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After a great night’s sleep at sea, we got energized for the day ahead with a group Tai Chi lesson on the top deck of the Victory cruise ship. We enjoyed coffee and tea and a light breakfast while we made our way to Thien Canh Son cave, which means mountain landscape in the heavens.

The cave is located on Bai Tu Long Bay and set below a stone cliff. It was created by techtonic movement, volcanic eruption, sea regression and erosion from rain and sea water. It was beautiful on the inside, with a sparkling ceiling and stalactites.


After exploring the caves, we enjoyed an assorted buffet brunch, another delicious meal on the boat while we headed back to shore. We disembarked at 11:30 and started our four-hour bus ride back to Hanoi.

During the first half of our bus ride we had a Sponsor Spotlight from classmates, Kevin and Rebecca. They taught us more about Robinson Organization and Consulting Group, who taught us Gridworks during our first seminar. They help organizations and companies work together to implement change and help instill a common base of values.

After the Sponsor Spotlight, we participated in two facilitated discussions during which we shared with the class the most interesting/random thing we've seen on our study tour so far and things we've observed that are both the same and different as Canada. We talked a lot about the different food we have seen and random items being carried on scooters, as well as our shared values and surprising similarities and differences in agriculture between Vietnam and Canada, like our grocery shopping habits. Most Vietnamese pick up the food they are going to use fresh every day from a local market.


We stopped at Legend Pearl Farm to learn about the process of pearl farming and had a chance to browse the showroom and purchase authentic pearl jewellery made from the farm. There are three types of pearls, Akoya (classic) South Sea (white) and Tahiti (dark). Naturally, they take about ten years to form; however, on the farm they can speed up the process to five years.

We met Dr. Dao Xuan Cuong at our hotel to learn about the Syngenta corporation and Syngenta foundation in Vietnam which does extensive work to help farmers in Vietnam with sustainability, pesticide safety, and profitability.

We ended the night, and our time in Hanoi, with a buffet dinner at a local restaurant where we could interact with the locals.

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Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

ONTARIO FIELD CROP REPORT – May 17, 2018

Field activity continues in full gear as soils become fit for fieldwork. Many areas received some rainfall over the weekend, with areas of Kent and Essex catching heavier bands of rain that left over 100 mm in a few locations. As it happens every year a few areas of the province have nearly completed planting, while areas with heavier soils wait for decent planting conditions to occur. Fields that were planted to cover crops last fall - both fall and spring terminated - have required more tillage than fields without cover. A mat of residue kept soils wet and cold and delayed planting in those fields.

Ag industry steps up to support farmer mental health

In government, academia, industry – and indeed in the field itself – problems that have long been hidden or dismissed are starting to see the light of day. These efforts follow a University of Guelph study in 2015-2016 of more than 1,000 participants that revealed nearly 60 per cent met the classification for anxiety, 45 per cent for high stress and 35 per cent for depression.

Ontarians favour land-sharing policies

People in Ontario may have changed their preferences on formal agri-environmental land use policies.

Winchester Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting Minutes – May 15, 2018

The weather in the past week has being great for planting. Crop heat unit accumulation from the 1st of May are about 200 as of the 15th of May as compared to the normal of 150 (Ottawa airport). Some areas had a light frosts this past Friday and Saturday. Where the fields were left uneven last fall, the soils are working up lumpy requiring more secondary tillage. Smoother fields were fine with a shallow, light working.

Cereal leaf beetle activity on the horizon

There have been many reports of cereal leaf beetle adult activity over the last few weeks. Adults do some feeding but also lay eggs that give rise to the real issue – cereal leaf beetle larvae. Eggs will be hatching within the next week or so. With daily growing degree days accumulating more quickly than usual, the populations and feeding activity could catch us off guard. A few locations tend to experience a higher frequency of infestations including fields near Dresden, Bolton, Stayner, Seaforth, and Clinton but reports from other locations with significant adult activity have come in this year. Stay vigilant and monitor fields over the next three weeks in particular.

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