Page 1

Serving the producers of the Northwest


North Battleford, Saskatchewan


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Reaping the Bounty

The push is on the get the 2018 crop into the bins and grain bags. At this hectic time on the land, a safety message is offered. SaskPower reports 18 cases of farm machinery coming into contact with electrical equipment in August. SaskPower reminds producers to take the time this harvest season to identify overhead power lines and to plan ahead when moving equipment. Photo by Cameron Scherman

Software educates on effects of ag. practices Staff

Greenhouse gas is a significant player in climate change and Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada scientists have developed a tool that helps mitigate agriculture’s contribution, according to a press release. Dr. Roland Kroebel is an AAFC ecosystem modeller in Lethbridge, Alta. Though he insists the credit is not his, Kroebel has played a key role in

developing the Holos software model from the beginning to its current third version. Holos helps producers make their agriculture operations more environmentally friendly by monitoring and adjusting farming practices to lessen greenhouse gases. “The idea of the model is to allow producers to play around with their management strategies and to see how that could lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas

emissions,” explains Kroebel. Kroebel says Holos is “an exploratory tool” and that “it’s meant as a gaming approach where a producer can try out different management practices that don’t necessarily have to be realistic.” The goal of the model is to gain understanding of the way the system reacts to management practices and is considered more of an educational tool than a deci-

sion maker, the release states. The Holos 3.0 came out in 2017. The updated version includes a partial economics component allowing farmers to monitor costs of different management practices. Kroebel says the model is still in a basic level of complexity and his team will continue working on improvements as they receive feedback from other research groups and stakeholders. One upgrade they’re looking

to make is to better match the economics of the model with the greenhouse gas emissions. “To give you an example, different ways of disposing of animal manure have different costs and emit different types and amounts of gas; but those costs don’t factor into the value of an animal. So the costs don’t discriminate in that way, but emissions do,” Kroebel explains. Continued on Page 2







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Page 2 - The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Regional Optimist


Ag. trade in the age of protectionism By Cam Dahl

President of Cereals Canada

The world has entered a new age of nationalism, resulting in growing trade protectionism and increasing barriers for Canadian farmers and exporters who depend on international markets. The idea that trade is about winning or losing is dangerous and misleading. This idea ignores the world’s growth over the last 75 years and the disastrous outcomes of “me first” economic pol-

icies that preceded trade liberalization. We cannot forget the prophetic words of former U.S. Secretary of State (and Nobel Laureate) Cordell Hull who noted “unhampered trade dovetails with peace; high tariffs, trade barriers and unfair competition with war.” Secretary Hull would be disappointed with the current state of global affairs, particularly the retreat of leading nations from cooperative and rules-based systems. Canadian farmers see examples of growing


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protectionism every day, with tweets from the president of the United States, barriers to Canadian durum entering Italy, Saudi Arabia banning Canadian wheat and barley and countries using phytosanitary rules to block trade. Recent court and regulatory decisions in the European Union have the potential to severely limit accessibility to this market. The list of market access barriers seems to grow on a weekly basis. What can we do about it? We need our government to rigorously enforce current trade agreements. A trade agreement is not worth much without enforcement. Since the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union came into force, one of Canada’s largest exports to the EU, durum wheat, has virtually disappeared. Canadian farmers need our government to assertively challenge the protection-

ist measures Italy is using to keep our durum out. A strong Canadian response is necessary to recover the Italian market and to prevent other protectionist countries from adopting Italy’s methods. We also need every part of government to consider the trade implications of policies and public statements. All agencies and departments need to have an understanding of the

importance of keeping markets open for Canadian exporters. This “trade lens” does not exist today. Some of our key regulatory agencies have explicitly stated or shown that trade considerations are not part of their mandate. This must change. We need our regulatory agencies to carry out necessary consultations with the Canadian value chain and our trading partners

before public announcements are made. We need agencies and departments to consider if diplomatically making statements in private, rather than public, will keep markets open. We need regulators to acknowledge that some decisions will make Canada less competitive despite the fact that they might be popular on the Internet.

Holo also a teaching tool

system is part of the larger national and global context.” On top of the producers who use Holos for their farms, Kroebel says that they are increasingly receiving requests from universities looking to bring the software into classrooms. “It’s a great way to demonstrate how decisions on the farm trickle through the system and have multiple effects at various stages.”

Continued from Front He says they’re also in frequent contact with the national greenhouse gas inventory (responsible for compiling and reporting data on Canadian greenhouse gas emissions across sectors) to ensure their algorithms are aligned. “What we’re trying to do there is create transparent results so that individual producers can understand how their farm

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Regional Optimist

The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018 - Page 3

International status for commission’s grain safety programs

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According to the Canadian Grain Commission, certification by the Global Food Safety Initiative of the commission’s safety programs give producers greater access to world markets. Photo by Louise Lundberg

Staff The Canadian Grain Commission’s grain safety certification programs are now recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. According to a press release, this recognition demonstrates the rigour and credibility of the Canadian Grain Commission’s programs, which in turn will give certified companies greater access to world markets. Through its bench-

marking process, GFSI has concluded that the following Canadian Grain Commission programs meet internationally accepted science-based standards in food safety management: Canadian Grain Commission Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (CGC HACCP); and Canadian Identity Preserved System and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (CIPRS + HACCP). By achieving GFSI Technical Equivalence, the Canadian Grain Commis-

sion is in a stronger position to help grain handling companies meet both international regulatory and market-driven food safety demands, the release states. “The Canadian Grain Commission is pleased to offer programs that meet GFSI’s high standards and will allow certified companies to remain competitive in today’s global food marke,” said Patti Miller,
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Page 4 - The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Regional Optimist

Gov’t, industry funding for organic research Staff The Organic Science Cluster III has been announced by Laurence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and $8.3 million in government funding is being committed to the research. This research investment, which includes an additional $4.4 million in contributions from industry, will help the organic

sector enhance productivity through better soil health and fertility management, advance crop breeding research, improve pest management, and evaluate the environmental impacts of organic farm practices, according to a press release. The OCSIII cluster is being led by the Organic Federation of Canada in collaboration with the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University. OSC III will

provide funding for 28 research activities. Work will be done by 60 researchers at 15 AAFC research centres and 14 universities and research institutions across Canada. MacAulay also announced an additional investment of $292,555 to the Organic Federation of Canada under the federal Canadian Agricultural Adaptation program. The funding will assist industry in streamlining the review

process of the Canadian Organic Standards and improve the Canadian organic industry’s competitiveness and international market access, a press release states. “Demand for our worldclass Canadian organic products continues to grow around the world and our government is proud to support our organic farmers and food processors so they can meet that demand,” MacAulay said. “The Organic Federation of Canada is very pleased with AAFC’s commitment to develop Canadian organic agriculture science and sustainability,” said James Robbins, president, Organic Federation of Canada. “This funding will allow researchers to continue improving the sustainability of agricultural practices, which is at the heart of organic production.” Western Grains Research Foundation is also investing $675,000 towards the nine activities included in the cluster focused on everything from organic soybean production, breeding of winter cereals, diversified cropping strategies to improve sustainability, innovative weed management tools and soil health. “I would like to congratulate Agriculture and

Agri-Food Canada and the Organic Sector on developing such a collaborative and successful cluster application,” said Garth Patterson, WGRF executive director. “This cluster builds on the success of the Organic Science Cluster II of which WGRF was also contributing partner.” “Canadian farmers face agronomic challenges that cut across multiple crops and geographies,” says Terry Young, WGRF board chair.

“Issues like crop rotation, pest monitoring and management, nutrient management, crop adaptation to climate change and soil health impact all growers. The research in this cluster can help provide benefits to all producers.” In 2016, 4,289 farms reported organic farming in Canada with the total acreage of organically farmed land at 2,433,602 acres. The organic acreage in Canada grew by five per cent per year between 2006 and 2015.

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In 2016, 4,289 farms reported organic farming in Canada with the total acreage of organically farmed land at 2,433,602 acres. Photo by Louise Lundberg

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The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018 - Page 5

Sask.-based technology earns major industry award Power Pin Inc. is the world’s largest supplier of tractor implement drawbar hitches components Staff

Funding has been allocated to assist the Canola Council of Canada in a variety of projects aimed at growth and stability of the industry. Photo by Louise Lundberg

Research, development funding for canola council Staff Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, recently announced up to $12.1 million in funding to the Canola Council of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Clusters. Building on the work of two previous clusters, this research investment includes an additional industry contribution of up to $8.1 million, according to a press release. The cluster will focus on advancing the growth

and profitability of the sector through innovative and sustainable approaches to creating new and improved products. Activities will include adapting food processing techniques, exploring uses for canola meal in livestock production, examining practices to optimize yields, protect crops from pests, and share lessons learned with stakeholders, the release states. “Innovation is critical to the growth of the canola industry and this research will help us to contribute to the government’s goal

of $75 billion in exports by 2025,” said Jim Everson, president, Canola Council of Canada. Not only that, it will support our strategic plan to ensure the canola industry’s continued growth, demand, stability and success - achieving 52 bushels per acre to meet global market demand of 26 million metric tonnes by 2025.” According to CCC, canola has been the largest crop in Canada in terms of market receipts since 2010, now accounting for more than one-fifth of all cropland.

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Brian Olson, a Saskatchewan farmer turned entrepreneur was recognized on Aug. 1 in Detroit, Mich. for his contributions to American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers Standards and safety within the agricultural industry. The award was presented at the annual ASABE convention with more than 1,400 attendees. Olson, holding 37 patents, is passionate about safety in farming. “When I farmed, the onus for safety when hooking up to an implement was 100 per cent on the farmer. I knew there had to be a safer way as the machinery was getting much larger and it was increasingly difficult to see the implement hook up and manage the machinery.” Hence Olson became involved in the ASABE through the various committees that were focused

on safety in the agricultural industry. Although a smaller player relative to the mainline manufacturers, Olson always brought a humble but well-informed farmer perspective to standards. “Power Pin was founded totally on the principle that there could be improvements in the methodology of connecting an implement to the tractor drawbar without the operator needing to leave the tractor seat,” says Allen Rider, former North American president of New Holland. “Often he (Brian) was challenged by the larger companies on the suggestions presented by Power Pin, but through his passion and dedication he was able to consistently encourage and include the other standards committee members to seek continuous improvement in the standards”. Olson’s Drop Pin ham-

merstrap revolutionized the hitching of agricultural equipment in the 1990s and is standard factory equipment on most large tractors in North America over 150 horsepower, a press release states. Well known for his leadership on safer hitching in agriculture, Olson continues to be a leader having introduced “Hit N Hitch,” a patented hitching system for on road applications, the release adds. Power Pin Inc. is the world’s largest supplier of tractor implement drawbar hitching components supplying around 250,000 drawbar hitching components annually to the agricultural equipment industry. Power Pin is a privately held company that was incorporated in 1989. Their head office located in Fort Qu’Appelle ships hitches to United States, Germany, Italy, England, France, Russia and Brazil.

Page 6 - The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Regional Optimist

Protocol reduces greenhouse gas emissions Submitted

Fertilizer Canada

New research concludes that Canadian growers can reduce their on-farm greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 per cent by implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship best practices. A literature review, conducted by Dr. David Burton, a nitrous oxide researcher at the Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University, found it is possible to reduce emissions by 10 per cent over original estimate from previous studies. “Since 2008, the Canadian fertilizer industry has used a conservative estimate of 25 per cent potential nitrous oxide emissions reductions using the 4R Climate-Smart Protocol,” said Clyde Graham, executive vice president, Fertilizer Canada. “Following this review, we’re finding that the effectiveness of the 4Rs is great-

er than initially estimated.” The 4R Climate-Smart Protocol, also known as the Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol, is an easily adaptable, science-based solution to agricultural impacts which incorporates 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®) for Canada’s growers under the guidance of an accredited professional. A national strategy incorporating the Protocol would significantly reduce on-farm nitrous oxide emissions per unit of crop produced while still allowing growers to benefit from the input that is the main driver of crop yields in modern high-production systems. “While nitrous oxide emission reduction is based on climate and soil, the flexibility of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework allows growers from any region to maximize the results of their nutrient management practices, thus

Research shows adopting applicable stewardship practices can help producers reduce on-farm green house gas emissions but as much as 35 per cent. Photo by Louise Lundberg

achieving a reduction rate of up to 35 per cent,” said Burton. “The agriculture sector contributes 36 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions; research has confirmed that the implementation of the 4R Climate-Smart Protocol can significantly reduce

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that.” Fertilizer Canada has just completed three years of extensive research engaging nine scientists across the country, five of whom worked to quantify the economic, social and environmental benefits resulting from advanced nitrogen fertilizer management practices under 4R Nutrient Stewardship. “While these results enable growers from re-

gions across the country to confidently implement 4R practices, there is still work to be done to fully understand the benefits of the 4Rs.” said Karen Haugen-Kozyra, Professional Agronomist and President of environmental consulting firm, Viresco Solutions. To further this research, members of the Canadian fertilizer industry have recommitted funding for

five more years to demonstrate the effectiveness of 4R Nutrient Stewardship management for reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture. Such commitment to research will support and enable implementation of the 4R Climate-Smart Protocol launched by Fertilizer Canada to support the country’s reduction of nitrous oxide emissions from on-farm nitrogen use.


but to sell some of their herds because hay is not available and feed costs are too high,” APAS president Todd Lewis said. The Livestock Tax Deferral provision allows farmers who sell part of their breeding herd due to drought or flooding in prescribed drought or flood regions to defer a portion of sale proceeds to the following year. APAS is asking for the program to be available to all affected producers in Saskatchewan, without special designated areas of the province. “We’re hearing from our members that shortages are widespread across most of Saskatchewan,” Lewis explained. “Despite the fact that some rain did fall earlier this year, the showers were extremely spotty and there are very few areas with a surplus to make up the difference. The hay shortage and dry pastures are still dire enough to force the sale of livestock.” Lewis added that affected producers would benefit from knowing whether they are eligible for the Livestock Tax Deferral Program as soon as possible, rather than closer to the end of the year, when the government usually makes that decision. The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities is also monitoring the drought situation. In a press release SARM points out moisture conditions will soon be a bigger issue than expected according to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s

Drought Monitor and a recent Ministry of Agriculture crop report. According to Canada’s Drought Monitor, a significant portion of southern Saskatchewan is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions with drier than normal conditions being felt through the central part of the province. “It is times like these that agriculture producers benefit from provincial and federal programs that lessen the impacts of Saskatchewan’s unpredictable weather conditions,” said SARM president Ray Orb. According to the release, SARM has initiated an assessment of the available federal and provincial agriculture programming in response to these weather conditions. SARM’s Agriculture Committee will be working with other provincial agriculture associations to assist in the assessment of AgriStability, AgriRecovery, AgriInvest, and other agriculture programs, a press release states. “We will continue our conversations with all stakeholders to stay on top of the challenges rural Saskatchewan faces as we understand a poor growing season impacts both crop cultivation and livestock. We need programs that meet the needs of our producers,” Orb said. SARM will be meeting with the minister of agriculture to discuss existing agriculture programs and is planning to meet with the federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food during an upcoming lobby trip in October.

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Page 8 - The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Regional Optimist

Part I

Haskaps well-behaved and high in antioxidants and nutraceuticals By Sara Williams

Ripe haskap berries ready for harvesting. Photo by Sara Williams


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Although also called honeyberry and sweetberry, haskap is the oldest name for this fruit, first used eight centuries ago by the Ainu people who settled Hokkaido, Japan. Its people still gather the berries from the wild there every summer. It is also native to the boreal forests of northern Europe, Asia and North America. Haskaps are found in every province in Canada. The wild shrubs native to Asia produce the largest berries, but the newer hybrids can be twice as large as those originally found anywhere in the wild. Haskaps are one of the most nutritious berries grown in Canada, winning in most antioxidant and nutraceutical tests. Blueberries are their closest competitors. The plants are well-behaved. They neither sucker nor are they invasive. Most grow from four to seven feet in height. Individual plants should be spaced four to five feet apart with those intended to form a hedgerow three feet apart. They are best mulched after planting as their roots are shallow and hoeing or tilling too deeply would injure them. Among the first fruits to bloom in early spring, their flowers can tolerate temperatures of -7 C and still produce fruit. Haskap varieties are self-incompatible and require compatible varieties (that bloom at the same time) for cross-pollination. The University of Saskatchewan Fruit Program first planted haskaps in their trial plots in 1997 and has been evaluating, breeding and selecting


arden Chat

them since 2001. To date, eight varieties have been released. Bob Bors, head of the fruit program, said they were named to reflect their northern origins. Early and mid-season: Of these, Bors’ favourites are Aurora and Honey Bee. They are larger plants and produce lots of fruit. Aurora (2011), named after Bors’ daughter, is considered the best tasting of this category. The berries, ripening the last week in June, are shaped like long pointed pears and weigh nearly two grams. Its low acidity gives it a sweeter taste. Bushes are five to 5.5 feet. Pollinators include Tundra, Borealis, Indigo and Honey Bee. Borealis (2007) produces oval berries on a beautiful rounded bush of four feet with large leaves that hide the fruit!. The berries weigh about 1.5 grams and are considered good tasting. Pollinators include Aurora and Honey Bee. Honey Bee (2011) is one of the fastest growing and highest yielding varieties. The berries look like stretched bullets and weigh about two grams. The fruit is good tasting, tangy and possesses “mouth feel” suitable for wine or juice. The upright bushes are six by four feet and may require branch thinning by their third year. Plant it with Aurora, Tundra, Borealis or the Indigo series for cross-pollination. Indigo Gem, Indigo

Treat and Indigo Yum (2007) are similar to each other. Originally released as test plants, growers later requested they be named. The shrubs are about four feet in height, spreading and open, allowing the berries to be easily seen. The fruit average 1.25 grams and ripen the last week of June. Plant with Aurora or Honey Bee for cross-pollination. Tundra (2007) has firmer berries with good flavour, are less prone to damage during picking and have a long shelf life in the refrigerator. They have the highest level of neutraceuticals and antioxidants of all of the varieties. Plant with Aurora or Honey Bee for cross-pollination. Want to grow haskaps? Most garden centres carry them. They will also be available at the university’s annual plant sale, at their Field Headquarters on 14th Street. The next sale will be in June 2019. Sara Williams is the author and coauthor of many books including Gardening Naturally with Hugh Skinner, the revised and expanded Creating the Prairie Xeriscape and, with Bob Bors, the recently published Growing Fruit in Northern Gardens. She continues to give workshops on a wide range of gardening topics throughout the prairies. — This column is provided courtesy of the Saskatchewan Perennial Society (saskperennial@ Check the website ( or Facebook page (www.facebook. com/saskperennial) for a list of upcoming gardening events.


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The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018 - Page 9

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Part II

More on haskaps: extending the season By Sara Williams

The University of Saskatchewan Boreal series of haskaps (lonicera caerulea), released from 2014 to ‘16, greatly extends their harvest season with the fruit ripening into early August. This series has large fruit and bushes. Boreal Beast (2016) is one of the best in terms of flavour and aroma from the university breeding program. The berries resemble thick bullets with a slightly bumpy skin and average two grams. Bushes are about five by six feet and very productive. Pollinate with Boreal Blizzard and Boreal Beauty. Boreal Beauty (2014) is a breakthrough in terms of


arden Chat

extending the harvest season as they ripen in mid to late July. The berries have excellent flavour and can hold on to the plant until early August if it’s not too hot. They are oval to heart-shaped and average 2.6 grams. The bushes are strong, upright and six by three feet. It is a heavy producer. Plant with Boreal Beast for cross-pollination. Boreal Blizzard (2014) has berries shaped like smooth surf boards that are both large (three grams)

and great tasting with low acidity, ripening the second week in July. The upright shrubs are about five feet and very productive. Plant with Boreal Beast for cross-pollination.


Because haskaps put on most of their growth in spring, they should be planted in early spring or fall. Place them in full sun in well-drained soil well amended with organic matter. Mulch them to 12 inches beyond their drip line to conserve moisture and control weeds. Fertilize with compost or composted manure that provide a slow release of nutrients. If using a water-soluble or granular

fertilizer, do so at half or one-third the label recommendation. Prune haskaps in late winter or early spring once they are five years old. Remove one or two of the oldest branches from the centre of the plants each year. In later years thin a branch or two from the base as needed. Because the berries appear ripe on the outside five or 10 days before they are ripe on the inside, it’s best to test a few before harvesting. Bite a berry in half. If the inside is mostly green and it tastes “grassy,” it is not ripe. Try again in a

few days, but don’t let the birds beat you to them! When fully grown, bushes can produce six to 10 pounds of fruit per bush. Use the berries for jams, juices, pies, smoothies, ice cream and pastries. They can be dried like raisins or made into fruit leather and have also been used for wine and liqueurs. The most annoying pests? Birds! Haskaps are the first fruit to ripen and birds are hungry. Try small diameter netting, taking care to tuck it underneath the plants as well. Or set out pans of water nearby in hopes that it is the mois-

ture the birds are after. Want to grow haskaps? Most garden centres carry them. They will also be available at the university’s annual plant sale at Field Headquarters on 14th Street. The next sale will be June 2019. — This column is provided courtesy of the Saskatchewan Perennial Society (saskperennial@ Check the website ( or Facebook page (www.facebook. com/saskperennial) for a list of upcoming gardening events.

A Stroll Through the Canola

This moose pair was recently spotted ambling across a ripening canola field in their search for more appetizing fodder. Photo by Louise Lundberg

Late variety haskap, Boreal Blizzard. Photo by Sara Williams

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Page 10 - The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Regional Optimist

SWF, SSGA urge hunters to ‘stay on track’ Staff

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay and Winnipeg North MP Kevin Lamoureu with a variety of hemp-based products. Photo submitted

Extremely dry conditions exist in several areas of Saskatchewan. As a result, there has arisen the potential risk for fires to start from the use of vehicles. In light of the numerous wildfires that occurred last year, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association are asking hunters to take extra precautions as the hunting season gets underway in the southern part of the province and other high

Grant targets hemp industry standards Staff The federal government has announced an investment of $330,550 to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. According to a press release, investment is helping to develop industry grading standards to ensure Ca-

nadian hemp products are known globally as being of the highest quality. “Our government’s investment and recent changes to hemp regulations is providing the Canadian Hemp industry the tools they need to get more of their world-class crops into Canadian foods and other

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products,” Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay said at a recent Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods event. “This is helping to capture new and exciting market opportunities ahead, while creating well-paying middle class jobs.” Canada’s hemp sector is growing, with seeded crop area reaching over 138,000 acres in 2017. Hemp is increasingly used across a variety of products, including environmentally friendly clothing and building materials. It is also becoming widely

recognized for its high nutritious content, including protein, omega and fibre. “The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance was extremely pleased with the support of AAFC’s Agri Risk Initiative under Growing Forward 2,” Russ Crawford, president of CHTA. “The Food Safety Project, conducted in 2016, was a collaboration between the CHTA and Agri-Neo Inc. focused on determining safe and cost-effective prevention and mitigation techniques for the control of pathogens in industrial hemp.”

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risk areas “We know that the vast majority of hunters take every step to ensure that they leave nothing but footprints when they hunt. However, the recent warm weather and the ever-present possibilities of high winds provide the ideal conditions for uncontrolled wild fires.” says Darrell Crabbe executive director of the SWF. “We encourage all hunt-

ers to take extra precautions this hunting season with the increased risk of fires. These precautions include carrying a fire extinguisher in your vehicle, gaining permission from landowners before going on their property, avoiding unnecessary vehicle idling, and always staying on existing trails and roads.” adds Chad MacPherson, general manager of the SSGA.

Spiritwood project qualifies for FCC grant Staff A project to repair and revitalize the Spiritwood Civic Centre is among 84 community capital projects across Canada to benefit from grants distributed by Farm Credit Canada’s AgriSpirit Fund. The fund is granting $1.5 million to those projects and Spiritwood’s undertaking has qualified for $15,000. “The FCC AgriSpirit Fund is about helping community-minded individuals and groups undertake projects that enhance the quality of life in rural Canada,” said Sophie Perreault, FCC executive vice-president and chief operating officer. “Our employees care about the communities where they live and work, and we share in their pride and sense of accomplishment by lending a helping hand.” According to a press release, this year, the FCC AgriSpirit Fund awarded between $5,000 and $25,000 for community improvement projects that enhance the lives of residents or contribute to sustainability in communities. Examples include equipment purchase and installation, energy efficient building improvements and repairs and the purchase of rescue and fire equipment. The next application period opens in spring 2019. Registered charities, municipalities and non-profit organizations interested in funding can visit for eligibility requirements, to apply online and view past projects.

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Regional Optimist

The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018 - Page 11

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Clubroot workshop tips By Clint Jurke

Canola Council of Canada

The recent International Clubroot Workshop in Edmonton, Alta. attracted more than 200 researchers and extension staff from at least 12 countries. The agenda included presentations and conversations on clubroot research, observations and management tips. Here are the top 10: • Clubroot is getting worse around the world. Tight rotations of brassica crops have led to an increase in clubroot prevalence everywhere.

• Allowing at least two years between host crops (including canola) is a key management strategy to reduce or prevent spore build-up in soil. • Clubroot resistance failure is increasing around the world. To help reduce selection pressure for clubroot pathotypes that can overcome the current resistance traits, deploy clubroot-resistant varieties as soon as clubroot is seen in an area. This will help to keep spore counts as low as possible for as long as possible, but this needs to be combined with other management approaches


including a minimum twoyear break between canola crops. • New resistance sources may provide some reprieve against those pathotypes that quickly overcame the first clubroot-resistant varieties, but this is not a silver bullet. Rotation is still required. Preliminary research results suggest that stacking resistance genes may be more durable than single genes. • Infected galls produce more spores than originally thought. One heavily infected plant could product 16 billion spores. While one pathotype group will

usually dominate the spore population, if as little as 0.005 per cent of those spores are from pathotype groups that can overcome current resistance sources that is still 850,000 spores per plant. In clubroot modelling, 10,000 to 100,000 spores per gram of soil is enough to cause observable levels of infection. With 850,000 spores per plant, this could represent a threshold amount of virulent spores per gram of soil in the topsoil layer immediately around that plant. • Scout before or during harvest when galls are easiest to find. Start off at field entrances or low spots. Do random inspections even if plants show no obvious

above-ground symptoms. When above-ground symptoms (such as wilting or pre-mature yellowing) appear, definitely look below ground for galls. • If small patches of clubroot are identified, handpull infected plants and destroy the galls. • Liming has shown success in preliminary trials in Alberta. Adding enough lime to increase soil pH to 7.3 has shown to significantly reduce clubroot gall formation (and spore production) in fields with high levels of clubroot. Grassing in patches can also reduce the spread of clubroot from that patch, as long as the grass is left for enough years to significantly re-

duce the viable spore load in the soil. That would be a minimum of two years and perhaps more than five. • Volunteer canola and brassica weeds may provide a larger disease bridge than we initially thought. Common weeds such as stinkweed, shepherd’s purse, flixweed and mustard are clubroot hosts, so these weeds producing galls in a wheat field, for example, will cancel out the benefit of crop rotation. • Keep boots, tools, quads and equipment clean to slow the spread of clubroot. Knock off soil before leaving a field. Sanitize boots and equipment. The best sanitization product is bleach in a 2% solution.

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Page 12 - The Battlefords, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Regional Optimist











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