Starlite Colony Gets Top Score at Prairie Livestock Expo
By Harry Siemens
The pork quality competition is an event that celebrates excellence in pork production by recognizing the best of the best. A highlight of Prairie Livestock Expo, hog producers compete for the title of grand champion – the carcass with the perfect combination of meat quality traits and measurements.
Since 1996, hog producers and sponsors have donated $442,000 to international, national, rural and urban charities such as hospitals and children’s organizations. They have also donated over 68,000 kg (152,000 lb) of the world’s finest quality pork to Manitoba food banks for less fortunate families in need during Christmas.
On December 17 in Winnipeg, the Starlite Colony of Starbuck won the grand champion carcass with a score of 101 out of 111 possible points awarded by carcass competition judge Jason Care of Manitoba Hog Grading. In addition, the colony donated the prize money of $5,000 to the charity of their choice, Heart of Truth, which equips the Christian Workers’ Society of Canada.
Of the winning carcass, the sow genetics is Topigs Norsvin and the boar is a PIC800 boar sire.
Care who judged the competition said the best score for any carcass is 111 points based on the strict guidelines for the measurements in grading the pork.
“The criteria is set up based on the best market hog that we are selling on the market for example a premium hog, going to Japan,” said Care.
It’s a measure of back fat. He said the target is 16 to 17 millimetres, a loin that’s pref-
erably over 60 to 70 millimetres. While judging they also, consider the square surface area of the loin and how fat. A camera judges the colour of the carcass which is combined with weight. These guidelines are very narrow.
Trevor and Theodore Hofer, the two young hog men accepting the trophy on behalf of the Starlite Colony said there was nothing different in how they treat the two entry hogs picked a week before the competition date other than tnder loving care.
“You treat them with gentle
care on the days that you select them, and then you make sure to look after them properly,” said Trevor. “You can watch them for the week as they grow to get the right width, and then you just look at the lines and hope for the best.”
Theodore said as he held on to the sizeable trophy, “Shoot. I don’t know what I feel. It’s not a feeling that I expected. It’s just something different that comes over you in a moment like this. I don’t know how to describe it.”
He’s worked in hog barns since he could walk. “Since our dad took us to the barn to get us out of our mom’s hands. Just take us to the barn and make us work,” said Theodore.
Theodore said they normally put in more effort and selected the nicest pigs this year.
“And if you’re in hogs long enough, you know what a nice pig looks like,” said Theodore. “And big loin, got weight, and if you can see the shadow of the pig’s loin, there’s a shadow inside the loin and on the back, then you know it’s got a big one.”
Jason Care the judge for this year’s event said the industry committee met two years ago and reset the standards to suit the market and the packer for
Hit the Ground Running in 2023 with These Producer Events
St. Jean Farm Days - January 11 & 12, 2023
See Pages 7-10 for Program
2023 MB Forage Seed Producer Forum & AGM - January 12-13, 2023 at the Victoria Inn, Winnipeg. This years Theme “New Technologies & Agronomy Practices in Agriculture” brings together growers and industry to learn about current technologies and production practises such as real-time soil diagnostic, precision agriculture machine applications, how to increase soil health and achieve greater resilience to weather extremes, current research in the industry and the forage seed outlook and market update.
Manitoba Beef & Forage Week – January 1012, 2023 - Choose an in-person meeting at a Manitoba community near you. January 10 - Eriksdale Recreation Centre at1 pm; January 10 - Grandview Kinsmen Centre at 7 pm; January 11 - Austin Community Centre at 8:45 am and January 12 - Rosa Shevchenko Ukrainian Centre at 9 am.
Austin Beef and Forage Day - January 11, 2023 in Austin. For more information, call the Manitoba Agriculture office in Portage at 204-2393353 about this event and others in Rosa (January 12), Eriksdale (January 10) and Grandview (January 10).
Manitoba Ag Days - Jan 17-19, 2023 - at the Keystone Centre, Brandon. An exposition of agricultural production expertise, technology, and equipment that attracts exhibitors and visitors from across Canada and the United States of America.
Brokenhead Ag Days - February 1st, 2023
See Pages 13-16 for program!
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The Starlite Colony of Starbuck won the grand champion carcass with a score of 101 out of 111 possible points awarded by carcass competition judge Jason Care of Manitoba Hog Grading. In addition, the colony donated the prize money of $5,000 to the charity of their choice, Heart of Truth, which equips the Christian Workers’ Society of Canada.
Photo by Harry Siemens
Ag Days 2023 Plans to Heat Up January
Over the next couple of weeks, the finishing touches will be completed as the Keystone Centre in Brandon is transformed into Canada’s largest indoor farm show with the kick-off of the 46th Annual Manitoba Ag Days for three days of all things agriculture.
“As the first event in the new year, it really is where the Ag year begins,” explained Kristen Phillips, Manitoba Ag Days General Manager. “The three-day event is an exposition of agricultural technology and equipment that attracts
exhibitors and patrons from all over Canada, the northern United States and abroad. We are so excited to be back in person this year.”
This year Manitoba Ag Days will welcome over 550 exhibitors, including 32 contenders in the Innovation Showcase. Guests can also expect to see a diverse speaker line up presenting on a variety of economic and agronomic topics.
“This year’s program is an exceptional line-up of knowledge and expertise on an array of topics that are relevant to our industry,” stated Stephanie Cruickshanks, program chair for Manitoba Ag Days. Agronomy continues to be a real focus as well as technology and innovation.
For the first time in 46 years, Manitoba Ag Days will have an admission fee. You can purchase your tickets now by going to agdays.com/ tickets. Early bird tickets are $15 per day and three day passes are also available for $40. Tickets will be available during the three days of the show for $20 and can be purchased
online or at the Dome Building.
“Agriculture plays a very important role in our economy in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and in all of western Canada; our board of directors is passionate about our industry and we want everyone to experience agriculture and see it up close and personal,” stated Phillips. “At Ag Days, we create a welcoming environment where farmers can come and do business with Ag manufacturers and Ag businesses. They will find all of the latest in technology and services to build their own businesses. We welcome you to join us at the Keystone Center in Brandon Manitoba, January 17 to 19 to see what this amazing industry has to offer.”
“The Innovation Showcase is back for its fourth year, featuring 32 products and services vying for the top spot in each of our seven categories,” stated Brad Crammond, Manitoba Ag Days Innovation Showcase Committee Chair.
The seven categories include: Ag Technology, Agribusiness Services,
“I think, as producers, we are always looking for ways to improve how we do things on our farms and that’s why many of our attendees are drawn to this showcase year after year,” added Crammond. “The Innovation Showcase definitely highlights the progression in our industry and we take great pride at Manitoba Ag Days in bringing these products to the forefront and presenting them on a broader scale. Many companies have gotten their start at our show and we couldn’t be happier to help.”
The Innovation Showcase Committee will visit with each entrant before determining the winner in each category. Winners will be announced Wednesday, January 18, at the show. They invite you to learn more about the 2023 Innovation Showcase contenders by connecting with them before the show.
For more information please visit agdays.com.
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost 2
Agricultural Equipment, Agronomics, Animal and Livestock, Farm Built Solutions and Farm Safety.
Canada’s 2022 Harvest Third Largest Crop on Record
By Elmer Heinrichs
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in its December outlook, released its final survey-based production estimates for 2022 incorporating the results from Statistics Canada’s November farm survey.
Total 2022 field crop production for Canada is estimated by Statistics Canada to be 34.1 per cent higher than in 2021, 5.6 per cent above the previous five-year average, and the third largest crop on record, largely due to a significant increase in yields as seeded. Harvested areas were largely unchanged.
Western Canadian production of principal field crops is estimated to have increased by 50.8 per cent from the drought-reduced crop of 2021 and be 6.0 per cert above the previous fiveyear average.
Marked production increases were realized for all wheat, 51.7 per cent; coarse grains, 25.0 per cent), oilseeds, 23.6 per cent, and pulses and spe-
cial crops, 42.9 per cent.
The increase in production and supply allows for a rebound in exports, while carry-out stocks (ending year inventories) are expected to increase from their historic low but still end the year at relatively tight levels.
Crop prices are forecast to remain relatively strong for 2022-23, although decreasing for the most part from the elevated levels achieved in 2021-22. The price forecasts are subject to significant volatility due to the elevated amount of uncertainty in global markets.
The outlook for the world’s grain markets continues to be affected by a number of factors: firm international demand and relatively tight world supplies, the Russian invasion of Ukraine which continues to disrupt Black Sea production and global trade patterns, high inflation and concerns in regards to a global economic slowdown.
Canadian wheat production rose by 47 per cent from
2021-22 to 28.38 Mt, due to an increase in seeded area accompanied by a return to average yields. This is the third largest crop on record. The final production estimate was 0.2 Mt, or 1.8 per cent lower than its September estimate due to a downward revision to seeded area. Saskatchewan accounts for 37 per cent of the wheat production.
Canola seeded area is estimated at 8.7 million hectares (Mha), down 4 per cent from last year, with a predicted harvested area of 8.6 Mha. Yields are estimated at 2.11 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) compared to last year’s droughtreduced of 1.54 t/ha.
In 2022-23, dry bean production fell 19 per cent to 313 thousand tonnes (Kt), consisting of 89 Kt of white pea bean types and 224 Kt of coloured bean types. Production in Ontario fell, mostly due to lower area.
In Manitoba, production rose due to higher yields for coloured bean and white pea bean types.
Starlite Colony Gets Top Score at Prairie Livestock Expo
heavier market hogs.
“It’s just that these guys are willing; they come, they enter, and they donate all this prize money to different charitable organizations,” said Care.
This year they donated over 2,414 kg of fresh pork
split between Winnipeg Harvest and Siloam Mission.
“We have a display cooler of just over 108 kg of fresh pork in crown roast, and that’s all going to Siloam Mission,” said Care. “So, yeah, it’s a win-win scenario for everybody.”
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Second place winner of the reserve grand champion trophy and $4,000 went to Woodland Colony and the charity Portage Hospital Foundation with third place and $3,000 going to Boundary Lane Colony and the charity Heart Team.
3 December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
Woodlands Colony, winner of Reserve Grand Champion.
One of the Starlite Colony Grand Champions, Trevor Hofer, said that you treat them with gentle care on the days that you select them and then you make sure to look after them properly.
Boundary Lane Colony, third place winners. Photos by Harry Siemens
Let Go of the Past and Focus on the Future Part 2
not have long to wait. One farmer told me in January after several major snowfalls how his attitude shifted 180 degrees because of snowcovered fields.
If we can look back each year and not forget what happened to us or did not happen but let go and move forward, it makes the yearly transition easier. So as I count the years of serving agriculture farmers and the farming community now 51, I hold my head high because of the pleasure privilege and honour it is for me.
Oh, that doesn’t mean without challenges but serving food producers is a high calling for me and I hope the good Lord gives me health and breath so I can continue.
Looking back at my column a year ago, coming off the worst drought in many years and wondering what 2022 would have for us, we did
Excessive rainfall for the most part is always better than not enough rain. My father would say, “Harry, I’d rather see some low-spot brownouts in wet years than high-spot brownouts in dry years. There was a much larger surface area than low spots in the high spot realm.”
Taking 2022 at face value, grain and special crop prices are still at record levels but input costs and fertilizer prices are also at record levels and don’t drop the same way the commodity prices do.
Also, many rotations shifted in ‘22 because of seeding, crop insurance dates, field conditions, and commodity prices. In 2023 those same
farmers will be hoping to put the rotations back in concert with nature and the surrounding soil.
Many farmers are concerned about what the federal government will do with fertilizer emission targets and other so-called creativity to show the world how to solve the climate change issues from small Canada.
I like what farmer speaker and writer Jake Leguee said, “Don’t Tell Farmers How to Farm - Ask Them Instead” which refers to how many people outside of agriculture try to make policy for farmers.
That is the biggest issue facing farmers in western Canada. Yet, the Feds create uncertainty with their thoughts on how to fix climate change when farmers are the best environmentalists in the world. Why? Because their livelihood and that of their children in many
cases depend on it.
In December I attended the Prairie Livestock Expo or in the past Hog Days. It was so exciting to see the hall full of exhibits and still better even fuller with producers looking at the new information and improving in some cases. While a one-day event, I caught the day before with some participants and the day after. The hall buzz kept increasing, showing enthusiasm for the industry, also catching up after not having this event since Dec 2019.
The hog business while having bigger risks with higher prices and higher input costs also coming off a tonne of uncertainty and ups and down during Covid-19 is in good shape. Seldom do the packers and producers make or lose money at the same time. Now, packer margins are tight because pork demand is up, production is down a little, and most
are looking for more pigs to slaughter.
The cattle business while buoyed with abundant feed supplies and good quality margins as absolute price takers continue to flounder. The cow numbers continue to shrink and unless you are a large established producer with a good marketing plan, the smaller cow-calf producers take off-farm jobs to support the cattle business.
With less land and infrastructure needed to get into the sheep business, it grows with individual producers.
Canadian sheep producers only supply 40 per cent of the lamb market; the rest come from other countries as imports. So there is room for growth. Let me say, as I did at the beginning, let go of the past so you can move into the future. Here is wishing you a good 2023, and I’m looking forward to meeting you somewhere sometime.
Ottawa Tone Deaf to Issues Facing Farmers
By Sylvain Charlebois
Ottawa recently announced that tariff revenues received from Canadian farmers who bought Russian/Belarusian fertilizers this year are being sent to Ukraine to rebuild infrastructure.
Canada was the only G7 country to put tariffs on Russian and/or Belarusian fertilizer after Russia invaded Ukraine back in March. Of the $115 million sent to Ukraine, $34 million were collected from our own farmers who had bought Russian fertilizer, according to Statistics Canada.
In haste, Ottawa just announced on the weekend it would compensate farmers, but nothing is official yet.
Tariffs were applied on fertilizers associated with the Russian regime as part of a series of retaliatory sanctions against the Putin government. We should all be pleased that Ukraine will receive this sum from Ottawa. But the news that $34 million of that money came from our farmers was well received in
the farming community.
Back in March, sanctions came so quickly that farmers couldn’t pivot and buy fertilizers from another source. They were essentially forced to pay tariffs. It’s important to note that nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the “Big 3” primary nutrients in commercial fertilizers, and farmers will often source all three differently.
Most of the nitrogen fertilizer in Canada is imported, and Russia has historically been the cheapest supplier for our farmers. Phosphate usually comes from the United States or Morocco. Potassium, derived from potash, comes from western Canada. Given the tariffs, nitrogen will likely be purchased from other sources next year.
Some groups, like the Ontario Grain Farmers, are now asking Ottawa to remove tariffs on fertilizer imports. That may not be advisable since many farmers have already started to plan and work around tariffs and avoid Russia altogether.
So perhaps for next year, tariffs on Russian products will work. Or will they? Sanctions should be punitive. But for tariffs on fertilizers, there was no evidence that Russian companies were impacted at all. In fact, Russia’s agriculture has barely been affected by the conflict or subsequent sanctions.
Case in point: Russian agriculture experienced one of its best years overall. Another case in point: Russia is bound to be the largest wheat exporter in the world for 2022 and 2023. It begs the question if all the sanctions implemented by Western countries have worked.
Over the years, the theory and research on the effectiveness of economic sanctions have been a mere exercise in running regressions on a series of random numbers. They do not shed any light to guide policy making. Most importantly, what has come out of years of research on sanction effectiveness is that success can only happen when expectations are
modest at best. Sanctions are mainly about perceptions and, yes, politics. When Ottawa implemented sanctions, it made Canadians feel good about helping Ukraine, but without having to go to war. That’s what sanctions are for – nothing more, nothing less.
Russia is economically stable, whether we want to believe this or not. Russia’s food inflation rate reached 20 per cent in April of this year, but since then, the inflation and food inflation rates have come down dramatically (to 11.1 per cent in November) to almost match those of the United States (at 10.6 per cent). France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany all had higher food inflation rates. All these countries implemented sanctions against Russia. How ironic.
Ottawa did the right thing in implementing sanctions against Russia, but some measures were either halfmeasures or incredibly shortsighted and did little damage
Sanctions are powerful messages but forcing farmers to pay more for inputs will not only jeopardize the financial viability of smaller farms in Canada but could also compromise our own food security.
This is what happens when a federal government is driven by urban politics and is tone-deaf to the issues affecting agriculture. Despite its obsession to make Canadians feel good about themselves, Ottawa should never do this on the backs of our own farmers.
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is senior director of the agri-food analytics lab and a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University.
Rural Needs Urban Understanding
By Jon Gerrard
I want to wish all AgriPost readers the very best of the holiday season. At this time of year, we take time to reflect on the year even as we prepare for the new one.
We went through a very wet spring, but fortunately for most farmers, the weather
dried out sufficiently to get crops in the ground. The harvest, in general, was better than was initially expected. We are thankful for the positive developments of the last year. We reflect on the successes and the bounty of the harvest, yet are mindful of those in our world who are less well off – whether it is people who are experiencing homelessness, those who have lost a loved one, or those who are facing extremely difficult conditions in countries like Afghanistan and the Ukraine.
My wife, Naomi, grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania – with grains and tomatoes as major crops and with hogs and chickens. The farm was on the edge of the Adirondacks with a forested hill
behind, and a creek (and pond – for swimming in summer) running through the property. Farms in Pennsylvania, and in Manitoba, have changed dramatically since then. The opportunities and the responsibilities have grown as equipment and technological changes have enabled larger farms and more concentrated livestock operations. Today, we look at the opportunities for the future and ponder where the equipment and technology will lead us next.
As the Manitoba Liberal MLA for River Heights, and former MP for Portage—Interlake some years back, I still maintain many connections across the province with many who are associated with farming efforts.
In my constituency, I regu-
larly shop at our summer farmer’s market for the quality produce and to support local farmers.
It is important that those of us who live in Winnipeg or other urban areas keep a connection to the land. Increasingly evidence is growing that an association with green spaces helps us, as humans, to deal with the challenges and stresses of our world, and is important to improving our mental health and in preventing dementia. I am thankful to those who work in agricultural and food industries to the efforts taken to provide healthy food and also to provide a healthy environment.
With best wishes to all for the New Year, may 2023 be the year when dreams and hopes will be fulfilled.
Manitoba $1.1M Food Aid Program Helps Farm Markets
By Elmer Heinrichs
The Manitoba government is providing almost $1.1 million over three years to Direct Farm Manitoba to support its Manitoba community food currency program, which works to improve food security for Manitobans in need while also supporting local agribusinesses, agriculture minister Derek Johnson announced recently.
“As exceptional inflationary measures continue driving up the cost of food, more Manitobans face the burden of being unable to meet their
own and their family’s nutritional needs,” said Johnson. “This unique food currency initiative helps ensure Manitobans in need have reliable and equitable access to healthy food that promotes their well-being, while simultaneously supporting farmers markets and local agri-product businesses.”
Direct Farm Manitoba launched the Manitoba community food currency program in 2020 as a community-building initiative that aimed to empower Manitobans facing food insecurity by providing food currency
that can be used to purchase locally produced fruit, vegetables, meat and processed foods at farmers markets.
Last summer, organizers dispensed vouchers to eight community groups. The coupons circulated through five Manitoba farmers markets.
People using services took home the vouchers, valued at $24 per sheet and could later spend them at farmers markets.
The Manitoba government’s investment will ensure 700 families in the province benefit from the
program annually over the next three years, noted Johnson.
Community-based social service organizations will identify families disproportionately affected by inflation and in need of healthy food. Each family will receive $28 in food currency per week for 14 weeks ($392 in total) during the summer market season from late June to early October.
With up to 26 participating markets, the initiative will support families in Winnipeg and in rural areas, noted Johnson.
Canada Commits to Indo-Pacific Strategy
Our members are excited about opportunities in the Indo-Pacific, and at the same time are worried about losing market share to our competitors. That is why we welcome a Strategy that orchestrates greater engagement and puts agri-food at the heart of Canada’s push for deeper trade and investment ties throughout the region.
While we review details, we are encouraged by a variety of items featured in the Strategy including the opening of an Indo-Pacific agri-food office, a commitment to increase Canada’s advocacy capacity and more trade missions to help develop and nurture the relationships that will be vital to our sector’s long-term success. We are also pleased to see a Special Envoy will be deployed to the region to support these efforts and help coordinate greater cooperation between government and industry.
This Indo-Pacific represents a significant opportunity for our sectors to diversify as it is home to some of the world’s largest and fast growing markets such as Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and India. We particularly welcome the emphasis on the continued expansion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and encourage Canada to maintain a pace of negotiations towards comprehensive trade agreements with India, Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
As a country that supports free- and rules-based trade, as well as upholding the values we as Canadians hold dear, it is vital that we be at the tables that are making the rules for global trade in some of the largest and most dynamic regions and markets in the world.
An immense opportunity awaits our sector in the Indo-Pacific, which will help create jobs and prosperity for Canadians here at home. However, to truly seize these opportunities, free- and rules-based trade must win the day and industrygovernment cooperation must be a never-ending focus as it is for our fiercest competitors.
We commend the federal government for recognizing the need for Canada to have a clear and coherent Indo-Pacific Strategy and we stand ready to do our part to help feed the world and support Canada’s economy.
Dan Darling President of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance
Employers and Temporary Workers to Benefit from Family Work Permits
By Harry Siemens
The federal government has announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program to extend work permits to family members of temporary foreign workers. Expanding the eligibility for work permits to family members accompanying the principal applicant to Canada will help address labour shortages by assisting employers in finding the workers they need.
It is no secret the agricultural industry needs more workers and more specifically finding those qualified to work in the sector is challenging.
Starting in January 2023, through a temporary 2-year measure, Canada will expand work eligibility to spouses and working-age children through a phased approach for workers at all skill levels.
These changes would include families of workers in agriculture, health care, trades and hospitality. As a result of this new approach, estimates show that family members of more than 200,000 foreign workers could begin working in Canada, offering a greater opportunity for both foreign workers seeking to work in Canada and for employers addressing their labour needs.
Cam Dahl speaking on behalf of the industry said it will undoubtedly help because everyone is experiencing labour shortages every step along the way. So that includes labour shortages in barns, transportation and trucking with shortages at the plants.
“Anything that helps in any part of that to relieve some of that pressure is something that we welcome,” said Dahl. “And this will provide opportunities for both families and the producers to make it easier to bring in help. So it’s a good thing.”
Dahl said, pick any town or city, Neepawa Killarney, Winkler or Steinbach, all face the same labour shortage. These newcomers are helping to build community; this change will help by bringing in additional family members.
The government will implement the temporary measure in 3 phases to ensure its successful implementation. Phase 1 will enable family members of workers coming to Canada through the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program to apply for an open work permit.
Phase 2 aims to expand the measure to the family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program following consultations.
Phase 3 will include consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess the operational feasibility of expanding the measure to family members of agricultural workers.
Before this announcement, spouses were only eligible for a work permit if the principal applicant worked in a high-skill occupation. This temporary measure aims to improve workers’ emotional well-being, physical health and financial stability by keeping families together. As a result, workers will integrate better into their work environment and community.
Immigration will continue to play a vital role in addressing Canada’s labour shortages, and the Government of Canada will continue to implement policies aimed at helping employers with their staffing needs across all skill levels.
Sean Fraser, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, said employers across the country continue to identify a lack of workers as their biggest obstacle. This move will help employers find the workers they need to fill their labour gaps by expanding work permits to family members at all skill levels.
“Our government will continue helping employers overcome labour shortages, supporting the well-being of
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
It is no secret the agricultural industry needs more workers and more specifically finds it challenging to find qualified workers. File farm photo
Jon Gerrard is the MLA for River Heights.
Consultations Launched for a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy
The Federal Government has now launched consultations to develop a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy (SAS) in collaboration with a diversity of partners as part of a strategy which will serve as a guide to support the livelihoods of farmers while growing a sustainable sector.
Minister Bibeau made the announcement alongside her parliamentary secretary Francis Drouin, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Mary Robinson, President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), and Martin Caron, President of the Union des producteurs agricoles and board member of the CFA.
According to a statement released by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau the goal is to identify goals and plan a way forward. The hope is for Canada’s agriculture sector to be equipped to recover quickly from extreme events, thrive in a changing climate,
contribute to world food security, while also contributing to Canada’s overall efforts to cut emissions.
In the statement, the government recognizes that producers have already taken action on sustainability in a wide range of ways and they are hoping to amplify this work by consulting with farmers to develop the strategy and discover additional “best practices”.
“KAP has been advocating for the inclusion of farmers when it comes to tackling the challenges affecting our sector, and [the] announcement demonstrates the federal government is listening to ensure Canadian farmers have a seat at the table,” said KAP President, Bill Campbell.
“One of KAP’s main goals is to reduce the regulatory burden for farmers and find solutions that include their perspectives, focused on sustainable growth and practical strategies that can be applied on-farm,” continued Campbell. “It is also important to
note that the conversation around sustainability includes not only environmental concerns, but also social and economic, something that KAP has been seeking recognition of from government.”
The overarching and integrated strategy will focus on five priority issues – soil health, climate adaptation and resilience, water, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity.
“Agriculture has the solutions to many of the challenges we face, and KAP is ready to contribute to the conversation when decisions are being made through the development of this strategy,” said Campbell. “We will be providing a full submission to the public consultation on behalf of Manitoba farmers to ensure their priorities, including transparency throughout the process, consensus on data collection and management for measuring sustainability outcomes, and the inclusion of farmers, are represented.”
Early Look at Manitoba Flood Outlook
By Elmer Heinrichs
The Manitoba government has shared its first early look at the potential for flooding in the spring.
The province’s fall conditions report said soil moisture levels at the time of freeze-up are near normal or below normal in most areas.
After near-record precipitation last winter and spring, the summer and fall proved drier.
Environment and Climate Change Canada’s long-term forecast for the coming months is predicting above-normal precipitation for northern
Manitoba and near-normal precipitation for southern Manitoba.
The spring flood risk will be dependent on future weather conditions including the amount of precipitation received over winter and into spring, as well as the rate of snow-melt.
2022 Canola On-Farm Research Program Results
Manitoba Canola Growers (MCGA) celebrates their inaugural season of on-farm research trials, alongside Manitoba Crop Alliance and Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, at the On Farm Appreciation dinner.
Farmers, agronomists and grower groups gathered to hear the results of on-farm research in Manitoba from the three hosting commodity associations recently in Winnipeg.
“The canola on-farm research program is the newest addition to our research initiatives focused on supporting canola on-farm decisions and we are very excited about how the first year went,” stated Sonia Wilson, Research Manager with the Manitoba Canola Growers. “It was great to celebrate our successful first season alongside our contracted agronomists, participating farmers and commodity group partners.”
In 2022 they focused on 3 trial types including a seeding rate trial, a nitrogen rate trial and an anti-fungal bioinoculant trial.
The seeding rate trail looked at identifying economic and agronomic optimal seeding rates for Manitoba canola production and major factors influencing this relationship.
Farmer’s standard seeding rates were compared to reduced rate (75%) and high rate (125%). The nitrogen rate trial was used to identify optimal nitrogen fertilizer rate based on return on investment and nitrogen use efficiency.
Farmer’s standard nitrogen rates were compared to reduced rate (75%) and high rate (125%) and the anti-fungal bioinoculant trial was to determine the level of disease control and yield response of canola treated with a foliar application of KGS-3 anti-fungal bioinoculant (Paenibacillus
sp.) Untreated, KGS-3 foliar was applied at approximately the four-leaf stage.
Complete 2022 canola onfarm research results can be found on the Manitoba Canola Growers website.
They launched their pilot onfarm research program to help farmers across the province fill the gap between traditional research results and the farm level. The program is aimed at providing applied, transferable research results to farmers to allow for the adoption of new and improved production practices by evaluating performance across a wide arrange of growing regions and farm operations in Manitoba.
“Trying new products and ideas has allowed me to gather first-hand information,” shared Leon Mykula, a participating farmer in the 2022 canola onfarm research program. “This helps with future decisions to keep my farm profitable.”
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“Don’t Tell Farmers How to Farm - Ask Them Instead”
By Harry Siemens
Jake Leguee is a 3rd-generation farmer from southern Saskatchewan, and farms with several family members raising canola, durum, wheat, lentils, peas and flax. He writes a blog about a year in the life of a farmer providing leadership and inspiration to grow a better future.
Leguee’s presentation to a farmers’ forum in Minneapolis, MN caught the attention of the AgTwitter world.
“Don’t Tell Farmers How to Farm - Ask Them Instead” refers to how many people outside of agriculture try to make policy for farmers. His blog outlines farmers’ progress in producing more food with vastly fewer resources over the last century.
“I’ve posted in my blog about agriculture for quite a few years to share what farmers and myself do daily and why we do the things that we do,” said Leguee.
He said people are interested in hearing about it and there are far too many misconceptions about what farmers do. Many different types of groups, governments, nongovernmental organizations, food companies, and random people on the internet want to put their spin on what farmers should do.
“Not that we’re doing something wrong, but prescriptively saying, you guys need to do it this way because it’d be better for the environment and your soils,” said Leguee.
It’s always rubbed him the wrong way because people who have the best incentives to look after their land for the next generation of farmers, is what most do.
He posted about that subject back in the spring and got a lot of interesting feedback. One of the people who read it was organizing Unconventional Ag down in Minneapolis for November.
“She asked me if I would come and speak about the subject and I thought, well I can’t very well complain that farmers aren’t included enough in these conversations and then not take them up on an offer to speak,” he recalled.
Leguee said it’s a tricky balance dealing with those who want to tell him how to farm and need more respect for the improved farming practices and agronomic techniques.
“You don’t want to be too confrontational with the government on everything they try and do,” said Leguee. “Otherwise they ram stuff through anyway.”
“It seems they don’t care much about what we have to say,” he said. “But you can’t be afraid to stand your ground either and say, look, the direction that you people are going here is not the right one.”
He’s just as adamant that so-called experts and bureaucrats don’t recognize the improved practices of the last thirty years and need to understand agriculture better.
When Leguee presented to the convention in November 2022 that changed from the Organic and Non-GMO Forum to Unconventional Ag because organizers wanted
to draw a wider audience. The audience was made up of many food companies and some organic farmers but quite an organic-centred production group, mainly on the food processing side.
“It was interesting to see the reaction to seeing a sprayer up on the slide and me talking about how we grow our crops in western Canada,” he said. “Why do I choose not to produce my crops in the organic system? I don’t ever want to come across as picking on anybody for choosing to farm in that way. We should all have the option to decide how to run our businesses as we see fit.”
He certainly doesn’t want anybody coming to him telling him he needs to use certain production practices either.
“Because we have to do what works on our farms. Because agriculture is so hyperlocal that you just can’t be prescriptive about what needs doing,” said Leguee.
He had many good questions and good feedback after the presentation and some great conversations as a result.
“I don’t know if I changed any minds, but I hope I was able to open up some eyes to why we do the things we do on our farms,” said Leguee.
Dairy Producers Join Forces to Assist Food Banks
By Elmer Heinrichs
David Wiens, chair of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba says with rising feed costs and the drought it’s been a rough couple of years for producers.
He notes despite that it’s important to recognize how dairy producers have given back to communities through Manitoba Harvest.
“We have donated over 333,000 litres of milk this year, and that goes to service food banks throughout the province,” said Wiens.
“So there’s over 350 food banks in the province that have received one litre cartons of milk and packages of cheese.”
He says it’s really a combined effort with producers
donating the milk, bulk milk hauling companies transport it at no charge, and Lactalis processes the milk, while the cheese is made by Bothwell Cheese.
It’s a program that began last year when during a period of reduced demand it was decided to increase donations to Manitoba Harvest instead of discarding it.
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
Jake Leguee is a 3rd-generation farmer from southern Saskatchewan, Canada and farms with his wife Steph and several family members raising canola, durum, wheat, lentils, peas and flax.
What does “Net Zero by 2050” Mean for Dairy Farmers?
By Harry Siemens
What does “Net Zero by 2050” mean for dairy farmers is a topic Korb Whale an Ontario dairy farmer addressed at the recent AGM of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba.
A statement on the Dairy Farmers of Canada website defines it as net-zero emissions achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted from farms and the greenhouse gases they remove from the
the idea is to reduce emissions at the farm level as much as possible and offset the remainder through carbon sequestration, bringing net emissions to zero.
Korb along with his wife Kelly and Korb’s parents milk 160 cows with 3 DeLaval robots on 475 acres at Clovermead Farms near Alma, ON. They produce all their feed and cash crop for any surplus. In 2014, they were the winners of the DFC Sustainability Award for their efforts over three
generations to meet the three pillars of sustainability. The environment, finances and community all factor strongly into this farm’s success.
Whale said for dairy farmers targeting the net zero by 2050 is a tremendous opportunity to become more efficient.
“We can coordinate our efforts nationally, find economic or other resources to help us be the most efficient possible,” said Whale.”
His farm started with soil management and improving the soil by planting windbreaks, buffer and runoff strips, cover crops and notill.
“We reuse our bedding, our heat, our wash water and try to have electrically efficient appliances and we’re conscious of every decision we make,” he said.
Whale’s goal is to convince the dairy industry, the dairy farmers across the country to become more efficient and make more money by adapting to these practices.
“It’s possible because if
you see other people trying things and it works then you know it’s possible,” he said.
He hopes that by being open and sharing what works for him and his mistakes then convincing other dairy farmers to do it right, the industry will get there quicker.
“We’re talking to farmers, consumers and governments all simultaneously, and the message is very similar,” said Whale.
If farmers adopt this practice and learn from their neighbours to improve upon it and teach each other what works to become a more efficient industry that meets the governments’ needs, they see that and support the next step. So it’s one step at a time.
Whale said when farmers hear the word sustainability it’s a big, vacuous hole, and it doesn’t mean anything to most people.
He said there are three pillars to sustainability, the environment, economics, and community. So all of those are important but the key to
making it all work is becoming more efficient.
“The better you do, the more money you can make,” said Whale. “If you’re making good decisions on your inputs and your input costs are lower and your outputs are bigger that leaves more room for profit.”
Whale said it’s essential to communicate the plan to farmers and how to implement it and then work on the plan. The plan is the implementation guide of best management practices and includes how to do it on the farm, how much it will cost what the farmer will save.
“The benefits, the downsides, and here’s who you can talk to about funding, support, or other people who’ve tried it,” said Whale.
“Then, farmers can mull it over by rolling that out, see what might work for them, and pick the best project.”
His word to fellow farmers is to try one best management practice which then leads to the next and the next.
“And as you look back on the things you did first, they usually, in my case, resulted in better than what I predicted when I started. So try one,” said the dairy spokesman.
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost 2
Korb Whale, an Ontario dairy farmer, addressed “Net Zero by 2050” at the recent AGM of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba.
Korb Whale along with his wife Kelly and Korb’s parents milk 160 cows with 3 DeLaval robots on 475 acres at Clovermead Farms near Alma, ON.
Photo by Harry Siemens
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
The Canadian Cattle Industry Walks an Economic Tight Rope
By Harry Siemens
The cattle industry across Canada continues to struggle. In Manitoba at one point in the fall of 2022 producers listed over 500 bred cows for sale. While some were purchased by other producers many seemed headed straight to slaughter.
Cattle producer Tom Teichroeb of Langruth, MB and past president of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) said it boils down to three main factors economics, age and lack of succession on many farms.
“A person can always stand another year when the economics of it are good and you’re making money,” said Teichroeb.
He cited a recent study for a 200-cow operation. The best is about $18,000; all that work doesn’t cut for a family. The average cow operation in Canada is less than 200, meaning every operation supplements that income. With input costs, whether its fuel or interest rates or bad policy, the bottom line is there needs to be more money right now in our industry he said.
Number two, is age. Teichroeb said there comes a time when a producer can no longer do the work due to age; finding an opportunity to exit with grace is what people are doing.
The third reason is that many producers need succession; if no son or daughter is going to take over the farm,
there is no option but sell it out of the family.
“I think those people now, with the calf prices being up and probably as good in a while and seeing more demand are taking this as an opportunity to disperse,” he said.
Teichroeb said across Canada that a majority of farms that plant oilseeds and special crops have updated buildings and equipment, but this is not the case with cattle operations.
“You tell me how many new infrastructure buildings and how many advances you see on most operations, exclusively cattle,” he said. “Yet, they are as meagre and humble as they were back in the day.”
He said it’s because there needs to be more economics to drive improvements. And fundamentally something has to change in the cattle industry for producers to be less vulnerable to being such
price-takers. A producer can choose to store on a grain or an oil seed operation if the price isn’t right, he explained.
“When our cattle are fat, they have to go. We can choose different backgrounding options or slip the culling date for a month or two into trying and optimizing on a cull cow,” said Teichroeb. “But the bottom line is we do not have that flexibility that you have in most other commodity industries, where we can stretch it out by a year.”
With the feed situation improved in 2022, it may save many of those cows from going to slaughter and instead ending up on someone’s ranch. However, as the number of producers decline and the bigger producers sell out, there are fewer places for these animals to go he said.
Teichroeb thinks there was a time when producers could refine the economics of their operations by changing their
overhead. But in the last number of years and especially through BSE, those folks who didn’t make adjustments didn’t survive and if they did they couldn’t recover.
Teichroeb said for his operation, interest rates rising to 6 per cent have made it a challenge above and beyond high input costs.
“In my operation this year, even with prices at the way they are right now, our profit margins are slimmer than last year, even though the prices are up,” he said. “Because I just paid my last fertilizer bill of the year, it’s more than double all of last year. It’s crazy.”
“I don’t see a good ending,” he said. “The producers who are up there in numbers and who have economies of scale may survive this situation. I can’t see how for the producers who are 200 and under unless they decide to keep those cows and get two full-time jobs for him and his wife.”
Province Announces Next Deputy Minister of Agriculture
The Manitoba government is announcing the appointment of Brenda DeSerranno as the next deputy minister of agriculture, effective Jan. 7, 2023.
DeSerranno has worked for the Manitoba government since 2005 and has been assistant deputy minister of analytical services at the provincial treasury board secretariat since 2019. In this role, she has gained experience in the programs and services offered by all government departments including Manitoba Agriculture. DeSerranno also has experience in financial and contract management, consultation with stakeholders, real estate management, leased properties and property management. Her post-secondary background includes studies in business administration and urban land economics.
The appointment of DeSerranno will follow the upcoming retirement of Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, who has been deputy minister since 2013 and has held many positions during her 43 years with Manitoba Agriculture.
“A person can always stand another year when the economics of it are good and you’re making money, said Tom Teichroeb, a cattle producer from Langruth, MB. File photo
Contest Asks Growers How They Outsmart Pest Resistance
Canadian field crop growers are being asked to share their resistance management tips, tricks and success stories in a new first-of-its-kind online contest in Canada – Pest Management Challenge: How do you outsmart resistance on your farm?
The contest is hosted by Manage Resistance Now, a collaborative effort of industry, academia and government experts, brought together by CropLife Canada to raise awareness and promote the adoption of strategies to manage weed, insect and disease resistance.
“What better way to get farmers thinking about resistance management issues in their fields than by rewarding them for sharing their own experiences?” said Jennifer Hubert, Executive Director, Plant Biotechnology with CropLife Canada. “Canadian farmers are already dealing with resistance issues on their farms and the Pest Management Challenge is an opportunity to get people talking and to encourage the adoption of resistance management best practices. After all, this is critical to protecting crop yield and quality today and to ensure continued access to technologies to support sustainable production going forward.”
The online contest (pestmanagementchallenge.ca) is open to all Canadian growers until March 31, 2023. Contest entrants can fill out the short online form and share their own experiences for a chance to win an iPad Air 256 GB and the first 200 entrants will receive a $10 Tim Hortons electronic gift card. Three iPad prize winners will be drawn on April 10, 2023.
“Pest resistance is a serious threat to growers. The support for this ‘challenge’ really demonstrates the agriculture industry’s collective commitment to stewardship and sustainability,” said Hubert.
Soups for Chilly Days
By Joan Airey
Homemade soups are a great way to use up leftovers or what you happen to have on hand. This Cheesy Vegetable Soup hits the spot on a chilly cold day.
Cheesy Vegetable Soup
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 Tablespoon margarine or butter
1 cup loose-pack kernel corn
½ cup chopped broccoli
¼ shredded carrot
¼ cup water
1-10 oz. can condensed cream of potato soup
¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 oz. provolone cheese, cut up or grated Swiss cheese
Dash of pepper
In a medium pan, cook onion in hot butter until tender but not brown. Add corn, broccoli, carrot and water. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for ten minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in soup, milk, cheeses and pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat till cheese is melted and mixture is heated through. Makes four side dish servings.
I often use more broccoli, grated carrot or corn. Canned soup is expensive now so I only buy soup when on sale. If I’m using the soup in a recipe I use a less expensive brand. I priced one name brand of soup at $3.49 a tin in a store recently while the store brand was only $1.29. In a casserole we couldn’t tell the difference. Prices vary from brand to brand and store to store.
1.5 pounds ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
1 -28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1-17 oz can corn, with liquid
1-14 oz. can kidney beans with liquid 1-8oz. tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste 1 pkg. Taco seasoning 1 to 2 cups water
Brown onion and hamburger in frying pan. Simmer all ingredients including hamburger and onion in soup pot for at least 15 minutes. Just before serving, add 1 cup grated cheese and add some grated cheese to each steaming hot bowl as you serve it.
I used my own canned tomatoes and sauce, plus use frozen corn because that is what I have on hand.
French Onion Soup
2 teaspoon butter melted
2-3 cups thinly sliced onion rings
2-tins Consommé soup
¼ teaspoon salt
Few grains pepper
4 slices bread what ever kind you have on hand
1 cup shredded Canadian made natural Swiss cheese
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Melt butter and sauté onions until brown. Add consommé and Worcestershire sauce to onions. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Meanwhile toast bread. Pour soup into bowls. Cover with bread. Broil 2 to 3 minutes until slightly browned and cheese is melted.
I add two minced garlic cloves to my French onion soup and 1 teaspoon sugar when I’m making it.
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
Taco Soup hits the spot on a cold stormy day like today!
Good Beef Cow Nutrition is Needed After Calving
By Peter Vitti
Last year, a record-breaking cold prairie winter, followed by a snowy spring and a shortage of good quality forage; left a lot of over wintered beef cows in dire body condition by the time they calved. Many of them didn’t recover during the months leading up to the breeding season. As a result, a lot of cows were not prepared to be bred, thus remained open and most likely were culled. It’s a good lesson that post-calving cows need good nutrition, so they are in the best shape for good reproduction in order to remain a profitable member of any cow-calf operation.
Good post-calving nutrition is really a continuation of good over winter feeding programs. They should maintain a visible cows’ BCS of 5-6 by calving, which should be carried to the end of the upcoming breeding season. Such adequate BCS has been research-proven to return a higher proportion of fertile beef cows compared
a strong estrus 80 – 90 days post-partum, which end in high conception rates. These next-years’ calves are born earlier in a desired short calving season, which also results in higher autumn weaning weights (personal note - by as much as 23 – 25 kg).
This means most fresh beef cows with a decent BCS and produce 10 - 15 litres of milk for their calf, require foragebased diets; of about 58 - 62 % TDN (total digestible nutrients) and about 11 - 12% protein to maintain good body condition until the breeding season. Given that a mature gestating beef cow (re: 500 - 600 kg) consumes about 2 - 2.25% of her body weight (dm, basis) or about 10 - 13 kg of dry-based feed.
and protein supplements are supplemented.
For example, a friend of mine that runs a 200-beef herd of purebred red Angusthe 1st calf heifers start calving on February 15 and the rest of the mature brood cows calve, two weeks later. Most of them have maintained an adequate 5-6 BCS by calving, because he feeds an over winter TMR of 10 kg of barley silage and 11 – 12 kg alfalfa/ grass hay.
winter season, which are supplemented with heightened levels of copper (3000 mg/ kg), zinc (12,000 mg/kg) and selenium (3.0 mg/kg). Most of which are formulated in this mineral in “chelated” or more bio-available forms for their superior absorption and retention properties. Essential A, D and E are also equivalently fortified.
Food Costs Predicted to Rise Yet Again in 2023
By Elmer Heinrichs
Nursing beef cows need a good BCS.
Many experienced beef producers that I know, often first estimate the total amount of feed that they will need for the winter; first-feeding their early-mid gestation cows the lower quality feeds such as straw-based diets or fair-quality grass-type hays, where cow requirements are more modest. Then as the calving season approaches implement more nutritious saved-feeds in their diets such as legume/alfalfa hays and ensiled (higher energy) feeds. Once the cows calve and their nutrient requirements are at their highest point; depending on forage quality – grain
Once the first of his cows calve, he feeds them; up to 1 – 2 kg of grain and usually feeds even another kilo or so, when the windchill temperature dips below -18 C. As the weather gets warmer and the cowherd is past 60 post-partum; grain feeding is eliminated, less barley silage is fed and replaced by lower-protein grass hay. This is done to prevent cows from getting too fat.
His post-calving TMR also contains 100 g per head per day of a 18% calcium: 9% phosphorus premix medicated with 250 mg/hd/d of monensin. These respective macro-minerals (calcium, phosphorus, and 2% magnesium) compliment the macromineral levels that are found in his barley silage/alfalfagrass forages. In addition, trace mineral requirements of his nursing beef cows nearly double since the start of the
As a beef nutritionist, I agree with his attention to mineral detail. For example, a lack of dietary copper has been shown to be responsible for reduction in first-service conception rates, and early embryonic survival in mature beef cows and first-calf heifers. Deficient cows may actually show normal estrus behaviour, but normal ovulation does not occur and may lead to future estrus retardation. Erratic estrus cycles may be cause by antagonistic minerals such as molybdenum that tie up dietary copper.
Adding a good mineral/vitamin premix to a well-balanced TMR that also contain adequate dietary energy and protein for cows after calving; helps maintain their body condition/fertility by the time, the breeding season arrives. It really means good nutrition promotes - a quick return to active reproduction, successfully breeding and finally a cow, pregnant with a new calf.
Prairie Oat Growers Association Celebrates 25 Years
In 1998, a small group of oat producers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba recognized that oat growers needed a stronger, unified voice and an advocate for continuing work with oat researchers and breeders for the betterment of the oat industry.
Jack Shymko, a producer from Ituna, Saskatchewan was one of the leaders and later became the first President of POGA.
“We knew that oat producers needed a strong Prairie-wide advocacy group which would require stable on-going funding,” recalled Shymko.
POGA was officially formed, but more needed to be done and the key organizers soon began efforts to establish provincial entities. Town hall meetings were arranged and many phone calls were made by the core group of oat producers who were motivated by their vision of a Prairie-wide organization.
“They worked tirelessly with producers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to
draft bylaws, prepare the necessary paperwork, and spread the word to rally oat growers to establish an association in each of the three provinces,” added Shymko.
At the beginning many expenses were paid out of pocket because producers believed so strongly in the cause. Later, the Prairie-wide commodity organization was funded first by voluntary membership, and later pooled check-off revenue of 50 cents per tonne of provincially marketed oats.
The dedication, commitment and efforts were successful with the establishment of the Saskatchewan Oat Growers Commission in 2006 (now referred to as SaskOats), the Manitoba Oat Growers Association (MOGA) in 2008 and the Alberta Oat Growers Commission (AOGC) in 2012.
Reflecting on the past 25 years, Jack Shymko, who still farms, states, “It has been very gratifying to watch our vision of a producer led association become a reality. POGA is a farmer-led organization with
one voice that has remained true to its roots of advancing the interests of Western Canadian oat growers. I’m very proud that POGA has not lost sight of the original objectives.”
“POGA is grounded in the strong principles of our founding leaders and is an advocate for Western Canadian oat producers,” said current POGA president, Jenneth Johanson from Manitoba. “Through the three provincial associations, Prairie oat growers have supported over 55 projects and turned $3.9 million levy dollars into $28.1 million, which means growers in western Canada have contributed less than 15 cents of every dollar spent on research and marketing.”
“This is a remarkable return on investment for producers,” concluded Johanson.
Randy Strychar, president of Oatinformation and an oat industry trader and commodity researcher for over 40 years.
“Efforts by Canadian oat growers since 1998 have
contributed significantly to Canada becoming a major leader in global oat markets,” said Strychar. “The Canadian oat market has seen phenomenal growth since POGA was formed in 1998. As of 2022, value added Canadian oat processing has increased over 130%, and Canadian raw oat exports have also shown outstanding growth of 58%, resulting in Canada becoming the largest global exporter.”
“Oat product exports have increased dramatically, again resulting in Canada ranking as the largest global oat product exporter” he added. “Canada in the same period has become the second largest global producer of oats.”
Food prices in Canada are going up — again.
The 13th edition of Canada’s Food Price Report released recently, forecasts an overall food price increase of 5 to 7 per cent for the coming year, the highest predicted increase in food prices since the inception of the report twelve years ago.
The most significant increases are predicted for dairy and restaurants at 6 to 8 per cent, and bakery and vegetables, 5 to 7 per cent.
“It’s important for consumers to understand that food prices have been going up for some time, and there’s no turning back,” said Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, project lead and director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.
“Our relationship with food is changing, and so will our food budgets,” said Dr. Charlebois. “Showing up at the grocery store knowing what you should be paying will help.”
This year’s report predicts that a family of four, including a man (age 31-50), woman (age 31-50), boy (age 14-18), and girl (age 9-13) will pay up to $14,767.36 for food, an increase of up to $966.08 from the total annual cost in 2021.
“Most Canadians could eat more vegetables,” said Dr. Kelleen Wiseman, UBC campus lead. “The forecasted increase in this healthy food category is worrying from a public health perspective because consumers might be tempted to further reduce their consumption of fresh and mainstream vegetables.”
“However, options are available in selecting alternative vegetables or frozen vegetables which can provide high nutritional value at a lower price point,” said Wiseman.
Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 focuses on COVID-19-related disruptions to the food supply chain, climate change and adverse weather effects, labour force challenges, high inflation, and food transportation challenges.
“COVID-19 is still here. The food supply chain will continue to grapple with the cost of sanitation and PPE, high transportation costs and reduced maritime transport capacity, as well as decreased efficiency and disruptions due to closures,” said Alyssa Gerhardt, a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie who worked on the report.
Despite these challenges, consumers’ food choices continue to be motivated by health and environmental sustainability and a commitment to supporting local food supply chains, and overall food literacy appears to be improving.
“Canada is a leader in the production of safe, sustainable foods,” explained Dr. Stuart Smyth, University of Saskatchewan campus lead. “Buying products that are made in Canada is a good way to support sustainable, ethical, and healthy choices.”
Canada’s Food Price Report is an annual cross-country collaboration, jointly released by long-time research partners Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, as well as the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia.
“The report brings together some of the best minds in Canadian food policy, business, and economics including expertise in computer science in areas such as artificial intelligence and forecasting,” said University of Guelph campus lead Dr. Simon Somogyi. “This annual report is really one-of-a-kind in Canadian interuniversity collaborations and is a testament to the hard work of all involved.”
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
POGA recently hosted their AGM marking their 25th anniversary.
Manitoba’s Winter: Cold and Windy
By Elmer Heinrichs
In his Canada winter forecast, AccuWeather senior climatologist Brett Anderson said that while a cold winter is in the cards for western and central parts of the Canadian Prairies, farther east, temperatures will remain near normal during the winter season.
Unlike last year, when the polar vortex fuelled extreme blasts of bitterly cold air across the southern Prairies, the orientation of the jet stream will be responsible for ushering in Arctic air masses, which will send temperatures plummeting across Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“But farther east in the lower elevations of the Prairies, where there will not be any upslope enhancement, the winter will tend to be drier compared to normal,” Anderson said, explaining that cold, Arctic air does not hold much in terms of moisture.
Temperatures in Manitoba are expected to be near normal, but one thing residents in the lower elevations should be prepared for is the wind.
Anderson noted that this winter may be “windier than average”, which could lead to episodes of dangerously low temperatures.
A Long December
As the Counting Crows once sang, “It’s been a long December but there is reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last.” If you have a chance to put the snow blower away long enough to read this edition, it means that the weather has finally slowed down after a nasty December.
There is optimism that 2023 is going to be a great year for agriculture, and our economy in western Canada really needs another good year for our grain producers.
As we close the calendar on 2022, the insurance industry continues to make life exciting for policy holders and their brokers. While farm insurance continues to be one of the more stable classes, we are seeing insurers asking more questions and requiring new information to provide coverage for clients. This comes in all forms, whether it is asking for more details on wood heating systems in buildings, getting bin and building details on file that had never been requested before, or scruti nizing the details on farm machinery values, the farm insurers in Manitoba are keeping us all on our toes.
We are still seeing the values of buildings increasing, while values of other assets- bins, dryer systems, farm machinery, tools, etc. continue to be moving targets to establish proper limits to replace should a loss occur. The base pricing of the raw products - steel and woodhave relaxed from their record high values in 2021, but we are seeing the portion of labour and overhead costs increasing as inflation continues to hit.
Last year at this time, I wrote that there was optimism in the air with the chance that a little more rain and a lot less virus we would have a very different outlook at the end of 2022 than we did going into the year. Little did we know that a little more rain would turn to flooding, and that the pesky virus took its time to move on, but here we are with optimism for 2023.
Here’s hoping that this year will bring stable weather, higher commodity prices, a flea beetle and mosquitofree summer, and more opportunities to enjoy health and catch up with friends and family.
On behalf of the team at Rempel Insurance Brokers, we are very thankful to serve our clients this past year and look forward to a great year in 2023!
Be sure to seek advice and purchase insurance from those who understand your business!
David Schmidt is an Account Executive and Rempel Insurance Brokers in Morris, MB, specializing in insuring farms and businesses across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Contact office 204-746-2320, text 204712-6618, email email@example.com or visit rempelinsurance.com.
Importance of Social Media Privacy Settings Stressed By Speaker
By Joan Airey
For the past sixteen years Val Caldwell has been providing presentations on the safe use of technology. Her personal and professional passion is to provide current and relevant tools and information to children and adults to help them use their various form technology and social media as safely as possible.
Over the years she has done presentations for the Yellowhead Chiefs Hockey Association teams, coaches, and parents, wellness for Manitoba Hydro, PD days for school divisions, training for Child and Family Services staff and numerous conferences. She draws her experience from nine years working as Program Facilitator for Child and Family Services as well has been the Mother to two young adults.
Caldwell spoke at the recent Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference at Brandon recently.
“I think privacy is the single most important aspect of being on social media, however setting accounts properly can be extremely overwhelming,” said Caldwell. “It is important to ensure accounts are set to “private” and that only the audience you allow to view your account has access to your information, pictures, etc. For example, on Facebook your
future posts” it should say “Friends” not public.”
Some other key settings Caldwell suggests we check are: do you want search engines outside Facebook to link to your profile? This should say no.
“Who can post on your profile?” This should be Friends she said. “Who can see what others post on your profile?” again this should be set to Friends and “Who can see posts that you’re tagged in on your profile?” The setting should be Friends.
Caldwell also recommended, “Review posts that you’re tagged in” and “review tags that people add to your post” should both be turned on. This way you control what information contains your name or image and how it is shared beyond your friends list. The reality is you can’t control what someone else posts on their account, but you can control if your name and account is attached to it said Caldwell.
Under “Public posts” in your Facebook settings there is a setting called “View as” if you click on this setting it will show you what your profile looks like to someone who is not on your friends list. This setting provides a great starting point for adjusting your settings as you will see how much information is currently available to those not on your friends list.
On Instagram if you go to settings and then privacy at the very top there will be “Private account” to ensure your information is private slide this over so it’s blue. That makes your account private.
There is also a setting under privacy called “Posts” there you can decide who you want to “allow tags from”. “I recommend people you follow or no one if you don’t want anyone to be able to tag you,” said Caldwell. “Below that is ‘Tagged posts’ you
want to ensure manually approve tags is turned on, that way if someone tags you (adds your name to a post or picture) you can decide if you want your name associated with it.”
“Below Posts is Mentions. I recommend this one is also set to ‘People you Follow’ or ‘No’ rather than leaving it as ‘Everyone’”, she said. “If it is left at ‘Everyone’, then ANYONE can tag you or mention you even if they aren’t connected with you.”
Privacy settings can be complicated and take time to set properly. Caldwell has only touched on a few that she feels are important to protect our information, but there are many more to look at on Facebook and Instagram, and those are only two of the many apps that people are using. She suggested doing some research to ensure all your apps are locked down to protect you.
“Another aspect of privacy that I feel is extremely important is protecting the images that we share from being copied and shared beyond our accounts. Sadly, if people can see your images they can copy and share them,” said Caldwell. “I STRONGLY suggest ensuring that images of children are never posted in public places on social media accounts, such as profile or cover photos. Your current profile and cover photos are public and can not be set to private. If I can see them, I can take them, and so can anyone else. Although I have many goals in the work that I do, one of the most important ones for me is ensuring that images of children don’t get into the hands of people that should not have them.”
“Another issue with apps like Instagram and Facebook is that anyone can message you even if they are not connected with your account. These messages will come
through as “message requests” you will be given the option to respond, if you do, they will then have the ability to call you through messenger, as well as see your activity status (when you are active online),” she said. “If you receive a message request from people you don’t know I recommend deleting them and blocking them as the majority of these types of messages are scams and some can contain viruses.”
Caldwell told attendees, “The wonderful world of social media can be a great way to connect with friends and family if we are using it safely and responsibly. Research how to set privacy settings, ensure you lock down your information to the best of your abilities and remember to periodically check your settings to ensure things haven’t changed. We don’t just lock our doors and windows once; we do it all the time to ensure we are protected. We need to look at privacy settings on the internet the same way and on our ‘Safety on Social Media’”.
I’m hoping by writing this article full of information shared by Val Caldwell people will be more careful with their posts. During her presentation at conference those who access Facebook with their phone were checking their privacy settings and upgrading them.
Over the years I have been told by employers that because of posts on Facebook they have put people’s resumes in the garbage as they didn’t feel they would be suitable for the job. So think before you post and protect your privacy.
As Caldwell stresses, every time you visit a website, post on social media, buy online, send an email, search for something on Google, Text or message someone, stream a movie or TV show you leave a digital foot print.
MCA Begins Issuing Cash Advances on Fall Planted Winter Cereals
Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) has received approval to start issuing cash advances on winter wheat and fall rye planted in fall 2022 through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Advance Payments Program (APP).
The APP is a federal loan program administered by Manitoba Crop Alliance. It offers Canadian farmers marketing flexibility through interest-free and low-interest cash advances. Under the program, eligible farmers are eligible for up to
$1,000,000, with the Government of Canada paying the interest on the first $250,000 of the advance for the 2022 and 2023 program years. Funds can be issued in three to five business days once the application process is complete. MCA’s interest rate on interest-bearing cash advances is competitive with major banks and credit unions.
“MCA prides itself on providing friendly, small-town service when farmers apply for and manage their APP
cash advance,” said MCA chair Robert Misko. “When a farmer contacts us, our knowledgeable staff walks them through the program and are happy to answer any questions they may have.”
To apply for an advance under the 2023 program year on winter wheat and fall rye planted in fall 2022, farmers can phone MCA’s office at 1-204-745-6661 or toll-free 1-877-598-5685 to request an application form.
MCA also continues to pro-
cess applications for the 2022 program year on over 35 crop kinds and honey.
“Since 1981, we have offered a competitive option for farmers who are interested in a cash advance through the APP,” says MCA vice-chair Jonothan Hodson. “Our APP clients are extremely important to us, which is why our staff, Tammy Cote and Rae Jackson regularly go above and beyond to make sure clients receive their advance as quickly as possible.”
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost 20
Val Caldwell, a well known speaker, addresses Manitoba Farm Women’s conference on the importance of social media privacy settings.
Photo by Joan Airey
Dairy Milk Cows Need Proper Dry Cow Nutrition and Management
Whether dairy producers provide a single or two-stage dry cow feeding program, it is important that it maintains or put the right amount of body condition on dairy cows to prepare them for a successful lactation. A closer review of any one of these dry cow feeding programs (with proper management) will have certain similarities between them. Plus, they should ultimately dovetail into most high-energy lactation diets. Failure to do so will bring about all sorts of metabolic problems, particularly in the early lactation cows. That is why, it is best to choose a well-thought-out feeding and management program that works for your dry cows.
As a dairy nutritionist, it just so happens that I believe in a two-stage dry cow feeding and management program. So, it is it is my recommendation that once a dairy milking cow completes a 305-day lactation cycle, that she is properly dried-off and put into a 60-day dry cow program; a far-away stage of 40 days, which is followed by a 20/21day close-up stage.
I believe that separate faraway dry cow time is necessary because; first, it allows a “resting” phase, which permits udder involution; where lost
milk secretory cells in lactation, regenerate and increase in number. Second, it allows the rumen to rebound, where tissue linings and muscle tone are restored. Last, these first 40 days heals internal organs, such as the liver, which were likely damaged by high grain and fat-enriched diets and the metabolic demands of high milk production.
I also like to see that latelactation cows are brought into the faraway dry period in a body condition of 3.0 – 3.5 BCS. To maintain such optimum BCS as well as support healthy growth of their fetus; a faraway dry cow should consume about 2.0% of her bodyweight (dm, basis) of well-balanced feed made up mostly of bulky and good quality grass-type forages. The whole diet should then supply about 14 – 16 Mcal of dietary energy (or TDN = 60 – 62%), 13 – 14% crude protein, complimented by 0.50% calcium, 0.30% phosphorus, 0.5% salt and trace-minerals (copper, zinc, selenium) and vitamins (A = 100,000, D = 3,000 and E = 1000 iu/head). Lastly, 10 g per head per day of commercial yeast should be included.
Once the 20 -21 close-up feeding program rolls around, it should be formulated to car-
ry a modest amount of dietary energy, namely, 0.60 – 0.65 Mcal/lb. (dm, basis) as well as 14 – 15% protein. A balance of calcium and phosphorus in a 1.5:1.0 – 2.5:1.0 with potassium levels controlled to promote good calcium metabolism. It should have good mineral-vitamin micro-premix to supply essential levels of copper, zinc, selenium, Vitamin A and high levels of Vitamin E (2000 – 3000 iu/ head). B-vitamins are added to this mix such as: 6 grams of niacin and 14 grams of choline to help prevent ketosis and fatty liver syndrome.
I also account that there is a 30% natural decline in dry matter intake from the start of the faraway dry period to calving. So, I assure that the entire close-up diet is very palatable. This means that most close-up diets might contain moderate-energy forages such as mixed grass hay (limiting alfalfa), which can be easily complimented with a grain-based pellet and often mixed with some ensiled lactation feed containing either barley or corn silage. These pre-partum cows should be consuming 12 kg of this good feed mixture, which helps them, calve out at an optimum BCS of 3.0 – 3.5.
A good testimonial of these
faraway/close-up dry cow principles are as follows: I visit a 325-cow dairy that separates about 70 faraway dry cows and his 20 closeup animals (as pictured). The faraway cows are fed a modest-energy, forage-based diet as outlined above. And the close-ups are fed similar forages mixed with a couple pounds of corn silage and a few pounds of a palatable 16% close-up dry cow pellet. As a result, he admits to a few cases of sub-clinical ketosis, but he deems them as not a significant problem.
This producer will also be the first to admit that his dry cow feeding and management program is one of the most challenging aspects of his dairy operation. That’s because, the dry cows transition from lactation dairy cows, into faraway dry cows, into close-up dry cows and once calved, back into lactating dairy cows. Each group has their own specific nutrient and TLC needs. By meeting these all of these dry cow needs - underlies a large portion of his and other dairy producers’ success.
Fourth Round of Compensation Now Available for Canadian Dairy Farmers
The fourth payment under the Dairy Direct Payment Program (DDPP) is now available to dairy producers.
Dairy farmers will receive compensation payments based on their milk quota. For example, the owner of an 80 head dairy farm will receive $38,000 in direct payment compensation. The compensation for this fourth round of payments totals up to $468 million.
To get their payment, producers must register through the Canadian Dairy Commis-
sion before March 31, 2023.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has mailed letters to all eligible dairy producers with instructions on the application process.
This fourth payment completes full and fair compensation to dairy producers for the impact of the CanadaEuropean Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP). The Government of Canada
recently announced compensation of up to $1.2 billion over six years under the DDPP to account for the impacts of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
As of 2024, the owner of a farm with 80 milking cows may receive compensation through a direct payment of about $106,000 in six yearly instalments on a declining scale. These funds give producers the flexibility to invest according to their individual needs.
Through the 2022 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada announced up to $1.7 billion in compensation to supply-managed sectors for the impacts of CUSMA. With this announcement, the Government delivers on its commitment to fully and fairly compensate producers and processors who have lost market share under CETA, CPTPP and CUSMA. The total compensation will reach up to $4.8 billion.
Federal Government Announces New Ag Programs Are Ready to Go
By Elmer Heinrichs
A key highlight for Canada’s agriculture sector in 2022, says federal agriculture and agri-food minister MarieClaude Bibeau, was the agreement around the new five- year sustainable Canadian agricultural partnership (S-CAP).
Bibeau said she was pleased
that she was able to reach an agreement with her provincial and territorial counterparts. She said, “We have increased the budget by $500 million. So it will bring the next partnership to $3.5 billion for the industry.”
“There will be a program that we call the ‘Resilient Agricultural Landscape Pro-
gram’ that will reward farmers for the utilization of ecological services that they are providing,” said Bibeau. “We were also able to improve the AgriStability program by increasing the compensation rate from 70 to 80 per cent.”
The new S-CAP program begins April 1, 2023 and will run to 2028.
Time to Plan Your 2023 Garden!
By Joan Airey
Winter has really hit Manitoba the last few! We must have had over five more inches of snow in our area recently. I keep telling myself to look on the bright side and think of the good that will do for gardens and crops next year. Currently I need to get planting more salad crops under my grow lights. At the moment we are enjoying a few fresh strawberries from a planter I bought inside in late October.
During this snowy weather I have been reading “How to Become a Gardener” by Ashlie Thomas who is known as the Mocha Gardener. The photography in the book is mouth-watering from salads to preserved produce from her garden. The book is about growing food, yes. But it’s also about finding your strength through gardening, reclaiming you food authority, discovering you motivation, learning that no matter what your garden yields, it’s always worth the wait. The books I write about are available at book stores such as Coles and online. Even check your local library maybe they will add them to their garden section or already have them.
Another release I have been reading is Field Guide to Outside Style by Ryan McEnaney. It’s full of ideas to design and plant your perfect out door space. I’m using this book to incorporate flowers, fruits and vegetables into my patio area. I’m hoping with help from this book I can find a couple of trees to replace ones that have been damaged by storms the last couple of years and that will beautify the yard and have fruit for the birds we like to watch in our yard.
Now’s a good time to plan your garden for 2023 I’ve been checking out T & T’s catalogue, they also send e-mails out full of ideas for gardening indoors and out. One tomato that caught my eye is Rapunzel a hybrid which has cascading stems with up to 40 small cherry tomatoes per stem. Big Beef is my standby tomato every year but I like to try a few varieties.
Vesey’s catalogue has also arrived and Chesapeake Peppers will be on my order for sure as they grow indoors and out. I have grown them in the house, my greenhouse and garden for several years. The seed is expensive but numerous peppers on one plant pays for the seed.
There are numerous seed catalogues that are available online but I prefer ones that I can study and refer back to at the kitchen table. Best Wishes for 2023! Hope you receive lots of sunshine and moisture as required
2 December 30, 2022 The AgriPost
Strawberries under grow-lights ready to pick December 16.
Some of the gardening books I have read in the past month. There are books available from beginners to seasoned gardeners on every subject you might want to read about.
Photos by Joan Airey
Top 10 Food Stories for 2022
By Sylvain Charlebois
As a follow-up to a very busy 2021, the year 2022 was truly filled with many food-related stories. Food was top of mind for many for the entire year. Reflecting on the last 12 months is always interesting, come December. As we do every year, Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab presents this year’s top 10 food news stories.
No.10 Avian Flu
Over 200 farms were impacted by the avian flu, and over four million birds were culled because of several outbreaks this year. While turkey and chicken are coping, the duck industry’s recovery is uncertain. The avian flu, likely one of the most underreported food stories of the year, made poultry, meat, and eggs more expensive at the grocery store.
The year 2022 reminded us that cyberterrorism is a real threat to our food supplies.
Sobeys and Maple Leaf Foods both fell victim to a cyberattack this year, while JBS Canada paid a ransom last year worth $11 million. No one knows if either Sobeys or Maple Leaf Foods paid a ransom, but we expect more pirating in the future. Let’s hope the food industry is ready.
No.8 Baby Formula Shortage
Few people know that Canada does not produce its own baby formula or baby powder. We have one plant in Kingston, Ontario, called Canada Royal Milk, but all its production is sent to China. Hard to believe. Parents all over the country have struggled to find formula products since early May of this year. Again, another event showing how vulnerable we can
quickly become as a country when one single American plant shuts down. What a mess.
No.7 FDA’s Approval of Lab-Grown Chicken
Cultured meat is almost here. The FDA just approved cultured chicken in the United States. Once the USDA approves, the product will be commercialized in the United States. When thinking about the environment, animal welfare, epizootics and pandemics, this technology can become a game-changer in the future. Canada could be next. But if you want these products to be labelled, don’t hold your breath. And that would be wrong. Consumers have the right to know.
No.6 Lettuce Recall
California is drying up, and it is increasingly becoming Canada’s problem. In the fall, leafy greens suddenly became very expensive if you were lucky enough to find some. This year’s lettuce shortage in Canada is yet another example of how climate change is forcing international food commerce to redefine itself.
No.5 Fertilizer Mayhem
The Trudeau government wants a 30 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, which doesn’t necessarily include fertilizer. But producers claim that reducing nitrous oxide emissions cannot be achieved without reducing fertilizer use. This policy came to light this year. Ottawa wants an absolute reduction of emissions, regardless of productivity or efficiency of fertilizer use. Our farmers’ ability to grow many crops will be severely compromised unless they use more land. This is yet another example of how urban politics is driving agri-food policies these days.
No.4 Ottawa’s New Front-of-Package Labelling Rule
Health Canada announced in June that it is going forward with a policy requiring front-ofpackage nutrition symbols on foods high in saturated fat, sugars, and sodium. It’s a concept that will provide clear, easy-toread labels. Manufacturers have until January 1, 2026, to change their labels and comply with the new requirement. This new rule sparked the well-known phrase “Don’t label my beef” since Ottawa intended to label singleingredient products like ground meat, potentially becoming the first country in the world to do so. Ottawa did change its mind at the last minute. This new rule will coax manufacturers to make healthier products, creating a levelled playing field for all companies. Smart move by Ottawa.
Chrystia Freeland was right. Blockades did impact Canada’s reputation in the United States and may have given Americans yet another excuse to support their America First policies. Several blockades across the country halted trade between Canada and the United States. The Ambassador Bridge, the busiest international land crossing between the U.S. and Canada, was closed from February 7 to February 13. Between $8 billion and $12 billion in agrifood crosses the Ambassador Bridge in both directions each year. Not a great moment for our country.
No.2 The Food Inflation Blaming Game
Inflation was top of mind for everyone this year. The fact that Canada has one of the lowest food inflation rates in the Western world did not matter (second lowest within G7). From a parliamentary investigation to our Competition Bureau’s study on profits in the grocery industry, many Canadians have grown to be critical of the grocery industry, trying to find a scapegoat for our food affordability challenges. The industry felt the pressure from “greedflation” campaigns this year, and it even got Loblaw to implement the largest price freeze policy in the world for a grocer until the end of January 2023. Even though it is important for policymakers and regulators to understand what’s going on, there’s no evidence of profiteering in food retail. But doubts persist.
How can Ukraine not be this year’s top story? Until the Russian invasion, many Canadians didn’t realize how that region of the world was so critical to the global agri-food sector. With its exports, Ukraine can feed 400 million people every year. Russia’s exports, hit by sanctions, are also critical. A few months after the invasion, many commodities reached record price levels. By June, processors had to pay more for inputs which eventually affected the entire globe’s food inflation scenario. Fertilizer access was also impacted. Let’s hope 2023 brings a peaceful end to the horrors the Ukrainian people have suffered.
The year 2022 was interesting, to say the least. We should hope that the year 2023 will bring more peace and health to the world, including Canadians.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is senior director of the agri-food analytics lab and a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University.
December 30, 2022 The AgriPost 22
Farm Equipment Market Adjusts to Economic Environment
Strong demand for farm equipment is expected to continue in 2023, as the market weathers rising interest rates and a weakening Canadian dollar, according to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) farm equipment market outlook.
“Producers will benefit from strategic planning as inventory levels for farm equipment remain below pre-pandemic levels, something we expect could continue through 2024,” said J.P. Gervais, FCC’s chief economist, noting tractor inventory levels are down 42 per cent and combines are down 47 per cent from the five-year average. “This equipment demand is supported by strong farm cash receipts, while inventory is hampered by the supply chain disruptions we saw over the past two years.”
The used equipment market has seen increased demand because of the pandemic-related shutdowns. With limited availability of new equipment and parts, producers were adapting by having additional used equipment available for parts if needed.
Equipment manufacturers are expected to increase production of new equipment due to the changing economic environment providing the opportunity for inflationary pressures in the used equipment market to moderate.
As for new equipment, the Canadian dollar has a direct impact on equipment prices.
“Most new tractors and combines sold in Canada are manufactured south of the border, so an expected depreciation of the loonie through 2023 should lead to price increases on farm machinery,” Gervais explained. “This is also the result of inflationary pressures in the supply chain that occurred in the last half of 2022.”
While the depreciating loonie makes new tractors and combines more expensive, producers can take some solace in the fact that a depreciating loonie also has a positive effect on farm commodities destined for export.
Strong commodity prices will continue to support the demand for farm equipment, offsetting the impact of higher interest rates and a lower Canadian dollar. The used equipment market is expected to stay robust for most of 2023 and into 2024.
Farm equipment sales for 2023 are projected higher for high horse-powered (HP) tractors, combines, and implement sales driven by strong crop receipts:
- 100+ HP tractor sales to rise 8.7 per cent.
- 4WD tractor sales to rise 13.9 per cent.
- Combine sales to rise 19.3 per cent.
- Canadian agricultural implement manufacturing to rise 32.2 per cent.
However, small HP tractor sales, which are largely driven by the health of the Canadian economy, are expected to slow in 2023:
- Less than 40 HP tractor sales to decline 0.4 per cent.
- 40 – 100 HP tractor sales to rise 0.4 per cent.
Manitoba Crop Alliance 2022-23 Bursary
Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) is now accepting bursary applications for the 2022-23 school year.
MCA established the bursary to assist with the financial needs of students who are enrolled in a post-secondary agricultural program within the province of Manitoba. Bursaries valued at $2,000 each will be awarded to six students.
Applicants must submit an application letter and transcript. Successful applicants will be notified by February 10, 2023 and announced at MCA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on February 16, 2023.
Reach out to mbcropalliance.ca for more information.
WTO: Agriculture Reform Urgent
World Trade Organization (WTO) DirectorGeneral Ngozi OkonjoIweala recently declared that agricultural trade reform “could not be more urgent” as she urged members to help restore the global trading body’s status as an institution the world can count on in tough times.
“It’s increasingly clear that WTO rules have not
kept pace with the challenges we face today, nor with developments on global markets,” added OkonjoIweala.
CAFTA and other WTO reform advocates seem to welcome her fresh and candid approach. They are hopeful this will yield results as food prices, food security and supply chain disruptions remain major global challenges.
WTO members have been engaged in negotiations on agriculture trade for more than two decades. The talks began in early 2000 under the original mandate of the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture. On October 24, members of the Agriculture Committee gathered for an agriculture retreat to revitalize negotiations and to undertake brainstorming sessions for how best to revi-
talize the long-stalled talks.
The WTO 2022 report shows G20 economies between mid-May and midOctober 2022 introduced export restrictions at an increased pace, particularly on food and fertilizer.
Okonjo-Iweala warned the international community of “going in the wrong direction” as export restrictions contribute to shortages, price volatility and uncertainty.
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