Category Archives: field crops

High value pharming: Is the future of farming measured in components?

WheatStarch03-1000x20 (1) - web
By Lyndsey Smith for AgInnovation Ontario

Ottawa – When you get right down to it, farmers don’t raise grain or meat. Really, they produce three things: protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

As luck would have it, humans need those things, in varying quantities, for nutrition.

If we look more closely at one of those three things — protein — we discover that this particular component is so much more than a steak or part of a grain.

Proteins are actually amazing things — they can be enzymes, health promotants, and even medicine. Insulin is protein. Lactoferrin is protein. Humans need protein not just as nutrition in the form of hydrolyzed amino acids, but also for health as protein therapeutics. Continue reading

Using good bacteria to grow more crops

Chlorophyll extracted from soybean leaves – tubes right show inoculated plants - web

Chlorophyll extracted from soybean leaves – tubes on the right show inoculated plants

By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Peterborough – Researchers at Trent University have discovered beneficial plant bacteria that could be used to produce more field crops like soybeans without having to farm additional land.

These bacteria, Methylobacterium , which already occur naturally in soybeans, produce plant hormones called cytokinins that promote the growth of both the plant itself and its seeds.

Now, work by Dr. Neil Emery, Professor of Biology and Vice President, Research at Trent, and fellow researcher Dr. Anna Kisiala has identified how to harness those natural hormones to encourage soybean plant health and strength and increase seed size and pod numbers. Continue reading

Ontario company launches made-for-farming drone technology

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By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

London ON – A new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) designed and built in Ontario specifically for agricultural uses has been launched on the market.

A&L Canada Laboratories of London, Ontario has developed and equipped the first-of-its kind drone with the sensors, equipment, and software that will let farmers easily collect and interpret valuable data that will help them make good crop and business management decisions.

“We have built a plane that is a full solution – easy to fly, affordable, and with reliable software that works seamlessly,” explains Greg Patterson, Certified Crop Advisor and President of A&L Canada Laboratories. “We can have data from a plane onto a tablet on the edge of the field in 10 minutes.” Continue reading

Innovation alliance promotes northern Ontario food and farming

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By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

New Liskeard – The Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) has just launched a new tool to help expand the growing agriculture sector in the province’s North.

Its new website, FarmNorth, is a one-stop-shop for food and farming in the region and is designed to provide information for farmers and others in the agri-food sector looking to relocate to Northern Ontario.

“The cost of land in other parts of Ontario means people are interested in moving to Northern Ontario but many don’t know where to start,” explains NOFIA’s administrator Steph Vanthof of NOFIA. “We have many diverse districts within our area, and we want to give an accurate view of agriculture in the different areas of northern Ontario.” Continue reading

Start your engines: The 200,000-acre promise

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This article is from Soy 20/20, one of the AgInnovation Ontario partner organizations.

By Lisa McLean for Soy 20/20

A California tech company is driving towards a piece of the lucrative motor oil market with a clean-running product that outperforms its premium synthetic petroleum counterparts.

The motor oil – which utilizes oil from high oleic soybeans, a crop rich in Omega 9 fatty acids – offers promise to Canadian soybean farmers interested in growing premium beans.

Greg Blake, Senior Vice President of Biosynthetic Technologies, discussed his company’s product at the 25th Canadian Conference on Fats and Oilseeds held in Quebec City October 5-6.

Blake says his company has studied non-food oil products for many years, and its researchers have successfully managed to overcome the challenges associated with using vegetable oil in motor oil and other demanding lubricant applications. Continue reading