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NEWS BITES THAT MATTER
Funding for manufacturing innovation
Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, has announced an investment of $1,195,000 to Armstrong Milling Company for the purchase of new equipment that will help the company prolong the shelf life of its products and reach new markets worldwide.
The investment was used to purchase advanced mixing and packaging equipment, enabling the automation of a labour-intensive process in which each ingredient is weighed. The computer-managed packaging equipment uses a gas-flushing system to remove oxygen from the packaging, extending the product shelf life from four to 18 months. This will be the first time this innovative technology will be used in the packaging of bird food in Canada, and this will allow the firm to access new global markets.
These improvements will increase the demand for agricultural products such as corn and wheat. This project will also assist the firm’s efforts to become the first and only bird food manufacturer in North America to achieve Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 certification.
This project was funded under the Agricultural Innovation Program—an initiative of up to $50 million that was announced as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2011. This program, which came to an end on March 31, 2013, was part of the Government’s commitment to help Canada’s agricultural sector benefit from cutting-edge science and technology. •
American Ag Industry promoting safe use of seed treatments
The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and CropLife America (CLA), two industry leaders in agricultural seed, products, services, and plant science solutions, have released The Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship, an industry-wide initiative to promote the safe handling and management of treated seed.
Endorsed by the National Corn Growers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association, The Guide provides farmers and seed companies with critical information and up-to-date guidelines for managing treated seed effectively to further minimize the risk of exposure to non-target organisms.
ASTA and CLA began aggregating seed treatment research and safety information from universities, seed companies, international seed associations and others in early 2012 in response to growing concern about the effect of seed treatment dust on pollinators.
“The health of pollinators, especially honey bees, is crucial to agricultural production in the U.S. and worldwide,” noted Jay Vroom, President and CEO of CropLife America. “The crop protection industry, seed growers and breeders, seed treatment companies, equipment manufactures and farmers all play a role in supporting thriving bee populations through stewardship and sound science.”
The Guide, which also includes a seed treatment glossary and an exhaustive list of resources, has been shared with EPA and USDA, both of whom have applauded the industry’s initiative in this effort.
The Seed Treatment Stewardship Guide is available online and in PDF format at www.seed-treatment-guide.com. •
Dow AgroSciences 2013 intentions for EnlistTM Weed Control System
Dow AgroSciences has announced its commitment to further expand its 2013 launch activities of the Enlist™ Weed Control System with field and farmer trials in Canada. The company continues to execute on its launch strategy as it seeks regulatory approvals for Enlist Duo™ herbicide in Canada, a key component of its highly anticipated herbicide-tolerant trait technology. Dow AgroSciences has planned grower applied trial plots for the months ahead, and anticipates that the first commercial sale of Enlist™ corn, subject to securing regulatory approvals, will occur later in 2013 for planting in the 2014 crop year.
The Enlist™ Weed Control System includes new herbicide-tolerant trait technology that builds on the glyphosate system and features Enlist Duo™, a herbicide that is a proprietary blend of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline with Colex-D™ Technology.
The new 2,4-D choline is a quaternary ammonium salt, different from existing 2,4-D amine or ester formulations. This technology retains the positive attributes of traditional 2,4-D products, while providing growers new advantages for the management of resistant and hard-to-control weeds. Colex-D Technology provides growers with several important benefits, including ultra-low volatility, minimized potential for drift, decreased odour and improved handling characteristics.
Enlist Duo™ delivers two modes of action to provide exceptional weed control, while helping to manage the development of herbicide-resistant weeds. The use of multiple modes of action is a key to preventing herbicide resistance development.
Dow AgroSciences plans to ramp up seed production and its supply of Enlist Duo™ herbicide with Colex-D™ Technology to support the anticipated launch of Enlist™ corn. The company expects all approvals will be in place for sales in fall 2013 and will be ready for a robust ramp up of Enlist™ corn in Ontario and Quebec with a broad hybrid portfolio for 2014. •