November / December 2019
ENTREPRENEURS IN AGRICULTURE
Stuck on you
Manitoba farm family engineers crafty solution to age-old problem
PUT DICAMBA IN ITS PLACE... & NOWHERE ELSE
LESS THAN FINALIZED IC
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THE TURBO TEEJET® INDUCTION (TTI™) SPRAY TIP KEEPS YOU IN CONTROL Make sure you use the right spray tip to apply dicamba products accurately and responsibly. Superior drift resistance is why TTI spray tips were the first approved for dicamba application by chemical producers.
FROM THE INDUSTRY LEADER
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THE SOYBEAN SYSTEM YOU CAN’T RESIST The Roundup Ready® Xtend crop system combines the high yield potential of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans with built-in tolerance to both glyphosate and dicamba chemistries. Applying the higher rate Roundup Xtend® in your first pass provides short-term residual activity on small seeded broadleaves* with the added ability to effectively manage resistance concerns.
EARLY SEASON CONTROL TO GET AHEAD OF THE WEEDS AND STAY THERE. traits.bayer.ca
*Performance may vary from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields. Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. These products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from these products can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for these products. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Agricultural herbicides containing glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate, and those containing dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Contact your Bayer dealer or call the Bayer technical support line at 1-800-667-4944 for recommended Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System weed control programs. Bayer and the Bayer Cross Design, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup Xtend® and VaporGrip® are registered trademarks of Bayer Group, Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. ©2019 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
Dicamba and Glyphosate Pre-mix
12 07 09 20 22 26
A Farmer’s Viewpoint
Plant innovation: Who will pay and how? by Kevin Hursh
Grain Market Analysis
Food or Feed by Scott Shiels
Farming Your Money
Grain farming from a more holistic approach by Paul Kuntz The Smart Farm Initiative by Brianna Elliot Seed
New Varieties Sprout Potential by Geoff Geddes
Stuck on you By Trevor Bacque
by Natalie Noble Off-Farm Careers
Plenty of prospects by Natalie Noble
Those Wily Weeds
Crop Rotation for Weed Control by Tammy Jones Spraying 101
What is Spraying Stewardship? by Tom Wolf
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PLANT INNOVATION: WHO WILL PAY AND HOW? | A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT
Plant innovation: Who will pay and how? More money needs to be invested in plant innovation and crop breeding or Canadian agriculture will fall behind major competitors. This is not a message farmers like to hear because the money for variety development will increasingly come from them. Last winter, proposals calling for an end-point royalty system, or a trailing contract system, were advanced. In each case, the purpose is to collect money from farm saved seed and this created a great deal of angst. It’s been a long time since so many farmers displayed so much emotion. Kevin Hursh, P.Ag. Kevin Hursh is an agricultural consultant, journalist and farmer. He has been an agricultural commentator for more than 30 years, serving as editor for Farm Credit Canada’s national bi‑monthly magazine AgriSuccess, and writing regular columns for Canada’s top agricultural publications. Kevin is a well-known speaker at agricultural conferences and conventions. Kevin and his wife Marlene own and operate a grain farm near Cabri in southwestern Saskatchewan, growing a wide array of crops. Twitter: @KevinHursh1
There’s no way to know how this debate will play out, but the issue will not go away. At a time when farm margins are tightening and in certain cases have disappeared, any talk of increasing farm expenses is naturally met with resistance. There’s also a feeling that somehow farm saved seed is an unalienable right. But all the opposition doesn’t change the facts. Public plant breeding in this country has been in decline for decades and governments aren’t going to ride to the rescue and start investing big gobs of new money. The gradual cuts have continued over the years no matter what party has been in power. Yorkton farm reporter Jack Dawes interviewed Todd Hyra, the head of Secan, about the decline of public plant breeding programs. None of this was news, but people tend to lose perspective on how much has changed over the years. Half a dozen years ago, the Glenlea Research Station south of Winnipeg and the Regina Plains Testing Station were closed, reducing the resources available to public plant breeders. Five years ago, there were three separate flax breeding programs in Western Canada. Now there is one, located at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre. Hyra noted plant breeding positions have been cut within the federal program. The work being done within the public system has steadily diminished. 7
A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT | PLANT INNOVATION: WHO WILL PAY AND HOW? In a crop like canola, the private sector has long taken the lead. That’s because there’s money to be made. The vast majority of producers buy their hybrid canola seed every year. Farm saved canola seed is almost non-existent. We grumble about the very high cost of canola seed, but the crop dominates prairie agriculture. It’s hard to argue with success. However, in open-pollinated crops such as wheat, durum, barley, flax and pulses, private investment has been limited. Farmers buy certified seed when they want a new variety, but after that they keep their own seed for years. There just isn’t enough money to be made to fund major varietal work. Personally, I’m not a fan of an end-point royalty system. It would be yet another check-off on grain sales with the money earmarked specifically for variety development. Collecting and allocating the money would be no end of hassle. Besides, why not have the producers using the new varieties be the producers paying for them? That’s why the trailing contract system makes more sense. It would let the marketplace function. Farmers buying a new variety would agree in a contract to pay a royalty on farm saved seed for subsequent years. If you don’t seed that variety after the first year, you don’t pay. The initial cost of the seed may actually be less than what’s currently being charged for certified seed for various crops because the seed company would count on you saving seed and paying an ongoing royalty. If you think a new variety has enough merit to justify the initial cost and the ongoing cost, you can agree to the contract and
Personally, I’m not a fan of an endpoint royalty system. It would be yet another check-off on grain sales with the money earmarked specifically for variety development. Collecting and allocating the money would be no end of hassle. Besides, why not have the producers using the new varieties be the producers paying for them? buy it. If you don’t think the cost is justified, you use existing varieties that don’t carry a trailing royalty. Isn’t this how the marketplace is supposed to work? Why should farmers have to pay? Because we’re the primary beneficiaries. Public funding for trait and variety development must continue, but we’re fooling ourselves if we believe governments are going to cough up enough resources to keep us competitive with the rest of the world. There are many legitimate concerns that must be addressed before any new system is adopted, but if we want crop varieties with improved yield, quality and disease resistance, more of the required money will have to come from farmers.
FOOD OR FEED | GRAIN MARKET ANALYSIS
Food or Feed In this issue, I would like to touch on certain grading factors that can differentiate milling grains from feed grains, and to point out various reasons those factors will reduce your chances of making the grade.
Scott Shiels Scott grew up in Killarney, Man., and has been in the grain industry for more than 25 years. He has been with Grain Millers Canada for five years, doing both conventional and organic grain procurement as well as marketing for their mills. Scott lives in Abernethy, Sask., with his wife Jenn. www.grainmillers.com
As an oat miller, Grain Millers has tough specs to meet when you sell us your grain. The main reason for this is simple: we are making food, and with that comes very rigid specifications. The food industry has tightened up its tolerances in recent years, and rightly so. Recalls due to health concerns or illnesses can be very costly to companies, but food safety and keeping people healthy is our number one concern. For this reason, the quality and consistency of the products we produce is of the utmost importance, and the specs of the grain we buy are the first step to ensure we meet or exceed those expectations. Moisture is likely one of the most questioned specs in the grain industry. Besides the fact that tough grain is subject to spoiling and insect proliferation, tough grain also does not process properly. Millers try to buy grain in a moisture range that works in their mill, and that will provide consistency throughout their processes. If you can run at a consistent speed that makes your process more efficient and easier to manage. Likely the next most questioned spec we run into is test weight. In this case, the weight is not actually what we are chasing, but it is indicative of other issues with the grain such as the percentage of plump kernels, which is essential for good quality milling products. One thing that we have learned, especially in oats, is that different varieties have different shapes and sizes, and for this reason, sometimes a lighter weight oat can still be usable for milling due to its nice plump groats. One of the things to watch for when harvesting, or handling your oats post-harvest, is dehulling them, or skinning them. Certain varieties dehull easier than others, and oats definitely dehull easier the drier they become. It is very important you monitor your sample as you harvest to maintain a level of dehulled oats under the eight per cent spec. I have been asked this question, â€œwhy does it matter when you have to dehull them to mill them?â€? The answer to this lies in the shelf life of the finished product. When oats are dehulled, they immediately begin the deterioration process, which could lead to rancidity if they are not steam kilned shortly after, which is what we do at a mill. Another reason for this is the integrity of the product when it gets to the mill. When we dehull our oats, the process takes the hulls off the whole oats. When bare groats hit the dehuller, most of them are smashed up and go to a byproduct stream, which is far less valuable to us. Another thing that has become more of an issue in recent years is contamination of other grains, particularly gluten containing grains, soy and mustards. These are all potential allergens, and, as most of you know, celiac disease is on the rise. With that, the demand for gluten free foods is also increasing significantly. Oats are inherently gluten free, but due to crop rotations and a tolerance allowable in the seed industry, they are often contaminated by these other grains. As with anything, it really comes down to knowing what your customer wants and doing your best to provide them with exactly that. Until next timeâ€Ś 9
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COVER STORY | STUCK ON YOU
Photo: The Devloo family in Somerset, Man., is known for creating Roto Mud Scrapers, an invention designed to keep mud off an air seederâ€™s packer wheels during seeding.
STUCK ON YOU | COVER STORY
A visit to any Prairie farm often doubles as free admission to a one-of-a-kind museum of invention. Farmers are plagued by unique issues wherever they may find themselves scratching the dirt. For centuries, they have invented doodads, whatchamacallits and thingamajigs to make their lives easier. Mark Devloo is no different. The Somerset, Man., farmer has been working on the land his entire life, 53 years. A novel invention turned seeding, his most dreaded time of year, into just another routine set of dates in the calendar. The farm has been in the family since 1936 when Devloo’s grandfather Maurice immigrated from Belgium. He immediately began farming grain and the tradition continued through Devloo’s father Gerry, who added 120 pigs into the farm’s system in 1963. By 1987, Devloo was managing farmland and was also into hogs. At the height of the farm, Devloo along with three full-time staff managed 2,000 acres and 625 sows in 2008. It was a considerable amount of work and Devloo decided to make that year one of change. He sold off the sows, dedicated his time exclusively to grain farming and began to add acres. “At that point it was a decision that had to be made,” he says. “I was already in the hog business since I was a kid. At that age  I had to decide whether I wanted to build again and keep going or just sell off and get into concentrating on the farming end of it.” As acres increased, he wondered what he might do with his time aside from tending to the grains and oilseeds. The answer came soon enough in the form of a small disc-like piece of metal. It would prove to be his next source of entrepreneurial zeal. Now, with the farm sitting at just over 2,700 acres, Devloo continues farming usual rotations of soybeans, canola and spring wheat. Since 2009, Devloo has straight cut canola. A true early adopter of the practice, he hasn’t left canola in a swath even before the introduction of shatter-resistant varieties. When they became available though, he did switch over, but admitted he couldn’t see a distinct advantage until Mother Nature hit.
ON YOU Manitoba farm family engineers crafty solution to age-old problem By Trevor Bacque Photography By Sandy Black Photography
“I never really noticed, but then we had a pretty good wind storm and small hail and it proved that it held up a lot better,” he says. “Our product held up in a late hail storm and it held up a lot better than the [non-shattering varieties]. Shatter-resistant pods make all the difference with the losses with the weather.” True for any farmer, the work has its ups and downs. The most notable ongoing thorn in his side has been the soil. His entire life, the black clay-loam mixture has proven itself to be a formidable foe for himself and generations gone by. The soil type is great due to its fertility and moisture retention. However, the latter has also presented itself as an unending problem to Devloo. Mud routinely sticks to the packer wheels of 13
COVER STORY | STUCK ON YOU
Photo: Mark Devloo and his daughter inspect a set of Roto Mud Scrapers prior to shipping. To date, the family has sold more than 55,000 scrapers.
his John Deere air seeder just as well as Krazy Glue would to any surface. As a result, Devloo has experienced years of inconsistent seeding depth and fertilizer placement. It also forces him to wait to get into the field at seeding time because a slight amount of moisture often spells sure-fire disaster.
“He did the whole works because he had a feeling it was going to work,” says Devloo. “He went 100 yards down the field … When he came back to see how it was going, I had a big smile on my face. He said, ‘what went wrong this time?’ I said, ‘we could sell this.’ I knew there’d be a lot of farmers that would love to have this.”
“What it forced the person to do was wait longer to put your crop in. You couldn’t go as early, you had to wait ‘til it was a little dryer,” he says. “Even when the top surface dried out and you opened up the soil, your cool sticky soil was still there. Until the ground really warmed up, it was still there.”
Two days later they began seeding and, to everyone’s pleasant surprise, it was just fine. The scrapers worked and the seed and fertilizer were—by comparison to yesteryear—placed with impeccable precision.
Ultimately, his bottom line took a hit numerous times, making it difficult to expand the farm on his timeline and achieve yields and returns he thought his farm could create. The mud was winning and the family was left with few choices. They tried all kinds of scrapers. They tried stationary scrapers. They tried basket scrapers. They tried other kinds of scrapers they can’t even remember the names of. There had to be a better way. In the spring of 2011, the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” proved itself true yet again. Devloo and company were preparing to suffer through another slow seeding when father Gerry decided enough was enough. He created his own scraper—a small shallow disc scraper that half resembled a minor soccer boundary marker. After affixing all 72 of them to the packer wheels on primitive brackets, Gerry hopped in the cab and set off in the muck. 14
With its current design, the scraper itself is attached on an updated sturdy bracket that rests 1/8” above the tire. As the tires revolve, mud collects. The scrapers freely rotate only when mud touches the scraper. The result is uniform seed and fertilizer placement as well as better fuel economy, according to Devloo. “Consistent seed depth is important because you need good emergence,” he says in an online tutorial video he shot for customers. “You only get one chance every year to have a good crop and [it’s] very important to have your seed and your fertilizer placements proper.” Not long after the family’s new-found creation began to completely change their seeding practices, Devloo, always a man quick to help others, knew that he wanted to share the good news with fellow farmers dogged with the same issue. In his everyman spirit, he posted an advertisement on Kijiji that same summer, selling his newly minted Roto Mud Scrapers to farmers.
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COVER STORY | STUCK ON YOU He quickly received a few nibbles from others beleaguered with similar soil conditions. Perhaps it was a hobby project and a bit too ‘out there’ for others? He decided to hit the trade show trail and give it a shot. After all, farmers pride themselves on face-to-face connections and he could effortlessly evangelize about the scrapers’ utility. First, he traveled to the Farm Progress Show in Regina in 2012. He entered the scrapers into FPS’ Innovation Award program. That year, much to his surprise, he took home top spot with the invention. “It felt great to be able to help other farmers knowing that you’re doing some good and all the compliments coming back,” he says of that first win. “Meeting farmers at trade shows, it’s a good feeling knowing you’re helping out. It’s a win-win.” The next stop for Devloo was onto his home province’s Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon, Man., in 2013. He entered the show’s innovation awards and the event’s judges must have thought the idea had merit because Devloo took top spot, as well. He then traveled to Red Deer, Alta., for Agri-Trade 2013, where he experienced déjà vu, winning gold yet again. With a triple crown of Ws under his belt, Devloo was satisfied, not for himself, but that a golden idea would surely translate to farmers able to solve their dirt dilemma. He left Agri-Trade mid-show to fly to Hannover, Germany, for
Photo: The Roto Mud Scrapers, created by Mark Devloo’s father Gerry, won the top award at Manitoba Ag Days, Agri-Trade and the Farm Progress Show for its unique answer to an age-old problem.
Agritechnica, quite possibly the world’s largest farm equipment trade show. Devloo remembers the time well. “I was in a 10-by-10 booth in a building 1,000 feet wide, 600 feet long,” he says with a laugh. “It was a pretty good experience getting to see other equipment and how they practice their farming in other countries.” It wasn’t just a holiday either. Devloo made numerous international connections and today you can spot his Roto Mud Scrapers in the farm fields of Australia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. Any time Devloo is on the circuit, he’s always glad to meet people who have used and experienced his family’s invention that was created out of a miserable situation. “Any time I meet a customer it’s a handshake, not a pissed off customer,” he says. The scrapers themselves are a clever answer to an age-old problem. They convey practicality not beauty. Each is made from 10-guage sheet steel, bent and shaped to the specs Devloo requires. Every single unit is manufactured in his on-farm shop while a local Hutterite colony assists with laser cutting parts. The powder-coated paint job comes from an outfit in nearby Winkler, Man., and final products are flatpacked and shipped right from the farm, making the product as local as local can be.
You just can’t rely on Mother Nature’s cooperation. Since you’ll only get one shot at this, better go with a powerful option. Choose TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology for the ability to spray later weed staging at the rate you need.
READY WHEN YOU ARE
Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. These products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from these products can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for these products. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Bayer, Bayer Cross Design, Roundup Ready® and TruFlex™ are trademarks of Bayer Group, Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. ©2019 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
COVER STORY | STUCK ON YOU To date, Devloo has sold more than 55,000 scrapers and has inventory for orders to last until 2021. The genial farmer had the intuition to satisfy colour questions, too. The Salford, Morris and Case IH crowd will be happy with the red scrapers, yellow for Seedmaster, John Deere and Bourgault types, blue for New Holland operators, orange for Euro-centric Amazone and a black versatile enough for just about any make and model. Of course, the scraper colour he is most proud of is pink. His mother Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and survived. Devloo thought that since his powder coaters can create any pantone desirable, a pink would complete the suite of colour options. “It’s pretty cool to see the fellows in the farming community putting pink on their machines and not knowing what people think about it because they’re backing it up and supporting,” he says. “That’s pretty cool because everyone has been touched by cancer one way or another.” Not only that, Devloo donates $5 from every individual scraper sale back to the Canadian Cancer Society in Manitoba. He is extremely proud of donating more than $29,000 since 2014. “It makes me feel good to know that hopefully that money is going to a good cause,” he says. He works hard to guarantee the scrapers are well-received by customers and continues to work at the farm with his brother Jamie, co-owners of the farm since 2013. When he first began, the five to six days per week of duties immediately turned into seven. Often, after working a long day, he’d start making calls at midnight as it proved to be a good time to catch European customers. All his Canadian calls are made in sequential order based on time zones, he notes with a smile on his face. His four children have all pitched in and helped at various times, but it’s currently daughters Natia and Jovita assisting their father at various times of the year, looking after everything from bookkeeping and invoicing to creating instruction packages and taking care of the business online. “When I started this business it was my main goal to employ everybody in the family,” he says. “If it was something one of the kids wanted to take over, that was my goal: to keep the family busy.” Photo: Mark Devloo’s favourite Roto Mud Scraper is bright pink in
honour of his mother Barbara who survived breast cancer in 2000. Devloo donates $5 from each individual scraper sale to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Manitoba branch. To date, the family has given more than $29,000 to the organization.
Devloo’s current focus is to branch out and place more time marketing the scrapers overseas. “Our goals are to help the farmers out there and make sure that we’re there for them if they need help,” he says. “We don’t walk away from anything.”
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FARMING YOUR MONEY | GRAIN FARMING FROM A MORE HOLISTIC APPROACH
Grain farming from a more holistic approach If you do a search for â€˜holistic managementâ€™, you will see that the livestock industry occupies this area. For many years they have been promoting a more holistic approach to grazing and overall livestock production. You can find speakers and courses that teach these principles. It is not spoke of a lot in the grain world.
Paul Kuntz Paul Kuntz is the owner of Wheatland Financial and offers financial consulting and debt broker services. He can be reached through wheatlandfinancial.ca
As a financial adviser, the bottom line is important. Farms need to make money. I believe it is a good practice though, to make money over a long period of time rather than short-term. We can get too involved in making cropping decisions based on the price of grain in a 12-month window. We need to look at a bigger picture. Profit is always the goal and necessary to have success and longevity. There are ways we can look at this from a profit perspective but also have a long-term view. How we make decisions regarding what we plant each year is based on a number of factors. First off is production. There are certain parts of Western Canada where you should not grow soybeans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, corn and others. Each farm starts with a list of production winners. Then, from this list of crops we can produce, we start to narrow it down using other factors. Profit is probably the next biggest one. Then we move on to other parameters such as storage concerns, harvest issues or additional work loads. We factor these in and come up with our decision. I suggest we look at other aspects of each crop to assist in making this decision. We need to look at chemical groups. By growing different crops it can be easier to manage certain weeds. Take for example Sulfentrazone (Authority). This is a Group 14 chemical that works with your pre-burn glyphosate. It is a pre-emergent chemical that can help control weeds other chemicals maybe cannot. You can use this when seeding flax or mustard but not when seeding wheat or canola. Sometimes we look at a crop like flax and discount it because it is harder to harvest and we have to deal with the straw. We look at both the yield potential and pricing then determine if we can make a bit more money growing wheat or canola. We have all sang the praises of pulses. We understand the nitrogen-fixing component. There are other biological benefits as well. The soil activity for pulses is not the same as wheat and canola. The disease pressure is different. The bugs are different. We sometimes focus on the extra pass for rolling the field and discount this crop. Or we look at the harvest and determine we have to drive too slowly with the combine. Growing oats puts a whole new perspective on disease and bugs. This cereal crop is not the same as wheat. We often just focus on the bulkiness of this grain and discount it as a crop. Planting a fall crop can be a true benefit to breaking disease and insect cycles. We often focus on the inconvenience of seeding while we try to harvest.
GRAIN FARMING FROM A MORE HOLISTIC APPROACH | FARMING YOUR MONEY We need to focus on more than revenue and convenience when choosing our crops. This goes well beyond the canola scare of blackleg, sclerotinia and clubroot. This goes beyond pulse disease issues preventing planting that crop for six years. This goes to soil health, less weed pressure, insect management and plant health.
profit and not a 12-month cycle. We need to ensure the land is healthy, disease pressure is low, insects can be managed and weeds are controllable. Sometimes this means seeding a crop that nets you $60/acre instead of $100/acre. These choices might be the difference between staying profitable for five years or a lifetime.
I am not saying we have to plant a crop that loses money. If we look at the Crop Planning Guide for Saskatchewanâ€™s black soil zone, hybrid fall rye is expected to net as much as spring wheat. Flax and peas are both looking to return more than $60/acre of profit. There are many crops that will produce a profit. The problem is that canola produces a lot more profit.
Cover crops have recently become quite popular. This is a very interesting topic. We once used to think about idle land as giving it a rest. Now we see producers dropping seeds with a plane prior to harvest so that as soon as your field is ready to combine, another crop will grow there for a couple months until freeze up. We are now seeing that it is beneficial not to leave land idle even after harvest in our short growing season. The cover crops available are limitless because we are not looking to harvest seeds. We just want the benefit of what the root system can do for the land and the biomass that will eventually decompose.
We saw acreage decline this year in canola most likely due to uncertainties with our world markets. Another reason why it is good to have a few other crops in the bin, when one goes down in price, perhaps another one will go up. Crops like flax, fall rye, barley, canary seed, peas and oats all saw an increase in acres this year based on Statistics Canadaâ€™s March 2019 seeding intentions. Granted, these are small-acre crops that only saw a few more acres. It still shows producers are trying to diversify their crop selection. I suggest we look at a five- to 10-year projection of making
As a financial adviser I can tell you with 100 per cent certainty that if your farm does not make money, it will fail. I also know producers want to ensure long-term viability of their operations for multiple generations. There are ways to do this. Open your mind beyond just what you have done in the last one to three years. Explore options and be creative.
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2019-03-19 12:04 PM
AG COLLEGES | THE SMART FARM INITIATIVE
The Smart Farm Initiative In the summer of 2018, Olds College launched the Smart Farm, an exciting initiative that is transforming the College’s existing farm into a farm of the future by integrating the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity, while efficiently and sustainably using resources.
Brianna Elliot Brianna Elliot is currently 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.
The Smart Farm’s goal is to be a place for producers, partners and students to look at the opportunities and challenges facing the agriculture industry and explore solutions to evolve agriculture practices. Through our validation projects and validation capacity, Olds College Smart Farm provides an unbiased source of information on emerging new technology products coming on the market. By testing and comparing these technologies, such as a field sensor, we can find out how these products work, if they have a place in this cropping system, and determine if there is a positive return on investment. Many new technologies offer analytics within their systems. With that comes big questions, such as “Is it accurate and reliable information?” and “Why should I trust what this technology is telling me?” It’s our focus to answer these questions by evaluating the technology to see if they are in fact a valid source and tool that will enable you to improve your operation. Many of the companies make claims that their product will save X amount per acre but they haven’t been tested and validated here in Western Canada. With incorporating the use of these products into the Smart Farm, it enables us to see how they work on our crops, in our soils and with our climate and ever-changing growing conditions. The way a soil sensor or micro-climate sensor may be used in a crop under irrigation in a different soil type, may be completely different in our dryland cropping system and therefore effecting its capability and value to the operation. The Smart Farm is incorporating farm management software platforms to collect, store, visualize
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production and management data, while utilizing data analytics to turn data into information and information into knowledge. We are using this on the farm to make more timely and informed decisions as well as managing the data in a way that doesn’t leave countless spreadsheets sitting unused on your desktop. Today, producers are experiencing gaps between the collection of data and application of this data. We are working to fill those gaps. There are no one size fits all strategy as every operation is different, so you have to find a system that works for you. We aim to take some of the ground work out of that by testing these technologies out here on the Smart Farm. An effective technology strategy is key for producers to be successful in today’s market. The final goal is to collect and implement the best agriculture technologies on the Smart Farm, demonstrate increased efficiency of farming operations through implementation of smart ag technologies, and utilize the Smart Farm infrastructure for world class education, demonstration and applied research. You can find more information on current Smart Farm projects online on the Olds College website as well in future publications where we will be sharing our findings.
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SEED | NEW VARIETIES SPROUT POTENTIAL
New Varieties Sprout Potential By Geoff Geddes Above: CDC Hughes shows potential at the Moskal farm near Ituna, Sask. Credit: Delores Moskal
Just as variety is the spice of life, the right new seed variety can spice up the bottom line for farmers. Though potential may not always translate to performance, farmers of cereals, canola and pulses are finding more hits than misses in the field these days.
Cereals “We have been dealing with hybrid fall ryes for about five years now, and we are excited about two recent varieties: Daniello and KWS ProPower,” says Greg Stamp, owner of Stamp Seeds in Enchant, Alta. “Daniello is producing high grain quality and superior falling numbers in the 260 to 280 range, and both are yielding anywhere from 20 to 50 per cent better than other ryes, which is phenomenal.” Though less impressive, AB Cattelac is a six-row barley showing reasonably good standability as either a feed or forage crop. “AB Cattlelac was about on par with what we anticipated,” says Stamp. Given the high standards of maltsters, new malt varieties can be slow to gain acceptance, but there are exceptions. “As a farmer, I’m most interested in new varieties, as a number of them are showing improved agronomics,” says Jason Lenz, who operates near Bentley, Alta. “We’ve been very happy with CDC Bow, which is living up to its promise as a strong-strawed variety. This year, CDC Bow gave us 92 bushels per acre and a high test weight of 53 pounds. As well, the protein level of 10.4 is well within the parameters demanded by maltsters.” Though it is currently listed as a variety in development, CDC Fraser is an up-and-coming malt barley variety Lenz feels could replace CDC Bow in the near future. “Malt companies are very interested in CDC Fraser as it’s showing the right specs for malt, yet with a bit better yield than CDC Bow and better resistance to leaf disease.”
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When you choose DEKALB soybeans from Bayer, you get MORE THAN SEED. Ask your retail about getting more from your DEKALB soybeans.
Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. These products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from these products can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for these products. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Agricultural herbicides containing glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate, herbicides containing dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Contact your Bayer dealer or call the Bayer technical support line at 1-800-667-4944 for recommended Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System weed control programs. Bayer, Bayer Cross, DEKALB and Design®, DEKALB®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Xtend®, and VaporGrip® Technology are trademarks of Bayer Group, Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. Used under license. ©2019 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
SEED | NEW VARIETIES SPROUT POTENTIAL
“As a farmer, I’m most interested in new varieties, as a number of them are showing improved agronomics.” - Jason Lenz On their 11,500-acre grain and oilseed farm near Norquay, Sask., Jordan and Jennifer Lindgren had specific demands for a Canadian Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat variety. “We were seeking a semi-dwarf or short-standing variety with strong straw strength to handle nitrogen applications without going flat,” says Jordan. “One option that seems to fit the bill is CDC Landmark, a high yielding semi-dwarf with good midge tolerance.” In the Hard Red Spring (HRS) category, AAC Elie is another semi-dwarf promising excellent yields for the Lindgrens. “AAC Elie keeps its grade, is a bit less affected by wet weather and doesn’t exhibit staining or discoloration,” says Jordan. “AAC Alida offers a great disease package with a high rating for resistance to Fusarium head blight and the potential for midge fly tolerance. Thus far, all of these varieties are performing as expected, but we’ll know more after harvest.” Though it has yet to earn rave reviews, CDC Hughes is showing potential as a CWRS wheat variety. “This is not a great year for anything, but CDC Hughes is standing well, though the heads are a bit smaller than older varieties,” says Ladmer Moskal, a grain farmer near Ituna, Sask.
Canola “Right now we are growing mostly InVigor 233p, which is a pod-shatter tolerant variety,” says Lindgren. “We like these sorts of varieties because they lend themselves to easy harvest management with straight cutting, and so far, InVigor 233p has been one of our top performers.” Though certain farmers take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to new varieties, Lindgren disagrees. “You have to switch out some varieties and go with different herbicides and modes of action so you don’t run into resistance issues.” For farmers who embrace the new and improved, there is plenty to like about canola these days. Photo: CDC Bow exhibits strong straw strength in a malt barley field of north of Saskatoon, Sask. Credit: SeCan
“We are seeing a lot of new developments in the canola world,” says Lenz. “Breeders are doing a great job of developing varieties that have clubroot resistance and new
NOW THAT DEKALB® CANOLA IS A PART OF BAYER, IT’S THE START OF SOMETHING MORE FOR YOUR FARM.
With our new products, you get more yield potential, more straight cut options, and more weed control traits, including the first TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® and LibertyLink® Technologies hybrid from DEKALB. When you choose DEKALB canola seed from Bayer, you get MORE THAN SEED.
Ask your retail about getting more from your DEKALB seed.
Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of BiotechnologyDerived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. These products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from these products can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for these products. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. LibertyLink® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glufosinate. Agricultural herbicides containing glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate, and herbicides containing glufosinate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glufosinate. Bayer, Bayer Cross, DEKALB and Design®, DEKALB®, Roundup Ready®, TruFlex™ are trademarks of Bayer Group, Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. LibertyLink® is a trademark of BASF. Used under license. ©2019 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
SEED | NEW VARIETIES SPROUT POTENTIAL
“Breeders are doing a great job of developing varieties that have clubroot resistance and new levels of resistance to blackleg. One very exciting trend is toward improved pod-shatter tolerance. For anyone doing straight cutting, that is a real positive as the pods are not breaking open upon cutting as much as they did in the past.” - Jason Lenz levels of resistance to blackleg. One very exciting trend is toward improved pod-shatter tolerance. For anyone doing straight cutting, that is a real positive as the pods are not breaking open upon cutting as much as they did in the past.”
Photo: The new barley on the block, CDC Fraser, being harvested near Bentley, Alta. Credit Jason Lenz
InVigor’s new 300 series is a prime example in Lenz’ eyes for promising new varieties. “We are seeing improved yield, better standability and better blackleg resistance with the 300 series,” says Lenz. “We’ve also been growing Pioneer 45CS40 recently, which is a clubroot resistant variety and one of the few options with resistance to sclerotinia. Most years we can get away with not spraying for sclerotinia thanks to this variety, so that’s a major selling point.” As is often the case in farming, opinions are mixed regarding Pioneer 45CS40. “When I was swathing, some canola plants were shelling, other plants were still on the green side, and at the final stage in the low spots, plants were blooming,” said Moskal. “Those differences made it a guessing game on when exactly to swath.” Though PioneerCS40 was billed as a high-yielding variety, it has yet to deliver on that promise for Moskal. “I look for something that doesn’t grow six feet tall as I like it a bit on the shorter side to make it easier for the combine to deal with. This variety stayed down and laid a decent swath, but so far we are not looking at a great crop. It will probably be about average for us,” says Moskal. “We are just putting it through the swather now; we’ll know more once we combine, 30
Photo: VICTORY V14-1 canola stands strong in the field at Ituna, Sask. Credit Delores Moskal
IT’S IN THE BAG. Strong yields, direct harvest, and Clubroot protection... you can’t lose with 6090 RR canola from BrettYoung.
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BrettYoung™ is a trademark of Brett-Young Seeds Limited. DefendR® is a registered trademark of Brett-Young Seeds Limited. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark of Bayer Group, Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. All other trademarks are property of their respective companies. 12.19 4568
SEED | NEW VARIETIES SPROUT POTENTIAL yet the yield appears to be in the neighborhood of 35 bushels per acre. It would surprise me if we did any better than that, so we probably won’t grow it again.” However, the reviews for VICTORY V14-1 canola were more positive on the Moskal farm. “I liked it more than the PioneerCS40 because it stands a lot better and the pods were quite a bit larger,” says Moskal. “I won’t know for sure until it goes through the machine, but even if the yield is a bit less than the Pioneer product, it may be worthwhile because it comes with a bonus incentive. Also, the price you lock in is a pickup price, meaning they come and get it so you don’t have to make a delivery, which could save me some money.”
Pulses For new pea crop varieties, AAC Chrome is proving a pleasant surprise. “When we grew it beside other yellow pea varieties, we were blown away to see a five per cent yield advantage and the standability was pretty good,” says Stamp. Back at the Lindgren farm, in Jordan’s first year growing yellow peas, he is seeing high yields with three newer varieties. “CDC Inca is the tallest of the three, but as long as we could cut into it with the combine, harvesting was easy, and it
Photo: Certified production field of AAC Alida VB near Delmas, Sask. (credit SeCan)
“I look for something that doesn’t grow six feet tall as I like it a bit on the shorter side to make it easier for the combine to deal with. This variety stayed down and laid a decent swath, but so far we are not looking at a great crop.” - Ladmer Moskal showed the best standability of the trio,” he says. “AAC Chrome stood almost as well, and though AAC Carver was the worst of the three in terms of standability, and a bit harder to harvest, all three performed well in terms of yield.” Following a fungicide application, all three varieties showed minimal disease and experienced limited cracking through harvest. Like that first round draft pick that languishes in the minors, not every highly touted variety will be a winner. If you can score more hits than misses, however, it could be a game changer for your bottom line.
BUILD BETTER | FARM BUILDINGS
Proper planning and preparation saves money and time in the long run
By Natalie Noble Above: With a cattle capacity of 6,500 and growing their own silage, Carseland, Alberta’s Lonestar Cattle Company has a lot of equipment to start daily in the cold winters. Credit: Remuda
Farm equipment today comes with hefty price tags. When Old Man Winter blows in with force across the Prairies, rather than leave their investments out in the cold, farmers are storing them under one roof with more convenience than ever. When talking money matters, a little planning and preparation to meet budgets and timelines can go a long way. Third-generation feedlot owners Ronnie and Karla Ostrom run Lonestar Cattle Company near Carseland, Alta. With a cattle capacity of 6,500 and growing their own silage, many of their considerations were made in light of the fact that they have many pieces of equipment that need to be stored indoors due to brutal winters. “We have a lot of vehicles we use every day at the feedlot,” says Ronnie. “Feed trucks, loaders, tractors and such. We need heated storage so the vehicles can start up easily all through the winter. Our shop is getting old. It’s small and we needed something bigger.” The Ostroms began planning and negotiating construction for their storage building last October. To hold all their equipment, it measures 120 feet by 60 feet by 18 feet and has in-floor heating in its concrete. There is also a 20-foot lean-to off one side for their new lunchroom, washrooms and mechanical rooms. Satisfied with a quote from Remuda Builders and a February 2019 start date, the Ostroms were on board. “They were actually able to start at the beginning of January, and our weather was extremely mild until February,” says Ostrom. “It’s a post-frame building so they had to drill holes for the posts, and we were lucky there was no frost.” 33
FARM BUILDINGS | BUILD BETTER
“In our experience with this and other projects involving contractors and tradespeople, it always takes longer than you think so be prepared for that. If you have a deadline for when you really need to be able to use the building, give yourself lots of time.” - Ronnie Ostrom The building’s shell was completed in three weeks, but then February hit hard with a deep month-long cold spell, so Remuda’s crew had to shut down for about three weeks before they could wrap up. Building Lonestar’s new storage facility was a big project with many moving parts. The time factor was expected and they were prepared for the delays that did end up becoming a reality.
Photo: To hold all the feedlot’s equipment, Lonestar Cattle Company’s new storage facility measures 60 by 120 by 18 feet and has in-floor heating in its concrete floor. The 20-foot lean-to off one side houses their new lunchroom, washrooms and mechanical rooms. Credit: Remuda
“In our experience with this and other projects involving contractors and tradespeople, it always takes longer than you think so be prepared for that,” says Ostrom. “If you have a deadline for when you really need to be able to use the building, give yourself lots of time.” He cautions the best tradespeople are the busy ones. “We had to wait on our concrete company to pour the floor, but it was worth it because they did a really good job and they were the guys I wanted,” he says, adding they had to wait for the rain to stop long enough, which pushed them into July, to begin work on the heated concrete floor. “And then all the plumbing and equipment that goes with the in-floor heating was only completed in early September.” Then there’s service prospects. They knew they were going to require gas and power to the building, which again had a long lead time. Power was hooked up in September, despite work beginning on it in March. “You have to do an application for any new services and my advice would be to get started on that early because it can take a while,” he says. Ostrom insists on securing a fair deal with all costs on paper to avoid surprises. “Shop around, get your quotes, but make sure everything is spelled out,” he says. “We made a few changes along
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FARM BUILDINGS | BUILD BETTER
the way, and every time it was documented and quoted. In the end there were no disputes and we paid exactly what the quote was.”
IF YOU CAN, GO BIGGER About 500 kilometres east, near Outlook, Sask., fourthgeneration farmers Wayne and Linda Spence run a different sort of cattle operation. “We are a Polled Hereford operation established in the 1960s,” says Wayne. “We’ve raised and showed Polled Herefords over all those years. Recently, we leased them out to another breeder, so we now just have a small herd of Simmental cows here.” In 1981, Wayne and Linda purchased a quarter section of land next to the original homestead established in 1904. The couple planted trees for their yard and seeded the rest of the land to hay. “On the old yard, we have several small buildings we’ve been using for garages for our tractors and equipment, but we needed something in our yard where we could put everything into one building,” says Spence. So, they had Warman Home Centre put up a 48 feet by 32 feet by 16 feet storage shed.
Photo: Materials for the Spence’s new storage shed were delivered on a Wednesday and Warman’s crew completed construction by 5 p.m. in one day. Steel-Craft installed the overhead door the following week and aside from electrical wiring, the project was complete. Credit: Wayne Spence
“We installed a 14-foot tall overhead door to allow for the larger tractor to be easily driven in and out, even if there’s a buildup of snow in the winter,” says Wayne. “It’s mainly yard tractors and our bigger tractor with the fork for feeding. It keeps our equipment out of the elements, and we wanted to make sure it was high enough to drive an RV into.” Because the structure is a pole building with no plans for insulation or a cement floor, the Spence’s build was much quicker than the Ostroms’. The couple had actually received a quote from Warman two years ago, but some family health issues put off the project. “We went back this summer and revisited that original plan, but made it a bit bigger this time,” says Wayne. “We were there on a Wednesday and by Friday, we’d picked everything out down to the colours and applied the down payment.” Materials were delivered on a Wednesday and the crew completed construction by 5 p.m. in one day. Steel-Craft installed an overhead door the following week and aside from electrical wiring, the project was complete. “Our family couldn’t believe how fast that building went up,” says Wayne.
BUILD BETTER | FARM BUILDINGS
Just because their build was quick, doesn’t mean there wasn’t lots of pre-work required. In order to save money, the couple went to work before their builder began. “Linda and I did all the prep work ourselves to put the storage shed in our yard,” says Wayne. “We removed a tree row to make room, leveled off the ground and moved a small building that was in the way.” They had many considerations in mind, and the couple ultimately took their builder’s advice to go larger than the initial plan. “They need a certain amount of room on each side for the Bobcat to go up and down and for installation,” says Wayne. “We thought we were limited to a smaller width, but they encouraged us to go back, remeasure and send pictures so we could go that little bit wider. That worked out really well. Everyone says the same thing: if you think you need a certain size, go that much bigger.” The Spences also had an easier time with utilities in Saskatchewan than the Ostroms experienced in Alberta. “We had to coordinate with SaskPower and SaskTel to check out the lines, see where they were supposed to go and avoid any problems when Warman’s crew was digging in for the posts,”
“We installed a 14-foot tall overhead door to allow for the larger tractor to be easily driven in and out, even if there’s a buildup of snow in the winter. It’s mainly yard tractors and our bigger tractor with the fork for feeding. It keeps our equipment out of the elements, and we wanted to make sure it was high enough to drive an RV into.” - Wayne Spence
FARM BUILDINGS | BUILD BETTER
Photo: The Spences are glad Warman Home Centre encouraged them to go back and remeasure so they could build wider. The couple recommends going bigger than the size you initially think you need. Credit: Wayne Spence
Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. These products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from these products can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for these products. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ®
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. Roundup Ready® 2 Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. LibertyLink® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glufosinate. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Glufosinate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glufosinate. Contact your local crop protection dealer or call the technical support line at 1-800-667-4944 for recommended Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System weed control programs. Insect control technology provided by Vip3A is utilized under license from Syngenta Crop Protection AG. FOR CORN, EACH ACCELERON® SEED APPLIED SOLUTIONS OFFERING is a combination of separate individually registered products containing the active ingredients: STANDARD offering for corn without SmartStax® Technology: fluoxastrobin, prothioconazole, metalaxyl and clothianidin. STANDARD plus DuPont™ Lumivia® offering for corn: fluoxastrobin, prothioconazole, metalaxyl and cyantraniliprole. STANDARD plus Poncho®/VOTiVO® offering for corn with SmartStax® Technology: fluoxastrobin, prothioconazole, metalaxyl, clothianidin and Bacillus firmus I-1582. COMPLETE offering for corn with SmartStax® Technology: metalaxyl, clothianidin; prothioconazole and fluoxastrobin at rates that suppress additional diseases. COMPLETE plus Poncho®/VOTiVO® offering for corn with SmartStax® Technology: metalaxyl, clothianidin, Bacillus firmus I-1582; prothioconazole and fluoxastrobin at rates that suppress additional diseases. COMPLETE plus DuPont™ Lumivia® offering for corn: metalaxyl, cyantraniliaprole, prothioconazole and fluoxastrobin at rates that suppress additional diseases. Class of 2019 and 2020 base genetics are treated with BioRise™ 360 seed treatment. FOR SOYBEANS, EACH ACCELERON® SEED APPLIED SOLUTIONS OFFERING is a combination of separate individually registered products containing the active ingredients: BASIC: prothioconazole, penflufen and metalaxyl. STANDARD: prothioconazole, penflufen, metalaxyl and imidacloprid. STANDARD plus Fortenza®: prothioconazole, penflufen, metalaxyl and cyantraniliprole. FOR CANOLA seed treatment offerings can include: Prosper® EverGol® seed treatment containing the active ingredients clothianidin, penflufen, metalaxyl and trifloxystrobin. Fortenza® Advanced seed treatement consisting of Fortenza Seed Treatment insecticide containing the active ingredient cyantraniliprole and Rascendo® Seed Treatment insecticide containing the active ingredient sulfoxaflor. Helix® Vibrance® seed treatment containing the active ingredients thiamethoxam, difenoconazole, metalaxyl-M, fludioxonil and sedaxane. Jumpstart® XL inoculant containing the active ingredient penicillium bilaiae. Acceleron , BioRise , Bayer, the Bayer Cross Design, DEKALB and Design , Prosper EverGol , RIB Complete , Roundup Ready 2 Technology and Design™, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup Transorb®, Roundup WeatherMAX®, Roundup Xtend®, SmartStax®, Transorb®, Trecepta™, TruFlex™, VaporGrip®, VT Double PRO® and XtendiMax® are trademarks of Bayer Group, Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. DuPont™ and Lumivia® are trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its Affiliates and are used under license by Monsanto. JumpStart® and Optimize® are registered trademarks of Novozymes. Used under license. Agrisure, Fortenza®, Helix®, Vibrance® and Viptera® are trademarks of a Syngenta group company. LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design, Poncho® and VOTiVO® are trademarks of BASF. Used under license. Herculex® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Used under license. ©2019 Bayer Group. All rights reserved. ®
“On the old yard, we have several small buildings we’ve been using for garages for our tractors and equipment, but we needed something in our yard where we could put everything into one building.” - Wayne Spence says Spence. “We called 411 and the representative was here within eight days” Big fans of using local talent, the Spences had the 12 yards of gravel needed for post tamping hauled in by a nearby business. A neighbouring electrician who also farms did the wiring. This meant a slight delay during harvest before he could install the wiring, but this was planned ahead. Finally, Linda’s selected colours and made sure the building would look good in the yard since they’ll be looking at it for many years to come, which leads to Wayne’s most important tip: “Never discount your wife’s input.”
PLENTY OF PROSPECTS | OFF-FARM CAREERS
Plenty of prospects Off-farm ag careers combine love of the farm and individual passion
By Natalie Noble
Farm kids often dream to one day take over the family business and continue its legacy. However, for a variety of reasons, it’s not always possible. The good news for them is the trove of jobs within the industry beyond primary production. Three farm kids shared their experience with Farming for Tomorrow and how, despite being off-farm, still find themselves deeply embedded in agriculture.
COMMUNICATE AND CREATE Creative flair and strong interpersonal skills are coveted talents in the ag sector. That’s where Teresa Falk comes in. The agricultural communicator has worked across the Prairies in multiple marketing and writing positions since leaving the family farm near Snowflake, Man. “My parents instilled their love of the farm into my brothers and I,” she says. “While I enjoyed growing up on the farm, in high school I became eager to go to university in the city and explore what opportunities were out there and I wanted to pursue communications.” Today, Falk pours her love of farming into her work with a major ag retailer. “What I really love about this job is the variety of work I do. Every day is different in terms of what I’m going to do that day and I love the creative aspect of it,” she says. On any given day, Falk may be working remotely or at the head office in Regina, Sask. She plans events for customers, designs the company presence, she attends trade shows, collaborates with external advertising agencies, creates content and ads for various media channels. “It’s agronomic-based, value-added content for our farmer customers to assist their day-to-day operation,” she says. “That’s the other part of my job I really love, everything we’re doing is with the purpose of helping western Canadian farmers.” 39
OFF-FARM CAREERS | PLENTY OF PROSPECTS
“New technology and digital media continuously evolve so you have to keep up on trends. And getting involved is so important because it’s an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and learn from each other.” - Teresa Falk Falk’s career journey to Regina began at the University of Winnipeg where she achieved her bachelor of arts in communications, majoring in journalism. From there she worked at daily newspapers and magazines with no intent to work in agriculture. Photo: As a communications specialist, Teresa Falk creates
agronomic-based, value-added content for Nutrien’s farmer customers. This includes event planning, designing the company presence for, and attending, trade shows and crafting content for various media channels.
“It’s interesting how life can sometimes lead you back to where you started,” she says. “A few editors with some agriculture publications approached me to see if I’d be interested in doing some agriculture writing because of my background, so that’s how I got back into the agriculture writing and communications field.” Since then, she’s worked as a freelance writer and in communications positions for a number of ag not-for-profits in all three provinces. “That’s provided me with a well-rounded experience in this industry,” she says. For anyone considering a similar career, Falk encourages continued learning to update skills and professional development. “New technology and digital media continuously evolve so you have to keep up on trends,” she says. “And getting involved is so important because it’s an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and learn from each other.”
DOWN TO BUSINESS Young minds with business acumen can take many roads throughout the ag industry. The destination need not be reached by a straight line either, as Jesse Cole, pricing supervisor with Agriculture Financial Services Corporation in Lacombe, Alta., has experienced. Photo: Jesse Cole helps build out financial and risk management products for farmers. It’s collaborative work with government and industry groups where market research is a large focus.
His parents imbued an adventurous spirit into Cole. He and his sister grew up on the family farm near Clive, Alta. It’s served him well throughout his education and helped him successfully navigate twists and turns in his career.
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OFF-FARM CAREERS | PLENTY OF PROSPECTS
“We do crop variety research with a few different crops. A typical day through the summer looks similar to what a farmer would be doing at the same time. We go through seeding, harvesting, spraying, maintenance, all the typical things the regular farmer is looking at, too.” - Samantha Hink Cole credits his commitment to networking for opening doors through summer positions with Dow AgroSciences during school, and later as a research agronomist with Alberta government. Photo: As a research technician, Samantha Hink’s typical day looks similar to that of a farmer, whether her team is seeding, harvesting, spraying or doing maintenance.
Working in innovation and product development the last nine years, Cole says market research is a major daily focus. “We figure out what our farm clients want in terms of business risk management products, then we take that information and turn it into a work plan for the year to create enhancements and new products.” Each year Cole typically spends two weeks in focus group style meetings with farmers. He then helps build out financial and risk management products, working with the rest of the organization, the federal and provincial governments and industry groups. There’s also technical writing, market research and lending involved. He’s also had unique opportunities, such as working to develop malt barley insurance. Cole says he applied at the University of Alberta right after a distasteful incident he had working on manure spreader at a farm equipment dealership. “I didn’t know what to do, so I got into general sciences and general arts. After my first year I found out there was an ag business degree … so my focus shifted to that program.” After achieving his bachelor of science in agricultural business management, Cole completed a master’s in agriculture and resource economics. “The undergrad program gives a good business background plus plant and animal science and lots of ag economics. That led to my economics degree after,” he says. 42
“In both my programs, the people who succeeded the most were the ones who were willing to go out and make their own connections,” he says. “Technical skills are obviously important, but your personality is what takes you to the next level. You have to find the people out there, go to farm shows and meetings to see what’s happening out in the world. Meet people to find out what you can do for them, and not just the other way around.”
ACRES OF RESEARCH Using science to improve farmers’ options, production yield, quality and consumer choice can be a highly rewarding career in agriculture for research lovers. Samantha Hink has enjoyed five years as a research technician at Nutrien’s Rosebank Research Farm, 15 minutes in either direction from her family farm and the city she resides in. She and her brother learned to respect hard work from their third-generation farming parents in south-central Manitoba. She does not plan to take over the farm, but her work allows her help out when needed. Her workday is just as varied as that on a grain farm, as well. “We do crop variety research with a few different crops,” she says. “A typical day through the summer looks similar to what a farmer would be doing at the same time. We go through seeding, harvesting, spraying, maintenance, all the typical things the regular farmer is looking at, too.” Where many research jobs see employees in a lab, Hink’s team spends their time in the field every day at the research farm. “No year is the same, and there’s always something new and
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S A S K AT O O N
OFF-FARM CAREERS | PLENTY OF PROSPECTS
“I took a couple different classes in the first term to check out ideas where I thought I might have some interest outside of agriculture. Within a week, I knew for sure that I wanted to stay in ag, and I realized I was always most excited when I was doing research.” - Samantha Hink challenging,” she says. “Right now, I’m quite happy where I’m at and plan to stay in research as long as I can. I really do love it.” While Hink earned a bachelor of science in agronomy at the
University of Manitoba, her education began years prior. Working ag-related summer jobs as a teen, she gained solid work experience and learned what she liked to do the most. “I also had a summer research position for quite a few years as a university student and I always really enjoyed that work, so I knew the ag industry would probably be where I continued on,” she says. Her summer job eventually morphed into a full-time position that fall. People who are excited about their careers often say you have to do what you love, and Hink agrees, but she also believes in exploring all opportunities. “Someone gave me the advice when I was in university to try out different types of jobs—some in sales, communications, research—just trying different things to see what you really like,” she says. “I took a couple different classes in the first term to check out ideas where I thought I might have some interest outside of agriculture. Within a week, I knew for sure that I wanted to stay in ag, and I realized I was always most excited when I was doing research.”
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THOSE WILY WEEDS | CROP ROTATION FOR WEED CONTROL
Crop Rotation for Weed Control “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” —Theodore Roosevelt
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.
While he wasn’t referring to crop rotation, there certainly is an underlying connection between that quote and planning a crop sequence. By having a specific rotation in mind, it will help with many aspects of crop management also including addressing or preventing weed issues. Specific weeds can exploit cropping system patterns, but no one weed species is able to thrive when cropping patterns are changed. As herbicide resistance issues increase and our weed control tools decrease, crop rotation can minimize the impact of weeds on crop productivity and lessen the expenditures on herbicides or other weed seed management tools. The winter planning season is a great opportunity to assess if your crop rotation is preventing weed issues or possibly causing them.
The Ideal Crop Rotation Is there such a thing as the perfect crop rotation? The short answer, no. The template for an “ideal” crop rotation is theoretically an oilseed-cereal-pulse-cereal rotation, which provides herbicide options. This minimizes disease and insect issues while maintaining profitability. The opposite of a crop rotation is a monoculture, continuously growing the same crop year after year and the same weeds year after year. Former federal public weed scientist Bob Blackshaw’s research showed that a continuous winter wheat monoculture allowed for downy brome to become a dominant weed, and including canola in that system significantly reduced the downy brome issue. But in many areas, there is a struggle to diversify and even a two-year rotation is a challenge due to herbicide carryover or profitability. Another government weed scientist Neil Harker provided an “Integrated Wild Oat Management”
CROP ROTATION FOR WEED CONTROL | THOSE WILY WEEDS presentation a couple of years ago and made the remark “weeds fortunate enough to grow in simple, repeated cropping systems of the same life cycle will continue to have little difficulty adapting and thriving.” The less diversity there is in a cropping system, the more likely there is to be certain weeds that thrive. If weeds are a challenge to manage before herbicide resistance, it will not get easier as herbicide resistance develops and weed control options dwindle. Spring wheat-canola is a strong contender in many cooler, short-season areas and soybean-corn wins out in the warmer and longer-season growing areas. While these systems may pay the bills for the short-term, they tend to allow particular weeds to dominate the production system. Weeds such as wild oats, chickweed, cleavers and wild buckwheat generally enjoy the wheat-canola rotation because they will tolerate the shade and compete well with crops. The corn-soybean rotation allows for longer maturing weeds to set seed and provides the ideal environment for heat-loving foxtails and pigweeds, especially when grown in wide rows that allow more sunshine to help those weeds flourish. Diversity is the key to using crop rotation as a weed management tool. The concepts are very basic, but all these crop characteristics should be considered when planning for more diversity.
as well. As mentioned earlier, cool season crops tend to be challenged by different weeds than warm season crops, so being able to intersperse the crops reduces the ability of weeds to exploit a particular environment. 3. Crop competitiveness with weeds is another factor to consider. Blackshaw assessed crop competitiveness as: Rye > oat > barley > wheat > canola > field pea > soybean > flax > lentil Rotating a more competitive crop with a less competitive crops continues to provide opportunity to grow several crops while keeping the weeds at a disadvantage. Many farmers use fall rye or a spring cereal as a “cleanup crop” prior to seeding a less competitive crop. 4. Perennial versus annuals: there still is a role for perennial forages as a tool to combat perennial, biennial and winter annual weeds in the system. Many perennials are underseeded with a companion crop in order to ensure crop competition and to provide some economic returns while impairing weed growth. In many research studies, the critical factor is biomass accumulation and resulting shading provided by the under-seeded crop. This reduces weed germination and competition and acts as a mulch that replaces a herbicide application.
1. Grassy crops rotated with broadleaf crops: not only does this allow for diversity in herbicide rotation, it allows for differences in crop competition for resources including sunlight, water and nutrients. It’s relatively easy to control a broadleaf weed in a grass crop and a grassy weed in a broadleaf crop.
5. Seeding date: being able to seed late or seed early will also provide a tool for minimizing weed competition. A late spring seeding date, which sometimes is used for silage cereal crops will allow for tillage or non-selective herbicides to be used for weed control. In addition, an early “harvest” with the silage crop minimizes seed set and depletes the weed seed bank.
2. Cool season versus warm season crops: this is a factor typically not used to its full advantage. Cool season crops such as wheat, barley, oats, and canola are widely adapted and grown in Western Canada. There are limitations on where soybeans, corn, peas, lentils, flax and sunflowers can be grown successfully, but improved genetics and good management are helping to expand those production areas
Crop rotation is part of most farming operations already. The question is, could a few tweaks to that crop plan help alleviate weed issues? The long-term prognosis for a diverse cropping system is much more favourable than a monoculture where adapted, herbicide-resistant weeds are very likely to reign supreme.
Table 1. A simplified four-year rotation template
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
WHISPERING CEDARS RANCH
iftboss Inc. was established in May 2006 by four partners John and Andre Gagnon, Dale Ryan Greir, a full-time powerline technician in Calgary, andshop wife Beatty and Marc Tougas to be a oneAlta., stop Janna, a registered nurse in Chestermere, enjoy raising their flock dealership for all material handling needs. Having of 250 Rideau Arcott ewesindustry in their spare time. the four partners, worked in the before, pooled all there resources, previous experience Ryan’s passion for designed farming developed a young agemodel while heto worked together and a newatbusiness fill along side hisneeded great uncleniche Howard withthe horses and cattle. In 2012 they the much that industry needed. established Whispering Cedars Ranch just 10and minutes east of Strathmore. Liftboss Inc. is an Alberta owned operated dealership, offering new and used equipment sales, The ranchparts is a tribute to the memory and dedication Howard who a total department, forklift rentals,offorklift instilled his love for the landcertified and animalsmechanics in Ryan. training, trained and to perform repairs in shop and service vehicles to handle on site repairs. Liftboss prides it’s lamb self and on provide quick the response Ryan and Janna’s goal Inc. is to raise Alberta industry timehealthy to customer’s breakdowns. with and proven purebred replacement breeding stock. They are also excited to be involving their one-year-old son Finnegan.
Customer service was the reason the company
wasput born, and and hassafety captured an impressive share “We the health of our animals at the forefront,” says Ryan. of business for Liftboss. In the past 3 years, the
downturn in thetoAlberta has small definitely The couple decided raise sheepeconomy because of their size and gentle affected the sales activity, comparatively nature. Specifically, they raise Rideaubut Arcotts, which were developed at theAnimal service and Centre partsinbusiness has in the 1980s. Arcott used the Research Ottawa (Arcott) noticed substantial growth. The several breeds to develop the line which have improved maternal sales team builds portfolios characteristics. Certain breeds used infor the development include Finnish each client’s and service Landrace, Suffolk,needs Dorset, Shropshire and East Friesen.
adding JCB construction equipment in 2017 has been a great addition, and has made Liftboss Inc. even more They areinmembers of theequipment Alberta Lambindustry Producers in andAlberta. work closely with visible the heavy the University of Calgary, GenOvis, FarmWorks, as well as other They will always stay true to their material handling organizations to better sheep industry in Canada. roots, but having anthe established and well respected construction line has solidified the fact that Liftboss Ryanishas found between being ato powerline technician Inc. here formany thesimilarities long haul and ready compete. and rancher.
Whether you are looking for a new machine, a rental, “It comesor down to planning and completing a task that can be service parts on an ahead existing unit, or simply want dangerous, sometimes during a major storm or other elements avery second option on something, give them a call and that makeswill it difficult to stayto focused,” “Farming be very similar, they be happy pointsays youRyan. in the rightcan direction. As a group, Liftboss Inc. do what do based from the dangers of running various pieces they of equipment to making on fourerrors coreinvalues: do whatcalculations you say you will in a an critical feed or medication that could cause timely manner; be open and honest; do whatever it animal to die.” takes; and service the customer above all else. As each grows, each is held Jannadepartment naturally has compassion for theteam welfaremember of people and animals. accountable to those principles, theiroffocus She has always had lot of interest in the health the flock. She uses her isnursing to beknowledge a qualityascompany well as advicethat frompeople the veterinarian to develop are to workfor for. flockproud health protocols prevention and treatment of ailments in sheep or lambs. Ryan and Janna are excited to expand their sheep farm and involve their family.
preferences; this way, they can have “Janna and I would not be successful with sheep if it weren’t for our a conversation with a client instead Introducing of construction equipment. The improved characteristics include high prolificacy, excellent the future extremely helpful and supportive family,” says Ryan. “Even though our of simplyability, walking them the mothering increased milk around production, extended lambing season family isn’t in agriculture, they have been quick to support us and eager The new JCB Hydradig is the world’s first wheeled excavator and showroom. appreciate and the ability toTheir breed clients out of season. They also excel in crossbreeding to learn what we do. They are always coming to visit and help out.” tool carrier designed for purpose and built without compromise. the attention and sire reward with programs with terminal breedsthem which emphasize meat production. Travel to—and around—work sites faster than ever, maneuver into repeat business and referrals. With limited chore time and a young child, the family needed to find a tight spaces with greater safety, apply theofright attachments As their ewes average 250 to 300 per cent lambing, Ryan and Janna love singleand versatile piece equipment that would take care of all their Material handling and forklifts were and continue to be where they’re needed. this truly Canadian breed. needs. From moving large bales of feed and bedding, building much a huge part of what Liftboss Inc. has grown from, but accessing pens and clearing snow in the winter, Contact Liftboss JCB for needed more infrastructure, information. One of the biggest challenges for Ryan and Janna is marketing their sheep. their search soon lead to the choice of a compact track loader. With research, JCB stood out as the obvious choice. JCB’s wide tracks, “Everyone has tried lamb once, more often than not, this has been a bad excellent cab visibility and side-entry cab have made their lives much experience,” says Ryan. “Sometimes it can be difficult to convince them easier, more comfortable and most importantly, safer. that our lamb is delicious.” “The staff at Lift Boss, Calgary have been there whenever we need them; Ryan and Janna have tried different avenues such as direct marketing, answering our questions, providing maintenance and repairs as needed private buyers and auctions. and encouraging us as young entrepreneurs,” says Ryan.
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CALGARY BRANCH 8010 40 Street SE Calgary, AB (403) 301-0041
SECTION | TITLE SPRAYING 101 | WHAT IS SPRAYING STEWARDSHIP?
What is Spraying Stewardship? 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.
Stewardship is one of those words that is so over-used, we’ve learned to ignore it. Yet its core meaning, the act of properly taking care of something, is fundamental to the survival and prosperity of the crop protection business. Traditional crop protection using pesticides is at risk. Non-tariff trade barriers such as low Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) are increasingly used to prevent cross-border movement of our products, and public attention is focused on the safety of commonly used products. As well, the onset of resistance is showing no signs of slowing down. I once heard a distinguished scientist say, “if you want to know the problems of tomorrow, simply look at today’s solutions to yesterday’s problems.” It’s for this reason we need to take a long view when it comes to stewardship. It’s not just about following the law or addressing a current problem. The consequences of our actions often force other actions and it’s those that need our attention.
Good agronomy is good stewardship A classic example is herbicide resistance. If we wait until it’s a noticeable problem, nothing can be done to reverse the proportion of weeds that are resistant. When we discover a significant resistant population, we’ve lost at least one mode of action and must turn to another mode of action, or a multiple effective mode of action tank mix. While that has often worked, it may make weed control less effective or more expensive, or it may place more pressure on a single mode of action to take care of the problem. If that product fails, the problem is immediately much more serious. In certain cases, those alternate modes of action, while legal to use, may have less desirable environmental or toxicological properties. Their use can then cause problems with spray drift or MRLs and this draws public attention.
WHAT IS SPRAYING STEWARDSHIP? | SPRAYING 101
Stewardship is one of those words that is so over-used, we’ve learned to ignore it. Yet its core meaning, the act of properly taking care of something, is fundamental to the survival and prosperity of the crop protection business. sprayer. The equipment must make it more than just possible, it has to make it easy, to practice good stewardship. That’s a job that the manufacturers need to take the lead on.
Low spray drift is good stewardship
Photo: Spray drift management is an obvious aspect of spraying
stewardship. But there are others, and it isn’t always the applicator who’s responsible.
Although none of these impacts are necessarily fatal, taken as a whole they can be death by a thousand cuts. Spraying more doesn’t solve them. Waiting for a miracle product hasn’t worked for the last 30 years. So in this way stewardship means delaying the onset of resistance through agronomic practices.
Good equipment design is good stewardship At Sprayers101.com, we’ve focused on plumbing innovations in sprayers. We’ve promoted the concepts of continuous rinsing and recirculating booms to save time and improve the performance of a sprayer. At a recent clinic, someone asked why these features aren’t standard equipment if they make so much sense. Good question. Indeed, good plumbing should be standard on machines. With a traditional boom divided into sections, the act of priming or rinsing the boom requires that the all the “old” liquid in the boom be forced out through the nozzles or boom ends. Unavoidably, it ends up on the ground. Most of the time the sprayer is stationary when that happens, and the resulting area receives a huge dose of the product, harming soil but also becoming susceptible to movement in water. It’s not a story I’m proud of. I believe stewardship of pesticides starts with design of the
Surely spray drift is the responsibility of the applicator. Yes and no. Applicators have a limited weather window in which a safe application can be made. There’s also a limit to how coarse a spray can be before it creates other problems, like loss of efficacy. Pesticides need to be safe enough to neighbouring crops and ecosystems to tolerate small amounts of droplet drift movement. If drift caused by a reasonably cautious application is unacceptable, then perhaps the product needs to be looked at. The federal government’s risk assessment procedure is designed to screen for these. Vapour drift is a whole other topic. Products that volatilize from a dry deposit aren’t new to ag. For instance, 2,4-D esters are volatile and they’ve been around since 1945. Clomazone is also volatile. Unstable products can move from treated areas for several days after application, depending on weather conditions (primarily temperature, with high temperatures causing greater losses). The only action an applicator can take is to refrain from making the application if weather conducive for vapour formation are in the forecast. For 2,4-D and clomazone, formulation provided a solution that made the characteristic more manageable. If that solution isn’t available or is shown to be ineffective, then the presence of the product on the market needs to be placed in question. In this case, the responsibility for stewardship lies with the product manufacturer. A good self-test for stewardship anyone can do is to imagine being on an aircraft and your neighbour, not familiar with agriculture, asks about common agricultural practices. Eventually, the topic of pesticides will come up. And if the question is, “how do you get rid of unwanted pesticide in your sprayer tank,” imagine if you would answer entirely truthfully. If the answer is no, then that’s a practice you can improve on. 51
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
Olds College Olds College announces Werklund School of Agriculture Technology Olds College is pleased to announce the launch of the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology. Through the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology students will have access to new ag tech programs, including the Precision Agriculture Techgronomy diploma and the Agriculture Technology Integration post-diploma certificate. Canadian entrepreneur, oilfield industry leader and dedicated philanthropist, David Werklund and his partner Susan Norman, have been supporters of Olds College for several years. Mr. Werklund has a lifelong passion for the agriculture industry that began during his upbringing on a rural Alberta farm. “This is a historic day for Olds College. The launch of the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology is a profound statement of our commitment to building Alberta’s position as a global leader in agriculture and technology,” says Stuart Cullum, the president of Olds College. “On behalf of Olds College, I would like to sincerely thank David Werklund and Susan Norman for investing in Olds College, our students and the future of agriculture.”
Students will also have access to hands-on, high-tech learning experiences through the Olds College Smart Farm, the Smart Ag Innovation Centre and the new ag tech learning hub scheduled to launch in fall 2022. “Susan and I are delighted that the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology will lead the way to a revolutionary change in agricultural learning,” says Werklund. “We have a passion for innovation and new technologies and we firmly believe in investing in youth and education. Olds College was a natural choice for us because of its longstanding commitment to agriculture education and our shared vision towards engaging more of Alberta’s youth in the business of agriculture through leading technological advancement.” The new agriculture technology programs will prepare students for careers that require a deep understanding of the connectedness between agronomy, technology and data sciences. Applications open for the new ag tech diploma and post-diploma certificate Oct. 1, 2019, with the first intake starting fall 2020.
NUTRIEN-RADICLE CHALLENGE Game changers recognized The Nutrien-Radicle Challenge Canada was created to encourage and accelerate ag and food technology innovation in Canada. More than 100 of Canada’s most ambitious agriculture and food technology innovators applied, with eight finalists pitching to a panel of judges.
as a company,” said Karn Manhas, founder and CEO of Terramera. “We had broad range of industry leaders serving as judges—all learning about your technology, learning about how to apply it and also giving some great feedback. We’re looking at this not just as a source of dollars but of partnerships and advice and a platform to be able to build the company from where it is to the next level is really.”
Canadian agriculture and food technology companies Terramera and Livestock Water Recycling emerged victorious to claim a combined USD $1.25 million after the final pitching competition in the Nutrien-Radicle Challenge Canada on Oct. 1-2 in Saskatoon, Sask.
Livestock Water Recycling of Calgary, Alta., takes home the USD $250,000 prize in the early-stage category for their technology that segregates and concentrates manure nutrients into two valuable fertilizer products while recycling clean water for reuse.
Terramera of Vancouver, B.C., took home the USD $1 million prize in the growth-stage category. The company develops high-performance natural alternatives to synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers and has pioneered a method to target active ingredients to cellular delivery.
“We have some big visions and this chunk of money can help us scale our manufacturing so we can be able to ship into the market more quickly and start to grow internationally with partners,” said Karen Schuett, founder and CEO of Livestock Water Recycling. “And through our interaction with Nutrien and Radicle, we can turn this into something that really changes the game in our industry.”
“They put a lot of time into understanding what we’re doing 52
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
LETHBRIDGE COLLEGE Three institutions tackle Canadian agriculture challenges Three of Canada’s leading post-secondary agriculture institutions are teamed up for a one-of-a-kind training opportunity and competition recently at Lethbridge College. McDalBridge brings together students from McGill University, Dalhousie University and Lethbridge College to create innovative solutions to Canadian agricultural challenges. The event took place from Sept. 20-22. Funded by Farm Credit Canada, five students from each institution gathered for three days of instructional sessions, workshops and tours. The students divided into five crossinstitutional teams where they used their diverse regional backgrounds to collaborate and provide solutions to agricultural issues, before they presented their early prototype pitches to a panel of industry experts on Sunday afternoon. “Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario give us a great agricultural cross-section,” says Megan Shapka, Lethbridge College manager of innovation and entrepreneurship. “Each region has different crops, different industries and different agricultural methods. By combining their unique viewpoints, we hope the students are able to reach a new level of collaboration and create solutions they wouldn’t be able to on their own.”
Teams worked with industry mentors throughout the weekend, with a goal create a culture of creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators. Students were provided with industry challenges and designed sustainable solutions to respond to community needs. The wrap-up showcase event gave local farmers a chance to share their feedback individually with teams. The Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a catalyst for economic growth, sustainability and social development in the region that brings together community organizations, researchers and students to collaborate on projects that use new or existing knowledge to solve real-world challenges with immediate practical applications.
BOURGAULT Introducing Blue Armour™ the next generation of tillage tools Bourgault Tillage Tools (BTT) has developed the longest wearing, most durable, and best value sweep it’s ever produced, setting a new company standard. The Blue Armour lineup is considerably stronger than past generations, allowing for significantly longer wear, increased durability in the toughest conditions and excellent value while reducing down time. It is available in select products within the BTT 200 and 410 Series Quick Change line of sweeps and spoons. “Continual improvement of existing products is something our company embraces,” says Pat Yeager, BTT’s director of sales and marketing. “Our new Blue Armour sweep line is an excellent example of this. We were able to significantly improve the wear and toughness of our existing sweep line while maintaining the same price. This translates into great value for our farming customers.”
BTT supports local Canadian and American raw material suppliers with more than 95 per cent of its purchases, choosing North American steel, castings and tungsten carbide among other raw materials, to provide customers with the best possible products made from the best possible materials. With more than 25 years in business and an extensive dealer and distributor network in North America, Europe and Australia, the company is diligent about developing innovative products for customers, refining existing products and providing excellent customer service to clients around the world. 53
Is Saskatchewan farmland overpriced?
Saskatchewan farmland values have increased significantly over the past decade. With values at an all time high, it inherently begs the question, are Saskatchewan farmland values in a bubble? We believe you need to look at more than just a dollar per acre metric to consider that. Farmland Value to Average Crop Receipts (per acre) The graph below measures the average market value of farmland relative to the average dollar of crop receipts that acre generates. It is somewhat comparable to a price-to-earnings ratio that analysts use to measure relative value of a stock. The lower the ratio, the more income is generated relative to the value of an acre. Saskatchewan farmland currently trades at approximately half the ratio of Canadian farmland and roughly one third the ratio of Ontario farmland. In other words, to purchase an acre that can generate $500 of income will cost approximately $3,750 per acre in Saskatchewan whereas equally productive soil in Ontario will cost $11,250 per acre. It is interesting to note that when considering this metric, Saskatchewan farmland values are currently at the same ratio/strength they were in 2004 and 1992 and less than they were through most the 1980s. Although the absolute dollar amount is at an all time high, relative value has remained reasonably stable and constant. If Saskatchewan farmland is overpriced, it is not nearly as overpriced as the rest of the country.
North East, East Central
South East, South Central
South East, East Central
Saskatchewanâ€™s Ag Real Estate Professionals For the most up-to-date listings, please visit our website
MADE FOR CANADIAN SOIL
FARMERS AND RANCHERS CAN GET UP TO
1,800 3 YEARS
ON SELECT 2019 DEFENDER MODELS
©2019 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. , TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Offers valid in Canada only from September 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020. The terms and conditions may vary depending on your province, and these offers are subject to termination or change at any time without notice. See an authorized BRP dealer for details. † GET UP TO $1,800 ON SELECT 2019 DEFENDER MODELS: Eligible units are select new and unused 2019 Can-Am Defender models. Eligible buyers are agricultural businesses approved under the BRP AGRICULTURE & RANCH/FARMER PROGRAM. The eligible buyer of an eligible unit will receive a rebate of up to $1,800. Rebate amount depends on the model purchased. While quantities last. Other conditions may apply. See your dealer for details. †† GET 3-YEAR COVERAGE ON SELECT 2019 MODELS: Eligible units are select new and unused 2019 Can-Am Defender models. The buyer of an eligible 2019 model will receive a 6-month BRP Limited Warranty plus a 30-month B.E.S.T. Coverage. B.E.S.T. service contract is subject to a $50 deductible on each repair. For complete details, please see the BRP limited warranty and the B.E.S.T. contract at an authorised BRP dealer near you. BRP reserves the right, at any time, to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. Some models depicted may include optional equipment. Carefully read the vehicle’s operator’s guide. Follow all instructional and safety material and observe applicable laws and regulations. Ride responsibly and safely. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. For complete details, see your authorized BRP dealer and visit can-am.brp.com.
It’s bigger with .InVigor. Welcome to
InVigor® hybrid canola and Liberty® herbicide are now part of the BASF Ag Rewards Program—and the rewards are bigger than they’ve ever been. We’re talking earnings as high as 22%.1 To learn more, contact your BASF AgSolutions® Representative, call AgSolutions Customer Care at 1-877-371-BASF (2273). You can also visit agsolutions.ca/rewards.
For full terms and conditions, visit agsolutions.ca/rewards
Always read and follow label directions. AgSolutions, INVIGOR and LIBERTY are registered trade-marks of BASF. © 2019 BASF Canada Inc.