A bumblebee on a strawberry flower.

Bee-based disease prevention

Inoculating flowering plants with insect-delivered fungus can help limit disease

Fungi that can inoculate crops against disease can be applied using insects — bumblebees, to be specific. According to Bee Vectoring Technology (BVT) — a Canadian company with offices in the United States and Europe, and in the process of commercializing such a service — Bombus-delivered inoculants offer fruit farmers another way to augment their […] Read more

The Canadian average shows a 6.6 per cent increase in farmland values.

Ontario farmland price increase drops to lowest level since 1999

Across the country, farmland values rose but not as much as in other recent years

Farmland in Canada continues to get more expensive, but commodity prices and less demand for land from some sectors means land value increases in 2018 have slowed compared to the previous two years. The 2018 Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Farmland Values Report shows Canadian farmland values, in price per acre, increased by 6.6 per cent, […] Read more

Most Ontario land is like this, waiting for some dry weather before being planted.

Seed switch timing factors in a wet spring

Yield potential still high for late-planted crops, so don’t panic yet

Despite the wet and cool spring, Ontario field crop experts say there is still a lot of potential in late-planted corn and soybeans – that includes both long and short-season varieties. Despite anxious feelings and generally unfavourable planting conditions, that is, things could still work out. Why it matters: Shorter-season corn and soybeans bring tradeoffs […] 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

South Korea looked at how it could compete in Asia against much larger technology players like Japan and Asia and it decided that culture and music was an area it could do well.

Finding investors for agriculture technology

Agriculture hasn’t attracted the venture capital in Canada to help move local companies to global status, but that could be changing

There’s been a lack of investors willing to be patient with agriculture technology companies. Malcolm Campbell, vice president of research at the University of Guelph says that’s true especially around the early development stage. University of Guelph’s Gryphon’s LAAIR program helps researchers get to the start-up stage, but he says it could use 10 times […] 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

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

Organizations, businesses, and universities are considering a more collaborative incubator model for ag tech.

Hatching new technology

Can organizations, business and universities come together to create a more efficient incubator of ag tech in Ontario?

Like many long-time players in Ontario’s agriculture innovation space, Dave Smardon is well aware that the space is crowded, efforts are fragmented and innovators are starved for funding. The CEO of Bioenterprise, a non-profit organization that since 2003 has helped more than 2,500 companies commercialize agricultural technology, recognizes the value of competition to drive innovation, […] Read more

Developing the conditions to appreciate gratitude and create happiness can take time, but it’s worth it in the end.

Building happiness

Simple actions can have exceptional outcomes on one’s outlook on life

Happiness can be built, tied inextricably to gratitude and practice, says a researcher who has made her career around encouraging people to build attitudes and structures that make them happier. “Gratitude is the gateway drug to happiness. It’s an easy habit to form,” Jennifer Moss told attendees at the Grain Farmers of Ontario’s annual March […] Read more

Quinta Quinoa is aiming to fill Canadian demand.

Ontario company makes global pitch at food summit in Germany

North America’s largest quinoa producer is seeking more growers

A southern Ontario start-up was the lone Canadian company selected to participate in an international pitch competition at the 2019 Global Food Summit in Munich, Germany. Quinta Quinoa was one of seven finalists, alongside participants from Germany, Switzerland, Israel and Russia, with Qunita Superfoods founder and chief executive officer Jamie Draves highlighting the potential of […] Read more

Editorial: The gaping difference

We’ve known for years that there’s a gaping chasm between the world view of some urbanites and the people who have made it their vocation to care for animals. Luckily for most, that chasm has not been physical. Animal rights activists and livestock farmers haven’t often met. There are some notable exceptions, including activists gaining […] Read more