AG Notes

Farm management platform developed

Decisive Farming’s My Farm Manager platform was recently selected as a finalist for the 2019 Vision to Reality (V2R) Awards in the Visionary category.

The award is PwC Canada’s annual program aimed at recognizing and celebrating forward-thinking organizations.

The Calgary-based company’s MFM data platform provides farmers with the ability to make better decisions on all critical operational functions.

It connects farm service and technology providers in one platform and has more than 1,500 farms representing more than five million acres generating $1.5 billion in annual crop production of 40 different crop types.

Final award recipients will be announced next month.

Crop insurance software updated

CropChoice$ has been updated with current crop insurance information from Agricultural Financial Services Corp., along with projected crop costs.

The crop planning and risk management software allows producers to adjust individual crop costs and evaluate the effects that different risk management strategies will have on their operations, such as purchasing crop insurance and renegotiating land rental agreements.

The program provides probabilities for achieving margins for various cropping plans and scenarios.

The program also helps producers narrow down cropping options to find the mix of crops that gives the highest possible profitability while maintaining agronomic stability and taking into account personal risk preferences.

The program has up to 40 dry land and irrigated crops, depending on location. Each scenario handles up to 32 fields and producers can run up to eight scenarios that compare and contrast the risks and returns of each crop plan.

A free copy of the program can be downloaded here.

Beef research mentors sought

The Beef Cattle Research Council invites applications for researchers wanting to take part in a mentorship program.

Applicants should be involved in areas of study that will be of benefit to the beef industry, such as cattle health and welfare, beef quality, food safety, genetics, feed efficiency or forages.

New participants will begin their mentorships in August.

Each participant will be paired with an innovative producer and another industry expert for a one-year term ending in July.

Some of the experiences provided through the program include:

  • Establishing partnerships with industry and other researchers to further their research programs.
  • Meeting producers and industry leaders to discuss cattle production, beef quality and safety, and the Canadian beef value chain.
  • Attending industry events and touring farms and ranches to better understand the impacts, practicalities and economics of adopting research results.

Pesticide certificate program offered

A certificate program provides information on the impacts of on-farm use of pesticides.

The joint program is offered by the Alberta agriculture and environment departments.

The course’s seven basic modules cover: the definition of pesticides, poisoning and first aid, safe handling procedures, environmental safety, integrated pest management, legislation and food safety, application and equipment calibration.

Two endorsements can be obtained under the Farmer Pesticide Certificate, which allow the use of restricted products phostoxin and gastoxin to control grain beetles in stored grain, as well as to control gophers.

Several producer groups and ag industries require members to take the course, such as potato and greenhouse growers.

Producers can obtain their renewable five-year certificate by attending a course put on by a certified trainer and writing the exam, or by completing the online course followed by writing the exam offered by a certified trainer.

More information is available at the Alberta Ag-Info Centre.

Saskatchewan exports increase

The total value of Saskatchewan exports to the world reached $31.2 billion last year, according to the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership.

It marked an 11.2 percent increase over 2017 and represents the highest total export value following the $35 billion peak in 2014.

The report noted that exports to the United States increased by 14.7 percent to $17.3 billion, maintaining their position as the leading market for Saskatchewan products.

Saskatchewan remains the province with the most diversified market portfolio with 44 percent of total exports shipped to non-U.S. countries.

Exports to China increased by 31.1 percent to $4.6 billion in 2018. Japan, Brazil, and Mexico rounded out the top five international market destinations.

Last year’s exports to India dropped 46.1 percent to $618 million, due almost entirely to pea and lentil tariffs.

Total value of exports for these products fell by 87.2 percent and 83 percent, respectively.

STEP forecasts a four-percent increase in exports for 2019, which is in line with Export Development Canada’s outlook for Saskatchewan exports this year.

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