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Ag Business

5 Incredible Ag Innovations competing for huge cash prize in “Dragon’s Den” style format at 2019 Agr-Trade Equipment Expo

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From Agri-Trade

Agri-Trade Equipment Expo announces 2019 Ag Innovations Finalists set to compete for $25,000

The 35th Agri-Trade Equipment Expo is set to open at Westerner Park in Red Deer from November 6th to 8th, 2019. For three days explore the newest equipment, technology, and services in the agriculture industry – not just in Western Canada, but globally – including the newest in agricultural innovations.

Innovation is the lifeblood of agriculture, and Agri-Trade is where agricultural producers get to experience it first- hand. Each year, companies are invited to enter their newest ideas and advancements into the Ag Innovations program. This year will mark the 12th year of the program and we are taking it to a whole new level. We are excited to announce that a $20,000 grand prize will be awarded to one winner of five finalists that will go head to head and compete on Thursday, November 7th at 3:00 p.m. at Agri-Trade.

Using a Dragon’s Den style format, each finalist will be given five minutes to present to a panel of judges for the$20,000 prize. Attendees will help select the winner of our “Farmers Choice Award” who will receive $5,000.

“The top five finalists are from all different sectors of agriculture and we cannot wait to see them compete head- to-head at Agri-Trade.” comments Rod Bradshaw, Ag Innovations Committee Chair and Innisfail area crop andvegetable producer. “The technology is diversifying every year, and the ideas keep getting better. This competition gives finalists an opportunity to make the perfect pitch to an audience of qualified buyers.”

Introducing the top 5 finalists in no particular order:

FARMBUCKS

You need a fast and convenient way to compare grain bids—you need Farmbucks! We have developed real-time technology that links YOU with up to the minute GRAIN PRICING! We work together with top buyers in our industry to collect, sort and display the very best prices for growers. At Farmbucks we know that your growing area is unique, and our display metrics target your specific areas of concern. Our app is brimming with extra value, including: built-in discount and premium schedules, quick contact-links to buyers, pricing alerts and price history charting. While you work in the field, we work for you—Never miss a best-price-opportunity,
again! http://www.farmbucks.com/

HYDRAGEN

New to Western Canada HydraGEN is a Carbon Emission Reduction Technology. The kit can be installed
on any OEM Equipment with a Diesel Engine. Also Diesel Generators or Pumps can be equipped with an HydraGEN Box. Inside the HydraGEN box there is a reactor that splits distilled water into the two gases H2 and O2 which then gets injected near the turbo on the air intake. This technology has been tested and received fuel savings result from 6 to 20%. From the emission side the reductions are enormous and create new standards. http://redm- mechanic.ca/services/hydragen

 

DOT AUTONOMOUS POWER PLATFORM

The Dot Power Platform is a mobile diesel-powered platform designed to handle a large variety of implements commonly used in agriculture, mining and construction. Its U-shaped frame facilitates the direct loading of implements, so that, once loaded, the implement “becomes one” with the mobile powered platform.
Working for farmers, Dot completes tasks autonomously and enables farmers to spend more of their time focusing on the overall operation of their farms. https://seedotrun.com/

AGRIREPEL

 

Agrirepel® Grain Bags are the only proven effective bird, rodent & raccoon repellent grain bags. The revolutionary plastic film repels pests for up to two years. Safe, all-natural, non-toxic and made with the highest quality materials, the Agrirepel® range of products are helping farmers save time and money while protecting the animals and the environment. https://www.protexia-plast.com

SIWI COMBI HITCH

The SIWI Combi Hitch available from Future AG is an auto hitching system that connects the tractor to an implement in a matter of seconds without requiring the operator to leave the seat of the tractor. The SIWI hitch connects hydraulic couplers, PTO drivelines and electrical harnessing with the push of a button allowing implements to be connected and disconnected quickly and effortlessly. The operator will stay safely clear of high- pressure lines and moving driveshafts while saving machine hours, labor hours and frustration.https://www.siwimaskiner.dk/en/

“We look forward to showcasing these finalists along with the rest of the exhibitors at Agri-Trade this year.”comments Dave Fiddler, Agri-Trade Show Manager. “Please join us Thursday, November 7th at 3:00pm for this exciting competition.”

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Ag Business

Alberta needs to fill agriculture jobs, amid a Covid- 19 created foreign worker shortage

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Albertans out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have a new resource to find a work in the province’s essential agriculture businesses and companies that make-up the food supply chain.

“There are great job opportunities on Alberta farms and ranches.” Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry announced at the Alberta Legislature as the government launched a new web-based support page called, Agriculture Job Connector. Dreeshen added, “this new website will help Albertans find an exciting new job in this essential service.”

A pork farm worker in an open sow housing unit in Alberta. Photo Courtesy/Maple Leaf Foods

Alberta is not the only jurisdiction in Canada and around the world that is having problems filling farm and food supply chain jobs.

In the United Kingdom, due to temporary farm worker restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers have been scrambling to find workers so the crops can get planted and to stop crops from rutting on the trees or in the fields. Britons, usually make up only one percent of the temporary farm workforce. Citizens have responded to calls for a “new land army” to help fill the farm and food chain jobs. Up to 70,000 workers are needed. People looking for work have flocked to websites, searches for terms including “fruit picker” or “farm worker” surged by 338% and 107% respectively, with applications up 83% in the last month.

Alberta’s beekeeping industry and honey producers depend on temporary foreign workers during the busy season. Photo Courtesy/Alberta Beekeeper Commission

Family farms and companies throughout Alberta’s food supply chain rely on the “federal temporary foreign workers (TFW) program” to hire seasonal and full-time jobs that Albertans do not historical fill. Although the federal government recently announced loosing some of the TFW rules, the industry is nervous about a worker shortfall.  The coronavirus’ on-going world-wide travel restrictions, along with a mandatory 14-day quarantine, once a foreign worker arrives,  has raised serious concerns about a possible pending foreign worker shortage.

During this pandemic, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is working to reinforce that the, ‘agriculture and agri-food industry has never been more critical to the health and safety of Albertans and to our economy.’ Dreeshen added, “Thank-you to all who continue to work that keep our food supply safe.”

A combine works a field of wheat in Alberta. Photo Courtesy/Alberta Wheat Commission

Alberta’s Agriculture Job Connector has opportunities for both skilled and non-skilled workers. Some posted job openings are for one person, others need up to as many as 50 new hires. Job openings in Alberta can be found through these links, Alberta Alis, AgCareers.com, Career in Foods, Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association and Grasslands Recruitment Specialists. A sampling of some of the openings in Alberta, with the offer salaries can be found through the  links below.

A woman works at a beef cattle operation in Alberta.

Some of the jobs open in Alberta from the links above;

Click here to read more on Todayville Edmonton.

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Ag Business

Saskatchewan to Invest $11 Million in Funding for Ag Crops

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tomato and syringe

By Emily Folk

Saskatchewan to Invest $11 Million in Funding for Ag Crops

CropSphere is an annual conference, held seven years running in Saskatchewan, designed to inform and empower the Canadian agricultural industry on the latest developments, partnerships and technologies.

One of the most important news items out of the conference tends to be the announcement by the Saskatchewan government of its latest investments in the Agriculture Development Fund (ADF). This tradition continued on January 14, 2020, when Agriculture Minister David Marit announced a slate of crop-focused research initiatives to further empower the ADF as well as farmers and industrial growers across the country.

$11 Million for 47 New Ag Research Projects

The Agriculture Development Fund is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). CAP is a federal-provincial funding system that’s on track to spend $388 million over five years on strategic agricultural research across Saskatchewan. Agriculture Minister Marit said of the ADF’s efforts, “We know these investments pay off. In fact, for every dollar we invest in research, there is a nine-to-one return on our investment.”

One of ADF’s goals is to increase the production of Saskatchewan crops to 45 million tons by 2030, and the value of those crops to $10 billion by the same year.

The $11 million in ADF funding comes from federal and provincial governments. Plus, additional money — to the tune of $8.7 million — comes from partners such as Western Grains Research Foundation, the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commission, Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission, Genome Canada and many others.

These 47 new agricultural technology and methodology projects cover a wide range of opportunities and concerns. Each one supports the overarching mission of raising the value of crops produced in Saskatchewan and beyond and improving the yield of Canada’s primary agricultural products, including wheat, corn, soybeans, barley and oats.

The announced projects include research in the following areas:

  • Mitigation techniques for herbicide-resistant crop plants.
  • New methods for detecting and controlling clubroot and other diseases.
  • New technologies to efficiently separate starch proteins from different types of flour.
  • Ways to improve the diversity and stability of wheat crops to ensure they won’t fall victim to disease.
  • Methods for screening lentil and pea variants for resistance to root rot, fusarium avenaceum and other fungi.
  • Visual analytics tools to reduce labor costs, improve the effectiveness of crop inspections and spot problems.

Receiving funding for ADF projects involves competing with other researchers. Interested parties must demonstrate how their product or methodology solves an existing pain point or addresses the larger goal of boosting crop outputs.

No avenue of scientific research is off the table as long as it demonstrates merit. The material sciences regularly turn out new products for dealing with crop spoilage, pests and other factors that cause harvested crops to spoil before their time. Other projects focus on demystifying the genome of key cash crops and creating new variants that can shrug off environmental stresses.

A Call to Arms to Feed the World Sustainably

Sustainability is one of the major undercurrents any time the ADF announces a new round of agricultural research funding. Data indicates there will be 3 billion more people to feed in 2050 than in 2010. Experts also predict a 56% food gap between the calories produced by agriculture in 2010 versus the calories required to feed the population by 2050.

Research like this reveals that business-as-usual isn’t sufficient. Agricultural experts cannot meet needs without ongoing research into crop yields and resistance, soil health, efficient ways to use water and fertilizers and new crop variants that resist extreme weather.

As Agriculture Minister Marit indicated, the ROI from funding these scientific efforts is high. However, putting a price on feeding the world’s hungry is more complicated.

I’m Emily Folk, and I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. Growing up I had a love of animals, and after countless marathons of watching Animal Planet documentaries, I developed a passion for ecology and conservation.  You can read more of my work by clicking this link:   Conservation Folks.

 

 

 

Other stories from Emily Folk:

What the USMCA Might Mean for Agriculture and Biotechnology?

Extreme Weather Patterns Causing State of Agricultural Emergency in Canada

 

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