NEWS BITES THAT MATTER
Maple Glen Soybean Named Seed of the Year
Maple Glen, a game-changing short-season soybean developed in eastern Ontario, was recently honoured as the 2015 Seed of the Year.
Maple Glen was developed by Drs. Harvey Voldeng and Elroy Cober and released in 1987 as a food grade soybean. Over 1.2 million acres of Maple Glen were sown in a 10-year period following its release. A consistently high-yielding soybean, Maple Glen helped make soybeans a competitive and profitable crop over a larger area of Ontario. Maple Glen especially desirable for tofu and helped to develop Japanese demand for Ontario soybeans.
Maple Glen is part of a series of soybeans developed by Voldeng to stand up to Eastern Ontario weather. Previously, soybeans could only be grown in Southwestern Ontario. The Maple series includes Maple Arrow 1976, Maple Presto 1979, Maple Amber 1981, Maple Isle 1984, Maple Ridge 1984, Maple Donovan 1986, and Maple Belle 1984.
Maple Arrow introduced a new era for soybeans in Canada, as it was stable and high yielding, but Maple Glen was by far the most successful of the series. All were developed at the Plant Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa. Maple Glen made an excellent parent to soybean lines such as AC Glengarry, Accord, OAC Embro, OAC Lucan Yamaska, and York.
The Seed of the Year competition encourages public breeders to highlight their research accomplishments in developing a new field crop, forage, fruit, vegetable, or herb variety. Any publicly developed Canadian variety is eligible to compete.
The competition was designed by SeCan and the University of Guelph with support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and several other sponsors including Grain Farmers of Ontario. •
FCC supports more than 250 4-H clubs across Canada
The Farm Credit Canada (FCC) 4-H Club Fund is providing $122,000 to 251 4-H clubs across Canada to support various local events and activities. In Ontario, 47 4-H clubs received a combined total of $23,000.
The fund is part of FCC’s $1 million contribution committed over four years to 4-H Canada. This contribution, in addition to supporting local 4-H activities, supports national as well as provincial 4-H initiatives.
“FCC believes in building partnerships that make our industry stronger,” says Todd Klink, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer at FCC. “We’re proud to partner with 4-H and strengthen the bond between this industry and young people because they are the future of the industry. Together, we’re ensuring young people in rural Canada continue to benefit from 4-H programs and values.”
The FCC 4-H Club Fund awards up to $500 for projects such as achievement days, horse clinics, field trips, public speaking workshops, and equipment purchases, just to name a few. The next application period opens in fall 2016.
“We are thankful to FCC for their continued support of 4-H in Canada, and the unique and valuable opportunities they help to provide for our members at the grassroots level,” said 4-H Canada CEO, Shannon Benner. “This generous partnership is indicative of FCC`s commitment to youth leadership in agriculture, as we continue to help empower and build responsible, caring, and contributing young leaders who are passionate about making meaningful contributions to the world around them.”
To view the list of recipients, visit www.4-h-canada.ca/fcc4hclubfund. •
Dow and DuPont Announce Merger; Will Create New Agribusiness
Two agribusiness giants — Dow Chemical Company and DuPont — announced in mid-December their plans to merge into one company that would then be split into three independent companies.
The deal, called a “merger of equals” by the companies, will see the creation of DowDuPont. The company says it will then spin off into three separate, publicly traded companies, each focused on an area of expertise: agriculture, materials, and specialty products.
The newly created agriculture company will have an estimated $19 billion in revenue, based on 2014 numbers. DowDuPont expects the three companies to be established within 18 to 24 months once the merger is finalized, expected near the end of 2016 (subject to regulatory approval).
Keep watch here in the Ontario Grain Farmer for an in-depth article on what this merger means for Ontario farmers. •