April 27, 2018
Heavy Horse Teams Drawn to Winter Fair from Far and Wide
MB/CAN Signed Ag Partnership
4-Horse Draft Teams line up for judging at the 2018 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. Teams came from as far away as Wyoming and Ontario for Photo by Myriam Dyck the Heavy Horse classes. The wagons were a work of art and the silver on the harnesses was blinding!
Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler have signed a bilateral agreement to finalize and implement the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year agreement to strategically invest $176 million in Manitoba’s agricultural sector. “The Canadian Agricultural Partnership will help the sector in Manitoba continue to innovate, grow and prosper,” said MacAulay. “We are committed to expanding business opportunities for Canadian producers, ranchers and processors, and strengthening the middle class by helping the agricultural sector reach its full potential.” “We have seen remarkable recent investments and growth in Manitoba’s agriculture sector,” said Eichler. “Signing this bilateral agreement signals continued growth and even greater opportunities for success. Our government is very proud of the important role of our industry partners in the development of this agreement. We thank them for their input in consultations over the last two years and look forward to future investments that will support their members and operations.” The bilateral agreement ensures Manitoba’s priorities; opportunities and issues are reflected under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Farmers, agri-processors, industry organizations, researchers and industry service providers will be able to apply for funding for specific activities and strategic investments under the streamlined Ag Action Manitoba program. Activities and strategic investments will support a sustainable, profitable and environmentally responsible agriculture sector, with a focus on industry-led research, innovation, market development and competitiveness. It focuses on six main areas in science, research and innovation, markets and trade, environmental sustainability and climate change, value-added agriculture and agri-food processing, public trust and risk management.
Patience Prevails While Waiting on Warmer Soil Temperatures
By Les Kletke Jon Friesen wants to get on the field, and while the date on the calendar is a bit later than last year when seeding began he is not worried. “We know that seeding dates vary,” he said. “And while it is later than last year we are far from a panic situation.” He farms with his brother and father at Steinbach and although they have begun
seeding in April over the last couple of years that will not be the case this year. “The snow has finally gone and we need a couple of days for the ground to warm up. We can put the seed in the ground in under two weeks so there is no need for us to panic and put seed into cold ground and have poor germination.” They intend to plant 1,000 acres of corn, and this crop
in particular wants warm ground. “We saw it a couple of years ago where fellows were putting the seed into cold ground and it stayed cold and the germination suffered. You can never recover from that no matter what your summer is like, if the stand is not there, the yield suffers,” said Friesen. He said that as of April 22 the family has not considered
making any change to the seeding plans. “If this was a month later, we would be hitting the panic button and coming up with all kinds of plans but at this time we are hoping things warm up and the ground warms up. And we can put that seed into warm ground and get an even quick germination.” He said that one lesson they have learned is to not
try and rush things when they do get to the field. “Sometimes we have a tendency to speed things up, and we pay the price for it,” said Friesen, “You go faster and seeding depth is not as even and it shows up in uneven germination and that shows up with uneven maturity.” The other crop that occupies a major portion of their farms acreage is soybeans.
“They really don’t like cold soil, so we would not be planting them at this time,” he said. “We would like temperatures to increase and see the soil warm up so we could get closer to a proper seeding temperature but we have another week in April and the first half of May. Planting in warm ground can make up for a number of days on the calendar,” he said.
April 27, 2018
Building Dialogue and Public Trust in Food and Farming
Crystal Mackay, the President of the Canadian Center for Food Integrity, told the 2018 Manitoba Swine Seminar that CCFI is new in Canada and membership is individual farmers, right through to the biggest food company, retail, and food service in the country.
By Harry Siemens According to the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity consumers are more interested in how the food chain grows or processes and brings to market their food more so than ever. The organization’s mission is to help with building trust by providing research, resources, training and dialogue. Crystal Mackay, the President of the Canadian Center for Food Integrity (CCFI), told the 2018 Manitoba Swine Seminar that CCFI is new in Canada. “Our makeup is everything from individual farmers, right through to the biggest food company, retail, and food service in the country,” said Mackay. “We equip the
food system with research, resources, and opportunities to come together for a dialog to do a better job.” The public’s involvement in issues related to food production and farming has changed, and that is why she said it is essential to maintain the trust of the people because it has changed, too. “The Canadian public has questions about everything on their plate, from seed to table, and how producers grow it,” said Mackay. “We didn’t see that ten years ago. And their questions range from what happens on the farm right through to retail and food service. So that’s the first piece.” Secondly, she said it became apparent the power
and the importance of public trust for the growth and future of the sector. “So not just about our products but our actual production. For instance, are you allowed to build a barn, allowed to expand, allowed to innovate with new technology,” said Mackay. “And I use the word allowed very specifically because there are many cases, including in Manitoba, where that hasn’t happened.” She said the Canadian Agri sector is in a position of strength enjoying good public trust in food and farming. “So once we ask specific questions about things like the environment or animal welfare, for example, it quickly erodes to being unsure,” she said. “I think the opportunity for us moving forward is what we are going to do differently to build the depth of that trust on specific topics.” Mackay said there is a big list of topics which are important to the public however rising cost of food and keeping healthy food affordable has come up as the top two issues over the last two years. “That’s important when we’re framing up what we do and how we feed our country. We’re in the business of providing healthy,
affordable food, and that is super important to Canadians,” she said. “I think we need to reframe our conversations, our positioning of what we do in agriculture, and in the pork industry to be one of a positive strength, positive contributor to our country, meeting the needs of the public.” Mackay said there are a few topics to watch for and that the Agri sector needs to improve in particular the hot issues like antibiotics. “I see this as giant conversations about food, starting one-onone, going right through to TV advertising but based as an authentic conversation which includes acknowledging areas where we could improve, what we’re doing for the future,” she said. “It needs to be an authentic conversation, not an ad campaign, but it can start from one person, one farmer at a time, right through to big national advertising efforts.” A significant advantage in this discussion is that farmers still rank very highly for overall impression, warmth, and trust on most characteristics, which is excellent. So do university researchers, government researchers, veterinarians for example on animal welfare rate highly on trust.
Spring Seeding Starts at Portage la Prairie
Near Portage la Prairie, Jim Palliser had seeded half of his farm even though the snow map showed snow cover across North America in the last week of April. Photo courtesy of Jim Palliser
By Harry Siemens While farmers across western Canada and in the US are waiting for sunshine and warmer temperatures Jim Palliser and his two sons have planted half of their canola acres and some wheat by late April. Son William tweeted a satellite map showing snow all around the Palliser farm at Portage la Prairie. “I can see why nobody believes we are seeding. We had a no precipitation zone last year, and it continues. This map shows snow cover in North America, and we’re seeding right in the middle of it,” said Jim Palliser. “Well, the only place its wet has to do with snow melt. Because it was so windy, there’s snow around the edges of the field, and there’s snowmelt running out of the yards. But the field itself has been exposed all winter, so it’s mellow.” Karen Braun, a global agriculture columnist at Thomson Reuters in Chicago, IL, and meteorologist by training, said this, “Look at the difference in Iowa’s soil temperature this year versus last year. In some cases, it is 25 degrees colder in 2018 indicating 0 per cent of Iowa is ready for planting. Fieldwork ideally starts when temperatures are closer to 50. Snow free would help, too. Corn will have to wait.” Will Mellencamp, a fertilizer application specialist at Clarinda, IA said it is April 20 in the Midwest, and there are still freezing temperatures. “Not to mention the rain and snow. Farmers need to be planting, but the soil temperature is still only under 4 °C.” While Palliser has worked since Monday, April 16, he said that he’s not aware of too many others going at this time except one neighbour with his drill. Referring to the satellite image there was a severe storm all the way down into Nebraska up to but not where he farms. “Land is blowing not far from my place near Westbourne west of us showing the land is dry on the surface and needs working to make lumps,” said Jim. “And seeding conditions are mellow, but we need to keep going cause it might not rain and get too dry; even here in southern Manitoba. We started off spreading, I mean the land is dry on the surface and needs to be worked up to make lumps.” His youngest son William said seeding is going well. “We started off spreading a barley cover crop because the land is vulnerable to wind erosion before establishing a crop. Very dry conditions carrying over from last summer combined with an open winter makes for a dry situation overall,” said William. “Having said that, seed bed moisture is excellent as there is little issue with seeding into moisture. The previous week the frost was only 3 inches below the surface, now because of this heat, it is rapidly thawing. Since the forecast is dry with ample heat, we’re making seeding a priority as to take advantage of the seedbed moisture that we have.” He said their tile drainage is not running as the ground is thawing, giving evidence that the water table is low.
April 27, 2018
April 27, 2018
Who is Handling our Image? Ever wonder what the world thinks of you? A lot of times it does not matter or it didn’t but in today’s market place it does. Just as we all got tired of hearing that there were boom times coming in agriculture when each person in China would eat one more egg a day or have one more slice of bread, and it did not happen. Oh, the eggs and the bread did but somebody else sold it to them. We are sure that people should trust their food supply if it is Canadian because we know that we have some of the strictest rules in the world and we follow them. Those days are gone like discers, some people started telling stories about the dangers of GMO’s and antibiotics and the rules changed. The A&W ads are a long way from that big old bear walking down a road in Alberta (where there were no power lines). Today some grandfatherly like guy espouses the value on non-antibiotic beef in their burgers. They are selling an image and happen to throw in a burger and some fries. As I sit down to pen this column curling season is long over but you would not know it looking out the window. Curling on television gives up a great reflection of what the world thinks of Canadian farmers. Having spent a few weeks in the US and watching curling coverage there, it told me a lot about the difference in cultures as well. In Canada only farmers and people who are buying curling supplies watch curling – or else other business would advertise during curling events. I guess they must buy the occasional pick up because Ford has been involved for over 20 years. DuPont and New Holland seem to have a lock on the curling ads, and I am especially glad that New Holland’s advertising agency decided to find out about curling. Those adds from last year, where the guy hung up his curling brush in the machine shed and walked off to the house, did not portray a very good image of Canadian farmers, as farmers or curlers. Still using a horse hair brush – not many, and leaving hanging in the machine shed, really? The one about putting a curling rock on a pallet of rocks in the yard really had me wondering. That add did not make sense no matter how often I saw it and I gave it a couple of hundred views to be sure. This year the ad agency took some time to find out about the game and delivered a great soliloquy about why farmers like curing, and it is all about family and doing well and yada, yada, yada. I know a lot of farmers and I know a lot of curlers, I never made that connection, and not since the Richardsons in ’62 has a family won the Briar. In the US it appears that curling fans eat more, the Outback Steak House was a major sponsor and promoted its deep fried onion, cheesy fry, 4 rib special a few times a game. To the point I went out and had one. Sometimes it is worth the effort to step back and see how people are trying to reach you to get a handle on what they think about you.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. An honest man will readily admit that, because we all occasionally think about the world in ways that we probably shouldn’t. A fancy term for what often causes us to view the world inaccurately is “cognitive bias.” A website called Harvestprofit. com contains excellent blog posts on the subject. A common one is called “confirmation bias.” Basically, it’s a tendency to look at information that confirms our beliefs while ignoring or downplaying information that runs counter to them. Farmers do this all the time. Sometimes it’s with weather forecasts, other times it’s with commodity prices or equipment that you think should run a certain way and then doesn’t. See if you can catch yourself “buying into” data that fits what you’re already thinking while poohpoohing information that doesn’t. An interesting, but more complicated error is called “survivorship bias”. It consists in restricting your thinking to ideas that already made it past a biased selection process and forgetting about and ignoring things that didn’t. The problem is pretty obvious. You can ignore the fact that what stays in your head may have remained because of random selection or sheer luck in the winnowing process of reduction we all use to order our values. What remains may not necessarily do what you think it will do. You have to keep an open mind. A famous example of survivorship bias comes from WWII, when a group of statisticians were trying to figure out how to protect planes from enemy gunfire. They analyzed all the damage done to planes when they
had returned from their missions, and then made By Rolf modifications based on Penner this data by reinforcing areas that had bullet holes in them. One day they realized they had it back- on addressing them. They’re wards. All of those planes had probably not where the bullet survived despite those bullet holes are.” holes. What needed reinforcing Groupthink is another bias to were the spots on the returning watch out for. Sometimes our planes that had no damage at desire to be part of a group, or all. The planes that got hit just one of the guys, overrides there didn’t come back! our better judgment. Coffee Applying survivorship bias shops and online forums can to the farm means learning be real hornet’s nests of groupfrom your failures. We all think. But your own farm can make mistakes and decisions be as well if there are certain that are just flat-out wrong. things that just don’t get sugSometimes they’re painful, gested or talked about, just and even worse, expensive, but to keep the peace inside that what’s even worse than that is work group. This may also be not learning from them at all. the case with experts whom Seeding rates, fertility plans, you’ve worked with for a long variety selection, soil tempera- time, people who have figured tures, timing of everything, out what might tick you off etc, etc. – the list of things is and play it safe by just telling virtually endless and they’re you what they know you want all learning opportunities. to hear. While we’re at it, how about Many, many biases can learning from other peoples cloud our judgment and lead mistakes? Sometimes we get us to make poor decisions too caught up in copying some- and bad choices. Probably the one else’s success when the most obvious one is called the more valuable lesson may be “bias blind spot,” which is an someone else’s failure. Even inability to see one’s own bimore important may be think- ases. That’s why it’s important ing like the WWII analysts. to learn about biases in the first Maybe your own or someone place. Once we know what else’s success is more the result they are they’re much easier to of not being hit in your most spot, especially in other peovulnerable spot… yet. As the ple. But the real challenge is to blog post points out, “Be ruth- see them in your own thinking. less in evaluating what your It’s not easy but well worth the vulnerabilities are, and focus effort.
Farmers Need to Step Out and Step Up to Keep Telling Their Stories
For a long time now I’m one that likes to tell the story of farming one story at a time. Sometimes those stories don’t always involve farmers directly; it can be suppliers who make it possible for those farmers to produce the grain that feeds us and the rest of the world. With the percentage of farmers dwindling lower and lower while still cropping the same acres, it is imperative that consumers speak directly with those people who produce their food. It isn’t just about data and words, but it has to do with telling their stories; often in a oneto-one conversation. That’s why the comments
by Trish Jordan, the Director of Public and Industry Affairs with Monsanto Canada in Winnipeg caught my attention. Years back I worked with Trish at Monsanto doing seminars on communications and selling skills and toured their GMO research labs in St. Louis, MO in 2004. Jordan said those involved in food production need to focus more on conversation and less on data when engaging with the non-farming public. That is why I keep challenging farmers on Twitter or where ever I meet them to step out and step up and tell their story whether in the coffee shop, family gatherings or on public platforms. Trish said the tools used by modern agriculture to meet expanding demand for food have faced increasing attacks from activist groups.
You bet! The bigger and better the tools and buildings become the bigger the target and the louder the oppose-anything food activists shout. In fact so loudly that they influence national food policy makers. I’ve said it many times, and I repeat it, often, at least more so in the past farmers hurtling accusations across the borders whether between Canada and The United States or US and Mexico or in other parts of the world is shooting ourselves in our collective feet. Why, because the time would come and in some instances, they’ve been around for some time, others who hate all forms of production agriculture do it for real. Jordan said much of the messaging uses shock and awe, so you see a lot of videos on YouTube or Netflix
dramas such as Food Inc, Cowspiracy, and Meritocracy, driven with the objective of denigrating animal agriculture. “The end game for these groups, the real vehemently activist groups is they don’t want animal agriculture at all,” she said. “They don’t want the use of biotechnology in food production at all and so their end goal, even though they don’t state it, is to ban them. You go and check out these groups and go to their websites; they have a plethora of videos, a plethora of stories and some people either lean towards that, to begin with so they’re easily swayed to believe in these campaigns. Other people have a genuine interest. They might think I’ve heard that pesticides are bad, therefore I better shop organic because organic doesn’t use pesticides.”
She said those of us involved in agriculture know that’s not true because organic farmers can use pesticides. But the consumer doesn’t dig that deep. They have an attention span of seven to ten seconds. “They don’t dig that deep, they’re being pulled in by the emotions, and that’s where we need to do a better job of telling our story, not bombarding them with facts, research papers, and science-based data even though we’re all driven by that,” she said. “It’s more getting into a conversation with them and understand where they’re getting their information and then try to open up a different view of agriculture than they currently have.” Jordan said the Canadian agriculture sector is stepping up and realizing the need to have this conversation with consumers.
April 27, 2018
Consumer Demand Continues to Grow Free Workshops with Quality Assurance Pork Branding Designed for Farm Safety Readiness and Enforcement
By Harry Siemens At the recent AGM of the Manitoba Pork Council Michael Young, Vice-President Technical Programs and Marketing Services with Canada Pork International demonstrated how he sells pork around the world, especially to consumers in Japan, China and South Korea. It starts with the branding known as Verified Canadian Pork which has played a big role in building awareness of Canadian pork in export markets. First, he spoke on how it came into being. “Verified Canadian Pork is a brand created by the producers and packers who are part of the program. The brand attributes itself focusing on many things our producers do. For instance, the Canadian Quality Assurance [CQA] program is evolving into Canadian Pork Excellence,” said Young. “The fact that traceability is mandatory in Canada, a point of differentiation, and it provides a safe and secure source of high-quality protein for our customers. So that’s one of the brand attributes. All the Verified Canadian Pork has to come from CQA-accredited farms, processed at federallyapproved plants and then they can use that brand to market their product.” He said the proof points of the brand are fundamental for CQA accreditation. The plants that are part of the program require their suppliers to be fully accredited under the CQA program. The next step is mandatory traceability, which is a law in Canada. While Canada does not have any growth hormones ap-
By Les Kletke
Michael Young Vice-President Technical Programs and Marketing Services with Canada Pork International said they meet with consumers, processors, retailers and food service operators and have created a website which is Verifiedcanadianpork.com
proved for pork, all pork in Canada is produced growth hormone free. Another attribute is that pork must come from federally inspected member plants. “Originally, the mandate came from the Canadian Pork Council looking for a national pork organization to build a national brand for Canadian pork,” said Young. “Up until that point, we weren’t using that as a marketing angle for the things that producers are doing on the farm, but it turns out these things are very, very important to our customers. They’re a big part of the success that Canada pork has had in other markets, so we decided to use that as part of the branding.” He said it has worked out very well going on four and half years with over 90 cobrand of Verified Canadian Pork in the marketplace. The brand has extended into Japan, China and Hong Kong with massive success in Japan.
Processors demanded the expansion of the program from the domestic market to the export market. “We had always hoped that we would roll it into the export market, but it the processors who surprised us by wanting to do it sooner than later,” said Young. “It’s gone well as our Japan office is using approximately 1.5 million Verified Canadian Pork labels every month. So those are packaged pork products that are carrying that brand in the Japanese marketplace every month.” Young said Japanese consumers are accepting this labeling very well because it resonates perfectly with what they want to hear. The Japanese market’s one of the toughest markets to be in and one of the most lucrative in the world and the Japanese consumer’s very demanding. “They are not self-sufficient, so they know they have to import pork and Canada has worked in Japan for over 50
years,” he said. “Last ten years we switched our volumes from frozen to chilled, which is the most important and the highest quality. We started out at about 22 per cent of the chilled share. As of January 2018, at 48 per cent of the chilled pork share in Japan, so the growth is phenomenal.” Young said the Canadian Verified Pork brand is their branding strategy for all markets now. “It’s just a Maple Leaf with a check mark through it, but through the outer rim it says, ‘Responsible animal care, traceability’, things that resonate with customers,” he said. “So it really speaks to what our producers do and what our processors are doing in Canada to ensure the safety and the wholesomeness of the product, but also, part of it is food security too. A lot of these customers are concerned for the future; they want to assure their supply partners will be there long-term.”
Justin Trudeau is Failing Canadian Shippers and Grain Farmers Dear Editor: This past winter, farmers and rail shippers bore the cost of the Liberal’s mismanagement of the rail sector. Declines in railway service saw performance numbers drop dramatically resulting in the worst backlog in years. Last fall, the Transport Committee heard from witnesses about important amendments that were needed to improve the rail transportation aspects of Bill C-49 the Transportation Modernization Act. When Conservative members introduced these reasonable amendments to the legislation, Liberal MPs voted them down. However, now the Senate has adopted many of the same amendments to Bill C-49 that were originally shot down by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. Now, Transport Minister Marc Garneau and the Liberals have a choice. Garneau must decide if he will stand by his flawed legislation or if he will finally agree with shippers, farmers and agriculture groups, and pass this C-49 with the practical amendments that were championed by Conservatives. Andrew Scheer recognizes the importance of the transportation sector to the Canadian economy. This is why we will continue to fight for Canadian shippers and farmers to have access to a logistics system that gets their products to market in a reliable and timely way. Sincerely, Kelly Block, MP Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport Luc Berthold, MP and John Barlow, MP Conservative Shadow Ministers for Agriculture
Renee Simcoe acknowledges that farm operations have been excluded from enforcement of safety regulations in many cases but that is changing. “Things are changing and farms are required to follow safety regulations but it is not a black and white issue and in many cases the Safety Officer works with them on a consultative basis to move towards the regulations,” said Simcoe. She is the communications officer for the Safety Program provided by Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP). Her counterpart Morag Marjenision is a former Safety Officer and delivers the programs, she is also a farmer herself. KAP has a series of 8 free workshops scheduled for June at communities around the province to provide farmers with the information about Workplace Safety and Health Legislation. The morning will be spent looking at the legislation and how it applies to farms, safety officer’s responsibilities and what is required for data record keeping. The afternoon will concentrate on creating a safety policy for the individual farm and how it can help the farm as well as the mandatory requirements for workers. “Typically Safety Officers visit larger farms but we want to stress these workshops are for all farmers and we want every farmer to be involved with providing a safe work environment,” stressed Simcoe. She said that Safety Officers are typically
called on to visit farms with 10 or more employees. “The rules have not been applied as strictly to farms,” she said. “But that is changing and we want farmers to be aware of the rules. Safety Officers know that in many cases the farmer or the employee many not be aware of the rules and sometimes a visit can be viewed as educational. That is much better than confrontational.” Simcoe said that practicality also comes into play with the application of safety legislation. “We know that a farmer may be cleaning a grain bin and while that is viewed as a confined space and requires another person to be watching from the outside that is not practical, so the situation requires a look at what is practical rather than applying the law in black and white.” Marjenision is also available for farm visits to help farmers with a mock audit on what a Safety Officer might take note of during a visit. “This allows the farmer to see what steps they might have to take and can begin the process,” said Simcoe. The series of workshops is an introductory step and Simcoe is working on a follow up seminar to be hosted in the fall. To register for the free workshops go to manitobafarmsafety.ca and for further information visit the farm safety page at safemanitoba. com. Hosted by KAP, the Manitoba Farm Safety Program was announced in November 2016 to provide farm-specific resources and guidance to help farmers become aware, compliant and able to ensure healthy, safe workplaces.
April 27, 2018
HyLife Cuts Ribbon to its World Class Facility Expansion in Neepawa
Hylife Food’s employees work in the recently expanded Integrated Pork Processing Plant in Neepawa that now boasts leading-edge technology and is one of the most sophisticated facilities in Canada.
By Harry Siemens HyLife, a Manitoba integrated pork processor, headquartered in La Broquerie, with business around the world recently held an Open House to show the completion of its pork processing facility expansion and upgrade project. The company focused the bulk of its investment modernizing the Integrated Pork Processing Plant in Neepawa with leading-edge technology making it one of the most sophisticated facilities in Canada. This latest expansion created 165 additional jobs to bring the number of HyLife employees to 2,000 in Canada. “We committed to this significant expansion and upgraded in response to our market growth in Japan and China,” said HyLife President Claude Vielfaure. “Our investment is totaled at $176 million to ensure we can meet both the quantity and the very high-quality standards our customers are seeking. Our new technology upgrades make our standards world class.” The governments of Canada and Manitoba invested $2 million toward HyLife’s processing expansion through Growing Forward 2 to help buy modern processing and packaging equipment In addition to the Neepawa processing plant, HyLife operates feed mills at Randolph and Killarney and production facilities in eastern and western Manitoba. Vielfaure said this latest expansion and upgrade is in response to market growth in Japan and China. They produce fresh chilled pork at the Neepawa plant as their primary goal and some frozen products. “We’re the number one seller of fresh chilled pork in the Asian markets, Japan being our number one country for fresh chilled which is a high-value product,” he said. “Our new investment, $176 million in our fully integrated pork company includes a feed mill in Killarney and hog barns in the western part of Manitoba. The biggest investment is our processing plant and add-
ing 100 thousand square feet which include a new cut floor and new technology that is simply going to be a worldclass facility. We’ll be able to produce high-quality pork.” Vielfaure said the new technology helps to extend shelf life which is essential when selling fresh chilled into the Asian market. It is a wholly deboned product and is a process they worked on for many years to continue their expansion into that marketplace. He said Canada exports about 70 percent of the pork it produces and HyLife exports an even more significant percentage than that. The new trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will help maintain markets in countries HyLife is already dealing with, and open other opportunities to sell pork. “We export to over 23 countries around the world. The
main countries we sell to are Japan, China, South Korea, Mexico, US, and Canada,” said Vielfaure. “We produce a lot of our hogs ourselves, but purchase a portion of the hogs from different customers across Manitoba and Saskatchewan.” Vielfaure said the expansion of the Neepawa plant made sense. “We’re a company that has grown a lot over the years. We never stop thinking about what is our next step, and so, we’re looking at that right now.” Speaking at the recent Open House in Neepawa Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler said HyLife is a remarkable success story for Manitoba. “We congratulate HyLife on the completion of its processing plant expansion,” said Eichler. “This expansion is an important investment for the province, creating new jobs and increasing Manitoba’s ability to meet market demand. It strengthens Manitoba’s position as a global leader in pork processing.”
HyLife President Claude Vielfaure said that because of significant market growth in Japan and China they invested $176 million into the expansion to make sure that high-quality standards and increased production continues to meet its customer’s demands.
Employees at Hylife Foods assemble at the newly modernized Integrated Pork Processing Plant in Neepawa, part of a $176 million upgrade and expansion project.
Do the Due
(Diligence that is) If you’ve paid attention to anything in the news in the last week or two you may have seen the major news networks running a story on how fuel is expected to be the most expensive in Canada that it’s been in the last 10 years. The story goes on to say this is justified or explained because of the “loonies recent detachment from oil prices”. With crude oil now at $16/barrel higher than this time last year, supposedly the Canadian dollar being four or five cents higher than this time last year somehow equates to record fuel prices this summer. Naturally, I was skeptical of these claims and went digging to find out just how much truth was behind these statements. Normally, crude oil and the Canadian dollar will move in the same direction (both up or down) which has the effect of minimizing the move that we see in crude oil when converted to Canadian dollars. Since I’m a technical analyst by nature, I decided to build a chart to see what the values of crude oil in Canadian dol-
lars have been over the past ten years; take a look at this chart (below). All this chart has done is taken the price of crude oil, divided it by the Canadian dollar on the same day, and given us a value for crude oil in Canadian dollars. The last time we had crude oil worth $87/barrel Canadian was November 2014, at which point the prices at the pump in Winnipeg were at $1.10 – $1.13/litre versus today at $1.23 – $1.24/litre already. Surely this can’t be right? If the claims are correct, and fuel prices are going to 10-year highs, that means pump prices will be at or above approximately $1.36/ litre according to GasBuddy. com, which we saw last in June 2013, and prior to that July 2008 (the spike highs shown by the circles). Perhaps what I find the most frustrating out of the lies in these articles is that the blame is put on higher crude oil prices (which
are at three and a half year highs, but nowhere near the highs of the last ten years), and a lower Canadian dollar (which is at the third highest level in almost three years) but there is not a word mentioned about carbon taxes and how much impact that is having on fuel prices. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people won’t do any of their own digging to fact check things, and just believe what they see or read in the news. But good news, that carbon tax is saving the environment, so you can feel good about paying so much for fuel. Brian Voth is the President of IntelliFARM Inc, working with farms to create customized grain marketing plans and carrying them out. For more information visit intellifarm.ca or call 204-3243669.
Values of crude oil in Canadian dollars have been over the past ten years.
Grain Producers Welcome Senate passage of C-49 Canada’s grain producers are applauding the Senate’s passage today of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act with requested amendments. “It’s clear the Senate heard farmers’ voices and did its job and provided sober second thought,” said Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) President, Jeff Nielsen. “With the proposed improvements, Bill C-49 will provide meaningful tools that the shippers need to hold railways to account, increase competition and
bring better rail service to the grain industry.” Recognizing that this is a unique opportunity to fix the power imbalance between grain shippers and the railways, grain farmers put forward three amendments to make C-49 a more balanced bill. The Senate Committee agreed that Bill C-49 as originally drafted left too much power in the hands of the railways and adopted the amendments to make C-49 stronger. These amendments include adding soybeans to the Maxi-
mum Revenue Entitlement, improving shipper accessibility to long-haul interswitching, and own motion power for the Canadian Transportation agency. “We applaud the work of the Senate, and in particular the Transportation committee, for their thorough review of the Bill,” said GGC Vice President, Art Enns. “Now we are counting on the members of the House of Commons to work together and pass C49 as soon as possible.”
April 27, 2018
The Race to Ratify the CPTPP The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was signed on March 8 at a ceremony in Santiago, Chile that was attended by International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne and the 10 other trade ministers from the CPTPP countries. Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) and some of its members were there to witness the signing of the deal. CAFTA applauded the Government of Canada for signing the final text, which represents positive progress towards the ratification of the deal. CAFTA urged Canada to be in the first wave of countries to ratify the agreement in order to take full advantage of the initial tariff cuts. In a statement issued following the signing, CAFTA President Brian Innes stated, “Having preferential access for the first time to Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore will fire up the agri-food sector’s engine and move us toward the government’s ambitious target of $75 billion in agri-food exports by 2025.” The agreement will mean more stability and prosperity for Canada and now the Canadian government must move forward and make it happen. The CPTPP is a new free trade agreement among Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Following the decision in 2017 by the United States to withdraw from the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), the remaining 11 members of the partnership agreed to find a path forward for a new deal. Parties agreed on its core elements in November 2017 in Vietnam and concluded negotiations on January 23, 2018 in Tokyo. The CPTPP will give Canada new free trade agreements with seven countries in the Asia-Pacific and update existing trade agreements with Mexico, Chile and Peru. Of particular interest to Canadian agri-food exporters, it provides unprecedented market access to key Asian markets. Once the CPTPP enters into force, it will be one of the largest free trade agreements in the world, with 11 countries representing almost 500 million people accounting for a combined GDP of $13.5 trillion. According to a government study, Gross Domestic Product gains for Canada would total $4.2 billion under the deal. Currently, Canada exports approximately $31.5 billion worth of products to the 10 other CPTPP countries. The CPTPP incorporates by reference most of the TPP provisions, with some modifications pertaining mainly to intellectual property and investor-state dispute settlement. Most important for Canadian agri-food exporters is that market access provisions from the TPP remain intact in the new CPTPP agreement. The new free trade deal will provide preferential access to large and fast-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific. Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam are regarded as key CPTPP markets for agricultural products, where Canadian exporters currently face high tariffs and no preferential access. Canada exported just under $4.9 billion in agri-food products in 2017 to these three markets. The unprecedented access will boost exports of Canadian agri-food products in the region. Once it comes into force, Japan will eliminate 32 per cent of Canadian agri-food tariff lines, Vietnam will eliminate 31 per cent of tariff lines (67 per cent within 15 years), and Malaysia will eliminate 92 per cent of tariff lines. In addition, the CPTPP provides Canada with additional competitive advantage in the region over the United States since it is not part of the agreement. Japan, as the third-biggest export market, is the big prize for Canadian agri-food exporter. It is a high value and stable market, importing $4 billion agri-food products every year. Australia, Mexico, and Chile already have free trade agreements with Japan and the Japan-EU free trade agreement will cut 85 per cent of Japanese tariffs on European agri-food exports. The preferential access brought by the CPTPP will help us to begin catching up in the fastest-growing region in the world where our competitors are already ahead of us. Each member of the CPTPP will now undertake their own domestic processes to ratify and implement the agreement. The agreement will enter into force 60 days after it’s ratified by at least six members. In Canada, the government must table the CPTPP and table the implementing legislation, which will need to go before the House of Commons and Senate. For reference, the last major trade deal ratified in Canada was the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA): it was debated for 10 sitting weeks in the House of Commons and 10 sitting weeks in the Senate before it received Royal Assent. With only 20 sitting weeks left in the 2018 House of Commons calendar and 22 sitting weeks in the 2018 Senate Calendar, the sooner the government tables the implementing legislation before the House, the sooner it can get to Committee and the sooner it can get before the Senate. The race is on and media reports say that the CPTPP will likely be ratified by six of the agreement’s members by the fall, enabling it to come into effect by the end of 2018. Reports have Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia and Vietnam working towards this target. Australia has already tabled the treaty, Japan approved bills to ratify the CPTPP and hopes to ratify before the end of June, and Mexico has submitted the agreement to its Senate for approval. We may lose the “first mover advantage” if Canada is not among the first countries to ratify. If our competitors ratify and implement the CPTPP before Canada, they will benefit from the initial rounds of tariff cuts and we won’t, putting us at a further disadvantage.
April 27, 2018
“Mr. Bean” Projects Soybean Acres to Drop
Who Has Your Back?
By Harry Siemens On a recent Twitter discussion some producers expressed concerns especially in Saskatchewan about how some grain companies may be discounting soybeans because of lower protein content. Mr. Bean aka Dennis Lange Pulse Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture working out of the Altona office while not commenting on the alleged protein discounts by certain grain companies offered his advice on what had happened in some areas during the 2017 growing season. “We had some very dry conditions in July and August, and that’s critical when it comes to yield at that period because that’s when the beans tend to put the yield on. But also too, we see some lower proteins from certain areas of the province,” said Lange. Looking back at their provincial trials, two trials showed that protein content was 45 per cent less than what it was in the previous year on the same site, and both of those sites had less moisture during those summer months, about 55 per cent of average moisture during that period. “That contributed to some lower proteins in some regions of the province, but not in every area because some did receive enough rainfall during that August period and protein content seems to be okay,” said Lange. He cautioned farmers that when Mother Nature is in control of moisture whether too much, just right or not enough, there is not much farmers and researchers can
Manitoba Crop Specialist, Dennis Lange predicts lower acreage to be planted in soybeans for 2018.
do. “The research on protein content and increasing that comes out to the fact that there are no real quick fixes for this. We can’t just add more nitrogen in spring because all that does it puts it into plant growth. You can probably try that nitrogen later in the season on early pod fill, but, you’d have to add almost 100 lbs of nitrogen, and that’s not economical to do that,” said Lange. “We’ve worked on that, concerning how to increase yield when you don’t get nodulation. That’s where we’ve seen higher protein that way, but again, 100 lbs of nitrogen at early pod fill doesn’t make sense because it’s too costly to put in for that in the hopes that it might increase protein.” Lange followed up with a forecast for this year’s crop. He said that last year Manitoba had 2.3 million acres and growers in Saskatchewan harvested 800,000. For 2018 he predicts lower acreage planted with soy-
bean. “We’ll see a little bit of a dip in the acres in Manitoba guessing right now in that two million acre range, so we’re going see a bit of a drop there. In Saskatchewan, talking to a few different people over the last couple weeks, we’re probably going to see a drop in acres there too, maybe down from that 825,000 to maybe 500,000 in Saskatchewan,” said Lange. “A lot of that’s related to lower yields compared to 2016 where we broke records in Manitoba, and our provincial average was 42 bushels an acre. In 2017, our standard was 34, more along that ten-year average. But really, other crops like canola shone brightly last year with some big yields and growers will move their acres around a little bit, which will see the drop in acres for soybeans.”
Government Funds to Promote Canada’s Agricultural Trade Interests The Government of Canada is supporting a more stable and secure trading environment for agricultural exporters through a $1 million funding strategy in the world’s three standardsetting bodies for agriculture and food products. The $1 million will support scientific and technical work of the Codex Alimentarius and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), of the Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in their efforts to ensure that technical regulations and standards do not unduly restrict global trade while at the same time protecting food safety, animal and plant health. Ensuring a predictable science-based trade environment is key for Canada’s agricultural exporters
to help them remain well-positioned to reach the ambitious goal set in Budget 2017 to increase Canada’s agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025. Strong international trade standards, guidelines and codes of practices help ensure a level-playing field for Canadian producers and businesses trading products all over the world.
April 27, 2018
What is the role of an insurance broker? Does it seem like technology should have replaced the insurance broker a decade ago? What value do I have as a farm or business owner in using a broker versus finding coverage directly from an insurer? I will never forget my conversation with the owner of a large farm who asked me to be his insurance broker. He looked me square in the eye and very politely advised that he needs me to have their backs if a farm loss occurs. Most businesses and farms do not have extensive experience when it comes to insurance claims, and this farmer made it clear, if something happens, he is trusting me to have their backs to make sure the claim is handled well. I have never signed a cheque to pay an insurance claim, and as a broker, I likely never will. However, a good insurance broker works to make sure their client understands the claim process, is treated fairly, and receives communication and settlement of the claim in a timely manner.
A good insurance broker is vital in making sure that the claim process goes smoothly. A poorly handled insurance claim is detrimental to all involved. Insurance companies value their public image and reputation, brokers want to ensure their customers are happy and customers want a fair settlement for the premium dollars spent on protection. It is always easier to ask the question before the claim occurs - if something goes wrong, are you going to have my back? Make sure you hire an insurance broker who has your back – it will improve your insurance experience, from claims to coverage. 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. Office 204-746-2320, Text 204-712-6618, email davids@ rempelinsurance.com, rempelinsurance.com.
April 27, 2018
Reduce Uterine Infections in Post-Partum Dairy Cows Many dairy cows come down with a uterine infection after calving. Some are slight, some are more serious. While there are a host of factors that cause them, some reasons are obvious such as a dirty calving area, while other reasons such as persistent metabolic problems are not so clear. Fortunately, a good spring-cleaning and improvements to the current transition cow feeding program goes a long way in reducing the number of postpartum uterine infections. One of the most terrible cases of post-partum uterine infections that I had witnessed occurred about ten years ago in an old 60-cow tie-stall dairy barn. I remember walking in the back of the cows and several of the fresh cows that were just brought inside the barn, had a putrid discharge coming from their vulvas. Since, I found this unusual, I asked the producer about it and he told me that all of these cows had retained placentas and by the time their after-birth finally fell out, the cows had full-blown uterine infections. His veterinarian gave him a bottle of medicat-
ed boluses to treat each serious case and the discharge of the cows according to the producer was something that never completely disappeared. In hindsight, my experience here seems to be a good illustration of serious uterine infections in postpartum cows, better known as metritis. Metritis often occurs when bacteria penetrate the deeper tissue layers of the uterine lining and causes serious inflammation of the uterine wall. Cows with metritis have uterine walls that are thin, lack smooth-muscle tone and cause a bloody discharge that smells bad. These cows frequently have high fevers (>103.5) and will usually be off their feed which immediately affects early lactation milk production. A long-term effect of metritis is a suppression of the estrus cycle which can delay cows for their next breeding cycle, and lead to increased calving intervals. Most healthy fresh dairy cows exhibit a milder form of bacterial infection in the superficial layers of their uterus after calving. This is a normal condition called
endometritis. Dairy producers may notice a red-brown, odorless discharge for 1 – 2 weeks. Such incidents will not significantly affect the cows’ health, lactation or reproductive performance. Most of these cows expel their placenta within 12 hours after calving and begin rapid involution of the gestating uterus and cervix to its non-pregnant size. The natural defense of a strong immune system kicks in and by six weeks post-partum eliminates bacteria and its contaminants from the uterus. I associated the above dairy producer’s cows’ metritis as the simple aftermath of a dirty outside calving pen. However, they could also have been caused by dietary metabolic issues such as a calcium imbalance (milk fever) or negative energy balance (ketosis) during or shortly after calving. In a similar way, the University of British Columbia (UBC) (2011) confirmed that an increased incidence of metritis is correlated with low feed consumption of the transition diet by dairy cows prior to calving. These UBC field studies
concluded that post-partum cows with metritis may not get adequate levels of essential nutrients (re: energy, protein, minerals and vitamins) in order to maintain a strong working immune system. Their research found that cows diagnosed with metritis spent less time eating well-balanced transition diets compared to healthy post-partum cows. The cows that developed metritis also went up to the feed bunk in the close-up pen less often during times of greatest competition amongst the other cows. Consequently, if I were given a chance to do another barn-walk for this dairy producer or another dairy person, where there were a significant number of fresh cows with metritis, this is the approach I would take: - Review the transition cow diet – It should carry about 40 – 50% eNDF (forage fibre) as well as a modest amount of dietary energy that falls between relatively low values recommended for faraway dry cows and high energy-enriched early lactation diets, namely about 0.60 – 0.65 Mcal/lb. (dm,
basis). I also balance the close-up dry cow diet with 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 (500 – 1000 iu/kg). - Be aware of low feed intake issues in the close-up pen – There is about a 30% natural decline in dry matter intake from the start of the faraway dry period to calving. In many barns, I find many close-up dry-cow pens are over-crowded with limited bunk space. Even under such “normal conditions”, when there is an influx of close-up dry cows – there is going to be even more competition for fresh feed and some of the timid cows will be likely underfed or forced to eat unbalanced leftovers. I would observe the post-partum cows brought into the lactation barn in the same way. - Make sure that pens and
stalls are clean and dry – Pathogenic bacteria that invade a cow’s uterus during/ after parturition, grow where there is a combination of available moisture, heat and nutrients (manure). Such dire conditions of a close-up pen, calving area or the lactation stall can still challenge the immune system of any wellfed transition cow and could lead to post-partum metritis. For example, I know of several producers that routinely removes old bedding and rebed with fresh cereal straw in these areas of their dry cow and lactation barn and thus have little problem with metritis. These are good points to follow in order to help reduce the number of serious uterine infections that occur on many dairy farms. Concurrently, I would advise any dairy producer, whose cows exhibit significant metritis problems talk to their veterinarian for more medical-related recommendations.
April 27, 2018
Capacity Crowds Screen Food Evolution Documentary By Les Kletke Leanne Campbell suggests making a big bowl of popcorn and spending an evening watching a movie on the issues of food production and food safety. Campbell is the communications Director of the Manitoba Canola Growers and hosted a screening of the movie “Food Evolution” in Brandon. The Canola Growers also had a similar event in Winnipeg at the Park Theatre. Campbell said that the movie is great viewing for the whole family or hosting a group which includes some people who might question the safety of GMOs. “The movie presents both sides of the story,” she said. “It offers information and offers a balance in telling the story from the start of GMOs, the application and the struggles today.” Both events drew capacity crowds in Brandon and Winnipeg. “The screening of the movie was followed by a panel discussion about the issue and we had representatives on the panel from the farm community, Ag Canada, and dieticians,” she said. “The Brandon event drew
a lot of students from ACC (Assiniboine Community College) and that provided good questions.” While the screening drew 200 people in each location she would like to see the documentary have an even greater audience. “We are suggesting that people get involved with a community screening or even a family event,” she noted. “You can get the movie by going to foodevolution.com.” The documentary is available for download or individuals and organizations can order a copy for a screening at a larger event. The cost is very reasonable and it is available in several formats. “There are several options and it has been made available so that it is affordable and easy for any group to host a showing, or even individuals if they would like to show it at a family event.” She stressed that the documentary presents both sides of the GMO discussion and does not intend to be judgemental and provide a final answer to the question. “It provides information and allows people to make a more informed decision,” she ex-
plained. “We see it as a starting point for the discussion that many people are currently involved in.” Her recommendation is eat popcorn while watching and stay away from microwave popcorn and instead make the real thing on the stove in canola oil.
The Manitoba Canola Growers and hosted a screening of the movie “Food Evolution” in Brandon.
April 27, 2018
April 27, 2018
Comfort is the Deciding Feature for Tractor Trek
Helmut Pankratz with his International 300 which he bought as a reminder of the 400 he ran when farming.
By Les Kletke Helmut Pankratz is getting his International 300 ready for this year’s Tractor Trek and while he has at least 3 other restored tractors in the shed that could make the journey he has chosen to drive the 300 once again. “It has a comfortable seat, and that is a good thing when you are driving in the Tractor Trek,” he said with a chuckle. Over the years he chose his tractors for various reasons and not always because of a comfortable seat. “This series had the torque amplified
Photo by Les Kletke
which gave you two ranges in each speed,” he explained. “The previous series just had a 5 speed transmission and 5 gears were too much of a jump. This allowed you to get rolling.” International built the 300 series for 1955 and 56 but it was during this time the company built its 3 millionth tractor, a 300. The tractor developed 38 hp at the draw bar and cost just under $3,000 USD. “I had a 400 which was just one size bigger in the same series,” said Pankratz who farms near Steinbach but is now retired. “I bought the 400 to use on the sugar beet harvester. We had it on a 3 row harvester and it did a good job.” His 400 had a 3 point hitch while his current 300 is equipped with an aftermarket 3 point hitch. He said that in his early days he had a number of International tractors and they served him well but gradually he shifted to John Deere. “John Deere had a better hydraulic system and with a higher volume and as we had beet equipment with a number of orbital motors we liked that feature,” he said. “We also depended on the dealerships and we were very fortunate to have good dealers through a series of International and then John Deere.” He bought the 300 fifteen years ago from a dealer’s lot and has had to do little work to maintain or repair it. “The motor had been redone and the tractor was in good shape,” he said. “I have not had to do much to it and it runs well. I’ m looking forward to this year’s Tractor Trek.” He does spend time keeping his Farmall C, Farmall A and Cub in ready condition should they be called on.
April 27, 2018
Farmers Now Eying May Start on Seeding By Elmer Heinrichs Long-awaited sunshine, warmer temperatures arrived across Manitoba early in the third week of April and farmers like everyone else welcomed the change of seasons. For the first part of April weather conditions looked more like February, with cooler than normal conditions and the ground still covered with snow suggesting a late start to spring seeding. While most Manitoba farmers like to start spring seeding in April, they’ll be hoping for warm weather in May to really get going on the 2018 crop. Altona farm production advisor Dennis Lange said a later start is not really a concern noting it’s not that un-
usual for a majority of crop to go in toward the middle of May. He also noted that with today’s large equipment seeding does not take long at all. Looking at 2018, Lange suggests farmers will keep their wheat acres, increase canola area a bit and cut back somewhat on soybeans to about two million acres. Manitoba’s dry bean acreage will likely stay at about 122,000 acres, added Lange. While it may not seem like an ideal outlook for central and eastern Manitoba, several more days of sunshine and warm temperatures as April ends will clear the way for a busy May. Of course farmers have until early June to get their crops in, so even a few rain delays in spring may be wel-
comed by farmers and their crops. Keystone Agricultural Producers President Dan Mazier, who farms near Brandon, said there is still lots of snow out in that area, adding they are at least two weeks away from the start of seeding. Manitoba Cereal Specialist Anne Kirk pointed out that in four out of the last ten years (2009, 2011, 2013, and 2014) very few acres of spring cereals were planted by May 1. And soil conditions are fairly dry this spring, so once temperatures heat up farmers will be in the field fairly quickly, added Kirk. While a few farmers may check fields with equipment in the last days of April, it looks like most will be content with an early May start.
Calf Scramble Pays Off Twenty young people competed in the Monday night calf scramble at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon to catch one of ten calves. Mr. Jim Quintaine owner of Quintaine Sons Ltd. presented two hundred dollar cheques to the ten young people lucky enough to catch a calf and hundred dollar cheques to those who were unable to catch a calf.
Photo by Joan Airey
KAP Passes Resolutions on the Environment and Grain Transportation Delegates to Keystone Agricultural Producers’ (KAP) spring advisory council meeting recently passed 10 resolutions including two that address plastic waste from grain bags, silage covers and bale covers, as well as seed fertilizer and pesticide containers. Delegates called on KAP to work with Cleanfarms Manitoba and other interested stakeholders to increase the number of collection sites for these items. They also called for KAP to lobby the province to include plastic bag rollers as a beneficial management practice under the new Ag Action Manitoba program, eligible for 50 per cent in funding. Rollers are required to package plastic bag waste
for recycling. “This is a clear indication of farmers’ concerns for the environment, and their will to do their part to protect it,” said KAP President Dan Mazier. Other resolutions addressed rail transportation, one calling on KAP to lobby the Federal government, railways and grain companies to work together to identify and fix the existing bottlenecks in the grain transportation system. The other asked KAP to lobby the province to create a division of Manitoba Infrastructure to support shortline railways and develop new opportunities for them, as well as to lobby the Federal and Provincial governments to fund infrastructure projects on shortline railways.
“Shortline railways provide farmers with grain-shipping alternatives, and we need government support for them,” said Mazier. “Saskatchewan has a program for this and I see no reason why Manitoba shouldn’t.” Delegates to the meeting also reviewed growing conditions from across the province, and most indicated that moisture is needed for seeding. The guest speaker at the meeting was Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler, who told delegates that under the new Ag Action Manitoba program the province hopes to start funding projects in the next few months, with application approvals much faster than with previous programs.
Reduce Toxicity by Spacing out the Alfalfa Crop in the Rotation Cycle By Les Kletke It is too early to tell the impact of this winter on alfalfa stands across the province according to Marcus Dueck with Marc Hutlet Seeds however he is confident the damage will not be as bad as last winter. “We had a horrible year the previous year,” said Dueck. “While this winter is hanging on a lot longer I don’t believe there will be as much damage.” He said that while fields took a severe hit the previous winter many of them did not get replaced. He advises that alfalfa not follow alfalfa in the rotation because of the crops auto-toxicity. “It produces a poison that kills alfalfa. Producers should count on preparing a field to re-establish their acres.” When asked if a cover crop should be planted he said that would depend on the time a field is left fallow. “That is
always an issue,” he said. “It depends on the producer and his plans. We know that a cover crop reduces the initial stand and field loses some of its stand every year. So if you are only going to leave a field for 3 or 4 years you can probably plant with a cover crop.” If a producer is planning to leave a field for 5 years or more he suggests a strategy that establishes the maximum stand in the initial year and that means planting without cover crops. “We have some fields in our area that should have been turned over last year, but it was a matter of overly optimistic producers,” he said. The rule of thumb he suggests is 40-50 stems per square foot to provide a good yield. He rates over 50 as ideal. “That is stems, not plants, because the plant will compensate for a poor stand with extra growth and
put out more stems,” said Dueck. While the end of April provided only frozen ground he said the plant count and evaluation on whether the plant is health or not is easily done in mid to late May when the field is greening. “The frozen ground has kept us from making a judgement in April but as soon as the ground thaws and with a bit of moisture the plants will come to life,” he said. “You can dig a few plants and if the crowns are mushy, they are dead. If they are turning green they are alive and well.” He emphasises that the cold April makes evaluation a bit later than usual but some warmth and moisture will move things along quickly. “The first thing is to evaluate the winter damage,” he said. “And then to evaluate the stand of any of your aging fields.”
Hog Farmers Partner with Samaritan House and Present Pork Industry Awards Hog farmers and sector partners gathered at the Fairmont Winnipeg on April 5 to celebrate the 53rd Annual General Meeting of Manitoba Pork. Highlights of the Annual Banquet were the presentation of one tonne of pork sausage to Samaritan House Ministries in Brandon and two Pork Industry Awards. Thea Dennis, Executive Director of Samaritan House, expressed her gratitude to Manitoba hog farmers for the donation, and noted that over the next six weeks this pork will support the unsupported, providing warm meals and filling young bellies. “It is not an easy road for farmers, but your word is your bond and the values that you live by, such as a firm handshake and caring for your neighbours, means that there is now more room at
the Samaritan House table,” said Dennis. Manitoba Pork Chair George Matheson noted that, “While it’s the hog sector’s job to provide high-quality, affordable protein to the world, it is our passion and commitment to help ensure food security here at home. We are proud to partner with this remarkable organization and connect with communities in western Manitoba by offering a hand up to those in need.” Chair George Matheson presented two Pork Industry Awards. The first one went to Tom Dooley, Partner, MLT Aikins LLP. Dooley received a 2018 Pork Industry Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the hog sector in Manitoba as legal counsel to Manitoba Pork for over 19 years, at all times with passion and
integrity. “Tom has represented numerous agricultural marketing boards, non-profit organizations, cooperatives and charities over the past 48 years, and the Manitoba hog sector was fortunate to have had his commitment and service,” said Matheson. The second award was presented to the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative (MLMMI). They received a 2018 Pork Industry Award in recognition of outstanding work researching issues related to livestock manure. “Over nearly two decades, the Initiative managed and coordinated more than 90 research projects, amounting to an almost $9 million investment,” said Matheson. The Initiative has now been folded into a broadly scoped research unit within the provincial government.
April 27, 2018
April 27, 2018
Continued Strength and Growth Seen for Canada’s Agricultural Sector By Elmer Heinrichs Canada is a leading producer of high-quality, safe agricultural and food products. Agriculture is a major contributor to Canada’s economy, and the sector is expected to prosper throughout 2018. A growing world population, the rise in disposable income in developing nations, and increasing trade in farm products present opportunities to further grow the Canadian agriculture sector, creating more jobs for the middle class. Canadian exports of agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood to all countries in 2017 rose to $64.6 billion, a $2 billion increase from 2016 exports. Canada is the world’s fifth highest total exporter (by value) of agricultural and food commodities. Maintaining and enhancing the strength of our exports is vital to achieving
the government of Canada’s trade target of growing agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recently released the 2018 Canadian Agricultural Outlook with analysis on the economic state of the agriculture and food sector. The outlook report provides a forecast of farm income for 2017 and 2018, and looks ahead to longer-term trends that could impact the agriculture sector. According to the report, Canada’s producers are forecast to see record farm income levels in 2017 and near-record levels in 2018. Crop and livestock receipts are both set to increase in 2017 and 2018. Net cash income is forecast to reach a record level in 2017 and remain high in 2018. At the same time, continued growth in asset values is expected to raise average farm net worth
to $3.16 million. Canada’s budget 2018 takes the next steps towards building a gender equal, competitive, sustainable and fair Canada where science and innovation spur economic growth. This budget contains many initiatives that will build on the ambitious growth agenda for agriculture set out in budget 2017, which included many significant ongoing investments to help our farm families and agri-food processors excel, including the $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, $950 million Innovation Supercluster Initiative including the Protein Industries Supercluster, $1.26 billion Strategic Innovation Fund, $70 million for agricultural science, and $2 billion in rural infrastructure. Together, these invest-
ments will build on the government of Canada’s strong agenda for agriculture and help ensure Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector remains a leader in job creation and innovation, and a continued engine of economic growth. “Strong international demand for Canada’s safe, high-quality agricultural products has helped make the sector a key driver of the economy. The government of Canada is working hard to ensure farmers and the agriculture and food systems as a whole, are prepared to meet global needs, helping to strengthen the middle class and keep Canada on the path to prosperity,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
April 27, 2018
Flood Risk Moderate Hwy 75 to Stay Open By Elmer Heinrichs The risk of widespread major flooding remains low across most of the province, with a continued moderate risk of some overland flooding to low-lying areas along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, says the hydrologic forecast centre of Manitoba Infrastructure in its April 18 outlook. It says ice is expected to start breaking up and moving this week, with the Red River Floodway gates likely to be in operation later in April, based on current weather forecasts. PTH 75 is expected to remain open throughout the run-off period. The Red River is expected to peak between approximately 50,000 and 60,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) between April 27 and May 2 at Ste. Agathe. This flow is similar to the one observed in 2017, which was 54,000 cfs at Ste. Agathe. The Portage diversion could start operation in the week of April 23 for ice control along the lower Assiniboine River. Flows along the Assiniboine River at Portage la Prairie could reach just over 20,000 cfs, which would require the use of the Portage diversion to limit the downstream flow
to 12,000 cfs. The Shellmouth Dam will continue operations to reach summer levels after the spring run-off. The risk of major flooding continues to be low for the Souris, Qu’Appelle and Pembina rivers and their tributaries. Levels will be within flood protection levels even with unfavourable weather conditions. The risk of major flooding in the Interlake region and for most major lakes, including Lakes Winnipeg, Manitoba and Dauphin and the Whiteshell is low. The risk of major flooding is moderate on northern basins including the Churchill and Carrot rivers in The Pas region. Ice-jam related flooding continues to be a possibility due to the thickness of the ice on some of Manitoba’s rivers and streams. Icebreaking activities have been completed at all locations that have been at high risk of ice jamming in past years. South of us, a flood warning has been issued for the Red River in parts of North Dakota and stretches from south of Grand Forks to Grafton, and also includes areas around Fargo, ND.
Woodmore’s WI Learns the Science of Homemade Soap Making
By Joan Airey The Food Security Committee of the Woodmore Women’s Institute decided to have a change of venue and hosted an old fashion soap making workshop on April 11 in the Home Ec. Room of Roseau Valley School. Eighteen people turned out to learn how Shauna Wagenhoffer, from Stuartburn and her husband Karl make soap. They demonstrated the step by step process of making a basic soap with oil, water and lye. “It looked like a chemistry lab as Shauna protected herself with gloves and goggles, carefully mixing the lye and water creating spontaneous heat as steam rose from the mixing container. Attendees learned the word ‘saponification’ when the melted coconut oil was added to the cooled lye mixture and then blended until thickened to ‘trace’ a homogenous mixture resembling a thickened pudding. After the mixture reaches trace, fragrance, colour and additives are added and the mixture is poured into a mould. Shauna noted that her favourite mould is the one litre milk carton. She then showed the next three steps, insulating the soap moulds in blankets to rest for a day, then cutting the moulded soap into bars and finally allowing it to cure. By the end of the workshop you have simple unadulterated soap for your family and it is cost effective too. Some participants who are sensitive to fragrances in soaps appreciated that adding fragrance and colour is optional. “We all got to take home a basic bar of soap,” said Janet Kroeker a participant. On Saturday June 2 the Woodmore Women’s Institute is offering an advanced sourdough workshop. Janet Kroeker will be hosting the workshop in her home near Roseau River. Ian Timshel from the area will be instructing. He has had a long interest in living foods such as cultivated cheese, butter, and numerous fermented food products. There is only room for ten participants. If you are interested in learning more about this workshop contact Red River Recreation Commission in Emerson.
Shauna Wagenhoffer demonstrates how to make soap to a group of Woodmore W.I. members.
Photo courtesy of Jean Charney
April 27, 2018
Jenson Returns to RMWF with Her Horse and Unique Artwork
Kathleen Jenson with her Gypsy Vanner horse “Firecracker” performed at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon.
By Joan Airey Kathleen Jenson from Churchbridge, Saskatchewan is a single mom to two pre-teen boys, holds a full time job working on semitrucks and raises her horses at Sunset Ridge Gypsy Horse Ranch. Jenson returned to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair (RMWF) in Brandon this year to demonstrate how versatile Gypsy Vanner horses are and to display her carved buffalo artistry. She has her gelding Firecracker trained in both English and Western and to jump. For the demonstration
she rode bareback with just a halter for the appreciative audience to show how wellmannered Firecracker is. While in the ring Jenson and Firecracker performed several tricks including ‘smile’, shake your head ‘no’, sit upright, lay down, step up and rear. Firecracker was on display for the public to see in the Kinsman Area all week. “Gypsy Vanner horses are a compact people size draft horse, bred to pull the caravans of the gypsies in Europe. They were bought to North America approximately twenty years ago and are very
Kathleen Jenson with one of her carved buffalo skulls during her art exhibit at Brandon’s Royal Manitoba Winter Fair.
versatile,” explained the commentator from Whirling Wind Stables as Jenson and Firecracker performed. “They are successful as a hunter, jumper, and barrel racer, in gymkhana, driving, pleasure riding and trail. They were bred to be docile so that children can care for them. Because of their extremely quiet nature they are easy to work with. Their average height is 14 to 16 hands. Because they are a confirmation breed they can be seen in any colouring.”
Jenson’s artistry began in 2014 when her Dad gave her an assortment of old bison skulls he had kept from when he had a herd. While painted skulls are a common art form, Jenson longed to create something unique. Pulling her inspiration from carved antlers she set to carving with an old Dremel. “I try to make my skulls unique, one of kind pieces of art, not just in the work but in the skulls level of decay or the age of the animal at death.
The growth and thickness will affect the way the skull carves and even change the outcome of the imagined image. I visualize the skull and let images come to me,” said Jenson. “My main focus is to respect the animal and bring that forward in my work. With a few unique skulls completed inspirational artists continue to influence my learning.”
Carved buffalo skull by Kathleen Jenson. Photos by Joan Airey
Lock in Some Profits Before Seeding By Les Kletke A market analyst from Grand Forks, North Dakota is advising his clients to set their target prices for commodities and be ready to sell if the market hits their price. “We are in for another year of uncertainty, or perhaps this is now the regular market condition,” said Mark Schuer. “There is nothing to indicate that we will see a run up in the markets through the rest of this year.” He suggested a strategy of know your production costs and being ready to sell some production when the market hits that price. “We are not
guaranteed a profitable situation this year, and depending on what your land costs are, break even might be as good as it gets,” he said. “So know your costs and be ready to sell when the market hits that level.” He does not recommend selling the entire crop but a good portion of it when you can lock in a break even position. “Then you can afford to take a position that locks in a profit with the rest of your crop and I recommend selling it in 10% increments. You won’t hit the top of the market with all of your crop but you will be in business next
year,” cautioned Schuer. He sees increased acres in both corn and beans in Minnesota and North Dakota and while he acknowledged neither is a powerhouse state in those commodities it is a trend worth paying attention to. “We are going to have more of those commodities and we are not seeing anything that will pressure the market up so it would be wise to have a number in place and be ready to pull the pin when you meet that price,” he said. “The rallies through the season might be the best opportunity we have to lock in a profit.”
He sees both the soybean and corn markets staying flat this year with the occasional peak from a market rally. “They might be very short and it would be best to have your price levels determined before so that you can react in the short time you might have,” said Schuer. Schuer does not hold much confidence in the wheat market either, advising growers to make sure they know their cost of production and make sure they can lock in a profit before they plant a lot of acres to the crop.
April 27, 2018
MacAulay Participates in Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference The Government of Canada recognizes the important role women play in the agriculture and agri-food sector, as well as the Canadian economy at large. This is why Budget 2018 launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy to better support women entrepreneurs, to help them
grow their businesses and to remove barriers to their success. Recently, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, and his wife, Frances MacAulay, attended the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference in Calgary, where they spoke
to participants about their experiences as dairy and potato farmers, and the importance of leadership roles for women in agriculture. MacAulay emphasized the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to helping women build capacity in the agriculture and agri-food sector.
The Minister also took the opportunity to highlight the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriDiversity program, a new Federal program launched on April 1, as well as a number of steps taken in Budget 2018 to support women in agriculture.
To Tackle a Pathogen First Get the ID Right With more advanced equipment and technology, experts like Dr. Sarah Hambleton from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) continue to refine our understanding and knowledge of different plants and fungi. In particular, correctly naming them can make a big difference when it comes to developing ways to protect crops from pests and breeding new varieties of crops. Dr. Hambleton is an expert in identifying fungi, in particular rusts, a common disease on many crops. Most recently she worked with Dr. Miao Liu, also at AAFC, and researchers Dr. Lisa Castlebury and her postdoc Dr. Jill Demers from the United States Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland, to better understand rusts on switchgrass. Switchgrass is an important forage, ornamental, and biofuel crop in Canada and the USA. “Rust fungi cause diseases on switchgrass and I wanted to get a better understanding of what species of rust were affecting this grass and where they were found across the country,” said Hambleton. “Historically, we had always believed that switchgrass was infected
by one of two types of rust, but when I received a sample from Ontario for identification, it looked like neither one of them.” Intrigued, Dr. Hambleton and Dr. Liu visited AAFC’s Canadian National Mycological Herbarium, a historical biological collection of fungi, to help them correctly identify the sample that was sent to them for identification. They looked for switchgrass, and closely related grasses, in the herbarium that had been infected by similar rust. At the same time, their American colleagues were doing similar investigations at the United States National Fungus Collections (BPI). Some of these grass samples dated back to the late 1800s. The scientists compared the physical characteristics like the colour, texture and spores of the fungi found on the grasses and sequenced DNA to generate barcodes (taking very short segments of the fungi’s genetic material to identify it). They also looked at how others had described and identified these rusts and grasses in the past. “What we found was that five species of rust infect switchgrass, rather than only two as previously believed. Even
more interesting is that none of them were the species that had been most commonly reported, which we found attacks a different grass called witchgrass,” explained Dr. Hambleton. “You can’t accurately control rust if you don’t know exactly what you dealing with,” explained Dr. Hambleton. “My research is really important to making sure that experts that breed new crops and develop ways to control pests have a good understanding of the challenges they are working to
solve. Precise identification ensures that future research will be based on the best available information.” Dr. Hambleton and AAFC’s network of agriculture experts play a key role in helping scientists in various disciplines from around the world address the challenges facing modern agriculture.
Dr. Sarah Hambleton, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada mycologist looks at plant samples with rust on them from the 1800s at the Ottawa Research and Development Centre.
Close-up of the rust fungus spores produced by the newly named species, Puccinia novopanici, on a switchgrass sample that was collected in 1922.
Dr. Miao Liu, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada mycologist works in her laboratory identifying fungi.
Morley Walker by Plumas is no stranger to multiples as another set of twins were born this spring.
Photo courtesy of Morley Walker.
Holding Back Cattle from Pasture By Les Kletke Some heat in early May would go a long way to getting pastures off to a good start and a normal hay crop. Bob Janz who farms near Steinbach said that his cattle are ready to get out on pasture but he is holding them back. “There is no point in putting them out early and having them damage the pasture and suffer for it through the summer,” he said. “We have enough feed to keep feeding them and we are much better off if we continue to feed them in the yard than put them out at this time.” As the end of April neared he showed little concern about pasture development to date. “There is an adage in the grain industry about not killing a crop in April and that applies to the forage business as well,” he said. “We don’t have any growth yet but we seldom do at this time of the year. If things warm up now we can have a good year on the pastures and for forage production. Of more of a concern for him are the dry conditions. “We went into fall dry and were lucky that
the melt was slow and what moisture was there soaked in,” said Janz. “We will need some more moisture this spring and if we get some heat on things they will turn green quickly.” He has 120 cows that he is looking to turn out on pasture but will continue to hold back for a while yet. “We many have seen things green up a bit earlier last year but then it got cold again in May and things struggled. I would sooner have a bit later spring and when it arrives it is for real.” He said. “Much of the province will need rain,” he continued. “But especially here in the southeast and if we get some rain and a few days of heat things will look a lot different.” His plan is to keep his cows in the yard until he has significant growth. “Some years when we have been short of hay we have put them out too early and then we set the pasture back and pay for it all summer,” said Janz. “This year we can wait and get some growth before we get the animals out there, that just keeps the pasture in much better condition.”
April 27, 2018
Celebrating 50 Years of Red Angus Registrations in Canada Fifty years ago the Minister of Agriculture officially approved that Red Angus cattle be eligible for registration in the Canadian Angus Herdbook. The Canadian Angus Association (CAA) is celebrating 50 years of Red Angus registrations throughout 2018, but Red Angus have been in Canada much longer than 50 years, and that is also worth celebrating. The first record of Red Angus in Canada is the recorded importation of a red cow from Scotland in 1886. Rancher Matthew Cochrane imported red Angus from Scotland in 1889 for his ranch west of Calgary. Volume I of the Canadian Angus Herdbook was published in 1908. Red Angus females were included but red males were excluded. On March 15, 1921, the CAA bylaws were amended and all Red Angus cattle were excluded. This decision would stand until April 3, 1968 when the Minister of Agriculture officially approved that Red Angus cattle be eligible for registration. When the Canadian Angus Herdbook was opened to Red Angus in 1968, the Association offered to register all Red Angus cattle under the age of 24 months at the lowest price point, allowing Red Angus breeders an affordable opportunity to populate the Herdbook and register their herds. Mark Mackenzie sold the first Canadian-registered Red Angus bull at auction in Canada in 1969. The first Canadian-raised purebred Red Angus bull, Red Mac 15Z, was sold at the Calgary Bull Sale in 1970 for $1,800. In 1972 a group of 12 Red Angus cattle breeders from Alberta and Saskatchewan formed the Canadian Red Angus Promotion Society to specifically promote Red Angus cattle. Then in 1978, Don Mackenzie became the first Red Angus breeder elected to the Canadian Angus Association Board of Directors. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Angus breeders dedicated to red hide colour, 50 years later, Red Angus account for more than 40% of Canada’s national Angus herd. The Canadian Angus Association is proud to recognize and applaud those efforts. The Canadian Angus Association is Canada’s largest purebred beef breed organization. The Association represents more than 2,000 members across Canada for the purposes of registering and recording the pedigrees of purebred Angus cattle in the closed HerdBook and promoting the breed across Canada. The member-approved mandate is to maintain breed registry, breed purity and provide services that enhance the growth and position of the Angus breed.
Six Horse Hitch at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair
Mel Hunter and his son Shaun of Kenton, Manitoba showing their Belgium six horse hitch at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. Mel has enjoyed showing horses at numerous summer fairs over the past seventeen years. This is first time Mel and his sons, Shaun and Cody, have exhibited their horses at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. Photo by Joan Airey
Richardson to Build World Class Innovation Centre Downtown Winnipeg Richardson International is investing more than $30 million to develop an innovation centre in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, featuring state-of-the-art technology and equipment for research and product development. This world-class facility will complement Richardson’s food and ingredients division and will provide an extensive opportunity for industry collaboration. “Our goal is that the Richardson Innovation Centre will become a centre for collaboration as a training facility for our employees and customers and an education centre for food science students and the culinary community,” said Chuck Cohen, Richardson’s Senior Vice-
President, Technology. “As a Winnipeg-based company, we look forward to bringing our customers, suppliers and partners from around the globe to this centre to showcase our products and capabilities and provide them with a rich experience in a very unique setting.” The four-storey, 5,800 square metre (62,000 square feet) facility will house Richardson’s food development team, product development suites, analytical laboratory and a culinary test and demonstration kitchen. To support Richardson’s quality assurance and food safety teams, the centre will boast a cuttingedge microbiology lab and an extensive quality analysis area. The building will also
include office areas with room for expansion to focus on innovation such as the increased use of robotics and automation in food packaging and processing. The strategic positioning of these core departments within the same multilevel space will optimize research, analytical and educational activities and facilitate the efficient development of truly innovative products. “The process of product development requires a modern platform for testing solutions, troubleshooting issues and exploring new ideas as they relate to market needs and evolving customer taste profiles,” said Curt Vos-
This world-class facility will complement Richardson’s food and ingredients division.
sen, Richardson’s President and CEO. “In order to test derivatives of existing products or create entirely new product streams, our team’s technical capabilities must be backed by the right technical facilities. We anticipate the Innovation Centre will provide them with the technical capacity and resources necessary to
RMWF Participants Interact with Public Lilyana Hartwick from Shilo enjoyed her visit to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair when Kensey Desrochers let her feed her gelding “Lanyne”. The very quiet gelding was enjoying the special treats Lilyana was feeding him.
Photo by Joan Airey
meet and exceed customer expectations.” Located at the corner of Westbrook Street and Lombard Avenue, the Richardson Innovation Centre will be in close proximity to Richardson’s head office at Portage and Main. Construction will begin in April and is targeted for completion by the spring of 2020.
WGRF Celebrates Successful Year Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) says 2017 was a great year with over $17 million invested into variety development, production and post production research. The WGRF continues to be the largest producer funder of crop research in Canada. It is estimated that WGRF’s annual funding could exceed $22 million by 2020.
April 27, 2018
Start Creep Feeding Calves with the First Blades of Grass By Peter Vitti By the time the first blades of grass shoot up in pasture, I will have asked about a dozen beef producers whether they plan to creep feed their spring calves in grazing season of 2018. To me, I believe in providing extra nutrients to a fresh batch of calves that compliments the essential nutrients taken from nursing their mothers as well as grazed from green grass on pasture. As a result, calves achieve higher weaning weights, which can add several dollars of profit to the cow-calf operators’ bottomline. I used to believe that the best time to move out creep feeders onto pastures was by mid- to late-summer, since the nursing cow’s milk production is in steady decline and often meets only about 50% of the growing calves’ nutrient requirements. In addition, these pastures may still look green, but they are becoming more fibrous and therefore essential nutrients such as energy and protein for the grazing calf is not so readily available. Lately, I found out my conventional way of thinking is not so universally loved. Rather than wait 3 - 4 months after calving, a feed-mill
manufacturer of beef feeds (I have worked part-time for this successful family business for last 13 years) as well as owner of a 100 cow-calf herd; advocated putting out creep feeders for the spring calves as soon as the snow disappears. It’s been his experience, when producers wait until summer to put out creep feeders; nursing calves are slow to get up to them, since by then creep feed intake is dictated by pasture grass quality - the better the quality of mid-summer grass grazed, the less likely spring calves will come up to the feeders and eat creep feed. However, when creep feeders are put out early in spring; initial consumption by spring calves is actually nominal, but increases steadily through out a normal grazing season (re: timely rains, no drought) in a step-up fashion toward the autumn season. As a result, he has witnessed that weaning-weights of his herd’s calves tend to be higher by 20 – 30 lbs with steady feed efficiencies of 6 – 7 lbs of feed per lb of gain compared to conventional creep feeding methods. Nevertheless, I also recommend that these creep feeders are filled with a
well-balanced high quality creep feed; 14% protein, medium to high energy (69 – 73% TDN), balanced with calcium, phosphorus, salt, fortified trace mineral pack (especially copper, manganese, zinc and selenium) as well as high levels of vitamins A, D and E. Ingredients that I like to use in my creep feeds formulations include barley, wheat middling, corn distillers’ grain, and soybean meal, while usually avoiding most types of feed screenings in particular (As a footnote – I am a fan of heavy pea and lentil screenings available in southern Saskatchewan). Lastly, a growth promotant and coccidiostat such as monensin sodium should be added to the final creep formula. It’s been my own experience that good consumption of creep feed coupled with good feed efficiency becomes the driving force behind overall calf performance and creep-feeding profitability. Consequently, each year, I issue my table of calculations in order to determine the overall annual profitability of creep feeding calves and this year is no exception. The only difference that I will employ is to implement inputs of putting out creep
Financial status of a 150- day creep feeding program (April to October) implemented for a group of large-framed calves with standard genetics.
feeders, earlier in the season. For 2018, I present the following spreadsheet (see top right). It illustrates the current financial status of a 150day creep feeding program (April to October) implemented for a group of largeframed calves with standard genetics and replacement heifers segregated to another pasture put on a different feeding program. Other parameters include: 1. A commercial 14% creep feed pellet @ $380/mt is fed, 2. Feed
Elmer’s Manufacturing Acquires Manufacturer of the Wolverine Ditcher Elmer’s Manufacturing recently announced that on June 1 2018 it is acquiring Dynamic Ditchers Inc, the manufacturer of the innovative Wolverine Extreme Rotary Ditcher. The Wolverine Extreme Rotary Ditcher has established itself as a market leader in innovation, quality and design which will immediately compliment Elmer’s Manufacturing: HaulMaster Grain Cart, Super 7 Harrow and Transfer Tracks. Dynamic Ditchers started in 1999 with a farmer wanting to close a gap in the current equipment market that provided an improved finish than a scraper and better performance than the rotary ditchers that were readily available. After constant testing and modification on their current farm, they released the first Wolverine Ditcher in 2008. By the end of 2014 they had sold 275 ditchers worldwide with demand growing. Anthony Vaags, Co-Owner of Dynamic Ditchers, said in
a statement that “Dynamic Ditchers is very pleased with the growth we have experienced especially in the past few years, however, if this growth continues, we would have needed to expand our facility beyond what we can do with the property we now have. Elmer’s have a very impressive large manufacturing plant, a remarkable engineering team, a wider distribution network and a better parts warehouse that we felt would better serve new and existing customers. We would like to thank all our existing customer for helping us grow our company to this point.” “We’re extremely excited to help continue the vision of Dynamic Ditchers and to bring another high-quality product into our production and dealer network. Anthony and Stan have done a great job building this product to where it is today and we’re ecstatic to take it to the next level,” said Mike Friesen, Vice President of Elmer’s Manufacturing.
Elmer’s Manufacturing was familiar with the Wolverine Extreme Ditcher as Elmer Friesen, President, had owned a model for many years on his farm. They both have been impressed by the design and quality of the rotary ditcher and built a relationship with the company
over the years. The Wolverine Extreme Rotary Ditcher will continue to be available at existing dealers as well as being available at all Elmer’s dealers.
The Wolverine Extreme Ditcher.
(Right to Left) Mike Friesen, Vice President of Elmer’s Manufacturing, Stan Kurtas, General Manager of Dynamic Ditchers, Anthony Vaags, Sales Manager of Dynamic Ditchers and Elmer Friesen, President of Elmer’s Manufacturing celebrate the completed acquisition of Dynamic Ditchers by Elmer’s Manufacturing.
conversion of these pellets is 6.0 lbs of weaned weight gain, 3. All creep-fed calves are weaned at 750 lbs and 4. A cwt market discount of 8.0 cents per lb. From this spreadsheet, the sole number that most people whom are interested in creep feeding their calves should examine is the Profit ($) per weaned calf due to creep feed. It originates from actual input numbers that I drew from current information. Then, I estimated the predict-
ed calf price at weaning (5 – 6 months away) from available market information. As a result, an estimated – extra $21.24 per calf for 2018 is earned due to creep feeding. It’s my updated testimony for creeping feeding spring calves. A 100-head operation that puts creep feeders out with the first blades of grass and sells about 85 heavy weaned calves (minus the replacement heifers) in the fall; adds nearly $2,000 of profit to their bottom-line.
Canadian Agricultural Partnership Launched April 1 marked the official launch of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a progressive $3 billion commitment that will help chart the course for government investments in the sector over the next five years. The Partnership aims to continue to help the sector grow trade, advance innovation while maintaining and strengthening public confidence in the food system, and increase its diversity. “I am incredibly proud to announce that the Canadian Agricultural Partnership has officially launched and all that it promises for our great sector,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada. “Our goal is to help Canadian farmers, ranchers and processors compete successfully in markets at home and around the globe, through this strong collaboration between provincial, territorial and federal governments.” Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments have been working collaboratively since 2016 to develop the next agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. FPT governments consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and small and emerging sectors to ensure the Partnership was focused on the issues that matter most to them. In addition, under the Partnership, business risk management (BRM) programs will continue to help producers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. Ministers of Agriculture will convene in Vancouver this July for the Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture.
April 27, 2018
Reaching the Target for Canola Bushels Per Acre
Imperial Seed Expands Domestic and International Operations
Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Imperial Seed Ltd is primarily focused on seed multiplication of forage and turf species and operates an accredited seed processing facility for domestic and international markets.
Nicole Philp is looking for cooperators in the ultimate canola challenge to test their seeding speed and carry the test through to harvest. You can register at www.ultimatecanolachallenge.ca Photos courtesy of Nicole Philp
By Les Kletke Nicole Philp knows that the delay to spring may see a number of farmers with a tendency to speed up seeding but expressed caution should be used and instead slow down their normal seeding rate. She would really like them to take notice of the impact the difference in seed speed will have on emergence and eventually crop yield. Philp is with the Canola Council of Canada and manages their crop trial in Manitoba. The program is intended to scale up trials to farm size and to evaluate farm practices. “We know that there are a number of things that might not prove themselves ergonomically,” she said. “And research does not always relate to farmers when it makes the jump from plot to field.” This is the fourth year of the program and in the first two years it concentrated on nitrogen placement and volumes, while the third year concentrated on Boron. This year the program is focusing on speed of equipment at seeding. One of the goals of the Canola Council is to reach an average yield of 52/bu per acre by 2025 from the current average yield of 34/bu per acre. During research trials good plant establishment in the spring was shown to be a factor in increasing those yields. The Canola Council estimates that improvements in seeding alone can increase average yields by 3/ bu per acre often with no additional input costs. “We would like farmers to speed up from their regular seeding speed by one mile an hour and also to slow down from their normal speed by one mile an hour,” she said. “The program is designed to give them some scientific protocols so that they can make a better evaluation of the impact the change made.” “There is lots of anecdotal evidence about things that work and farmers may even split their fields and have a check strip but that is not really good enough to base management practices on,” she said. “The may try to keep track of things on the yield monitor but we would suggest they use a weigh wagon to get accurate results.” The program suggests that farmers use 4 replications of any treatment in their trials and it also requires that they have access to a weigh wagon for harvest data. “We would like to see them monitor the trials at 10 and 21 days to evaluate plant emergence and then follow through with yield data,” said Philp. She will be tabulating the results and it will be available to producers without providing the names of the farmers involved. The trials will be identified only by location of the nearest town. “We want to provide the information that will help them make the best agronomic decisions on their farm, and they can do that by looking at the data that was gathered in a somewhat scientific manner rather than just a strip in the field,” she said.
By Harry Siemens Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Imperial Seed Ltd is primarily focused on seed multiplication of forage and turf species. The company operates an accredited seed processing facility and works with western Canadian farmers to ensure quality seed for domestic and international markets In 2017 the company made its most significant move and expansion to CentrePort area of Winnipeg. Moving to the new space gave the company 20-acres, 2.5 times more capacity and doubled their warehouse space. “The key part is our forage and turf seed industries with lots of different crop production opportunities for producers across western Canada,” said Kurt Shmon President and owner of Imperial Seed. “We contract all through Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and our crops are competitive so we’re expanding our surface area and our exports. We’re also now a wholesaler-retailer of forage turf seed and cover crop seeds in western Canada. The timing was right for us to make a move.” Shmon contracts directly to farmers by obtaining seed multiplication contracts from around the world, bringing their parented seed back to Canada and producing the seed in their new facility. “We try to provide producers across western Canada with alternative crops like
perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, meadow fescue, alfalfa, Timothy, and the whole family of clovers. We’re providing producers across western Canada with alternative crops,” said Shmon in a recent interview. “We probably produce in the area of about 9 to 10 different species, but out of that 9 to 10 different species we probably deal with about 40 to 50 different varieties.” Shmon said perennial ryegrasses are an excellent alternative crop referring to an example where producers near Carmen grossed over $1,000 an acre in 2017. In 2008 he purchased Imperial Seed which was established 50 years and has expanded the business with hard work. “I travel the world to obtain multiplication contracts, bring them back to Canada contracting the parenthood seed with producers across western Canada, and then we bring the seeds back to Winnipeg for processing and then ship it back to the country. Currently, Imperial exports to over 26 different countries around the world,” said Shmon. “Many people recognize that Canada is great to produce seed. Exporting to more than 26 countries means 26 different countries that have faith in shipping their parenthood seed here to Canada for us to multiply and then ship back to their homeland.” He said Canada’s currency also plays a huge role in attracting other countries to
come here for seed production. Also environmental conditions, the quality of seed growers in western Canada, and some of the stiffest regulations to make certified seed all play a role. “We’ve got some of the best seed growers in western Canada, and they can produce the grades that we can ship around the world,” he said. Following trade shows like Ag Days in Brandon, Shmon takes the names of producers interested in growing their crop and meets with them face to face. “We’re following up by drinking some of their coffee and sitting across
the table from them. It allows for drawing out good questions from each other, opportunity to sit across from each other, answer any questions they may have, and sign on the dotted line. Let’s get this stuff growing,” he said. He contracts about 80 per cent of their seed business while working with open market purchases for the common alfalfa and common timothy. Imperial Seed also owns Integrity Seed Lab, which is an accredited seed testing laboratory. He said that it is imperative to make sure their seeds meet the customer’s specific grades and quality.
Kurt Shmon President and owner of Imperial Seed said the key is their forage and turf seed capability that provides crop production opportunities for producers across western Canada.
Cooper the Hackney Horse Competes at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair By Joan Airey Bernice Gerrard has been involved with horses all her life and began with helping her older sister, Bea Lowe train hackney ponies for numerous local fairs including the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and Agribrition. During this year’s Fair she competed with Cooper a Hackney Horse owned by the Eastley family. Gerrard said she loves working with her own four miniature horses on their farm near Rivers. “I’m hoping to show my horses at local fairs again this year during the summer in halter and cart classes. My great granddaughter is turning four and loves horses so I’m hoping in the future she can show horses with me,” said Gerrard. Cooper and Bernice Gerrard competing.
Photo by Joan Airey
April 27, 2018
Growing Tropical Fruit in Manitoba is Possible Indoors By Joan Airey Here is a project to try with your children or grandchildren. Why not try growing a pineapple in a pot? A year ago Blake and I planted the top of a pineapple which I had purchased in a local store in a pot. It is still growing but so far not producing another pineapple. I’m told it takes two years to grow so patience is a must. When I planted it I searched the internet for information on growing a pineapple indoors. Ernestine Sepke who lives near Glenboro has accomplished this numerous times so I consulted her for advice. While house cleaning a trunk of books the other day I found a sheet on growing pineapple indoors put out by the Manitoba Department of Agriculture. The brochure says to grow the pineapple in a soil mixture of two parts fibrous loam, one part peat, and one part sand or perlite. I potted mine in a soil mix for cactus as I found in in-
structions on the internet. Pineapple prefers a temperature of 18.3°C to 23.8 °C (65 ºF to 75 ºF) with plenty of light and will withstand full exposure to sun. Watering should be done moderately in wintertime but freely in summer. The use of soluble plant food once a week during period of active growth through the fruiting stage is satisfactory although watering should be decreased while fruit is ripening. I have propagated them from a pineapple with fresh looking foliage. It is recommended to cut the top off within one inch of the fruit. Leave it lying in a sunny location for about three days then peel the extra rind off and plant in perlite and moisten in a four inch pot. It takes a month to root. I have also rooted them in water and I have planted them directly into cactus soil mix. If the first one you try doesn’t work don’t give up, some root better than others. The Department of Agriculture recommended grow-
Cobra greenhouse tomato growing under grow lights on April 17.
Supporting the Growth of the Turkey Sector The Federal government hasmade an investment of almost $240,000 to the Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) to assist producers in meeting the highest animal welfare, biosecurity and food safety standards. The Canadian turkey industry is a vital part of the Canadian poultry sector, producing turkey products worth $412 million a year. TFC received $98,235 to conduct the final government recognition stages of its OnFarm Food Safety Program that will help enhance the credibility of production practices with buyers, stake-
holders and consumers. An additional $141,200 was provided to amend TFC’s current Flock Care Program which enables the turkey industry to demonstrate adherence to national standards for animal welfare, and provides buyers and consumers with the assurance that all animal welfare standards are met and up to date. In 2016, Canada exported over 9.2 million poults (young turkey) worth $35.9 million to 7 countries. The United States was the largest market (96% in head count) with exports also to Japan, Chile and Guatemala.
ing them in a 9 inch pot. Next time I’m going to use a little bigger pot. I’m hoping by the time this edition of Agri-Post is in mail boxes I can safely use my greenhouse and move numerous plants out from under grow lights. The Cobra greenhouse tomatoes have fruit on them but will grow more yet. At the moment I’m running out of room under grow lights and numerous seeds need to be started. Pineapple started a year ago with the hope that it bears fruit.
Photos by Joan Airey
April 27, 2018
Manitoba agriculture news and features