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WELCOME BACK

From Aug. 10-12, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) and its members held the 2022 Western Canada Barley Crop Tour, the first time in three years the event has been held in person. Approximately 50 representatives from across the barley value chain gathered in central Saskatchewan. The group included maltsters and brewers, Canadian farmers and grain companies, as well as buyers of Canadian barley and malt from around the world. The tour included several beer industry representatives from Japan, one of Canada’s largest malt markets. Among them were technical and purchasing staff from Asahi and Sapporo Breweries.

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FROM CAP TO SCAP

As the Canadian Agricultural Partnership sunsets over the next six months, the next round is finalizing its planning, which includes a name change. Starting April 1, 2023, the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) will begin a new five-year work cycle with funds totalling $3.5 billion.

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INNOVATION NOW COMES STANDARD

With the help of a $10.8 million grant from the federal government’s Digital Technology Supercluster, a consortium of Canadian companies and one university intends to create the world’s first interactive planning software for both autonomous and precision agriculture applications. The intent is to design a program that tracks and displays vital agronomic and geographic information in a single easy-access platform. Dubbed the Standard Data Platform for Autonomous Agriculture (SDPAA), its builders include Lethbridge-based Verge Ag, Terramera, QuantoTech Solutions, i-Open Technologies and Simon Fraser University.

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POWER PLAY

In February, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved ABO Wind Canada’s Buffalo Plains Wind Farm proposal, an 83-turbine project scheduled to begin spinning in farm fields near Lomond in the winter of 2023. The Buffalo Plains project is just one of a surging tide of renewable energy investments proposed for southern Alberta that carries clear benefits as well as potential risks for area farmers.

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RETURN TO SPENDER

Two recently published reports conclude no single investment delivers greater ROI than varietal development. Both were authored by Richard Gray, University of Saskatchewan professor and Canadian Grain Policy Research chair. The barley report was published in July 2021, the wheat report in March of this year.

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THE HENRY FORD OF FENCEPOSTS

Like his hero Henry Ford, Vermilion-area farmer, entrepreneur and self-taught mechanical engineer Danny Farkash aspires to reinvent existing machines and make them better. This past spring, GrainsWest visited the sprawling farmyard where he operates the thriving ironworks division of Noralta Farms and works on numerous side projects such as a portable sawmill operation and biodiesel factory.

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REMOTE POSSIBILITIES

Raised on a farm in Peace Country, Vincent Pawluski has always loved to tinker. As a kid, he hot-rodded a Fischer Price boat with a small motor and propellor. Later, as part of an elementary school science fair project, he and his friends created a remote-controlled drill stem like those used in the oil and gas industry.

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SKY HIGH

AFSC has taken its business to higher heights, about 120 metres to be exact. The insurance provider has just wrapped the second year of a drone imagery test program to better assess animal damage in crops and provide a more accurate picture of what happens in the middle of a field.

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THE SCIENCE OF CRAFT BEER

Craft brewers produce premium beer on a small but spirited scale, though often can’t maintain in-house laboratories to manage quality control. Calgary’s Raft Brew Labs, comprised of a small team of chemists and microbiologists, provides the scientific analysis brewers need to ensure their end-products are safe and consistent.

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