NEWS BITES THAT MATTER
Government of Canada invests in technology to reduce waste in grain bins
The Federal government has announced an investment in imaging technology that will help Canadian grain farmers reduce waste in their grain bins and improve their profitability.
“Our Government is making key investments in science and innovation to help grain farmers achieve efficiencies and earn more from the marketplace,” said Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux (Glengarry–Prescott–Russell) at an official announcement on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This is an investment in new technology and innovation that will help farmers reduce waste in their grain bins by monitoring moisture throughout the containers.”
The investment of nearly $300,000 will allow Winnipeg-based 151 Research Inc. to develop imaging technology to monitor the moisture levels in grain bins.
The tests are being carried out by adapting microwave technology developed for use in the biomedical industry by the Electromagnetic Imaging Laboratory at the University of Manitoba. Preliminary results indicate that the technique is capable of detecting insect infestations and spoilage conditions that cause storage losses of up to 10 percent in North America and up to 50 percent in developing countries.
This investment is being made through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year (2009–14) initiative that helps the agriculture sector seize new opportunities and respond to emerging challenges. •
FarmzOnWheelz moving to permanent home at Ontario Science Centre
Farm & Food Care Ontario has gifted its popular FarmzOnWheelz exhibit to the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) where it will have a place in the permanent rotation of the OSC’s exhibits. Farm & Food Care estimates the value of the exhibit’s donation at $200,000.
Designed and built by the OSC, FarmzOnWheelz made its debut at the Canadian National Exhibition in 2009. Construction of the 600 square foot exhibit was supported by many Ontario farm organizations and agri businesses and features a number of interactive components that explain to visitors how science and technology impacts agriculture.
Since its launch, Farmz has appeared at 25 venues in Ontario including schools, museums and fairs. It is estimated that the exhibit has been toured by three million Ontario residents.
The OSC has been an important partner in the Farmz exhibit from the beginning. Sue McLarty, FarmzOnWheelz project coordinator for Farm & Food Care, said that it was a logical decision to gift the exhibit back.
Said McLarty, “In Canada, this is a one-of-a kind exhibit. The long term vision was always for this display to be in a museum style learning environment with the potential for a large number of urban visitors.”
Farm & Food Care considers the Ontario Science Centre as the best home for FarmzOnWheelz. The OSC’s vision “to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the planet” is one that Farm & Food Care supports. •
Syngenta appionts new head, cereals portfolio, reflecting ongoing commitment to cereals advancement
Syngenta has announced the appointment of Darcy Pawlik to the role of Head, Cereals Portfolio for North America, reflecting the company’s ongoing commitment to the advancement of cereals.
Pawlik assumes leadership of the company’s broad Cereals product portfolio across crop protection, seed care and seeds. He will work to ensure Syngenta business strategies are aligned with Canadian and US regulatory policies concerning the commercialization and sale of cereals products.
Additionally, Pawlik will work closely with other Cereals team members to advance the Syngenta Integrated Solutions approach. Integrated Solutions include synergistic combinations of genetics and active ingredients, along with adjacent technologies, that address specific production challenges.
By bringing together its breeding activities and chemistry investigation at key points during the R&D cycle, Syngenta is seeking combinations of cereal varieties, cereal seed care and crop protection technologies that have the greatest capacity to address specific issues, for example, management of Fusarium head blight.
Pawlik has enjoyed an extensive career in agriculture, working in various roles within agri-business before joining Syngenta Seeds Canada as Manager, Regulatory Affairs in 2010. From there, he transitioned to a national role as North American Industry Relations Lead for the Cereals and Diverse Field Crops businesses. •