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Serving the producers of the Northwest



North Battleford, Saskatchewan

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rapid Summer Growth

Northwest crops are flourishing thanks to timely rain in most areas. The countryside is awash in vast fields of yellow blossoms as canola gets ready to set pods for the fall havest. Not as showy, but just as picturesque, is a fully-headed-out stand of wheat like this one. Photo by Louise Lundberg

Autonomous technology focus of project Staff The Government of Saskatchewan has committed $230,000 to DOT Technology Corporation to support its project to develop and pilot its autonomous power platform, DOT, for use in the agriculture sector. DOT is an autonomous tractor designed to com-

plete various farm tasks such as seeding and spraying, with minimal human supervision. The technology will enhance productivity in the agricultural sector and reduce producers’ costs, according to a government press release. Government funds

will be provided over two years, through Innovation Saskatchewan’s Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund, and the government says it will be used to develop the platform’s autonomous functions and to allow for user interaction through a tablet device. “DOT is a clear example

of innovative technology with the potential to transform the business of agriculture in Saskatchewan,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “We are pleased to support this innovation to stimulate research and development that will pro-

SeedMaster Manufacturing, and has invested $1.6 million toward the production of the first DOT prototype. “It is great to have organizations like Innovation Saskatchewan that keep innovation rooted in the province,” Beaujot said. Continued on Page 2

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Regional Optimist

Researching pulse storage Submitted PAMI

DOT Technology Corporation is working to create a tractor that it claims will be able to complete fieldwork farming tasks with little or no supervision. Government of Saskatchewan photo

Autonomous farming Continued from Front “The government’s continued support for entrepreneurs and innovation is critical in helping companies like DOT Technology succeed locally.” In collaboration with re-

searchers from the University of Regina, DOT Technology Corporation will develop various technologies to enable the platform to function autonomously, according to a press release.

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Once fully developed, the release claims DOT will be able to complete farming tasks like seeding, spraying and harvesting with minimal human supervision. The technology will also be open to implements developed by third-party manufacturers, a number of whom have already expressed intentions to build DOT-ready equipment.

Researchers at the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute are collaborating with Alberta Pulse Growers to provide information and tools to growers on how to better manage their grain and pulses during the storage seasons. “PAMI has been doing grain storage research for several decades,” said Dr. Joy Agnew, program manager with Prairie Agricultural Machine Institute in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. “This partnership will help get the results and important information to the primary stakeholders: the producers.” Grain aeration and natural air-drying of pulse crops are commonly used on-farm to minimize the risk of grain spoilage in


SARM recently hosted a meeting with stakeholders to discuss the cre-

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ation of a provincial Rural Crime Watch association. Representatives from SARM, the RCMP, the provincial government, and several Rural Crime Watch groups were in attendance. From that meeting, a working group has been appointed to spearhead the initiative. “SARM has been pleased to see the Rural Crime Watch program grow to nearly 100 active groups in just over a year,” said president Ray Orb. “As the program grows, it is becoming clear there is a need for a provincial association to provide sup-

port and encourage consistency to crime watch groups across the province.” In a press release SARM states the organization has been working closely with the RCMP to reinvigorate the Rural Crime Watch program since 2016. Rural Crime Watch is a community driven, community led crime prevention and reduction program, supported by the RCMP. Volunteers observe, record and report any unusual or suspicious activities with members and the RCMP.

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Serving the producers of the Northwest


sults into producer-friendly tools and to distribute the information via webinars. The type of information that will be shared in the releases and events includes: ideal storage conditions for pulses, effect of airflow rate on drying rate, fan size selection, use and economic benefits of supplemental heating, big bin considerations, technologies for monitoring grain during storage, and the pros and cons of fan control systems. The first pulse-specific research update will be distributed to producers in early August with another update in December of this year. Dr. Agnew will be travelling throughout Alberta in 2019 and hosting webinars to further distribute this information.

SARM initiates rural crime watch association

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the bin. However, the airflow rates required to achieve desired cooling and drying rates have not been extensively evaluated, specifically for storing peas and lentils. “With the increasing production of pulses, it is vital that grain temperature, moisture content, resistance to airflow, and seed quality characteristics are measured to better define airflow rates and fan running times for optimum storage practices,” Agnew said. Funding from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and the Canada-Saskatchewan Growing Forward 2 bi-lateral agreement is being used for the research trials with peas and lentils, while funding from the Alberta Pulse Growers will be used to compile the relevant re-

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The Battlefords, Thursday, July 19, 2018 - Page 3

When is the best time to cut hay? By John Hauer

Ministry of Agriculture

When is the best time to cut hay? The quality of hay will depend on three factors — when harvest commences, how long harvest will take to complete and how much quality is lost during harvest. Haying season can be challenging with showers and general rains stalling hay progress. When harvest begins will depend on what the end use of the hay will be. The highest quality alfalfa hay, sometimes called “dairy hay,” is cut just before flowering. However, at this stage the forage yield is not yet maximized. For cow/calf producers the maximum combination of best quality (highest protein) and maximum yield occurs at 10 to 25 per cent bloom. However, don’t wait for this optimum stage

to start harvest. For most producers it takes days or weeks to finish haying. The stage of alfalfa can change quickly in a week or 10 days, so start the harvest a week or so before the optimum. This way if things go well there will be some high quality hay cut a bit before optimum, some good quality hay cut at optimum and some lower quality cut after optimum. If things don’t go well and there are delays then there will still be some good quality hay and some lower quality hay. After the plant is cut it continues to respire. During this respiration the plants lose sugars, starches and other available carbohydrates. The respiration continues until the plant is dried to about 40 per cent moisture content. A full width swath increases the drying surface of the

swath by 2.8 times. By using a wide swath width one increases the amount of swath that dries in the sun. In some trials moisture reductions of 60 per cent to 85 per cent can be achieved in five to seven hours. This rapid dry down reduces respiration losses. Weather is a big consideration. Check the longrange weather forecast and pick a harvesting window that allows the hay to dry and be packaged before being rained on. Rain affects hay quality in many ways. First the rain keeps the swath moist which perpetuates respiration losses. Secondly the rain leaches soluble nutrients out of the feed and if the rain is heavy it can shatter leaves off the plant material. To manage variability of feed resources, producers should feed test their winter feed supply to de-

The quality of hay will depends on when harvest commences, how long harvest will take to complete and how much quality is lost during harvest. Photo by Louise Lundberg

termine its nutritional value. Feed test information is useful to design a balanced ration that meets cow requirements. Feed testing can prevent over feeding and, more importantly, under feeding of

the cow herd. Producers are encouraged to submit forage samples for feed testing. For more information contact John Hauer at 1-306-446-7477, or call the Agriculture Knowledge

Centre at 1-866-457-2377. — Range Management Extension Specialist John Hauer is with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Regional Services Branch based in North Battleford.

Promoting a mental health support network Submitted

Farm Credit Canad

Farm Credit Canada has entered into a partnership with the Do More Agriculture Foundation to create a network of mental health first aid responders who can identify and support producers coping with difficult or unfortunate cir-

cumstances. Under the one-year pilot project, FCC is contributing $50,000 to the not-forprofit foundation, focused on promoting mental health awareness and well-being in Canadian agriculture. The funding will be used to facilitate mental health first aid training for producers and agriculture

industry professionals in select communities across Canada. The training is aimed at raising mental health awareness and equipping participants with basic skills to provide assistance when help is not immediately available. The training sessions will be delivered by accredited organizations and

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experts and offered at no cost. “We are seeing the need for increased mental health support in agriculture and rural Canada, where people sometimes feel isolated and don’t always know who or where to turn to for help,” said Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO. “That’s why it’s import-

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Regional Optimist

High-tech tool designed to fight rural crime Staff A new tracking device and app that can help locate stolen property or alert owners about irregular activity is the latest initiative in tackling the issue of rural crime. BeeSecure was designed by Jeff Shirley, founder and chief executive officer of Rivercity Technology Services Ltd., as part of Innovation Saskatchewan‘s Rural Crime Innovation Challenge. The challenge was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Corrections and Policing and focused on the use of technology as a solution to improve the safety and security of rural citizens and property. “We have heard from many residents across the province who are concerned about the rise of crime, particularly in our rural communities where the closest neighbour may be miles away,” Beaudry-Mellor said. “We knew that someone in Saskatchewan would have the skills, talent and innovative vision to design a solution that would offer rural resi-

dents and farmers more security for their property, and we are pleased with the outcome of BeeSecure, through the Innovation Challenge.” Following a 16-week residency program with the Ministry of Corrections and Policing, BeeSecure is currently being tested in the RM of Mayfield in the Maymont area, and the initial results are promising, according to a press release. “We are pleased with the platform the Innovation Challenge provided to develop a leading edge solution to help reduce rural crime for all Canadians,” Shirley said. “Through the partnership with the Ministry of Corrections and Policing, and with feedback from our law enforcement and rural municipality partners, we have helped create a solution that will contribute positively to tackling this issue in Saskatchewan.” Over the summer, Innovation Saskatchewan will determine other areas that may be addressed through the Innovation Challenge.

BeeSecure, a tool developed by Rivercity Technology Services Ltd., is designed to track stolen property. Government of Saskatchewan image


Parliament must pass the CPTPP tade deal By Daniel Ramage Cereals Canada

Implementing legislation for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership is now in Parliament. Canada has a chance to demonstrate much-needed leadership and co-operation on trade with like-minded global partners. It is imperative for Parliament to pass this legislation before its summer recess. This agreement will unlock valuable trade opportunities all while enhancing prospects for the growth and diversification of Canadian agriculture. The Government of Canada recognizes the important growth potential for agrifood exports and increased contributions to our economy. The latest budget set an ambitious target to increase agri-food exports to $75 billion annually by 2025, up from $64 billion today. The CPTPP offers a path towards this goal. The case for trade diversification is stronger in today’s political climate. The uncertainty and risk surrounding the ongoing renegotiation of NAFTA are troubling enough. The acrimony after the G7 meeting in Charlevoix drives home the need to expand export horizons. Implementing the CPTPP is a concrete opportunity for Canada to improve access and competitiveness in new markets. Livelihoods across the country are tied

to agricultural trade. From our ports in Vancouver and Montreal, mills and manufacturing plants in Winnipeg and Toronto, to family farms and agri-businesses, international trade sustains jobs in every region, city and rural area of Canada. Looking more closely at the CPTPP, we see that its benefits for Canadian agriculture revolve around three key areas. First, lower tariffs achieved through this agreement have a direct impact on Canadian competitiveness. This is particularly important for value-added agri-food products, many of which have traditionally faced high tariffs in export markets. But it is also critical for commodities like wheat and canola, where Canada will have preferential access to key markets such as Japan and Vietnam, thereby matching the gains achieved by Australia. Somewhat ironically, the CPTPP will also give Canada a leg up against the U.S. in high value Asian markets. Many agriculture groups in the U.S. are openly disappointed by their country’s withdrawal from the CPTPP for this reason. But to lock-in these benefits, Canada must be among the first countries to ratify the agreement. Second, through the CPTPP Canada and its partners are upgrading the rules of trade. Predictable, risk- and science-based trade rules play a key role in facilitating access to markets. As a modern, ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement,

the CPTPP sets higher standards for participating countries while creating a more predictable and transparent trade environment. Stronger science-based and risk-based rules for agricultural trade will help limit the potential for protectionist barriers and encourage greater investment in innovation. Adoption of new technologies leads to productivity enhancements and new commercial opportunities. The improvements to the trading rules through the CPTPP are critical for Canadian farmers and exporters who are increasingly facing unjustified market barriers around the world. A strong and ambitious agreement between Canada and CPTPP partners sets common standards that reduce the likelihood of trade friction, while offering stronger dispute resolution mechanisms when issues arise. It should be noted, however, that Canada also has an onus to enforce these rules when issues emerge – as is the case with Canada’s ongoing challenges for durum exports to Italy, under the Canada-European Union Free Trade Agreement. The third benefit, and perhaps the most important, is that the CPTPP is viewed as an opportunity to provide leadership in promoting multilateral trade policy cooperation. In the wake of withdrawal and rising protectionism by traditional trading partners, the importance of achieving these outcomes is clearer than ever.

What’s more, as the global economic and political center of gravity shifts towards Asia, Canada will be well positioned to deepen its trading relationships and shape global business standards. Once the agreement is in place, it is highly likely that new countries, perhaps even the U.S., will seek to join, further strengthening the agreement’s scale and benefits. Canada must be at the table with the terms for new entrants are set. The CPTPP is a tremendous opportunity to build and diversify markets. The agreement will build jobs in both rural and urban Canada and it will help grow the Canadian economy. With the implementing legislation for the CPTPP now in Parliament, Canada has a chance to play a leading role by joining the first six countries to ratify the agreement. This will demonstrate Canada’s commitment to international trade while promoting continued cooperation, against the backdrop of rising protectionism and uncertainty. The spotlight is now on Parliament to ratify the CPTPP. Farmers can do their part by taking the time to write, call or meet with their Members of Parliament to encourage ratification before the expected June 22 recess of Parliament. Farmers’ voices matter so take the time – it will be good for your business. — Ramage is director of Market Development for Cereals Canada


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The Battlefords, Thursday, July 19, 2018 - Page 5

Olds College launches smart farm project Staff

Olds College in Olds, Alta. has officially launched the Olds College Smart Farm, an new initiative that will see the college transform their existing farm operation into a farm of the future by incorporating the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity while efficiently and sustainably using resources. “Working with industry partners from the agriculture and technology sectors, the Olds College Smart Farm will provide a cutting-edge learning environment for our students and lifelong learners by providing a hands-on venue for industry to develop, integrate and test new agriculture technology and practices,” comments Stuart Cullum, president, Olds College. A multi-million dollar initiative, the Olds College Smart Farm will be implemented in phases. The college is collaborating with partners from the private and public sectors, and government to build and fund this initiative. The plan is to develop partnerships along with the Smart Farm in the coming months and years to enhance student learning and applied

research opportunities. Phase one focuses on crops, with 110 acres being transformed into a smart farm by wide variety of monitors and other equipment monitoring soil, crops and weather. Also involved in monitoring will be unmanned aerial vehicles. The operation will use the latest in Internet technology with a wireless mesh network that will provide Wi-Fi to the entire farm. Those developing the project will use data analytics, machine learning and AI to turn data into information and information into knowledge. The team will partner with expert agronomists who will serve as agronomic coaches to help analyze the data. “At Olds College we believe that agriculture is a key industry to our province and country’s success,” comments Cullum. “The Olds College Smart Farm creates an open environment for collaboration and research among industry and other post-secondary institutions to work together to advance the agriculture industry. Olds College has a great opportunity with our Smart Farm to facilitate engagement that address the challenges facing agriculture, in order for our

ag sector to produce more while using less.” The college has also announced they are working to develop new programming in agriculture technology and have partnered with Agri-Trade to host a Smart Ag Expo next summer. The Smart Ag Expo scheduled for Aug. 13 and 14, 2019, will be a combination of an outdoor farm show, with hands-on technology demonstrations and a series of conference style workshops and courses that the public can register for.

Olds College Smart Farm will embrace to latest in technology in a project aimed at improving productivity while efficiently and sustainably using resources. Photo by Louise Lundberg

Sask Wheat joins Cereals Canada

Sask Wheat has become a member of Cereals Canada. Photo by Louise Lundberg

Staff Cereals Canada and the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) have announced Sask Wheat is the newest member of Cereals Canada. Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada stated, “Canadian agriculture is facing a rise in protectionism around the world. “Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission’s membership in Cereals Canada makes the value chain stronger and better able to manage the head winds we face to-

day”. “Sask Wheat is looking forward to working with Cereals Canada and strengthening the collaborations with our industry partners across the Prairies and across Canada,” says Laura Reiter, Sask Wheat Chair. “There are several key issues across the world that will be impacting wheat markets, from NAFTA, to CPTPP to the country of origin labelling requirements in Italy. We will combine our resources on these and other issues for Saskatchewan’s wheat farmers.” GRAINCORP WE ARE OPEN AD 6.5X111.75.indd 1

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Page 6 - The Battlefords, Thursday, July 19, 2018

Regional Optimist

Initiative to increase forage export capacity

Funding to help reduce financial risk Staff

—­Photo by Louise Lundberg

Staff Agriculture and AgriFood Minister Lawrence MacAulay has announced a federal investment of $98,950 for the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association for a project funded through the AgriMarketing program under the Growing Forward 2 agreement. According to a press release, the investment is helping the sector increase export capacity and strengthen awareness of Canadian forage products to new and emerging markets. In addition to participating in international trade expos in the United States, the CFGA developed export readiness training for their members and developed strategies for emerging markets. “Our government has a

strong agenda for growth in agriculture and agrifood and is committed to supporting our farmers, young and old, with strategic investments and opportunities that expand growth, deliver prosperity and create well-paying middle class jobs,”
 said MacAulay. A further investment of $16,000 was provided to CFGA to hire a student intern under the Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative to help farmers integrate environmentally beneficial management practices into their crop planning. The initiative has created 591 youth jobs nationally, both on the farm and with organizations engaged in the agriculture and agri-food sector. “Canada’s forage sector is the largest land-use type in Canadian agricul-

ture and is exceptionally diverse, covering over 72-million acres coast to coast,” said Cedric MacLeod, executive director, Canadian Forage and Grassland Association. “The forage sector generates an annual value of $5.09 billion as the backbone of the ruminant livestock sector, and serves an increasingly important role in feeding livestock around the world. “Forage exporters from across the country are ramping up production to service growing markets in China, the Middle East, United States and Central America. AgriMarketing program funding provides an important cost-share for our industry partners to leverage their market growth activities around the world.”

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The federal government has announced grants of up to $355,710 for two projects funded through AgriRisk Initiatives under the Growing Forward 2 agreement with a goal of helping the grains and oilseed sectors reduce financial risk. The investment included $197,400 to Soy Canada to develop a profile of the soybean industry, including the current and potential risks producers face, both short and long term. “Although soybean

production in Canada increased by a phenomenal 131 per cent during the past decade, and now ranks third in terms of farm cash receipts, the continued success of the sector is directly contingent upon overcoming a series of significant challenges,” said Ron Davidson, executive director, Soy Canada. “The Agri-Risk Assessment and Mitigation Report not only identified and catalogued 11 notable threats, the clear ranking of the potential magnitude of each risk provides

a solid benchmark for determining the future allocation of sector resources.” Davidson said Soy Canada is prioritizing its resources on addressing the top two risks that were identified by the assessment — market access and protein content. In another project, $158,310 was provided to the Grain Farmers of Ontario for a feasibility study concerning revenue declines not currently covered under the current suite of business risk management programs.

eral carbon tax could reduce Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product by nearly $16 billion from 2019 to the end of 2030. “We continue to oppose a federally imposed carbon tax and support the province in its development of a made in Saskatchewan plan to address climate change,” said Ray Orb, SARM president. “We understand how a carbon levy would affect our farmers, ranchers,

small businesses and the trickle effect would be felt across the province. The statement made [recently] by Environment Minister Dustin Duncan simply confirms that.” The Saskatchewan plan to address climate change, called Prairie Resilience, recognizes agriculture’s role in addressing climate change and reducing emissions using innovations such as zero till technology.

Research supports stance on carbon tax Submitted SARM

Considering the recent analysis from the University of Regina’s Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities regarding the impacts of a federal carbon tax, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities reiterates its support of a made in Saskatchewan solution to reduce carbon emissions. It is estimated that a fed-



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