E-Letter - October 4, 2019

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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)


New PEI Soil Health Testing Package free for a limited time
The PEI Analytical Laboratories is now accepting samples for the new PEI Soil Health Testing Package. This test includes a variety of soil health tests that focus not only on the nutrient content of the soil, but other physical and biological soil characteristics. The PEI Soil Health Test Package is a comprehensive add-on to the current PEIAL S3 nutrient analysis package, and includes the following additional soil health tests: soil texture, wet aggregate stability, soil respiration, active carbon, and biological nitrogen availability.

Farmers and watershed groups work together
A new committee is exploring ways to help Island farmers better handle farm-related environment issues, strengthen a core sector of the economy and help farm families build a strong future. The PEI Agri Watershed Partnership (PEI-AWP) came together in the winter of 2019 when the PEI Federation of Agriculture approached the PEI Watershed Alliance to discuss working in partnership to encourage beneficial management practices.

PEI Manure Nutrient Content Survey
The PEI Department of Agriculture and Land is looking for volunteer dairy and beef farms for their PEI Manure Nutrient Content survey. The goal of this survey is to update PEI's average manure nutrient content values for beef and dairy across PEI (poultry and swine to be sampled next year). Participating farms will have their manure piles or storages sampled twice in the upcoming year (once in spring and once in fall) and analyzed for nutrient content at the PEI Analytical Laboratories. Participating producers will be given their individual test results for free, as well as the averages for the whole province at the end of the project.
Farms will be chosen for the survey based on location and manure type requirements needed for the study. For more information, please contact Kyra Stiles at (902) 316-1600 or Melanie Bos at (902) 314-0790

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.

October 6 - Farm Day in the City, Charlottetown

October 17-18 - Forage PEI, Charlottetown

Calendar of Events

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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 families can work together for farm success
Working with family in the farm business is not the same as working with employees you don’t share a blood bond with. Experts agree a strong family foundation and clear vision are critical to making it work.

Mind Your Farm Business, Ep 44: Pre-nups, post-nups, and estate planning: agreements to save the farm
It’s unlikely that anyone goes in to a marriage expecting it to fail, but the reality is that marriages do end, and when a farm business and farm property is involved it can get very messy, very quickly — It doesn’t have to be this way.


  • October 17 -Farm Tax and Legal Update - various speakers

Market Prices

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Toe-tip necrosis in cattle
Don’t overlook this disease when diagnosing lameness in the feedlot

November 1-2 -Atlantic Beef School, Nappan, NS

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Conventional Soybeans (non-GMO) Losing Ground in Mato Grosso
The state of Mato Grosso is the only major soybean producing state in Brazil where farmers still produce a significant amount of conventional soybeans (non-GMO), but conventional soybeans continue to lose ground in the state. Conventional soybeans command a premium in the international marketplace, but they are also more expensive to produce.

November 12-15 -Canadian Forage Production School, Moncton, NB

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Could a 'Made in America' version of supply management benefit U.S. dairy farmers?
US. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is a man of the people. There was no better evidence of that than this week when he sat with dairy farmers at the World Dairy Expo to listen to their concerns.

How to maximize the strength of the herd by addressing the weakness of the individual
Precision dairy technologies are advancing at an exponential rate. These technologies are allowing us to track and monitor an individual cow’s activity, rumination, production and even location in a pen on a daily (or even hourly) basis. But with these advancements in individual cow monitoring, we sometimes forget that these individual cows do not function independently of one another in a herd. A cow is affected by how well she can access the resources she needs in a herd, both in a tiestall and a freestall environment.

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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New insights into colony collapse disorder’s Varroa mite
Although even mainstream has shown that colony collapse disorder — the instance in which a hive’s worker bees disappear and leave behind the queen — is not the crisis that it was 15 years, there is ongoing awareness of it and the other things that impact our honey bee populations. After all, their value to agriculture as a key pollinator species can’t be denied, and honey bee colony collapse can have devastating consequences for the global economy and food security worldwide.

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A New Way To Train Blackberry Canes
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) horticulturist Fumiomi Takeda of the Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia, developed a rotating cross-arm (RCA) trellis and cane-training system for floricane-fruiting blackberry—blackberry plants that produce harvestable fruit after the first year of growth—to help growers overcome environmental challenges, produce more fruit, and reduce labor costs. This system can increase a grower’s income by more than $6,000 per acre—a significant increase.

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November 1-3 -Equestrian Canada Convention, Toronto

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Why do Canadians eat organic?
In 2018, there were 5,791 organic crop producers in Canada, up 46 percent from 3,955 in 2015. Data from the Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA), released the second week of September, shows the number of organic farmers has exploded in the last couple years.

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Cold Weather Best Harvest Practices
Generally, as tuber temperature increases, less bruise occurs. Temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit are considered to be best for harvesting and handling tubers. Temperatures above 65 degrees are considered undesirable because of the increased risk of tuber decay in storage.

Cavendish Farms Opens New $430 Million Frozen Potato Processing Plant in Lethbridge, Alberta
Cavendish Farms’ newest plant is officially open for business. The announcement was made at a ceremony held today at the new Lethbridge frozen potato processing facility. Cavendish Farms President Robert K. Irving was joined by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman and other dignitaries to celebrate the largest private sector investment in the history of the City of Lethbridge.

Packing, loading efficiency key part of potato industry supply chain
Shipping is an essential part of the food supply chain and a significant factor in everyone’s bottom line along the way. Transit costs can be volatile; they hinge on any number of factors beyond food producers’ control, such as oil prices, availability of truck drivers and weather.

With increased input costs and skyrocketing land prices, profit margins are shrinking — it’s never been more important to have a good handle on what’s happening in your fields. Data generated from yield maps provide insight on how to manage your crop to improve your profit margin, your yield, or both. Whether this is your first season or your fifth using a potato yield monitor, our guest speakers will make sure you’re getting the most out of the technology.

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


October 18 - 27thSheep Breeders' Lamb Dinner, Red Shores Racetrack, Charlottetown
Registration and payment deadline October 12. Please reserve tickets from Board of Director Members

PEI Sheep Breeders Website


ASF outbreak slow to lift profitability of North American producers
Trade tensions, Brexit and other geopolitical risks weigh on the world economy. Weather and animal diseases create an additional layer of uncertainty in agricultural markets. A perfect example is the global pork market. Our July profitability outlook for the Canadian hog/pork sector continues to hold, but recent economic data offer some upside. A rising hog-feed ratio indicates stronger profitability going into 2020 as the gap between China’s pork demand and supply is expected to grow.


5 Questions to Answer Before Venturing Into Greenhouse Vegetables
Transitioning from ornamental to vegetable production in a greenhouse requires a lot of planning in advance. If you are considering making this change, here are just a few factors you’ll need to consider.

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The Latest Generation Gap In Farming Is About Robots
On a recent bright, clear day in eastern Nebraska, a small red machine crept through a lush field of soybeans. From the highway, it looked like a small tractor. Up close, its mess of wires came into focus. So did the laptop strapped to the back.


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:   October 18, 2019

Date de publication : 
le 4 Octobre 2019
Agriculture et Terres

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