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Agriculture

AgSmart – Going beyond theory and using technology to enhance Ag production

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  • Olds College and Agri-Trade have partnered to produce a must-see new agriculture event, AgSmart. Taking place August 13 and 14, 2019 at Olds College, AgSmart isn’t just a trade show, it’s a hands-on demonstration and education exposition focused on technology and data across the agriculture sector – how to gather it, and how to use it to enhance productivity and profits.

    During this two-day expo, farmers will have an opportunity to interact with cutting-edge high-tech Ag players and experience the latest innovations first-hand. The show will feature education workshops, in-field demonstrations and an exhibit fair profiling some of the latest commercialized products that are transforming the Ag industry here in Alberta and throughout the globe.

    “We are excited to be partnering with Agri-Trade to produce a dynamic, hands-on event where farmers can see and experience the latest high-tech Ag in action,” comments Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “AgSmart will provide interactive in-field demonstrations and informative education sessions to help producers better understand and use technology and data throughout their operations,” adds Cullum. “And it builds on Olds College’s vision to be a leader in Smart Ag by transforming our college farm into the demonstration farm of the 21st century.”

    “AgSmart is all about education and innovation,” says Dave Fiddler, Show Manager for Agri-Trade. “There is so much happening within the Ag space right now and our goal is to stage a hands-on learning and demonstration event that profiles some of the most exciting new technologies available in the Ag sector today.”

    About Olds College: Olds College is the premier Canadian integrated learning and applied research community specializing in agriculture, horticulture, land and environmental management. Olds College first opened its doors in November of 1913, and now includes programming that covers Animal Sciences, Horticulture, Land & Water, Fashion, Business, Hospitality & Tourism, and Trades & Apprenticeships.

    About Agri-Trade: Agri-Trade happens over three days each November and is host to 500 exhibitors representing the very best in agriculture equipment, technology, services and products. The show attracts over 30,000 qualified agriculture buyers each year.

    Read more Agriculture stories on Todayville.com. 


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    Ag Politics

    WATCH: When Boycotts Don’t Work

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  • What do you do when you want to boycott something, but can’t?

    This video is a co-production. Ryan Tipps at Ag Daily and Nick Saik worked on this piece together.  It’s about what can happen when bitten by a particular nasty little tick.  This tick, the “Lone Star” tick, has saliva that triggers an immune response reprogram in humans.  This in turn triggers an allergy to all types of red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork. In Nick’s words:

    “He’s written an excellent article that you can checkout here: https://www.agdaily.com/insights/when… Heads Up: I use a political analogy in this video. It’s not meant to rile anyone up, it just seemed like a good way to explain my point. I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you fall on, it was just an analogy….”

    This video was produced independently by Know Ideas Media


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    Agriculture

    Feds’ plan for neonicotinoids makes little sense, environment groups say

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  • OTTAWA — Environment groups are calling out Canada’s approach to assessing pesticides after seven years of reviews led Health Canada to simultaneously decide to allow certain popular products to keep being used with restrictions, and to propose banning the same products from outdoor uses altogether.

    The Pest Management Regulatory Agency on Thursday released its final decision on what limits should be placed on a category of nicotine-based pesticides known as neonicotinoids to keep them from killing bees. Starting in two years, the pesticides won’t be allowed to be sprayed at all on certain crops like apples and tree nuts and there will be limited times when they can be sprayed on many others, like tomatoes, eggplants and berries.

    Products that have no alternatives are given an extra year before they are affected by the decision.

    The agency said the risks the products pose to bees in other applications, such as pre-treating seeds, are acceptable and only require new labels to warn of the dangers. Most of Canada’s canola and corn crop seeds are pre-treated with neonicotinoids, along with about half the country’s soybean seeds.

    However, this decision, which won’t begin to take effect until 2021, will likely be overridden in less than a year when the agency finalizes a separate assessment of the exact same products for their impact on aquatic insects. The agency found in 2016 that the most popular of the neonicotinoids was building up in ground and surface water and recommended banning it outright. It also launched a special assessment of the other two most common “neonics,” concluding in 2018 that they also needed to be banned.

    The very final decision on that won’t come until January 2020.

    “Right now this is strictly about the risk to pollinators and for this assessment not all uses pose an unacceptable risk to pollinators,” said Scott Kirby, the director general of the environmental-assessment division of the pest management agency.

    Lisa Gue, a senior researcher at the David Suzuki Foundation, said it is “disturbing” that the agency is continuing to allow neonicotinoids at all given that the agency’s scientists have concluded they cause unacceptable harm to any kinds of insects.

    “The decision-making process here is just incomprehensible and incoherent,” she said.

    Beatrice Olivastri, the executive director of Friends of the Earth Canada, said the agency’s fragmented approach to reviewing the products is “nonsensical.”

    Neonicotinoids are used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike to manage pests like aphids and spider mites. Scientists blame the chemicals for weakening bees, making them more susceptible to disease and bad weather.

    More than one-third of the world’s food crops require pollinators, like bees, for production.

    The European Union banned neonicotinoids at the end of last year after scientists concluded there was no safe way to use them without hurting bees. In 2017, a task force at the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated a compilation of more than 1,100 peer-reviewed research studies of neonicotinoids and concluded there was no doubt they harm bees.

    Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press



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