(Dave Bedard photo)

Federated Co-op buying into ag retailer Blair’s

Central, southeastern Saskatchewan sites to go into new joint venture

Reading Time: 2 minutes The ag retail arm of the Saskatchewan-based Blair’s Family of Companies is set to go into a joint venture with one of Canada’s biggest co-operatives. Blair’s and Federated Co-operatives (FCL) announced last week they’ve reached an agreement to set up a joint venture which, pending regulatory approvals, will own and operate the seven Blair’s ag […] Read more

File photo of a Richardson Pioneer concrete elevator. (Dave Bedard photo)

Richardson to boost Peace region grain handle

New elevator in progress west of Grande Prairie

Reading Time: < 1 minute Prairie grain handler Richardson Pioneer has started work on a new elevator to expand its access to the southern reaches of northwestern Alberta’s Peace region. The Winnipeg company said Thursday it expects to complete a new high-throughput grain elevator by fall next year on Canadian National Railway (CN) track at Huallen, about 35 km west […] Read more

Custom input application is more prevalent in Ontario.

Custom application differs across the country

Ontario farmers use agri-retailers for input application much more than in the West

Reading Time: 3 minutes University of Guelph – Speak to a farmer in Ontario and a farmer in the Prairies about the role their crop input dealer plays in their farm’s operations and they will give two very different answers. This difference is due to the high subset of Ontario dealerships that custom apply crop inputs on behalf of […] Read more

Charles Baron and partners brought FBN to Canada in 2017, buying Saskatchewan-based Yorkton Distributors. (FBN video screengrab via YouTube)

FBN cuts yearly membership fee to zero

Ag e-commerce firm offers free accounts to farmers

Reading Time: 2 minutes E-marketplace Farmers Business Network (FBN) has disposed of the annual membership fee that allowed members access to its various buying groups and services. California-based FBN, which has operated in the U.S. since 2014 and expanded to Canada in 2017, announced Tuesday (Sept. 15) its farmer members may now have “access to a select range of […] Read more

A farmer walks through a field of maize near Chikuni in the south of Zambia on Feb. 21, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

U.S. farming body, Zambian firm partner aim to boost crop yields

Country rebuilding drought-battered ag sector

Reading Time: < 1 minute Lusaka | Reuters — A U.S. non-profit organization has launched a US$40 million joint venture with one of Zambia’s top farm suppliers to boost crop yields and food security as farmers struggle to access finance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the local company said on Sunday. The chairman of African Green Resources (AGR), Zuneid Yousuf, said […] Read more


Variable-rate application is more prominent in Ontario than Western Canada due to more use of custom operators in Ontario.

Economics around variable-rate fertilizer challenging

The reasons variable-rate application has had lower adoption is a lesson for new ag technologies

Reading Time: 3 minutes There are good financial reasons that variable-rate application of nutrients hasn’t taken off like automated guidance. Guidance systems for farm equipment ensure complete coverage without overlap, University of Guelph Professor Alfons Weersink told the 2020 FarmSmart Conference recently at the university. That means savings of $8 per acre for planting. That’s enough to make it […] Read more

Probe eyes possibility of ‘co-ordinated behaviour’ in Big Ag

Competition Bureau probes majors' response to FBN's Canadian launch

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada’s Competition Bureau is investigating leading agriculture companies for allegedly attempting to drive a California-based online farm-supply retailer out of the Canadian market. Documents filed in Federal Court show Federated Co-operatives, Cargill, Winfield United Canada, Univar Canada, BASF Canada Inc., Corteva and Bayer CropScience (and, by extension, Monsanto Canada) are all under investigation. Investigators with […] Read more

Dow Fertilizer’s Onoway, Alta. facility. (CropManagement.com)

Alberta’s Crop Management Network expands reach

Reading Time: < 1 minute A crop input dealer northwest of Edmonton is the newest link in the Crop Management Network ag retail chain. CMN, whose chain includes retailers in seven other central Alberta communities, said Thursday it has purchased the assets of Dow Fertilizer, which operates sites at Onoway and Mayerthorpe, effective Jan. 9. “We are very excited to […] Read more


(ThompsonsLimited.com)

Sylvite set to buy Thompsons agronomy business

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Fertilizer purchase is one of the areas of farmer input management that is just now being disrupted by online platforms.

Online sales of large volume inputs changing

In 2017, Farmers Business Network made its debut in Canada, and offers many programs with aggregated data

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers are increasingly looking at how they can price and buy their inputs online, but there are trust and relationship issues to overcome. Farmers already use digital platforms to buy equipment and supplies online. Online ordering for hard-to-find parts isn’t new. But a digital platform to enable farmers to buy large volumes of crop inputs, […] Read more