Finding markets for the whole soybean – even hulls

One of the things I enjoy a lot about my job as a freelance food and farm journalist and corporate writer is the chance to learn about really cool new things.

The story below about soybeans, which I originally wrote for Ontario Grain Farmer and is published in the May/June 2010 issue, is one of these examples. It’s all about how the hulls of soybeans, leftover after the oil has been extracted from the bean, could be used to treat industrial waste water. Check it out: Continue reading Finding markets for the whole soybean – even hulls

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Soybeans in motor oils and lubricants

Soy20-20 AR FINALAs demand for “green” products increases, more and more technologies and opportunities for bio-based products are emerging alongside to meet those needs.

Crops like corn, wheat and soybeans are starting to replace traditional petroleum-based ingredients in these new bio-products, making them easier on the environment and lessening our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels. They’re also creating new market opportunities for farmers.
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Loblaws chief: global trends will impact food

loblawslogoA series of global trends will change everything about the way we eat, says the head of Canada’s largest grocery chain. And that means both adjustment and opportunity for those involved in food, Galen Weston of Loblaw Companies Limited told attendees at the Agricultural Adaptation Council’s annual meeting in Guelph recently. Continue reading Loblaws chief: global trends will impact food

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Feeding the world without destroying it?

By 2025, farmers need to double their food output to feed an estimated global population of eight billion. That’s a startling statistic and what it means is something we all need to start thinking about.

I came across it in a report on the Colorado Ag Classic, a convention of Colorado wheat, seed, corn, sunflower and sorghum producers that was held this past week. Ag experts from the United States Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University talked about the challenges farmers will face in trying to meet future food demands. Continue reading Feeding the world without destroying it?

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Can soybeans be the solution to potholes?

Imagine a world where pavement doesn’t disintegrate and potholes don’t exist. Imagine a product that can reduce the negative environmental impact of asphalt, cut costs for cash-strapped municipalities and offer new market opportunities for farmers. Some might consider this a utopian dream, but thanks to a new asphalt preservation product, this dream could soon be a reality.
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Farmers’ environmental commitment evident in program funding demand

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) has long been a popular program but when the annual cost-share funding for 2009 was fully allocated in just over two months, program representatives were both surprised and pleased at the demand.

One of the things driving the uptake of cost-share is the awareness that is developed through the EFP process. Since the launch of the third edition of the EFP in 2005, more than 11,000 farm businesses have attended workshops, developed EFP action plans and had them deemed appropriate through peer review. The results are a more environmentally informed sector, eligible to apply for cost-share funding to support environmental improvements on farms. Continue reading Farmers’ environmental commitment evident in program funding demand

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In defense of farmers

I feel the need to get something off my chest this morning.

It seems to be popular in the urban media at the moment to bash farmers, especially those who grow corn and soybeans. These horrible people – or so the theme goes – are ruining the environment by growing large volumes of these crops and they’re making us fat to boot. Continue reading In defense of farmers

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