Bainsville farmer named BASF Innovative Farmer of the Year

LONDON, ON, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Each year, the BASF Innovative Farmer of the Year Award is presented to an Ontario producer who has used innovative farming practices and demonstrated leadership within their community and the Ontario agriculture sector. This year's recipient is Shawn McRae, a Bainsville area producer of corn, dry beans, soybeans, oats and barley.

Trevor Latta, BASF Business Representative, presented McRae with the award at the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario event in London, on February 28.

"BASF is proud to support innovation and sustainability in agriculture," says Latta. "It's great that we can recognize farmers like Shawn who are taking an innovative approach to managing the challenges of farming."

McRae, an early adopter of no-till farming, has been working for more than 20 years to find better methods for soil management on his farm in Bainsville. He has spent many hours modifying seeding equipment for no-till planting. Since 1988, the McRaes have used no-till and ridge-till seeding equipment without any fall tillage and almost always direct seeds into undisturbed crop and cover crop residues.

McRae does make an exception for strategic mulch tillage in spring before planting corn with RTK GPS auto-steer guidance to re-establish straight rows and guess rows.

"I've always said I would be no good at a plowing match because I never learned how to use a mouldboard plow," says McRae, whose father, Ron, permanently parked his eight-furrow plow in 1983. "My goal has always been to find better methods for soil and financial management and to develop a system that eliminates soil erosion and improves soil, water and food quality."

The annual Innovative Farmer of the Year Award is sponsored by BASF Canada, and is presented every year at the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario conference in February.

About the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario
Since 1986, IFAO has been providing a forum where farmers can exchange ideas and help accelerate the adoption of no-till and ridge-till crop production systems as a sound agricultural practice. For more information visit: www.ifao.com.

About the BASF Crop Protection division
With sales of €4.0 billion in 2010, BASF's Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF's Crop Protection division is to be the world's leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at www.agro.basf.com or follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/basfagro.

© 2012 BASF Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "Bainsville farmer Shawn McRae is the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario's 2012 Innovative Farmer of the Year. McRae was honoured for his innovative farming techniques at the organization's annual conference in London on February 28. McRae accepted the honour from BASF Canada's Trevor Latta during the event. (CNW Group/BASF Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120229_C8433_PHOTO_EN_10595.jpg

SOURCE BASF Canada Inc.

For further information:

Andrew Elgersma
BASF Canada Inc.
(289) 360-6104
andrew.elgersma@basf.com

Andrea Maillet
ON Communication Inc.
(519) 434-1365 ext. 212
andrea@on-communication.biz


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