New online tool to manage risk
Farm Management Canada has received $786,921 in federal funding to develop a new online agricultural risk management tool called AgriShield.
It will help farmers make real-time assessments of the potential negative impact of constant risks beyond their control such as flooding, pests, disease and other extreme weather events.
For example, if an overland flood situation is imminent, the tool can help farmers assess the degree of risk they face and potential mitigation measures that they can adopt, such as tile draining or insurance coverage.
Less than one-third of Canada’s farmers have a risk management plan.
Seed biodiversity receives donation
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has contributed $2 million to Canadian seed biodiversity for the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.
Food security requires locally grown, diverse seed, and the initiative works with hundreds of farmers across the country to conserve diversity, breed new crop varieties and adapt diverse vegetables and grains to Canadian climates and sustainable farming methods.
Through this initiative, producers collaborate with researchers at the University of Manitoba to breed new varieties of wheat, oats, corn and potatoes.
Early trials of the wheat, bred organically by farmers in their fields, have shown nine percent higher yields, better disease resistance and higher micronutrient content than standard commercial varieties.
Clean technology receives funding
The federal government and University of British Columbia are spending $1.4 million to identify irrigation practices that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing nitrogen and carbon storage in soil.
One aspect being explored is whether irrigation causes an increase or decrease in the storage of carbon and nitrogen in soil.
It is one of 20 new research projects supported by the $27 million Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program, a partnership with universities and conservation groups across Canada.
The program supports research into greenhouse gas mitigation practices and technologies that can be adopted on the farm.
The program covers four priority areas of research: livestock systems, cropping systems, agricultural water use efficiency and agro-forestry.
Farm and Food Care launches photo contest
Farm & Food Care is launching a nation-wide farm photo contest with up to $4,000 in cash prizes available for winners in six categories:
- Canadian farm scenes: capture the beauty of Canada’s rural landscape
- Farm faces: unique farm family photos, farm friends or a photo of farmers at work
- All about animals: farm animals in the barn or field
- Farm innovation: technology at work on Canadian farms
- Crazy about crops: photos of crops being grown in fields, orchards or greenhouses across Canada
- Farm fun: photos of people having fun while farming
The winning photos will be used in the updated 2017 edition of The Real Dirt on Farming, which answers common questions about food and farming practices in Canada.
A national panel of judges will select the winners.
All entries must be received by email by July 14.
For more information, visit RealDirtonFarming.org.