Tag Archives: Farm Grants

The top 6 Issues for Farming in 2018

Time marches on, and with it comes changes to what we know about agriculture and the realities of modern farming. In 2018 there are some issues to keep in mind as a potential new or existing farmer:

1. Shifting Farm Demographics. The average Canadian farmer is 57 years old, and a large number are over 65. In the coming years, farm assets will have to be transferred to younger producers. A new generation of farmers needs to be ready to take up the job left for them by the older generation. Farmers of all ages need to be aware of this trend and prepare accordingly. It’s important to have a farm succession plan in place to ensure a smooth transition when it becomes advantageous to do so.

2. Spreading Technology. Software and data will supplement existing knowledge for farmers and will change and improve on-farm practices. Investing in the tools and resources to maximize yields will be an increasing priority for Canada’s Farmers.

 

3. Continued Implementation of Bio-Technology. Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs) are spreading through the marketplace. Although they have been proven to be safe and effective, there are political and public relations issues remaining around them. Farmers need to stay up to date on the news and make wise decisions about what to grow and when.

4. Resource Scarcity. More than 40% of the food production increase since the 1960’s has been accomplished through the use of irrigation. Unfortunately, groundwater supplies are limited.  Improving irrigation efficiency should be a priority on any farm.

5. Public Scrutiny of Livestock Treatment. Consumers are increasingly focused on livestock health and wellbeing. Animals raised with more space and a more natural diet command a premium on the market. Producers and retailers can command an advantage by properly labeling and offering process transparency to consumers.

6. Environmental Concern is Growing. Fertilizer and pesticides have been the focus of many new scientific studies and regulations. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Farmers have to keep up to date on a complex list of changing regulations. With every challenge comes opportunities. The Public’s interest in these issues has created a niche for Organic food produced without pesticide or artificial fertilizer.

As a farmer, there are many issues financial and otherwise facing your business. There are financial programs to help navigate and implement policies relating to many of these issues.

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

Tips for Winter Greenhouses

Greenhouses are an important way to grow crops outside of the usual growing season and a great way to increase yields. Canada has a unique climate, and as such special care is required when establishing a greenhouse, large or small that will produce a good return for the owner.

Windows

Light is required to grow any plant, so choose a material that lets lots of light through. A good rule of thumb is a material that allows at least 70% of light through. Insulation performance will drop as transparency increases. It’s important to balance light transmission with the R-value (the thermal resistance) of the material.

Insulation

Many greenhouses are transparent on all sides. A cold climate greenhouse may not be fully transparent because conserving heat is a priority. Winter nights are dark and cold and temperatures need to be managed.

Installing windows on the side facing the sun, allows the other sides and the roof to be insulated. The ground underneath the greenhouse should also be insulated. The heat that collects in the earth during the day, shouldn’t be allowed to just disappear out into the ground. The windows themselves can be insulated with removable shades after dark.

Ventilation

Cold climate greenhouses are designed to provide optimal growing conditions during the winter.  As a result, they can get too hot in the summer. It’s important to install proper ventilation into the greenhouse that provides enough ventilation during those hot summer days.

Thermal Mass

Thermal mass will harvest and store the warmth of the sun during the day and release it back at night to heat the greenhouse. This minimizes temperature fluctuations in the greenhouse and will prevent the temperature from dropping during cold nights.

Common materials can provide thermal mass: water, stone, cob, or even the earth itself. Water can be a risky choice because it can freeze, but it’s also one of the most flexible thermal mass materials because you can easily add or remove containers fo water.

There are two ways to take advantage of thermal mass: heating the air or heating the growing beds. The energy required is lower to heat only the growing beds but can be harder to install or modify.

Active Heating

In addition to thermal mass distributing heat, and the rays of the sun working to heat a greenhouse during the day, on cold days and during the night your greenhouse may require additional heat. Often Wood burning solutions or propane heaters can be good choices, as they are equally easy to install in remote areas.

 

Cost

Commercial scale greenhouses are not cheap to build. A solar panel system can have a payback time of years. A four-season greenhouse should be simlar in terms of payback time.  Long-term production yield will be higher, as the greenhouse allows longer growing season but also a kind of insurance against weather risks.

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!

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!

$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!

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!

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!

Tile Drainage on the Farm

Tile drainage installations increase yields

Properly installed tile drainage can consistently increase crop yields on farms by 29 to 36 percent.

Tile drainage installation is not cheap. Installation can cost up to $1,000 an acre or more depending on the property, but tile drainage is a proven way to boost production and revenue potential from your existing land base.  A comparison of tile drainage costs versus new land purchase price, make tile drainage a great value with land prices at an all time high.For high-value crops and productive land, tile drainage should be considered an essential capital investment to reduce risk and ensure optimal yields.

Not just about yields

The benefits of tile go beyond yields. With less surface runoff occurring, soil losses can be reduced by 90%. Tile releases water slowly and over a long period of time.

There are tax advantages to tile installs. Tile drainage costs are fully deductible in the current tax year, or you can maximize the benefit by carrying all or part of the expense forward for up to five years.

Shifts in production practices across Canada over recent years make tile drainage even more valuable to Canadian farmers. Reduced tillage and no-till planting techniques along with earlier planting seasons make it essential to have fields that dry quickly and uniformly. Closely spaced tile can also help minimize compaction common with wet sections in spring and fall.

Self-installed tiling

GPS technology and computer software that takes land elevations into account have made it easier to efficiently map out how tile runs should be oriented to maximum drainage efficiency. The same tools professionals use to map a tile install are available to those who want to do their own tiling with a pull-type tile plow.

Tile plows can be pulled with a tractor. Horsepower requirements depend on soil type and how deep the tile needs to go. A tractor weighing 30,000 pounds or more and a minimum of 200 horsepower are needed for the task. Having a plow lets a farmer get the tile in at the optimal time and you do the least amount of damage and compaction, wihtout having to wait for a contractor to fit in a tight schedule. Owning a plow also allows a farmer to put a short run in to solve a problem spot on demand.

The right drainage installation can help keep the property in top shape. Farmland improvement costs can be substantial, and it’s important to take advantage of all sources of funding available to your farm. 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