E-Letter- May 24, 2019

Welcome to this weeks E-Letter
The E-Letter is published bi-weekly

If anyone has feedback or items that they would like to see in the E- Letter, please contact Suzanne MacNeill: slmacneil@gov.pe.ca.


TABLE OF CONTENTS (click on the topic below to view the information)


Why Trump’s new $16B farmer bailout could hurt agriculture
President Donald Trump's snap decision to send billions of dollars in new aid to farmers could be bad for the farm economy and the federal budget. Many farmers are still deciding what to plant this spring and could be swayed toward crops that receive higher payouts from the aid package, such as soybeans. That would add to already record supplies and further depress prices that have been falling for five years.

The Rising Risks — and Opportunities — Confronting Global Agriculture
The global agriculture industry is undergoing dramatic change. Shifting consumer tastes are combining with deeper supply chains and the latest technologies to create dramatic new opportunities – and risks, including those from climate change. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is just one notable example of the dynamics already upending the old order. But what are the big challenges entwined in all of this change for producers, distributors and retailers, and how can the risks be hedged?

Agriculture department hasn’t studied farmer mental health since before 2018
The federal agriculture department has not conducted a study into the mental health of Canadian farmers since at least the beginning of 2018, iPolitics has learned. An access to information and privacy (ATIP) request for any studies, research or reports on farmers’ mental health commissioned or produced by the department since the start of 2018 produced no documents despite a “thorough search,” says Vincent Beaulieu, the ATIP director for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

Ag Faces a Scientific Innovation Drought
Cattle ranches and their cowboys used to be economic anchors for our nation’s growth across North America. And they remain a way of life for much of the High Plains of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. But today, even with cattle and beef supplies increasing over the past five years, the rising price of even the most inexpensive beef products—such as hamburger meat—leaves consumers searching for more economical sources of protein.

AgriInsurance Deadline - May 31
Spring planted crops deadline for Production Insurance is May 31. Contact your Saftey Net Rep for more information

Deadlines extended for AgriStability - July 2, 2019
Applies to 2019 program year only.

Follow us on Twitter @AgInfoPEI
The PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries's Agriculture Information Twitter feeds will be your source for agriculture events and workshops on PEI. Tweet us today!

PEI Market Reports

AgWeather Atlantic Website

Food Matters blog Ian Petrie writes about agriculture on PEI.

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Commodity events are listed under their respective commodities.

Calendar of Events

May 30 - Pesticide Loader / Mixer Training Course,Summerside

June 4 - Weed Wiping - Pesticide Training Course - Blueberry & Fruit, Charlottetown

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Interested in working in agriculture? Are you looking to hire new employees?
To post your employment opportunity or for an up to date list of agricultural jobs in PEI, visit PEI Agriculture Sector Council job registry. Check back regularly as new positions are being posted frequently this time of year.


You can make an appointment to write the two hour exam by calling Thane Clarke at the Department of Communities, Land and Environment at (902) 368- 5599

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How productivity gains affect farm income
Agriculture has long experienced productivity gains. Innovations such as GMOs and precision agriculture are transforming today’s agriculture. CRISPR gene editing technologies are expected to soon make positive contributions. Productivity gains are desirable to society, but their economic impacts aren’t shared by all. This week and next, we’ll explore how productivity gains affect farm income and how farmers can stay ahead.

After a decade in the potato storage business, I’ve learned there’s a single piece of advice I can give that, no matter the situation, the operation or the farmer, proves relevant each and every time someone is considering upgrading their storage. It’s this: think beyond today.

Stay tuned

Market Prices

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Japan to accept more Canadian beef
Japan reopened its market May 17 to Canadian beef from animals of all ages.

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Wheat School: Late nitrogen pays — even in tough-looking winter wheat
In this episode of the Wheat School, our resident agronomist compares wheat that received early spring nitrogen to another part of the field where none was applied.

Grain companies expect rising demand for soybeans
Two of the world’s largest grain companies say the outbreak of African swine fever in China will eventually be good for their bottom lines, but they differ on when that will happen.

Tips for baling in high- moisture situations
ommerfeld is a cattle producer based near Medstead, Sask. Now we turn to Sommerfeld’s methods for cutting, raking and baling. Sommerfeld prefers cutting with a 13.5-foot discbine, which allows him to cut at about six miles per hour. Rather than travelling back and forth across the field, he cuts in circles. He takes shortcuts at the corners, leaving 26-foot wide wedges, which he cleans up when he reaches the centre.

Check the calendar, or the thermometer when deciding to plant soybeans?
Selecting the right soybean variety for the area is the best strategy for avoiding frost damage at either end of the season

2019 Cereal Guide

2018 Roundup Ready Soybean Variety Trials

2018 Conventional Soybean Variety Trails

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Hoard's Dairman Webinar - Focusing on fresh cow strategies
The webinar features nutrient transitioning between close-up, fresh cow, and high-producing cow rations. Considerations include fresh cow pen duration, small herd strategies, and fresh cow comfort. Amino acid supplementation, fatty acid additions, and metabolic disorders were also covered

Global dairy markets: The rebalancing starts in 2019
Despite some significant headwinds, 2018 was a record year for U.S. dairy exporters. Export volume was up 10 percent from the prior year, led by all-time highs in overseas shipments of nonfat dry milk and skim milk powder (NDM and SMP), high-protein whey products, and lactose. Along the way, we grew our share of global trade against our major competitors from Europe and Oceania.

Cows Set Sail at World’s First Floating Dairy
Earning their sea legs, 32 cows have made agricultural history after boarding the world’s first floating dairy farm located in the Netherlands. Appropriately named Floating Farm, the three-tiered structure will feature a robotic milking system, a robotic feeding system and an air-tight manure storage facility.

The black and white of feeding dairy beef
Dairy beef steers make up roughly twenty percent of the U.S. fed-cattle market and, with their relatively low purchase price, they can be an attractive option for finishing when corn prices are favorable. Dairy beef production can be segmented into phases, allowing producers to find a feeding program that matches their feed resources, availability of labor and facilities. Gaining an understanding of the physiological differences between dairy and beef steers, the phases of production, calf health and feeding protocols will optimize efficiency, performance and the potential for profit.

Management and Policy Officer - Dairy Farmers of Prince Edward Island
Located in Charlottetown and reporting to the General Manager, the Management and Policy Officer will learn all aspects of the dairy industry, including the legal and market environment. Duties will include providing policy advice to the Board and operational management functions. Success in this role will require a bachelor or master’s degree in business/commerce, agricultural management, agricultural economics or related disciplines. A knowledge of agriculture policy development is desirable. Applicants should note that a significant amount of travel, mostly within Canada, is required. Competitive management compensation will be determined based on the skills and experience offered, and will be adjusted to reflect all responsibilities assigned. DFPEI provides employees a full insurance and retirement package. Applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to dfpei@dfpei.pe.ca.

Atlantic Dairy Events Calendar

Dairy Quota Exchange

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Agri-Food Growth Program
The Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has established the Agri-Food Growth Program to build and enhance local markets to increase the awareness, sale and consumption of Prince Edward Island produced agri-food products.

Agri-Food Promotion Program
The Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has established the Agri-Food Promotion Program to increase the awareness, demand, and consumption for fresh, high-quality Prince Edward Island agricultural products.

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PEI Woodlot Owner's Association website
PEIWOA is an inclusive group of woodlot owners that encourages Islanders to create a more sustainable forest ecosystem and forest resource on Prince Edward Island

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Neonics hinder bees’ grooming ability: study
University of Guelph researchers find that insecticide affects honeybees’ ability to rid themselves of deadly varoa mites

How Apis Mellifera Became the Honey Industry's Favorite Bee
There are thousands of bee species, but there are only seven major species of honeybees. From those seven, beekeepers have largely chosen Apis mellifera, often called the European or Western honeybee, for its unparalleled ability to produce honey, and to be deployed by the millions to pollinate crops.


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June 4 - Weed Wiping - Pesticide Training Course - Blueberry & Fruit, Charlottetown

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10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses
Of the hundreds of toxic plants in North America, only a handful are likely to bring serious harm to horses

Equine Asthma
Equine asthma, commonly known as recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) or heaves, is a respiratory disease caused by hypersensitivity in the lungs to airborne dusts and molds.

May 24-25 - Maritime Draft Horse Sale, Fredericton

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A middle path to sustainable farming
Agricultural economists are homing in on hybrid, low-input methods that will both safeguard the environment and feed the future billions

How can the organic sector grow while maintaining its integrity?
Executives are working to expand in a way that preserves trust in the seal and their companies, but at a careful pace.

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Marcel Bruins, editor of European Seed, discusses the challenges and opportunities of breeding new potato varieties with the leaders of Europe’s major potato breeding companies.

Canadian growers have a new tool in the fight against resistance. ManageResistanceNow.ca, a resistance management website, has added fungicide best practice information to help growers minimize the development of resistance in their crops.

Common scab is a pervasive threat to some potato-growing regions in Canada. Lesions and cavities on infected tubers can render them unmarketable. Researchers and industry experts are still trying to determine why the pathogen is more prevalent in some fields than others as well as the best methods for fighting the disease. While growers use many different practices to control common scab, none have proven to be totally effective. During this webinar, four industry experts will discuss common scab and management practices offering the best chances for success when combatting the disease.

May 30 - Pesticide Loader / Mixer Training Course,Summerside

2018 Potato Guide - available on-line

2018 Seed Potato Certification List and Grower Directory available on- line

Terminal Market Potato Prices
These price data are compiled by USDA AMS Market News Service.

FOB Potato Prices
These price data are compiled by USDA AMS Market News Service.

Reports on Potato Supplies, Movement,Stocks, and Usage
This data are compiled by North American Potato Market News.

US National Potato & Onion Report


Dual action designed to avoid resistance
A new drench is designed to provide effective treatment of sheep without allowing parasites to develop resistance

PEI Sheep Breeders Website


PED mystery unsolved, but outbreak may have ended
Officials hopeful there will be no new cases of deadly hog virus


Balance and biodiversity: It all starts with the soil
Without the soil life, organic waste does not break down

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Data drives tractor in right directions
We’ve seen data-driven technology improve the performance of combines, tractors, grain-handling equipment and sprayers. Electronic soil sensors and data-driven technology have finally caught up with tillage and planting equipment.


We welcome your feedback. Suggestions, questions, or comments can be made to the Agriculture Information Desk at by e- mail to slmacneil@gov.pe.ca

Next E-Letter:   June 7, 2019

Published date: 
May 24, 2019
Agriculture and Land

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P.O. Box 2000,
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Phone: 902-368-4880
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