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The Agri Post

January 31, 2014

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January 31, 2014

The Agri Post


The Agri Post

The Real Cost of Farmland By Les Kletke When it comes to buying farmland too much may not be enough. Dan Caron a Farm Management Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) was one of the keynote speakers at St. Jean Farm Days and he told attendees that current commodity prices do not justify the price of farmland. In his presentation he went on to show how a run up in commodity prices like in 2013 usually has an instant impact on the prices of rent and farmland sales but when commodities drop in value as they are today, it usually takes longer to work in to the market and is not as dramatic. “It takes 5 bad years for the price to go down,” said Caron. “And one good year to go up,” He added smiling. “It takes two good years for things to get ridiculous in the Red River Valley.” Caron who is also a farmer did not discourage farmers from buying land by noting that over the years land has show a return of 4-10% in value. He pointed to several factors that influence the price of land such as farm returns, crop returns, interest rates and alternative investment. The farm returns for all sectors, but the beef industry is off and crops returns are

down in all sectors from last year. Caron said, “The fact that interest has been at historic lows for the past decade and alternative investments are not attractive, have had people looking at land and that shows in the price.” He added that even with the factor of low interest rates, “$4,000 an acre land does not make sense. You have to be able to pay for it someday and that is not happening with these commodity prices.” He noted that the MAFRI crop budgets had just been released and the one crop that showed the best return was winter wheat. “Something that you can’t seed for this year, if you made that decision last August it looks good now; but it is not something you add to your seeding plans now,” said Caron. He suggested that rents should be in the neighbourhood of 20% of gross. “That is a number that works across the country and over the years,” he stated. Caron provide numbers to work through expansion of farmland base but on the pragmatic side added that, “Fellows will pay what they have to pay to get a piece of land. We use the term fair market value but that is really on the price of the last transaction, it has nothing to do with a face value of the land.” He faced some questions

“This new risk management tool will be a critical component to help the industry develop the confidence we need to re-build Manitoba’s beef herd and be competitive on the landscape with other sectors.” “Beef producers require strong, bankable risk mitigation tools,” Atchison contin-

The Canola Council announced its new “52 by 2025 KEEP IT COMING” strategy in Winnipeg recently designed to focus on meeting growing demand for canola oil, seed and meal over the next 10 years. The 52 refers to a new goal of increasing the average yield to 52 bushels per acre. The Canola Council of Canada has a new target of 26 million tonnes of canola production from a 22 million acre crop by 2025 to meet the global demand for high quality, healthy oils.

The South Zone 4-H club is holding a Public Speaking Event on Friday, February 14 at the Shevchenko School in Vita. Doors open at 6 pm with refreshments and competition begins at 6:30 pm.

Dan Caron of MAFRI told St. Jean Farm Days that land prices might climb a bit faster than is justified. Photo by Les Kletke

about the possible increase in yields that seed companies are promising and the increased yield from tile drain that at current land prices seems good value. “I am not going to question the seed companies on the possibilities of the future, but until we get those higher yields, the price of land is too high to pay for, if for farming,” he said. “But guys will buy it.”

ued. “The combination of the new livestock price insurance and the revisions to forage insurance that were announced this past fall will give beef producers a strong and bankable risk management package. This could fundamentally change beef production in this province.” Beef producers can learn more about new insurance programming by attending MBP’s Annual General Meeting that will be held February 4 - 5, at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. MBP has dedicated a special breakout session to the new risk management tools. Producers are reminded that the deadline to sign up for forage insurance is March 31.

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New Canola Strategy Focuses on Meeting Demand

4-H Holds YYouth outh Speaking Event

Price Insurance Program for Beef Producers Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) welcomes the western pilot livestock price insurance program that will be available this spring. MBP recognizes that the recent livestock price insurance announcement did not explicitly include Manitoba due to the by-elections in Morris and Arthur-Virden. MBP is confident that beef producers in Manitoba will have the same access to the new program that producers in the other western provinces will have. MBP eagerly anticipates the announcement of details applicable to Manitoba. “Price insurance has been a long-standing request from beef producers,” said Trevor Atchison, MBP president.

January 31, 2014


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January 31, 2014

The Agri Post

Railways must Improve Service to Grain Shippers It’s not news anymore that western Canadian farmers harvested their largest crops ever in 2013. Record yields were met with unbridled excitement as farmers anticipated high yields would offset declining grain and oilseed prices. What’s news now is that last fall’s optimism has turned into concern because these crops are still on the farm. Abysmal service once again by Canada’s two major railways has limited crop movement so drastically that grain companies, which buy and market the crops, are buying very limited amounts - or are not buying at all. The companies’ inland terminals and elevators are the points at which the grain is held and loaded onto trains bound for ocean ports - and they are full up waiting for railcars that don’t come. While western Canadian crop yields are up by 33 percent over last year, the number of railcars allocated to move the crop, compared to the same point in time last year (mid-November), was only up by two percent, according to the Western Grain Elevator Association. By Doug Chorney In addition, when the railways do fill elevator orders for railcars, only 27 percent of the cars are delivered to the elevators on time. Further, railways are leaving the cars at the elevators to be loaded for longer-thanaverage periods - sometimes as much as 11 days. Imagine the effect of this on loading and shipping schedules. This poor railway service is holding the system up, from the farm right to the ports, creating unnecessary expenses for the grain companies that will ultimately be passed onto farmers as handling fees and lower prices for crops. For example, port terminals were without rail service for 28 days during a three-and-a-half month period last fall. When there is no grain to load onto waiting ships, or shipments are late, grain companies are charged a penalty by the ship companies of between $12,000 and $18,000 per day, per ship. The effect of the situation on farmers, on Canada’s economy and on our international reputation cannot be understated. Canada is losing sales because contract deadlines with international buyers cannot be met. Canada’s agriculture ministry prides itself these days on implementing programs and conducting trade negotiations that make agriculture more competitive. All of this is negated when we can’t deliver the goods. Agriculture plays “an important role in federal and provincial economies,” directly providing one in eight jobs, employing 2.1 million people, and accounting for eight percent of total gross domestic product, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Poor rail service is, quite simply, obstructing a sector that is a major economic driver. We need short-term intervention by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and the federal government because farmers need to get their crops to market as soon as possible, before more sales are lost. In the long term, there needs to be a government-directed reassessment of how railways do business. Moving grain and oilseeds is seasonal in nature, not fitting into transport cycles where product is picked up on a regular basis, and so the railways must be directed to plan for it. Every other sector that provides services in crop production invests in “surge” capacity, including input suppliers, equipment dealers and grain companies - and railways need to adopt this same practice. The monopoly the railways have in the marketplace allows them to provide inadequate service without fear of consequences. Unfortunately, the new federal Fair Rail Freight Service Act is not an effective mechanism to resolve these service issues - and amending it must be a priority. Since agriculture began on the Prairies, shippers of agricultural commodities have experienced poor and lethargic rail service - and it appears that it is getting worse. In 1993, in mid-November, CN and CP moved 8.7 million tonnes of crop, while in the same week of 2013; only 7.5 million tonnes were moved. The yields of 2013 are only the beginning of larger and larger crops as new high-yielding varieties are adopted and modern agronomic practices continue to become more efficient. This is not a oncein-a lifetime situation; instead, it will be the norm in a few years. Will we wait until then to fix our rail system, or will we begin to do it now?

Federal Government Needs to Be Proactive on Rail Movement Not Reactive Dear Editor: There is great concern today in the farm community about the delays in shipping grain, delays that are costing farmers’ money and hurting our economy. While the crop last year was a bumper one that is presenting a challenge, the federal government did not require a crystal ball to foresee that the Canadian system for moving grain might be stressed. There should have been proactive planning to address this challenge. The current situation is completely unacceptable. Mountains of wheat have built up outside jammed

Dim Bulbs and Cool Warming The New Year ushered in two seemingly unrelated events, an ill-conceived federal ban on 75and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs and a cold snap, the likes of which was compared to conditions on the surface of Mars. What links these two events is the increasingly discredited notion of man-made global warming. The Harper government cooked up the bulb ban in 2007 to respond to the constant drone on global warming/climate change. Alternatively, as some now prefer to call it, ‘global wierding’ or ‘climate collapse’. On a political level, it was meant to appease green groups who were constantly attacking the Conservatives on the issue. Those attacks haven’t stopped, and the ban will now anger the general population who are forced to buy expensive and, in the case of compact fluorescents containing mercury, making them potentially dangerous bulbs. Farms, particularly housed livestock operations, use many 100watt bulbs. Never mind the cost; the ‘royal pain in the butt factor’ here is considerable. by Rolf When the Conservatives cut the GST, Canadians got a Penner constant and positive reminder of what the government rolfpenner@agripost.ca had done for them, indeed with every purchase. Some argue that it may not be great tax policy, but it certainly was good politics. Now the opposite is true. Consumers will now have a negative reminder of expensive foolishness every time they buy light bulbs. It’s a lose/lose scenario for the Conservatives, who should have known better. While we were banning bulbs and getting used to our Martian environment, on the other side of the planet an Australian climate researcher, who was leading an eco-apocalypse tourist expedition in the Antarctic to look at the melting sea ice, was embarrassingly stuck in his own experiment. Or, as one headline put it, ‘Warmists Trapped by Irony’. Then the icebreaker sent to rescue them was stuck and eventually they all had to be flown off the ship by helicopter. Mark Steyn also reminded us of what was supposed to happen at the North Pole by now, “Frozen to their doomsday narrative like Jeff Daniels with his tongue stuck to the ski lift in Dumb and Dumber,” the Big Climate enforcers will still not brook anyone rocking their boat. In December 2008, Al Gore predicted the, “Entire North Polar ice cap will be gone in five years.” That would have been December of last year. Oh, sure, it’s still here, but he got the general trend-line correct, didn’t he? Arctic sea ice, December 2008 was 12.5 million square kilometres; Arctic sea ice, December 2013 was 12.5 million square kilometres. The long-term temperature trend does not show warming and hasn’t for more than 15 years. Some 71 new academic papers in 2013 alone demonstrate that the big burning ball in the sky called the Sun is the primary force when it comes to climate, not man-made CO2. But we’re to the point now that true believers are arguing that cold weather is actually proof of warming. Bryan Walsh in Time magazine writes, “Not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change, it may well be that global warming could be making the occasional bout of extreme cold weather in the U.S. even more likely.” In other words, the theory is now completely unfalsifiable. As Robert Tracinski says it’s, “A cognitive spaghetti bowl full of ad hoc rationalizations, rather than a genuine scientific hypothesis.” Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine points out another angle. The greens were not the only ones who pushed for the ban on incandescent bulbs; “light bulb makers eager to up-sell customers on longer-lasting and much more expensive halogen, compact fluorescent, and LED lighting,” joined up. “When customers balked at paying more for home lighting, General Electric, Sylvania, and Philips did what corporate behemoths always do, they turned to the government for regulation that rigs the market in their favour.” Pseudo-science, green hysteria, political manoeuvring, and corporatism have converged with the result that we are no longer allowed to choose a simple thing like what kind of light bulb we want to use. This isn’t freedom, and it’s not what governments are meant to do. The federal Conservatives should pull the plug on this bad idea.

Penners Points

Tax RRebate ebate Cap is Costly to FFarmers armers elevators while transportation to port is so restricted that shipping vessels have waited in vain for grain shipments that were supposed to arrive by rail. Ultimately, the vessels end up leaving the harbor still empty. Farmers are being squeezed because grain companies are saying they cannot buy more grain until the end of the crop year since the rail service is not available. Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Manitoba and to have farmers hamstrung by such bottlenecks hurts not only farmers but also many other areas in our economy. Indeed, Canada’s reputation is now on the line as a reliable supplier. The federal government’s response to date - a five-year study - is not good enough. Action is needed to help farmers and to help our economy now. Jon Gerrard MLA River Heights

Dear Editor: The speNDP government has once again targeted farm families across the province to feed their spending habits. The education tax rebate on farmland was set at 80 percent with promises made to raise the rebate level. Instead, a $ 5,000 per farming unit cap has been imposed. This cap applies regardless of multi-family members owning land in their own names while farming together as a unit. In addition, out of province landowners are now ineligible to claim any rebate. This is not the only way the speNDP have taken money out of the hands of Manitoba farmers, but each of the following increased taxes and fees have negatively affected local communities. The tax hikes include the increase in PST to eight percent, higher vehicle registration fees, gas taxes and PST on insurance. Manitobans are getting fewer services for those increased taxes. Since 2008, the provincial government has closed 14 Conservation offices and since 2009, 12 agriculture department offices have been shuttered. Manitoba Hydro has also announced plans to close offices. The combination of these acts shows a blatant disregard for Manitobans and their livelihoods. This tax rebate cap will cost the agricultural industry in Manitoba millions of dollars just because the NDP cannot or will not control their spending addiction. I encourage you to contact your MLA to voice your concern on how the NDP’s broken tax rebate promise will cost your family farm. Blaine Pedersen MLA for Midland Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development


The Agri Post

It’s the year of... Here we are, a month into the New Year and doing many of the same things that we did last year, or the past several years for that matter, complaining about the weather and the railways lack of ability to move grain to market. Things that are as western Canadian as curling and snow. This year has the potential to be different. The United Nations has designated this the year of the Farm Family. Now before you say something smart alecky like, “That and five bucks will get you a coffee at Starbucks,” take some time to think about it. The United Nations has recognized the value of farm families and this should not to be confused with the family farm. The order is not interchangeable and they are two very different entities. I will not go into a grandiose explanation of the difference, I think you can handle that yourself and in many cases you will be a member of both. Space does not allow me to reproduce the document that the UN issued espousing the value of the family unit in food production around the world but it is significant, both the document and the contribution. It is indeed time that the value of the family in taking up the tasks required on a farm is recognized. Then as though that recognition wasn’t enough good news for agriculture, 2014 was designated the Year of Pulses, and I don’t mean by the doctors who specialize in heart disease. This is the Year of Pulses like peas, beans and lentils, the kind that we grow in western Canada. This will no doubt bring about a significant increase in the amount of those crops. I know that at the Kletke house we had beans with our farmer sausage on January 14. No, it was not in honour of this being the year of the pulses; it was a quick and tasty meal that was ready fairly quickly upon our return home from an afternoon event. Why we had them doesn’t really matter to the producer of the beans, they just care that we are eating them and hope that we eat more because of the effort in recognizing the value of the crop in the Food Triangle, or Rainbow or whatever it is called this month. All of this happening quick on the heels of the ending of the Year of Quinoa, which drew to a close at the end of December. Did you get enough, quinoa last year? Apparently you can still have some this year. That is the thing about years; they just seem to turn into another one with the same great things still surrounding us.

Protect YYour our Business from Equipment Breakdown Farm and Commercial policies cover the electrical, mechanical and other equipment used in most operations against fire, theft and other events. However, most property policies specifically exclude losses arising from a very common problem, equipment breakdown, which includes electrical injury, mechanical breakdown, pressure explosion, rupture and cracking. So, any business operation that uses pressure, mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment (and most businesses today use at least some of these) is at risk of serious financial loss, unless you purchase equipment breakdown insurance. The type of equipment you might need to insure against breakdown include circuit breaker electrical panels, electronic equipment, boilers (heating and processing), telephone systems, cash registers, motors, hot-water storage tanks, transformers, air-conditioning units, refrigeration units and computer processing units that control the operation of equipment. Equipment breakdown insurance protects your business against sudden and accidental breakdown of machinery and equipment due to causes such as electrical arcing, short circuits, operator error, overload or burnout. Mechanical, electrical, electronic and/or equipment under pressure can be insured to protect your business from losses caused by breakdown. This form of coverage complements your property coverage and provides that extra protection you need in case of breakdowns but not duplicating coverage for losses caused by other events. As options, coverage can be extended to provide the protection you need for income loss and extra expenses incurred due to a breakdown. You can choose the business interruption and extra expense coverage, including service interruption you need. Losses due to change in temperature causing spoilage can also be covered. Equipment breakdown insurance is an easy add-on to your insurance program. 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 and Business T: 204-746-5589 F: 866 765 3351 andya@rempelinsurance.com/rempelinsurance.com /valleyfinancial.ca

January 31, 2014

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The Right Direction for Wheat and Barley Farmers So what do you think about another check-off, albeit refundable from your cash grain receipts? Collection of a Manitoba provincial check-off on wheat and barley sales will begin on February 1 with a new kid on the block, so to speak again partially because of the old Canadian Wheat Board monopoly biting the dust. The new Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) have received regulatory approval to collect a refundable levy of 52 cents per tonne for wheat and 50 cents per tonne for barley. Together with the federal government’s existing check-off, producers will pay a dollar per tonne for wheat and barley research and market development, explains interim board Chair and Dauphin area farmer Don Dewar. Let me digress… These two cereal grains, especially wheat, have long lingered in the dust because of the monopoly control and it reaches into every aspect of raising wheat and malt barley. Many times, researchers would come up with potential, promising varieties only to have the ‘system’ knock them right off the collective shelf, meaning it was not to its liking, and we don’t let it get approval and registration. The Wheat Board at that time was a bit of a purist when it came to varieties telling those who would listen we don’t want to muddy the marketing waters, so we stay with status quo varieties. Things have changed...The new board of the MWBGA says they cleared the final hurdle in creating a grower-driven organization to strategically invest in research and market development on behalf of Manitoba growers. I like a grower-driven model that strategically invests on behalf of Manitoba growers. On January 1, the organization obtained provincial regulatory authority to collect a refundable check-off from all sales of spring wheat and barley in Manitoba. If wheat and barley farmers think this is not a good idea, think of it this way, if you don’t do it, who will? Often those industries expected governments to do it and in the olden days, that was ok. Today, with 1.5 percent of the total Canadian population producing food for all of us then a join venture, some from government and some from farmers, is the best way to go. Remember if you are a consumer reading this and you may well be thinking that farmers should pay the whole shot, not so fast. There is still a cheap food policy in this country, if you consider your grocery bill makes up about 10 percent of your income. Not bad, I dare say. This new organization will invest the check-off funds strategically in research and market development projects that will advance the profitability and sustainability of wheat and barley production for Manitoba growers, said Dewar. “We have already been working with wheat and barley grower organizations in other provinces,” he added. “This approval of our funding mechanism now allows us to be full collaborative partners on multi-province and national research and market development projects that are crucial to wheat and barley production.” In addition, said Dewar it’s both an exciting and challenging time for producers of these major crops in Manitoba, and this producer-driven approach means growers can now participate in resolving a number of very important issues. Fred Greig, Board Vice-Chair, is grateful to those companies in the agriculture industry that are collecting the check-off for the new wheat and barley association, and for existing organizations. “It’s an important contribution to the democratic selfdetermination of our cereals industry,” he said. Along with Dewar of Dauphin and Greig of Reston, the founding board consists of Ray Askin (Portage), David Rourke (Minto), Doug Martin (Selkirk) and Grant Dyck (Niverville). These farmers, along with early administrative support from Keystone Agricultural Producers, did the legwork to bring the organization to this stage. The Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association currently has an administrative support agreement with the Manitoba Corn Growers and a technical support agreement with Agri Skills Inc. to minimize overhead costs through this early phase of organizational development. Again, I must say this is the way to go. We have these other organization with office and staff and it makes total sense for them to work together with and for each of us.


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January 31, 2014

Father Daughter Outing By Les Kletke Ask Randy Court what he was doing at Ag Days in Brandon’s Keystone Centre and he pauses, not because he doesn’t know the purpose of his visit to the Keystone Centre, but because he is not sure which reason to place at the top of the list. Asked if he was selling or buying, he said, “A little of both, we are looking at equipment and inputs that we might be buying but we also meet a lot of our customers here and they are thinking about buying seed,” he said with a smile. Court operates Court Seeds at Plumas, a business he is proud of and going, “On 30 years of customer service,” he noted. Court likes to encourage his customers to make their decisions early and take delivery of their seed before planting time. “Things get pretty hectic around the yard at seeding time,” he said. “We like to have as much of the seed gone as possible so we can deal with the last minute things and our own seeding. We offer discounts and free delivery to encourage producers to take their seed early.” A little hectic in the springtime might be an understatement. Court and his family also operate a greenhouse and sell bedding plants from their yard, which adds to the springtime delivery. This year he has a new partner in the operation that might help ease the load. Daughter Tracy has returned to the farm full time. Tracy completed an agronomy degree at the University of Manitoba and spent five years in the industry before returning home. She was spending the day with dad at Ag Days and while some of the day may have been a father-daughter experience, other parts of it were more like business partners evaluating what their next move would be. Court said that he has

made most of his decisions on seed production but still has some flex acres, “We are deciding what we hope will be the top varieties for sale in 2015. That is what we want to produce this year so we have to make some tough decisions.” He is cautious when asked about what the hot varieties will be by then and noted, “We grow a range and hope to hit it right.” Court is a member of the North Star Seeds group and has seen an increase in his soybean seed acreage. Tracy said it is a trend that will increase. “We will have some soybean plots this year to show some of the new varieties and just to inform new growers,” she said. “There are new growers and the acreage continues to grow as fellows become more familiar with the crop.”

The Agri Post

Truth Can Alter Farm Plan By Les Kletke No one ever accused Brad Magnusson of sugar coating the truth and certainly, St. Jean Farm Days organizers brought Magnusson to the event because he can speak to what is coming. Magnusson delivered a marketing outlook on Day 1 of St. Jean Farm Days and walked producers through a scenario of an average size farm growing four different crops and employing a varied marketing strategy. His rapid-fire delivery and pointed questions had many in the audience not only questioning their marketing decisions but whether they should raise their hand and admit to some of the things, they had done. His example was based on a 2,400-acre farm growing canola, wheat, oats and soybeans. He acknowledged that much of the crop production area had gone into the fall with below average moisture. “It is dry but nothing compared to two years ago, so we cannot expect another run up in prices like we saw in 2012,” said Magnusson. Magnusson spent several decades in the Credit Union system and now operates his own marketing company and continues to deliver market outlooks for Credit Unions and Caisse Populaires. He said the year ahead will bring some swings in the market place and he advises producers to be ready to take advantage of them. It is unlikely that markets will experience a bullish period like August of 2012 but with proper marketing strategies in place, producers will be able to take advantage of spikes in the market and see better than average returns. “We expect that the Canadian dollar will stay around the 88 cent US mark and there will be a further strengthening of the American dollar,” he said. “That will provide some opportunities but you have to be ready for them.”

Brad Magnusson advises producers to be in a place to take advantage of peaks in commodity markets rather than wait for a long run up. Photo by Les Kletke

Stopping short of going through the explanation of puts and calls and how they work to a farmer’s advantage, he advised those present to become aware of the product, the price, and the cost in marketing. “They are not always the best feature. You have to be aware of their cost and decide if that cost is something you are willing to bear for the upside or the protection in the market place,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t make sense because they don’t give you enough benefit for their cost.” Internationally he singled out the slowing of the Chinese economy as a key factor. For the first time in over a decade the Chinese economy is expected to grow by less than 10% and that will translate to a slowing in the growth of demand for edible oils. He said that crude oil prices will continue to swing and that we could see prices as low as $70 a barrel this year.


The Agri Post

Ag in the Classroom Gets the Message Out By Les Kletke Ag in the Classroom used a proven approach to start their annual event and incorporated some new things in the three days that are Manitoba’s premier Ag showcase. The kick-off breakfast is not only the traditional start for many exhibitors and visitors to the show, the organizers accept donations for Ag in the Classroom. Early risers have come to count on it as way to start the day and just as important as the bacon and eggs are or the people you meet and promise to catch up with at the show. Johanne Ross, Executive Director of Ag in the Classroom, says the event typically generates about $1,800 and was right on target this year. “The money goes into the general coffers of Ag in the Classroom,” she said, “It isn’t earmarked for any specific programs. It is somewhat of a casual donation and people stop by to have breakfast and donate what they have in their pocket.” This year the organization did not have a display at the show and instead executive members made a visit to booths, dropping of a package of gum, with the label inviting them to “Chew on this”. The rest of the package had interesting facts about the organization such as, Ag in the Classroom reaches 35,000 students and teachers every year. Ross and her team also were sporting hockey jerseys as they visited exhibitors inviting them to be a part of the program.

Eliminating Factors in Crop Production By Les Kletke Commodity prices are slipping and producers are considering cutting inputs but Brian Elgert asked a simple question. “When can you least afford a small crop?” asked Elgert. “In years of high prices even a short crop will make you money, but in a year when prices are off you need the yield to give you a bottom line that will show a profit.” He acknowledges that some people credit his approach to inputs, “as being a salesman” but they cannot argue with his economics. Elgert is with Omex and he likens crop production to a stepladder, “At this time of year you have the greatest yield potential, that goes down the day after you put your seed in the ground and it continues to move down as the crop grows to maturity.” The approach Elgert uses is the same as Corn Yield Champion Randy Dowdy of Brooks County Georgia, who said that corn genetics today have the potential to yield in the range of 700 bushels an acre but are limited by a number of factors such as nutrients and moisture. His approach to growing crops that has topped the US in yield is to eliminate the minimizing factors. He selects his varieties on factors such as moisture that will be available and then does everything he can to eliminate the limiting factors so the crop has the ability to reach as close as possible to its yield potential. Elbert agrees with the approach but stops short of the 700bushel corn mark, “I don’t know what the potential is for corn yields, but I do know that [with] cereal production in western Canada we are not close to the genetic potential of the crop. We could be doing a lot better.” Back to his ladder approach, Elgert said there are many things that pull the yield down to a lower step on the ladder and as Dowdy said, nutrients and water can be the limiting factors but anything that stresses the plant is limiting the yield. Those stresses include beginning with seeding to deep into cold soil. Elgert was part of a display at Ag Days and said he had producers coming by and asking how much his product would increase yield, “We don’t have anything to increase yield. We have products that help decrease the stress and allow the plant to get closer to its potential.” He said that an informal survey of producers indicated that most had not taken drastic steps to reduce input costs. “They have talked about it but the decision will be made at planting time and if we have good conditions, fellows will be targeting top yields because that will give them the best bottom line,” said Elgert, explaining how to get to the top step on the ladder.

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“This year we have grade 7-8 students coming in to participate in an Amazing Race type of game in the afternoon. They cannot leave the station until they get the answer to a question,” said Ross. “They spent the morning in a classroom situation where they learned about agriculture on a larger scale and where Canadian production fits into the world.” The packets of gum proved to be as popular as Ross had expected, “We thought of them on a whim, we wanted something to hand out at the booths we visited and people don’t need another thing to take home, but they are always concerned about their breath at a trade show.” Ross says the organization will continue promoting agriculture with several of the programs that have proven themselves over the years like the Breakfast in High Schools and Amazing Agriculture Adventure. Just this once gum might be okay for students. Students attend in Ag Days were give a pack of gum, that went to exhibitors as well, to remind them about Ag in the Classroom and how many students it reaches.

Johanne Ross (centre) Executive Director of Ag in the Classroom and her team sport hockey jerseys as they make their way to exhibitors at Ag Days. Photo by Les Kletke


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January 31, 2014

The Agri Post

Manitoba Angus Association Chooses Top Commercial Producer By Joan Airey Manitoba Angus Association selected “Keen Grain & Livestock of Marquette as their Commercial Producer for 2013. The original farm was started in 1942 by Martin’s father, James Keen. Today the farm is operated by Martin and Sandra Keen, along with three of their four children; daughter Sarah and her husband Pat (who works off farm), son Jamie (who works full time on the farm) and daughter Marci (who works off the farm as an agronomist). Daughter Kelli and her husband are not involved in the farm. The farm maintains a herd of 400 plus commercial cows consisting of 300 Angus and 100 Limousin cross cows. They crop around 3,500 acres of cereals and oil seeds, 300 acres of corn silage, soybeans and have 1,500 acres of forage and pastureland. “We try to maintain a fairly young herd of cows by retaining 75 heifer calves every year and culling fairly hard the cow herd. If a cow doesn’t have a calf with her to go to pasture she is cold. Same thing goes for a cow with anything less than an almost perfect udder and feet. We retain the rest of their calves and background them until around 900 pounds, which is usually mid-February (10 to 11 months of age). They are sold via off farm tender bid to finishing lots in either eastern or western Canada, some years the U.S. In addition we buy an additional 1,000 feeder calves annually that usually come in at 500 to 600 pounds and are back grounded to 900 pounds,” said Jamie Keen. The cows remain in respective age groups until they are five. This helps to reduce competition and helps manage the herd. It also helps with breeding and calving management. Calving starts in March with the replacement heifers and is followed by the second and third calf heifers three weeks later. The older cows start calving in mid-April, where most years the weather can be more favourable and cows are able to calve out on the pasture. “We feed a mixture of corn alfalfa and barley silage with the addition of either barley grain or screenings or a screening pellet with added supplements. The cowherd receives about 50 percent of their total ration in dry forage, either as a grass/alfalfa mix or an oat or barley green feed with the addition of the silage blend. The feeder cattle receive nearly 90 percent of the ration in the form of silage in the total mixed ration and 10 percent of the TMR being dry forage mixed in the form of a tub ground grass, alfalfa and straw mix,” said Keen. “We like the Angus breed for our operation because they are easy fleshing and

keeping medium framed cows. We like their temperament and they are good mothers. On an average year cows can raise good-sized calves on good forage without sacrificing their own body condition; without having to supplement with creep feed. For the last ten years we have purchased two or three new bulls from Brookmore Angus to breed the heifers. The bulls fit well into our program to breed the heifers, then are used to breed the older cows as two year olds,” added Jamie Keen. “This year we have Joel Heinicke from Australia with A.I.E. (Agri-Venture trainee) working for us. We find it a learning experience for the trainee and for ourselves. We have a German trainee coming a week before Joel leaves for home,” said Jamie Keen. As the Keens go forward into the farm’s third generation they hope to be able to continue to grow the operation and keep it a family operation.

Allan Nykolation presented Sandra and Martin Keen with the Angus Commercial Producer Award for 2013. Photo by Joan Airey


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Phosphorus Balance in Dairy Diets Avoids Waste and Saves Money Maybe it started when an infertile cow was seen licking and then eating dirt in a field? Eating dirt was often associated with a phosphorus deficiency in cattle and somewhere along the line; phosphorus became associated as “a health and breeder mineral”. Consequently, feeding phosphorus to dairy cows over and above their essential phosphorus requirement for maintenance, reproduction and milk production became the mainstay of dairy ration balancing. It is now known that much of this excess phosphorus ends up in the cows’ manure and has become a direct pollution threat to clean groundwater. Fortunately, sound dairy research advocates lower phosphorus levels in diets for dry and lactating dairy cows, which in turn is more environmental friendly and saves money. Just how over-formulation of phosphorus in dairy diets really got started is anybody’s guess. Severe phosphorus deficiencies in cattle have caused ‘pica’, which is exhibited by cows’ abnormal licking of dirt or chewing of wood, bones and rocks. In less extreme cases, failure to meet a lactating cow’s true phosphorus requirement is more likely associated with a subtle reduction in dry matter intake, followed by lower fibre digestibility and lower microbial protein synthesis by the rumen’s bugs. Furthermore, unseen to the naked eye, a lack of phosphorus may cause a loss of energy metabolism at the cellular level. These are all good methods but are largely unsubstantiated reasons to increase phosphorus requirements for lactating dairy cattle. In contrast, the National Research Council (NRC) recommends that dairy diets have a maximum phosphorus level for replacement: non-lactating and lactating diary of 0.42%, with average levels of 0.32 – 0.36% for optimum reproduction and milk performance and in a 2:1 ration with dietary calcium. This advice is about a 25% reduction in dietary phosphorus values used in traditional dairy diets. Matching the above true NRC phosphorus requirements is based upon the foundation of three major facts scientifically demonstrated in lactating dairy cattle: (1) Reducing phosphorus to what the cow actually needs does not change a cow’s milk or reproductive performance. Larry Satter of the US Dairy Forage Research Center reviewed three decades of phosphorus research. He found that dietary phosphorus levels higher than current NRC recommendations did not improve reproductive performance in dairy cattle. Other studies have found similar results affecting milk production. (2) About 70% of the phosphorus is excreted in the cow’s manure (1% lost in urine and 29% secreted in milk) and a linear relationship exists between the amount of phosphorus fed above the dietary phosphorus requirement and amount dairy cows excrete. It has been demonstrated in one university study that lactating dairy cows consuming 0.40%, 0.45% and 0.60% of dietary phosphorus on a dry matter basis will excrete 18 kg, 21 kg, and 32 kg of phosphorus per year, respectively. (3) Dairy cows are more efficient in conserving phosphorus by minimizing excretion in the manure when fed phosphorus levels closer to the cows’ NRC phosphorus requirements. Such straightforward phosphorus nutrition in dairy cows is complimented by the underlying knowledge that about 50 -70% of total phosphorus in common forages and other dairy feedstuffs are bound as phytate phosphorus. This source of phosphorus is largely biologically unavailable to most single-stomach or monogastric animals (re: swine), but not so with ruminants/dairy cows. That’s because active microorganisms living in their rumens have the unique ability to breakdown

phytate phosphorus and release up to 99% of organic P hwld by the host dairy cow. In similar fashion inorganic rock sources of phosphorus (re: includes mono-ammonium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, and defluorinated phosphorus) has about 95% of bio-available phosphorus. On a practical basis one should now be able to take advantage of such dairy cow (and rumen bug) phosphorus (P) nutrition/digestion by first taking her respective phosphorus requirement and matching it with appropriate organic, as well as inorganic, phosphorus containing dairy feeds. For example: An early lactation high milk producing dairy cow needs a maximum of 0.36% P in her diet (re: NRC) and assuming that her dry matter intake is 23 kg; she needs a total 83 grams of dietary P compared to a traditional diet containing 0.48% P, and thus 110 grams of P. An illustration of similar diets formulating dairy premixes of different levels of P are as follows (P values of feedstuffs in parentheses):

One of the best tangible benefits of choosing the low-phosphorus dairy premix versus the more traditionally P formulated premix in this sample diet would be a closer match of the established NRC (2001) phosphorus requirement of lactating dairy cows and as a result save a significant amount of money. By reducing, the amount of phosphorus by 27 grams fed to each cow translates into 128.5 grams of dicalcium phosphate (21% phosphorus) that does not need to be formulated into the added dairy premix or total dairy diet. Since, dicalcium phosphate costs about $800/mt, this means an unadulterated savings of about $3,700 for a 100-milking cow dairy farm. Therefore, assuming that it cost about $7.00/head/day to feed an average cow on the milk line this saves about 1.5% of the lactation cows’ total grocery bill. Nobody will argue against such a reduction of unnecessary phosphorus formulation in lactation dairy diets, while at the same time realizing a significant cost savings. Such corrective action also reduces the amount of phosphorus excreted in dairy cow manure, which eventually is spread over cropland and thus reduces the phosphorus contamination of precious fresh water. In the end, it also might be a good idea that ground-licking dairy cattle eat this low-phosphorus dirt!


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The Agri Post

January 31, 2014

Manitoba Charolais Scholarship Awarded By Joan Airey Jared Preston of Ste. Rose Lac was awarded the Manitoba Charolais Scholarship. Preston is attending Lakeland College in Vermillion, Alberta taking his first year of Crop Technology in a 2-year diploma program. Preston received the Grant Moffat Herd Builder Award (2012) with which he obtained a purebred Charolais heifer. He purchased his first Charolais heifer in 2009, which influenced his interest in building his own small purebred herd. Preston has attended Manitoba Round-Up and

Canadian Charolais Youth Association events across Canada throughout his high school years. At these events, he has won many awards and in 2013, he was chosen at Manitoba Round-up to be on an Agribition judging team. He also was in 4-H for 10 years, eight of those in the Beef Club. In 2006/2007 he had the Grand Champion Steer and in 2012 the Reserve Grand Champion Heifer. “We use Charolais genetics in our herd because of the profitability and growing popularity. Going to junior shows, regular shows and sales helped me develop a keen eye for cattle. I’m really excited to be a representative of the junior community and to be able to give back to something that has given me so much,” said Preston. Preston has excelled in his school in sports and his studies.

Investing in Our Industry Heading into Manitoba Beef Producers’ 35th Annual General Meeting, I would like to take time to answer the question, What does Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) do for me? This is a common question from producers and it is a legitimate question. Producers who pay the check-off deserve to know what return they are getting on their investment. Let me give you three specific examples from 2014 in the areas of new risk management tools, new market access and research. In the fall, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) announced new forage insurance programs and met a long-standing request from MBP. It is not an exaggeration to state that we now have the best forage insurance in the country. On January 24, 2014, we also received the news that livestock producers in western Canada will have access to livestock price insurance. This is welcome news. MBP has been advocating for a price insurance program for some time. The combination of the new livestock price insurance and the revisions to forage insurance will give beef producers a strong and bankable risk management package. This could fundamentally change beef production in this province. Your check-off dollars are also spent on increasing market access abroad. Increasing access to international markets for Canadian beef is a big part of the work carried out by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and a key reason why MBP is a member. This past year saw a significant improvement to our access into the Japanese market. In 2003, Japan closed its beef market to Canada following the detection of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Japan partially re-opened its market in 2005, but only to beef from younger cattle. The limitation presented a significant challenge to Canada’s ability to supply beef to Japan on a year-round basis. Starting February 1, 2013, Japan allowed beef imports from animals 30 months of age and under. This improvement has already delivered results as we see our exports to Japan increasing. In October, MBP welcomed the successful conclusion of an agreement in principle on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union (EU). The CETA agreement includes provisions for tariff-free access for 64,950 tonnes of fresh and frozen beef under three new categories. The agreement also offers tariff-free entry for all live cattle, genetics, any byproducts including most offal, tallow and rendered products, processed beef products, hides and skins. We estimate that this agreement offers more than $600 million in potential benefit to the Canadian beef sector. Over and above these concrete fiscal benefits, the agreement includes a process to resolve significant non-tariff trade barriers. The forage and price insurance announcements, increased access to Japan and the CETA agreement would not have happened without significant engagement at both the provincial and federal government levels. MBP also invests in research. We make these investments for two key reasons. First, to find ways to help you increase your productivity and to reduce your costs. This is why we are investing in a forage evaluation project being carried out at the University of Manitoba. We also invest in research to help give science-based answers to our customers’ questions on “sustainability.” Research shows that grazing cattle are an integral part of the grassland ecosystem and play an important role in nutrient recycling. We know pasturelands provide habitat to many species at risk as well as offering preservation of forests and wetlands. Research has shown that producing beef more efficiently through modern production techniques contributes to both the economic viability of beef producers and environmental sustainability. It is because of research like this that MBP has been able to collaborate with organizations like the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC). We have been working with MHHC to get the message out to the public about the positive conservation contributions that you are making every day. These are just three examples of the positive impact MBP has been able to have because of your check-off investment. In the year to come, we will continue to work on these issues as well as things like: - community pasture program; - research and knowledge transfer; - long-term water management strategies; - herd protection; - animal health issues; - bovine tuberculosis; - ecological goods and services programming; - Crown land policies; - better access to pharmaceuticals; - traceability issues; - government regulations and more. MBP will continue to represent you through advocacy, research, communication and education. We will work with our industry partners, governments, consumers and others, to improve your prosperity and ensure a sustainable future for beef production in Manitoba. I invite all beef producers to attend the 35th Annual General Meeting and President’s Banquet February 4-5, at the Victoria Inn, Brandon, to hear more about how MBP is working for you. You can register by calling 1-800-772-0458. I hope to see you there.


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Poplarview Stock Named Manitoba Limousin Ambassador By Joan Airey Poplarview Stock Farms (PVSF) was named Manitoba Limousin Ambassador at All Beef Breeds banquet at the Victoria Inn. Poplarview Stock Farm located near Pipestone is owned and operated by Lloyd and Joan Atchison, Trevor and Melissa. Tyler and Amanda Scott, Lloyd and Joan’s grandchildren, along with hired man Ryan Murphy also play an important part in the operation of the farm. The farm attained century farm status in 2005 with Trevor being the fourth generation operating the farm. In the current operation they run 700 females with an additional 250 owned by partners that call PVSF home. Since 2003 the cowherd has a predominately Limousin influence. Many females have been purchased and less home raised females retained, so currently all major breeds are represented in the cowherd. Females are bred both natural and AI to Limousin and Lim-Flex sires. The Pipestone farm’s soil is sandy and encompasses two different local lakes and marshes that provide the feed for the cowherd. Eight hundred acres of tame hay and 1,400 acres of marsh and native hay are harvested annually, depending on how high the water levels are in the marshes. Another 250 acres are seeded annually with swath grazing and it is either millet cereals or corn. Another 200 to 250 acres is cropped for feed grains and cash crop. The total operation land base is close to 7,500 acres with just over 60 percent deeded and the rest rented pasture and hay land. All owned pasture and some rented are rotationally

grazed. The deeded pasture planned grazing was implemented in 1990. Twenty thousand feet of shallow and deep buried pipelines supply water to the 7,500 acres and to the paddocks, the herds are rotated through. The first Limousin calves were born in 1969 because of Lloyd and Joan participating in a foreign bred evaluation program with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Brandon. The Angus cowherd at the time was AI to Limousin, Simmental, Charolais, and Maine Anjou sires. Performance data was collected on the farm from birth to weaning and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada had first chance to purchase whatever calves were to be sold. The Limousin Angus cross calves were lively and strong at birth and grew fast while maintaining solid colour patterns, which was a marketing asset at the time, so Limousin was the breed of choice. In years that followed up until 2002, Poplarview registered purebred and percentage Limousin cattle that they raised and sold the bulls and females in Canada, USA and Mexico. Lloyd was a founding board member of the Manitoba Limousin Association and sat on the Canadian board. “For over 20 years we exported cattle annually to a single buyer in Indiana which ended in 2002 when BSE closed the American border to Canadian cattle. Lloyd and Joan imported a full blood cow from France in 1974 and built a small solid Full Blood herd that produced many progeny sold in Canada and United States. The full blood herd was sold to L & S Limousin and Pine Creek Limousin,” said

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Charolais Commercial Breeder of the Year Awarded By Joan Airey

Darby Cochrane presenting Lloyd Atchison with the Manitoba Limousin Ambassador Award and Trevor, Melissa and their children Reese and Wyatt. Photo by Joan Airey

Trevor Atchison. “The cows are only confined when in coral for processing. The rest of the time, they are in pasture or on cropland where feed is placed for multiple day feedings at a time and cattle move thru the paddocks on two or three day moves. Poly wire fencing is used in summer and winter to limit the access to grass or swathes during swath grazing. Portable windbreaks have been used since the mid 90’s to provide shelter for cattle when there is no natural shelter in the paddock. Cows calve in mid to late April on stockpile forage with the goal that once

cows’ calf they will not be fed stored feed again until weaning or after weaning. Weaning begins in early November with the first calf heifers and mature cows to follow. For several years, quiet wean nose tags have been used for the weaning process. Most calves are backgrounded and grassed the following summer and marketed direct off grass. Any calves that are too big to return to grass or don’t fit in the package are usually sorted, marketing them in the spring prior to turning the rest out on grass,” explained Trevor Atchison.

The Charolais Commercial Breeder of the Year was awarded to the Ron and Audrey Warkentin family of Fork River. When Ron Warkentin took over his father’s commercial herd of forty cows in 1982 he also purchased a package of land just a few miles outside of Fork River. They have expanded the herd to 130 cows, keeping their heifers as replacements. They start breeding their cows on April 15 and calving commences on February 1. The Warkentin’s have been farming for over 30 years while raising four children who are also involved in the farm. TJ is an Agronomist in Dauphin and Allyson is a corrections officer working at Dauphin Correctional Centre. Terrilyn is currently completing her teaching degree in Nova Scotia. Joel is playing Junior hockey in Dryden Ontario and plans to attend community college. Both boys continue to be very active with the cattle and grain and are involved with the decision-making. The Warkentin’s are very active in their community, as a 4-H leader for 20 plus years and Audrey has served as a 4-H Area Council Rep-Leader. All four children have gone through 4-H in a variety of programs. Ron coached the boys through their minor hockey years. Audrey continues to work off the farm as a Registered Nurse at the Parkland Regional Health Centre but still helps with the farming operation whenever possible. “We farm 1,500 acres of grain land and have 1,500 acres of hay and pasture. The crop rotation consists of cereals and oil seeds, including soybeans. Alfalfa is brought into the rotation. All feed, both hay and grain, is all grown on the farm. Spring and summer grazing consists of rotational pasture grazing with herds remaining on a paddock for 10-15 days. Late grazing is done on hay land. Cows continue to be bale fed in pasture until they are brought home to calve in mid-January,” said Ron. “We wanted to improve our weaning weights and decided that a Charolais bull was the answer. The first Charolais bull was purchased in 1983 at the Hi-Weigh Bull Sale at Inglis. Charolais bulls have continued to be at the heart of the operation with purchases made from Breezy Dawn Farms, Beyaks and Hans Myhre to name a few. Using a Charolais bull in our breeding program was a wise decision and since purchasing a Charolais bull our calves have consistently been at the top of the market,” stated Ron Warkentin. Ron and Audrey Warkentin receiving the Charolais Commercial Breeder of the Year Award from Ernie Bayduza and Shawn Airey. Photo by Joan Airey


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Research and Marketing Projects to Boost Oat Industry Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) is receiving a major financial injection to help oat producers sell more of their crop in the global marketplace. POGA will receive $3.7 million from Agriculture and Agri-

FCC to Assist Customers Impacted by Backlogs of Grain Delivery By Harry Siemens Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has begun to offer assistance for its customers across the prairies and in British Columbia who are affected by current grain transportation issues that resulted from record high volumes. While last fall’s record harvest is good news for producers, many in western Canada are experiencing delays in delivery and can not convert their crop to cash. “We are aware that this situation could impact our customers’ ability to run their operations, so we’re reaching out to inform them of the various options available to reduce the impact on their business,” said Rémi Lemoine, FCC Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. “We’re problem-solvers. Our customers benefit when we effectively manage risk and offer flexibility and knowledge to help them do business.” FCC is contacting more than 16,000 customers potentially affected by delays in grain delivery and will explore options to address their individual needs. FCC says producers who have not already done so, are encouraged to consider applying to the federal Advance Payments Program (APP), a financial loan guarantee program that gives producers easier access to credit through repayable cash advances. Many non-farmers may well wonder why farmers who had record prices only last year with two record crops in a row, now may need financial assistant. There is no problem with focusing on programs designed to help in difficult times as a good management practice. When farmers see a problem with future payments, contacting a lender is good management. Under the APP, the federal government guarantees repayment of cash advances issued to farmers by producer organizations. These guarantees help producer organizations borrow money from financial institutions to issue producers a cash advance on 50 per cent of the anticipated value of their farm product produced or in storage. Eligible producers can receive an APP advance of up to $400,000 at a preferential interest rate, with the government paying the interest on the first $100,000. Producers then repay their advance, as their product is sold. “Flexible solutions tailored to each situation serve as the cornerstone of FCC’s business,” said Lemoine. “Our commitment to the agriculture industry is what sets us apart. With FCC in the market, producers benefit, agriculture benefits and so does rural Canada.” In Saskatoon last week, Mike Jubinville, President and lead analyst with ProFarmer Canada told farmers at Crop Production week that Farmers must prepare for a lengthy period of lower prices. He explained how things turned around so quickly with last year’s record crop because of the challenges with moving that crop. Ultimately, this is pressuring grain prices down and price increases could be some time into the future. Jubinville noted that until the industry addresses and moves a good portion of the current inventory, this large inventory would keep prices relatively low. There are farmers who moved and sold their 2013 crop in 2013. That now looks like a good move. Jubinville said there is a lot of grain not yet priced and with limited capabilities to move it the fix will not come in overnight. Some farmers bought additional storage to store this abundant high quality crop as prices started to drop and the grain handling system plugged up. As reported in earlier weeks, while the commodity prices go up to record levels taking with them the input costs, when the grain prices plummet, input costs stay up as do land rental prices. In western Canada, while crop diversification is great it also adds more pressure and congestion to the movement of those extra crops and their varieties. If the transportation system is lacking that means, the problem becomes even bigger in times of two record crops in a row. FCC is doing what it can to help their customers in what could be a prolonged period of limited cash flow.

Food Canada’s (AAFC) AgriInnovation Program for three research projects. Up to $2,905,829 has been set aside for scientists to pursue collaborative research to develop new oat varieties targeted specifically for cultivation in the prairies. The new varieties will need to be higher in yield and have an enhanced resistance to disease. With the use of $151,500, a new method of identifying genes for use in oat improvement is to be developed. With the ability to identify desirable traits in oats, breeders will be able to create higher-value varieties, leading to increased commercial opportunities. A further $109,500 will be used to evaluate how oat betaglucan improves the responsiveness of the immune system in horses. The beta-glucan fibre found in oats has been proven to deliver numerous health benefits to humans and is expected to do the same for horses, which may lead to increased exports of Canadian oats to markets abroad. We are confident that the projects made possible by this fund-

ing will be a huge benefit to oat producers,” said Bill Wilton, President of the Canadian Food Exporters Association. POGA will also receive funds of up to $600,000 from AAFC’s AgriMarketing Program to help oat producers gain a foothold in the American equine market through the development of targeted marketing activities to promote Canadian oats as high-quality feed for horses. Activities include a multimedia advertising campaign to increase awareness of Canadian oats as healthy equine feed and attendance at trade shows and conferences where POGA can hold face-to-face meetings with equine experts, such as veterinarians and nutritional researchers. Canada is a major oat producer, with about 90 per cent of Canadian oats grown in the west and is the largest exporter of oats in the world. In 2012, the Canadian oat industry brought $430 million to the farm gate and exported $620 million worth of high-quality oats to a number of key markets, including the U.S. Canada continues to be a global leader in oat production, trade, milling and research.


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Look for Soybean Selling Opportunities By Elmer Heinrichs There’s a good chance that soybean acreage, which topped one million in Manitoba last year, could rise again in 2014, Dennis Lange, Altona GO Centre Farm Production Advisor, told farmers attending St. Jean Farm Days recently. A senior market analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions told farmers that their farm clients point to soybeans as being a more attractive crop to grow than many other cropping options. “Perhaps that math changes by the time the crop goes in the ground, but the way it looks today, we probably will see some increase again,” suggested Jon Driedger. A relatively new Manitoba crop, soybeans reached a record 830,000 acres in 2012 recording a very respectable 36 bushels an acre and growers followed up last year with another record acreage. The crop responded with a yield of 39 bushels an acre in a generous long growing season. Lange noted that good yields occurred, though the years

began quite differently. In 2012, farmers planted early, while in 2013 the crop was planted much later, beginning about May 15. While it was cooler in late July, Lange noted, “It’s a longseason crop, and since we were not affected by an early frost, the crop just kept on growing and farmers harvested a very good crop.” Soybean acreage has spread from eastern Manitoba and the Red River Valley to western Manitoba and further north and into Saskatchewan with 150,000 to 180,000 acres grown in 2013, added Lange. Lange said that crop insurance data shows that usually the best yields come from soybeans planted in the second and third weeks of May. While there was some white mould in soybeans in 2013, farmer interest is very good, and, depending on the type of spring, pushing growers to switch crops. “We could possibly see another one million acre crop in Manitoba,” said Lange. Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, in its December report, said Canadian soybean production for 2013-14 in-

creased marginally to a record 5.2 Mt. Provincial production results were, Quebec, 0.85 Mt, Ontario 3.1 Mt, Manitoba 3.1 Mt and Saskatchewan 0.1 Mt. Supply is forecast to increase marginally as lower carry-in stocks and stable imports moderate the rise in output. Domestic processing is forecast to increase slightly due to higher supply. Exports are forecast at 3.4 Mt, slightly above last year. This forecast is supported by the current export shipments to-date, although the pace is expected to decrease in the second half of 2013-14 following the harvest in South America. The average price of soybeans at Chatham is forecast to fall to $510-550/t under pressure from lower US soybean prices. For 2013-14, world production of soybeans is forecast at a record $284 Mt, up 6 per cent from last year, on increased U.S. output and expected record production for South America. The world supply of soybeans is forecast at a record 344 Mt due to support from

New Wheat and Barley Organization Moves Forward The board of the newly created Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) has cleared the final hurdle in creating a growerdriven organization that will strategically invest in research and market development on behalf of Manitoba growers. On January 1, the organization obtained provincial regulatory authority to collect a refundable check-off from all sales of spring wheat and barley in Manitoba, said interim Board Chair Don Dewar, with check-offs to begin February 1. The check-off funds will be strategically invested in research and market development projects that will advance the profitability and sustainability of wheat and barley production for Manitoba growers, he said. “We have already been working with wheat and barley grower organizations in other provinces,” said Dewar. “This approval of our funding mechanism now allows us to be full collaborative partners on multi-province and national research and market develop-

ment projects that are crucial to wheat and barley production. “In addition, it’s both an exciting and challenging time for producers of these major crops in Manitoba, and our producer-driven approach means that growers can now participate in resolving a number of very important issues.” Fred Greig, Board ViceChair, said he is grateful to those companies in the agriculture industry that are collecting the check-off for the new wheat and barley association, and for existing organizations. “It’s an important contribution to the democratic self-determination of our cereals industry,” he said. In addition to Dewar (Dauphin) and Greig (Reston), the founding board consists of Ray Askin (Portage), David Rourke (Minto), Doug Martin (Selkirk) and Grant Dyck (Niverville). They, along with early administrative support from Keystone Agricultural Producers, have done the legwork to bring the organization to this stage.

The Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association currently have an administrative support agreement with the Manitoba Corn Growers and a technical support agreement with Agri Skills Inc. to minimize overhead costs through this early phase of organizational development.

higher carry-in stocks. In turn, this is expected to support a record world crush of 240 Mt, up 11 Mt from last year.

Market analyst Brad Magnusson told farmers at St. Jean Farm Days that the best prices are already behind us

and advised producers to look for selling opportunities on short rallies.


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The Agri Post

January 31, 2014

A TLC Program Meets the Needs of the Post-calving Beef Cow By Peter Vitti Some cows are fortunate to freshen in a draft-free barn, while others drop their calves onto an outside straw pack, poll-barn or open dry lot. Regardless of where they calve, most cows return or remain outside and must not only brave the arctic cold, but also meet the challenges of nursing a new calf and prepare for a new breeding season. Therefore, we should provide a proper TLC (tender-loving-care) program at this time in order to keep them milking and get them successfully pregnant with next year’s calf. For the next 90 days after calving the TLC nutrient requirements for a typical lactating beef cow is the highest period of the year. Compared to late-gestation, once a cow calves her energy needs increase by about 50%, protein needs increase by about 20-25% and the need for minerals and vitamins nearly doubles. Of all of these nutrients important to the lactating beef cow’s general well-being and optimum performance - dietary energy is by far, her single largest nutrient requirement. A post-partum mature cow, milking about 10 litres per day requires about 58 – 60 % total digestible nutrients (TDN) of dietary energy, while a heifer with her first calf will require about a 62 – 63% TDN diet, due to their natural lower feed consumption and body growth. Subsequently, most of this energy intake in both of these cases is prioritized. Body maintenance (including keeping warm) takes precedent, followed by lactation, growth and finally reproduction. It is also important to keep in mind that all cows that calve out in January to March may need 20 – 30% more energy in their diets just to stay warm. We can get a good idea of the energy status of the post-calving beef herd by simply observing the body condition of individual cows. Ideally, mature beef cows should have calved at a body condition score (BCS) of about 2.5 – 3.0 (1 = thin to 5 = fat) with newly freshened first calf beef heifers scoring 2.7 to 3.2. In these latter immature animals, they continue to grow until four years of age and they should achieve a good level of performance (re: lactation, growth, and reproduction) if allowed to maintain ½ BCS point higher than the mature cows. In contrast, widely accepted research has demonstrated that thin beef cows with a poor energy status BCS of 2.0 (or less) have trouble returning to estrus within 90 days of calving to be rebred, compared to those counterparts with adequate 2.5 to 3.0 BCS. Thin first time calf heifers have also been shown to be particularly vulnerable to poor reproduction due to the energy demands of milk production and growth. Aside from the highest energy demands for the year, protein and minerals/vitamins are important in the post-partum beef cow diets. A protein shortage in the post-partum diet will likely depress beef cow milk production. Dietary protein is not only involved in actual milk synthesis, but is a basic constituent of milk (re: 3.0% protein, dm basis). Furthermore, a lack of protein in the ration can lead to decreased rumen microbial activity (decreased fermentation and digestibility of forages and other feeds), reduced total feed intake, poor body growth in replacement heifers and visible weight loss. A post-partum cow with a 2.5 – 3.0 BCS and milking well should receive about 10 – 11% protein in her diet. Similarly, Macro-minerals, trace-minerals and Vitamins A, D and E play a wide range of metabolic roles in the beef cow’s body from vital biological reactions to milk production in the udder to stimulation of healthy follicles and the fertilization process. Consequently, all essential post-partum TLC nutrient requirements should be achieved with practical diets comprised of a foundation of home-grown/good quality forage that is often augmented with energy concentrates (re: grain or high-energy grain by-products) as well as with added high protein feedstuffs. Similar late-gestation beef rations, whose plane of nutrition has been adequately elevated in order to promote maintenance of current cowherd BCS, subsequent lactation and a successful return to active reproduction are equally acceptable. Although there are literarily hundreds of post-calving diets that could be fed to a typical beef herd after calving until pasture grasses start to sprout. Here are half-dozen TLC examples:

Wheat... “and All that Stuff” By Les Kletke “That’s Katie with an ie,” said Katie Brown concluding her interview at Ag Days in Brandon and then she had to hurry off to the afternoon portion of Ag Days. She had already spent most of the morning at the South End Community Centre in Brandon getting an overview of food production around the world. The overview was done in a classroom setting that brought together the 150 students that came into Brandon for each of the three event days including classes from Russell and Elkhorn. When asked about food production in Canada she was well aware of the broad range of food products grown in Canada, “Wheat and canola and all that stuff,” she replied confidently, “We don’t grow any fruit, well... berries we do grow some berries but not bananas or oranges.” Katie was part of the Grade 7 class from Tanner’s Crossing School in Minnesota that made the trip on Tuesday. Katie didn’t have time to elaborate whether she had a farm background or not, she was off to the afternoon activity, which was the equivalent of The Amazing Race, “Only you can’t run.” Katie was ready start and answer the questions on her sheet, but some students were missing, “Where are the boys?” Under the direction of Cindy Sullivan an EA at the school and chaperon for the group, they spent their noontime planning questions that they could ask at the various stations they were going to visit in the afternoon. Sullivan acknowledged that the roads had been a bit dicey and snow covered on the way in that morning but felt it was not dangerous and nothing worth cancelling the field trip that gave students the opportunity to see agriculture first hand. “They spend the morning in a classroom setting and that was good because it gave them a worldwide idea of food production,” she said. “And now they are ready to go out and see the displays of the equipment that farmers in Canada use.” She did not offer and opinion on who would be more excited about visiting the displays, the grade 7 class from Tanner’s Crossing School or the farmers that were thinking about how the equipment would fit on their farm. She was most concerned about keeping her troops together, “Where are the boys?” Was an oftasked question at the Keystone Centre during Ag Days.

Respecting Club Root Could Save Your Canola By Les Kletke Club Root, the very words make a canola grower cringe and live with the constant fear of the disease being present in their fields. Anastasia Kubinec with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) said that in all likely hood it already is. Kubinec was one of the speakers at Farm Days in St. Jean and her approach is more of respect than living in fear of the disease. She says the soil born disease has been present since the 1800’s and it is not some genetic mutation that appeared because of biotechnology. “It has been present for over a hundred years, and at one time it was a concern for market gardeners because it affected crops like cabbage,” she said.

“It affects the entire family. It is just as we saw the expansion of canola the spores became more prevalent in the soil as the area of production expanded.” She reported that spores are present in the soil and have a half life of 4 years, “But not too many producers wait 5 year before canola crops, so the spores are there in numbers that will impact the crop.” Club Root was first noted in Alberta in 2003 and has since been found in every region of the province. Kubinec added that since it is a soil borne disease producers would do well to lengthen their rotations but in reality, budgets have a greater impact than disease threats. “Growers are going to crowd the rotation so there are just a few steps to take to slow the

spread,” said Kubinec. “We will not stop it; it is already there but take a few precautions to make sure it does not get worse.” She recommends a thorough cleaning of equipment especially if purchased from outside of your farming area. “Take the time to clean equipment if you buy it,” she said. “The extra time spent washing the dirt off of a cultivator or a seeder is well worth it, when you consider reducing the risk of introducing more Club Root spores to your soil.” She also advised that equipment should be cleaned before moving it from one field to another. “When your seeding or spraying take the time to clean the dirt from the machine, you may be saving your canola crop a year down the road.”

CPC to Mobilize PED Strategic TTask ask Force *Ingredient costs will vary from farm to farm. It is illustrated from these typical post-partum beef cow diets that supplementation of dietary energy or protein is necessary when the respective nutrient demands of the lactating cows are not met by feeding forages alone (re: minerals/vitamins supplied by commercial 2:1 cattle mineral). Furthermore, avoidance of feeding low quality forages as the main forage or any beef diet that fails to meet all post-calving requirements, as well as, compromising post-calving feeding strategies (such as challenge cow feed intake), is also recommended. Such well-balanced TLC feeding programs should seamlessly follow sound feeding programs that were set up well before mature cows and first time calf heifers actually calve. However, their main goal of continuity remains to meet the nutrient requirements of all post-partum lactating cows and assure that they are ready for the upcoming breeding season. Success of these TLC feeding efforts is measured with this year’s well-growing spring calves and fertile beef cows contributing to future calf generations.

With Canada’s first case of PEDV found on an Ontario farm recently, the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has taken steps to mobilize a PED Strategic Task Force with the intention to bring key players together to standardize efforts across Canada. This task force is expected to have regulatory veterinary officials - both federal and provincial - and the veterinary diagnostic laboratory sector engaged along with provincial pork boards. Just a few days prior to the announcement of the presence of the PED virus on an Ontario farm, hog industry leaders from across Canada met for the CPC’s first board meeting of 2014 to set policy priorities for the year. Producers had the opportunity to discuss swine health, animal care, international trade and national marketing initiatives. Swine health dominated the discussion. “For the past three years the pork industry has worked hard to prepare for, and has taken preventative measures to slow viruses like PED from affecting Canada’s heard health,” stated Jean-Guy Vincent, CPC’s Chair. “PED poses no risk to human health or food safety but this is such a devastating production virus that producers must make it a priority, and consider preventative measures to reduce the risk of transmission.” “With Federal government assistance, Canadian Swine Health Board proactively developed and implemented a biosecurity program to help minimize heard health risks,” added Vincent. “Given this situation, producers are encouraged to increase their due diligence and use the tools and best information available to prevent the spread of this virus.” “We have been in constant contact with swine heath experts in Canada and our counterparts in the US to understand PEDV and share the most current information and practices,” added CPC first Vice Chair Rick Bergmann.


The Agri Post

Points to Consider in Planting and Growing Canola this Year By Elmer Heinrichs Canola and rapeseed are cool season crops and yield highest when grown in moderate agricultural climates where extreme heat and moisture are not usual. As well, growing other crops susceptible to sclerotinia (stem rust) too frequently in the rotation can increase the risk of stem rot in canola and reduce yields. For 2014, Top Crop Manager has assembled a list of new canola varieties and hybrids that are being introduced in commercial quantities for the 2014 growing season, including the first pod shatter resistant hybrid. It’s also best to choose varieties to match the conditions in your area and on your field. Variety characteristics to consider are disease tolerance, maturity, lodging tolerance, herbicide tolerance, yield potential and oil profiles. Actual yield is a function of the above attributes and growing season conditions that contribute to the final yield potential. Appropriate variety selection and crop management will increase the probability of obtaining the highest yields. Even in canola, there are different oil profiles (Nexera and Cargill Specialty Oil) which are sold into different markets on a contract basis. Canola seed is usually treated with both a fungicide and an insecticide. The fungicide minimizes seedling losses to damping off, root rot and seed-borne blackleg. The insecticide seed coating is for very early flea beetle control. When flea beetles are expected to be a serious problem, an additional foliar insecticide application may need to be considered to extend the duration of flea beetle control past three to four weeks after emergence. Final plant stands of seven to 11 plants a foot or 70 to 110 plants in a square metre are ideal. Seeding rates should be based ion the seed size (thousand seed weight) desired plant stand and environmental conditions at the time of seeding. Seeding rates on the high end of the recommended range should be used when seeding is late, soil is prone to crusting, conditions are cool or there is heavy weed pressure. When emergence problems occur, thin plant stands usually provide a better crop than would a reseeded crop. Recommended seeding depth is 0.5 to 1.5 inches, and seeds should be placed only deep enough to reach moisture. If soil is dry down to a two-inch depth then seed shallow and wait for rain. For specific recommendations on fertilizer rates, growers are advised to have the soil tested. Canola is sensitive to high rates of seed-placed fertilizer. All potassium and sulphur should be applied away from the seed. If soil analysis is not available, apply a general recommended rate. Canola is highly susceptible to sclerotinia and therefore crop rotations that include field beans, field peas, mustard, sunflowers and other sclerotinia-susceptible crops increase the risk of infection on the canola crop. In canola, several fungicide treatments are available to control of sclerotinia. Other major diseases that affect canola are blackleg, alternaria black spot and clubroot. Varieties tolerant to blackleg are available and should be grown in all parts of Manitoba to minimize the impact of this disease.

Hog Producers Could See Huge Profits By Harry Siemens For many years, the hog industry was the undisputed underdog in Canada and to a lesser extent in the United States. Many producers left the business, some willingly, others not. That scenario may be changing for farmers that remain in the hog industry and the change may be at the expense of the grain and feed producer. Florian Possberg, Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board said lower feed costs could result in 2014 being the most profitable year since 2006 for Canadian pork producers. The drought of 2012 devastated the U.S. corn crop causing North American feed grain prices to spike. Possberg said feed is by far the largest part of the cost of raising a hog. “Toward the middle of 2012 we really ran into high feed prices that went on into 2013,” he said. “At times, probably the first half of the year our producers were losing upwards of $40 per hog but an excellent crop in 2013 has increased the feed supplies.” Possberg noted that this has dropped the world price of feed grain to about $30 a hog and producers will finally make a profit. “I think 2014 could very well be our best year since probably 2006,” he said. “That’s based on the projections that our prices will remain somewhat equivalent to what they were in 2013.” With costs of production down and revenues staying at a reasonable level, 2014 could very well be a very good year for Canadian hog producers, he added. Ron Plain and Scott Brown of the University of Missouri, no strangers to the Manitoba hog scene said perhaps the most important number in the December 27, USDA Hogs and Pigs report is their estimate of 10.04 pigs per litter (ppl) in November. It was down from 10.16 ppl in November 2012 and is significant since it was the first month that ppl was below the year ago level since August 2003. The number of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) virus cases in the U.S. saw an increase with the approach of winter and it is widely believed to be the cause for the reduced pigs per litter in November. Lean hog futures contracts for next summer are trading close to $100/cwt. The optimism said Plain depends on ppl staying below a year-ago through the winter months. If the disease continues, hog prices will stay up noted Plain and Brown. The PED virus although still not in evident in Canada is a worry and industry is working hard at keeping it out of Canadian barns. The daily, Chicago Mercantile Exchange newsletter reported that tight cattle and hog numbers will put more of the focus on performance and the hog and cattle markets will end up on different paths. “In part this is biology but changes in feeding regimens for cattle certainly have limited the carcass weight gains in recent months,” said Steve Meyer, President of Paragon Economics. “In the case of hogs, producers and packers are trying to offset the death losses caused by PED, by keeping hogs on feed a bit longer and adding more pounds to carcasses.” He said that hog numbers are expected to be steady or even slightly lower than a year ago and producers and packers will seek to maximize weight gains to bring more pounds to market. “Lower feed costs certainly are an inducement to add more pounds and those producers that have lost pigs certainly have the space to do so,” said Meyers. “The expectation is for hog weights to trend somewhere about 1.5-2% above year ago levels in Q1, which would imply a similar type of increase in pork production.”

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Moving Crops Faster to Market The Canadian Canola Growers Association, the Alberta Wheat Commission, Pulse Canada, the soy growers of the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association, members of the Western Grain Elevators Association, the Inland Terminal Association and the Canadian Special Crops Association have recently partnered with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in a $3.2 million fund. The government will support the partnership with $1.5 million on the initiative called Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Agriculture Supply Chain that targets improvements in the supply chain and its reliability. This will have a positive impact on the entire logistical value chain, reducing back up at ports and railways and opening up new domestic and international markets. “There’s been a lot of talk about transportation and the poor performance of our supply chain this year in particular, but not a lot of action. The industry is coming together to roll up its sleeves and to get to work. The numbers speak for themselves and what we’ve seen isn’t good enough,” said Wade Sobkowich, Executive Director of the Western Grain Elevator Association. “There has been a lot of talk about the need for more collaboration between all commodity groups and trade organizations. With transportation and performance of the supply chain, there’s no better example of an issue where most everyone has the

AAFC invests more than $1.5 million in Pulse Canada to improve supply chain efficiency and reliability.

same objectives in mind,” said Nick Sekulic, Pulse Canada Chair. “Quite simply, we need to work together to achieve a common vision of a supply chain with the capacity to deliver what we produce today and what we expect to produce tomorrow and we need it to perform consistently and reliably so that Canada is viewed worldwide as the preferred supplier of all commodities.”

The study is a multi-year, multi-commodity effort to build industry capacity, predictability and reliability of transport service. The industry will methodically identify critical opportunities for improvement in the agricultural supply chain and measure performance so that all stakeholders know where efforts are best placed and whether or not changes result in measurable improvements.


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January 31, 2014

The Agri Post

Ag Students Converge on Ag Days By Les Kletke For some it was a first time adventure. For others it was a return to a familiar shopping ground but for all, they were visiting Brandon’s Keystone Centre in a whole new way. The School of Agriculture of the U of M had all the students of the faculty make the bus trip to Brandon to visit Ag Days. School Director Michele Rogalsky was well past the days of having her troops line up and keep their hands on the adjoining rope as when pre-schoolers venture out on a field trip, though there were indeed some anxious moments with three busloads of students traversing the Trans Canada in less than ideal travel conditions. Rogalsky said that the trip is an important part of the Diploma Program and gives the School opportunities to showcase the industry to all of the students in one stop. She does acknowledge the wide range of experience in the students and while it shows up in the classroom it was again evident on the faces of students as they made their way through the trade show. Some who have little onfarm experience are amazed at the size of the machinery and the degree of technology. Others, who have been coming to the show for a couple of years, are looking for specific types of equipment or

Pallister Campaigns at Ag Days By Les Kletke

Students from the School of Agriculture at the U of M were on hand for open day at Ag Days in the Keystone Center. For some it was a first time visit for others like this group it was a matter of looking for what’s new and could be coming to their farm. Photo by Les Kletke

making contact with specific individuals. Harlan Hildebrand, a first year student who is involved in the family farm at Kane, voiced his disappointment at John Deere’s absence. While most equipment companies are on hand and vying for the best spot on the arena floor, John Deere is conspicuous by its absence. The company chooses to pursue other avenues with its marketing budget and that seemed strange to Hildebrand. Dillon Mazinke of Morris was impressed with the Borgeault Air Seeder display and the two sizes of seeders on display. Most impressive, of course, was the big one. A cousin, Matt Mazinke, who is involved in the same family operation and also a first year student, singled out the Clu-

broot presentation as hitting home for him. “It made you aware of the problem,” he said. “It was practical things that you can do on the farm to help slow the spread. It was real advice.” Steven Dueck of Rosenort used some of his floor time to see the harvesting equipment and said, “We are making the switch from John Deere combines to Cat and it was nice to see the Challenger and to have a chance to talk to the people who sell them.” Tyler Bartmanovich, of Glenlea, was impressed with the Miller Sprayer. You knew the bus ride back to Winnipeg was not going to be a quiet one, as everyone had gained a bit of knowledge to share with a fellow student, whether there was an ear ready to listen or not.

Brian Pallister was forthright about his reasons for attending Ag Days in Brandon’s Keystone Centre, “I want to be the Premier of Manitoba,” he said with a smile. He acknowledged that every day was campaigning, and this was a part of it. He added that Ag Days has also provided a bit of reunion with some of the students from his early days as a teacher, “I saw a few of the fellows who were in school in Langruth when I first started teaching. I wasn’t much older than them so there might have been some issues then, but it is good to see them and reconnect.” “It is also a time of information gathering,” he noted, “It is a great forum to meet with people from rural Manitoba and hear about their concerns, it also gives me an opportunity to see some of the equipment that is used in the industry and to make contact with the people who manufacture and sell it.” Pallister was clear on the priority that his government would place on agriculture if it were elected in the next provincial election. “We need to address the issue of infrastructure,” he said. “We have to a have a substructure that serves the people. We need to build that so they have a better relationship with the market they serve.” He said that his government would take a different road from what is being followed in Saskatchewan with the oil industry as a key player, because economic development can take different forms. His primary goal is to fix the problems that Manitoba has. “I am a fixer,” he said, “I had retired from

Brian Pallister was on hand for Ag Days and said it was a mix of campaigning and gathering information, with a healthy mix of reunion. Photo by Les Kletke

politics and was happy to do that, but I see the problems in this province and believe that I have something to offer and can help make things better.” He said it is a role he has long played and goes back to his competitive sports days when he was a pitcher of some renown. “If you go back and ask the managers I played for, they will tell you that I enjoyed playing in the tough situations, and I was the go to guy in the big games. I rose to those situations and I am rising to the situation in Manitoba. I want to fix some of the problems we have.” He refrained from elaborating on the school tax situation saying only, “There has been a lot said about that and the current situation is unacceptable.”


The Agri Post

January 31, 2014

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January 31, 2014

The Agri Post


AgriPost January 31 2014