Feeding A Hungry World—We Have A Plan
The global population reached seven billion at the end of October 2011 and is expected to be booming at over nine billion by 2050. With this population explosion, it is predicted that farmers will need to produce as much food in the next 50 years as has been consumed since the beginning of humanity. And they will have to do it with limited land, water and other resources, while dealing with climate change. How can they do it? We have a plan.
The Canadian Seed Trade Association board of directors is committed to “Growing for the World,” so they have taken a proactive first step toward changing public and media views of the agricultural industry. CSTA recognizes that correcting the negativity that exists about agriculture and innovation is a huge job, but they have started a journey toward encouraging a positive and supportive perception of the agriculture industry as one that will feed the world and find solutions to health, wellness and environmental sustainability.
The CSTA launched a new video at the end of November at the GrowCanada conference in Winnipeg to 400 conference delegates. It was a smash hit. The video, which is aimed at young people, schools, the media and the general public, has now been posted to the CSTA’s youtube.com channel. CSTA wants this video to get broad distribution, so watch it and send the link to your kids, friends, families, teachers and community associations. “Feeding a Hungry World—We Have a Plan” lays out the seed industry’s plan to deliver new plant varieties that will meet and exceed the challenges facing the world, such as providing more yield per acre. Increased investment into research and innovation is critical to achieve this and keep Canadian productivity gains on pace with other countries.
CSTA hopes this video is just the beginning of working towards changing perceptions of agriculture and innovation. The future of agriculture is exciting, with many changes, challenges and opportunities. Let’s tell this positive story and attract some new people to the industry as an added benefit.
Makhteshim Agan of North America Inc. has added three new members to its sales team. In Western Canada, Buck Peters will serve as area business manager of west-central Saskatchewan, and Kent Burnett will be the area business manager of southern Saskatchewan. Amanda Walsh joins the team as area business manager for Quebec and the Maritimes. The addition of the two western Canadian representatives has prompted a change in MANA’s Saskatchewan sales team. Glen Douglas, previously the area business manager of eastern Saskatchewan, is now the area business manager of north-east Saskatchewan.
Canterra Seeds Holdings Ltd. has hired Brian Cummings as director of sales. Cummings brings great experience to the Canterra team, most recently working for Syngenta Seeds Canada as district manager for Western Canada. While there, Cummings launched the Syngenta Seeds brand in Western Canada.
Becker Underwood has hired David Townsend as product manager. Townsend will work within four markets—peas and lentils, horticulture and specialty, soybeans, and canola seed enhancements. Townsend has spent over 25 years in agribusiness. Townsend will focus on getting to know the Becker Underwood customers and match current and future customer needs of assigned markets with products, programs and services that are consistent with the scope of Becker Underwood’s corporate focus and technological expertise.
BioWorks Inc. has hired industry professional Colin Ashbee to provide technical support to promote the company’s environmentally responsible, safe and cost-effective growing solutions. Ashbee has worked as a head grower, production manager and consultant for the past 20 years, and is well versed in many of the challenges facing today’s Canadian growers. Products currently offered in Canada are RootShield, BotaniGard and MilStop. These products are available through Koppert Canada, BioWorks’ exclusive Canadian distributor.
John MacArthur has joined AgCall Human Resources as western manager. MacArthur has a wealth of experience in recruiting professionals, senior managers, technologists and technical support staff throughout his career. He has worked in food production, aquaculture and biological science, and most recently in production agriculture. Manitoba-based professional recruiter Chad Bodnarchuk has also joined the company. Bodnarchuk will focus on recruiting in the seed, retail and processing sectors of agriculture. He is very well connected in the agriculture marketplace with expertise in the retail, finance and insurance sectors of agriculture.
XiteBio Technologies Inc., a Manitoba-based, privately owned ag-biotech company, is developing its next generation of “go green” agricultural products, that are designed to increase crop yields at reduced input costs and are also environmentally responsible. The company is close to launching two new inoculants, SoyRhizo for soybean and PeasRhizo for peas and lentil.
Archer Daniels Midland Company has announced contracts for high oleic Nexera canola that offer premiums over commodity canola with “Act of God” protection. Farmers in both the United States and Canada can help insulate themselves from weather and market risks with a premium contract, as well as AOG protection on high oleic Nexera canola. In order to qualify, farmers must first sign a contract with ADM, and then purchase the Nexera canola seed from a specified local seed retailer. One hundred per cent of production is covered, with multiple pricing options, including a base contract with coverage dependent upon the region. “We rely on farmers to help us meet the growing consumer demand for healthier oil options such as high oleic canola,” says Ken Campbell, general manager of ADM Softseed Processing. “Our partnership with Dow AgroSciences for Nexera canola allows us to offer farmers attractive contract options.
DATA Detection Technologies Ltd., which develops, manufactures and markets innovative counting machines for the seed industry, has recently set up direct sales representation in the United States to provide marketing, sales, technical and other customer support services to its customers in North America.
TJ Technologies Inc. and INCOTEC Group BV have come to an agreement by which INCOTEC will utilize the science behind TJ Technologies’ branded product, TJ QuickRoots, in combination with INCOTEC’s innovative seed coatings and enhancement technologies, to market the QuickRoots technology to the global seed market. INCOTEC will have exclusive marketing rights to QuickRoots products internationally to the vegetable, ornamental and large seed markets. TJ Technologies will retain North American marketing rights for the products specifically designed for large-seeded field crops.
20/20 Seed Labs Inc. and Farmers Edge have collaborated to open a full-service seed lab based out of Farmers Edge Laboratories’ facility in Winnipeg, Man. Both leaders in their fields, Alberta-based 20/20 Seed Labs and Manitoba-based Farmers Edge recognize that working together will bring strategic advantages and allow them to offer a higher level of service to their farmer customers.
Bayer CropScience AG and Evogene Ltd. have reached a milestone in their joint research collaboration in wheat. With the use of Evogene’s proprietary tools, more than 200,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms across the wheat genome have been identified as part of the companies’ efforts to improve wheat through the application of advanced breeding techniques. The identification of a significant number of SNP markers improves understanding of the wheat genome, and therefore facilitates the utilization of this knowledge to deliver improvements in wheat.
Subsequent to a buy-sell agreement, La Coop fédérée has announced the legal acquisition of Agrico Canada Ltd., an independent business from Ontario specializing in the distribution of crop production inputs. Upon concluding this transaction, La Coop fédérée takes ownership of the Ontario company through the acquisition of the business’ head office as well as its three distribution centers, including a major port in Hamilton and two regional centers in St. Thomas, Ont., and Oak Bluff, Sask. The agreement also allows La Coop fédérée a stake in 11 retail companies, located in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
20/20 Seed Labs Inc. has opened a new seed testing facility near Lethbridge, Alta. This new initiative will complement the existing laboratory in Nisku, as the labs will share services as well as qualified staff. The Lethbridge laboratory will be managed by Harold Murphy, senior analyst, RST, SIRA, who has many years of seed testing experience with canola and other crops. The new lab will offer same-day priority accredited services for physical purity, green seed and 1,000 kernel weight. Additional informational services, such as controlled deterioration, herbicide screening, blackleg and moisture, will continue to be directed to the Nisku laboratory.
According to a recent report by RNCOS, a market research and information analysis company, the global production of ethanol and biodiesel is expected to grow around eight per cent and 11 per cent respectively between 2011 and 2014. According to the report, entitled “Global Biofuel Market Analysis,” the Americas, mainly encompassing the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Canada, account for the maximum share in the global ethanol industry.
The Government of Canada is investing in innovation that will help create new bio-composites derived from flax and hemp fibres. The government has announced an investment of more than $100,000 for the Composites Innovation Centre to study flax and hemp fibres with the goal of eventually making composites that perform better than plastics and fibreglass. The investment through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program is designed to help the CIC work with Canadian Light Source’s synchrotron facility in Saskatoon to study the sub-molecular structure of flax and hemp fibres. The synchrotron is a source of brilliant light that enables scientists to study the micro-structure and chemical properties of materials.
The dates of the 2012 International Seed Federation World Seed Congress, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have been changed due to the fact that a series of United Nations meetings have been scheduled in Brazil at the same time. The congress will now take place June 26-28, 2012. The ISF Secretariat worked intensively with the Brazilian National Organizing Committee and the Professional Congress Organizers to reschedule the event.
The new addition to the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre in Swift Current, Sask., is now open. Known as Greenhouse E, the new addition will enhance the centre’s capacity in plant breeding and crop genetic enhancement. SPARC received an allocation of $5.34 million in 2009 through the Modernizing Federal Laboratories Initiative as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The new greenhouse facility replaces an out-of-date facility, and the 700 square metre greenhouse provides improved research facilities for a variety of research areas.