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AG TWITTER TAKES OFF

As a farmer, #AgTwitter might well be a part of your time spent online each day. Across Canada and around the world, the ongoing Twitter conversations flagged by this hashtag influence farmers and ag industry professionals as well as consumers.

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CULTIVATING RESEARCH

The ability of legumes to self-fertilize by fixing nitrogen from the air is well-known. Developing this ability in grains, however, could radically change Canadian cereal crop production. Such an innovation has the potential to diminish input costs and decrease environmental impact, but making it happen is a complex and challenging task. Alicja Ziemienowicz, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, is working to solve this tricky biological puzzle. While her research began in 2014, and has yielded impressive results, it could be more than a decade from now until we see nitrogen-fixing grains blowing in the wind.

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AN AGTECH PIONEER

Over seven-plus decades, Alberta farmer Charles Sherwood Noble developed and promoted new farming practices and technical innovations. Of these, the Noble blade cultivator was used around the world as a low soil disturbance weed control tool. For his work, he was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1943.

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DIGITAL INFORMATION AND OBSERVATION

The digital realm is rich with information resources of practical interest to agriculture professionals. We have collected a variety of such interesting and informative apps, websites and newsletters. The area of ag research is particularly well served in this selection. Of course, information can flow both directions, as it does in the case of the citizen science app and insect-themed social media account we’ve included here.

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KEEP ON TRUCKIN’

While statistics are limited, some industry insiders estimate about 50 per cent of farmers haul their own grain, while the other 50 per cent rely fully or partly on commercial trucking services, popularly referred to as custom grain haulers.

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BECOME AN AGVOCATE

Today, only two per cent of Canadians farm. The other 98 per cent may be curious but have little knowledge of it. Some don’t care or have developed a fear of agriculture. Numerous consumers read farming myths circulated on social media platforms rather than getting information from the hard-working and forward-thinking agriculture community.

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SAFETY FIRST

Like most farmers, Jody Wacowich’s parents made efforts to be safe at their Redwater cow-calf operation. But when she was growing up on the family farm in the ’80s and ’90s, the safety culture of the day didn’t go above and beyond. She saw her share of preventable accidents and understood the difficulty in convincing those set in their ways that there was room for improvement.

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HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN

BY IAN DOIG • PHOTOS COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA PRESS A senior scholar at the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business, Paul D. Earl is the author of The Rise and Fall of United Grain Growers: Cooperatives, Market Regulation, and Free Enterprise. His extensive industry experience includes having worked for United Grain Growers […]

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HELP! I NEED SOMEBODY

It’s painfully obvious Canadian agriculture has room to close its domestic labour gap. The message has been repeated often enough that it’s starting to fall on deaf ears. However, the industry may need to listen up if it wants to stem the exodus of domestic workers.

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