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NEWS BITES THAT MATTER

Strong overwintering numbers reported for Ontario bees
Ontario’s bees overwintered well this past year, as losses of only 18% were reported by the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists in July.

Nationally, average overwintering losses were 17%, putting Ontario on-par with the rest of the country and several provinces reporting significantly higher losses than this province. The top two reasons for bee losses noted by Ontario beekeepers were poor queens and starvation.

“We are pleased to see these promising numbers for bees in our province,” says Mark Brock, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “This year’s losses are less than half of what was experienced the previous year.”

When considering the impact of weather, Ontario’s overwintering losses appear higher following severe winters and lower following mild winters. For instance, low losses (only 12%) were reported during the mild 2011/12 winter, while higher losses (over 30%) were reported during the following two long, harsh winters. This past winter brought moderate weather, and continuing this trend, brought lower bee losses.

“It is worth noting that the most recent overwintering numbers are prior to Ontario’s seed treatment regulations being in place,” says Brock. “As we continue to see data that indicates strong bee populations and numerous bee health factors, it reinforces that Ontario’s rush to restrict neonicotinoids was unnecessary.” •

Cribit Seeds open house
Cribit Seeds hosted an open house in July at their facility in Elmira. The open house included plot tours of the cereal crops on site, including barley and oat crops. The tours looked at the University of Guelph wheat breeding program that also works in conjunction with the Elora Research Centre. The University of Guelph wheat breeding program includes sponsorship from Grain Farmers of Ontario and SeCan among others. The program develops novel wheat varieties with enhanced productivity, quality, and disease resistance with emphasis on the winter grown crop.

Cribit Seeds also showed visitors the soybean plots, and discussed the new Round Up Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans and considerations to using this product.

The open house ended with a presentation by Cribit Seeds employees discussing a 2015 cover crop study before moving on to a presentation about “Crazy things about cereal genetics” presented by Dr. Alireza Navabi. Navabi discussed the different growth stages of wheat and the impact of stressors on the wheat at these individual stages. He also looked at how winter wheat responded to temperature fluctuations during growth. •

Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans gain EU import approval
Monsanto Company announced at the end of July that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans. This milestone allows for the import and food/feed use of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans into the European Union (EU).

The European Commission’s approval follows Monsanto’s February announcement of Chinese import approval. With both the EU and Chinese import approvals now secured, plus Canadian regulatory approvals granted for Roundup Xtend™ with VaporGrip® Technology (a low-volatility pre-mix of glyphosate and dicamba) and XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology (a low-volatility dicamba formulation developed for use in the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System), Canadian growers can now look for a full system launch in 2017.

“We continue to see great interest and demand from growers for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans,” says Dan Wright, Canada trait launch lead. “Farmers are telling us they want the benefits of the full Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System, including over-the-top use of dicamba and glyphosate. After a decade of work, we’re excited to give growers this opportunity to continue to maximize their yields with these weed management recommendations.”

Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ is Monsanto’s newest soybean platform that includes tolerance to dicamba. This new dicamba-tolerant trait is stacked with the current Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean trait technology. 

In Canada, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans are expected to be available in more than 65 varieties across three maturity groups, covering key soybean growing regions of Southwestern Ontario, Eastern Ontario and Quebec, and Western Canada. •

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THE ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER magazine strives to be the number one source of information for our province’s grain farmers. With a balanced mix of production, marketing, technology, research, and general interest articles, we provide farmers with valuable information in an easy-to-read format. As the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Grain Farmer is a magazine that is made by farmers, for farmers. The magazine is an important tool that supports the organization’s vision to drive the Ontario grain industry to become a global leader.