Future of Grain
HIGHLIGHTING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY IN GRAIN PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION
NRC and industry to turn biomass into plastics and composites
The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), along with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), have announced the launch of the Industrial Biomaterials program, a new initiative that will help create more fuel-efficient vehicles and greener construction materials.
The Industrial Biomaterials program is a $55-million initiative over five years consisting of a $30 million investment by the NRC, and $25 million generated through collaborative projects with industry, academic institutions and other government departments.
Canadian firms will now be able to transform agricultural and forestry by-products to create new materials and reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers (plastics). Bioresins, biofibers and biocomposites made from Canadian non-food biomass (such as wood, lignin, grain husks, flax and hemp stems) are environmentally friendly and provide alternative ecological options. These will provide manufacturers sustainable and durable green products to use in next-generation automobiles and building materials.
“Agricultural and forestry by-products will be integrated into new materials, which will ultimately reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers,” said John R. McDougall, President of the National Research Council of Canada. “These biomaterials promise to be as safe as the materials currently in use by industry, inexpensive to produce and the ideal lightweight technology for the automotive and construction sectors.”
The program will combine resources from Canadian businesses to advance research and development in the manufacturing of industrial biomaterials. It will also help Canada’s transportation and construction industries remain competitive in global markets by ensuring that automotive parts manufacturers and green building material suppliers can adopt these leading-edge technologies. •
Who are you following?
Farmers are using Twitter to stay connected and up to date with industry news. Each month, Ontario Grain Farmer magazine will highlight Twitter accounts we think you should consider following or hashtags (#) that will help you join specific conversations.
Andrew Campbell is a young farmer in Southern Ontario who operates Fresh Air Media and Bellson Farms. He comments on agriculture-related issues and news through his Twitter account and blog www.thefreshair.ca, and also provides Twitter updates about his farm activities. He has more than 5,000 followers.
The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and Europe will have implications for Ontario farmers. Track further details and how people are reacting with the hashtag #CETA, including differing opinions on how the agreement will affect the price of goods, and create more economic opportunities. •
The Digital Toolbox
The smartphone, tablet and computer are important tools on today’s farms. Each month, Ontario Grain Farmer magazine will highlight an app, online tool, or website that may help you in the field or in the farm office.
Ontario Grain Farmer magazine app
A digital version of the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine is now available through an app for Apple and Android tablets. This new offering will help to meet the demand from an increasing number of farmer-members who want more choice in how they access information from Grain Farmers of Ontario. All farmer-members will still receive a traditional copy of the magazine in the mail.
The app allows users to read the current issue of the magazine, easily access related videos, and reference articles from previous issues. Updates will occur automatically at the beginning of each month.
The free app can be downloaded from ontariograinfarmer.ca. •