Category Archives: corn

A weatherman for every acre

Southwestern Ontario weather measurement system lets farmers use minute meteorological data

AGRIS employee Darren Clark setting up a weather station

By Matt McIntosh for AgInnovation Ontario

Farmers are notoriously keen meteorologists, but the weather information readily available to them isn’t always the most precise. That can be a bit nerve-wracking when your livelihood depends on conditions at the beanstalk level.

In an effort to make weather information more practical for individual farmers, AGRIS Cooperative Ltd., together with Wanstead Farmer’s Cooperative and Haggerty Creek Ltd. launched the AGGrower Daily Dashboard.

This lets them offer an up-to-the-minute rainfall and temperature data service using 80 automated and 200 manual weather stations.

Wirelessly connected and distributed at 10 kilometre intervals between Essex, Sarnia, Mount Brydges, and the northern shore of Lake Erie, the stations measure rainfall and temperature in their immediate area.

Gathered data is then fed back to a central database, which farmers can access through their computer or mobile device. The difference, though, is that those measurements can be taken by the metrerather than the kilometre. Continue reading

Fuelling innovation:

Ethanol producer uses technology to augment business

By Matt McIntosh for AgInnovation Ontario

Aylmer – Producing greener fuels makes good environmental sense, but for Aylmer, Ontario’s IGPC Ethanol Inc., sustainability also means business diversity.

The company – which has been making ethanol from locally-sourced corn since 2008 – has been continuously augmented with technology designed to increase efficiency as well as scope of production.

IGPC Ethanol Inc. is a finalist for the London Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Agribusiness Award, as well as a significant local employer and long-time member of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, a Guelph-based organization that helps Ontario’s agri-food sector capture new markets and access new technologies. Continue reading

FarmLead is changing the way farmers and buyers make a match

By Lisa McLean for AgInnovation Ontario

Ottawa ON – Grain marketing and knowing when timing is best to make a sale can be one of the hardest tasks on a farmer’s to do list. But what if farmers with grain to sell had access to hundreds of buyers?

That’s the thinking behind FarmLead, an award-winning online platform that connects grain buyers and sellers, 24 hours a day. The Ottawa-based company boasts over 3,200 farmers and more than 300 different buyers who actively deal on crops ranging from grains, pulses and oilseeds to straw and hay.

“The value proposition of the company is that farmers need something to get them the best exposure possible for their grain. If a farmer has ten thousand bushels of corn to sell, it should be easy for him or her to access more than the one or two local sale options. As a farmer, you know those other options are out there, but it takes time to find them,” says FarmLead co-founder and chief operating officer Alain Goubau. Continue reading

Ontario company using bioplastics in 3D printing

inksmith-1-webBy Kelly Daynard for AgInnovation Ontario

Kitchener – As an international development student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Jeremy Hedges was always interested in companies that showed leadership in environmental innovation.

One year after graduation, this entrepreneur is the owner of Inksmith, a Kitchener-based 3D printing company rapidly becoming recognized for its leading-edge work in incorporating bioplastics in its technology.

Inksmith is a full service 3D printing bureau for 3D printing, selling 3D printers and filament as well as printing and design services. 3D printing is a technology that prints – or makes – three dimensional solid objects from a digital file, using plastics (or spools of filament) as their medium. Continue reading

Funky fungi for healthy fields

fungus-twitter-englishBy Matt McIntosh for AgInnovation Ontario

St Catharines – Brock University researchers are looking for growth – fungal growth that is – and they are doing it with agriculture in mind.

PhD students Larissa Barelli, Soumya Moonjely, and Shasha Hu are trying to understand the relationship between entomopathogenic fungi – a naturally occurring bug-killer – and plants.

By studying how the ground-based fungi work within the soil, they could develop an effective and more naturally derived method of pest control that also promotes plant growth.

“These fungi exist all over the globe. There are numerous varieties in Ontario alone, and each has its own unique characteristics and target insects,” says Barelli. Continue reading