Thursday, March 28, 2024

Paul Larmer wins major award


Paul Larmer has been chosen International Person of the Year by World Dairy Expo.

Larmer, who headed Semex at Guelph,” has been a driving force in dairy cattle genetics, leaving a significant mark on a global scale,” said World Dairy Expo.

He began his career in cattle semen in 1984 with United Breeders Inc. of Waterloo, Ont., and from there moved up to Semex Alliance and Alta Genetics Inc. before being chosen chief executive officer of Semex in 2007. 

“During his tenure, Larmer steered Semex to unparalleled success, achieving a remarkable 17 consecutive years of record-breaking sales and revenues. Under his leadership, Semex introduced six Millionaire Sires to the industry and spearheaded groundbreaking research and development initiatives aimed at enhancing dairy technology and genetics worldwide.” The World Dairy Expo citation said.

“Noteworthy projects included advancements in China's dairy technology and genetics, the establishment of production centers in Hungary and Brazil, and the pioneering introduction of a Methane Efficiency Index to promote industry sustainability globally. Though Larmer retired from his role as chief executive officer in December 2023, he continues to serve as an executive advisor, bringing invaluable expertise to Semex.”

World Dairy Expo will be Oct. 1 to 4 in Madison, Wis. 

Batistas want back on JBS board

 Convicted bribe brothers Wesley and Joesley Batista are asking shareholders of JBS SA, the world’s largest meat-packing conglomerate, to vote them back on the board of directors.

They were fined millions for bribing scores of Brazilian politicians and officials to obtain bank loans that enabled JBS to buy meat-packing companies, many of them in the United States and XL Packers of Alberta.

The proposal will be brought before shareholders during the company’s annual meeting April 26. The brothers served as chief executives and board members at JBS prior to a corruption and bribery scandal. 

The brothers joined the Pilgrim’s Pride Board of Directors in February. 

Last May the Brazilian stock exchange watchdog reached a majority verdict,acquitting the Batistas of insider trading allegations. 

In January, a Supreme Court justice in Brazil suspended a $2.1 billion fine imposed on J&F Investimentos, Brazil's largest business group with ownership stakes in JBS. The Batista brothers are controlling shareholders of J&F.

J&F initially agreed to pay the substantial fine in 2017 as part of a leniency agreement related to its involvement in corruption scandals. 

The Batista brothers confessed to operating a political bribery ring in a plea bargain deal.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

CFIA lifts avian flu quarantine zone


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has lifted the quarantine zone in Amherstburg around a flock infected with highly-pathogenic avian influenza.

The flock was euthanized after the quarantine zone was established Reb. 1.

There are no other avian flu quarantine zones in effect in Ontario.

USDA watches Canadian meat sectors

The United States Department of Agriculture maintains a close watch on the Canadian beef and hog industries.

Here’s what Meatingplace Magazine wrote about its recent report:

The Canadian cattle herd continues its sustained trend of contraction with numbers at their lowest level since 1989, according to a new Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. 

Quoting Statistics Canada, the report said that the herd inventory numbers at the beginning of the year showed beginning stocks down 240,000 head compared with January 1, 2023. 

Persistent drought conditions continued to support decreased heifer retention and increased cow slaughter through 2023. A smaller beef cow inventory, in turn, will see the 2024 calf crop decline, the report added. 

Live cattle imports and imports of U.S. feeder cattle are expected to decline as tightening supplies in the United States increase competition for those animals. Imports of ground beef and lower cost product from Australia and South America will be supported by price-conscious Canadian consumers, according to the GAIN report. 

The Canadian swine herd is forecast to continue its contraction through 2024, as well, the report said. Reductions in slaughter capacity in Eastern Canada (Olymel plant closures) will see lower slaughter and reduced breeding herd numbers in that part of the country. 

Still, demand for pork by Canadian consumers will sustain 2024 imports at 2023 levels while Canada will look to an improved export performance for pork in 2024, the report added.

Waterloo public aroused by forced sale of farms

Fuelled by a series of front-page articles in the Waterloo Region Record, local residents are becoming aroused and angry about a 750-acre land assembly surrounded in secrecy.

What is known is that Landacre, acting on behalf of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo and Ontario Realty Corporation, has made offers of purchase to the owners of six farms and six residential sites near New Hamburg and has told them if they refuse to sell, they will be expropriated.

But Wilmot Township and Waterloo Region politicians and staff have been sworn to non-disclosure agreements so the public and the property owners do not know why the land is being purchased. There is speculation it is for a major manufacturing facility, but so far no companies have been identified.

What is known is that Toyota is shopping locally and in the United States for a facility to build all-electric vehicles and that local municipalities do not have any industrial-zoned parcels large enough to meet its needs.

This week Wilmot Township council chambers at Castle Kilbride in Baden was packed by about 100 angry residents, including president Mark Reusser of the Waterloo Federation of Agriculture and Adam van Bergijik, owner of Mountain Oak Cheese Company, seeking answers.

Van Bergijik and his son, Arjo, produce cheeses that have won national and international awards and sell from an on-farm store near Haysville. 

They crop land that is within the bounds of the land assembly, but their barns and cheese plant are south of the boundary.

The land assembly is south of Highway 7&8, is south-east of New Hamburg and extends one road south and to Wilmot Centre.

For a week, The Record has run one and sometimes two front-page articles about the land assembly and columnist Luisa D’Amato has decried the secrecy and purchase of “prime farmland”.

Sentiments might change if and when Toyota announces it is locating in the U.S. because it could not acquire its preferred location within the Waterloo Region. Just speculating!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Cash advance change rolled back


The federal government has changed its mind and is setting the interest-free portion of cash advances at $250,000.

It was $350,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic and the government said it would be set at $100,000 for this year.

The change came after farm organizations complained.

Cash advances can be taken out for up to $1 million against crops and livestock.

Cows infected with HPAI


United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed that cattle in Texas, Kansas and New Mexico have been infected by highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

That came days after a goat was infected.

The virus has claimed millions of commercial flocks of laying hens, chickens and turkeys in Canada and the United States, but until recently was believed to infect only birds.

The virus infecting the cows was called a mystery disease until recent testing found HPAI.

The sick cows suffered decreased lactation, low appetite and other symptoms, the USDA said. It and the U.S.Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with state veterinary and public health officials, continue to investigate the illness.

The Meat Institute quickly issued a statement assuring that "properly prepared beef is safe to eat and is not a food safety risk to humans."

Monday, March 25, 2024

Cargo thefts up by 59 per cent

Cargo thefts were up by 59 per cent across Canada last year and food is a favourite target.

It’s favoured by savvy thieve who know stolen food is hard to trace and there are willing buyers among stores pinched by reduced margins.

Meat, vegetables and butter are among tractor-trailer loads stolen last year.

Three Brampton men were charged in connection with a $1,000 butter theft in December.

That same month police found a car in Hamilton loaded with stolen meat.

Thieves in the U.S. have stolen truckloads of tomatoes, blueberries, pistschios and cucumbers.

CargoNet sounded alarm bells last fall when cargo thefts had risen by 57 per cent.

Experts say more old-fashioned methods of theft such as cutting fences at freight yards and hot-wiring semis at truck stops remain popular. But even those acts are often informed by information gleaned from online load boards – sites that connect shippers and carriers – or phishing scams and other hacking methods.

“The way it used to be was that they would just randomly steal whatever they could get their hands on,” Detective Sergeant Mark Haywood said.

“Now, if they have inside information on something, they'll actually go into a yard and go through half a dozen trailers until they find the product that they were told is there, and then they'll steal that particular one.”

Digital hacks and tracking devices such as Apple AirTags can also yield that inside info – shipment contents or location, for example. They’ve gained traction over the past year, in part because the methods are so cheap, said Danish Yusuf, chief executive of Toronto-based Zensurance.

Food and beverages, household products and metals now comprise Canada’s most sought-after stolen goods, in that order, according to CargoNet.

Food inflation over the past two years sparked a commensurate spike in demand for meat and other edible items.

“They might be able to pick up a $100,000 load for $30,000,” Haywood said of grocers on the grey market. “There’s no way of tracing products like that. It’s not like they have serial numbers on packs of chicken.”

The eventual outlets for hot household goods include independent stores, flea markets and online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay, Haywood said.

CargoNet said Ontario accounted for 83 per cent of all cargo theft incidents in Canada, with the Toronto area as the reddest of hotspots, though police say offences are radiating westward as perpetrators try to evade a regional crackdown.

CFIA fees rising 6.8 per cent


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is increasing all of its fees by 6.8 per cent on Mar. 31.

It said there is a policy to adjust fees every year to reflect changes in inflation as measured by Statistics Canada.

Two more PDCoV outbreaks

Swine Health Ontario is reporting two more outbreaks of Porcine Deltacoronavirus.

One is at a finisher barn in the Niagara Region and the other at a nursery in Perth County.

There have been 13 outbreaks of the disease this year and 10 or Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus which is similar but more severe.

Pig kidney transplanted to a man

A kidney from a genetically-modified pig has been transplanted to a man in a hospital in Boston.

It is the first time a pig kidney has been transplanted into a living person, according to Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Before this, pig kidneys had been temporarily transplanted into brain-dead donors, the Associated Press reported.

In August, two U.S. surgical teams announced successful experimental kidney transplant from transgenic pigs into brain-dead human recipients. In both instances, the pig kidneys produced urine, carried out other functions of a kidney, and were not rejected by the body. Said Jim Lowe, DVM, associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

The patient, Richard ‘Rick’ Slayman, 62, of Weymouth, Mass., is recovering well and is expected to be discharged soon, doctors said Thursday. This marks the latest development in xenotransplantation, the term for efforts to try to heal human patients with cells, tissues or organs from animals.

"For decades, it didn't work - the human immune system immediately destroyed foreign animal tissue. More recent attempts have involved pigs that have been modified so their organs are more humanlike," AP reported.

There have been two hearts from pigs transplanted to men in the United States. Both died soon after.

Ontario butchers to compete in Paris

 A team of five butchers has been picked to represent Canada at a global competition in Paris, France.

Meat & Poultry Magazine features the team in its current magazine issue as well as two youths who will also go to the World Butcher Challenge.

The team members are Peter Baarda from J & G Quality Meats, Brent Herrington from Herrington's Quality Butchers, Damion Goriup from Florence Meats, Dave Vander Velde from VG Meats and Doug Easterbrook from Townsend Butchers.

The junior butchers joining the team are Chris McNutt from Halenda's and Dylan Miedema from Townsend Butchers.

Meat and Pouttry Ontrio said “competing at this level requires significant resources and we need your support to help fund our team's journey to Paris. 

“We have set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations, and any donation, no matter how small, will make a meaningful difference.”





Saturday, March 23, 2024

Bird flu killing seals and sea lions

The same highly-pathogenic strain of avian influenza that has claimed millions of poultry-farm birds is also killing tens of thousands of seals and sea lions, mainly in South America.

About 20,000 seals have died off the coast of Peru and Chile and thousands of elephant sea lions off the coast of Argentina.

About 300 seals have died off of Maine on the east coast and some in Puget Sound on the west coast.

Officials don’t know how to stop the rapid spread of the virus among the mammals.

In the case of poultry, the solution has been slaughtering infected flocks and imposing strict quarantines to prevent the disease from spreading to other flocks.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Goat infected with avian flu


A juvenile goat in Minnesota recently tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The goat lived on a farm where a poultry flock tested positive for HPAI in late February. The goat shared the same pasture and water source as the poultry flock.

Only young goats fell ill in the Minnesota case, not mature goats. This case is being investigated by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“As we aim to protect livestock for our North Dakota producers, the risk of transmission increases during spring,” says Miranda Meehan, North Dakota State University Extension (NDSU) livestock environmental stewardship specialist.

In Canada, a mink farm in British Columbia was infected by avian flu.

NDSU Extension experts support the biosecurity practices released by University of Minnesota Extension that can reduce the potential for domestic animals to contract HPAI. Recommended practices include:

Do not allow poultry and livestock species access to ponds, wetlands and other stagnant water sources that are frequented by wild waterfowl such as ducks, geese or swans.

Watch poultry and livestock for signs of illness, including reduced appetite, fever, inability to stand, depression, nasal discharge, diarrhea, coughing and change in behavior. 

Consider housing poultry separately from other livestock species and minimize poultry access to pasture areas that are grazed by other livestock species.

Do not allow poultry, waterfowl and wildlife to share water sources and feedstuffs with other livestock species.

New pork leaders to be chosen soon

Ontario’s new board of directors will elect its leaders next following the annual meeting this week in Guelph.

There will be a new chairman because John de Bruyn is retiring.

Also leaving the board of directors are Maaika Campbell and Mike Mitchell.

Philip Van Raay was elected to a three-year term as director at large, T.J. Murray to a two-year term and Eric Schwindt to one year.

The zone directors elected earlier at zone meetings are Karen Sanders for zone one, Tanya Terpstra and Tara Terspstra for two, Amo Schober for three, Jolanda Van Den Broek for four and Bruce Hudson for five.

Ken McEwan was awarded the Ontario Pork Industry Award for his career teaching agribusiness management courses and conducting agricultural economics research at the University of Guelph's Ridgetown campus.  

Bob Hunsberger received the Ontario Pork Producer Recognition Award for his dedication as a long-serving member of the Waterloo Pork Producers’ Association, for being instrumental in launching Conestoga Meat Packers and the Ontario Pork council, as an economist, researcher, and visionary.

“Bob's involvement has been critical across numerous initiatives in the swine sector, dating as far back to late 1970's,” Ontario Pork said.

“He is credited with using early computer models for optimizing feed rations, testing management strategies, developing automated feeding systems, and creating farm business planning tools. Among the list of projects Bob helped develop include - a modified open front finishing barn, a tilt wall insulated sandwich wall farrowing barn, a metric barn, a large pen system for dry sows, a floating aerator, pre-casting of concrete slatted floor panels, dirt lots for summer feeding finishing pigs,” his citation read.

Ironically he failed to win election as a zone three delegate this year.

Never under-estimate the stupidity of voters.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Soy oil demand rising for diesel fuel

Demand for soybean oil as a feedstock in the production of renewable diesel is increasing as the United States aims to increase adoption of cleaner burning fuels.

Renewable diesel has emerged as the preferred low carbon replacement for traditional diesel, and U.S. production is projected to increase sharply in the years ahead. 

To meet the growing demand for soybean oil, U.S. soybean processors are ramping up their production capacity, which is expected to increase by 23 per cent over the next three years.

But that increased capacity will pressure crushers’ margins, said Tannerr Ehmke, lead grain and oilseed economist for CoBank.

“Legacy processing plants with low debt levels will still find profitability in an environment of sharply lower crush margin,” he said.

 “But new crush plants built at substantially higher costs and interest rates will have higher breakeven costs. And destination plants located outside of soybean-growing regions are at greater financial risk due to increased reliance on transportation to acquire soybeans.”

Rising demand for soybean oil for use in renewable diesel will support soybean oil prices, he said.

But competition from imported vegetable oils such as canola and palm is increasing. 

American farmers are planning to ramp up canola production and that has meant Canadian seedstocks for this year are fully committed, according to some recent Canadian news reports.

Soybean oil remains the most widely used feedstock for biobased diesel production and accounts for roughly 35 per of monthly feedstock use, said Ehmke.

However, that percentage has fallen from 50 per cent a year ago as use of competing oils, fats and greases increases. Beef tallow has climbed to more than 20 per cent of total feedstuff usage, while yellow grease and used cooking oil account for 20 per cent.

Another step added to temporary worker program

Farmers who want to employ temporary foreign workers will face another step this year – proving they have checked to determine whether they could employ asylum seekers.

It will not sit well with farmers who have come to enjoy the benefits of temporary foreign workers, such as having them on site to work from sunup to sundown without having to provide transportation and knowing they can't easily quit to take another job because their choice is between working for the permit-holding farmer or being returned home.

Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault made the announcement at the same time as Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced a reduction of new temporary arrivals to no more than five per cent of the Canadian population, down from the 6.2 per cent cap now in place.

New targets will be set in September following consultations with the provincial and territorial governments.

“Changes are needed to make the system more efficient and more sustainable,” Miller told a news conference.

“There should be an honest conversation about what the rise in international migration means for Canada as we plan ahead,” he added.

Miller said he’ll convene a meeting of provincial, territorial and federal ministers in May to talk about how the levels should be set.

“Provinces and territories know their unique labour needs and capacity and need to assume responsibility for the people that they bring in as well.”


Jews sue CFIA over slaughter regs

 Canadian Jewish authorities, who set and implement kosher slaughter practices, have sued the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) over its new requirements for stunning animals, reports Meatingplace Magazine.

In an e-mailed statement to Meatingplace, Richard Rabkin, managing director of the Kashruth Council of Canada (COR), said the goal of the lawsuit is to have the new regulations declared “inoperative and invalid,” and to re-instate the prior regulations. 


The two organizations have been in dispute since 2019, when the CFIA adopted “Safe Food for Canadians” regulations — which specify slaughter practices that are, according to COR, at odds with kosher methods. 

Now, the Jewish Community Council of Montreal and the COR, which manage kosher practices, approvals and product labeling, have sued the CFIA. Two kosher meat companies are also part of the suit.

“We were caught by surprise by these new regulations and dialogued with the CFIA for years to try and find a workable solution,” Rabkin said. 

“But approximately a year and a half ago, the CFIA began implementing these new regulations, which have caused tremendous hardship to kosher slaughter in Canada.”

“Despite our outreach, the CFIA did not reverse course,” said Rabkin, “and as such, we felt we had no choice but to file our motion in the Canadian courts to contest these regulations. 

“We of course remain open to a mediated solution with the CFIA, but if not reached, we will proceed with this action, which we believe is fundamental to our constitutional rights in this country.”

Chicken production resumes growth


Ontario chicken farmers will be able to increase production by 1.4 per cent above base quota for the quota period that runs from June 20 to Aug, 24.

The increase follows the previous allocation which was slightly below base quota.

The national allocation was set at one per cent above base.

The national agency and Ontario marketing board anticipate good demand, partly because beef prices are much higher.

Land assembly opposed


An assembly of about 750 acres near New Hamburg is drawing criticism from farmers.

Stewart Snyder told the Waterloo Region Record that his dairy farm has some of the best land in the province, that it would be costly to relocate and the offer of $35,000 an acre is not enough.

Eight farms are impacted in whole or part by the land assembly being conducted by the Region of Waterloo.

No information about why the land is being assembled has been provided to the land owners and the media. Snyder was denied when he requested an opportunity to address Wilmot Township council.

The land assembly is at the east side of New Hamburg next to Highway 7&8 and close to Baden. The Wilmot Recreation Centre is across Nafziger Road from the land assembly.

The Record reported that senior government is involved in the land assembly. 

One rumoured client is Toyota which is seeking a site for an assembly plant for electrical vehicles. It has assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock.

Darryl Boyd appointed


Darryl Boyd of Waterloo has been appointed to a three-year term on the Species at Risk Program Advisory Committee.

He is an environmentalist.

The committee advises the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks on the Species at Risk in Ontario Stewardship Program and on the protection and recovery of species.

It is important to farmers because species protection policies often involve habitats that are part of farming.

Lawsuit alleges Weston and McCain colluded


A class-action lawsuit alleges that the chief executives of Loblaws and Maple Leaf Foods conspired to fix the price of bread.

But Loblaws spokesperson Catherine Thomas said Galen Weston “had no part in any of this.”

Michael McCain was president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. at the time and previously denied involvement in bread price-fixing.

Loblaws and parent company George Weston were granted immunity from prosecution by the Competition Bureau when it revealed price-fixing information between 2001 and 2015.

The lawsuit alleges the two presidents met personally to discuss bread prices.

The lawsuit cites e-mails between them to arrange a meeting in 2007. The documents are contained in the lawsuit filed in Ontario 
Superior Court of Justice, reported the Globe and Mail.

In a statement of defence filed this month as part of the lawsuit, Loblaw and its parent company denied Weston was involved in any arrangements regarding commercial packaged bread. McCain has previously denied engaging in any unlawful behaviour, the newspaper said.

“This is another example of class action lawyers making patently false claims,” Loblaw spokesperson Catherine Thomas wrote in a statement on Wednesday. “Weston had no part in any of this.”

Last June, Canada Bread pleaded guilty to a criminal scheme to fix bread prices and agreed to pay a $50-million fine. Mexico-based parent company Grupo Bimbo acknowledged that Canada Bread, which it acquired in 2014, had made “arrangements” with one or more unnamed senior executives at competitor Weston Foods, leading to two wholesale price increases in 2007 and 2011. 

Maple Leaf Foods, which owned a majority stake in Canada Bread at the time, has repeatedly denied claims of unlawful behaviour at Canada Bread while it was a shareholder.


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

McLaughlin heads Ontario beef


Craig McLaughlin of Renfrew has been elected president of Beef Farmers of Ontario.

He takes over from Jack Chaffe who will now represent Ontario on the Canadian Cattle Association.

Tom Kroesbergen replaced Chaffe as feedlot director, Jim Whitley as cow-calf director and Ralph Eyre were elected as director at large.

Monday, March 18, 2024

COOL a hot topic again

As expected, the Canadian Pork Council has released a statement opposing new labeling regulations in the United States that allow “Product of USA” claims on meats. 

It said it’s disappointed the government did not take into account comments from the pork industries on both sides of the border.

“We are pleased the Government of Canada has already indicated it will be looking at options to correct the protectionist nature of these proposed regulations, and we ask the federal government to be vigilant to protect our market access,” said council chairman RenĂ© Roy. 

The Canadian Cattle Association took a similar stand.

But the decision has support from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), whose president, Marc Perrone, lambasted the practice of repackaging meat that originated outside the U.S. as American, as ‘trickery’ and ‘cheating.’  

“Now, consumers can shop with confidence, knowing that when they buy products with the USA label, their money will actually go toward supporting America’s ranchers and meatpacking and processing workers,” Perrone said in a statement.

The union echoed U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who said when the announced the new regulations last week that “this final rule will ensure that when consumers see ‘Product of USA’ they can trust the authenticity of that label and know that every step involved, from birth to processing, was done here in America.” 

He said in a statement that accurate labeling equips smaller producers with a compelling and truthful messaging that helps them compete more effectively.

That could be interpreted as an admission that the regulations hinder trade and are protectionist.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Another Enoki mushroom recall


There is another recall of Enoki mushrooms underway.

This time it is K-Fresh Enoki Mushrooms that made a customer ill with Listeria monocytogenes food-poisoning bacteria.

The 200-gram packages were distributed in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Grand River doubles innovation funds

Grand River Agriculture Society is doubling its offer to $100,000 for innovation.

The society is offering up to $10,000 to enable young Ontario companies in ag-tech, green-tech, and agri-food to seize market opportunities and secure sales of their products or services.

Over the last two years, the initiative provided funding for 10 Ontario companies to respond rapidly to global market opportunities.

“Rapid Response for Business Development provided $50,000 last year which led to $3.5 million in new sales, which is an outstanding ROI,” said Deborah Whale, vice-president and chair of the outreach committee. 

“We are committed to continuing this support of Ontario entrepreneurs so they can showcase their products, sell them worldwide and continue to thrive right here in Canada!”

The money enables investors to move quickly to take advantage of market opportunities and secure sales. It can be used to pay for eligible travel and associated costs required to “close the deal” with established business connections.

Working with CanLead Solutions, the next round of applications will open on April 1, 2024. The application criteria can be found at: .

Semen sales decline in U.S.

Semen sales for cattle declined by four per cent last year in the United States, failing to rebound from declines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That four per cent amounts to 2.9 million units of semen.

Export values reached a record $306 million because prices increased.

Sales of dairy semen declined by five per cent, or 2.6 million doses.

Angus semen was the most popular for beef, but the surprise is second-place sales of heterosperic semen (a blend of semen from two or more bulls) – 1.3 million in the U.S. and 300,000 for export.

Land prices up by 10.7 per cent

 The average price paid for farmland in Ontario increased by 10.7 per cent last year. The previous year the increase was 19.4 per cent.

Across Canada, the increase was 11.5 per cent. Only British Columbia registered a decrease – 3.1 per cent – but its farmland prices remained the highest in Canada.

Demand for Ontario land came from a variety of sources, said the report from Farm Credit Canada, including large intensive, supply-managed farm operations, cash crop producers, part-time farmers and investors.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Dr. Shane Renwick wins award

 Dr. Shane Renwick of the Canadian Veterinary Medicine association at Gelph has won the Medicine Stewardship award from the World Veterinary Association.

The award will be presented at the annual congress April 17 in Cape Town, South Africa.

He won for leading the development of the Stewardship of Antimicrobials by Veterinarians Initiative (SAVI) as well as a mobile app called Firstline

These tools help veterinarians working with many species to select the most appropriate antibiotic, if indicated, as well as dosage and withdrawal times.


Feds give another $97 mllion to clean technology


The federal government said it will fund another $97 million for farms and agri-businesses to adopt cleaner technologies such as more efficient grain dryers, solar power and precision agriculture technology.

It adds to almost $170 million already spent on 414 projects.

“Canadian farmers fully understand the need to take care of the environment and they are constantly innovating to find new solutions to reduce their emissions,” said federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

The new money is for 148 projects including 37 new grain dryers, 48 solar installations, and 31 purchases of “precision agriculture technology.

A further 14 projects for research and innovation are also being funded.