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Quinte Soil & Crop News
This Issue Sponsored By: OMAFRA, OSCIA, Quinte members, and by
For Hastings, Lennox & Addington, Northumberland and Prince Edward Soil & Crop Members
Brad King Alpine Plant Food, Lyle Gallagher Pickseed Canada, Tri-County Agromart, Doug Baker Quality Seeds,
Craig Carson Hyland Seeds, Sean Cochrane Dekalb, Ian Page BASF, Robert Hartle Royal Bank,
Lloyd Crowe Pioneer, County Farm Centre, Terratec Environmental, Andrew Wright Country Farm Seeds,
and Ron Carter Quinte - Eco Consultants Inc. See Sponsor Ads
- Message from the President
- OSCIA Summer Directors' Meeting
- Ontario Red Clover Research
- 2008 Ontario Forage Masters Program
- 2009 OSCIA Memberships
- Nutrient Management Grants
- OMAFRA Field Pocket Guide
- Promotional Items
- OSCIA Grant Deadlines
- OSCIA Awards
- Climate Change - E-Survey
- Are You Using OMAFRA'S Field Pocket Guide?
- 2008 Ontario Winter Wheat Performance Trials Available on the Website
- Targeting the Right Wheat Acres!
- How Little Fertilizer Can You Get Away With for Wheat?
- Controlling Alfalfa in Minimum Till Cropping Systems
- Soil Testing Myths
- Soil Management Tips for Late Summer and Early Fall
- Tips for Making Marketable Hay Without Rain-Damage or Mould
- Understanding Pasture Gains in a Wet Year
- Copper on Winter Wheat Project
- Combine Cleaning Procedure
NABC CONFERENCE - COLUMBUS, OHIO - JUNE 3-5, 2008
John Kinghorn, provincial director OSCIA (Durham, Haliburton, Victoria)
I had the opportunity to attend the National Agriculture Biotechnology Conference and was sponsored by the Durham Region SCIA. The National Agricultural Biotechnology Council is a consortium of 34 leading
agricultural research and teaching governmental agencies/institutions/universities in the United States and Canada that provides all stakeholders the opportunity to speak, to listen and to learn about the issues
surrounding agricultural biotechnology. The University of Guelph and the University of Saskatchewan are two Canadian Universities that are members. One of their objectives is to promote increased understanding of the scientific, economic, legislative and social issues associated with agricultural biotechnology by compiling and disseminating information to interested people. The president of the NABC is Dr. Ralph Hardy, who was born just west of Lindsay, and still owns and operates the family farm. He was a guest speaker at a summer crop day in Durham County last year and was a key note speaker at the OSCIA Annual Meeting at Niagara Falls last February.
The main message was based around the fact that agriculture is undergoing a positive and challenging transformation as it continues to supply food and feed while expanding its role as a major provider of fuels and chemicals.
In his welcoming remarks to the conference, Dr. Hardy spoke of the "Fantastic Opportunities" in Agriculture today, but also a time of "Fantastic Challenges". He referred to the Food vs Fuel debate and the negative press which is plastered over our daily newspapers and magazines.
I can only share with you some of the highlights of the conference, as we had the opportunity to listen to a cross section of experts in most of the key elements of this process. Some of the speakers advise senior administrators of our government, including the president of the United States on the impact of agricultural biotechnology.
There is no question that the U.S. is in a crisis as a result of the higher fuel costs. The result is a weakening currency and impending recession. 60% of U.S. need for crude oil is imported! Currently, the U.S. uses 200 billion gallons of fuel per year! That total is made up of 55 billion gallons of diesel fuel, 140 billion gallons of gasoline fuel and 6 billion gallons of ethanol (25% of corn grown is used to make ethanol).
There is no question that oil will remain more expensive than in the past and world hunger will challenge the morality of using agricultural land for food production. It is recognized that a significant number of "Good Technologies" will never see the light of day, because of negative press, based on misinformation!
Agriculture is the foundation of the bioeconomy. Biotechnology is being rapidly accepted worldwide for its contribution to crop production. BT corn, roundup ready corn/soybeans, drought resistance bred into corn, are just some of the examples.
We need to make the next step in the production of ethanol to the "Cellulosic Technology which will allow us to make ethanol out of many forms of biomass from switchgrass, trees, garbage, etc. The newer technologies will reduce the concern about food vs fuel. The Polymer Industry is making great strides to find replacement polymers from agricultural products. Polymers used in paint coatings, rubber, adhesives, plastic have previously come from fossil fuel. In many cases, plant fibres are proving lighter, stronger and cheaper than fossil based products.
There are many breakthroughs coming in the productivity of Biofeedstocks. There are products such as switch grass and miscanthus that are capable of producing 25-30 tonnes per acre. If we needed 25% of agricultural land for corn ethanol, we would only need 8% of land for miscanthus because of the higher yield. But there is no one crop that fits all areas of our diverse land and climate conditions in North America. There is no question that we have many challenges to solve in the development process. Items such as the economical way to transport the huge tonnages of product to a processing facility must be solved. We will see developments in facilities to pelletize products to make them more economical to transport and store.
There is a very high level of confidence that we can produce the biomass necessary to meet our current fuel requirements in North America. There was a recognition of problems to be faced as many cities run short of water. Who has the right to the water? Cities or Agriculture?
There was significant discussion about Biofuels and Biopolymers providing the opportunity to revitalize rural America through the growth of new jobs at all levels of expertise. The Biotechnology expansion will provide the opportunities for our bright young minds in Masters and PHD programs to seek opportunities in our country.
I left the conference with much more confidence in our ability to solve this problem. I am working on ways to share the conference presentations with those who have high speed internet providers.
Pictures - Hastings Plowing Match and Farm Show August 20, 21
Manure spreader demo
Horses plowing beside exhibit area
Soil and crop
with EFP exhibit in the OFA tent
Pictures from the 2007 NSCIA Annual turkey BBQ in Roseneath
The BBQ was held again in 2008 on August 27