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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!

Equipment for Farming Part 2: Planting No-Till Grain

Choosing the right piece of equipment for any given farming job is not always easy. Soybean, small grains (like wheat), and corn growers can share many different pieces of equipment, and no matter what crop you are harvesting, a combine can be used. When it comes to planting no-till, two main pieces of equipment will help get the crops in the ground: a grain drill and a planter.

 

What is No-Till Farming:

Tilling is a traditional farming method that controls weeds, shapes the soil into rows for crop plants and creates furrows for irrigation.  Plowing flips over the top layer of soil incorporating nearly all residue into the soil. Tilling and plowing can lead to negative effects such as: soil compaction, loss of potential recuperation of last year’s crop waste left to break down, degradation of soil structure), erosion, and disruption of soil organisms. A no-till system minimizes soil disruption. A grain drill is used to seed wheat and soybeans. A planter is used to plant other crops like corn and sunflowers. Both pieces of equipment are used in no-till farming.

No-Till Farming Can Work For Many Farmers

There are pros and cons for any approach to farming. Each farmer needs to decide what is best for a property. The down-side of no-till, is the loss of physical weed control. No-till makes other forms of weed control necessary like chemicals, biotechnology or cover crops (a crop that is planted in between crops). In places where the wind is a problem, no-till will allow soil structure to be maintained and reduce erosion. Soil quality will also improve from leaving leftover crop residue to break down in the field. A no-till system allows producers to make fewer passes through a field, thereby reducing fuel use, labor, and requirements for tilling equipment, this translates into cost savings.

So what does a drill or planter have to do with no-till…?

Both the planter and drill contain mechanisms and are designed specifically for a no-till system. In both the drill and the planter, they must be able to cut through or move aside the leftover residue from last year’s crops as well as ensure proper depth so that the seed makes good contact with the soil.

No-Tilling Starts With Drilling

No-till farming starts with the no-till drill. A Traditional drill consisted of a seed hopper installed above a series of tubes that can be adjusted to specific distances from each other. Most seed drills now use compressed air to transport the seed from the hopper, through a tube and into a disc at an angle with a boot attached. This disc opens up the soil and creates a small furrow to accommodate the seeds. The discs distribute the seed into the ground and cut through any leftover residue from previously harvested crops. There is another piece on the back of the drill that drags behind and covers up the furrow made by the disc. A drill can allow farmers to plant seeds in rows, spaced correctly, at a specified depth, and at a specified rate. The seed drill allows farmers to plant seeds without back-tracking.

A Planter can Take No-Till to the Next Level

The drill makes it easier to control depth and spacing, but the planter makes it even easier. A planter is a precision tool ideal for crops like corn and sunflowers. When planting these crops,  row spacing, depth, and plant spacing are critical. The planter is less useful for small seed crops. Wheat and soy don’t see as much benefit from this tool compared to a drill.

The planter has three main parts. The “trash wheels” move aside any leftover residue in the field. The planter works almost like the drill but with a vacuum system. Seed is taken from the main hopper to small hoppers for each row. A vacuum sucks the seed from the small hoppers into a disc that has holes for individual seeds. As the disc rotates, seeds are dropped into the ground in precise increments. The depth is adjustable like with the drill, but the planter can also manage the distance from seed to seed in a row.

Like the drill, there are discs that open the soil and make a furrow to deposit the seed into, and a furrow closer that trails behind.

The Right Equipment is Key to a Farm’s Success

The right no-till planting 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!

Farm Grants for Organic Farming

Organic crops are produced without synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides or fungicides on land that has been free of these chemicals for at least 3 years. Animal products fed organic grains and forage, synthetic hormones, antibiotics, and drugs can be considered organic.

In order to be considered organic, a producer must be certified by the appropriate certification body in keeping with the Canada Organic Regime.

Land Transition Requirements:

In order to use land fro organic crops, the land must be tended for 36 months with no prohibited inputs (fertilizer, herbicide, etc) before organic status.

Under the Canadian system, new applicants who wish to market organic field crops must apply for certification 15 months prior to the expected marketing date. Existing clients wishing to add new land to their certification must ensure that the land is managed according to the Canadian regulations for at least 12 months prior to certification. The European Equivalency Agreement which came into effect July 2011 now recognizes as organic any product certified under the Canadian system.

Livestock Transition Requirements:

There is a one-year transition for livestock to become organic breeding stock. Breeding stock cannot be sold for organic slaughter. Offspring from organic breeding stock is eligible for organic slaughter. If conventional or transitional livestock are managed organically from the start of their third trimester of gestation, then the offspring is eligible for organic slaughter.

Dairy cattle have a one year transition before the milk produced is eligible for organic status. Poultry must be under organic management beginning no later than the second day of life.

Organic certification can be a great way to drive revenue growth on a new or existing farm.

If you are ready to consider becoming an organic certified producer, 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

Is Buying Farmland a Good Investment?

Buying farmland can be a great investment opportunity for Canadians. There are many factors that make this true here a few of the basic ones:

  • Farmland will always be worth something. Regardless of the fluctuations in the stock market or residential real estate, farmland will always retain some value because it is required for the most basic of human needs: food production.
  • The supply of farmland is always decreasing as pressure from increasing populations lead to urban sprawl. Things go up in value when supply goes down.
  • Farmland can be used to create real value for the owner either in the production of food or can generate income when rented to another farmer.

Increasing populations in North America create an increase in demand for food, but no new farmland is being made. In some areas of North America, land prices per acre doubled in less than 3 years. Canadian farmland is uniquely positioned to increase in value even more as climate change disrupts weather patterns and US producers are marginalized.

So it is clear that buying farmland can function both as a resource for your farm, but also an investment that will appreciate in value for years to come.

If you are ready to consider purchasing farmland to start or grow a farm, 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

Women Farmers of Canada

over one-quarter (27.5%) of Canadian farmers are women
Over one-quarter of Canadian farmers are women.

Canada is the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world and over one-quarter (27.5%) of Canadian farmers are women. Women are an important part of the workforce in Canada, and an increasingly important part of the Agricultural production of our country.

Across Canada farmers — a majority of whom are men — are getting older. The next generation of farmers is slowly taking over. We have seen a major increase in the number of women taking over family farms, and entering the field as new farmers.

Women can face unique challenges as a working farmer. Finding a balance between a farm career and family goals can be hard. The lack of female role models and rural child care can limit networking opportunities and career growth. Commodity boards and the agribusiness industry are staffed more often by men, and this can create an atmosphere of a “boys club”.

Having women in decision-making positions could have an impact beyond gender equity. Women want more information before making decisions and might take fewer risks in stressful situations. In a farm with partner operators and more collaborative decision-making, there’s  more opportunity for balancing year-to-year yields rather than extreme highs and lows based on the risks that male operators are taking. This can be a great thing for the viability and long-term sustainability of a farm.

An open minded approach and support for women in farming will be good for the Canadian Farming sector and the Country as a whole.

If you are a woman farmer or a woman looking to start or buy a farm, 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

5 Easy Farm Grants: Government funding for Farms

The agriculture industry is a hot commodity for government investment. These investments usually bring jobs, market stabilization, environmental improvements, and health benefits to consumers. Below are the top 5 Agricultural initiatives you could be doing right now to obtain Government Funding:Two Young Yellow chicks

  • Go Organic: By going organic not only are you making your produce healthier to consume for the average customer you are
    also decreasing any environmental hazards that may come from your product processes. Government agencies love these types of commitments as it’s a positive political position shown to the mass populace. Targeting this area will more likely help with your quest for government funding.
  • Humane Environment for Livestock: Just as the Go Organic craze, is a positive political position for the Government, the Humane Livestock is an area that will most likely help you get government funding while doing what is naturally right for your stock. Improving livestock area’s, feeding them healthier choices, and just finding ways to make the animals lives the best they can be, are all areas that can help in your quest for farm grants.
  • Equipment R&D: Coming up with more efficient ways to do your day to day job is something that the government loves. As if it’s something feasible, they can push as legislation to decrease costs all across similar agricultural markets. If you have a new way to formulate dairy products that are cheaper than current practices, the government will definitely give your business a few looks for investment.
  • Jobs: The labour market is slow at the moment, and any potential areas of job creation are   something the government will likely invest in. If you need employees for strenuous job roles, there maybe are subsidies from the government available to you in terms of government funding.
  • Grain: The grain market is hot right now, if your agriculture business main activity is Grain, there may be government funding for you to put towards harvesting and transportation.

For more information on Government Grants and Loans for Canadian Farmers, you can contact the Canadian Grants Business Center:

Call us at: 1-888-231-0075

Contact us now to find out more!

Farming is the Future of Canada

Farming is the Future of Canada

Agriculture is a diverse and exciting industry. The variety of farms and the people who live on them create the fabric of food production. Will this still be the case in the future?

Canadian Urbanization will have an impact on our farming processes. Every civilization is built on the production of food and the world’s best soil dies under our cities. By 2020, 80 percent of the global population will live in urban areas within 60 kilometers off a shore. This is Canada’s profile as well with over 70 percent of our population living in a port-side city. The continuous food going in is one issue but the waste coming out also pressures surrounding agricultural land.farm

Agricultural enterprises by nature are often stand-alone independent units but this too is changing and we will continue to see alliances and partnerships, especially when value adding is present. To truly establish markets, producers will be seeking out end-users that align with their value systems. Younger farmers today are hungry for information that adds value to their product and are well informed and very comfortable with these types of agreements.

Rural communities will change and prosper depending on their access to technology. We are starting to see some very interesting farm operations and vibrant small-town economies based on technology hubs and layering of partnerships. With the access to information and the ability to communicate globally, there are no restrictions on the opportunity. Lately, this has been expressed in the resurgence of interest in small family farms. Small is big again and young couples are flocking to the farm armed with their education, cell phones, cloud technology and business plans.

Many of these new farmers are women. In Canada, 30 percent of farms and ranches are owned and operated by women (40 per cent in British Columbia) and continued growth of this trend may change the face of farming in many ways, but one which stands out is closer ties with the consumer. Women will lead this change from commoditization and price taking to price alignment with quality. Look for encouragement in areas of research such as nutrient density.

There is room for every farmer and that is what makes this industry tick. We will continue to honor past traditions like ranching but it will be data based on genomics, performance data, nutrient quality and alignment with the end-user. The horse and rider may be replaced or assisted by a drone with UHF real-time communication.

Technology and science will be the drivers to enhance our social license and entice consumers to our food.pigs The industry will continue to find ways to draw folks to the counter with apps, this technology is enabling for all farms and all buyers and sellers regardless of size or volume.

We will always need the feed yard and the large landholder. Intensive farming reduces agriculture’s overall footprint and allows for an increase in set-aside lands such as grasslands and forages that are huge carbon sequesters. Manure will once again be gold and further technologies in its use will emerge.
So close to the action, data junkies and living with FOMO (the fear of missing out), the main buyer of food in this age needs constant proof and reassurance. In fairness, this is what companies such as Earls understand. To ask for certification is that piece of assurance that market research tells the restaurant that the consumer asked for or needs to feel secure. Remember, the food service guest is making a decision based on their core values and beliefs which are formed by the environment in which they live and the information that they have.

A new area of information that is important to note is animal welfare and the interrelationship with human rights and welfare. These are massive targets for consumers and now carry the same weight as the discussion on GMO. These men and women want a food experience and are willing to take the time to ask about what they are eating, how it was raised and how the folks were treated in the process. This is our new reality and an opportunity for system-wide improvements.

A cell phone, a huge list of connections, a great business plan, a mentor and reams of data will enhance future farming. Jobs will continue to increase in the agricultural sector and in 2020 the estimate is that we will need another 122,000 persons to fill the vacancies. The $50 billion that will transfer over in agriculture within the next two decades will go to the brightest and best in production and marketing. They will have a “feel” for the end-user and in many cases a direct dialogue with them. Access to market or to further value adding will be the ultimate objective on the farm. Like the millennial buyer, the millennial farmer won’t be force-fed or have any tolerance for poor connections or relationships. They will change up or move on.

Past, present and future, we all carry the responsibility of growing food — the most honorable task on earth — for today and tomorrow.

Please contact Canadian Grants Business Center for assistance in obtaining government funding to start or expand your farm business:

Visit : http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com

Or call Toll-Free: 1-888-231-0075 for help during the business day.

Drones for Farming

Technology is increasing at a rapid pace throughout the business world. This is as true for Farming as it is in and other industry.

One of the developments of the last few years that has incredible potential is the adoption of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) known commonly as drones by farmers to increase productivity.

To understand how drones can help farmers we must first explore the concept of precision agriculture.

farm tech

Precision agriculture is a farm management concept based on observation, measurement and specific response to small  variability in crops.
Precision agriculture helps to efficiently apply limited resources to gain maximum yield.  The best wat to do this is to minimize variation in crop health within and between fields.

Precision agriculture requires accurate and wide-ranging data to work.

 

The three main types of data required are:

Geotagged Images:

Aerial images taken of fields over time, both visible and multi-spectral over time.

Equipment Performance:

Feedback from sensors  in real-time & performance logs provided by manned and unmanned equipment such as tractors, seeders, spreaders, and combines.

Farm Management Data:

Yield data and input cost data provided by the farm operator.

Drones are an obvious fit within precision agriculture.

farm droneDrones are a  new, low-cost and high-precision way to obtain geo-tagged aerial survey images.

Compared to other aerial survey methods, drones allow for more frequent and precise data collection about the condition of crops.  Aerial data can be used to improve the performance of a farm’s operation in many important ways.

In the case of smaller farms, drones are significantly more cost effective than other forms of aerial photography, including manned flights and satellite imagery.

 

Drones are used to capture  images that can provide a variety of data about the condition of fields, livestock, and crops.

Some of the Information that can be ascertained from drone obtained images include:

  • the height of plants
  • number of plants
  • the health of plants
  • nutrient presence (or lack)
  • Disease
  • weed count
  • biomass estimates (relative)
  • topographical data including patches, hills, and holes.
  • location of livestock
  • movement patterns of livestock

Data from drones can help accomplish farm tasks more easily:

  • replace people in scouting tasks
  • monitor crop health
  • survey/scout fields prior to planting
  • measure nitrogen requirements
  • monitor yields
  • assess drought situations
  • classify trees
  • more uses

The images generated by drones can be fed into an agricultural program  or other software tools to create maps that prescribe specific actions to improve performance.

It’s clear that drones and other technology are becoming must-have tools for Canadian farmers.  As a result, financial investment  that keeps a farm up to date has become a priority.

Many farmers need to look for outside investment to increase technological capacity.

Please contact Canadian Grants Business Center for assistance in obtaining government funding to start or expand your farm business:

Visit : http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com

Or call Toll-Free: 1-888-231-0075 for help during the business day.

 

5 On-Farm Extra Income Ideas

Being a successful farmer can mean wearing many hats. One of the most important ideas in any business is the concept of diversification. As a farm owner or operator, this may often mean planting more than 1 crop, or operating a mixed farm. This is not the only was for a farmer to diversify, however. Sometimes a little outside the box thinking can result in a lucrative second income stream even for farms that aren’t very diversified. Why not consider using the resources at your disposal to accomplish this goal.

Here are 5 On-Farm extra income ideas:

Farm Tours

You know what people from the city love? To visit the country. Why not offer school children or members of the urban population the chance to spend the day at a farm? There are all sorts of  things worth paying for: You can sell feed fro children to give to the animals, hay rides, meals, snacks and drinks, trail walks, and many other things.

Compost Waste Disposal

With the increasing importance of waste reduction in urban and suburban areas, why not offer a composting service? For a fee you can allow landscapers to dispose of grass cutting and other organic waste on your land. This can then be composted, and then used as a valuable tool on your farm, or resold back to individuals in need of compost.

Pick Your Own Produce

Why not allow the public to access a part of your crop and pick their own for a fee? This is a popular option for berries, apples, and other fruits.

Bed and Breakfast

That old farm house offers a rustic retreat for people from their busy lives.  Many people are willing to pay top dollar for the chance to get way from it all and have a night or two in a rural setting.

Petting Zoo

The animals on your farm can be the source of income and amusement for visitors, or alternatively take the show on the road and offer a petting zoo at local events and shopping areas.

These are just some ideas for Farmers looking to maximize their on-farm income. If you are looking to expand your farm operations, or establish an on or off farm business Canadian Grants Business Center can help you find funding for your endeavour. Visit our Funding Finder today: http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/funding-finder.html

5 Important Attributes of Successful Farmers

Successful farmers exhibit some common attributes, that you should try to emulate when you are trying to start a new farm, or become a better farmer. Here is a list of the attributes succesful farmers share, for you to consider:

LOVE OF FARMING

Farming as lifestyle and business can be a very rewarding, but not easy. Passion for the process and fruits of your labour will help you to focus on the good times, and carry you through the tough times. Focus your farm on a product you are passionate about. Money is a great motivator, but if it’s the only thing you are working for, your less likely to succeed. If you measure your success in personal satisfaction, you will find it in places others have failed.

CREATIVE SALES AND MARKETING

You can have the greatest product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, how can they buy it from you? Small and medium sized farms must sell a differentiated product, if they want to succeed. You will need to focus on a strong marketing effort that emphasizes the strengths of your product. Technology has made marketing much easier for small businesses, by putting people in touch with one another, near and far.

CREATIVITY, RESOURCEFULNESS AND FLEXIBILITY

Farming is not a one-size fits all type of business. There is no list of rules. Successful farmers use their ideas and hard work to adapt their farming operations to the markets needs. Adopting new technologies and systems can help producers work more efficiently.

DETERMINATION

Nature is fickle. Weather is unpredictable. Business is affected by many things beyond anyones control. Sometimes Things will happen that planning cannot help you avoid. Successful farmers accept what they cannot control and persevere.

PASSION FOR LEARNING

Successful farmers are always looking for new production methods, new marketing approaches and new technologies.Chances are other farmers have faced many of the challenges you are facing. They often come up with creative solutions. Talking to ither farmers can be a valuable source for information and ideas.

When you are ready to start or expand your farm, you will require funding. Let Canadian Grants Business Center help you access government funding programs to grow your farm and succeed. Find Funding at:

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

Or Call Us Toll-Free at: 1-888-231-0075