Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Kemin acquires patent for ASF-controlling product

Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer, said it has acquired a U.S. patent application for a method to control the African Swine Fever virus in feed and feed ingredients.

Trials at Kansas State University show that Sal CURB Liquid Antimicrobial, effectively inactivatea the virus in livestock feed.

Results from the trial were published in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, Kemin said in a company release. 

Kemin was founded at Des Moines, Iowa, and now is a global company marketing about 500 products in the food safety category.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Advanced Leadership program on delay

The Rural Ontario Institute is delaying the current Advanced Leadership Program by a few months.

“Fall 2020 seminars will be pushed back into winter 2021 and the international study tour postponed until summer 2021,” the Institute said.

It chose a delay over continuing on schedule, but with on-line instead of in-person sessions.

Globe finds feds relaxed migrant worker oversight

In its ongoing investigations into the migrant worker situation in Ontario, the Globe and Mail has learned that “the federal government allowed some employers of migrant farm workers to submit three-year-old housing inspection reports in order to secure labour during the pandemic, instead of requiring up-to-date evidence of compliance with the temporary foreign worker program.

“As well, for a six-week period at the outset of COVID-19, the government stopped conducting housing inspections under the TFW program altogether. When the audits resumed, they were done remotely.”

More than 1,000 migrant worker have been infected with COVID-19. The on-farm hot spots rank second only to nursing homes in the severity of COVID-19 outbreaks.

“While Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has received 32 COVID-19-related complaints regarding the program in the agri-food sector since March, not a single farm has so far been found in violation of several key pandemic-related rules,” reports the newspaper.

“ For example, employer-provided accommodations must allow workers to keep a distance of two metres, and employees must be paid for their mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Canada.”

AAFC claims no records exist

Although there was a public hearing in Kitchener, the federal agriculture department says no records exist.

In response to a request under Access to Information for “. . . the outcome of a public hearing the Canada Agriculture Review Tribunal held into a complaint filed by Golden Produce Ltd. of Ontario," the department says it cannot find any records.

“A thorough search across the department has been completed and no records were found,” wrote an Access-to-Information office official in an e-mail.

At the hearing, the owner and plant manager for Golden Produce Ltd. argued that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was not fair in declaring the plant failed to meet standards. They said the plant was undergoing an expansion that would address all of the issues the CFIA inspectors raised.

The business at that site in Mount Forest has since changed its name.

There is no record of the hearing on the tribunal’s website. In fact, there are no records posted of any tribunal decisions since the end of 2018.

Workers seek lawsuit vs. Cargill

Workers at the Cargill beef-packing plant at High River, Alta., want to file a class-action lawsuit over the spread of COVID-19 among employees.

The Guardian Law Group of Calgary, Canada has filed an application that is awaiting approval by a judge to proceed as a class-action lawsuit.

The lawyers claim Cargill did not take “reasonable precautions” to protect its Alberta workers. 

In late April, more than 800 of the plant’s 2,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 and the plant shut down for two weeks. Two employees died.

The plant has capacity for 4,500 cattle per day and produces about 40 per cent of Canada’s beef.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Webinars for Northern Ontario poultry

Wanna-be chicken farmers in Northern Ontario are finally getting some attention from the marketing board.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) along with Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) and the Poultry Industry Council (PIC) are presenting a webinar series for Northern Ontario to encourage participation in the poultry industry and the Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board’s community programs.

“If you are interested in raising poultry for eggs and/or meat, or want to know more about chicken farming and the Artisanal Chicken program please join us for this three part webinar series,” the chicken board says on its website.

For years people in the North pleaded with the chicken board for a break so they could grow fresh chicken for the local market. They used to have to compete with aggressive quota holders in Southern Ontario to buy quota and then would have to ship their birds to processing plants in the South and bring back the processed chicken.

Now the board has several programs that help them get into chicken production, such as allowing small-scale production without quota and allowing farmers and processors to produce and market “artisanal” chicken for niche markets.

Grand River asks for 10 per cent water cut

The Grand River Conservation Authority is asking farmers and others along the entire Grand River watershed to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 10 per cent.
The watershed stretches from Luther Marsh, north of Mount Forest, to Dunville on Lake Erie.
“Rainfall in June was sporadic with extended dry periods, and for the past 10 days there has been almost no measurable rainfall in the Grand River watershed. 
“The low rainfall, coupled with the hot temperature, has contributed to reduced streams flows on a number of tributaries through the watershed,” the authority said.
The call for the reduction came from the Grand River Low Water Response Team, which met in a conference call on Wednesday. 
The team is made up of representatives of major water users including municipalities, farmers, golf course operators, water bottlers, aggregate businesses, Six Nations and others.