Plenty CEO and co-founder Matt Barnard says his company is now competitive with organic competitors but critics say vertical farms are simply too expensive to run.

Are vertical farms ready for prime time?

Indoor farm companies say they’re scaling up, but many question their business model

Reuters – Leafy salad greens grown under banks of LED lights, with mist or drips of water are having their day in the sun. Several top U.S. indoor farms say they are boosting production to a level where they can now supply hundreds of grocery stores. Plenty, Bowery, Aerofarms and 80 Acres Farms are among young companies […] Read more

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

More diverse crop rotations are one area being targeting by food companies.

General Mills project could set standard for farm-level regulations

The company aims to influence a million acres of farmland by 2030

Large food companies are increasingly worried about the broad impact they have on the environment. Now their programs are reaching down to the farm level, although those influences are mostly in early stages. American farmers are at the vanguard of this trend, with companies like General Mills aiming to influence a million acres by 2030. Why […] Read more

A grain storage bin near Pacific Junction, Iowa burst during this spring’s flooding.

U.S. fund managers adjust investment advice in light of extreme weather events

It’s a tricky business modelling how weather will affect farmers’ spending

New York | Reuters – After historic floods devastated Midwestern U.S. agricultural states this spring, some fund managers are evaluating how changes in weather and climate will affect the long-term value of companies that make or sell products ranging from tractors to fertilizer. The issue is not simply the unpredictability of weather. Instead, fund managers […] Read more

G20 nations meet on many topics, including agriculture science.

International agricultural scientists affirm commitment to science-based decisions

The G20 scientists are taking a greater look at Canada’s Living Laboratories approach to research

A recent meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) Agricultural Chief Scientists has resulted in greater attention to plant pests that move across borders and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Living Laboratories research approach. The meeting, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), is an opportunity to discuss major challenges to sustainable agricultural production. Ministry spokespeople […] Read more

The in-vehicle control panel for the GRIP system.

Ontario technology addresses $3 billion a year problem

Idle management system saves on fuel and maintenance costs

An Ancaster, Ont., company has invented a solution to a $3 billion a year problem in Canada. That’s the approximate value of how much fuel is wasted annually in this country due to engine idling. Idling also contributes to increased engine wear and higher maintenance costs, as well as higher greenhouse gas emissions. According to […] Read more

The fuel must be exclusively used in the operation of eligible farm machinery and must be used in the course of eligible farming activities.

Farmers need to file form to be exempt from fuel charge

The new program starts April 1

[UPDATED: Mar. 28, 2019] The federal carbon pollution pricing system will add a charge to fuel delivered within Ontario for use in air, marine, rail and road use. Farmers are exempt from this additional charge but must complete an exemption form available through the Canadian Revenue Agency. The new program starts April 1, so farmers […] Read more

Given the food needs of a growing global population, food production strategies that don’t take biodiversity into account are a missed opportunity.

Stoking conflict between farming and conservation hurts everyone

Agriculture businesses and the environment both need to be sustainable

Canada’s future prosperity will depend on effective environmental conservation and sustainable — and profitable — agriculture. Unfortunately, recent comments from former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall pit the two concerns against each other unnecessarily. Agriculture and the environment are not mutually exclusive, and polarization of the issues only undermines progress toward successful and sustainable solutions. A […] Read more

Dale, left, and Aaron Smith, like most Canadian dairy farmers significantly increased their milk production from 2011 to 2016.

Getting more milk per cow nets environmental bonus

A study shows that increasing productivity on dairy farms decreases their environmental impact

Dale and Aaron Smith started focusing on improved herd health and feeding efficiency to boost milk production on their Mt. Hope, Ontario dairy farm — and they succeeded. Milk production increased 15 per cent, from 34 litres to 40 litres per cow per day from 2011 to 2016. What they didn’t expect to find was […] Read more

Farmers have improved their environmental performance — now they have to get out there and tell their story.

How to tell the sustainability story

Professor says production efficiency increases are legitimate argument

Increases in farm production efficiency continue to reduce the environment impact per unit of production. However, such messages are often technical. How well do they resonate with consumers looking at agriculture as an environmental villain? Why it matters: Farmers are trying several ways of telling their story about environmental impact. The bottom line is that […] Read more