FuelPositive of Waterloo, ON, has the ambitious goal to disrupt the global ammonia industry with its customizable, on-farm production system. These modular, containerized units would allow farmers to produce their own anhydrous fertilizer and, eventually, fuel. It’s a timely project given recent input cost fluctuations.
The market, defined here as the elements that converge to establish the price for any given commodity or service, has always been hard to discern. Its inscrutable nature promotes the dream of building a “black box” technology that removes human fallibility and emotion from the equation.
Technology continues to upend agriculture. More and more tasks in a farmer’s daily routine can be carried out using recently developed technology. From input programs and crop scouting to safety logs and inventory management, farmers typically opt for convenience. Grain marketing is no different.
Rural Albertans are known for their support of landowner rights and the free market. However, the contracting of farmland to utility-scale renewable energy projects including solar farms has divided communities. Though these projects can create an attractive revenue stream for individual landowners and a lucrative tax injection for municipalities, they can be very unpopular with neighbours. Renewable development is unlikely to stop, but public concern may affect the way in which projects are structured and approved.
A recent Ipsos Five survey revealed a significant decline in wheat consumption among millennials as compared to baby boomers. While boomers consume wheat-based products more than 10 times per week, millennials do so just once or twice. “Wheat foods have many short- and long-term health benefits and based on the survey, there are gaps for millennials in understanding the nutritional benefits of wheat,” said Elaine Sopiwnyk, vice-president of technical services for Cereals Canada. Sopiwnyk also sits on the Canadian Wheat Nutrition Initiative (CWNI) leadership team.
Big Bud 747 is a giant, 1,100-horsepower tractor built by the Northern Manufacturing Company in Havre, Montana, in 1977. The tractor’s massive Canadian connection is that is was outfitted with eight-foot-tall tires manufactured by the now-defunct United Tire of Ontario.
In recent years, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) has worked with major malting and brewing customers in China to facilitate commercial malting and brewing trials. This is the final stage in the roughly three-step process to secure new variety acceptance by end-users.
Now in its second year, the Palette Skills Automation and Digital Agriculture Specialist Program is intended as a gateway for much-needed, skilled digital professionals to enter the agriculture sector. The eight-week Digital Agriculture course is funded by the federal government and the Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative. Open to post-secondary graduates with minimum three years of work experience, it includes subjects such as AI, big data, drones, GIS, IoT and robotics.
Following a five-year gap, the federal government reintroduced extended interswitching to the rail system with its 2023 budget. The action was taken at the recommendation of the government’s National Supply Chain Task Force report released in October 2022. Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) executive director Wade Sobkowich believes interswitching legislation must go further to make rail freight shipment more competitive.
Last year, seeing the increasing need for collaborative leadership across the agriculture industry, Chamber members created its Food Supply Council. This cross-sector coalition of agribusinesses, associations and transportation companies strives to provide leadership that will advance Canadian agriculture and solve key industry challenges.