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Friday, April 2, 2010

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

Ag shows to increase focus on farm robotics technology

Although agriculture is barely on the eve of widespread adoption of full autonomy in farm machinery, it is slowly becoming mainstream thinking across the equipment industry. As a result, farm machinery shows are starting to tailor their events to better cater to showcasing it, even in concept and prototype machines. DLG (the German Agricultural Society), which organizes Agritechnica, the world’s largest farm machinery show, has added a new feature to its upcoming outdoor Feldtage (field days) event to do exactly that. “FarmRobotix is to become a platform that will supply farmers with relevant information,” said Malene Conlong, DLG’s international press liaison. “The platform will celebrate its premiere as part of the DLG Feldtage field day event.” Robotics have been part of the annual field days event for several years, including a design competition for field robotics. The FarmRobotix focus will emphasize that element of emerging technology. “The Field Robot Event, a contest for

Commentary: Crop market keeps watchful eye on spring weather

In the first half of March, a modest rally in the grain futures lifted prices off what appears to have been the seasonal low, but traders seem reluctant to drive prices significantly higher. A month ago I wrote about the search for a trigger that would spark a short-covering rally. It seems that the big funds that dominate trade finally decided being heavily short — that is, betting that prices would fall — was too risky going into the spring seeding campaign when weather is always The trade bought back their short positions, took the profits and lessened their risk. But this did not create a hot upward rally. Even news March 28 that American corn growers planned to plant fewer corn acres than expected failed to generate an extended rally. So what else is happening in the world that could push the grain market up or down? There are no urgent red flags, but lots of things to monitor. Markets are aware of dryness in some areas of North America, but it is too early for alarms to rin

Farmers get involved in machine design

Anyone who has operated or repaired farm machinery has probably asked themselves, at one time or another, “did some engineer really think this design was a good idea? If only they’d asked farmers …” In today’s highly competitive environment, brands now make a special effort to do exactly that. Farmer panels are usually involved in the process of creating a new machine. Norquay, Sask., farmer Jordan Lindgren can attest to that. He was invited by John Deere to be part of a focus group that provided input on design for the latest 9RX tractors. “I was approached by John Deere down in Waterloo. There were three of us from Canada involved in the focus group, three from the U.S. and one gentleman from Australia.” Over the following few years, as the tractor design evolved, Lindgren participated in several online conferences as well as trips to the U.S. for meetings. “The first time we were down there was 2019. It was right before COVID. Then we did some virtual stuff, because of COVID. W

Trucker training for Alberta farmers

The Alberta government is making changes to the training pathway for Class 1 commercial drivers, and offering a new, farm-restricted Class 1 driver’s license. Transportation and Economic Corridors minister Devin Dreeshen said it is a proactive approach to ensure truck drivers in Alberta have the right training with the right vehicle to perform their jobs professionally and safely. Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) became a pre-licensing requirement for Class 1 commercial drivers in Alberta in 2019. Since then, MELT has been identified by the trucking industry as one of the leading factors contributing to the ongoing commercial driver shortage, increasing time and costs for the driver recruitment process. Starting April 1 eligible farmers and their immediate family are exempt from the requirement for pre-license training and will provide them with a farm-restricted Class 1 driver’s license. This new farm-restricted Class 1 driver’s license will allow farmers and their immediate

Milk concentration plant to open spring 2025

A state-of-the-art milk concentration plant is under construction in Blackfalds, Alta. Dairy Innovation West (DIW) is the first of its kind in Canada. The $75 million facility is owned by the Western Milk Pool that is supporting processing expansion in Western Canada and to reduce transportation costs for Western Milk Pool producers. The facility will have the capacity to accommodate up to 300 million litres of milk from western dairy farmers per year. Once operational, there will be a reduction of the western Canadian dairy industry’s environmental footprint through the concentration of liquid raw milk. For every three or four trucks of raw milk coming in from local farms, one truck of concentrate will leave for a processing plant. DIW has the capability to produce reverse osmosis milk ingredients, whole and skim, as well as ultra-filtered skim milk and cream. DIW Chair Henry Holtmann said it is a significant leap forward for the dairy industry. “This project is not only setting

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