Using drones in Canadian agriculture isn’t new, but using them for pesticide application is. Agassiz, British Columbia federal researchers are working with provincial agencies and an Abbottsford drone company to provide Health Canada with data it will need to determine the viability and safety of drone-based pesticide applications.

President Trump has promised American farmers up to $16 billion through USDA programs – an amount estimated to equal the impact of “unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods” according to a recent USDA news release. This is the second package in as many years.

For the last two years, Rebecca Compton has chaired the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario through a challenging marketing period. While managing 60 acres and an on-farm retail outlet, Big Red Barn near Delhi, Ontario, she encourages her young children – Sable and Anson – to be at home in the field.

Hot weather this spring has led to a snowpack of less than 50 per cent of normal for mid-May for the number one apple-producing state. That’s a development worth watching for all Canadian growers experiencing a spring of variable weather.

Fyffes Ireland is launching a banana band that can withstand the rigours of shipping through the cold chain while claiming a sustainable, fully recyclable paper. It’s an example of more alternatives to come in the produce industry.

A few farmers’ markets will open Victoria Day weekend offering local produce to shoppers. What’s available this early in the season? Asparagus with rhubarb, green onions and radishes soon to follow. Also look for greenhouse-grown produce such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and strawberries.

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