2018 Farm Grants – Get Started Early

The end of this year is fast approaching; 2018 Will be here soon. Now is the best time for new and existing farmers to ensure that they maximise funding opportunities by applying to any remaining 2017 programs, and getting started early on 2018 programs.

With the harvest season rapidly ending, there is no time better than right now to get any financing, expansion and restructuring plans underway.

Some off-season effort can lead to much better productivity in the growing season. When you are ready to apply for the last 2017 funding programs, and get the 2018 information you need to get a leg up, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Find funding at:

http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/Funding-Finder.html

Or call us Toll-free at:

1-888-231-0075

Equipment for Farming Part 4: Equipment for Grain Harvesting

Harvesting grain crops is an intensive process that involves planning, skill and the use of advanced machinery.  In order to effectively farm many of the grains we find in Canada including Wheat, barley, and Canola, a Canadian Farmer will require several pieces of equipment:

Swather for Cutting and Drying

In Canada, where we have a short growing season, farmers often use a swather to harvest wheat. This piece of machinery is necessary when a grain does not have enough time to dry before harvesting. The swather cuts the stems of the plant and forms a  windrow, which is a uniform row of cut small grain crop left to dry before combining or further harvesting. Farmers who own combines that aren’t equipped to reap, or cut, the crop often use swathers.

A Combine is Essential to Grain Farming

The combine is the central part of the harvest. A combine “combines” the 3 harvest tasks: reaping, binding, and threshing. Combines have removable, crop-specific heads so that they can be used to harvest many types of crops. A combine can often hold a large amount of wheat, but when it fills up, it needs to be emptied before the machine can continue.

A Grain Truck to Transport the Harvest

Grain trucks transport the crop from the fields to the storage facility. A Grain truck is animportant piece of machinery that works alongside the combine allowing grain to be transferred quickly and efficiently. The truck can then transport grain from the field to storage units or shipping points. Grain trucks work best when equipped with large, specialized wheels to provide the traction required to move through the fields.

Grain Augers

When the grain arrives at the storage facility, a grain auger moves the grain into storage containers. An auger is a motorized, rotating, spiral shaft similar to a drill bit sometimes encased in metal tubing. It works like a pump for grain moving grain into or out of storage. Most augers are powered by a tractor or combine.

Grain Dryer for Straight Cut Crops

When a farmer skips swathing, or the crop still has a high moisture content a grain dryer can be used to dry the crop to an acceptable moisture level, which is usually below 12% for long-term storage. These stationary machines use energy to heat and blow air over and through the crop in order to speed drying and reduce spoilage.

Bins and Storage Units

Bins and silos are used to store grain. Metal or concrete bins or silos are covered structuresdesigned to aerate and continue to dry the grain. Proper Storage is a must, as improperly stored grains can quickly spoil. Grain elevators and bins are often designed to move the grain in order to facilitate even drying.

The Right Equipment is Key to a Farm’s Success

The right harvesting equipment can help raise efficiency and keep the property in top shape. Farming equipment costs can be substantial, and it’s important to take advantage of all sources of funding available to your farm. Whatever you decide: Buying new or used equipment will be a key to your on-farm success. Start or expand your farming business now: the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

5 Important Tips for New Farmers

Be Practical

Some farmers become too focused on their ideologies. New farmers, particularly those in urban areas  and farmers using sustainable techniques , may focus all their energy on big world issues — environmental, economic or political. A global focus may cause them to miss small opportunities in front of them. They may get discouraged that their local actions are not having enough of a global impact.
These ideologies can also keep small farmers from working with others who may have a different point of view or approach. The established farmers and support network are critical supports for a new farmer getting an operation started.

Sell Direct to Build Capacity

Seek out the path of least resistance. Visit the local farmers’ markets to sell your produce as you get the hang of what you can grow and sell. You will grow your customer base and learn what they want to buy. By having a direct relationship with end consumers you will get valuable feedback and also not become overcommitted to large orders you may initially have difficulties filling.

Have the Right Equipment

Some farmers may not have the right equipment to get started.

Although bootstrapping can work well for hobby operations,  farming on a a commercially viable scale requires capital. A huge sum is  not needed to start a small farm, but farmers starting out will require basic equipment: a tractor, a seeder, walk-in cooler and perhaps other small machinery. Cheap solutions like trying to spread seed by hand, or trying to use consumer refrigerators can end in problems. The right equipment can make all the difference.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

Some small farmers try to take on too many things right from the beginning. New farmers need to  focus on one or two things until they become successful. As in any business, trying to take on too much can be the mistake holding a beginning farmer back from every getting the ball rolling.

Treat Farming as a Business

The single most important factor in farming success is to approach farming as an actual business. Many farmers have big and noble ambitions, but you need to pay attention to the bottom line if you want the farm to succeed and grow over a long period of time.

If you are ready to start or expand your farm, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help you find funding. Use our funding finder tool:

http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/Funding-Finder.html

Or call us Toll-free at:

1-888-231-0075

Things to Consider When Buying a Farm

farm-for-sale

When you are considering buying a farm, it’s important to be prepared for some of the hidden challenges that will come up. A lot of things will seem self-evident but here are a few things to consider that may not be:

A good Real-Estate agent will save you time and money

Farm properties are a unique category of real-estate. There are many complex aspects to purchasing a farm that is not involved in the urban real-estate market. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable in farm and rural issues. Getting a good agent in the mix will save you both time and money when you buy a farm.

Availability of local markets

Although you may not sell all of your main production at the local farmer’s market, these types of locations can add a lot of needed cash flow to the small farmer. Having one nearby will allow you to maintain cash flow throughout the year by marketing complimentary items. If you have some crops that appeal directly to end users, you can maximize your margins by selling directly at the market rather than to resellers.

Infrastructure on Property

What sorts of buildings and improvements are on the property? How many of them are useful to you in your farm business plan? Is there infrastructure or buildings that can be adapted to your needs if they don;t already match them currently? If the farm comes with equipment, or a stockpile of resources like hay or firewood you may be able to use them to increase your returns.

History of the land and site evaluation

What sorts of crops or livestock were raised on the property previously? Are there any parts of the property that have had different purposes in the past? The current owners may provide information, but consulting with the neighbors may also yield valuable insights about the farm you are buying.

Tax status & zoning

What will your property taxes be? If the land is zoned as farming, you will have to keep it in prodcution in order to keep the lower farm tax rate. If it’s not zoned for farming, you will have to inquire with the local zoning authority how to get the proper zoning approved.

Soil tests

Comprehensive soil tests and profiling will  help you prepare for the best crop choices for your new farm. If you are interested in organic production, it would be wise to test your soil for residues and other heavy metals that may inhibit your ability to grow organically. This can be expensive but worth the investment.

Access to Water

If you plan on buying a farm, this is by far the most important resource to consider before you buy a farm. Water rights law is very complex and making sure you understand your rights and usage is extremely critical.  Know if you rights are currently valid and active. What are the water sources on the property?  It is also important to know what year your rights date back to. Senior water rights always get the water first. Do you have ponds, creeks, or wells that you are legally able to irrigate from?  What is the drinking water source? If from a well, test your water for metals and other contaminants.

A little bit of planning while you are looking for your new farm property can save big headaches in the long-run. If you are starting or buying a farm, Canadian Grants Business Center can help you locate the funding to get your farm business going.

Start or expand your farming business now: the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

Funding for Canadian Fruit Farmers

Canada has a major fruit industry despite our short growing season and cold climate.

Most Canadian fruit production occurs in Southern Ontario and southwest British Columbia, as they average the longest frost-free period per year at about 180 days. Parts of Quebec and the Maritimes also produce significant fruit crops, even with a shorter 120 frost-free days on average per year.

 

In British Columbia grapes, blueberries and cranberries lead the way. Ontario is the largest apple producer.  Canada’s most valuable fruit harvest is the blueberry crop consisting of domesticated and wild varieties. Canada is in fact now the world’s largest producer of wild blueberries.

Most fruit plants are perennial and as such offer an attractive annual return to farmers who are looking for either high-value side crop or to concentrate on fruit growing.

The cost to establish an Orchard, Vineyard or blueberry farm can be substantial. Fortunately, there are several funding programs available to farmers looking to establish or grow a fruit farming business.

When you are ready to expand your fruit orchard or start a new fruit farm,

The Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

Greenhouse and Vertical Farming Systems

Canada is a country with plenty of space to grow food on farms. There is one major hurdle to ultimate farming productivity common to all of Canada’s farms: the unpredictable weather and low temperatures we have for almost half the year during winter.

The solution to this age old problem may be in a combination of traditional greenhouse knowledge and cutting edge vertical farming technology.

Indoor growing of high yield crops like leafy greens, tomatoes, and peppers has long been a way to increase yields per acre by extending the growing season well into the normally unproductive winter months.

In addition to the extended growing season, there are other notable yield increasing factors at play when talking about greenhouse based indoor growing. Pest and disease control are more straightforward, as access to external pathogens and organisms can be limited much more extensively than in an open field. As a result, greenhouse crops often do not require chemical pesticides or herbicides and are less likely to fail from fungal or bacterial illness.

Another major productivity boost can be seen in modern greenhouses and other indoor growing spaces. Vertical farming tools and techniques can increase crop yields per sq ft of indoor space many times over.  There are varying degrees of complexity and automation possible for vertical farming setups.  At it’s simplest, Vertical Farming is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers, or on vertically inclined surfaces. Conventional agriculture focuses on 1 layer of plants growing across a wide area, Vertical farming techniques plant upwards as well. Some systems can consist of racks or shelves containing plants that are many units high.

Vertical farming techniques and equipment can translate into a big productivity booster for existing greenhouse owners.  These techniques can also make non-conventional farming locations such as urban areas viable for commercial scale food production. When you are ready to expand your greenhouse business or start a new agricultural production facility,

The Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

$350 Million in new Funding for Canadian Dairy Industry.

The Canadian Government has just announced two programs worth $350 million for Canada’s dairy sector. The Funding is meant to help farmers and processors invest in new equipment and technologies in order to increase productivity and farm profits.

A closeup of a dairy cow eating hay in the barn - chewing his cud.

A $250 million program will help Canadian dairy farmers update their technology and equipment to boost productivity. Robotic milking equipment, automated feeding systems or new herd management software are examples of what would qualify.

A second $100 million fund for dairy processors would be available to help modernize their operations or diversify product lines for new markets. The idea is to encourage Canadian producers to take advantage of newly opened European markets.

The new assistance package was designed based on what the government heard from the dairy sector during consultations in recent months. The government plans to keep talking to farmers and processors over the next few weeks as it finalizes how the programs will work, including additional online consultations.

In order to maximize the chance fo success for local producers, it is important that they take advantage of this funding: There are a lot of farms that need updating in Canada.

When you are ready to start or expand your farming business, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

3 Profitable Specialty Crops for Canadian Farmers

Many farmers are looking for a way to produce extra income on the farm. Sometimes adding a small-scale cash crop can help increase farm profits, or even become a major source of on-farm income. Here are 3 crops worth considering as an add-on or main crop for your farm:

Gourmet mushrooms. Mushrooms can be an ideal second crop for Canadian farmers, as they are grown indoors and produce a  high return per square foot. The two gourmet mushrooms varieties with the largest demand are oyster and shiitake. Oyster mushrooms can yield up to 25 pounds per square foot of growing area every year. At an average price of $7 a pound,  a 10 x 10 space can generate $17,500 in a single year. Oyster and shiitake can be dried, or sold fresh, allowing for flexibility in distribution and timing.

Garlic. The 3 types of gourmet garlic can provide a great boost to farm revenue. Rocambole, Purplestripe and Porcelain varieties offer superior flavor and command a premium at retail.  These gourmet varieties can sell for as much as $10 a pound.  In good soil, an acre planted with garlic can yield 15,000 pounds. Garlic is a hearty crop that tolerates a wide range of soil and weather conditions, and that’s why many growers rely on it to provide dependable income year in and year out.

Herbs. The biggest herb demand is for fresh culinary herbs. Growers can supply customers directly at farmer’s markets to maximize revenues. A great way to add value is to package 4 herbs into a  windowsill size herb garden. Dried culinary herbs can also be packaged to sell at the farmer’s market, extending shelf-life. With hundreds of choices, including a broad range of ethnic herbs for serious cooks, growers can focus on mainstream and niche herbs to cater to a variety of clients.

If you are ready to start or expand your farm, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help you find funding. Use our funding finder tool:

http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/Funding-Finder.html

Or call us Toll-free at:

1-888-231-0075

Funding for Farm Upgrades: Grow Your Farm in 2017

 

Starting or expanding a farm can be a challenge, but is also very rewarding, both financially and in terms of personal satisfaction.

There are many farm grants programs set up to facilitate farm investment and encourage growth.

Farmers regularly apply and receive funding for a variety of business purposes including:

  • Barn construction and upgrades
  • Livestock purchase
  • Seed and fertilizer purchase
  • Tractor and combine purchase or lease
  • Land acquisition and clearing
  • Installation of Irrigation Systems
  • Installation of Tile Drainage
  • Fencing
  • Implementing Technology Upgrades


Farm upgrades can be a great way to drive on-farm productivity in 2017 and for tomorrow.

If you are ready to start or expand a farm, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help find funding. Find funding at:

http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/Funding-Finder.html

Or call us Toll-free at:

1-888-231-0075

Equipment for Farming Part 3: Dairy Milking Machines

When running a dairy farm, milk production is the main source of farm revenue, and so the dairy farmer will try to maximize the quality and quantity of milk produced by the herd.  Dairy farming has a unique set of equipment requirements as compared to other types of animal farms focused on raising livestock for consumption. The milking setup and equipment can have a major effect on the efficiency and quality of the milking process.

There are several levels of complexity when it comes to milking equipment. The least complicated is hand milking, which is not really viable for a commercial farm in today’s day and age. As we go from less complicated to more complicated milking equipment setups, we see a whole range of setups starting at the simplest labor intensive vacuum assisted setups all the way to completely automated robotic milking stations.

Fully automatic milking systems are somewhat popular in Europe but remain much less popular in Canada. The majority of dairy farms in the Canadian market continue to use more traditional, cost effective and easily maintained equipment.

A typical milking machine extracts milk from the cow’s udder by vacuum. They are designed to apply a constant vacuum to the end of the teat to extract the milk, transfer it to a container, and maintain blood circulation with a regular squeeze.

A milking machine installation consists of a system of pipes connecting the various vessels and other components through which air and milk flow. The system operates by vacuum, and therefore requires forces to be applied to function. Atmospheric pressure forces air, and intra-mammary milk pressure forces milk, into the system. The combination of these forces causes flow. To work continuously, air and milk must be removed from the system at appropriate rates. The air is removed with a vacuum pump and the milk is removed by a milk pump.

The right milking equipment can help raise efficiency and keep dairy cattle in top shape.

The cost to build a milking parlor (milking facility) with equipment can range anywhere from $30,000.00 on the low end upwards of $300,000.00 for large and complex installations. Milking equipment costs can be substantial, and it’s important to take advantage of all sources of funding available to your farm. Whatever you decide: Buying new or used equipment will be a key to your on-farm success. Start or expand your farming business now: the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!