July / August 2019
ENTREPRENEURS IN AGRICULTURE
Puttinâ€™ in Time
Farm family embraces hard work, reaps rewards
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Don’t be Caught Holding the Bag by Scott Shiels
A Farmer’s Viewpoint
Thanks to All the Mechanics Who Keep Us Running by Kevin Hursh Hands-on Learning by Alexis Kienlen Desiccants
Is Desiccation Part of Your 2019 Plan? by Madeleine Baerg Precision Ag
Precision farming takes over by Shannon VanRaes
TREVOR BACQUE 4
Grain Market Analysis
Puttin’ in Time By Trevor Bacque
by Shannon VanRaes Environmental Sustainability
Build It, They Will Come by Natalie Noble
Farming Your Money
Are We Being Left Out? by Paul Kuntz
Spraying in Dry and Dusty Conditions by Tom Wolf
Confirming Herbicide Resistance – It’s a Test by Tammy Jones
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DON’T BE CAUGHT HOLDING THE BAG | GRAIN MARKET ANALYSIS
Don’t be Caught Holding the Bag Last year at this time, markets were facing downward pressure with large global stocks of wheat, corn and soybeans, and crop conditions were very good nearly everywhere across North America. This year, we have large stocks of grain on farm pushing markets lower again, but growing conditions that should be bringing them back up.
Scott Shiels Scott grew up in Killarney, Man., and has been in the grain industry for more than 25 years. He has been with Grain Millers Canada for ﬁve years, doing both conventional and organic grain procurement as well as marketing for their mills. Scott lives in Abernethy, Sask., with his wife Jenn. www.grainmillers.com
Spring flooding in many of the major grain-growing regions of the U.S. Midwest and dry conditions to start the crop in the Prairies of Western Canada got things off to a slower and later start than usual, but the bigger issue surrounding the softness of our markets are trade disputes with China on canola, and Europe on peas, lentils and durum. The unfortunate result of these international trade “wars”? Lower prices on commodities at the farm gate. Producers are generally left holding the bag when export markets are threatened, with little recourse aside from holding their grain and waiting. I feel this is when a balanced rotation really comes to the farmer’s aid. Not only is rotation imperative for disease management and weed control, but keeping a “balanced portfolio” can be a real farm saver when the markets get hit from so many directions like they have this year. Keeping some of the smaller acreage crops such as oats and flax in the rotation improve your opportunities to find local markets and to keep your grain moving throughout the year. We have really noticed a big increase in food markets for oats and flax, and the prices for these commodities have been holding strong this year when the value of other crops have faltered. Part of the reason for the surge in demand for these two crops is the major health craze that seems to have most of the planet in its grasp. With flax, it is the omega-3 fatty acid levels that have made it a popular additive in whole seed, ground seed and oil forms in the food industry. Flax is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is one of two essential fatty acids your body doesn’t produce on its own. ALA is important to heart health, as it helps cholesterol from being deposited in the heart. Just one tablespoon of flax contains a good amount of protein and fibre as well, so it doesn’t take much to reap the benefits of this healthy crop. With oats, the benefits are better known, as the “Heart Healthy” claim is now commonplace on many oat products found on store shelves. The Heart Healthy claim comes from the component in oats called beta glucan. Beta glucan is a form of soluble dietary fibre linked to heart health and improving cholesterol levels. One of the big new developments in the oat industry is the recent surge in sales for “oat milk,” a new beverage made from, you guessed it, oats! Oat milk has been popular in Europe for years, but has recently been making the news in Canada and the U.S. There are production facilities being built in the U.S. to service the North American market, and according to Neilsen, oat milk sales grew by 50 per cent from 2017 to 2018. Growth in new markets like this is the key to expansion in production, and by extension, will lead to more marketing opportunities for producers, and less reliance on export markets. If this year has taught us anything, it is that we definitely need to develop more high-value domestic markets. Until next time… 7
A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT | THANKS TO ALL THE MECHANICS WHO KEEP US RUNNING
Thanks to All the Mechanics Who Keep Us Running Kevin Hursh, P.Ag. Kevin Hursh is an agricultural consultant, journalist and farmer. He has been an agricultural commentator for more than 30 years, serving as editor for Farm Credit Canada’s national bi-monthly magazine AgriSuccess, and writing regular columns for Canada’s top agricultural publications. Kevin is a well-known speaker at agricultural conferences and conventions. Kevin and his wife Marlene own and operate a grain farm near Cabri in southwestern Saskatchewan, growing a wide array of crops. Twitter: @KevinHursh1
Error messages started popping up on the seed-cart monitor. Meter one out of range. Meter three out of range. As the messages were cleared, the rates for seed and fertilizer were varying wildly. I stopped and rebooted the system and tried again. Even more error messages and then seeding stopped. I had been focused on the monitor, but when I glanced behind to the seed cart to my amazement, the battery was ablaze. The accompanying picture was taken after I got the flames largely under control and was sure that it wasn’t spreading to the wiring harness and wouldn’t burn through a hydraulic hose. The battery and alternator on this type of drill, Flexi-Coil lineage and either Case IH or New Holland, are used in conjunction with hydraulic power to run the variable rate motors for the seed and fertilizer tanks. The battery and battery case were melted, a special relay was toast and a bunch of wires and the fuse holder were toasted. The damage could have been worse, but it was a mess and not something I was confident to rewire myself. The battery cover had been fastened down with a tarp strap a couple days earlier when strong winds threatened to blow it off. Did pressing the lid tighter cause something to short out on the top of the battery? Or was the problem the alternator overcharging? Or something else entirely? The purpose of this story is to acknowledge the hard-working mechanically-minded people who serve the farming industry and keep us going. This blaze happened on the Saturday afternoon of the May long weekend. On Sunday morning, a service tech arrived with all the necessary components and after a couple hours with wiring diagrams and with advice from the dealership, he had everything fixed and running.
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A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT | THANKS TO ALL THE MECHANICS WHO KEEP US RUNNING Beyond all the parts and service people toiling for farm equipment dealerships are all the non-dealership parts and repair shops, many of them located in small communities. The small town of Cabri near where I farm has a population less than 400, but it has at least four repair shops with various specialties. I rely on all of them to keep an aging fleet of equipment operational. A couple days before the battery fire, the starter on the seeding tractor wouldn’t engage. I boosted the batteries and checked connections. All the other electrical components on the tractor were working, but the starter would just click. It wasn’t clear to me where to short the starter and solenoid with a wire to make it turn over. I was back and forth with a local mechanic and sent photos, but he ended up making a quick trip out to the farm to address the problem. Eventually the starter will need to be rebuilt, but I’m hoping to limp through the rest of seeding with it, doing the bypass trick when required. (It should be noted that shorting the starter while standing on the ground is dangerous. People can get run over if the outfit is in gear. This is certainly not recommended practice, but it’s an occasional reality.) How many motors, large and small, diesel and gasoline, do you have on your farm? How many tires need to remain inflated?
Equipment has become much more complicated and high-tech. In addition to figuring out problems on newer equipment, service techs are sometimes called upon to fix equipment that’s older than they are. How many computers and sensors? How many moving parts? Equipment has become much more complicated and high-tech. In addition to figuring out problems on newer equipment, service techs are sometimes called upon to fix equipment that’s older than they are. While the price of some repair parts seems nonsensical, in my experience repair service has become better over the years. It’s preferable not to need a service tech or a replacement part on a long holiday weekend, but if you do, there’s a much better chance of getting help than there used to be. Thanks.
Photo: You don’t expect to see the battery on your seed cart go up in flames.
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COVER STORY | PUTTIN’ IN TIME
PUTTIN’ IN TIME Farm family embraces hard work, reaps rewards By Trevor Bacque When Giles Norek thinks about where the family farm was 50 years ago compared to today, he pauses and draws a long, measured breath. The farmer from Gerald, Sask., is well aware of the value of hard work and has made a professional habit of never getting too comfortable. “As you go through the trials and tribulations of life, you have to reassess quite often, always aware of where you’re at,” says the 68-year-old. For Giles, his life has always been an epitome of toil, underscored by his Czech father, Jaroslav (Gerry) Mirko Norek. The elder Norek was born on a farm near Plunkett, Sask., in 1917. In 1935, he took a job as a hired hand in Gerald, where the family farm is still situated to this day. The farm was originally homesteaded by another Czech family who, after unsuccessfully farming in Mitchell, South Dakota, decided they may have a better go of it in Saskatchewan. Nine years into his stint as a farmhand, Gerry married Mary Glazer. As a wedding present, Gerry’s employer gifted him the worst of his six quarter sections of land. Gerry was ecstatic and knew this was a result of unrequited labour and dedication to his boss. Over the next 15 years, Gerry began to rent more land from his employer, eventually buying out the entire farm in 1959. He and Mary also had four children during that time, including Giles, born in 1951. 12
PUTTINâ€™ IN TIME | COVER STORY
Photo: From L to R: Dallas Norek, Giles Norek and Clayton Lomenda at their family farm near Gerald, Sask.Giles has farmed in the area for more than 50 years and now works with son Dallas and nephew Clayton managing more than 44,000 acres of farmland.
Photo credit: Denae Woytas
COVER STORY | PUTTIN’ IN TIME
Photo: From L to R: Dallas Norek, Giles Norek and Clayton Lomenda, pose for a photo in front of a portion of their combine fleet at the family farm near Gerald, Sask. Photo credit: Tyla Johnston Photography
“We kept ourselves loaded in debt buying as much of the land as we were renting … I never ever thought I had it made well enough to think it was ever easy, We were so close to insolvency so many times, it was a scary situation.” - Giles Norek For Giles, his earliest memories were standing in a field or near a pen, observing his father farm and manage cattle. By the time Giles was an older teen, he was eager and physically able to contribute in a meaningful way. However, there was as much agony as there were advances for Giles as there was for his father decades prior. “We thought that land was easily attainable and we wanted to farm bigger and better,” he says. “Of course, we had lots of growing pains and issues.” 14
One of those issues was expanding from 11 quarters in 1966 to 68 quarters in 1968, purchasing three, all-new IHC 915 selfpropelled combines from Rocanville for $21,500 a piece. As they left, a farmer had watched the entire transaction play out and told Gerry and Giles they were out of their minds. “I just kind of smiled and thought, ‘well, we hope we’re not,’” says Giles. Then there were the animals. Gerry’s bovine infatuation was something Giles first embraced, then tolerated and finally, by the end, loathed. “My father still wanted to maintain a 500-cow operation until the end of 1978, but at that point, I had had enough,” says Giles, who plainly states that he “took a few fists in the face” for his decision to send the cows out to pasture for good. Just like his father, he too had ideas of how an efficient farm should run. With the sole focus turning to grain farming, Giles, his father and his new brother-in-law Douglas Lomenda, who married Giles’ sister Laura, continued a rapid expansion of the farm throughout the 1970s. In addition to Douglas, his six brothers also worked on the farm in the early years. The farm was able to greatly expand, and
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COVER STORY | PUTTIN’ IN TIME many hands made light work with six additional brothers offering tremendous effort alongside Giles and Douglas at various stages. They were helped in part by better canola varieties as well as new and improved crop protection products. However, they simply couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, so they did what they knew: work. “We kept ourselves loaded in debt buying as much of the land as we were renting … I never ever thought I had it made well enough to think it was ever easy,” says Giles. “We were so close to insolvency so many times, it was a scary situation.” As the decade drew to a close, the trio had chipped away long enough and hard enough at their seven-figure debt to hit $0. They could hardly believe it. The same time they hit zero, canola hit $8 per bushel. “We grew a tremendous crop,” he says. “It was the first time we grew a good crop at a good price and sold 110 car loads of canola in one year. Fifty car loads were in storage from three previous cropping years.” However, the men’s new-found wealth also came with a lack of financial understanding since they only understood debt. They were hit with just under $1 million income tax and began to once again drown in red-inked balance sheets. The other shoe dropped once the ’80s hit, along with 18 per cent interest rates on farm loans and 24 per cent on overdraft loans. “We came out of debt with very bad management and went right back into debt which damn near sunk us in the early ’80s,” says Giles, who vowed never to quit, despite the massive setback. “I wouldn’t allow myself to fail. I couldn’t have handled the option of turning tail and quitting on something that wasn’t working. Keep adjusting until you make it work, but make it work. I’m just as stubborn as a Czech could be. I never ever thought of giving up.” Douglas’ son Clayton began farming in 1990, and three years later, Gerry was officially bought out as the farm grew to more than 10,000 acres. Gerry spent his remaining years between the farm and Czech Republic before passing away in 1999. With his death, Giles, Douglas and his son Clayton were left to their own devices. By 2000, Giles’ son Dallas and his wife Audra returned to the farm and joined the fray. Photo: The three family members of Norenda Farms in front of their storage units. The family farm has more than 2.4 million bushels of storage capacity. Photo credit: Denae Woytas
However, unlike his cousin Clayton, who has farmed full time since 16, Dallas needed to pressure test his agricultural intentions. He studied agronomy at the University of Saskatchewan before working four-and-a-half years as a grain merchant in Saskatoon.
PUTTIN’ IN TIME | COVER STORY
“I wouldn’t allow myself to fail. I couldn’t have handled the option of turning tail and quitting on something that wasn’t working. Keep adjusting until you make it work, but make it work. I’m just as stubborn as a Czech could be. I never ever thought of giving up.” - Giles Norek While he says the book work “was fine,” he learned more outside the classroom than inside. “I poured my heart into the socializing and seeing how other people farmed, what systems they had and how they evolved their farm,” says Dallas. “It’s not so much the book smarts, but the connections you make.” With Dallas back, the four joined forces and farmed dutifully together for a dozen years until 2012. That year, Douglas, one of the farm’s driving forces, passed away after a four-year battle with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. It was a difficult day for each family member in their own way. For Giles, who had been through some of the highest highs and lowest lows of his entire life with his brother-in-law, he casts his gaze away as his eyes become glassy. “He was the best partner one could ever wish for,” he says.
DIVERSIFIED FARM With Dallas and Clayton young and brimming with ideas, they were excited to take the farm to the next level just like their fathers. The farm employed too many good people who simply weren’t being given full-time hours, so, after thinking long and hard, Norenda Construction began in 2007.
“We had to create another company whereby we could provide meaningful work and full-time employment for several key players in our operation,” says Giles. “We couldn’t have them in at a part-time capacity farming. Because it’s so erratic with the way you deliver grain and move fertilizer … it’s go like hell, then, in two weeks, there’s nothing happening.” Their 35 full-time workers spread their responsibilities between typical farm activities half the year and perform a host of activities under the Norenda Construction banner the rest of the time. The family established gravel pits and supplied rural municipalities, SaskTel, SaskEnergy and private farms for projects. They’ve cleaned up derailments, custom hauled commodities, installed rig matting, custom snowplow, gravel stemming seismic holes and a host of other jobs. Their 10 super-Bs and 10 delivery trucks keep operations running seven days a week. Today, they’ve settled into a preferred niche of being a subcontractor to contractors, not holding all the risk and capital costs, yet still providing service and expertise. “We’re not bidding against people, we’re just supporting people,” says Dallas. “As we back away from the bidding, people will essentially embrace you a little more, knowing that … we’re getting asked to help on jobs rather than bidding on the jobs themselves.”
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COVER STORY | PUTTIN’ IN TIME In addition to having the construction side sorted out under Dallas’ control, the rest of the Norenda Farms brand is carved up neatly, too. Giles manages all land purchases and renting and equipment trading, while Clayton is the farm manager, making all agronomic decisions and plans for what will be grown. All the marketing decisions are also done as a team. However, they’re all quick to deflect credit away from themselves and onto the hands and hearts that help Norenda Farms beat each day. “It’s not three men running the show,” says Dallas. “We have amazing men who take leadership and know what has to be done. They just amaze us every day with their work ethic. If you find the right people, you can do anything.”
CONTINUED FARM GROWTH AND TRANSITION With the unwritten philosophy of never stop working and don’t get too comfortable with what you have, the farm has continued rapid expansion. A recent purchase and rental of more than 50 quarters in 2014 has made the farm’s footprint more than 44,000 acres, according to Giles. Between 10,00011,000 of those acres are left as natural bush land, wetland and valley land and acres for wildlife. “I thought that we would have worked hard and made a living, but I never envisioned or believed we would have owned more than a township and rented almost as much as a township,” he says. Another development in recent years has been the industry trend of greater on-farm storage capacity. Norenda Farms is no different. The farm has approximately four million bushels of storage and they have been a custom store for Louis Dreyfus Commodities, as well. “It gave us a little bit of profit out of our bins rather than just
grain storage,” says Giles. “It was the ability to make an investment into the storage.” Part of the bin storage includes eight 300,000-bushel Westeel bins from Wall Grain. All bins have full aeration, integrate into a leg system with drag elevators on top and a large central leg. Everything is automated and self-unloading while all bins are outfitted with individual augers and are temperature and moisture controlled. The farm setup was initially Norek–Lomenda at 50-50, and today the agreement is still half Norek shareholders and half Lomenda shareholders. Just like the farm name, the first four letters are from the name Norek and the final four letters are from Lomenda, with the ‘e’ overlapping both. With Giles and his wife Carol spending more time in Arizona throughout the winter, there is less responsibility, but he is still as involved, just with different aspects of the farm. Dallas and Audra have four children and Clayton and his wife Kristin have three children, with many demonstrating an active interest in the farm. “I’m open to any amount of the grandchildren taking an active role in the farming, girls and boys,” says Giles. “I have no doubt the farm will flow into the fourth generation.” For Giles, 51 years into farming full time, he can still hear the words of wisdom from his regimented father, Gerry, saying, “If we rent lots of lands, and work hard, there will be lots for everybody.” It’s true, Giles believes, but he’s still not ready to hang up his hat, despite logging more than 900 hours in the tractor last year. “I’m not pulling wrenches and changing cultivator shovels … but I haven’t even thought of retiring,” he says.
Photo: Dallas Norek, left, and Clayton Lomenda have many roles around the farm, including mechanic, as seen here during spring seeding. Photo credit: Denae Woytas
OBSOLETE COLLECTION CAMPAIGN FALL 2019
BC – PEACE RIVER REGION · NORTHERN ALBERTA · MANITOBA
Got unwanted pesticides or livestock medications?
Farmers: safely dispose of unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides and equine medications – no charge!
Cleanfarms is holding collection events for these materials in these three regions of BC and the Prairies this fall. Times and locations will be announced on the Cleanfarms website and through your local ag-retailer this summer. Watch for details at Cleanfarms.ca – choose ‘what to recycle where’. WHAT’S IN •
Unwanted or “obsolete” agricultural pesticides (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label).
Livestock and equine medications that are used by primary producers in the care of animals (identified with a DIN number, Ser. Number or Pest Control Product number on the label).
WHAT’S OUT •
Fertilizer, diluted solution, large quantities of unopened product, and treated seed.
Needles/sharps, medicated feed, premises disinfectants/sanitizers, veterinary clinic waste and medications, ear tags, and aerosols
Any other household or farm hazardous waste.
For more information: 1-877-622-4460
AGSMART | HANDS-ON LEARNING
Hands-on Learning Olds ag show promises to educate, entertain farmers
By Alexis Kienlen Above: Cervus Equipment will be at AgSmart and will host a session on its harvest mobile platform. Photo credit: Cervus Equipment
AgSmart, a new agricultural show starting this summer, will embrace the connection between agriculture and technology. The unique farm show celebrates its inaugural event Aug. 13-14, 2019, at Olds College. AgSmart is a partnership between Olds College and Agri-Trade, and the new show, which has been in the works for a year, is poised to become an annual event. “Research and advice from our industry advisory committee indicated an educationally-focused event would best serve the industry,” says Dave Fiddler, show manager for Agri-Trade. “Farmers have been capturing data for a long time. Many of them, because they don’t have enough time or enough resources, they’re not making efficient use of the data.” It is sometimes difficult for farmers to know the best way to use the data they’re capturing, he adds. “Technology is changing so rapidly that you have to be continuously on top of it and learning and adapting and finding out how to make it better and better,” says Fiddler. AgSmart offers a chance for farmers to attack that knowledge gap. The event will feature speakers, and showcase technology and equipment for both livestock and cropping operations. Exhibitors will introduce farmers to the latest technology that allows them to capture, utilize and profit from data. Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College, says AgSmart will celebrate the college’s focus on agricultural technology and use Olds’ facilities as a learning environment for farmers as well as students. AgSmart will feature indoor lectures and outdoor exhibitions – and a wide range of technology. This will include everything from software to unmanned aerial drones used in livestock and
HANDS-ON LEARNING | AGSMART cropping operations, to autonomous farm equipment that offers the power to change how people farm. “It’s really an event that brings together a number of initiatives at Olds College and what we’re doing with our industry and our programs and also the interests of Agri-Trade in providing another way for industry to come together to see the integration of new technology and data,” says Cullum. Stacy Felkar, event co-manager of AgSmart, says there are two ways farmers can attend. There’s a full-access pass – available for $165 – that includes keynotes, educational sessions, outdoor demonstrations and exhibits. Producers who just want access to the outdoor exhibits and demonstrations can buy a pass for $20. There will be about 300 full-access passes available and about 2,500 passes per day for the outdoor exhibits and demonstrations. Concurrent sessions will take place on a wide variety of topics. Keynotes will be delivered by Rob Saik on the future of agriculture and food, and Greg Johnson, also known as the Tornado Hunter, will speak about risk and reward related to agricultural technology. Farmers will also be able to see farm technology and equipment with live field and plot demonstrations. “This is an opportunity for farmers to see things happening right in front of their eyes. There’s an opportunity for hands-on learning. There are all sorts of opportunities to engage and get into some in-depth conversations with the developers and marketers of the technology,” says Fiddler. For example, Cervus Equipment will have a harvesting demonstration. The harvest will be simulated and data will be fed back to the tent, where attendees will be able to see how such data may be managed. Other technology featured will include the Maximizer Hay dryer, which can take a large hay bale down by 25 per cent, so the hay preserves its quality for a longer time. Other technology featured in the show will be brand new, and is not even available yet, says Felkar. “Having an environment like this where people can see the technology at work is really valuable,” says Cullum. “It’s important for the industry participants who are developing the technology and want it to be used, and it’s important for the producers to see it at scale.” People who attend the event will also be able to tour Olds College’s Smart Farm, which uses equipment such as stationary soil monitors, digital weather stations, wireless grain bin sensors, and farm management software platforms to gather and store production data, enabling the college to make evidence-based profitable decisions, and demonstrate
“This is an opportunity for farmers to see things happening right in front of their eyes. There’s an opportunity for hands-on learning. There are all sorts of opportunities to engage and get into some in-depth conversations with the developers and marketers of the technology.” - Dave Fiddler this technology for visitors. “Farmers don’t always have the environment to maximize technology, and they can’t do that kind of testing, validation and demonstration on their own place. But we can,” says Cullum. “It’s great for the agriculture sector to understand the problems, see the problems being solved and see how the technology is being utilized to solve that problem; and see it being demonstrated so they can apply it,” says Cullum. Cullum, Fiddler and Felkar are all excited about the new show and its possibilities. “I see the show growing and being a celebration of Smart Farm and what it is doing [for] the betterment of agriculture,” says Fiddler. Likewise, Cullum is excited about building an environment at Olds College where learning will come to life in a unique setting all driven by data. “What I’m excited about is that we’re building an environment at Olds College that will be a real-time, large-scale demonstration of agriculture technology and the utilization of data for decision-making. That’s a concept that we’re building that will be available for our students and industry. This is one moment in the year where industry can be brought together to learn from each other and see what’s happening, but also to discuss and network amongst themselves,” says Cullum. Attendees will be able to experience a wide range of learning opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere. “The event is going to have everything in one package. It’s going to have education, entertainment and commerce. It’s a great opportunity to get out there and do business and learn and have fun,” says Fiddler. 21
AGSMART | HANDS-ON LEARNING
Above: The driving force behind behind the AgSmart tradeshow, from left to right: Rick More (Red Deer Chamber of Commerce), Bradley Williams (Westerner Park), Stacy Felkar (AgSmart), Suzanne Bielert (AgSmart), David Fiddler (Agri - Trade), Stuart Cullum (Olds College), Patrick Machacek (Olds College). Credit: Bobbi Cullum
“It’s interesting to pull it together. There is no shortage of organizations that want to be involved. It seems like it’s perfect timing.” - Stacy Felkar The show will also be family friendly, and some booths will have activities for children. The Olds campus also has a swimming pool, if anyone needs to cool off with a dip. People who choose to attend the whole event can stay at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites on campus, or in the hotel-grade campus residence. Attendees can also camp on site. On Aug. 13, there will be the Great Albertan barbecue with live entertainment. Tickets for just this social event are also available. The new farm show fits the mandates of both Olds College 22
and Agri-Trade. Agri-Trade wants to pursue learning opportunities and engage youth, and Olds has the strategic objective to focus on hands-on learning, while supporting the agricultural industry through applied learning objectives. Cullum says it will not be a typical, formulaic ag show. “It’s intended to be a show that really responds to the needs of industry. We’re working closely with our producer community and our industry engagement group to learn about what we need to deliver, but also about how we need to continue to make the show better,” he says. Felkar says the organizers have found so many great resources, they will likely have content for the next few years. “It’s interesting to pull it together. There is no shortage of organizations that want to be involved. It seems like it’s perfect timing,” she says. A complete list of speakers and the full schedule can be found at https://agsmartolds.ca/schedule/.
DESICCANTS | IS DESICCATION PART OF YOUR 2019 PLAN?
Is Desiccation Part of Your 2019 Plan? The new, notable and “worth bringing up again” crop desiccants
By Madeleine Baerg Above: Desiccated canola. Canada Shatter - tolerant genetics, available since 2015, make desiccating and then straight cutting a valuable option in canola. Credit: Syngenta
Canadian canola farmers will breathe a little easier going into harvest this year now that many have enjoyed success desiccating shatter-tolerant genetics. Still, the newness of desiccating canola, only possible since shatter tolerance was unveiled in 2015, means uncertainty still abounds. “Shatter tolerance is one of the biggest game-changers on the market since herbicide tolerance,” says Angela Brackenreed, an agronomist with the Canola Council of Canada. “I’ve talked to producers who have farmed all their life, who are great at what they do, and even for them timing swathing is a huge challenge. I’m hearing real excitement and amazement. But, yes, some questions, too.” As pre-harvest crop treatments gain popularity across the Prairies, the first step in any conversation about dry-down is to define the products. Diquat is the one and only true desiccant currently available in the marketplace for canola and legumes, and likely to be the only one for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, confusion remains given that Group 14 saflufenacils and glyphosate are also commonly applied to aid harvest ease. “It’s not about being nitpicky,” says Brackenreed. “Industry needs to utilize the right language consistently so that producers have the proper expectation.” Chadrick Carley, Syngenta’s agronomic services manager for Western Canada, agrees. “It’s still not as clear with growers as we’d like it to be,” he says, adding that diquat shines when a farmer needs control over timing. Glyphosate, on the other hand, suits perennial weed control, while glyphosate combined with a Group 14 offers faster perennial weed control.
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©2019 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. , TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Offers valid in Canada only from September 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020. The terms and conditions may vary depending on your province, and these offers are subject to termination or change at any time without notice. See an authorized BRP dealer for details. † GET UP TO $1,800 ON SELECT 2019 DEFENDER MODELS: Eligible units are select new and unused 2019 Can-Am Defender models. Eligible buyers are agricultural businesses approved under the BRP AGRICULTURE & RANCH/FARMER PROGRAM. The eligible buyer of an eligible unit will receive a rebate of up to $1,800. Rebate amount depends on the model purchased. While quantities last. Other conditions may apply. See your dealer for details. †† GET 3-YEAR COVERAGE ON SELECT 2019 MODELS: Eligible units are select new and unused 2019 Can-Am Defender models. The buyer of an eligible 2019 model will receive a 6-month BRP Limited Warranty plus a 30-month B.E.S.T. Coverage. B.E.S.T. service contract is subject to a $50 deductible on each repair. For complete details, please see the BRP limited warranty and the B.E.S.T. contract at an authorised BRP dealer near you. BRP reserves the right, at any time, to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. Some models depicted may include optional equipment. Carefully read the vehicle’s operator’s guide. Follow all instructional and safety material and observe applicable laws and regulations. Ride responsibly and safely. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. For complete details, see your authorized BRP dealer and visit can-am.brp.com.
DESICCANTS | IS DESICCATION PART OF YOUR 2019 PLAN?
In 2016 and 2017, the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) compared harvest using various pre-harvest treatments in shatter-tolerant canola. According to the study, there were no significant differences in yield, engine speed, dockage, oil content, green seed or seed weight whether the crop was swathed (the benchmark) or straight cut following an application of diquat, an application of glyphosate and a Group 14, or natural ripening. However, pre-harvest treatment did improve productivity, harvest efficiency, fuel consumption, harvest speed, time to harvest and operator experience. Economic analysis based only on the costs of machinery operation and product application for the 2017 year show a production cost benefit of $19.71/ac from the diquat application, $21.02/ac from Group 14 and glyphosate application, and -$6.62/ ac from natural ripening compared to swathing. Because straight cutting is quite new for certain canola farmers, many are still optimizing their management techniques. There remain misconceptions that the only way to successfully straight cut is to first apply a pre-harvest aid. While such an application can absolutely be useful, opting not to apply can be advantageous at other times.
Photo: Producers used to staging canola by seed colour change (left photo) must shift to looking for 90 per cent brown seed across the entire plant (right photo) prior to Photo: aerial shot of Kuhn Farms Canada during seeding. Credit: applyingAndesiccant Credit: Syngenta Kuhn Farms.
The one option that does not work is tank-mixing a contact product with a systemic herbicide as results will be highly inconsistent. “There have been products that combined (the two modes of action) but they have come and gone because the performance of one is usually sacrificed for the other,” says Carley. “Industry has tried it and gone away from it.” The total acreage that receives a pre-harvest treatment of any kind varies widely from year to year. In pulse crops over the last five years, treated acreage varied from a low of 33 per cent in 2014 to a high of 53 per cent in 2016. “The new normal for pulses is probably in the mid 40s, though that will change from year to year based on conditions,” says Carley. Carley says approximately 35 per cent of shatter-tolerant canola acreage received some sort of pre-harvest treatment in 2017, a trend he expects will continue. 26
“We can absolutely have success with straight cutting in the right conditions without these products as well,” says Brackenreed. “If your expectation is that crop is going to naturally ripen and look and be as dried down as you’re used to from a dried-down crop, you’re going to have a bad experience. Some folks with those expectations will say, ‘I’ll never do that again.’ But, if you’re open to maybe combining slower, adjusting your cut height to reduce green material through the machine, changing your expectations of how the crop will look and feel, you can have success. You need to think of these management decisions as a way to manage your available resources, time, products.” Farmers planning to desiccate prior to straight cutting need to learn a whole new way of staging their crop. Until now, producers have timed their crop based on seed colour change. Those opting to apply diquat need to instead look for 90 per cent of the seed on the entire plant to be brown. “It does make it confusing,” says Brackenreed. “Ninety per cent seed colour change is a very different thing than 90 per cent brown seed. The term ‘brown’ is not something we talked about before this.” Being a true desiccant, diquat will shut a plant down at whatever stage one sprays. As such, no additional drying or ripening occurs post-application and spraying too early will lock in any chlorophyll remaining in the seed.
IS DESICCATION PART OF YOUR 2019 PLAN? | DESICCANTS
“This can feel like it takes longer to get into the field than applying glyphosate, since you have to wait longer to apply product. That’s not the case, however. Once [diquat] is applied, it works very, very quickly,” says Carley. As a rule of thumb, he says, expect about 10 per cent seed colour change every two to four days, depending on the weather. One of the most necessary conversations in agriculture today is chemical resistance. The good news is that pre-harvest treatment is the least problematic timing for resistance, and a true desiccant is the least problematic mode of action. First, diquat only treats certain crops, which means it won’t be applied every year. Second, diquat isn’t intended to finish a crop off, nor does it produce a complete death of the plant: it is applied when the crop is already at the end of its life cycle, but plants can start regrowing if rain falls after application. As importantly, a pre-harvest application of any product intended to ease combining is far less likely to promote resistance than when applied pre-season. “‘If I use pre-harvest plus pre-seed, am I going to run into
resistance issues?’ We hear that a lot from growers,” says Andrew Reid, a herbicide specialist with BASF Canada. “Preemergence, you’re going for full control so there’s heavy selection pressure. Pre-harvest, you’re aiming for dry-down. The weeds have likely already gone to seed or are close to going to seed. Because they’ve already produced their progeny for the next generation, there’s not as much risk.” Another major conversation gaining traction at this time surrounds pre-harvest treatment residue. Already, the issue is starting to directly impact farmers, with grain-handling companies advising farmers to avoid certain pre-harvest applications to maximize product marketability. At this point, consumer concern seems to be isolated primarily to glyphosate. Still, the topic of chemical residue in food requires thoughtful, consistent handling by industry. “It’s important to advocate for industry. Reach out to the industry resources available. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is a conversation that’s not going away, so get comfortable,” adds Christina Stroud, communications manager with BASF Canada. “There are lots of good associations that can assist growers with resources on how to talk about these kinds of topics.”
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PRECISION AG | PRECISION FARMING TAKES OVER
Precision farming takes over Greater adoption rates boost in-field success for yields, marketing
By Shannon VanRaes
Despite harvest being several weeks or more away for most, attention is already turning to the crops for those in the field of precision agriculture. A growing and popular field within agriculture, precision ag takes data harvesting and management to the next level. The capability exists to turn every inch of any given field into a precisely-mapped zone capable of providing greater returns than ever before. Common precision ag tools include variable-rate fertilizer, soil sampling, yield monitors and more. “One thing that we’re working on right now is … instead of viewing your yield map live in the cab as you’re harvesting, we actually want to be able to produce a profit map live in the cab as you’re harvesting,” says Jamie Denbow, global digital ag lead at Farmers Edge, adding he hopes the new technology will be ready to launch this fall. Denbow says that, ultimately, precision agriculture is about allowing farmers to make the most of their time and resources. Early profit indicators are just another layer in that evolution. “It helps you make future input decisions while you’re harvesting,” says Denbow. If a grower is confident in their financial position, they may be able to take advantage of price opportunities in the marketplace as they occur, instead of waiting until the final tally is in and prices are up, he explains. Remi Schmaltz, CEO of Alberta-based Decisive Farming, also sees precision agriculture as a tool to capitalize on market opportunities during harvest. “Scanning the crop as it’s harvested, so you can understand, really, the quality or particular traits of what’s coming off the combine … most of those (technologies) are still in their infancy, but they are coming and I think those really lead into some opportunities,” says Schmaltz. Those opportunities include improving on-farm traceability and transparency, but also capitalizing on premiums offered to specialty crops meeting specific quality parameters.
PRECISION FARMING TAKES OVER | PRECISION AG He expects these opportunities will continue to increase as the ability of technology to capture data during harvest improves. Growth-stage models are also proving to be a powerful tool when it comes to taking advantage of price premiums offered on some specialty crops, says Denbow. “There’s some crops out there that are very sensitive; their quality parameters are very, very sensitive come harvest time,” he says. “So, essentially, what growers want to do is, as soon as that crop is mature and can be harvested, they want to take it off that day … they want to make sure they are taking it off at the top quality, because that’s what they are being paid for.” Growth-stage models are a way for farmers to decide when a field is ready to harvest, without jumping in their half-ton and driving over hill and dale, says Denbow. “We might be harvesting durum wheat, but when the model says my pink edible beans are ready, we’re going to drop out of durum wheat and go in and harvest those beans because they’re very sensitive,” says Denbow. Scott Eckert farms with his brother near Duchess, Alta., and uses Farmers Edge for his precision agriculture needs. He says the information he gets from advanced technologies, such as satellite images, assists him at harvest time. “Some of the stuff we get is really helpful,” says Eckert. “Based on what we’re growing, the greens and the heat units that are in our area off the weather stations, it provides a guesstimate of when we’re going to harvest.… We just put our seed dates in and what we’ve seeded and how far into the ground we’ve seeded into the app and it kind of figures it all out for you.”
Photo: Remi Schmaltz, CEO of Decisive Farming. Credit: Decisive Farming
The Leader in Grain Bagging Innovation
Schmaltz adds that yield-prediction tools also assist farmers to make marketing decisions as they roll into harvest, but the information they gather in the combine is also key. “I think that there’s a couple different aspects on the harvest side,” says the CEO. “There is certainly the data collection and automation of that collection, so technologies like Agromatics, as an example, that captures the weight wagon or grain cart data and automatically makes it available … is really critical to being able to quantify what happened in each field.” Being able to collect data on how much fuel is being used and fleet maintenance is helpful as well, he says. Denbow says precision ag tools are also indispensable when it comes to managing crops once they are off the field. “Some combines now have scales right on them, so they are creating load tickets as the product is being loaded into that weight vehicle … which essentially helps them track inventory,” he says. “They’re then assigning that to a specific bin to
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CASE IH | RETHINK PRODUCTIVITY
UPGRADE YOUR FLEET WITH A NEW COMBINE
Combine automation turns a new driver into a skilled operator A successful harvest isn’t measured by speed. It’s measured in bushels of clean, high-quality grain in the tank. We call that a high-efficiency harvest. To bring a new level of simplicity to your harvest, Case IH offers the industry’s largest lineup of combines to meet the needs of any operation. This includes the Case IH 50 series Axial-Flow® combines, limited-edition commemorative line of 150 series combines and 250 series with AFS Harvest Command™ combine automation technology.
SIMPLIFY HARVEST WITH 250 SERIES COMBINES Three Axial-Flow combines — models 7250, 8250 and 9250 — feature a streamlined design and easier settings and operation. From a new 2-speed electric shift ground drive to adjustable cage vanes and improved feeder house design, Axial-Flow 250 series combines build on the Case IH legacy of high-capacity, highefficiency combines. The 2-speed electric shift ground drive increases efficiency in all terrain and ground conditions. With increased tractive effort and a wider speed range, much like cruise control in a car or pickup, the transmission maintains precise ground speed up or down hills for more consistent harvesting. It also reduces the frequency to shift in the field or on the road by having one speed for harvesting and another speed for roading. Optional in-cab adjustable rotor cage vanes eliminate the need to manually remove bolts and pivot the cage vanes. This both saves time and allows the rotor to be fine-tuned to optimize threshing and separating in varying crop conditions and efficiently change from one crop to another. Plus, the redesigned feeder house delivers improved durability and reliability in demanding crop conditions.
AUTOMATICALLY OPTIMIZE SETTINGS WITH AFS HARVEST COMMAND Case IH Advanced Farming Systems (AFS), AFS Harvest Command™ Automation — available only on the 250 series Axial-Flow combines — uses 16 sensors to automatically adjust seven combine settings. Initially available for corn, soybeans, wheat and canola, AFS Harvest Command proactively adjusts the combine as crop conditions change based on patented technology. First, operators choose the mode of operation to match their harvesting goals. From there, AFS Harvest Command takes over. This advanced technology turns a driver into a skilled operator.
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Each mode of automation prioritizes different harvesting outcomes and continuously optimizes machine performance based on the power limits set by the operator. The four modes of automation include: • Performance: Maximize grain savings and grain quality while optimizing throughput. • Grain quality: Maximize grain quality while also saving grain and optimizing throughput. • Fixed throughput: Operator can fix the machine throughput, and the machine will adjust to save grain and maintain a quality sample. • Max throughput: Operator can maximize the throughput while automation adjusts combine settings to save grain.
ADD A NEW OR USED COMBINE TO YOUR FLEET Case IH Axial-Flow combines can generate additional cash flow for your operation. These combines are engineered to give you more power, improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions. But, the real proof of performance is in the grain quality and grain savings. Buy a new or used Axial-Flow combine and put more profits in your pocket. Visit your local Case IH dealer to learn about exclusive offers available through Aug. 31, 2019.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT CASEIH.COM/PERFECT-FLOW
FIND YOUR PERFECT FLOW. At harvest, you have one goal: ensuring an effortless flow of grain from the field to the bin. Case IH Axial-Flow® combines are engineered for matched capacity to deliver proven grain savings. The industry-leading single rotor design ensures grain quality and increased productivity. And the new AFS Harvest Command™ automation can even optimize harvest settings on the go. Keep efficiency flowing smoothly — learn more at caseih.com/perfect-flow.
©2019 CNH Industrial America LLC. All rights reserved. Case IH is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or affiliates. www.caseih.com
PRECISION AG | PRECISION FARMING TAKES OVER
“If you’re a farmer and you haven’t digitized your farm – meaning you have digital field boundaries, you have digital crop records that are all in a database that can be accessed and shared in some way – you’re really going to be left behind.” - Remi Schmaltz essentially track their productivity and their production rate … and in some cases, if they have a production contract, for that commodity already, they are actually applying a production contract number right to that product.” Eckert agrees that beginning the tracking process on the combine helps things run smoothly. “It makes it organized,” he says. “I know what’s coming in and where it goes.” But a growing number of possibilities doesn’t always mean new technology is simple to use, Schmaltz says. “Everyone assumes that, you know … this farming technology where they’re spending millions of dollars on equipment, boy, it must be really user-friendly, right?” he says. “No, it’s not super user-friendly, some are getting better, it’s improving, but we still have a long way to go towards making these things intuitive.” A 2017 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada study looking at barriers to precision agriculture adoption in Western Canada found that continually-evolving technology was the fourth most common reason farmers gave for balking. The third most common barrier identified was a lack of knowledgeable people farmers could turn to for assistance. “An emerging issue in PA is the lack of developers focused on agriculture to create the software, platforms and applications that reduce the data complexity to provide actionable information to meet stakeholder needs,” wrote the study’s author, Dale Steele. Schmaltz says farmers don’t want to deal with down time because technology isn’t behaving the way it should. He also adds farmers struggling with labour shortages don’t want to spend time training new staff on overly-complicated technology. “There needs to be a team of experts supporting the farm in adopting that technology and that’s everyone from … the equipment dealer to the equipment manufacturer, the 34
Above: Harvest Tool by Farmers Edge allows producers to generate load tickets in the field. Credit: Farmers Edge
hardware manufacturer to service and technology providers,” says Schmaltz, admitting such help is hard to find today. “Those people just don’t exist in the market,” says Schmaltz. He adds there are “really big gaps” in the marketplace today to employ people with such an emerging skill set. Despite connectivity challenges, the diverse suite of technologies known as precision agriculture continues to draw new adherents at an ever-faster rate, according to Denbow. Back in Alberta, Schmaltz says it takes time for any technology to take hold in an industry, noting that while GPS was introduced in the 1980s, full adoption came decades later. “In the early 2000s, there was still debate by farmers whether they should use GPS or a foam marker,” he says. “Now, speed of adoption has increased and so really in the next five years, I think the digitization of the farm is the foundational piece that allows for all of these other technologies to be layered on top…. If you’re a farmer and you haven’t digitized your farm – meaning you have digital field boundaries, you have digital crop records that are all in a database that can be accessed and shared in some way – you’re really going to be left behind.”
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FORD SUPER DUTY ADVERTORIAL
Your toughest gets our toughest
The 2019 Ford Super Duty is the Most Capable Super Duty Ever
You don’t step into the 2019 Ford Super Duty, you step up to it. An absolute beast of a truck, it’s designed to challenge the laws of physics. No matter how tough your task, this truck has your name on it. Depend on the 2019 Super Duty to get the job done, and then some. It starts with a 6.7-litre Power Stroke V8 diesel engine offering 450 horsepower and 935 lb.-ft. of torque. Super Duty allows you to get the job done while outsmarting the competition, thanks to its mighty capability plus a suite of intelligent features.
Enough Muscle to Move Mountains You’ll get a maximum gooseneck towing of 35,000 lbs.^ and a conventional towing maximum capacity of 21,000 lbs.^ So if you’re looking to tow big, call on none other than the beast that is the Super Duty.
Tons of Torque for Tonnes of Hauling In addition to the 935 lb.-ft. of diesel torque^^, this truck also has a massive 7,630-lb. maximum gas payload** rating. When the Super Duty went to a military grade‡ aluminum alloy bed and body paired with a high strength steel frame, the net weight saving ‡‡ went into its frame, leaf springs, trailer hitch, rear axles and transfer case, while also coming out up to 24 times stiffer than the outgoing model. This truck does not buckle to heavy payloads.
Available Class-Exclusive Trailer Reverse Guidance System† The Ford Super Duty is the only heavy-duty truck in its class to offer an available Trailer Reverse Guidance System† to help increase its sightlines. Visibility is enhanced via cameras in the side view mirrors and visual guides in the centre dash screen, giving you a clear rear view of where the trailer is going. And with a customer-placed rear trailer camera that seamlessly integrates into the centre stack screen, it turns reversing a trailer from an exercise in futility into an exercise in precision. The 2019 Super Duty. Works as hard as you do, and then some. Vehicle may be shown with optional features. ^ When properly equipped. Maximum gooseneck towing capacity of 35,000 lbs. on F-450 4x2 with 6.7L diesel engine configuration. Maximum conventional towing capacity of 21,000 lbs. on F-350/F-450 DRW with 6.7L diesel engine. ^^ When properly equipped. Maximum diesel torque of 935 lb.-ft. on 2019 Super Duty with 6.7L V8 diesel engine 6-speed automatic (standard) transmission configuration. ** When properly equipped. Maximum payload of 7,630 lbs. on F-350 DRW Regular Cab 4x2 with 6.2L gas engine. ‡ 6000-series aluminum alloy. ‡‡ up to 350 lbs, versus 2016 and earlier models. † Class is Full-Size Pickups over 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. Driver-assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment and need to control the vehicle. ©2019 Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. All rights reserved.
THE 2019 SUPER DUTY®
TONS OF TORQUE FOR TONNES OF HAULING. MAX TOWING*
MAX DIESEL TORQUE** 935 LB-FT
MAX PAYLOAD^ 7,640 LBS
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FOR DETAILS, VISIT FORD.CA/SUPERDUTY Vehicle may be shown with optional features. *When properly equipped. Maximum towing capacity on F-450 Regular Cab 4x2. **When properly equipped. Maximum diesel torque on 2019 Super Duty with 6.7L V8 diesel engine and 6-speed automatic transmission (standard) conguration. ^When properly equipped. Maximum payload on 2019 F-350 DRW Regular Cab 4x2 with 6.2L gas engine. † Driver-assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment and need to control the vehicle. ©2019 Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. All rights reserved.
VERTICAL TILLAGE | SOIL SOLUTIONS
Tillage continues to be an effective tool for Prairie farmers
By Shannon VanRaes
Farmers hoping to improve germination with vertical tillage may be surprised to learn they might not be using vertical tillage at all, especially if their end goal is black earth. “The only way you get that is if you actually move or bury the residue, so you can’t have both,” says University of Manitoba soil scientist David Lobb. “You can’t leave the residue on the surface to protect it from wind and water erosion and still expect to get that warming and drying effect. The only way you get that is if you move the residue off the soil.” Clearing residue from the soil surface is a move away from the conservation tillage method often labelled as vertical tillage, he explains. The issue lies less with how vertical tillage is defined and marketed, says Lobb, adding that vertical tillage is essentially a rebrand of a conservation tillage tool developed in the early 1980s. According to Lobb, the idea isn’t new, but rather it’s a fresh face to a decades-old idea related to conservation tillage. “Those types of tools have existed since 1980 … and those implements were designed, as they still are, on conservation tillage equipment, they are designed to cut residue and disturb the soil without moving it or particularly inverting it,” he says.
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Most units bearing the vertical tillage moniker include the rippled, waved or bubbled coulters that till the soil without inverting it, loosening up the growing medium, while chopping through problematic residue. However, these implements won’t leave the soil black, says Lobb, adding that the implements are being modified and have the potential to cause lots of disturbance, throwing as much soil as a tandem disc, especially if operated at higher speeds.
• Convenient Grading Process
If a vertical tillage unit is leaving the soil surface black, which can increase soil temperature and speed up the germination process, it doesn’t fit the definition of the original conservation unit touted as vertical tillage roughly 10 years ago, Lobb says.
“If your goal is to warm up and dry the soil, then you need to get some soil on the surface and you need to bury some residue,” says Lobb. “So if that’s the case then you don’t need vertical tillage and you can just go back to a tandem disc.” 39
VERTICAL TILLAGE | SOIL SOLUTIONS
“I don’t want to use it blindly, They’re not cheap, so I’m not going to go out and buy a $175,000 tool that might not do any better of a job than what I have. I’m all about making sure things are going to pay back and that things are worth it.” - Landon Friesen Landon Friesen is conducting his own experiment when it comes to what tillage method is best for his farm near Crystal City, Man. and that includes looking at germination. However, the results won’t be in for some time yet. “It’s been so cold here the seed hasn’t come out of the ground, but I’m sure if you ask me again in a week or two I can give you a better answer, because we did lots of strips between vertical till and conventional tillage side by side this year to see if we could see something,” says Friesen, who is currently renting a vertical tillage implement for the few acres he’s using it on. “I don’t want to use it blindly,” he says. “They’re not cheap, so I’m not going to go out and buy a $175,000 tool that might not 40
do any better of a job than what I have. I’m all about making sure things are going to pay back and that things are worth it.” He hopes the results of this year’s side-by-side trial will help him make decisions about what tillage to use going forward. “We’re a conventional tillage operation that is doing less and less of it all the time … so we thought, let’s try vertical tillage and incorporate a little bit of dirt with the residue and chop the residue,” says Friesen. “And we’re quite happy with the results; the drill goes into it very nicely and we didn’t have to crack open the ground and dry it out, so for us that was a win.” One province over, Cynthia Wesselingh is using vertical tillage to break up old hay land on her farm near Saskatoon, Sask. “Before we had a vertical tillage machine, whenever we broke up hay land, we used a really heavy disc, usually a big heavy tandem disk, and to get those to work in our experience … you had to go quite deep in these old hay pieces,” she says. Even then, the results weren’t great. “It would take four to five years to get those disc undulations out of the field,” says Wesselingh. The unit goes beyond the design of a traditional conservation or vertical tillage implement, including a rolling basket-style geo-packer. The results go further than just incorporating a little trash to bring old sloughs and hay land back to black earth, which does have a marginal effect on germination, according to Wesselingh.
SOIL SOLUTIONS | VERTICAL TILLAGE
“It may germinate a hair quicker, but the catch-22 is that it is black so it will dry out faster,” she says, adding that the black earth can also create the optical illusion of quicker germination. “With it being black you’ll see the rows faster.” Like Friesen, Wesselingh also began by renting a vertical tillage implement before making the plunge and purchasing one. “We were unsure how it would work when we first got it, but for us it’s done a tremendous job; it’s just eliminating the back-bouncing, tractor-bouncing work of having to disc it so heavily,” she says. “Overall, we’re pretty happy with it. It’s the one machine in our operation that’s able to do a lot of different stuff for us.” Lobb says rather than focus on what a tillage implement is called, farmers should focus on what the implement does and if that action is right for their farm. “The farmer needs to ask themselves why they’re doing the operation; what they’re trying to achieve,” says Lobb. If a farmer is trying to achieve better germination, a tillage unit that throws soil then compacts it with a rolling basket might be the way to achieve that goal. However, Lobb cautions better
germination can come with the trade-off of tillage erosion. “They call them finishing tools, but when they operate at high speeds, they throw soil, they drag soil, they will actually create a lot of disturbance,” says the soil researcher. “Essentially, you’re doing one tillage pass … disturbing the soil so that it will warm up and dry out, and essentially packing the soil after with a rolling basket, you’re trying to level it off and pack it down. Well, that means you will have better germination because you have a better seed bed to plant the seed into. “So that will give you better germination, but again it has nothing to do with vertical tillage per se. It has to do with tillage,” says Lobb. Friesen also notes the wide array of implements and tools labelled as vertical tillage can be confusing. “I think you’ve got vertical tillage, which is straight disc in the ground with maybe a harrow and a rolling basket, then you’ve got these high-speed discs that are a glorified double disc that move a lot of dirt and use a lot of horsepower,” he says. “Everyone has got skin in the game, so it’s just a matter of finding one with parts availability that works for you.”
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY | BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
Build It, They Will Come Western Canadian ag industry anticipates more access to clean plastic disposal By Natalie Noble Above: More products are used during crunch seasons. This means more packaging and a lot of plastic, but less time to deal with it all.
As stewards of the land, western Canadian farmers want clean and safe plastic disposal alternatives as much as anyone. While more disposal facility access and program promotion are needed, non-profit organizations, government programs, ag stakeholders and community volunteers are working to improve sustainable options. “When it comes to stewardship of the land and materials, everybody wants to do the right thing,” says Tammy Shields, western region program coordinator with Cleanfarms. “It’s just a matter of building something so they can participate.” Cleanfarms’ staff hope to become a one-stop shop for agricultural plastics recycling. Initial programming around 23-litre jugs and smaller has grown to a broader range for five national programs for various bags, totes, containers and unwanted chemicals. The pesticide and drug container return program currently has a 67 per cent recovery rate nationwide. Jugs are triple rinsed, bagged and returned to retailers in Saskatchewan, and municipal collection sites in Alberta and Manitoba. The unwanted pesticides program offers a three-year collection rotation across the Prairies. This fall it will cover northern Alberta and Manitoba. “Producers can take advantage of returning unwanted chemicals for free,” says Shields. “There are about 20 sites per region across an entire week where producers can participate.” There is also a grain bag recycling program.
BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME | ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY In 2018, 1,257 tonnes of grain bags were collected in Saskatchewan alone. The provincial program is the only regulated one in Canada. With that, a non-refundable environmental handling fee came into effect last November to cover the cost of collecting and transporting grain bags to end markets to be recycled into new products. Currently, there are 33 sites across Saskatchewan with the goal of adding two more by 2020, according to Shields.
“When it comes to stewardship of the land and materials, everybody wants to do the right thing, It’s just a matter of building something so they can participate.” - Tammy Shields
In Alberta, access is more limited. Christina Seidel, executive director with the Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA), says participation depends on where you farm. “For grain bags, there is access in southern Alberta through a recycling facility near Hussar. There are a few locations that will take baler twine at a recycling depot or transfer station, bale it and ship it to Minnesota for recycling. We really don’t have options for anything else yet.” The RCA has been working on the ag plastics issue with other groups including the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association (APRA) for 15 years. “It’s an issue we know is important to farmers, and we know it’s important to rural constituents,” says Seidel. “So, we’re thrilled to have a provincewide pilot program launching.”
The Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group’s (APRG) pilot program to recycle grain bags and twine is expected to begin this fall. With $1 million in provincial funding, Seidel says the government’s sponsorship is great news. “We’re thrilled they’ve stepped up and recognized this as an issue that needs to be handled. The fact that this is a government-sponsored pilot, to us, is really exciting because it can create the foundation for a longer-term program,” she says. While the pilot will only address grain bags and twine at this point, APRG will look at potential options for other materials. Seidel cautions there will be a limited number of collection points during the pilot project and encourages patience among farmers.
Saskatchewan Association for Resource Recovery Corp.
2019-03-19 11:59 AM
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY | BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
Starting out with pilot projects, as has been done in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, allows for the many associated challenges to be well assessed. For one, each type of plastic is considered a commodity at the recycling phase and Shields likened mixing plastics prior to recycling, to mixing wheat and flax and dropping it off at a seed company to be sorted. “Each type of ag plastic has to go somewhere else in North America to get recycled. Contamination – mixing bale wrap with net wrap, twine, grain bags – creates issues at recycling facilities because they’re trying to deal with one commodity. From farm to recycler, we have to worry about how that commodity is managed. This is probably my number one challenge across the Prairies,” says Shields.
FARMERS ADVOCATING FOR SOLUTIONS Ambrely Ralph, with her husband Garett and his family, grows 2,200 acres of grains, oilseeds and forages near Arborfield, Sask. The mid-30s couple both have off-farm ag retail experience, giving them a fresh perspective around handling ag plastics on the farm. “We’re very familiar with Cleanfarms’ grain bag program through our work and have worked hard to promote it to our customers. This has resonated on our own farm,” says Ralph. “We’re lucky to have access to ag retailers close by who participate in the program.” Ralph says one of the biggest challenges for farmers is that they tend to work in crunch seasons. “When we’re in the midst of a busy season, there are more products being used, and a lot of packaging that comes with all the chemicals being used on the farm. It’s a lot of plastic,” she says. “It’s a struggle trying to keep things clean; the bulk and mess of it can be awkward.” She wants to see ag retailers, equipment dealers and those selling bags to provide recycling information to farmers, not just groups such as Cleanfarms. In Alberta, Assar Grinde has also been passionate about finding better solutions. As a delegate with the Alberta Beef Producers, he motioned a couple of years ago to investigate recycling options and researched background for the board. In part, it helped form the eventual pilot. Photo: “From farm to recycler, we have to worry about how [each] commodity is managed. This is probably my number one challenge across the Prairies.” - Tammy Shields, western region program coordinator, Cleanfarms
Grinde runs a 1,300-acre commercial cow-calf and backgrounding operation in Ponoka County. As a livestock producer, his plastic use includes silage pit plastic, baler twine and net wrap, all difficult to reduce due to lack of sufficient alternatives.
BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME | ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
“In the cattle business, plastic is imperative for the storage and transport of feed, preventing spoilage and maintaining feed quality,” says Grinde. “The big issue is that disposal is a problem; it doesn’t really break down and burning plastics outside of incinerators is not safe for human health.” Currently, Grinde takes what he can to his regional landfill in miniature totes where it is buried in a special area. As for the rest of his plastics, he’s stockpiling them for now. He says Lacombe, Red Deer and Ponoka counties just agreed to begin a grain bag recycling program, but nothing for other ag plastics. “Access to a program that will take the material is the biggest impediment, and with that, the distance to collection sites needs to be reasonable,” says Grinde. He adds farmer education is a must. “It is hard to get us producers to change our ways. So, having a simple process, communicated clearly, will be important.” As farmers dealing directly with substantial plastic waste, Grinde and Ralph have ideas around solutions.
Grinde would like to see more domestic recycling capacity. “Shipping it overseas is always a bit tenuous, as we have seen recently. Perhaps certainty of supply will help entrepreneurs in this,” he says. Ralph suggests more advocacy towards manufacturers on being conscious of their own packaging at the front end. “Maybe there’s a way to reuse recyclable materials even before they become something to recycle,” she says. “Also, more concentration in products means you don’t have to use more jugs per acreage. It’s practical and sustainable.” Farmers can also find ways to keep recycling simple. It can be as easy as having empty jug bags ready for collection, making storage easier or sharing items within the community. For Ralph, she’s glad to see ag recycling starting to move into the mainstream. “We hate seeing waste and garbage in our communities,” she says. “We live here, we farm here, we’re growing the land. To come across empty cases and jugs blown off someone’s truck is frustrating, but it’s a reality. We’re doing as much as we can to take care of our own, to promote it and encourage others.”
Let’s make it 100%
In 2019, recycle every jug. Canadian farmers recycle 65% of ag-plastic jugs. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of collection, this year we’re going for 100%. Every jug counts. Please help by recycling all your ag-plastic jugs. To find a collection location near you, or learn about other programs, click on Programs at Cleanfarms.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
y jug Ever ts ! coun
FARMING YOUR MONEY | ARE WE BEING LEFT OUT?
Are We Being Left Out? Hopefully by the time you are reading this, China and Canada are trading agriculture commodities with zero issues. As producers, all we are asking for is a fair trading platform. As a financial analyst, I do not like to wade into political waters. That is not to say I will not do it, I just do not like to do it. The recent events with China and our western Canadian canola have me puzzled, concerned and angry. Paul Kuntz Paul Kuntz is the owner of Wheatland Financial and oﬀers ﬁnancial consulting and debt broker services. He can be reached through wheatlandﬁnancial.ca
I am puzzled because we have a great product that China has used and seemingly liked for years. There seems to be no apparent reason why they would block buying it. I am concerned because the financial implication for producers will be in the billions of lost revenue if this continues. I am angry because the response from the people who can fix this has been weak. The reasons for China’s actions are not clear – most likely it is political, strategic, or both. The reason is not the quality of the product as they have stated. So, we know producers cannot fix this. We need help. As for the financial damage, I estimate it could cost at least $745 million this year. Statistics Canada is estimating 21.3 million acres will be seeded to canola in 2019. If the average yield is 35 bushel/acre (this is a bit low, but it is a dry spring), we will produce 745 million bushels of canola. In February of 2019, canola for November 2019 delivery was paying $10.50. Now that same contract is around $9.50. So, we will easily lose $745 million because of one issue. This does not take into consideration the canola on farm that has been financially damaged by these actions. The response from our leaders has been poor. The solution they have come up with is not a solution but merely a delay. The government will give farmers more options to borrow money. I will say, though, the one good thing that has come from this ordeal with China is the increase in cash-advance limits. Again, I state this is not a solution to the problem. These limits should have been raised 10 years ago. There is a sense from our leaders that they are really doing us a favour. Yes, the Prairie Grain Advance Payment Act does allow producers to borrow an amount of money interest free and another amount at a preferential rate; for this I am thankful. But producers still need to qualify. They still need
ARE WE BEING LEFT OUT? | FARMING YOUR MONEY
to have the ability to produce the commodity and for spring advances they need to have adequate production insurance to cover the debt. So, it is not some gift falling from the sky. It is a well-managed system that provides cash to producers who can pay it back. I am thankful the limits for cash advance are increasing. What makes me angry is that was the only response. There is a major crisis with one of our largest trading partners and the leaders offer a debt. To make matters worse, as of the time of writing this, the new cash-advance program is not available. The people who administer the program were not given any advance warning and found out about the changes from the media. When the new NAFTA deal was being negotiated, compensation was immediately offered when the supply-managed industry was going to have to make small concessions. I am not saying negotiating a trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico is the same as a trade dispute with China, but canola producers can easily feel left out when there seems to be no one on their side. The U.S. is in a trade battle with China and they have offered producers compensation. From the reports I read and other various stories, the U.S. producers are not pleased with the aid package. It is late in coming out. There are strict deadlines. The distribution system is not totally fair based on the impact. But the U.S. producer can say that their government had their back. Perhaps our federal leaders are doing all they can to get this problem resolved. The perception is that they are treating it like
a low-level issue. There is no ambassador to China. We have no planned trips to meet with Chinese officials. I like to be fair when assigning blame. I do not blame the federal government for causing this issue with China. It is not their fault. But I can say with 100 per cent certainty that it is not the fault of the producer and that is who will pay for this. I can also say the producer cannot fix this. Only the government can fix this. According to Trading Economics, Canada has a US$3.2 billion trade deficit with China. This means Canada buys more from China than what China buys from us. I realize relative to the entire economy, China means more to Canada than Canada means to China but there must be some retaliatory action that could be taken by our government. When the U.S. imposed an illegal tariff on our steel and aluminum, Canada put an illegal retaliatory tariff on strategic items coming from the U.S. I am not sure if it worked in getting their tariffs removed but at least Canada did something. I would like to see some action against Chinese-made goods coming into Canada. If this canola issue really has to do with some random executive from a Chinese cellphone company, then Canada needs to deal with that. At the very least, speed it up. Take some action against China and show the agriculture community that we matter. Offer direct compensation to those affected. All I am asking is for someone with power to help out producers in the West. I know these producers did not vote for this government. That does not mean you can forget about them. 47
SPRAYING 101 | SPRAYING IN DRY AND DUSTY CONDITIONS
Spraying in Dry and Dusty Conditions Tom Wolf, PhD, P.Ag. Tom Wolf grew up on a grain farm in southern Manitoba. He obtained his BSA and M.Sc. (Plant Science) at the University of Manitoba and his PhD (Agronomy) at Ohio State University. Tom was a research scientist with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada for 17 years before forming AgriMetrix, an agricultural research company that he now operates in Saskatoon. He specializes in spray drift, pesticide eﬃcacy, and sprayer tank cleanout, and conducts research and training on these topics throughout Canada. Tom sits on the Board of the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association, is an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and is a member and past president of the Canadian Weed Science Society.
Dusty conditions are common in spraying, all it takes is a layer of dry soil and some wheels. But in dry springs, dust is often associated with a further challenge: drought-stressed plants. Combine these two and weed control may be reduced. Following are a few guidelines to help.
Dusty conditions 1. Most products are not strongly affected by the presence of dust on plant foliage. But two important products—glyphosate and Reglone—are very dust-sensitive. The active ingredients in both products are very “charged,” therefore they bind readily and strongly to soil particles. Soil is present in two areas of concern: dust on plant surfaces, as well as suspended soil in spray water that gives the “turbid” appearance. 2. Dust can be viewed as similar to hard-water cations, as a game of relative concentration. We try to get the herbicide concentration to be higher, essentially overpowering the antagonist. For glyphosate, two approaches are common: (a) reduce water volume; (b) increase herbicide rate. Reduced volume is tricky if the glyphosate spray contains a tank mix partner such as a Group 6, 14 or 15 to combat resistance. Those products require more water. For Reglone, low water is a bad idea for the same reason. 3. Some specialists recommend the use of higher water volumes to reduce the effects of dust. Although spray volumes are usually too low to actually wash dust off surfaces, the higher water volumes permit the use of larger droplets which may have better absorption characteristics in the presence of dust. 4. Another remedy is to increase the application rate in the spray swath where dust is most severe, usually behind the wheel tracks. Slightly larger nozzles in those regions are widely used by sprayer operators. PWM-equipped sprayers may not need to change nozzles behind the wheels; they can select specific nozzles right on their monitor and boost their duty cycle to apply more. Of course, the nozzles need to be properly sized in the first place to allow some room for the extra-duty cycle. 5. Even when field dust is not a problem, roadside field edges may contain dust from traffic. Higher rates may be justified on the outside rounds for that reason.
Any time plants are drought-stressed, herbicidal weed control will be more challenging. Following are a few tips on how to make sure herbicide effectiveness is maximized. 1. Herbicide rate is the most powerful factor for effectiveness. Use the full label rate, or the highest rate in the range, when plants are stressed. 2. Weed size is critical to good control. Smaller weeds are easier to control – they have had less time to adapt to the dry environment around them and may therefore have less cuticular wax, for example. Early removal has crop-yield advantages, as well. 3. Ensure water supply is clean and does not contain antagonizing minerals. A water conditioner such as ammonium sulphate may be necessary to remove the antagonizing Mg, Ca, Na and Fe cations that are most common in well water. A water test is a good idea. Take action when “total hardness” (CaCO3 equivalent) is 350 ppm or greater and you’re applying glyphosate.
6. A report in No-Till Farmer makes the following useful statements: “Greenhouse research conducted by researchers at North Dakota State University in 2006 found that control of nightshade species with glyphosate was reduced when dust was deposited on the leaf surfaces before, or within 15 minutes after, glyphosate application. If the dust was deposited later than 15 minutes after application, phytotoxicity was not reduced. Dust generated from silty clay soil tended to reduce glyphosate phytotoxicity more than dust generated from loamy sand soil.” 7. Several additional management opportunities exist for dusty conditions. Slowing down tends to reduce turbulence and dust generation. Although front-mounted booms apply the spray before the dust is generated, it will deposit before the spray is dry, limiting the benefit, as indicated by the NDSU study. 8. Don’t mistake aerodynamic turbulence for dust. Weed control may be lower behind the tractor unit or near the wheels because the spray is displaced by air currents. The use of water-sensitive paper can help identify if this is part of the problem. 9. Getting back to turbid water for a minute, ponds can be treated with a flocculant such as aluminum sulphate to remove the suspensions. Treatment must occur at least 24 hours in advance. The spray tank is not the place for this treatment as it results in a sediment. One of the better references on dust and wheel tracks was produced by the GRDC in Australia, and can be found at https:// grdc.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/134266/grdc_fs_spraywheel-tracks_low-res-pdf.pdf.pdf.
4. Herbicides are best absorbed by plants when they are in the liquid form. Larger droplets evaporate much slower than small droplets. As a result, a coarser spray applied in a higher water volume will extend the droplets’ lifetime on dry days. 5. Pay attention to the formulation you’re applying. Once the carrier is gone, oily formulations may still have good uptake because the oily active ingredient stays dissolved in oily solvents, and these evaporate much slower than water. Solutions, on the other hand, are more likely to leave their actives stranded on leaves in crystals once the water is gone. 6. Time of day is critical. Although caution is required when spraying in the evening, overnight or in the early morning because of temperature inversions, those are also the times when evaporative losses are lowest. 7. The “Delta T,” also known as “wet bulb depression,” is a better measure of water-evaporation potential than relative humidity. Avoid spraying if Delta T is greater than eight, as droplets will lose water too quickly for efficient absorption, and will shrink and drift more. 8. Certain adjuvants may act as humectants or antievaporants. These markets are relatively well developed in the U.S., but not in Canada, and would require independent test data or past experience to make a recommendation. A dry year is challenging on many fronts. Not only can it lower herbicide efficacy per se, it also affects crop growth. Crop competition is a crucial component in a good weedmanagement plan. Small adjustments in agronomy, such as earlier weed removal and improvements to the spray operation, can help prevent disappointing weed control. 49
HERBICIDE RESISTANCE | CONFIRMING HERBICIDE RESISTANCE – IT’S A TEST
Confirming Herbicide Resistance – It’s a Test
By Tammy Jones
When a weed isn’t controlled by a herbicide in a field, more and more often, the assumption is herbicide resistance. Awareness of herbicide resistance is increasing, just as the number of documented cases is increasing. In fact, we have hit 500 globally. At least that was the number on May 15, 2019, when the list of documented herbicide-resistant weed biotypes on WeedScience.org was updated to include a biotype of tall waterhemp from Ontario resistant to Group 5 and Group 9 herbicides. Former Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada weed researcher Hugh Beckie’s most recent estimate of herbicideresistant biotypes in Canada indicated there were at least 76 different weed/herbicide-resistant patterns confirmed. That has Canada ranked third for the number of herbicide-resistant cases detected, behind the United States and Australia. Provincially, Ontario leads with 35 biotypes, followed by Manitoba (30), Alberta (23) and Saskatchewan (22). While those numbers seem high, it is quite reasonable to suspect that it is an under-reporting of the actual number of cases. If we look back at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canadaled Prairie weed surveys that took place from 2014-17 across Western Canada, there were detections of previously unknown resistance in yellow foxtail, barnyard grass and shepherd’s purse, just to name a few. The next set of Prairie weed surveys will continue to provide random samples of weeds and probably detect a few more new occurrences. But to manage weeds effectively at the field level, resistance testing needs to be done less randomly.
How is a herbicide-resistance test conducted? Many different methods have been developed for testing weeds for herbicide resistance by various research groups. There are rapid tests that use transplanted seedlings from the field, hydroponics, agar medium, leaf discs, DNA and even pollen, but few of these tests are commercially available. Instead, most herbicide-resistance tests are conducted by growing out plants in a growth chamber/greenhouse in the winter months, providing information for future management decisions. The advantages of the whole plant test are multiple; it’s the most similar testing to the in-field situation, it is relatively cost 50
effective and it does not require knowledge of mechanism of herbicide resistance (see Table 1 compiled by the Weed Resistance Action Group for a comparison of various tests). The critical step for a successful herbicide-resistance test is to collect a quality seed sample. Typically, a sample is taken from a suspicious patch, because the sample is intended to confirm the presence of herbicide-resistant weeds. That implies that we are sampling only those weeds that survived the herbicide application, and are avoiding any late-emerging weeds. Collect weed seeds when they are mature. Collecting immature seed will result in low or no seed viability, but collecting too late may mean that all the seeds have dispersed or shed. Knowing what the mature seed should look like will help. For instance, redroot pigweed seed should be black and shiny; if it’s still a reddish-brown colour it’s not mature and will not likely grow. Seeds will drop from the plant as they mature, so there may need to be more than one collection date. Collect enough seed. The amount of seed required for the test will vary based on dormancy, germination and the number of herbicides being screened. Aiming for 1,000 to 2,000 seeds is a general recommendation. Each lab has recommendations on how to collect and submit a sample, which should be followed.
What does a herbicide-resistance test tell you? A herbicide-resistance test will confirm the proportion of the submitted population that is resistant to the herbicide that was selected for the screening. If a test result indicates the population was susceptible, then there are other management factors that need to be examined. If the sample has a high level of resistance, then it is likely the herbicide tested will provide unsatisfactory control of that patch of weeds in the future. If it was a small patch, and only a few weeds survived, then the impact of the herbicide-resistant weed may be limited and the herbicide tested may still have a fit in the weed-management program. With larger patches, or higher weed densities, the amount of seed that has been returned to the seedbank may mean that different management techniques will be required, as the herbicide may not provide a good return on investment in that field.
CONFIRMING HERBICIDE RESISTANCE – IT’S A TEST | HERBICIDE RESISTANCE
What won’t it tell you? The test does not give a complete picture of the weed population within a field. The sample is biased towards an over-reporting of resistant weeds in a specific field. In order to completely understand the ratio of resistant and susceptible plants within that field, soil cores would need to be taken to assess the weed seedbank. This type of research is time consuming and challenging, as sorting for weed seeds in a soil core can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Confirming herbicide resistance will not tell you a dose that would control the herbicide-resistant weed with that herbicide. The effective rate of a herbicide in a greenhouse is usually much lower than rates used in field situations. Weeds grow differently in different environments, so the doses are not relatable. Confirming herbicide resistance to a particular herbicide will not tell you what other herbicides may also provide poor control of that weed biotype. Cross-resistance and multiple herbicide-resistance patterns vary with different biotypes, and there would need to be more screenings to assess the efficacy of other herbicides on that field. An example of that is the screenings for kochia in Alberta in 2017, which detected Group 2 resistance in all the samples, Group 9 resistance in over 50 per cent of the samples and Group 4 resistance in about eight per cent of the samples. If you only screened the population for dicamba (the Group 4 herbicide that was used in this testing), you would not realize that there could be other herbicides that will also not be effective in controlling kochia in a particular field.
Is it worth doing a herbicide-resistance test? YES! We do a soil test to make fertility recommendations, and in some ways, this is the same type of idea. The confirmation of herbicide resistance and information on the proportion of the population that is resistant will help to make effective management decisions. Spraying a quarter section with a chemical that costs $20/acre but doesn’t provide good weed control is a waste of money and time. Herbicide resistance does not just magically disappear from a field and if the problem is ignored, can make a huge impact on productivity and profitability.
Photo: When a weed isn’t controlled by a herbicide, frequently it is assumed to be due to herbicide resistance.
Answer in Season
Suitable for all weed species
Mimics field conditions
Suitable for all herbicides
Detects resistance regardless of mechanism
Whole Plant From Seed
Transplants from field
Molecular lab assays
No (TSR only)
Radiolabelled lab assays
No (EMR only)
Table 1. The advantages and disadvantages of different resistance testing methods TSR= target site resistance EMR= enhanced metabolism resistance
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
TEEJET New TTI TwinJet (TTI60) Spray Tip From TeeJet Technologies Offers Unmatched Drift Control The new TTI60 tip series is now available from TeeJet Technologies. The TTI60 builds on the industry-leading drift control of the original TTI spray tip series with the addition of twin spray patterns and a combined tip-cap design. The TTI60 produces primarily ultra-coarse and extremelycoarse droplets across a wide pressure range with less than 1.5 per cent* driftable fines, which results in extremely good drift control. The twin spray patterns provide enhanced coverage and penetration for improved control, particularly at lower carrier volumes or when dealing with a denser crop canopy. The tip-cap design allows for quicker installation in the field and can be disassembled for cleaning. Like the Turbo TeeJet Induction (TTI), the TTI60 is ideal for applying systemic herbicides and was designed for applications where superior drift control is critical. The TTI60 is an excellent tool for growers and commercial applicators to manage drift while maintaining effective control.
The TTI60 is offered in capacities from 02-08, with an operating pressure rating of 20-100 psi (1.5-6 bar). It features twin 110º tapered spray patterns with a 60º angle between front and rear patterns. *TTI60-11004VP operating at 40 psi. Driftable fines defined as droplets less than 150 microns. For more information, visit https://www.teejet.com.
NEW HOLLAND New Holland Launches GENESIS® T8 Series Tractor with PLM Intelligence™ New Holland Agriculture recently launched the new GENESIS® T8 Series tractor with Precision Land Management (PLM™) Intelligence, New Holland’s intuitive precision farming platform. The new GENESIS T8 with PLM Intelligence is designed to adapt to every farmer’s unique needs. Benefits include advanced connectivity between operators, vehicles, advisers and dealers to improve productivity and reduce downtime, as well as customizable controls, improved visibility and enhanced comfort.
with the complete integration of New Holland’s advanced PLM platform.
“The GENESIS T8 with PLM Intelligence has been carefully engineered to meet the needs of our customers. Based on first-hand input from farmers in the field, we’ve created a tractor that’s built for the way they work,” says Ken Paul, product marketing manager for New Holland, North America. “The re-imagined cab design offers the most comfortable and convenient driver experience, and next-generation intuitive controls can be easily customized to the tasks at hand.”
“New Holland’s approach to precision farming solutions can be summed up as: open, connected, smart, supported,” says Luke Zerby, PLM product marketing manager for New Holland, North America. “PLM Intelligence maximizes all of these, utilizing ISOBUS CLASS III technology to keep you completely connected through MyPLM™Connect and APIs to share and analyze your data, plus enhanced support functionality through one’s local New Holland dealer. This is all through a simple tablet-based user interface, allowing the farmer to do more, and do it easier than ever before.”
But the most innovative features extend far beyond the cab
For more information, visit www.newholland.com.
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
BUSHEL PLUS New App and Combine Tips to Round Up Proven Integrated System Farmers have been checking for harvest loss since the first combine was invented. What’s different today is how the Bushel Plus system – made in Canada – has revolutionized the process. With the Bushel Plus system, farmers can attach, release, clean and calculate a sample faster than ever before while, at the same time, getting more reliable results to calibrate their equipment. The dedicated staff at Bushel Plus know harvest is go-time with a system that allows farmers to work safer while saving time – so more grain is put in the bin and less is spread on the field. Bushel Plus has now added its new app to the integrated system, allowing the user to calculate harvest loss in a matter of seconds. Farmers can also enter and save combine settings and crop details for future reference. This way users can learn more about the machine in different conditions and go back to these learnings in the heat of harvest.
Bushel Plus is also proud to link the app to the Combine Optimization Tool from the Canola Council of Canada and PAMI. This is an electronic Q&A flow chart that guides the user through troubleshooting and combine optimization tips. All this value is the reason why Bushel Plus’ all-in-one system is a must on any modern farm. For more Information, please visit BushelPlus.ca or check them out on social media.
AGRI-TRADE Innovators to Compete for $25,000 at Agri-Trade’s 2019 Ag Innovations Competition At Agri-Trade Equipment Expo, innovation is defined as the development of new ideas that meet new requirements or market needs. Innovation differs from “invention” in that innovation refers to the use of a better, and as a result, novel idea or method rather the creation of the idea or method itself. Agri-Trade is pleased to once again be hosting the annual Ag Innovations Competition; each year amazed by the ingenuity and creativeness of manufacturers and marketers of agricultural products. This year – marking the 12th Ag Innovations program – takes the competition to a whole new level. A $20,000 grand prize will be awarded to one of five finalists who will go head-to-head during Agri-Trade on Thursday, November 7 at 3:00 p.m. in the Frontier Room. The top-five finalists will each have five minutes to present their innovation to a panel of judges. Attendees get to vote, and the
audience will help select the winner of the “Farmers Choice Award” to be awarded an additional $5,000 grant. The application process is now live and exhibitors have the opportunity to apply until August 1, 2019. Applications are welcome from manufacturers around the globe. Agri-Trade Equipment Expo takes place November 6-8, 2019 at Westerner Park in Red Deer. For more information, visit www. agri-trade.com and fill out the online application to see if your innovative product has what it takes. 53
TRUST ANOTHER FARMER WITH YOUR FARM PURCHASE Ted is a fourth generation farmer. His hands on farm experience and work ethic have helped him assist many customers purchase and sell farm land throughout Western Canada. cawkwellgroup.com | email@example.com | 1.306.986.7255
S A S K AT O O N
DRIVEN TO DO MORE
Out here the days start before sunrise, and they don’t end until the job is done. Polaris® RANGER ® is born from a determination to never compromise; the passion and purpose which drives you, also drives us. Powerful, capable, comfortable — for 20-years strong, RANGER ® is the most trusted utility side-by-side in the world.
WARNING: The Polaris® R ANGER® can be hazardous to operate and is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old w i t h a v alid dr i v e r ’s lic e n s e t o op e r a t e . P a s s e n g e r s m u s t b e a t le a s t 1 2 y e ar s old . D r i v e r s an d p a s s e n g e r s s h o uld al w a y s w e ar h elm e t s , e y e pr o t e c tion , and s e a t bel t s . A l w a y s us e c ab ne t s or door s (a s e quippe d ) . Ne v er eng age in s t un t dr i v ing , and a v oid e x c e s si v e spe e ds and sh ar p t u r n s . R i d in g a n d a l c o h o l /d r u g s d o n’ t m i x . A ll d r i v e r s s h o ul d t a k e a s a f e t y t r a in in g c o u r s e . C a ll 8 0 0 - 3 4 2 - 3 7 6 4 f o r a d d i t i o n a l in f o r m a t i o n . Check local laws before riding on trails. Polaris® is a registered trademark of Polaris Industries Inc. ©2019 Polaris Industries Inc.
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