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Husky needs 700,000 tonnes of wheat in 2008 350,000 tonnes of wheat annually. To ensure supply, Viterra has been contracted to source 50 per cent of the requirements of this expanded plant. The other 50 per cent will be bought directly from farmers. Farmers looking to sell wheat directly to the Minnedosa facility can call Raymond Dyck, Husky’s grain marketing coordinator, at 204-867-8104. Dyck is well known to Minnedosa area farmers. He has been the grain buyer at the facility for over 20 years.
What wheat do they want? While ethanol can be made from any grain, wheat varieties with a high-starch content are preferred in all-wheat ethanol plants. Greg Seamchuk, grain marketing coordinator at the Lloydminster site, says, “Soft white wheats work very well. We love them. CPS wheats, both red and whites, are good. Durum works, but little durum is currently used because of the high price now being paid for this wheat. We are using more and more winter wheat, especially at Minnedosa. Fusarium is not as big a problem in winter wheat so farmers are growing more win-
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Bourgault air tank holds 700 bushels Capacities of the tanks, from front to rear, are 370, 95, 30 and 205 bushels. The smallest, tank three, has double the capacity of the smallest tank in the other four-tank models. Product can be diverted from it into tank two and/or tank four. In total, the internal port design allows for five different tank configurations. Depending upon the products and how you set it up, you’ll be able to cover a full quarter or more on one fill. (See the sidebar.) Model 6700ST is the same height and width as the 550-bushel Model 6550ST. To get the extra capacity, Thomas added eight feet to the length. Thomas moved the catwalk approach to the back to open up space at the front for the full-sized tires required to support the loaded weight. Dual rear tires are standard. To avoid excessive soil compaction, all tires require less than 20 psi pressure with the tank fully loaded. This is Bourgault’s first model with wagon-style front axle steering. The feature has been well received by farmers testing the prototype in the field, Thomas says. Employees who have put it through the paces — manoeuvring figure eights for 40 hours — also give it a thumbs up. They say it tracks well and doesn’t take much more turning room than the shorter models.
Conveyor replaces auger Also a first for Bourgault, Model 6700ST has a conveyor loading-unloading system. As Thomas says, it would have been counterproductive to design a big tank for the pur-
ter wheat resulting in increased availability and supply of this crop.” Ethanol plants want low fusarium. That’s because fusarium toxins stick around in the distillers’ dried grain with solubles (DDGS), the byproduct of ethanol production. DDGS are a high protein livestock feed supplement, and high levels of fusarium reduce the value of the DDGS, Seamchuk says. Husky avoids using hard red spring wheats because the high protein levels in these wheats significantly reduce the production capacity of an ethanol plant. As well, HRS wheats are harder on equipment, Seamchuk says. Considering the growing season, environmental conditions, and cropping patterns, Seamchuk expects most of the feedstock used at Lloydminister will be CPS and soft white wheats. Minnedosa will likely utilize mostly winter wheat and corn. “There is a lot of corn grown in southern Manitoba and by substituting as little as 10 per cent corn for wheat we can significantly increase plant capacity. Enzymes found in corn speed up the fermentation process of wheat,” Seamchuk says. While Minnedosa was designed as a wheat ethanol plant, it is able to handle up to a 50-50 corn to wheat ratio if enough locally grown corn would be available. Seamchuk emphasiz-
pose of cutting down on the number of times a farmer has to stop to fill, then have him spend an extra 20 minutes loading the additional product with an auger. The conveyor is 32 feet long so it can run at a 25-degree angle to prevent product rollback. With a 15-inch belt in a 10-inch tube, the conveyor can move more than 110 bushels (dry barley test) per minute. You’ll fill the 6700ST faster than the 6550ST with its 10-inch auger. The conveyor has hydraulics — and a remote controller you can carry around — to guide it into place. The “ST” in 6700ST refers to Bourgault’s straight-through primary line design for flowing product from tanks to openers. You can direct the contents of any compartment into any air stream. 6700ST also has hydraulic power calibration and the accurate metering system. Three-tank metering is standard with the fourth being optional. Other options include a product lift system, rear tow hitch, optical blockage monitoring and an auto clutch switch that uses a proximity sensor. For the 591 monitor, you can get optional cab rate adjust (CRA) or zone rate control (ZRC) to adjust product rates on the go. CRA allows you to adjust rates for each metering system independently, while ZRC option lets you set five application rates then change them with a turn of the switch as you cross zones. A second control box located on the tank is handy for adjusting rates during calibration. For full variable rate control, Top Con’s X20 monitor/controller with Bourgault’s seed rate control software provides seed and fertilizer rate control, a guidance system and mapping. †
g r a i n e w s . c a january 28, 2008
es all the corn used in Minnedosa is domestically grown. Husky is not importing corn. When it comes to environmental degradation, Husky will accept wheat that is weathered or even sprouted provided the bushel weight is 58 pounds or better. The primary requirements Husky seeks in wheat is a moisture content not exceeding 15 per cent, a minimum 58 pounds per bushel, a fusarium maximum of one ppm vomitoxin, and no mould. To access enough wheat to meet the needs of these two plants, Seamchuk says Husky’s pricing has to be competitive. Wheat is currently priced on a day to day basis to reflect local marketing opportunities available to growers as well as the prices offered through the CWB. “Until now, Husky has not used a futures or deferred delivery contract but that will change in 2008. We are currently developing production contracts. Contracts for 2008 fall delivery will be available in early January. We are also working on spring seeding programs with agri-retailers to introduce chemical and fertilizer packages for contracted acres.” The bottom line is Husky Energy has become a major market for western Canadian wheat. If you are interested in supplying wheat to this market the most important consideration is to grow the class of wheat Husky wants. In Alberta
What Husky wants: • Lloydminster wants soft white and CPS wheats. Minnedosa will use mostly winter wheat as well as some corn. The key is low protein and high starch. • Wheat should have low fusarium damage. The cap is one ppm of vomitoxin (DON). • Moisture should be below 15 per cent, bushel weight should be 58 pounds or higher, and the sample cannot have mould. • Husky will introduce production contracts for 2008. • Viterra sources all wheat for Lloydminster and half the wheat for Minnedosa. The other half for Minnedosa will come from direct farmer deliveries.
and western Saskatchewan, growers should look at planting CPS and soft white wheats. Eastern prairie growers should consider adding winter wheat and corn to their cropping rotation. † Gerald Pilger farms near Ohaton, Alta.
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Bourgault’s new Model 6700ST air drill tank holds 700 bushels over four compartments. The aim is to reduce the hours in a day that you have to stop to fill. To help, this tank also has a conveyor loading system that works much faster than a 10-inch auger.
Making use of four tanks Bourgault provides the following scenarios to visualize how you might use the four-tank system. The scenarios assume normal seeding conditions using a three-quarter-inch knife for the seed row and Mid Row Banders. Actual rates may vary depending on seeding conditions and openers utilized. Fertilizer rates will vary on soil conditions and regions.
Scenario 1: Wheat Tank one has 370 bushels (22,200 pounds) of urea. At 140 pounds per acre, this is enough for 159 acres. Tank one is metered into the product distribution line to the Mid Row Banders. Tank two has 95 bushels (7,400 pounds) of phosphate 11-52-0-0. At 50 pounds per acre, this covers 148 acres. Tanks three and four have 235 bushels of wheat. At a seeding rate of 1.5 bushels per acre, this covers 157 acres. Tank 3 is set to flow into tank 4, which is then metered to the seed openers. Tank 2 is metered into the same distribution line as the seed. Scenario 2: Canola Tanks one and two have 465 bushels (27,900 pounds) of urea. At 140 pounds per acre, this covers 200 acres. This goes through the distribution line to the Mid Row Banders. Tank three has 30 bushels (1,440 pounds) of treated canola seed. At five pounds per acre, this covers 288 acres. Tank four has 205 bushels (15,990 pounds) of a 0-20-0-20 phosphate and sulfur blend. At 78.5 pounds per acre, this covers 204 acres. Tanks three and four are both metered into the distribution line to the seed openers.
Debbie Furber farms near Tisdale, Sask.
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