Crop Protection Canada | Friday May 18, 2018

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NOTE: This blog and newsletter will be absent until the last week of June. You have been warned.

1. Canada News

AG CANADA PRECIPITATION MAPS – HOPE EVERYONE GETS SOME OF THE FORECASTED RAIN | Agriville.com

AAFC Precip Map 20180401 0515


BULLISH CANADIAN DOLLAR THREATENS FARM PRICES | WP

"Bruce Burnett believes the Canadian dollar will continue to strengthen throughout the remainder of 2018, which doesn’t bode well for grain prices.

The dollar went on a tear in 2017, rising from a low of 73 cents U.S. in May to a high of 82 cents in September. It has bounced up and down since then and is currently sitting around 78 cents.

Burnett, who is director of markets and weather with Glacier MarketsFarm, believes the loonie is poised for another bull run, and this one could last a while.

Glacier MarketsFarm is owned by Glacier FarmMedia, which also owns The Western Producer.

The exchange rate is usually determined by the relative strength of the U.S. and Canadian economies and the spread in interest rates between the two central banks.

“My concern is we’re probably getting close to that stage where people are now going to start to trade the Canadian dollar based on the price of oil rather than the relative economic growth,” he said."


EXTREME FLOOD CAUSES PLANTS IN NURSERY TO SWIM:NB | Floral Daily

"A flood due to heavy rains caused a lot of damage in Southern New Brunswick last week.

In this area Scott’s Nursery Ltd is located. The 6-acre greenhouse grows several bedding plants, potted plants, seasonal crops and perennials and more.

During the flood some plants were swimming. The water raised in the greenhouse and the shipping docks were blocked by the water.

“This flood season was worse than the last large flood we had about 15 years ago”, says George Scott. ”In this area we experience a lot of weather changes.

It is these extreme situations that make it hard compensating for. In 1973 we had a flood that was similar to this one. Most years flood season is not an issue. We are conscious about it. There is a flood plan and there are also a lot of drainages. To protect our company, anything we build in recent years we build above the safe levels.”"


ONTARIANS FAVOUR LAND-SHARING POLICIES | Farms.com

"People in Ontario may have changed their preferences on formal agri-environmental land use policies.

In a recent study, researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom interviewed stakeholder organizations in Ontario and England to determine their perspectives on land allocation.

Participants in both locations opted to integrate agricultural and environmental land uses – known as land-sharing – rather than separate them, the study, which was published in the June 2018 edition of Land Use Policy, revealed.

These results slightly surprised the researchers, as Ontario participants preferred land-sparing policies, which involve the division of these two uses, in a previous study.

By integrating environmental and agricultural activities on their properties, farmers and land owners could see multiple benefits, the article stated.

For example, producers could reduce soil erosion in their fields and provide habitats for grassland birds.

While most participants strongly favoured land-sharing policies, some individuals in Ontario had alternative points of view."

2. Protected Crops

GROWERS LAMENT HIGH HYDRO RATES, INCREASED LABOUR COSTS: ON | HortiDaily

"Jeff VanRoboys laments the Ontario government’s one-two punch that he says is hurting his cucumber harvesting business.

The 40-year-old farmer and entrepreneur says his company — The Pickle Station, located about 300 kilometres west of Toronto — has been hit hard by sky-high hydro rates and a recent increase in minimum wage.

When VanRoboys took over from his father in 2008, he says his hydro bill during the peak month of operation, August, was roughly $18,000. Fast forward to August 2017 and the bill for that same period was $42,000.

On top of that, the province’s decision to increase the minimum wage to $14 an hour has forced his business, which employs more than 200 local students during the busy harvesting months of July and August, to cut back on smaller, hand-picked cucumber varieties typically sold to U.S. companies.

VanRoboys says he explained to the American companies that he would need to increase prices to cope with higher labour costs — as the Liberal government had advised businesses to do — but was told that wouldn’t be accepted."

5. US Crop Protection News

BIOTECH VIRUS TO CURE CITRUS GREENING ADVANCES THROUGH USDA | AgroNews

Agri-Pulse reports:

"A genetically engineered virus that could fight the citrus greening disease has received a positive review from USDA.

In a draft environmental impact statement, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says it found that the biotech virus wouldn’t harm the environment or pose any threat to human health.

The virus has been modified to produce proteins from spinach as a way to prevent citrus greening disease in Florida orange groves.

The draft EIS says that the virus, if it proves effective, could help save Florida’s citrus industry by saving trees and increasing yields. Citrus greening has reduced Florida orange production by over 40 percent in the last five years.

APHIS will accept public comments on the environmental impact statement until June 25."


POLITICO – Morning Agriculture Friday May 18, 2018

FARM BILL DECISION DAY IN THE HOUSE: The House appears to be barreling toward voting on the farm bill today despite lingering uncertainty over whether House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway has enough votes to push the legislation through. The House Freedom Caucus threw up a potential roadblock when its members decided to give leadership an ultimatum: Call an immigration bill to the floor before we relinquish farm bill votes.

Sticking to it: House GOP leaders maintained late Thursday that lawmakers will still vote on H.R. 2 today as planned, despite the threat.

Speaker Paul Ryan bartered late into Thursday night with Freedom Caucus leaders. His team explained to the group of conservative members that they could not deal with immigration before the farm bill. Later, the caucus had a conference call to discuss what to do.

Clock ticking: It could come down to the wire as the House plans to vote on the bill starting at 10:30 a.m. — assuming leadership isn’t forced to pull the measure last minute if the Freedom Caucus doesn’t budge or if moderate Republicans back away from supporting the bill over its proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

NAFTA SOON? WISHFUL THINKING: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave people hope earlier on Thursday that a deal was near. By the end of the day, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer quashed that hope.

Negotiators from the U.S., Mexico and Canada remain remarkably far apart on a number of issues, Lighthizer said in a rare candid statement at the end of the day.

”The NAFTA countries are nowhere near close to a deal,“ he said. ”We of course will continue to engage in negotiations, and I look forward to working with my counterparts to secure the best possible deal for American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses."

‘Gaping differences:’ Lighthizer ticked off numerous differences that remain on number of areas, such as market access for agricultural products, energy, geographic indications and labor.

Canada’s rosy outlook: Trudeau displayed much more optimism on Thursday, saying that NAFTA negotiators could be offering positive news in the coming days. He even went as far as to contend in comments at a luncheon at the Economic Club of New York that the three nations had a “broadly acceptable” auto deal at hand.

Farmers keep pressing for certainty: A group of state agriculture leaders and farmers — accompanied by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) – called on the Trump administration to consider the long-term harm that trade uncertainty could do to agriculture. Daines emphasized that the administration needs to “do no harm and mitigate any threats or retaliation,” while also helping unlock new markets for U.S. agricultural goods.

Major trading partners, like Mexico, have already begun looking at other potential sources to replace the U.S., said Michelle Erickson-Jones, a Montana wheat and oilseed farmer. Growers’ existing relationship with Mexico “has been now put into flux and filled with uncertainty as we continue to renegotiate NAFTA,” Erickson-Jones said at a press conference hosted by Farmers for Free Trade. Mexico is “looking at outside sources for various products,” such as getting barley from the EU.

7. Crop Protection Business

PRICES OF PESTICIDE FORMULATION AT CHINA’S TERMINAL MARKET DON’T SYNCHRONIZE WITH TECHNICAL IN EARLY 2018 | AgroNews

"By Think Real – Since the second half of 2017, under the effect of the environmental protection examination, chemical enterprises had to stop or restrict production, which caused a serious shortage of pesticide technical and intermediates and a low operating rate of technical enterprises. Some producers engaged in trading raised the pesticide technical prices and by Nov. 2017, they reached the highest and didn’t fall. Except for some price reduction of some special products, most pesticide technical products maintained at a high price level though the prices didn’t go up to a large extent.

The price surge in 2017 enhanced the prices of most pesticides to another level. Compared with the same period last year, the increase of some pesticide technical even exceeded 100%. However, the price surge only happened to technical, formulation and trading enterprises, which exerted no synchronous influence on distributors. Some of them raised the selling price indeed, but many maintained the same.

There were four main reasons behind the situation.

  1. Distributors couldn’t judge if the price surge would last long and so didn’t take any hasty measures.
  2. Some distributors had many inventories in the past years and some formulation enterprises also had inventories. Most formulation enterprises didn’t synchronize in the price surge as they were not short of supply.
  3. Most formulation enterprises have to maintain their sales volumes and dare not raise the price too much, especially to their large clients. Moreover, wholesalers don’t raise the price much to their terminal retailers, or at all to acquire the competitive advantage in the terminal market. Therefore, formulation enterprises and wholesalers have to lower their profits to offset the negative influence exerted by the pesticide technical price surge.
  4. Pesticide users at the terminal end, farmers, are not sensitive about the price surge, which makes it hard for retailers to raise the price easily."

9. Europe Africa Middle East

EU COURT UPHOLDS BAN ON NEONIC INSECTICIDES | AgroNews

"An EU court upheld on Thursday a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying that the European Commission had been right to restrict their use to protect bees.

The ruling covers three active substances – imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience as well as Syngenta’s thiamethoxam.

The General Court of the European Union did however annul restrictions on the use of another pesticide BASF’s fipronil, because the Commission had not carried out an adequate assessment of the impact of its measures.

Bayer expressed their disappointment with the verdict of the General Court of the European Union’s on Case T–429/13 Bayer CropScience v European Commission. Bayer will review the verdict in detail and assess its consequences and potential legal options.

Bayer decided to pursue legal action to gain clarity on the legal basis of the Commission’s decision, which – in Bayer’s opinion – was uncertain. Bayer remains convinced of the safety of its products when applied in accordance with the label instructions."


EFSA – REVIEW OF THE EXISTING MRLS FOR GLYPHOSATE | AgroNews

"According to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, EFSA has reviewed the maximum residue levels (MRLs) currently established at European level for the pesticide active substance glyphosate.

To assess the occurrence of glyphosate residues in plants, processed commodities, rotational crops and livestock, EFSA considered the conclusions derived under Commission Regulation (EU) No 1141/2010 as amended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 380/2013, the MRLs established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as well as the import tolerances and European authorisations reported by Member States (including the supporting residues data).

Based on the assessment of the available data, MRL proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out. Although no apparent risk to consumers was identified, some information required by the regulatory framework was missing.

Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals derived by EFSA still require further consideration by risk managers."


EFSA – EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF GLYPHOSATE AND ITS RESIDUES IN FEED ON ANIMAL HEALTH | AgroNews

"EFSA was requested by the European Commission to consider the impact of glyphosate residues in feed on animal health in accordance with Article 31 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002.

The current report presents the assessment of the available information on glyphosate residues in feed, including feed imported from outside the European Union (i.e. third countries) and the conclusions on the possible impact of those residues on animal health.

The conclusions of this scientific report were reached on the basis of the initial evaluation carried out by the competent authority of the rapporteur Member State, Germany, using data made available by industry, on the existing EFSA Conclusion on glyphosate as well as on the basis of a literature review conducted by EFSA.

The current report is delivered at the same time as the EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the review of existing maximum residue levels for glyphosate according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005.

With regard to the assessment of the impact of glyphosate and its residues on animal health, considering the available data, glyphosate is not expected to have a major impact, if any, on animal health."


Crop Protection Canada | Thursday May 17, 2018

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1. Canada News

BEE POPULATIONS DOWN IN WESTERN CANADA | Farms.com

"Western Canadian beekeepers blame cold weather for depleted bee populations.

Between 35 and 40 per cent of Saskatchewan’s bees died over the winter and early spring, said Simon Lalonde, president of the Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission.

“It’s an exceptional number (and) beekeepers have to try and take what’s left and rebuild,” he told CBC today. “I think most people will probably be trying to cover expenses this year. It’s going to be a lean year for sure, but that’s agriculture.”

Saskatchewan is home to more than 100,000 bee colonies and 955 beekeepers, Stats Canada reports.

Canola producers could also feel the impacts of a lower bee populations.

Research suggests bee pollination can increase yields and the number of pods per plant, seeds per pod and seed weight, said the Canola Council of Canada.

“Farmers may or may not see an impact there, they may chalk it up to less rain or a hot stretch when they wanted some cooler weather for the crop,” Lalonde told CBC."


CANADA TO EXPAND AGRICULTURAL MARKET ACCESS IN CHINA | HortiDaily

"Canada and China are working to build a stronger relationship to create good, middle-class jobs and more opportunities for citizens in both countries. The two countries have agreed to increase collaboration on agriculture, including expanding market access, which is vital to achieving the Government of Canada’s trade target of growing global agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, heads to China for a week-long mission to showcase Canada’s agri-food and seafood, help grow exports for Canadian products and strengthen the trading relationship between the two countries.

Minister MacAulay will take part in a number of events from May 14 to 18, including meetings with leading Chinese companies such as e-commerce giant Alibaba, HeMa, and GFresh to discuss in-market opportunities for Canadian food products.

The Minister will also participate in roundtable discussions with representatives of Canadian and Chinese companies to discuss market opportunities in China. In addition, Minister MacAulay will attend SIAL China, where he will have the opportunity to interact with the Canadian exhibitors."


CHINA TO CUT RICE, CORN PLANTING, GROW MORE SOYBEAN | WP

"China is expected to grow less rice and corn this year while increasing planting of soybean and other grains, local media citing the country’s agricultural ministry reported on Wednesday.

Planting area for rice is expected to drop by more than 10 million mu compared with a year earlier to 440 million mu, Security Times said.

Planting for soybeans will likely increase by over 10 million mu to 127 million mu. Cotton planting will drop slightly while that of sugar will maintain largely flat with small increases.

China will keep expanding plantations of green and premium quality food such as high-protein soybeans and high-yield sugar canes."


EARLY SIGNS POINT TO A STRONG WINTER WHEAT CROP | FCC

"Prairie winter wheat seems to have survived periods of extreme cold and low snowfall, preliminary findings indicate.

“Across the Prairies, the recovery has been anywhere from excellent to fair,” says Western Winter Wheat Initiative agronomist Janine Paly.

Autumn

Manitoba, central to northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan experienced similar conditions last fall, receiving beneficial moisture that helped winter wheat develop into its ideal growing stage, Paly says.

“I have also heard good things about survival from some farmers,” adds cereals specialist Anne Kirk of Manitoba Agriculture.

Her department’s first crop report of the year states winter cereals are in generally good condition.

Paly says it’s still too early to determine if winter wheat survived in some parts of Alberta, particularly northern regions where spring gets a later start. But she adds observations so far range from excellent to fair shape.

Southern Saskatchewan, however, was one of the driest areas last fall and its recovery remains behind. Early signs, however, show 70 per cent viability in the soils that have been checked already, Paly says."


PRAIRIE PULSES OFF TO GOOD START DESPITE DRY CONDITIONS | WP

"Dry soil conditions persist across many portions of Western Canada but the outlook for pulse crops seems fairly promising, according to a crop extension specialist with the Saskatchewan government.

“For the pulses, seeding has been going fairly well,” said Daphne Cruise. “A lot of the pulses are in already.”

Many of the province’s chickpea, lentil and pea crops are located in the southern half of the province, but some of the traditional planting areas are starting to shift.

“A few years ago more pea acres were going up in the north and I think I’ve heard about a few more chickpea acres moving north as well,” she said.

According to Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan grew the lion’s share of Canada’s pulse crops last year and are predicted to plant the most this year too. Just under 280,000 acres of chickpeas are expected to be planted in 2018, 3.6 million acres of lentils and 2.2 million acres of dry peas."


2. Protected Crops

ALEAFIA HEALTH ACQUIRES 160,000 SQ. FT. GREENHOUSE | HortiDaily

"Aleafia Health has signed an agreement to acquire a 160,000 sq. ft. modern, fully-automated greenhouse facility in Niagara-region including its advanced growing equipment for $9.6 million. The transaction is expected to close on July 4, 2018.

The 160,000 sq. ft. Niagara facility has an immediate expansion capability of another 20,000 sq. ft. Both the 160,000 sq. ft. Niagara facility along with the 150,000 sq. ft. Scugog expansion plan are fully funded.

A second site licence application will be submitted to Health Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) for the newly acquired Niagara facility.

The advanced automation and strategic layout at the Niagara greenhouse facility requires minimal retrofitting and it is expected that Aleafia will achieve a greater production capacity at a lower cost."


ENNISKILLEN MMJ FACILITY OFFICIALLY OPENS | HortiDaily

"High Park Farms in Enniskillen Township is officially open for business.

Local dignitaries joined staff for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and private tours of the $30-million medical marijuana facility on Lasalle Line Tuesday morning.

The 100-acre property — that includes 13 acres of greenhouse space — is heavily regulated by Health Canada and secured by an 8 ft fence, hundreds of cameras and intrusion detection.

Production started earlier this month when thousands of live marijuana plants arrived in a carefully choreographed trip from Nanaimo, British Columbia.

High Park Master Horticulturist Françoise Lévesque says they’re now growing in one section of the greenhouse — which has been split up into eight zones.

The first harvest is expected in June."


4. Canada Crop Protection

BIOBEST LAUNCHES ASPERELLO™ T34 BIOCONTROL IN CANADA | AgroNews

"Biobest’s ASPERELLO™ T34 Biocontrol, a new and effective preventative tool against Fusarium wilt, was launched in Canada.

This breakthrough new biofungicide contains the unique, naturally occurring, beneficial fungus Trichoderma asperellum T34 at a high concentration (1012 CFU/kg).

It rapidly colonises plant roots to form a protective barrier against pathogens to support healthy root growth.

Benefiting from multiple modes of action, this beneficial fungus also triggers plants’ natural defense mechanisms, while parasitising and actively killing pathogens. As a result, ASPERELLO™ T34 Biocontrol offers outstanding biological protection against Fusarium oxysporum."


8. PMRA Registration News

CANADA CANCELS CERTAIN USES OF CAPTAN | AgroNews

"The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has completed the re-evaluation of captan.

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, the PMRA has found the continued registration of products containing captan to be acceptable.

Retained uses with required amendments to label directions:
* Tree fruit (apple, cherry (sweet and sour), apricot, peach, pear, plum, prune, nectarine)
* Grape
* Field cucumber, pumpkin, squash, potato, field tomato
* Soil treatment (pre-plant) for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, pea, pepper, rutabaga, tomato, turnip
* Blackberry, blueberry (highbush, lowbush), loganberry, raspberry, strawberry
* Turf (sod farm, golf course)
* Ginseng
* Greenhouse ornamentals (non-cut flowers)
* Outdoor ornamentals (cut and non-cut flowers)
* Rhubarb forcing sheds
* Greenhouse and field soil treatment (pre-plant): seedling or transplant of ornamentals (shrubs, trees, flowers), lawn seedbeds, and vegetables (bean, celery, crucifer, eggplant, pea, pepper, tomato)
* Commercial slurry seed treatment using liquid products for all currently registered seeds
* Commercial slurry seed treatment using wettable powder product for beans
* On-farm slurry seed treatment of bean, chickpea, corn, lentil, lupin, pea, soybean
* On-farm dry seed treatment of sweet corn
* Planting of imported seeds (sugar beet, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts)
* Flower bulb dip

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* Ornamental stem dip
* Greenhouse ornamentals (cut flowers)
* Tobacco seedlings
* On-farm dry application to bean seeds
* Treatment of small-seeded vegetable seeds (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sugar beets). Planting of imported seeds still permitted."


6. Trade and MRLs

CARGILL HAS ‘SIGNIFICANT CONCERNS’ OVER US-CHINA TRADE STRATEGY | WP

"Cargill Inc. is concerned the White House’s strategy to address unfair trade practices with China will not work and could lead to an escalating trade war, according to prepared comments the global grain merchant sent to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The five-page letter, submitted on Friday and made public on Monday, was in response to a request for public comments by Lighthizer’s office over its “Section 301” investigation, which authorizes tariffs in a bid to force changes to Chinese government policies over intellectual property.

The Trade Representative on Tuesday will begin holding three days of public hearings on proposed U.S. tariffs of $50 billion on Chinese goods. The hearings, being held in Washington, are part of an expected 60-day public consultation period that USTR is pursuing before any of the so-called 301 tariffs can be activated.

President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs on imports of Chinese goods, and China has threatened to retaliate with duties on U.S. products, including soybeans and aircraft."


BEE POPULATIONS DOWN IN WESTERN CANADA | Farms.com

"Western Canadian beekeepers blame cold weather for depleted bee populations.

Between 35 and 40 per cent of Saskatchewan’s bees died over the winter and early spring, said Simon Lalonde, president of the Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission.

“It’s an exceptional number (and) beekeepers have to try and take what’s left and rebuild,” he told CBC today. “I think most people will probably be trying to cover expenses this year. It’s going to be a lean year for sure, but that’s agriculture.”

Saskatchewan is home to more than 100,000 bee colonies and 955 beekeepers, Stats Canada reports.

Canola producers could also feel the impacts of a lower bee populations.

Research suggests bee pollination can increase yields and the number of pods per plant, seeds per pod and seed weight, said the Canola Council of Canada.

“Farmers may or may not see an impact there, they may chalk it up to less rain or a hot stretch when they wanted some cooler weather for the crop,” Lalonde told CBC."

BEE POPULATIONS DOWN IN WESTERN CANADA | Farms.com

CANADA TO EXPAND AGRICULTURAL MARKET ACCESS IN CHINA | HortiDaily

"Canada and China are working to build a stronger relationship to create good, middle-class jobs and more opportunities for citizens in both countries. The two countries have agreed to increase collaboration on agriculture, including expanding market access, which is vital to achieving the Government of Canada’s trade target of growing global agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, heads to China for a week-long mission to showcase Canada’s agri-food and seafood, help grow exports for Canadian products and strengthen the trading relationship between the two countries.

Minister MacAulay will take part in a number of events from May 14 to 18, including meetings with leading Chinese companies such as e-commerce giant Alibaba, HeMa, and GFresh to discuss in-market opportunities for Canadian food products.

The Minister will also participate in roundtable discussions with representatives of Canadian and Chinese companies to discuss market opportunities in China. In addition, Minister MacAulay will attend SIAL China, where he will have the opportunity to interact with the Canadian exhibitors."

CANADA TO EXPAND AGRICULTURAL MARKET ACCESS IN CHINA | HortiDaily

CHINA TO CUT RICE, CORN PLANTING, GROW MORE SOYBEAN | WP

"China is expected to grow less rice and corn this year while increasing planting of soybean and other grains, local media citing the country’s agricultural ministry reported on Wednesday.

Planting area for rice is expected to drop by more than 10 million mu compared with a year earlier to 440 million mu, Security Times said.

Planting for soybeans will likely increase by over 10 million mu to 127 million mu. Cotton planting will drop slightly while that of sugar will maintain largely flat with small increases.

China will keep expanding plantations of green and premium quality food such as high-protein soybeans and high-yield sugar canes."

CHINA TO CUT RICE, CORN PLANTING, GROW MORE SOYBEAN | WP