NEWS BITES THAT MATTER
What Canadians think about farming
Canadians continue to have an increasingly positive impression of agriculture, with 88% of those polled ranking it positive or neutral, up from 81% in 2009 and 75% in 2006. That’s one of the key findings from the new 2012 Farm and Food Care “Canadian Attitudes Study towards Food and Farming” study.
This year’s research, which builds on previous studies dating back to 2001, was expanded to include gathering public opinion on the five pillars of sustainable food: food safety, environment, farm animal health and welfare, human health and economics/food affordability.
Canadians feel they are generally better informed about food and farming than they were even three years ago, and more than half of them are interested in learning more. Approximately 70% of Canadians have visited a farm at least once before. Other findings demonstrate that Canadians are concerned about the cost of food – and many try to buy local by purchasing Canadian food products when possible.
Surveys were conducted online using Ipsos Reid’s I-Say Online Household Panel in mid-August among 1229 Canadian adults that had no household connection to agriculture. Investment in this project has been provided by several agri-food industry partners and by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.
Farm & Food Care is a non-profit association that represents thousands of farmers and related businesses with a mandate to provide credible information on food and farming in Ontario.•
Green agriculture gets government boost
Canadian farmers will have the opportunity to increase their profits while decreasing their environmental impact. The federal government has announced an investment for the Canadian Fertilizer Institute to study greenhouse gas mitigation in fertilizer application.
The organization will use this $700,000 investment to study greenhouse gas mitigation in fertilizer application using the 4R Nutrient Stewardship system – Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place – a set of beneficial management practices (BMPs) created by the fertilizer industry to achieve cropping system goals. This will help farmers use fertilizer more efficiently, which will help to protect the environment, leave more money in the pockets of farmers and increase yield potential on the farm.
“There are many advantages for farmers to adopt the 4Rs into their cropping systems,” said Mr. Norm Beug, Chair of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute. “The 4Rs offer a framework to farmers as they implement BMPs to optimize fertilizer efficiency, which minimizes nutrient loss and leakage into the air and water. The 4R approach maximizes farmer returns for every tonne of fertilizer used and allows farmers to quantify their practices to receive credits for ecological goods and services.”
This project is supported through the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP), a five-year, $27-million initiative that focuses on the development of on-farm greenhouse gas mitigation technologies. The AGGP is Canada’s initial contribution to the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, an international network of more than 30 member countries that coordinates and increases agricultural research on greenhouse gas mitigation and makes new mitigation technologies and beneficial management practices available to farmers. •
BASF to acquire Becker Underwood
BASF plans to acquire Becker Underwood for a price of $1.02 billion. BASF, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, is one of the leading global providers of technologies for biological seed treatment, seed treatment colors and polymers, as well as products in the area of biological crop protection. Becker Underwood has 10 production sites worldwide and 479 employees. The purchase is subject to approval by the responsible authorities and legal closing of the transaction is expected by the end of 2012.
As part of the acquisition, BASF’s Crop Protection division will create a strategic global business unit called Functional Crop Care. The unit will merge BASF’s existing research, development and marketing activities in the areas of seed treatment, biological crop protection, plant health, as well as water and resource management with those of Becker Underwood. •