AIC Notes TopIssue 2011-35            October 6, 2011 
In This Issue
World Food Day - October 16, 2011
Oda Declares Food Security Victory: Now What?
Genetically Modified Canola Goes Wild
Tolerance for Frankenfish is Falling: Survey
Farm Radio International Vital Tool in Spreading Facts
Breakthrough for Canadian Canola in U.S. Biodiesel Market
Ritz's Panel Urges Grain System Access for CWB 2.0
New Study on the Adoption of Precision Farming...What Is the Issue?
Scientists Eye 'Windows of Opportunity' for Adapting Food Crops to Climate Change
Report of the Federal Commissioner of the Environment and of Sustainable Development
AAAC Newsletter
Alberta Canola Producers Commission Seeks Policy Analyst
NCID Request for Proposals
Coming Events

World Food Day - October 16, 2011


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN instituted World Food Day in 1979 as an annual reminder that food, as a basic Human Right, was not available to all.


More than 30 years later there is still starvation and inadequate access to food for many. One third of the world's population - nearly 2 billion people - rely on food produced by 500 million small farmers struggling against the adversity of rising energy costs, price volatility and natural disasters.


This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. Give thanks for the food you and your family share but also think of the many people who do not have access to sufficient food for their families, and make a commitment to learn more about food scarcity and insecurity globally and what you can do to support more equitable access to food.


For more information on World Food Day, click here.


Back to top  


Oda Declares Food Security Victory:  Now What?


After Canadians donated $113 million in the aftermath of last year's devastating earthquake in Haiti and $47 million to help Pakistanis cope with massive flooding, one might expect donor fatigue to have set in. After all, there appear to be no shortage of crises and disasters.


But respond they did, this time in East Africa where 13 million people are trying to survive what is considered the worst drought in a generation. Between July and September, Canadians donated an estimated $70 million, all of which will be matched by the federal government.


"Canadians have once again demonstrated their compassion and generosity by continuing to support the people of East Africa suffering from this catastrophic drought," CIDA Minister Bev Oda said in a statement.


Not by coincidence, the same day the government announced the donation total, Oda was at McGill University in Montreal, addressing a conference on food security.


The World Bank says food prices have increased 33 per cent in the last year, the minister noted, far faster than household incomes, especially in developing countries. As a result, an additional 44 million people have been pushed into poverty, and nearly 1 billion people are hungry.


And the government has responded, Oda said, making food security and agriculture one of CIDA's priorities, to the point where it now accounts for more than 25 per cent of all country-to-country programming.


The government has also positioned Canada to become the third-largest contributor to the World Food Programme, among other accomplishments.


And it supports the need for monitoring food stocks on a global and regional level to help identify where dangerous food insecurity level may be developing and to better help mitigate and respond to such situations, Oda said.


But much of the minister's speech related to actions taken by the government and promises fulfilled, like a pledge made at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009 to contribute $1.18 billion over three years to food security. The government, Oda said, accomplished this feat a year early.


The question is: What now?


Up-to-date figures on Canadian aid are difficult to find, but the government has said international development is frozen at about $5 billion and will assessed on a year-by-year basis. At a time of fiscal austerity, it's difficult to envision any increases.


In addition, maternal and child health is far and above the government's top aid priority, as evidenced by the prime minister personally championing the issue.


The fact Oda made a point of highlighting that Canada had fulfilled its L'Aquila commitments a year early raises the question as to whether funding for food security falls off starting next year in favour of maternal and child health.


Not to say one is more important than the other: Both are equally vital. But there's only so much money to go around - especially when you are only spending about 0.32 per cent of your GNI on aid, instead of the internationally recognized 0.7 per cent.


Lee Berthiaume, Blog, October 5, 2011


Editor's Note: AIC is still awaiting word on the new 5-year international agricultural development project proposal (Scientific Societies in International Partnerships for Agriculture and Rural Development) we submitted to CIDA in March 2011. Applicants were to be advised by August 15th but AIC, and many other not for profit groups, have been given no indication when an announcement will be made, causing all organizations significant stress. If you would like to support AIC by making an enquiry to your Member of Parliament about CIDA decision making, please contact Tom Beach.


Back to top    



Genetically Modified Canola Goes Wild


Genetically modified canola has escaped from the farm and is thriving in the wild across North Dakota, according to a study that indicates there are plenty of novel man-made genes crossing the Canada-U.S. border.


GM canola was found growing everywhere from ditches to parking lots, the scientists report, with some of the highest densities along a trucking route into Canada.


"That's where the most intense canola production is and it's also the road that goes to the canola processing plants across the border," said ecologist Cynthia Sagers of the University of Arkansas, referring to a canola plant in Altona, Man.


Her study stopped at the border, but Canadian research also has found "escaped" GM canola is becoming common on the Canadian prairies, and swapping man-made genes in the wild.


"Biology doesn't know any borders," said Rene Van Acker at the University of Guelph, who has done extensive research on the extent and behaviour of escaped GM crops in Manitoba.


For the study published Wednesday, Sagers and her colleagues drove across North Dakota and stopped every eight kilometres to see what was growing. At almost half of the 634 stops they found genetically modified canola.


At some locations there were thousands of GM plants growing.


"That was a shock to us," Sagers said.


At other spots, the GM canola, which was engineered to withstand herbicides that kill weeds, was the only thing growing.


"In some places along the road where department of transportation had sprayed for weeds, the canola was blooming brilliantly," Sagers said.


Of 288 canola plants the researchers tested, 231 were transgenic or genetically modified.


Perhaps most significant, they said, is the fact that two of the plants had combinations of herbicide resistance that had not been developed commercially.


"That suggests to us there is breeding going on, either in the field or in these roadside populations, to create new combinations of traits," said Sagers. "In terms of evolutionary biology it's pretty amazing."


She says the findings raise questions about whether the escaped or "feral" GM canola might pass on man-made genes to wild species like field mustard, which is an agricultural pest.


"It is conceivably a very large problem," said Sagers.


Van Acker said the study, like similar research done in Canada, raises red flags over plans to grow pharmaceutical drugs and industrial oils in GM plants. Such crops would have to be "confined" and kept out of the food system, said Van Acker, "and that starts to worry me."


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which regulates and approves GM crops grown in Canada, said by email Wednesday that it is satisfied that the GM crops escaping farms pose no risk.


Margaret Munro, Postmedia News, October 6, 2011


Back to top



Tolerance for Frankenfish is Falling:  Survey


Support for genetically modified fish and animals is on the decline in Canada as more consumers grow skeptical of the federal government's ability to regulate these high-tech food options, a government-commissioned poll has found.


Thirteen per cent of Canadians said they approve of GM fish as long as the usual level of government oversight and control is in place - an 11-point drop from five years ago. On the flip side, more Canadians this year do not approve of GM fish, except under very special circumstances - 37 per cent compared with 24 per cent in 2006.


Meanwhile, only nine per cent approve of GM animals as long as the usual government oversight is in place, down from 14 per cent in 2006. Twenty-nine per cent do not approve of GM animals under any circumstance, a jump of eight points in five years.


The survey, carried out in February and considered accurate to within 3.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20, cites "some erosion" in confidence in the government's safety and regulatory systems for biotechnology and a widening "regulatory gap" in dealing with new technologies for the growing skepticism.


The results could prove a publicrelations challenge for the federal government, which is considering how to handle requests to commercialize genetically engineered fish and pigs.


Agriculture Canada commissioned the Harris/Decima survey last fall after government officials hosted a series of meetings with AquaBounty Technologies Inc., part of pre-notification consultations with the company, which is looking to bring its genetically engineered salmon to dinner plates.


The fish are engineered in Prince Edward Island, home to AquaBounty's research facilities, to grow to market size twice as fast as conventional salmon with a growth hormone gene from the Chinook and a genetic on-switch from the ocean pout.


Health Canada is also reviewing a formal application from University of Guelph scientists to approve a genetically engineered pig for human consumption. Environment Canada has already signed off on the commercialization plan for the so-called "Enviropig," created in 1999 - the world's first transgenic animal designed to solve an environmental problem.


The pigs, created with a snippet of mouse DNA introduced into their chromosomes, produce lowphosphorus feces.


The survey results show that Canadians generally see the benefits outweighing the risks for bioproducts, but the "perceived risks clearly outweigh benefits" when the genetic modification of animals is considered.


"New this year is the perception that the risks of GM fish outweigh their benefits as compared to a neutral score in 2006," the report notes.


Close to one in four (23 per cent) say they are not at all confident in the government's ability to regulate GM fish - compared with 16 per cent in 2006. Meanwhile, the percentage of Canadians who are extremely or very confident in Ottawa's regulatory oversight stands at 14, down from 19 per cent.


Confidence in Ottawa's ability to regulate GM animals is even lower. Twenty-seven per cent said they are not at all confident, a four-point increase from 2006. Eleven per cent said they are extremely or very confident in Ottawa's regulatory oversight of GM animals, a seven-point drop since 2006.


Internal government records indicate some senior scientists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans also have concerns, saying the government is "limited" and "may be constrained" by current regulations when considering an AquaBounty application to commercialize its research facility in P.E.I.


Sarah Schmidt, Postmedia News, October 5, 2011


Farm Radio International Vital Tool in Spreading Facts


We've all grown accustomed to the hype around Hockey Night in Canada, a phenomenon that has hockey fans glued to their big-screen TVs and those not-so-crazy about the game leaving the room.


Well back in the mid-1940s, Monday was Farmers' Night in Canada, when upwards of 1,300 small groups of farmers coast to coast clustered around a radio to listen to national broadcasts discussing current topics of the day and then following up with their own discussion locally.


And it was those forums that became the genesis for a modern non-government organization that connects small-scale farmers in 35 countries.


The National Farm Radio Forum, a joint educational project of the CBC, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the Canadian Association for Adult Education, was a valuable and popular extension vehicle for farmers during the postwar era. People living in isolated rural communities were hungry for the latest information and radio was an efficient way of reaching them.


The forums addressed big issues such as farm living standards, new science as it pertained to agriculture, agriculture as a risky business and social security for the farmer.


On Nov. 4, 1946, for example, 32 forums in Manitoba met and discussed farm taxes. "Manitoba forums find it difficult to believe that only about five per cent of Canadian farmers file income tax returns," a report from the forum said. "The reasons they give for this are many, such as, all farmers do not keep accounts because they haven't the time to spend on bookkeeping, income tax forms are too hard to understand, failure of the government to force tax returns (and) the average farmer just makes a bare living at best."


A later forum concluded the reason there was a lack of farm home improvement was also related to a lack of funds and time. Farm home improvement was considered an important issue of the day, as noted by J.E. Brownlee, vice-president of the United Grain Growers, in his annual address to members. "We want to see (in) Western Canada, a land of comfortable homes. We want to see farm homes so equipped that our boys and girls will recognize the real opportunities and pleasures of rural life. They will not stay on the farms until we do."


Dubbed "the world's greatest listening group activity," the forums were a way to reach farmers and generate discussion, but also a means of connecting with small, rural communities.


Fast-forward three decades and CBC farm radio broadcaster George Atkins was travelling on a bus in Zambia talking to locally based colleagues. When he asked what the local broadcast was about that day, he was told it was all about tractor maintenance. His next question was how many farmers in that country had tractors. Only a handful.


Resource-starved radio stations were forced to use extension material supplied to them from elsewhere and much of it had little relevance to what small-scale farmers were doing. That made no sense at all to Atkins, then a 25-year veteran of farm broadcasting.


Atkins returned to Canada and began developing a charity based on a radio forum similar to what had worked so well in Canada, a vehicle that networked local producers and linked them with information they needed, not simply what was available.


Instead of tractor repair, commercial fertilizers and pesticides, the radio scripts discussed how to better raise oxen or fertilize fields with manure. Today, what is now known as Farm Radio International has become a powerful charitable organization that connects more than 250 participating radio partners in 35 African countries sharing practical information and stories based on meeting local needs.


Like the farm forums on the Prairies, these radio broadcasts don't only deal with farming. They address community and life issues, such as breaking down the myths and taboos of AIDS. In recent years, the agency has become one of the many tools the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is using to empower and improve the lot of the world's small-scale farmers.


And despite all of the new communications technology sweeping the globe, radio remains one of the most powerful and effective means of, as Farm Radio's executive director Kevin Perkins puts it, taking good ideas and growing them to scale.


If anything, new technology serves to complement radio. People with cellphones can receive a text reminding them to tune in to an upcoming broadcast.


More than anything, this effort acknowledges the power of indigenous knowledge and of communities working together to solve common problems. It also recognizes that the only way local knowledge can survive is if it is freely shared.


Laura Rance, Winnipeg Free Press, October 1, 2011


Breakthrough for Canadian Canola in U.S. Biodiesel Market


A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision means the reopening of an important market for Canada's canola industry, according to the Canola Council of Canada (CCC).

The EPA has approved the Government of Canada's petition to use the aggregate approach for approval of Canadian feedstocks, including canola, for biodiesel production in the U.S. The decision means biodiesel produced in Canadian plants using canola can be sold in the U.S. It also means biodiesel produced in the U.S. from Canadian canola can be marketed in the U.S. Currently U.S. produced biodiesel using Canadian canola is being sold into Canadian markets in order to meet inclusion mandates in Alberta and B.C.

"We are thrilled that we have this opportunity to increase our exports of canola into the U.S. for use in biodiesel production," says CCC president JoAnne Buth. "On behalf of the canola industry, I want to thank Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and officials in various departments for their diligence in putting together the petition, and in advocating so effectively with the EPA."

This issue arose in February 2010 when the EPA introduced guidelines to meet its Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2). In December 2010 the EPA published a regulation providing for an aggregate land use methodology for foreign feedstock compliance.

During the subsequent comment period, the Government of Canada filed a petition with the EPA in order to secure access for Canadian canola as a feedstock for biodiesel in the U.S. The CCC worked closely with Canadian government officials to develop the petition. The petition went out for public comment and no negative comments were submitted to the EPA.

Now approved, the petition will provide secure access for Canadian canola as a sustainable feedstock for U.S. biodiesel markets under the RFS2 regulations. 


Canola Council of Canada, September 30, 2011


Back to top 



Ritz's Panel Urges Grain System Access for CWB 2.0


Allowing a voluntary Canadian Wheat Board and other Prairie grain marketers the ability to negotiate agreements for elevator, rail and port access is "the single most important issue" for government to consider going forward, an industry working group says.


Federal Ag Minister Gerry Ritz on Wednesday published the report from a working group he struck in July on "marketing freedom" for Prairie wheat and barley growers, including representation from the public sector and farmer and industry groups.


The group's recommendations, he said, "will be considered" as the government moves toward deregulation of Prairie wheat and barley marketing for August 2012.


Given that the change to voluntary marketing of wheat and barley is meant to allow industry players "greater freedom to make new types of business arrangements," that process should be allowed to work as system access is negotiated, the group said.


"That being said, given shifting power relationships in the grain trade, the government needs to monitor developments, as well as system performance, and be prepared to use suasion and intervene if necessary to address anti-competitive behaviour."


The group also suggested the bar for federal intervention "should be set high, as commercial agreements need to be given a significant opportunity to be negotiated."


Members of the working group noted they had "some differences" as to whether Ottawa needs to set up regulations as soon as possible to ensure access for a voluntary CWB and other players, or to intervene only when or if there is "clear evidence of anti-competitive behaviour."


Producer cars


The working group also urged Ritz to make sure Prairie farmers' right to ship grain using producer cars remains in the Canada Grain Act, as long as those shipments are tied into a grain sales program "rather than in response to a wish by producers to push grain into the system."


The group also recommends shortline railways and producer car shippers ask Canada's two major railways to change their multi-car rate incentive rate requirements, to allow groups of shippers on short lines to qualify for those rates when they interchange a block of cars to the mainline carrier.


The group also wants federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel to keep moving on initiatives that would create template service agreements between railways and shippers -- as well as fallback legislation where such agreements can't be reached.


Checkoff funding


The working group also calls for Ritz to set up a short-term (five-year) refundable checkoff to replace funding the CWB now provides to the Western Grains Research Foundation, Canadian International Grains Institute and Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre.


The grain industry should get talks started toward a multi-commodity organization, the group said. The five-year checkoff, in the meantime, "will encourage the industry to move forward with the development and implementation of a longer-term multi-commodity approach."




Drafting and enactment of a "legislated backstop" for service level agreements between shippers and railways "will facilitate the implementation of marketing choice," the group wrote. Any roadblocks to quick access of rail data now collected, or to "additional metrics of system performance" identified by industry, should be removed, the group said.


The group also urged a number of measures to provide "maximum predictability and certainty" about the change to voluntary wheat and barley marketing, so private-sector risk management tools can be arranged.


For that reason, any details of the government's plans and proposed changes to the system should be communicated "as soon as possible," the group said. "For example, farmers need to know when they can start forward contracting for the 2012-13 crop year."


The group also urged the CWB itself "to get on with preparing for implementation." If it doesn't, the group said, Ritz should "consider measures to facilitate the development of a business model for a voluntary CWB that will be available to farmers" next August.


Among other members, the working group included representatives from the federal ag and transport departments, Grain Growers of Canada, Pulse Canada, Canola Council of Canada, Canadian Grain Commission and CIGI., September 28, 2011


Back to top  



New Study on the Adoption of Precision Farming 


What Is the Issue?

Efficient input use in agriculture is increasingly a priority of producers, the public, and policymakers. One way to increase efficiency in agriculture is through the adoption of precision technologies, which use information gathered during field operations, from planting to harvest, to calibrate the application of inputs and economize on fuel use. While it holds promise for improving the efficiency of input use, adoption of precision agriculture-encompassing a suite of farm-level information technologies to better target the application of inputs and practices-has not been as rapid as previously envisioned. This report examines the prevalence and effectiveness of these technologies based on survey response data collected over the last 10 years.

What Did the Study Find?

Adoption of the main precision information technologies, such as yield monitors, variable-rate applicators, and GPS maps, has been mixed among U.S. farmers. Recent data from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) show that use of yield monitors, often a first step in using precision technology for grain crop producers, has grown most rapidly, and was used on 40-45 percent of corn and soybean acres in 2005-06. However, farmers have mostly chosen not to complement this yield information with the use of detailed GPS maps or variable-rate input applicators that capitalize on the detailed yield information. Some of the possible factors behind this adoption lag include farm operator education, technical sophistication, and farm management acumen. The report is not testing the impacts of precision agriculture on other farm practices like conservation tillage, but some associations between the various factors are noted. Among the report's findings:

* Corn and soybean yields were significantly higher for yield monitor adopters than for nonadopters nationally. This yield differential for corn grew from 2001 to 2005. Yield monitors are being adopted more quickly by farmers who practice conservation tillage.

* Corn and soybean farmers using yield monitors had lower per-acre fuel expenses. Average peracre fertilizer expenses were slightly higher for corn farmers that adopted yield monitors, but were lower for soybean farmers.

* In the Corn Belt, GPS maps and variable-rate technologies were used on 24 and 16 percent respectively of corn in 2005, and 17 and 12 percent of soybean acres in 2006, but nationally the adoption rates for variable-rate technologies were only 12 percent for corn and 8 percent for soybeans.

* Average fuel expenses were lower, per acre, for farmers using variable-rate technologies for corn and soybean fertilizer application, as were soybean fuel expenses for guidance systems adopters.

* Adopters of GPS mapping and variable-rate fertilizer equipment had higher yields for both corn and soybeans.

* Adoption of guidance systems, which notify farm equipment operators as to their exact field position, is showing a strong upward trend, with 35 percent of wheat producers using it by 2009.

How Was the Study Conducted?

The Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) provides data on technology choices, input costs, and yields for a nationally representative sample of U.S. farms growing selected commodities. Phase II of the ARMS is conducted on a rotating set of commodities, and this study relies primarily on the 2001 and 2005 surveys of corn, 2002 and 2006 surveys of soybeans, and 2004 and 2009 surveys of winter wheat, with secondary emphasis on other crops and years. Descriptive statistics are presented at the national level and by production region as defined by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Simple statistical difference-of-means tests are conducted to examine differences in input costs and yields between precision technology adopters and non-adopters.


Source: USDA, in AgProfessional, October 3, 2011  

Back to top  


Scientists Eye 'Windows of Opportunity' for Adapting Food Crops to Climate Change 


Responding to appeals from African leaders for new tools to deal with the effects of climate change on food production, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has released a series of studies focused on "climate proofing" crops critical to food security in the developing world.


The studies constitute various chapters in a new book titled Crop Adaptation to Climate Change from John Wiley & Sons, which was developed by an international team of the world's leading climate and agricultural researchers to provide adaptation strategies for more than a dozen crops -- such as potatoes, beans, bananas and cassava -- on which billions of people depend worldwide.


The studies describe how climate change could threaten food production and how specific adaptation strategies could neutralize or at least significantly lessen the impact. They argue that investments are urgently needed to identify important genetic traits, including drought tolerance and pest resistance, which will be critical for helping farmers adapt to new growing conditions.


"In these studies, we've brought together the best climate science with the best knowledge of crop improvement to spell out how crops will be affected and what plant breeders can do to avert or at least cushion potentially devastating blows," said Julian Ramirez, a scientist at the Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and one of the authors of the studies.


The studies indicate that many of the critical traits farmers will need to deal with hotter, dryer, and in some cases, wetter conditions likely reside in seeds now safeguarded by international crop genebanks. But researchers note that tapping the potential of plant genetic resources, particularly the rich vein of traits contained in the wild relatives of key crops, will require more intensive application of cutting edge biotechnology, including new tools from the rapidly developing fields of genomics and transgenics.


"These results offer plant breeders a strong foundation for establishing research priorities for the next two decades, which is about the time they'll need to develop new generations of crop varieties suited to shifting agriculture environments," said Bruce Campbell, CCAFS director.


The studies indicate that the most direct impact on crop yields will come from changes in temperature and rainfall. But they also warn that indirect effects of climate change could result from altered incidence of pests and disease, though these changes will not always be for the worse.


Scientists report that the potato, for example, a dietary staple for millions of people around the world, is especially vulnerable to heat stress, which reduces growth and starch formation. Rising temperatures in southern Africa and tropical highlands worldwide could be particularly hazardous. Scientists believe that developing and distributing heat-tolerant potato varieties could reduce climate-related damage for about 65 percent (7.7 million hectares) of the world's potato crop.


Also of concern is the potato tuber moth, which could spread northward and to higher elevations as a result of climate change. But drier, warmer summers in some regions will likely depress the incidence of potato's worst disease -- late blight, which caused Ireland's potato famine in the 19th century.


Data on the projected impacts of climate change on bananas, beans, cassava and potatoes are available on the website of the recently launched Adaptation and Mitigation Knowledge Network (AMKN). This online platform brings together a large volume of knowledge from diverse sources about climate mitigation and adaptation and links it to interactive maps. Users can access tools and information, such as climate models, drought indexes, and socio-economic data about agriculture, together with farmer comments on video and photos from pilot sites across the tropics.


"Until now, all this information has been widely dispersed, making it hard for scientists, policy-makers, and civil society actors to get a proper grasp of the complex interactions between agriculture and climate change," said Andy Jarvis, an agricultural geographer at CIAT who also oversees CCAFS research on climate change adaptation. "By making key information freely and easily available for the first time, the AMKN should greatly enhance our understanding of the threat that climate change poses to food security and ultimately our ability to curb the threat."


For many crops, developing the traits needed to cope with climate change promises to be a long, arduous process, the new studies suggest. Past banana and potato breeding has focused mainly on yield, product quality, and pest- and disease-resistance, while tolerance to drought and heat has received scant attention.


Yet, scientists express confidence that the thousands of samples of traditional varieties and crop wild relatives held in genebanks likely contain a wide diversity of tolerance traits. Though largely neglected in modern crop breeding, traditional varieties and crop wild relatives could play a vital role in helping farmers adapt to climate change, despite the challenges of crossing species that are distantly related.


To overcome those barriers, researchers say they need more detailed information on the traits contained in crop genebanks and more support for deploying biotechnology tools to gather and use this information.


"This pioneering research, which considers crop-by-crop how climate change will alter food production in the future, opens up new windows of opportunity for research to deal with the challenges that farmers face around the world," said Lloyd Le Page, chief executive officer of the CGIAR. "But given how rapidly growing conditions are changing, these windows won't be open for long. We must act now to ensure that in the coming decades farmers have the technologies they need to maintain a food-secure world."


Burness Communications (2011, October 2). Scientists eye 'windows of opportunity' for adapting food crops to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 5, 2011, from­ /releases/2011/10/111003080514.htm

Back to top  


Report of the Federal Commissioner of the Environment and of Sustainable Development 


Scott Vaughan, the Commissioner of the Environment and of Sustainable Development, has tabled his 2011 October Report in the House of Commons. This Report examines the following two issues:


Climate Change Plans under the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act


Assessing Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil Sands Projects

In addition, the Report contains The Commissioner's Perspective:

Poor information leaves government unable to properly manage environmental change 

Back to top   



AAAC Newsletter


AIC is a member of the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada, a national network of professional education accrediting bodies. To read the Fall 2011 issue of the AAAC newsletter, click here.   

Back to top  




Alberta Canola Producers Commission Seeks Policy Analyst


The Alberta Canola Producers Commission (ACPC) is seeking an energetic person to join the team as the Policy Analyst. The ACPC represents canola producers in an inclusive manner with all levels of government and industry within the canola industry and the agricultural sector in Alberta and Canada. The ACPC is committed to addressing and aligning agriculture and environmental policy and priorities in the province.


Deadline for Application: November 15, 2011  




NCID Request for Proposals


The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases is extending a request for proposals for a comprehensive review of Canadian programs involved in the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the monitoring of antimicrobial use and recommendations to achieve optimal programs. For more information click here.    





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 21-22, 2011 


Canadian Weed Science Society Conference, Niagara Falls, November 21-24, 2011 


15th Annual Fall Canadian Agriculture Outlook Conference, Calgary, December 1-2, 2011


Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, Growing Forward in a Volatile Environment, Second Annual Canadian Agriculture Policy Conference, Ottawa, January 12-13, 2012


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



AIC LogoAIC Notes is a weekly update provided as a service for AIC members.  Please do not circulate or post.  The content of AIC Notes does not represent official positions, opinions or support of AIC or its members. 

Frances Rodenburg, Editor