The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
M-COOL Fight Rages On By Harry Siemens The World Trade Organization (WTO) will decide whether the U.S. is still discriminating against Canadian livestock with its mandatory country of origin labelling (MCOOL) rules. The Canadian government wants a WTO compliance panel to rule on whether changes by Washington are legal and can stand scrutiny under the country’s international trade obligations. The US government says the amendments bring M-COOL into compliance, but Canada maintains the changes make it worse for Canadian cattle and hogs producers. Martin Unrau, President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and a cattle producer at Gladstone, said the Americans did not do what the WTO told them to do and looks forward to seeing where the WTO case will go. A WTO dispute panel ruled in Canada’s favour, but some Americans who see it as protecting their industry, such as keeping cattle and hogs from crossing the border and keeping their price higher.
“His own industry, coupled with the Canadian and Mexican industry, is now taking the Government of the United States to court to try and get an injunction so they cannot move forward with the rules as they’re written.” Now a WTO compliance panel, with many of the same members will look at whether the U.S. is complying with the original ruling, starting August 30. In the middle of August, Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast said the move signals a new round that could become a North American trade war. Cattle and hog farmers in Canada claim M-COOL, dating back to 2009, forced lower U.S. imports of Canadian livestock because it cost U.S. packers more to do so. “The WTO ruled the Americans were not in compliance, and their M-COOL rules and regulations contravened free and unfettered trade so we took them to the WTO,” Ritz said. “We won that ruling, they appealed, we won that appeal and the Americans, before the end of last May,
had to come forward with changes that were required to bring them into compliance.” Ritz said the new U.S. initiatives brought forward actually make this even worse by making it indefensible however, they have continued to press ahead. “As I explained to my counterpart, Tom Vilsack, he has a political fix to a problem that doesn’t exist,” said Ritz. “His own industry, coupled with the Canadian and Mexican industry, is now taking the Government of the United States to court to try and get an injunction so they cannot move forward with the rules as they’re written.” Ritz said the U.S. government recognizes the integration of the North American beef and pork industries so he remains hopeful common sense will prevail. He said there has always been a difference between
Canadian and American livestock. It is just a cost of doing business. When M-COOL came into affect the disparities for hogs hit $25 on a hog, $40 to $50 on a cow and now that is double in the last month.
“We know there’s a tremendous negative impact on our industry which also is coupled to the American industry,” he said. “Our industry has identified over a billion dollars a year they feel is missing in that differential and
the American industry is saying it will cost them some several hundred million dollars a year to implement this.” If this is to safeguard consumers in the U.S. they are going to pay mightily for that little bit of safeguard, not even required, he added.
Manitoba RReinforces einforces Support for Federal COOL Action The provincial government is supporting the Government of Canada’s decision to request a World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel be established on U.S. country of origin labelling (COOL) says Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn. “I want Ministers Ritz and Fast to know that our government supports their efforts and will stand with them as we stand up for our cattle and hog producers,” said Kostyshyn. “The bottom line is that COOL is hurting the agriculture industry in Manitoba and across Canada, and that needs to change.” The WTO ruled last June that COOL discriminates against exports of Canadian livestock. The United States had until May 23 to implement regulatory or legislative changes to COOL. The U.S. Department of Agriculture did not make the needed changes to bring COOL into compliance with its WTO obligations. In Manitoba’s view, these changes will worsen the barriers facing Canadian livestock since COOL regulations were first implemented in 2008, said Kostyshyn. As a result, Canada has requested that the original panel review the final COOL measure and determine whether the changes are adequate to bring the U.S. into compliance. “Our government has fought against COOL from the beginning,” said Kostyshyn. “We will keep fighting until this unfair trade policy is changed.”
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
A Mountain of Grain By Les Kletke Mountains are always a tourist attraction and a mountain of wheat in the Red River Valley is no exception. The one beside the Paterson elevator in Morris is very distinctive. Kevin Woods is the Manager of Country Operations with Paterson and he is cautious about how the new storage system will work and how long the company will hold grain in the bulk system. It has another holding system of similar size at its Winnipeg elevator. He said the company made the decision to try the storage facility about six weeks ago and as the winter wheat harvest approached it made sense to have the first trial with winter wheat. The system could also be used for other commodities such as corn or soybeans. It is expected to hold about 1.5 million bushels. “The manufacturer rates it at 50,000 tonnes,” said Woods. “The exact amount will vary on the commodity and the weight of the product being stored.” He said the company is not yet sure when they will be moving the grain that is going into storage but it could be relatively soon if a market develops or it could be stored into winter. They have not yet determined how they will load the grain from the pile that is on the ground. “We could use a loader and put it into a truck and haul it to
When complete, the pile will hold nearly 1.5 million bushels of winter wheat. The company expects to have a similar pile at its Winnipeg location. Photos by Les Kletke
Fans remove air from the pile to reduce field heat and pull the cover down tight to the grain.
the elevator where it would be loaded into cars,” said Woods. “There are several options available from the U.S.” The pile has been growing rapidly as the winter wheat harvest began truck loads were averaging about 10 minutes per unit. The facility is equipped with fans to pull air out of the pile, which is the opposite from tradition bin storage where air is blown into the pile. “The air is sucked out of the pile,” said Woods. “That pulls the tarp down and holds it tight to the grain. We have to be careful of windy days and putting the tarp on it but we have been very fortunate with the weather and being able to get the cover on it.” The new storage method provides an attractive option for farmers who might be facing storage problems with this year’s crop. They are able to deliver their entire winter wheat crop Huge ducts are placed on the ground and suck air from the grain to pull the cover down. The tarps covering the pile are sown to the facility without using any on farm storage, which may together as the length of the pile increases be in demand later in harvest.
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
Research Partnering the Right Way One good thing about school and class reunions is the fact people really can’t misrepresent their ages no matter how young or old they may appear. My wife Judith had a class reunion that’s right up there in years gone by, yet either for those who had kept in touch or especially for those who hadn’t seen each other in 50 years. It seemed just like yesterday. It was also interesting to hear people share the directions their lives have taken over the course of 50 years, how many had retired not only once from certain careers, but two and three times in some cases. Also, how health issues had affected further career choices, and even the loss through separation or death, yet 24 of that class were at this reunion, and spirits connected once again. I enjoyed the time with these people immensely. I’ve told the story of the farmer who told me two years ago how five or six years ago, he grew corn on the best ground. Today he grows it on his worst ground and the yields are better. The point I’m making is that research is vital to stay ahead of the game and in some cases just up or even a little behind. That same farmer told me he’d switched from edible beans to corn and soybeans because the edible bean people had not stayed up with the others in Manitoba. Hence, he switched to a corn and soybean rotation. Last Friday, Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced federal support for the purchase of specialized agricultural equipment to seed and harvest soybean and corn research test fields. I happen to believe corn and soybeans have a great future in Manitoba, especially soybeans that require considerable less input costs and are a very hardy plant to grow in our climate. I also remember when certain people wanted to grow soybeans back in 1980, but the industry didn’t have the varieties suitable for the soil, climate and heat units. They flourished one, two years and then they froze, or ‘droughted’ out and the long drought of no soybeans continued for many years. Until as one other soybean seed grower told me, soybean varieties developed in Grand Forks don’t necessarily do well in Manitoba. “We need varieties suited not only for Manitoba, but for specific regions and soil types. It is good to see governments partner with grower groups to get the right varieties for the right climate, region and soil types. “With the increasing demand for specialty crops like soybeans and corn, it is critical that producers be well-positioned to respond and remain competitive,” Minister Rempel told the media gathered in Carman on Friday. “Agriculture is one of Canada’s top economic sectors and by supporting research projects like this one led by the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association; governments show their collective commitment to Canada’s continued economic growth and long-term prosperity.” The feds chipped in through the WD with $242,000 to assist the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association and Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MPGA) to do agronomic research. This will improve crop productivity and yields, allowing farmers to capitalize on the increase in domestic and international market demand, while reducing production risks. Roxanne Lewko, Executive Director of the MPGA, is happy for the funding to help buy a research row crop seeder and row crop combine. “Soybean and corn acres in the province are increasing, and the research conducted by Dr. Yvonne Lawley at the University of Manitoba on these crops is resulting in the best management practices that farmers can use,” said Lewko. “Agronomic research provides incredible value to farmers and this funding commitment reflects the government’s recognition of that and indicates the importance of this type of work in the future.” Theresa Bergsma, General Manager, Manitoba Corn Growers Association, said they’re excited to have Lawley working with them on corn projects through the University of Manitoba. In my opinion, this is the type of research where governments look for the producer and commodity groups that can give us taxpayers a bang for our buck and get the right people developing to bring the right varieties on stream.
Advocating for Lower Production Costs Needs to Happen Dear Editor: I would like to address changes brought forward by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in regards to COOL (Country of Origin Labelling). These changes have an impact on the processing of cattle and hogs in particular, and the production that many Manitobans rely on for their livelihoods. Recently, I had the opportunity, as the representative director for Canada, to attend the State Agriculture Rural Leaders Organization’s annual meeting held in Vancouver. As
a representative, I informed the participants how COOL can influence trade between Canada and the United States. Afterwards, the issue was debated by United States Senators, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Canadian Members of the Legislative Assemblies and business leaders. Their representatives asked the U.S. Congress to build markets for United States cattle and hog producers that did not rely on implementing restrictive trade practices such as Country of Origin Label-
Good Crop... of Signs When the Five Man Electrical Band released their hit with the lyrics, “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, block’n out the scenery, break’n my mind”, I don’t think they were singing about signs promoting agricultural products, but they sure did describe this year. I cannot remember a year with as many seed variety signs, or crop input signs and it is not because we have seen a proliferation of new companies or products, if anything the opposite is true and we have fewer product lines to choose from. The number of signs indicates two things about the industry for this year. One is that the advertising agencies that handle the accounts have decided that field signs are a good way to go and a cost effective way to reach farmers at a decision making time. Trends have ruled this industry for years. Some years products are named for large cats, some years the ad programs are based around sports themes, curling and football have been popular in recent years, but this year the trend was not sports. The amount of signs this year has me wishing that I had bought into a company that manufactures coreoplast, that and elections coming could well make for the best investments of the decade. The second thing that signs tell us is that there is an above average crop standing out there. In most cases it is still a few weeks from the bin but you can be assured that if the product was not shown in the best light it would not have a nameplate on the end of the field. I don’t think the return on crops will quite reach the possible return on investment in a coreoplast company but it could be pretty good. This is the first year in a long time that I heard a farmer say things looked “good, almost too good”. He was, in fact, referring to the growth on his bean field and that the canopy of leaves was so heavy the ground and crop were not drying out daily and the resulting conditions were just about perfect for disease development. This year the crop canopy is good enough to justify just about any product that promises pestilence control, and in most cases farmers have been willing to apply it. The crop is there and the products have been working but the question remains. Will the last line of the chorus come true next year when farmers go to make their input purchases? Will those signs have worked and had an effect on our mind? Only time will tell, and it is time to get this crop in the bin.
Show Us the Benefits, Show Us the Money Dear Editor: With the first year anniversary of so-called marketing freedom under their belt, Gerry Ritz and the rest of the grain trade are all smiles or should one say they are gloating over their good fortune. For sure, the major grain companies have the producers of grain right where they want them. However, perhaps Ritz will answer a few questions on how things are shaping up for farmers and their new marketing freedom. (1) Is it true, Mr. Ritz when the farmer has unloaded his grain at the elevator (terminal) his ownership of that grain has vanished? (2) Terminal blending of grain as was done in the days of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) produced monetary benefits in the multi-millions for the farmer. Are those blending profits still part of the farmers’ income under marketing freedom? (3) Wheat and Barley price premiums – Economists Kraft, Furtan, Tyrchniewicz, Schmitz, Gray, Storey have all shown the CWB earned an average total wheat and Barley premiums of $300 - $500 million per annum, for the producers of the grain. My question to you Mr. Ritz is this, are those premium dollars still accruing to the farmers under this new marketing freedom? Please tell us Mr. Ritz we need to know. (4) Interest earnings – Terminal rebates – penalties – tendering and despatch brought to the farmers over $100 million annually. Tell me Mr. Ritz, what is the farmer’s yearly benefit from those earnings now that he has marketing freedom? (5) Farmers and Producer cars - what happened? What level of service has slipped from the farmers hands, in this first year of market freedom? (6) Lest anyone believes I have padded the numbers when the CWB ruled the roost, think again. According to a 2007 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the CWB generates an estimated economic impact of $1.6 billion per year. What I have done, is seriously understated the economic benefit the farmers have lost with market freedom. Henry Neufeld Waldeck, SK ling. Doc Anderson and Senator Larry Rowden were key people in shepherding this motion to a successful completion; and it is an important step forward for Canadian producers. The decision by the President of the United States and the Secretary of Agriculture in not to push for the end of these restrictive trade practices hurts both the producers in Canada and the United States. Consumers will feel the effects because meat products will cost more. It will have a major impact on low-income families who deserve to have nutritious meals that don’t break the bank.
I am proud to say as the director representing Canada on the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders Organization board we have taken strong action to advocate for change. This issue needs immediate attention. We will do all we can to ensure trade barriers are removed and that there are open markets for our livestock. It’s a shame that since the outbreak of BSE in 2003 this NDP government has failed the cattle industry in Manitoba. The NDP has failed to live up to its promise that there would be increased processing capacity for Manitoba’s producers, who are still paying a fee that was
designed to enable them to send their product to markets through a processing plant closer to home. It’s long past time to work on making this a reality. Producers need this increased capacity so they can expand their businesses and sell their products to a larger marketplace. We have great livestock producers with great products to sell. The World should be our marketplace. The largest hurdle to accessing that marketplace is the NDP government. Ralph Eichler Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives MLA for Lakeside
The Agri Post
Victory Lap “Where’s the Ka-boom?” asked Martin the Martian in a classic Bugs Bunny cartoon. “There’s supposed to be an earth-shattering Ka-boom!” That memorable line perfectly describes the anticlimax for those who were dead set against the idea that farmers could sell their wheat and barley to whomever they wanted. At the one-year anniversary of marketing freedom, the “Ka-boom” predicted time and time again by the Chicken Littles has failed to materialize. Instead, farmers are experiencing record profits and smooth sailing. To be fair, a major drought in the United States caused commodity prices to soar into the stratosphere. But for the first time in living memory, western Canadian farmers were able to participate fully in a major market rally. In the past, under the single desk, the demand generated by such rallies was never allowed completely to cross the 49th parallel. Before, when world prices peaked, the monopoly Wheat Board just kept taking bigger and bigger pieces of the pie. We know this to be true. Price comparisons between western Canada farmers and what was put in their pockets versus what American farmers earned just across the border prove it. In the past Americans enjoyed a sometimes-significant advantage, particularly when prices were high. Now that we have achieved marketing freedom, that difference
Penners Points by Rolf Penner firstname.lastname@example.org has almost vanished. In some cases, higher “in the pocket” returns can now be found on the Canadian side of the border. When asked about how smooth the transition was, and about how good farmers are doing under the new system, the more honest of the old Boardies will say something like, “It’s too early to tell…” Which in translation means, “Okay, everything is going really well right now and there are no actual problems that we can point to, but just you wait for it, there is still going to be an earth shattering Kaboom.” Others claim that once prices come down again we will see a difference. These people are both right and wrong. They believe that the old system somehow got them better returns, when in fact all of the empirical evidence shows the opposite. The monopoly system hurt farmers the most when prices were low. Many times in the past, when farmers here were losing money, those to the south of us were either breaking even or making a couple of dollars per acre. We don’t miss the single desk during times of high
Agricultural Issues Raised in Legislature Alarming Decline in Bee PPopulations opulations Bees play a crucial role in healthy crop production. These pollinators are essential in sustaining agriculture, the heart of Manitoba. Recent reports indicate that bee colonies are declining rapidly. Some beekeepers have observed up to a 70 percent reduction since last year. I raised this striking concern in the Legislature on August 1 and 6. Although recognized as an area that requires immediate attention, the plan for how to proceed was ambiguous at best. Several studies indicate that the rapid decline in bee colonies is related to the use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides in coating crop seeds. Ontario’s government recently developed a Bee Health Working Group panel with the goal of providing recommendations by spring 2014 to improve the health of bee populations. Whether or not neonicotiniods are the source of the problem, more research and work needs to be done to determine how to sustain Manitoba’s bee population. In the Legislature I called for the government to strike a similar panel to get input from Manitobans and help beekeepers and agricultural producers in this struggle to sustain our primary pollinator populations.
Meat Plant Inspection Changes Hands In April 2011, the Federal Government announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) would be vacating the role of meat inspection for all provincially registered meatpacking plants. The deadline for the transition process is January 1, 2014. Very little has been said on the matter By Jon Gerrard since it was announced two years ago. With less than five months remaining I asked in the Legislature what our government was doing to ensure a smooth transition. I was informed that 16 new inspectors and 2 supervisors were hired in July and are undergoing on-the-job training. We must ensure there is no compromise in food safety and no loss of business for our 33 provincially registered plants. Why the government of Manitoba has kept silent on this problem, the process is unclear. Our large numbers of provincial meat producers require assurance that public perception will not negatively affect demand for provincially regulated meat products. The importance of maintaining high quality food inspection standards must be a top priority and requires precise and diligent attention to avoid future health risks. Transparency, not secrecy, is what Manitobans need in this matter. For more information, please feel free to leave your comments at email@example.com or visit my blog at manitobaliberals.blogspot.ca.
August 30, 2013
prices and we’ll miss it even less when prices are poor. Some diehard monopolists still grasp at straws. “What about the protein premiums that have disappeared?” they cry. In a letter to the Western Producer, John De Pape does an excellent job of eviscerating this argument. He makes many good points, one of which is that last year no one got any real protein premiums because pretty much everyone was able to grow high protein crops. That greatly reduced the need for anyone to pay such a premium. De Pape’s best argument, however, is this, “According to the CWB website, in 2011-12, the last year of the single desk, the market premium for 14 percent protein over 13 percent in CWRS [Canadian Western Red Spring wheat] averaged about $60 per tonne, and was as high as $100 per tonne. In the CWB pool account that same year, the premium for No. 1 CWRS 14.0 over No. 1 CWRS 13.0 was only $22.57 per tonne, well below the average. So, what did the CWB do with the other $37 per tonne?” That’s a great question. Even though we don’t know where it went, clearly it didn’t go to farmers. It’s another example of the kind of “demand-management” mentioned above. The only real negative seems to be that those who fought the hardest for marketing freedom are being far too humble and modest when it comes to all of this. Things have gone far better and far smoother than even the most optimistic of them could have imagined. They should go ahead and take a well-deserved victory lap on this one. We’re off to a great start here and history will look favourably upon them for restoring this basic human right to western farmers.
Protecting Canada’s Water Supply, Farm to Federal Level We have seen countless examples of climate volatility in recent years. Extreme swings in temperature and moisture are becoming the norm, and farmers are constantly finding ways to adapt to this volatility, including putting proper water management practices in place. Water is incredibly important to the success and future of Canadian farms and farmers, so it is vital to consider ways to enhance our efforts to protect and improve the quality and quantity of our water supply. Without usable water, there are no crops, no livestock, and no agri-food industry. Canada’s most productive food growing regions are in fact the driest and threatening to become drier. At the same time, we are home to more water per capita than any other country in the world. Moreover, Canada is one of only five countries (Others: Brazil, Argentina, Russia, USA) with the capacity to expand its agri-food exports, an increasingly critical function in the context of growing global population and ever evolving dietary preferences. Clearly, Canada has a very important role to play in sustaining domestic and global food supply and proper water management is central to our ability to do so. Further to that, farmers specifically have a vital role as stewards of the land because of their daily interaction with natural resources. Farmers are mindful that the pursuit of increased food production cannot come at the cost of sustainable water management practices. Best management practices (BMPs) for water are foBy Ron Bonnett cused on minimizing the risk of impacting water quality and increasing the efficiency of water usage, while maintaining economic profitability, and are being adopted by farmers across Canada. Water quality issues such as solid sediments from soil erosion, fertilizers, pesticides, manure, and waste products from animals all require careful management to ensure Canadian water quality is maintained. The adoption of successful BMPs can help farmers address these issues with responses like, improved manure management, the creation of buffer strips, the instillation of exclusive fencing, and watering their livestock at a sufficient distance from their water supplies. Water quantity issues we must face include adopting new technologies and practices to improve water efficiency in all areas of agricultural production, implementing plans to retain water on the land to provide a supply during droughts, and better understanding of the inter-relationship between groundwater supplies and the many competing users of that groundwater in each region. However, not everything can be done at the farm level. The only way our water can be truly protected is if Canada takes proactive measures from the farm to federal level, from coast to coast. Adoption of new technologies and BMPs must be supported at all levels. Programs within the Growing Forward 2 framework could provide financial incentives for farmers to try trial innovations in agricultural technologies and practices dealing with water efficiency on their farms. It is also important that governments work with financial institutions like Farm Credit Canada and Canadian Banks in order to provide the support necessary for widespread adoption of beneficial technologies. In addition, we must continue to prioritize research focused on improving crop varieties so they require less water to ensure farmers can maintain successful harvests in times of drought and maximize the efficiency of irrigation. We encourage everyone from the farm to federal level, including the Canadian public, to understand how water quality/quantity issues affect our communities and to act appropriately to help protect this important natural resource. Learn more about Canadian agriculture and the CFA at cfa-fca.ca. Ron Bonnett is CFA President and a Cow/Calf Operator.
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
Jump Start Winter Wheat By Les Kletke Producers who want to give their winter wheat a jump-start this fall may want to consider a treatment that contains phosphate and zinc. Brian Elgert who is a Territory Manager in Manitoba for Omex Agriculture Inc. with 25 years experience, a B.Sc. in Agriculture Soil Services, an MBA in agribusiness and a Certified Crop Adviser said that this treatment has proven itself on spring wheat but he is cautious to recommend it on fall-seeded crops. “I don’t want to leave fellows with the idea that a seed treatment will allow them to seed later in the fall. They still have to follow good agronomic practices and the dates required by crop insurance but zinc does give the plant a boost in establishing the root system,” said Elgert. Elgert said that significant work has been done that show the benefits of zinc on spring seeded crops when the seed goes into cold soil, and there is no reason to
believe that the product would not have the same impact when placed with seed going into warm ground in the fall. “The key to establishing a winter wheat crop is the root system,” said Elgert. “If the seed gets that initial boost of zinc and establishes a good healthy crown root it should be better able to withstand the stress of winter.” Much of the provinces winter wheat crop west of the Pembina escarpment did not survive the winter and was turned down in the spring. Some producers in the Red River Valley had borderline stands, Gord Snarr at Morris said that he was in the worst possible situation, “with a stand just good enough to leave but too patchy to provide a good yield.” A borderline crop may well have benefited from a larger more established root system that would have carried it through the winter. Elgert said that the late spring and resultant late canola harvest might result in reduced acres of winter wheat this year.
“Producers tend to put their winter wheat on canola stubble and with the crop being late this year they may not want to take the time to plant a crop when the rest of their crop is ready to harvest,” said Elgert. He is looking for producers who would like to be involved with a field scale trial and treating a portion of their seed with the zinc coating. Elgert said the amount of zinc and phosphate is not intended to replace a regular nutrient program but rather to give the plant an initial boost as it absorbs moisture for germination and the early stages of root development. “We know that even with banding the phosphate to the side and below the seed row there are some concerns,” he said. “So a small amount placed directly around the seed just allows the plant to get off to a better start.” Omex Agriculture Inc. (Canada) has been serving Canadian farmers since 1998. In the fall of 2006, Omex International Ltd. head-
quartered in England, opened their first suspension fertilizer manufacturing plant in Canada located in Manitoba to serve both the western and eastern Canadian markets, as well as the northern United States. The company offers a range of products, many of which are tailor-made to meet specific crop requirements, develops, and produces liquid fertilizers using advanced gel rheology, for soil and foliar application, which are sold in over 50 countries worldwide.
Abdelebasset El Hadrami is the research director with Omex Canada. He advocates a boost of nutrients to get the plant established. Omex is looking for farmers to conduct field trials of nutrient treatment on winter wheat. Photo by Les Kletke
Donate a $100 for 100 YYears ears By Tracey Drabyk-Zirk 2013 marks 100 years for 4H in Canada. Roland, Manitoba is recognized as the birthplace of 4-H in Canada as they were the community in which the first organizational meeting for a Boys and Girls Club was held in 1913. To celebrate this milestone, anyone who has been affiliated with the 4-H program or worked with the many great graduates of the 4-H program is encouraged to donate $100
for 100 years. For young 4-H’ers who have not already made a charitable donation, it is a great time to take advantage of the “First Time Donor’s Super Credit” recently announced by the Federal Government. The first-time donor’s super credit gives an extra 25 percent credit when claiming your charitable donation. This means that you can get a 40% credit for donations of $200 or less, and a 54% credit for the portion of donations
that are over $200 and up to $1,000. This donation can benefit the 4-H program in several ways. Donors can find out how by visiting the Manitoba 4-H Council or the Manitoba 4-H Endowment Fund Foundation at 4h.mb.ca or on the Canadian national site at 4-hcanada.ca/donate100. Tracey Drabyk-Zirk is a Rural Leadership Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives in Beausejour.
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
Wants His Return from the Market By Les Kletke Farmers have long been saying that they would prefer their return from the marketplace rather than government programs. The statement comes most often from grain producers, who suffered through an international trade war, but Albert Giesbrecht is a sheep producer and he feels the same way. Giesbrecht has no complaints about the compensation he receives for lambs that have been killed by coyotes but he wonders why the government will not do anything to remove the animals from his area. “They have the technology and the expertise to remove the animals,” said Giesbrecht. “But they won’t do anything about
the animals that are returning to take my lambs.” He said that experienced trappers have told him that the lambs are the victims of a mother with pups or a rogue male. Manitoba Agriculture will compensate him at 90 percent of market value for animals that are killed by coyotes and he said that is fair. “The compensation is alright, I would lose 10 percent of the weight in shipping the animals to Ontario,” he said. “But I don’t raise lambs to feed the coyotes I would like to get my return from the market place and this is very disheartening.” Giesbrecht lost some lambs to predators earlier in the spring and has received compensation for the animals but nothing has been done about the predators and that is his concern. “The government has the technology to deal with these animals and it does not require the eradication of all coyotes but they have done nothing to remove Albert Giesbrecht of Altona the animals that are taking my says that government lambs and I would like to know compensation does not make why?” he said. He surmises up for finding dead lambs that the lack of activity is bewhen he goes to his farm in cause of public opinion to the the morning. Coyotes have trapping and removal of anibeen claiming an above average number of lambs. mals. Rather than deal with the issue the government continPhoto by Les Kletke ues to pay compensation to producers. Giesbrecht, who lives in Altona and has his sheep on a farmstead two miles west of town, was disheartened to arrive at the yard August 12 and find the carcasses of two lambs on a dyke surrounding his property. “It is a sickening feeling to find the carcasses at this point.
When you come to the farm and the first thing you have to do is deal with this it makes you wonder why you are raising lambs?” he said. He has been told to get dogs to patrol the yard site but they bring other issues and in some cases the coyotes distract the dogs while another coyotes go in for the kill. He said he has heard of other guard animals like lamas but has found them less than effective.
Agricultural Museum to Share History on Open Farm Day The Manitoba Agricultural Museum will be participating in Open Farm Day on Sunday, September 15. Farming and agriculture comes alive at the Museum, which will be open to the public free of charge for Open Farm Day. Visitors will be able to visit the vast collection of Farm machinery and implements, the Pioneer Village, and live agricultural demonstrations will be held including Steam tractor and equipment operation as well as horse-powered equipment. This year the event will coincide with the Manitoba Team Roping Association (MTRA) competition, which will feature up to 50 riders in 25 teams vying for a spot to compete in the 2013 MTRA finals at the Brandon Keystone Centre on September 28. Team roping starts at 1pm. For more event information, visit the Museum website at ag-museum.com or the Manitoba Open Farm Day Website at openfarmday.ca.
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
Crop Yields are Surprising but Look Out for an Early Frost By Harry Siemens The harvest continues in southern Manitoba with some real surprises in spring and winter wheat and canola yields. While the cool weather in most of July bode well for those crops, Reg Friesen of Prairie Sky Crop Solutions, an independent seed, crop protection and custom application business at Niverville, said it has affected corn and later seeded soybeans in the opposite way. First, Friesen said, in most cases it is the canola right now catching everyone by surprise. “We thought we were in for a good canola crop, but it looks
like it could well be an exceptional canola crop, at least in my trading area.” Friesen said one client’s canola was yielding in the upper 50’s. He had combined 700 acres of his total 2,000 acres. “I don’t think our area is going to average out to that, but some of the guys who were thinking around 35-40 are doing 40 to 45 bushels an acre,” he said. “The cooler weather we had all through July, although it probably has hurt the beans and the corn, has done exceptionally well for the canola.” Winter wheat, with yields in the high 70’s and high 80’s compared to what it looked
like this spring, Friesen noted it is a pleasant surprise and surpassing anybody’s expectations. With the cool weather in July it really helped the cereals. “Back in spring, I was looking at the winter wheat in the area and thinking, boy, the area average we’d be looking to hit was 50,” he said. “It just wasn’t looking good at all.” Spring wheat is in the 60 bushel an acre area, and with the newer varieties of spring wheat, farmers should expect to be in the 60 bushel an acre area, he said. That has changed dramatically from where they used to be at 40 to 45 bushels an acre. “That is another thing too,
when we were doing fungicides on spring wheat, the plants hadn’t stooled very well and were quite short. Again I wasn’t super optimistic of a big yield.” However, looking at the corn in his area, it pollinated very well, the ears filled up, all that went well considering the cooler temperatures. “With the sunshine and getting the rain and everything, it was working well and brought that ear to a good ear,” Friesen said. “But the big question will be if we get enough heat units and degree days to get it ready. Right now I’m optimistic about it and I hope it makes it.” He said the forecasts for a
cooler September and an early frost that would not bode well for corn and the later varieties of soybeans. “We sell a lot of bean seed from our location and later or longer maturing varieties certainly have a long way to go,” he said. “The earliest variety of soybeans are in good shape and they will make it. Even with a frost at the beginning of the second week of September, there would be zero issue with them.” The mid-season beans will have a fighting chance, but the long-season beans and the corn here are certainly an issue,” he added. Agronomist John McGregor said the corn kernel fill period
begins with successful pollination and initiation of kernel development (silking), and ends approximately 60 days later when the kernels are physiologically mature. “With corn now in the blister stage we are looking at 4550 days to black layer,” said McGregor. “If your corn is more advanced (earlier variety) and you are in the milk stage then it could be 35-40 days. If your corn is entering the dough stage, then you may be looking at only 30-35 days.” He said this is important because it gives the farmer an idea as to how far down the line frost may have an effect on the yield and quality of his corn.
Research Catching Up to Farming By Les Kletke Dr. Yvonne Lawley is excited to be involved in the process of purchasing new equipment for her work on corn and soybeans. “The new equipment will be closer to what is being used on farms and gives us the opportunity to work on seeding rates and plant populations,” said Lawley. “Current equipment relies on gravity and belt system that is not really representative of what farmers are using.” The new planter and harvester will be purchased with a grant from Western Diversification and funding from the Manitoba Pulse Growers and Manitoba Corn Growers Association. Lawley said that to date she has been harvesting corn by hand and then threshing individual cobs. “This equipment will allow us to replicate trials and get them over a bigger area,” she said. She expects the geographic areas of these two crops will continue to spread eastward across the prairies. Lawley originally from Winnipeg completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Manitoba before going to the University of Saskatchewan to do her Masters and to the University of Maryland to complete her PhD work. Lawley is currently an Assistant Professor with the University of Manitoba in Agronomy and Cropping Systems, a position that was vacant for a time before her hiring and an Advisory Director with Manitoba Pulse Growers Association. Her focus is primarily in cropping systems research, cover crops, plant and soil interactions and plant and soil management to address agricultural and environmental challenges. “That meant that the position had time for some new research. It was not committed to any projects,” said Lawley. “So when I began talking to the Pulse Growers and Corn Growers they indicated some of the work they would like to see done on agronomy and it was a good fit but we lacked the equipment to carry out a large number of trials.” In Maryland, she worked on cover crops and the possibility of growing three crops in two years with winter wheat. She then worked in Carrington, North Dakota before coming to the University of Manitoba in January of 2011. “I am amazed at the change in cropping systems in the last five years,” she said, “The expansion of corn and soybeans northward has been substantial and with the commitment from private companies to breeding programs we could see that expand eastward.” Lawley has checked with a Manitoba manufacturer of test plot equipment but is also pursuing equipment manufactured in the U.S. where row crop research is much more prevalent. “We want to be able to work with split application of fertilizer for corn trials,” she said, “So that requires some specialized equipment on the seeder.” She said that much of the agronomy work done in the U.S. is applicable to the two crops but their fit into rotation systems is different in Manitoba. “In many areas those are the only two crops produced. That is not the case here.”
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
Versatility Stake Captures Audience at National Appaloosa Show By Joan Airey Versatility Stake caught the interest of the audience at the 55th Annual Canadian National Appaloosa Show held in Brandon from July 30 to August 4. Versatility Stake is when the riders ride their horse with English saddles and riding gear first, then have just minutes to change in the ring into western attire and equipment. The rider has to take their horse through a course riding them over a bridge, walk over an arrangement of poles, back them through an arrangement of barrels, open, and close a gate while mounted.
Canadian Food Grains Bank Celebrates 30th Anniversary Changing from English riding to Western in the Versatility Stake. Photo by Joan Airey
The top five versatile riders were Kelsey Thul, who placed 1st, Amanda Wigstin 2nd,
Emily Henschel 3rd, Chantelle Kennedy 4th and Tanessa Turnbull 5th.
Canadian National Appalossa Show held in Brandon Manitoba Youth Team Native Pageant Costume won the class with rider Kassidy Moore. A team member told the history of each piece of the costume and why it was worn. Over sixty horses competed in the Canadian National Appaloosa Show from across North America.
Liesel Krahn visits with customers and watches over the children selling baked goods to raise money for the Canadian Food Grains Bank at the second annual Farmers Market. Photo by Joan Airey
By Joan Airey
Photo by Joan Airey
Arabian Championship Horse Show in Brandon Trainers Andrea and John Pringle from Salt Spring Island, BC wash a three year old stallion Mojito owned by Gloria MacDuff of Langley, BC. The Pringles showed seven horses at the Nationals in Brandon. “We have been running a training stable on Salt Spring Island, BC for 25 years. We show other peoples horses and have a few amateur riders that show with us. We think the show in Brandon is a great place to show your horses, we look forward to coming back each year,” said Andrea Pringle.
Photo by Joan Airey
Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB) is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2013. They have encouraged groups of 30 people to start projects to raise money to help people in have not countries. Esther Krahn started a project three years ago growing corn with her grandchildren to raise money for the Canadian Food Grains Bank. When she heard of the idea of 30 people raising money to help CFGB, she approached children in the Rivers community. “When I approached people, in no time 30 children between 2 and 13 were involved growing extra vegetables in their gardens. Nine of my grandchildren are involved, one is only two years old but is capable of putting potatoes into a bag with the help of his siblings,” said Esther Krahn. Response to their project has been great. The group has had two Farmers’ Markets in Rivers and raised $1,738.30, which will be donated to the local Acres of Hope who will forward it to the CFGB. They have one more Farmers Market on August 28 (afternoon) before school starts. “The children, under their mother’s guidance, have been baking breads, cookies, etc. to sell at the market. The children do all the work from picking the produce and baking to manning the tables to sell the produce. It is a great family learning experience. The children know they can make a difference helping people less fortunate,” said Krahn.
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
Biotin Finds New Status in High Milk Producing Dairy Diets Supplementing B-complex vitamins into dairy diets was not seriously considered until about 20 years ago. It was widely accepted that a dairy cow’s rumen microbes, which have the natural ability to manufacture B-vitamins, produced the dairy cow’s entire B-vitamin spectrum. Despite this convention and the knowledge that visible B-vitamin deficiencies are rare in dairy cows; two decades of new information on biotin (B8) has given significant nutrient status to biotin for today’s high milk producing dairy cows. Found amongst the more common essential nutrients such as energy, protein, minerals and other vitamins in a total dairy diet, the suggested level of biotin to feed lactating dairy cows is 20 mg per head on a daily basis in order to promote good health and milk production. This biotin recommendation is based upon many microbiological studies and hands-on field trials that dictate that a population of rumen bacteria in a typical dairy cow produces about 3-5 mg of biotin on a daily basis and that meets her essential biotin requirement. However, the bioavailability of biotin from dairy feed ingredients, as well as artificial biotin supplementation, is less than 50 percent of most biotin additions. Furthermore, 20 mg of supplemental biotin is deemed necessary to maintain natural biotin blood levels in dairy cows. Such dairy biotin supplementation also focuses upon two of biotin’s natural biological functions in the dairy cow’s body. First, biotin is a co-factor in many of her enzyme systems and general metabolic processes that drive energy, fat and protein metabolism. Second, it plays a specific role in the process of keratinisation, which transforms epithelial tissue into strong horn material in hoofed animals. Consequently, biotin research conducted over the last 20 years has shown a consistent benefit to hoof health and milk production. Here is a brief summary of some well thought out biotin studies: - The University of Florida fed mature dairy cows 0 or 20 mg; 16 days pre-calving and 0 or 30 mg of biotin; 70 days post-calving. The researchers not only found that milk production increased about 1.0 kg per head per day on the biotin treatments, but these cows had less nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) build-up in their livers, which is a leading cause of fatal fatty liver syndrome in high performing dairy cattle. - Milk production increases of 1 – 2 kg per cow per day are often exhibited in biotin-supplemented lactating dairy cows. For example, Ohio State attributed 20 mg of supplemental biotin added to the transition-early lactation diets resulted in 2.9 kg more milk produced by biotinsupplemented cows compared to a non-supplemented control group. The control cows averaged about 37 kg of milk/day versus about 40 kg of milk in the biotin-cows. - Various American studies on biotin supplementation/hoof health in dairy cattle were reviewed by the University of Delaware. They reported studies of white line separation reduced by 17 percent in rear lateral claws and 18 percent in real medial claw when 20 mg of biotin was supplemented. Other experiments showed sole ulcers were reduced in dairy cows fed a daily allotment of 10 mg of biotin after 24 months. Heel warts were reduced by 20 percent in cows fed 20 mg of biotin in another 11-month study. Lastly, sand cracks were reduced by 15 percent in cows (beef) fed 10 mg per cow per day.
- A year-long field trial on a Washington-state 150 cow dairy farm compared hoof health status of a group of cows supplemented with 20 mg of biotin per day to a non-biotin supplemented control group; 20 of 40 control cows (50 percent) and 10 of 42 biotin-fed cows (24 percent) had sole haemorrhages. The percentages of cows having heel horn erosion, ridges and double soles in both biotin and control cows was not significant. Many dairy scientists speculate that such data illustrates that artificial biotin supplementation augments the natural biotin produced by the resident rumen microbes. Specifically, it is the fibredigesting bugs that are thought to be killed off by possible sub-clinical acidotic rumen conditions (SARA) caused by feeding high grain rations to high milk producing dairy cows. Since biotin is involved in hoof horn formation (re: hard nail part of the hoof) and also plays a role in enzymatic activities in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism required for good milk production; these necessary functions simply should continue when adequate biotin supplementation is restored. Such biotin restoration seems to yield a positive milk response after 3 – 4 months of biotin supplementation to lactating dairy cattle. It seems that it takes 8 – 12 months of similar treatment for a positive hoof response. Consequently, the following table illustrates the best practical biotin-supplementation recommendations as outlined by research.
By following these recommendations, some dairy producers might express concern as to the response times to biotin supplementation in the strengthening of cowherd’s hooves. While 8 – 12 months may seem excessively long to see visible results, the biological response to biotin encompasses the natural growth of hoof horn, which is directly related to biotin’s effectiveness. Similar responses are often seen with other “hoof strengthening” nutrients such as adding organic zinc to dairy diets. Our primary true objective is to meet the dairy cows’ true biotin requirement, which may not be covered by microbial biotin production. We must also remember that biotin is only part of any sound dairy diet. The diet must be balanced with other essential nutrients. They must all work together to promote good health and optimum performance in high milk producing dairy cows.
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
They Are Real and Growing By Les Kletke Soybean and corn acres have reached record levels in Manitoba and are not about to stop. Judging by the attendance at the annual Field Days hosted by the Crop Research Organization of Portage (CROP), Manitoba Agriculture Food & Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) and CanadaManitoba Crop Diversification Centre (CMCDC), not only are record acres of the crops planted, producers who continue to show up at field days want to know more about the crops and what is coming down the pipeline in breeding programs and crop input programs. Wes Martens, who sells Thunder and Legend seed and is himself a long time corn grower at Altona, told growers of changes in the management practices of corn production and warned growers that while there had not appeared to be a threat from corn borer in recent years they needed to remain vigilant because the pest could easily return and threaten the crop as it had in the past. The day not only featured representatives from Thunder and Legend Seed companies but representatives of companies that provide crop care products. Tanis Neufeld of BASF told producers that the company had purchased Becker
Wes Martens (far right) warns growers to be vigilant against pest like the corn borer which has not been a problem in recent years but could return. Photo by Les Kletke
Underwood, one of the major suppliers of inoculants in the soybean industry, and would be looking to include the products with theirs to provide an increased line of products as the acreage of the crop continues to grow. She said the company is working with Headline on soybeans and is seeing an average of a 3.5-bushel increase in yields on fields that have been treated with Headline. Corby Sylvester of Novozymes told growers that his company had new tech-
nologies emerging as well and reminded growers that a cool wet spring like the one they experience this year put added challenges on emerging plants. He advised growers to take every step possible to get their crop off to a good start. Don Williams made the trek from the southwest part of the province to the field day and said that his area had experienced extreme weather conditions and flooding. His crop was progressing well and he expected that yields would be average to slightly above average.
Beef Producers are Manitoba’s Conservationists A scientist in London, U.K. recently ate meat he created in a laboratory. The event generated headlines and editorials all over the world. The development of muscle tissue from cattle stem cells is interesting science that provides countless opportunities for the advancement of medical treatments, such as skin replacements for burn victims or replacement of failed organs. This is exciting. However, some people also think that this event was good news for the environment. That is unfortunate and comes from persistent misconceptions about the environmental impact of beef production, especially on the Canadian prairies. Laboratory-grown tissue is not necessarily a good replacement for the sound environmental management outcomes from cattle production in our part of the world. As a beef producer I am a steward of the land. I am concerned that far too many people are confusing abandoning land with conservation, as well-known journalist Gwynne Dyer did in his recent column, ‘The world’s most important hamburger’. Dyer states, “We would be able to turn most of that 70 per cent of agricultural land back into forest and prairie or switch it to growing grain for human consumption.” If this happened in Manitoba it would have a devastatingly negative ecological impact. The economic impact would also be disastrous, but I will set that aside for now. Grazing cattle are an integral part of grassland ecosystems and help us meet our conservation objectives. For example, scientific research in Canada’s prairie community pastures has shown that those pastures preserve habitat for 33 different species. Endangered species conservation is happening hand-in-hand with managed cattle grazing.
By Trevor Atchison Beef producers need to be economically viable, but in doing so they can also provide society with many environmental services such as preserving wetlands. According to an analysis conducted by the University of Manitoba, the total value of the social, economic, agricultural, and ecological functions coming from Manitoba’s grazing lands is $31.4 billion. That speaks both to the job-creating value of the grazing livestock industry as well as its ability to maintain important environmental goods and services for all Manitobans. One of our province’s most active conservation organizations, Agro Manitoba makes a point of working with beef producers because of the connection between cattle and habitat conservation in our region. Tim Sopuck, Chief Executive Officer of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, has said, “The most significant reservoir of habitat in our agricultural region is found on lands managed by beef producers.” According to Sopuck, “Cattle pastures and hay lands also harbour grasslands, woodlands and wetlands that shelter wildlife, improve water quality, reduce flooding, protect soils and store carbon.” He noted that if cattle could not be raised economically on those lands, many producers
would have no choice but to break them up and plant annual crops like wheat, oats and canola. Right away, habitat would be lost. In addition, because many of these lands are hilly, sandy or generally have fragile soils, annual cultivation would increase soil erosion that would degrade our land and water. Sopuck stated, “Interestingly, we should recognize beef producers as the largest habitat conservation group in rural Manitoba. They are stewards of millions of acres of wetlands, grasslands and woodlands.” Cattle produce food from resources that humans cannot eat; people don’t do well grazing grass. In Manitoba, beef production occurs on land that is not best suited for grain production, but benefits from having the protection of grasses and other natural vegetation. We should be making efforts to preserve pasture and hay land, not drain and cultivate it. Beef cattle ranching is a key industry left on the landscape that is imitating natural processes and producing highquality protein for people while providing those other resources that the public expects, such as soil-conserving permanent cover, trees, wetlands and wildlife. These are results that lab-grown beef will not be able to deliver on the landscape. Manitoba’s beef producers will continue to produce environmentally sustainable, healthy and affordable beef while adding significantly to the growth and development of Manitoba’s economy. This is sustainability in action. Eat your Manitoba-raised burger with relish and the confidence that it is an environmentally responsible decision. Trevor Atchison is a Beef Producer and President of Manitoba Beef Producers.
Close the Insurance Gap ehicles for Off RRoad oad VVehicles People think their quad, side-by-side, snowmobile or the kids’ dirt bike is covered on their insurance policy. This idea is wrong! There is no coverage on farm, business or home insurance policies unless they are specifically scheduled. When you do choose to insure these on your farm or business policy you are only covered for Third Party Liability while using it on your own private property. For example, if while crossing a public road, you are in a collision and it is your fault, you would have no liability coverage. However if you were insured with Autopac you would. This, in my opinion, is the largest consideration and for this reason, alone I always recommend you insure with Autopac. There are no gaps in coverage and it costs less. How can you go wrong with that? The Autopac options include: - Collision damage - Comprehensive coverage, including fire, theft, hail and vandalism - Accident Benefits coverage – protection for your own injuries, regardless of fault, such as disability, medical expenses and death or funeral benefits - $200,000 Third Party Liability with Family Protection coverage is included; you can increase it to $1, $2 or $5 Million. Call your Insurance Broker to make sure all your motorized vehicles are covered. If your decision is to insure with Autopac, just bring in your paperwork to your broker and you can add the coverage’s of your choice for your unit. Making sure you are covered for the operation of your ATV is very important, especially when you consider the Liability exposure! Be sure to seek advice and purchase insurance from those who understand your business! Andy Anderson is an Associate Insurance Broker specializing in General, Life and Group Benefits for Farm, Commercial/Agri-business Ph: 204-746-5589 Tf: 866 765 3351 firstname.lastname@example.org/rempelinsurance.com/valleyfinancial.ca
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
Landmark Beginning of CFGB ’s CFGB’s Harvest
Farm Makes Shopping Easy
By Elmer Heinrichs
By Les Kletke Evan Erlandson would be the first to tell you that his farm is a work in progress and while he has intentions of where the future could take him he is learning from each step of the journey. He acknowledges that the farm between Rosenfeld and Altona could someday have a farm shop on the yard site, but for now, he sells his produce at Farmer’s Markets and to people who visit the farm. He offers a full line up for the protein portion of the dinner plate with his grass fed beef custom slaughtered at Banmann Meats near Winkler. He selects Angus animals and is using an Angus bull on his heifers but has not ruled out using Hereford genetics in the future. Erlandson has selected animals that are small framed and as deep bodied as possible with short legs, “a traditional Angus animal”. He does not see the need to go to a small framed animal as some grass fed producers do, saying the genetic base of the Angus breed provides him with enough genetic choices. While he has some of his animals on pasture at a relative’s yard, he has 16 heifers at home that are to be naturally bred by an Angus bull. The animals move through 1/4 acre paddocks every couple of days. “The goal is to have them take one bite and move on,” he said. “When they take the second bite, it is overgrazing. We are not quite at that management point yet but we would like to get there.” He offers what he calls pampered pork, which is from Berkshire hogs. They are in an outdoor environment and range within a fence that does little to keep the piglets confined. “The Berkshire is a hearty animal that can survive the winter with just some straw bales for shelter,” he said. “They have one litter a year of about 7-10 piglets. They are all I have ever had so I cannot compare their efficiency to other breeds.” He does know that the meat sells well and has a decidedly different appearance. “My roasts are darker in
Erlandson has 16 heifers on 1/4 acre paddocks that are rotated almost daily. The animals are bred naturally and if are open in fall will be slaughter as beef.
Evan Erlandson has patterned his chicken tractors after those developed by Joel Salazen and each 10x12 pen holds 65 birds.
colour and would compare to a beef roast in appearance.” He said that bacon sells out quickly but consumers seem to be understanding that his operation is different from what is conventional agriculture today. “When they get to the market and there is no bacon, they accept that and say they should have come earlier and take another
cut,” he said. His chickens are grass fed in chicken tractors much the same as Joel Salatin, the pioneer of chicken grazing. Erlandson has visited Salazen’s farm to see the cages in action, all part of the learning process as he moves to making his farm a commercial venture that will provide full time income. He recently attended a grass fed beef
field day in North Dakota that had producers from Hawaii to California attending. The chickens begin their life on the farm in grain bins he has converted to brooders before moving outside to the tractors at 2-3 weeks of age. At eight weeks, they dress out at 6 lbs and sell for roughly $20 a bird. “That may seem expensive but when compared to the size of bird it is much closer to the super market price than you might think, and most families are getting three meals from a bird.” He said. He also has hens that produce eggs, which he sells from the farm gate.
Erlandson is most excited about what is happening to the soil on his farm, “It is the most important part of my farm and it is improving over the years. The chickens are spreading about 300 lbs of Nitrogen an acre and the alfalfa is lasting about five years before I have to reseed so I am seeing an improvement in the health of the soil.” He said that his operation is viable on a larger scale, “Without a doubt, there is a market for this kind of food and it continues to grow. I can see this working on a larger scale and hopefully will have a shop on the farm someday.”
The CFGB Landmark Growing Project took off 73 acres of winter wheat on August 17 with four combines for a total yield of 6,000 bushels, reported Harold Penner, Manitoba Coordinator of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The HOPE project near Arnaud was hoping to harvest the first field of its 470 acre-project on Monday, August 19 however rain intervened and the winter wheat harvest was further delayed. With the hot sunny days the maturity of the winter wheat may speed up and harvests of the HOPE project field, a SHARE project and the Common Ground project are likely to be harvested soon, added Penner, The Foodgrains Bank has some 30 projects growing eight different crops on over 5,500 acres to meet food needs around the world in CFGB’s 30th anniversary year.
The Agri Post
Don’t Put Away Your Calf Creep Feeders this Autumn
Pig Code Sees Record Number of Public Responses
By Peter Vitti
By Harry Siemens
A cool spring coupled with good rains throughout the summer grazing season has kept most pastures lush and many cows milking so well that their calves haven’t been eating much creep feed. However, there is no need for alarm since most pastures rapidly mature by September. Therefore, autumn-creep can still help increase pre-wean weight gains on calves, which leads to better preweaning weight gains and higher profitable weaning weights. That’s because as the leaves turn their beautiful autumn colors, the most promising calves are growing at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, they cannot meet their total energy and protein requirements simply by nursing on their mothers because milk production by each cow has naturally slowed down, which respectively supplies less than 50 percent of the calves’ requirement for both energy and protein. Moreover, calves cannot supplement this lower milk consumption with forage nutrients obtained by grazing because mature field grasses are turning into low digestible forage fibre, which translates into lower amounts of energy and decreased protein. The best practical feed option to fill this nutritional shortfall is for these calves to consume a complementary amount of palatable and nutritious creep feed in the next couple of autumn months ahead of weaning. Most university creep feed studies have demonstrated that pre-weaned calves on a modest plane of mature pasture nutrition, nominal cow milk intake and supplemental creep feed can potentially maintain a daily body weight gain of about 1.8-2.5 lb/head/day where 30-60 lbs of this gain can be traced back to creep feeding. Such commercial creep feeds are balanced with 12-18 percent protein and dietary energy of 65-75 percent TDN (total digestible nutrients). These formulations often contain high-energy grains (such as corn and/or barley); additional modest-energy feed by-products (such as wheat middling and/or corn distillers’ grains) and concentrated feed proteins such as soybean or canola meal. A mineralvitamin pack as well as a growth promoter, such as monensin sodium, is also added to the final mix. In retrospect, most producers acknowledge that creep feed intake by even hungry calves can remain relatively low (0-2 lb/head/d) when lush pastures still drives lots of milk production by the cowherd and there is good digestible forages available for the calves to graze. Consumption of creep feed starts to change once these pastures start to mature causing an inherent drop in milk production. Creep feed intakes rise rapidly (6-8 lbs/head/day) and then levels off. In the same way, creep-feeding calves that graze higher quality pasture translates into lower feed efficiency of 9-11 lbs per lbs of gain compared to a creep feed efficiency of 5-7 lbs of feed per lb of gain while grazing the same falltime mature pastures. These facts explain a little why creep feeders placed earlier in the grazing season are still half-full by late summer, yet a crop of healthy spring calves are milling around them and still gaining acceptable weights. Therefore, some producers see these signs as good fortune to save on feed costs and forgo creep feeding until next years’ calf crop. Others realize that good milk production by cows and good pasture quality can rapidly diminish by the first couple of weeks of autumn and thus calculate the financial opportunity of an autumn creep feeding program. The following spreadsheet illustrates the financial proposition of a present autumn creep feeding program for calves weaned prior to the arrival of the first snowflakes. For demonstration purposes, let us say that we raise a group of spring-calves and nursing cows (producing less than 10 lbs of milk daily). Both cows and calves are grazing aging medium-quality pastures. The parameters of this creep feeding program: (1) 45 day program (Sept 1 – October 14), (2) creep ration at $325/mt (3) creep feed consumption at 6.0 lb/head/day, (4) feed efficiency = 6.50, (5) calves weaned at 600 lbs and sold at $1.50/lb and (6) No weight-market discount. (optional).
The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) received over 4,700 comments in response to the release of its draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs in Canada. The NFACC is coordinating the update of eight codes of practice for the care and handling of livestock in Canada. The 60 day public comment period ended in early August and according to NFACC General Manager Jackie Wepruck submissions came from individuals and organizations representing producers from all segments of the industry including processors, animal welfare advocates, consumers, veterinarians, retailers and food service groups, as well as government. “Previously both the equine and the beef code public comment periods received over 600 submissions, which we thought was substantial at that point,” she said. “However, the response we’ve seen on the pig code reflects the tremendous public attention focussed on this particular code. The draft pig code has proposed changes in a
In this example, there was a nearly $23 return per head realized due to autumn creep feeding. The financial rewards might be further extenuated to include these calves are essentially “bunk-broke”. This would reduce the stress and weight loss often experienced during weaning time as well as creptfed calves that are “pre-conditioned” to grain rations. This should help them go onto higher performance diets with relative ease. Despite these calculated advantages, individual financial results will likely vary due to the actual cost of purchased creep feed and the revenue drawn from the final sale of weaned calves, plus former non-financial factors such as actual pasture quality and current cows’ milk production. Of course, the success of any autumn creep-feeding program really depends upon the health status, actual body weight and growth potential of spring calves in order to yield extra saleable weaning weight. These creep diets don’t even have to be fancy to work, but their optimum performance in calves is essential and should lead to greater revenue and profits.
August 30, 2013
number of key areas that I think many people are increasingly aware of, including transitioning toward more limited use of gestation stalls by 2024, changes to space allowances for different classes of pigs and a requirement for pain control when performing castration after 14 days.” Those are the key ones garnering the most attention. “Of course the proposed transition toward limited use of gestation stalls by 2024 has certainly garnered the most and the greatest public attention as there are some very polarized views on that issue, that the code development committee will be considering,” said Wepruck. Over the coming months the Pig Code Development Committee will be sorting through the submissions and working toward consensus on a final code. It’s a tremendous challenge but the goal is still to have a final code ready by the end of 2013, she said. Florian Possberg, the Chair of the NFACC’s Pig Code Development Committee said the proposed Pig Code generated broad public interest and members of the committee will meet later this month to discuss comments and determine any
changes to make before finalizing the code. “It’s drawn a lot of interest from all areas really, the general public, from special interest groups and from producers,” said Possberg. “Our code probably has elicited more public comments than all of the other codes reviewed to date combined.” He said the item that received the most interest is how producers house their pregnant sows. In previous years, gestation stalls were the norm and there seems to be a lot of interest from retailers and special interest groups to move to loose housing. “That being said there are other things that we get into like pain control for painful procedures like castration, like the amount of minimum space allocations for different classes of pigs and those sorts of things,” Possberg said. Possberg stresses the purpose of the public comment period is to get feedback from producers, from the general public and from industry. Now the challenge for the committee is to look at all of these comments and decide what needs to be adjusted and why.
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post
Testing Your Own Yields By Les Kletke Jeff Hamblin said that the purchase of a grain cart equipped with a scale is one of the best purchases their farm has made in terms of providing agronomy information. “It gives you a lot of information,” he said. “It may not be what you expect to see but the numbers don’t lie.” One of the things the scale allows is calibration of the combine yield monitors. “We calibrate the monitors so we know that they are right, we get the same number of bushels going into a bin as we deliver to the elevator. Some farmers don’t get that, they find they have fewer bushels when they deliver the grain.” Hamblin farms with his father Rob and brother-inlaw Karl Saunders at Morris and the three all share a penchant for information about production practices. “When we get seed we
plan on having some left over to plant a strip on the next field,” said Rob. “That way we get a fair yield comparison for the varieties. The quality of all varieties is so good today that you cannot rely on an approximation from one field to another. If you want to compare yields you have to do it on the same field for it to be meaningful.” The one thing that their testing did prove this year is that water is the most important input in growing a crop. “We had winter wheat that averaged 58 bushels an acre on 400 acres but on some places in the field it was yields over 90 and those were place where we had excess moisture in spring,” said Rob. Rob said the information that many farmers would find surprising is the actual yield difference from some products that promote plant health.
“We have done tests with products that look good in the field and are visible in the crop with a nice green colour but don’t show up with any more yield at harvest,” said Jeff. “We have cut back on our use of inputs because of the testing we do ourselves.” Rob is not convinced of products that promise increased yields under optimum conditions. “We use products that show a return every time,” he said. “If something is going to give us two bushels an acre more, it is more important to get those two bushels on a 35 bushel yield than on a 60 bushel yield.” The farm has harvested some of its early canola which yielded over 50 bushels an acre, “But again the limiting factor was the water, it ran out of water,” said Rob.
Karl Saunders, Jeff Hamblin, and Rob Hamblin use their grain cart as well as combine yield monitor to test crop inputs and seed varieties. They say varieties are too close in characteristics to rely on field-to-field comparisons. Photo by Les Kletke
CCA W elcomes Import Levy Welcomes The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) likes the new import levy on cattle of $1 per head.
The move enables the levy to be applied equally to purchasers of domestic and imported cattle as well as imported beef,
putting Canada on equal ground with the U.S. for the first time since 1985. The import levy is worth an estimated $600,000 to $800,000 annually, depending on market conditions, and funds will support Canada Beef Inc. marketing initiatives and research projects under the direction of the Beef Cattle Research Council. “This is great news for the beef industry,” said CCA President Martin Unrau. “Marketing and research support and drive competitiveness in Canada’s beef cattle industry.” The CCA has worked toward this outcome on behalf of industry since 1999, when it began the groundwork to implement a national checkoff and an import levy to level the playing field with the U.S., which placed an import levy on Canadian cattle in1985. One of the challenges the CCA faced during this process was determining how to collect the import levy. In 1999, the CCA facilitated the creation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency, often referred to as the National Check-off (NCO) Agency, to handle this task. Over the years, the NCO worked with the Farm Products Council of Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency to determine the best possible option for collecting the import levy. Significant advancement was made in securing the cooperation of Canada Border Services Agency to enable the collection of the import levy prior to the formation of Canada Beef Inc. and their assuming responsibility of the NCO. Now acting as the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency, Canada Beef Inc. is entrusted to collect an import levy on all beef cattle, beef and beef products coming into Canada in addition to the domestic levy on cattle sales.
Manitoba Company Hosts the W orld World
The Agri Post By Les Kletke A Manitoba company that specializes in micronutrients showed its wares to international customers and
Seeds Getting the Nutrient Treatment
Brenda Dubeck is Wolf Trakx representative for Manitoba and Saskatchewan. She says the company has products that will fit producers’ needs as they become more aware of micronutrient benefits. Photo by Les Kletke
By Les Kletke A Winnipeg based company continues making a stir in the micro nutrient business internationally but has been slow to be taken up by Manitoba farmers. Wolf Trax Innovative Micronutrients has a firm foothold in the international market place but the Winnipeg firm has seen slow growth locally. It may be truly a matter of ‘a prophet not being known it his own land’. “Micro nutrients are not used as much in the soils of Manitoba,” said Jennifer Bailes, the Director of Customer Strategy and Seed Product Innovations for Wolf Trax. She said the company has seen good interest in a product called Protimus, a seed applied product. “It contains zinc, manganese and iron,” she said. “It is intended to give the crop a boost when the seed starts in cool ground. It does not replace a nutrient program but rather gives the plant a boost immediately after germination when it is establishing the root system.” Mark Goodwin is the company’s Director of Research and in a fact sheet the company provides he said the new technology that allows micronutrients like zinc to be applied to the seed reduce the amount required. Where previously the elements were added to granular fertilizer, which required much higher volumes, now a small amount applied to the seed provides the plant with what it requires in a much more efficient manner. He suggests that it is important to realize that previous recommendations from soil tests were intended for amounts to be added to the soil and were not based on the plant’s requirements, which would be considerably less. The company has equipment for farmers who wish to apply the product to their own seed but the majority of the product is custom applied by seed retailers. Bailes said she has seen an increase in micro nutrient use on canola. “We are seeing some canola being treated with zinc and producers are waiting to see what kind of results they will get from the treatment,” said Bailes. The privately held firm holds specialty patents for its Dry Dispersible Powder (DDP) micronutrient fertilizer coating in 75 regulatory regions, including the U.S., Mexico and northern Europe.
the results were more than favourable. Wolf Trax Innovative Micronutrients hosted nearly 80 international guests in late July for its Innovation Showcase, which included tours of the first test plots at Elm Creek and stops at two area farms. “The group was from the Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the UK, Mexico and our dealers across the U.S.,” said Jennifer Bailes, Wolf Trax Director of Customer Strategy. Bales said that while the company has been around for more than a decade it is still relatively unknown to Manitoba farmers. “We have had good uptake from other parts of the world where micro nutrients are used more,” she said, “They are not as popular in Manitoba.” She cites several reasons for the differential including soil types and cropping systems. The visitors from the UK were particularly interested in production of edible beans and found a stop at Portage bean producer Grant Sissons of great interest. Sissons, who was able to show the group a field of edible beans directly adjacent to his yard despite heavy rains earlier in the week and the night before, said the crop looked as good as it could at this time. The UK visitors were much more familiar with applying nutrients to a growing crop and many already used foliar
August 30, 2013
Wolf Trax dealers from the UK, Carribean and US were in Manitoba to see the company’s Innovation Showcase at Elm Creek. Photo by Les Kletke
sprays. He joked, “It looks almost too good, the canopy is so thick we are concerned about disease problems.” Mould problems are not a joking matter but most in the group agreed they had not heard a farmer say things looked to good. Another stop on the tour included the Starlight Hutterite Colony, which provided a look at communal living that few of the visitors had ever experienced. “We could have spent the entire afternoon here,” said one of the visitors as they boarded the bus to leave the colony. Bales said the group was made up of various aspects of the industry. “Some was staff that sells our product,
some were independent retailers and some were agronomists with companies that sell our products.” The research trials offered a dozen sites highlighting various products in trials on crops that are produced not only in Canada but in the international markets, home to the visitors as well.
The Agri Post
August 30, 2013
Harvest Underway By Harry Siemens Harvest of spring cereals and winter wheat is nicely underway with the dry and hot weather in August. Reports indicate farmers are seeing good yields and quality. Manitoba Agriculture said initial yield reports for spring wheat in the eastern region are in the 60 bushel per acre range with good quality. In the central region there are reports of 80 to 100 bushels per acre for barley and 100 bushels per acre or higher for oats.
Swathing of canola continues and the beginning of some harvesting. The winter wheat harvest is also coming off in southern Manitoba and the results appear to be good and better, especially for the earlier seeded fields. Wilf Peters, in the Randolph district a few miles west of Steinbach, said their first 1,000 acres harvested, yielded between 75 and 85 bushels per acre, not quite the record yields of 2012, that reached 90 bushels an acre and beyond, how-
ever an exceptional yield. “While not the record yields of last year, for this year the yield is quite acceptable,” Peters said. “We had a small stretch of hail go through damaging some canola and winter wheat but won’t know until that crop is in the bin what crop insurance will pay us.” He said most canola fields, with the exceptions of later seeded fields due to the heavy rains in May and subsequent cool weather, are going down or are almost ready for swathing.
A New Frontier in Tile Drainage By Les Kletke A company based in Stonewall plans to bring new technology to the tile drain business in Manitoba. Ron Gendzelivich said that Frontier Tile Drain Systems has ordered a self-propelled unit from Holland to install tile drainage in Manitoba. The company plans to be operational in mid-September, but it is not just a matter of hanging out a shingle and opening a business. “There are certain regulations that a farmer has to meet before he can apply tile drainage,” said Gendzelivich. “They are by no means insurmountable but he needs a field survey of the topography and an application to his local municipality.” The company already has requests from farmers in the Brandon area. He said the advantage of the self-propelled unit over the conventional pull-behind-a-tractor implements is that it provides a more level and exacting application of the pipe. “That is particularly important on very flat land like in the Red River Valley where a difference of an inch or two in the level of the pipe can have a dramatic impact on the flow of water,” he said. While the company is offering new technology in applying the pipe, he has done extensive research on tile drainage in neighbouring states. “In talking to farmers in Minnesota they say typically tiling their land takes their least valuable piece of land and increases the productivity to that of their best land,” he said. “Farmers are doing their least valuable land to see the increase in value.” He estimates the cost of tiling at $800-$1,200 an acre, “Farmers are seeing a 25 percent increase in productivity. With the cost of land at this time that makes good economic sense. They can increase their productivity without buying more land or increasing their overhead costs.” His findings in Minnesota show best results with drains placed closer than normally the case for fields in Manitoba. Traditionally drains are placed at 40 ft intervals and he said results are best at 2530 foot intervals. “In clay soils water will not move that distance (to 40 ft drains) so they need to be placed closer to avoid the wave effect of fields having tiles and not affecting the entire field,” said Gendzelivich. Farmers in the U.S. are finding unexpected benefits from tiling and are viewing it as a water management system, more than just a way of getting water away from a field. Ironically the demand for tiling increased in areas hit by last year’s drought. “Farmers found the root system was better established on fields that were tiled and thus were able to handle the drought better, the tiling also helped with salinity problems,” he said. From a conservation point of view the tiling has helped to hold water on the field and move downward rather than surface run off that is moving nutrients to streams and rivers. Gendzelivich, who operates Quarry Grain in Stonewall, plans to operate the business from this same location for the early stages.
Manitoba Beef Producers Announces 2013 Bursary Recipients Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) has selected four outstanding rural Manitoba students as recipients of the 2013 MBP Bursary. Bursary winners will receive $500 toward their studies. The selected students are children of active beef producers or active beef producers themselves. “Each year we are proud to invest in Manitoba students who plan to pursue post-secondary studies related to agriculture and the rural economy. They are the future of agriculture in Manitoba,” said Trevor Atchison, MBP President. “We congratulate all of the winners and we wish them success as they pursue their studies.” Bursary applicants were evaluated and selected by the MBP bursary committee. The selected students include Cassie Scott, Boissevain, University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Science and Veterinary Medicine, Sydney Sprenger, Alexander, Dalhousie University, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Raina Syrnyk, Ethelbert, University of Manitoba, PreVeterinary Medicine, and Tyler Workman, Minto, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Agriculture. As part of the application process, students were required to submit a short essay on what the beef industry means to their family, their community and Manitoba. Each winner’s essay will be printed in the next issue of Cattle Country, Manitoba’s source for beef cattle news. “We believe we must encourage younger generations to choose a career path in agriculture or a related field and that is why MBP helps support these outstanding students and their goals,” said Atchison. MBP thanks all bursary applicants and wishes them success in their studies this fall. Each year MBP awards four $500 bursaries to MBP members or their children attending a university, college or other post-secondary institution or pursuing trades training. For more information on MBP bursaries, visit mbbeef.ca.
“I’m optimistic the canola will yield quite well, too.” Jonathan Siemens, northeast of Plum Coulee, said two earlier winter wheat fields yielded 87 and 85 bushels per acres, an excellent yield. When asked how about fusarium, “None,” was his answer. Peters said that farmers he is speaking with seem to indicate this year’s Manitoba harvest could well be above average if the weather continues like this. He admitted the kind of year most farmers had in 2012 with record yields and record commodity prices is maybe an once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. “Most farmers knew those prices wouldn’t stick around too long,” said Peters. “At least they shouldn’t expect that to happen too often either.” The weather in this current growing season has been anything but normal coming on the heels of last year’s mammoth drought, especially in the Midwestern United States. It was the drought that sent corn prices skyrocketing and pushing up other commodities, such as feed grains. This year, many of the same areas had continued drought, but other areas, which were dry, last year, had too much
rain and cool weather in spring, forcing many of those farmers to collect insurance instead of seeding. Jake Davidson, the Executive Director of Winter Cereals Canada, blames the extremely dry weather last fall for the low survivability of this year’s fall seeded cereal crops. While the reports from farmers on this year’s winter wheat harvest are up, many farmers had to resort to plan ‘B’ re-seeding those winter wheat fields planted last fall into spring wheat or some other choice. Davidson said extremely dry weather last fall caused farmers to retreat from their initial plans reducing fall seeded cereal crops in western Canada. While fall seeded cereal acres did not fall that much, the dry fall killed a considerable amount of crop over the winter. “A lot of crops did not make it and it wasn’t winter kill,” he said. “It was because they sprouted in the fall and then they desiccated and died or they never grew at all. There was a large amount in western Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan that was ploughed up this spring.” Davidson said eastern Manitoba didn’t have as much
of the problem, but it was so dry in western Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan with many acres of crop ploughed up from Birtle through Hamiota down through Virden to the border and over to Saskatchewan so it’s a bit of a mystery right now exactly what’s going to happen. He said the quality of the crops that survived looks acceptable but he anticipates yields will be down with producers who would typically see yields in the 80-bushel range reporting yields in the 70-bushel range. The one week of hot weather in early July, then the cool weather in between, now back to the heat again makes for an interesting, if not overwhelming scenario making farmers wonder what is actually happening. The heat in early July had farmers thinking optimistically because the crop was behind from late seeding. Then the cool temperatures set in, slowing down development, and finally August brought with it more sustained heat. However, while the harvest is underway in some parts, for the most part, things will not get into full swing before the end of the August and the first week of September.
The Agri Post
4-H Helps Education Costs By Les Kletke Three Manitobans are feeling the benefit of their 4-H activity as they begin their post secondary studies. The routes they have chosen are as diverse as the industry they are studying. The three each won $2,500 scholarships from the TD bank for their academics and community involvement. Amy Pizzey of Binscarth will be studying agronomy at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. She said she chose Saskatoon because she has family in the city and the university has a strong agronomy program. She plans to return to the family farm after graduation and start her own agronomy business. The family farm is a 4th generation seed farm at Binscarth that produces pedigree seed. For Pizzey the TD scholarship was just one of several she won including two from the University and another from the CIBC. She also won several local scholarships awarded at Major Pratt High School in Russell. The awards total $25,000 and two are for the four years of study. Her brother Logan, who completed his first year in agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan, was also a winner of the TD and University scholarships last year. Pizzey volunteered in her local community at a school breakfast program as well as several other events and has been a 4-H member for nine years in the Binscarth Home Economics Club. Robyn Gerrard is going to study farm management at Lakeland College in Vermillion, Alberta. “It is a smaller college, and the students actually operate
a working farm,” said Gerrard when asked about the choice in Alberta. She has already received her class schedules and is pleased by the fact her largest class has only 37 students. She plans to work in agricultural marketing after graduation. She is the lone member of the trio that did not grow up on a working farm. “It is more of a hobby farm with four cows and cats and dogs,” she said. “But growing up in a small community there were working farms all around us and that is what I want to do, so I am looking forward to the experience of being part of the decision-making team at Lakeland.” She has 10 years of 4-H membership with the Strathclair multipurpose club and was a provincial winner in the senior one-person visual demonstration competition. Her topic was Life Lessons Learned at 4-H. Gerrard was on the Honour Roll at graduation and won several local bursaries which she said should help pay for her first term of college. Alison Greaves from Miniota will be entering the degree program at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agriculture with intentions of going on to vet school in Saskatoon. “It is a decision I made when I was seven,” she said. “As I have grown up, I realized it was not a bad choice. It allows me to work with animals and spend some time outside.” Her intentions are to specialize in large animals and open a practice that allows her to work and live in a rural area. Her concern for animals is evident in the decision to sell her horses to help pay for the cost of school.
August 30, 2013
Harvest Well Under Way By Les Kletke
Amy Pizzey will be going to the U of S. She won $25,000 in scholarships this year.
“It would not be fair to them,” she said. “I am used to riding 3 or 4 times a week and if I go to school I won’t be able to do that, so in fairness to them I sold both my horses.” She is a 10-year member of two clubs -the Miniota Merry 4-H’ers and the Decker Country Riders Equine Club. She has been involved in giving riding lessons and has competed at some local fairs with her horses. Greaves completed grade 11 of her High School in New Zealand living with a family there, which she said was a change from the home farm that has 130 Shaver Beef Blend cows and 200 ewes. The farm raises its own feed but does not have any cash crops. The TD Bank provides twelve, $2,500 scholarships nationally and Manitoba was the only province to have three award winners. The awards are based on both academics and community involvement. To be eligible a recipient must be going on to study agriculture at a post secondary level.
Can arm Without Equipment Can’t’t FFarm By Les Kletke Roxanne Lewko admits that the purchase of a seeder and combine are not typical moves for the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association (MPGA) but in the last couple of weeks the group has become at least part owners of the equipment that will allow them to conduct more research on crops that continue to expand acres in Manitoba. Lewko, Executive Director of the MPGA, said that the association has been involved in funding research before but has not seen fit to own the infrastructure required. “We have been involved in trials before, but now we partnered with the Manitoba Corn Growers to apply for funding (through Western Economic Diversification) for the equipment.” The two Carman based groups have been working together for several years. “Dr. Yvonne Lewko of the University of Manitoba will be using the equipment in her research at the University,” said Lewko, “It will be stored in Carman but will be used at various plots that she has around the province.” Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced the federal support for the program at an event in Carman. The equipment will allow for agronomic research in both corn and pulse crops. The pulse work will be concentrated on soybeans, a crop that for the first time topped a million acres in Manitoba this year. “The Manitoba Pulse Growers Association is very pleased with the funding received from Western Economic Diversification Canada to put towards a research row crop seeder and row crop combine,” said Roxanne Lewko, Executive Director. “Soybean and corn acres in the province are increasing, and the research conducted by Dr. Yvonne Lawley at the University of Manitoba on these crops is resulting in best management practices that farmers can use. It is not expected that the equipment will be in place for this year’s harvest but both items are expected to be in place for 2014. “Due to the size it is not a matter of picking something off a dealers lot, “said Lewko, “Most of this equipment is custom built so it will be a matter of finding what is best suited to the type of research that Dr. Lewko will be conducting.”
Gord Snarr is not rushing out to buy more bins for the 2013 harvest but he is pleased with the yields he has received to date. By August 23 Snarr, who farms north of Morris, had combined his perennial ryegrass, winter wheat and begun on his spring wheat. Snarr had 80 acres of perennial ryegrass, which was the first crop that he harvested. He was not certain of the yield but termed it average. He has grown the crop for the past 10 years and appreciates that it spreads his harvest as well as handle excess moisture in the spring. He thinks the crop may have run out of moisture this year. He rated his winter wheat as “the worst possible situation. I was just at the point where the stand had significant winter kill but was too good to work down for crop insurance.” He estimates the overall yield at just over 40 bushels an acre, saying that where the crop had good stand the yield was much higher. Snarr had begun harvesting his spring wheat and an early field was yielding over 50 bushels an acre. He was concerned about his oats, which he felt might have been impacted by a late infestation of grasshoppers which
had migrated from a nearby canola field when it was cut. The insects were also affecting his soybeans but he hoped damage would be restricted to the periphery of the field. Snarr planted his canola later than other crops and said that he expected yields there to be good because of the long bloom period but was afraid it might be impacted by the heat of late August. “It was blooming for a long time, but the heat really seemed to bring it along the
Gord Snarr at Morris says that harvest is well underway and while his winter wheat was disappointing other crops are yielding well. Photo by Les Kletke
last couple of days,” he said. “We will have to see what that does to the yield.” Early canola yields were a pleasant surprise and that crop had a shortened bloom time because of heat in July.
August 30, 2013
The Agri Post