Sunday, April 20, 2014
   
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Industry News

People News

FP Genetics Inc. has hired Andrea Hilderman as market development manager. Hilderman will be responsible for the development, planning and implementation of business growth opportunities for FP Genetics. Her previous roles include manager of IP and Food Barley Programs at the Canadian Wheat Board where she had considerable experience working directly with end-use customers both domestically and internationally. According to FP Genetics, her background will allow the company to expand into new areas and capture opportunities for higher value agricultural seed.

Earlier this year, Syngenta announced a new, integrated business model, combining its crop protection and seeds businesses globally. Syngenta Canada has now introduced a core leadership team to drive the business forward, which includes:
• Jay Bradshaw, president
• Trevor Heck, head, marketing
• Duane Johnson, head, commercial unit (Western Canada)
• David Stanley, head, commercial unit (Eastern Canada)
• Scott Ewert, manager, seed care

Becker Underwood continues to strengthen its team in Western Canada. Harry Davies will take on district manager responsibilities for Becker Underwood inoculants in Manitoba. He takes over from Jeff Bereza who has been promoted to the position of sales manager for Western Canada. Prior to joining Becker Underwood, Davies spent over 20 years as a customer service representative and territory manager for a major agricultural products distributor.

SGS North America has hired Isaac Oyediran as the company’s new international field research business development manager in North America. Oyediran brings more than 10 years’ experience in pest management, agronomy and biotechnology for crop production to the SGS team. He will liaise between U.S. clients and the SGS global network, promote the utilization of existing SGS Laboratories for analytical work, and implement marketing for new and existing service lines.

Makhteshim Agan of North America Inc. has named Andrew Mann general manager of the Canadian business. “Mann brings significant experience in the crop protection industry, having worked at both BASF Canada and Cyanamid Crop Protection. We are confident that our professional and dedicated team will continue to develop our successful Canadian franchise,” says Shaul Friedland, head of Makhteshim Agan’s Americas region. In addition, MANA Canada’s management team will include Philip Somerville, who will assume the title of Canadian development and registration manager in addition to those of Canadian quali-pro business manager and Eastern Canadian business manager. Somerville’s responsibilities include MANA crop protection sales for Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces, the sales of quali-pro branded turf protection products and the development and registration of key actives for all of Canada.

The board of directors of the Alberta Barley Commission has announced the departure of Mike Leslie, chief executive officer. “Leadership changes are a reality in any organization,” says commission chair Matt Sawyer. “As a board, we’ll continue to successfully deliver on our mandate and remain accountable to our members.”

Product News

Grain Farmers of Ontario reports that 10 new soybean varieties have been developed over the past year through the efforts of the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance. This initiative involves farmers and researchers from Manitoba, Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Ontario, including members of GFO. The new varieties are emerging from a three-year project called Advanced Canadian Field Crops Through Breeding, which began last April. The new soybean varieties have been licensed to industry seed companies and in some cases are now available to farmers.

Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. has 29 trial sites of its industrial oilseed crop Brassica carinata established across North America. With commercialization of elite Carinata lines anticipated for Western Canada in 2012, the most extensive trials are occurring in southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, as are select seed multiplication and pilot production sites. Agrisoma is developing Carinata as an energy feedstock crop.

Business News

Flax Power has received more than $87,000 from the Government of Canada to help increase its production capacity, including the purchase and installation of new production equipment that will bring the PowerLog, an innovative fire log made of flax, to the marketplace. The expansion will create six direct jobs in rural Manitoba in addition to generating new revenue for this innovative Canadian company. The company, based in Carman, Man., developed a technique for densely packing flax shives, small pieces of the stem of the flax plant, into an all-natural, environmentally-friendly and long-burning fire log.

Bayer CropScience and DuPont have entered into a global licensing agreement for a canola herbicide tolerance trait. Bayer has licensed LibertyLink, its proprietary herbicide tolerance technology, to DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred for use in canola hybrids. Pioneer will provide Bayer with access to certain proprietary juncea genetics. “As a result of the agreement, growers will have a broader choice of LibertyLink canola hybrids and the option to use the successful Bayer herbicide, Liberty, in their weed management program,” says Joachim Schneider, head of the BioScience business unit of Bayer CropScience.

Bunge North America plans to increase the capacity at a second of its four canola processing plants in Western Canada. The facility to be expanded is in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and the project will more than double the facility’s current capacity of 850 metric tons a day. Pending all necessary approvals, the expansion is expected to go online in 2014. Last October, Bunge announced another project that will more than double crushing capacity at the facility in Altona, Man., as part of a multi-year expansion program in Canada. In addition to Fort Saskatchewan and Altona, Bunge has processing plants in Nipawin, Sask.; Hamilton, Ont.; and Harrowby, Man.

Industry News

University of British Columbia researchers have discovered a key mechanism that controls the direction of plant growth as well as the physical properties of the biopolymers that plants produce. The finding is a major clue in a 50-year-long quest to explain how plants coordinate the behaviour of millions of cells as they grow upward to compete for light, penetrate soil to obtain nutrients and water and even open petals to flower.

A recent report released by the Canola Council of Canada demonstrates that canola’s contribution to the Canadian economy has grown to $15.4 billion annually—about $1.4 billion more than when last measured. The study is based on 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10 data while the last CCC study of economic benefits of canola to Canada was based on data from 2008. The former study pegged economic benefits at $14.1 billion. The new study also estimates that the canola industry is responsible for 228,000 jobs, which translates into $8.22 billion in wages. That’s up by 12,000 jobs from the last report.

The Government of Canada is helping the beekeeping industry develop new strategies to respond to a decline in honey bee colony populations with an investment of up to nearly $370,000 to the Saskatchewan Beekeepers’ Association. This program will evaluate existing disease control methods and adapt these to suit Saskatchewan-specific climatic conditions and beekeeping seasons. Suitable tools will be incorporated in a management program that will reduce colony mortality, increase honey production and improve profitability for beekeepers.

Canadian scientists have helped sequence part of the genome of Canada’s major oilseed crop, canola. Results from this international collaboration are being published this month in the peer-reviewed science journal, Nature Genetics. Determining the DNA sequence of crops allows researchers to understand the mechanisms of the plant, and to map traits of interest. This information can then be used by breeders to develop crops for Canadian farmers that are more disease resistant, drought tolerant, location-suitable and offer increased yields. Scientists from the National Research Council of Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada contributed to an international consortium that has sequenced the genome of Brassica rapa (B. rapa), sometimes known as “Polish canola.” Completion of the B. rapa genome is a significant milestone for global crop genomics. The Canadian Canola Sequencing Initiative is spearheaded by the NRC and AAFC, and brings together Genome Alberta and nine private partners from all over the world.  The data generated by CanSeq for B. rapa contributed to the B. rapa Genome Sequencing Project Consortium, led by the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers in Beijing and BGI-Shenzhen in China.

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