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NEWS BITES THAT MATTER

Soy-based sealant tested
Grey County Department of Transportation is trying a new soy-based asphalt sealant on a one kilometre stretch of road near Owen Sound. The sealant, which was featured in the December 2009 issue of this magazine, is a soy-based pavement preservation agent that could extend the average life span on asphalt-paved surfaces from 15 to 20 years. 

This new sealant replaces the petroleum-based ingredients typically used with soybean oils. Currently, the product is made in the US but it is distributed in Canada by Surface Green Solutions and it represents a potential new market for Ontario soybean growers. Soy 20/20, an organization charged with developing market opportunities for the Ontario soybean industry, hopes to eventually have it manufactured in Canada with Canadian soybeans.

“We’re really looking forward to testing this product and seeing its results in Grey County,” says Gary Shaw, Director of Transportation and Public Safety in a release. “It currently costs us approximately $80,000 per kilometre to pave a road so we would realize significant savings if we were able to extend the lifespan of our asphalt roads. And with soy as a principal ingredient, it’s also environmentally friendly.” •

Durham students learn about ag
Secondary school students in Durham recently completed a day long agricultural education program hosted by the Regional Municipality of Durham, Economic Development and Tourism Department and the Durham District School Board.

According to the municipality, the purpose of the program was to help students better understand the food supply, the environmental contributions of farming and the real-life application of biotechnology by learning about agriculture in the Durham Region.

The program aligned with curriculum requirements for grade 9 science, grade 11 biology and environmental science and grade 12 biology. Seven main topics were covered throughout the day: technology, crop production, soil health, water quality, biofuels, pesticides and organic farming.

“Students learned the difference between conventional and organic farming methods, and explored the importance of locally grown food,” explained Marlene Werry, Manager, Economic Development – Agriculture and Rural Affairs in a release. •

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