Commodity Groups Celebrate Royal Assent of CPTPP
Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr (left) hands off the CPTPP documents to Daniel Mellsop, New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Canada. New Zealand is the depository of the agreement.
By Dan Guetre Agriculture groups representing both the livestock industry and grains are ecstatic the Government of Canada has quickly moved ahead and given Royal Assent to Bill C-79, paving the way for Canada to be one of the first six countries signed on
to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Royal Assent of the legislation allows for prompt ratification and entry-into-force of the agreement before December 31, 2018. Achieving this outcome will enable Canada to unlock the CPTPP’s full
benefits. “Diversifying the mix of countries that we export Canadian agricultural products to is essential to trade stability and will help spread Canada’s reputation as a source of safe, affordable and nutritious food around the world,” said Canadian Federation of Agriculture President Ron Bonnett. “CFA insists that the Federal government help mitigate potential damages to supply managed sectors from various trade deals such as CETA, the USMCA and the CPTPP. Each trade agreement has allowed for further market access to these products which has eroded their domestic market share.” “The CPTPP will help increase incomes for all parts of the value chain, including farmers, while supporting jobs and economic growth. This is good news for Canada. The CPTPP will expand Canadian access to countries like Japan which are essential for Canada to achieve the target of $75 billion dollars of agri-food exports in 2025, the growth target set in the 2017 federal budget,” said
Cam Dahl, President of Cereals Canada. “Asian markets are a key to the future growth of the agrifood sector. Japan already imports $4 billion in Canadian agri-food exports annually. The passing of C-79 and subsequent ratification of the CPTPP will allow for the opportunity to transform our Asian footprint,” continued Dahl. “The CPTPP will reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers and open new, growing markets for Canadian agri-food products, all while supporting jobs and prosperity here at home. Passing C79 demonstrates Canada’s unwavering commitment to opening new markets and lowering trade barriers,” concluded Dahl. Canadian pork producers are also pleased to learn that the legislation received Royal Assent. “Canadian pork producers would like to thank all those involved in this process, including all members of the House of Commons and the Senate, along with Minister Carr,” said Rick Bergmann, Chair Continued on Page 3...
November 30, 2018
An Important Step for Canadian Hemp Producers The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) congratulates the hemp producer committee who developed the hemp Promotion and Research Agency application on the decision by the Farm Products Council to evaluate the merits of the application. “Our board has always been very supportive of hemp producers creating a national organization,” said Russ Crawford, President of the CHTA. “The CHTA has strong representation and involvement from producers but nonproducer members of our organization have shared the view that a hemp PRA will allow Canadian hemp producers to become a better partner with industry, researchers, provincial and national governments in the identification and delivery of strategic research and promotional programs.” Like emerging crops of the past, hemp is becoming main stream and truly is a national crop. The industry is based on the production and sale of food, fibre and fractions. “The traditional food market, based on dehulled hemp seed, hemp seed oil and hemp seed protein, continues to grow and develop in our home market and also in export markets,” explained Crawford. “The fibre market is currently attracting a great deal of investment interest, as the consistent acreage of hemp in Canada has created an opportunity to expand this value-added sector of our industry.” With Health Canada’s recent decision to allow whole plant harvest this year, the establishment of a new and growing natural health products industry will grow out of the extraction of cannabidiol (CBD). “We are proud of what we have accomplished but having a strong producer partner in further developing the industry is strategic to our success,” added Crawford. “We wish Canadian hemp producers success in their desire to establish a hemp Promotion and Research Agency.” The CHTA is a national organization that promotes Canadian hemp and hemp products globally. Established in 2003, the Alliance represents those involved in Canada’s hemp industry. Members include farmers, processors, manufacturers, researchers, entrepreneurs and marketers. The key functions of the Alliance are to disseminate information, promote the use of nutritional and industrial hemp, and coordinate research.
November 30, 2018
Provincial Hog Expansion on Track
By Harry Siemens Back on November 9, 2017, during a Manitoba Pork fall producer meeting Chairman George Matheson laid out for producers how a new Swine Development Corporation will help farmers navigate the waters of building new barns.
At this year’s district meeting in Niverville, General Manager Andrew Dickson laid out how far the hog industry is with its actual expansion and plans. “There are two parts, operations in the process of renewing their structures right now, rebuild-
ing or refurbishing, whatever you want to call it,” said Dickson. “Well if I got 600 sows and I’m going to rebuild, why don’t I go to 1,200 sows meaning if I’m going to build, I may as well do a little bit extra.” The changes to the Planning Act allow an increase of 15 per cent for an existing operator who wants to make a small expansion and fix buildings. “And you can do that under the Planning Act without having to go through a conditional use hearing because they allow a certain amount of flex,” said Dickson. The second significant stream is new producers and those looking at building something significant. “It’s a start, and for us, it’s very important because the industry saw very little hog expansion and development over the pre-
Back on November 9, 2017, at Manitoba Pork fall producer meetings chairman George Matheson laid out for producers how MP’s new Swine Development Corporation will help farmers navigate the waters of building new barns. Here he does the follow up at the 2018 meeting in Niverville.
vious ten years,” said Dickson. “Whether there will be more next year, I don’t know, but this is what people are thinking about right now.” He said the processing plants are very engaged in this expansion as well. In part, this current development includes Hylife’s development in the Killarney area, but Maple Leaf is working with producers to help with some buildings and increase the amount of production in the province. Both processing plants have the capacity and want to take advantage of markets that are opening up due to new trade agreements. The numbers as of November 7 according to Dickson are 8,350 new sow places. In finisher capacity constructed or under construction there are 35,800 places, while approvals by rural municipal councils total 63,300 and in the planning process, 81,500. In response to the question, on whether there is now confidence from lending institutions to expand hog operations, Dickson said, “There is no question, organizations like Farm Credit Corporation are coming to the fore, and assisting producers with the financing of their operations, and the banks are getting involved concerning putting up operating capital and in some cases putting up fixed capital, too.”
The numbers as of November 7 according to Manitoba Pork GM Andrew Dickson are 8,350 new sow places. In finnisher capacity constructed or under construction 35,800 places, approved by rural municipal councils, 63,300, and in the planning process, 81,500. Also, Michael Teillet, Manager, Sustainable Development Programs.
There are many different types of producers involved now including independents in the mixture said, Dickson. Some independent producers are expanding, and in some cases, it’s new producers coming in. There will be new producers and some will be owners of barns that will contract pigs with a processor. The concept of a single producer, who owns the barn, owns the pigs, supplies all the labour, owns the land, and uses all the manure, that’s one type of operation. Now there is a many other variations. “We have grain producers coming to talk to
us about building hog barns because they’re looking at using the manure as an offset to their costs for fertilizer,” he said. “It’s very much like the model in Iowa, where there are essentially grain, corn, and soybean producers who have hog operations because they want the manure.” Dickson said this increased overall confidence level in the hog industry is coming from all directions, from producers wanting to build and expand from the bottom up and processors are encouraging expansion pushing from the top. “It’s a combination of both.”
New 4-H Program Focused on Health in Rural Youth By Les Kletke A new initiative announced by 4-H Canada is intended to develop the youth of today into healthy adults in the future. “We have always
targeted the positive,” said Jay Poulton, Director of Marketing and Communications with 4-H Canada. “This is a two year program with the first year emphasising emotional health and the second year concentrating on physical health.” Poulton emphasised the positive. “We have always traced the positive and developing youth that can thrive not just survive in current conditions.” The program will be rolled out in early 2019 with full release for the spring of next year. “There are a number of resources that will be available to our 7,700 hundred leaders across the country and they include training, a resource book and material on our website 4-H learns. There will be webinars in the New Year but those are still being fleshed out.” The program was announced at the same as the
Rooted in Strength program being delivered by Farm Credit Canada (FCC) which also has some youth organization. Poulton stressed that the programs are separate but he is hopeful there will be some overlap and ultimately a cumulative effect. “The program we are announcing supports emotional health and if that brings about some discussion among the youth about mental health and the stress of the farm that is a good thing,” he said. “If we can have the youth talking about those concerns we can aid in removing the stigma that exists around those problems today.” The 4-H programs will be sponsored by Farm Credit Canada, UFA Co-operatives, Corteva Agriscience and Cargill. “This is an investment in young people who will play a large role in shaping the future of Ca-
nadian Agriculture,” said Michael Hoffort, President of FCC. The healthy living initiative is in response to the critical needs of youth in rural communities. Research shows that young people living in rural communities are at greater risk of experiencing struggles relating to their mental and physical wellbeing. “The initiative means offering youth not only the tools and resources to face the challenge but the opportunity to learn to thrive,” said Shannon Bennor, CEO 4-H Canada. Poulton is confident that the initiative will train the leaders of 4-H and have a larger effect as those leaders serve as mentors and role models for youth in rural communities. The emphasis of the second year of the program will be physical health with details still being developed.
The AgriPost Commodity Groups Celebrate Royal Assent of CTPP continued from Page 1... of the Canadian Pork Council. “We are thrilled that members acknowledged the importance of Bill C-79 by expediting the legislative process.” This important step gets Canada closer to being part of the initial 6 countries that will reap the benefits of being the first to implement the agreement, along with Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Upon implementation of the CPTPP, Canadian pork producers will benefit from immediate tariff reductions on fresh chilled pork, a premium, and greatly valued product, especially in Japan. Projected savings of $51 million are expected following tariff reductions on pork. Global Affairs Canada has estimated that Cana-
dian pork exports to Japan are projected to increase by $639 million, or 36.2 % following the implementation of the CPTPP. This increase in exports will allow pork producers to expand their operations, create more jobs and have a greater impact on the Canadian economy. In short, this Agreement will help Canadian pork producers contribute to the $75 billion export target set out in the 2017 Barton Report. “It’s great news for beef producers that the deal will be coming into effect this year,” said Canadian Cattlemen’s Association President David Haywood-Farmer. “The long years of recovering lost market access are firmly behind us now, and we have the bonus of seeing new markets open up to high quality Ca-
nadian beef.” The key objective for Canadian beef producers in the CPTPP was to improve access to the Japanese market by lowering the tariff and shielding Canadian beef from Japan’s safeguard tariffs. “[It’s] a great day for grain farmers,” said Jeff Nielsen, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) President. Canadian grain farmers will also benefit from increased demand from the livestock sector because of the improved access beef and pork farmers receive in the agreement. “Farmers all across the country win with the CPTPP,” said Markus Haerle, GGC Vice-President. “Everyone from pulse growers in the Peace River Region, canola growers in Saskatchewan and Mani-
toba, soybean growers in Ontario, corn growers in Quebec and wheat growers from British Columbia to Atlantic Canada will benefit from increased demand as a result of the CPTPP.” “The Government’s ambitious trade agenda is making a real difference in the lives of grain farmers,” said Margaret Hansen, Chair of the GGC Trade and Markets Committee. “This deal, along with CETA and the USMCA give grain farmers unprecedented preferential access to over 1 billion consumers.” CPTPP will come into force 60 days after six members have ratified the agreement. This announcement will likely result in Canada being the sixth member to ratify the CPTPP.
Churchill is a Railway Town Once Again By Harry Siemens In 2017, spring flooding severely damaged the Hudson Bay Rail Line, Churchill’s only land link to the rest of Canada. Since then, people and freight could only access Churchill via air and sea. Prices on everything from fuel to groceries skyrocketed. Tourism declined. It stranded local families, students and business owners and yet there were those who did not lose hope while others left. After the August 2018 purchase of the railway link from the US company Omnitrax Inc. by a public-private partnership of 30 First Nations and 11 other communities in northern Manitoba and seven Kivalliq communities in western Nunavut called Arctic Gateway Group Limited Partnership, Missinippi Rail Limited Partnership, Fairfax Financial Holdings and AGT Limited Partnership repairs began immediately. Then the Federal government stepped up with secure funding of $74 million from the Western Economic Diversification for the purchase and repair of the railway and port that is being provided over three years until 2021, another $43 million to be provided over the next 10 years for operations and enhancement to make the rail, port and tank farm commercially viable and a $10 million repayable contribution so that the Arctic Gateway group could obtain a commercial loan. Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on November 1 announced that, by the end of the month, the rail line would resume its operations. Local Churchill resident, Joe the Shipper Stover, now
air traffic control assistant lay awake one Wednesday evening when he first heard one train whistle, thinking this cannot be. Then Stover heard the second and ran outside to capture on video the arrival of the first train since the spring of 2017. An excited Stover took the time to express his feelings. “Today was one of the first days of kind of a new beginning for the Town of Churchill, the port and the railway. Last night I was hanging out at home with the trick or treaters and I heard the toot of a train whistle. I thought, well, I shouldn’t hear that, because we haven’t had a train in so long, but sure enough, heard another toot, and got in my truck and raced down to the train station,” he said excitedly. “And, sure enough, there was the first train that we’ve had in over 17 months. It’s just a darn good feeling to know that basically, we’re a railway town again, and we’re going to be a port town still. And, having the Prime Minister here today was just a huge deal, with the community. It was terrific to have people here acknowledging that we are indeed back on the scene, as it were.” He said that the Town was told that the train was going to arrive that day, but there were doubts as well. “I was not sure. Some people said that it was going to come today, or it was going to happen Saturday. I was not confident to the point where I wasn’t expecting it to come. I knew it was going to go at some point, but I just wasn’t ready for it. What a surprise it was to hear the whistle of the train. To have that back up here again
is just fantastic. It’s huge.” Now when he looks at the Town of Churchill he recalls that some people had already given up, others were waiting for a miracle, while some said, “Oh, we’re going to make it happen.” “Well, I think at least in town here, people are extremely optimistic. We’ve had the man in charge of the Arctic Gateway tell us pretty much flat-out, that he’s no miracle worker or anything like that. But I mean, there’s a reason that they invested in this port, and with their network of grain, and having their cars and things like that, there’s just no reason to think otherwise. The new group I’m sure wants to prove that this asset works, and they’re going to ship a bunch of grain through here next year is the hope.
That’s what a lot of people around here are thinking, and banking on,” said Joe, the Shipper. “And, the hope is that once we can again, because Churchill always has to prove itself, once we can prove yet again, that we are a competent grainhandling facility, strategically placed for the prairie farmers, I think everybody will get on board with that too. Not just for grain shipping, but for shipping goods through here, and from the prairies up to the Nunavut communities as well. So I think once we have a year or two under our belts, showcasing what Churchill can do, and showing that it is a financially responsible choice, I think that only good things will follow.”
Joe “the Shipper” Stover, now as air traffic control assistant heard the train whistle, thinking this cannot be. When he heard the second, he ran outside to capture on video the arrival of the first train after Photos by Joe “the Shipper” Stover. 17 months.
November 30, 2018
November 30, 2018
Livestock Producers Receive Tax Relief for 2018 The Government of Canada released a list of additional regions including Manitoba where livestock tax deferral has been authorized for 2018 due to drought. The livestock tax deferral provision allows producers in prescribed drought or excess moisture regions to defer a portion of their 2018 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until 2019 to help replenish the herd. The cost of replacing the animals in 2019 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale. Eligibility for the tax deferral is limited to those producers located inside the prescribed areas. Producers in those regions can request the tax deferral when filing their 2018 income tax returns.
Marijuana is now legal in Canada. You’d think the lifting of this plant’s prohibition would make life simpler. Unfortunately, our government’s style of legalization has made things more complicated than ever. Let’s face it. We’ve imposed a new maze of rules and regulations. Government bureaucrats operate in a paranoid world of health and safety, and they’re having a heyday trying to figure out how to keep us “safe.” You can’t buy marijuana from just anyone. Only government-approved or, in some provinces, governmentowned retailers are legally allowed to sell these products. No one hates competition more than the government. All sorts of headlines out there tell us that “arrests are being made” of those who break the restrictive rules. Shortages are common, delivery can be a problem, prices are too high and quality is sometimes questionable. In Ontario, the provincial ombudsman fielded more than 1,000 complaints within the first couple of weeks after legalization. Customers were frustrated with delayed deliveries, billing problems
Going to Pot and poor customer service in general. Some insiders are predicting supplies to be tight for years. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when an Ipsos poll told us that 35 percent of people have gone back to their black-market suppliers. The real number is probably higher as some people may not be comfortable confessing that they’re doing something illegal. Ironically, if given the chance, Canadian farmers could oversupply this new market with high-quality product in a heartbeat. But the micro-licenses are being handed out in such a Scroogelike fashion that buyers are likely to remain frustrated for some time. Exactly what you can buy is restricted, too. So far it’s smokable versions, some oils and gels, and that’s it. The consuming public is asking big questions about edibles, and supposedly they’re coming. This could be a boon for food and beverage processors, but it won’t be easy for them, either. Proper label-
ing, differentiating packages, warning messages, dosage information are all going to be dictated. Cannabis-infused candies are very popular in some parts of the world. How are we going to keep those out of the hands of children? What happens on Halloween? Even the public is concerned about the ability to detect impairment in someone who has consumed an edible. You can’t see or smell anything like when they smoke it. Impaired driving is a concern. One report suggested that after one month of legalization we haven’t seen any kind of spike in impaired driving. However, another report out of the US showed an increase in that crime in states that had legalized marijuana for medical purposes. We’re hearing enough news reports to know that this does happen. Winnipeg, Altona, Steinbach and Thompson police, for instance, all reported arrests on the day legalization occurred. Adding to the confusion is that every province handles things slightly differ-
ently, particularly with passengers and stor- By Rolf age while transporting Penner marijuana products. Crossing the border into the United States can be a challenge, as one see. The Globe and Mail ran an particular Canadian investor on his way to a cannabis con- interesting piece from a psyvention in Las Vegas found chologist outlining a greater out. He now has a lifetime risk to young people of deban from entering that coun- veloping psychosis if they try. Others going to the same use a lot of cannabis. The esconference were detained for say was well worth the read. Not to be outdone, the Onquite some time for questioning and extra background tario Dental Association got in on the act by warning us checks. Maybe you should just about oral health problems grow your own? Ha! That’s a that can come from smoking good one, too. Ottawa thinks pot. Dry mouth, increased you should be able to, Mani- risk of cavities, gum disease toba and Quebec thinks you and eventually, more serishouldn’t. Look for a court ous issues like stomatitis, an case at some point to decide inflammation of the mouth that. BC says it’s okay, but and lips, or an overgrowth of the plants can’t be visible to the gums are all on the menu. the public. New Brunswick So yes, apparently you need wants them in a locked enclo- to talk to your dentist about sure. But the question is moot smoking pot. (I’m not makanyways, because you’d only ing this up.) Legalizing marijuana be able to grow your own from seeds purchased from should have made life easier, a legal source and right now but instead we have chaos there aren’t any. At least not and confusion. Maybe it’s for a few more months. We’ll time for a drink.
Much Depends on Getting the US Farm Bill Through the Lame Duck Session With the Democrats retaking the United States House of Representatives, maybe Canadian farmers should look more closely at what could or could not happen to the unfinished US Farm Bill. Remember the hurt, pain, havoc the mandatory Country of Origin Labelling caused to Canadian farmers especially hog and cattle producers? I sure do, well it could very well be back on the table should the current so-called lame duck congress not pass it in the next month or so. Farm broadcaster Orion Samuelson said it seems they do this to us every time they write a Farm Bill. “They get an early start that encourages us to believe they are going to have it finished before the August recess in plenty of time, and then as is the case this year, the Congress not only missed the September 30 deadline, but they might also miss the ‘end of the year’ deadline,” said Samuelson. “We can’t let that hap-
pen because that would mean we will have to start all over again to write a Farm Bill next year. We will be doing it with a new Congress, and we may lose much of what we have in the current version that the House and Senate are trying to pass.” He said the big sticking point seems to be, as it is almost every time congress writes a Farm Bill, the nutrition program, known as Food Stamps years ago, now known as S.N.A.P., the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. “Most farmers have always wondered why food assistance programs should be part of the Farm Bill and part of the USDA budget. The answer is simple, leverage. There aren’t enough rural votes in the House and Senate to pass a Farm Bill without support from urban legislators,” said Orion. US President Donald Trump and many Republicans would like to see a ‘work requirement’ added
to be eligible for the food assistance program. Other people, many of them urban Democrats say, “No, It’s not fair to put a job requirement in the bill to receive the food assistance.” There’s the rub, my friends. Why ask non-disabled people to do some work if you can get their vote by feeding them without that requirement. Oh, that is just my opinion. It is a bit like, why pray when you can worry. Orion asked his viewers on his famous Samuelson Sez several weeks back, “What is so bad about having to get a job or having a job to be eligible for food assistance? The proposed requirement says you have to be between the ages of 18 and 59 and free of health problems or unusual family problems to qualify for assistance. Jobs are available as evidenced by the ’Help Wanted’ signs I see in my community.” Samuelson asked Bill Northey, the former Secretary of Agriculture for the
state of Iowa, now Under Secretary at USDA for Farm Production and Conservation Convention about the status of the Farm Bill. “I do believe that there’s some momentum to be able to get a Farm Bill done this year. I think there’s great interest. You see likely new Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Collin Peterson, said he’s interested in a Farm Bill this year. He said it before the election, and he’s saying it now, too,” said Northey. “I think there’s a lot of reasons. They’ve done a lot of heavy lifting. I think they know where they need to go, even if they haven’t gone there yet on adjusting some of the expectations of the folks in both chambers as they pass their bill. And I think there is also a risk that if we go another year; start back over; it doesn’t mean a Farm Bill next year would be easier, right? May not have as much money either, depending on what budget impacts are down the road, so I think there’s a lot of motivation to
get it done, but there’s a lot of things to do yet.” Steve Dittmer of Agribusiness Freedom Foundation in Colorado said it does bode conservatives and agricultural interests to use the whip in this lame duck session. “We do expect Rep. Collin Peterson to be House Agriculture Committee chairman, someone with real agricultural experience and whom we have worked with in the past. He has already mentioned something about the checkoffs. Last spring, he opposed a somewhat ham-handed attempt at checkoff reform, aimed at inclusion in an earlier version of the Farm Bill,” said Dittmer. “The bad potential with Peterson is that he was in favour of MCOOL, which may also require some preventive legislative direction from Congress, given that R-CALF and allies are trying to force USDA into doing something, despite its being ruled illegal by the WTO and worthless to most consumers.”
New Agency to Create Unique Opportunity for Canadian Hemp Producers The Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC) is beginning the public hearing process to evaluate the merits of a hemp Promotion and Research Agency (PRA). “This is great news for Canadian hemp growers,” said Don Dewar of Dauphin, who chaired the producer committee that developed the application to establish the hemp PRA. “We started developing the application in the spring of 2017 and submitted the application to the Farm Products Council last October, so we’re glad to see FPCC moving forward with the review. Our view has always been that a hemp PRA will allow Canadian hemp growers to become a better partner with industry, researchers, provincial and national governments in the identifica-
tion and delivery of strategic research and promotional programs that will strengthen and grow the Canadian hemp industry,” added Dewar. Unlike provincial commissions or boards which fall under provincial legislation, a PRA falls under the Federal Farm Products Agency Act and it’s the Farm Products Council role to evaluate the merits of an application and make recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture on whether an application should be supported by the Federal Government. Hemp producers evaluated various options to establish a national organization to collect levy’s on production of hemp products and decided the PRA was the best approach. A hemp PRA would give hemp producers an or-
ganization that has national scope and allow for efficiencies in the governance of the organization. “We see significant opportunities for growth,” added Larry Marshall an organic hemp grower from Shellbrook, Saskatchewan. “Our traditional seed market is continuing to grow and there is a lot more interest in hemp fibre,” added Marshall. In addition, Health Canada’s decision to allow whole plant harvest of industrial hemp for the 2018 crop creates significant new opportunities noted Marshall. “This permission from Health Canada will allow hemp producers to use the 2018 crop to learn more about harvesting, drying and storing whole plant material,” explained Jason Green,
head of agriculture for Canopy Growth. “This is an exciting time to be in the hemp business, but like any industry hemp requires investment to reach its full potential,” added Dewar. “Hemp PRA would provide a legal framework to stimulate investment and governance structure to ensure hemp producers have a strong voice in the ongoing development of the hemp industry.” The hemp producer committee encourages interested producers to review the hemp PRA application on the Farm Products Council of Canada web site. For more information contact Don Dewar, Chair of the producer committee 204-648-4649 or Larry Marshall, Producer committee member 306-747-7430.
International Statement on Plant Breeding Innovations Welcomed The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) welcomed the announcement that Canada, along with like minded countries from around the world has signed an international statement on agricultural applications of precision biotechnology. The international statement recognizes the potential benefits this technology can bring and the need for regulatory frameworks that encourage research and
minimize potential disruptions to trade. “Growers are excited about the potential of new plant breeding innovations,” said GGC President Jeff Nielsen. “We are pleased that the Government of Canada is playing an international leadership role on this important issue. We look forward to also seeing progress here at home.” Plant breeding innovation includes tools like gene ed-
iting systems that can bring new varieties to the market faster and with lower costs than ever before. These varieties have the potential to be higher yielding, healthier for consumers and the environment, and improve food security while continuing to maintain Canada’s high expectations for safety. “This international agreement shows that there is support around the world
It’s That Time to Remember It is that time of year. My editor pointed out that this was indeed the annual Christmas edition and a time that many advertisers extend Christmas wishes. I think it was a reminder that some of the editorial staff could do the same thing. He has a great idea, so it is a heartfelt wish for the best of the season to readers of the Agri Post and to go even further afield to all those involved in the business of food production. We so often take you for granted and don’t say thanks for the work you do. Here it is, I say thanks for the food that graces our table and the efforts on your part, and to you and your family a wish from our house to yours for the best of the season and good crops in 2019. The end of a year is often when we take some time to reflect on things that have passed, and I had a great cause for that earlier this month. Rosenfeld, the community where I spent my youth had the launch of its history book and asked me to conduct the auction of the first 3 books. A pleasure indeed. As I made the drive to the community that was home for the first 30 years of my life, I had time to think. I no longer even look at my cell phone, so lots of thinking time. I got to thinking what a great job the committee had done on collecting stories of the early days, and how I wish I could have contributed more. I was left feeling sorry that I had not listened to more of my Dad’s stories, or better still taken the time to write them down. The questions came quickly now, if I had a day or so with my Dad I had so many things to ask. What about the Titanic? And it’d sinking, what was that as a news story? What about when the boys came home from WWI and brought the flu with them? What was it like to lose a brother to the flu, to see it taking people in the community? What about the change from horses to steam power, how revolutionary was that? The questions flooded in and I was only up to 1920. We can’t go back but we can do things different in 2019. I am wishing you the best of the New Year but I am asking you to spend some time with the older folks in your family, listen to the stories and write them down, someday the younger generations will appreciate your effort, some day they will feel the way I did, on that drive. Take the time and record the stories, your stories.
for the future of plant breeding,” said Doug Sell, Chair of GGC’s Sustainability and Sound Science Committee. “Growers in Canada look forward to using new varieties produced by these latest plant breeding techniques and this international statement is a step in that direction.”
November 30, 2018
Grain Growers of Canada Welcomes Fall Economic Statement Dear Editor, Grain farmers are pleased with the Government’s Fall Economic Statement. The Government continues to recognize the important role agriculture plays in the growth of our economy, noting that agriculture contributes 6% to Canada’s GDP and committing to increase agricultural exports by 50% between now and 2025. The measures announced in the Fall Economic Statement will help grain farmers succeed at home and around the world by encouraging exports, investment and innovation. The Accelerated Investment Incentive, the Export Diversification Strategy, including $25 million to resolve market access barriers and the commitment to deliver on regulatory reform will all help grain farmers grow Canada’s bottom line. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government to ensure the Government’s economic growth agenda, including the Export Diversification Strategy and the regulatory reform initiative deliver real results for Canada’s hard working middle class grain farmers. Jeff Nielsen, President, Grain Growers of Canada
November 30, 2018
MacAulay Strengthens Trade Relationship and Export Development with China Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, wrapped up a successful 10-day visit to China, which included Canada and China signing 18 agriculture and agrifood agreements worth over $353 million. Throughout the mission, MacAulay strengthened Canada’s position as a strong agricultural trading partner and showcased Canadian agriculture, agri-food and seafood products, building upon and expanding relationships with China’s growing e-commerce sector. These agreements contributed to the $1.67 billion in deals struck by all Canadian companies over the 10-day period. Canada is a trading nation and remains focused on reaching its target of increasing Canada’s global agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025. With a population of 1.4 billion and a growing middle class, pursuing new market opportunities in China is essential
to the continued growth of the Canadian economy, and to Canadian farmers, processors and exporters. “As the world’s second largest economy, China is a market with significant opportunities for growth,” said MacAulay. “The economic benefits of an even stronger relationship between our two countries will help all Canadians, including our farmers, processors, fishermen and exporters.” MacAulay attended the historic first-ever China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai hosted by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping. The Expo is China’s invitation to countries from all over the world to increase their exports to the fast growing consumer markets across China. MacAulay, along with Canadian industry, met and connected with top Chinese and international importers to promote Canadian agriculture, agri-food and seafood. The government of Canada is working hard to make it easier for small and mediumsized Canadian companies to do business both at home and abroad. MacAulay met with Canadian and Chinese industry groups, including representatives from Hema, Alibaba’s innovative offline retail store that distributes Canadian products, to discuss further opportunities for the Canadian agricultural sector. Agriculture and AgriFood Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hema to increase the visibility of, and to further promote Canadian agri-food,
Minister MacAulay and Ambassador McCallum attend the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo’s Canada Pavilion with Chinese Vice-Minister of Agriculture Yu Kangzhen, helping raise awareness of Canadian fish & seafood exports.
At the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, with left to right Alaina Lockhart, MP for Fundy Royal, Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board, Wade MacLauchlan, Premier for Prince Edward Island, Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and John McCallum, Canadian Ambassador to China (last person unknown).
fish and seafood and beverage products in their offline retail stores across China. In Qingdao, MacAulay was joined by his colleagues Minister Scott Brison and Parliamentary Secretary Alaina Lockhart and Atlantic Premiers as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy Mission. MacAulay also attended the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo (CFSE) to highlight
the high quality of Canadian fish and seafood exports to China. In addition, MacAulay participated in a cooking demonstration with the Lobster Council of Canada, toured the Canadian pavilion where he visited some of the 60 Canadian exhibitors at their booths, and he participated in the Canadian company Clearwater’s new Chinese name launch.
New Wheat Crop Missions Follow Challenging Harvest Customers in 17 countries will meet with representatives from Canada’s grain value chain to learn about the quality and end-use characteristics of the 2018 Canadian wheat crop during a series of new crop missions which began November 12. The annual seminars are an important opportunity to build customer relationships with international buyers and support Canada’s reputation as a supplier of clean, consistent, quality wheat. “2018 is a tale of two harvests,” said Cam Dahl, President of Cereals Canada. “The crop quality was very high until unusually early snowfall in some of the western prairie regions created challenging harvest conditions for farmers in those areas.” Wheat harvested before the snow fell is high quality with 95% falling into the top two grades (No. 1 and No. 2) with high protein. While weathering has degraded the quality of some of the crop harvested in October it is expected that there is good availability of quality wheat. Buyers will hear from industry experts in terms of overall crop quality and functionality, availability, and a review of the growing season and farming in Canada. The Canadian team includes farmers and exporters, and scientists, technical specialists and representatives from Cereals Canada, Canadian International Grains Institute and Canadian Grain Commission. “Every crop year is different and that’s why it’s important to be face-to-face with key customers post-harvest each fall,” said Dahl. “It’s their opportunity to meet with and ask questions of members of the entire Canadian value chain. This approach is unique to Canada and the two-way dialogue benefits both customers and the Canadian industry in terms of understanding current and future needs.” Between November and December, the 2018 New Crop Missions will travel to 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, North and South America. The first seminar takes place in Mississauga, Ontario for Canadian millers and their customers.
November 30, 2018
Lack of Qualified Farm Workers Hurting the Canadian Economy By Harry Siemens Owners and operators of farms are having difficulty finding qualified people needed to run those farms which is hurting the overall economy. Janice Goldsborough, the Human Resources and Training Coordinator with Manitoba Pork said the growing lack of available farm workers threatens to take a massive bite out of Canada’s economy. Recruiting and retaining sufficient numbers of workers to maintain the smooth and efficient operation of their businesses keeps challenging employers in the livestock production and processing sectors as the demographics of agriculture change. “We’re seeing more women taking over farms,” said Goldsborough. “Before women typically helped to take machinery out to the fields, bring meals out, etcetera but now the women are taking a more active role. You might be driving down the highway and see women in the combines or on the tractors.” She said while seeing more women in the farm labour force and farm ownership, and also more educated people, universities are showing a different sign. More young people are going to school, whether it is to take agriculture diplomas or food science degrees. “But the average age of our farmers is increasing, averaging over 45,” said Goldsborough. “We see a large population over 60, and
they’re going to be looking at retiring soon, so we’re seeing less available workers.” The problem she said is people who own the farms are finding it much harder to get people to work on the farms resulting in a more significant shortage of getting local people to work on the farms. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council said in 2014, over 26 thousand agriculture-related positions went unfilled and estimated that by the year 2025 that could approach 114 thousand jobs, a significant big loss to the Canadian economy. Goldsborough said employers need to expand their recruitment beyond just the province to across Canada and a big source of workers come from other countries. She said this lack of a bigger labour pool locally means that employers must seek workers from further away and with less connection to agriculture. “It used to be that farmers could hire local people,” said Goldsborough. “Now more people are looking at the national and even international levels to find people to keep farms operating let alone to expand. It seems there are not as many young people wanting to take over the farm.” In the past, as farmers aged, they expected the next generation to take over automatically. Now, more sons and daughters realize that it is not the career they want, and young people are not looking at agriculture as the
first choice. Technology has changed a lot, and that has also impacted the number of people who want to work on a farm, she said. Goldsborough said that if employers take steps to ensure employees feel valued as members of the team this goes a long way to keeping turn over low on the farm. While it is essential to value existing employees when the local pool keeps dropping, finding and hiring the right workers is costly and time-consuming it is vital to keep them over the long-term. “Recruitment costs money. You want to be able to keep them,” she said. “Therefore doing things like delegating, empowering them, and giving them a task also means to trust them to do the job. If they have questions, hopefully, they’ll ask. If they do it wrong, we all make mistakes, nobody’s perfect, so if they make a mistake, you show them the right way and let them do it again.” Goldsborough said having good employee relations, talking to your employees, asking how are things going and being respectful to one another, having good policies that are clear, consistent for everybody and just making sure that communication is open, this goes two ways and people feel it is okay to raise issues. But also it is important to ask for their ideas. “Have regular staff meetings, offer some incentives, and it doesn’t have to be monetary. It can be as simple as having
Manitoba Pork Producers Salute Federal Action on CPTPP Manitoba pork producers welcomed the news that Bill C-79, the implementing legislation for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), received Royal Assent in the Parliament of Canada. “Manitoba pork producers are extremely grateful to everyone who had a hand in advancing Bill C-79’s progress through the House of Commons and the Senate,” said Manitoba Pork Chair George Matheson. “Thanks especially go to the tireless efforts of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr. Canada is closer to being one of the first six signatories to the agreement, meaning our producers will benefit from immediate tariff reductions on fresh chilled pork.” Global Affairs Canada has projected that Canadian pork exports to Japan alone will in-
crease by $639 million follow- the CPTPP ratification came ing the implementation of the on the same day that Minister CPTPP. Manitoba is already a Freeland met in Winnipeg with major Canadian supplier to far officials from Manitoba Pork, eastern markets, and the value Manitoba Beef Producers, the to our province of increasing Canadian Cattlemen’s Assoexports could be more than ciation, the Canola Council of $300 million over the next Canada, the Manitoba Canola three to four years. Manitoba Growers and the Manitoba pork producers will have the Chambers of Commerce. The potential to expand their op- meeting was an opportunity erations, creating more jobs to discuss the details of the and bringing more revenue CPTPP with Minister Freeland into the provincial coffers, and congratulate the federal while continuing to ensure that government on the USMCA future generations will also progress. have what they need to thrive. About 13,000 Manitobans currently depend on the pork sector for their livelihood. Increasing exports could The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, centre front, with officials from Canadian commodity groups, eventually raise including Manitoba Pork Directors Glen Gratton that number to (Maple Leaf Foods) and Claude Vielfaure (HyLife 16,000. Foods), and General Manager Andrew Dickson The news of (Manitoba Pork).
Janice Goldsborough, the Human Resources and Training Coordinator with Manitoba Pork said the growing lack of available farm workers threatens to take a massive bite out of Canada’s economy. Photo provided by Janice Goldsborough
a group barbecue or going out bowling one night or something like that, something that makes people feel they’re part of the team,” she said. Goldsborough said everyone knows there are positions throughout agriculture both on the farm and in the processing plants that are unfilled, making the retention factor enormous. “When you find good people you want to keep them because if you do lose them, it’s going to be hard to find new ones to replace them.”
November 30, 2018
November 30, 2018
Swine Innovation Porc Focuses Research on National Priorities
Swine Innovation Porc Chair Stewart Cressman told Manitoba Pork’s 2018 producer meetings this fall that one of the priorities is to provide tools that will allow reduced use of antibiotics while maintaining productivity and efficiency.
By Harry Siemens Swine Innovation Porc (SIP) Chair Stewart Cressman told Manitoba Pork’s 2018 producer meetings this fall one of the priorities is to provide tools that will allow reduced use of antibiotics while maintaining productivity and efficiency. Cressman from Ontario said research aimed at reducing antibiotic use while maintaining the health and productivity of the herd is among the organization’s top priorities. SIP administers research funding provided through
Canada’s pork organizations, pork sector stakeholders and government. “We know we’ll still have antibiotics available for the treatment of disease, but there are questions about this whole idea of prevention,” he said. “There’s a multi-prong effort as we look at using genetics, which has some separate initiatives and more robustness through genetics. We have many projects on the micro biome, which is the microorganisms in the gut and looking at ensuring that the correct ones are there because it has a big impact on
the immune response of the young pig, so there are many efforts.” Cressman told the producers that SIP will look at some welfare projects that relate to transportation and loose sow housing and some emerging issues. “As we see African Swine Fever move across Europe and move from farm to farm in China the question is what can we do from a health perspective to improve biosecurity,” he said. “An agriscience project dedicated to health is also now under development.” He explained that Swine Innovation Porc (SIP) is the brand name given to the Federal research cluster for pork, pork products and swine production. A federation of all the provincial pork organizations from the significant pork-producing provinces contribute funds, two and a half cents per market hog, into a pool to leverage funding from the Federal government to work on priorities for the industry. “We have the privilege of determining those priorities, developing a research program based on what I call research pull, meaning that the industry determined the priorities rather than the re-
Manitoba Producer Wins CFGA Leadership Award The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) has named Manitoba rancher Dave Koslowsky as winner of the 2018 CFGA Leadership Award. Koslowsky and his wife Rhonda operate a 1,720-acre mixed farm outside of Killarney that includes 120 head of cattle and the pastures and forage fields necessary to support the herd. Koslowsky is the immediate past chair and a current board member of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) and a member of the Manitoba Beef Producers. He was also co-chair of the Manitoba Beef Producers annual meeting in 2017 and chaired the event in 2018. During his time on the MFGA board, Koslowsky brought forth the importance of diversity, governance and leadership in the forage industry. At the helm of MFGA, Koslowsky advanced the organization by pushing for a complete governance exercise, including a strategic plan and bylaws update. This set the foundation for MFGA to become a more relevant organization to the point now where MFGA’s board is comprised of the most diverse and well-
rounded board of forage leaders from all walks of the industry and includes eight male and seven female board members. “When I was elected to lead MFGA as chair, I took up the challenge and started on strategic planning actions, an organizational bylaws refresh and clear governance path that included succession led by Wendy Bulloch of Building Up Consultants that takes us where MFGA is today,” Koslowsky said in his acceptance speech. “I also worked on a strong collaboration process for MFGA. Whenever we met
Dave and Rhonda Koslowsky.
with our partners or government audiences, we always told them about our goals and intentions, but we also always asked about how MFGA could help accomplish their goals. We really stress the win-win for all our partners.” The CFGA presented Koslowsky with its 2018 Leadership Award at a special presentation on Thursday, November 15 during the 9th Annual CFGA Conference in Calgary. Darren Chapman, MFGA Chair, and Duncan Morrison, MFGA Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of Koslowsky.
search community,” he said. “We circulate those priorities and the research community has the opportunity of putting ideas or proposals forward. Then our producer community will take those results and implement them in rapid succession.” When asked how successful the research cluster approach is for the pork sector, Cressman said while somewhat biased, he has complimented the Federal government for developing this initiative. They contribute significant funds to this and other commodities. “It has allowed the industry to develop national priorities rather than the old approach of regional priorities. At times we’d see duplication on similar priorities across different regions of Canada,” he said. “This allows us to develop national priorities and collaborate between researchers and different institutions, leveraging their expertise in specific areas. And developing, I think, the collaboration between researchers and the idea of improving on a first name basis, knowledge of one researcher to another. Agriculture Canada researchers, swine researchers in different institutions and the ability to
mentor entry-level researchers.” Cressman again thanked the Federal government for this initiative and their continued
funding. “As a pork organization, we rely on it quite heavily and continue to look forward to the results we generate from it.”
November 30, 2018
November 30, 2018
CFIA Needs to Increase Biosecurity at All Canola, Wheat Crops Look Good for Manitoba Points of Entry to Stop By Elmer Heinrichs 2.8 million acres of wheat, Pulse crop specialist Den- well having dry field condiAs harvest operations 3.25 million acres were nis Lange has projected an tions to support field equipwound down, Manitoba ag- planted to canola. A third average yield of around 34 ment. the Spread of AFS riculture released a summary crop long growing in popu- bushels per acre for Maniof Manitoba crops this year. It was a difficult year but the overall crop was good. By and large, cereal crops and most vegetables fared well despite a near-drought summer followed by a cold, wet fall. And November found some farmers still out combining their corn and sunflowers over snowcovered fields. Some potato growers particularly in the Portage la Prairie area, suffered major losses, and a lot of onions and carrots were never pulled from the ground. In a breakdown by crops, it showed that farmers grew more canola than spring wheat. While farmers seeded
larity tapping almost 1.9 million acres was soybeans. It was noted that spring wheat yields in central regions ranged from 40 to 90 bu/ac average. As high as 95 per cent of CWRS wheat graded No. 1, with protein at 13 to 15 per cent. Eastern area yields averaged 40 to 60 bu/ac. CNHR grades were more variable, but most graded No. 1. Across eastern regions with harvest almost done, yields and quality were both very good this year. Spring wheat yields ranged from 50 to 80 bu/ac, with good quality, and protein levels ranging up to 16 per cent. Oat yields ranged from 80 to 130 bu/ac.
toba’s soybean crop. Acreage this year was down from last year at about 1.9 million acres. The edible bean harvest is also wrapped up with average to slightly-aboveaverage yields. The central region also noted that canola yields were good, a pleasant surprise considering the various season struggles. It was the below normal precipitation that had the biggest impact on yields that varied from 25 to 60 bu/ac depending on moisture, and averaging 35 to 45 bu/ac. Spring seeding was delayed well into April due to the cold conditions but picked up rapidly and progressed
The effect of disease on crop quality was minimal this year. Given the dry growing season, crop quality was very good across the board. In its summary, it was noted that some grain corn in central areas was left to be harvested, but that harvest of all other crops was complete. Field work and fertilizer applications continued as possible. It was also noted that with the September rains it was a later harvest than last year but cereal crop yields and quality were both good this year. But due to the dry summer there appears to be a shortage of good quality feed for livestock and dairy operations.
FCC Commits to Mental Health with “Rooted in Strength” Program By Les Kletke Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is getting involved in the mental health aspect of farmer’s lives. Wade Nerbas of the FCC office in Steinbach said the organization has been always been concerned about the financial health of its clients and this is an additional step that is to help clients with all parts of their life. “Staff has had some training to recognize red flags of people who might be having serious problems in other aspects of their life,” said Nerbas. “But this is an initiative to help our customers before it gets to that stage.” He is clear that the front line staff will maintain their emphasis on financial matters and not
transform into counselors. Carla Warnyca is the Manager of Community Investment for FCC and she said that at the core of the program is a document entitled Rooted in Strength. A hard copy of the document was mailed to every farm home the week of November 23 and it is available from the corporation’s website. The company does not intend to duplicate services that are already in existence but rather make producers aware of organizations that are already in place. “It has a series of tips and tools to help individuals and it also includes the numbers of helplines that are in existence,” said Warnyca. “It is intended to make people aware of the
services that are already there and encourage them to use the series if the need them.” The Rooted in Strength program also has a preventative component that is intend to help producers recognize when a problem might be developing. “It has a dashboard component that allows accessing the situation they are in and evaluate if they are in good mental health and have a rating of green, yellow or red,” she explained. “A part of the program is to raise awareness and help people recognize a problem before it gets to serious.” At the same time FCC has committed to a 4-H Canada program that is aimed at improving the health of 4-
H members. The two year program will target mental health in the first year and is set to roll out in spring of 2019. The second year of the program will concentrate on the physical health of individuals and is intended to train the 7,700 leaders across the country with the Healthy Living Initiative for 4-H members. Wade Nerbas sees it as having positive long term effects for the community and industry of agriculture. “Anytime we can get young people to talk about these issues and being aware of the problems that can arise, it will have a positive impact long term as they move into management roles on farms and agribusiness.”
Later Harvest Affects Western Crop Quality By Elmer Heinrichs In western Canada, harvest is now mostly complete but the quality of the crop for some commodities is wellbelow last year, especially for grains, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in its November outlook. The report states that in Alberta and Saskatchewan there were concerns that a small portion of the crop may not be harvested until the spring, but favourable weather conditions would help. Averaged over all field
crops, yields are estimated to be marginally lower than last year. The production of all field crops is estimated at 93.4 million tonnes (Mt), an increase of about 0.2 per cent compared to 2017-18. For grains and oilseeds (G&O), exports are expected to increase as higher exports of wheat, excluding durum, and oilseeds more-than offset lower exports of coarse grains. However, for pulses and special crops (P&SC), exports are expected to decrease slightly.
It is expected that average prices for field crops in Canada will continue to receive strong support from a weak Canadian dollar. Total domestic use of field crops is forecast to increase due to the significant increase in the volume of peas going into the feed market. It was noted that in Manitoba, corn yields are average to below average due to the hot and dry weather experienced last summer. In some areas, there was a higher rate of abandonment due to poor
stands and/or the crop was turned into silage as forage crops had suffered. With most of the canola harvested, AAFC said Canadian exports of canola are forecast to rise by 5 per cent, to 11.5 Mt, based on strong world demand for canola. It also noted that in western Canada, the province of Manitoba is the second largest soybean producing province, at 1.9 Mt, which is a drop from the 2.2 Mt grown last year.
By Harry Siemens
With the continued spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) across hog facilities in China and now into Eastern Europe concerns are elevated. Under Secretary of Agriculture, Greg Ibach said the USDA is elevating efforts to keep this viral swine disease out of the US. The virus does not affect humans, but when pigs get it, it is nearly 100 per cent fatal and spreads easily. There is no cure or preventative vaccine. “We’ve upped our surveillance at the border in cooperation with Customs and Border Protection,” said Ibach. “With help from the USDA’s beagle brigade, specially trained dogs that can sniff out things that people are coming into the US with, should not be bringing in with them. The other day, one beagle led inspectors of the Atlanta airport right to a roasted pig’s head in the luggage of somebody coming in from Ecuador. That head could have carried the African Swine Fever virus. And so, it’s those types of screenings that we need to have in place to keep it off of North American soil.” He said that it could cause huge losses for the US pork industry. “We’re working every day to expand our ability to be able to react quickly if the virus would show up in the US,” said Ibach. International livestock consultant and veterinarian Dr. John Carr who also lectures in Australia where he lives said Poland had ASF for 5 to 10 years or more. Poland had it under some control as it’s mainly found in wild boars. “But unfortunately it has slowly spread westward and then ultimately into Germany, about 5-10 more years I think,” said Carr. When the Japanese detected the ASF virus in luggage at Hokkaido airport, he said that is great news for Japan but a wake-up call for the rest of us. “The Japanese had a heightened alert after their classical swine fever outbreak some time ago,” said Dr. Carr. “But we do need the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the CFIA to step up to the challenge and think about visitors from China more, even more dogs at the airport would help.” Back in the US, if ASF shows up that is where USDA’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Jack Shere will take the lead. “Immediately quarantine the herd. Stop movement and contact of localized animals. If there were movements from that herd, we would trace those animals out and stop the movement of those animals also, so that we can control or stop the spread of the disease as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Shere. “If widespread, we may be looking at a national stop movement for up to 72 hours to find out where the diseased animals moved and how widespread that infection could be so that we can respond without endangering the rest of the herds in the United States.” For infected facilities, there would be rapid depopulation, culling, and planning a process to dispose of the carcass and then clean and disinfect the facility to eradicate the virus noted Dr. Shere. He said that to date the preventative measures have kept ASF out of the US, but they are putting hog producers on full alert now to boost their biosecurity measures and to keep a close eye on their herds and to report immediately any unusual mortality or other problems just in case. Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network Manager Dr. Jette Christensen said that no doubt preventing ASF from entering Canada revolves around biosecurity and there are five pathways which African Swine Fever could enter Canada. “Of course, with live animals, semen and embryos, that is the highway into Canada. If we import live animals, semen or embryos infected with ASF we are almost guaranteed to get it,” said Dr. Christensen. “The other pathway is food, food scraps; swill feeding is a bad idea. Feed ingredients could either be contaminated directly with AFS because the virus is in the ingredients or it could be on bags and other equipment transporting the feed.” She said the fourth is people travelling, and fifth is with wildlife, a method that has spread African Swine Fever in Europe.
November 30, 2018
Junior Angus Showmanship Class at Ag-Ex
Jalzn Birmingham shows her heifer calf in the Angus Junior Showmanship class at Ag-Ex. She is the daughter of Shawn and Teresa Birmingham of TSN Livestock. Photo by Joan Airey.
November 30, 2018
Governments Announce Support for Four Diversification Centres The Federal and Manitoba governments will be providing $3 million in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership over five years to support four diversification centres. Manitoba’s four diversification centres, Prairies East Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Inc., Westman Agricultural Diversification Organization Inc., Parkland Crop Diversification Centre Inc. and Manitoba Horticulture Productivity Enhancement Centre Inc. are located throughout the province and operate as private-public partnerships, investing in farmer-focused applied research that creates benefits for the entire agricultural sector. Funding will be used for operating costs such as research supplies, specialized services, land rental, equipment and maintenance. “Our government is a strong supporter of innovation in the agriculture sector,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “By investing in these diversification centres, we are generating exciting new information sharing between researchers and producers that helps to drive the agriculture sector forward by giving farmers new crop management strategies and environmental best practices.” “Manitoba’s diversification centres are a trusted partner, essential in collecting and sharing information with producers and many others about agronomy, environmental stewardship, emerging opportunities and innovative solutions,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our government remains committed to this essential partnership and the many benefits stemming from crop diversification centres for producers, the economy and the province as a whole.”
November 30, 2018
Brand New Farm Fest Scheduled for Manitoba By Harry Siemens The Manitoba farming industry will have a brand new outdoor/indoor farm show in July 2019 at the Red River Exhibition grounds thanks to Doug Cramer and Kelly Turcotte of Regina. “Bringing this show to Manitoba in July of 2019 is by far the most exciting project Kelly Turcotte and I have ever worked on,” said Cramer in a recent interview. “The immediate interest in this show from the Manitoba Ag Sector is very rewarding! This show is already promising to be a huge event with local, provincial, Canadian, and International sponsorship, attendance and exhibitors.” Cramer and Turcotte own and operate Cramer Expo and Event Management where they do their trade show in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and run different events for other organizations. “Recently, we’ve taken on the challenge of developing Manitoba Farm Fest Outdoor Ag Show in Winnipeg,” he said. “Well, we’ve envisioned Farm Fest Manitoba to be a 200-exhibit outdoor farm trade show, highlighting heavy equipment, agriculture, and as far as Manitoba goes, all the way from livestock production to agriculture production and processing, and farm equipment manufacturing.” Cramer originally from Carman noted the diversity in Manitoba, of all the industries and it is a natural place to bring everybody together to talk about innovations in agriculture, new technology, Ag policy, and put it all together in a three-day show. Right now, they have about 20,000 sq ft under a tent, which will be the indoor exhibit and approximately 30,000 sq ft under a tent, called the Ag Education Centre. “We will have guest speakers talking on things like mental health and agriculture, dairy herd management, Ag policy and what’s going on with the new policies and all the hot topics of what will be 2019,” he said. “From the producer’s standpoint, we’re going to have decision-makers there, farm managers, and farm workers, that are always looking for new ideas and to see what’s happening in innovation and new equipment.” In addition to the on-site exhibits and building displays, Farm Fest Manitoba will have 110 acres of agricultural land, right next to the Red River EX to hold
The Manitoba farming industry will have a brand new outdoor/indoor farm show in July 2019 at the Red River Exhibition grounds thanks to Doug Cramer and Kelly Turcotte of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Doug Cramer and Kelley Turcotte own and operate Cramer Expo and Event Management where they do their trade show in Swift Current Saskatchewan. Here Doug Cramer presents a winning trophy at one of the events.
infield demonstrations tied into the Farm Fest Manitoba Research Farm for viewing large equipment in action. Asked why another farm show, Cramer said, “I think that we look at Manitoba as a huge area of opportunity for a farm show in an outdoor setting to run equipment and tour plots of crops grown in one area. The diversification of the agricultural sector of Manitoba, as I said earlier, whether it’s turkey production or hog production, dairy cattle, farm machinery manufacturing and of course, we’ve got vegetable growers, corn growers, potato growers, the processing industry in Manitoba is becoming a huge sector as well, and that’s not just provincial, it’s a national level. That has now become an international scene where people from all across the world are coming to Manitoba, investing money, research and putting bricks and mortar on the ground to develop the Ag sector of Manitoba further.” Cramer chose the venue as the Red River EX grounds for the simple reason of available agriculture land around Eli, and with the summers in Manitoba, they wanted to make sure that if
an inch of rain fell during the show, they would still be in business. “Our venue at the Red River EX grounds includes about 110 acres of asphalt and parking lots to utilize. We have the added benefit of having approximately 140 acres of farmland adjacent to the Red River EX grounds, so we have the best of both worlds,” he said. “If we happen to get an inch of rain, we’re back in business when the rain stops. It might not be so great in the field, but in the exhibit areas, we’ll still be fully functional.” Cramer described the relationship his company has with the Red River Exhibition. “When we looked at the big picture, we wanted to make sure that we got involved in a location that would be suitable for a large crowd. We needed to make sure we have enough hotels for our exhibitors, as well as businesses coming in from out of town,” he said. “With the infrastructure that the Red River EX grounds has, it is a perfect fit. They’re excited to be working with us, and we’re as excited to be working with them. They’ve got a long history in Manitoba agriculture, and it is a great non-profit group.”
Crucial for Hog Producers to Sign Up for Manitoba Coordinated Disease Response
By Harry Siemens While biosecurity heightens in the livestock sectors as more diseases raise their ugly heads, Jenelle Hamblin, the Manager of Swine Health Programs with Manitoba Pork said the effort to rid the province of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) continues to make progress. Hamblin told pork producers at the Manitoba Pork’s fall producer meetings in Niverville and Portage La Prairie the cleanup is coming along well. “In 2018, we confirmed 14 cases of PED all in that southeast part of Manitoba,” she said. “Currently we’re sitting at five of those sites that have reached presumptive negative status, meaning their animals and all of their animal contact sites tested and confirmed negative for the virus, except for the manure storage. We call it presumptive negative because the manure may still have live virus present. There’s five that have reached the transitional status so they’ve done the cleanup and they’re currently in the process of doing their testing to achieve that presumptive negative status, which is excellent.” Hamblin said four of the sites remain in that positive status, those of that broke later in the year, in September are still working their way through the cleanup process. “I think we’re doing well regarding our elimination goals for 2018,” she said. “For 2017, we have 76 of the sites that have reached presumptive negative status. The four outstanding sites are that we
had 80 sites infected in 2017; they are looking for clearance to presumptive negative hopefully by the end of the year. It will be nice to close the book on 2017.” Hamblin said the fact that the number of new cases dropped from 80 in 2017 to 14 in 2018 said volumes about how the sector has improved biosecurity. Hamblin also spoke about how Manitoba Pork is encouraging producers to register and take part in the Manitoba Coordinated Disease Response. “The Manitoba Coordinated Disease Response is an online information sharing platform. A confidential, online information sharing platform that is open to producers. Manitoba Pork Council hosts and administers it,” she said. “We ask producers to sign an information sharing agreement, a confidentiality agreement that allows MPC to share their disease information as it relates to PED or to PRRS, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome which we hope develops the MCDR down the line.” Hamblin said currently, and in 2017 when they created the MCDR and up until now, they are tracking the disease statuses, disease location based on maps created at MPC to show where the affected sites in each year are in the province. It is an excellent resource for producers to access current and up-to-date information as it relates to PED she explained. All producers can sign on to the MCDR. To access the system, contact MPC to sign
Jenelle Hamblin, the Manager of Swine Health Programs with Manitoba Pork said the effort to rid the province of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea continues to make progress. Photo by Harry Siemens
the confidentiality agreement. “We require the signature of both the landowner and the inventory owner which can potentially be the same person or it might be two different people,” she said. “Next we create a username, a log-in name, and password sent to the email address on the confidentiality agreement giving them full access to the system.” To date, the majority of interest in the MCDR is in the southeast part of Manitoba because that is where there have been confirmed PED cases. “We have 78 per cent participation for those producers residing in southeastern Manitoba but still have some work to do,” said Hamblin. “We’re still missing a proportion of those producers and are going to continue to reach out and get those producers signed on to the MCDR. We’re sitting at about 48 per cent participation across Manitoba. Again, a large proportion of that is in the southeast so we keep promoting the MCDR as not
only a tool for those producers in the southeastern part of the province but something everyone in Manitoba can use to understand where the disease is and the involved risks.” She said having broad participation on the MCDR gives Manitoba Pork the ability to see the disease profile for PED specifically across the province and allows them to share the information widely. “Our experiences from 2017 and in into 2018 have taught us the quicker we can get communications out there, the better. And the wider we can present them at one point in time, the better for everyone,” she said. “That way it’s a one-stop shop for disease status information for producers. So, the more people that participate, the more information is available on the site. Should we see this disease move beyond the southeast, we’re better prepared to communicate with those producers that potentially could get the disease.”
Incremental Forward Pricing May Be Called for Amid Uncertainty over African Swine Fever By Harry Siemens The threat of spreading African Swine Fever remains high on the North American radar. Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services, said the impact on the market is somewhat subdued but the issue is the largest source of uncertainty. While many are monitoring the spread of the disease in China and Europe, it is only affecting prices marginally. “I think that, regarding the deferred months, the spring and summer prices for 2019, are probably being supported by the idea that in the longer term we expect more information and the implications might be positive for North American producers,” said Fulton. “But there’s still a great deal of uncertainty. The
latest news suggests that the spread of the disease is far greater than what the Chinese officials are reporting. Officially, only 50 outbreaks as of mid-November but news of some sausage found in travellers luggage or on travelling routes both going to Japan and Taiwan testing positive for African Swine Fever suggests that the disease is already well into the production systems and spread possibly further than the 50 cases officially reported.” Fulton said given the uncertainty in China there is potential for significant improvements on forward prices. “I suggest pricing in incremental targets, possibly in the neighbourhood of an additional 10 to 20 percent of production, $10 per CKG improvement in price,” he said.
He said the latest developments on the international trade front come as good news for Canadian pork producers with the successful conclusion of the United StatesMexico Canada (USMC) trade negotiations and Canada’s ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). “We seem to have reached the tipping point a little bit concerning positive trade news, in particular with the signing of the USMCA agreement. That still hasn’t factored into markets yet,” said Fulton. “The hope is that we will get a resolution to the steel and aluminum tariffs which would see the Mexicans lift their tariff on US pork which has a material difference to market prices in
the last five months or so.” Fulton believes reduced trade tariffs are a long way off from getting any resolution with China although it is encouraging that the US administration and China continue to talk. Lastly, the signing of the CPTPP agreement is excellent news for Canadian producers, in particular into Japan said Fulton. “That will cement a matching of the advantage that the EU producers had signed in a bilateral agreement with Japan and will be a significant advantage over US producers regarding their percentage of an applied tariff.” Fulton said if nothing changes, Canadian producers will have an advantage in that market but he suspects it may be short-lived.
November 30, 2018
Author Shares Her Life Story with Conference Goers
By Joan Airey In 2016, Billi J Miller launched her first book, a four and a half year labour of love she told those attending Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference in Winkler recently. In 2018 her second book Farmwives 2 in which she interviewed farm women from British Columbia to Newfoundland. “My life growing up was very different than the permanence and deep roots that exist in the farming community that I married into in 2010. My experience of “family” meant a number of broken marriages, frequent moves and instability. As a result, I moved out at a young age and began my own life that was a blend of university, city life and travel.” said Billi J Miller. She shared with the audience that since the age of thirteen, she had a key group of girlfriends who after thirty years remain her very best friends. There are seven of them and they are the ones that know all my stories and have been there through it all. They have been her stability and her rock. She is also extremely close to her sister. Despite not having the strongest relationships with their parents they have a tight and healthy bond. “My husband I only met at age of thirty-four, so both he and I were already established in our careers. He as a farmer and I, with the provincial government in Edmonton, Alberta. As our relationship progressed, it was clear that I would be required to make the move for the relationship. I happily did that in April of 2010 and became a member of the Earlie District in east-central Alberta where my husband’s family homesteaded in 1911,” she said. “As soon as I relocated, it took no time at all for me to be taken aback by the women in the community for their remarkable contributions and everything they did. I often say they are the pillars holding their communities up. They are the hearts of their farms and their families. As a writer and photographer I felt called to do something about that.” She explained that this was the pint where, “The seed for “Farmwives in Profile: 17 Women, 17 Candid Questions about their Lives, Photos and recipes was born.” “I slowly over four and half years started interviewing the women in my community. I sat at many of their kitchen tables talking to them about their lives, the hardest parts, the best parts of farm life and took photograph of them,” said Miller. “It wouldn’t be complete without straight from the farm kitchen recipes, too,” she noted. Her second labour of love she launched in January 2016. Two years later, she followed it up with Farm Wives 2 An Inspiring Look at the Lives of the New Canadian Farmwives. This book celebrates the next generations to see how younger women are carving their own paths in Canadian family farms. The women are in their twenties to fifties and are from coast to coast. She said that she wanted to interview every kind of women from every kind of farm for the second book. They are as varied as the beautiful parts of the country they hail from. For further information about Billi J Miller visit her Facebook page billijmillerbooks or visit her website farmwivesbook.com. Those attending Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference I’m sure were inspired by her accomplishments.
Billi J Miller with her two recently published books about farm Photo by Joan Airey women of all ages.
November 30, 2018
November 30, 2018
Do Not Freeze Performance in Baby Dairy Calves
Dairy calf in hutch housing.
Whenever, I see dairy calves raised outside in the winter, it often reminds me of a particular producer that I met several years ago. At the time, he told me that years before, he raised pre-weaned dairy calves in the most dismal ways. He used to house about 15 of them outside in several lean-tos, which was a sheet of old plywood covering an enclosure of page-wire. He freely admitted he was so cheap that on a few occasions, he bedded calves with ice-encrusted straw taken from rained-on round bales. Then, he fed each calf, twice-a-day a bucket
of whole milk (no extra water) and calf starter misered out at 1/4 – 1/2 lb. per head, no matter how large the calf was. As a result, he said that on any given winter day; all the calves were gaunt, frequently had scours and were covered with ringworm. On one cold winter night of -28 °C, five baby calves froze to death. From that day forward, he replaced all the lean-twos by literally building a straw-house, which group-housed all baby calves and then implemented a significantly improved baby calf feeding program. His story goes - near a row of trees he constructed a wooden frame using pine lumber and lined it with straw bales (with a straw roof). The floor still had some snow on it, but clean and dry straw was put down in which the calves could make nests. The producer then implemented a third pail feeding of whole milk to all the calves with the larger calves getting a litre more milk to drink. He also provided a textured calf starter on a free-choice basis, fed on a home-made belt feeder. By the time, the snow
disappeared, he said, “No more calves died, their ringworm/sores/scours faded and their weight-gains visibly rebounded.” I must admit that the story of the straw-house was impressive, but it’s also a good winter testimonial that a good milk-feeding program is still crucial, especially when the amount of whole milk/milk replacer needs to be increased, so enough dietary energy is provided to help baby calves stay warm and keep on growing as winter temperatures fall. A general rule of thumb to that I recommend is for preweaned dairy calves less than 3 weeks of age – increase the amount of whole milk or milk replacer (20% protein/20% fat, reconstituted at 125 - 130 grams/litre of solution) by 2% for every degree °C that the outside temperature (including windchill) falls below 20 °C for dairy calves from birth - 3 weeks of age and for calves older than 3 weeks old, it’s 10 °C. Consequently, many producers have told me that they frequently have difficulty getting these extra amounts
of milk/milk replacer into baby calves, even if they provide a third feeding. That’s because some calves simply don’t have the gut capacity for more milk or simply are not hungry. Some producers have also found that by mixing up milk replacer at higher concentrations (re: 150 – 160 g/litre solution) caused nutritional white scours. The good news is that cold stimulate calf starter (energy) intake, even when two-week old calves just nibbling at it. This initiation helps them by the time that they are a couple weeks older, when they are likely eating up to 500 – 600 grams per day, which doubles by weaning time. Take note – the key to feeding high quality textured calf starter is make sure that it is fresh and low in molasses (less than 2%) in order to avoid it being fed in chunks. On the non-nutritional side, it also warrants that calves are fed in a comfortable environment. This means that the more common plastic hutches (than straw-houses) should be in good condition
It Took Six Decades But Now He has One By Les Kletke Jake Fehr said he waited 60 years to get his John Deere A but it was worth the wait, and he still enjoys driving it. “I remember when our neighbour brought home his brand new John Deer A,” said Fehr. “With the sun shining on it when he drove in the yard I could not believe it. I said if I could ever afford one I would have one.” It took him 6 decades but he did get his Model A. Fehr said that it was not only the shine on that neighbour’s new tractor it was on rubber tires. “There were still some people working with horses,” he said. “Though most of the farms had an older tractor, all were on steel.” Fehr left his native Mexico in 1972 immigrating to Manitoba and brought his desire of owning a Model A. When he arrived in Manitoba he worked on a hog operation at Plum Coulee until he could
afford his own barn south of Morden. He said he had no real need for the tractor but still wanted one so 4 years ago he saw a listing in a western Manitoba farm sale. “I went to the sale with the idea of buying the tractor,” he said. “It was in good shape but they could not keep it running. I was not too worried about that, I felt if I bought it I would get it running properly.” It did require some work on the starter and he has done some touch up work on the paint. His pain touch up included a custom look with a yellow steering wheel. “The steering wheel was a bit corroded so I wrapped it in yellow plastic tape and this makes it just a little different than the other model A’s,” said Fehr. The model A has proven to me one of the most collectable John Deere’s. It was built from 1934-52 at the
Jake Fehr with the Model A he waited 60 years to own. Photo by Les Kletke.
plant in Waterloo, Iowa. In all, over 300,000 of the tractors were built. It was John Deere’s first true row crop tractor and was intended to be direct competition to the International Harvester Farmall which was dominating the row crop market. It was listed as a 2 plow tractor and rated 18-horsepower on the drawbar and 24
on the pulley. The Model A was available in 8 configurations including a narrow front, high crop, industrial model and the orchard model that had no exhaust stack and shielded fenders. Fehr said it was the styling of the tractor that caught his attention, “It replaced the old square models and was quiet something.”
to house calves and placed in a southern exposure position for more daily sunlight and less crosswinds. Next, more clean and dry straw bedding should be provided as insulation, whereas the calves’ feet cannot be seen when they stand up. Afterwards throughout the winter, dairy calves should be cleaned out; dirty and wet straw be removed and replaced.
In summary, these are the main keys of raising preweaned dairy calves, outside during the winter, namely: provide more dietary energy and other nutrients, more bedding in a protective environment and large quantities of TLC.
November 30, 2018
Tariffs on US Hogs Affecting Canadian Producers Despite Successful Trade Agreements By Harry Siemens The US National Pork Producers Council (NPC) is welcoming the developments on the US trade front. The encouraging news comes on the heels of the US concluding negotiations aimed at modernizing trade agreements with Canada, Mexico and South Korea plus the US administration’s announcement to negotiate agreements with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom. NPC Senior Communications Director Jim Monroe said it is good news for hog producers. “Our number one priority with new free trade agreements will be the completion of an agreement with Japan because that country recently signed agreements with the European Union,” said Monroe. “It is also part of the new TPP agreement which involves 11 nations, most of them in the AsiaPacific region and, without
a free trade agreement with Japan, we risk losing market share as those agreements formed by Japan go into effect likely next year.” He said that is why the news about negotiating a new agreement with Japan is very favourable. “We ship a lot of pork to Japan today on certain terms, and if we can get improved terms through a new free trade agreement I think we’re going to be in an even stronger position and will not be at risk of losing market share where I think we would be without an agreement,” said Monroe. “One of our top priorities will be seeing the ratification of the revised US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. Most of Congress will take that up early next year, and we will be watching that as a critical vote, making sure that our members who represent the interest of 60 thousand US pork producers,
we’ll make sure that they are clear on the yes and no votes for that agreement. “We believe strongly; Congress should ratify and as soon as possible,” he said. Despite the new NAFTA tariffs on US pork that remains as an issue for US and Canadian pork producers confidence has been restored in the North American hog market resulting in a counter-seasonal rebound in live hog prices but retaliatory tariffs on US pork remain in place. Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with h@ ms Marketing Services, said those tariffs are hurting US pork exports. The most recent pork export sales figures showed that sales to China were down about 21 percent from year-ago levels and sales to Mexico down about five to six percent. Those are significant numbers. “Those are two large players regard-
ing destinations for US pork but, when you also apply the market context we see significant price discounts throughout August,” said Fulton. “We thought that would trigger greater sales volumes to those locations but I think the tariffs did put the brakes on some of those sales and as a result, the North American hog and pork prices have taken a hit because of the restrictions that have slowed the sales of US pork. Fulton said because the Canadian market tends to reference US prices, Canadian producers feel a proportionate effect. “Canadian pork processors aren’t feeling the same pinch so, if this goes on, discussions around getting a more equitable split of the value of pork produced in Canada may need to happen.”
Federal Government Announces Working Groups for Poultry, Egg and Dairy Sectors Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, has announced a new working group comprised of poultry and egg farmers and processors. While informal engagement has already begun with the poultry and egg sector, the working group brings together officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, representatives from national poultry and egg organizations and associations, as well as regional representatives. The working group will collaborate to develop strategies to fully and fairly support farmers and processors to help them adjust to the United States-Mexico-Can-
ada Agreement (USMCA). It will also discuss support to reflect the impact of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In addition to discussing impacts of the trade agreements in the short term, the working group will also chart a path forward to help the poultry and egg sectors innovate and remain an important source of jobs and economic growth for future generations. Supporting expertise to the working group may also include academic leaders, as well as industry and financial experts, as necessary. MacAulay further an-
nounced new working groups comprised of dairy farmers and processors. The structure of the working groups is informed by consultations with the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Dairy Processors Association of Canada, and is comprised of two components. The first is a working group that will collaborate to develop mitigation strategies to fully and fairly support farmers and processors to help them adjust to the short-term impacts of the United StatesMexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It will also discuss support to reflect the impact of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement
for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The second component is a separate working group that will chart a path forward to help the dairy sector innovate and remain an important source of jobs and economic growth for future generations. Supporting expertise to the working group may also include academic leaders, as well as industry and financial experts, as necessary. The Federal government will engage with provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis throughout the collaboration process.
Potato Harvest Brutal for Some Manitoba Growers
By Elmer Heinrichs Many Manitoba potato farmers, particularly in the Portage la Prairie areas and parts of western Manitoba are suffering unprecedented losses from a brutally difficult harvest this year. During its fall advisory
council meeting earlier this week, Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) members were told some 5,200 acres of potatoes were left in the ground to rot. And the province’s onion crop was decimated. Manitoba farmers plant approximately 62,000
acres of potatoes each year. Carberry and Portage la Prairie area farmers were hit the hardest, said Keystone Potato Producers Association President Chad Berry. The weather went from wet to cold and snowy and back again, he said, and it never
recovered. The harvest in the Carberry area normally begins the first week of September. Manitoba is Canada’s second-largest potato producer, behind Prince Edward Island.
November 30, 2018
Gerry Ritz’s Record Tarnishes Hall of Fame
By Ian Robson Prime Minister Harper said he “would make Canada unrecognizable.” His Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz certainly did his part to make Canadian agriculture and food unrecognizable. Minister Ritz’s destructive record speaks for itself. Does Toronto’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair really want to damage its reputation by inducting former Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz (2007 - 2015), into Canada’s Agriculture Hall of Fame? Consider just a small part of Minister Ritz’s destructive legacy. Under Mr. Ritz’s watch over 15% of farmers went out of business. Farmers now number a mere 193,000 and our collective debt level has ballooned to over $102 billion dollars. Weighing both the costs and benefits is fundamental to successful farming and public policy, but Minister Ritz failed to do this during his tenure. He is responsible for dismantling the farmer-directed Canadian Wheat Board single desk marketing agency. He must have known the CWB had strong support since he refused to give farmers a vote. He ignored hard facts and the history of how well the CWB served farmers and Canada as whole. Destroying the CWB continues to cost farmers billions of dollars every year. Minister Ritz then took the many hard assets of the Canadian Wheat Board including thousands of grain cars, office buildings, grain ships, and a substantial amount of cash and transferred them all to a joint venture between the Government of Saudi Arabia and the giant multinational Bunge under so-far secret terms. All of those millions of dollars of assets were paid for by farmers, yet Minister Ritz still spent millions to shut down the CWB, including tax dollars. Farmers are still in court seeking restitution for their money and assets. The tax payers of Canada may never receive a proper accounting. Almost immediately after Gerry Ritz killed the CWB, our premium customers started to complain of quality and delivery problems. Prairie wheat, which once consistently traded at a premium to US wheat now, sells for much less. Lower grain prices and poor relations with enduse buyers have become the norm because private elevator companies cannot match the CWB’s marketing sophistication. Since 2012, farmers have lost an increasing share of our grain’s value to the elevator companies. The companies are using this extra money to pay for mergers and the overbuilding of handling facilities. Thanks to Minister Ritz the
Port of Churchill and the rail line serving it was rendered uneconomic and Ottawa is now spending tax dollars to pick up the pieces. Gerry Ritz is also responsible for bringing in UPOV ’91 Intellectual Property Rights legislation, which increased the price of seed and laid the groundwork to allow multinational seed companies to charge royalties on our harvested crops. Ritz accelerated the previous government’s cuts to crop research stations and plant breeding, turning them and the rights to public research results over to agribusiness. These actions shift yet more costs onto already cash-pressed farmers. Input suppliers and commodity buyers were the winners under Minister Ritz’s agenda, while farmer numbers and their economic viability went down. How is this good for the future? Under Gerry Ritz’s watch Canada’s meat inspection regulations were weakened, leading to 22 deaths from listeria poisoning. Ritz did not take this tragic event seriously, instead he made fun of the situation, joking about the deaths and even degrading public dialogue by suggesting he wished the PEI resident who died was Liberal MP Wayne Easter. Minister Ritz attacked farmer livelihoods and hampered Canada’s ability to fight climate change when he cut the PFRA Community Pastures program in spite of its decades-long success in soil research, providing shelterbelt trees, water management knowledge, and natural grasslands preservation. Let’s not forget that Minister Ritz changed the Ag Stability and Ag Invest farm safety net programs making them much less useful to farmers. The major concessions he made in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement demonstrate he had little respect or understanding of how our supply management system benefits farmers, processors and consumers. Minister Ritz inherited a system where almost all the dairy, eggs, and poultry were from Canadian farmers and when he left supply management was very much weakened. The Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame does not have the prestige of a Nobel Prize, but it should seek to do much better. Perhaps a “Hall of Infamy” award would be a better fit for Gerry Ritz in recognition of the damage he has done to Canadian agriculture and Canadian farmers. Ian Robson is National Farmers Union board member and operates a mixed farm with his family at Deleau, Manitoba.
November 30, 2018
Please Make Me Up Some Beef Cow Diets Using Straw By Peter Vitti First came the drought, then the foot of snow, then a weekend of autumn and finally winter. Not exactly the best weather for harvesting good quality forage and grain for most beef cattle. Fortunately, what grain that was taken off the field, yielded a fair amount of straw. Whether, it was baled up as rounds or big square bales, cereal straw can be easily used as alternative forage to a shortage of grass hay for overwintering beef cows. That’s what a friend of mine that runs about 400red Angus crossbred cows and calves plan to do. First, he wants me to pencil-out for his herd, some beef diets using wheat and lentil straw as a forage base, add some grass hay and compliment with barley grain, a 32:16 beef supplement and some molasses. Once, he weans off the calves from these late-calvers (his calving
Changes to Western Livestock Price Insurance Program Manitoba Agriculture’s Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) would like to notify livestock producers about an upcoming change to the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP). WLPIP protects Manitoba’s cattle and hog producers against unexpected price declines by allowing them to purchase insurance policies based on a market-driven insured price and a producer-selected coverage level. Settlement prices are based directly on the Western Canadian cattle/hog markets. WLPIP coverage and policy options help manage market price volatility by providing an insurable floor price on cattle and hogs. New for the WLPIP program is the payment on account option, which will allow producers to carry WLPIP premium payments until 30 days after their policy expires, subject to interest. This will allow producers to participate in the program without having to immediately access operating capital for payment upon purchase. Since its introduction in 2014, WLPIP has insured over 191,000 Manitoba cattle and paid $3 million in indemnities against drops in the market. Price insurance policies are available year round for finished cattle, feeders and hogs. Calf policies will be available February 5 to May 30, 2019. For more info on WLPIP in Manitoba, contact a MASC office or visit masc.mb.ca.
season is in late April-May) and brings them home from pasture, he will feed this diet from end of November to about mid-March Afterwards, he plans to reduce the amount of a straw and add some fair-quality hay that he purchased. This overwintering feeding plan will work, because the best candidates for feeding straw as the main staple in winter diets are his mature early to mid-gestation beef cows, which only need to maintain a post-weaning body condition of 2.5 – 3.0 (re: 1= thin, 5 = obese). Therefore, these pregnant cows have first- and secondtrimester nutrient requirements of about 50 – 53% TDN dietary energy, 9-10% protein, 0.25% calcium, 0.20% phosphorus and a good compliment of essential trace minerals and vitamins. Consequently, cereal straws (oats, wheat and barley) con-
tains about 44 - 48% TDN energy, which is limited by a high fiber content of 75 - 85% NDF-fibre (much indigestible lignin-fiber) and 4 - 6% protein. This nutrient profile often pales to fair-quality mixed grass hay of 52 - 58% TDN (55 - 65% NDF-fibre) and 11 - 12% protein. Similar mineral-vitamin profiles exist between the two common forages. The opportunity of feeding comparably low-energy and protein straw to beef cows against finding and purchasing better quality grass hay is real enough, but limited in two major ways: 1. a big beef cow is only able to consume about 20 - 25 lbs of straw and 2. their resident rumen microbes can only digest 60 65% of that amount of straw during the day. As a result, big pregnant beef cows with some fat-cover can handle about half of their dry matter intake from straw and the other half of their diet, com-
plimented with better nutritious feeds. Consider this fall-winter overwintering gestation diet that I proposed to the above beef producer using two different types of straw and feedstuffs that he has on his farm and how it compares to other rations that I had put together for producers other years. All of these well-balanced straw-based diets are fed to 1,200 – 1,400 lb earlymid pregnant beef cows (See Chart 1 below right). There are many ways t review the current total costs of these straw-based diets. The average being about $2.25 per cow/day. This is a 50% increase over similar rations ($1.50 per cow/day) that I designed about the same time, last year. Much of this increase is due to the doubledigit % cost increase of forages, grains and protein byproducts; most likely caused by this summer drought, and followed by poor harvest
weather. Although these diets are balanced to take care of the nutrient requirements of early to mid-gestation cows, producers will likely be forced to feed more dietary energy to their cowherds as frigid winter weather eventually sets in. As a result, when I make such changes, I use a timeless rule of thumb as follows: for every 1 °C drop in temperature below 0 °C, the beef cows’ TDN energy maintenance requirements are increased by about 2%. This means that if daily windchill temperature is -10 °C, there
is an increase of about 20% in the cows’ basic dietary energy needs and thus, it might mean adding an extra 2 - 3 lbs of grain to each of the above diets. Such increased overwintering feeding costs are not lost on the above 400-beef cow producer. He told me that given this poor harvest weather that he is looking for some sprouted grain (around 45 lb/ bu.) as a substitute for $4.25 bu. barley in the rations that I build. We roughly estimate by doing so, he might save as much as $7,000 - $8,000 on 120 days of gestating cow feeding costs.
Chart 1 - straw based diet for beef cows.
CFA Pleased with Fiscal Update By Elmer Heinrichs The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) was pleased with the fall fiscal update delivered by Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently. It felt that Canada’s agricultural industry had been a focal point in the Federal government’s fall fiscal update. The CFA had submitted recommendations to the Federal government and these farm leaders were pleased that agriculture is a priority in the 2019 budget, it said in a news release. “For agriculture, I would say this is a very positive up-
date,” said Ron Bonnett, CFA President. “This fiscal update shows that the Federal government is taking the right steps to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of Canada’s agricultural sector.” “This support is pivotal to achieve the target of increasing agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025, which was set out in the 2017 Federal budget,” added Bonnett. “I think that capital cost allowances will likely encourage farmers to invest and update equipment because they will help reduce the upfront costs.” He further noted that the 100 per cent deduct-
ibility on clean energy equipment will encourage industry stakeholders to invest in climate change mitigation. The fiscal update also includes a $1.1-billion investment over the next six years to expand trade opportunities for Canadian agricultural commodities. “This initiative will help with the current trade situation with the United States and recognizing how vulnerable we are with one customer,” Bonnett said. “It is critical that the government works toward getting more markets opened up for Canadian products.” In addition, the update in-
cluded some regulatory modernizations. For example, he noted that the Federal government will add competitiveness as a permanent part of regulatory mandates. The government will take swift actions about food labelling, barriers to interprovincial trade and the introduction of general aquaculture regulations. “It is very heartening to see the government listening to farmers and, more importantly, acting on what they hear,” said Bonnett. “These initiatives are an excellent step towards harnessing the potential of Canadian agriculture.”
Dairy Banks on Long Term Feed Reserves By Les Kletke Although Len Peters had a disappointing hay crop this year he will get through the winter on the feed he had stockpiled from the previous year. “This year was near disaster,” he said. “The hay crop was well below average and the corn was just as bad.” Peters milks 80 cows on his dairy near La Broquerie. “We try to have a year’s feed in reserve for a case like this,” he said. “It is like our own insurance program or having a savings account. It is easier to
have a years’ worth of feed in store than to put enough money in the bank to be able to buy a years’ worth of feed.” The practice is one that many dairy operations rely on. “Last year when hay prices were high and he had surplus there was not a lot for sale,” said Peters. “Most fellows want to have enough in storage for when they have a bad year. That is what happened this year, and fellows will go to their reserve.” A wet September went a long way to restoring soil moisture levels but he is still
cautious about looking to next year. “We have the extra feed for a year like this year, but going into next year we will not have that reserve so we want a good year next year,” he said hopefully. An above average crop would only bring him up to the point of being comfortable. “I would like to see twice the normal crop, one to feed and one to store,” he laughingly noted. He is confident that he will have enough feed but said the short crop has called for some creative thinking. “When you are short
of feed you start to thinking of different ways to make the supply last and what kinds of supplements you can use to keep the animals production up,” he said. “We have looked at what we can use for protein sources.” The situation has also called for more management of the available feed. “You look at anything you can do that reduces waste and you pay more attention to the results of your feed tests making sure the animals have the nutrients they need even with some lower quality feed.”
Strengthening Public Trust in the Agricultural Sector Ensuring Canadians have trust in the agricultural sector is key to its continued economic growth and longterm prosperity. The Government of Canada is committed to helping the sector better understand Canadians’ perceptions related to food and the food system so it can continue to meet the needs of the population
while maintaining consumer confidence. Parliamentary Secretary Jean-Claude Poissant, on behalf of Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced funding of up to $251,250 to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, to support the creation of a Public Trust Strategy. The project
is intended to help the sector meet Canadians current and future needs, by better understanding which values are most important to them regarding food. The Parliamentary Secretary also announced that up to $190,000 will be provided to the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity for implementation for digital ethno-
graphic and social methodology research to understand the priorities for Canadians related to the food system. These projects are supported under the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, a funding initiative that helps the farming sector remain competitive by piloting solutions to new and ongoing challenges.
Generous Gift to Support Swan Valley Region and Provincial Agriculture Manitoba Agriculture has established two new grant programs totalling $900,000 to support agricultural and economic development, following a generous gift from the estate of Alexander Cherban. “We are deeply touched by Mr. Cherban’s unwavering support for the agriculture industry in his community and across Manitoba,” said Agriculture Minister Ralph
Eichler. “After careful consideration, these funds will support a variety of projects focused on maintaining and growing the agriculture industry in Manitoba and building a stronger economy in the Swan Valley area.” Cherban farmed for many years in the Swan Valley region and passed away in January 2013. He directed the proceeds of his estate be given to Manitoba Agriculture.
Following his wishes to support agriculture in Manitoba, $450,000 will be placed in an endowment fund with the Community Foundation of Swan Valley, with another $450,000 being used to create the Alexander Cherban Agriculture Industry Development Program. More information on the program and the endowment fund will be released at a later date. The diversity of agriculture
in Manitoba plays an important role in sustaining its economic growth and economic stability, the minister said. Agriculture and food processing contribute 62,000 jobs to Manitoba’s economy and directly employs about 30,000 workers. An estimated one in 10 Manitoba jobs depend on direct and indirect spin-offs from agriculture, he noted.
November 30, 2018
Boost for Agricultural Biomass Products Canada’s agricultural sector is working hard to boost productivity, efficiency and income, while meeting the challenge of feeding the world sustainably. The Government of Canada is continuing to partner with farmers and agri-businesses to help them continue to protect our environment while keeping our economy strong and growing. The Federal government has announced funding of $499,433 to help Competitive Green Technologies research and develop a biomass-based alternative material that could replace traditional nylon in automobile manufacturing and other industries. The bioproducts sector ranges from biofuels and biochemicals to biobased automotive applications. Currently, the global bioplastics and biocomposites sector is coming out of its infancy and capturing the plastics market at a growth rate of 30% annually.
Insuring Your Marketing Losses Have you ever been burned by forward marketing your grain? You’ve heard the stories, you work harder than ever only to get to the end of harvest and discover that there aren’t enough bushels in your bin to fill your contract? Or the quality doesn’t match what you were contracted to provide? Or did your grain literally get burned, stopping you from fulfilling your side of the contract for marketing your grain? Rempel Insurance Brokers Ltd. is excited to offer a gross margin insurance product that protects your farm’s bottom line based on margins, rather than bushels. This product provides a limit of insurance that includes your farm’s input costs (seed, fertilizer and chemical) plus a margin amount per acre. Now you can be protected from marketing losses that can erode your farm’s margins. This seems too good to be true! How does this work? A gross margin insurance policy provides a dollar amount per acre on top of the actual input costs for your crop. If you are in a claim position at the end of the year, the calculation is based on your revenue from grain sales, which may be reduced by the amount of marketing losses that you suffer for that year’s crop. If you are in a claim position following this calculation, you will be paid the difference between your actual margin and the level of coverage that you have chosen. Growers who are purchasing gross margin coverage are using their protection to get more aggressive with marketing their grain. When your bottom line is insured properly, marketing risks are not as concerning and growers are more likely to improve their farm’s profitability. The results are continuing to pour in, farms insured properly with this private insurance option are more aggressive (and profitable) while marketing their grain, making their agronomy decisions based on what is best for the crop rather than whether the bushels per acre coverage is overspent, and finally, farmers have the peace of mind that allows them to sleep at night knowing they have protection to keep their farm operating regardless of the perils. Rempel Insurance Brokers Ltd. is proud to be able to offer this unique solution to farms across Manitoba. For details on how you can protect your farm’s bottom line with a private insurance option, please contact us. Be sure to seek advice and purchase insurance from those who understand your business. David Schmidt is an Account Executive at Rempel Insurance Brokers in Morris, MB, specializing in insuring farms and businesses across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. David is a member of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors, Winnipeg Chapter. Office 204-746-2320, Text 204-712-6618, email email@example.com or visit rempelinsurance.com.
November 30, 2018
Putting Brain Fitness on Your To-Do List
By Joan Airey Doreen Kolesar is a Brain Health and Fitness Specialist who spoke at the Manitoba
Farm Women’s Conference in Winkler recently. She stressed that a fit brain is as important as a fit body.
“Goofing off can be good for you,” said Kolesar. “We don’t learn, understand or remember a thing if it is drudg-
ery but the solution is to participate in activities that are fun. Being sedentary causes reduced stimulation of our
brain. We need to move our bodies regularly to keep our brains sharp.” Kolesar told participants that one of the best ways is to relax. “You have to relax your brain as we don’t think as clearly when we are stressed, tired and have an overactive mind. We have to find or develop your own tranquility,” she said. “Without regular stimu-
Doreen Kolesar had participants doing exercises to stimulate their brain at the Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference. Photo by Joan Airey
lation your brain becomes dull so you have to look for ways to regularly challenge it. Seek variety in what you do or find a passion for mental challenges that stimulate all your senses,” continued Kolesar. “Toxins assaulting our brain and an inadequate intake of nutrition have a negative effect on our brain. Eat purposefully foods that nourish the brain while avoiding harmful substances.” “Without regular stimulation our brain becomes dull. Look for ways to regularly challenge your brain. We all want to ward off dementia in later years if possible,” explained Kolesar. If you are curious about how your lifestyle affects your brain fitness there is a twenty question self-assessment quiz to see if your lifestyle supports brain healthy habits. Access the quiz by going to mindstage and click on the picture of the Chinese Three Wise Men. Most importantly, no matter how old you are all exercise increases your memory, your ability to think clearly and your ability to plan according to Daniel Amen, MD in Change your Brain Change Your Body.
Breaking the Circle of Roundup By Les Kletke Frank Reimer is just about ready to turn the page on 2018 and start in on the New Year. Reimer who farms at Bosisevain had what can be only called a disappointing year. “Things got off to a good start,’ he said. “Yes, we had some challenges putting the crop in but we got through that and the crop was up and growing when the water turned off. We had an incredibly dry August and we just watched the crop meteorite.” The bright spot in the cropping rotation were his early cereals. “We had some winter wheat that did very well. It was able to take advantage
of the early moisture and had enough moisture to fill,” he continued. “That was our best crop and we had some early spring wheat that matured as well.” He acknowledged that yields over the past couple years have raised the bar on expectations although his expenses have moved up as well. “We used to get excited about 80 bushel winter wheat,” said Reimer. “But now that is not much of a bumper, we need that to cover expenses and get ready to put the crop in next year.” He is ready for next year. “After the drought in August we had a wet September that made getting the later crop
off a challenge and that is always tough when you have small crop and difficult harvest conditions, but that is so often the case. You have to struggle when there is not much there.” One of the last crops he took off was soybeans, which he said was late enough. “We don’t have corn or sunflowers because of the later harvest,” he said. “This year the soybeans were late enough when it got wet in September. I also don’t like worrying about the risk of frost on those late crops.” Like so many Manitoba farmers he has been increasing his soybean acres over the past number of years.
“They have shown a pretty good return but we want to be careful with our rotation and not have it become too big a part or our acres. That happened to a lot of guys with canola a couple of years ago when it was the only crop that showed a positive return.” He said soybeans have earned their place in his rotation but will keep their share of the farm acres between a quarter and a third. “That way we can hand the rotation with cereals and not run into the disease problems or resistant weeds,” he said. “It is easy to get into the Roundup Ready cycle but we need to break the circle every once in a while.”
Planning for 2019 Crop Now By Les Kletke Art Toews would rather put 2018 behind him and get started on 2019. In fact he already has. Toews said he has already purchased much of his seed for next year and made a few commitments on marketing the crop that will be planned over the next 5 months. Toews knows that not everyone feels comfortable selling their crop before they plant. For him, it is the marketing plan that he has developed and typically he begins selling the next year crop about mid-way through the production year. “We work with
a marketing firm that helps make the decisions with us. They watch the market and we are in close contact,” he said. “But ultimately you have to work with a plan that you are comfortable with.” He said that some farmers call him a speculator. “I think they are more of a speculator sitting on a crop for a year or into the second year. I make the decisions about planting with some idea of what I can sell the crop for.” Toews is careful about how much of his crop he sells before harvest. He does not market more than his long term average yield. “This
year we could have sold more crops in July thinking that the crop looked pretty good, especially the corn, but then when the rain stopped the crop backed up. We could have easily gotten into a situation where our yields would have been less than what we had sold, but we are careful about that and how much we sell.” He farms 2,400 acres spread over a large geographical area based at Pilot Mound. “We are a bit of our own insurance with having our land spread over the larger area,” he said. “If we have a significant weather
event it typically does not hit all over our land, but on the flip side we seldom get ideal conditions on all of our land either. Though last year did come close, we had a good crop across the board.” Toews is keeping much the same rotation he has had for the past several years with just about a third of his land in oilseed, a third in corn and the remainder in cereals. “We don’t want to get to heavy in any one crop for the market conditions but primarily for the rotation as well, it would be pretty easy to up the oilseed acres but that is not a good long term strategy.”
Family Share Their Knowledge of Self-Sufficient Homestead By Joan Airey Matt and Susi Teichroeb decided they would like to live self-sufficient on a large acreage near Roseau River. They have a modern homestead where they raise their four daughters ages three to twelve and home school them. They are a rare find, a young family choosing to live a simpler family life, mortgage-free and eating mostly local foods that they have grown, hunted, fished and foraged. Because of their reduced housing and food costs, Susi is a stay-athome mom and Matt works part time. Does family life get any richer than that? “We raise our own goats for milk, chickens for meat
and eggs, pigs, and in the past, rabbits. We grow a large garden and have numerous fruit trees, so we are able to process our own fruit and vegetables,” said Matt Teichroeb. “Because of our Christian faith we wanted to lead a simple life and spend time together as a family. We have become pretty self-sufficient so we are living our dream of home schooling our children and working together as a family. Woodmore WI Security Initiative has asked us to share with the public the art of sausage making,” said Teichroeb. On Saturday December 1, Matt and Susi Teichroeb invited interested people to their homestead near Roseau River to discuss the entire
process of sausage making including preparing, deboning, grinding, mixing, stuffing, smoking and tasting. They had participants making garlic sausage to take home. Children ages 10 and
up accompanied by an adult were also welcome to participate. For furthur information on workshops, contact Janet Kroeker 204-427-3524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Matt making sausage with the help of his children. Photographs provided by Susi and Matt Teichroeb.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the staff of The AgriPost
November 30, 2018
Swine Infrastructure Development Assists Farmers Through the Application Process By Harry Siemens Now that hog barns and the industry can expand in Manitoba the Manitoba Swine Infrastructure Development Corporation (MSIDC) is proving helpful to those considering building new swine production facilities. Manitoba Pork Council (MPC) created the MSIDC to help farmers considering building a hog barn, navigate the permitting and conditional use hearing processes. MPC Chair George Matheson told those attending the fall producer meetings in November at Niverville and Portage La Prairie that there is more interest in building new barns, especially in western Manitoba. “Some of the potential hurdles include the complex permitting process and the conditional use hearing, often intimidating so we decided to assist producers further to get that concrete in the ground and the beginning of construction,” said Matheson. He said permitting can be lengthy and complex and Manitoba Pork offers financial, engineering assistance and help with the conditional use presentation. “Sometimes in some municipalities, you come across individuals who plain and simply do not like hog farming, and they will come up with any reason they can to try and stop them, so we do recommend a professional, Peter Mah, to carry the ball and make the presentation on behalf of the producer,” said Matheson. “He does it in an obvious manner that is very presentable and digestible for the municipal council.” Matheson said interest in the services provided by the corporation is enormous. “Many questions need answers and lots of information gathering and, in many cases, producers are happy to get professional help.” Manitoba Pork General Manager Andrew Dickson said if a farmer comes to them for help, they schedule services the farmer signs off. “They pay us for those services, we hire the consultants, and use the funds collected to pay the consultants,” said Dickson. He introduced two of the consultants available, Brian Yaschyshyn and Peter Mah whose job is to help the producer go through the planning procedure including the steps to take before entering into the approval process with the local municipality. If the producer wants more help especially with management plans required for sustainable development or with the permits, licenses and what is needed for the office of the Fire Commissioner it is available. Dickson said the proposals become fairly large. Every detail needs attention and proper direction. When dealing with more extensive operations for 10,000 finisher places, finding a site is not as simple as just putting a pin on a map. It takes quite a bit of effort to analyze soils and determine the availability of land for a manure application. “You have to watch setbacks for rivers and creeks, the neighbours, the distances from neighbours, from villages, and distances from towns,” he said. “Municipalities differ concerning what their planning standards are, so it takes a bit of time and effort. But if done well, it can go quite smoothly.” Dickson described one project this year, a reasonably large one where the council’s application approval meeting lasted 15 minutes and they left in less than an hour. In the past, some of those public hearings dragged on for days, and at some the RCMP were called to restore order. “We want to avoid all those bad things that used to happen 15, 20 years ago.” Another significant change is the makeup of the municipal councils. Some have no farmers on them, and some mayors or reeves have no farm background at all. “They have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to a farm. We have to be very careful that we get them on board early in the game, so they understand what we’re doing here,” said Dickson. “For some of them, it’s not an issue, while some are very keen to get these developments. Others, it’s problematic. With a bit of effort and time up front, I think we can resolve all our problems.”
November 30, 2018
Manitoba agriculture news and features