Monthly Archives: October 2014

Opportunities in Seed Coating Draw Major Investment From BrettYoung

Growth in the area of seed treating and coating has led turf and seed company BrettYoung to build a new multi-million dollar, 28 thousand square foot seed coating facility in the southwest corner of Winnipeg.

A grand opening for the seed treatment plant, which has annual capacity exceeding 50 million pounds, was held on Tuesday.

“It’s the single largest investment in the history of BrettYoung,” says Calvin Sonntag, CEO of BrettYoung, in the video above.


A robot that places seed bags onto pallets at a rate of 12 bags per minute.

The facility includes an automated rotary batch coating system with the ability to add multiple treatments, including crop protection products, micronutrients, inoculants, absorbers, active coatings and polymers.

The new seed treatment plant will replace BrettYoung’s old seed treating operation in Saskatoon.

“(That facility) had become quite dated and run out of capacity for the growth of our business,” explains the company’s chief operating officer Cory Baserab.

The majority of BrettYoung’s seed coating business is currently in canola, including custom treating for other seed companies, although Sonntag says they see many other opportunities for application of products directly to seed.

“One need not go too far into the ag literature to recognize that coatings and treatments are becoming more important,” he notes. “We’ve seen a definite evolution in the performance level of fungicides and insecticides that are applied to canola and other crops to protect them from ever-evolving pest challenges. Biological coatings are another example of something bringing new benefits to farmers.”

The plant is also positioned to take advantage of looming regulatory changes, as the Agrichemical Warehousing Standards Association’s new requirements for seed treatment facilities are set to take effect in 2017. Those rules will favour commercial-scale treating operations over smaller on-farm treaters.

The opening of the seed treating and coating facility coincides with BrettYoung’s 80th anniversary this year.

Audio only:

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Bayer CropScience to Purchase Land Management Products from DuPont Crop Protection

Bayer CropScience (Bayer) and DuPont Crop Protection (DuPont) have signed of an agreement for Bayer to purchase certain DuPont Crop Protection land management assets in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

Through the acquisition, Bayer gains access to DuPont’s forestry, range and pasture products and expands its environmental science business unit to offer weed control options for industrial vegetation management.

Under the agreement, DuPont will continue to sell its land management products outside the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand and its range and pasture products in Mexico and Latin America.

Closing of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter 2014, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed

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How Does Ag Stop Preaching Only to the Choir? A Webinar to Kick Off the Discussion

Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith is the editor of Real Agriculture, and will host a webinar November 6, 2014, at 1:30 pm Eastern, about connecting with media.

Hearing yourself on the radio or — gulp — seeing yourself on TV can cause cold sweats for some. An estimated 75% of us fear public speaking — now add in that the public discussion may be recorded and broadcast and it’s no wonder not everyone volunteers to speak to media. Of course, there are also those that are perfectly happy to say what they think, but don’t have much love for those dreaded journalists.

When it comes to sharing where food comes from or how animals are raised, there are few within the agriculture industry who don’t cringe at how farming is portrayed in the media, in children’s books or how it may be perceived by our largely-urban population. What can we do about it?

There are several ways and means to share how and why we farm the way we do, but there’s also the very real need to communicate the importance and intricacy of farming and food to consumers, politicians, bureaucrats and more. And that may very well mean interacting with media, something that many in agriculture don’t feel prepared for.

Farm Management Canada and Ag More Than Ever have teamed up to produce a webinar on the topic of working with media, and Real Agriculture’s Lyndsey Smith will act as host on November 6th, 2014, at 1:30 pm, eastern. The webinar is free, but participants must register ahead of time.

The webinar will start off looking at how media has evolved, what that means for agriculture, how to build relationships with media and discuss how we move past talking to our own industry and engage in meaningful dialogue with consumers.

For more details, or to register for the webinar,  follow this link.

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Glass, Space and Torque: John Deere’s New W260 Windrower

John Deere’s new W260 self-propelled windrower and 500R platform were on display at the Farm Progress Show this year.

“The combination of the W260 Windrower and 500R Platform results in improved cut quality and consistent windrow formation to minimize dry-down time and deliver high-quality hay and forage,” said James Petersen, senior marketing representative, John Deere Ottumwa Works, in a press release. “When harvesting a forage crop where time is money, operators can cut up to 100 extra acres a day because of the increased cutting speed and reduced overlaps.”

The new windrower, toted as the largest in the industry, offers a cab 30% larger than its predecessors, a 37% increase in glass surface area, tinted rear window and HD lighting. Its Final Tier IV, 260HP 6.8L engine boasts reduced fuel consumption, higher power at lower rpm and improved low-end torque.

The W260 has both JDLink and CommandARM capabilities, offering remote diagnostics and fingertip control of machine settings, respectively.

Other changes include gull-wing doors, making service and maintenance easier and the repositioning of the air intake to above the machine, thereby reducing chaff buildup and extending service intervals.

In this video, taken at Farm Progress Show, John Deere’s Jeremy Unruh gives us a tour of the W260 and 500R, highlighting AutoTrac capabilities, the overshot cross-auger, as well as the changes to towers, accelerators and the cutterbar rotation.

Click anywhere on the player below to start this video. If you can’t see the player, follow this link to view it.

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This Week on Real Ag — Bulls, Bears and Giants — Oct 30, 2014

The bulls have continued to lead grain markets higher over the past week, translating into a selling opportunity for 2015 and even 2016, according to bearish analysts.

From the Cereals North America market outlook conference in Winnipeg, here’s our weekly farm news recap for October 30th, 2014. Kelvin recaps what’s happened in the markets, the canola plant explosion in Yorkton, and some exciting technological developments.

Check out the new Real Ag futures app here.

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New Municipal Councillors Take Note: Rural Canada is Your Best Friend

Municipal elections took place this week in Ontario, delivering to us a whole new slate of wide-eyed municipal councillors. Many of them ran on platforms of change, hope, difference and progress, and I believe they meant it.

Typically, municipal councils are populated by well-intentioned people determined to help their own community. Municipal councillors don’t want to be the next premier or prime minister. They appreciate the electorate has given them the privilege of operating at the ultimate grassroots level – that is, within the boundaries their own neighbourhoods, taking care of their own streets, their own sewers and their own schools.

Many municipal councils are focused solely on urban areas. And most, if not all, will have at least a few first-time councillors…who, like most of the present councillors, won’t likely appreciate how they’re affected by the rural routes around them.

How could they? Hardly anyone tells them, at least not directly.

But it’s important to know. So, here’s a little primer, a little surface scratching about the influence of rural Canada on urban municipalities.

First, all councillors: think back to the evening at your election headquarters, when you heard results come in and it became clear you won.

To celebrate, I suspect you served to your supporters and family some measure of local food and drink. Maybe you had it catered locally, too.

Of course you did. As a municipal politician, you’re all about local, and outside of a shrimp platter or two, I can’t imagine you’d compromise when it comes to food and the people who prepare and serve it (i.e. your constituents).  

Now, some of that local food may have come from inside your urban boundaries.

But the truth is most of it comes from farms in neighbouring rural municipalities. You and your supporters (and most others) call it local, but that’s a convenient definition.

And spare another thought about not only its origins, but how it got from a farmer’s field to your constituents’ forks.

In this case, you can thank your neighbouring rural municipality for its generosity, for maintaining the roads and bridges over which local food is transported – infrastructure which eventually buckles, heaves and breaks down from bearing heavy loads, despite weight restrictions in the spring. Who pays the freight for those repairs? Not you.

Now, back to the party for a minute, and your caterer. On Wednesday, Restaurants Canada, a national advocacy group for the food services industry, forecast 2015 would be a record year for restaurants and others – especially commercial caterers, whose business is expected to grow more than five per cent annually for the next five years.

Many caterers are sourcing their food locally (like yours was, I’m sure) because that’s what clients want. Overall, caterers will help the food service sector add an additional 21,000 jobs across the country, and contribute to record sales of almost $60 billion (that’s billion, with a “b”).

Think that’s important to the local economy? I’ll say.

And finally, consider recreation, much of that happens in surrounding rural areas as well.

Municipal citizens demand certain recreational amenities. But councillors, nature can help you out here. Canada’s natural areas are as wonderful as they are anywhere. Within 10 minutes of your municipality I suspect there’s a favourite local getaway where your constituents go for an outdoors experience, when they can’t get to the beach or the cottage. That getaway may well be in someone else’s rural municipality.    

Rural Canada depends on urban Canada too, for services, entertainment, commerce, etc. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

But last municipal election, it seemed like politicians were much more fired up about rural issues affecting them. This time? Not so much.

So as another four-year term begins, let’s remember we’re in this together. When it comes to local, rural Canada is urban Canada’s best friend.

More from Owen Roberts:

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Real Agriculture Launches Free Commodity Markets iOS App

That’s Rhett on the right. Thank goodness the kids take after their mother. Also, now everyone knows why Lyndsey calls him “The Dragon Man”

Hello! If you visit this site regularly you’ll be very familiar with me, because my work is everywhere. If for some reason you haven’t heard of me, my name is Rhett Soveran and I joined the RealAg team at the beginning of the year as the User Experience Lead.

I handle all the technical stuff that Lyndsey doesn’t… yup, just doesn’t. (Editor’s note: Rhett thinks I don’t even understand the Internet, which, yes, actually I do). If you’ve noticed the site getting faster? Or an improved mobile experience? I’m sure you’ve noticed how shiny Shaun’s shoes are? He knows I’m allergic to the polish, but he makes me do it every day. Either way, those are the kinds of things I’m responsible for.

Today, I am really excited to show you a project we’ve been working for the last two months— our free iOS commodity markets app.

Download the free RealAg Markets iOS App

Overview Video: Main Features in the Initial Build

Building a Commodity Markets iOS App

We’ve designed and built this app to be fast, simple and focused on markets. There are 50 commodities to choose from, everything we currently offer via BarCharts on the Futures Market page. When you open the app for the first time, you’ll automatically have the most popular seven agriculture commodities pre-oaded to start you off. The app sets the selected commodities to the next trading month automatically, but once you tap a commodity you will be able to see a

Additionally, we’ve included our Markets coverage, via the top-left menu, now that we’re continuing to expand with the talents of Mr. Kelvin Heppner, Brennan Turner and others.

Design by Iteration: Feedback Welcome

I wanted to start simple with this app and leave lots of room for improvement and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Give me a shout on Twitter @rhettsoveran or send me an email through the form.

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Soybean School: Harvesting Tough Beans & Top Tips for Safe Storage

Helmut SIf the soybeans are mature, but a wee bit damp yet, do you let them stand or get them in the bin so you can dry them down? Helmut Spieser, agricultural engineer with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, would call leaving the beans out a “gutsy” move, and not one that’s likely to turn out well.

In this episode of the Soybean School, Spieser outlines reasons why it’s likely an advantage to have the soybeans in the bin vs. the field, why you MUST be monitoring relative humidity on your own farm, the important role of moisture meters and why you’re just going to have to spend some time monitoring bins or risk major spoilage.

This link will take you to more Soybean School episodes!

If you can’t see this (really top notch) episode of the Soybean School, follow this link.

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