Category Archives: wheat

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

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

One food to rule them all

Ontario business achieves international acclaim for marketability of health food ingredients

Muffin - web
By Matt McIntosh for AgInnovation Ontario

Toronto – Dietary restrictions due to intolerances, allergies, and personal choice are a reality for many people and finding quality, nutritious foods that fit one or multiple restrictions can be difficult.

One Ontario business, though, has been able to satisfy many major dietary needs with their allergen-free – and healthy – cereal products. The company is called Amazing Grains Inc., and despite only beginning operations in 2014, has been generating quite a domestic and international stir.

Watch the video by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies

This includes recently receiving the 2016 Startup Ingredient of the Year award from NutraIngredients.com, a Europe-based organization focused on development and marketability of health and food products. 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

Growing local grains, one seed at a time

Bread and grain close up - webBy Kelly Daynard for AgInnovation Ontario

Winchester, Ontario – In recent years, the local food movement has taken Canada by storm. There’s lots of interest by consumers in sourcing local products and in knowing the farmers who grow them. But in Shelley Spruit’s opinion, there has always been a missing ingredient.

Spruit is a farmer who professionally trained as a baker at culinary schools in British Columbia and Vermont. For many years, she and her husband Tony operated the Winchelsea Farms banquet hall.  Her training taught her that all good baking starts with good flour –and she was frustrated that she couldn’t find locally produced flour that met her quality standards.

They added to their original 200 acre property when they purchased an additional 50 acres, calling it Against the Grain Farms. In addition to growing conventional crops, they also began experimenting with alternatives, planting seeds from corn and barley varieties not traditionally grown in Ontario.  Continue reading