Emmanuel Adou, an Ivorian farmer, looks a drone spraying his oil palm plantation in Tiassale northern Abidjan, Ivory Coast May 21, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/

Researchers work together to find high-tech solutions to deal with hotter climate

Scientists are looking at everything from improved genetics to robots to help farmers maintain productivity as the world heats up

London | Thomson Reuters Foundation – In decades to come, African farmers may pool their money to buy small robot vehicles to weed their fields or drones that can hover to squirt a few drops of pesticide only where needed. Smartphones already allow farmers in remote areas to snap photos of sick plants, upload them […] Read more

Telus buys Farm At Hand

Vancouver farm management software development firm Farm At Hand has become an arm of one of the Big Five in Canada’s communication services sector. Farm At Hand, which makes the cloud-based Crop Planner software suite for farmers and the Farm At Hand Agronomy suite for agronomists, announced Tuesday it has been wholly acquired by Telus […] Read more

Sylvite set to buy Thompsons agronomy business

Ontario grain and bean handler Thompsons Ltd. is set to sell its crop agronomy business to a retail business partner in that province. U.S. grain firm The Andersons, the owner of Thompsons since January, announced Tuesday in its second-quarter report it plans to sell Thompsons’ “agronomy assets” to Burlington, Ont.-based Sylvite Holdings. Financial terms of […] Read more

A corn field that shows the effects of late nitrogen applications on corn yield.

New University of Guelph prof focuses on northern and eastern regions

MacSon Professorship recipient wants to consult with farmers, agronomists

The University of Guelph has acknowledged the special issues of agronomy in the northern and eastern regions of the province with the appointment of Joshua Nasielski to its MacSon Professorship. In addition to his teaching role at graduate and undergraduate level, the position involves research and outreach on issues affecting the economic and environmental sustainability […] Read more

As corn yields rise, so does the need for more water.

Balance needed between crop rotation, profit and productivity

Simple rotations are easier, but long-term profitability may be tied to longer rotations

Decreasing agricultural diversity could affect sustainability. “The trend is toward simplification of our systems with fewer crops dominating the landscape,” said Bill Deen of the University of Guelph. Why it matters: More diverse crop rotations can improve soil health while boosting yields and long-term sustainability. He and other scientists are studying the importance of longer […] Read more


Where no nitrogen response is found, it often means that a soil test could have shown that not much was needed.

Getting the most efficient nitrogen use

Soil testing is vital to identify where nitrogen is needed

A significant amount of nitrogen applied to fields is never taken up by plants. Understanding how much nitrogen (N) crops actually need can help decrease needless expenses and potential environmental issues. Why it matters: Nitrogen loss to the environment can damage local water sources causing human health concerns and harm to aquatic life. Inefficient fertilizer […] Read more

Variable rate fertilizer still has some detractors, but it has its place where fertility is variable.

Variable land good place to start with variable rate fertilizer

Best strategies, hiring custom operators or DIY

Farmers on land that’s variable in soil type, such as southwest of London, are likely already thinking about variable rate fertilizer application. Darryl Boersma, who farms a large number of acres in Mt. Brydges southwest of London, has been doing variable rate for 17 years. “This whole area is pretty variable, one of the more […] Read more

Maurice Chauvin and the a Salford RTS machine that he uses on his farm.

Curiosity and care guide farm’s principles

The Chauvin farm takes a long-term view on measures like soil organic matter

The Essex Soil and Crop Improvement Association recently bestowed its 2018 Conservation Farm of the Year award to Maurice (Moe) Chauvin, a sixth-generation grain farmer from Pointe-aux-Roches (known as Stoney Point to Anglophones). The award is granted annually to a farm within Essex County that displays conservation-minded management practices. For Chauvin, adopting such practices starts […] Read more


Saskatchewan soybean growers expect an even deeper acreage drop if India removes its import tariffs on pulse crops, prompting a jump in pea and lentil prices.

Soybean’s prairie party may be waning

A disappointing growing season in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan this summer is expected to cut into 2019 acres

Cinderella’s gown is looking tired and tattered. For about a dozen years, soybeans were the “it” crop in Manitoba as acres went from nothing to more than two million. That Cinderella status is now in doubt as a number of producers have second thoughts about beans. Why it matters: A decline in soybean production on […] Read more

Canola Council resets course for ‘efficiencies’

Facing new limits on available funding, Canada’s canola value chain organization plans to refocus its work on its “core strengths” and collaborate with other players. The Canola Council of Canada on Wednesday announced a revised work plan, coming out of a “priorities review” undertaken after one of Canada’s biggest grain companies called a halt to […] Read more