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Ag in the House: Nov. 6 – 10

Ag in the House: Nov. 6 – 10

The first ag question occurred on Nov. 8

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Agriculture came up in question period in the House of Commons midway through the week.

On Nov. 8, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre asked the prime minister if he’d consider creating a carve out on the carbon tax for farmers to help bring down the price of food.

Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t directly answer the question, but reaffirmed support for the ag industry.

“Mr. Speaker, we know that farmers are always focused on being good stewards of the land, and we are working with them in investing and in supporting them in many different ways to ensure that we can continue to put good-quality affordable food on people's tables right across the country. That is what we are going to continue to do,” the prime minister said.

“Farmers, and indeed Canadians from coast to coast to coast, know that, as we fight climate change and as we put more money in people's pockets every three months, hundreds of dollars, with the pollution price return, we are going to continue to step up in building a strong economy for tomorrow, something the Conservatives simply do not understand.”

In a follow-up question, Poilievre mentioned Bill C-234, which at the time was in front of the Senate. The bill provides carbon tax relief for propane and natural gas.

Poilievre asked the prime minister if he’ll “allow another carve-out on the carbon tax for farmers, yes or no?”

Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t directly answer the question, instead speaking about the heat pump program available to people across the country.

Continuing to press on the carbon tax and farmers, Poilievre asked Prime Minister Trudeau again if he’ll encourage senators to pass Bill C-234 and provide support for farmers.

The prime minister answered by reminding the House that farmers see the effects of climate change.

“Mr. Speaker, farmers across this country know the costs of climate change. They know the costs of extreme weather events, whether it be floods, fires or more intense storms. Farmers are worried about their future, worried about their kids' future and worried about the country's future,” Trudeau said.

Poilievre asked Trudeau two more times about providing carbon tax support for farmers through Bill C-234. The prime minister did not commit to doing so.

MPs did not ask any ag questions on Nov. 9, and the House didn’t sit on Nov. 10.

The House isn’t sitting the week of Nov. 13 to 17.

Ag in the House will return on Nov. 27 to summarize the proceedings from Nov. 20 to 24.

Trending Video

Mechanical Damage: Another Reason to Promote Certified Seed Usage

Video: Mechanical Damage: Another Reason to Promote Certified Seed Usage

So far this year, Shari Lafreniere of 20/20 Seed Labs has noticed a distinct change in the levels of mechanical damage to seed compared to last year. In this Insiders column she gives us the scoop on what the situation is like with regard to mechanical damage.

Unlike 2022, where we faced significant challenges, this year has been a different story, and we’re not seeing high levels of it in samples coming off the field. Of course, that can change once seed enters the cleaning and storage stage.

Of course, for seed to receive a blue tag, it must be tested by an authorized seed lab, ensuring its quality and freedom from defects. It’s yet another reason for the seed sector to promote the use of certified seed among growers.

Mechanical damage to bin-run seed is a critical issue that can impact crop yields and profitability. It's a topic that often falls under the radar, but it deserves more attention, especially in years marked by extreme weather conditions like dry spells and scorching heat. In such years, the risk of mechanical damage to non-certified seed becomes significantly higher.

One of the key factors to consider in the cleaning stage is the brittleness of seeds. In dry and hot conditions, bin-run seed tends to become more brittle, making it more susceptible to damage. This brittleness is particularly evident in larger seed crops. The challenge then is to minimize mechanical damage during various stages of its use, from seeding, to harvesting, to conditioning, and finally storage.

If you have customers who save seed rather than choosing to buy new seed every year, it’s a good idea to provide them with the knowledge they need to prevent mechanical damage.

The following are some practical steps that can help growers protect seeds and reduce the risk of mechanical damage when handling seed:

Maintain Augers: Ensuring that augers are in good shape is essential. Check for damage or pitting on the flighting, as damaged augers can lead to more seed damage.

Optimize Seed Movement: When moving seed, do it as infrequently as possible. Reducing the number of times seeds are transferred can significantly reduce the risk of mechanical damage.

Sweeps and Loading: Properly manage sweeps within the bin and ensure they are in good condition. When loading seeds into a trailer or truck, especially with larger-seeded crops, start with a gentle layer at the bottom and go a bit lower with the auger to create a cushioning effect. This simple step can make a big difference in protecting seed.

Drills: When working with drills, pay attention to the fans and how they are loaded, whether using a conveyor or an auger. Proper handling during seeding is crucial to minimize damage.

While mechanical damage is largely within a grower’s control, it's essential for them to recognize that weather and climate conditions can play a significant role. In a hot and dry year, seeds are more vulnerable to damage due to their increased brittleness. Some crop varieties are more susceptible than others, especially in the case of larger-seeded crops, where the seed coat may not be as resilient when dry.

Even crops under irrigation can experience issues in extreme heat, as the water can't be consistently applied to maintain ideal moisture levels. Without the usual cooling effect at night, the risk of mechanical damage is further heightened. Also, it’s important to note that irrigation can’t mitigate heat blast, caused by a combination of hot days and warm nights, which can further increase the chances of mechanical damage.



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