Issuu on Google+

The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

1


2

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post


The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

3

You Want Jobs? We Got Jobs. By Les Kletke The President of Manitoba’s general farm group said it is ironic that while both provincial and federal governments say that jobs are a high priority they don’t pay more attention to a sector that provides a significant number of well paying jobs. KAP held an event in late September to highlight its contribution to the provincial economy and recognize the arrival of “a new kid on the block.” “Soybean acres topped a million this year and that is signifi-

cant,” said Doug Chorney. “It is estimated that will generate over $360 million, a significant portion of the over $4 billion in cash receipts from farm supplies.” Chorney said that soybeans have become a regular part of his crop rotation, “I know what yields are for this year and we are approaching 40 bushels an acre. We had some at 35 and some higher, but we can count on 37 bushels an acre and without the cost of nitrogen that works well in the budget.” The September event also featured equipment manufactured in

Winnipeg including MacDon a company employing 1,500 people in Manitoba. “It was a good fit. The farm that hosted the event has a MacDon header on one of their combines,” said Chorney. “That is technology that goes around the world.” He went on to say that, the industry provides jobs for 62,000 Manitobans. The annual event is intended to raise the profile of agriculture in the province and last year focused on the GDP contribution of agriculture, but this year the topic chosen was jobs.

Wiens Discusses Quotas and the Role of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba By Harry Siemens David and Charles Wiens operate Skyline Dairies of Grunthal, milking 200 cows and cropping 1,800 acres of land. That would keep most people busy, but David also chairs the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) and is a Vice-President for the national body Dairy Farmers of Canada. Recently David talked about how things have changed in their supply-managed system. “Ever since the beginning of supply management things keep changing and evolving,” says Wiens. “Change is dynamic. There was a time everything was more or less provincial, including all markets for dairy farmers.” Since then, processing and retailing occurs nationally with three large companies processing 80 percent of all the milk. According to dairy industry statistics, in 1965 Canada had 1,413 dairy processing establishments, 963 more than in 2006. The three large companies that process most of the milk are Agropur, a cooperative in Quebec, Parmalat and Saputo, two private companies doing business right across the country. Wiens says, despite the three giants, many medium to small processors make up the other 20 percent. The DFM Chair explained how the allocation system works. When the processors make contact with their customers, it is no longer the case where a retailer says he needs the processor to supply certain stores. Today the processor contracts to supply the company across western Canada. “The market has evolved to where we have the western milk pool where the western Canadian dairy farmers share all the western Canadian fluid milk market,” he says. “If Saputo, for example, needs to fill a fluid milk demand, they can access it from any of the provinces and that is fine. It works well for us, too.” The industry is looking at ways they can work closer together at the national level, meaning eastern and western Canada. “We do already on the industrial side, cheese, yogurt and butter production,” Wiens said. “The more we can operate nationally, the more dynamic we become.” At the national level, the dairy industry has some great innovation programs that encourage processors to come up with a new product selected by a national committee on behalf of the Canadian Milk Supply Management committee. Any processor that comes up with a new product not available in Canada today gets the milk allocation to cover the product. Wiens says fluid milk is on demand but industrial milk is on allocation, meaning fluid milk on demand is the first priority, providing a fresh product with just-in-time service. “We will deliver that milk and that means that during a period of very strong fluid demand, the industrial plants, while still getting their allocations, there could be some delays,” he says. Manitoba has 340 dairy farmers in Manitoba, but the drop in the number of farmers has levelled off some in the last several years. Wiens says Manitoba’s new entrants program encourages new producers to start up, not an intergenerational transfer but someone not in the dairy industry today may apply for this program. “It helps producers to start from scratch, so to speak,” he says. “As part of the business plan the new producer would buy a 20 kg quota and the DFM board would grant them 20 kg’s of quota for their use and the use of another 10 kg for up to 20 years, based on a quality incentive.” That producer will do their absolute best at getting the milk quality right up there and be part of a mentoring program to enhance chances at success. The additional 10kg that producer can use for ten years is reduced by one kg per year by the DFM board. The 20 kg from the DFM board is not a saleable quota and the producer may use it for as long as they farm or when they move past 60 kg in total quota. Whatever amount of quota they go over the 60 kg limit, that portion the producer returns back to the board. If they sell the farm, or at least the dairy quota, the 20 they bought from DFM goes back to the board. “I’m quite impressed with how supportive producers are to get this program going,” says Wiens. “It comes off all the farms in the province. It is significant because Manitoba producers in total get a certain amount of quota allocation for production.” While the average dairy farm size in Manitoba is about 107 to 108 cows, 70 percent of the farmers are smaller, with many still at 50 and 60 cows per farm. Without checking the actual stats, Wiens says it’s safe to say immigrants own about one third of the dairy farms and cows in Manitoba. “However, the immigrant movement has slowed to a trickle, but [it is] not uncommon to see producers from another province come to Manitoba,” he says. “From BC, Ontario, and even Alberta. Take, for example, the Fraser Valley where land costs $70,000 to $80,000. This looks pretty attractive here. [It is] $2,000 to $3,000 an acre.”

“Both governments are saying that jobs are important,” said Chorney. “We believe that our industry provides a significant number of jobs and should be recognized for that.” While the event took place at a time when the soybean harvest was just getting under way, Chorney later joked that his friend Rob Brunel has combined 2,000 acres of soybeans at St. Rose, “If he can do that, I think it is safe to say that the crop is a part of the Manitoba landscape and here to stay.” He said the option in traits and varieties of the crop continue to expand making it even more attractive to Manitoba farmers, “I tried some new varieties this year and will try some more next year. There are a lot of options with the crop and they continue to ex- Manitoba farmers planted a record 1 million plus acres of pand.” soybeans this year and plan to plant more next year because the plants lower nitrogen cost.

Photo by Les Kletke

Tough Message From KAP By Les Kletke The president of KAP admits that the organizations wish list is a bit like “having your cake and eating it too.” Doug Chorney was on his way to a CFA meeting when he stopped to discuss the recent throne speech. He acknowledges the position of his organization is not easy for the government of the day to deal with but that is reality. “We are pleased for the market access of the new trade agreement,” he says. “We have long been asking for greater market access for our beef and pork sectors. That is what they need to survive.” “At the same time I was please to hear Steven Harper promising compensation for the dairy farmers of this country for the additional cheese that will be allowed into our country. I am concerned when I hear the president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada saying that is total unacceptable, I think compensation is the best we can hope for as negotiations move ahead.” Isn’t it somewhat inconsistent asking for market access while wanting to maintain the status quo of supply management? “It is a tough job,” says Chorney, “but that is what you get when you run for Prime Minister or Minister of Trade. Those are our positions and we need someone who can make them work, that is what negotiations are about.” Chorney continued on to say that he understands it is not a matter of bargain chips and giving away supply management in return for a favour someplace else. “That is the view put forward by those opposed to the lessening of trade barriers but my understanding is that it is not a matter of tit-for-tat at the negotiating table,” explains Chorney. “The chicken people have made progress and opened up trade but that is something that is not talked about, there are cases where the negotiations have worked.” Chorney says he was with Ag Minister Ritz in Halifax in July and there was no mention of the recent advances in trade. “Either these people are not aware or they chose not to involve us, but CFA has regular board meetings and we were not aware of the situation. I think the players involved and impacted should be consulted on the process.” He acknowledges that there is concern from supply managed sectors particularly in dairy. “I have been in contact with the financial sector and there is a significant portfolio of money loaned for quota,” he says. “You cannot expect these people to fall on the sword and have the system wiped out overnight. There needs to be some compensation if the system is changed or removed. For now, we do not expect it removed, we are working to have it maintained while other sectors see increased access.”


4

The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

Getting It Right To be successful, a farm needs many elements. While every operation is unique, some trends and common denominators for success can guide a grower in the right direction. The Conference Board of Canada, in a study released this June, titled “Seeds for Success,” has identified a number of these. The size of farm, while important, is not as big a factor as most people think. What you do with what you’ve got is far more important. The study found a great amount of profit variability across the board in farm sizes, and that good management had more to do with their chances of success. Having said that, they did find a “sweet spot” when it comes to revenue. Farms that gross between $250,000 and $499,000 are statistically the most likely to be successful. Farms outside this range, on both ends, seemed to have a more difficult time remaining profitable on a regular basis. Higher overall revenue does not always mean higher overall profitability, and long-term profitability was identified as being the most important thing for the viability of any particular enterprise. It was interesting to see the study say that “farms that operate in more open and competitive markets (such as oilseed and grain farming) have the potential to be as profitable as, and even more profitable than, those in supply managed sub sectors.” This fact runs counter to the supply management narrative we often hear. Similarly, when it comes to ownership, we have been told time and again that the family farm is going the way of the dodo bird. The data shows otherwise. Whether its big farms or small ones, the vast majority of them are family owned. Due to the unique nature of the business and its history, this is unlikely to change. Areas that require more focus, skill and attention include capital management, marketing, people management, and relationships. Should you buy more land or maybe rent some more? Maybe you should rent some of

Penners Points by Rolf Penner rolfpenner@agripost.ca

your own land out. The same goes for machinery. Do you buy or lease or, maybe you should hire more custom services to do the work? This leads to the question of how much hired help you should engage, versus doing more yourself. There is no one right answer, but successful farms figure out how to make best use of all of these options in order to maximize their overall enterprise. Another way of looking at this is to “seek optimal farming scale” as a strategy for obtaining capital efficiencies. Scale is normally thought about as just getting bigger. This is a misnomer. It can also mean being as efficient as possible at a certain size. There is an optimal size that your farm should be. If it’s too small, you can have problems, but the same can be said about being too big. You may have too much equipment for the land base that you’ve got, or it could be that you don’t have enough. Either one can be a problem for your bottom line. It’s like a good cocktail, if you don’t have the right mix of ingredients, the result is not going to be pleasant. To drive the point home, a survey of farmers showed that, while the majority of them believe it is critical to lower input costs, only 18 percent think it’s important to invest in better processes. How these inputs are used is just as important as how much they cost. You may get a great deal on fertilizer, but if you use more than you need those savings go out the window. The report tells the same story for marketing, “Some people spend all their time trying to gain 5 per cent on yield, but lose 20 percent on price, because they aren’t paying attention to the markets.” It’s a timely message, particularly timely, as the report points out, because farm incomes have not kept pace with rising asset (re: land) prices. As a result, more capital is now required to generate the same amount of profit. Nevertheless, the bottom line for a farm is still the same as it is for an automobile, the most vital car part will always be the “nut” that’s behind the wheel.

Is Farmer Ownership of the CWB... a Reality or Another Smokescreen? Dean Allen Harder

With all the smoke from Ag Minister Ritz, it is getting hard to breathe in here. Now the appointed board of Ritz’s CWB (formerly the Canadian Wheat Board) has finally made a move in this saga known as “a transition towards privatization”. They say they will give farmers a $5 stake in the “new company” for every tonne of wheat they sell through the CWB in the 2013-14 season. As a farmer, I have to say that I am captivated by the idea that perhaps I will once more be allowed a voice in the say of the state of the CWB, which I had, only two years ago when democratically farmer-elected representatives still ran the former CWB. Does this fivedollar fix mean that the Ritz appointees will finally put control back into the hands of farmers by turning it into a cooperative? After all, the Federal Minister Gerry Ritz also

“Farmers want a ‘dual market.’” – SMOKESCREEN. Removing the single desk “drives the price up”. – SMOKESCREEN. “I’ve never been allowed to attend a board meeting” of the farmer-elected directors - SMOKESCREEN. My party “respects the vote” of farmers” – SMOKESCREEN stated, “[The new CWB] could be a business corporation, a producer co-op, or a not-for-profit corporation. The business model will be for the board and farmers to decide.” On the other hand, was this another smokescreen by our Ag Minister? When you look at it, a $5 share for an entire tonne of grain gives a farmer as much control as playing ‘Roll up the Rim’ at Tim’s. Sources are saying the CWB board is only interested in giving farmers minority control of the organization while still seeking majority ‘private’ control to increase their war chest. Of course if they used their imaginations, they could find a strong amount of capital through a ‘new generation’ cooperative model where farmers take equal majority control and investor shares are kept separate. Instead, this feels like another example

of the big boys making sure the ‘farmers working together’ thing does not get out of hand. We cannot forget that this 5-person board is not a group of elected farmers, as was the case before Bill C-18; “The Bill to kill the CWB and give private companies more control of the Food Chain”, was rushed through parliament. This board is appointed by and solely accountable to the Federal Agriculture Minister, Mr. Gerry Ritz. That’s right, the same Gerry Ritz who has been orchestrating these ‘SMOKESCREENS’. The same man who said he ‘respects the vote’ of farmers but then ignored the 62 percent who wished to keep the single desk intact, as a farmercontrolled entity. So why would the CWB bring in equity shares if it isn’t moving towards a co-operative model? Some possibilities: a) They need more farmers to sign up in order

to pay the bills. b) The $17.5 billion farmer driven class action lawsuit is still going through the courts. Harper and Ritz want to blow as much smoke as they can over the reality that farmers have lost big money with the federal decapitation of the CWB. c) Partnerships with grain companies aren’t working out as planned. d) Pinup girls, ignoring the support base, advertising ploys, and football pools just aren’t attracting business. e) When the CWB buys grain at port from grain companies and then tries to sell it for a higher price across the ocean just looks bad to farmers if they don’t have any ownership in the process. f) Giving private companies ALL the earnings and assets of the CWB might be hard for the Competition Bureau to swallow all at once. At the end of the day, we’re getting a sense from Gerry Ritz and his 5

stooges that they think farmers do not have the mental capacity to be given majority or cooperative control of a grain company or, even worse, that he’s taking direction from the private grain companies and doesn’t want to ruffle those major Conservative supporters. It’s time for the Ritz appointed CWB board and the Conservatives to change face and stop offering up the CWB as a golden calf to private companies as was done in Australia. That is a recipe for failure. It hurts on-farm sustainability and it weakens long-term rural community development by handing control over to international players. Stop the smokescreens Mr. Ritz. It’s time to clear the air. Dean Harder is a grain and oilseeds farmer in Lowe Farm, Manitoba. He is the Manitoba youth advisor for the National Farmers Union.


The Agri Post

Elephants in Your Coffee About 15 years ago, I came home from a Nuffield Scholarship and told a few stories about my travels in Europe. The talk was called Elephants in your Coffee and was based on a conversation that went on around a big round table like those in every farm community. The group was composed of farmers from five countries and the boys were telling stories about how tough farming was where they lived. The conversation carried on about extremes of flood and drought and all sort of pestilence but Trevor Gifford put an end to it with his comment, “You have not seen problems till you have elephants in your coffee. That is a mess.” Trevor farmed in Zimbabwe and went on to say that the radio actually carried reports of where the herds were and which direction they were headed. Trevor’s story was a showstopper, so we called it a night and went to bed. Trevor was selected to represent his country at the Global Farmers Roundtable in Des Moines, held this past week in conjunction with World Food Day. I thought it a great opportunity to catch up with an old friend and made the journey to Iowa. We shared a few stories at a big round table as boys are apt to do, and Trevor, always a gentleman, let me go first because after his stories there is no one-up-man-ship. When he related their shaky economy and hyperinflation had taken his mother’s pension to the point it would not buy a loaf of bread every month I was shocked, and he pulled out a $50 trillion bank note and gave it to me to prove what his country had gone through. “Actually there should be another 26 zeroes on that but they discounted all the notes by 10 times 26 so the numbers would be manageable, and that to a dollar, that used to be on par with the American,” he said. We discussed running a business in a country that did not have a respected monetary unit. It was a short discussion to the conclusion it cannot be done. I asked about his farm and he told me about the day that “The thugs came and evicted him.” He and his wife had four hours to leave with what they could get in their car and the rest is gone. He has the paperwork from the highest court in the land saying he still owns the farm but the police won’t act on it, and he now lives in a city an hour away and his wife makes a living as a teacher. Trevor Gifford was the President of the country’s Coffee Growers. He spent four years as the head of the national farm organization and now works to bring some compensation to the white farmers who lost their land. Just as 15 years ago Trevor Gifford gave me an appreciation for how good things are in our country, where rule of law and a stable dollar are things we expect and are surprised when they do not occur. “Do you think anyone would be interested in my story?” he asked. “I’ve been thinking of writing a book. Would anyone want to know what we have gone through?” Yes, Trevor, we need to hear this, just to help us appreciate what we have.

October 25, 2013

5

Ritz Takes the Farmers Portfolio There appears to be much rhetoric about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), moving from Ag Minister Gerry Ritz’s department to the Ministry of Health. In a government release, titled Canadian Food Inspection Agency joins Health Portfolio, the government says its commitment remains firm to supporting Canadian families by continuing to take action to strengthen and build upon our world-class food safety system. “As a government, we are always looking for ways to improve how we regulate, share information, and communicate with Canadians when it comes to food safety,” said the release. In May 2013, Ritz unveiled the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan, a framework he said will improve Canada’s food safety system by strengthening food safety rules, ensuring a more effective inspection regime, and enhancing communication with consumers. Canada’s food safety regime is comprised of three federal authorities: Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, which report to the Minister of Health and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which reports to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Today, we are taking an additional step to further strengthen food safety for Canadians. The CFIA is now part of Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada in reporting to the Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose,” says the release. “This reorganization will strengthen Canada’s food safety system by bringing all three authorities responsible for food safety under one Minister. This will ensure clear focus, easy collaboration, and timely communication with Canadians when it comes to food safety. This change also further underscores the CFIA’s commitment to food safety as a top priority.” Further, the government says the Ag Minister, will continue his responsibilities for the CFIA’s non-food safety agricultural activities, including economic and trade issues, as well as important animal health and plant protection work. The CFIA will continue to support the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in exercising these responsibilities and will ensure a continued focus on government policies, programs, and services that will help drive the economic prosperity of Canada’s agricultural sector. The Canadian Consumers’ Association (CAC) jumped in to congratulate the Harper Government on making this transfer. “We at the CAC believe this to be a positive step for Canadian Consumers and look forward to working with Minister Ambrose,” said President Bruce Cran. Of course, the federal NDP party felt it their duty to say this is a clear indication the Prime Minister has lost confidence in one of his most senior ministers. NDP Ag Critic, Malcom Allen said the Prime Minister has clearly said with his actions that his minister is incapable of handling the job. He has literally taken away a major piece of his portfolio, which is a scathing indictment of the minister’s ability to do his job. Well, I don’t know if that is the case or not, but to me it makes some sense to move the food safety issues to Health, and leave Ritz with the non-food safety issues. I think Ritz needs a break from many of the CFIA union people and so-called inspectors. Dealing with the radicals on food safety issues is a bit like dealing with the animal welfare radicals and the radical environmental issues. You give them an inch, they take a foot, give them a foot and they take a mile, give them what they want and they take the country. Ritz, relax and focus on keeping farmers farming across this country because without them, food safety issues don’t matter. Every one of those complaining radicals representing their bailiwick are often one and the same and have no problem crossing the lines and thereby keeping them fussy.


6

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post

Measure the Benefits of W eighing Out Weighing Dairy Calf Milk Replacer Good mixing and feeding directions are found on most commercial calf milk replacer bags and they should be followed. A final batch of milk replacer properly mixed into water should be a homogenous solution, similar to the look and smell of natural whole milk, white and creamy and ready for feeding hungry calves. Whether dairy producers are mixing up a pail or batch of milk replacer for one or many calves, the correct concentration of milk powder in water is literary assured by following a single rule, which should be written (preferable in bold lettering) on all milk replacer feed label mixing instructions: Directions for use: Weigh out milk replacer that is being fed to calves on a tare weight-scale and measure out the final volume of water to be used. On a practical basis, such directions for use should be followed on the first usage of any commercial milk replacer and afterwards might be modified as such. An allotment of milk replacer powder is initially weighed out in a container or scoop and a permanent black pen marks off the correct amount of milk powder to be used in subsequent single or multiple feedings. Similarly, containers for water should clearly indicate how much added water and/or the final mixed up solution that they can hold (i.e.: 20 litre plastic pail), respectively. Subsequently, most milk replacer recommendations are based on the premise that the customer should add 125-150 grams of milk replacer powder to each final litre of warm water (38 C, 100 F) to make up a 12.5-15.0% final solution (re: the former concentration is similar to dry matter content of whole cow’s milk). For a one-calf example: weigh out a morning-feeding allotment of 150 grams (2 x 150 g) of milk replacer powder for one newborn calf, then add it to a 2 litre calf-feeding bottle. Next, add the water to fill the bottle. Once thoroughly mixed (in this case, vigorously shaking the bottle), cap it with the rubber nipple and allow the individual calf to nurse the entire mixture. Whether feeding one calf or mixing up more milk replacer into a 20-litre pail to feed several calves, producers should avoid using the plastic cups supplied in many commercial milk replacer bags. Nobody will debate the convenience and time saved by scooping out one or two cups of milk replacer powder and without weighing it. Mix the allotment into a pail of water and feed it to baby calves. However, such expedience often leads to large errors in mixing up milk replacer solution in the proper concentration. This mistake may be compounded when two or more peoples’ job is to feed pre-weaned calves on the farm because one person’s idea of a “full-cup” often differs from another person’s as well as errors in adding exactly 125-150 grams of milk powder per litre of water in the first place. In actual mixing practice, it is also best to avoid starting out with the final volume of water and adding in your pre-weighed amount of milk replacer. One might run out of room and end up with a higher dilution of milk replacer to water compared to the desired final solution of 12.5-15.0% consumed by baby calves. This common error is not particularly significant when feeding one or two calves but could compromise the daily amount of milk replacer intake of pre-weaned calves fed in larger groups. In order to avoid such common mistakes and others, an easy-to-mix procedure for mixing up milk replacer solution for more than one calf is illustrated as follows: 1. Weigh out (first time) or scoop (with measured ink-markings for subsequent times) the desired amount of milk replacer powder. 2. Fill the pail (with known volume) with about half the allotment of water. 3. Add the measured amount of milk replacer powder to the half volume of water. 4. Vigorously and thoroughly stir milk replacer powder into this half volume water allotment. 5. Add more water up to the final volume needed. 6. Again, vigorously stir to produce a homogenous white and creamy solution. Once a person has measured out the correct amount of milk replacer in step #1, a good mix should become a matter of spending a few minutes to complete steps #2-6. Regardless of the technique used in completing these mixing steps (re: whisk or paint mixer on a high-speed drill) dairy producers should always make sure that any milk replacer lumps created when the powder is added to the water are thoroughly broken down. As mentioned above, the final mixture should look like cow’s milk. Now we are ready to feed this reconstituted milk replacer to pre-weaned dairy calves as part of a well-balanced feeding program, which includes: (1) the first colostrum feeding is given within a couple of hours of birth and again at 6 hours, (2) our properly mixed-up milk replacer is fed from day 4 of life to about 6-8 weeks of age, and (3) a high quality calf starter is introduced at 2 weeks of age. Preweaned calves should always have access to clean fresh water, and once they are about 6-8 weeks of age and are consuming about a kilogram of calf starter, it is time to wean them off from milk replacer mixtures. Despite that, feeding milk replacer is only part of any such successful pre-weaned calf feeding programs; it underlies getting newborn calves off to a good start once colostrum feeding is completed and before calf starter consumption by calves takes-off. As a result, most pre-weaned dairy calves that receive a consistent and nutritious liquid-milk replacer meal, which contains a measured and thus correct amount of milk replacer powder at each morning- and night- feedings should thrive.

Farm to Fork to Facebook Conference By Angela Lovell From Farm to Fork to Facebook is the theme for the 2013 Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference to be held at the Canad Inns in Portage la Prairie November 17 - 19. Now in its 27th year this signature event for farm and rural women of all ages is a great opportunity to learn something new, expand your network of friends and farming colleagues and have a lot of fun doing both. This year’s event will explore what’s new in social media and what it can offer for the farm and a panel of successful Manitoba

women will explain how they have used social media to help promote their businesses. Attendees can even learn how to set up, write and publish a blog. Speakers include Deri Latimer who will help teach attendees how to shift their emotions and enjoy positive mental health in their everyday lives. Gerry Friesen “the recovering farmer” will share his life experiences as a farmer and counsellor and share some tips about how not to be “sleepless in Manitoba.” Kalynn Spain on a quest to know where her food is coming from is building an online directory.

The Manitoba Canola Growers will host a cooking demo and eight select-a-sessions will answer questions like how much can you afford to pay for land or how much do you need for your retirement? There’ll be tips on managing price risk on the farm, developing a human resource plan and a psychological strength training session. Registration deadline is Nov. 11. To register go to website at manitobafarmwomensconference.ca or at facebook.com/ ManitobaFarmWomensConference. A detailed program is on pages 11-13 of this AgriPost.


The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

11


12

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post


The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

13


14

October 25, 2013

Alpacas are Easy Handling on Small Acreages

By Les Kletke Dwight Wolfe operates Perimeter Alpacas at Headingly. While he appreciates these animals and how easy they are to work with, Wolfe has no illusions of turning the agricultural community on its ear with a new type of livestock. Wolfe, who was involved in the ostrich business, recognizes that there was a change of specialty livestock from hedgehogs, to ostriches and emus and a few other species in between. Industries thrived on the high priced breeding stock but had little real substance for the long term. “Alpacas are an animal that are easy to work with and I appreciate having them around the farm,” he said. “We sell some animals to people who have had horses and want something smaller now. The alpaca is a good fit.” He has had alpacas for five years and currently has 25 on his farm. He sells a few animals each year for breeding stock and shears his flock for fibre. The prime fibre from the body of the animal or blanket can fetch up to $10 per pound and the less desirable fibre from the neck or legs is discounted accordingly. Each area generates about five pounds of fibre per animal. He has his animals sheared in the spring and sells the fibre to a co-operative in the U.S. that credits him for the value of the product, which he takes in return in either wool or finished garments. At the recent Manitoba Fibre Festival in St. Norbert, Wolf was a vendor and said interest was good in the fibre. “We had lots of people going through and buying the socks or yarn,” he said. “The yarn is attractive in socks because it is warm and absorbs moisture. It is good for people with poor circulation.” He said a new crowd of knitters is also interested in the fibre, “There were a good number of younger people interested in the fibre and the fact it was produced in Manitoba.” The co-operative that he is a member of does not return his specific fibre but some do, so the knitter knows the farm that produced the product. Wolfe said the animals have

the ability to handle Manitoba winters, “They need a three sided shelter and a roof to keep the snow off, the cold does not bother them.” He does not expect a dramatic upswing in the market but sees interest continuing in the animals because of the ease of handing and how they work well on small acreages.

The Agri Post

Chabot Implements Named as 2013 Long Term Achievement Business – Rural Award Chabot Implements of Elie has been awarded the 2013 Long Term Achievement Business – Rural Award by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce celebrated the best of the business community and more than 300 guests gathered inside the Fairmont Hotel on October 17 for the awards event. The Chamber noted Chabot’s goals of providing excellent customer service and excellent career opportunities. “We have been successful because of our loyal and dedicated employees who work hard every day to make us what were are,” said Bernie Chabot. “It’s been our many loyal customers who have made it possible for us to survive and thrive all of these years.” Chabot Implements started at the Chabot Farm in St. Eustache, Manitoba by Charlie Chabot. Years later, the business was moved to Elie and passed on to his son Maurice and wife Eveline. Today, three generations later, Bernie and Gilles Chabot have expanded the business, adding three more stores in Steinbach, Portage la Prairie and Neepawa. Chabot Implements is Manitoba’s oldest Case IH dealer and currently employs 80 people at its four locations. Hylife received the award for Outstanding Large Business making this a banner year for agriculture related business.


The Agri Post

Many Good CFGB Crops “in the Bin” By Elmer Heinrichs Five combines working on the CHUM project harvest in the Plum CouleeAltona area took off 150 acres of spring wheat on October 9 according to representative Doug Dyck. It was CHUM’s only field this year. Due to a lack of elevator space, the grain went into temporary storage, and while the exact yield is not yet known, Dyck feels the yield is very close to 56 bushels per acre. “Since the price has already been established, we believe we will gross about $57,000 for the project. It has been a great year,” concluded Dyck. “This has been a wonderful [harvest]. It’s also been exciting to find a few more 30-acre donations from individuals. It seems that the wonderful crop has made it possible for people to be more generous that they had thought earlier,” said Harold Penner, Manitoba Project Co-ordinator. “Farmers still have the option to donate a load of grain, or to add the equivalent of 30 acres of a crop to

Combine on CHUM project’s wheat crop unloads grain into a grain wagon at the community harvest on October 9. Photo by Elmer Heinrichs

an existing project and increase the total number of acres dedicated to CFGB in this, our 30th anniversary year.” “So far we’re at 5,735 acres!” added Penner. “There have been three to four CFGB fields harvested almost each day. One feature at the last three har-

vests was the number of schoolchildren who came to be a part of the day. The children had done some fundraising and contributed to the projects, and were very attentive as we shared about why this crop was special, and how people would be helped through difficult times.”

October 25, 2013

15


18

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post

Bigger Crops Mean More Trash By Les Kletke “This year we might have to make 3 passes but fellows don’t mind for the crop they got this year,” said Vic Zacharias as the implement he calls a Trash Cutter makes the second pass over a cornfield. Zacharias, who operates Tormaster Manufacturing at Altona, has spent three years developing the machine that makes short work of corn stalks or any other crop residue. He insisted on perfecting the machine before commercializing it and now feels it is ready to take on the world’s crop residue. “Normally two passes in the fall and another in the spring and the land is ready for edible beans,” said Zacharias. “That is what most fellows used to follow their corn with but now there are more soybeans and corn is followed by soybeans; neither can handle a lot of trash. This year with 180 bushel corn there is more material to cut up and it takes 3 passes.” Typically, the machine makes two passes at 35-degree angles to the rows in the opposite direction. Peter Klassen of Klassen International, who is marketing the machine, said that he has had interest from Africa, Australia and Kazakhstan in the machine that fits into the vertical tillage category with two rows of offset discs set

ahead of the rolling baskets. Zacharias said finding the right material with for the blades of the baskets was the key to perfecting the machine. “We found the right steel for the blades. That machine has done 8,000 acres and the blades are sharp as new,” said Zacharias. The steel blades have a Rockwell rating of 5860 and they have enough spring to bounce back to original shape, “We twisted them 90 degrees on a five foot length and they came back to within a degree. Ordinary steel stays at 80 degrees.” Currently the Trash Cutter is manufactured in 40 ft lengths but plans are to offer it in smaller widths. The machine weighs roughly 1,000 lbs per lineal foot. The Trash Cutter is balanced to employ some of the weight of the tractor on the hitch and aid in the soil penetration. It requires a 300 plus horsepower tractor to operate effectively.

The Trash Cutter uses special steel that holds an edge but also a memory. If the blade does hit a rock it returns to it original shape.

“We will be looking at smaller machines for other markets,” said Klassen, “The African market requires a smaller machine as would the European market.” The current machine retails for just under $120,000.

The Trash Cutter is manufacture by Tormaster at Altona, and Vic Zacharias says this years stubble may take an extra pass but producers are happy to do that for the yields they received.


The Agri Post

Development Project Presentations Highly Successful Yearling presenters: (l to r) Karleigh Lewis, Destiny Sawatzky, Esther Funk, Elaine Hyde, Kaelyn Dreger, and Sara Meisner

The sixteenth annual presentations of the Manitoba 4-H Young Horse Development Project (YHDP) were held September 2 at the Westoba Agricultural Centre of Excellence, in Brandon. The project provides a venue for senior 4-H members to demonstrate their knowledge gained through the 4-H Equine Program, as well as to highlight the stock being bred and raised on Manitoba’s equine ranches.

Two-year-old presenters: (l to r): Thomas Coffey, Jenilyn Hyde, Katie Hunter, Elaine Hyde, Kassidy Petruk and Lisa Coffey

Photographs by Wilf Davis

Bison Industry Targets Exports with Increased Marketing Strategy Bison producers will benefit from federal funding for market development that will lead to new export opportunities for the bison sector. This $225,000 fund will help the Canadian Bison Association (CBA) create demand in new markets, such as Mexico and China, where they will promote Canadian bison as a unique, high-quality meat product. The CBA will also undertake industry-to-industry advocacy activities with the U.S., strengthening their trade relationship in the process and ensuring long-term prosperity for the

industry. “This investment in market development makes a big difference for a growing industry like ours,” said Mark Silzer, President of the Canadian Bison Association. “When these funds are matched by our producers and marketers, it results in an investment of almost half a million dollars over five years to grow and diversify our markets globally.” The CBA works with a membership of approximately 600 producers, who represent close to 90 percent of the bison production in Canada, to promote

bison products in the international and domestic markets. In 2012, the Canadian

bison industry generated more than $32 million in bison and live animal exports.

October 25, 2013

19

WTO Establishes COOL Compliance Panel Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast are pleased with the establishment of a World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) on September 25, in Geneva. “Following through on our commitment to stand up for Canadian livestock producers by pursuing all options available to resolve this dispute, our Government requested and obtained the establishment of a World Trade Organization compliance panel on U.S. Country of Origin Labelling,” said Ritz. “Our Government continues to aggressively lobby the U.S. Government to make a legislative change to finally put an end to mandatory Country of Origin Labelling that hurts producers on both sides of the border.” “Our Government understands the importance of global markets to the families that rely on our world-class Canadian livestock producers for their livelihood,” said Fast. “That’s why we’re standing up for producers and processors on both sides of the border by establishing a WTO compliance panel and why we continue to ask the United States to respect its international trade obligations and put an end to mandatory Country of Origin Labelling.” Canada maintains that the U.S. has failed to bring its COOL measure into conformity with its WTO obligations. It believes that the recent amendments to the COOL regulations will further hinder the ability of Canadian cattle and hog producers to freely compete in the U.S. The purpose of a WTO compliance panel is to determine whether measures found to violate WTO obligations have been brought into conformity with WTO obligations. The panel is composed of all original members of the WTO panel established in 2009 on the same issue, which will accelerate the process. If Canada prevails in the compliance proceedings, which may include an appeal to the WTO Appellate Body, Canada could seek authorization from the WTO to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports. A list of possible target products was released in a statement issued on June 7, 2013. Canada will continue to consult with stakeholders as it pursues a fair resolution of this issue through the WTO over the next 15 to 18 months. Mexico, the other complainant in the dispute, has also initiated compliance proceedings with the WTO. The COOL legislation’s expanded labelling requirements will result in increased segregation of livestock and increased costs for firms using livestock, or the meat produced from such livestock, that are born or raised outside the U.S. The COOL measure has significantly disrupted the North American supply chain, created unpredictability in the market and imposed additional costs on producers on both sides of the border. Canada continues to lobby all levels of the U.S. Government to make a legislative change in the Farm Bill to put a definitive end to mandatory COOL.


20

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post

Total Package Makes Sheep Farming Work By Les Kletke Seine River Shepherds are in the business of sheep, all aspects of it. “We could not make a living on just the lambs,” said owner Randy Eros. “We rely on the value added portion of the animal as well.” It was the value added portion of the sheep business that had Seine River Shepherds as one of the vendors at the Manitoba Fibre Festival held recently at St. Norbert Farmer’s Market. Eros is a regular vendor at the market. The fibre festival brought special attention to the province’s wool and fibre industry. Eros has 175 ewes in his flock and expects to have about 400 lambs next April, “We lamb in April and this year, that brought some challenges with the weather but, Mother Nature also gave us some timely rains and we had a good hay crop so we have lots of feed for this year.” He is candid that not everyone can expect an over 200 percent lamb crop, especially with ewes purchased from a market. He has spent years developing a cross between a Canadian breed, Rideau Arcott, and Isle de France breeds. He keeps a small nucleus flock of each breed that is used to develop the crossbred animals in his commercial flock. “We are a totally closed flock and I might buy in some rams, but we have not purchased any ewes since 1990. We raise all of our own replacements and use a pasture system so the animals are on pasture May to October.” Eros is in the sheep business full time, not cropping and brings in some grain for feed, concentrating his time on the animals and pasture management. Eros said the Fibre Festival was an additional marketing opportunity for him in addition to the regular farmers market where he markets his frozen lamb. “There were a lot of new people,” he said, “We had the regulars who have purchased our garments before but we had new people who are getting involved in spinning and knitting. It was good to see more people interested in the products and becoming aware of what is available in Manitoba. He said the manufacture of felt and garments is a year-round process for the family at Ste. Anne. His wife, Solange Dusablon, and son are involved in the operation and work on the products year round. “We could not make a living with 200 lambs in the commercial market, so we have chosen to diversify into the value added instead of just getting bigger,” said Eros.


The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

21


22

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post


The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

27


28

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post

It’s Real but Not Devastating By Les Kletke

Keeping FFarm arm Groups RRelevant elevant The greatest risk to the long run sustainability of agriculture associations is not flawed government policy or a cataclysmic event in the industry. No, the greatest threat to the longevity of associations like Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is a loss of connection and relevancy to its membership. It is not difficult to see why farm groups lose touch with their members. Both board and staff can be caught up in the day-to-day struggle with ill conceived or absent government policy. We spend a lot of time designing and re-designing government programs, industry initiatives, market development, research and the latest trends in both the electronic and traditional media. We must never forget that serving producers is our number one priority-and the reason we are busy with governments, customers, researchers and others in the industry. If you raise beef in Manitoba, MBP is your voice and your organization. If we are going to be a successful organization, we need to hear directly from our members. What are we doing right? What key policy areas might not be getting enough attention? Is the organization off track on some matters? This conversation with producers must be renewed on a regular basis if we, as an association, are to be successful in both the short term and the long term. So what are MBP’s priority areas? How have we been spending our time and efforts? We communicate and work with governments on almost a daily basis. I believe government has a role to play in ensuring the ongoing stability and viability of agriculture because it is so important to both urban and rural Manitoba. For example, governments should be there when natural disasters threaten to drive producers off the land. The 2011 flood is just one example of a case where it is in society’s best interest for government to step in to ensure that this critical industry can thrive in the future. We are still working on that issue. I also strongly support government investment in research. This is because taxpayers get a very high rate of return when government dollars are invested in agriculture research. For example, an academic report I read recently found that there were $48.3 dollars generated for every federal dollar invested in beef research. Governments also have a role to play in insurance programs like effective forage insurance or a livestock price insurance program. These two areas in particular have been a focus for MBP. Governments also have a responsibility to help Canadians secure access to international markets and to protect our industry from protectionist measures like U.S. mandatory country-of-origin labelling (COOL) or pseudo-health concerns that are only thinly veiled attempts to block trade. All levels of government have a role to play in the management of disease; bovine tuberculosis in the Riding Mountain National Park area is an example. Disaster relief, investment in research, insurance programs and ensuring access to markets are all priority areas where MBP is lobbying governments on your behalf. But ensuring the viability of beef production in Manitoba is not just governments’ job, the industry itself has key roles to play as well. Your check-off dollars go towards research, often triggering a matching investment from governments to help ensure a maximum return on your investment. Producer funds are also used in the promotion of the Canadian beef brand, both internationally as well as here at home. Canada and the U.S. are still our biggest markets. We are striving to increase the sale of Canadian beef outside of North America, but we cannot forget our best customers. How is the beef industry responding to emerging trends in the domestic market? For example, how do we answer that question “Where does my food come from?” This is why MBP, and our sister organizations across Canada, continue to develop and promote the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program. VBP allows producers to quantitatively demonstrate that they are following the best practices on their ranch. Two-thirds of Canada’s beef now comes from cattle operations that have been trained under VBP. The program is in early stages of exploring add-on modules for biosecurity, animal care, and environmental stewardship. The addition of these modules will help those producers who want a further opportunity to differentiate Canadian beef from the rest of the world. So how is MBP doing? Hearing from producers is a key reason why I always look forward to my annual trek across Manitoba to attend each of the 14 district meetings held by MBP. This direct contact with producers helps keep the whole association, including me, grounded on the issues that matter most to the people who matter most: the beef producers of Manitoba. Come out. Tell us how we are doing and where we can improve. See the meeting schedule at mbbeef.ca or call the MBP office at 1800-772-0458. Agriculture is a key driver for the Manitoba economy and large chunk of our GDP. Agriculture is also a key driver of innovation and technology innovation-developments that are often adapted by society. The industry supports thousands of jobs in our urban centres, such as Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage la Prairie. Agriculture is the backbone of our rural communities. We need to work together to ensure that this critical primary industry remains headed in the right direction.

Corn producers in Manitoba need to be aware that Goss’s Wilt is a reality and could affect their crop. J.P. Hunt told producers attending the Marc Hutlet Seeds Field Day that the disease had appeared in fields throughout Manitoba but had not become a serious problem. The disease is a problem in the southern US and has begun to appear in Manitoba recently with increased corn acres. Longer season varieties had a resistance to the disease bred into them but the smaller acreage of the crop in northern regions has meant breeding programs have lagged behind. There are some varieties with resistance suited to Manitoba production and he advises producers to be diligent in their variety selection because of the possible danger of the disease. “The disease enters the plant where there is some type of mechanical injury to the plant,” said J.P. Hunt. “We have a plot where we mechanically damage the plant and try to introduce the disease to measure the impact it has, but at this point it has not impacted the yield of Manitoba corn.” The spores of Goss’s Wilt over winter on corn stubble. If the spores can be removed or destroyed the better chances for disease reduction. If the disease hits early in the growing season it, can shrink the cob and reduce the cob size by 50 percent. He stressed that residue management is the only control measure at this time and even that is not sure fire because the spores can blow in from other fields. Several tillage machines are appearing on the market and promoting the benefit of proper trash management. It can start as early as the combine header and carry through with a treatment of vertical tillage equipment that will reduce the amount of trash on the field and speed the decay of product over the winter. The tour also demonstrated the value of a properly maintained planter by showing what gaps in planting would look like at harvest time and how great an impact

J P Hunt tells those attending a field day that there is little they can do to prevent Goss’s Wilt, but destroying corn stubble is one step. Photo by Les Kletke

they could have on yield. For not only a lack of plant stand but also where two plants could germinate too close to each other competing for nutrients so that neither plant achieve their potential. Hunt indicated that there was a good possibility of varieties being bred with resistance in the future but for now, the greatest threat to enter the plant is the mechanical damage to the plant from this disease. Growers will need to be vigilant in monitoring crops.

Increased Corn Quality and Quantity By Les Kletke The corn silage crop is set to deliver both record quality and quantity. Marcus Dueck, who spreads his time between his own dairy and Marc Hutlet Seeds, said that the crop had benefited from the heat of August and could deliver a record tonnage but also will have high grain corn content, which will improve the feed quality as well. Dueck said the height of the corn, which was over eight feet in some of the plots featured at the Hutlet Field Day, would deliver good tonnage. “And has some producers looking at fields they might harvest because they have enough feed put up.” Many times the corn crop in Manitoba goes the other way with grain corn not maturing and being relegated to silage. “This year will allow most fellows to put up all the feed they want and store a little extra,” said Dueck, who estimates that yields could reach 17-20 tonnes an acre compared to the average of 12-18 tonnes. “If the fellows are cutting silage with a high grain content it will save on their feed budget because they will not have to add as much grain to the ration,” said Dueck. “And if they are able to harvest some of their acres for grain that could be a real bonus.” Dueck said that, in recent years, management of silage corn has increased and producers have been choosing varieties that are suited to silage that produces high quality feed suited to the dairy industry. “But if they are able to let some of them mature and harvest grain corn that will be a real advantage.” He said the grain content is what separates corn from sorghum as a feed, “If it weren’t for the grain they could grow sorghum for the tonnes but this year they will get the extra grain as well.” Dueck said a crop that looked slightly below average at the end of June progressed well with the heat of early July and late August. “A couple weeks in there made a big difference and the crop came along well. It will provide guys with a bit of a cushion in their feed supply.” Corn acreage across the province continues to climb and, while the majority is intended for grain, a significant increase has come in silage acres as well. “More producers are set up to handle silage and we are seeing more custom choppers that can handle the increased acres,” said Dueck.

Marcus Dueck tells those attending the Marc Hutlet Seeds Field Day that silage corn should be above average quality and quantity this year, the additional mature kernels will help feed value. Photo by Les Kletke


The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

29

Make Use of a Bountiful Straw Crop for Over Wintering Beef Cows By Peter Vitti According to Statistics Canada, western grain farmers and just about anyone who drives across the prairies have expressed that this year’s harvest of cereal crops is phenomenal. With millions of bushels of grain being picked up by thousands of combines, tonnes of straw are being thrown out their back-ends. Whether it is baled in round or big square bales, a bountiful crop of grain straw can be easily used as an alternative and economical forage grass hay for over wintering beef cows. The best candidates for feeding straw as the main forage in winter diets are 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). These pregnant cows have respective first- and second-trimester nutrient requirements of about 50-53 percent TDN dietary energy, 9-10 percent protein, 0.25 percent calcium, 0.20 percent phosphorus and a good compliment of essential trace minerals and vitamins. Such requirements are only achievable with well-balanced straw diets until the last three months before calving or the onset of colder winter temperatures when significantly more nutrients (i.e. energy) are needed. That’s because straw’s first limiting factor to good dry matter intake by beef cows is straw’s high fibre content that quickly fills up the cows’ rumen and is slowly digested by ruminal microbes. For example, cereal straws (re: barley, wheat and oats) contain about 70-85 percent NDF-fibre (44-48 percent TDN energy) and 4-6 percent protein compared to fair quality mixed-grass hay of 55-65 percent NDF-fibre (52- TDN energy) and 11-12 percent protein. The implication of feeding such low-energy and low-protein straw to beef cows measured against finding better quality grass hay is two-fold: 1. a big beef cow is only able to consume about 25-30 lbs of straw (gut-fill), and 2. their resident rumen microbes can only digest 60-65 percent of that amount of straw per day. As a result, big pregnant beef cows with some fat-cover can handle about 50 percent of their dry matter consumption from straw and the other 50 percent of the diet should be complimented with more supplements that are nutritious. Here are samples of well-balanced straw-based diets for 1,2001,400 lb pregnant beef cows that might be fed from late October to end of December:

feedstuffs are used in a complete mid-gestation beef cow strawdiet as well as demonstrate many similarities in feeding costs. As shown above, barley is the main grain used as a source of supplemental energy for many straw-based cow winter diets. Its quality is often based upon kernel plumpness, bushel-weight and the occasional laboratory protein analysis. When barley is fed in any beef cattle diet, the common recommendation is to grind it into coarse hammered kernels to improve its digestibility. In the last few years, commercial screening-pellets and corn distillers’ grains have also been used as barley substitutes, particularly when barley prices are relatively high. In doing so, one should realize that not all grain screenings are created equal and may consist of various levels of actual grain kernels, oilseeds (such as canola), weed seeds and also cereal stems, pods, chaff and dust. Fortunately, most of these ingredients that constitute screening pellets are ground up and go through a heat treatment (weed seed viability is destroyed), before the feed is made into pellets. Corn distillers’ grains have many similar quality issues compared to grain screenings when used as a barley substitute or protein supplement in over-wintering straw-based cow diets. Failure to use this grain and grain by-products concentrate options in order to balance off the respective lower nutrient profile of straw can lead to some dire consequences, such as abomasum impaction. Severely “plugged up” cattle can die within a week without any treatment (re: dose of mineral oil). It can largely be avoided by assuring that the straw-fed beef cows are meeting their energy and protein requirements as well as have access to an adequate amount of fresh clean water at all times. Most people that have the experience of feeding cereal straw to beef cows avoid such trouble. They realize that no matter how much straw is available, it does not provide the same nutrition as grass hay. It must be supplemented with the right type and amount of other nutritious feedstuffs so all the beef cow nutrient early and mid-gestation requirements are met. Furthermore, when their cows are a few months away from a successful calving, these people already know that it is time to put their cowherd on an even higher plane of nutrition.

Record Corn Yields in Manitoba By Harry Siemens

The feeding costs ($/hd/d) of most of these straw-based rations fall slightly below $1.50 per cow per day, and some of them are slightly more costly than the predominant grass hay diet (#6). The actual feed ingredient prices of these diets may vary from farm-to-farm, but the point of this exercise is to illustrate what

The 2013 corn crop may well go down in history as, in some cases, unbelievable and in other cases, simply awesome. Talking to producers at the end of September, many wondered whether indeed the corn would totally make it before a killing frost. Speaking with producers now, it seems in many instances they report

Group Benefit Plans All business owners have Group Benefit Plans available to them. Yes, a Group Plan of “1” is a Group Plan. When talking to clients about Group Benefit Plans, the conversation often goes to questions on root canals, travel insurance and massage therapy. All are important points but not all employers want to spend much time discussing what I believe to be the most important - Disability Coverage. If you were not able to work and earn an income because of an illness or accident, what would you do? Type of dental plan will not seem so important at this point. If this happened while you were not at work, workers compensation would not pay. Employment insurance will pay but only for 15 weeks. This is assuming that you and your employees are covered by Workers Compensation and Employment Insurances. So, when the conversation gets back to disability coverage, some business owners nod cautiously saying that they would want to continue paying their employees salary even if they could not work but also are quick to point out that it is not sustainable and they would not do this for long. You really need to take care of the big picture before you deal with the other coverage. One basic question to ask is will the disability benefits pay for 2 years, 5 years or to age 65? Be sure to seek advice and purchase insurance from those who understand your business! Andy Anderson is an Associate Insurance Broker specializing in General, Life and Group Benefits for Farm, Commercial/Agri-business T: 204-746-5589 F: 866 765 3351 andya@rempelinsurance.com /rempelinsurance.com /valleyfinancial.ca.

record yields for Manitoba. Compared to 2012 the corn yields were also good to excellent but for many areas, moisture was in short supply. Ian Forrester, of Emerson, said, “My corn yield was better than average and we received about an inch of rain.” This year, if moisture was an issue, it was too much in many areas, but the frost stayed away and the heat units piled on producing yet another fantastic crop, in many cases record yields. Kevin Yuhl, of Portage la Prairie, had one field go to 140 dried and delivered while another field was going over 200 bushels an acre. In Hank Enns’ case of Altona, his corn yield in 2012 was a little higher than this year by about 20 to 30 bushels an acre due to corn borer problems and Goss’s wilt. With the arrival of the corn borer-resistant genetically modified Bt Corn, farmers did not have to spray to control corn borer. In Enns’ case, realizing Goss’s Wilt has caused problems for at least two years so it forced him to use a non-Bt corn seed variety. “The corn borer did more damage than I realized,” he said. “I didn’t spray for it because my advice was the threshold didn’t warrant spraying. I didn’t, but I should have, that cost me a little bit of yield.” While the Bt corn variety resists corn borer, he chose to

Steam Ploughing Outfit Had Muscle Case 32-110s today are probably the most recognizable steam engine between its size and cab. The 32-110 is one of the very few steam engines that came from the factory with a cab. Standard equipment also included the bunkers for fuel. 32-110s were not very common in the steam era as these engines were large, heavy and less than nimble. If this engine was stuck, you were in for a few days of digging and blocking to get the engine out. Being so powerful, the engine was best matched with big ploughs and threshing machines. As a result, more men were then needed to supply water and fuel. When

threshing, the engine could burn straw but when ploughing, straw was usually not an option so coal had to be obtained and hauled on a regular basis. For many farmers, smaller engines were more suitable. Certainly, in the Manitoba Agricultural Museum collection there are a number of 25-75 Case steam engines and only one 32-110. The bulk of the steam engines in the collection are of the 25-75 size range. A dedicated tank wagon would be needed for water as a large steam engine would need a large amount of water in a working day. Wagons would also be needed to haul coal from the nearest source, probably the nearest town on the rail line. The Museum’s Case 32-110 steam engine was purchased from the Western Development Museum in Saskatchewan in the early 1960s. However, nothing more is known of this particular engine’s history. The Museum is open year round and operates a website at ag-museum.mb.ca, which gives visitors more information on hours of operation, where to find us and other useful information.

grow a non-Bt variety resistant to Goss’s Wilt. “The Goss’s Wilt we have in our area comes here from the U.S. I’m right in the heavy pocket,” Enns said. “I chose a non-Bt variety but more resistant to Goss’s Wilt.” Enns started seeing Goss’s Wilt last year and some the previous year. He stated that there is a lot more Goss’s Wilt than people may realize. In the U.S., the industry has bred Bt corn varieties resistant to Goss’s Wilt. In Canada, the urgency was not apparent and it doesn’t pay for companies to breed those varieties here yet. Other factors affecting Enns’ yield in his 700 acres of corn was hail that came through not only once but twice and one field lacked some germination. While not a banner year, he finished his harvest and expects his average at 125 bushels an acre plus, good by Manitoba standards but not quite as good as the big yields of 160 plus in 2012.

“It is funny how nature works in a dry year like 2012 to get that kind of a yield. but the disease also stayed away in that dry year,” he said. “This year lots of rain, but the corn borer was inside the plant doing its thing.” Leonard Wiebe of Carman, who grew 110 acres of corn this year, hadn’t started his harvest when contacted on October 18, but he was looking forward to a good crop. “Moisture is anywhere from 21 to 28 percent with initial yields of 130 to 140 bushels an acre,” is what Wiebe had heard from some of his neighbours. Manitoba Agriculture, in its latest crop report for the central region, said the grain corn harvest continues, just starting for some, to as much as 65 percent complete in western areas. Yields range from 90 to 160 bushels an acre with average yields to date in the 100 to 110 range. Moisture levels range from the mid 20 percent to over 30 percent, but are declining.


30

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post

Mustard Seed Industry Gets Research Boost

Harvest in Home Stretch By Elmer Heinrichs Provincially, harvest of spring cereals is estimated at 95 percent complete, canola 85 to 90 percent complete, flax 50 to 60 percent complete, edible beans 100 percent complete, soybeans 90 percent complete, sunflowers 25 percent complete and grain corn is now 15 to 20 percent done. Crop yields in Manitoba were generally above average in 2013 largely due to timely precipitation during the growing season, moderate temperatures during flowering, and low levels of disease pressure. However, lower yields were reported in areas impacted by extreme weather events during the growing season, such as high rainfall amounts and hail. Crop quality for the majority of crop types is average to above average due to good harvest conditions. Fields harvested later in the season are seeing a decrease in quality due to weathering. The number of winter wheat acres seeded in fall of 2013 is expected to be down from 2012 due to a delayed harvest, which reduced stubble availability for seeding winter wheat into, above average yields and quality of spring wheat, and changes in Agriinsurance coverage. Fall fieldwork including tillage, post-harvest weed control and fertilizer applications of anhydrous ammonia is on going. In its final report of the season on October 14, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) also briefly summarized the year along with some average yields along with quality of various crops, including special crops across the regions. Central region winter wheat yields averaged in the 65 to 75 bushel range, protein from 10.5 to 13.5 percent, with higher proteins in the lower yielding fields. The crop graded at No. 2 CWRW or better. Most spring wheat averaged 60 to 65 bushels an acre, with a majority of the crop grading No. 2 CW or better. Quality is good to excellent for the most part. Protein levels were down from last year. Barley yields ranged from 70 to 120 bu/acre, averaging 85 bu/

acre. Oat yields ranged widely from 70 to 200 bu/acre, averaging 85 to 110 bu/acre, and most graded No. 2 CW. Canola yields were excellent, benefiting from the extended flowering period due to cooler July temperatures. Many farmers reported breaking the 50 or 60 bu/acre mark for the first time. While the crop struggled early on, highly variable yields still averaged around 40-45 bu/acre. Quality was excellent. Also in central areas, flax averaged 30-35 bu/acre and peas. When all done, averages of 40 to 50 bu/acre. Altona-based farm production advisor Dennis Lange said the soybean harvest is almost wrapped up, and it was a good year for edible beans, “Quite a few growers reported yields of 1,900 to 2,000 pounds an acre and Pintos especially have been going even higher.” It was a good edible bean harvest, yields averaged 1,900 to 2,000 lbs/acre, with some reports, as high as 3,000 lbs/acre and the quality is good, reported central regions. Soybean harvest also is almost complete, averaging 40 bu/acre. Higher yields were obtained in areas receiving timely rains and white mould had a minimal impact on yield and quality. The sunflower harvest is just starting and the crop looks good. The grain corn harvest continues and just starting for some, to as much as 65 percent complete in western Central. Yields range from 90 to 160 bu/acre with average yields to date in the 100-110 bu/acre range. Moisture levels are declining. Eastern region reports average yields as follows: winter wheat, 70 to 80 bu/acre; spring wheat, 45 to 60 bu/acre; barley, 80 to 90 bu/acre; oats 100 to 125 bu/acre, canola, 40 to 60 bu/acre; soybeans 40 to 50 bu/acre, and corn is averaging between 120 to 160 bu/acre. Average crop quality for the region is winter wheat, No. 2 CW; spring wheat No. 2 CW; barley No. 2 CW; oats No. 2 CW; canola No. 2 Canada; soybeans No. 2 Canada; and corn No. 2 CW. Disease levels in eastern areas had generally lower impact on crop quality. The exception was where hail occurred, causing plant injury and opening the way for pathogens. Overall crop quality is high. Lower protein levels were recorded in hard red wheat. There was no downgrading due to weathering as a majority of the harvest occurred in good harvest conditions. August hailstorms in some areas impacted yield and quality of cereals, canola and soybeans in those areas. Wheat and canola showed greater yield loss than quality loss from those hailstorms.

Canadian mustard seed growers will benefit from important new research with Federal Government funding to Mustard 21 Canada for research and development that will help producers increase their competitiveness and profitability. The investment of $4.9 million will enable Mustard 21 Canada Inc. to raise the bar for quality and supply in the mustard sector. Research will focus on developing new and higher yielding varieties of condiment mustard through traditional and molecular breeding applications, as well as industrial mustard for use in the emerging biofuel sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food C a n a d a (AAFC) researchers will collaborate on many of these projects, including developing condiment mustard with a higher protein and mucilage content (yellow mustard) as well as improved disease resistance. New industrial oilseed varieties will include high oil and protein content, early maturing properties and disease resistance. In addition, research will focus on improving production of industrial oilseeds for growers, specifically concentrating on rotational benefits, water use efficiency, and fertilizer and weed management. “Mustard 21 Canada is very pleased to have this renewed commitment to mustard research under the Growing Forward 2 program,” said Baine Fritzler, Chair of Mustard 21. “This will enable mustard producers and the mustard processing and handling system in Canada to maintain their position as world leaders in supplying mustard to national and international markets.” This builds on a previous investment of $4 million from the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative under Growing Forward, to develop new varieties of mustard seed and new market opportunities for farmers. Mustard 21 Canada Inc. (M21) is a non-profit corporation initiated by the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission (SMDC) and the Canadian Mustard Association (CMA).


The Agri Post

October 25, 2013

31


32

October 25, 2013

The Agri Post


AgriPost October 25 2013