July / August 2021
ENTREPRENEURS IN AGRICULTURE
Manitoba family continues successful farming and value-added operations
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A Farmer’s Viewpoint
Don’t be intimidated as you chart your path to success
by Kevin Hursh
10 12 26
Grain Market Analysis
Tight stocks, high prices by Scott Shiels Spraying 101
Fundamentals of Spray Drift by Tom Wolf
Farming Your Money
Where are the brokers? by Paul Kuntz
KEVIN HURSH 4
Dual purpose By Trevor Bacque
Those Wily Weeds
Post-Harvest Weed Control by Tammy Jones Precision Ag
Future Farming by Natalie Noble Land Gifting
A Taxing Situation by Natalie Noble
Read the latest news and insights from our contributors. Whether it’s farm investments or insects, they share the latest to bring you success in and out of the field.
Northern Saskatchewan and Southern Alberta Farmers!
Cleanfarms 2021 Unwanted Pesticides & Old Livestock/Equine Medications Collection is coming to your region this fall! Northern Saskatchewan – Oct. 4 to 8 | Southern Alberta – Oct. 25 to 29 Look for details on locations & dates later this summer and check out Cleanfarms.ca – see "Unwanted/Outdated Products" under "What to Recycle & Where" Unwanted Old Pesticides
Old Obsolete Livestock/Equine Medications Collection
What’s In Only agricultural or commercial solid and liquid pesticides, insecticides & herbicides identified with a Pest Control Product number (PCP No.) on the label • Adjuvants: only open with partial amount left; no full, unopened containers • Unlabeled pesticide, insecticide & herbicide product – identify it by writing UNKNOWN across it • Seed treatment products • Growth retardants with a PCP number
• No aerosols, even pesticides or animal health products No treated seed No rinsate No household hazardous waste (residential waste, oils, paints, etc.) No foam makers, sanitizers, soaps, iodine, acids, premise disinfectants No fertilizer or micronutrients Look for the PCP number on the label. If there is one, it's accepted; if there isn't, it's not!
Only livestock/equine medications used by primary producers in the rearing of animals in an agricultural context or horse owners • Identified with a DIN number, Serial Number, Notification Number or Pest Control Product number (PCP No.) on the product label • Unlabeled animal health product – identify it by writing UNKNOWN across it
What’s Not • • •
• No needles/sharps • No ear tags • No medicated feed
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DON’T BE INTIMIDATED AS YOU CHART YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS | A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT
Don’t be intimidated as you chart your path to success Here’s a bit of advice for small- to medium-sized farmers and for young farmers. Chart your path for a viable operation and don’t be intimidated. Here are some common intimidation factors. Kevin Hursh, P.Ag. Kevin Hursh is one of the country’s leading agricultural commentators. He is an agrologist, journalist and farmer. Kevin and his wife Marlene run Hursh Consulting & Communications based in Saskatoon. They also own and operate a farm near Cabri in southwest Saskatchewan growing a wide variety of crops. Kevin writes for a number of agricultural publications and serves as executive director for the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan and the Inland Terminal Association of Canada (ITAC). Twitter: @KevinHursh1
Input costs I’ve seen younger farmers aghast at the price of fertilizer this spring. Urea at $715/tonne and phosphate at close to a $1,000 can be tough to swallow when you could have bought it early for hundreds of dollars less. Having dry fertilizer storage pays for itself as does keeping an eye on fertilizer prices and realizing that fertilizer is usually most expensive in the spring. Unfortunately, cash strapped younger farmers are likely to cut back on fertilizer use to preserve cash flow as fertilizer prices rise. That limits upside yield potential. Don’t be intimidated by the fertilizer price escalation. Learn from it and strive to capture lower prices in the years to come. Pick the inputs you need that will make you money. Don’t skimp on what you really need. For instance, there are good reasons why glyphosate needs to be tank-mixed with other chemistry for the burnoff operation ahead of seeding. 7
A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT | DON’T BE INTIMIDATED AS YOU CHART YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS
Farm equipment at Kevin Hursh’s Saskatchewan farm. While it’s not the latest farm equipment, it helps get the job done ever year.
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One new seed drill and cart can now cost $750,000-plus. That is more than all of our equipment combined. No use being intimidated. Our stuff may be old and small, but it’s paid for and we were done seeding well before many of those with the giant machines. Beware of agronomic advice from those who claim to have all the answers. Agronomy is seldom black or white. If you’re a cash-strapped younger farmer, avoid the miracle products until they’re proven. I’ve had young farmers ask if they should be treating their seed. In return, I ask if they’ve had a germ and disease test done and usually the answer is ‘no.’ When they do decide to treat their
DON’T BE INTIMIDATED AS YOU CHART YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS | A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT
seed, they often don’t have a proper seed treater so their results are diminished while the cost remains the same. Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know, but do your homework. Seek advice from those you trust and constantly keep learning.
Farmland prices Expanding the farm can seem impossible as land prices continue to escalate year after year. Remember there are two aspects to land ownership. One is the revenue you gain from the crops you grow and the other is the investment value of the land. Sky-high interest rates, low commodity prices, droughts and an abundance of farm foreclosures kept land prices low with dropping values in many regions from the early ‘80s until the early ‘90s. It was an ugly time to be farming and many did not survive. Rising land prices is far better problem to have.
Equipment costs Big, new equipment carries mind-boggling price tags. Don’t be intimidated by the neighbour with an 80-foot shiny drill and a seed cart the size of a granary. Lots of smaller, older equipment is available to match your
acreage. Keep track of your equipment investment per seeded acre. Typically, for dryland farms it is $330 to $450 per acre, with higher amounts if you’re in a high-yield region or growing specialty crops. If you’re higher than others in your area, your fixed costs may be making you uncompetitive. We seed roughly 2,000 acres in southwest Saskatchewan, a small- to medium-sized farm by today’s standards. We have some newer equipment, but a lot of old stuff, too. Total equipment investment per seeded acre is about $350 an acre. One new seed drill and cart can now cost $750,000-plus. That is more than all of our equipment combined. No use being intimidated. Our stuff may be old and small, but it’s paid for and we were done seeding well before many of those with the giant machines.
Farm size “Farms are getting bigger and you have to be big to survive.” You hear this sentiment a lot and while there’s some truth to it, it doesn’t tell the entire story. Well-run smaller farms can be very profitable. That’s important for young farmers to know. You don’t have to aspire to farming 10,000 or 20,000 acres and you don’t need to feel inferior for having a viable farm on a much smaller acreage base. 9
GRAIN MARKET ANALYSIS | TIGHT STOCKS, HIGH PRICES
Tight stocks, high prices As we roll into summer, following one of the driest springs on record across Western Canada, one cannot help but wonder: where are we going from here? Grain stocks across Canada, the U.S., and most of the world, are very tight, and from that, grain prices are relatively strong in all commodities.
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 Yorkton, Sask., with his wife Jenn. www.grainmillers.com
In early May, we saw canola prices set record highs in the old crop months, while new crop contracting opportunities have also proven to be quite lucrative. The question remains, how much is a safe amount to forward contract with uncertain conditions ahead? While production is never a certainty until the crop is in the bin, taking advantage of traditionally high prices is almost a necessity with the ever-increasing cost of production on a canola crop these days. Another crop that has pricing encouraging early contracting is flax. Flax prices have been high all year, and really, for several years. Challenging as flax can be to produce, those of you that have engaged in growing it, have no doubt over time learned the intricacies and nuances of producing this financially beneficial crop. Lack of weed competitiveness, difficulty to harvest, and residue management are all challenges one must face when growing flax, but all of these can be all but forgotten when the market hits $20/bu. Of course, where would an article from me be without mentioning oats? For the last number of years, one thing that we have been noticing is the effort being put in by farmers on their oat crop. For the longest time, oats were that crop that went in last and essentially filled in the acres that didn’t get seeded to something else on time. Well, that just simply isn’t the case anymore. Research has proven that earlier seeding of oats is beneficial for weed control, as oats are highly competitive, and has shown increased yields and test weights at harvest. The other factor that has really played out well with oats is the newer varieties’ ability to allow farmers to push more fertilizer down with them. For the longest time, farmers really had to be careful about putting too much nitrogen with their oat crop, as it didn’t take much to cause it to get really tall and lodge badly prior to harvest. Now, varieties are being bred with shorter heights, and increased straw strength, allowing farmers to push their nutrient package with their oats, which pushes yields higher as well. With traditionally high prices being paid for milling oats, this combination is proving to be very advantageous for Prairie oat farmers. We have been fortunate to receive fairly general rains across Western Canada in the later part of May, but if dry conditions return, we could be into one of the biggest bull markets of all time. Much of this year’s crop was seeded with barely adequate moisture, so there could still definitely be concern for the ending quantity and quality of this crop. This slower start should leave lasting strength in the markets, giving farmers ample opportunity to market their grain at pretty high prices. Until next time…
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August 10 & 11, 2021 Olds College AgSmartOlds.ca
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SPRAYING 101 | FUNDAMENTALS OF SPRAY DRIFT
Fundamentals of Spray Drift 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.
The year 1989 marked my first spray drift trial under the watchful eye of Raj Grover and John Maybank. We evaluated the performance of several spray shrouds, Flexi-Coil, AgShield, Brandt, and Rogers, and wanted to measure just how effective they were. But in my heart I wasn’t interested in drift. I wanted to study herbicide efficacy. Anyway, I thought, we’ll do this trial and I’m pretty sure we won’t have to revisit the topic. It’s now 32 years later and spray drift has interwoven itself into all my projects, remains one of the most powerful drivers of regulatory activity, is likely the most visible consequence of poor stewardship, and will stay as one of the dominant creators of public opinion around modern agricultural practice. Drift has not gone away. And yet our understanding of it is far from complete. Spray drift is defined as the wind-induced movement of the spray cloud away from the treated swath. Droplet drift can occur for all sprays, and it happens within minutes of the spray pass. Its cousin, vapour drift, is limited to active ingredients that are volatile, that is, they can evaporate from dry deposits after application. Vapour drift happens after the spray application is complete and can last several days.
Droplet Drift Droplet drift can be divided into two phases that are separated by about one second and that are measured differently. “Initial drift” happens first and refers to the product that leaves the treated area immediately after atomization. It is airborne and can be measured by placing air-samplers (any device that can capture droplets in air) close to the downwind edge of the spray swath.
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SPRAYING 101 | FUNDAMENTALS OF SPRAY DRIFT droplets or fast-moving air assist are useful drift reducing tools. The second, displacement energy, comes from relative air movement, either from forward travel speed or wind and the associated turbulence. More wind or turbulence means more power to displace.
Figure 1: Initial vs Secondary drift. Once the drift cloud leaves the treated swath, the relative strengths of turbulence and sedimentation determine the amount that remains airborne and the amount that lands downwind. Secondary drift describes the airborne spray cloud that continues to move downwind from the swath edge, where it either remains aloft or deposits on the surface below it. It is typically measured using samplers placed on the ground that capture sedimenting spray droplets. The difference in method is important because it goes to the heart of the problem of understanding spray drift.
Figure 3: Initial drift follows an expected response to greater wind speeds and coarser sprays. Data from a pull-type sprayer travelling 13 km/h with 60 cm boom height. Because initial drift is easier to understand, our most common advice for reducing drift is based on maximizing droplet energy and minimizing displacement energy. Lower booms, larger droplets, slower travel speeds, shrouds, or properly implemented air assist all help reduce initial drift. It makes sense that creating less initial drift will also reduce downwind deposition arising from secondary drift.
Figure 2: Droplet drift occurs when displacement energy exceeds droplet energy. The droplet’s combination of mass and velocity cannot withstand the energy presented by moving air. Initial drift is actually quite easy to understand because its creation is intuitive. The displacement of droplets from the spray plume is a function of balancing two types of energy. The first, droplet energy, is the product of droplet diameter and velocity. The more energy in the droplets, the more difficult they are to displace, and that’s why larger, heavier 14
Figure 4: Management of initial drift is intuitive. We reduce drift by adding energy to the droplet and by protecting the droplet from exposure to moving air.
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SPRAYING 101 | FUNDAMENTALS OF SPRAY DRIFT
Downwind Deposition After leaving the spray swath, the moving secondary drift cloud has two main options. It can deposit or it can remain airborne. Basic physics suggest that all objects eventually fall to the ground, and since smaller objects need more time, they drift farther. But when atmospheric turbulence and topography are considered, it’s not quite that simple. These two complicating factors control what proportion of the drift cloud remains airborne and what proportion deposits. Drift trials show that about 20 per cent of the initial drift amount returns to the surface within the first 100 metres or so of the sprayer. The rest remains and rises in the atmosphere where it evaporates and gets mixed further.
Figure 5: The majority of secondary drift remains airborne. Data are for Medium spray quality from a pull-type sprayer with 60 cm boom height and 13 km/h travel speed. It happens quickly. Just five metres downwind of the spray swath, the cloud is already four metres tall. At 100 metres downwind, we’ve measured its height to be 30 metres. Proportion of the spray that remains airborne depends on the spray quality and the nature of the atmosphere. If it’s windy and sunny, or if the spray is finer, turbulence sends more into the air. If it’s cloudy and the wind is low, we have little atmospheric mixing. As a result, a smaller proportion will remain airborne and more will sediment, and overall, we may actually have more potential to damage downwind areas. When we graph spray drift deposit data from a windy day, the deposit amount decreases exponentially with downwind distance. Usually, drift damage follows the same pattern. The larger droplets that contain the majority of the dose deposit first. The smaller droplets go further and are more likely to mix in the atmosphere and rise with thermals. 16
Figure 6: Deposited drift decreases logarithmically with distance.
FUNDAMENTALS OF SPRAY DRIFT | SPRAYING 101
Under temperature inversion conditions that are common on calm summer evenings, overnight, and early mornings, the damage from the drift cloud does not decrease the same way. The cloud containing the buoyant mist lingers over a large area. Without atmospheric mixing and its resulting dilution with time and distance, large areas can be damaged.
The Effect of Turbulence on Deposition We’ve established that the more atmospheric mixing we have, the less spray will deposit on the ground, at least in the short term. How does this affect our thinking on the role of wind? When we evaluated drift data from a number of trials, we always saw more initial drift with higher wind speeds, as expected. However, the downwind deposit did not usually increase significantly. We attributed this observation to turbulence generated by wind which lifted more of the initial drift higher into the atmosphere. To be clear, deposited drift did not go down with higher wind. It just didn’t rise as fast as initial drift.
Figure 7: The effect of wind speed on airborne drift (top line) vs. deposited drift (bottom line) from a high clearance sprayer travelling 23 km/h and emitting a Very Coarse spray. 17
SPRAYING 101 | FUNDAMENTALS OF SPRAY DRIFT
Vapour drift is another issue altogether. It occurs hours and days after application, as long as the volatile product remains on a surface and conditions that allow formation of vapours persist. Vapour pressure is related to surface temperature, and losses increase with warmer surfaces. Some products enter the vapour phase when in contact with water and release vapour after a rainfall. The effect of turbulence can be viewed as a good thing because it protects downwind objects. Rapid dilution reduces immediate drift damage. We can use turbulence to protect objects on the ground. It’s certainly better than the alternative, emitting sprays when the atmosphere can’t dilute them, such as in an inversion. In that case, downwind areas remain at risk for a long distance, and for a long time. But we have to also consider what happens to airborne spray droplets. Some pesticides degrade in sunlight and stop being a problem. But others are more stable and may persist in the atmosphere for days or longer. During that time, they may move significant distances, ultimately returning to the earth’s surface in precipitation or in dust. Even though the
atmosphere has diluted them, these deposits are measurable, and will show up in environmental monitoring of air, soil, and water. We may not be able to find out where they originate, but the public knows who to blame. Agriculture.
Vapour Drift Vapour drift is another issue altogether. It occurs hours and days after application, as long as the volatile product remains on a surface and conditions that allow formation of vapours persist. Vapour pressure is related to surface temperature, and losses increase with warmer surfaces. Some products enter the vapour phase when in contact with water and release vapour after a rainfall. In situations where vapour is released for several days after application, it becomes impossible to control its subsequent movement. For droplet drift, if we know the wind direction at the time of spraying, we know where the impact is likely to be. But vapour movement depends on conditions that may occur between now and three days from now, and these could include high temperatures, various wind directions, and even inversions in which vapours accumulate. Ultimately, the best way to avoid off-target vapour movement is to avoid using volatile products.
The Public Good Spray drift is one of agriculture’s most important stewardship challenges, and our industry needs to continue to improve its track record. Sprayers have a difficult task of converting a relatively small volume of liquid into a spray that offers good target coverage yet doesn’t move off the treated area. Favourable weather combined with droplet size management are at the heart of making this system work, but there isn’t a lot of wiggle room. Once again, an emphasis on sprayer productivity is one of the most fruitful areas to invest in, as this makes the best of the sometimes rare conditions in which spraying conditions are optimal.
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COVER STORY | DUAL PURPOSE
PURPOSE PURPOSE Manitoba family continues successful farming and value-added operations By Trevor Bacque Value-added businesses on farms are found all across the Prairies. The primary venture of farming is often directly tied into the secondary operation. This is true for the Pitura family at Domain, Man., who run a successful pedigreed seed farm along with their processing, handling and treating facility. What began more than 100 years ago from humble Eastern European immigrants has grown today into a thriving 4,000acre pedigreed seed farm and the site of Canada’s largest family-owned seed and processing facility in Western Canada.
Humble beginnings Paul and Sophie Pitura began the family farm in 1918 with 480 acres after their arrival from Poland. One of their sons, Carl, took over the farm in the late 1940s and began cleaning grain just a few years later. Carl’s son Calvin began to farm in the 1970s alongside his wife Barb Strath-Pitura. It was at this time that Calvin and Barb put in a concerted effort to expand and offer a range of services, such as treating, bagging and storage. They were also one of the very first families in Manitoba to begin growing soybeans about 20 years ago. Their 1,200-acre operation grew to more than triple its original size to 4,000 acres by 2010. However, Calvin started to wonder about the future of the business and wasn’t sure where things were headed. With their seed processing business becoming increasingly popular with area farmers and customers across Western Canada, a decision needed to be reached. Calvin reached out to his future son-in-law, Tom Greaves, who was dating his daughter 20
DUAL PURPOSE | COVER STORY
Connor and Sheri Pitura, Tom Greaves and son Harris, Sheena PituraGreaves and daughter Blair and Calvin Pitura and Barb Strath-Pitura. The intergenerational farm family has successfully expanded its seed cleaning and processing business multiple times over the last 10 years. 21
COVER STORY | DUAL PURPOSE
Sheena at the time. Greaves, from a family farm at Miami, Man., was working in the industry for a local food manufacturer and knew relatively little about the seed business. “When he told me to come join him, to be honest, seed did not sound very exciting,” says Greaves with a laugh. “That said, I did some research about what was going on in the seed business and I was blown away with where the industry was going. “It was a bit of a leap of faith on my behalf to go from a decent working job out to the family farm, but it was what I always wanted to do. The ‘ag’ never leaves a person and it was calling me home.” Before a new era of farm management began though, Calvin and Barb began farm transition talks. With Tom and Sheena now married and committed to coming back to the farm, the conversations began in earnest in 2011. “I really credit my in-laws for everything,” he says. “They were really good about using business planners, walking through the process from top to bottom so we really understood what we were getting into—what happens if it works? What happens if it doesn’t? It was such a positive transaction, I can’t credit them enough.” At the same time all this was happening, Connor Pitura was also becoming interested in farming full time. The timing for them was perfect, too. Both Greaves and the younger Pitura took over the two respective businesses, Pitura Seed Service and Pitura Seed Farms. Greaves and Pitura both started working full time in the businesses in 2013. In 2017, Greaves took the role of president of Pitura Seed Service and Pitura became president of Pitura Seed Farms. Calvin is now chairman of the board and remains on as a mentor and agronomic advisor.
Farm success To bring about even more confidence with customers, Pitura and Greaves hired Laird Lampertz 2015. Today, Lampertz is the company’s head agronomist and leads a team of agronomic experts. Between his team, Calvin and Pitura, they have an abundance of agronomic wisdom for their customers. Pitura is growing varieties three to five years before customers see it, with certain varieties coming to market while others fizzle out. No matter what the outcome, he is glad he can give customers the trust and satisfaction of saying he tried it out and has experienced the variety for himself. “We sell what we grow on our farm. If we can’t trust a variety to be successful for our farm, we aren’t going to sell it to a customer,” says Greaves. 22
DUAL PURPOSE | COVER STORY
“It is daunting; it’s not an easy task. We do it because we love it. We go back to that entrepreneurial spirit. You have to have passion about what you’re doing or else you wouldn’t be doing it.” - Tom Greaves Overall, the farm has seen its own agronomics improve recently as plant breeders continue to create improved varieties. “We have seen significant gains in yield over the years,” says Pitura. “We attribute this to new stronger varieties along with improved technology and an overall focus on agronomy. We are always learning how to improve.” Currently, the farm produces seed wheat, barley, oats, soybeans and peas. Beyond their 4,000 acres of pedigreed seed production, their business contracts out more than 35,000 acres of seed production to various growers across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. All of their growers are strategically selected due to best management practices and geography to minimize adverse weather events that could ruin a crop. Similarly, soil zones make a difference, as well. Their farm has Red River clay and its signature water-holding capacity, which makes crop selection important. Other areas have more options, so Greaves sees it as a best management practice to spread other crops to different regions. “When planning seed production, we try to spread out our production throughout the province to allow for risk mitigation,” says Greaves. “We see significant differences in weather patterns across the province, and this helps to ensure that we do not lose production due to a weather event or other environmental factors.” For the family, being 30 minutes south of Winnipeg, Man., is a huge benefit given the city is such a vital hub of agriculture for processing, logistics and food manufacturing.
Seed business acceleration An aerial shot of the Pitura farm yard and seed plant near Domain, Man. The farm family has two distinct businesses: a 4,000 pedigreed seed farm in addition to a full-service seed retail that operates one of the largest seed plants of its kind in Western Canada.
When Greaves began in the driver’s seat of the seed business, it was a far cry from the world of food manufacturing where the company had 100-plus employees and he sat in a corner office. The seed business stood at six, including himself, and there was little division of labour. 23
COVER STORY | DUAL PURPOSE
Connor Pitura with Blair Greaves.
“There’s a lot of value that the seed industry partners bring to our organization. With access to different varieties, we grow, test and touch these varieties inside and out, long before they get to commercial markets. That lets us have access to a lot of data from trials and plots, as well. We are trying to put the time into the right varieties that will be good fits for the growers.” - Tom Greaves 24
Greaves took his skills learned working in the industry for 12 years and began to apply them slowly but surely to the seed world. What he lacked in seed-related knowledge, he was able to backfill with other general business acumen. “There were opportunities to serve our community more which was exciting, our larger base in the area and partnerships with other companies out in industry,” he says. “That’s what we’ve been able to do over the last few years with quality and professionalism.” The seed and farm businesses are still family run, but Greaves says both are now run like professional businesses which maintain family values. That mindset shift seems to have paid off, as well. Today the two businesses now have 20 total employees, who Greaves says are the backbone of the entire business. “We have an amazing team here,” he says. “I couldn’t do any of this without them … it’s really a team effort here. They are what drives our organization.” The hard work by the employees have opened doors to let the family operation partner with more than 100 different seed growers. Some of those partnerships include multinational companies. Today, they also have ownership stakes in or distribution agreements with many different
DUAL PURPOSE | COVER STORY concrete walls with an R28 insulation rating and in-floor heating. Walls have epoxy coating to make cleaning grain dust a breeze and helped contribute to its HACCP food safety certification. The facility officially opened in early 2019, with a special emphasis on cleaning and processing all kinds of seed, but specifically pulses, which are very delicate. The plant is able to give anyone in the value chain full traceability of product back to its original field of origin. It operates with a capacity of anywhere between 1,000 to 1,500 bu/hr, depending on crop type. “The way we got our extra capacity, we doubled up most of the equipment in our line,” explains Greaves. “It is fully automated which is critical when running these volumes.” The new facility has not only attracted new clients but it has added peace of mind to existing ones as well, according to Greaves. To keep up with it all, Greaves has begun to school himself and certainly grabs professional development opportunities to sharpen and grow his skillset. Tom Greaves, left, with wife Sheena Pitura-Greaves and their daughter Blair Greaves.
seed organizations, including Canterra Seeds, NorthStar Genetics, FP Genetics, SeCan, Alliance, Seed Depot, SeedNet and BrettYoung. The decision was made to partner with many outside organizations because of what it could do to raise the profile of the seed and farm businesses. “There’s a lot of value that the seed industry partners bring to our organization,” he says. “With access to different varieties, we grow, test and touch these varieties inside and out, long before they get to commercial markets. That lets us have access to a lot of data from trials and plots, as well. We are trying to put the time into the right varieties that will be good fits for the growers.” Greaves says every variety they grow must be a “triple win” for suppliers, themselves and farmers. With all those wins piling up, though, it became clear there was a major change on the horizon. Within the number of years, Pitura Seed has earned sizable contracts that required the infrastructure to match. Their existing plant was operating 24 hours a day at only 400 bu/hr just to keep up. Soon they would have to start turning away prospective clients or expand operations. It ended up being an easy call. In 2018, they began construction on a brand new 10,000-square-foot building made entirely of 12-inch precast
He is part of TEC Canada, which is a CEO growth organization, where he interacts with other like-minded executives to discuss goals for personal and professional growth in a confidential setting. He is also able to talk through problems and find tenable solutions for different issues he may face. “I like the idea that it was people that outside of my industry,” he says of TEC. “Lots of attributes carry across in business, but at the same time I want to make sure I am not thinking the status quo. I want to think about things differently if possible and I get a bit of an advantage out of that group because of it.” He says the enterprise and risk management are not necessarily easy things to manage, but they must be taken care of nonetheless. Greaves believes this line of work—farming and a seed business—cannot be viewed as just a job or it will simply fail. “It is daunting; it’s not an easy task,” he says plainly. “We do it because we love it. We go back to that entrepreneurial spirit. You have to have passion about what you’re doing or else you wouldn’t be doing it.” The family is currently working through a new strategic plan of what they anticipate being another major growth phase over the next three to five years, which includes a branding refresh to ensure they are maintaining core values and focusing on the needs of their partners and potential clients. The farm looks very different than it did 100 years ago, but a few things have not changed: a family-first mindset but with a 21st century professionalism to make their farm and valueadded business thrive throughout Canada. 25
FARMING YOUR MONEY | WHERE ARE THE BROKERS?
Where are the brokers? I have spoken about the commodity price boom that has the potential to add massive revenue to grain farms across Western Canada. The current and future prices look very promising. Now we need to have a commodity in order to enjoy the commodity price. Hopefully Mother Nature will bless us with a crop.
Paul Kuntz Paul Kuntz is the owner of Wheatland Financial. He offers financial consulting and debt broker services. Kuntz is also an advisor with Global Ag Risk Solutions. He can be reached through wheatlandfinancial.ca.
These high commodity prices have farmers wondering what this will do to expenses. Oftentimes we see expenses go up when revenue goes up. This can outstrip any benefits the rise in prices brings. It has led to me to wonder if we need a better system. Farmers have the ability to lock in grain prices on certain commodities for up to two years. You can lock in this crop and next year’s crop price. To go out to the second year might take some planning. Your local elevator may not have a specific deferred deliver contract for a crop two years out but if you use a commodity broker, you can use the futures market to protect a price. You will be limited to what is traded. If you want to protect durum wheat, there is no contract for that. Same with barley, peas, lentils and others. You can protect wheat and canola. When it comes to protecting your expenses, there are options. Farmers often pre-buy their fertilizer long before planting and typically save money. This year it saved a large amount of money. Fertilizer prices right at planting time in 2021 are very high. If you purchased later in 2020 or in early in 2021, there were great savings. But what about 2022? What will fertilizer prices be? If you have the storage and money, you can start buying fertilizer as soon as the price drops. But what if the price does not drop? What if the fertilizer prices for 2022 simply remain high? It would have been nice to have a system to lock the price in late 2020 for 2022 and beyond.
I M P R O V I N G
These high commodity prices have farmers wondering what this will do to expenses. Often times we see expenses go up when revenue goes up. This can outstrip any benefits the rise in prices brings. It has led to me to wonder if we need a better system. Fuel is another expense that may see increases but unless you can buy it and store it, there is no protection. If your rental agreement expires this year, there is a good chance your landlord will expect more rent going forward. Based on the grain prices, landlords will expect a chunk of that windfall. Equipment prices have been going up partially because
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FARMING YOUR MONEY | WHERE ARE THE BROKERS?
As farmers we do not need to have a broker in every town, but we need a system that is more inviting. We need to take a system of institutional investing and make it more retail. We need creativity to create contracts that protect fertilizer prices. We need buyers to offer price protection farther out than two years. of supply/demand issues COVID-19 caused. The increase in grain prices will add demand pressure and I am sure will see a larger than usual increase in equipment prices. All of this can have an adverse effect going forward. Think about this scenario: Rent increases on your five-year term, loan payments increase on your equipment purchase and that is over seven years, fertilizer prices remain where they are, fuel goes up, and two or three years from now and we are back to $11/bushel canola and $6.50/bushel wheat. What will this do to your budget? So many expenses farmers have are contracted out over several years. Your rent, equipment payments, and mortgage payments are some examples. But if you want to contract your income, the best you can do is go out two years and basically only on two crops. The lack of ability to contract income is not just limited to the future years, it is riddled with one-sided risk. If you sign a deferred delivery contract, you are obligated to deliver grain against it. If you cannot there are penalties and if the price has moved against you, the penalties are worse. If you take a position in the futures market, a change in prices can be very costly. There are other tools such as options that are less risky but they carry other risks like expiring worthless or not receiving their true value. I spoke with Errol Anderson of ProMarket Wire out of Calgary, Alta., about the availability of options for farmers for either revenue or expense protection. Anderson explained that two years is all you can go out on the futures market to get price protection. As for expense protection, he explained there really are no options. Although fertilizer is traded on an exchange, the contract sizes are not meant for farmers, nor is there enough 28
WHERE ARE THE BROKERS? | FARMING YOUR MONEY
liquidity to provide protection. Anderson also explained that in the past they would use natural gas futures to protect the price of nitrogen fertilizer as that is a key ingredient. That practice has since become fruitless because the markets do not always react in unison. There has been a lot of improvements in the area of price protection for grain. I think back to the ‘80s and ‘90s. You had your local elevator and you phoned in for a price. Hopefully you caught the market at the right time. Since then, we have seen targets come into play, basis contracts, certain commodities carry an Act of God clause, apps on our phones updating prices by the minute, end-users like canola crushing plants becoming direct buyers and the list goes on. I still feel like industry and farmers could do more. As farmers, we should all get to know someone like Anderson. When I think of how many farmers we have in Western Canada, there should be a commodity broker on every corner, but the opposite is true. There are very few true commodity brokers out there. They are hard to find. A very small percentage of farmers have trading accounts. So, farmers need to do more.
Industry also needs to improve access. We see grain companies offering broker-type services which is good, but it would be better if there were also independent companies also offering services. Think back to the ‘80s. If you had some money to invest and you wanted it to go into the stock market, that would have been a tall task. You would have needed to find a stock broker at a brokerage who had a seat on the exchange. That service was reserved for wealthy sophisticated investors. The rest of us were stuck with term deposits and GICs. Now, you can walk into any credit union or bank and buy equities in a mutual fund. You can walk in with $50 and set it up. They are everywhere. As farmers we do not need to have a broker in every town, but we need a system that is more inviting. We need to take a system of institutional investing and make it more retail. We need creativity to create contracts that protect fertilizer prices. We need buyers to offer price protection farther out than two years. We need contracts that offer some protection to farmers in the event of crop failure. We need a system that provides more protection. My fear is $100/acre rent, $1.1 million combines, $1,400/tonne phos and $11/bu canola.
THOSE WILY WEEDS | POST-HARVEST WEED CONTROL
Post-Harvest Weed Control “Cut thistles in May, they’ll grow again some day. Cut thistles in June, that will be too soon. Cut thistles in July, they’ll lay down and die.”
Tammy Jones B.Sc., P.Ag Tammy Jones completed her B.Sc. in crop protection at the University of Manitoba. She has more than 15 years of experience in the crops industry in Manitoba and Alberta, with a focus on agronomy. Tammy lives near Carman, Man., and spends her time scouting for weeds and working with cattle at the family farm in Napinka.
This piece of practical advice, or perhaps it is folklore, was part of a conversation with Mike Cowbrough, weed specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs regarding tough-to-control weeds. The saying highlights the importance of weed biology in determining the most effective timing for weed control efforts. Spring weed control is especially effective for annual weeds and protecting crop yields. Pre-harvest weed control can be a good opportunity for optimizing harvest efficiency by reducing green plant material. But limitations on suitable crops, suitable herbicides, and issues such as wheel tracks in the field, complicate and possibly reduce the effectiveness of the pre-harvest options. There is a strong argument to be made for post-harvest weed control even though it too has challenges. Post-harvest timing can help control perennial weeds, minimize the impact of annuals’ re-growth, and address any newly emerged winter annuals. It’s also a great tool for optimizing weed control when the next crop has limited in-crop herbicide options. The main challenge for post-harvest weed control, is completing harvest before winter sets in. There are years where harvest doesn’t end until the next spring, but in years where there is an open fall and the opportunity, here are reasons to consider post-harvest weed control:
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THOSE WILY WEEDS | POST-HARVEST WEED CONTROL 1. Scouting is easier than for pre-harvest. No one wants to walk through a heavily knitted crop at maturity or try to see what weeds lurk under the crop canopy. Weeds are more evident in the stubble, so patch management is easily done and travelling across a field will not damage crops. Perennial weed control is optimized. While annual weeds are essentially killed when they are young (spring), perennial weeds require a systemic herbicide to be translocated into the roots. The ideal timing for this to occur is once the weed is replenishing the root reserves (late summer or fall). 2. Soil moisture and nutrient management can be addressed. In dry years, soil moisture conservation is essential, to reduce impact on subsequent crop yields. One example is a study from Washington State where Russian thistle used more than 25 gallons of water between an early August harvest and a killing frost in late October. That was more moisture than the weed had used while growing with the wheat crop. In another study conducted in Kansas, post-harvest weed control conducted immediately post-harvest conserved significantly more soil moisture resulting in 15 bushels more corn in the following year. If soil moisture is not limiting, then weed growth can result in uptake of available nutrients, minimizing leaching or other potential losses. 3. Minimizing the weed seed bank. Annual weeds that are cut off at harvest may regrow and often set seed (see picture). In a study conducted in Montana, kochia were able to set more than 4,000 seeds per plant after being cut off at harvest. While that is less than the entire plant would have produced, it does increase the weed pressure in future years. Controlling those weeds will help minimize future weed issues. 4.Flexibility to select a weed control option. Options that could not be considered when there is a crop present are now viable. Post-harvest weed control could be a flail mower, shallow or deep tillage, a herbicide application or a cover crop. Soil moisture would help decide which of these options is most feasible. In a dry year, the flail mower or shallow tillage will conserve more soil moisture. The flail mower helps minimize re-growth and seed production of annual weeds and keep tumbleweeds from spreading into neighbouring fields. Shallow tillage will uproot newly sprouted winter annuals and certain perennial weeds while stimulating the germination of non-dormant annual weeds (volunteer canola), which would then be killed in the winter to minimize weed pressure in the spring. Deep tillage and cover crops are likely better suited to times when moisture levels are less limiting. Deep tillage may bury weed seeds, which may in turn result in them degrading in the soil or being consumed by insects. While deep tillage may also reduce some perennials weeds, there is the danger of spreading root fragments, so patch tillage is an option. 32
Annual weeds like lamb’s quarters, yellow foxtail, and wild buckwheat can set seed after being cut off at harvest.
Cover crops, like fall rye, may provide many advantages, suppressing weeds by crop competition, shading or allelopathy and preventing soil erosion on delicate soils. Fall applications of residual herbicides are also effective in controlling early emerging spring weeds. 5. Time management. Completing field activities in the fall can mean less stress on resources in the spring. There are a number of fitness and sports quotes, business quotes, and so many other sayings that begin with “There is no finish line…” Farming is no exception, although harvesting a crop may feel like the end of the cycle, another cycle is just beginning, especially when it comes to weed control. Post-harvest weed control can be tricky for timing and effectiveness, however it can be the key to next year’s successful crop.
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2021-05-27 5:26 PM
PRECISION AG | FUTURE FARMING
Next-level AI technologies drive better decision-making for improved profitability and sustainability on the farm By Natalie Noble
Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have swept across Prairie fields as sophisticated programs do the heavy lifting on farmers’ behalf. Cutting-edge cloud-based applications for data storage, real-time analysis and communication, as well as remote and smart sensing tools provide decision-making abilities for better yields, economic and environmental sustainability on the farm. For the tech savvy who love keeping one foot helping farmers in the field, the agtech world is a fascinating place. Andria Karstens, business operations manager at the Climate Corporation, with Wilkie, Sask. farm roots, helps today’s farmers maximize the benefits of the Climate FieldView app. “I truly believe there are ways farmers can be sustainable and profitable,” says Karstens. “I do think technology is going to lead the way for us to continue to do this. We’re starting to do it now, and we’ll continue to improve upon it in the future.” On the smart sensing side of the fence, Jesper Voois, product manager of weed detection systems with Croplands Equipment, feels a similar pride. “It’s really exciting to build up the exposure of these technologies in Canada,” he says. “Working with farmers in practical farming conditions using the combination of technology and working with food production is really exciting, especially with such high-end innovative technology.” 34
“I truly believe there are ways farmers can be sustainable and profitable. I do think technology is going to lead the way for us to continue to do this. We’re starting to do it now, and we’ll continue to improve upon it in the future.” - Andria Karstens On-the-go analysis, all in one place It’s often said a picture is worth a thousand words. With the Climate FieldView app, the sentiment could not be truer. Farmers using the app maximize the return across all their farm acres. At the click or tap of a button on a mobile device their data is collected, stored, measured, monitored and analyzed to assist in agronomic decisions throughout the year. The biggest advantage is FieldView’s collection and storage of the massive amount of farm-produced data conveniently stored in the cloud, accessible to the entire farm team.
Farmers are resourceful Give us the right tools and a little time and we can get most anything up and running again. The same goes for your mental health. Farming is an amazing way of life, but sometimes it can be as draining mentally as it is physically. You need the right tools to keep things running smoothly. Make sure your well-being is a priority and talk to somebody if you or someone you know needs help. Agriculture is rooted in strength – the strength to take care of our families and ourselves. For more resources, visit DoMore.Ag. #RootedInStrength
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PRECISION AG | FUTURE FARMING “With different kinds of equipment, systems and ways of storing information, it can be hard to get a holistic understanding and comparison when things are all sitting in different spots,” says Karstens. “For example, maybe the seeding notes are kept in a notebook while harvest results and yield data are stored on a USB stick.” With everything accessible through the app, farmers easily make direct comparisons around how any seed or product performed throughout the year. Farmers simply plug FieldView Cab’s physical drive into their equipment and download the app on their devices to access endless types of field data stored using Bluetooth. “Everyone involved in the operation can have various apps,” says Karstens. “As information is recorded in the field, it shows up on the other apps when they’re connected to the internet.” There’s something for every farmer in the app and use depends on their unique operation. Many minimize time-consuming scouting practices with quality satellite imagery, vegetation maps and colour mapping. “Say the agronomist goes out to the field and sees an issue. They can simply make a note and geo-tag the place in the field where they see it occurring. On the iPad, the farmer can see this, as well,” says Karstens. “Vice-versa, when the farmer sees an issue in the field, they can capture it as well and the agronomist can see it, go right back and check it out.”
Climate Corp’s Andria Karstens believes new technologies like FieldView are the way of the future for farmers to be increasingly profitable and sustainable. “Making sure the farmer knows what is actually making them money on the farm and being able to understand this when they have that yield data captured and accessible in FieldView, they know what each and every product has produced in yields for their farm,” she says. Courtesy of Climate Corp
This communication piece is paramount for operations using external support. “When the agronomist comes out to scout the fields, they already have access to all of these records,” says Karstens. “They know what’s planted, where it’s planted, what’s been sprayed and if there are any issues.” Farmers performing on-farm trials use the equipment drive to map out different products they’re applying for simpler, more accurate, trialing. “Farmers can compare two different seed hybrids, two different fertilizer rates, two different fungicides [or] test a newly launched product,” says Karstens, who adds that all data appears in the same place, making side-by-side comparisons and understanding a product’s relative value very simple.
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KNOW MORE. GROW MORE. Services and products offered by The Climate Corporation are subject to the customer agreeing to our Terms of Service. Our services provide estimates or recommendations based on models. These do not guarantee results. Consult with your agronomist, commodity broker, or other industry professional before making financial, farming, or risk management decisions. More information at https://climatefieldview.ca/legal/disclaimer. FieldView™ is a trademark of The Climate Corporation, Bayer CropScience Inc. licensee. ©2021 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
PRECISION AG | FUTURE FARMING
“Now, they can actually go into the field and solely target the necessary weeds when they’re still small. Farmers can really control their weeds in the most effective way with a strong return on their investment.” - Jesper Voois
Accurate weed detection and elimination
FieldView also lets farmers create prescriptions for VR seed and application placements. “If only a part of the field requires a fungicide, let’s create that prescription to ensure we’re only spraying the parts of the field that actually need protection,” says Karstens. “There’s just no sense, when farmers are dealing with a bad spot of really sandy land in the field, in putting fertilizer there.
Because the nozzles are only actuated through WEED-IT’s Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control, farmers set the desired flow rate on the console. The system uses solenoids programmed according to a PWM table for consistent spray flow rate regardless of speed fluctuations or turns. “Our solenoids open and close 50 times per second, so we can adjust very carefully how much liquid is applied per driving speed,” says Voois. “When a weed is present, there are significant savings in chemical applied without compromising efficacy on weed management.”
Farmers can reflect upon all this data at any time, especially when planning for the upcoming year. “A lot of times farmers are so busy during the growing season. They might spend some time mapping things out, but when it comes to reviewing the app and using it to make next year’s decisions, it’s incredibly valuable,” says Karstens. 38
The days of broadacre spraying across Prairie fields are soon to be a distant memory. With the rise of spot spraying, farmers will have increasingly greater access to fast, accurate and easy weed detection and elimination. One such product, WEED-IT has smart technology capable of being built onto virtually any sprayer and covers a working width up to 134 feet. Detection sensors mounted to the spray boom create an independent operating system. “Each detection sensor covers 40 inches and puts out a blue light sensor towards the ground, broken into four channels of 10 inches,” describes Voois. “If a small weed is detected, a nozzle opens up and if it’s a bigger weed sparking multiple detection channels, those particular solenoids will open.”
Seeing the system in action is impressive as its blue light source sensors scan the topsoil for chlorophyll approximately 7,000 times per second over a specific wavelength reflecting
FUTURE FARMING | PRECISION AG
from the topsoil. “WEED-IT scans every millimetre while crossing the field at 25 kilometres per hour,” says Voois. Such accuracy lends incredible cost and labour savings. When farmers have a weed occupation of only five per cent per field, the cost savings in chemical products can be as high as 80 per cent with this technology. “It also means farmers can use more high-end and higher doses of these chemicals because they know they’re putting that chemical exactly where it needs to go,” says Voois. The technology offers farmers an option for virtually any scenario. It can be set for spot spraying in three modes including covering farmers’ burn-off operation, picking out tall weeds in a young crop, and targeting weeds in a ripened field at desiccation. There’s also an in-crop PWM functionality built in for full-coverage applications.
Also advantageous are savings in water, labour and time with reduced refills on the sprayer, as well less chemical residue left in the soil, potentially improving crop health. WEED-IT is also beneficial when it comes to maximum residue limits and glyphosate discussions. “As the use of chemicals, especially glyphosate, becomes an increasingly important topic in the media regarding food safety, using a spot-spraying system can be good for the reputation and image of a farming operation,” says Voois, adding that farmers using Roundup applications must typically let weeds go longer until larger sections of the field are weed-covered to justify a spray round. “Now, they can actually go into the field and solely target the necessary weeds when they’re still small. Farmers can really control their weeds in the most effective way with a strong return on their investment.”
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LAND GIFTING | A TAXING SITUATION
A Taxing Situation
Breaking down farmland rollovers to minimize government money grabbing By Natalie Noble
Farmland values across the Prairies continues to rise. Many farmers find themselves asset rich as their overall net worth climbs with those land values. Which leaves to question, how can they hold on to their hard-earned money within the family and out of the government’s grab? One option is gifting land and assets to children or grandchildren, also known as the farmland rollover. It sounds simple, but failure to do it properly can be costly. “The increased value of land has made this option more important for farmers to plan into properly because the tax implications of doing something wrong are becoming increasingly significant as the value continues to grow,” says Steve Latimer, tax partner with Grant Thornton LLP.
Rollover rules Canada’s Income Tax Act legislation outlines eligibility guidelines allowing personally held land and assets to be transferred to a child or grandchild without triggering income tax. Formally referred to as depreciable pools, other assets may include machinery, dairy and poultry quotas, and buildings. “The general rules around farmland rollovers to children are, 40
if the land is farmed by the family and someone in the family has been actively engaged in that farming business, these individuals have the ability to roll the land to children at their tax cost base, or the original purchase price of the land,” says Ron Friesen, ag tax partner at MNP. “As a result, they do not need to report any income on their personal tax return.” Eligible land and assets must be used principally, more than 50 per cent, for farming. He explains that even a 79-81 breakdown of a quarter-section farmed versus a different commercial business or rented out means that parcel of land may not qualify. When the Income Tax Act conditions are met, farmland can be transitioned in any amount between its historical cost and the current fair market value. That optimal value is based on the family. This is where the lifetime capital gains exemption (CGE) comes into play, allowing the vendor to shelter tax on the first $1-million in capital gains over their lifetime. “Say the parents are ready to transition a piece of land that’s been in the family for a long time. It’s now worth $1 million and there’s only nominal cost base in that land. If they were to sell
A TAXING SITUATION | LAND GIFTING
Grant Thornton LLP’s Steve Latimer says increased land values mean the planning around farmland rollovers are more important than ever. “The tax implications of doing something wrong are becoming increasingly significant as the value continues to grow.”
that land and not claim the CGE, they would pay tax on that $1 million at about 24 per cent, or $240,000 in tax,” he says. If the CGE is not used up prior to gifting all the land, it’s useless. “The CGE can be structured into the gifting process in a fashion where you use it up,” says Latimer. “With professional involvement to ensure it’s done properly the kids can benefit from the fact that their tax cost base is adjusted accordingly.” Parents who roll their land to a child at cost incur no tax while the child inherits the land with no increase to the cost base. When parents transition at a value above cost and claim their CGE against the transaction they can still avoid income tax provided they meet the eligibility criteria. Meanwhile the child receives an increase in the adjusted cost base, reducing the future income tax liability associated with that parcel of land. “This is what we focus our planning around—whether we do this at cost, at market value, or we pick somewhere in between,” says Latimer. “Some farmers may have $20 million worth of land, and the CGE only shelters tax from the first $1 million in gains. Maybe we transfer one or two quarters at fair
Ron Friesen, ag tax partner with MNP: “Farms have grown and the values of everything have skyrocketed.” Fortunately, farm families are more commonly taking on the necessary discussions and planning needed to safely keep more money in the family.
LAND GIFTING | A TAXING SITUATION market value, use up the CGE, and transfer the rest at cost so we don’t trigger unnecessary tax.” Partnerships and corporations are more complex, but typically these interests can roll to a child at their adjusted cost base. However, the entity’s balance sheet must be substantially made up of farming assets. Family farm company shares are eligible with either parent able to transfer their shares to a child without incurring tax. When parents farm together in a partnership, they don’t hold depreciable pools, they actually hold partnership interests which also qualify for both rollover rules and the CGE. “This is a valuable asset that we frequently use when we’re tax planning for farms,” says Friesen. With farmland rollovers, timing is everything. “One, you’re dealing with an asset that has tremendous financial, and sentimental, value,” says Latimer. “[Farmers] need to make sure they don’t transition the land too early when the child is not mature enough to handle the responsibility associated with that asset.” The reverse also applies. “If a child is trying to start their own farming business, it makes it very difficult if the parents will not transition the land, especially if that kid’s been working on their farm for a long time,” says Latimer. “Say this child never left the farm, finished school and worked for the parents for 15 years. Now, they’ve started their own family, but they don’t have any assets. This is one situation where we see a lot of strain placed on families.”
Proceed with caution While farmers tend to be independent by nature, this is not the time for a DIY approach. “We hear all sorts of horror stories of people just going ahead and doing things, thinking it’s allowed under the Income Tax Act,” says Latimer. “Later on, they figure out they’ve missed one of the conditions, or something didn’t work quite right. If you have $10 million worth of assets, someone should be taking care of you from a tax perspective, but a lot of the time
this is not necessarily the case.” When farmers put a child’s name on the title without actually intending to roll the land at the time, it’s called joint ownership with right of survivorship. The parent retains the land and the income produced, but the title is set up so when they pass on, the child automatically takes it over. When the family is in agreement with a solid plan, this can be a valid option. But Friesen urges people engage legal counsel in case of an about-face by a set of parents. “If the parent changes their mind and decides they want to sell the land or they want it to go to a different child, they’ve lost control of it. They now need to get permission from the other person on the title,” he says. “This is a trap we see people get into and it’s difficult to get out of.” Failure of the recipient to register for GST prior to the transfer is a costly and common mistake, leading to GST charged on the land’s fair market value. “Transferring land to a non-registrant, let’s say the land is worth half a million dollars per quarter, five per cent of 500,000 is a $25,000 cheque you now have to write to the government,” says Friesen. Waiting too long to transfer land prior to death is also costly. Probate fees differ between provinces and it is important to know the rules where you live. Farmers may also fail to coordinate their will and adjust the final estate’s distribution according to ongoing transitions, bringing up the “softer” family-related rollover issues. A child controlling land must farm it themselves or rent it back to the parents. And, there may be more than one child to consider. If mismanaged, this may jeopardize the farm and estate transfer. Equalizing estate distributions has become a big factor for farm families today. Fortunately, Friesen says farm families are more commonly taking on the necessary discussions and planning. “The conversations have turned on their head in the last 20 years,” he says.
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
Atom-Jet Industries Located in Brandon, Man., Atom-Jet Agriculture has been working in cooperation with farmers for more than 30 years to provide a comprehensive lineup of seeding openers, disc scrapers, fertilizer knives and hydraulic upgrade kits. Being located in the heart of the Prairies has given the company a unique perspective to the ever-changing agricultural industry with many of our employees being farmers themselves. The history of the company has been in the design of a vertical seed opener providing farmers better seed placement, moisture conservation, trash clearance and a product line that virtually eliminated plugging. By pioneering placing carbide tips on openers, Atom-Jet paved the way for farmers to get the most acres possible out of their products. Atom-Jet’s research and development is still driven by feedback from progressive farmers, enabling us to provide innovations for its seeding and tillage needs. Part of that innovation is a commitment to bring new products to market along with the introduction of patents to Atom-Jet’s product line to ensure
that customers will always receive the highest quality products. The success of Atom-Jet has come from a dedicated and skilled team across all aspects of its operation. The company believe in working in co-operation with our customers, listening to their needs and using that as a guideline to produce products to satisfy those needs. If you have been looking for innovative solutions to your seeding challenges or needs, visit us on the web at atomjet.com or call 1-800-573-5048.
CLAAS CLAAS announced that Climate FieldView, the flagship product of the Climate Corporation can now be connected to CLAAS TELEMATICS through the CLAAS API (application programming interface) to enable easy data exchange for field-specific and site-specific documentation. Reliable data flows are essential for precision farming. Successful fertilizer, crop protection, planting and sowing strategies depend upon access to accurate information about the previous years’ yields and site-specific yield differences. To ensure that this vital information is provided seamlessly and at the farmer’s discretion, the FieldView platform and the CLAAS TELEMATICS portal can now be connected through the CLAAS API—offering access to new data science capabilities and ensuring seamless transfer of harvest information and insights from CLAAS TELEMATICS to FieldView. “Data management is at the core of profitability and efficiency on the farm,” says Blair Hardie, product manager, efficient agriculture systems “(EASY).” “This new ability to synchronize data will help farmers improve their profitability, manage risk and save valuable time by gathering data and conducting analysis all in one easy-to-use portal.”
The Automatic Documentation add-on option in CLAAS TELEMATICS facilitates driver-independent, field-specific and site-specific documentation. This makes it possible to obtain a complete overview of each field worked with data automatically being assigned to the field based on the boundary. In addition to machine data and consumption figures, yield data and measurements from NIR sensors can also be documented. When a farmer or contractor connects their CLAAS TELEMATICS account to their FieldView account via the CLAAS API, the documented harvest data from the TELEMATICS system are retrieved and sent to the FieldView user’s inbox as jobs. Customer can select the files they’d like to sync with their FieldView account and further process the complete fieldrelated documentation in FieldView. 43
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
Wall Grain Fast Dry is one of the most cost-effective ways to get in on the grain-drying scene. Fast Dry uses specific grain management techniques, roof fans, multiple fan/burners, temperature/ moisture sensors and a grain spreader to make in-bin drying a breeze. By understanding airflow and its effect on grain, Wall Grain has developed a customizable system that can allow operations to dry just over 35,000 bushels of 18 per cent moisture content wheat down to 14 per cent in six-and-a-half days. This system is now 20 to 25 per cent more efficient when compared to previous versions. If you consider blending or drying fees a Fast Dry system can quickly pay for itself. When you’re ready, Fast Dry components can be traded or used with a continuous flow grain dryer from Wall Grain Handling Systems.
THOUSANDS OF BUSHELS
Wall Grain has introduced its in-bin drying system, Fast Dry, to provide customers with a low-cost option for grain drying.
WHEAT DRYING FAN SELECTION 18 % TO 14 % MOISTURE 40
TWO-25 HP @ 3,500 rpm
ONE-25 HP @ 1,750 rpm ONE-25 HP @ 3, 500 rpm
TWO-10 HP @ 3,500 rpm
ONE-10 HP @ 1,750 rpm ONE-10 HP @ 3,500 rpm
20 15 10 5 1
4 NUMBER OF DAYS
844-744-WAL (9255) www.wallgrain.com
To get the most out of a Fast Dry system, Wall Grain is proud to introduce GrainX Command. GrainX Command allows farmers to automate/monitor in-bin grain conditioning from the comfort of their home or anywhere with an internet connection.
SEEDMASTER Seedmaster welcomes Martin Deerline as its newest Alberta dealership SeedMaster’s market presence continues to develop throughout the province of Alberta as they welcome Martin Deerline as the newest edition to its distribution channel. In an effort to bring the best in seeding equipment to farms throughout the Prairies, SeedMaster is excited that producers will now have access to its equipment throughout the Edmonton region. “I am very excited to welcome Martin Deerline to the SeedMaster distribution network,” said Tim Criddle, global sales director of SeedMaster Manufacturing. “Their reputation for providing high quality products and outstanding customer support, along with their dealership values and their culture of excellence, are an ideal fit for us. We look forward to working together to grow their precision drill sales across their Edmonton-region market.” Vincent Shank, agriculture sales manager at Martin Deerline, is also looking forward to developing the new-found partnership. “We are very excited to partner with the SeedMaster team. Their current product line, their professional staff, and their commitment to the Western Canadian producer, make them an ideal partner for Martin Deerline. We believe that the highquality equipment provided by SeedMaster will allow us to deliver the best seeding solutions to our clients.” 44
SeedMaster will now be available at the following Martin Deerline locations: Westlock, Mayerthorpe, Warburg, Wetaskiwin, Barrhead, and Edmonton; adding six new locations to its Alberta distribution network. SeedMaster looks forward to the continued expansion of its distribution channel, with a total of 18 locations throughout Alberta, SeedMaster anticipates they will see rapid growth throughout the province. They are committed to delivering an excellent customer experience to all its valued dealerships and look forward to working with Martin Deerline as a part of its growth strategy. With many new initiatives in the pipeline and innovation at the forefront of product development, SeedMaster is poised to be a sought-after manufacturer for agriculture equipment dealerships and producers alike.
Providing your operation with a steady supply of premium diesel engineered to increase the fuel economy and efficiency of your equipment.
Available in Bulk & at 60+ UFA Cardlocks.
© 2021 UFA Co-operative Ltd. All rights reserved. 13672
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
quick, simple, wireless remote PTO and hydraulic control Grande Prairie farmer designs award-winning technology By Natalie Noble
As harvest fast approaches, many Prairie farmers dread the hassle, and frankly the bodily wear and tear of endless climbing in and out of their tractor. That constant effort to adjust their tractor’s functionality may soon be a thing of the past. Grande Prairie farmer Vincent Pawluski has designed the solution in RcFarmArm with a fresh take on a PTO and hydraulic control. One of the Canadian Farm Show’s (CFS) 2021 Top Five Innovation Award winners, the system allows farmers to use a simple remote control to start their tractor and even run its hydraulics, PTO, throttle and more. Among its many advantages, RcFarmArm makes using a grain auger, extractor or completing any stationary PTO work significantly less labour intensive and safer for busy farmers on the ground in their daily operations. “This is a labour saver, a stress reducer and an effective safety device,” says Pawluski. “People are able to move things around immediately to avoid any dangers that might be present without being inside the cab.” Pawluski initially designed RcFarmArm by hardwiring the tractors on his own farm. “Then I had a request from a dealership to replicate the system in one of their tractors,” he says. “I put a video on Twitter that received an overwhelming response within 24 hours from other farmers wanting me to put this into their tractors.” Last fall Pawluski worked on this idea while running combine to streamline the system so other farmers could take advantage of it in the least invasive and simplest way possible. With dry erase marker all over the windows, RcFarmArm was born. 46
In a five-minute installation, farmers simply secure two modules and plug RcFarmArm into their tractor’s accessory port. It then overlays the armrest controls and ignition key in minutes, all with no wiring necessary. “This gives farmers safe control of their tractor wherever they need to be standing and performing stationary PTO tasks,” says Pawluski. “They can control the engine starting and stopping, engage or disengage their PTO, and control two hydraulic functions to turn them on or off, with up to six user customizable functions.” Understanding well the safety issues often involved with constantly getting in and out of the tractor during busy farm work, Pawluski designed a safety interlock for the PTO-engage and engine start. “It requires two buttons be depressed together to perform their functions,” he says. “The e-stop on the remote will safely stop all functions and shut the tractor down in seconds. RcFarmArm’s internal battery allows the shutdown of all controls in the case of a 12-volt power interruption. Farmers can also see which functions are engaged with six indicator lights for a visual alert.” Pawluski is now taking pre-orders for the product as farmers get in line to enjoy its many benefits. While the pandemic has meant securing parts to manufacture RcFarmArm is slightly delayed, Pawluski is working to have orders shipped to Prairie farmers in time for harvest 2021. “We definitely want to be ready to roll for this upcoming harvest window,” says Pawluski. To learn more, visit www.rcfarmarm.com.
DON’T BREAK A SWEAT. TAKE A LOAD OFF WITH THE FIRST LONGBOX SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH HVAC When it comes to heavy tasks, the Can-Am Defender Pro Limited is built to take the weight. Consider it the best farmhand you’ve ever had. So what’s first on the to-do list?
2021 DEFENDER PRO LIMITED
© 2021 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US Inc. BRP reserves the right, at any time, to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. CAN-AM OFF-ROAD VEHICLE: Some models depicted may include optional equipment. For side-by-side vehicles (SxS): Read the BRP side-by-side operator’s guide and watch the safety DVD before driving. Fasten lateral net and seat belt at all times. Operator must be at least 16 years old. Passenger must be at least 12 years old and able to hold handgrips and plant feet while seated against the backrest. SxSs are for off-road use only; never ride on paved surfaces or public roads. For your safety, the operator and passenger must wear a helmet, eye protection and other protective clothing. Always remember that riding, alcohol and drugs don’t mix. Never engage in stunt driving. Avoid excessive speed and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Always ride responsibly and safely.
Remuda works year-round, building workshops, barns, cold storage, shelters, and homes that Western Canadian farm families will enjoy for generations. remudabuilding.com