Farming for Tomorrow March April 2020

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March / April 2020


Stepping out of the comfort zone

Innovative ideas, can-do attitude the backbone of this diversified Alberta farm



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A Farmer’s Viewpoint

Collaboration for profit and fun by Kevin Hursh


Grain Market Analysis

2020 Crop Outlook by Scott Shiels


Risk Managment

Guessing game by Natalie Noble

Succession Planning

Navigating the changing financial realities of farm succession

The Easy button by Natalie Noble



Farming Your Money

AgriStability Changes by Paul Kuntz

Spraying 101

What do European Sprayers Bring to The North American Market?


Those Wily Weeds

The Canary in the Coal Mine by Tammy Jones Ag Colleges

Measuring Up Decision Support Platforms by Brianna Gratton




By Trevor Bacque

by Tom Wolf

by Madeleine Baerg



Stepping out of the comfort zone





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Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann


Trevor Bacque


Cole Ottmann

Regular Contributors Brianna Gratton Kevin Hursh Tammy Jones

Paul Kuntz Scott Shiels Tom Wolf

Copy EditorS

Courtney Lovgren Nerissa McNaughton


Pat Ottmann Phone: 587-774-7619 Kyla Mowat Phone: 587-774-7620

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Collaboration for profit and fun There are ways to attain a better bottom line if we’d just quit being so damn independent. When economic times are relatively good in farming, as they have been for much of the past decade, the tendency is to avoid collaboration. Own everything yourself. Do everything yourself.

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

As you look around your community, I’ll bet you can point to extended family farm operations that have split and gone their separate ways. Hopefully the split was civil and maybe there’s still a bit of co-operation, but they aren’t farming together like they once did. How many farms can you point to that have gone the other direction and work together more closely with relatives or neighbours? We used to hear about an occasional machinery co-op with a formalized structure. That sort of setup certainly hasn’t been the trend in recent years. You do still hear about neighbours who share a key piece of expensive equipment. For instance, two medium-sized operations sometimes collaborate to own a single high-clearance sprayer that has more capacity that either one of them could justify on their own. As we head into what may be a tougher farm economy, perhaps it’s time to rediscover more of this collaboration. Do you really need to own a land roller or heavy harrow all by yourself? These pieces of equipment are used for relatively short periods and timing isn’t as critical as it is for seeding, spraying or harvesting. Renting this sort of equipment can be a good option, but availability can be problematic. It might make sense for two or three farms to own a land roller or heavy harrow jointly, sharing maintenance costs according to percentage of use. 7


While numerous opportunities exist for more collaboration among grain farmers, an even greater number of opportunities exist between grain farmers and cattle producers. Think straw, manure, green feed, feed grains and fall grazing. Maybe you wouldn’t have the equipment exactly when you want it and you’d have to actually get along with your neighbours, but the cost saving could be substantial. Sometimes the best collaboration isn’t formalized at all. Your neighbour has nothing ready to combine for the next few days, so they pull their outfit into your field to lend a hand while the weather is good. Later in the season, or perhaps the next season, you return the favour. Some people may be happy to exchange favours without a formal accounting, but sometimes it’s best to keep track of things so that one side or the other isn’t disadvantaged. Working together can be fun and there’s always something new to learn. Labour is often in short supply and some jobs are just not possible without more bodies. We shouldn’t let pride stop us from accepting help and we shouldn’t be shy about offering help. Overlooking petty issues and past disagreements makes for a stronger sense of community.


While numerous opportunities exist for more collaboration among grain farmers, an even greater number of opportunities exist between grain farmers and cattle producers. Think straw, manure, green feed, feed grains and fall grazing. If you have hailed crop that isn’t economic to combine, perhaps it can be salvaged for feed. Some farmers will see this as a cost saving because they don’t have to spend time and money dealing with the residue. They’ll happily strike a deal with a cattle farming neighbour. Others will try to negotiate top dollar for the hailed crop and may end up with no takers. For a grain farmer with a few cows or a cattle producer with a bit of cropland, the secondary operation doesn’t receive as much attention. Small cattle herds are becoming rare because the work doesn’t match the returns. And cattle operations with several hundred cows are often too busy to worry about the latest grain cropping innovations. Cattle producers often work together for activities such as branding and within community pasture structures. Meanwhile, grain farmers gather at seminars and information events that don’t attract many cattle producers. The two solitudes need to communicate better to explore ways of working together for mutual benefit. A cattle producer may want to grow corn for grazing but needs access to a planter and a high-clearance sprayer. In turn, the cattle producer may be the nearest and best market for some downgraded wheat that has ended up as feed quality. Many of the regenerative agriculture principles gaining popularity work much better with the integration of livestock and it doesn’t have to be your livestock. If you want to remain strictly independent, that’s your choice, but it comes at an economic and social cost.




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2020 Crop Outlook Timing is critical for market success. As we head into the second-busiest season of the year on the farm, seeding, there are likely some farmers that are still undecided about what to grow and market potential for certain crops. Let’s explore a few Prairie staple crops together, shall we? 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.


Oat markets have showed as much, or more, strength throughout the fall of 2019 and winter 2020 as any other ag commodity on the Prairies. Cash oat markets were very high going into December, but as usual, the Christmas season hit and prices softened somewhat as we headed into the winter. However, comparable to other commodities, oats still seem to have a leg up, with rapidly growing markets such as gluten-free foods and oat milk propping up demand. Look for oats to continue to slowly grind its way higher as other crops fight to gain traction into the summer. The crop with the largest wild card right now seems to be canola. Year in and year out, canola is the crop farmers look to for their largest acreage, and hopefully their largest net returns. In the past couple of years however, increasing costs and flat prices have left the door open for questions on whether or not canola does indeed sit at the top of the heap. In Western Canada, there certainly is a strong debate raging over oats versus canola for best net returns on the farm. With the amount of canola left out over winter this year, and the possibility that we still will not be shipping direct to China, it is possible that we could see a decrease in Prairie canola


As we head into the secondbusiest season of the year on the farm, seeding, there are likely some farmers that are still undecided about what to grow and market potential for certain crops. Let’s explore a few Prairie staple crops together, shall we? acres for a second straight year, which would be huge. Lower acreage again could outweigh the market concerns with China, leading to higher canola prices into the summer and carrying over into the new year. Changing gears, spring wheat prices have remained consistent, but the major issue has been low falling numbers in much of this year’s crop. Because of this, many farmers are sitting with wheat that buyers do not want for milling, which should be

pushing prices higher. However, that is not the case. Prices have remained flat, maybe even a touch lower than last year at this time, but there are some bullish signs on the horizon going into the later part of this crop year. Stocks are good, but tight, in North America, while Australia is expected to be down this year, opening the door to imports of Canadian wheat, and potentially higher farmgate prices here. The other variable is the Argentine situation, where its new government has raised the export tax on corn, soybeans, and wheat. Because of this, certain customers it has been selling to may look to Canada to fill some of their needs. Lastly, flax farmers have reason to celebrate. We have been seeing quite strong prices this year so far and that should continue with a slightly smaller production number than expected, coupled with quality issues in a large portion of the crop. Going forward, we are looking for strong flax prices into the summer, and more importantly into 2020/21. However, with competition from Europe as well as Kazakhstan we must be careful not to price ourselves out of the market. If you want to grow flax this coming year, it would be prudent to have some amount contracted early if you can tap into the $13-14 bushel range, as there could possibly be a large seeded acreage this year.




COMFORT ZONE Innovative ideas, can-do attitude the backbone of this diversified Alberta farm By Trevor Bacque Photography By Raelene Schulmeister An unspoken goal of many farmers is to take what their parents created and try to make it better than when they began. At Double F Farms just east of Kirriemuir, Alta., this is what they are striving to do.

Craig and Jinel Ference manage the diversified farming operation full-time, which includes a feedlot, a cow-calf operation, a grain farm in addition to a custom farming venture. Since Craig’s parents Harvey and Joyce are slowly stepping back from the day to day operations the last few years, it has allowed Craig and Jinel to step up and really flex their inherited work ethic and farm philosophy. Harvey and his brother Jim split off from their other two brothers and ran the 2,000-acre farming operation together in 1985 complete with 200 cows in addition to a fertilizer and spraying business on the side. Over the next 10 years both the farm and the off-farm business grew, yet Harvey had a greater passion for the cattle side of the business. By 1995, the two of them decided to split off and Harvey focused full-time on the farming and cattle. After another decade, Harvey got a helping hand from his son Craig who moved back after earning an agriculture business degree from the University of Alberta. Not long after, Jinel, originally from Stavely, Alta., arrived after completing her education degree. The two were married in 2007 and now have three budding children—two girls and a son. For Harvey, seeing the next generation learn and thrive has been a pleasure to watch, even if it reminds himself a bit of his rambunctious self. “It’s like my dad said—he’s following my footsteps when I was younger,” says Harvey, 67. “It’s pretty hard to tell him not to take chances and do things. I can remember when I was his age, I was doing the same thing.” Harvey regularly advises Craig and is still apart of management today. Craig’s not alone in making it work out, either. 12

Photo: Craig (left) and Harvey Ference check cows at Double F

Farms near Kirriemuir, Alta. Craig and wife Jinel have taken over from Harvey and Joyce and are now the primary decision makers.


“My grandpa was pretty progressive, dad was pretty progressive and I’d say I am too,” - Craig Ference With a workforce of 15 full-time employees, and 22 in peak seasons, there’s never a shortage of hands, or work, to make Double F run on all cylinders. Since transitioning into leadership, Craig and Jinel made a concerted effort to expand and do so in a fairly aggressive fashion. Harvey’s custom farming business went from about 1,000 acres annually to more than 8,000 today. They won’t just plant the crop and harvest it, though. They silage, spray, vertical till, land roll and pack silage as well as offer manure spreading. Similarly, the cow herd went from 800 to 4,000 while the feedlot increased from 1,000 to 8,000 head. Cropland likewise increased over the years from 1,000 to 15,000 acres. With annual soil testing and adapting aspects of precision agriculture, they’ve managed to increase organic matter from one to four per cent across their land. The family also vertically tills certain portions of their land to mix soil layers and residue without sacrificing moisture. Their grazing practices have been fine-tuned over the years, as well. Today, they have pulled marginal land out of their crop rotation and begun to rotate graze perennial forages. The family also owns 2,050 acres of pastureland in Biggar, Sask. “We believe in delayed spring grazing to allow the land to sustain the cattle later in the season,” says Craig. Their production practices have rarely stayed static, either. With careful tinkering and measured approaches to change, they have found success with many agronomic practices such as liquid fertilizer starters, spin spreading with auto-calibration, pulse-width modulation for spraying and sectional controls. “These are all new practices that we have researched, tested and implemented,” says Craig. It’s simply a hallmark of Ference families to not sit idly by and let others take your opportunities. “My grandpa was pretty progressive, dad was pretty progressive and I’d say I am too,” says Craig. One of the family’s biggest moves was their dream to grow the cow herd. However, they picked quite the moment in time to get bullish on cows, the BSE crisis. At a time when most ranchers were looking to salvage a few dollars on greatly discounted animals, the Ferences went the other way. He fondly recalls buying a lot of “$400 and $500 cows.” 13

COVER STORY | STEPPING OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE “BSE was our shoo-in, that was our opportunity,” he says. “It’s what started our herd and really allowed us to expand. Everybody always thinks we were crazy, even banks, because of the rate of our expansion. It’s nothing new to us, we’ve been fighting banks for three generations. It was really tough during BSE. Banks only want to give money in the peaks of markets.” The family was keenly aware of the trade-off, though. Going headlong on cows meant less capital for land acquisition. As their cow herd continued to increase, so did surrounding land values. In fact, land values in the area increased three times in a 10-year period from $700 to $2,500 per acre. Not dismayed, they took their 1,000 acres of farmland and began to rent additional acres and through creative agreements and joint ventures, slowly expanded that number, as well. In 2018, after once again taking an aggressive tack on expansion, this time on land, the Ferences acquired 63 quarter-sections. The big question is what does one grow on so many acres? The answer may surprise you: corn. Never an area that would be considered a traditional corn market, the Ferences have found a home for their yellow ears. The area is right on the line for both heat units and suitable moisture, however, with Pioneer’s big push in corn genetics, the family has had great success. It’s allowed them to cut down their feeding costs by growing their rations themselves. This year, 80 per cent of their 15,000 acres will be dedicated to Pioneer corn. “Pioneer has treated us very well,” says Craig. “We believe they have the best genetics. It’s allowed us to shift our entire operation and not just grow corn for silage, but other end uses. You’re able to take a traditional cow-calf farm and turn it upside down. It’s been pretty exciting for us.” He takes an identical approach to bull genetics, as well. They source exclusively from Lewis Farms in Spruce Grove, Alta., and LLB Angus at Erskine, Alta., and pay a premium for what they get. “We home in on genetics. We are strong believers that we can produce more beef with the same amount of cows,” he says. By virtue of buying less bulls of a greater quality genetics, the family has managed to surpass their own internal benchmarks and greatly improve their cash flow as a result. They have also managed to naturally increase their herd by 10 per cent each year by keeping around 1,000 to 1,200 of their own replacement heifers. The family has now made it standard business practice to hedge, forward contract and play the futures market to give them a competitive advantage. “Grain is marketed throughout the year and cattle are finished 14

Photo: Double F Farms has expanded significantly under the

leadership of Craig and Jinel Ference. The operation has grown to include a 15,000-acre grain farm, 8,000-head feedlot, a custom farming division and many precise agricultural practices to generate better returns.

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Photo: Nantie Van Staden, Willie Van Vuuren, Craig Ference, Harvey Ference and Christo Gerber, in the farm shop during a morning meeting.The farm employs more than 20 people at peak times of seeding and harvest.

“We live in a yard that is multigenerational, full of culture, and I feel like we’ve created a yard that’s welcoming and nurturing. I hope our farm is a happy place for people. I hope it’s a starting point for many people to come to Canada and start a new chapter in their lives.” - Jinel Ference in different months to allow for changing markets,” says Craig of their cattle plan. With the purchase of nearby land, it has allowed them to completely alter their program. They now provide a high-quality feed source during only a few summer months and the rest of the year the animals graze corn stalks and earlage residue. One of the main reasons the family has been able to undergo such a great amount of diversification is its labour force. With a sizeable staff, the Ferences have been fortunate to attract and retain such a crew of talented employees. Perhaps the surprising part is that most of them aren’t Canadian. They currently employ workers from Australia, Ireland, Ukraine, Sweden and South Africa. Those employees and their families now live in the area and, thanks in part to the Ferences’ farm operation, the local school population has not only been 16

boosted, but now contains 10 per cent foreign students, virtually unheard of in such a remote area. Craig says without their employees they simply would not have been able to scale the farm and additional agribusinesses as well or as quickly as they would have liked. More than that, however, the farm has grown to be something greater than crops or cows, it’s a new beginning for many of their workers. “We live in a yard that is multigenerational, full of culture, and I feel like we’ve created a yard that’s welcoming and nurturing,” says Jinel. “I hope our farm is a happy place for people. I hope it’s a starting point for many people to come to Canada and start a new chapter in their lives.” Hiring foreign workers is often an area of farm business that is only talked about with negative adjectives and references to the constant headaches of dealing with government, visa permits and application wait times. However, the Ferences, given the labour shortages of the industry, accepted that foreign employment was their only chance to have on-farm success. “It has been an intense learning curve from paperwork, visas and language barriers but we have found excellent employees from far and wide,” says Jinel. “We have created a positive and stable work environment that allows us to retain employees for many years as well as a good balance between seasonal and year-round employees.” Those same employees have also helped implement logical and time-saving ideas around the farm. Never one to shy away from a new school of thought, Craig points to their switch away from North American machinery to a high percentage of European equipment fleet. He has likewise been pleased with another employee idea, the innovation of multiple, decentralized silage


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pits as opposed to one massive pit in one yard. Craig labels the latter as “a huge thing we never really noticed before.” “We try to always keep and open mind,” says Craig. “If we don’t keep an open mind, were not going to learn anything.” It must be contagious, too. In 2018, the Ferences were surprised to get a call and learn that they had been nominated by a farmer in the area for Alberta’s Outstanding Young Farmers award, given to a farming family under 40 that demonstrates excellence in many areas, including growth, financial and environmental sustainability, farm management and community involvement. The couple spent two days being interviewed and grilled by judges about their farming practices, finances and operational management. By the end of the competition, they were selected as the Alberta winner, beating out two other qualified farms. “The Alberta event experience was great,” says Jinel. “You get to spend time with like-minded people that are positive and progressive.” From there, the Ferences were automatically entered into the national competition, which occurred later that fall. However, going up against the best of the best from each province upped the stakes and quality of their competition. After another gauntlet of judging and scrutiny, the Ferences shared the top honour with Ontario’s regional winner as Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018. “We were absolutely shocked,” says Craig of the winning moment. “You would have been proud of any one of those nominees. Everyone is doing very amazing things.” Some have thought the young family’s approach has been too bold or brash—maybe brainless—at times, but it’s never hindered their drive to create a farm they are proud of today and tomorrow. “Going against the status quo, sometimes when you have a creative mind or think outside the box people raise their eyebrows and question you, but it’s interesting to see the people that support us,” says Jinel. Craig echoes his wife’s belief and is glad he is farming in 2020 and not yesteryear. “It’s like it’s OK to be creative and entrepreneurial and push the limits of creative thinking,” he says of agriculture today. And as far as the family farm being left in a constant state of flux, but for the better, Harvey has the benefit of history on his side to offer insight. “I’m very proud of what I’ve done and even prouder of what he’s done,” says Harvey. “Craig’s done an awful lot and I’m very proud of him, but also all of our employees. They all put something into it and it’s very amazing.” 18

Photo: Craig Ference and his daughter pose for a picture in an equipment shed at Double F Farms. Craig and wife Jinel have three children.


Guessing game Managing risk as 2019’s ag challenges carry into 2020 By Natalie Noble Risk management is not new for farmers. With so many factors beyond their control, they do it every day. Unfortunately, every so often a year like 2019 comes along to test their resiliency to the extreme. With millions of unharvested acres still out in western Canadian fields, it takes the practice to another level. Recapping how 2019 treated Prairie farmers is heartbreaking. Destructive weather was not constrained to any one region. Near Ituna Sask., fourth generation farmers Landon, wife Alyssa, and brother Dylan farm with parents Barb and Leonard Kuschak. Together they grow 5,500 acres of canola, wheat, oats, barley, hay, pastureland and raise 200 cows. Landon, a director with the Prairie Oat Growers Association, describes 2019 as “a year from hell.” It took the family on a rollercoaster of expectations low-to-high and back again many times over. Despite a cold, dry spring, seeding began early but some canola fields took on frost three times before June 10 with no measurable moisture until end of June. Once that moisture came, and then some heat, everything took off at once. “There was weed pressure and pests, including flea beetles in the canola,” says Landon.

Photo: Uncertainty going into 2020 is a major concern for farmers across the Prairies. Warren Sekulic, pictured, is left to plan in spite of questions around when the 2019 crop will be cleared off, how late the 2020 crop will be harvested, how late the family will be seeding and whether their standard rotation will work this year.

July came and went and despite heavy rain, the hay season produced some of their best crops ever and they started combining malt barley. “Then it started raining, and didn’t stop,” says Landon. “We had three quarter sections of the crop off and … considering where the year started and the challenges we faced, the crops turned out in the top three we’ve ever grown.” On Sept. 17, 2019, hail hit 19 quarters of their land. “The only land that didn’t get hail were those three quarters we had combined, and two quarters of wheat across the road. Every bushel of grain we harvested had to be put through a grain dryer,” says Landon. 19

RISK MANAGMENT | GUESSING GAME Thirteen hundred kilometres west, near Rycroft, Alta., fourth generation farmers Warren, wife Stefanie and parents John and Elsa Sekulic farm a combined 6,300 acres of wheat, peas, canola, oats and forages and raise a small herd of cattle. “We got out into the fields at a decent time. It was a little cold and dry in places, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Seeding went well, but it remained fairly dry,” says Warren. “Most of the summer was cool with frequent rain, but right in our area it wasn’t too bad. We were looking at career-high, once in a lifetime crops.” As summer’s end approached, worry set in as nothing ripened. “It was mid-to-end September before we were combining peas, and that’s the way the whole fall went,” says Warren. “It got wet, raining every few days with no daytime highs. Between my father and I, we ended up leaving a whole half of our crop out in the field and it’s still sitting out there.” Combined, Warren’s family and his parent’s family have 50 per cent of their crop unharvested. The number gets worse individually, however, with Warren’s family 70 per cent incomplete. Photo: MNP director of farm income programs Steve Funk says because

every farm and year are unique risk management planning is a highly individualized process. He recommends gathering all the information and sorting through it with a trusted professional.

“All my canola’s in the field still and almost all my wheat,” says Warren. “These issues will reverberate for a long time.”

Managing risk on the farm The most visible setback is dealing with all that crop left out. The Kuschaks were able to make the most of what they could, baling three quarter sections of oats for feed. “We weren’t sure we would get it but once the balers hit the field we ended up making an extra 1,200 bales,” says Landon, adding there’s nothing left to combine, but lots to do prior to seeding. Similarly, the Sekulics’ plans are up in the air and this year they are considering winter cereals or shorter-season barley to combat their potential slow start. “Everything’s in the air, so when you’re trying to book seed, fertilizer, chemical, all these things, nothing is cemented and everything’s a variable right now. It’s very stressful,” says Warren. He adds that cutting back minimally on fertilizer may be an option, but that cutting significant amounts never pans out. As for Landon, in light of the flea beetles in his canola, he knows pest control will be a necessary tool in 2020.

Managing financial risk Heading into this spring, cash flow will be front and centre. Photo: Senior vice-president of agriculture at MNP Stuart Person says

farmers who are experiencing cash flow problems should meet with their advisors and lenders as soon as possible. This ensures enough time to plan for any new cash injections before seeding.


“Now we have guys with crop out and they have to insure it for crop insurance if it wasn’t written off … and if they were lucky enough to be carrying it,” says Landon. “It’s definitely going to be a battle in this area.”

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RISK MANAGMENT | GUESSING GAME The Sekulics have thousands of acres of crop to harvest. “This brings up cash flow issues while we’ll be putting out fires and struggling to manage all of this,” says Warren. Stuart Person, MNP’s senior vice-president of agriculture, echoes the concerns of both farmers. “The past year will have weakened some balance sheets and put stress on cash flow,” he says. “If farmers are now experiencing cash flow problems, meeting with their advisors and their lenders as soon as possible is critical. This ensures there is enough time to plan before seeding for any new cash injections. Terming out short-term debt may be something that can help farmers get through the next few years as they recover.” Then there’s deciding which financial programs and products work best between public protection such as crop insurance, AgriStability or private products. Participating farmers may find some relief in the update to AgriStability announced in December. “This is a great benefit for producers because they previously had to accrue private insurance benefits related to the program year into AgriStability, reducing the amount they would receive,” says Steve Funk, MNP’s director of farm income programs. “AgriStability now has the potential of paying more.” Risk management planning is increasingly complicated as AgriStability continues to change as more private insurance products pop up. “To decide which products work together for a particular farm, it’s a tough decision. The mistake many producers make is looking for generic answers,” says Funk. To manage financial risk, there are some key considerations. First, Funk suggests looking at where a program might leave

gaps in protection and finding the best offering to fill them. “If you’ve had multiple payments from AgriStability over a number of years, because they’re not included in the reference margin, they erode it and coverage goes down,” says Funk. “Crop insurance and private programs are also based on actual calculations and experience. So, claims are a consideration and can mean the policy may be more expensive, provide lower coverage, or both.” Because every farm and weather year are unique, risk management planning is a highly individualized process often requiring advisement. The first step is gathering quotes from any programs that might fit a farm’s needs that year. This includes knowing what the reference margin will be if enrolling in AgriStability. It’s also prudent to run through scenarios with a trusted advisor.

Double Whammy If weather hasn’t challenged western Canadian farmers enough, political and global market issues continue to persist. “Some of these larger issues come out of left field and are hard to predict,” says Warren. “Just know your costs to the penny and sell into rallies to make money where you can. Stay disciplined and don’t get greedy. That’s my strategy rolling through these tough political times. It’s so volatile that in my mind you can’t try to guess at the market, it will burn you.” Finally, Sekulic suggests staying involved with the various commodity groups, ag societies and organizations. “They have lots of avenues into government and policy. There’s value in keeping engaged and involved in these organizations, as well as the positive impact we can make to affect some good change.”

Photo: Trying to make the best of a bad situation, the Kuschak family mitigated loss by baling three quarter sections of oats to feed their cattle. “We weren’t sure we would get it, but once the balers hit the field, we ended up making an extra 1,200 bales,” says Kuschak.


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The hydrostatic ability to pull the machine into the bag by winding it up at the same time, allows you to control the speed that you can unload. Easy to use, simple to adjust. With a couple quick pins, you can swing the EXG400 into field or transport position. The EXG400 now features high flotation tires with a reinforced axle system to accommodate the extra weight when unloading in wet and soft ground conditions. Greater ground clearance is a standard feature. AKRON now offers a 16.5 foot wide roller to wind up the bag, which can roll up to a 500 foot bag, and up to 12 feet wide. The 27.5 inch bag deflectors ensure trouble free rolling.

AKRON features an exclusive, patented center bottom gearbox location for simple operation.

Unmatched performance. With its 16”dia. unloading auger the EXG 400 With a couple quick pins, you can swing the EXG400 into field or transport moves 10,300 bu/hr. (280 tons). position. The hydrostatic ability to pull the machine into the bag by winding it up at the same time, allows you to control the speed that you can unload. Easy to use, simple to adjust.

Featuring the patented center bottom gearbox and Grain Pusher that allows you to clean up the very AKRON now offers a 16.5 foot wide roller to wind up the bag, which can roll up to a 500 foot bag, and up to 12 feet wide. The 27.5 inch bag deflectors ensure trouble last bit of grain without shovels or free rolling. vacs! This allows you to get more Unmatched performance, by moving 280 ton per hour, or 10,300 bushels per HOUR! done in less time, with less mess! The EXG400 now features high flotation tires with a reinforced axle system to accommodate the extra weight when unloading in wet and soft ground conditions. Greater ground clearance is a standard feature.

The EXG 300 model can unload 9, 10 and 12 foot bags with ease.

Optional heavy duty augers are available.

Unmatched performance, by moving 280 ton per hour, or 10,300 bushels per HOUR! Optional heavy duty augers are available.


Our patented Grain Pusher feature cleans up the end of every bag, right down to the very last bit of grain.

Operating lights are a standard feature.

The EXG400 can unload over 10 THOUSAND bushels per hour!

The EXG400 can unload over 10 THOUSAND bushels per hour!

Bag Rollers

For bags of

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Unloading performance

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Power requirement

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Tube / Auger Diameter

16 15/16 in (430 mm)

Horizontal Auger Diameter

9 27/32 in (250 mm)

High flotation tires

400 x 60 x 15.5”

may change specifications and product designs in this or other brochure at any time, without previous notice. Pictures shown are for illustration purposes only.

It fully winds up the grain bag.


For bags of

10 feet

Unloading performance

10300 Bu/Hour (280 Ton/Hour)

Power requirement

90 HP minimum - 540 PTO

Hydraulic requirement

2600 PSI- 16 GPM (180 Bar - 60 LPM)

Tube / Auger Diameter

16 15/16 in (430 mm)

Horizontal Auger Diameter

9 27/32 in (250 mm)

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400 x 60 x 15.5”

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North American Distribution GBC Distributors Available in sizes 9’x200’ and up. Humboldt, Sask, Canada Durable 9.5mil HITEC bags. 306 682 5888

may change specifications and product designs in this or other brochure at any time, without previous notice. Pictures shown are for illustration purposes only. call for your local dealer:


EXG 400 with integrated bag roller


It fully winds up the grain bag.

Operating lights are a standard feature.



Navigating the changing financial realities of farm succession By Madeleine Baerg

Editor’s note: Due to sensitivity around family relations, the farmer in this story has provided comments under an alias. Not so long ago, farm succession planning was simple: the oldest son would follow in his father’s footsteps, inherit all land and virtually all assets. More recently, families have tried for better equality, often using financial tools like life insurance to try to balance inheritance between on- and off-farm children. Then, land prices soared. Today, many farms boast land worth millions of dollars, but few other assets. Though the rules and regulations that govern succession planning’s financials haven’t changed radically recently, and don’t appear poised for major changes looking forward, the dollars and cents of farm transition are vastly different than they’ve ever been before. “I always knew I wanted to be a farmer. I pictured that meaning I’d have my hands in the dirt and grease under my fingernails. I never thought it also meant studying up on tax regulations and spending hours with a financial planner, but that’s the reality of farming today,” says Manitoba farmer Mark Smith. Smith, together with wife Anna, is about three years into 10-year plan to take over the ownership and operation of his family’s 1,440-acre grain and oilseed farm. Like most families facing transition, the Smiths are trying to juggle multiple priorities: they need to make sure his parents are set up for a comfortable retirement, the farm has to stay on good financial footing, the estate has to be fair to Smith as well as his sister and brother, neither of whom want to farm. “I’m not kidding when I say it’s been daunting coming up with solutions that seem fair and workable,” says Smith. “Sometimes I think we need our farm [succession planning] advisor on speed dial, other times I feel like hiding when he calls.” Joking aside, Smith says his advisor is one of the biggest reasons they have been able to get as far as they have on their succession plan.



“I always knew I wanted to be a farmer. I pictured that meaning I’d have my hands in the dirt and grease under my fingernails. I never thought it also meant studying up on tax regulations and spending hours with a financial planner, but that’s the reality of farming today.” - Mark Smith Don’t have a farm advisor of your own yet? Smith has simple advice: “Get one today. If you want your farm and your family to survive transitioning to the next generation, invest in expert advice.” That advice can prove valuable when looking into the deep finances from a farm. Capital gains exemptions haven’t changed since maximum exemptions rose from $800,000 to $1 million in 2015. That said, the recent ramp-up in land value may catch some people unaware.





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“I really love sitting on a tractor. I really hate sitting in front of a webpage reading about how to minimize our taxes. But you know what? The hour I spend learning about tax rules makes me more money than an hour sitting on my tractor.” - Mark Smith children must fund the purchase with higher taxed personal income], or another way so it’s worse for the retiring generation [the children could fund the purchase with lower taxed corporate income, but the parents cannot claim the capital gains exemption], but either way it’s better tax-wise to sell to your neighbour,” says VanGilst. The rule may seem unreasonable, but it is in place for a reason. Photo: Luther VanGilst is a chartered professional accountant who specializes in farm finances.

“Where in the past it was pretty common for farmers to sell their land on a fully exempt basis, now people are wrapping their heads around the fact that they will have to pay some actual tax on the sale, not just an alternative minimum tax,” says Luther VanGilst, a chartered professional accountant who specializes in farm finances for Baker Tilly REO LLP. “No one likes to pay tax, but you need to look at how much more return you’re getting. Even if you’re paying tax it’s at a very low average tax rate, and you still end up ahead due to the increase in land values.” One of the biggest tax frustrations surrounding succession planning today is the current capital gains rule that make transferring shares in a corporation to your children very expensive. If a seller sells to an unrelated next-door neighbour, the seller can claim a capital gains exemption and the buyer can fund the purchase with lower tax dollars from their farm corporation. The same isn’t possible if the sale is between family members. “You can structure it one way so it’s worse for the kids [the parents could claim the capital gains exemption, but the 26

“If the non-arms-length share purchase rules weren’t in the Income Tax Act, it could be possible to start doing some very creative things. Depending on your perspective, not having it in the Act could open up the opportunity for abuse. At the same time, it’s standing in the way of very legitimate transactions,” says VanGilst. Two years ago, and again in their most recent election platform, the Liberal government promised that they’d look into enacting a change that would better serve farm families. No plans have yet been proposed. “It’s a wait and see thing,” says VanGilst. “We’ve been waiting for a while.” While the government has been slow to enact change to capital gains exemptions, they did move forward with changes to Tax on Split Income (TOSI) as announced two years ago. TOSI most commonly applies to dividends from private corporations. Under the new rules, dividends are to be taxed at the highest marginal tax rate unless the person receiving the dividend qualifies for one of several exclusions. This rule is extremely important at succession planning time as it can help manage tax burden for both the retiring generation and for non-farming kids who might have worked on the farm in the past but don’t anymore.

2110-27862 - SARRC - Farm for Tmrw 3.375x9.625

With rising land prices, more and more family farms are turning to incorporation, especially as they work through the succession planning process. While incorporation brings certain tax advantages, it can also carry deferred tax liabilities. “Most Canadian farmers haven’t fully accepted that they have a huge deferred tax liability,” says Bob Tosh, a farm business advisor with MNP in Saskatoon, Sask. “The deferral mechanism has been great for cash flow but the CRA isn’t benevolent. You need to acknowledge the liability and be aware of what specific factors could trigger a taxable event for your farm business.” While farmers can transfer inventory and shift that income into a corporation, they can’t capture the income from pre-paid expenses or accounts receivable that are transferred into the corporation. They also can’t transfer liabilities in excess of the tax cost of assets. “[Theoretically,] say you borrowed $200,000 to buy cattle to expand your herd and, for simplicity, let’s say you could finance that at 100 per cent. You have option to write the whole amount off, if reporting income on the cash basis, which would give you a $200,000 liability, but for tax purposes you’d have no asset. The problem is that you can’t transfer a liability with no corresponding assets into the corporation on a tax-free basis,” says VanGilst. In last fall’s economic update, the federal government announced a temporarily faster capital cost allowance (CCA). While the change plays in farmers’ favours most of the time, it can catch those wanting to incorporate. For example, says VanGilst, imagine if you borrowed $1 million to build a barn. After one year of a 25-year term, you’d still have in the range of $950,000 in debt. However, the change to depreciation rules means you could write off $150,000 in the first year, leaving you with a liability higher than the corresponding asset (which would now have a tax cost of $850,000). “Maybe you can depreciate a major purchase quickly but, if you know you’re going to incorporate, maybe you opt not to then. Maybe you choose an optional inventory adjustment. Maybe you leave one bank loan—one that has the most favourable terms—out of the corporation,” says VanGilst. While these and many other financial details associated with succession planning are challenging to navigate, Smith believes planning is worth the effort. “I really love sitting on a tractor. I really hate sitting in front of a webpage reading about how to minimize our taxes. But you know what? The hour I spend learning about tax rules makes me more money than an hour sitting on my tractor.” 27 2110-27862_SARRC_FarmingForTmrw_3.375x9.625_OL.indd 1

2020-01-31 12:10 PM



Automatization is the Solution By Natalie Noble

Grain sampling at harvest. The time-consuming practice yields poor representation and inaccurate results more often than not, but that’s about to change. As early as harvest 2020, farmers and the agri-food industry will begin to reap the benefits of the most accurate sampling right off the auger. Ken Jackson, VeriGrain CEO and chair, and Grant Devine, VeriGrain VP of strategic development, say their sample acquisition management system is the “easy button.” It takes tedious sampling off the farmer’s plate with automized, accurate and representative grain sampling controlled via smartphone. Sample data is then digitized, and as the technology develops, soon to be available in real time as grain travels from farm to processor to consumer. “From a user perspective, we’re taking the ‘Apple’ approach, which is, you open the box, hit the button and away you go,” says Jackson.

The Accuracy Advantage VeriGrain addresses a number of challenges within grain sampling, including accuracy. “A scoop on a stick to represent 100,000 bushels just cannot work,” says Devine. With VeriGrain’s extractor placed at the outlet of an auger, conveyor or grain stream in the handling system, grain is extracted and travels through a vacuum-based transfer system to the cross-cut sampling unit. Sample rates are programmed and controlled by the user. 28


“Over 70 per cent of grain sold off the farm is under-valued because it hasn’t been accurately sampled. When guessing at grade, the product is discounted many times over and the farmer loses money.” - Grant Devine “When guessing at grade, the product is discounted many times over and the farmer loses money.” Farmers will now determine early whether a product will draw a better price based upon grade versus protein levels. “A level two or three grade can still have good protein levels and be worth more based on protein than the grade,” says Jackson. “It requires accurate and representative sampling to really make the most of playing that game.” Photo: The benefits of early accurate sampling extend throughout the

food chain, where proven accuracy instills the trust and transparency consumers are demanding. “As others tap into that information it makes their lives easier because they’re obligated into traceability, transparency and trust within the food system. Everybody making malt, pasta, or feeding dairy cows, they need to know what they’re buying.” VeriGrain VP of strategic development, Grant Devine, pictured on the left. Credit: VeriGrain

“Get your smartphone out with the app loaded onto it. Select the sampling rate or use the sample management system by scanning the bar code on the container, and associate all the sample information,” says Jackson. “We created an audit trail where we monitor all the dates, times, functions, what bin it went into, all of that. When the grower goes looking for the sample from any bin or truck they empty, they know it’s representative.” Each sample is then split into six identical tubes that are sealed and barcoded. These digital twins of what’s in the bin or truck load can be sent to the elevator, Canadian Grain Commission and analytics lab where that first cut provides a sample to be analyzed anywhere with spectrometer analysis. The benefits of early accurate sampling start on the farm, move throughout the entire food chain and finish at the bank. The return on investment can be substantial. Knowing exactly what’s in the bin, farmers can negotiate optimal pricing on their products. “Over 70 per cent of grain sold off the farm is under-valued because it hasn’t been accurately sampled,” says Devine.

Realizing premium pricing on even 10-to-20 per cent of a crop is a big bump for the farm’s top line. “A grower could quadruple their net profit, or more. They’ve already paid the price, invested everything into inputs, and now what’s in the bin is in the bin. Every extra dollar they can get there is pure profit.”

Time is Money VeriGrain also answers the time issues of sampling. For one, sampling at harvest is hardly convenient for the operator. “We’ve solved this by fully automating the process. When the sample containers are loaded into our machine and the power’s on, everything takes care of itself,” says Jackson. Second, as time elapses, inaccurate or poorly representative grain samples can decrease profits on famers’ hard-earned investments as downgrading and discounting occur down the line. “The 2019 harvest is a perfect example of this,” says Devine. “There’s every kind of quality and grain left on the ground. Eventually over a year-and-a-half or two, as farmers begin to market their grain, they’ll know what they have.” Accurate initial sampling can increase the grain’s grade or protein value, a major financial boost. Devine recalls a farmer with winter wheat originally graded as feed quality. “Analyzed more carefully, it showed high protein and the farmer sold it to a miller in Montana, picking up No. 1 price for an extra $500,000,” he says. “This is the advantage of knowing what you have immediately.” 29


“As others tap into that information it makes their lives easier because they’re obligated into traceability, transparency and trust within the food system. Everybody making malt, pasta, or feeding dairy cows, they need to know what they’re buying.” - Grant Devine On the larger scale of today’s agri-food industry, mistakes are costly while knowledge is power. “Inaccurate information at harvest pervades into the whole system and it costs literally billions of dollars,” says Devine. Whether a shipload of barley to Japan contains portions of unideal product, the wrong feed ration goes into cattle or unfit durum is used in pasta making, recalls and mistakes are extremely expensive.


“VeriGrain fixes this right at the start, but it has implications right around the world to whomever is making food with Canadian grains, oilseeds and legumes,” says Devine. “This technology will help the farmer, but it’s so important that it helps everyone else in the food chain avoid mistakes by depending on that accuracy.”

Connection is the Key In today’s digital world, VeriGrain will bridge the current analog gap between producer and processor. “Digitizing all the information around what’s in the bin, there’s now the ability to readily access the information. It’s all in the cloud, blockchainsecured, very sharable and augmentable,” says Jackson. These benefits trickle down the food chain, where proven accuracy instills the trust and transparency consumers are demanding. “As others tap into that information it makes their lives easier because they’re obligated into traceability, transparency and trust within the food system,” says Devine. “Everybody making malt, pasta, or feeding dairy cows, they need to know what they’re buying.” Aggregated information also brings a competitive edge. “As more farmers share accurate data, they get to know the quality of the crop in their whole region, or the entire country,” says Devine. “If they have something better, or there’s a shortage of something they have, they can demand a premium.”


AgriStability Changes On Dec. 17, 2019, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Marie-Caude Bibeau announced that there was a change to AgriStability. Beginning in the 2020 program year, private insurance is no longer considered eligible income. This means if you collect insurance proceeds from private crop insurance or hail insurance companies, it will not go against you in your AgriStability claim. The rules for government subsidized crop insurance did not change, they are still considered eligible income. Paul Kuntz Paul Kuntz is the owner of Wheatland Financial, he offers financial consulting and debt broker services. Paul is also an advisor with Global Ag Risk. He can be reached through

So what does this mean for you? Well it may mean a lot or perhaps it will mean very little. If you have stayed in AgriStability over the years, then you are ready to take advantage of these changes. If you are no longer in AgriStability, or never have been, then you will need to enroll prior to April 30, 2020. There is a lot of negative feedback around AgriStability. Farmers comment that it does not work for them on their farm. The most important aspect of any program is to fully understand it. We can have our opinions but we need to ensure our facts are straight. Starting in 2013 the program changed significantly. The spirit of intention for the program changed. It was originally set up as an income stabilization tool. Relatively minor changes in income would trigger a payment. The program changed to disaster assistance. Now you need a relatively large wreck on your farm to trigger a payment, and if you trigger a payment with AgriStability, your farm will still be in financial trouble. This change caused a lot of farmers to exit the program. In the 2011 program year, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) lists in its annual report that it processed 17,256 applications as of March 31, 2013. In its latest report, SCIC reports it processed 8,510 for the 2017 year as of March 31, 2019. These are just Saskatchewan numbers, but I am confident the same drop would have occurred in Alberta and Manitoba. Although livestock operations do qualify for AgriStability, the new changes will not affect them as there really are no private insurance options for livestock producers. AgriStability functions by measuring your current financial performance to your past financial performance. It measures the difference between allowable income and allowable expenses, and they call that your margin. AgriStability goes back five years and calls the historical part of the calculation your reference margin and then call this year your claim year margin. If you are already in the program, 2019 will be your claim year and 2018-17-16-15-14 will be the reference years. For 2020 you can just slide those years ahead by one. When it measures your historical margins, government takes out the high year and low year and average the remaining three. This is called an Olympic average. Allowable income on a grain farm is primarily your sale of grain and crop insurance payments. Allowable expenses are seed, fertilizer, chemical, fuel, salaries and a few other items. Had our farmer participated in any insurance programs in the past and received a payout from the insurance company, that payout would go towards the margin calculations and most likely there would be no payout from AgriStability. As of the 2020 program year, a farmer can now insure themselves privately and not have that affect their AgriStability claim. 31

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AGRISTABILITY CHANGES | FARMING YOUR MONEY Our example above shows that in the event the farmer had income drop by $120/ac or 28 per cent ($420 - $300 = $120), AgriStability was not much help. Again, it is designed to kick in when a disaster hits. Because the premiums are literally pennies per acre for AgriStability, it still can be good protection to have at the bottom end of the spectrum but in order to have adequate financial protection, you will need something else. The changes to the program now allow for that.

Margin per acre $240


Farmer Risk

AgStab covers 70 per cent of 240=$168 and then only 70 per cent of the drop

If you had a hail storm, you could protect the top end of your coverage with private hail insurance and the bottom end with Agristability. There is one last rule that will affect farmers who wish to cover themselves with private insurance and that is the deemed insurance rule. This only kicks in when negative margins appear. So, the farmer grew $300/ac worth of crop and had $185/ac worth of expenses, meaning a margin of $115/ ac. If they had a wreck and grew $50/ac with allowable expenses of $185/ac, then the margin would be -$135/ac. If you have a negative margin and you are not in your government subsidized crop insurance program for your province, AgriStability will deem you to be in your crop insurance at a level of 70 per cent coverage. This only affects the negative margin portion of the calculation. In most cases, if AgriStability deems you to have 70 per cent coverage of crop insurance, you will not receive coverage for the negative part of your margin decline. If you protected your farm with private hail insurance and had a wreck, most likely AgriStability will assist you but it will be limited to just your positive margin and not the negative amount. Using the -$135/ac margin, if your farm had the ability to purchase crop insurance coverage at the 70 per cent mark and that worked out to $200/ac of coverage, this would eliminate the negative margin payout. AgriStability reduces your payout if you participate and collect from government subsidized crop insurance and it also punishes you if you do not participate in it. How much this affects your farm will depend on your claim year and crop insurance coverage. So what are your options? You can have AgriStability on its own. You will need a significant drop in income to trigger a payment. If you are in a negative margin, meaning your income did not cover your allowable expenses, most likely the negative margin portion will not be covered because of the deemed insurance rule. You can purchase government subsidized crop insurance with AgriStability. If you trigger a payment from crop insurance, this is counted as income and will work against your AgriStability. The rules around negative margins will not apply because you have crop insurance but most likely your crop


Our farmer starts with a $240 reference margin and a claim year with $115 margin

The reference margin gets limited to $180

AgStab payout with limited reference margin

The payout is only $7.70

Farmer achieved $115 of margin

The farmer has to cover a balance of the loss of $117.30


insurance claim will pay to a point that is above your AgriStability coverage so you will probably receive very little, or nothing, from AgriStability. You can purchase private hail insurance. The proceeds received from that type of hail insurance will not affect your AgriStability claim. You will be affected by the deemed insurance rule if you experience a negative margin. Global Ag Risk Solutions offers a private crop insurance program that will work with AgriStability. There are products available that cover where AgriStability does not provide coverage but also reduced premiums and coverage in the areas where AgriStability does provide coverage. The deemed insurance rule will be in effect for the AgriStability claim if you experience a negative margin. You may want to speak with one of your trusted advisors to help you through this maze of insurance options. If you have questions regarding AgriStbility, call the agency that administers it for your province or your farm accountant. The most important thing to do is understand the options you have for insurance and what is right for your operation. A farmer who is just starting out with large debt and little equity will view insurance much different than someone established and financially secure. The tolerance to risk will be different and the coverage levels required are also different. You need to know what you need, what is available and what will work for your operation. 33


Bushel Plus

Less waste, more profit In an increasingly complex world, the simplest approach is often best. The German-born ag engineer believed there was too much time and money wasted at harvest, especially with bushel loss. It’s why he invented Bushel Plus, a novel system to accurately measure harvest loss while simultaneously increasing operational efficiencies. Kringe experimented with prototypes of drop pan systems and combine calibration tools for years around the globe. Traditional measuring methods proved dirty, highly inaccurate and dangerous. Hearing tragic stories of injury and death prompted him to find a safer way. His prototypes evolved into Bushel Plus, a remotecontrolled all-in-one combine loss measurement system. A major timesaver, it’s easily attached to the combine, remotely released, cleans samples and performs calculations. Bushel Plus’s portable carrier unit houses all its electronics and is fastened with magnets to the combine’s rear axle, feeder house or header front. Bolts and wires are not required so it’s transferred from one machine to the next in seconds. The carrier rides under the combine and nests the red drop tray inside to be released remotely from a safe distance. The system includes two different-sized trays, each designed for different stubble lengths, conditions and crop types. Sample accuracy is ensured as kernels and chaff cannot enter the tray until it is dropped. Once the tray is collected, users can analyze the difference between header front loss—under the tray—and combine loss—inside the tray, all at once. Compared to sample cleaning with sieves, Bushel Plus separates kernels from chaff and straw with a variable speed air separator. Users drop the sample in, and it’s 34

cleaned in about 30 seconds. Next, users weigh kernels on the included field scale and enter results into the Bushel Plus App. This shows the exact bushels per acre loss occurring, as well as a percentage to the yield, says Kringe. The user can enter machine settings, notes about the crop and variety, and save this within the app to learn more about the machine. All results can be shared via text message, WhatsApp or email from your smartphone. All of this takes just a few minutes and our customers see dramatic reductions in losses and better harvest efficiency and speeds, says Kringe. Certain cases saw reduction loss fall from eight to 0.5 per cent with Bushel Plus. In the U.K., customers increased harvest speed by 15 to 20 per cent. One of our first testimonials is a farmer who saved about $65,000 on his wheat harvest, says Kringe. He reduced his losses from 3.5 bu/ac down to 0.5 bu/ac. The quality of his grain could be sold as a No. 2 grade instead of feed wheat because we were able to blow the bad Fusarium kernels out of the combine without losing the good grains. In addition, Australian farmers tested it against the traditional method of scratching on the ground beside the drop pan. Using the traditional method, they lost five to eight per cent of their crop. Bushel Plus brought those numbers down to under one per cent. Using a fast and safe way to check your harvest loss means potentially more grain in the bin to sell, to truck, to help the community a win-win situation, says Kringe. When the new AGCO IDEAL combine released their first North American demo tour, their teams worked with the Bushel Plus system to showcase its field performance.

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What do European Sprayers Bring

to The North American Market? 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.


For many years, European agricultural machinery was considered too small to be relevant for North American conditions. That started to change when Claas and New Holland began introducing large harvesting equipment. Larger tractors from the likes of Fendt and seeding and tillage equipment from companies such as Horsch followed soon after. Now, European sprayers are knocking on our doors. What do they bring to the party?

Overall capacity The typical large self-propelled European sprayer of 2020 has all the capacity of the largest North American models, and sometimes more. Boom widths of 36 metres are common, and wider booms extending to 40 and even 50 metres are available. Tank sizes of 5,000-6,000 litres are not uncommon, and 8,000-12,000 litres are game changers. On those specs alone, they qualify. European sprayers can be significantly larger than their North American counterparts (Dammann DT 3500 H S4).

Dimensions The first thing people notice about European sprayers is their more compact design. In order to comply with the three-metre maximum transport width allowed by law, everything is narrower. That doesn’t prevent the wheel track from widening in the field, of course, where stability is needed or where tramlines need to be matched. The more compact design does come at a cost. There’s no room for large ladders with handrails to enter the cab and catwalks are usually gone, too. Access to service points can be more cramped. The upside is that most of these sprayers are lighter than their North American counterparts, with weights between 9,000-12,000 kilograms are not uncommon. More efficient use of space in a European sprayer allows a smaller sprayer footprint with equal capacity (Amazone Pantera).


Frame and cab Less space has provided frame innovations. A central channel frame is sometimes featured, creating room for a sophisticated swingarm suspension, or a walking beam. The cabs typically sit in front of the chassis, with a centrally mounted engine. This offers superior visibility, although it does take some getting used to. Overall, the cabs on these more compact sprayers are every bit as spacious and comfortable as North American types, with better rearward views possible due to the narrow chassis. Monitor systems vary, but due to most sprayers being made by smaller firms, third-party controllers will be more likely. Ag Leader, Topcon, and others can be seen in place of the proprietary systems of the larger manufacturers.

to the general absence of walking platforms. However, attention is paid to sump design and minimizing the remaining volume, making cleaning easier.

Booms European sprayers have well-engineered booms with better height control and contour-following capabilities than their North American counterparts. Usually triple-fold, they are compact and many offer Norac (Topcon) height sensors. Steel remains the most common material, with aluminum deployed as necessary on outer sections. Wet booms have 25-millimetre outside diameters and, as such, are slightly smaller than North American types. However, flow and pressure drop are measured to ensure a quality distribution.

There are no shortcuts with European cabs.

Large tanks and wide booms are commonplace in Europe (Sands sprayer).

Tank design


Again, the compact real estate requires unique solutions. The barrel-shaped tank resting on a cradle that we’re used to in North America is replaced by a more complex-shaped tank the needs to utilize every possible available space. Although this is done with steel on many units, molded plastic is once again more common. Access to the tank lid is also more difficult due

An aspect where the European sprayers excel is plumbing design. Most have recirculating booms and certain machines offer continuous rinsing. Both designs minimize waste generation and simplify rinsing and cleaning, saving time. More sophisticated tank-level gauge systems that offer cab readouts, better resolution at low volumes and less dependence on

90% LESS DRIFT, LESS RUN OFF, SUPERIOR COVERAGE The Air Bubble Jet consistently produces droplets that are 200 - 550 microns in size. Too big to drift - too small to run off.

Air Bubble Jets

Easy Jets

• 2% Driftable droplets compared to 25% or more with conventional.

• Made for Pulse modulation systems including Aim, Sharpshooter, Hawkeye and JD.

• 200-500 micron droplet size range with appx. 75% in the sweet spot range of 300-400

• 2% Driftable droplets compared to 25% or more with conventional.

• Fits most holders or caps.

• 200-500 micron droplet size range with appx. 75% in the sweet spot range of 300-400

• Life expectancy on average 70,000 acres. • 25 years of experience with no update required.

Air Bubble Jet 1254 drops (2.5 U.S. gals/acre) Competitors low drift nozzle 771 drops (5 U.S. gals/acre)

• Fits most holders or caps. • Life expectancy on average 70,000 acres.

North American Distributor:

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having the sprayer resting on a level surface, can also be seen. Pumps tend to be diaphragm, with only a few brands offering centrifugal types. The reasons are both technical and traditional. On the one hand, diaphragm pumps can run dry, don’t need to be primed and can be located beside the tank, for example, and can push air into a boom. By contrast, they are bulkier, more expensive, noisier, need a pulsation damper and require maintenance. Some manufacturers, notably the Fendt Challenger and the Chafer, ship with centrifugal pumps. These are now equipped with wet seals and the Challenger has employed an auto-prime system that prevents air-locks. Recirculating booms are common on European sprayers (Bateman).

Flow control Whereas all North American manufacturers offer a pulsewidth-modulation (PWM) option which now comprises an estimated 30 per cent of new sales, the European sprayers are only beginning to consider this flow management approach. The majority still offer multiple nozzle bodies that permit automatic switching between various sized nozzles to achieve extended travel speed ranges or changes in spray quality. One of the reasons for the delayed adoption of PWM is the European regulatory system, which has yet to approve some aspects of the PWM system. Low-drift performance, for which most air-induction nozzles have been approved, must still be validated for nozzles that must be used with PWM (recall that air-induced nozzles are not generally recommended for PWM). Many U.K. sprayers also use an interesting means of managing bypass, via a so-called Ramsay Valve. This type of valve uses an air-filled diaphragm to divert flow, and air-pressure change is used to alter the bypass. Such a system was an answer to early butterfly valves which had slow, uneven response, but is bulkier than the modern mechanical bypass valves now available and may require maintenance. Multiple nozzle bodies are favoured over PWM 38

While numerous opportunities exist for more collaboration among grain farmers, an even greater number of opportunities exist between grain farmers and cattle producers. Think straw, manure, green feed, feed grains and fall grazing. Drivetrain Like North American sprayers, wheels are driven by hydraulic motors. Hybrid Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) systems are also available, and these offer superior torque characteristics at slower speeds. Engines are like those offered in North America, supplied by major manufacturers such as John Deere, Deutz and Fiat. We are seeing smaller engines on European sprayers owing to the slower travel speeds. Slower speeds don’t just save cost, weight, and fuel consumption, they also provide the advantage of better boom height control and lower spray drift, if productivity can be maintained.

Wheels European sprayers generally use the same wheel sizes as North America, with 116.8-centimetre wheels being common. A unique feature of U.K. sprayers is their use of 71- to 96.5-centimetre wheels. Although native ground clearance is sacrificed, it is enough for most crops except for corn, for which many sprayers require a lift kit anyway. These smaller wheels allow booms and other components to be cradled lower, improving the centre of gravity and safety. Wheel sizes vary, but are sometimes significantly smaller, particularly in the U.K.

Summary There is very active competition between European sprayer brands Many dozens of manufacturers compete for the market, and customers have high expectations. Although some of the features on European sprayers will appear strange at first sight, they should be evaluated purely on performance criteria, not esthetics. Does the sprayer improve efficiency by reducing downtime? Does it make drift control easier? Does it waste less product that one would otherwise dump on the ground? Is it more fuel efficient? In this regard, customers will benefit from the competition introduced by other sprayer brands. A rising tide lifts all boats.


The Canary in the Coal Mine Tammy Jones B.Sc., P.Ag Tammy completed her B. Sc. In Crop Protection at the University of Manitoba. She has over 15 years of experience in the crops industry in Manitoba and Alberta, with a focus on agronomy. Tammy lives near Carman, and spends time scouting for weeds and working with cattle at the family farm in Napinka, Manitoba. Above: Glufosinate applied past recommended growth stage results in poor kochia control.

We have a kochia problem and it’s getting worse. You may think that I’m the one with the kochia problem because I bring it up fairly often, but Charles Geddes, a weed ecology scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, has proposed that herbicide resistance may threaten our reduced-tillage crop production systems. He labelled kochia the “canary in the coal mine,” serving as an early warning for upcoming issues.

Managing kochia with herbicides Kochia is a challenging weed to control. It germinates early when soils reach 3.5 C, but it can also emerge later in the season, so the timing of weed control is tricky. Understanding herbicide labels is extremely important when it comes to selecting an effective herbicide program. The label provides you with recommendations for consistent weed control, but we tend to push the boundaries resulting in less-than-perfect control and potentially speeding up the development of herbicide resistance.

Pre-emergent herbicides: Pre-seed herbicide applications do not rely on weed staging because the herbicide is intended to be applied before the weeds emerge. The challenge with pre-emergent herbicides is they require specific conditions to be effective. Application rates may be impacted by soil characteristics such as organic matter or clay content, and they do not control weeds that have already emerged. 39

THOSE WILY WEEDS | THE CANARY IN THE COAL MINE There are several pre-seed herbicide products that can help to manage kochia including some Group 3, 14 and 15 products. Ethalfluralin (Edge, Group 3) does require time to activate, and therefore is recommended to be applied 10 days prior to seeding. Sulfentrazone (Authority, Group 14) has residual activity but requires moisture for activation. Flumioxazin (Fierce, Group 14, 15) controls Group 2, 4, and 9 resistant kochia biotypes, but also requires rainfall for activation.

Post-emergent herbicides: In-crop herbicides (post-emergent application) rely on weed stage, as well as the environment. The labels vary by product, but typically smaller weeds require lower rates for effective kill. The small weeds on most labels are those in the two-tofour leaf stage, which is not when most products are applied. Even at the eight-leaf stage, which is somewhat more typical for herbicide application, kochia is still quite small. Postemergent herbicides with activity on kochia include Group 4, 6, 10 and 27. Bromoxynil (Group 6) is a contact herbicide recommended to be applied before plants are two inches tall. MCPA, 2,4-D, fluroxypyr and dicamba are some of the Group 4 active ingredients used to control kochia, and at higher application rates shows control on kochia up to four inches tall. The Group 10 herbicide in the arsenal is glufosinate, a contact herbicide for use in select herbicide-tolerant crops. It is most effective on kochia up to three inches tall. Group 27 herbicides (including pyrasulfotole and topramezone) also need to be applied to kochia that is four inches or shotrer.

Managing kochia without herbicides

Potential reasons for the increase in glyphosate resistant kochia in Alberta: - Kochia outcrosses - pollen flow may have distributed the resistance trait - The tumbling nature of the weed - Tight crop rotations - Reliance on glyphosate for chemfallow in the brown soil zones to conserve moisture

fields). Manitoba has done a better job of selecting for herbicide resistance than Alberta in spite of crop rotations that should allow for greater herbicide rotation, as well as more rainfall and therefore less chemfallow. The scary part of these results is that many of the populations have a low level of resistance. That does not mean that by applying more glyphosate or another herbicide you will overcome the resistance. It means that a proportion of the population is resistant at the normally lethal dose of the herbicide while some of the population will still be controlled by the herbicide application. That means that herbicide tools are not completely useless yet. If we keep using herbicides as we have done for the past five years, I cannot even imagine how much herbicide-resistant kochia will populate Western Canada in another five years. It also means that for now most farmers will not suspect that they have glyphosate resistance and therefore have no idea that now is the time to make changes.

Kochia management without herbicides relies on tools like crop competition and patch management by mowing or tillage to reduce or prevent seed production. Addressing salinity issues may also decrease the kochia issues in a field. There is unfortunately nothing new or earth-shattering with these suggestions. These techniques are essential to future management as herbicide resistance becomes increasing prevalent.

How do we manage?

The state of herbicide resistance in kochia

In the spring, there is a need to apply a pre-seed burn-off herbicide that is not glyphosate alone. This allows the crop to emerge ahead of the kochia and again be more competitive. Then, the in-crop herbicide needs to be applied effectively and utilize different modes of action than the pre-seed burn. Finally, all weeds not controlled by the herbicides need to be controlled by another strategy such as mowing, tillage and hand-pulling. Finally, build fences to keep out your neighbour’s weeds. It sounds like I’m making a joke, but herbicide resistance management is a community effort and if you are making changes but your neighbour is not, you may not see all the benefits of your changes.

Herbicide resistance is increasing rapidly, everywhere. In Alberta, a post-harvest kochia seed collection survey showed that the levels of herbicide resistance had sky-rocketed from five per cent of fields in 2012 to 50 per cent of the samples having some level of glyphosate resistance in 2017. So, when the same type of survey was conducted in Manitoba in the fall of 2018, there was great interest in seeing how glyphosate resistance had progressed. The results were stunning. In a similar five-year period, the numbers had risen from about one per cent in 2013 (two fields) to 59 per cent of kochia populations with some level of glyphosate resistance (170 40

In theory, kochia seems easy to manage. Most seeds germinate in the year after they were produced, so in a short amount of time, the seedbank could be depleted. Unfortunately, that also means that if kochia was a problem last year, it has more potential to be a problem in the upcoming year. A diverse crop rotation, narrow row spacing and increased plant densities all help to enhance crop competitiveness.

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Measuring Up Decision

Support Platforms Brianna Gratton

Brianna Gratton is the smart ag techgronomist at the Olds College Smart Farm. After obtaining her Certified Crop Adviser designation, Brianna worked with various companies such as Crop Production Services, Decisive Farming and Chinook Agronomics before joining the Olds College team.

Agriculture and big data are coming together to change the face of farming. With the introduction of decision-support platforms, on-farm record keeping has been completely overhauled. Decision-support platforms designed for farm management streamline the record-keeping process by making it much simpler and accessible, while significantly improving value and functionally for the end-user. By allowing farmers to collect and manage their data all in one system, farmers can make informed decisions that improve their bottom line. With a multitude of companies providing data management software, choosing the right decision-support platform for an individual operation can be overwhelming and filled with questions, such as: • Is the system user-friendly? • Does the method of collecting and visualizing the data work for my operation? • Does the software provide analytics and actionable insights to utilize all the data to improve the operation? • Does it work with my other systems? At the Olds College Smart Farm, we set out to try and answer a few of these questions. In the past year we have done a comprehensive analysis of a few current decision-support platforms on the market, including: Trimble Ag Software, FCC AgExpert Field, Climate Fieldview, Decisive My Farm Manager 42

and Farmers Edge. Comparing the various software platforms, we’ve completed a comprehensive analysis of the capabilities, functionalities and end use of the products for farmers. Other key aspects that we chose to focus on in comparing these platforms was overall cost, ease of use, features and functionality, inter-operability, performance, security and support. Each product is equipped with a certain set of tools for use in a number of areas such as financial tracking, marketing, inventory, crop planning and agronomy. Certain platforms offered all of these features and were then set apart by the level of support and customer service. Others were very specialized in a certain area such as financial or agronomy and crop imagery. Cost was evaluated in terms of time and effort involved as well as subscription fees to utilize the software. This will allow farmers to see if there is a financial benefit in paying for software and using it for data management and evaluation of in season applications. We can help to remove the buzz and see what aspects work well and sync nicely with other equipment and platforms and which could use some further development. With that also comes the question of security, how secure is all of your data once it has been inputted into the system? Is that data being shared with others and is it still your data? Once you have invested time into importing all your information how easy is it to export it again and in what format? These are important things to keep in mind when making your decisions. Although this may seem overwhelming and a daunting task, the benefit of utilizing this technology far surpasses that of the initial investment. We hope this project answers some of these big questions you are asking as a farmer when considering which decision support platform will work for you. You can find the full project reports through the Olds College website.


Nufarm Nufarm announced the launch of Epic, a new post-emergent grass weed herbicide, containing pinoxaden, for spring wheat, durum wheat and barley. This herbicide offers western Canadian farmers another option for the selective control of wild oats, green and yellow foxtail, Persian darnel, volunteer oats, volunteer canaryseed, proso millet and barnyard grass in wheat and barley crops. “Epic can be tank-mixed with a range of broadleaf herbicides to provide excellent broad-spectrum weed control in cereals, says Graham Collier,” Nufarm’s Canadian portfolio manager. Epic offers a great deal of flexibility for farmers through its wide window of application from one leaf to flag leaf in cereals and will control wild oats as large as six-leaf stage. “Timing of in-crop spraying is always a challenge, and often cereal crops don’t get sprayed at the optimum timing,” says Collier. “Epic herbicide will give growers the flexibility they need and the performance they deserve when it comes to controlling troublesome grass weeds.” Boyd Bergstrom, Nufarm country lead, Canada, says the

organization is pleased to offer another option to manage tough grassy weeds in cereal crops. “One of our goals in Western Canada is to provide cereal growers a full portfolio of crop inputs for their wheat and barley crops,” says Bergstrom. “Our broadleaf herbicides, Enforcer D and Enforcer M, have been growing in the marketplace over the past several years because they are performing well managing tough weeds like kochia, volunteer canola and cleavers.” Epic will join the roster with Nufarm’s other grass weed herbicide, Signal (wheat only). Both will be excellent tank-mix options with Enforcer brands. “We are striving to be the chemistry experts that farmers can count on with high quality solutions, value and expertise,” says Bergstrom.

TRUSTED DISPATCH Automated shipping system Trusted Dispatch recently announced new partnerships with AgDealer, Weaver Bros. Auctions and several other agriculture partnerships nearing executions. The new partnerships mean more exposure for Trusted Dispatch to an audience of people with shipping needs. Partnering with Trusted Dispatch will enhance their partners offering to their audience of online equipment buyers by providing a shipping solution and instant shipping quotes with the click of a button. Trusted Dispatch CEO Dusty LaValley, identified trucks traveling empty with no load as a transportation industry problem. He found trucks often returning to home base or repositioning after a delivery with no load on the trailer. Drivers were continuously calling Trusted Dispatch looking for loads. Looking into the problem resulted in also discovering a massive amount of shippers with no shipping solution. “The goal is to improve the transportation industry around the world forever by providing a convenient, trustworthy and efficient shipping solution to those that need it,” says LaValley.

Trusted Dispatch places a shipping button on the equipment listing for buyers to use. The shopper can click the button, enter the drop off location (the pickup location is carried over through the technologies), the make and model of the equipment is already known so the shipper simply confirms the weight and dimensions, then instantly sees the shipping cost. The simple process allows farmers to schedule their heavy loads to be picked up and delivered at a reasonable cost. The automated shipping system for moving heavy equipment is currently available anywhere in Canada and the United States. It provides shipping services to the agriculture, mining, oil and gas and construction industries. To book your heavy haul visit 43


AgSmart Growing profits with data Mark your calendars to attend AgSmart, Aug. 11-12, 2020, at Olds College. Designed for producers, the event includes hands-on demonstrations and education sessions focused on technology and data across the agriculture sector—how to gather it, and how to use it to enhance productivity and profits. After a successful launch in 2019, the event is evolving for an even better attendee experience with enhanced programming, a single event location, and one ticket type. “We are excited to build on the launch of AgSmart to offer producers an agriculture technology educational event. With the incredible amounts of new technology being offered to producers, this event is timely for the industry. Just wait to see what we have in store for you,” says Suzanne Bielert, event co-manager.

farming with a showcase of new up-and-coming technologies.

Event highlights include: industry expert educational sessions, hands on demos, ag tech exhibits, Industry networking and showcase of Olds College Smart Farm projects and results.

“AgSmart is a great place to see the newest technology in ag as well as hearing and learning from some of the amazing people leading the way in our industry,” says John Kowalchuk of Kowalchuk Farms.

The event is focused on today’s farmer with practical technology that can be used today, and a look at the future of

Tickets go on sale March 2020. Follow us on social media or sign up for event updates at

POLARIS Polaris has introduced its new 2020 RZR and Sportsman limited-edition models with factory installed accessories and premium upgrades. In addition to the limited editions, Polaris RZR, also announced reduced pricing for the 2020 RZR XP 4 Turbo, RZR XP Turbo, RZR S4 1000, RZR S 1000 and RZR S 900, providing greater value to customers when purchasing a new unit. As the first 50-inch RZR to come factory-installed with Ride Command, the 2020 RZR 900 Fox Edition gives riders the confidence to tackle any trail and get where they need to go. The new 2020 Sportsman 850 Premium LE and 2020 Sportsman 570 Premium LE feature exclusive, limited-edition colours and premium accessory combinations that come standard. “Our customers live for the outdoors and demand vehicles with enhanced performance and capability for the toughest trails and jobs,” says Steven Menneto, Polaris’ president of off-road vehicles. “Our newly launched RZR and Sportsman limited edition models offer technology upgrades and factory 44

installed packages to provide customers with the ultimate riding experience.” Polaris RZR, the world’s No. 1 selling sport performance side-by-side has unveiled the RZR 900 Fox Edition now with Ride Command, which gives riders the confidence to conquer any trail with a factory installed seven-inch, glove-touch display featuring a backup camera, built-in GPS navigation, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and new features including Group Ride. Group Ride lets users view the live location of other riders through vehicle-to-vehicle antennas, Bluetooth tethering via a mobile device or the Ride Command app.

Farming can be solitary work Whether it’s watching rolling fields from the comfort of your cab, or seeing your herd crest a hill from across the valley, there’s something special about that time in the wide, open spaces. But there’s a difference between being and feeling alone. Farming is an amazing way of life, but sometimes it can be as draining mentally as it is physically. 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


TRIBUNE TRIBUNE nitrogen stabilizer now available in Canada TRIBUNE nitrogen stabilizer for UAN from Koch Agronomic Services is now available in Canada. With TRIBUNE, growers have a solution that defends against all three forms of nitrogen loss in one convenient formulation. “The best way to protect nitrogen is to keep it in its stable form longer,” says Rigas Karamanos, senior agronomist for Koch in Canada. “Research shows that TRIBUNE holds your nitrogen investment in the ammonium form three times longer than without an inhibitor. Growers in Canada using UAN as a nitrogen source will benefit by using TRIBUNE.” No matter how or when UAN is applied, it can be just as vulnerable to nitrogen loss as many other forms of nitrogen. TRIBUNE features dual active ingredients to protect UAN above and below ground: NBPT and Pronitridine. Decades of research provides grower confidence TRIBUNE’s active ingredients are proven with real world results. NBPT is backed by more than 25 years of trials on millions of acres around the globe, with the efficacy of Pronitridine supported by a decade of research and field trials. Protecting nutrient investments with sustainable solutions will

help growers minimize agriculture-related environmental concerns while maximizing their economic benefits. Using TRIBUNE follows the recommendations of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework developed by Fertilizer Canada. Utilizing science-based management practices, growers can match nutrient supply with crop requirements. Nitrification inhibitors have shown to minimize nutrient losses from these fields. Operational benefits for both growers and retailers Besides protecting nitrogen investments, TRIBUNE provides users with time-saving operational efficiencies. A non-volatile formulation, TRIBUNE is a true liquid and will not separate or settle out. TRIBUNE provides flexibility to apply your UAN when convenient, it doesn’t have to be incorporated within 10 days from the date of fertilizer application. Tank-mix compatible with ammonium thiosulfate and many crop protection chemicals.

LEMKEN LEMKEN enhances footprint in Canada Scott Rodger appointed as managing director LEMKEN, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers for soil cultivation, seeding and crop care machinery, settled down in 2018 LEMKEN Canada Inc. as a fullyfledged subsidiary after two successful decades offering products and service all over the country. Scott Rodger leads the subsidiary as its managing director and sales manager. With him, LEMKEN has found a broadly experienced and passionate ag professional. Rodger holds a bachelor in 46

business administration and brings a work history range of more than 24 years all of which has been spent in the agricultural machinery market. Rodger started out first at a dealership before working for a European-based manufacturer. His career began in a field sales position before assuming a role in product management and later in general management responsibilities. LEMKEN Canada looks back at a continuous growth due to a consequent market development. Mainly with its cultivators and compact disc harrows, but also with ploughs and further products, LEMKEN is represented in all provinces where professional farming is possible.

Sales representatives in the different regions of Canada are supporting local dealers and form the link between customers and the company. Together with their engagement, LEMKEN intends to expand the network of dealers in all relevant areas.

PICK A JOB. ANY JOB. DO IT ALL WITH BEST-IN-CLASS TORQUE AND CARGO ROOM. Take on every harvest with the most powerful, most versatile Defender yet. The industry-leading 69 lb-ft of torque and 1,000-lb cargo box capacity give you the power and room to hold bigger payloads and tow heavier charges than ever before. Whatever the task, the Can-Am Defender is ready to work.


©2020 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. SxS 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 and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Never engage in stunt driving. Avoid excessive speed and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Always ride responsibly and safely.


Everyone has different styles, tastes, and needs, so why should you have to build within set parameters? Call today and allow us to help make your custom visions a reality.