Archive for April, 2013

Glyphosate Management – Part 3 of 3

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 by marissa.gardin — Filed under agronomy

Read the following for the conclusion to Matt Goslings 3 part series he wrote after a trip to Monsanto HQ in Winnipeg.

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The investment towards developing crops with certain genes is HUGE!  $100Million a year are spent in Western Canada on canola germ plasm alone!  Sadly, cereal grain budgets are leaps and bounds less. I predict that amount will be microscopic after hearing about the new technology in RNA interference (RNAi) and the BioDirect system from Monsanto. There’s plenty of cool information on the web on this as it’s too complicated for me to explain in a few words. But, in one sentence, this product will be able to shut off the glyphosate resistant gene in certain weeds, making them susceptible to the herbicide again.  This technology extends into potential cures for a lot of human ailments as well, which I’m sure will be of great controversy… or not.

Good, sound agronomy will always play an important role in sustainable agriculture, and it will be a combined effort from everyone involved.  Overall, I was very impressed with the professionalism, diligence, and proactive attitude that Monsanto exhibited during our time with them, and I extend a similar voice for most of the agriculture companies that we’ve had exposure to.  At the end of the day, we’re all helping grow more food on a given area in one of the most honest and honorable services humankind can practice.

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In other news, Premium Ag has been gearing up for spring! Seed Treating is about to begin, Soil Sampling and Spreading are going hard and we just celebrated Ethans birthday with an ice cream cake! 

Enjoy these last calm minutes before seeding starts, everyone!



Glyphosate Management – Part 2 of 3

Thursday, April 4th, 2013 by marissa.gardin — Filed under agronomy

The following is the second part of a three part series Matt wrote after a visit to Monsanto Canada Headquarters

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Genetic advancement is one of the big ways our globe will be able to feed our growing population among other efforts.  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) take a lot of heat in the public eye.  Did you know that insulin is a GMO that’s helped millions of diabetics?  Ask one of them what they think of GMO’s.  The Agriculture Industry and farmers need to stand up to public pressure and show consumers how we grow our food.  Yes, there are bad farmers in every area that give us a black eye, but that’s something every industry puts up with.  Organic food production has been estimated to sustain a global population of 2 Billion people which was surpassed in the 1930’s, in and around when synthetic fertilizer production was was being heavily commercialized.  I’m sure with concentrated practices, organic production globally could feed more than 2B people, but I’m also confident that it wouldn’t feed our globe today, let alone in 2050 when 9-10B people are estimated.

Part of that genetic advancement included developing lower heat unit soybeans and corn will eventually lead to the potential of corn grain & bean production on more and more acres in the Prairies.  My immediate reaction to this was “HOLD ON A MINUTE!!!”  We’ve seen this scenario in the USA which takes the lead in glyphosate resistance issues and this is not a pretty picture.  Monsanto is well aware of this and will promote good agronomic practices that include good crop & chemical rotation.  The other genetic stack mentioned that up to three companies are trying to develop is combined Liberty and Round Up genes.  This last part created quite a stir on Twitter when I mentioned it.  Being that I was in the Head Quarters, I asked.  Glyphosate is a cheap commodity with very low margins, so selling this highly effective commodity is not primary, but preserving its use is, and having the option of Liberty, is just an option.  Growers will always be able to ‘vote’ with their wallets on what they grow and those genetics will be another option on the shelves for specific situations.

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Stay tuned for the final part!