November / December 2018
ENTREPRENEURS IN AGRICULTURE
UK farmers succeed in Canada
Once proud dairy operators, the Arnold family found success in Canada through grain farming and a tool venture
Farm buildings Livestock health Ag colleges and universities
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F I N I S H I N G
STRONG L O C A L LY B R E D & T E S T E D , S O Y O U C A N F I N I S H S T R O N G AT H A R V E S T.
CHOOSE FROM OUR CANOLA LINEUP THAT IS MADE FOR PRAIRIE FARMERS! 75-65 RR - was built to straight cut; farmers tell us it runs through their combine like a dream. 75-42 CR - has clubroot resistance to
pathotypes 3, 2, 5, 6, & 8, outstanding
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- this hybrid has it all!
75-45 RR - this broad acre hybrid has been a top yielding hybrid across 3 years of DEKALB® MD trials* - seed it first and you can be first in your field at harvest. 74-44 BL - a consistent performer with enhanced multi-genic blackleg resistance. Big on Blackleg, Big Performance.
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*Source: 2015-2017 Monsanto Field Data across Western Canada, n=282. ALWAYS FOLLOW GRAIN MARKETING AND ALL OTHER STEWARDSHIP PRACTICES AND PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Details of these requirements can be found in the Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers printed in this publication. ©2018 Bayer Group. All Rights Reserved.
F I N I S H I N G
STRONG L O C A L LY B R E D & T E S T E D , S O Y O U C A N F I N I S H S T R O N G AT H A R V E S T.
DKTF 94 CR
DKTF 92 SC
The TruFlex™ canola system will offer farmers flexibility in spray rates and timing to help control tough weeds. Ask your DEKALB® brand seed retailer about our new straight cut hybrid, DKTF 92 SC. It will offer excellent yield potential and a best-in-class, multi-genic blackleg package. And, find out more about DKTF 94 CR, the NEW clubroot resistant* hybrid equipped with early maturity and outstanding yield potential. Supply will be limited on these two NEW DEKALB® TruFlex™ canola hybrids: DKTF 92 SC and DKTF 94 CR. Place your pre-orders with your DEKALB seed retailer. Pre-orders will be fulfilled after TruFlex canola becomes available for commercial sale or seeding. Current plans are to launch in time for the 2019 growing season. For more information about these exciting new canola hybrids, visit DEKALB.ca
*Clubroot resistant to pathotypes 3, 2, 5, 6 & 8. TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology is not yet available for commercial sale or commercial planting, but current plans are to commercialize for the 2019 growing season. The information presented herein shall not be construed as an offer to sell. Pre-orders will be fulfilled after TruFlex™ canola becomes available for commercial sale or seeding. ALWAYS FOLLOW GRAIN MARKETING AND ALL OTHER STEWARDSHIP PRACTICES AND PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Details of these requirements can be found in the Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers printed in this publication. ©2018 Bayer Group. All Rights Reserved.
UK farmers succeed in Canada
Richard Arnold and son Doug created an aftermarket combine reverser to help fellow farmers minimize time spent trying to unplug their machines during harvest.
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A Farmer’s Viewpoint
Carefully choose your intercrops - by Kevin Hursh
Grain Market Analysis
Storage Makes Money - by Scott Shiels Farm Buildings
Bigger is Better - by Natalie Noble Wheat Varieties Class Division - by Natalie Noble
A Quick Guide to Choosing Your Ag School - by Jeff Melchior
READ THE LATEST NEWS AND INSIGHTS FROM OUR CONTRIBUTORS. WHETHER IT’S FARM INVESTMENTS OR INSECTS, THEY SHARE THE LATEST TO BRING YOUR SUCCESS IN AND OUT OF THE FIELD.
JEANETTE GAULTIER 6
A Leg up on the Competition - by Jeff Melchior U of S
relevant research - by Geoff Geddes Spraying 101
How are Pesticides Registered, and is it Good Enough? - by Tom Wolf Farming Your Money
Is Wheat King Again? - by Paul Kuntz Livestock Health
Prescription Required - by Alexis Kienlen Those Wily Weeds
Does Tillage Affect Weed Management? - by Jeanette Gaultier
Out here, great yield starts with great weed control. That’s why I PUT THE SYSTEM TO WORK on my acres.
THIS IS MY FIELD.
IT’S THE SYSTEM THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.
XTEND YOUR WEED CONTROL
CONTROLS MORE WEEDS
THAN ANY OTHER SOYBEAN SYSTEM*
14 DAYS SOIL ACTIVITY
ON SMALL-SEEDED BROADLEAF WEEDS**
XTEND YOUR YIELD
INCREASED YIELD POTENTIAL BY
CONTROLLING WEEDS EARLY
See your retailer or visit GenuityTraits.ca *Based on approved PMRA herbicide labels as of Aug. 2018. **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. Always use dicamba with traditional residual herbicides in pre-emergence and post-emergence applications that have different, effective sites of action, along with other Diversified Weed Management Practices (DWMPs). ALWAYS FOLLOW GRAIN MARKETING AND ALL OTHER STEWARDSHIP PRACTICES AND PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Details of these requirements can be found in the Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers printed in this publication. ©2018 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
Dicamba and Glyphosate Pre-mix
A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT | CAREFULLY CHOOSE YOUR INTERCROPS
Carefully choose your intercrops
I believe in the potential of intercropping to generate higher revenue per acre, but there are many pitfalls and I stumbled into one this year. In my opinion, if you’re going to grow two crops together, they should meet the following criteria.
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
Weed control: Sometimes when you grow two crops together you limit your weed control options; I’d like to grow chickpeas with flax, but I have brassica weed issues – wild mustard and stinkweed. There are herbicide options to help control these in chickpeas and in flax, but put the two crops together and what can you use? Similar maturity: You don’t want one crop ready to combine and the other crop still too green. No use pairing flax with field peas. The peas might be mostly shelled out before the flax is ripe. Complementary attributes: Perhaps one crop can help prevent disease spread in the other or perhaps one will keep the other more upright making harvest easier. I think you need to pick a dominate higher-value crop and then add a helper crop at a lower density. Easily separable seeds: If the seeds are too close to the same size and shape, separating them can be a big problem. This year, I grew an intercrop of maple peas and barley and I thought I had all the above boxes above checked off. For weed control, I used Avadex for wild oats and a high rate of Heat in the spring to provide some suppression of brassica weeds. Postemergent, Sencor controlled any additional brassica weeds. The intercrop half section was the cleanest field on the farm.
Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann
Editor Trevor Bacque
Regular Contributors Jeanette Gaultier Kevin Hursh Paul Kuntz
Scott Shiels Tom Wolf
Nikki Gouthro Lisa Johnston Nerissa McNaughton
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CAREFULLY CHOOSE YOUR INTERCROPS | A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT The maturity should have worked out, but the barley was planted using mid-row banders designed for fertilizer application. Without depth control, some of the barley was seeded into moisture and some was not. This wouldn’t have been a problem with a small rain following seeding, but the first rain didn’t come until June 1.
The problem came after harvest when it was time to separate the maple peas from the barley. I’d been cautioned that this might not be easy since the seeds are not dramatically different in size. However, I have an old Clipper cleaner and I thought there would have to be a screen combination to accomplish the task.
While some of the late maturing barley was on the green side, this didn’t end up being a big problem. Late rains caused regrowth in the maple peas so the field needed a Reglone application prior to harvest anyway.
Not so. The best I could do with the cleaner left about eight per cent barley in the maple peas. The buyer said one-half of one per cent was the tolerance for the No. 2 specified in the contract. I surely wanted the contract price of $13 a bushel, so I looked for other cleaning solutions.
The main reason for picking this combination was complementary attributes. Maple peas are a niche market and the Acer variety is preferred. However, a good crop of Acer maple peas can go flat before harvest making combining difficult. I hoped to help prevent lodging by having about 20 pounds per acre of barley included at seeding. In the end, moisture was the limiting factor. The maple peas yielded about 15 bushels an acre with the barley at about six. I don’t think the barley hurt the maple pea yield much and combining was certainly easier with the mix. While a total of 21 bushels an acre sucks, my kabuli chickpeas yielded only 23 or 24 bushels an acre and durum was similar. The only crop that exceeded expectations was brown mustard which hit 20. Just too darn dry and hot.
Luckily, I was able to rent/borrow a spiral cleaning setup from a neighbour. I had to do some modifications to make it work, but peas roll faster than barley and with that principle you can do a pretty good job of separation. However, the mixture has to be cleaned first so that it will flow through the spirals. Needless to say, I spent a large number of hours figuring all this out and then running the crop through double cleaning. After separating the two, I re-cleaned much of the barley because it’s a new variety and I want it for seed in 2019. Moral of the story – intercropping has potential, but the crop combination has to meet all the criteria. I may intercrop again, but it won’t be maple peas and barley. Photo: Spiral cleaning setup
GRAIN MARKET ANALYSIS | STORAGE MAKES MONEY
Storage Makes Money In this issue, I thought it would be beneficial to talk about sampling, grain storage and some of the things you can do to minimize risk and maximize profit potential after harvest.
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
These days, most producers are very competent at gathering good, average samples at harvest time when filling the bins. This is the best collection time, as you have access to the grain when it is going from the truck or cart into the bin. Ideally, you can collect and store a number of samples from each bin, allowing for distribution to potential buyers. For the buyer, these samples confirm the quality of the grain they have already bought or provide a snapshot of the grain, allowing them to give an accurate price based on that quality. Ultimately, accurate sampling of your grain will provide the best opportunity to properly, and profitably, market your grain. We all know that good storage is imperative to farming operations, but so too is preparing that storage for harvest and using it to its full advantage following that season. Once harvest is complete, turning the bins, or at a minimum taking the tops off of the bins and moving them to cool, is a very important step in reducing the proliferation of bugs, or worse, having the grain start to heat in the bin. Even dry grain, when harvested on hot days, can heat in the bin, causing downgrades and expensive rejections upon delivery of the grain. If you are able, moving bins of grain following harvest will allow some air to flow through it, to cool and stabilize the product in the bin. This should also allow you to further sample, test and ensure grain quality. Getting grain samples to as many buyers as possible after harvest is also a very good way to maximize opportunities for better pricing throughout the year. In this age of custom trucking, and even farmer-owned semi units that can haul great distances at very low costs, the options are nearly endless regarding the potential customer base. Marketing your grain right after harvest can be challenging, as normally there is far more supply hitting the market at a time when demand has not yet ramped up. Harvest this year started out early and quick, but in early September the weather went from hot and dry to cool and wet, not what we needed at that time of year. However, due to this, we started to see some pricing increases through late September, opening up some more aggressive pricing opportunities. As we move forward through the fall and into winter, we should see relatively bullish pricing on most grains, as some of the later seeded crops will have been affected by mid-September frosts and wet weather. Having ample, good-quality storage can allow you to wait and take advantage of upswings in the market throughout the year, with minimal risk of losing quality due to stored grain issues such as heating or bugs. One of my go-to sayings has always been, “storage makes you money” and these are a few supporting examples. If you are short of storage and forced to move grain off the combine, you generally are going to be a price taker, and most of the time, that doesn’t get you the highest prices. Until next time…
DEKALB® BONUS REBATES
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COVER STORY | UK FARMERS SUCCEED IN CANADA
UK FARMERS SUCCEED
Once proud dairy operators, the Arnold family found success in Canada through grain farming and a tool venture By Trevor Bacque 14
UK FARMERS SUCCEED IN CANADA | COVER STORY Life events often come in a series of three. For Richard and Annette Arnold, this was the absolute truth. In 1994, the West Sussex, England, dairy farmers were hit with terrible news, as were all producers, that the Milk Marketing Boards would soon disappear. The second life event was a painful decision to sell the farm. The third was a monumental choice to move to Canada and purchase a grain farm. The Arnolds were third generation dairy farmers from Billingshurst, the fifth largest civil parish in the Horsham district of southeast England. Going back further, there were three additional generations of Arnolds who were cheese producers. After returning to the farm fulltime with his parents Colin and Kathleen Arnold in 1986, Richard and his family managed 80 dairy cows and 300 acres of land, about 125 of which was routinely cropped. He sold hay for horses and earned income through custom seeding and hay making. Being a dairy operator was good business for Richard, with competitive prices as high as 52 cents per litre at times—12 cents above what he needed when factoring in his debt load. However, the Milk Marketing Boards dissolved in 1994 during Sir John Major’s time as prime minister, which effectively killed thousands of dairies across the country. Richard stuck it out and, along with about 60 per cent of the country’s dairy farmers, formed a cooperative dubbed Milk Marque to collectively market their milk. It was short lived, however, and the good times only lasted about two to three years. “Dairy petitioned to change the way the milk sold,” he says in reference to companies’ continual underbidding of milk. It effectively weakened the newly-formed milk monopoly and the tough times got tougher.” Richard had enough. “They pushed milk prices so low you couldn’t make any money. It was very tough for farmers. I came to the conclusion that we couldn’t carry on farming as we were. I had to provide for my father, who, at that time, was nearly 70. We were in partnership, but he had to have a retirement of some description. Grain farming wasn’t any good with our amount of acres.”
Photo: Doug Arnold, left,
finishes assembly of their aftermarket combine reverser at the farm shop near Hamiota, Man. Credit: Sandy Black
In 1997, after seeing an advertisement in Farmers Weekly about an upcoming seminar regarding farming in Canada, Richard decided to attend. He met and listened to Jack Nesbitt, a Hamiota, Manitoba real estate agent. Richard liked what he heard and in May of 1998, Richard, Annette and family came to Manitoba—in addition to stops in Alberta and Saskatchewan— to survey the Prairie landscape. They were satisfied and returned once more in November, with his parents as a support team, to make an offer on a house and farmland. “The value for the money in Manitoba was the big draw,” he says. “I saw opportunity. I always wanted to farm a bigger farm, 15
COVER STORY | UK FARMERS SUCCEED IN CANADA that was my ambition. I’m a machinery guy. We had cows because it was what the farm did. I liked them to do well, but it wasn’t where my passion was. The equipment was my passion and that was a big draw to come here, to get away from animals and run bigger equipment.” So, in August 1999, the family made the life-altering decision to sell and jump across the pond to Canada once and for all. They had a few things going in their favour, too, including a favourable exchange rate of 1.8:1. They were able to purchase a 1,400-acre farm complete with a farmhouse due to the sale of his parents’ farmhouse and 12 acres of land. “The land values there are ridiculous. We’re only 50 miles from London and lots of people wanted to live in the country. The house was the big value—it was a biggish house—and we subsequently sold the rest of the land,” he says. In his first year of Canadian grain farming, crop rotations on the Prairies were fairly straightforward. Richard was a lifelong farmer, but a bit of a greenhorn when it came to Prairie practices—especially considering his landbase was now 13 times larger than his freshly sold UK farm. To start, he planted oats, barley, wheat, canola and a few peas. The first year the family had no income until the sale of their first crop. Richard hustled and worked at a feedlot, built pens and did other odd jobs to help make ends meet. He was also kept busy by the three feet of water that accumulated in their basement between the house offer and the day they arrived. “It gave us something to do,” he says with a laugh.
But in order to survive, Richard had to be a bit of a gambler. Within two years of arriving in Manitoba, Richard had doubled his land base to 2,800 acres. All his land joins together in two blocks and today he farms 3,250 acres, plus seeds and combines 300, which is owned by his son-in-law William Thompson. “We took some pretty big risks and rented land when nobody was renting it. We didn’t make a whole lot of money, but always put food on the table,” he says. Nineteen years later, Richard has expanded his scope and, with trial, error and intuition, has carefully changed what he puts into the ground. He now grows Nexera, Victory for Cargill and non-GMO Clearfield for Bungy. In addition, he is also growing soybeans, peas and grass for BrettYoung. “Basically, I try and go where the money is,” he says. “I have learned to manage cash flow better and secured better lines of credit. We try to treat everybody with respect, pay on time … all those times that help us negotiate good rates with financial lenders.” Over time, Richard was able to purchase and upgrade equipment. In 2007, he bought himself a New Holland CX 8070 combine; a sterling machine with a European design philosophy. “It’s a machine that is built to feast on winter-sown crops,” says Richard, which is what most European crops are.” Because of that, by the time summer harvest rolls around in the EU, a CX combine utterly devours plants. The CX is a high-capacity machine built to handle lots of straw, and that makes it an attractive combine in Western Canada as Prairie farmers are
Photo: The Arnold family created an
aftermarket combine reverser after father Richard injured his collarbone trying to remove a canola blockage from his New Holland combine in 2009. Credit: Sandy Black
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COVER STORY | UK FARMERS SUCCEED IN CANADA
Above: Doug Arnold, left, reviews the latest product numbers for their aftermarket combine reversers with his mother Annette and father Richard.
able to put high volumes of plant matter through it. “Canola still has green in it no matter what,” says Richard, who suggests canola will routinely cause plugs whether it’s swathed or straight cut. Sure enough, Richard’s became plugged up as he combined a field of canola during harvest 2009—not a particular surprise, but a definite nuisance. He grabbed his New Holland-issued reversing wrench and opened up the side of the machine. “I put the wrench across my shoulder and I stood up under it, that pushed my collarbone down; it dented my collarbone. That, in turn, pinched a nerve in my neck and I had nerve pain down my right arm and hand for over a year,” he says. His son Doug, 30, was worried about his father, and, also frustrated by the Luddite lever given to remedy a plug on their six-figure machine. “Back then it was pull the wrench, or hook up chains. There was no real effective, safe way of doing it. It was mainly brute force,” says Doug. “You manually do it using physical strength, that would mean quite often you need two people to get the machine unplugged.” Doug, with a self-taught background in product and mechanical design, together with Richard, set out to create a tool that would remedy their hampered harvester. 18
“We thought we needed something so we didn’t have to reset it—that’s the idea of the ratchet. It really didn’t change a lot from the ratchet head [to a] hydraulic cylinder head.” Through many design trials and schematics, they created their very own combine reverser. The way the reverser worked on the New Holland CX combine is like this: Open the concave, open the stone trap, attach the reverser onto the cylinder where the regular de-slug wrench would go and turn on the supply valve; then, using the spool valve located under the combine steps, you operate the reverser forwards and backwards. You do this until blockage is gone, and then, keep the reverser in the lowered position, turn off supply valve, remove the reverser, put it into its cradle, close the stone trap and you’re safely back to combining. Some of their customers have reported successfully unplugging a canola blockage in as little as three minutes by themselves. “We’re trying to get guys going quicker,” says Richard. “Our wrench sits where you need it and you’re not taking your grain truck driver to come help. Your downtime is less, and your productivity is greater.” Given the fact that Doug has heard of farmers trying multiple, dangerous techniques to get up and running again—such as pulling with chains attached to a truck or dropping out all the concaves and cutting out material with a reciprocating saw— he’s confident their reverser is a choice alternative.
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COVER STORY | UK FARMERS SUCCEED IN CANADA A large part of the design scheme was to ensure there wouldn’t be any more pinched nerves or injuries, whether to Richard or another farmer. “It really reduces the amount of physical effort it takes to do the job because it just takes that one person,” says Doug. “You just have to have the physical strength to put the tool on, then you’re just operating a lever. The risk of physical harm is reduced substantially.” During the rough winter of 2016, many Prairie farmers, particularly in parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, dealt with endless amounts of snow and rain, yet many still tried to combine in the adverse conditions. “We sold 25 from September 1st to mid-October in Western Saskatchewan or Alberta,” says Doug. “Many people had never seen anything about it beyond that their neighbour had one and they were saying ‘send me three.’” In 2016, the first full year of production, they sold 55, followed by 89 in 2017 and were on pace to sell 150 in 2018. The target for 2019 is 200, a goal Doug is fully committed to achieving, partly through expansion into Eastern Canada and certain U.S. states such as Nebraska, the Dakotas and Montana as well as rice country in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. In the U.S., Doug is eager to talk to farmers that typically plug up with canola, linseed and rice. The first product was for the New Holland AI100 CX combine. To date, they have reversers for seven combines across John Deere, Lexion and New Holland brands. Unlike many iron products today, this is 100 per cent made in Canada. The metal is cut by nearby Hutterites at Hidden Valley Manufacturing and Doug assembles the product at the family’s farm shop. “The product isn’t cheap by any means, but it’s made well. It’s probably over-engineered. It’s more built like a tank and built to work almost a lifetime,” says Doug. The reverser, which comes with a one-year parts and labour warranty, will cost a farmer between $3,700 to $4,475, depending on your combine. However, it’s money well-spent, according to Doug, especially when harvest is on and the window to bin a good crop closes fast. Doug pounds the pavement and can be found at major Canadian farm shows in Western Canada, and has started to make inroads into Eastern Canada. The feedback they have received on the innovative tool has only fueled Doug more to continue reaching farmers dealing with combine blockages and strained shoulders. “It’s been really positive to the point where people come and 20
“We’ve had fun and ups and downs along the way. Missing family and family events have been the biggest thing, but we’ve had family come visit us. It gives you a different perspective; you have to make it work. You have to look at every opportunity. That’s all we viewed this as.” - Richard Arnold find us [at trade shows], thank us for it and tell us how well it’s worked. They’ve been really happy with the product,” he says. The family is working on reversers for at least two more popular combine models and have additional ideas that are in the early stages of development that they hope will solve other issues in the agriculture industry and beyond. “We want to see problems that are being overlooked and put products in place to solve those problems,” says Doug. For Richard and his family, he didn’t necessarily have aspirations to be an ag entrepreneur, but when opportunity knocked, he was willing to answer. He credits his Christianity as the primary driver of his confidence in both the family farm and business. “I have faith in God. I am a Christian and I take that into what I do every day. I have hope and I don’t worry necessarily about tomorrow as others might. I’ve learned not to worry. I do what I feel is the right thing to do,” he says. “We trusted that it would work out and it’s been awesome to be perfectly honest. We’ve had fun and ups and downs along the way. Missing family and family events have been the biggest thing, but we’ve had family come visit us. It gives you a different perspective; you have to make it work. You have to look at every opportunity. That’s all we viewed this as.” Beyond farming, one day Richard would like to be involved more in helping homeless people and giving back, something he did for eight years as a rural councillor in RM of Hamiota from 2006 to 2014. “On council, it’s been nice to make a difference and impact [on issues] that the rural people had going on. Drainage issues, all those kinds of things, the things that make our lives and businesses run are the most important to us, and getting value for money because that’s what drives our economy.”
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FARM BUILDINGS | BIGGER IS BETTER
Bigger is Better
Today’s farmers construct buildings that will stand the test of time
By Natalie Noble Above: The new building and yard for Pitura Seeds has plenty of room for the business to grow.
The business of farming is growing across the Prairies and so is the equipment required to take care of that business. This means farm buildings are getting bigger, higher, wider and longer. No matter what purpose the building will fulfill, farmers want room for growth, expansion and long-lasting quality, all with their next generations in mind. “The farm building industry has changed over the years, because as size increases, more engineering is involved,” says Peter Vanderzwaag, sales manager at Calgary-based Remuda Building Ltd. “Farmers want something that will last into the next generation. The newer generation farmers transitioning into running the farm often see the old shop grandpa built back in the day, and it’s falling apart now. So, quality and structural integrity come up as considerations in addition to price.” Today, the points to consider and ways to approach a new build are endless. For Innisfail-based and family-run Layden Farms, it was time to build an equipment storage shed that could shelter all the equipment used to farm their own 6,000 acres of barley, wheat, canola and peas, plus the 2,000 acres they custom farm for others. It’s an undertaking that requires more and increasingly larger equipment all the time. “We have a couple older shops, but they were too small for our combines,” says fifth-generation farmer Ryan Layden. “They’re good for tractors and other things, but the combines have nearly doubled in size from what they used to be. We’d have to fold them up and just about rub the paint off them to get inside. We don’t want to be damaging equipment by squeezing it in.”
FARM BUILDINGS | BIGGER IS BETTER
Above: Ryan Layden predicts farm machinery will continue to increase in size. He recommends farmers plan for that when considering a new storage building.
So, Layden, along with his father, uncle, cousin and the ladies of Layden Farms, hired Remuda Building to construct a cold storage equipment shed. The post-framed structure, built in 2016, is an impressive 80 feet wide, 200 feet long and 20 feet high, with a total height of 32 feet to the peak of the building. It has one 40-foot by 20-foot bi-fold door and a 30-foot by 20-foot sliding door on the opposite end. South of Winnipeg, the Pitura family was outgrowing their existing seed cleaning facility, a Quonset built in 1956. In addition to the building, which had been modified several times over the years, the yard space had also become cramped, especially with trucks increasing in size from tandems to today’s B-trains. The new facility, part of a larger expansion project, sits on a newly developed site on the Pitura family’s 4,000-acre farm. The building is a 90-foot by 90-foot by 40-foot pre-cast concrete structure. The panels and construction were provided by Broad Valley Redi-mix & Custom Precast, owned and operated by the Broad Valley Hutterite Colony, located 100 kilometres north of Winnipeg. 24
THE LAYDEN FAMILY: SHELTERING THEIR INVESTMENTS IN A BIG WAY The Layden family currently owns three Case I-H 8230/40 combines that are replaced every one to three years and come with a big price tag. The new storage shed shelters these combines along with several other items including tractors, air drills, grain trucks and the water tank for their sprayer. “If you compare the benefits of storing equipment inside against the cost of the equipment, there’s a big plus,” says Vanderzwaag. “You can potentially store $10 million worth of equipment in a $200,000 shop. The payoff comes all the way down to tires, hoses – anything rubber lasts longer, the paint doesn’t fade, and the equipment looks better for resale later on.” With their minds set on getting their equipment out of central Alberta’s elements, the Laydens originally figured their new shop would need to be 80 feet by 160 feet. The workload that comes with farming 8,000 acres makes it tough to manage a project of that size. So, when they met Vanderzwaag and Remuda Building at the 2015 Agri-Trade Equipment Expo in Red Deer, Alberta, it was perfect timing.
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FARM BUILDINGS | BIGGER IS BETTER
“A lot of investment, time and costs went into getting that site ready to build. This is something you absolutely want to do right because any shifting, moving or ruts around the building are never good for the future.” - Tom Greaves “We had a really good experience meeting them,” says Layden. “They said they’d come out to do all the work and they gave us a good timeline right away. The pricing was clearly laid out and really fair, but for us, one of the biggest draws was the fact that they were not pushy on anything. They gave us options, but there was no pressure or rushed decision making for us.” Aside from a local company that did some land work and prepared the pad, Remuda handled the entire build in just two weeks. “We were delayed a week with heavy rain and couldn’t get on
the pad, but as soon as they could, their guys showed up and got right to work on it,” says Layden. “They had a good team, really organized and knowledgeable.” One of the best features is the shed’s massive bi-fold door. At the push of a button, it allows the Laydens roomy, convenient access. “In the older shops, we’d need two guys to slide the steel doors. This new one’s a little easier on the body,” he says. “Now we can drive our combines with 36-foot headers right in there, but these are only going to get bigger, and that’s something to think about. In hindsight, I’d maybe go wider to about 50 feet.” He adds that going bigger than planned is a recommendation the family took from Remuda and would pass on to others. “The extra room and not having everything so tight in there worked out because we’ve already got it pretty full. To be prepared for growth, I’d recommend going a little larger than you originally want. Making that decision has been a really good one for us.” The Laydens have been using their shed for more than two years and have not experienced a single issue. Vanderzwaag says the building will require little maintenance outside of the bi-fold door, with even the exterior finish being rated for 40 years.
PITURA SEEDS: A CONCRETE PLAN WITH ROOM FOR EXPANSION
concrete is if a forklift bumps into your wall, it doesn’t crumple like it does with tin.”
Tom Greaves, president and general manager at Pitura Seeds, along with his father-in-law Calvin Pitura, took a more hands-on approach to their expansion. They’ve planned, organized and overseen the construction of their new seed cleaning facility over the past year.
Other advantages to using concrete include the energy efficiency of the 12-inch wide precast and prestressed concrete panels insulated to R28. It also has a better fire resistance rating and the cement flooring even contains heating pipes.
Development of the new yard site in preparation for the actual building construction began in late 2017, and they broke ground in April of this year. This process was a good learning experience for Greaves.
The smooth texture of concrete walls is also an asset. “Everything collects dust in our business,” says Greaves. “We have these nice white urethane-painted walls. Any dust will cascade down for easy clean-up and maintenance, ensuring the highest quality for our staff and customers.”
“A lot of investment, time and costs went into getting that site ready to build. This is something you absolutely want to do right because any shifting, moving or ruts around the building are never good for the future,” he says.
In addition, the timing of the actual construction was a major bonus. The building was completed on time and everyone at Pitura Seeds is extremely impressed with the performance of Broad Valley.
Originally, Greaves and Pitura looked into using a steel frame versus typically more expensive concrete. But once they broke things down, they soon determined there were savings to going with concrete they weren’t seeing with steel.
Like the Laydens, the Pitura Seeds facility was built in two weeks; work crews averaged one 90-foot wall per day and the rafters, steel-trussed roof and tin work took about one more week.
“Pricewise, this option was very comparable to a metal building at the end of the day,” says Greaves. “It’s a building that will last much longer and be more durable. The nice thing about
Greaves also credits Rosenort’s HD Concrete, who installed the footings and poured the cement floor, and Hutterite-run Vermillion Windows & Doors, each providing quality and key services to the essentially permanent structure.
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WHEAT VARIETIES | CLASS DIVISION
Members of Canada’s wheat industry are seeking more proof to justify CGC re-classification decisions By Natalie Noble Above: The CGC’s modernization of its wheat classification system is meant to protect the industry’s international reputation, but some wonder if they moved too quickly. Credit: Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association
With August’s first-round execution of Canadian wheat re-classification, Prairie farmers have experienced varying degrees of frustration. From minimal impacts for those growing in the central time zone, to costly transitions for mountain time dwellers, there’s no question that with change comes uncertainty. As a response to customer expressions of low gluten strength in some Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) varieties, the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) began the consultation and review process to modernize its classification system in 2015. As a result, 25 varieties from CWRS were deemed lower in gluten strength and downgraded. Included are highly utilized Lillian, Unity and Harvest, as well as four Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) varieties, which were all moved into the new Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) and Canada Western Special Purpose (CWSP) classes. However, there are differences of opinion across the industry as to whether the gluten issues are based purely upon genetics. “There was concern about gluten strength in Canadian wheat back in 2013 with wet harvest conditions in some areas of the Prairies,” says Tom Steve, Alberta Wheat general manager. “There is some thought that these environmental conditions contributed to the problem.” Steve says that environmental conditions, particularly moisture, can negatively impact gluten strength and that Alberta Wheat is not convinced by the CGC’s assertion that genetics in these varieties were the sole culprit in 2013’s gluten strength issues. Furthermore, they’d like to see more economic and cost/benefit analyses conducted to consider the implications of moving premium varieties to lower-valued classes. “We don’t have any data that proves the re-classification has made a meaningful difference in our gluten strength profile. There’s also no evidence that varieties set for re-classification in three more years will make any difference,” says Steve. He adds that concerns over gluten strength in Canadian wheat shipments have dissipated the last few years, despite the downgraded CWRS varieties—including widely popular Harvest as well as replacements Redwater and Muchmore, which are set to be downgraded in 2021—remaining in the system until the end of 2018. “Yet, we’re not receiving any complaints about the gluten strength. The question we ask is ‘can the Grain Commission demonstrate that this re-classification process has made any difference in terms of customer satisfaction?’”
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WHEAT VARIETIES | CLASS DIVISION Harvest and Unity,” she says. “At that time these varieties made up about 23 per cent of the crop. With these three varieties with low gluten strength representing such a large portion of the crop, that’s why these customers were seeing these issues.” Still, Buth assures Canadians that organizations like the CGC and Cigi exercise a strong commitment to science and fair consideration in variety registration and classification. In addition, there is a rigorous process to have varieties become registered and made available to farmers, which includes a review of its yield, disease resistance and other agronomic characteristics. “The Canadian system has two components focused on meeting customer needs—variety registration sets standards for varieties that breeders, both public and private, use to push for higher yields and to maintain quality. The next part of that system, in which Canada is known for its quality, is our classification system which is maintained by the CGC.” Steve says farmers are getting mixed signals in terms of which varieties fit into that premium CWRS class. “We found producers out there who weren’t fully aware of the changes made August first with varieties moved into the lower-valued class,” he says. “It costs them money to switch, and it costs seed growers a tremendous amount of money when they can’t sell the stocks they’ve built up.” Above: When it comes to Canada’s international wheat customers, they value gluten strength, extensibility, consistency, and especially quality. Credit: Canadian International Grains Institute
Organizations charged with protecting Canada’s reputation and expanding market access around the world, including the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi), take a different stance. “International customers know what CWRS is and how it performs for them. It’s very important for us to maintain the consistency we’re known for,” says Cigi president JoAnne Buth. “Our wheat is known for its cleanliness. It is highly consistent and of premium quality. It’s that gluten strength and extensibility that customers are looking for.” However, from 2011-2013 it became clear to Cigi, the CGC and some exporters that certain customers, particularly China and Japan, were experiencing varieties of Canadian wheat with lower gluten strength. With that, the issue was raised throughout the industry and Cereals Canada asked the CGC to examine the issue. The re-classification was a response to an industry request to look into the issues. “We did some work looking at the different varieties in 2011 to 2012 in order to consider concerns about what was really happening. There were questions whether it was an environmental issue, within the varieties, agronomic practices and so on. The work we did clearly showed that the gluten strength issues were primarily with three varieties: Lillian, 30
The re-classifications had a much larger impact on Alberta farmers than in other regions of the Prairies because more farmers there grew a higher percentage of Harvest wheat, particularly suited to central Alberta’s darker, wetter soil. Foremost, a dominant CPS variety grown mostly in Alberta, was downgraded as well. Since its re-classification into CNHR, Harvest acreage has significantly declined and has been largely replaced by CWRS varieties Redwater and Muchmore, which, like the varieties they replaced, offer shorter days to maturity and better standability, traits essential to Alberta’s conditions. “The problem is, the Grain Commission has announced these varieties will also be cycled down to the CNHR class in 2021. Producers who switched will have to find yet another variety to suit their growing conditions,” says Steve. Fred Greig, the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association chair, agrees with Steve on several points. “This whole process, I think, was to give producers as much access to the most varieties and options, but it’s created some uncertainty and more confusion for farmers.” “Through luck of the draw, most Manitoba producers won’t be adversely affected as we’ve moved onto newer varieties just from a yield advantage,” says Greig, who also farms and runs Avondale Seeds near Reston. “I can sure sympathize with guys growing in that shorter season. This will hurt those guys for sure.”
CLASS DIVISION | WHEAT VARIETIES He adds that this year’s early snowfall underlines the trouble Alberta farmers will face with losing their go-to early maturing varieties, and Manitoban farmers simply need better attributes in their varieties. “We know we’re going to have Fusarium pressure, so we need a strong Fusarium package. The varieties we’ve evolved have better Fusarium tolerance, which is attractive to us,” he says. “Of course, standability, too. And then yield is always king.” Big sellers for the region include CWRS Brandon and Elie, and for winter wheat, Emerson. The CPS varieties that were downgraded lacked good Fusarium packages, so were also of little concern. Greig recalls learning about the modernization plans during Cigi’s Combine to Customer course in 2014. “This is where I first heard that the gluten strength in those varieties was the reason behind moving them out of that class,” he says. “There were 45 farmers from across Western Canada there. We left the meeting surprised, especially with Harvest being such a big variety for so many. Lots of guys said, ‘that’s it, we just can’t grow it anymore.’ Farmers can’t afford to lose the high-quality markets that pay better.” Because of this, Avondale Seeds has removed those varieties from its portfolio, while farmers who expected a penalty on
them had nearly three years to clear them from their systems. Greig says anyone who continues to grow these downgraded varieties should know selling at big companies like Cargill or Paterson Grain is no longer an option, but finding a niche market may work. Each province has its own seed guide with independent data, and Greig suggests they also communicate with retailers and other farmers. “Before you plant, have a marketing plan in place so you’re sure you can get rid of it. And, if it doesn’t meet spec, know where it can go after that. If you’re not sure, talk to your local grain purchaser, and they’ll certainly let you know.” As with any large industry spread across Canada’s distant borders, opinions differ, and compromise is a challenge. Steve says discussion in agriculture on regulation and change is always ongoing. “We’re happy to help facilitate that conversation by asking tough questions. Quality is our selling point for Canadian wheat. We differ in how this quality is measured. The Grain Commission has gone too far in determining the definition of quality on behalf of the industry. The industry needs to have a greater voice. This includes producers, exporters and end-use customers. We fundamentally would like to see a more market-based approach to determine quality parameters than what we have today.”
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Who should attend? Anyone under 40 involved in agriculture, agribusiness or agri-food.
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AG SCHOOL | A QUICK GUIDE TO CHOOSING YOUR AG SCHOOL
A Quick Guide to Choosing Your Ag School By Jeff Melchior Today’s agriculture school is not your dad’s agriculture school. Although fundamental skills such as agronomy and equipment operation are still the bread-and-butter of most postsecondary agriculture programs, many colleges and universities today are integrating these key subjects with a new emphasis on a technology-driven, information-based approach to farm management. However, future farm managers are not the only ones who stand to benefit from this approach. Many of today’s program leaders say they no longer expect a certain kind of student; rather, they hope to see students from a number of backgrounds – be it business, technology, humanities or primary production – recognize the abundance of opportunities for their talents in the agriculture space. Here are some of the innovations being made today in Prairie post-secondary institutions.
Olds College’s Smart Farm If you want to distil “smart farming” down to its essence, consider the following example. Imagine being able to diagnose a crop problem right there in the field. Thanks to having a Wi-Fi connection as robust as any you would find in a downtown metropolitan office, you are able to upload a photo of a plant to the Internet and receive a diagnosis – complete with solutions – within seconds. This is just one of many tech-related scenarios the farmers of tomorrow will need to become familiar with. Bringing the farm of tomorrow to today’s students is the vision Olds College has for its newly-opened Smart Farm, a 110-acre plot of farmland that provides a space for students to learn about – and put into practice – new innovations in agriculture technology. 34
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AG SCHOOL | A QUICK GUIDE TO CHOOSING YOUR AG SCHOOL introduced this fall, still teaches the agronomy skills that have become its trademark, those technical skills have been integrated into a much broader approach to farm management. “Agriculture is changing, technology is changing, climate is changing. Everything is changing so quickly we have to ensure in our programs that we’re preparing students to respond to changes we’re seeing in our sector,” says Michele Rogalsky, director of the U of M School of Agriculture.
Above: Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College and Catalina Oitzl, Olds College student, plant a soil and crop evaluation sensor at the Olds College Smart Farm. Credit: Noel West
Smart farming is about optimizing economic and environmental goals by utilizing technology and other innovations, according to Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College. “It’s about focusing on both economic and environmental impact while increasing productivity and production of food globally,” he says. “We feel we are leading in this space in Alberta and Western Canada. Olds College’s focus is to build programming to support that leadership position and enhance it. We’re installing a lot of the technology that is needed for the future of agriculture, whether it be monitors, weather stations, sensors and connectivity and automation capabilities, so nextgeneration tech can be brought onto that field and be tested, demonstrated and scaled.” The Olds College Smart Farm is one part of an ongoing larger project called the Werklund Institute – a $32-million space dedicated to teaching and building ideas around smart farming. It is being made possible through a $16-million donation by oilfield industry leader David Werklund and his partner Susan Norman. It is the largest-ever personal donation to an Alberta college or technical institution. The physical space of the institute, dubbed the Werklund Growth Centre, will open later this fall.
University of Manitoba’s Diploma in Education Farming today is, more than ever, a multidisciplinary career requiring farm managers to have a 10,000-foot view of the world while possessing a level of expertise in the processes going on deep below the soil surface where whole ecosystems form the basis of plant life and growth. That is what the University of Manitoba (U of M) had in mind while redesigning its flagship two-year diploma in education program. Although the revamped program, which is being 36
“We’re reducing some of the technical content and increasing the focus on decision-making, critical thinking and assessing knowledge and its validity so students can make informed decisions. Our focus is primarily geared to training farm managers who need knowledge and skills and are making decisions regarding production and business.”
One new course titled: Precision Agriculture - Technological Tools for Decision Making, will focus on modern precision farming tools and how to use the data they produce to help managers make informed decisions. Integrated Sustainable Agri-Food Systems is another new addition which traces food production and processing from the farm field or barn all the way to how food impacts the health of consumers. The new approach has proven popular so far, with the School of Agriculture filling its 85-student quota this year and 20 hopefuls currently on the wait list. “Response has been really positive from the students and has also been really positive from our industry stakeholders,” says Rogalsky. Below: Debriefing and sharing experiences after the Tractor Safety Workshop. Credit: Mya Kraft
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AG SCHOOL | A QUICK GUIDE TO CHOOSING YOUR AG SCHOOL
University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence “It is going to be a facility that will literally touch the world. You can just reach out and touch how it’s going to make a difference,” says Mary Buhr, dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). She’s talking about the new Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE), a unique complex of science and field laboratories that models the complete livestock production cycle from Above: A panoramic view of the feedlot side of the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock genetic choices to the consumer experience. and Forage Centre for Excellence (LFCE) taken by drone. The LFCE is comprised of three The U of S and its industry and government sites—one of each dedicated to intensive livestock, cow-calf and native wildlife research. Credit: Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, University of Saskatchewan. partners hope it will become a world-class hub for research in cow-calf production, intensive that with the growing urbanization of society and ag educators livestock production and forage, grazing and pasture are often left scratching their heads wondering where the next management. generation of students is going to come from. The LFCE’s field laboratory is comprised of four sections (so far) that will be home to three sites, one of each dedicated to intensive livestock, cow-calf and native wildlife research. “The intensive livestock site is complete. The animals are in there and its grand opening [was] in October,” says Buhr. “Phase one of the cow-calf facility phase is also complete. We [had a] large portion of our cow herd come this fall and the rest are coming in the spring. We haven’t completed phase one of the native wildlife site yet. We have to raise some more money to finish that, although our existing native livestock and equine centre is there but it’s very old and needs to be completely refurbished. “The important thing is we are functional in all aspects.” A wide range of stakeholders – including primary producers, researchers, veterinarians, forage agronomists, environmental advocates, producer groups, health and wellness experts, and both federal and provincial levels of government – have played a role in the LFCE’s development. “We literally have everybody at the table,” says Buhr. “I’m not saying it’s been easy; everybody has a different focus that they want to see the centre serve. But everybody sees the amazing capacity that will be there if we can pull all these pieces together. That vision has kept everybody at the table and working together.”
Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Agriculture and Food Production Program It’s hard to get a start in farming today. The high cost of land, machinery, storage and inputs can be overwhelming to young people hoping to get a start in primary production. Combine 38
For Saskatoon-based Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s new two-year agriculture and food production diploma program, set to launch in fall 2019, the answer is “everywhere.” Opportunities in the broader agriculture industry exist for students with a wide range of experience, says Jamie Hilts, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Built Environment and the School of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. With its mix of theoretical and applied education, the agriculture and food program has been designed to capture the interest of a broad range of students. “Potential students might have a business background, a trades background or maybe they’ve been working in the humanities,” he says. “What we’re really looking for is a student who has an interest in working within the agriculture and food industry to see the kind of impact they can have.” Whatever students’ backgrounds may be, they’ll all get a chance to drive a tractor. Ag in Motion, an annual outdoor farm expo held every year in Langham, Sask., has agreed to let its site be used as an equipment training ground for students. “Our students will be able to actually get out and operate equipment, understand how it works and be able to work on equipment in a safe fashion,” says Hilts. “We think this lends itself to a better understanding of the farming operation and allows for some credibility for the students when they go to work for a larger farmer, a consulting company, a farm equipment company or a farm materials supply company. It’s a little bit of extra opportunity for credibility.”
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AG SCHOOL | A QUICK GUIDE TO CHOOSING YOUR AG SCHOOL
Entrance requirements Like all post-secondary institutions, ag schools have their own requirements for attendance. Universities will typically demand a higher degree of academic performance in high school or previous post-secondary education, while technical and applied institutions generally (but not always) place more emphasis on technical aptitude. Many institutions, however, feature special circumstance entries for applicants who may not meet minimum academic requirements but can prove their value as potential students. Below are certain academic provisions for three post-secondary agriculture programs across the Prairies. Always inquire with the institution you are looking to attend for the most up-todate entrance requirements. 40
University of Manitobaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Diploma in Agriculture The Diploma in Agriculture program has a special consideration category for students whose academic records may not be competitive in the selection process. Applicants are eligible for special consideration if they A.) have academic records that are not a true reflection of their academic and intellectual merit due to exceptional life circumstances (such as physical, educational, geographical and other obstacles) or B.) display skills and attributes in any or all personal, work, or community activities which indicate they can make a significant contribution to the agriculture diploma program or can make a significant contribution to Manitobaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agri-food industry and/or rural and northern indigenous communities.
A QUICK GUIDE TO CHOOSING YOUR AG SCHOOL | AG SCHOOL Applicants applying through special consideration entry must submit a typed personal statement, a typed personal resumé and three letters of recommendation. Candidates applying on the basis of exceptional circumstances must submit supporting documentation. Those claiming exceptional medical circumstances, for example, must provide official supporting documentation from a qualified medical professional. Up to 10 per cent of admission spaces are available to special consideration candidates. Not all qualifying applicants will be accepted.
Olds College’s agriculture programs The Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness is a two-year applied degree with an eight-month directed field study required upon successful completion of all third-year courses. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA in 60 credits from an Olds College diploma or equivalent program. A one-year post-diploma certificate is also available. It requires a 2.5 GPA in a previous diploma or degree. The applicant must develop a proposal in consultation with an advisor. Students may not receive advance credit or standing based on credits considered as part of the admission requirement.
All applicants to Olds College must meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement. This means they must have completed a minimum three years of formal education taught entirely in English. Otherwise, they must provide the results of a recognized English Language Proficiency exam.
University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources Admission to the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy (“Let us Take Care of the Land”) certificate program is based solely on the written submission contained within the application for admission. Secondary and post-secondary level standing are not considered for admission to the program. Admission is open to all applicants, regardless of Aboriginal ancestry, age, or level of education. The application deadline for admission to the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy certificate is March 15, 2019. Graduates of the the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy certificate program are eligible for admission to the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy Diploma in Aboriginal Lands Governance or the Diploma in Aboriginal Resource Management programs. The admission requirement for either diploma programs is the successful completion of the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy certificate with a minimum 60 per cent cumulative weighted average.
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMS | A LEG UP ON THE COMPETITION
A Leg up on the Competition Mentorship programs help build the next generation of ag professionals By Jeff Melchior Above: Cor Van Raay and Lethbridge College president and CEO Paula Burns at the launch of the AgENT program this fall. Credit: Stephanie Savage
No matter what point you are at in life, chances are, somewhere along the way you had a mentor. Be it a parent, teacher or that person at your first job who “showed you the ropes,” there was probably an individual who taught you how to function in a new and unfamiliar environment. There’s a new focus on mentorship in agriculture today. Post-secondary ag schools and producer groups are connecting agriculture students with industry professionals to build the next generation of industry leaders. Underpinning many of these efforts is a goal to help people from all manner of disciplines and backgrounds find their place in the industry. Two examples include Lethbridge College’s Agriculture Entrepreneur in Residence (AgENT) program and AdvancingAg—a partnership between the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley. Both efforts connect mentees with highly experienced ag professionals to help them achieve personal goals in the agriculture field or develop solutions to challenges within the industry.
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMS | A LEG UP ON THE COMPETITION
“It can really be anything that’s related to agriculture, It could be marketing, the crop protection products business, retail, even bank lending or agricultural lending—the sky’s the limit.” - Kevin Bender in our area,” says Megan Shapka, program coordinator of AgENT. “There’s a real focus on agribusiness-type activities.” The goal of the program is to give students opportunities to develop solutions to several local agriculture industry challenges. These challenges were identified by nearby agricultural leaders in Shapka’s initial consultations—and they weren’t necessarily what she expected. “A lot of the issues centered on communications—things like how we can increase consumer awareness of ag practices,” says Shapka. “They talked a lot about combating disinformation and misperceptions about agriculture practices.” Other challenges include improving internet connectivity in rural environments and dealing with labour shortages. Some of the on-the-ground training students experience under AgENT include workshops, field trips, special events and collaborative work sessions with mentors. “Having these mentors on board allows us to test students’ ideas right away and that’s a really valuable experiential learning opportunity,” says Shapka. Above: Kevin Bender is a Sylvan Lake-area farmer and chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission, an organization that co-founded AdvancingAg.
Mentorship programs like these not only help students and entrepreneurs but the whole industry, says Kevin Bender, central Alberta farmer and AWC chair. “We want to provide our young people with opportunities for advancing in agriculture. It also serves our interests if we have people stepping up in the ranks that can fill positions being emptied by retiring people. Developing that talent helps us all.”
AGent program tackles local challenges The AgENT program got its start with a $2.5 million donation from Cor Van Raay, a Lethbridge-area feedlot operator, to Lethbridge College. The gift was matched by the provincial government. “The AgENT program is just one initiative the funding is being used for to advance agriculture-related education opportunities 44
“Through all this we’re hoping to foster some collaboration and turn these challenges into specific projects the students will work on. At the end of the year they’re going to pitch their innovative solutions back to industry in a competition, kind of like a Dragon’s Den format.” The breadth of the challenges identified is part of the reason the AgENT program is open to all Lethbridge College students. “That’s what’s really exciting about it,” says Shapka. “We’re really hoping to get cross-disciplinary participation. We’d like to bring together, for example, agriculture science students with business, engineering and information technology students who will all bring those different perspectives to a project.” This diversity is reflected among the program mentors as well. “The people we’ve brought on board include entrepreneurs, business people, primary producers, economic development experts and tech experts,” she says. “I really think the students
A LEG UP ON THE COMPETITION | ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMS need people who’ve already been there. They need people who can engage them and help them see the relevance of building these skills.” The AgENT program is still accepting new mentors. “I’m willing to keep that open throughout the whole year so we can keep adding to that pool of expertise,” says Shapka, who added that her expectations have been exceeded for student interest.
AdvancingAG pairs mentors and mentees Now in its second year, the mission of the AdvancingAg program is to pair young agri-professionals with industry leaders who impart knowledge and help them design a roadmap for their careers. Bender says AWC has a mandate to help develop the next generation of producers and other agriprofessionals. AdvancingAg was designed with an eye towards fostering talent among young people with a variety of interests and backgrounds; primary production is just one of many disciplines under its umbrella. “It can really be anything that’s related to agriculture,” says Bender. “It could be marketing, the crop protection products business, retail, even bank lending or agricultural lending—the sky’s the limit.”
Photo: Natasha Peiskar is working with the malt barley value chain—from farmers to end-users—to learn more about the industry, and has been paired with Chris Spasoff from Syngenta Canada. Credit: AdvancingAg
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMS | A LEG UP ON THE COMPETITION
“My passion at work is networking and finding people who can help you find what you need. Growing that network is equally as important as growing the knowledge.” - Chris Spasoff
production chain from malt barley farm production to the malting process to the consumer experience—all with an eye towards identifying new opportunities in the brewing space.
Natasha Peiskar’s background and goals are examples of the diversity offered within the program; her post-secondary background is in chemistry, but her goal is to become a brewmaster. Paired with mentor Christine Spasoff, technical development lead for malt barley with Syngenta Canada, Peiskar’s goal is to have a working knowledge of the entire beer
She says she would like to create a dialogue between malt barley farmers, maltsters, brewers and end-users. “There are so many different things we can do with the different varieties of malt barley being malted right here in Alberta. I can see potential for some really fun collaborations, maybe even starting a new beer with a new flavour profile with some of the new malt barley varieties we see in the field.”
Peiskar already knows quite a bit about brewing. She is currently the head brewer for Last Best Brewing & Distilling in Calgary. “I’ve been participating in the Cicerone—which is basically a sommelier for beer— program and through that program you have to know everything from the ingredients all the way to the packaged product. I thought the AdvancingAg program would be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge.”
Below: Chris Spasoff works as a malt barley specialist at Syngenta Canada and serves as an AdvancingAg program mentor. Credit: AdvancingAg
Spasoff met Peiskar a week before they were paired as mentor/mentee at the AdvancingAg yearly July kickoff and was immediately struck by her enthusiasm. “She was thrilled that day,” says Spasoff. “She was just excited because she was in a barley field. We talked about farm trials, about barley and how it grows and how farmers treat it.” One of the most satisfying parts of the program for Spasoff has been the opportunity to connect Peiskar to multiple industry leaders and watch her build a network. “My passion at work is networking and finding people who can help you find what you need,” she says. “Growing that network is equally as important as growing the knowledge.” Spasoff says in some ways she’s learning just as much about the malting and brewing industry as Peiskar. “I kind of look at it as a mentee-mentee or mentor-mentor relationship. I joke that I don’t know who is who so it’s kind of a learning opportunity for me as well.” One of Peiskar’s favourite parts of the program since starting in July has been working with Spasoff. “She’s such an engaging mentor and she’s so well-connected in the industry. We have been able to go to quite a few events and I’ve been able to talk to quite a few cool people in the industry who are really excited to share their knowledge. On the ag side of things everyone has been so welcoming.”
RELEVANT RESEARCH | UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN
relevant research New livestock centre beefs up cattle research in Saskatchewan By Geoff Geddes Above: Kathy Larson, interim director of the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, University of Saskatchewan, pictured at the new centre, which is south of Clavet, Sask.
For those who think “relevant research” is an oxymoron, the new Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) at the University of Saskatchewan offers food for thought. The centre is a unique complex of science and field laboratories that model all aspects of raising livestock on the Canadian Prairies. Located near Clavet, Saskatchewan, this facility provides researchers, faculty, students, industry and producers with a broad-based platform for research, teaching and extension activities in three main areas: cow-calf production, beef cattle production and forage production, including grazing and pasture management. “Our goal is to ensure that we’re doing research which informs producers in livestock and forage production and equips them to be at the top of their game, so they’re not just profitable but sustainable,” says Kathy Larson, interim director of the LFCE. The centre’s roots trace back to 2012, when the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture commissioned a report to review beef and forage research capability in the province, including both human capital and infrastructure. Among other things, the report stressed the need to rebuild the outdated university feedlot in Saskatoon and foster more research collaboration in the wake of several retirements by key researchers and academics.
Steering in the right direction In April of 2014, the province’s Minister of Agriculture Lyle Stewart gathered university, government and industry representatives to form a livestock and forage steering committee and help chart a path forward. Based on their recommendations, the LFCE was created by merging three entities under one umbrella: Western Beef Development Centre (now known as the Forage 47
UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN | RELEVANT RESEARCH and Cow/Calf Teaching Unit), Goodale Research Farm run by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the rebuilt university feedlot, now known as the Beef Cattle Research and Teaching Unit (BCRTU).
The centre also employs an outreach specialist to engage youth and the general public, and collaborates with other such efforts like Agriculture in the Classroom and Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan.
With 27 quarter sections of land at its disposal, the LFCE boasts a 1,500-head feedlot capacity, 24-stall metabolism barn and two separate cow herds numbering 165 bulls and 300 females.
“Given that we’re just 20 minutes from Saskatoon and its population of 260,000, we want to be an outlet for learning about animal agriculture,” says Larson.
Throughout the planning stages for the centre and now as part of its daily operation, collaboration has been a recurring theme.
As input costs increase, livestock producers must adopt the most efficient methods of managing their herds. With access to the entire livestock production chain, scientists can analyze the pros and cons of adopting one or more cost-saving measures in a real-world setting.
“What makes the LFCE unique is the partnership of government, university and industry,” says Larson. “We have an advisory board chaired by a producer which we frequently consult for strategic direction, and we draw regularly on the expertise of faculty from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources and the faculties of animal and poultry science, plant science and engineering. As well, we collaborate with researchers from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. I am trained in economics, so I can bring that component to the research. As a collective, we study everything from reproduction to nutrition to genetics, and that ability to focus on so many areas in ensuring we get the complete picture is another thing that sets us apart.” The centre’s location of Clavet, is another distinctive aspect. Known as a greenfield site, the land has been cropped annually with no impact from livestock production, making it the perfect setting to study the effects of animal agriculture going forward. By installing a range of monitoring equipment that includes in-ground instrumentation, researchers can track the effects of livestock on soil, air and water, producing concrete measurements to validate industry claims around environmental protection. “Nothing like this greenfield has been done in Canada,” says Larson. “Based on the measurement results, researchers will develop best practices for optimizing a feedlot site and minimizing the impact on soil and water resources.” Ultimately, Larson and her colleagues see the centre as offering wide-ranging benefits in a number of critical areas, especially public trust. Consumers of all ages have questions and concerns around livestock production. In response, researchers will test drive options for enhancing animal welfare, animal health, product quality and food safety on Canadian farms. “We have a new faculty member who is looking to install equipment for measuring animal behaviour, looking at how they interact with each other and respond to illness or painful procedures. We hope this can minimize negative impacts on animal welfare and help reassure the public on this front.” 48
“We track a lot of data, and feed is one of the biggest costs involved in raising cattle, so we have a number of researchers looking at different feedstuffs and ways of providing that feed,” says Larson. “We want to give recommendations to producers on new feeds and delivery methods that meet cow nutritional needs in a cost-effective manner while ensuring producer profitability.”
Practical teaching Just as the centre offers consumer education, it is poised to be a prime learning centre for students, granting access to the latest technologies, advanced handling facilities and an ample supply of animals. “There are study carrels for students who come on site to collect information for research projects and need a quiet space for analyzing their data. Within our cow handling area is a large space with bleachers to allow for teaching opportunities, and we run labs for students in the animal science program on different aspects of beef and forage production.” Of course, the programs, personnel and infrastructure that comprise the LFCE come at a price. To date, funding has been provided by the University of Saskatchewan, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Canada’s Growing Forward 2 program and the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association. In addition, A&W has donated $5 million to the centre, an interesting storyline given the backlash from the rural community over the company’s recent beef marketing campaign. The money covers capital ($3 million), outreach and engagement ($1 million) and a fellowship of $1 million. While it may seem a contradiction to some, Larson sees it differently. “I view A&W as promoting a non-conventional stream of production and some producers raise animals to fit that stream. Ultimately, the company wants to sell more burgers, and they see funding research that supports producers as part of that effort,” she says.
RELEVANT RESEARCH | UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN
An industry that measures up “A big focus in research today is trying to quantify the effect of the cattle industry on the economy and environment,” said Duane Thompson, chair of the LFCE strategic advisory board and owner/operator of Tee Two Land & Cattle Co Inc. near Kelliher, Saskatchewan. “From an environmental standpoint, there has been a lot of misleading information put out that gives the industry a black eye. Thanks to modern technology and operations like the LFCE, we can measure the impact of properly managed grazing systems and the livestock industry on areas like soil health and air quality. Combine that with research showing that every million dollars of sales in the cattle industry generates 22 jobs, and the importance of research in correcting misconceptions is significant.” As a farmer with 30 years of experience and counting, Thompson stresses the importance of making research relevant to producer needs. The strategic advisory board meets twice per year to identify research priorities and brainstorm new ideas, always looking for ways to help producers profit while promoting environmental sustainability. “To my knowledge, the centre’s approach of researching so
many different areas and following the animals from conception to carcass has not been replicated anywhere in the world,” says Thompson. Given his displeasure with how the industry is sometimes depicted, what is Thompson’s take on the support from A&W? “I’m not in favour of some of their marketing strategies, but they have been very generous, so we just have to agree to disagree on certain things and work together to advance the industry.” That industry is what Thompson “lives and breathes,” and he’s thrilled that three of his four children want to follow in his shoes. “The LFCE plays a critical role in strengthening the link between the lab and the land. I look forward to seeing the many ways it will enhance our business and boost revenue so we can continue supporting our families, the environment and the country as a whole,” he says. Those are ambitious goals, but the people behind the centre feel they’re well on their way to making “relevant” and “research” as natural a pairing as Western Canada and the perfect steak.
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SPRAYING 101 | HOW ARE PESTICIDES REGISTERED, AND IS IT GOOD ENOUGH?
How are Pesticides Registered, and is it Good Enough? Mainstream agricultural practice includes pesticides as an essential and beneficial part of crop protection. The introduction of herbicides, for example, has permitted a reduction in tillage, saving not only fuel and time, but also diminishing soil and wind erosion that’s associated with soil disturbance.
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.
Detractors of pesticides point to the onset of pesticide resistance, to studies that link pesticide use to cancer, and to evidence of pesticide residues in water and food. They fear products that can kill pests can also kill all other living things. They lobby local governments to restrict pesticide use to prevent negative environmental and health impacts, and don’t believe that regulatory systems are effective. These debates seem endless partly because they are rooted in deeply-held belief systems that aren’t easily dislodged. But given the recent disregard of overwhelming scientific evidence of the safety of glyphosate, for example, it’s worth our time to critically review how our regulatory system works and identify its weaknesses. Since synthetic pesticides were introduced into agriculture since the 1940s, the pesticide industry has indeed made errors. Early products such as DDT were discovered to bioaccumulate, harming bird reproduction. Others were found to harm human health. Some were found to leach excessively, contaminating groundwaters. Detractors love using these examples as evidence that pesticides are harmful. But they serve instead as evidence that the regulatory system works, as these products were restricted or removed from the market for exactly these reasons. What’s frustrating for science-minded people – like those involved in agriculture – is the poor understanding of, or disregard for, science by detractors. I can hardly think of a more scienceliterate community than agriculture. So many agricultural practices are based on scientific evidence, from soil fertility management to cultural practices such as seeding rate. Scientific evidence is really the gatekeeper of modern agriculture, and it’s served us very well.
Who Regulates Pesticides? In Canada, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is responsible for regulating the use of pesticides. PMRA operates in the federal department of Health, and according to their website, is mandated “to prevent unacceptable risks to Canadians and the environment from the use of these products.” When a registrant wishes to register the use of a pesticide, PMRA is tasked with reviewing the supporting documentation, conducting risk assessments and proposing a decision. They do this by consulting scientific studies to make evidence-based decisions, at least in theory. According to the PMRA website, there are 10 parts to a PMRA pesticide review. Toxicological studies form a major component of a submission. PMRA uses international-recognized test guidelines published by the U.S. EPA or the OECD. Data is required not only for the active
HOW ARE PESTICIDES REGISTERED, AND IS IT GOOD ENOUGH? | SPRAYING 101 ingredient, but also possibly for contaminants or impurities, metabolites or degradation products, formulants, or any combination of these. Because a toxicological review forms a major part of a use review, let’s go into more detail of what’s required. The first toxicology studies describe acute toxicity through various routes of exposure. These are published, for example, as LD50, defined as the dose that results in the death of 50 per cent of the test subjects. LD50 is often used to compare the relative acute toxicities of various substances, but this value is an oversimplification of adverse effects. Up to nine studies may be required (dermal, oral, inhalation, etc.). Short-term studies, comprising at least 10 per cent of the subject’s lifetime, are conducted on test subjects. These studies identify possible cumulative or delayed effects, and help assess the reversibility or persistence of the effects. Long-term studies are used to assess the oncogenic potential of a product when a subject receives the product over the majority of its lifespan. Protocols are expected to use several doses that allow assessment of dose response. A dose response permits the identification of a safe dose, one that results in no observable adverse effects.
Reproductive studies assess both male and female parents on gonadal function, estrus cycles, mating behaviour, conception, parturition, lactation and weaning. Observation of progeny from conception through lactation and weaning may enable the detection of possible adverse effects on survival, viability, development and behaviour. These studies have a pivotal role in determining the potential sensitivity of the young animal. Developmental studies focus on the pregnant female to study embryo and fetus development and identify any organ or other malformations. Genotoxicity studies evaluate the potential for genetic damage by the active pesticide. These studies are done both in vitro (outside a living organism) and in vivo (in a living organism). Toxicokinetic studies are done to analyze the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of the product. Neurotoxicity involves studying effects on the brain, spinal cord and the nervous system. They include assessment of behaviour or senses, and may be done using a range of observational testing. Immunotoxicology usually involve assessment of blood and organ samples to study immune suppression, allergies or inflammatory diseases.
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SPRAYING 101 | HOW ARE PESTICIDES REGISTERED, AND IS IT GOOD ENOUGH? All these studies are aided by the requirement for mechanism of action studies. Knowledge of MOA assists in interpreting the observed toxicological properties above.
Once a registration is granted, it expires after five years, earlier if warranted, and must be renewed by the registrant. Only products registered by PMRA can be legally sold or used in Canada.
When several active ingredients are proposed to be mixed together in an end-use formulation, a full complement of acute studies is required. Additional studies may be required when mixtures have synergistic efficacy.
So, What’s the Problem?
Another major component is Occupational and Residential Exposure, which studies the dermal and inhalation exposure of humans over the short to long term. Occupational exposure is directed at individuals who mix, load and apply products, or who work in treated areas. Residential exposure looks at dermal, inhalation and incidental oral exposure, and may evaluate the following: • Children contacting treated surfaces and hands to mouth exposure; • Children putting objects that have been in contact with treated surfaces in their mouth; • Direct ingestion of treated areas, dust or granules. The remaining parts of the PMRA review include metabolism or toxicokinetics; food, feed and tobacco residue; environmental chemistry and fate; environmental toxicology; and value assessments. As with the previous parts, each requires standardized data from the registrant. Extensive product efficacy data is reviewed so that the lowest effective dose can be registered. This safeguard is rare among OECD nations, as it requires considerable additional testing effort by the registrant and the regulator, and poses a cost barrier to entry into our marketplace. Not only does the toxicology have to pass muster, the product needs to have demonstrated value. In other words, it has to be shown that the product controls pests economically and address needs in the marketplace. After the basic science is evaluated, additional risk assessments are conducted. For example, if the label rate is capable of causing impacts on non-target aquatic or terrestrial organisms, mitigating practices such as buffer zones are added to the label. When conducting risk assessments, PMRA may choose to apply additional safety factors for vulnerable populations such as children where extra caution is required. The registration review can take over a year during which additional data may be requested. At the review’s conclusion, a proposed decision is published by PMRA for a 90-day public consultation period. During this time, members of the public can voice concerns that are taken into account and may be answered in a followup document. 52
The whole thing sounds pretty solid, doesn’t it? But any system will have weaknesses, dictated by imperfect knowledge and inadequate resourcing. All the toxicology testing is, out of necessity, done on surrogate species. Not all off-target species can be tested. Not all environmental conditions can be simulated. Critics often point to older products being less safe because they were registered using now-outdated protocols. For this reason, PMRA has a re-evaluation interval of 15 years after which an older registration must be evaluated using current standards and procedures. Some older products have been removed from the market after re-evaluation showed unacceptable risks. However, re-evaluation lags behind the intended schedule due to resource limits. Other criticisms involve so-called trade secrets contained in a formulation. Although composition is not disclosed to the public due to the competitive nature of the business, these ingredients are not exempt from scientific scrutiny. Criticisms also originate with the end users when important products are removed from the market despite the lack of adverse effect evidence. Critics say being too careful can place Canadian producers at a competitive disadvantage, or encourage a return to older products that may have other undesirable effects that have not yet been properly evaluated. Other safeguards also exist. When the new Pest Control Products Act came into force in 2006, it included mandatory incident reporting. This means if any evidence of an unknown adverse environmental or health effect came to light, it had to be reported to PMRA for consideration. It also includes regulation-making authority by PMRA that allows flexibility in tailoring the Pest Control Products Act to emerging situations. There is some fast-tracking in the system. Reduced risk products (those known to have negligible adverse toxicological or environmental effects) that are already registered by the U.S. EPA can be registered faster. This is intended to encourage those alternatives in the marketplace, particularly for minor uses. On the whole, the regulatory process conducted by PMRA has often been called among the most thorough in the world. It’s not perfect, but is definitely designed to operate on the basis of scientific evidence evaluated by scientists. Additionally, it has built-in flexibility that brings new methods and results into play. That may not convince the detractors, but should give confidence to producers who are equally concerned about maintaining a healthy environment in which they and their families can prosper.
IS WHEAT KING AGAIN? | FARMING YOUR MONEY
Is Wheat King Again? As I sit on my combine harvesting my little field of wheat, I cannot help but be somewhat confused by this crop. With below average rainfall and subsoil moisture, we are harvesting what will be the best yielding hard red spring my farm has seen. In 2017, the rainfall in my area was even worse, yet wheat was very resilient and ended up with great yields. The price of wheat today is right around $7/ bushel. I can count on one hand how many times I have sold wheat for that high of a price in the past 15 years. Production is strong, and prices are staying up. 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
These great yields and great prices are leading producers to question why they bother with peas that lay down, lentils that get disease and flax that is difficult to manage at harvest. We are back to a time when wheat is king. Even considering the great economics of canola, wheat has a chance to have a better net profit per acre in 2018. This new love affair with wheat has me looking to 2019 and beyond. I am having more questions than answers. How do we grow these great wheat crops with no rain? If the economics continue to show exceptional profit, how much more wheat will we grow? Will this additional production negatively influence the markets? If wheat is yielding higher than average in Western Canada, what about the rest of the world? Will the world overproduce and drive the markets down?
Are we growing more wheat per acre? The first thing I discovered is that we are becoming much better at growing wheat. Stats Canada reports that wheat yields (this is all types including durum) have been rising. In the early 2000s the yield was 36 bushels per acre. From 2007 until 2016 the production per acre went from 34 bushels per acre to 53. That is an increase of 56 per cent! Research and technology are playing a big part, but Mother Nature must have something to do with this. In that 10 year period there were some ups and downs due to weather but overall, but we are getting much better at producing wheat. Not being an agronomist, I can only speculate what the reasons for this increase might be. No doubt, the plant genetics are much better. There may be a better uptake of agronomic information out there like fertility, planting rates, seed treatments and micro nutrients. The usage of fungicides has definitely become more main stream. With the last two years being a bit drier and seemingly insect free, I wonder how much damage disease and bugs were doing to our crops in the past. Even with fungicides and insecticides, the damage may have been more widespread than we thought. Regardless of the reasons, the stats are there to prove that we are growing more wheat per acre.
Are we increasing acres of wheat? The next part of my question deals with wheat acreage. How much do we grow and what will the next few years look like? From 2007 until today we have consistently been growing between 21 million and 25 million acres. In 2013 we bumped up to 26 million, but that only happened once. Based on the seeded acreage numbers, there is no real trend one way or another; some years it is up, and others it is down.
Is overall wheat production increasing? This question deals with overall production in Canada. Just because acreage is not shooting up, we know our ability to grow is increasing and this will impact overall production. From 2007 to 2016, 53
FARMING YOUR MONEY | IS WHEAT KING AGAIN? production went from 20 million tonnes per year to 32 million tonnes. That is a 60 per cent increase in total tonnes produced. So, we are most definitely growing more wheat.
Are we overproducing and driving markets down? What happens to all this wheat we are growing? Stats Canada shows that someone is using it. Between exports and domestic use, Canada gets rid of most of the wheat we grow every year. From 2007 to 2016 total usage of wheat has gone from 22 million tonnes per year to 31 million tonnes, which is a 41 per cent increase. The increase in usage is not quite keeping up with the percentage increase in production. This does not seem to matter much because our ending stocks have been decreasing in the past three years. Stats Canada estimates ending stocks for this year to be 5.5 million tonnes, which will be one of the lowest numbers in the past 12 years.
What about the rest of the world’s wheat production? In regards to other country’s wheat production, I do not feel confident enough interpreting the data that is out there. I can only assume that the technology and research that is allowing
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 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 Monsanto dealer or call the Monsanto technical support line at 1-800-667-4944 for recommended Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System weed control programs. Roundup Ready® technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Agricultural herbicides containing glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Acceleron® seed applied solutions for corn (fungicides only) is a combination of three separate individually-registered products, which together contain the active ingredients metalaxyl, prothioconazole and fluoxystrobin. Acceleron® seed applied solutions for corn (fungicides and insecticide) is a combination of four separate individually-registered products, which together contain the active ingredients metalaxyl, prothioconazole, fluoxystrobin, and clothianidin. Acceleron® seed applied solutions for corn plus Poncho®/VOTiVO™ (fungicides, insecticide and nematicide) is a combination of five separate individually-registered products, which together contain the active ingredients metalaxyl, prothioconazole, fluoxystrobin, clothianidin and Bacillus firmus strain I-1582. Acceleron® Seed Applied Solutions for corn plus DuPont™ Lumivia® Seed Treatment (fungicides plus an insecticide) is a combination of four separate individually-registered products, which together contain the active ingredients metalaxyl, prothioconazole, fluoxastrobin and chlorantraniliprole. Acceleron® seed applied solutions for soybeans (fungicides and insecticide) is a combination of four separate individually registered products, which together contain the active ingredients fluxapyroxad, pyraclostrobin, metalaxyl and imidacloprid. Acceleron® seed applied solutions for soybeans (fungicides only) is a combination of three separate individually registered products, which together contain the active ingredients fluxapyroxad, pyraclostrobin and metalaxyl. Fortenza® contains the active ingredient cyantraniliprole. Visivio™ contains the active ingredients difenoconazole, metalaxyl (M and S isomers), fludioxonil, thiamethoxam, sedaxane and sulfoxaflor. Acceleron®, Acceleron BioAg™, Acceleron BioAg and Design™, Cell-Tech®, DEKALB and Design®, DEKALB®, Genuity®, JumpStart®, Optimize®, QuickRoots®, Real Farm Rewards™, RIB Complete®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup Transorb®, Roundup WeatherMAX®, Roundup Xtend®, Roundup®, SmartStax®, TagTeam®, Transorb®, TruFlex™, VaporGrip®, VT Double PRO®, VT Triple PRO® and XtendiMax® are trademarks of Bayer Group, Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. BlackHawk®, Conquer® and GoldWing® are registered trademarks of Nufarm Agriculture Inc. Valtera™ is a trademark of Valent U.S.A. Corporation. Fortenza®, Helix®, Vibrance® and Visivio™ are trademarks of a Syngenta group company. DuPont™ and Lumivia® are trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Used under license. LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are trademarks of BASF. Used under license. Herculex® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Used under license. Poncho® and VOTiVO™ are trademarks of BASF. Used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Western Canada to enjoy high yields is also available throughout the world. If the rest of the world is growing more wheat, it is not slowing down exports. Canada is still selling what it needs to each year. Perhaps some of our export success has to do with our ability to grow high quality hard red spring wheat. This is evident whenever the world needs extra protein to make better bread. They come to Canada to get our wheat. So we know we are producing more wheat per acre than before. We know we are producing more overall tonnes of wheat. We know that the world and Canada is using this wheat and keeping our ending stocks reasonably low. Exports have grown over the past 10 years and so has domestic use of wheat. All of this points to a great future for wheat, right? It is easy to see in our society that wheat has a bad reputation. I have a concern as to how this will eventually negatively affect agriculture. When I walk through the grocery store I see labels boasting “gluten free” everywhere. I was in a pet store the other day getting some food for my dog and I overheard another customer talking to one of the employees that their dog needed “grain free” dog food. What kind of a world are we in that we afraid to feed a dog grain? It appears that in the general population, wheat has become a swear word. Celiac disease is a real disorder and I do not want to make light of it, but if you do an Internet search you will see that 1 per cent of the population has celiac disease. The distain for gluten and whole grains does not come from the world of medicine. I have a used registered nutritionist to assist in creating a healthy meal plan. She always included whole grains. The Canadian Food Guide still promotes whole grain foods. I am confident that science supports wheat in our diet. Whatever negative information is out there regarding the wonderful high quality wheat we grow in Canada, it is not lowering sales. Based on our export and domestic use, more people are eating wheat today than 10 years ago. How much wheat will we grow in 2019? I am not sure. Will it be enough to flood the marketplace? I am sure it will not be. Overall, Canada is small player when it comes to wheat from a global perspective. The US (from USDA) seeds approximately 50 million acres each year to wheat, which is over double what Canada does. So you can see that globally, we do not affect markets. Based on economics, 2019 will bring a large amount of wheat acres. If it will be record breaking or have any effect on the markets is still too early to tell. What I know for sure it that Western Canadian agriculture works much better when wheat is king.
PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED | LIVESTOCK HEALTH
Prescription Required Common animal medications no longer available at farm stores By Alexis Kienlen
By Dec. 1, 2018, cattle producers will no longer be able to go into a farm store and purchase antimicrobials or antibiotics. Instead, they will need a prescription from a veterinarian with whom they’ve established a veterinarian/client relationship. “I’m hoping that through Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and all the different provincial associations that producers are becoming more aware of the change,” says Murray Jelinski, professor in beef cattle herd health at the University of Saskatchewan. “Certainly there has been a lot of awareness generated in the veterinary communities between the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and all the provincial associations.” All antimicrobials in Categories 1, 2 and 3 will require a prescription from a veterinarian. Category 1 drugs have high importance in human health. Jelinski, who teaches students in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, cautions there is more emphasis on this than ever before as it is a global issue that affects human health. Countries around the world are moving to more regulation of pharmaceuticals. “Everybody is extremely concerned about antimicrobial resistance,” he says. “This is an ongoing thing and Canada is just following suit and doing its part along with all the other countries in the world. Everybody has to have a more prudent use of antimicrobials or better stewardship – whatever phrase you want to use around that.” Data released from the World Health Organization has revealed that many thousands of people die every year because they have an infection that can’t be treated. 55
LIVESTOCK HEALTH | PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED “It’s a serious issue – if you think about going into a hospital and being sick with something and none of the drugs work,” says Karin Schmid, beef production specialist with Alberta Beef Producers. “It’s scary and this demonstrates that we’re willing to do our part to mitigate that resistance development. It also helps anyone treating cattle. That same principle applies. We’ve got some sick cattle and the drugs that we’re giving them aren’t working. That’s money down the drain and that’s an animal welfare issue.” Schmid says the revision is a policy change from Health Canada. “The concern from the human health side is that antimicrobials used in livestock production are contributing to bacteria that develop resistance that could eventually impact human health. The research on the beef side is showing that our usage of antibiotics is not really having an impact on human health to that point. But it is important to stress that we need these products to remain effective, both for people and for cattle,” she says. Implementing veterinary oversight and having prescriptions in place is one way to help ensure these products will continue to work. “In human medicine, we require prescriptions to buy antibiotics from a pharmacy and it’s just putting the same control with our veterinarians,” she explains.
Photo: It’s important to stress
that antimicrobials are used prudently, so they work in both human and animal health, according to Karin Schmid, beef production specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers. Credit: Alberta Beef Producers
Schmid doesn’t believe there is a high number of producers misusing antibiotics in the beef industry. However, veterinary oversight will provide an extra level of security and confidence to the consumer. While most producers have a veterinarian they use regularly, there are some who do not. “There will be some producers, who over the years, have never really used a veterinarian for whatever reason,” says Jelinski. These producers will no longer be able to go into a feed store and buy tetracycline or penicillin and won’t be able to get it from a veterinarian without a patient/client relationship. Having that relationship and that familiarity with each other is crucial for access to antimicrobials. “It’s a regulatory requirement for veterinarians. It puts them in jeopardy of becoming a wholesaler of drugs if they haven’t established that relationship. Producers are going to have to start using veterinarians if they want to start using antimicrobials,” adds Jelinski. Schmid notes that a lot of drugs already require prescriptions. “The product that this affects are things like penicillin, tetracycline and sulfa drugs that you used to be able to just walk into a UFA farm store and get.” Now producers will need a prescription for those products and will likely need to go to a 56
Photo: Lyndon Mansell has 1,500 cattle and is concerned about his ability to access antimicrobials, even though he has a good relationship with his veterinarian. Credit: Alberta Beef Producers
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LIVESTOCK HEALTH | PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED “It’s important to appreciate what the government is doing and … the government has always had a list of prescription drugs and a list of over-the-counter drugs. All they’ve done is add the over-the-counter ones to the prescription list. It’s not like it’s a major regulation change. We already had the regulations in place in prescribing,” says Jelinski. But producers in Alberta are concerned about timely access to the medications and affordability, says Schmid. “If distribution channels are restricted only to veterinary clinics and pharmacies, they have concerns about accessing some of the products that they used to be able to get at farm supply stores.” Lyndon Mansell is one of those producers. Mansell, who raises about 1,500 cattle around Innisfree, is a little worried that he won’t be able to keep antimicrobials around in case of an emergency. He has a longtime relationship with his veterinarian and only uses antimicrobials when necessary. Unlike some producers, he doesn’t dose his cattle with antimicrobials when he’s moving or weaning them. “Some people use them as a precaution rather than to deal with the problem, which I don’t agree with. We treat symptoms; we’re very strict,” he says, adding that dosing with antimicrobials is also costly and the efficacy of the drug can be lost if they’re overused. Having to get a prescription from a veterinarian forces a producer to do due diligence, but it is also going to cause some inconvenience.
Above: Murray Jelinski said that prescribing antimicrobials shows due diligence and is prudent for both human and animal health.
veterinary clinic or pharmacy to pick things up. The regulations will vary from province to province. “I think by and large, there’s support for the prescriptions. I think producers see it as doing their part to show that we are in fact using antimicrobials responsibly and we are good stewards of these products that we need to be effective for human and animal health,” she says. Jelinski feels some producers may grumble about it, but in a year or two, it will be the norm. “I don’t think the downside is that big. But the upside potential, it just makes sense that we all have to buy into this to use antimicrobials in a more prudent manner. This makes sense to people. You can’t just walk in and get a bottle of tetracycline because we still use tetracycline in humans as well.” Regulations around pharmaceuticals have been increasing for many years. 58
“You have to have a professional relationship with a veterinarian before they can prescribe anything. Producers won’t have access to drugs they don’t need so they won’t be able to keep them,” he says. Before this mandate, Mansell used to be able to pick up the antimicrobials he needed at the feed store or he kept them in his fridge. Now he won’t be able to do that. Fortunately, he’s had a relationship with his veterinarian for more than 30 years. “With some vets, it’s totally different. In Vermilion, it’s an ongoing relationship; it’s not like they have to come and meet your cows.” Sometimes, he has to take a sick animal in, and in some cases, the vet comes out to his place. “It will force even the smallest producer to still have their relationship with these vets to get anything going.” This may be challenging for producers who live far away from their veterinarians. Many large animal clinics are located farther and farther apart, which could present a challenge during calving. “It’s a challenge because you want that relationship already in place. You don’t want to be whipping in there to get a calf pulled at midnight,” he says.
DOES TILLAGE AFFECT WEED MANAGEMENT? | THOSE WILY WEEDS
Does Tillage Affect Weed Management? Whether it’s moisture conservation, soil erosion, new equipment or the carbon tax, discussing tillage practices is of renewed interest. Regardless of the method used, three tillage systems are generally recognized: 1. No-till (zero till): limits soil disturbance to the seeding pass, essentially leaving 100 per cent of residue at the soil surface. Jeanette Gaultier, PhD., P.Ag., CCA Jeanette completed her B.Sc. in Agronomy at the University of Manitoba and continued her studies at the Universities of Manitoba and Saskatchewan to earn her PhD. in Soils & Pesticide Science. She has over 10 years’ experience working in the crops industry, with a focus on weed management. Jeanette lives with her husband and three children near NotreDame-de-Lourdes, Manitoba, where they operate a U-pick strawberry farm.
2. Conservation till (minimum till): moderate soil disturbance that leaves 30 per cent or more residue at the soil surface. 3. Conventional till: intensive soil disturbance that results in the most residue being incorporated into the soil (less than 30 per cent of residue at the soil surface). The impact of tillage on weed species shifts was studied over 20 to 30 years ago, when large areas of the Prairies transitioned to no- or conservation-tillage systems. Findings mirrored grower experience – that reduced tillage shifted the weed spectrum to include more perennial and winter annual weeds. In fact, a comparative weed survey conducted in Manitoba in 1994 that looked at no-till and conventionally tilled fields within similar geographies showed exactly that (Table 1). Indeed, the perennial species – Canada thistle, dandelion, perennial sow-thistle and quackgrass – were all present at higher densities in fields that were zero tilled relative to those that were conventionally tilled. Distribution of perennial weeds capable of reproducing by rhizomes, like Canada thistle and quackgrass, may also differ between the two systems. Limited studies have shown that such perennials tend to occur in patches with no- and conservation tillage due to limited soil movement. Convention tillage, though an effective management tool for Canada thistle and quackgrass, may also result in broader field distribution of these weeds through the movement of ‘root buds.’ Increased tillage intensity may be relatively more effective on simple perennials, like dandelion, that rely solely on seed for reproduction. Densities of facultative winter annual weed species (weeds that can germinate in the fall or spring), like cleavers, narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard, and round-leaved mallow were also higher in no-till systems compared to conventional till. Night-flowering catchfly was the exception and more prevalent in conventionally tilled fields. This reflects the fact that germination of night-flowering catchfly may be stimulated by soil disturbance. This weed also exemplifies how tillage can influence germination timing. No-till resulted in greater over-wintering populations while conventional till encouraged spring germinating populations. This, in turn, affects ideal management timing from post-harvest or early spring for fall germinated plants, to pre-emergent or in-crop for spring germinated plants. Other winter annuals, like cleavers, can behave similarly to some extent but favour conservation and no-till management. 59
THOSE WILY WEEDS | DOES TILLAGE AFFECT WEED MANAGEMENT? Not surprisingly, and in contrast to perennial and winter annual weeds, the density of annual weeds was greatest in conventional till versus no-till fields (Table 1). In addition to an annual life cycle – and like night-flowering catchfly – many of these weed species also thrive in disturbed soil conditions. Kochia, lamb’s-quarters, redroot pigweed and wild mustard are all examples of this. Due to an initial lack of dormancy, a fall tillage pass (within three weeks of harvest) can help manage volunteer canola populations by nearly doubling fall seed germination.
The use of certain soil applied herbicides is impacted by the tillage system, though. In the absence of iron, herbicide use is increasingly important for weed management. At the same time, the ‘seasoned’ Group 3 herbicides trifluralin and ethalfluralin (Edge) and the Group 8 herbicide triallate (Avadex) are once again gaining popularity as a tool to manage herbicide resistance.
Interestingly, wild oat, a problematic weed in any tillage system, may occur in slightly higher densities in no-till fields. Deep burial is generally not a control method for most weed species but many, like wild oat, have significantly higher germination when their seed occurs within two to five centimeters of the soil surface; and without tillage as a control, this cool-season weed may get ahead of a direct-seeded crop.
When first registered, these herbicides required thorough incorporation to ensure product distribution within the active weed seed zone. After transitioning to no-till, some growers found they could still achieve acceptable weed control with a surface application of these herbicides. However, this only works for strict, well-established no-till systems, since the active weed seed bank is also at the soil surface. Any amount of tillage, minimal or intensive, still requires these products to be incorporated to ensure efficacy.
What does all this mean for weed management under different tillage systems? Unfortunately, not much. Other research found that although the density of the various weed species was influenced by tillage, after crop competition and herbicide application, overall weed biomass was similar. Another study, conducted at several locations in Saskatchewan, suggested that geography and environmental conditions were more significant factors affecting weed spectrum than tillage.
So, once again, a weed management article boils down to one simple recommendation: scout. Changing up your tillage regime to conserve moisture, limit soil loss or simply to try a new piece of equipment may shift your weed spectrum. Studies show this may or may not have implications for weed management. What matters is knowing what weeds are in a field and when they occur – this is the key to their management – with or without tillage.
Rank (based on weed density) No-till
Perennial sow thistle
Table 1: Weed species ranked by tillage system (source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
KAWASAKI Midsize Mule Model Joins Kawasaki Mule Pro Side-XSide Lineup Kawasaki continues to grow the MULE PRO family with the addition of the all-new MULE PRO-MX Side-X-Side to the 2019 lineup. The MULE PRO-MX features increased recreational abilities and rugged, no-nonsense styling that further establishes the mid-size, compact Side-X-Side as the customer’s dependable choice for work or play. The all-new Kawasaki MULE PRO-MX was designed and built to offer the farmer, hunter, or weekend warrior a mid-sized highly capable trail and chore option to tackle any adventure. This model features high-quality pickup truck-styled bodywork, easy-to-read automotive style dashboards, bright quadruple headlamps, and a number of durable steel parts, as well as legendary MULE performance, durability, and classleading comfort.
A tight turning radius, heavy towing capacity, and high-volume storage make the MULE PRO-MX an ideal work companion; but it’s the carefully calculated wheelbase, independent doublewishbone front and rear suspension, and Shinari-tuned frame that make it a blast for the trails. The MULE PRO-MX is also backed by a three-year limited warranty. The all-new 2019 Kawasaki, MULE PRO-MX Side-X-Side brings a mid-size option to the MULE PRO Series, along with a comfortable fit for two passengers, the muscle to cover more ground in less time, and the capability to get out for some fun when work is done.
KIOTI KIOTI Tractor Wants to Treat You Like Dirt KIOTI Tractor, a division of Daedong-USA, Inc., released a daring new advertising campaign promising to “treat you like dirt.” The integrated campaign, created in partnership with creative agency Baldwin&, features multiple new broadcast spots and will roll out print, social media and banner ads across digital properties. The campaign features dirt in every form and on every surface – hands, faces, work boots, shovels and especially tractors – to show appreciation and respect for one of the most fundamental aspects of the industry: dirt. “Because of how much dirt represents for KIOTI and for our tractor owners, we love the power in reframing the phrase ‘we’re going to treat you like dirt’ to now reflect the highest form of respect,” says Peter Dong-Kyun Kim, president and
CEO of Daedong-USA, Inc., KIOTI Tractor Division. “Many KIOTI tractor owners are hobby farmers – people who make up their own minds, value quality and are not trend followers. They enjoy the hard work – and the getting dirty – that comes with working land. KIOTI embraces that attitude, and values hard work above all else. We are proud that these ads showcase that focus.” KIOTI and Baldwin& aimed to create something that resonated with hobby farmers, production farmers, tradespeople and other professionals who roll up their sleeves and live this life daily. The campaign shifts the focus from the tractor to the reason for the tractor – the dirt and the satisfaction of a hard day’s work. 61
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
LEMKEN LEMKEN Acquires Hoeing Technology Specialist STEKETEE LEMKEN, a global leader in agricultural implements for tillage, seeding and plant protection, has acquired Dutch company, MACHINEFABRIEK STEKETEE B.V. The acquisition expands LEMKEN’s crop care product portfolio with hoeing implements for mechanical weed control and advance camera-assisted machine control technology that enables STEKETEE machines to hoe between the rows and between plants within a row. LEMKEN also acquired STEKETEE’s soil cultivation division RUMPTSTAD, but not the company’s crop ventilation technology business. LEMKEN’s managing director Anthony van der Ley sees the acquisition as an important step in meeting some of the current challenges facing farmers, while embracing LEMKEN’s commitment to always provide farmers with the best strategic tillage machines. “The acceptance of chemical crop care agents
is decreasing, both among farmers and within the broader society. At the same time, resistance against currently available active substances is continually increasing, while hardly any new substances are coming onto the market. Also, legal requirements are becoming more and more stringent, and we therefore need effective alternatives. Given the wide spread use of herbicides, they offer the greatest potential for reducing the use of chemical crop care products. LEMKEN is fully aware of this responsibility, and we intend to promote mechanical weed control by adding hoeing technology to our product range.” LEMKEN intends to work with STEKETEE to expand the company’s Dutch facilities and build on its existing manufacturing capacities. It will continue to rely on STEKETEE’s experienced, competent local staff who will be retained.
MACDON Introducing MacDon C Series Corn Headers The MacDon C Series Advantage features: One - Pass Residue Management: In a one-pass process, our Corn Headers create well-conditioned/chopped and evenly distributed residue, necessary for achieving accurate seed depth and seed placement essential for maximizing successive crop yields. Crimping - MacDon C Series Corn Headers feature four point-to-point knives and four serrated edges on the snapping rolls that crimp the stalk every three inches with the serrated edge. MacDon’s crimping process speeds up the microbial breakdown process, taking less than half the time to decompose over typical corn headers. Chopping - Stalk residue is consistently chopped into 2 to 3-inch pieces, even at harvesting speeds up to 7.5 mph (12 km/h). Optimal Stalk to Chopper Positioning: The front-mounted 62
chopper positioned close to the underside of the rolls provides the shortest, most consistent residue size. The snapping units can then be run closer to the ground to better harvest downed corn while delivering the shortest stubble height possible. Chopper speed is 2,800 RPM, and the chopper gearboxes can be easily disconnected row by row. Unique Snout Design: The ribbed shape strengthens the snout structure and creates less drag allowing the material to flow over it smoothly. Featuring a unique teardrop snout design that excels at lifting downed crop, minimizing ear bounce, and following curved rows, the MacDon C Series is ready for your toughest corn harvesting challenges. Industry Leading Visibility: White colored snouts and dividers offer industry-leading visibility when harvesting at night, making it easier for the operator to stay on the row.
(It rhymes with “Boss”) There’s a reason you’re your own boss. You’re independent, informed and never apologize for making the decisions that are right for you. Make CLAAS one of those decisions. Our long-line of technologically advanced equipment puts you in charge, harnessing the power of the harvest with greater efficiency, reduced fuel costs and greater time savings. It’s something we call the CLAAS Value Factor. And when value is on your side, decisions become easier. Manage your farm like the boss you are and take your harvest to a higher level with CLAAS.
See your CLAAS dealer today for special year-end financing.
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The way we see it, the Proven® Seed lineup is state of the art. Proven Seed offers leading edge technology you can count on in canola, cereals, corn, soybeans and forages. You get disease management, high yields and performance from every seed, across all your acres. No matter how you look at it, there’s a Proven Seed that fits your farm.
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