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STUDY EXAMINES FUEL EFFICIENCY AND TAX REDUCTION

A three-year Team Alberta study on grain conditioning has just produced its second-year results. The research project will assess the efficiency of various grain drying systems used by a selection of Alberta farmers. Initially inspired by the potential impact of federal carbon taxation, it will also analyze how various methods and fuel types can diminish the bite it takes from the farm bottom line. 

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GENETIC ADVANCES MULTIPLY

Two research projects funded by the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) have made significant advances in cereal crop genetics. Overseen by Pierre Hucl of the Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan, the first of these examined the viability of a new dwarfing gene in bread wheat. Secondly, Nora Foroud of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) developed new wheat and barley lines with improved resistance to Fusarium head blight (FHB).

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NETWORK SUPPORTS AG

In the world of technology and investment, agriculture is hot. Big data, robotics and automation technologies are coming to market in the crop and livestock arenas, and promise big changes and rewards for farmers. Canadian agtech companies turn heads worldwide, and are supported by a favourable funding environment and growing support network.

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GENETIC RICHES REVEALED

Launched by the Wheat Initiative, an international research organization, the 10+ Wheat Genome Project has unlocked the genetic code of 15 wheat varieties. Curtis Pozniak, USask professor and director of the institution’s Crop Development Centre, led the project, which was funded by numerous organizations including the Alberta Wheat Commission and carried out by scientists in several countries.

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THE GENETICS OF GERMINATION

Early snow and wet or moist conditions in the fall are conducive to pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) in wheat and barley. PHS occurs when the seed’s dormancy is broken, forcing it to germinate rather than to store starch as it should prior to harvest.

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CRAZY TRAINS

Farmers are excited that redesigned High Efficiency Product trains (HEP trains) are now able to carry substantially more grain than standard configurations, said Monty Reich, general manager of South West Terminal near Gull Lake, SK.

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VIDEO GAMING’S BIG-TRACTOR FACTOR

It’s no secret many farmers relax by playing video games. Rather than indulging in NBA 2K, Fortnite or Call of Duty, however, an increasing number escape the daily stresses of real-life agriculture by embracing the digital challenges of an extremely popular farm-themed game.

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A SURPRISING START

The first-year findings of Team Alberta’s three-year grain drying and conditioning study are in. Early results indicate energy efficiency depends on the setup and type of conditioning resources used, though final recommendations will not be made until the study is complete.

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