall this past week ranged from trace amounts to nearly two inches in northern regions.  Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 11 per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate, seven per cent short and one per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as three per cent surplus, 82 per cent adequate, 13 per cent short and two per cent very short.

Some areas experienced frost, although damage is minimal in most cases as crops were mature.  However, weather-related quality issues such as bleaching and sprouting continue to cause concern in some areas.  While overall yields are reported to be about average, they vary from region to region.  Crop damage this past week was mainly attributed to rain, wind and flooding.

Provincially, seven per cent of the pasture is reported to be in excellent condition while 52 per cent is in good condition, 34 per cent fair, six per cent poor and one per cent in very poor condition.

The Ministry of Agriculture has a Forage, Feed and Custom Service listing for producers to advertise and source feed products.  It is available at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/FeedForageListing.

Farmers are busy with harvest operations, fall spraying, machinery repairs, and hauling grain and bales.


 

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Flax crop could be 30% bigger than last year's


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 25, 2015

Posted by

CNS Canada –– Canada’s 2015-16 flax crop could be about 30 per cent bigger than last year’s, according to an expert in the industry.

“A million tonnes is what they’re talking about for Canada,” said Richard Zacharias, general manager of Prairie Flax Products near Portage la Prairie, Man.

While the majority of the crop still has to come off, samples Zacharias has seen so far have left him optimistic.

“The quality is good, the yields are good; they’ll be average to above-average,” he said.

The yields he’s seen lead him to think the crop could average 30 bushels an acre, he said, which would be up slightly from last year’s output.

According to Prairie Ag Hotwire, a bushel of flax is selling for $12, slightly softer than a year ago.

“The market is probably going down a bit because it was really a big crop this year, so once you get a larger supply the demand obviously is eased a bit, so prices do tend to go down a little,” Zacharias said. “It is certainly not going up, that’s for sure.”

One saving grace has been the decline in the Canadian dollar. “Seventy per cent of our sales are in U.S. dollars,” said Zacharias.

Flax’s three main uses are in the bakery sector, pet food and animal feed.

While the flax harvest is well underway, Zacharias said more half of it is still on the field — partly because of how well it handles the cold.

“You can actually harvest it after a dead frost; it doesn’t get damaged.”

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Manitoba crop report Sept 21


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 21, 2015

MB Crop Report: Issue 21, September 21, 2015

 

Weekly Provincial Summary 

•Above normal temperatures allowed for excellent harvest progress over the past week in Manitoba, with harvest of spring cereal crops nearing completion.

•Harvest of canola, flax, edible beans and soybeans continues. Sunflower harvest has also started in the Central and Eastern Regions, and grain corn harvest is expected to start shortly in some areas of the province.

•Seeding of winter wheat is almost complete, and the earliest seeded winter wheat has emerged. Acreage seeded to winter wheat will be consistent from last year in some regions and higher in other regions.

 

Southwest Region

In the Southwest Region, seasonal temperatures over the weekend allowed harvest activities to resume after rainfall amounts of 10 to 15 mm occurred mid-week.

 

Spring cereal crop harvest in the Southwest Region is 95 to 100% complete; areas that received heavier precipitation amounts still have some cereal acres to harvest. There is quality loss noted across all spring cereal crops due to staining, sprouting, as well as lower bushel weights.

 

The canola harvest is progressing as 40 to 50% of acres are complete in areas north of Highway #1 and 80% complete south of Highway #1. Reseeded canola is swathed and it is anticipated harvesting of those fields will begin later this week. Overall to date, canola yields range from 35 to 60 bu/acre, with most fields yielding 40 to 45 bu/acre. On fields that were not reseeded, yields are generally above average.

 

Flax fields continue to be desiccated in preparation for harvest. The odd field has been harvested with no yield reports to date.

 

Soybean maturity is in the R7 (seed fill to capacity) to R8 (brown pod/mature) stage of development, with most early varieties mature. Some initial harvest has begun on the earlier maturing varieties with yields in the 35 to 40 bu/acre range.

 

Sunflowers and grain corn continue to mature without any major disease issues.

 

Winter wheat and fall rye seeding saw good progress after the rain last week. Acreage seeded to winter cereals is up over last year’s acreage.

 

Some light field work and weed control measures are occurring in harvested fields.

 

Second cut alfalfa continues to be harvested with yields average to above average with variable quality depending upon rainfall. Corn silage harvest has begun in the more southern areas of the region with above average yields reported. Water levels in dugouts are at approximately 85 to 90% of capacity.

 

Northwest Region

Unsettled weather conditions prevailed through the north half of the Northwest Region during most of the week, causing a delay in harvest progress throughout most of that area. There were reports of light frost in some parts of the region but no reported crop injury. Over 50 mm of precipitation were recorded in parts of the Swan Valley. More favorable harvest conditions returned to the region on the weekend allowing harvest to resume.

 

Overall, harvest is approximately 65% complete for the region. In the southern part of the region (north of Ste Rose), producers have mostly field corn and soybeans left to harvest. The rest of the region is waiting on canola, flax, soybeans and grain corn. Average quality is reported for most crops harvested in the region.

 

In many cases, fall field work operations are caught up to harvest and many tilled fields have good growth of weeds and volunteer plants. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most parts of the region but are excessive in The Pas and in some localized areas around McCreary and the Swan Valley.

 

Corn silage harvest has started where the correct stage has been reached or where crops have dried down due to frosts. Producers are still harvesting second cut alfalfa in some areas. Pastures are slowing in growth. Water supplies are adequate.

 

Central Region

Average to above average temperatures were seen through much of the week in the Central Region, and the beautiful weather allowed harvest to progress over the weekend. Rainfall amounts of 5 to 15 mm fell over much of the region on Thursday, slowing harvest temporarily. Standing water remains in some fields from earlier rains, and heavy dews are common. Light frost was reported on Saturday above the escarpment, but is not expected to have caused significant damage to crops remaining to be harvested. Rain would be welcome in much of the southwest part of the region, above the escarpment.

 

Only a few cereal fields remain to be harvested in the Central Region. Majority of the canola harvest is also complete, with the last reseeded fields swathed and drying down, or standing and waiting for conditions to allow for straight cutting. Canola yield continue to be variable, ranging from 10 to 15 bu/acre in areas that experienced excess moisture, to 40 to 50 bu/acre.

 

Most pea fields are harvested with yields in the 40 to 50 bu/acre range. Flax harvest continues; yield reports range from 18 to 35 bu/acre. Potato digging continues.

 

Desiccation of sunflowers is mostly complete. Harvest has begun on the earliest fields; early yields of 2000 to 3000 lbs/acre are reported. Corn is maturing and drying down. Some fields benefitted from recent rains. Corn silage harvest has begun.

 

Edible bean harvest continues as conditions allow, with average yields. Soybean harvest has begun, with less than 10% of acres completed. Early yields range in the 35 to 50 bu/acre range. Areas that received higher rainfall amounts are lower in yield, and fields in the southeast areas that were impacted by hail in August are yielding 10 bu/acre or slightly higher.

 

There is good regrowth of perennial weeds post-harvest, allowing for control measures to be made in preparation for next year.

 

Fall tillage is underway where conditions allow. Many fields have firmed up after the recent heavy rains. There are still a number of fields that are too wet to work properly; some will need more drying time. Dry areas have received enough rainfall to work reasonably well. Soil testing continues. Fall fertilizing has started, but slowed as the soybean harvest picks up.

 

Fall rye and winter wheat are seeded; crops are germinating and starting to emerge. Additional moisture will be welcome above the escarpment to support fall development. At this point, seeded acres are expected to be flat to slightly above last year’s acres.

 

Hay harvest is mostly complete for second cut in southern areas, with reasonable yield and quality. Some third cut is being done, with more to follow, in the west. In the northwest part of the region, second cut haying is mostly being delayed until close to a frost to avoid cutting during the critical fall period. Pasture growth has slowed or stopped, dependent on moisture conditions. Low lying areas of fields, sloughs and field perimeters are being utilized wherever possible to extend the grazing period. Hay and pasture in areas above the escarpment would benefit from significant rain, and most are rated fair to very poor. The same areas report adequate to less than adequate livestock water supply.

 

Eastern Region

The weather in the Eastern Region last week was warmer than the previous week. Reports of 3 to 7 mm of precipitation fell in the region on Thursday, temporarily slowing down harvest. There is no standing water in fields but there remain occasional wet spots that producers are avoiding. Overall, harvest progress was made, with the focus on finishing canola and spring cereal crops.

 

Spring wheat harvest is 95% complete with an average yield of 55 bu/acre and average quality. About 95% of the oat crop is harvested with an average yield of 110 bu/acre and average quality. About 80% of the canola is harvested with an average yield of 40 bu/acre and average quality.

 

The majority of soybeans are in the R8 growth stages with some later fields still at the late R7 stage. Isolated reports have come in of some soybean harvesting in northern parts of the region with initial yield reports of 45 bu/ac with good quality. If weather is favourable, soybean harvest will become more general this week.

 

Sunflowers are in the R9 growth stage and desiccation has occurred in some fields. There was one field of sunflowers harvested in the northern part of the region; no yield reports yet. Head rots continue to be noted, with crop damage and yield loss to be determined once harvest begins.

 

Corn is in the late dent (R5) to maturity (R6) growth stages.

 

Field work and winter wheat seeding resumed as fields dried from the previous week’s precipitation.

 

Pasture conditions are rated at 60% good, 20% fair and 20% poor. Second cut grass hay was coming down on the weekend and some producers are having access issues to some fields to get first cut grass hay. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 20% surplus and 80% adequate. Straw, greenfeed and feed grain supplies are all rated as adequate. Pastures are in good condition with a couple producers stating to feed bales. Availability of livestock water is also adequate.

 

Interlake Region

In the Interlake Region, trace amounts of precipitation were recorded in the area, averaging from 1 to 6 mm. Warm temperatures and windy conditions allowed producers to continue harvesting throughout the week. Field conditions are still wet in areas with producers having a difficult time crossing some fields.

 

Estimated harvest progress is approximately 55 to 65% complete. Harvest of spring cereal crops is nearly complete in the Interlake Region. Quality of grain is declining as cereals that are left to harvest have sprouting and mildew issues.

 

Canola harvest is nearly complete, but some late seeded crops are still in swath waiting to mature. Some canola has been desiccated and left standing for straight cutting.

 

Alfalfa seed harvest should start this week as fields mature. Soybean harvest could start this week as crops reach maturity. Sunflowers will be desiccated this week as maturity is reached.

 

Winter wheat seeding is nearly complete as some producers had a later start due to delay of canola harvesting. Fall tillage is on-going as fields dry.

 

Pastures are in good shape for this time of year due to frequent rains in July and August, as well as no killing frosts to date. Greenfeed crops yielded well; corn for silage looks promising.

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StatsCan raises wheat, canola estimates with new model


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 17, 2015

CNS Canada — Wheat and canola production are expected to be higher than in previous estimates, but still lower than in 2014, according to a new Statistics Canada model for field crop production estimates.

The model-based report, released Thursday, pegs this year’s spring wheat production at 18.4 million tonnes, higher than previously forecast in the Aug. 21 Production of Principal Field Crops report, which estimated spring wheat production at about 18 million.

Despite the increase, wheat production will still be down 13 per cent from 2014.

Canola production is expected to hit 14.4 million tonnes, compared with Aug. 21 estimate of 13.3 million.

However, canola will still see an 11.6 per cent decrease from 2014.

At this point, traders are shrugging off the new information, but it could act as an influencer moving forward.

The report, using data collected up to the end of August, confirms what the market had expected, said Jerry Klassen, manager of the Canadian office for Swiss-based GAP SA Grains and Products.

“I don’t think this is having too much of an impact overall, I think it confirms we’re down from last year.

“For now I think the trade is fairly comfortable with that production number.”

The new model-based principal field estimates are calculated with a system developed by StatsCan and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The report isn’t more or less accurate than StatsCan’s previous crop production report; it’s just a different way of collecting the information, said Cindy Carter, senior analyst for StatsCan’s crops unit.

“They’re looking at having this model replace the September survey in the future.”

The method incorporates coarse-resolution satellite and agroclimatic data and incorporates information from StatsCan’s field crop reporting series.

Klassen said traders will balance the survey-based and model-based numbers and use both to come up with a yield estimate.

“It helps give us an idea, if there was significant discrepancies on the survey — it’s one more piece of information that can be used.”

The model-based report puts soybean production across Canada at 5.9 million tonnes, up 2.1 per cent from 2014, while grain corn is expected to total 12.7 million tonnes, up 12.5 per cent.

Barley production is pegged at seven million tonnes, up 0.5 per cent from 2014, while oat production is forecast to rise 10.9 per cent to 3.2 million tonnes.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow her at @jade_markus on Twitter. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

Table: A quick summary of Statistics Canada’s model-based principal field crop estimates as of Aug. 31, 2015, released Sept. 17, 2015. Survey production estimates and last year’s crop production are included for comparison. Production in millions of tonnes.

  Model.  . Survey.  . 2014-15
Spring wheat.   . 18.4 18.0 21.3
Durum 4.8 4.5 5.2
Oats 3.2 3.3 3.0
Barley 7.0 7.3 7.1
Canola 14.4 13.3 16.4

 

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SK harvest is ahead of average, yields have been "average"


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 17, 2015

SK CROP REPORT FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 8 TO 14, 2015

Released on September 17, 2015 by Gov’t of SK

 

Harvest is advancing despite delays due to wet field conditions.  Warm and dry weather is needed before many producers can return to the field.

Fifty-two per cent of the 2015 crop is combined and 30 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report.  The five-year (2010-2014) average for this time of year is 42 per cent combined and 33 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Regionally, producers in the southwest are furthest advanced, having 75 per cent of the crop combined.  Producers in the southeast have 73 per cent combined.   Forty per cent of the crop is combined in the west-central region; 37 per cent in the east-central region; 30 per cent in the northwest and 29 per cent in the northeast.

Rainfall this past week ranged from trace amounts to more than an inch in some southwestern and northeastern areas.  Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 11 per cent surplus, 82 per cent adequate, six per cent short and one per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as five per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate, 12 per cent short and two per cent very short.

Strong winds have blown swaths around and lodged and shelled out some standing crops.  Some parts of the province received frost, but damage is minimal in most cases as crops were mature.

Of the crops that have been harvested so far, 86 per cent of field peas, 76 per cent of lentils and 70 per cent of durum are estimated to fall within the top two quality grades.  However, weather-related quality issues such as bleaching and sprouting remain a concern in many areas.  While overall yields are reported to be about average, they vary from region to region.

The Ministry of Agriculture has a Forage, Feed and Custom Service listing for producers to advertise and source feed products.  It is available at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/FeedForageListing.

Farmers are busy with harvest operations and hauling bales.

 

-30-

 

For more information, contact:

Shannon Friesen

 Agriculture

Moose Jaw

Phone: 306-694-3592

Email: shannon.friesen@gov.sk.ca

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New report uses new model to estimate crop production for Canada


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 17, 2015

Statistics Canada has released a crop estimate using a new modeling method - see below:

Model-based principal field crop estimates, August 31, 2015

Released: 2015-09-17

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150917/dq150917c-eng.htm?cmp=mstatcan

 

Model-based principal field crop estimates, which provide yield and production estimates for Canada's principal field crops, are now available.

The estimates are calculated with a new and innovative approach developed by Statistics Canada in close partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This method uses a model that incorporates coarse resolution satellite data from Statistics Canada's Crop Condition Assessment Program, data from Statistics Canada's Field Crop Reporting Series and agroclimatic data.

This is the first release of crop estimates produced according to this methodology. The modelled yield estimates constitute a supplemental release in advance of the September publication of the Field Crop Reporting Series.

Based on a modelling approach, production of wheat and canola at the national level (see note to readers) is estimated to be lower in 2015 than in 2014, while soybeans, corn for grain, and barley and oats are anticipated to rise over last year.

Wheat

At the national level, spring wheat production is estimated to be 18.4 million tonnes in 2015, down 13.0% from 2014. This estimated decrease in production is mainly the result of a lower estimated average yield. The average yield is anticipated to be 40.5 bushels per acre, down 11.7% from the 45.9 bushels per acre reported in 2014. The harvested acreage for 2015 is reported to have edged down 1.5% compared with 2014.

Spring wheat production is anticipated to decrease in Saskatchewan (-19.8%) and Alberta (-23.3%). Estimated average yields in Saskatchewan are anticipated to be down 14.0% compared with 2014 to 34.9 bushels per acre. In Alberta, the estimated average yield is expected to decrease 20.1% from 2014 to 41.4 bushels per acre.

In contrast, Manitoba spring wheat production is estimated to increase 26.2% in 2015. This gain was boosted by an estimated higher yield of 52.2 bushels per acre, a 7.0% increase over 2014, and a reported 18.0% increase in harvested area.

Average yields for durum wheat at the national level are estimated to decline 24.5% from 2014 to 30.9 bushels per acre. Despite much lower estimated yields, national production is estimated to decline 8.0% from 2014 to 4.8 million tonnes as a result of a 22.1% increase in reported harvested acreage in 2015.

Canola

At the national level, canola production is estimated to be 14.4 million tonnes in 2015, down 11.6% from 2014. This estimated decrease in production is a combined result of both lower average yields and anticipated harvested acreage. Estimated average yields for 2015 are down 7.2% from 2014 to 32.6 bushels per acre. Anticipated harvested acreage will be down 4.9% in 2015, another factor in the decrease in the production estimate.

Estimated average yield, reported harvested acres and production are all forecast to decrease in Saskatchewan and Alberta, two major canola-producing regions. Canola crops have been affected by a late frost in May and by drought and hot conditions for much of the growing season in the two provinces. On the other hand, increased production is anticipated in Manitoba as a result of higher estimated yields combined with a slight increase in reported harvested area.

Soybeans

At the national level, soybean production is estimated to be 5.9 million tonnes in 2015, up 2.1% from 2014 despite a reported decrease in harvested area in Quebec (-9.0%) and Ontario (-4.6%). Soybean yields are estimated to increase in all provinces in 2015. Production is anticipated to increase by 22.6% in Manitoba to 1.4 million tonnes in 2015, the result of both increased yield (+17.0% to 37.8 bushels per acre) and reported harvested acreage (+4.8% to 1.3 million acres).

Corn for grain

At the national level, corn for grain production is estimated to increase 12.5% from 2014 to 12.7 million tonnes in 2015. Corn for grain yields are estimated to increase in all provinces in 2015. Higher yields and reported harvested acreage will lead to increased production in Ontario (+13.4% to 8.6 million tonnes) and Quebec (+13.3% to 3.4 million tonnes). In Manitoba, production is estimated to decline 0.5% to 693 000 tonnes. This will be the result of an 8.2% decrease in anticipated harvested acres, which will offset an estimated yield increase of 8.4% to 121.2 bushels per acre in 2015.

Barley and oats

At the national level, barley production is estimated to increase 0.5% from 2014 to 7.0 million tonnes in 2015. An 8.1% increase in reported harvested area (5.6 million acres in total) is anticipated to offset a 7.0% decrease in estimated average yield (57.8 bushels per acre).

At the national level, oat production is estimated to increase 10.9% from 2014 to 3.2 million tonnes in 2015. The rise in production is forecast to be the result of an 18.4% increase in reported harvested acres (2.6 million acres in total), while estimated average yield is anticipated to fall 6.3% to 79.6 bushels per acre.

 

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USDA probes release of incorrect data that pressured crop prices


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 16, 2015

Chicago | Reuters — A U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) unit is reviewing its procedures after posting incorrect crop data online on Wednesday, an error that temporarily pressured grain prices.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) inadvertently issued the wrong data on crop acreage around 5 a.m. CT and posted corrected data four hours later.

The agency is investigating why the error occurred and reviewing procedures “to make certain there are checks to avoid any future errors of this sort,” FSA spokesman Kent Politsch said.

Some traders said the error eroded their confidence in USDA, which is considered the gold standard for data on crop production, supplies and demand.

“The whole thing was funny, embarrassing, very much so for the FSA,” said Ted Seifried, vice-president of the Chicago brokerage Zaner Group.

The erroneous data showed that U.S. farmers reported they could not plant 1.622 million acres of corn as of Sept. 3, down from 2.301 million acres reported in August, and 848,000 acres of soybeans, down from 2.173 million in August.

The numbers pushed down futures prices as traders projected the declines in so-called “prevented plantings” would translate into increased production.

One trader said the drop in prices automatically triggered his pre-placed order to exit a position in wheat futures. The market later recovered before trading back down to the trigger price, indicating the order was probably executed earlier than it would have been had FSA not issued the incorrect data, he said.

After 9 a.m. CT, the FSA issued corrected data, which increased prevented plantings to 2.352 million acres for corn and 2.219 million for soybeans.

The agency removed the incorrect data from its website after it was posted and intentionally delayed the release of the correct data so that users were aware it was coming, a USDA official said.

Still, officials may face criticism for the error next month at an annual USDA data users’ meeting in Chicago.

“USDA deserves the embarrassment of this colossal mistake,” tweeted Bill Nelson, analyst for Doane Advisory Services in St. Louis.

October is the first month in which USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) considers FSA acreage data when making its own acreage estimates for a monthly crop report.

Lance Honig, chief of the crops branch for NASS, said he feels “every bit as confident in the FSA data as I did before today… They took very quick action to correct it.”

Tom Polansek reports on agriculture and ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago.

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Why China matters to the world


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 15, 2015

China consumes a lot of the world's commodities.  This graphic demonstrates how much of the world's various items China consumes.  After seeing this, it is easy to see why the global markets get scared when China starts to falter.

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Prairie wheat bids climb higher


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 15, 2015

CNS Canada — Cash wheat bids across Western Canada posted solid gains during the week ended Friday, as U.S. futures recovered from their five-year lows and Canadian basis levels showed some improvement.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were up by C$9 to $13 per tonne across the three Prairie provinces, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points. Bids ranged from about $221 per tonne in southern Saskatchewan, to as high as $233 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but improved by C$5 on average to sit at $36 above the futures when using the grain company methodology of quoting the basis as the difference between U.S. dollar-denominated futures and the Canadian dollar cash bids.

When accounting for the currency exchange rates by adjusting the Canadian prices to U.S. dollars, CWRS bids ranged from US$167 to $176 per tonne. That would put the currency adjusted basis levels at about US$14 to $23 below the futures.

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El Nino to strengthen in winter, gradually weaken in spring


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 11, 2015

Reuters— A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said El Nino conditions would gradually weaken through the Northern Hemisphere spring after peaking in late fall or early winter.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said the likelihood that El Nino conditions would persist through the Northern Hemisphere winter was about 95 per cent, up from a more than 90 per cent chance in last month’s forecast.

There has been a growing consensus among forecasters for a strong El Nino, the warming of Pacific sea-surface temperatures. The World Meteorological Organization said last week that this year’s phenomenon could be the strongest on record and was likely to peak between October and January.

The weather pattern can roil crops and commodities prices. Japan’s weather bureau said earlier on Thursday that there was a strong possibility that El Nino would stretch into the winter.

El Nino conditions would probably contribute to a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season and to above-normal seasons in both the central and Eastern Pacific hurricane basins, the CPC said.

It added that across the contiguous U.S., the effects of El Nino were likely to remain minimal during the early Northern Hemisphere autumn and increase into the late fall and winter.

The CPC said this month that “all models surveyed” predicted that El Nino would last into the Northern Hemisphere spring, up from an 80 per cent chance it estimated last month.

The El Nino phenomenon would mean increased likelihood of rain for parched areas of drought-stricken California later in the fall, although the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington would probably not get much relief.

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PotashCorp reported preparing to make hostile K+S bid


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 09, 2015

Reuters — PotashCorp is prepared to launch a hostile takeover offer for German potash mining rival K+S under certain conditions, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported Tuesday.

Handelsblatt cited financial sources as saying Saskatoon-based PotashCorp had talked to brokerages in Canada about such plans. PotashCorp declined to comment.

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Saskatchewan yields and grades are average


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 09, 2015

Last week’s crop report (here https://www.saskatchewan.ca/~/media/news%20release%20backgrounders/2015/sep/crop%20report%20for%20the%20period%20august%2025%20to%2031.pdf ) contains the phrase “Overall, producers are indicating that yields and grades are average” in every district’s report, then follows with some higher or lower.

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Manitoba crops - average to above average


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 09, 2015

Crop Report: Issue 19, September 08, 2015 

Weekly Provincial Summary 

  •  Harvest 2015 continued across Manitoba over the past week, but wet weather over the weekend temporarily halted harvest progress.
  • Harvest operations have since resumed in areas that received lower rainfall amounts and where field conditions allowed.
  • Winter wheat seeding is underway in the Central and Eastern Regions of Manitoba.
  • Fall field work, including tillage, baling of straw, and soil testing is on-going.

 

Southwest Region

Thundershower activity in some areas of the Southwest Region slowed harvest progress over the week and into the weekend. Rainfall amounts were variable; Shoal Lake and Oakburn areas recorded over 100 mm of precipitation while most other areas received 15 to 50 mm.

 

The spring cereal harvest in the Southwest Region ranges from 20 to 70% complete, with the slowest progress noted in the more northern areas. Early spring wheat and barley yields continue to be reported at above long term averages. Quality loss is now being noted in all spring cereals due to staining and sprouting. There are some reports of lodging issues, with differences observed between spring wheat varieties.

 

Canola crop maturities advanced with the earliest canola fields having been swathed, while most later and reseeded fields are being swathed. The canola harvest has, for the most part, not yet begun in the northern parts of the region. Some producers tried to harvest canola but very little has been done. There are green seed issues where swathing occurred during high temperatures. In some fields canola is testing dry to almost dry, but stalks remain tough.

 

Soybean growth and maturity continue to advance with maturities in the R6.5 (seed fill to capacity) to R7 (pod and leaf yellowing) stage of development. Sunflowers are in the R6 to R7 stage. Corn is in the R4 to R5 stage.

 

The field pea harvest is complete with most yields at above long term averages. Flax fields continue to dry down with little evidence of any significant disease issues.

 

Second cut alfalfa continues to be harvested with yields average to above average. Greenfeed silage continues to be harvested with average to above average yields. Recent rains helped pastures as most are in fair to good condition depending on management. Some cut hay and greenfeed quality will be impacted by the recent rainfall. Water levels in dugouts are at 85 to 90% of capacity.

 

Northwest Region

Harvest operations in the Northwest Region moved forward until the weekend when unsettled weather stalled harvest progress. Rainfall amounts of 12 to 51 mm are reported from most parts of the region. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most parts and excessive in some localized areas.

 

Overall, harvest is about 40% complete for the Northwest Region. The wheat harvest is approximately 95% complete. Hard red spring wheat yields are extremely variable and range from 25 to 70 bu/acre. Most reports on wheat quality range between #1 and #2.

 

Overall, approximately 50% of the canola crop is swathed in the Northwest Region. Early seeded canola crops are mostly swathed, while much of the later seeded canola will be swathed over the coming week weather permitting. Approximately 15% of the canola crop is combined, with most progress made around the Dauphin area.

 

Approximately 25% of the corn crop is at the blister stage of growth, 50% is at the milk stage, and 25% at the dough stage. All soybean acres are podded. About 85% of the flax crop is at the boll stage of growth and 15% is mature.
In many cases, fall field work operations are caught up to harvest.

 

Haying is wrapping up in the North Parkland and Valleys North areas. Some producers will be harvesting second cut after the first frost. Last week’s high humidity and small showers throughout the area delayed finishing harvest. Many producers are contemplating corn harvest for silage, but most likely will not begin for a few more weeks due to stage of development. Pastures are slowing down rapidly in growth but water supplies are adequate.

 

Central Region

In the Central Region, temperatures continued to range from high 20s to mid 30s for the early part of the week, dropping to more seasonal values on Friday and through the weekend. Rainfall accumulations were heavy in the east half of the region, with much of the area reporting 60 to 90 mm. There is standing water in many fields due to the heavy rains, and field work will be at a standstill for most of this week. Western areas of the region received 10 to 35 mm, increasing from west to east.

 

Excellent harvest progress was made in many areas of the region where possible this past week, until showers started on Friday. Swathing of canola continues and combining started up again on Monday in areas of lowest rainfall. Many producers continue to select fields for harvest, limited often by wet conditions. Grain drying and aeration is occurring to bring harvested grain to safe storage moisture levels.

 

Cereal crop harvest ranges from 80 to 100% complete. Quality of cereals remaining in the field is declining, with downgrading due to mildew and sprouting.

 

There is a wide range in canola development, with swathing continuing. Combining of canola is well underway, ranging from 45 to as much as 90% complete. More canola is being straight cut, with positive results to date. The lodged crop resisted shattering losses from recent strong winds. Early yield reports are variable, with the best looking stands yielding in the 40 to 50 bu/acre range, while the fields that struggled with excess rain are as low as 10 to 15 bu/acre.

 

The backs of the heads of earliest seeded sunflowers‎ are yellow, and bracts are brown; desiccation will likely start this week.

 

Edible bean harvest is underway with yields reported as average. There are a few soybeans fields that reached 95% brown (mature) in eastern areas. Soybean harvest will begin when fields dry up; on lighter soils that could be later this week. Pea fields are mostly ripe and many are already harvested. Some harvest is delayed due to wet field conditions. Early yield reports in the 45 to 50 bu/acre range.

 

Some flax has been harvested; the few yield reports to date range from 18 to 25 bu/acre.

 

There is good regrowth of perennial weeds post-harvest, allowing for control measures to be made in preparation for next year’s crops.

 

Fall tillage is underway. Many were waiting for rain before starting due to the dry topsoil conditions. Soil testing has begun.

 

Fall rye and winter wheat is being seeded, some in advance of the previous weekend rains. Additional acres will be seeded into good soil moisture.


Hay harvest is mostly complete for second cut in southern areas, with reasonable yield and quality. A third cut in the southern areas may be possible. The wettest areas in the northwest part of the region report poor quality second cut hay. Most of the remainder of second cut hay is being delayed to avoid cutting during the critical fall period. Low lying areas and sloughs are being cut for feed ‎where access is possible. There is still decent forage growth on most pastures. Pastures are rated in good to fair condition.

 

Eastern Region

In the Eastern Region, the weather last week was hot and humid until the weekend when temperatures dropped as significant rainfall occurred on Friday and Saturday. Rainfall accumulations for the week across the region ranged from 25 to 80 mm with most occurring on the weekend; accumulation levels were highest in central and southern districts. Weekend rains halted harvesting and field work in all districts, although limited progress was made on Monday in a few drier fields in some northern areas. Northernmost districts in the Eastern Region have made little harvesting progress so far this season. Standing water in field low spots is still evident throughout the region.

 

Spring wheat harvest is 85% complete with an average yield of 55 bu/acre and average quality. About 60% of the oat crop is harvested with an average yield of 110 bu/acre and average quality. About 50% of the canola is harvested with an average yield of 40 bu/acre and average quality.

 

Soybeans are in the late R6 to mid R7 growth stages. Sunflowers are in the R8 and R9 growth stages and desiccation has occurred in some fields. Corn is in the dent (R5) growth stage. Recent hot weather accelerated maturity progress in long seasoned crops. Frequent rainfall and increased humidity levels resulted in head rot symptoms in sunflower crops.

 

Some seeding of winter wheat occurred as canola stubble becomes available and soil conditions allow for field operations.


Pasture conditions are rated at 60% good, 20% fair and 20% poor. Some third cut alfalfa is coming off while some producers are having a challenge putting up first cut grass hay. Pastures are in overall good condition with low spots under water. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 20% surplus and 80% adequate. Straw, greenfeed and feed grain supplies are all rated as adequate. Availability of livestock water is also adequate and dugouts are full.

 

Interlake Region

Warm and humid conditions were experienced throughout the Interlake Region last week. The weather conditions however did bring a weather system with precipitation and strong winds during the weekend period. Isolated storms resulted in rainfall amounts over 40 mm in the Moosehorn and Woodlands region. Most other parts of the region received 15 to 35 mm of rainfall. Wet conditions made travelling across many fields in the south Interlake quite difficult as producers try to continue harvesting.

 

Harvesting is estimated to be 35 to 55% completed. South Interlake is further ahead of harvesting than the North Interlake. Harvest progress has slowed due to weather conditions. Last week, producers continued to harvest canola and spring cereals. Due to the tough moisture levels, producers are using both grain bin aeration as well as grain dryers to manage moisture levels in their harvested grains.

 

Canola continues to be swathed and harvested throughout the region. Some fields that were desiccated for straight cutting have been left standing for over 15 to 18 days.

 

Soybean leaves have started to change color and drop. Flax crops are starting to mature. Corn and sunflowers continue to mature.

 

Some of the early harvested fields have been cultivated.

 

The variable showers throughout the region last week hampered haying operations. Most greenfeed crops are harvested, and good yields are reported in second cut hay. Corn has yet to be silaged, but yields look promising.

 

Desiccation of the alfalfa seed crops is continuing.

 

Pastures are still holding out well due to intermittent rains during the past several weeks.

 

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Manitoba crop report August 31


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 01, 2015

Crop Report: Issue 18, August 2431, 2015

Weekly Provincial Summary 

  • Sporadic rainfall and high humidity levels slowed harvest progress and haying operations across Manitoba.  The recent weather is also resulting in quality loss in some crop types.
  • A strong weather system passed through several areas of the Central Region the morning of August 28.  Heavy rains and small to large-sized hail resulted in varying amounts of crop damage.
  • Harvest of winter cereals is complete with average to above average yields and good quality.
  • Spring wheat, barley, oats, canola and field pea harvest continues as field and weather conditions allow.
  • Minimal acres of winter wheat and fall rye are seeded to date.
 

Southwest Region

In the Southwest Region, little to no rainfall over the past week helped producers continue with harvest. Rainfall amounts did vary with the majority of the rain coming on Thursday evening in scattered thundershowers. Rainfall amounts for the week ranged from 5 to 25 mm.

Harvest progress varies throughout the Southwest Region. In the south and southwest areas of the region, harvest is 50 to 60% complete. In areas north of Highway #1, harvest is approximately 30% complete with approximately 10% of the spring wheat crop harvested, and the majority of barley acres harvested.  Harvest of winter cereals is complete across the region.

Winter cereal yields are average to slightly above average, and good quality. Spring wheat yields are average to above average with good quality. Barley yields are also reported as average to slightly above average with good quality.

Canola that wasn’t reseeded because of spring frosts is swathed. Some canola has been harvested, with reports of average yields and higher levels of disease in some of the earlier crop.  Reseeded canola is starting to be cut and majority of the crop will be ready to be cut by the end of the week.

The soybean crop is advancing well and recent rains will help crop in the later stages of development. Most of the crop is in the R6 stage with some of the early crop beginning maturity. Sunflowers are in the R6 stage with early seeded sunflowers in the R7 stage. Reports of heavy disease pressure in some areas. Most corn is in the grain filling stages, ranging from R2 to R3. Flax is turning with the odd early field being desiccated.

Pastures benefited from recent rains; however, overgrazed pastures may be under pressure to make the month of September for grazing. Silage of cereal crops is being done and yields are average to above average. Second cut hay is being done with most areas reporting average yields and good quality. Dugouts are about 80% full.
 

Northwest Region

Harvest operations in the Northwest Region moved ahead slowly over the past week. High humidity and heavy dew in the mornings, along with light sporadic showers, contributed to the slow harvest progress. Early seeded canola crops that were not reseeded because of frost are being swathed. Reseeded canola fields are at least ten days away from swathing. In many cases, fall field work operations are caught up to harvest. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most parts of the region and excessive in some localized areas.

The wheat harvest is the furthest advanced at this point in the region; estimated 70% of the hard red wheat crop is combined. Reported hard red spring wheat yields are extremely variable and range from 25 to 70 bu/acre. Very little canola has been harvested. Approximately 40% of the canola crop has been swathed.

Approximately 45% of the corn crop is in the blister stage of growth, 50% is at milk stage, and 5% at dough stage. For soybeans, 100% of the crop is podded. About 85% of the flax crop is at the boll stage of growth and 15% is mature.
Rain in many areas late Sunday evening has halted haying, greenfeed and silage operations. Harvest will resume once weather and field conditions allow. Second cut hay harvest saw average yields and native hay will continue to be harvested. Cereal silage is complete showing average yields. Water supplies are adequate in most parts of the region.
 

Central Region

The Central Region saw normal to above normal temperatures during the week with minimal precipitation accumulations.  However, on Friday morning a strong weather system moved through some areas of the region. Large hail was reported through the Altona and Plum Coulee areas; hail fell for up to fifteen minutes with stones ranging from marble to baseball in size.  Hail was also reported in other areas including St.Claude, Glenboro to Rathwell, south of Carman, and from Miami to Winkler. Damage occurred to crops such as corn, edible beans, soybeans and canola. Rainfall amounts up to 33 mm were also associated with the system.

Harvest had resumed early to mid-week after the previous weekends’ rain/cool conditions, but field activity was limited with heavy dews and high relative humidity through the week. Smoky conditions resulting from forest fires in Washington State moderated temperatures but did prolong drying of morning dews. Producers are limited by wet conditions when selecting fields for harvest. Artificial grain drying and aeration is occurring as some grain is being harvest at tough moisture levels.
Cereal crop harvest has progressed and is starting to wind down. Progress is slow in lodged fields. Wheat harvest is 40 to 90% completed with the Red River Valley the most advanced. Fusarium head blight levels are reported to be generally low in both winter and spring wheat, and quality is generally good. Quality of the wheat remaining in the field is declining, with downgrading due to mildew and sprouting.

Much of the canola crop is swathed. Combining of canola is well underway in the Red River Valley, with progress estimated at 60% complete. More canola is being straight cut, with positive results to date. Early yield reports are variable, with the best looking stands yielding in the 40 to 50 bu/acre range, to yields as low as 10 to 15 bu/acre.

Field pea harvest is delayed due to wet field conditions.  Early yield reports are in the 45 bu/acre range.  Flax is at the boll stage and starting to turn. There is limited swathing or harvesting done, although some fields are complete in the Roland area. No yield reports to date.

The back of the heads of earliest seeded sunflowers‎ are yellow; desiccation may start in ten days to two weeks. The most recent rains will benefit corn. Most soybean fields are finished flowering. Some of the earliest seeded fields are seeing leaf colour change. Edible beans are starting to turn; some fields have been cut with minimal acres harvested to date.
Some fields have been cultivated, following harvest. Soil testing has begun.

The second cut hay harvest is mostly complete in the southern areas, with reasonable yield and quality. The wettest areas in the northwest report poor quality second cut hay, which is still being harvested. Some fields are not advanced enough to take another cut, and producers are waiting to see if there will be enough growth to warrant that second operation. Low lying areas and sloughs are being cut for feed ‎where access is possible. Pastures are rated in good to fair condition.
 

Eastern Region

In the Eastern Region, the weather last week was very humid with temperatures climbing from seasonal to hot as the week progressed. With localized rainfall events throughout the week and on the weekend, harvest progress was limited. Some harvesting resumed on Wednesday or Thursday in districts where field access was possible. Some field rutting is noted and standing water in field low spots is also still evident throughout the region. The precipitation may impact quality of crops. Warm season crops are showing signs of excess moisture stress in some fields.

Winter wheat harvesting is complete with an average yield of 70 bu/acre and average quality. Spring wheat harvest is 75% complete with an average yield of 60 bu/acre with average quality. About 40% of the oat crop is harvested with an average yield of 110 bu/acre with average quality. About 35% of the canola is harvested with an average yield of 45 bu/acre with average quality. Soybeans are in the R6 growth stage. Sunflowers are in the R7 growth stage with corn in the milk (R3) growth stage.

Pasture conditions are rated at 80% good, 10% fair and 10% poor. There still are hay swaths laying in wet field conditions and dry weather is needed for producers to resume haying. Most producers have their straw baled. Pastures benefited from the rains. Livestock are starting to graze hay fields that were cut earlier. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 20% surplus and 80% adequate. Straw, greenfeed and feed grain supplies are all rated as adequate. Availability of livestock water is also adequate and dugouts are full.
 

Interlake Region

Hot temperatures and humid conditions delayed harvest in many parts of the Interlake Region. Scattered showers earlier in the week brought 5 to 25 mm of rainfall to the region. Damage from last week’s hail storm in Teulon ranged from 10 to 90% hail damage, depending on individual fields.

Spring cereal harvest is slow due to wet, humid conditions. Harvesting of cereals is estimated to be 45 to 50% complete with many acres in the North Interlake remaining to be harvested. Canola continues to be harvested and swathed. Combining is slow due to wet field conditions in the Teulon and Selkirk areas.

Earlier seeded soybeans finished flowering and are starting to change color. The number of aphids decreased significantly making an insecticide spray not needed. Corn is in the blister (R2) stage and sunflowers are in the R6 to R7 stage.
Recent rains stalled haying operations. However, pastures benefitted and second growth on hayfields looks good. There is also reduced grasshopper and alfalfa weevil damage due to the intermittent rains. Progress is being made with ensiling of greenfeed crops. Silage corn looks good.
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Saskatchewan announces new agriculture drainage regulations


Written By: Eric Anderson, Sep 01, 2015

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES NEW AGRICULTURE DRAINAGE REGULATIONS

 

Released on September 1, 2015

First Phase in the Development of an Agricultural Water Management Strategy

Today, Minister responsible for the Water Security Agency Herb Cox announced new drainage regulations in Saskatchewan. The new regulations are the first phase of an agricultural water management strategy that recognizes the benefits of drainage and the importance of mitigating negative impacts.

“We recognize drainage is an important water management tool for producers and these new regulations will help us streamline the approval process to help producers become compliant while mitigating damage downstream,” Cox said. “These new regulations are part of the development of a risk based agricultural water management strategy that will improve the overall process, including applications and investigating complaints, and will help prevent future issues.”

The key changes in the new regulations are:

  •    ensuring that impacts related to flooding, water quality and habitat loss are addressed as part of the drainage works approval process;
  •    allowing landowner agreements as evidence of land control;
  •    simplifying and streamlining the application approval process;
  •    no longer exempting works constructed before 1981 from requiring an approval; and
  •    enabling the use of “qualified persons” in the design of higher risk drainage works.

These drainage regulations fulfill a commitment made in the 2014 Speech from the Throne. This is the first significant change to drainage regulations in 35 years.

The new drainage regulations were created after extensive online and industry stakeholder consultations. More than 500 public participants and 15 industry and environmental groups provided input into the creation of the new approach to drainage in Saskatchewan.

The new regulations are the first step in a phased-in approach to bring all drainage in the province into compliance over the next 10 years. These changes facilitate the start of the overall approach to the agricultural water management strategy.

The next phase of the agricultural water management strategy will be the development and refining of policies and program delivery which will be used in a series of pilot projects and then expanded to the rest of the province.

The pilot projects are based in the Souris Basin near Stoughton and the Assiniboine Basin near Canora. Local producers, watershed authorities and representatives in those areas have committed to working with the WSA to implement the new agricultural water management strategy and to help bring existing drainage projects into compliance.

The WSA will continue working with stakeholders on this strategy to develop policies on mitigation, application processes and informational materials.

“Drainage is one of the major issues facing rural Saskatchewan so we are pleased that the government is implementing regulations meant to address deficiencies with the current system,” Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President Ray Orb said. “We have been awaiting this announcement and look forward to working with the government on the implementation of these regulations and further refinement of the agriculture water management strategy as it is phased in over the next few years.”

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Alberta Crop Conditions as of August 25, 2015 - yields 76%-83% of normal


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 28, 2015

Alberta Crop Conditions as of August 25, 2015

Showers or rain was reported in virtually all areas of the province last week affecting harvest progress. Harvest is estimated at slightly less than 10% complete with an additional 12% in the swath, up from 6% combined and 6% swathed the prior week. The 5 year average for this date is 11% swathed and 4% combined. Frost was reported in northern regions in the August 21-22 time period. Damage is yet to be determined but most crops should be beyond the stage for significant damage to be expected with the possible exception of canola. Crop yield estimates continue to improve as more harvest information becomes available. Yield averages improved in 4 of the 5 regions with the Peace being the only region to decline. Yield estimates improved significantly in the North West region which is the region most affected by the dry conditions. Second growth is a significant problem for producers this year. Decisions will be required whether to wait, swath now or desiccate.

Provincial soil moisture ratings improved for both surface and sub soil ratings. Surface moisture improved 3 points to 39% rated good or excellent. Significant improvements were reported in South and Central regions. Subsoil moisture improved 2 points to 34% rated good or excellent with good improvements in the South and North East regions off set somewhat by marginal declines in the North West and Peace regions.

Hay and pasture ratings showed a slight improvement to 19% of the province rated good or excellent. Ratings were higher in the South and Central regions and little changed in the remainder of the province. Current provincial ratings are: 42% Poor (- 1); 39% Fair (no change); 19% Good (+ 2); < 1% Excellent (no change). Approximately 55% of the province indicates there will be a 2nd cut dryland hay crop. Currently, 16% of the 2nd cut dryland crop and 65% of the 2nd cut irrigated crop is baled.




Regional Assessments:
The 2015 Alberta Crop Report Series provides summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)

  • Showers slowed harvest operations. Heavier rains received in west portion of the region.
  • 17% of crop swathed; 24% harvested (+ 4 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates improved to 76.3% of the 5 year average. Improved yield estimates for spring wheat, durum, barley, oats and field peas. Yield estimates declined minimally for canola (- 0.1 bu/acre).
  • Surface soil moisture ratings improved to 36% good or excellent (+ 7 points); sub soil moisture improved to 30% good or excellent (+ 3 percentage points).
  • Hay and pastures improved with 47% rated poor (- 4 points) and 14% rated good or excellent (+ 2 points).

Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)

  • Fairly general rain across the region with heavier amounts in the west.
  • 9% of crop swathed; 4% harvested (+ 2 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates improved to 80.2% of the 5 year average. Yield estimates improved for all crops except durum which was unchanged. Barley and oat estimates increased 2 bushels/acre, canola, peas and spring wheat estimates increased 1 bushel/acre.
  • Surface soil moisture improved to 59% rated good or excellent (+ 4 points). Sub soil moisture improved by 1 percentage point to 50% rated good or excellent.
  • Hay/pasture ratings showed significant improvement with a 2 point decline in the Poor rating to 33% and with a 5 point increase to the good or excellent rating to 28%.

Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)

  • Showers reported in much of the region with light rain in the east portion along the Saskatchewan border. Light frost reported in western portion of the region.
  • 5% of crop swathed; 3% harvested (+ 2.5 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates increased to 78.0% of the 5 year average. Estimates improved for all crops by 1 bushel/acre.
  • Surface soil moisture ratings improved by 2 points to 41% rated good or excellent. Sub soil ratings are 37% rated good or excellent (up 6 points).
  • Pasture/hay ratings unchanged at 23% rated good or excellent.

Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)

  • Light showers reported throughout the region. Frost reported in many areas.
  • 5% of crops swathed; 5% harvested (+ 4 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates are significantly higher than previously reported at 76.9% of the 5 year average yield (previously 69.4%). Yield estimates increased 4 – 6 bushels/acre with barley the exception with 1 bushel decline.
  • Surface soil moisture improved marginally with less than 1 point increase to 19% good or excellent. Sub soil moisture ratings declined to 15% good or excellent (- 3 points).
  • Pasture/hay ratings were virtually unchanged with 11% of region rated good or excellent.

Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)

  • Region received variable precipitation from light, spotty showers to 50 mm of rain. Heavy frost reported.
  • 23% of crops swathed; 6% combined (+ 4 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates declined marginally to 83.1% of 5 year yield average. Yield estimates declined by approximately 0.5 bushels/acre. The exception was field pea yield which increased approximately 1 bushel/acre.
  • Surface and sub soil moisture ratings were reported as unchanged at 26% rated good or excellent.
  • Pasture/hay ratings declined 1 percentage point to 15% rated good or excellent.

 

 

 

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WeatherFarm and AccuWeather still tied for lead in weather forecasting contest


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 28, 2015

With this week's win by Environment Canada, they are inching-up on our tied contest leaders AccuWeather and WeatherFarm.

We have now completed 10 rounds of our weather forecasting contest (the first round did not include WeatherFarm, but the next 9 did). 

Here are the Total points for the last 9 rounds (with Weather Farm) and then all 10 rounds (without Weather Farm).

 

Here are the ranked weekly results - by points that week (forecaster names then week #):

Here are our contest rules:

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Environment Canada wins round 10 of our weather forecasting contest


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 28, 2015

The resuts from the 10th weather forecasting contest ending August 27th are in - the chart below reveals the current contest results and the formula.

Environment Canada had the best 3-day forecast - according to the rules we created without consulting a meterologist.  Consider this "for entertainment purposes only." 

This week the overnight lows for days 2 and 3 were vastly different than anybody forecasted, resulting in some of our lowest scores ever.

Currently, WeatherFarm and AccuWeather are tied for most wins at 4 each, Environment Canada follows with 2 wins, and Weather Network has yet to register a win.

The forecasts were captured at the same time, the day prior to the start of the contest, from the various forecasting groups' websites, for "Saskatoon, SK"

Here are the current round's results:

Here are our contest rules:

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'Megatrends' expected to move ag sector in future


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 28, 2015

‘Megatrends’ expected to move ag sector in future

Aug. 28th, 2015 by Phil Franz-Warkentin    

From http://www.agcanada.com/daily/megatrends-expected-to-move-ag-sector-in-future

 

CNS Canada — Health-conscious customers with money to spend will be looking to purchase more food over the next 20 years, while changing technologies and global economic uncertainty will bring their own challenges.

That’s the outlook in a recent report out of Australia, highlighting five megatrends expected to impact the agricultural sector in the coming decades.

Rural Industry Futures: Megatrends impacting Australian agriculture over the coming 20 years was compiled by the country’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), together with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), in an effort to draw out the longer-term trends that could impact rural industries going forward.

While the report focuses on the Australian situation, the opportunities and challenges presented can be expected to have a similar impact on the Canadian agriculture sector.

A “megatrend” is defined in the report as “a trajectory of change that will have profound implications for industry and society.”

Each megatrend is interlinked with the others and has its own supply and demand side implications for the agricultural sector, according to the report.

The five megatrends in the report include:

1. A hungrier world: Global populations are rising while land devoted to agricultural production is shrinking. That will create increased demand for good and fibre from those countries with exportable supplies.

2. A wealthier world: Average annual incomes are also rising as more people are expected to move out of poverty, with diets shifting away from staple subsistence foods to higher-protein options. This creates opportunities for diversification and new markets.

3. Choosy customers: The desire for healthier food options is expected to grow, with expectations on ethical and environmental factors also becoming a larger factor in customer choices.

4. Transformative technologies: Advances in genetics, materials science, and digital technologies will alter how food is grown and how it is transported. In addition to production improvements, increased traceability and advances in food manufacturing are expected.

5. A bumpier ride: Climate change and the increasing globalization of the world economy have the potential to create new and deeper risks for farmers, according to the report.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow CNS Canada at @CNSCanada on Twitter.

 

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Saskatchewan crop report - harvest ahead of schedule


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 27, 2015

Producers across the province now have 16 per cent of the 2015 crop combined and 19 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.  The five-year (2010-2014) average for this time of the year is six per cent combined and 14 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Regionally, producers in the southwest have 33 per cent of the crop combined, while those in the southeast have 27 per cent combined.  Eight per cent of the crop is combined in the west-central region, three per cent in the east-central and northwestern regions, and two per cent in the northeast.

Rainfall and cool temperatures during the week caused some delays in harvesting.  Rainfall ranged from trace amounts to two and a half inches in some areas.  Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as seven per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate, 11 per cent short and one per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 73 per cent adequate, 19 per cent short and five per cent very short.

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Manitoba crop yield average or above average


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 26, 2015

MB Crop Report

Issue 17, August 24, 2015

 

 

Weekly Provincial Summary 

•Good harvest progress was made in Manitoba throughout the week due to moderate temperatures and dry conditions. To date, yields of winter and spring wheat, barley, oats and canola are average to above average. Good quality is also noted.

•However, a weather system passed through several areas of Manitoba over the weekend that resulted in a wide range of precipitation amounts and strong winds, along with hail in isolated areas.

•Harvest operations are halted and will resume once weather and field conditions allow.

•The precipitation will benefit later maturing crops, as well as hay fields and pastures.

 

Southwest Region

In the Southwest Region, scattered showers in some areas slowed harvest progress through the week. Over the weekend, rainfall amounts ranged from 15 to 40 mm with some areas reporting as high as 75 mm.

 

The winter cereal harvest is nearing completion with generally average to slightly above average yields and quality. Spring cereals are in the final stages of maturity. Spring wheat and barley swathing and preharvest applications are on-going. Some initial harvesting operations have started and early spring wheat and barley yields are above long term averages.

 

Canola crop maturity has advanced with the earliest canola fields being swathed. Most reseeded fields are fully podded and beginning to dry down. Disease levels in both early and later seeded canola continue to be minimal. There are some difficulties in swathing due to lodging.

 

Most field peas have been desiccated or swathed with a significant percentage harvested; yields are above long term averages. Flax fields are maturing with no disease issues reported. Weed pressure is high in some flax fields.

 

Corn and sunflowers are doing well with no production issues currently noted. Soybean growth and maturity slowed over this past week with maturities in the full R5 (seed set) to early R6 (pod filling) stage of development. Some fields that have missed recent thundershowers are beginning to show symptoms of moisture stress and premature dry down.

 

Some areas in the region have seen a start to second cut alfalfa with yields average to above average and variable to good quality depending upon rainfall. Greenfeed silage is being harvested with average to above average yields reported. Pastures that were overgrazed in spring remain in poor condition due to reduced regrowth. Water levels in dugouts range from 75 to 90% of capacity, depending on the area.

 

Northwest Region

Harvest was interrupted mid-week when thunderstorm activity resulted in random rain showers through parts of the Northwest Region. Unsettled weather also continued through the weekend. Rainfall amounts ranged from 0 to over 25 mm depending on location. There was hail reported in the southern part of the Swan Valley late in the week. The resulting damage to field crops has not yet been determined. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most parts of the region and excessive in some localized areas that received heavy downpours.

 

Wheat harvest is the furthest advanced in the region. Approximately 40% of the winter wheat crop has been harvested. It is estimated that 20% of the hard red wheat crop has been combined. Reported yields are extremely variable and range from 20 to 70 bu/acre. About 30% of the spring wheat crop is in the dough stage and 70% is mature. Preharvest treatments are nearing completion.

 

The canola crop continues to improve and develop rapidly. Approximately 90% of the canola crop is podded with about 10% mature.

 

Approximately 10% of the corn crop is tasseling, 80% is at the blister stage of growth and 10% is at the milk stage. In soybeans, 100% of the crop is podded. In flax, 95% of the flax crop is at the boll stage of growth and 5% is mature.

 

Rain over the weekend has halted haying and silage operations. Second cut harvest is seeing average yields and native hay is also being harvested. Some late seeded annual crops intended for grain are being considered for silage harvest or greenfeed. The recent rainfall was welcome for pasture growth. Water supplies are adequate.

 

Central Region

In the Central Region, moderate to cool temperatures for the week allowed for good harvest progress. However, rainfall impacted the whole region on the weekend with precipitation amounts ranging from almost none along the south central part of the region to as much as 85 mm on the eastern side. The precipitation was welcome for the later maturing crops like soybeans and corn, including some acres that were showing symptoms of moisture stress. However, wet field conditions in some areas will impact harvest operations. Fields in the northern part of the region are soft and more difficult to access with machinery. Strong winds were also reported during the day on Sunday but there are no reports to date of significant crop damage.

 

Cereal crop harvest has progressed. Wheat harvest is reported at 40 to 80% complete with the Red River Valley being the most advanced. Harvest of winter wheat and fall rye is almost complete. Yields of winter wheat are reported in the 55 to 90 bu/acre range; average is expected to be in the 65 to 75 bu/acre range. Spring wheat harvest continues, with higher yields in the general purpose/feed wheat varieties. Quality is generally good, but variability is noted due to lodging. Red spring wheat protein contents are ranging from 12 to 15%, while general purpose/feed wheat ranges from 11 to 13%. Harvest management applications continue in spring wheat fields.

 

There is a wide range in canola development due to the varied seeding dates. Combining of canola is well underway in the Red River Valley with as much as 40% of the crop harvested. Most canola fields on the escarpment are just being swathed as a result of late spring frost and reseeding. Early yield reports are variable, with the best looking fields yielding 40 to 50 bu/acre, while fields that struggled are as low as 30 bu/acre.

 

Sunflowers are still flowering; monitoring continues for insects. Sunflower beetle numbers are low, while lygus bug numbers are at threshold levels or higher, and most fields are sprayed. Corn has benefitted from the recent rain. Most soybean fields are finished flowering. Some fields in the Red River Valley are showing increasing symptoms due to excess moisture and subsequent root rots. Conversely, fields on the west side of the escarpment were showing signs of moisture stress and should benefit from the weekend rain. Some of the earliest seeded fields are seeing leaf colour change. Reports of soybean aphids have not increased, and most fields are well below threshold level; only the odd field required an insecticide application.

 

Edible beans are starting to turn indicating advanced maturity stage and some fields are being cut. Pea fields are mature and many are already harvested. Harvesting of some fields is being delayed due to wet field conditions.

Some fields have been cultivated, following harvest.

 

Second cut hay harvest is mostly complete. The wettest areas in the northwest part of the region report poor quality second cut; some is not advanced enough to take another cut and producers are waiting to see if there will be enough growth to warrant a second cut. Low lying areas and sloughs are being cut for feed when producers are able to access them. Pastures are rated good to fair.

 

Eastern Region

In the Eastern Region, weather early in the week was mostly sunny with cooler temperatures. Warmer weather returned as the week progressed. However, on Friday and into the weekend, thunderstorms resulted in precipitation ranging from 25 mm to 178 mm, with the most impacted areas north of Caliento to Sandilands, east of Vita and Beausejour. Oakbank, Stead and Winnipeg Beach areas also received hail.

 

Winter wheat harvesting is 90% complete overall with most fields in central and northern districts completed with an average yield of 70 bu/acre and average quality. Spring wheat harvest is 50% complete with the greatest progress in central and northern districts and an average yield of 60 bu/acre with average quality. Thus far, reported protein levels range from 13 to 15% and low fusarium damaged kernel levels. About 25% of the oat crop is harvested with an average yield of 110 bu/acre with average quality. About 10% of the canola is harvested with an average yield of 55 bu/acre with average quality. Swathing or preharvest herbicide applications in canola are in full swing as the crop is maturing quickly.

 

Soybeans are primarily in the R6 growth stage. Sunflowers are in R6 to R7 growth stages with corn in the blister (R2) growth stage.

 

Pasture conditions are rated at 80% good, 10% fair and 10% poor. Haying is in full swing with 90% of the greenfeed and native hay harvested. Some producers are still dealing with wet hay fields. Some spring cereal crops that were recently damaged by hail are being baled for feed. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 20% surplus and 80% adequate. Straw, greenfeed and feed grain supplies are all rated as adequate. Availability of livestock water is also adequate.

 

Interlake Region

Cool, dry conditions were experienced throughout the Interlake Region early last week. During Friday evening and Saturday morning, heavy rainfall occurred. Rainfall amounts varied throughout the Interlake Region, ranging from 15 to 80 mm; Eriksdale, Selkirk and Teulon received 50 to 80 mm of rainfall during the weekend. Pea sized hail was also reported in the Teulon area; shattering in canola occurred as a result. For areas that received heavy rainfall, field travel will be impacted and will slow down the progress of harvest.

 

Harvest is estimated at 10 to 15% complete. Harvesting of spring cereals and canola fields occurred during week. Reports of spring wheat yields ranging from 50 to 75 bu/acre with protein levels around 14.0%. Oat yields range from 100 to 115 bu/acre. Canola yields range from 35 to 40 bu/acre.

 

Harvesting of most forage grass seed fields is complete. Soybeans are in the R6 growth stage, corn is in the blister (R2) stage and sunflowers in the R6 to R7 stage.

 

Cooler temperatures and scattered showers brought a reprieve from the grasshopper pressure in pastures and weevil damage in hay fields. Pastures are holding out fairly well. Greenfeed and silage harvest is in full swing with average yields.

 

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Higher-quality wheat likely in store for Prairies


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 26, 2015

CNS is reporting that  . . .

Western Canadian farmers are seeing higher-quality wheat crops this year, which would help meet pent-up demand for quality within the market.

However, producers might not reap the rewards as much as they would like, one market analyst warns.

Wheat buyers will be looking for better-quality and higher-protein wheat, since Canada disappointed on some of those fronts last year, said Neil Townsend, director of market research at G3 Global Grains in Winnipeg.

 

See full story at http://www.agcanada.com/daily/higher-quality-wheat-likely-in-store-for-prairies

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Overall crop conditions still improving


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 25, 2015

The imagery from the Crop Condition Assessment Program shows continued crop improvement.  The August 23rd image displays most regions approaching "normal."   An image from August 9th shows a much large and consistent "brown" or "below normal area." in Alberta.  Going back to July 6th, most of the prairies was "brown" or "below normal."

 

 

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WeatherFarm wins round 9 of the ongoing weather forecasting contest


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 24, 2015

The resuts from the 9th weather forecasting contest ending August 23rd are in - the chart below reveals the current contest results and the formula.

WeatherFarm (using their results data, not Environmnet Canada's) had the best 3-day forecast - according to the rules we created without consulting a meterologist.  Consider this "for entertainment purposes only." 

WeatherFarm has now tied AccuWeather for most wins at 4 each, Environment Canada follows with 1 win, and Weather Network has yet to register a win.

The forecasts were captured at the same time, the day prior to the start of the contest, from the various forecasting groups' websites, for "Saskatoon, SK"

Here are the current round's results:

 

 

Here are our contest rules:

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StatsCan production estimates 'too low' for canola, wheat


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 24, 2015

CNS Canada — Statistics Canada released its first survey-based production estimates for the 2015-16 crop year Friday morning, with canola and wheat figures coming in at the lower end of expectations.

But the grain trade is shrugging off the report, as it believes final production numbers for most crops will be larger than what Statistics Canada estimated in Friday’s report.

“I think everyone in the marketplace is of the opinion that the crop conditions have improved since the survey was taken, so this crop is bigger than what the numbers suggest,” said Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada.

StatsCan pegged 2015-16 wheat production at 24.625 million tonnes, at the lower end of expectations and below the 29.281 million tonnes grown in 2014-15.

The final number is likely to be about a million tonnes larger, due to improved weather conditions since the survey was conducted in late July, Jubinville added.

As of Friday morning, U.S. wheat futures markets weren’t reacting to the report, as StatsCan’s estimate was very similar to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture projection for Canadian wheat, he noted.

StatsCan pegged canola production at 13.343 million tonnes, in the middle of pre-report guesses, but down from the 15.555 million tonnes grown last year.

“The StatsCan (canola) number is too low. It will be adjusted higher in the next two months — I think closer to 14 million tonnes. And our carryout will probably balloon above a million (tonnes),” said Errol Anderson of ProMarket Communications.

Because the production number for canola is likely inaccurate, the trade is dismissing the report and turning the focus back onto North American harvest conditions and China’s economic situation, Jubinville said.

While there are worries about China reducing its purchases of canola due to its economic problems, he said he believes they’ll still be a large buyer of Canadian canola.

“All the fearmongering that’s going on about economic turmoil in China restricting or curtailing their commodity purchases, I don’t think is going to apply to canola,” Jubinville said. “So they’re going to buy whatever they need, and going to eat up whatever extra production we add to this production number.”

Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow her at @TerrynShiells on Twitter.

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AccuWeather still leading weather forecasting contest


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 18, 2015

With this week's win by WeatherFarm, they are closing in on AccuWeather for the most wins in our weather forecasting contest.

We have now completed 8 rounds of our weather forecasting contest (the first round did not include WeatherFarm, but the next 7 did). 

AccuWeather is out in front with 4 weekly-wins so far:

 

 

Here are the Total points for the last 7 rounds (with Weather Farm) and then all 8 rounds (without Weather Farm).

 

 

Here are the ranked weekly results - by points that week (forecaster names then week #):

 

Here are our contest rules:

 

 

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Weather Farm wins round 8 of weather forecasting contest


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 18, 2015

The resuts from the 8th weather forecasting contest ending August 17th are in - the chart below reveals the current contest results and the formula.

WeatherFarm (using their results data, not Environmnet Canada's) had the best 3-day forecast - according to the rules we created without consulting a meterologist.  Consider this "for entertainment purposes only." 

AccuWeather still leads the contest with the most wins (at 4) and most total points, with WeatherFarm in 2nd with 3 wins, and Environment Canada in 3rd with 1 win (Weather Network has yet to register a win).

Of note, this weeks score by WeatherFarm was the highest recorded to date!

The forecasts were captured at the same time, the day prior to the start of the contest, from the various forecasting groups' websites, for "Saskatoon, SK"

Here are the current round's results:

Hetre are pur contest rules:

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Canadian wheat, canola, and durum export destinations


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 17, 2015

Statistics Canada released our grain export destinations for June 2015 today.  Below are the total quarterly Canadian exports for three major crops (including June 2015):

 

 

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French wheat crop to hit record 40.4 mlll tonnes (previous record was 38.2)


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 17, 2015

Reuters is reporting that  . . . .

France should produce a record 40.4 million tonnes of soft wheat this year after harvesting in the European Union's largest grain grower showed little impact from this summer's dry, hot weather, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday.

The estimate was above an initial forecast of 37.9 million tonnes in early July, and at the top end of market estimates putting the crop at 39-40 million tonnes.

Like other crop forecasters, FranceAgriMer said drought and extreme heat this summer that have hurt maize (corn) plants came too late to damage wheat that enjoyed good conditions earlier in its growth cycle.

The previous record for soft wheat production in France was 38.2 million tonnes harvested in 1998. Last year, the crop reached 37.5 million tonnes.

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WeatherFarm closing in on AccuWeather to lead weather forecasting contest


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 14, 2015

With this week's win by WeatherFarm, they are closing in on AccuWeather for the most wins in our weather forecasting contest.

We have now completed 7 rounds of our weather forecasting contest (the first round did not include WeatherFarm, but the next five did). 

AccuWeather is out in front with 4 weekly-wins so far:

Here are the Total points for the last 6 rounds (with Weather Farm) and then all 7 rounds (without Weather Farm).

Here are the ranked weekly results - by points that week (forecaster names then week #):

Here is our points formula:

 

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WeatherFarm wins round 7 of weather forecasting contest


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 14, 2015

The resuts from the 7th weather forecasting contest ending August 13th are in - the chart below reveals the current contest results and the formula.

WeatherFarm (using their results data, not Environmnet Canada's) had the best 3-day forecast - according to the rules we created without consulting a meterologist.  Consider this "for entertainment purposes only."  AccuWeather still leads the contest with the most wins (at 4) and most total points, with WeatherFarm in 2nd with 2 wins, and Environment Canada in 3rd with 1 win (Weather Network has yet to register a win).

The forecasts were captured at the same time, the day prior to the start of the contest, from the various forecasting groups' websites, for "Saskatoon, SK"

Here are the current round's results:

 

Here is the contest's points formula:

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El Nino now seen more likely to last into spring


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 14, 2015

Reuters is reporting that  . . .

A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday raised the likelihood that El Nino conditions would last into the Northern Hemisphere’s early spring to 85 per cent, boosting the probability that drought-stricken California could see increased rains.

The Climate Prediction Center, a U.S. National Weather Service agency, last month forecast an 80 per cent chance that conditions would last through early spring. The CPC still says there is a more than 90 per cent chance that El Nino conditions would last through the Northern Hemisphere winter.

The new forecast marginally raises the risk that the El Nino phenomenon, the warming of Pacific sea-surface temperatures, will unleash a period of extreme and potentially damaging weather across the globe.

Past instances have caused heavy rains and floods, hitting grain crops in South America, and scorching weather as far as Asia and East Africa.

But one potential El Nino beneficiary could be California, where record-low rainfall has prompted water usage restrictions and contributed to the spread of devastating wildfires.

“It definitely would increase the likelihood of heavy rains in the winter there, which would certainly improve their situation tremendously,” said Donald Keeney, senior agricultural meteorologist with Maryland-based MDA Weather Services.

California could begin to get increased rainfall as early as October and definitely by November or December, Keeney said.

Rainfall will probably not increase in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington, which are also suffering from droughts, although they could experience higher temperatures like much of the northern U.S., Keeney said.

The CPC said the effects of El Nino were likely to remain minimal across the contiguous U.S. for the rest of the summer but would increase into the late fall and winter.

In Western and central Canada, an El Nino event is most often associated with above-normal temperatures and drier conditions during winter.

El Nino would probably contribute to a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season, the CPC said. That would reduce the likelihood of storms disrupting energy operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

However, the agency said El Nino was likely to lead to above-normal hurricane seasons in both the central and Eastern Pacific hurricane basins.

Reporting for Reuters by Luc Cohen in New York. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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Drones being used to increase crop yields


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 13, 2015

The Globe and Mail is reporting that . . .

Drones have long been used for military purposes, but Nova Scotia-based start-up Sky Squirrel Technologies Inc. has found a more peaceful use for the technology.

 Sky Squirrel deploys small drones equipped with infrared cameras to cruise the skies over vineyards, sending back images that help growers monitor for moisture level, disease, rot, insect damage and general crop health – all things that contribute to the quality of the grapes and the resulting wine.

 In the past, farmers would have had to walk their fields, taking samples back to send off to the lab. “If you have hundreds of acres, that is just not feasible,” says Richard van der Put, the Swiss-born co-founder and chief technology officer for Sky Squirrel.

 In comparison, the company’s drone technology takes as many as 500 images during a single flight. “Our clients send the images to us via the cloud and we combine them into a map,” says van der Put. “Then we use a specialized image algorithm that allows us to assess crop health.” With the help of GPS positioning on their mobile devices, farmers, “can see where they are currently in the field and correlate that with the analysis” to pinpoint areas of concern, van der Put says.

 The result: One client managed to reduce his water usage by a third. And the system has proven 97 per cent effective at detecting diseases like Flavesence Dorée – which mainly affects European vineyards. It also picks up leafroll – a disease that can devastate vineyards, wiping out 30 to 50 per cent of the crop.

. . ..

 Other companies have focused on technology with a wider application. Manitoba-based Farmers Edge Precision Consulting Inc. got its start in founder Wade Barnes’s basement 10 years ago with a general focus on precision agriculture and agronomics – basically using comprehensive data to boost farmers’ yields and lower their fertilizer usage. The company uses satellite images to identify where to plant, how much fertilizer to use and when and how much to irrigate – allowing farmers to increase yields and lower fertilizer and water usage (hence costs).

 

Full story at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-growth/farmers-use-drones-and-data-to-boost-production/article25943786/

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SK Farmland Ownership survey raps up


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 13, 2015

With public consultations on farmland ownership rules wrapped this week, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart is keeping an open mind about what legislative changes, if any, are needed to the Saskatchewan Farm Security Act.

While admitting “he hadn’t a clue” what kind of changes respondents wanted, Stewart said the government would be “informed” by the results of the survey. “Depending on the results of the survey, we may deem that no change is required. So in that case, there would be no legislation,” Stewart told reporters at the Legislative Building Wednesday.

But Stewart added: “There’s a fairly strong likelihood that we’ll find from the results of the survey that the respondents would like some kind of change. That being the case, we’ll have some legislation prepared to go in the fall session.”

During the three-month consultation period, the government received nearly 3,200 responses to its survey on the issue, with 62 per cent of coming from farmers. Only six per cent of respondents were non-residents.

Stewart conceded there will likely be some disagreement between farmers and business over the issue of farmland ownership by pension funds and other institutional investors.

Full story at Regina Leader Post

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Russian Bakers Want Change to Wheat Duty That Tries to Help Them


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 13, 2015

Bloomberg is reporting that . . . .

Russia should change a levy on wheat exports that led to a slump in shipments last month, according to the local bakers and pig farmers the policy is trying to help.

Sales abroad by Russia, the third-largest wheat exporter, fell 53 percent in July from a year earlier to the lowest level for that month since 2009, according to figures from grain carrier ZAO Rusagrotrans and the government. The drop followed the enforcement of the export duty to shield bakers and farmers of livestock from rising prices amid double-digit food inflation.

“We support regulating exports,” said Valery Cheshinsky, president of the Russian Union of Bread Baking Industry. “But we don’t wish harm to anyone.”

 

The bakers’ lobby, whose members produce more than half of Russia’s bread, is joining the National Pig Farmers’ Union in supporting calls for changes to the levy, with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev seeking proposals on the issue by Sept. 10. Concerns include the possibility that Russian wheat farmers will sow less of the grain if exports continue to decline.

The tax should be a certain percentage of the customs value of shipments or a fixed amount, replacing the current more complex formula, according to Cheshinsky. That would make the situation more predictable for exporters and allow flour millers to build reserves at the start of each season when prices are typically lower, he said.

Full story is at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-13/russian-bakers-want-change-to-wheat-duty-that-tries-to-help-them

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Farmer in Italy testing methane powered New Holland tractor


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 11, 2015

Luca Remmert's farm in Venaria, Reale, Italy is testing the New Holland T6 Methane Tractor technology, which  is being developed with the goal of making farms self-sufficient.

 

Methane would be 30-percent cheaper than diesel. And for farms that produce their own bio-methane, the costs of fuel would drop to nothing. Bio-methane is a type of gas produced by the processing of organic waste — something farms have a lot of.

“When the machinery is ready, I will be among the first customers,” Remmert said recently at the farm, where New Holland was showing off the technology.

The methane-run T6 would hit production in about five years, according to New Holland.

For a farm to get the most savings out of it, it would have to be able to produce bio-methane, which has significant upfront equipment costs. In addition, the drive toward biofuels is being slowed by the sharp drop in the cost of fossil fuel over the last year.

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Prairie cash wheat bids edge higher


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 11, 2015

CNS is reporting that . . . .

Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat cash bids across Western Canada were stronger during the week ended Friday, as basis levels and U.S. futures markets also showed some improvement.

Average CWRS wheat prices were up by C$7-$10 per tonne over the week, with bids ranging from about $212 per tonne in the Peace region of Alberta, to as high as $225 per tonne in Manitoba, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points across Western Canada.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but generally improved, to average about $24 above the futures when using the grain company methodology of quoting the basis as the difference between U.S. dollar-denominated futures and Canadian dollar cash bids.

When accounting for the currency exchange rates by adjusting the Canadian prices to U.S. dollars, CWRS bids ranged from US$161 to $171 per tonne. That would put the currency-adjusted basis levels at about US$23-$33 below the futures.

Looking at it the other way around, if Minneapolis futures are converted to Canadian dollars, CWRS basis levels across Western Canada range from C$30 to C$43 below the futures.

 Full story and details are at http://www.agcanada.com/daily/prairie-cash-wheat-bids-edge-higher

 

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Rainfall accumulations - now almost normal


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 10, 2015

The August 9th view of rainfall is much better than July 9th.  The two maps below reflect the “percentage of normal rainfall accumulated” for July 9 and Aug 9.  Things improved from 20-60% of normal rainfall, to 80-100% of normal over most of the prairies.

 

 

 

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Manitoba crop report August 10


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 10, 2015

The gov't of Manitoba released today . . .

Manitoba Crop Report: Issue 15, August 10, 2015

 

 

Weekly Provincial Summary 

  • The 2015 harvest was slowed by the continuing wet conditions in Manitoba. However, some harvest operations did occur where field and weather conditions allowed.
  • Winter wheat yields are ranging from 55 to 90 bushels per acre, with good quality.
  • Swathing or preharvest management of the earliest-seeded spring cereal and canola crops continues.
  • The return to warmer and drier weather conditions is welcome to aid in ripening of spring crops, continued growth in the warm season crops such as grain corn, sunflowers, edible beans and soybeans, and harvest operations.

 

Southwest Region

In the Southwest Region, moderate temperatures and scattered thundershowers allowed for continued crop development as the 2015 crop approaches maturity. Rainfall amounts ranged from 15 to 50 mm and were fairly general across the region.

 

Most winter cereals are in the firm to hard dough stage of development; some fields in the more southern areas of the region are harvested with average yields reported. Early seeded spring wheat is in the soft dough stage and approaching recommended stages for preharvest applications, while some barley crops are being swathed. Symptoms of fusarium head blight can be seen in unsprayed fields of spring wheat. Leaf diseases are also visible.

 

Canola responded favourably to the moderate temperatures and recent rainfall. The most advanced canola fields are in the pod fill stage while most re-seeded fields are completing flowering. Disease levels in the early seeded canola appear to be at relatively low levels.

 

Most pea fields are beginning to dry down with some fields having preharvest products applied. Initial field pea harvest has begun on a few early fields with yields in the 40 to 50 bu/ac range. Flax fields are coming out of flower and have experienced some lodging after the recent rainfall.

 

Soybeans continue to respond to the recent rains and excellent growing conditions; majority of crops are into the R4 (full pod) to early R5 (beginning seed) stage of development. There are some reports of aphids in soybeans but the populations are below thresholds. Sunflowers are at full flower stage and corn is in the early grain filling stages.

 

First cut alfalfa and alfalfa/grass hay harvest have seen further deterioration with frequent showers and high humidity experienced early last week. First cut yields continue to be reported at 50 to 75% of long term averages. First cut is mostly complete and native hay is nearing completion as well. Some initial second cut alfalfa is harvested with yields average to above average with good quality. Greenfeed silage is harvested with average to above average yields reported. In the areas that received moisture, pastures are remaining productive. ‎ Water levels in sloughs and dugout have rebounded and are at 80 to 85% of capacity.

 

Northwest Region

A major weather system moving through most of the Northwest Region over the past week resulted in amounts of at least 10 mm to over 50 mm of rain in localized areas. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most parts of the region and excessive in some localized spots. Crops in the region are reported to be in good to poor condition. Some crops lodged as a result of the heavy rains and winds experienced over the week, especially canola. Harvest operations were at a standstill for most of the week.

 

Approximately 10% of the winter wheat crop is in the dough stage of growth and 90% is mature. About 5% of the spring wheat crop is at the milk stage, 90% in the dough stage and 5% is mature. Preharvest treatments have begun as conditions allow.

 

The canola crop continues to improve and develop rapidly. Approximately 15% of the canola crop is at some stage of bloom while about 85% is podded.

 

Approximately 90% of the corn crop is in the V6 to V13 stage of growth and 10% is tasseling. For soybeans, 10% of the crop is flowering while about 90% is podded. About 25% of the flax crop is flowering with the remaining 75% at the boll stage of growth.

 

Crop insect pest activity throughout the region continues to be low.

 

Haying operations were delayed over the past week due to spotty showers. Harvest of cereals for greenfeed and silage has begun and will continue with the better weather forecast for this week. Pastures are in good condition with adequate moisture. Water supplies on pasture are good. 

 

Central Region

In the Central Region, moderate temperatures and humid weather conditions continued through the week, with warmer temperatures on the weekend. Unsettled conditions resulted in showers and thundershowers and rainfall amounts varied from a few millimetres to 60 mm. Most areas have adequate moisture for excellent growing conditions. Lodging is prevalent in cereals and some canola fields, and sunflowers where poor root systems were a result of prolonged wet conditions.

 

Cereal crops throughout the region look good. Harvest will be a challenge in many spring wheat fields due to lodging, and yield loss of some degree is expected. Fusarium head blight levels appear to be much lower than last year in both winter and spring wheat.

 

Harvest of winter wheat and fall rye has begun; much of the crop is harvested in the eastern part of the region. Early yields of winter wheat are reported in the 55 to 90 bu/ac range; average is expected to be in the 65 to 75 bu/ac range, with decent quality in most cases. Some spring wheat was harvested; no yield reports to date. Harvest management applications continue in spring wheat fields. Some fields are soft, as lodged crop is preventing good drying conditions.

 

There is a wide range in canola development due to the varied seeding dates. Reseeded canola fields from the late May frost are close to flower completion. Significant progress has been made in swathing in the eastern part of the region, with 25 to 40% of fields swathed. Swathing will become more widespread throughout the region this week. Many fields are lodged due to heavy winds, and harvest will be a struggle.

 

Sunflowers are growing well and are flowering. Monitoring continues for insects, and staging is being done for fungicide application. Sunflower beetle numbers are low; lygus numbers are at threshold levels and higher, and most fields have been sprayed. Corn is growing rapidly and fields are into grain filling stages of development.

 

Soybeans continue to flower and form pods. Some fields are showing increasing damage due to excess moisture and subsequent root rots. Reports of soybean aphids are becoming more common, and while most fields are below economic threshold, the odd field is at the 250 aphids/plant and increasing, and will be sprayed. Beneficial insects are easily found in most fields, and are keeping pest populations in check.

 

Edible beans are flowering and podding. With recent heavy rains, some fields are showing stress symptoms of yellowing. Overall most fields look good.  Pea fields are starting to mature; some are ready to harvest, but are being delayed where field conditions are wet.

 

Hay harvest continues but has been difficult with the high humidity and recent rains. Second alfalfa hay cut is occurring with reasonably good yields. Greenfeed is also being cut for forage. Pastures have good growth due to abundant rain and warmer temperatures. Some areas would benefit from additional rain.

 

Eastern Region

In the Eastern Region, the weather during the previous week was highly variable. Rainfall accumulations ranged from 15 to 40 mm. The week had normal to below normal temperatures with some cool evenings. Some isolated hailstorms occurred in the southern districts of the region. Across the Eastern Region, fields continue to show evidence of standing water and areas where crop is drowned out and is more prevalent in central and southern districts. Low areas in fields that have been harvested are showing some rutting from machinery. Soil moisture conditions on crop land are rated as adequate to surplus.

 

Spring cereal crops are in the soft to hard dough growth stages. Winter wheat is mature and harvesting continued between the showers; yields are reported in the 70 bu/ac range with some symptoms of fusarium head blight noted.
Canola is pod filling. Soybeans range from R3 to R5. Sunflowers are in R5 growth stages with corn in the silking/blister stage of development.

 

There are increased reports of soybean aphids with populations building but still below economic threshold levels. There are increasing reports of phytophthora wilt in soybeans. Damage from sclerotinia is noted in canola fields that were not sprayed with fungicide.

 

Pastures are rated at 90% good and 10% fair condition as timely rains are allowing for regrowth. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 20% surplus and 80% adequate. Hay quality is rated as good. Availability of livestock water is adequate.

 

Interlake Region

Heavy rain and hail were experienced last week in the Interlake Region. Precipitation amounts varied from 10 mm to just under 100 mm of rain in the Woodlands area. Temperatures stayed seasonal with temperatures ranging from 22 to 25oC daytime, and 11 to 16oC night time. There were reports of hail on Friday afternoon in the Warren area. The impact from excess moisture throughout the Interlake Region is starting to show as crops mature.

 

Harvest is very close to being in full swing in areas of the South Interlake. Producers are busy with preharvest applications and swathing spring cereals, peas and canola fields. Reports of winter wheat proteins ranging from 10.5 to 11.0% with yields of 65 to 75 bu/ac. Peas are being harvested with reports of 55 to 65 bu/ac yields in the South Interlake. Soybeans continue to fill pods and flower, sunflowers continue to flower, corn staging is at the VT to early R1.

 

Forage grass seed harvest will start this week as field and crop conditions allow. In most annual crops to date, insect pressure is low or not meeting the economic thresholds to spray. However, spraying in alfalfa seed fields is occurring as lygus bugs populations are meeting the economic thresholds.

 

Haying operations progressed quite well this past week due to less shower activity. Less hay bales are being wrapped for silage and more hay is being baled dry. Producers are cutting annual crops for greenfeed. Pastures are still holding up fairly well due to the past four weeks of shower activities. Foxtail barley and some other unpalatable species are becoming more noticeable in pastures due to selective grazing. Availability of water for livestock consumption remains adequate.

 

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Crop conditions holding their ground


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 10, 2015

Today's new imagery reveals that things have hle dtheir ground - with more blue areas (good) and the brown being pushed out (well, at least for SK and MB).  To see how much things have changed, see http://www.flaman.com/blog.php?id=225&title=Crop conditions improving a lot

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AccuWeather continues leading our forecasting contest


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 10, 2015

We have now completed six rounds of our weather forecasting challenge (the first round did not include WeatherFarm, but the next 6 did). 

AccuWeather is out in front with 4 weekly-wins so far:

Here are the Total points for the last 5 rounds (with Weather Farm) and then all 6 rounds (without Weather Farm).

 

 

Here are the ranked weekly results - by points that week (forecaster names then week #):

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Who has the best weather forecast - AccuWeather wins again


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 10, 2015

The resuts from the 6th weather forecasting contest ending August 7th are in - the below charts reveal the current contest results and the formula.

AccuWeather had the best 3-day forecast - according to the rules we created without consulting a meterologist.  Consider this "for entertainment purposes only."  AccuWeather leads the contest with the most wins (at 4) and most total points.  Environment Canada and WeatherFarm also have 1-win each.

The forecasts were captured at the same time, the day prior to the start of the contest, from the various forecasting groups' websites, for "Saskatoon, SK"

Here are the current round's results:

Here are the contest rules:

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Crop conditions continue improving


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 06, 2015

Things continue to improve!  More dark blue (higher than normal vegetation), and the brown (much lower than normal) has almost been entirely squeezed out of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

 

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Saskatchewan crop report - moisture much improved


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 06, 2015

The Saskatchewan crop report from today reveals that . . . (note the weekly rainfall map at bottom, followed by an old then current crop mositure conditions - things are much improved!)

Harvest has begun in some parts of the province, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.  Less than one per cent of the provincial crop has been combined, while one per cent is ready to straight-cut.

Twenty-three per cent of fall rye, 10 per cent of winter wheat, five per cent of field peas and two per cent of lentils are now in the bin.  Two per cent of canola is now swathed. 
The province received a lot of rain last week, which has lodged many crops and flooded some fields and yards.

Topsoil moisture conditions have improved in many areas, thanks to rainfall that ranged from small amounts to well over six inches.  Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as four per cent surplus, 69 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and three per cent very short.

Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 58 per cent adequate, 33 per cent short and seven per cent very short.

Livestock producers now have 80 per cent of the hay crop baled or put into silage, while an additional 12 per cent is cut and will soon be ready for baling.  Hay quality is rated as three per cent excellent, 53 per cent good, 36 per cent fair and eight per cent poor.

Pasture conditions are rated as one per cent excellent, 32 per cent good, 38 per cent fair, 23 per cent poor and six per cent very poor.

Some crops were damaged this week by strong winds, heavy rain, insects such as aphids and lack of moisture.

 

 

 

 

Full report at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2015/august/06/crop-report

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June grain prices - SK Lentils up 53%


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 06, 2015

Statistics Canada released the June grain prices today.

In Manitoba, Canola and Wheat prices were up slightly from last June, with Dry peas down slightly.

In Saskatchewan, Lentil prices were up 53% from last June, with all of the other crops up slightly.

 

In Alberta, Canola and Durum were up dramatically, with the remainder up slightly.

 

When all months are considered on the long-term trend, all three provinces have resumed an upward trend on all crops.

 

 

Source:  http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150806/dq150806a-eng.htm?cmp=mstatcan

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El Nino Defying Rain Seen Boosting Australia Wheat Yield Outlook


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 06, 2015

Bloomberg is reporting today that . . .

Australia’s wheat harvest may be bigger than previously forecast as rain in the past month boosted the outlook for yields, according to National Australia Bank Ltd.

Output may total 21.6 million metric tons this season amid better conditions in New South Wales and South Australia, agribusiness economist Phin Ziebell wrote in a report on Thursday. The bank had previously warned that El Nino risked reducing the crop to 20 million tons or less. Timely rainfall in spring, which starts in September, may further boost production to about 23 million tons, the bank estimates.

Farmers and traders are assessing the impact of El Nino, which typically brings dry weather to eastern Australia and parts of Asia while altering rainfall in South America. The Pacific Ocean weather pattern continues to strengthen and will last into next year, Australia’s weather bureau predicts. The wheat crop is holding up better-than-expected as recent rainfall helped ease concerns El Nino would curb production, a survey of six analysts and traders compiled by Bloomberg shows.

 

Full story at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-06/el-nino-defying-rain-seen-boosting-australia-wheat-yield-outlook

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U.S. grains - Prices advance on crop, weather worries


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 05, 2015

Reuters is reporting that  . . .

U.S. grain and soybean futures jumped on Wednesday as concerns about poor weather hurting autumn harvests fuelled a recovery from recent losses in the markets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a crop report on Aug. 12, may trim its U.S. soybean acreage and ending stocks estimates because of excessive rains that disrupted spring plantings, traders said.

Traders were also keeping an eye on weather forecasts amid worries that some growing areas may turn too dry during an important period for soybean development this month.

“Additional risk premium is being added to corn, wheat and soybean futures ahead of critical U.S. supply updates from the USDA,” Chicago-based agricultural consultancy AgResource Co. said in a note.

. . . .

In the wheat market, Egypt, one of the world’s largest wheat importers, said it bought 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a tender.

U.S. wheat is seen as too expensive to be competitive on the export market.

On Thursday, traders will digest weekly U.S. grain export sales data from the USDA.

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Oil prices may drop further - but end in sight


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 05, 2015

Oil dip triggers global trouble spots

Tuesday, 4 Aug 2015 | 4:22 AM CT

Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets, discusses how cheap crude prices are impacting oil-focused economies and whether prices are headed lower from here.

Video is at:  http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000403240

 

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Manitoba crop report - harvest starting, low fusarium


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 04, 2015
Crop Report: Issue 14, August 4, 2015

Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Winter wheat and fall rye harvest is underway in Manitoba. Preliminary reports indicate winter wheat yields range from 60 to 85 bu/acre, with low levels of fusarium damaged kernels in harvested samples.
  • There are also a few fields of spring wheat, barley and field peas harvested last week.
  • Swathing or preharvest applications in the earliest-seeded spring cereal fields has started.
  • The majority of spring seeded crops are either grain-filling or podding, with some of the later seeded crops finishing up flowering.

Full report at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/seasonal-reports/crop-report-archive/2015-08-04-crop-report.html

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Who had best weather forecast - Environment Canada this time


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 04, 2015

The resuts from the 5th weather forecasting contest are in - the below charts reveal the current contest results and the formula.

Environment Canada had the best 3-day forecast - according to the rules we created without consulting a meterologist.  Consider this "for entertainment purposes only."  This was Environment Canada's first win - Accu Weather has won three-times and Weather Farm once.

The forecasts were captured at the same time, the day prior to the start of the contest, from the various forecasting groups' websites, for "Saskatoon, SK"

Here are the current round's results:

 

Here are our contest rules:

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Russian PM orders proposals on wheat export duty


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 04, 2015

Reuters is reporting that . . . .

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the preparation of proposals on a grain export duty, following a meeting on the Russian agriculture sector on Monday, according to the government's website.

Medvedev, whose comments were published by the website, did not make any specific orders on the duty. The website also quoted him as saying Russia plans to have a grain crop of around 100 million tonnes this year.

 

Russia introduced a wheat export tax in July, intended to stop exports surging if the rouble drops steeply.

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G3 Global closes CWB deal and retires name


Written By: Eric Anderson, Aug 04, 2015

Commodity News Service Canada – G3 Global Grain Group, a newly established agribusiness joint venture based in Winnipeg, has officially closed its investment in a majority interest in CWB, the former Canadian Wheat Board.

CWB will be combined with the grain assets of Bunge Canada to form a new Canadian agribusiness, G3 Canada Limited, a news release from CWB said on Friday.

“Combining the local market presence and global expertise of CWB and Bunge Canada Grain provides the opportunity to fulfill a promise to Canadian producers – to create a new and competitive alternative for the marketing of their grain,” said Karl Gerrand, G3 CEO in the release.

“The name change to G3 Canada Limited represents another step towards our vision of building a highly efficient coast to coast grain handling enterprise, and I welcome the opportunity to work with the dedicated teams from G3, Bunge Canada and CWB, who have worked so hard to bring these transactions to a successful conclusion.”

CWB’s President and CEO, Ian White, helped lead the organization through the transformational process, and is gratified with the investment outcome.

“CWB is pleased to complete the initiative to commercialize. The capital investment G3 brings, as well as extensive operational experience, is a huge benefit to the sector, and we are pleased that Canadian grain producers will be able to continue to participate in the growth of the new company,” White said.

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Alberta crop report - yield estimates starting to develop


Written By: Eric Anderson, Jul 31, 2015

Alberta Crop Conditions as of July 28, 2015


The continuation of moderate temperatures combined with wide spread shower activity throughout the province have placed crops are under less stress and crop condition ratings have stabilized at 30% rated good or excellent (See Table #1). The precipitation received this week has provided modest improvements to soil moisture ratings. Surface moisture ratings increased 2 points to 32% rated good or excellent and sub soil ratings improved 4 percentage points to 29% rated good or excellent. Most crops have completed their reproductive stage with only a small amount of late seeded crop remaining. Precipitation from this point onward will have minimal effect on yield potential but would continue to be very beneficial in kernel filling and seed test weight which would affect grade and ultimately price to the producer.


The first yield estimates of the season (See Table #2) have been published. These estimates are provided based upon extremely limited information at this time and will be updated bi-weekly. Current provincial estimates are approximately 25 – 30% below the average of the past 5 years though it should be noted that 2 of those years (2013 & 2014) produced the highest average yields ever reported for the province.
Hay and pastures continue to green up with the moisture and growth has restarted. First cut dryland haying is 90% complete with poor yields and so-so quality as only 65% of the crop is rated as good or excellent. 2nd cut irrigated haying is 20% completed with average yields and very good quality. Hay/pasture ratings have improved slightly this week to 44% poor (-4), 38% fair (no change), 18% good (+4), 1% excellent (no change).

 

Full report at http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd15453

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U.S. spring wheat yield projections highest ever


Written By: Eric Anderson, Jul 31, 2015

Reuters is reporting that . . .

U.S. spring wheat yield projections highest ever

Average yield seen at 49.9 bushels per acre

Fargo, N.D. (Reuters) — Yield potential for spring wheat grown in the northern U.S. Plains was projected as the highest on record, with the crop benefiting from timely planting and cool weather, according to results from an annual crop tour.

Scouts on the Wheat Quality Council’s three-day tour of North Dakota, the top spring wheat state, and adjacent areas in Minnesota and South Dakota projected an average hard red spring wheat yield of 49.9 bushels per acre, exceeding the tour’s 2014 forecast of 48.6 bushels and the tour’s prior five-year average of 45.2 bushels.

The forecast was the biggest on record, with figures dating back to 1992. Previously, the 2014 projection was the biggest ever.

Full story at http://www.agcanada.com/daily/u-s-spring-wheat-yield-projections-highest-ever

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