July 29, 2022
Additional Projects Magnificent Percheron Funded to Congress Held in Brandon Help Farmers Adopt Clean Technologies
Nine horse hitches were in the show ring for the World Champion Six Horse Hitch at the World Percheron Show in Brandon.
By Joan Airey Manitoba Percherons were well represented at the World Percheron Congress in Brandon. Representing Manitoba were Silver Oak Percherons of Virden, the Strain family, Boissevain; Lone Oak Percherons out of Birtle; Ferguson Ranch Horse Training in Minnedosa; and Charleswood Percherons of Pilot Mound, all in the show ring for the World Champion Six Horse Hitch on Saturday night. Charleswood Percherons placed third. Grand Champion was Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch exhibited by Kirk Messenger of Cheyenne Wyoming USA. Lone Oak Percherons owned by Jim Lane of Birtle won the Breeders Challenge Two-Year-Old Cart on Monday. They had bred the sire and dam Lone Oak 20 Mike who was the winner.
Grand Champion Six Horse Hitch at the World Percheron Congress Show in Brandon was Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch from Cheyenne, WY owned by Kirk Messenger and driven by Brian Photos by Joan Airey Coleman.
Over two dozen more projects will receive funding under the Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program. The funding of more than $8.7 million will support the adoption of clean technologies across Canada. Investments in clean technology are supporting farmers who must face the challenges of drought to extreme weather and help to propel climate action to build a healthy future for Canada. This new investment builds on work already under way to help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop technology to adapt to climate change. In Manitoba, more than $2.5 million will support five new projects. Under the ACT Program, farmers and agri-businesses will have access to funding to help develop and adopt the latest clean technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost their long-term competitiveness. Funding is focused on three priority areas in green energy and energy efficiency, precision agriculture; and bioeconomy solutions. Through the recently expanded ACT Program, it is anticipated that current pollution levels will be reduced by up to 0.8 megaton as a result of fuel switching and decreased fuel consumption. This program is already helping hundreds of farmers with contributions of at least $50,000 to adopt clean technologies, including new grain dryers or barn heating systems.
July 29, 2022
The “Visit the Villages” Tractor Trek a Huge Success
With the dedication of the tractor drivers and volunteers this year’s Tractor Trek raised $78,000 for Eden Health Care Services that provides care to those with mental health needs.
Tractor Trek driver Bill Braun of Winkler said to sit in an open-air tractor at a slower pace in life and enjoying nature was awesome.
By Harry Siemens The 15th “Visit the Villages” Tractor Trek was a great success because of local participation and support that set records in the number of tractors, drivers, and dollars raised. “We thank you for your dedication to this event and the work of Eden Health Care Services, providing care to those with mental health needs,” said a post on the Eden Healthcare website. Jayme Giesbrecht, the director of development, said the response in open old tractors, participation and donations set records. The world is coming out of two years of really unpredictable circumstances regarding Covid-19 he said. “This year, in particular, was exciting because we set the date, knew it would happen, and so many people showed up, especially because we
started and ended in Winkler this year,” said Giesbrecht. “That drew a larger crowd for breakfast and to watch and support the tractor trekkers.” The Trek included a record of 55 tractors and drivers while the fundraising set a record of $78,000. “Overall over the past 15 years of Tractor Trek, we are almost at $1 million,” he said on the funds raised. “So we think next year we should hit that million dollar mark.” “I think they know a thing or two about tractors because they made some great choices on the smoothest running, the quietest running tractor, the best restored, and best unrestored,” said Giesbrecht. “And then there was a judge’s choice; no protocol for it was whatever they felt, whether it is a personal story or just a tractor they preferred to see.” This year’s judges included Winkler Mayor Martin Harder and Bill Unrau.
Mayor Harder said it was a phenomenal event and raised a lot of money. “As far as judging goes, it’s very much subjective; however realizing that placing too much emphasis on winning takes away from the event’s objective,” said Harder. When it came to the judges’ choice, it was 100 per cent heart driven. A regular participant, Peter Driedger who had just finished a series of chemo only two days before the event still came to drive his tractor. “Tremendous commitment and drive! He looked extremely thin and worn, yet he showed up! It matched so much about the work at Eden! That was our rationale there,” said Harder. Bill Elias a former chair drove a 135 Massy Ferguson that Eden uses for their yard work. “It was a very revealing experience of what farming was years ago, with all the elements present there,”
said Elias. Another tractor driver Bill Braun of Winkler said it was about sitting in an open-air tractor at a slower pace in life and enjoying nature. “To me, that was incredible, and because the crops are at their finest this year, it was enjoyable then, especially to go with the other crowd, the other farmers. The fellowship and the food, it was terrific,” said Braun. “To see, also experience the generosity in this area, because God has blessed us that we can do this. But also the willingness of people to help out.” Giesbrecht when asked to tie in the focus of the Tractor Trek event and mental health said it’s interesting because she had the opportunity to learn how it ties in together. “One aspect is visiting the villages where the first Mennonite settlers in southern Manitoba would have arrived,” said Giesbrecht. “So we’re going down these dirt roads and pathways and seeing villages where Mennonites made their living, worked hard, and faced many challenges and diversity.” She said in that historical aspect, there is certainly a mental health tie-in with to some of the Mennonite heritage and what they would have gone through. It was good to remember and acknowledge that said Giesbrecht. “We think about these vintage and antique tractors; 40 years old and older [going] through a lot, too, and still up and running while others restored through hard work and loving care,” said Giesbrecht. “So that ties in nicely with some of the work we do at Eden Healthcare Services.”
Construction of Pilot Scale Vaccine Manufacturing Facility Nears Completion
Director and CEO, Dr. Volker Gerdts said because Canada lacked pilot-scale manufacturing capacity for clinical trials VIDO is building a new facility on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan.
By Harry Siemens Dr. Volker Gerdts, the director and CEO of VIDO, said a new in-house pilot scale vaccine manufacturing facility will likely make vaccines by the fourth quarter of this year. The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan, is developing this new facility. With construction almost finished, commissioning should be complete by late summer or early fall allowing vaccine manufacturing in the fourth quarter of this year. Dr. Gerdts said having a locally-owned facility will speed up the process whereas before contract manufacturers handled the VIDO vaccine technologies.
“We need pilot scale facilities to take technologies from the lab into the clinical phase,” explained Dr. Gerdts. Canada does not have many pilot-scale facilities. This new pilot scale facility will help not only VIDO but everyone in the country by quickly getting a vaccine manufactured for use in clinical phases. “Especially small biotechs who often don’t have the financial resources to build their facilities will use this facility and VIDO will manufacture and help with the testing,” said Dr. Gerdts. “It’s something that the country needs.” Many countries around the world are building pilot scale and commercial manufacturing facilities he said.
Dr. Volker Gerdts, the director and CEO of VIDO, said that by adding this new manufacturing capacity at VIDO, the country would be better prepared for future emerging diseases, whether animal or human.
“We all know that during pandemics you need to have enough for sufficient domestic capacity to make vaccines so that you don’t find yourself in a situation again like Canada did where we had to import all vaccines for Canadians essentially,” said Dr. Gerdts adding that Canada lacked research and pilotscale manufacturing capacity. With the new VIDO facility, the country will be better prepared for future emerging diseases, whether those are animal or human diseases. Dr. Gerdts said VIDO is developing vaccines for humans and animals, all relevant technologies discussed broadly as part of COVID response. “We started work on RNA vaccines, also protein subunit vaccines,” he said. “Our COVID vaccine, for example, is one of those but VIDO was the first organization in the world to make a protein subunit vaccine for animals.” VIDO is working on viral vectors. The AstraZeneca for COVID is one of those and working on viral vectors for African Swine Fever. The new in-house manufacturing facility will be an asset to manufacturing human and animal vaccines and will be one of a dozen in the world with the ability to do this type of manufacturing.
Dr. Volker Gerdts said the new facility will be able to produce pilot scale vaccines to be used in clinical Submitted photos phases.
July 29, 2022
July 29, 2022
Keep the Faith in Troubling Times
Two issues come to mind as I write this column. The first had farmers in western Canada riled up. Here is the headline of a release as to why, “Trudeau moves forward with fertilizer reduction policy.” A Saskatchewan government release said the Alberta and Saskatchewan agriculture ministers have expressed “profound disappointment” in Trudeau’s decision to attempt to reduce nitrogen emissions from fertilizer. “We’re concerned with this arbitrary goal,” said Saskatchewan’s David Marit. “The Trudeau government has moved on from their attack on the oil and gas industry and set sights on Saskatchewan farmers.” Well of course, that
means all farmers in Canada at least as it stands now. “This has been the most expensive crop anyone has put in, following a challenging year on the prairies,” said Alberta Ag minister Nate Horner. “The world is looking for Canada to increase production and be a solution to global food shortages. The Federal government needs to display that they understand this. They owe it to our producers.” A federal government release said nitrous oxide emissions, particularly those associated with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use have also grown significantly. That is why the Government of Canada has set the national fertilizer emissions reduction target, which is part of the commitment to reduce total GHG emissions in Canada by 40-45% by 2030. On a WhatsApp Canadian Agriculture group farmers quickly took to the
keyboard and expressed their concern about what it means for farmers to reduce fertilizer emissions by 30 per cent. Eric McLean, Oak River, MB said it’s starting to feel more and more like a James Bond movie plot. “The world governments have been convinced of a plan from a handful of powerful people that if they do these things, the world will be ok. The plot appears to limit food production to only rich countries and let third-world nations starve and fight to survive. They’re ok with this because we need to reduce the human population in half to save the planet.” McLean said continued constraints in agronomy and policy would financially destabilize farms until they have to sell. The second issue concerns the agreement in the Black Sea area regarding shipping grain. My friend and crop reporting and agronomy
consultant Mike Lee gives several weekly updates to his subscribing clients. Lee writes that signing the Istanbul agreement on Friday, July 22 raised hopes that grain might start to move out of Black Sea ports, only to be immediately tested when Russia attacked the port of Odessa on Saturday morning. Russia said they targeted a Ukrainian military vessel and added the attack did not violate the agreement not to attack merchant and other civilian vessels and port facilities engaged in grain transportation. “While they might be following the letter of the law, if not the spirit, that’s a powerful way to test an agreement that’s as weak as a snowflake.” Here are some of his thoughts and the latest understanding of the situation. Ukrainian vessels will guide cargo ships through mined waters. The sea will not be cleared of mines;
corridors will be created with Ukrainian vessels guiding commercial vessels along safe paths through the mined areas. Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure has said the arrival and departure of ships to the specified seaports would move out by forming a caravan accompanied by a lead ship. “My background is in farming, so I’m not qualified to comment on how safe this is, but it appears to be a strategy with a high risk of something going wrong.” Mike has much more to say, but that is for another day. While the feds want to cut fertilizer use by about one-third, the Russians attack only hours after signing an agreement to get the grain moving. From where I sit and many readers, much of the 2022 Manitoba crop looks fantastic. Here’s hoping for continued growth and crop development. Keep smiling!
Swine Diagnostic Service Provides Support in Formulating Treatments By Harry Siemens The swine business is worth more than $25 billion in Canada providing employment, processing plants, feed grain demand and hog farms. Therefore this is important to Canada when the industry launched a swine diagnostic service one year ago to help swine veterinarians use diagnostic results to formulate treatment strategies. Last May the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and Prairie Diagnostic Services (PDS), both located on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan, partnered in the launch of the new swine diagnostic extension service. Professor Dr. John Harding said the new service would help translate diag-
nostic results into treatment strategies and targets three main groups. One is the mixed animal practitioners in rural practice that do a mixture of small and large animal work but do not have expertise in swine because they do not see enough pigs in their day-to-day veterinary activities. “Their needs are for us to provide expertise in the common diseases or pig production management to help them pull it all together,” said Harding. The second group is the 20 plus swine veterinarians across western Canada who spends a predominant amount of their time looking at pigs to understand the basics and the common diseases. But often face challenges with either difficult cases or with
diagnostics that are too confusing and need some higher-level expertise to help pull those cases together. “Then the third group, which I’m excited about, is helping the PDS professionals running the actual assays,” said Harding. Those individuals have high skill sets in their areas of expertise but perhaps not with pigs so this program will help put their results in the context of the clinical situation to come up with solutions he explained. As part of that service Prairie Diagnostic Services provides the diagnostic analysis and, in complex cases, Dr. Harding and Dr. Matheus Costa with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) provide additional sup-
port to help interpret those findings. Prairie Diagnostic Services CEO Dr. Yanyun Huang said the two organizations, both located on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan, offer different expertise. “For PDS we focus on getting the laboratory testing to support regular diagnostics and herd health monitoring,” said Huang. “WCVM faculties are typically more focused on the discovery and the clinical practices and clinical sciences so this creates a very good synergy for us to provide this extension service.” PDS will be responsible for providing the testing results and the extension service when there is a more complicated case or if a premise submitted
multiple samples over time on the same problem. “And it seems that it will benefit from having one point person to link all the submissions together to provide a more big picture assessment to the client,” said Huang. “This fit is a good opportunity for Dr. Harding and Dr. Costa to chime in to provide their expertise.” Finally, suppose there are some cases in which the veterinarians have the diagnostic results and need a second pair of eyes or a second opinion on how that can translate into clinical actions. In that case, they can also contact Dr. Harding and Dr. Costa. Dr. Huang said a correct diagnosis is three-fourths of the remedy, and this extension service will help in the remaining one-fourth.
Crops Ripening As Harvest Nears By Elmer Heinrichs Crops have advanced rapidly across most of Manitoba this past week, and general crop conditions are much better than in 2021. Many producers anticipate near-normal to above normal yields in crops that have faced fewer challenges and fair yields in stagey or delayed crops. Overland flooding from weekend and July 19 storms has washed out roads in the Teulon area, and wiped out some crops. Standing water is evident in many areas including the Altona-Winkler area and some crop will be lost. The Interlake region has a high number of unseeded fields this year. Hot humid conditions prevailed much of last week and led to unstable weather systems that brought significant amounts of rain across southern Manitoba, with 50 to 120 mm rain falling along a track from Holland to Teulon, and close to St. PierreJolys. Strong winds with re-
cent thunderstorms were the primary driver of lodging events in spring wheat, oats, winter cereals as well as canola and corn crops. Farmers expect most crops to recover, but dense, lodged crop canopy can encourage rapid disease infection and associated yield losses. Warm temperatures, high humidity and frequent rain and unstable weather have elevated risk for many fungal diseases. Nearly all wheat, oats, barley, canola and pea crops have been or will be sprayed with a fungicide application. In the latest crop report, Manitoba Agriculture says strong winds with recent thunderstorms were the primary driver of lodging events in spring wheat, oats, winter cereals, as well as some canola and corn crops. Most crops will recover, but dense, lodged crop canopy can support infection and yield losses. Central region too had its share of above-normal temperatures, and sporadic thun-
derstorms. Lodging is quite severe in early wheat, some winter cereals, oats, canola and corn near Pilot Mound and Holland with 100 km. winds left crops leaning toward the west. General crop growth is good. Pulse specialist Dennis Lange says with recent substantial rainfall crops are struggling west of Altona and in other places. While peas were looking very good, both peas and dry beans have been set back. Some crops on lighter soils are still in good shape. In Eastern areas, rains have caused problems with haying progress, resulting in quality downgrades to cut hay. Crops have progressed well with warm weather, and fungicide application is ongoing. Farmers have noted a large jump in crop growth across the region, particularly in corn and soybeans. The crop report notes that late-seeded crops and rapid mid-summer development may shorten the time
to harvest, and farmers and agronomists are encouraged to use the “spray-to-swath” calculator to know the preharvest interval for products applied to the crop. Weed control has been much better in-crop this year, despite herbicide product and application challenges. However weed escapes are not uncommon and wild oats are popping above crop canopy in some cases. Canola crops are widely variable across Manitoba, with many looking in excellent condition, but also many with thin stands. Crop quality is estimated at 15 per cent excellent, 45 per cent good and the balance fair. Late-seeded canola is generally good. Soybeans are growing rapidly with recent hot weather and canopies have closed on solid-seeded fields Flax crops in areas with excessive rain and slow-draining fields are struggling, and heat may have stressed some blooming crops.
NPPC Plans Proactive Approach to Advocating for Pork Producers By Harry Siemens Advocating for pork producers in one country helps in other countries too. The president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said under the organization’s new strategic plan, US pork producers will see a more aggressive proactive approach representing issues ranging from Foreign Animal diseases to the Farm Bill. Scott Hays, a pork producer from Monroe City, Missouri said the planning process intended to set a new direction and gathered input from producers across the country. “Our strategic plan is to strengthen our advocacy, preserve producers’ license to operate, increase revenues to take care of the complex issues and make sure our association structure is right to move forward and to ensure the effectiveness of NPPC,” said Hays. Hays hopes producers notice they are in front of more issues and more on offence. NPPC, by design, will always play a lot of defence when it comes to animal disease he said.
“There are so many pieces and we’re trying to get all the things put in place ahead of time,” said Hays. Hays said they will be looking ahead at the farm bill or the nutritional standards and have the research done ahead of time, ready to advocate for producers and their needs. “There’s many opportunities to raise pigs and producers can look forward to a bright future,” he said. Hays said the last strategic plan was five years old and it was time to set a new direction. They will be asking pig producers across the country to give their input and a task force will be put together. Much has changed in the industry in his lifetime watching pigs go indoors as a kid, and then units and genetics became more standardized. NPPC has had to evolve to care for producers’ issues to keep trade flowing with other countries. “What’s unique to pork is the product mix and moving products we use less at home out to other countries,” said Hays. “That keeps the prod-
ucts we enjoy like bacon and ribs at a lower cost for consumers in this country.” Trade is not only crucial to producers but to consumers in a changing environment with what the American public wants. He said consumers in the US want hog production to be more sustainable with the environment. “We’ve done a great job for
years and years but need to get better at telling our story, measuring some of those things and demonstrating what we have done,” said Hays. The US exports a little over a quarter of its product to a hundred countries worldwide, where twenty countries have free trade agreements with the US and take the majority of that product.
Scott Hayes the president-elect of the US National Pork Producers Council said they will be setting a new strategic plan that is more aggressive and proactive.
July 29, 2022
Agriculture Boosting Canadian Economy By Elmer Heinrichs Canada’s agriculture ministry forecasts a grain and oilseeds harvest of 86.5 million tonnes this year. Surging oil and wheat prices are allowing commodities exporter Canada to weather an economic storm threatening to tip many of its fellow G7 rich nations into recession. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February stranded the region’s wheat stockpiles and triggered Western sanctions on Russian crude, sending commodity prices surging. Central banks jumped in to raise interest rates to stem inflation. As a result, many countries face far lower growth this year than expected as they emerged from the coronavirus pandemic. But as the world’s No.4 oil producer and No.4 wheat exporter, Canada’s fortunes are following a different trajectory altogether. Commodities and agriculture account for about 10 per cent of its economy. “If you look at the goods that Russia and Ukraine export, these are essentially the same basket we export,” said Pedro Antunes, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada. “That is going to drive not only profits [for] corporations, but also governments.” Prices of crude and wheat slid in late June on fears of a global recession reducing demand, but remain elevated enough to buoy Canada’s economy, helping offset a housing slowdown. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and economists surveyed by Reuters forecast Canada will lead the G7 in economic growth this year after trailing many of its peers in 2020 and 2021, when it adopted more stringent coronavirus restrictions. A global recession could spoil the oil party, but its impact on demand is uncertain. Crude demand fell sharply during the 2020 and 2007-09 recessions, but more modestly in 1990-91 and 2001, said Morgan Stanley commodity strategist Martijn Rats. And inflation will also inevitably dampen commodity demand, said Tony Tryhuk, manager of commodity trading at RBC Dominion Securities, warning that the bull market could be “all but over”. For now, prices are strong and commodity producers have the added bonus of a strengthening US dollar, instead of the more typical situation of the Canadian dollar surging as oil prices rise, making Canada’s exports less competitive. Farm production is also showing a rebound. Canada’s agriculture ministry forecasts a grain and oilseed harvest of 86.5 million tonnes, up 33 per cent from last year when drought hit production. Food shortages due to war in Ukraine look to keep crop prices elevated, said Craig Klemmer, manager of economics at Farm Credit Canada, a farm lender. “Overall, global demand for 2022 and into 2023 is going to be very, very strong,” said Klemmer. In April, the IMF forecast Canada’s gross domestic product would grow 3.9 per cent this year, leading the G7 but down slightly from a pre-war forecast of 4.1 per cent. By contrast, the IMF slashed the United Kingdom’s growth forecast to 3.7 per cent. With the economic outlook worsening since then, economists told Reuters they expect even less growth for most G7 nations, with Canada still seen relatively strong at 3.4-3.8 per cent GDP growth this year. “We still have Canada at the top of the deck in 2022, due to more of a bounce from [the loosening of] prolonged restrictions and the commodity price support,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
July 29, 2022
July 29, 2022
AAFC Living Labs:
The Fab Four
A Canadian approach to agricultural innovation with international impact, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) living labs involve farmers, scientists and stakeholders working together to co-develop, test and implement farming practices to address pressing environmental issues in agriculture. The approach is now being applied across a Canada-wide network that will help mitigate climate change. AAFC presented the concept of “agroecosystem living labs” during the 2018 G20 meeting in Argentina; few could have predicted the impact it would have on the development and sharing of beneficial, climatesmart farm practices in Canadian agriculture. AAFC’s living labs are a novel approach to agricultural innovation. Each one is a vast network of farmers, scientists, Indigenous groups, not-forprofit organizations, as well as industry stakeholders all working together to develop, refine, and share innovative farming practices and technological solutions to agricultural and environmental issues. While some testing takes place on research farms and
scientific laboratories, the most important parts are carried out on actual farm operations. The direct involvement of farmers and the diversity of perspectives in each network lead to the co-development of innovations that are a better fit for farmers’ needs. This collaborative approach, over multiple iterations, helps to accelerate the adoption of solutions tailored to producers and their regions. What started in 2019 as the first living lab in Prince Edward Island (PEI), known as Living Lab – Atlantic, grew to include three more living labs in Manitoba (2019), Quebec (2020) and Ontario (2021). There are now more than 50 organizations, farmers and scientists working together in living labs across these four provinces. In this province, LL-EP innovation and research activities are being conducted across four watersheds in Manitoba, Upper Oak River, Swan Lake, North Shannon Creek and Main Drain covering a diverse agricultural landscape of cereals and canola to corn and livestock. Along with lead collaborator, Manitoba Association of Watersheds, more
than a dozen partners are working together to focus on key innovation and research activities for enhancing habitats for beneficial insects, developing better tile-draining practices, evaluating new approaches to prevent nutrient, water and habitat losses, as well as evaluating the use of regenerative grazing management to capture and sequester carbon in grassland soil. Living Labs Go International. Canada first announced plans to establish agroecosystem living labs during the G20 in 2018. As a research tool, living labs were already a well-documented approach to assessing new ideas and innovative concepts in other economic sectors such as health, smart cities or information management/information technology projects. Seeing the possibilities, AAFC applied the approach in a novel way through the development of agroecosystem living labs. Since then, AAFC has worked with key international organizations and partners to help bring this collaborative framework worldwide in an agroecosystem context. The European Union has taken notice of this success and is
The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, tours one of the living lab sites.
in the process of implementing its own networks of agroecosystem living labs following the AAFC model. Meanwhile, AAFC has also been working with others, notably L’Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement (INRAE) in France, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) Network, the European Commission (EC), the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), and the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM). A new collaboration has also been initiated with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and their Living Soils of the Americas initiative. The next step is for AAFC and the global community to consolidate knowledge, identify remaining knowledge gaps, and explore new research directions and international opportunities related to agroecosystem living labs. AAFC is in the midst of coorganizing an international forum to address agroecosystems living labs, slated for 2023.
July 29, 2022
The Timing of Lodging Can Affect a Crop’s Yield By Harry Siemens With heavy rains affecting crop growth combined with high winds and hail, several crop agronomists responded to the request of farmers, asking what happens to the yields and crop quality when crops lodge. Farmers on various social media outlets and WhatsApp groups kept asking, “What will it do to my crop yields and quality?” A quick search on Google had this short but concise comment. “Lodging occurs when the crop falls over and does not return to standing.” Crop lodging can be costly to producers and pose many challenges during harvest. For instance, it is common to see secondary growth on the flattened crop extending maturity and diminishing grain quality. Brunel Sabourin of Antara Agronomy at Ste. Jean-Baptiste, MB said a plant’s job is to harvest sunlight which it uses to convert nutrients into food and ultimately yield. The more sunlight it can capture the more seed it can make. “When crops lodge, they can no longer capture sun-
light as efficiently because you have plants covering other plants,” said Sabourin. “This reduces yield and quality because the plants can’t fill their seed properly.” Much like how a bent drinking straw makes it harder to sip a drink, lodging also results in bent stems that reduce the movement or flow of water and nutrients from the roots. Lodged crops also create a very humid environment due to reduced air movement. As a result, it can harbour diseases and insects causing further yield reductions. Sabourin said lodged crops also present a real challenge at harvest because they do not feed into the combine as evenly reducing efficiency. Lodged crops often result in more grain losses in the front due to shelling and also out the back of the harvester. “We often view a little lodging in a field as a positive because it means most of the field likely has adequate fertilizer,” said Sabourin. “However, widespread lodging often results in significant yield losses for all the above reasons.” The severity of the losses
will depend on the stage of the crop when the lodging occurred. For example, in the case of a cereal crop, early lodging (boot stage) has less impact because plants can straighten themselves out as they are still growing. However, if the crop is fully headed and has reached its maximum height (stems no longer elongating), it will not be able to right itself and the impact is more significant. A crop like canola tends to be more resistant to lodging due to its nature of branching out and interlocking with its neighbours. “Lodging can also occur when strong winds combine with excessively wet soils. Roots cannot keep the plant anchored in waterlogged soils and will topple over,” he said. “We see this more in taller crops such as corn and sunflowers which have stronger stems than cereals.” Lodging in crops like wheat oats and barley, it depends on where the lodging is on the plant and when it lodges, said agronomist Jason Voogt of Carman, MB also owns Field 2 Field Agronomy Inc. “When it comes to lodging in crops like wheat oats
and barley, a lot depends on where the lodging is on the plant and when it lodges,” said Voogt. Voogt generally said lodging occurs at the roots so plants go flat from the soil surface. These plants will recover somewhat where the stems grow upward. Stem lodging is when the plant
An example of Lodged Wheat
leans over along the stem. “These plants have better recovery and would respond more to wind helping lift them giving better yield recovery,” said Voogt. Timing is critical before flowering stems regain their upright position if weather conditions are favourable. He said that flowering heads
will not regain their upright position. While not affecting kernel numbers it may severely reduce the kernel weight depending on weather conditions. “After head emergence, yield losses are greatest when the crop lodges during the ten days following head emergence,” said Voogt.
One farmer Michael Harms described the rain and wind during one of the July storms in southern Manitoba Photo Michael Harms - WhatsApp that caused his oats and perennial ryegrass to flatten again.
July 29, 2022
International Pig Veterinary Society Back Together in Rio de Janeiro By Dr. John Carr and Harry Siemens Dr. John Carr, livestock consultant, veterinarian, and lecturer, living in Brisbane, Australia reported via email on the International Pig Veterinary Society getting back together. He said after a two-year absence because of COVID-19 the decision was not to have just a virtual meeting because success depended on participant interactions. However the pandemic still stalked the meeting with many speakers presenting from lockdowns in their homes. The meeting was available online through a great interactive web experience. “But the chats in corridors, fist bumps and hugs between friends and colleagues are invaluable,” said Dr. Carr. “Meeting in a hotel lobby or Copacabana Beach with a colleague unseen for four years brought a great smile.”
Dr. Carr said the meeting had no time gaps. As soon as the meeting started the vigour of science was back with presentations, discussion, disagreement and agreements. “This is the only way we can move towards excellence in providing the best man can offer the pig,” said Dr. Carr. The key point he got out of the meeting was a movement toward a safe African Swine Fever (ASF) vaccine. While ASF was significant the care and management of the hyper prolific sow to the individual sick pig are equally important he noted. “The next 30 years is the challenge for mankind to create a sustainable food source for the 10 billion people who will all love and rely on pork as a protein source and the IPVS
The International Pig Veterinary Society’s congresses facilitate the exchange of science and knowledge related to pig health. This is the only way we can move towards excellence in providing the best man can offer the pig said Dr. John Carr.
Dr. John Carr livestock consultant, veterinarian, and lecturer, said the chats in corridors, fist bumps and hugs between friends and colleagues are invaluable during the International Pig Veterinary Society meeting. Submitted photos John Carr
will rise to the challenge,” he said. The International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS) is an association of pig health and production specialists. The IPVS started in 1967 with the first Congress held in Cambridge, the United Kingdom in 1969 and the second in Hanover, Germany in 1972. The Society’s objectives are to hold international congresses for the exchange of knowledge related to pig health, production and promoting the formation of Pig Veterinary Societies in all pig-producing countries and the cooperation between such societies. The Brazilian pig industry has changed dramatically in the last couple of years wit the country ranked the 4th largest producer and exporter of swine in the world. Dr. Carr said the takeaways from the international Congress that will benefit hog producers are the possible ASF vaccine and gilt management for lifetime performance. A third takeaway focused on porcine circovirus 3 (PCV3), an emerging swine pathogen. “PCV3 changed the ear position in piglets which I did not believe, but the presentation was interesting,” said Dr. Carr.
July 29, 2022
Rivers Hosts First Annual Tractor Trek
Bredan Ryall driving the oldest tractor in the River’s Tractor Trek parade.
By Joan Airey Plans for the Tractor Trek started with two semi-retired farmers thinking it would be fun to organize one, then a wife suggesting if they were going to have a trek, money should be raised for a charity such as Cancer Care Manitoba. After talking to many local tractor enthusiasts encouraging them to go ahead with the project and the support from local businesses backing the idea Rivers saw its first Tractor Trek. Fourteen tractors left Rivers on July 17 for Clack’s museum located northwest of the town in the municipality of Oakview. Clack’s museum was started by Tim Clack in 1983. Mr. Clack passed away approximately five years ago and left the museum and land to the community with rent from the farm land helping pay the taxes and some expenses of the museum. A board of volunteers manages the museum and a staff of students opens the museum
at the moment for the months of July and August. Terry Radcliffe a local retired teacher is working at the museum this summer coordinating great improvements with the help of the enthusiastic students who are working there. The board also spent numerous hours cleaning and making improvements to the museum while it was closed. The museum has a Facebook page which they update regularly. While at the museum the trekkers enjoyed cold drinks and cookies provided by the organizers. Plus everyone was delighted to see the Titan tractor recently added to the museum’s collection and a threshing machine acquired during COVID shut down. Many visitors to the museum that day were intrigued by all the vehicles, machinery and artifacts from over the years. Thirty-three-degree heat greeted the trekkers on their return trip to Rivers where lunch was served to all trek-
kers. All funds taken in were donated to Western Manitoba Cancer Centre. “Tractor runs are very popular back home in Ireland and in England,” said Tom Ryall one of the trekkers. “The oldest tractor in the trek is a 1949 Cropmaster driven by Brendan Ryall. Ted Krahn’s beautifully restored tractor is a very rare John Deere 600 Industrial model.” The tractor Ryall drove was a 1950 David Brown Cropmaster, nicknamed, “Charlie” after the man he bought it from. There were five John Deeres, one International, four David Browns and one Ford. Classic tractors are tractors over twenty-five years and vintage means over fifty years old. All tractors involved in the run were either classic or vintage. “It was our first year holding this event and by the response it looks like it’ll become an annual event,” said Ryall. “We hope to see it grow year after year!”
Ted Krahn driving a beautifully restored rare John Deere 600 painted yellow because it was an industrial Photos by Joan Airey model.
Recipe and Photo Contests The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) invites you to participate in its 3rd annual Recipe and Photo Contests. Show the world how you use hemp in new and innovative ways. The competition runs until September 30. Original recipes and photos will be judged by a panel of ex-
perts and a winner in each category will be selected in mid-October. The winners will be recognized at the CHTA National Hemp Conference in November and the winning entries will be published by the CHTA on its website and social media channels. Hemp is one of the most
beautiful and versatile crops grown in Canada and we want to show the world just how many ways it can be used. CHTA hopes that everyone who grows, processes, or consumes hemp will participate. Go to hemptrade.ca for more info.
July 29, 2022
July 29, 2022
Two Outstanding Manitobans Named to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame By Harry Siemens The lasting legacy of four Canadian agricultural leaders will shine even brighter as they become the 2022 inductees into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame (CAHF). Inducted are Maurice Delage, Mabel Hamilton, Dr. Digvir Jayas and Ashok Sarkar. Canadian agriculture supports a tremendous array of leaders and innovators; four more join the CAHF said president Ted Menzies. For more than 30 years, Dr. Digvir Jayas led agricultural research on the storedgrain ecosystem addressing the growing need for global food security by minimizing losses in stored grain. His research team at the University of Manitoba developed the concept for horizontal airflow drying of grain and the first 3-D model driving better management systems for storing grain and improving its quality for human consumption and benefitting Canadian farmers. Dr. Jayas tackles fundamental problems with an interdisciplinary research approach and extends the opportunities of his work through a network of collaborators in government, industry and academia. His innovative research and collaborative focus have significantly increased the availability of high-quality grains to feed Canadians and for export worldwide, providing a critical food source to address global hunger. Dr. Jayas gets questions from farmers and industry alike about grain handling, drying and storage. “I think the biggest concern is using the current knowledge properly,” said Dr. Jayas. “Sometimes that knowledge is not shared with the farmers at the right time or used correctly.”
“Sometimes not understanding the amount of airflow required to dry using an ambient air or fan system properly, the amount of air required would depend on initial moisture content.” - Dr. Digvir Jayas.
He shared a recent question from a farmer about setting up the on-farm aeration system. If the system aerates wheat one year and the farmer next year grows canola and puts the canola in that bin, it will not work on canola. It would require adjustments by reducing grain depth when aerating or drying canola. “Sometimes not understanding the amount of airflow required to dry using an ambient air or fan system properly, the amount of air required would depend on initial moisture content. Dr. Jayas lives in Winnipeg and the nomination came from the University of Manitoba. With a career spanning more than 50 years, Ashok Sarkar dedicated his work to promoting the quality of Canadian wheat and grains to global markets. His career began at mills around the world from India to Switzerland and finally settled in Canada, where he joined the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) (now Cereals Canada) in 1979. As head of milling, Sarkar
developed milling efficiencies and generated flours with desired quality attributes for food products around the globe. He gained a well-deserved reputation as a reliable, personable and trusted miller, engaging along the entire value chain to influence the opportunities and maximize the potential for Canadian grains. “I feel fortunate for this journey and work for CIGI and now Cereals Canada getting exposed to the entire cereal value chain of the world. I know the domestic industry well, and we also interact with them,” said Sarkar. He didn’t take this opportunity lightly working at Cereals Canada with worldwide exposure to whoever imports or is interested in talking to personnel from many countries and all corners of the globe. “And look at their problems and requirements, needs and help find a solution for them,” said Sarkar. “That enhances our knowledge beyond what you would ever see in textbooks.” He strongly believes in the
quality of Canadian wheat and CWRS, Canada Western Red Spring, and Canada Western Amber Durum. Most importers of grain worldwide want to produce high-quality bread or improve their domestic crop quality blend CWRS wheat to improve the overall quality. “It has the right properties for doing that for a wide range of products, not just bread, but a variety of breads,” he said. “It is high in quality with much less foreign material when shipped out in number one, two or three grades.” The intrinsic quality is very high in Canada Western Red Spring and Canada Western Amber Durum, which all the pasta makers very much like, couscous makers, et cetera said Sarkar. Since retiring in 2014, Sarkar’s passion for Canadian grains and milling continues as a consultant with Cereals Canada as an educator, innovator, researcher and mentor. Ashok Sarkar lives in Winnipeg and Cereals Canada nominated him.
Optimism Abounds for Foodgrains Crops By Elmer Heinrichs Growing project groups across Manitoba have again been doing their part in seeding crops to support hunger relief through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, said Gordon Janzen, regional representative for the Winnipeg based food aid agency. Janzen noted that the very wet spring conditions were a huge challenge for growing projects, and several were
forced to adapt their early seeding plans. In the Altona area, for example, both the CHUM and Common Ground projects switched cropping plans. The CHUM and Common Ground growing projects near Altona had to switch crop plans. Rather than using a regular air seeder, both projects switched to seeding canola with a “floater”, commonly used to broadcast fertilizer and chemical.
Issac Froese, coordinator of the CHUM project, was happy with the results. “The canola is coming up well,” he said. The nearby Common Ground project field had more saturated wet spots, so germination was uneven. Near Gladstone, MB, the Whitemud Growing Project was unable to seed their project field as they had planned. The project was prepared to seed their field on at least two
occasions but had to postpone both times. The project is looking at alternatives for next year. “Despite the challenging spring, I hear a lot of optimism for a good crop year,” added Janzen. “That optimism, and the commitment of growing projects, is a tremendous encouragement to Foodgrains Bank member agencies that administer food programs in places of need.”
July 29, 2022
New Protein Research Strategy Unveiled
Manitoba is taking another major step toward becoming a global leader in sustainable protein production by releasing the Manitoba Protein Research Strategy (MPRS). “One of the key pillars of the Manitoba Protein Advantage is the harnessing of the great wealth of agrifood knowledge and research expertise in our province,” said Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson. “The Manitoba Protein Research Strategy will strengthen the working relationship between Manitoba’s protein research community, industry and government, leading to collaboration between our province and global experts and institutions to advance strategic priorities in protein research and innovation.” The Manitoba Protein Research Strategy is a comprehensive strategy that forms a blueprint for the province’s success in the global protein market, noted Johnson. The MPRS highlights 46 strategic research projects under four main themes including climate resilience of sustainable protein food systems, novel sustainable protein product development and processing, digital agriculture to enable sustainable food systems, and waste, water, by-product and co-product utilization. “Through the effective collaboration of government, industry, academia and non-profit organizations, we have succeeded in developing a strategy that will be key to Manitoba’s success in the global protein market,” said Dickson Gould, chair, Manitoba Protein Consortium. “I extend my sincere appreciation to everyone who contributed to this important work and shares our vision of Manitoba as a world-class provider of sustainable protein in the global marketplace.” The Manitoba government will also invest $1.5 million to support the hiring of a new Strategic Research Chair in Sustainable Protein at the University of Manitoba, the minister said. In addition to providing specific research expertise, the strategy calls for the chair to become the nexus for research collaboration and knowledge translation activities. The chair will engage researchers, businesses and industry while leading strategic research priorities that will support investment for long-term economic growth and development of Manitoba’s booming plant and animal protein sectors, the minister noted.
July 29, 2022
July 29, 2022
4-H’ers in Manitoba Happy to Return to Normal Achievement Day
A young 4-H participant talking quietly to her steer kept him calm throughout the show. Animals respond to calm quiet voices they are used of hearing. Photo by Joan Airey
By Joan Airey It was great to be able to watch our grandchildren show their steers and heifers on their 4-H achievement day. Many grandparents and 4-H supporters were out to see the 4-H’ers present their projects in everything from
showmanship, regular steer and heifer classes to team grooming. Beef Club members learn how animals should be fed to reach their potential, how to show an animal which they may use later in life if they are a purebred breeder and
team work in many projects Public speaking is something they all take part in during the year which will be of use to them as they further their education or when they enter the work force. I watched one young girl show her fourteen-hundred-
pound steer talk to the animal all of the time she was showing it. The steer was so used to her voice it responded to her gentle commands. The girl herself weighed less than a hundred pounds. A nine-year-old boy also talked quietly to his animal dur-
ing the show. You could tell they were performing this task like they had seen their parents do and enjoyed it. When it comes time for the steers to be sold most children who have worked with their steer over the past six plus months will be a little apprehensive to sell them. Parents explain that is the way business is done. Thanks to many supporters of 4-H participants when they sell their steers the 4H’ers are able to invest this money to later help pay for their education. This not only helps them pay for their education but teaches them how to handle money. So, I’d say give the purchases of steers a pat on the back for their support. All the 4-H’ers personally thanked their buyers after the show which is great to see and should come naturally. A parent commented that the 4-H program is one we feel holds so much value for our children and we appreciate all the community support because without the support it could not happen. We’re truly grateful for the support more than you know. They felt their local club has a pretty great group of kids so the future is bright. That club has one graduate going to take agriculture at college and the other gradu-
ate is taking accounting to become a chartered accountant. Big business people often comment they like to hire people who have spent nine years in 4-H as it shows they are dedicated to the project. Not everyone has the chance to join a beef club in our community. We have some farm families who let young people keep a steer at their farm and come out and work with it regularly. I believe this is a great learning experience for young people. Children not only learn going to school but through playing team sports, joining clubs, and 4H. To keep clubs going like 4-H we need leaders, judges, and the support of the whole community as they say it takes a community to raise a child. Some people do not understand the cost of raising a steer, the work it takes to get the animals ready and all the things these kids learn participating in 4-H or sports. Plus there is all the community work these 4-Hers do from cleaning highways to helping other community clubs. In our community 4-Hers have gone through the program becoming nurses, agricultural loans people at banks and credit unions, many are in the medical field, teachers and of course farmers.
July 29, 2022
Feed the Right Amount of Copper to Your Beef Cows By Peter Vitti
Most copper deficiencies in cattle are subtle in nature, which makes them difficult to spot. Submitted photo
Consultations Tackle National Agricultural Labour Strategy The Federal Government has launched consultations to solicit input and inform a National Agricultural Labour Strategy. The agriculture and agri-food sector faces obstacles that distinguish it from other economic sectors currently facing labour shortages. As part of the engagement process, an online consultation will run until September 28, 2022. The survey can be accessed online at agr.surveysondage.ca. “As everyone is looking to Canada to increase its contribution to global food security, our agriculture and agri-food sector is facing a severe labour shortage that prevents it from reaching its full potential,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “I encourage all stakeholders to take part in these consultations, through which our government wishes to foster the significant engagement of the industry and ensure that together we put in place effective and sustainable solutions.” This process will seek input on recommendations to address chronic workforce challenges to build short- and long-term solutions that enable the agriculture sector to attract a skilled workforce. Provinces and territories, as well as employers, unions, underrepresented groups, workers, and other key groups will be engaged to develop the strategy and ensure it reflects the unique needs of the sector. A number of areas of focus have been identified, including the use of automation and technology, targeted skills development and training, employment incentives and best practices, improved working conditions and benefits; and programs to recruit and retain workers. “We at CFA are excited for the launch of these consultations, as they will be coordinating closely with the CAHRC National Agriculture, Food and Beverage Manufacturing Workforce strategy cochaired by CFA and Food and Beverage Canada,” said Mary Robinson, President of Canadian Federation of Agriculture. “These consultations, along with the development of our Workforce Strategy will create pragmatic solutions for short and longterm labour issues in the food supply chain.” In 2020, the agriculture and agri-food sector employed 2.1 million people providing 1 in 9 jobs in Canada and in 2021; the sector generated $135 billion of Canada’s gross domestic product.
As a beef nutritionist, I have formulated hundreds of cattle minerals. Some of these are very simple and basic formulas, while others are customized to take care of a specific cattle need. And, still a few others may contain non-mineral feed additives. Regardless of their final mineral choice, beef producers often request that it be fortified with a good level of copper. To them, copper deficiencies in their cattle are a real concern without good supplementation. So, my ultimate goal is to formulate copper-adequate cattle minerals without providing more copper than is required. Consequently, most of us have been taught that the haircoat of copper-deficient black cattle turn red, while brown cattle coats turn yellow. This might be true in the severe cases, but most copper deficiencies in cattle are subtle in nature, which makes them difficult to spot. That’s because copper like other essential trace-minerals plays a vital role in many cellular enzyme systems that drive bio-chemical reactions involved in cattle vital body function, immunity, and reproduction. Here is a 3-way split of non-specific symptoms
originating from a possible copper deficiency hiding in a typical beef cowherd. It should be noted that similar zinc, manganese and selenium deficiencies exhibit most of these very same symptoms in cattle: - General – Poor “doer cattle”, poor milking cows and slow-growing calves, higher rates of morbidity (sickness) or mortality (deaths), higher rates of physical injury, failure to maintain good body condition, and poor hoof condition. - Health – Anemia, scours, respiratory cattle diseases, greater susceptibility to bacterial, viral and other disease, slower recovery from disease, higher rates of treating cattle, and poor vaccination take (including measured titres). - Reproduction – Silent heats in cows and heifers, open cows, early embryonic deaths, difficult calving season, poor calving percentage, post-calving problems, delayed or failure to return to active estrus after calving and/or getting rebred. Spread-out calving/breeding seasons also are common. A mental copy of these symptoms came in handy about ten years ago, when I worked with a feed mill, who supplied a typical loose cattle mineral to a 250 black
Angus-Simmental latespring calving herd. These cows had suffered from poor pregnancy rates and lots of foot-rot that summer. During our investigation with “Butch”, the cow-calf owner, we first eliminated common heat-stress as a major cause to his cows’ reproduction and hoof problems. That summer wasn’t particular hot during their breeding and grazing season. We then suspected several of his cows had liver flukes, because of a few confirmed cases on other farms near Butch’s wet pastures. That did not pan out either. So, we finally turned our attention to some type of trace mineral deficiency (not necessarily copper at the time) in several of his pastures, since his breeding troubles seem to stem from them. Bingo! Trace-mineral analysis sent to a lab came back from a number of grass samples taken from two adjacent swamp and muck pastures - showed copper levels of 4.0 ppm and copper-binding molybdenum levels of 5 ppm. As a result, the feed mill specifically balanced the copper level in a new cattle mineral formula, based upon the actual NRC copper requirement (2001) for young and mature cattle, which rec-
ommends no more than 15 mg/kg copper of diet (dm. basis). They also formulated this added- copper in a more biologically available form (chelated organic copper). In doing so, they took care of the beef animals’ basic copper requirement. And they also took into account the antagonistic effects of moderate levels of molybdenum (as well as copperbinding sulphur in forages or water) acting upon ingested dietary copper. Therefore, Butch’s new cattle mineral contained about 3,000 ppm of dietary copper which fed at 50 grams per head per day solved his copper deficient cattle problems. Along with this aspect of building a copper-fortified cattle mineral; good mineral feeding management is always necessary. That is why I am a big advocate that all beef producers calculate the amount of copper-containing loose mineral to be put in a durable mineral feeder in order to provide 50 - 100 grams of cattle mineral per day. As well, they should check their feeders to see how much cattle have consumed and remove any hardened product. In this way, they feed the right amount of cow to their beef cows and prevent any copper-related deficiencies.
Ag Youth Council Drives Action on Food-Related Challenges The mandate of the first cohort of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council came to an end recently with a final, virtual meeting with MarieClaude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. This group of 21 young Canadians aged 30-and-under represent a diverse mix of individuals from subsectors across agriculture and agrifood, as well as from every province and the north. Under the chairmanship of Jerry Bos, a dairy farmer from New Brunswick, Council members met regularly to provide advice on food-related challenges and opportunities, as well as to share information and best practices. Their work ensured the perspectives of youth in agriculture were well-understood. The Council’s mandate, written by the members themselves included promoting agricultural career development, awareness and education, and climate change mitigation.
A cornerstone of their mandate included providing input on their vision for AAFC’s Next Agricultural Policy Framework. The Framework will set the course for the sector past 2028, and youth feedback on both current and potential challenges and opportunities facing the sector was (and continues to be) sought. Council members also acted as a sounding board for the design of AAFC’s AgriCom-
munication program, advising on concrete ways for the program to build public trust and consumer confidence and to raise awareness of the many sustainable food and farming practices in Canada. They also shared ideas on making Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector more competitive, and on how to transfer knowledge between generations as well as from producers to consumers. An announcement on the
15 successful applicants to the second cohort of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council is expected in the coming weeks. The second cohort will be made up these new members as well as some returning members. Together, they will unite a cross section of Canadian youth passionate for food and farming, mirroring Canada’s regional and demographic diversity. They will serve on the Council for an 18-month term.
This group of 21 young Canadians aged 30-and-under represent a diverse mix of individuals from subsectors across agriculture and agri-food, as well as from every province and the north. Submitted photo
Beef Cattle Research Council Launches Enhanced Website The Beef Cattle Research Council has launched a new, revitalized web design offering more easy-to-find content and practical tools for Canada’s beef producers, veterinary teams, researchers and other stakeholders at BeefResearch.ca. Over the years, with support of Canada’s Beef Science Cluster, BCRC has enhanced its website to include interactive production calculators, videos and hundreds of beef and forage topics and articles. By leveraging producer-paid Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off dollars and listening to the industry’s needs, the BCRC continually develops practical content to
help farmers and ranchers make informed decisions that improve profitability, reduce risks and enhance consumer confidence in Canadian beef production. “To drive Canada’s beef research and extension efforts most effectively and economically in the future, we needed an online vehicle that was faster, better organized and more intuitive for our expanding audience,” said BCRC Chair Matt Bowman. “The new BeefResearch.ca is the search engine for Canadian beef production.” Beef and forage research topics from the past 10 years are easily accessible through the restructured
BCRC continually develops practical content to help farmers and ranchers make informed decisions that improve profitability, reduce risks and enhance consumer confidence in Canadian beef production.
site. In addition to the search function, information also may be found by subject area and through three user-targeted entry points “For Producers,” “For Researchers” and “For Veterinary Teams.”
Content such as new heifer development and calving season’s pages and interactive decision tools such as a new Johne’s disease testing calculator and an updated water systems calculator are regularly added to BeefResearch.ca.
Flood-Stricken Farmer Says Crops “Varied and Late” By Harry Siemens From walking across the drought-stricken Red River on August 4, 2021, near St. Jean-Baptiste, MB to living on his flood-created island on May 6 to seeding his crop Gilbert Sabourin said the crop varies from the good,
the bad, and the ugly. “There are some nice fields, but everything’s on the very late side,” said Sabourin. “Maybe 25 acres along the Plum River we never got to seed, still wet with another four-inch downpour of rain along 14 Highway two
Gilbert Sabourin farms along the Plum River which connects to the Red about 3 miles away has had flooding. He said on Twitter, “Crazy, less than a year ago you were famous for your video of the Red River being bone dry.”
weeks ago. The river came up again flooding the unseeded areas.” He said that the corn flooded further west creating uneven height. For Sabourin, seeding got sped up by using the Valmar and heavy harrow to seed at least half the canola. “We got timely rains after, so that looks very decent,” he said. “But again, everything is very late. We’ll need a long, nice fall to get everything in, hopefully with no early frost through most of September.” Compared to other flood years the 2022 flood was the latest and longest-lasting he said. This flood was not as big as’ 97 when we had the “Flood of the Century”. It was like three feet lower, but then the crest of the 2022 flood was later than ‘97 staying for a couple of weeks versus two, three days. Not only did the flood delay seeding and cause crop damage, it also played into his forward selling of this year’s crop and delayed delivery of what was still in the bin from 2021. Sabourin said he prefers to sell quite a bit forward each year but felt he may have started forward pricing crops too early in 2022. “When it hit the peak we stopped forward pricing on concerns of not being able to plant that crop missing the peak prices,” he said. He also missed the peak prices for some of his old
crop remaining in the bin during the flood because the flood turned his yard into an island. Those peak prices were for immediate delivery and he could not deliver. While prices remain historically high, input costs are also historically high requiring the high grain prices to pay for the inputs. He said this year; it is not easy to figure out where that cost of production is because NH3 fertilizer pricing tripled this spring from two years ago. Sabourin does not want to know how much fuel costs to fill each tank at the end of each day. “No, we try not to calculate that; you’d go crazy,” he said. When asked how the family deals with these flood issues, “We keep moving along. My wife worked at the daycare in Morris, so she stayed at her mother’s place in Morris for probably three weeks,” he said of when their yard became an island. It is not the Sabourin family’s first flood; somehow, they have always managed. The debris removal was a huge task but lots of family helped, including their daughter and boyfriend who removed debris as the seeding continued. As a result, some fields were okay this year and others were the worst. “Sometimes, it just depends which way the wind is blowing as the water goes down,” he said.
July 29, 2022
Two Conservation Trust Project Gems Announced for MFGA Two Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) Conservation Trust Projects were among the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation Board of Directors recent approval of $2.86 million in new grants to 20 projects delivered by 14 Manitoba-based conservation groups. The $2.86 million in Trust funds is being matched by $6.6 million in funds and services by the successful groups, which will result in $9.5 million of conservation activity in Manitoba. “Soil Health: Addressing watershed priorities for producers and wildlife habitat-PHASE 3 (2022)” was approved in the Soil Health Category for $200,000 Conservation Trust funding over two years for MFGA to continue to lead a cover crop/soil health regenerative agriculture partnership approach with three southwest Manitoba watershed districts, Assiniboine West, Souris River and Central Assiniboine to keep a growing root in the ground for as many days of the year as possible. A new approach to restoring profitability, wildlife habitat and soil health-PHASE 3(2022), was also approved for the third year of the project under the Habitat Wildlife Category. MFGA works very closely with Ducks Unlimited Canada on this $239,800 Conservation Trust funded-project designed to keep marginal acres intact via forage production. In both projects, the match of funding and services by the project partnership and landowners are crucial to each project’s success. “This marks the third successful proposal for both of these projects, which underscores their importance to producers and their lands and also the intentions of the Conservation Trust,” said Lawrence Knockaert, MFGA chair. “That is really what MFGA wants to see; producers are helped with decisions that profit their operations and improve the soil health of their lands while returning great benefits to society. That is the beauty of the Conservation Trust and we are lucky to have it here in Manitoba.” The two projects bring MFGA’s total to ten projects over the course of the Conservation Trust’s brilliant run as a Made-in-Manitoba funding source for groups interested in promoting healthy and profitable Manitoba agriculture-based lands. “These funds provide new opportunities to improve wildlife, water and soil conservation across the province,” said Stephen Carlyle, chief executive officer of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC). “The conservation investments will help make our landscape more resilient to the impacts of climate change in the future.”
July 29, 2022
Manitoba Wild Pig Population Much Larger Than Anticipated By Harry Siemens Dr. Wayne Lees, the Coordinator of the Manitoba invasive swine eradication project, said the scope of the province’s wild pig population appears to be much larger than first anticipated. Earlier this year Manitoba Pork, in partnership with the governments of Canada and Manitoba and in collaboration with Manitoba’s agricultural sector, launched the “Squeal on Pigs” campaign, a program designed to inform the public about wild pigs in Manitoba, the damage they cause, and what to watch for and to provide a mechanism to report sightings. Wild pigs can do much environmental damage, ruin crops and pasture, and harbour parasites and diseases that put domestic livestock at risk. When launched in January the project committee developed the information through sightings around the Spruce Woods area. Since launching the campaign, the reports of sightings go much further north and east making the scope of the geographical impact much broader. “It’s an issue that I think we probably underestimated, to begin with until we got the word out and people started to report the sightings to us,” said Dr. Lees. To learn more about wild pig populations in Manitoba or to report sightings, Dr. Lees encouraged people to check out the website at squealonpigsmb.org or to call the toll-free number at 1-833-SPOT-PIG. In Alberta, the Alberta Invasive Species Council (AISC) is encouraging the public to use any four options for reporting sightings of wild pigs in the province. In May 2021 the AISC, in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and in collaboration with Alberta’s agriculture sector, launched the “Squeal on Pigs” campaign to educate the public about the risks posed by wild pigs and provide options for reporting evidence of wild pigs. Executive director Megan Evans said populations are expanding. Considered to be one of the most damaging invasive species on the planet with the single most serious risk associated with this species is the threat of disease transmission. “They can carry up to 89 different diseases that transmit to humans, wildlife and livestock, and some are reportable diseases,” said Evans. “An example of a reportable disease would be African Swine fever.” Evans concurs with the hog industry and government agencies an outbreak of African Swine Fever could result in the immediate closure of Alberta’s pork exports, which is a severe risk.
Dr. Wayne Lees coordinator of the Manitoba invasive swine eradication project encouraged people to check out the website at squealonpigsmb.org or to call the toll-free number at 1-833-SPOT-PIG.
Hidden Thieves on the Farm
By Harry Siemens Mycotoxins are hidden thieves on farms that hurt profit and performance. “Forgetting the myths and learning the facts” was the headline of a recent series of meetings in western Canada by Alltech Canada. Eric Guy, the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Alltech feed additives representative, said a big myth is that farmers often treat a toxic feed binder as a cost but not as it should be - as a preventative. “They [the farmers] never see it as a good thing,” said Guy. “Like it’s something you have to use sometimes, but you don’t want to.” Guy’s goal is to help turn this mentality of a bad thing into a good thing and an opportunity. The other is a misunderstanding is that where people think mycotoxins are is a mold. It is interesting to learn that mycotoxin is the by-product of the mold created as a natural defence system. If something irritates or agitates the mold it secretes mycotoxins. The next myth is a producer cannot find or smell anything or think at best, there is only tiny mold. “True to a certain extent, but our research showed even a few mycotoxins that you’re potentially losing out,” said Guy. “And the producers received that concept well with ensuing interesting conversation.” Guy said several things happened. There are at least hundreds of mycotoxins all acting a little differently.
“Across the board, if you have mycotoxins, whether a nasty case or a not-so-biga-deal case, you see a lot of decreases on the reproductive side,” he said. “Semen count can decrease, testicular issues, just little subtle things.” However in the hog business, one, two, or even a three per cent decrease in profitability that is a problem. On sows, mycotoxins cause abortions or stillborns, decrease litter sizes and lots of vomiting. It leads to a decline in productivity and an increase in unproductive days, which costs money. He said the recent meetings gave producers more tools to evaluate different products and which one fits their bill. “To give them the tools to make their own decisions to increase their profitability,” said Guy. He said there is no best time to test for toxins. Guy stressed do not wait until the hot spot or symptoms appear in the grain because from harvest to feeding can be any length of time. Once a sow aborts a piglet after feeding, it is too late. “The Alltech program uses proactive solutions with a recent strategy to feed our product at lower inclusions at less cost for the producer,” said Guy. “We redid our formulas to produce a just as effective product but fed at half the rate, so half the cost.” Looking to prevent is the goal of Alltech’s product Integral because the science behind it is that once the grain has mycotoxins it is impos-
sible to be rid of it. “You can do things to mitigate them by binding, clean grains to reduce them, but you can’t 100 per cent get rid of them,” he said. “So when being reactive, you’re behind.” With the rainfall this year, there is a high likelihood of more molds and toxins. Doing a complete financial breakdown twice even with low toxins the math shows across the board, across species, it is a profitable decision to use low inclusions as a preventative insurance policy program even without huge issues. While every company’s product is different, Guy said the application of Alltech’s product and many others would go in as a feed additive in the mill. “Producers with their mills have a micro box and add in complete feeds,” he said. “Sometimes it goes into premixes, but not usually. It’s usually added after, on the farm.”
Eric Guy, the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Alltech feed additives representative, said farmers never see toxic feed binders as a good thing or opportunity.
Guy visits the farm with the person in charge to test their grains right before them. “Here’s what you’re looking at. If you play poker, you need to know what your cards are,” said Guy. “You can’t deal with the problem if you don’t know what it is.” Then, knowing what the problem is or if there is a problem, the producer can make a good decision. “Sometimes, you don’t need to use it,” he said. “And I think it’s important for producers to understand that.”
Alltech aims to provide farmers the tools to make their own decisions to increase their profitability. Photos submitted Eric Guy
AAFC Sees Higher Field Crop Production By Elmer Heinrichs Farmers in Canada increased wheat acres significantly, while area sown to coarse grains, oilseeds, pulses and special crops declined, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in its July monthly crop bulletin. Total field crop production is forecast to increase significantly due to a return to trend
yields as crop conditions to the end of June were favourable in the Western Prairies and improving in the Eastern Prairies after a slow start due to planting delays. Eastern Canada had generally favourable conditions for crop development, and now timely rains will still be needed over the rest of the growing season to reach average
production. Crop prices, in general, are forecast to remain strong in 2022-23, although decreasing from the record to near-record highs of 2021/22. The outlook for the world’s grain markets continues to be uncertain and volatile due to a number of factors; strong demand and relatively tight supplies, the Russian invasion of
Ukraine which has disrupted Black Sea production and global trade patterns, rising inflation and increasing concerns about recession. In general, domestic processing of grains is maintaining a steadier pace than shipments out of the country with the domestic disappearance of some crops for the year to-date running ahead of last year.
Viterra and Volunteers Help Foodgrains Bank
By Elmer Heinrichs For the seventh consecutive year, Viterra is providing land around five of its terminals in Alberta and Saskatchewan to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The plots of land are used by farmers who volunteer their time, expertise, and resources to grow crops and raise funds for hunger response projects around the world.
Some projects operate as growing projects, and others are farmed by nearby volunteers who work on the extra acres as part of their own operations. Once the crops are harvested, the proceeds from the sale of the crops are donated to the Foodgrains Bank. Foodgrains Bank executive director Andy Harrington said they are grateful for Viterra and their sustained
sponsorship over the past seven years. “With a hunger crisis gripping the world, their contribution is more necessary than ever before,” Harrington said in a statement. Viterra terminals in Balgonie, Grenfell and Raymore in Saskatchewan along with locations in Stettler and Trochu in Alberta have provided 184 seeded acres.
July 29, 2022
Pilot Study Assesses Swine Transport Tracking Technology By Harry Siemens A pilot project underway in Saskatchewan is assessing technology designed to track the movement of swine transport vehicles. Guelph-based Farm Health Guardian (FHG) and the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board are collaborating on a pilot project to assess the performance of various truck movement recording technologies. FHG CEO Rob Hannam said the goal is to see how the company’s biosecurity software can assist in viewing truck movements on and off the farm. In addition, it is testing new technology related to monitoring the movement of trucks. “What better place than to try in Saskatchewan where some farms are close to an urban centre, well connected through a GPS or cell signal,” said Hannam. However, on many farms, especially swine farms, the public requires them to be more remote in areas with poor cell reception or WIFI. Hence, it is important to test new technologies they can use in those specific rural settings. So far the pilot study has about 20 swine farms and related businesses
in Saskatchewan involved. Hannam approached the Sask Pork Development Board and asked to try this new technology presenting the criteria for different types of operations to see how other producers would use it. The different testing sites include the Prairie Swine Centre near Saskatoon which conducts applied research so that’s an important one. “We have independent producers, a feed mill, one of the larger producers with multiple farms so they have their own internal IT systems and a genetics company with sites more remote and spread out,” said Hannam. “We wanted a cross-section and that’s what we have among those 20 farms.” The research company Farm Health Guardian’s software has the most active users are in Manitoba. The system has two parts. One is Farm Health Monitor, animal health record keeping, a centralized health record where a swine producer can share data with the veterinarian and Farm Health Protect, a biosecurity management system. “It’s able to automatically and confidentially record the movement of trucks or peo-
ple on and off-farm properties,” said Hannam. That’s important to veterinarians when investigating any disease to determine how it arrived at the farm and where it may have gone. “We’re making that information available to the health profession, like a vet in real-time,” he said. “So that’s quick on Farm Health Guardian and how we’re helping to reduce disease spread in swine today.” As part of this pilot project, FHG will follow its privacy promise. The participants in the project would see all the data for their truck or farm. If they own both, they get to see both. But that’s their information confidential from the other participants in the project. Hannam said Sask Pork would get a summary report without the specifics but sharing the recommendations on how the technology worked. “I think that’ll be valuable for pork producers just because they’ll get a sense of the three or four different technologies and how they performed in real-world conditions,” said Hannam. The benefits come back to biosecurity with enhanced
Guelph-based Farm Health Guardian and the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board are collaborating on a pilot project to assess the performance of various truck movements recording technology to improve biosecurity and protect herds from disease. Submitted photos
prevention and response. On the preventive side, customers will use this information to ensure they know what is happening with their operation. “Let’s say they have several farm locations sending their trucks to those different locations,” he explained. “Some of them would want to ensure there’s a truck wash between when it goes from Farm A to Farm B; using this system they can determine the washing of those trucks.” On the response side, if there
Farm Health Guardian’s software data will be made available to a veterinarian and the producer in real-time.
is a suspect disease outbreak, it gives the veterinarian all the information they need in real-time to make choices
and manage the disease and hopefully reduce any disease spread risk amongst their farm operations.
Maintaining Pig Movements in the Event of an ASF Outbreak is a Priority By Harry Siemens Dr. Liz Wagstrom, the chief veterinarian with the National Pork Producers Council in the US, said that in the event of an African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak, maintaining pig movements in unaffected areas will be a top priority. Producers and industry representatives discussed the US initiatives to prevent and respond to ASF at the recent World pork Expo in Des Moines. Dr. Wagstrom said the American pork industry relies on trade like Canada, and an ASF outbreak would likely cut off that trade immediately. “It pleased us that the USDA set up a protection zone in Puerto Rico so that, if Puerto Rico were to break with African Swine Fever our trading partners would realize that’s not part of our mainland trade,” said Dr. Wagstrom. The second thing to hap-
pen would be a 72-hour stop movement. With the US moving almost a million pigs daily, stopping for three days is doable she said. ‘But we want to make sure we have that consistency between states that movements can continue safely once we’ve identified where the disease is and look at how to make sure we can move in the non-diseased areas,” said Dr. Wagstrom. A North American Swine Health Working Group meets under the direction of the Chief Veterinary Officers from Canada, the United States and Mexico. One of the main priorities of that working group is how to look at the North American industry and remain confident in trade between the sectors. “We understand that Canada has accepted that the protection zone in Puerto Rico is appropriate. However, getting pigs from Canada hap-
pens every day and sending pork from the US back into Canada happens every day and we need to do whatever we can to keep that moving freely.” She said. Dr. Wagstrom said the NPPC’s ASF strategic plan for the future has six priorities. It involves harmonizing the state and federal plans because many producers work across state lines. The next one is to ensure producers have clear information and an understanding of their expectations and providing what is needed to be able to prepare and respond. “The third one is to work with USDA to maximize surveillance efforts to have the best chance of identifying the first case of African swine fever as early as possible,” said Dr. Wagstrom. The fourth priority is the pilot project of the US Swine Health Improvement Project
modelled after the National Poultry Improvement Program. The plan is to ensure that it becomes an official USDA program included with USDA funding. The fifth priority assures those producers will receive fair indemnity and look at market support programs if an outbreak happens. The final one is to be prepared to get back into the trade as quickly as possible. If the industry looks at adding an extra 27 to 30 per cent more pork to the domestic market because it can’t go for export the downward pressure would be immense she said. There is a need to discuss ahead of time with trading partners that USDA continues to work with the pork industry to identify the most important trading partners to involve in the ASF discussions. “To identify the obstacles to them for accepting a regionalization scheme in the United
States to say we are confident that your free areas are truly free, and we would accept product from those areas,” explained Dr. Wagstrom. Dr. Wagstrom said preventing African Swine Fever is the number one priority and having a preparedness and response plan ready at a moment’s notice is essential in case of an outbreak.
Dr. Liz Wagstrom.
The transport of pigs back and forth across the Canada-US border happens every day and we need to do whatever we can to keep that moving freely, said Dr. Liz Wagstrom. Submitted/file photos
July 29, 2022
Climate Changes Bring New Crops to Canadian Farms By Elmer Heinrichs
It’s the Time of Year When It’s Easy to Eat Local By Joan Airey Brown Sugar Produce delivers produce to our town on Wednesdays for pick-up. You have to pre-order online which I think is great because you know your produce is freshly picked. Two weeks ago, we enjoyed fresh picked lettuce and radishes from their market garden. I like being able to order ahead because I know when I drive six miles what I need will be available. You can check out their website at brownsugarproduce.com for the ways and places their produce is available. Also, Terri has some great recipes she shares with visitors to the site. Living in the country I often want a certain kind of dressing for a salad and don’t have time to run into town for some. This Honey Mustard Dressing is great on a fresh lettuce salad. Deb Moffat made this the first time I tasted it for a fresh garden lettuce at the lake. Deb uses a whisk to make it and I use a blender.
Honey Mustard Dressing 3 Tbsp. vinegar 3 Tbsp. honey 6 Tbsp. mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard 2 Tbsp. canola oil Fresh parsley Heat honey and vinegar in microwave. Add mayonnaise, mustard and parsley. Whisk in oil. This will keep three days in fridge.
Poppy Seed Dressing 1 1/4 cup white sugar 3 /4 cup vinegar 2 Tbsp. prepared mustard DO NOT USE DRY MUSTARD 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds 2 tsp. salt 1 medium onion chopped 2 cups canola oil
Teri Jenkins, the owner of Brown Sugar Produce, delivering produce to her Rivers customers.
Great salad greens to use with Honey Mustard Dressing or Poppy Seed dressing. Photos by Joan Airey
Mix well except oil. Mini whisk can be used or you could use a blender. Slowly add canola oil, beating all the time. Make a day before serving is recommended. Makes one quart.
Shoppers walking down the produce aisle in search of peaches for their grandmother’s famed summertime pie may soon check the price tag and find something they have never seen before: “Country of Origin Canada.” As climate change warms the planet and growing regions shift further north, more fruits and vegetables, even citrus fruits could start making the journey to the United States from Canada. Extreme winter cold and shorter growing seasons historically have prevented certain crops from being grown there, but as temperatures rise and first frosts happen later, the time could be ripe for Canadian farmers to expand their ranges. The changes give Canadian farmers more production options. Even crops like corn and soybeans, which require longer, warmer growing seasons, are now being grown in Canadian spaces they previously could not. Paul Bullock, a University of Manitoba professor, authored a 2011 study that used computer simulations to determine how rainfall and maximum and minimum temperatures would contribute to the growth of corn. Relying on data from 12 weather stations across the Canadian Prairies, he found that warming from the 1920s to 2000 has allowed farmers to plant corn and soybeans in western Canada, an area that has traditionally been too cold for these crops. Although the data showed a trend toward warming, there is also great temperature variability each year, Bullock said. Even so, the data can give farmers an idea of the risk involved in planting certain crops. Despite this good news, Bullock remains fearful as to what climate change could bring next for farmers. “I’m not sure we’re ready to handle the variability that seems to be coming along with some of the changes,” he said. “Variability is what kills us in agriculture. When one year is this way and the next year it’s totally the opposite, how do you adapt to that? That’s extremely difficult to do.”
July 29, 2022
Feeding Immature Corn Silage to Lactating Dairy Cows is a Challenge Lots of cornfields across Manitoba were planted several weeks late due to a latespring thaw and then flooding rains. Although, we should be able to ensile thousands of tonnes this fall; it will probably be wetter and in a more immature condition that we’ve seen for many years. Therefore, we should be prepared to make the necessary changes to our lactation diets, so the cows can milk on it like any other normal corn silage. As a dairy nutritionist, I’m not concerned that much about the general quality of late-seeded cornfields often hit upon by a killing frost in early autumn. As long as it is allowed to wilt-down, and then harvested in a proper manner. Its quality should really be no different with the exception of lack of grain compared to high-quality corn silage. Subsequently, I have pretty good idea of its predicted feed value. From my experience, a typical feed analysis of immature corn silage in late-planted/wet years has shown me: - Higher than normal moisture content of about 70 – 73%, - Slightly lower Nel energy content of 1.3 – 1.4 Mcal/kg, - Higher NDF content of 50 – 55%, yet of lower ADF by only 10 – 15% - less mature corn-stalks and a similar portion of leaves. - Lower starch content due to less grain or unfilled kernels - lower non-fiber-carbohydrates (NFC). - 1 – 2 % higher in protein
content. Protein solubility might increase, slightly. Anyone that ensiles an immature cornfield may also notice that its tonnage per acre is substantially lower compared to other years. Otherwise, whole corn plants that are cut down at an acceptable harvest moisture and have gone through uninterrupted anaerobic fermentation, should come out of the silo and bunker with a yellowishgreen colour, firm to hold, free of visible mold growth and pleasant vinegar odor. If it comes out, off-colour, dripping, slimy and smells bad, one or more critical steps in order to produce good quality silage were compromised. This situation can happen when an exceptionally rainy cool autumn forces dairy producers to accept wet ensiling conditions and as a result produce poor quality corn silage, sometimes unfit for the dairy barn. Ideally, such cornfields should be harvested at between 30 - 35% on a dry matter basis, but continuous autumn rains may not allow this to happen during its critical “dry down” period. Therefore, a wet immature cornfield, which is harvested and ensiled at a much higher moisture level often shifts fermentation from good lactic acid bacteria to undesirable clostridia bacteria; producing large quantities of butyric acid from forage sugars and organic acids. Substantial butyric acid production in corn silage means huge for-
age dry matter loss and the pH of the silage may become too high (> pH 4.0) to adequately preserve the silage. Regardless of how immature corn silage turns out on the day the bunk is opened, it is very important to take forage samples and send them away for a laboratory forage analysis. I recommend: crude protein, soluble protein, ADIN, NDF, ADF, NFC, starch content and moisture be tested. Nitrates and a mold or mycotoxin tests can also be considered. Of these analysis – the simplest moisture test is the most important. For example, I worked with a 200-cow dairy, in which the producer added new corn silage at the rate of 40% to his lactation diet, yet he wrongfully assumed it had a typical moisture content of 67%. Upon testing it was discovered that it contained a wetter 73% moisture. This meant the actual final dairy diet was wetter by 2%, which dropped the average dmi of the herd and yielded a potential loss of 5 lbs. of milk per lactating cow (re: 1 lb. DMI = 2.5 lb. milk produced, source: University of Illinois). Aside from moisture content, we should consider its other tested nutrients and finally re-balance the immature corn silage into new lactation dairy diets. Such correction action might look like this: - Add back 1 – 2 kilos of grain corn (avoid barley) to increase the starch content of the total diet.
- Substitute 1 – 2 kilos of corn silage (dmi, basis) with beet pulp to increase NFC values. - Dry down the moisture effects of wet corn silage (up to 2 kilos, DM) with alfalfa-grass hay. - Adjust bypass fat levels to maximum levels to supply as much dietary energy as possible. - Maintain a TMR 28% NDF level with 75% of it forage-sourced. - Review and adjust added water to TMR in order to maintain 50% dietary moisture content. These are good points to follow in order to formulate a well-balanced lactation dairy diet. In doing so, we know as much as possible about the nutrition of our immature corn silage before using it and then treat it like any other corn silage. In this way, we turn a dairy feeding challenge into an opportunity to produce as much milk (and milkfat) as possible.
T &T Seeds are recommending ‘The Talk of Tomatoes’ fertilizer 3-3-4 to prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes. You put a tablespoon in the hole before you plant them and a tablespoon regularly. It is also good for cucumbers, squash and peppers. I purchased Growers Eagle special tomato ripener 11-0-44 hoping to get some earlier ripe tomatoes. Directions on the container say to apply it every two weeks or five to seven times a season. We have received nearly an inch of rain again overnight so watering isn’t required for the garden for a week.
Just a gentle reminder even after a downpour like we had this morning some hanging plants, pots or planters may still need to be watered. Anything with dense foliage cover should be checked as water often doesn’t make it down into the soil. Kerstin reminded fellow gardeners this morning in a chat group of gardeners and I found one tomato plant still needed watered and one planter I received for Mother’s Day. The rest were fine except the one some critter had eaten all my lettuce from. Vesey’s seed house reminded customers this morning
Manitoba Canola Growers Award Scholarships to Five Deserving Students Manitoba Canola Growers are proud to announce the 2022 high school scholarship winners. $1,000 scholarships have been awarded to five deserving students from across Manitoba. The $1,000 scholarships are available to students who are from an MCGAmember farm and are planning to attend postsecondary education in any field within two years of graduating. Students submitted their applications and were judged by an independent panel based on
academic standing, canola connection, references, essay submission and school and community involvement.
Sydney Gerelus, Shoal Lake.
Brooklyn McRae, St. Andrews.
Janik Grenier, Notre Dame de Lourdes.
Lindsay Wytinck, Glenboro.
Kate-Leigh Heapy, Oak River.
Great to Have Moisture for Our Gardens
By Joan Airey Last year we were praying for rain for our gardens but this year some couldn’t get their gardens tilled because of it being too wet. Mine is all planted but much later than usual. So far we have enjoyed rhubarb, asparagus and green onions. The magpies have been eating my lettuce so I have purchased lettuce from a local market gardener. Now we are having our first meal of new potatoes tonight so the five pounds of old potatoes I have in the cold room are going to have to be made in potato salad.
that you can still plants beets, yellow and green beans, baby leaf blend lettuce and stir fry greens and still get a crop. I may try a few beets if my garden is dry enough in the next few days. Keep a check on your fruit trees as this morning my Saskatoon bush was stripped bare of berries. Some birds must have had a feast. Next year I will use netting to keep them from eating them as I have done past years and I’m getting the netting on my cherry trees now.
July 29, 2022
Ukraine’s Farmers Harvest In Spite of War
By Harry Siemens With the planting season finished in Ukraine, farmers have planted about 80 per cent of normal despite a raging war. Mike Lee @GreenSquareAC on Twitter operates Green Square Agro Consulting - Black Sea crop forecasts, analysis, and agribusiness news from Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Romania, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. “The hectares are about 20 per cent down on what we would normally expect including corn, sunflower, and soybeans,” said Lee. “That is quite remarkable considering the circumstances.” Ukraine farmers planted about 6.5 million hectares of winter wheat last fall. The big question is the state of the harvest and how much grain farmers will harvest, store and eventually sell. “That will depend on things like availability of diesel, people to drive combines, and how safe it will be to operate the combines,” said Lee. The other question centres on grain transportation and exporting from Ukraine. Before the invasion of Ukraine in February, an estimated 19 to 20 million tonnes of grain in the supply chain was to be
exported between the end of February and harvest. “Most is still in storage; maybe a million or two million tons have moved through alternative routes,” said Lee. “There is grain in the supply chain, and we’re about to see the new wheat crop come in, which will need storage.” Lee said existing grain stock needs to filter out of Ukraine to free up space for this year’s crop. At the moment, this is not happening. Typically 5 million tonnes of grain and agricultural products would move out of the blockaded Odessa and Mykolaiv areas, the two main ports on the Black Sea. Now traders and farmers are looking for alternative routes out of Ukraine. They can go overland by rail car, by lorry, or towards the ports in Romania, Constanta. However exports are limited through those routes which provide less than 20 per cent of total needs. “And therein lays the problem. The only real solution to grain exports out of Ukraine is through the Black Sea, specifically through Odessa and Mykolaiv ports,” he said. Lee said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had launched a project worth $17 million to help Ukrainian
farmers find storage for the new harvest. According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, 18MMT of last year’s crops are still in storage and the expectation is that the new harvest will reach 60MMT. “The slow pace of exports will not free up sufficient space for the new harvest, leaving a demand for temporary storage,” said Lee. According to the State Statistics Service, the total capacity of grain storage in Ukraine is 75MMT; however, because storage facilities in areas with active hostilities are unavailable, the estimate is that full capacity is around 61MMT. Lee’s estimate on July 1 for Ukraine’s grain storage capacity was around 67MMT. The FAO will provide farmers with polyethylene sleeves, sometimes called AgBags, for grain storage, loading and unloading equipment and supplying various modular storage containers. Mike Lee also tweeted that Dairy Global reported Ukraine has lost around 50,000 cows by being bombed, shot or from disease and may lose 150,000 cows, a third of its national herd if the war does not stop by the end of this year.
As of July 8, 2022, Ukraine farmers harvested 148KHA of wheat, producing 356KMT at a yield of 2.41MT/HA.
Mike Lee who operates Green Square Agro Consulting reports that Ukraine has lost around 50,000 cows from bombing, being, shot or from disease and may lose 150,000 cows, a third of its national herd if the Submitted photos Mike Lee war does not stop by the end of this year.
Funds Earmarked Towards Increasing Bison Exports
Helping bison producers seize market opportunities for their high-quality products the Government of Canada has announced an investment of up to $133,611 over two years to support economic growth for Canada’s bison industry. With funding under the AgriMarketing Program, the Canadian Bison Association
will be provided with the necessary resources to increase its efforts to expand and grow market access in Europe and to increase exports of Canadian bison to the United States. This funding supports the delivery of the International Bison Convention 2022 as well as other engagement and advocacy activities. The bison industry is an in-
creasingly important contributor to the Canadian economy, with live bison and bison meat exports reaching nearly $90 million in 2021. Demand is growing as more consumers look to bison as a source of lean, nutrient-dense, naturally grown meat. Bison are also gaining favour among eco-conscious consumers as the livestock help balance
and maintain a healthy ecosystem where they graze and interact. “This investment is very important in assisting the bison industry in rebuilding European markets as well as supporting strategies to ensure growth in exports to the United States,” explained Terry Kremeniuk, Executive Director, Canadian Bison Association.
Uncovering Best Practices for Cover Crops to Optimize Production Planting cover crops like cereal rye is a beneficial agricultural practice. One of their many benefits is to cover soil for times when farmers cannot plant cash crops like corn and soy over the winter, for example. But it is not as simple as just growing cover crops in between growing seasons. Farmers have multiple decisions to make about optimizing cover crop production. Researchers like Heidi Reed at Pennsylvania State University want to help farmers make the best decisions about their cover crops. In a recent study, Reed and her team looked at the impact of cereal rye seeding rate, termination time, and nitrogen rate. The research focused on the effects cover crops have on both soil and soybeans after planting. Their study took place at two sites in Pennsylvania over the course of three years. “This type of applied research is so important because sustainable practices need to work for farmers,” Reed explained. “We want these methods to be adopted at a large scale.” The rye seeding rate is the amount of cereal rye seed that is planted in a certain area. The researchers tested three different seeding rates. Similarly, the nitrogen rate is the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied in each area. They tested two different amounts in the study. Termination time of the cover crop is more complex. It has to do with when the cover crop is killed to make room for the crop the farmer will grow and sell, which was soybeans in the study. “Preplant-kill” is when the cover crop is killed before soybeans are planted. “Planting green” is when the cover crop is killed af-
ter the soybeans are planted. This means the cover crop is green and growing when the soybeans are planted. The researchers were curious about how the termination time would impact soybeans. “Termination timing can impact soybeans because it greatly alters the environment into which soybeans are planted,” Reed said. “Termination timing impacts more than just the size of a cover crop. A later terminated cover crop will have more biomass than an early terminated cover crop due to its longer time growing. Termination timing also impacts whether the cover crop plant is dead or alive at the time of soybean planting.” Reed and her team hypothesized that the seeding rate would impact rye biomass, meaning the total amount of the plant growing. This meant it could also impact the soybeans in some way. They thought something similar about the nitrogen rate. They hypothesized that more nitrogen would result in more rye biomass. However, the study results were mixed. They found that rye seeding rate had no impact on rye biomass or soil moisture, which then resulted in no impact on soybeans. When paired with planting green, the higher nitrogen rate reduced soybean yield. But planting green combined with the lowest rye seeding rate and lowest nitrogen rate was able to keep soybeans yields stable and did not require as much rye seed and fertilizer as other options. Overall, planting green had many benefits. It doubled the cereal rye biomass because it was able to live longer. While it resulted in drier soil at planting, planting green saved soil mois-
ture later in the season and kept the soil cooler. “Our results showed that farmers in similar climates to Pennsylvania can reduce the seeding rate of a cereal rye cover crop to 34 kilogram/hectare (kg/ha) and apply a rate of 34 kg/ha fertilizing nitrogen and maintain soybean yield while receiving the benefits of
planting green, specifically soil moisture management,” Reed said. “This research is interesting to me personally because I am passionate about promoting cover crops,” Reed said. “Finding ways to lower the barrier to adoption of cover crops and potentially help farmers increase profitability is very satisfying.”
Soybeans growing in a field in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2016. The study looked at the impact of cereal rye seeding rate, termination time, and nitrogen rate. This field used a high seeding rate, high nitrogen, and was planted green.
The researchers clipped rye biomass from the field as part of the study. The study results found that rye seeding rate had no impact on rye biomass or soil moisture, which then resulted in no impact on the soybeans. When paired with planting green, the higher nitrogen rate reduced soybean yield. But planting green combined with the lowest rye seeding rate and lowest nitrogen rate was able to keep soybeans yields stable and did not require as much rye seed and fertilizer as other options. Photos by Heidi Reed
July 29, 2022
Canada Farm Survey Shows Wheat Acres Up, Canola Down By Elmer Heinrichs Canadian farmers reported planting more wheat, lentils, corn for grain and oats, but fewer acres of canola, barley, soybeans and dry peas, according to the 2022 June field crop survey. Conditions varied across the Prairie Provinces early in the growing season. Temperatures were generally below normal for large portions of western Canada. In southern Alberta and western Saskatchewan, precipitation early in the growing season was well below normal, exacerbating already dry conditions. These conditions provided producers the opportunity to seed at a near-normal pace. By contrast, Manitoba, southeastern Saskatchewan and parts of northern Alberta received more precipitation than normal at the start of the growing season. This helped to alleviate soil moisture deficits caused by last year’s drought, but delayed seeding as well. This was most notable in Manitoba, where flooding resulted in seeding progress well below average at the time of collection. Besides environmental conditions, high input prices, high crop prices resulting from low national and global supply, and the conflict in Ukraine likely impacted farmers’ final seeding decisions. Nationally, farmers reported planting 25.4 million acres of wheat in 2022, up 8.7 per cent from 2021. Higher total wheat area was led by spring wheat area, which rose 10.5 per cent to 18.2 million acres, and higher durum wheat area, which rose 8.6 per cent to 6.0 million acres. Winter wheat, grown predominantly in eastern Canada, decreased 12.7 per cent to 1.2 million acres. The increase in total wheat area may be attributable to favourable prices and strong global demand. Farmers in Manitoba reported that total wheat seeded area increased 12.1 per cent to 3.2 million acres. Farmers reported planting 21.4 million acres of canola in 2022, down 4.7 per cent from the previous year. Despite high prices, the area seeded may have decreased as farmers shifted to alternate crops. Seeded area decreased 4.3 per cent in Manitoba, falling to 3.3 million acres. Soybean area edged down 0.9 per cent to 5.3 million acres in 2022. While global demand for soybeans remains high, poor weather conditions in parts of Manitoba may have impacted total seeded area, as some farmers possibly chose shorter season crops because of seeding delays. Manitoba farmers reported lower soybean area, decreasing 13.8 per cent to 1.1 million acres, the lowest area seeded in the province since 2013, possibly because of poor field conditions. Canadian farmers reported planting 4.3 million acres of lentils in 2022, up 0.4 per cent from a year earlier. Nationally, farmers reported seeding 11.8 per cent less area with dry peas compared with 2021, falling to 3.4 million acres. The 2022 June survey, which collects information on field crop seeded areas in Canada, was conducted from May 13 to June 12, 2022, with approximately 25,000 farms. They were asked to report their seeded areas of grain, oilseeds and special crops. During collection of the 2022 June survey, field conditions in Manitoba were very wet, resulting in lower seeding progress than normal. Respondents were also asked to report what was seeded and still planned to seed in 2022.
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July 29, 2022