AIC Notes    TopIssue 2011-31   September 8, 2011 
In This Issue
Improving Canada's Food Regulatory System will Boost Innovation and Economic Growth
Canada Pressured to Open Agriculture Industry to Foreign Competition
Farmers Fund Grain-Sector Innovation at University of Saskatchewan
Innovation for Beef Industry is All in the Genes
Prairie Grain Checkoff Fund May Lapse Without New Law
Specialized Dairy Poised to Advance
Expert Calls for Change in Trans Fat Labelling
Crop Performance Matters When Evaluating GHGs
Economic Analysis Reveals Organic Farming Profitable Long-Term
Coming Events

Improving Canada's Food Regulatory System will Boost Innovation and Economic Growth


Canada's system of food policies, laws and regulations is generally working well to protect the health and well-being of Canadians. But well-intentioned regulations have not yet produced an effective system that boosts innovation and stimulates economic growth.


The food sector is one of the most highly controlled sectors of the economy, and the sheer number of government policies, laws and regulations (PLRs) has grown steadily over the years. The Conference Board of Canada's second foundational report for the Centre for Food in Canada, Governing Food: Policies, Laws, and Regulations for Food in Canada, concludes that policy-makers and regulators do their best to balance the competing demands of industry, multiple governments and consumers, but are hamstrung by an overloaded system. The system needs to be modernized; the current architecture has been developed by continual add-ons and consequently is burdensome and confusing.


"There is no quick fix to Canada's system for governing food. The problem is not so much in the actions being taken today, but rather the cumulative weight of existing PLRs and the motivations for them," said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Organizational Effectiveness and Learning.  "Not only are parts of the current PLR system out-of date, multiple levels of government are involved, that sometimes act at cross-purposes to one another. The system can be described as suffering from 'scope creep'."


The Conference Board outlines five key attributes for optimal PLR systems. Optimal systems are:

Proportionate-they align the regulatory burden with the severity of risk.

Responsive-they adapt easily to new circumstances, such as food industry innovation.

Efficient-they achieve regulatory outcomes at low cost.

Effective- they achieve their regulatory objectives.

Transparent-they can be understood by all stakeholders.


The PLR system attempts to address a wide variety of public interests, including safety, the environment, health, and economic sustainability. But the more goals it takes on, the more costly and slow moving it becomes-in turn, undermining its overall cost-effectiveness and stifling industry innovation. There are few self-rationalizing mechanisms that allow the system to respond to new demands without adding to the regulatory burden.


The report reviews the Canadian approach to food regulation based on a study of six issues: food additives, genetically modified foods, health benefit claims, country-of-origin labelling, inspection, and international trade.


In the areas of genetically modified foods, country-of-origin labelling, and food additives, the Canadian approach balances regulatory needs with industry sensitivities. However, the approach to health benefit claims, inspection, and international trade is not as effective, creating barriers to innovation in this sector.


Canada's inspection system - which has benefited from the consolidation of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency - is shared among three levels of government and also depends on the quality management processes of food producers throughout the supply chain. A prerequisite to reform is for the food industry and regulators to create more trusting and cooperative relationships - based on their mutual interest in safe food. On the issue of international trade, Canada is in the early stages of liberalizing its agricultural trade. The extent to which further reform is achieved will depend largely on changes to PLRs.


This report points out specific areas where the PLR system could more effectively meet the needs of the agriculture and agri-food sector, as well as government and consumers. A good starting point would be to revise and modernize the Food and Drugs Act, first enacted in 1920. The Growing Forward initiative and the federal Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation are steps in the right direction that should, if properly implemented, go some way toward limiting regulatory overkill.


The modernization of PLRs is likely to be a key element in the Canadian Food Strategy, to be produced in 2013 by the Centre for Food in Canada. The Centre for Food in Canada is a multi-year Conference Board of Canada initiative supported by approximately 25 companies and organizations that have invested in the project.


Conference Board of Canada Press Release, September 1, 2011


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Canada Pressured to Open Agriculture Industry to Foreign Competition 


If Canada wants to play a leading role in addressing global demand for food and food security, the government must reconsider its refusal to open up domestic dairy, egg and poultry industries to outside competition, a New Zealand diplomat says.


"There are some policies that may have been very good in the past, but going forward are not necessarily going to help the industry succeed in its aims," said Koro Dickinson, second secretary at the New Zealand High Commission in Ottawa. "Which is being efficient, being productive, but also meeting the challenges that confront us."


Starting Wednesday, trade and agriculture ministers and senior officials from 19 countries known collectively as the Cairns Group will be meeting in Saskatoon to discuss ways to fight protectionism and open markets to agricultural products.


For Canada, this is an especially important goal as the country exported $35.5 billion worth of wheat, beef, canola and other agricultural and food products last year, and another $20.8 billion in manufactured food and beverages.


The primary purpose of the Cairns Group is to push for the successful completion of international trade talks at the WTO, called the Doha Round. Those talks, initially launched in November 2001, have recently become stalled again.


A senior Canadian official, speaking to reporters in advance of the Cairns meeting, said supply management, as the protection of Canadian dairy, poultry and egg sectors is called, is not officially on the agenda in Saskatoon. Rather, as host, Canada wants to look at ways to advance the Doha Round, tackle global food security issues and address a recent increase in non-tariff trade barriers.


But Dickinson said supply management remains an issue for many Cairns members like New Zealand as it is counter-intuitive to the group's goal of removing barriers to trade.


"While it may not be constantly and specifically raised, it's an issue that all members are clearly interested in," he said of supply management. "Cairns Group members generally see a vibrant global agricultural sector being driven by open markets, on-farm efficiencies and competitive forces. Most of Canada's agricultural industry runs along these lines. However, supply-managed producers are the exception."


According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the world will need to produce 70 per cent more food by 2050 to feed an estimated nine billion people.


But former trade minister Stockwell Day said the idea that supply management is a significant barrier to feeding the world is a false one as technological advances have increased production significantly.


"The only damper on food production on any country is not whether they have supply management or not," he added. "But whether they have a democratic system that allows them to own their own land and relatively free markets."


He noted New Zealand has been extremely vocal in pressing Canada to open its dairy industry as the island nation is a major exporter of dairy products. It has gone so far as to block Canadian participation in a key Asia-Pacific trading bloc, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, over the matter.


The World Trade Organization in June issued a report on Canadian trade policy in which it also called on the government to reform its supply-management policies, starting with the dairy sector.


"Canada, especially Canadian consumers, would likely benefit from the liberalization of its dairy markets," reads the WTO report published in June. "This could also provide relief to some competitiveness issues, such as those that have been apparent in the cheese market."


In addition, the European Union has made the opening of supply-managed sectors a key demand in free-trade negotiations between the two sides. A senior EU official told Bloomberg last week that the Europeans were "disappointed" Canada hasn't offered any concessions on its supply-managed system, and warned it could refuse to open the doors to Canadian beef, port and sweet corn.


Despite the international pressure, the government has repeatedly said it stands by Canada's supply-management system, a position that is supported by the NDP and Liberals.


Day said many countries have sensitive agricultural sectors they protect, and that during his time in government, there were no discussions about changing the supply-management system.


Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News, September 6, 2011


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Farmers Fund Grain-Sector Innovation at University of Saskatchewan


Prairie farmers, through the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), have funded a major university endowment designed to tackle emerging threats to Canada's international competitiveness in the grain trade.


The University of Saskatchewan will use $500,000 provided by the CWB to develop strategies that will enhance the economic sustainability of Canadian grain production. The funding, committed in 2009, will be used over the next 15 years. The first phase will examine new policies that can improve agricultural research investment in Canada.


"For our grain to stay competitive in global markets, it is crucial that we find ways to reverse dwindling investment in Canadian agricultural research," said Dr. Richard Gray, a globally recognized agriculture policy expert who was appointed this summer as the university's first Canadian Grain Policy Chair, a position created by the endowment.


Public and producer investment for crop research in Canada is now much lower than other countries such as Australia, where new policies have encouraged research investment, he said. The CWB's endowment will be used to examine what policies can best encourage innovation and investment, including quantifying the economic returns that flow from crop research, variety testing and various funding models.


CWB president and CEO Ian White said the research is vital to ensure the economic sustainability of family farms in Western Canada. "The ultimate goal of this research is to improve the profitability of grain producers," he said. "Encouraging policies that can spark new technology, new production systems, transportation systems, and robust grain research is the best way to help keep our sector sustainable."


Mary Buhr, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, said grain-sector innovation will rely on forward-looking policies and regulation that allow farmers to respond to emerging opportunities and capture value from the marketplace.


"This is the most important challenge facing our grain industry today," she said. "The CWB's commitment to proactively support unbiased policy assessment is especially commendable at a time when there is renewed global focus on food security and demand for high-quality wheat to feed the world."


She said the funding would be primarily used to support graduate-student projects into better ways to fund, manage and commercialize agriculture research for farmers' benefit.


Gray said it is now a critical time for crop-research policy in Canada, and stressed the importance of industry engagement. "Since 1990, we have seen a slowdown in productivity growth in the western Canadian crop sector. An overall lack of investment in agriculture research funding will affect Canada's long-term international competitiveness in grain. New policies are needed."


Gray is one of Canada's leading agricultural economists and a professor in the Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. He has led the Canadian Agricultural Innovation and Regulation Network since 2003 and has studied agricultural research systems in Europe and Australia.


Controlled by western Canadian farmers, the CWB is the largest wheat and barley marketer in the world. One of Canada's biggest exporters, the Winnipeg-based organization sells grain to more than 70 countries and returns all sales revenue, less marketing costs, to Prairie farmers.


Vermillion Standard, September 8, 2011



Innovation for Beef Industry is All in the Genes


Feedlot operators across the country have access to a new management system that will create jobs, increase efficiency and lower production costs. Member of Parliament Brad Trost (Saskatoon-Humboldt) announced today, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, an investment of $750,000 to Quantum Genetics Canada Inc. to commercialize a new technology that is now helping producers send their cattle to market at the optimum time.


"Investing in innovative technologies is a good way to help our producers grow their businesses and also grow our communities," said MP Brad Trost. "This support got a promising new management system off the drawing board and into the market where it is helping producers cut feed costs and deliver a higher-value product to the market."


Quantum Genetics Canada developed a management services system that improves the quality of beef carcass profiles and this funding has helped the company market the system to feedlots across North America.


The tool uses DNA testing and genotyping to help producers and feedlot operators distinguish between genetic variations in beef cattle that are related to growth and fat profiles. These profiles tell feedlot operators the best feeding schedules for the animals. They also tell feedlot operators when the animal has reached the targeted body fat profile. This prevents feedlot operators from spending additional money keeping the animal on the feedlot unnecessarily and allows them to process more cattle more quickly - and more profitably. It will also help them capture premiums for their product for attributes like marbling and tenderness.


"Quantum Genetics is pleased to accept the investment made by the Agri-Opportunities Program which allowed Quantum to further commercialize our breakthrough technology," said Leigh Marquess, Vice President and COO. "This investment will further advance Quantum Genetics in the field of beef genomics, in turn advancing value creation for primary feedlot producers."


This project is creating 30 jobs in Saskatchewan, generating new revenues for this Canadian-based company and reducing operating costs of feedlot operators.


Funding for this project came from the Agri-Opportunities Program, which focused on commercializing innovative new agri-products, processes or services that are currently not produced or available in Canada and that are ready to be introduced into the marketplace.


AAFC Press Release, September 6, 2011


Prairie Grain Checkoff Fund May Lapse Without New Law


The federal government will need to get legislation in place for next summer if it wants to maintain a checkoff fund backing Prairie wheat and barley research without a single marketing desk.


The Western Grains Research Foundation, which oversees wheat and barley checkoffs collected on the Prairies, is asking the government to either amend existing law or pass new law to establish a new point-of-sale checkoff system by August 2012.


That's when the government says the Canadian Wheat Board's legislated single-desk marketing monopoly on western wheat and barley is to come to an end, through legislation expected to be tabled later this fall.


The foundation's checkoffs since 1995 have been deducted by the CWB from its annual final payments to Prairie growers, as per the current Canadian Wheat Board Act.


"Timing is critical to implementing an alternative checkoff collection system for wheat and barley," WGRF board chairman Keith Degenhardt said in a release Thursday. "If the wheat and barley checkoffs are allowed to lapse it could take several years to re-establish them."


An "alternative system" under new or amended legislation would be "similar in its fundamental features" to the current checkoffs, the foundation said.


The checkoffs would continue to apply to wheat production in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and barley production in B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at per-tonne rates of 30 cents for wheat and 50 cents for barley.


The "major difference" would be that the checkoffs would be deducted by commercial grain buyers at the point of producer sale, after which the checkoff revenue would be forwarded to the WGRF, the foundation said.


"Clearly recognized"


"WGRF is not an agricultural policy group and has no position in regard to the CWB marketing question," Degenhardt emphasized in Thursday's release.


"The mandate of WGRF is research and our interests are strictly in ensuring there is a checkoff collection mechanism in place that will continue to provide WGRF with private producer funds to support the public wheat and barley breeding programs that put new and improved varieties into farmers' fields."

The foundation noted it has been investing around $4 million per year into wheat breeding research, and about $750,000 per year for similar research in barley.


WGRF funds have backed over 100 new varieties of wheat and barley, to the point where the "majority" of wheat and barley acres in Western Canada are seeded to WGRF-backed varieties, the foundation said.

"The benefits are clearly recognized and valued by producers and this is demonstrated by the fact that 95 per cent of producers choose to contribute checkoff even though they have an opportunity each and every year to opt out of contributing," WGRF executive director Garth Patterson said in the same release.


Country Guide, September 1, 2011


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Specialized Dairy Poised to Advance  


Five Ontario dairy companies are teaming up with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario to produce, market and gauge the demand for dairy products made with milk from specific herds.


Dubbed Project Origin, this effort is funded by Ontario's Rural Economic Development Plan, through the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The ministry says sourcing milk from specific herds will make it easier for Ontarians to discover where and how their food was made, and helps strengthen the companies' positions in local food markets.


David Murray, vice-chair of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario says the project will help expand the market for high-quality, locally produced milk and cheeses.


"With more and more consumers wanting to know about the origins of their food, this project couldn't come at a better time," he says.


The project covers a breadth of the sector. Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese Co. is based on a small farm in Oxford County and will produce traditionally crafted, high quality cheeses not commonly available in Ontario, using milk from the company owner's family farm.


Earthrise Organic Farm milks 35 Holstein and Jersey cows in Frontenac County. The company plans to produce bottled organic milk from this dedicated herd, to be sold directly from its farm.


Mountainoak Farm of New Hamburg has 270 milking cows that will be used by the family operation to make Gouda, Edam and other Dutch artisan cheeses.


Jalon Farms, located just outside of Creemore, milks a purebred herd of 120 Jalon Jersey cows. It plans to process and sell 100 per cent of the Jersey milk it produces from a new on-farm processing operation.

And finally, Upper Canada Cheese Company of Jordan Station has exclusive rights to produce two unique cheeses using the milk from Guernsey cows. Project Origin will help the company expand its existing facility to meet growing demand for its popular cheese varieties.


Owen Roberts, FCC Express, September 2, 2011


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Expert Calls for Change in Trans Fat Labelling 


Not all trans fats are created equal and it's time for nutritional labels to reflect that reality, says a University of Alberta nutrition expert.


According to a scientific review conducted by Spencer Proctor, along with Canadian and international colleagues, natural trans fats produced by ruminant animals such as dairy and beef cattle are not detrimental to health. In fact, they show significant positive health effects and some evidence even links these natural trans fats to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.


According to the review, naturally occurring trans fat has a different fatty acid profile than industrial trans fat, which contributes to its different physiological effects. Ruminant trans fat is naturally occurring and found in meat and dairy foods, while industrial produced trans fat is a component of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have been strongly associated with cholesterol and coronary heart disease.


Consumers are bombarded on a regular basis about what they should and shouldn't eat. Quite often fat is the primary target of what to avoid and trans fats in particular have a negative reputation.


"A change in how trans fat information is presented on nutrition labels would be a huge step forward," says Proctor, a researcher in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science who is director of the Metabolic and Cardiovascular Diseases Laboratory at the U of A. "Right now, in Canada and the U.S., a substantial portion of natural trans fats content is included in the nutrition label trans fats calculation, which is misleading for the consumer. We need a reset in our approach to reflect what the new science is telling us."


Spencer adds that in some European countries, natural trans fat is not included in the nutrition label calculation. Another approach may be to have separate listings for industrial trans fats and natural trans fats.


Researchers evaluated an evidence base from numerous studies in the review. Based on the promising findings to date, plans for new studies are gaining momentum to further investigate the health implications of natural ruminant-derived trans fats.


One leading scientific program headed by Proctor was recently approved for a $1 million research grant from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency to further this line of study over the next several years.


"With industry, the science community, regulators and other important groups in this area working together, we can continue to make strides to help the public better understand the health implications of natural ruminant trans fats," says Proctor.


The scientific review on naturally occurring trans fats was published in Advances in Nutrition and is available at


University of Alberta Press Release, September 7, 2011


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Crop Performance Matters When Evaluating GHGs


Measuring the emission of greenhouse gases from croplands should take into account the crops themselves.


That's the conclusion of a study in the September-October issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, which examined the impact of farm practices such as tillage on the greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O). Expressing emissions per unit of crop yield rather than on a more conventional areal basis produced very different results, says the study's leader, Rod Venterea, research soil scientist with the USDA-ARS.


In particular, his team found that total N2O emissions were not significantly affected by tillage practices when expressed on an area basis. When they were calculated per unit yield of grain, however, emissions were significantly greater under no-tillage than conventional tillage. A byproduct of many agricultural systems, N2O is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) with a heat-trapping potential more than 300 times that of carbon dioxide.


The findings have important implications for how the greenhouse gases generated by agriculture are reported, evaluated, and potentially mitigated. N2O emissions were slighter higher under no-till on an areal basis in the study, Venterea explains, but not high enough to differ statistically from those under conventional tillage. "But when we added in the fact that no-tillage also reduced yields, the effect of tillage did become significant," he says. "The point is that you need to look at both N2O emissions and yield together."


While previous studies have shown that practices like fertilizer and tillage management can affect N2O emissions, relatively few have reported the effects of these practices on crop performance at the same time. In addition, GHG emissions are commonly expressed with respect to area of field: for example, kg N2O emitted per hectare. Recent research has suggested that expressing GHG emissions per unit of yield may be more meaningful, although few studies have actually done that.


To see how yield-scaled calculations might change the picture on emissions, USDA-ARS researchers in collaboration with University of Minnesota colleagues measured the effects of tillage and nitrogen (N) fertilizer management on N2O emissions, grain yields, and crop N uptake over three consecutive growing seasons in Minnesota. The experiment was conducted in research plots used for corn and soybean production, which were maintained under either no-till or conventional tillage for 18 years.


When the scientists calculated N2O emissions per unit yield of grain or grain N, they found that emissions under no-tillage were 52 and 66% higher, respectively, than with conventional tillage. In other words, for this cropping system and climate, Venterea says, no-till practices would generate substantially more N2O than would conventional tillage for the same amount of grain. The effect was due to lower yields under no-till, combined with slightly greater area-scaled N2O emissions.


Reduced yields under continuous no-till management in parts of the upper Midwest and other regions have been attributed to lower soil temperatures in spring, which may inhibit plant development. In other geographic regions, though, no-till can actually increase yields.


"So, for these other regions, expressing GHG emissions on a yield-basis could reveal benefits to no-till management that otherwise might not be quantified," Venterea says.


The study was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Foundation for Agronomic Research.


The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at


American Society of Agronomy Press Release, September 6, 2011 


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Economic Analysis Reveals Organic Farming Profitable Long-Term


Organic farming is known to be environmentally sustainable, but can it be economically sustainable, as well? The answer is yes, according to new research in the Sept.-Oct. issue of Agronomy Journal. In an analysis of 18 years of crop yield and farm management data from a long-term University of Minnesota trial, an organic crop rotation was consistently more profitable and carried less risk of low returns than conventional corn and soybean production, even when organic prime premiums were cut by half.


Previous research has almost universally found the same thing: Organic farming practices can compete economically with conventional methods, says the current study's leader, Timothy Delbridge, a Univ. of Minnesota doctoral student in agricultural economics. However, these conclusions are mostly based on findings from short-term trials in small plots.


What sets the Minnesota study apart is both the large size of its experimental farm plots (165 feet by 92 feet) and the trial's longevity. "Doing an economic study like this, it's important to get as complete a picture of the yield variability as we can," Delbridge says. "So, the length of this trial is a big asset. We're pretty confident that the full extent of the yield variability came through in the results."


What gave organic production the edge wasn't higher crop yields, however; instead it was organic price premiums. In their absence, the net return from a 2-yr, conventional corn-soybean rotation averaged $342 per acre, compared to $267/ac for a 4-yr organic rotation (corn-soybean-oat/alfalfa-alfalfa), and $273/ac for its 4-yr conventional counterpart. When a full organic premium was applied, though, the average net return from organic production rose to $538/ac, significantly outperforming the conventional systems both in terms of profitability and risk. And organic production was still more profitable when the price premium was reduced by 50%.


Organic price premiums are often the main reason why farmers think about switching to organic production, Delbridge explains, which means they also often wonder what would happen if the premiums declined. It's for this reason that the researchers considered different premium levels (full, half, and none) in their analysis -- not because they necessarily expect the premiums to go away anytime soon, he notes.


The cost of production was also a factor: The conventional 2-yr rotation had higher production costs on average ($198/ac) than either the 4-yr conventional rotation ($164/ac) or the organic one ($166/ac).

The difference primarily came in weed management, Delbridge says. The price of purchasing chemical herbicides in the 2-yr conventional rotation exceeded the cost of controlling weeds mechanically in the organic system, leading to higher overall production costs in the conventional rotation, even though organic production involved more field operations, Delbridge adds.


Delbridge cautions that the analysis relied on organic yields from an experimental trial that sometimes exceeded the average yields actually achieved by organic corn and soybean producers in Minnesota. It also didn't consider the overhead and fixed costs of farming. He's now involved in a second project that is comparing the economics of organic and conventional production in a whole-farm system.


More importantly, he adds, "What we're looking at here are results between an established organic and an established conventional system. This research doesn't take into consideration the issue of the transition itself: how difficult or costly that may be."


Still, if growers can successfully weather the transition, the study offers convincing new evidence that the change will be a lucrative one over the long haul.


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by American Society of Agronomy.

American Society of Agronomy (2011, September 1). Economic analysis reveals organic farming profitable long-term. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 7, 2011, from­ /releases/2011/09/110901093715.htm 


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Introducing System Models into Ag Research 


In order to develop sustainable agricultural systems that address environmental challenges, more quantitative guidance and site-specific decision tools must become available to producers. Field research requires a quantitative approach to ensure complex interacting factors are taken into account


Process level models of cropping systems are based on synthesis and quantification of important interactions in the system. Integrating these models with cutting-edge field research will enhance the value and efficiency of research for developing sustainable agriculture.


Methods of Introducing System Models into Agricultural Research is the ultimate handbook for field scientists and other users to learn about the proper methods of model use. The 450-page book includes an array of valuable information that can help enhance field research by synthesizing and examining experimental data. 


Many field scientists and students struggle with the challenges of parameter estimation and correct model calibration. Models are often misused due to a lack of good documentation and guidance on parameterization and calibration, and results are published without accuracy.


While there are science documentations available for some models, interpreting the science in terms of measurable model parameters in an agricultural system is a unique challenge that requires further resources. Methods of Introducing System Models into Agricultural Research addresses that challenge by providing readers with information from experts on the topics of parameter estimation, calibration, validation, and extension of experimental results to account for weather conditions, soil types and climates. The book editors are L.R. Ahuja and Liwang Ma, USDA-ARS, Agricultural Systems Research Unit, Fort Collins, Colorado.


"Because system modeling is vitally important to the understanding of agricultural systems, the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America support the objectives of this book, which will help model users apply the proper techniques when using system models," said 2011 CSSA President Maria Gallo. 


Use of the proper methods is key to realizing the great potential benefits of modeling an agriculture system. For field scientists and other model users looking for an expert resource that breaks down model types, parameter estimation techniques and calibration methods, Methods of Introducing System Models into Agricultural Research may be a valuable resource.


Methods of Introducing System Models into Agricultural Research is 450 pages, hardcover, comes with modeling software and can be purchased at, or by calling 608-268-4960. The price is $96 for Society members and $120 for non-members.


American Society of Agronomy Press Release, August 23, 2011


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Coming Events


Canadian Society of Soil Science and Soil Science Society of America joint conference, Fundamental for Life: Soil, Crop, & Environmental Sciences, San Antonio, Texas, October 16-20, 2011


Feeding a Hungry World: A Summit for Animal Agriculture, Ottawa, Ontario, October 17-18, 2011 


Catalyst Canada Honours Celebrating Champions of Women in Business, Toronto, Ontario, October 18, 2011


2011 Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Acadian Entomological Society, Halifax, Nova Scotia, November 6-9, 2011  


Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, National Hemp Convention, Winnipeg, Manitoba, November 21-21, 2011 


Canadian Organic Science Conference, February 21-23, 2012, Winnipeg, Manitoba 


6th Annual Growing the Margins: Rural Green Energy Conference and Exhibition and 4th Annual Canadian Farm and Food Biogas Conference and Exhibition, London, Ontario, March 5-7, 2012



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