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EXPERT INSIGHT

If you thought being the new kid in school was a lot of pressure, try being the new research chair at a place of higher learning. With the support of industry groups, three agricultural chairs recently appointed by western educational institutions are tasked with prioritizing and planning research efforts. As they take a seat at the farm research table, they aim to contribute to the betterment of the Prairie grain industry.

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THE ANSWER AND THE IMPEDIMENT

While crop yields have reached previously unheard of levels, the coronavirus pandemic has elevated the importance of food security. For the farmers who ably grow the crops that feed the world, the central concern is income security. It is often the marketing of their products that is troublesome. Farmers increasingly need to be connected to find avenues to market the bounty. Access to information is a key component in making effective marketing decisions. A perennial critique of western Canadian agriculture is a significant information disequilibrium exists between farmers and line companies. How can the gap be bridged?

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A HIGH-QUALITY BLEND

As of June 1, 2020, Cereals Canada and the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) officially joined together as one organization. This amalgamation will facilitate the streamlining of functions and services.

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7.8 BILLION PANDEMIC RESPONSES

One of the non-COVID-19 challenges we faced on our farm this spring is dealing with flax straw—a tenacious material that needs to be removed from the field before seeding. We had dropped it in windrows behind the combine last fall but it blew all over the field in a windstorm before the baler arrived. We finally accumulated it into bunches suitable for burning this spring, but then we faced dry conditions, strong winds and a county fire restriction that prevented us from burning.

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STAY IN YOUR TRUCK

Like the spring run-off, customers have started to trickle through my yard. I wish the snow and the seed were moving faster, but there tends to be a pretty strong correlation between how early the fields bare off and how early my bins empty.

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