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Statistics Canada has been engaging with Agriculture Canada and the provinces and territories to ensure important agricultural data continues to be made available.
 However, the agency said it is also “avoiding the imposition of burden on farmers with respect to direct data collection.”
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Seeding intentions report in limbo

Last week’s March Prospective Plantings report in the United States raised some eyebrows. It is uncertain whether Statistics Canada’s Principal Field Crop Areas report scheduled for release on April 24 will generate the same response. That is because there may not be a report on that date due to COVID-19 related challenges. “No final decision […] Read more

Major players like Bayer and start-up companies are spending billions to identify fungi, bacteria and organic compounds in plants that can control the pests (weeds, insects and diseases) that plague producers of wheat, canola, potatoes, apples and other crops.
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Promise of bio-pesticides: can they replace synthetic chemicals?

Scott Baerson has been trying to solve the same problem for more than two decades. The U.S. Department of Agriculture molecular biologist, who works in Oxford, Mississippi, has been studying a unique bio-chemical that’s associated with sorghum. The roots of sorghum exude a chemical called sorgoleone, a natural herbicide that kills weeds and other vegetation […] Read more

Researchers say exploring intermediate stages of tomato domestication has direct implications for crop improvement.  |  File photo

Tomato’s evolution took several turns

Researchers discover more to the vegetable’s development than the previously believed two-step evolutionary process

For decades it was thought that tomatoes became domesticated in a two-step process. This oversimplified view involved the transition of the small, wild blueberry-sized tomato Solanum pimpinellifolium L to an intermediate fruit and then to the fully domesticated, cultivated tomato. But there were missing links. Tomatoes are one of the world’s most consumed, highest valued […] Read more


Hemp doesn’t like compacted soil and requires fields with good drainage.  |  File photo

Fibre demands growing for Alberta hemp

Hemp can be grown for seed, fibre or both, as well as cannabinoids, and agronomics depend in part on the crop’s end goal

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — Results of hemp research trials in Alberta are providing guidance on the agronomics of the crop. Seeding dates, seeding densities, fertilizer use, nitrogen application rates and harvest dates were explored at Falher, Vegreville and Lethbridge, said hemp expert Jan Slaski of Innotech Alberta. Because hemp can be grown for seed, fibre […] Read more

Norbert Beaujot of SeedMaster designed and built DOT, the autonymous farming platform. Last week he sold his remaining interest in the system to Raven Industries.  |  Michael Raine photo

Raven buys DOT with plans for expansion

Prairies autonomous farm tool finds a new home in the Dakotas, one with global reach and a growing stable

Raven Industries is now the sole owner of DOT. Norbert Beaujot is taking in the big view from his farm in southern Saskatchewan and of the future of the autonomous farming platform. “As a family, we couldn’t take on putting DOT where it needed to be by ourselves,” said the founder and owner of SeedMaster […] Read more


An old discovery might lead to a new solution. Left to right, pea roots infected with fusarium avenaceum, fusarium solani, a healthy plant and a aphanomyces euteiches infection.  |  Michael Raine photo

Not as intended but, actively effective

A bio-fungicide touted as a promising biocontrol of fusarium head blight in wheat, may ultimately be used for other purposes. Field tests have shown that an un-registered bio-fungicide, called ACM941, can be used as a seed treatment to control root rot. It’s also effective against fusarium in corn. Greenhouse tests show ACM941, a strain of […] Read more

This Nuseed Omega-3 canola was grown in Montana under contract in 2019. The new crop opens up new market opportunties for the crop and the company.  |  Nuseed photo

Nuseed works with ADM on omega 3 canola plant

The company will contract with growers in Montana and North Dakota and use the finished product as fish food

Nuseed and Archer Daniels Midland have entered into a partnership for crushing and processing Nuseed’s proprietary omega 3 canola in the United States. “Nuseed has certain expertise with plants, plant breeding and production, and ADM are an excellent partner to complete a large piece of the supply chain,” said Clint Munro of Nuseed. He said […] Read more

AEFs help environment but maybe not bottom line

Nitrous oxide is no laughing matter when it comes to climate change and agriculture delivers its share of N2O

Nitrous oxide emissions from Canadian crop production can be reduced significantly with the use of advanced efficiency fertilizers, but these products don’t provide enough agronomic benefits to warrant a wide scale adoption by growers, according to a study on slow and controlled released nitrogen products on the Prairies. Richard Farrell of the University of Saskatchewan’s […] Read more


Some of the safety tools that agricultural researchers rely on might crossover into healthcare needs and potentially cause shortages in the crop research sector.  |  WP file photo

COVID-19 impacts agricultural research

COVID-19 is forcing agricultural researchers into a quandary. Much of the specialized white protective gear normally worn when dealing with chemicals is also in demand from the medical community. “Researchers are in a moral dilemma,” according to Tom Wolf, proprietor of Agrimetrix in Saskatoon. His company specializes in conducting research on spray applications. Obviously, Wolf […] Read more

The John Deere sprayer attachment for the VoloDrone has a nine-meter boom, two product tanks and a pump. Volocopter estimates it will be able to spray up to 13 acres per hour.  |  Robin Booker photo

Spray drone with payloads up to 200 kg.

Hannover, Germany — Volocopter built upon its passenger helicopter technology to develop a cargo drone that has agricultural applications. The Volocopter is a German two-seat multi-rotor electric air vehicle designed for passenger air travel in an urban environment. The company displayed its VoloDrone Demonstrator fit with John Deere spraying technology in John Deer’s future technology […] Read more