September / October 2020
ENTREPRENEURS IN AGRICULTURE
Saskatchewan farmer rediscovers love of farming, becomes industry advocate
There’s only one InVigor®. Since its launch, InVigor hybrid canola has been grown on over 160 million acres across Canada. • 30 million acres have harnessed our patented Pod Shatter Reduction technology. • 12 million acres have used our clubroot-resistant genetics. This year, we continue to earn your trust by adding two new hybrids to our 300 Series – InVigor L340PC and InVigor L357P. Featuring a range of innovative trait technologies and advanced genetics, you’ll find an InVigor hybrid for every field. For more information, contact AgSolutions® Customer Care at 1-877-371-BASF (2273) or visit agsolutions.ca/InVigor.
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CHECK OUT OUR 2021 INVIGOR HYBRID CANOLA LINEUP. Hybrid
Growing Zones/ Blackleg Rating/ Maturity Agronomic Trait
A 300 series Pod Shatter Reduction hybrid that fits in non-clubroot areas for growers looking to push for high yields with very strong standability. Also features exceptional blackleg resistance.
112.9% of the checks (InVigor L233P and Pioneer® 45H33) in 2018/2019 WCC/RRC trials 109.7% of InVigor L233P (n=39 trials, 2018/2019)
Mid to long growing zones ½ day later than InVigor L252
R (resistant) Very Strong Pod Shatter Reduction
The 300 series hybrid for growers that want it all. A high-yielding, mid-maturing, Pod Shatter Reduction hybrid that offers 1st generation clubroot resistance and strong standability.
108.9% of the checks (InVigor L233P and Pioneer® 45H33) in 2019 WCC/RRC trials 107.8% of InVigor L233P (n=16 trials, 2019)
All growing zones 1 day earlier than InVigor L252
R (resistant) Pod Shatter Reduction 1st generation clubroot resistance
Offers a significant jump in yield potential over InVigor L233P and features our patented Pod Shattter Reduction technology plus 1st generation clubroot resistance.
111.9% of the checks (InVigor 5440 and Pioneer® 45H29) in 2017/2018 WCC/RRC trials 111.4% of InVigor L233P (n=28 trials, 2018)
All growing zones 1 day earlier than InVigor L252
R (resistant) Pod Shatter Reduction 1st generation clubroot resistance
Offers yield potential that exceeds InVigor L252. Along with outstanding yield, it also features 1st generation clubroot resistance. Ideal for growers that prefer to swath.
108.6% of the checks (InVigor 5440 and Pioneer® 45H29) in 2017/2018 WCC/RRC trials 104% of InVigor L252 (n=28 trials, 2018)
All growing zones
R (resistant) 1st generation clubroot resistance
InVigor Choice hybrid with Pod Shatter Reduction and clubroot resistance. Features both LibertyLink® technology system and TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology. Perfect for growers looking for high-yielding InVigor genetics with the flexibiility of Liberty® herbicide or Roundup® herbicide applications.
104.1% of the checks (InVigor L233P and Pioneer® 45H33) in 2018 WCC/RRC trials 103.6% of InVigor L233P (n=12 trials, 2018)
All growing zones
R (resistant) Pod Shatter Reduction 1st generation clubroot resistance LibertyLink technology system and TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology
This strong performer was grown on more acres in Western Canada than any other canola hybrid in 2019 & 2020.* Featuring patented Pod Shatter Reduction technolgy, this very early-maturing, high-yielding hybrid provides the harvest flexibitly you can count on.
108.8% of checks (InVigor 5440 and Pioneer® 45H29) in 2014/2015 WCC/RRC trials
All growing zones
R (resistant) Pod Shatter Reduction
This early-maturing Pod Shatter Reduction hybrid with 2nd generation clubroot resistance is a great 104% of the checks fit for known affected areas. Grow it after two (InVigor 5440 and Pioneer® 45H29) cycles of growing 1st generation clubrootin 2017 WCC/RRC trials resistant hybrids or when clubroot symptoms are noticed (whichever comes first).
All growing zones
R (resistant) Pod Shatter Reduction 2nd generation clubroot resistance
InVigor L255PC offers Pod Shatter Reduction, 1st generation clubroot resistance and separates itself from other hybrids due to its very impressive standability. A great fit for growers in the mid to long growing zones.
109% of the checks (InVigor 5440 and Pioneer® 45H29) in 2016 WCC/RRC trials
Mid to long growing zones
R (resistant) Pod Shatter Reduction 1st generation clubroot resistance
You can expect strong standability and high yields from this mid-maturing hybrid with 1st generation clubroot resistance. Well suited to all clubroot-affected regions of Western Canada and for growers that prefer to swath.
102% of the checks (InVigor 5440 and Pioneer® 45H29) in 2012/2013 WCC/RRC trials
All growing zones
R (resistant) 1st generation clubroot resistance
A consistent top performer, InVigor L252 continues to offer incredible yield performance and strong standability with mid-season maturity. For growers that prefer to swath.
110% of the checks (InVigor 5440 and Pioneer® 45H29) in 2011/2012 WCC/RRC trials
All growing zones
Early-maturing InVigor L230 displays outstanding yield potential with excellent standability. This hybrid is ideal for growers who prefer to swath.
103.9% of the checks (InVigor 5440 and Pioneer® 45H29) in 2014/2015 WCC/RRC trials
All growing zones
*Source 2019 & 2020 BPI (Business Planning Information) data Results may vary on your farm due to environmental factors and preferred management practices 1 2
Western Canadian Canola/Rapeseed Recommending Committee (WCC/RRC) trials. InVigor L340PC, InVigor L345PC, InVigor L352C, InVigor Choice LR344PC, InVigor L255PC and InVigor L241C all contain the same clubroot resistance profile. InVigor L234PC contains this resistance profile plus second generation clubroot resistance to additional emerging clubroot pathotypes to help combat the evolving clubroot pathogens.
Roundup Ready®, Roundup WeatherMAX® and TruFlex™ are trademarks of Bayer Group, Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. © 2020 Bayer Group. All rights reserved. ® TM SM , , Trademarks and service marks of DuPont, Pioneer or their respective owners. © 2020 Corteva. All other products are trademarks of their respective companies
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A Farmerâ€™s Viewpoint
Agronomic advice is all over the map by Kevin Hursh
Grain Market Analysis
Oats are a growing option by Scott Shiels
Crop Cocktail Project by Brianna Gratton Land Prices
Smaller growth still growth by Jeff Melchior
Fact or fiction by Alexis Kienlen
Game changer By Trevor Bacque
Dried and true by Natalie Noble
Farming Your Money
Covid and farming by Paul Kuntz Cattle
Raising cattle and ecosystem services by Alberta Beef Producers staff Those Wily Weeds
The Great Grain Robber Rides Again by Tammy Jones Spraying 101
We Need Better Drift Control Technologies by Tom Wolf
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Regular Contributors Brianna Gratton Kevin Hursh Tammy Jones
Paul Kuntz Scott Shiels Tom Wolf
Courtney Lovgren Nerissa McNaughton
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AGRONOMIC ADVICE IS ALL OVER THE MAP | A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT
Agronomic advice is all over the map To say that variation exists in agronomic advice is an understatement. Never have farmers received such wide-ranging and often contradictory advice on how to grow their crops. To date, so-called precision agriculture has overpromised and under-delivered. The theory of varying your inputs across the landscape makes sense and certain farmers are getting positive results, but many of us have more basic agronomic issues to deal with before we jump into variable rate application. Kevin Hursh, P.Ag. Kevin Hursh is one of the country’s leading agricultural commentators. He is an agrologist, journalist and farmer. Kevin and his wife Marlene run Hursh Consulting & Communications based in Saskatoon. They also own and operate a farm near Cabri in southwest Saskatchewan growing a wide variety of crops. Kevin writes for a number of agricultural publications and serves as executive director for the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan and the Inland Terminal Association of Canada (ITAC). Twitter: @KevinHursh1
In other words, you probably need to be really good at what you’re already doing before going the extra step. Take fertilizer use as an example. Agrologists have long preached the need for soil testing so you know what you’re working with for nutrients in the soil. But different soil test labs use different testing regimes and sometimes come out with significantly different results. Beyond that, different professionals interpreting the soil test results can come up with widely varying recommendations. During the summer, I had a crop tour on a farm not far from my own in southwest Saskatchewan. While in the same soil zone, their fertilizer use dwarfs what I apply. They are shooting for high yields, replacement of the nutrients exported with the grain and building the nutrient content of the soil for future crops. In addition to large quantities of nitrogen, phosphate and sulfur in various forms, they are also applying a range of micronutrients. To their credit, they have meticulous records and conduct field scale trials. They’ve researched nutrient release rates and they know which compounds tie up each other in the soil. However, here in the Palliser Triangle, precipitation is all too often the main yield limiting factor. I’m not convinced that such an aggressive fertilizer program is either affordable or sustainable. By the same token, 10 years ago most of us scoffed at the fertilizer rates that are common today. What’s the correct approach to fertility? Which of the myriad of new products is worthwhile and which are a waste of money? 9
A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT | AGRONOMIC ADVICE IS ALL OVER THE MAP
Overall, it’s good to have divergent opinions on the best agronomic approaches. And it’s good to have farmers and companies push the envelope and trying new things. Beyond fertility, what about tillage? Zero- or minimum-tillage used to be the Holy Grail and some still think it is. Increasingly though, tillage of some form is being incorporated into farming systems whether for residue management or dealing with real or perceived compaction problems. I find it interesting that certain farmers want to deep rip their soils regularly to deal with compaction, but they insist on larger and heavier equipment and the extensive use of grain carts to chase combines around the field at harvest time. Deep ripping has been shown to benefit various soils in particular circumstances, but I’m not convinced that it’s needed on a widespread basis. What’s your philosophy on fungicide use? Do you count on using a fungicide on all your crops each year or do you evaluate on a case-by-case basis? As a chickpea grower, crop disease drives me crazy. Some knowledgeable people believe in stopping at two fungicide applications in an attempt to prevent ascochyta in chickpeas. Meanwhile, other longtime chickpea farmers believe each fungicide application is a paying proposition and they’ll make four or five trips. That gets expensive when the fungicide alone for each application is in the range of $20 an acre. Another crop to grow if you want to be humbled from an agronomic point of view is lentils. Too tight a rotation and/or waterlogged soil and you’ll lose big areas of fields to root rot.
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And there can be huge weed control wrecks in lentil fields. Some are polluted with kochia. Others have so much wild mustard that you have a hard time determining that it’s supposed to be a lentil crop under all those yellow flowers. Overall, it’s good to have divergent opinions on the best agronomic approaches. And it’s good to have farmers and companies push the envelope and trying new things. But it’s really tough anymore to know what advice to heed and what to ignore. What seems to work for one farmer doesn’t necessarily work for the neighbour. Personally, I still have a lot of improvements to make before I worry too much about variable rate applications.
10 521885-040_Pioneer Brand West_FarmingforTomorrow_08.04.20_final.indd 1
2020-08-01 10:32 AM
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V I S I T » R A N G E R. P O L A R I S.C O M
GRAIN MARKET ANALYSIS | OATS ARE A GROWING OPTION
Oats are a growing option As we rode through the summer on the COVID-19 wave, one thing is for certain, agriculture seems to be the one area that was least affected by this global pandemic. With you all in the business of feeding the world, and that world acting differently than ever before, it has become more apparent than ever that farmers really are the most essential service worldwide.
Scott Shiels Scott grew up in Killarney, Man., and has been in the grain industry for more than 25 years. He has been with Grain Millers Canada for five years, doing both conventional and organic grain procurement as well as marketing for their mills. Scott lives in Yorkton, Sask., with his wife Jenn. www.grainmillers.com
Because of the way that consumers were forced to eat and shop due to the lack of restaurant options for a few months, the oat industry definitely was a beneficiary. People around the world were forced to eat more meals at home, and when looking to stock their pantries, staples like oatmeal and granola bars sold out nearly as fast as the toilet paper. Demand for oat products has remained high right through this entire situation. While we know that this may not continue at the same pace, even a slight sustained increase in oat demand is good for farmers and millers alike. This increase in demand took its toll on North American oat supplies last year, to the point that it put us in the lowest carryout in decades. With stocks being this low, even the large acreage, and great looking oat crop on those acres, is not going to replenish those stocks this year. In fact, with milling capacity growing, not only with Grain Millers, but others as well, this tight supply and demand situation has the potential to keep oat prices up for years to come. Oats used to be perceived as more of a last resort when seeding got late and you had acres to cover yet, but more often than not now, oats are being seeded earlier on more farms, and are looked at as a good cash crop. There is a very strong local milling industry across the Prairies in Canada and through the Midwest south of the border. For farmers in parts of Saskatchewan, oats are a staple in the rotation, much like they are in your pantry. With yields being pushed higher and higher, and new varieties becoming available that fight off disease and compete better to help with weed pressure, oats have proven to be a lucrative crop for most farmers. With more and more opportunities like oat milk and gluten-free products expanding on the store shelves, now is a great time for you to look at getting into growing oats, or increasing the oat acres that you currently grow. The reality is that your bottom line can benefit from growing this hearthealthy crop on your farm. Until next timeâ€Ś
AG COLLEGES | CROP COCKTAIL PROJECT
Crop Cocktail Project Brianna Gratton
Brianna Gratton is the smart ag techgronomist at the Olds College Smart Farm. After obtaining her Certified Crop Adviser designation, Brianna worked with various companies such as Crop Production Services, Decisive Farming and Chinook Agronomics before joining the Olds College team.
Regenerative agriculture practices support a sustainable management style of cropping and livestock systems to improve overall soil health, biodiversity and sustainability of food production. Applied research at Olds College focuses on the evaluation of technologies that support and assess the benefits of the regenerative agriculture. Evaluating technologies for remote grazing management and quantification of benefits of intensively managed grazing versus conventional grazing will make way for more efficient farmer practices. Likewise, the evaluation of crop cocktail blends will show the long-term improvements on soil and forage health, increasing profitability. The ability of crop cocktails to improve soil health has been widely explored in previous research which has shown that they can drastically improve dirt quality. This research provides an opportunity to show farmers that crop cocktails grown on overused land can both improve soil health and provide excellent nutrition for cattle. Olds College plans to take this a step further by providing an example for local farmers to see which crop mixes work the most best to revitalize the soil and which mixes the cattle tend to favour while grazing. 14
The crop cocktail will be planted on land located west of Carstairs, Alta., on a 19-acre field. Each variety will be duplicated three times with nine strips total of two acres each. Prior to grazing, each variety will be tested for both yield and nutritional quality. The cattle will then be rotated through the pasture mixes in an intensive manner, allowed to graze no more than 50 per cent of the crop before being rotated out, giving the crop periods of rest for re-growth. These blends include a mixture of different clovers, plantain, chicory, vetch, turnip, forage rape, Italian rye grass, forage radish and oats. To measure the effect on the soil, a soil health assessment is conducted in addition to a chemical soil test and will be repeated year after year. By integrating the use of biomass imagery, soil sensors and microclimate sensors into the field, Olds College can better understand how the crop and soil react to the grazing. Simultaneously, through the use of GPS collars, fencing monitors, and water level monitors, Olds can precisely monitor the livestock and ensure that remote location is consistently secure and freshwater is available to the cattle. By taking a new management approach, Olds College plans to improve the plant matter and feeding capability of this ground. This will allow cattle to have longer feeding times in pastures and less time in confined feeding operations, cutting costs and labour for the producer. A full report on this project will be available later this fall.
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2020-08-14 10:10 AM
LAND PRICES | SMALLER GROWTH STILL GROWTH
SMALLER GROWTH STILL GROWTH
Farmland values may not be rising at the rates they have over the past decade, but leading realtors say there is still room for optimism By Jeff Melchior Photo: Pictured is part of
23,000 continuous acres of land for sale near The Pas in northern Manitoba. Realtor Darren Sander considers the land, which is selling for $1,700 per acre, an example of good quality land that remains undiscovered, explaining its relatively low value. Photo by Darren Sander
It’s been said that land is a farmer’s gold. It’s more than a sentimental notion: much like gold, farmland and land in general, is considered a hedge against inflation, a safe investment in a world of wildly fluctuating speculation. Because so much of a farm’s value is tied up in land, a slowdown in the growth of that value may make farmers squirm in their tractor seats. Farm Credit Canada says that is exactly what’s happening. According to its report for 2019, growth in farmland value across Canada. After a decade of nearly uninterrupted year-over-year increases has slowed down to a little more than five per cent. That still means growth is happening, but it’s a far cry from the dizzying highs seen in 2013, which saw Canada-wide growth of 22 per cent. So how much should farmland owners be worried? Not much, say farmland realtors, or, at least no more than before. Darren Sander, a Saskatoon, Sask.,realtor with RE/MAX whose territory covers a wide swath of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says the high values seen over the past decade are not ending, but only beginning. “I think the long-term forecast for land in western Canada is bullish,” he says. “For one, we’re looking at the largest transfer of land in the history of Saskatchewan due to the aging demographic. We are going to see an unprecedented amount of land come on the market in the next decade. It’s a very unique time in our history.” History is also on the side of growing farmland value, says Sander, who attributes this recent contraction largely to a cooldown in commodity prices. “One of the things we’ve always seen with farmland, with the exception of a small window in the
Photo: Although Farm Credit Canada reported only a five per cent growth in farmland value across Canada in 2019, Saskatoon-based realtor Darren Sander says this may just be a short hiccup in a recent history of strong land prices. Photo by Mandy Harding
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LAND PRICES | SMALLER GROWTH STILL GROWTH
Photo: Realtor Ben Van Dyjk in front of irrigated farmland for sale west of Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan. Demand for irrigated land has increased in the province in recent years. This particular package of land features a total land base of 54 quarter sections with 8,660 acres of cultivated land. Photo by Ria Braaksma
“The loss of good farmland is increasing everyday. That will decrease the availability of good cropland for the future. If you see how much we lose every day to highways and urban sprawl it’s just incredible.” - Ben Van Dyjk ‘80s, is that its value has always stayed fairly steady or increased,” he says. “And of course over the last 15 years we’ve seen unprecedented growth in farmland because I think it was undervalued.” Ben Van Dyjk, a Coaldale, Alta., farm realtor with Real Estate Centre, says quality farmland, depending on location, will continue to rise in value simply because much of it is disappearing to industrial acreage and other interests. 18
“The loss of good farmland is increasing everyday,” says Van Dyjk, whose sales territory spans B.C. to Saskatchewan. “That will decrease the availability of good cropland for the future. If you see how much we lose every day to highways and urban sprawl it’s just incredible.”
The element of luck So what makes farmland valuable? Both realtors agree that prime land with good quality soil and a record of strong production drives value more than any other factor. Even quality land can still be undervalued. Sander points to some areas in Saskatchewan that were undervalued before investors recognized them as strong investments. In certain cases, it only takes a single event or a few interested farmers or investors to create a ripple effect. In other words, luck. “There were a lot of Investments that flowed in from other areas into Saskatchewan that kind of kicked off that growth,” says Sander. “I think a lot of that had to do with the 2008 stock market correction. People were looking to invest in something a little more solid that they could feel and touch, and so a lot of
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LAND PRICES | SMALLER GROWTH STILL GROWTH
money flowed into farmland and that sparked the run up that we saw for about a decade.” A more current example of undervalued land, says Sander, is The Pas area in northern Manitoba. While the area may be isolated, Sander says perhaps the biggest potential draw is the amount of contiguous land available. “We’ve got a listing up there in conjunction with RE/MAX Winnipeg. It’s the largest tract of farmland for sale in Canada right now that I’m aware of. It’s about 23,000 acres and is approximately $1,700 per acre right now. And it will go up against the most productive land anywhere in Canada at that price,” he says. “Compare that to maybe southern Alberta where you are paying $6,000 per acre. It takes a lot more bumper crops to pay off that $6,000 land than it does for the $1,700 land. It would probably be next to impossible to assemble 25,000 acres of cultivated ground in that area.”
Adjoining land hot, wetlands not always One of the biggest factors that can drive farmland value is its adjacency to other farmers, essentially your neighbours’ land when they are ready to sell. These are often seen as assets local farmers may use to expand their current operations. Expansion
is often looked on as a good investment because it can offer better operational efficiency, explains Van Dyjk. However, it still has to make sense from an affordability perspective. “If there is a reason for expansion, such as suitability for the types of crops they’re growing or becoming more economical, somebody with 1,000 acres can add 500 acres and better use their equipment. That’s a big reason for expansion,” he says. Farmability also plays a major role in land value, and to a large extent that means a minimum of water bodies and ditches to steer large equipment around, says Van Dyjk. That’s bad news for conservation groups that have been trying to get farmers to see wetland areas as an asset rather than a liability. However, a farmer grazing cattle on rangeland may see it differently. “It depends on what you’re doing,” says Van Dyjk. “With cropland, wetlands would definitely be a liability. But in cattle operations they can be an asset because while the water table is higher they are likely to have higher-yielding grass or hay production.” Soil type is typically not a factor in boosting farmland value, says Sander. Although farmers may sometimes seek out a certain soil type for suitability on a particular crop, there isn’t a
SMALLER GROWTH STILL GROWTH | LAND PRICES
“If there is a reason for expansion, such as suitability for the types of crops they’re growing or becoming more economical, somebody with 1,000 acres can add 500 acres and better use their equipment. That’s a big reason for expansion.” - Ben Van Dyjk particular market advantage which places, for example, clay soil at a premium over loam soil. “The interesting thing about the different soil zones is every year varies,” he says. “One year the clay zone maybe gets too much moisture. The loamy soils can filter away the water and they may have a productive year that year. The next year there
may be very little moisture and clay soil shines because it holds the moisture better.” One thing farmers definitely do not want is high soil alkalinity, says Van Dyjk. “If you have alkali on your land it’s really hard to sell. It has a great effect on the productivity of the land.”
Little impact from COVID-19 If the world has learned anything over the past several months, it’s that the COVID-19 crisis has drilled into virtually all sectors of the economy. So what does that mean for farmland sales? It’s still too early to tell, says Van Dyjk, but from an anecdotal perspective he has not seen it have a major effect on value or buying activity. “There are definitely farmers who are postponing Investments decisions based on COVID, saying this is not a good time for us to expand,” he says. “We want to wait and see how it is dealt with in the world before we expand our operations, but it really hasn’t caused any lost sales.” Sander sees buyer interest picking up again after a short period of hesitation. “I’ve got a lot of calls on the listings I have again and I think we are getting back to business.”
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COVER STORY | GAME CHANGER
Photo: From left to right: Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel, Addison Nagel, David Nagel and Claire Nagel, at the familyâ€™s farm near Mossbank, Sask.
GAME CHANGER | COVER STORY
GAME CHANGER Saskatchewan farmer rediscovers love of farming, becomes industry advocate By Trevor Bacque Photography by Miranda Haughian “If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.” – Unknown For Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel, it wasn’t so much that she wanted to set farming free, it was that she wanted to be set free from farming. Or so she thought. The Mossbank, Sask., farm kid was determined at a young age to leave country roads in the dust as soon as she could find the pavement. Farming for Jolly-Nagel was something she was simply born into and not a life she sought after. However, it would take leaving her home province and gaining new experiences while exploring the world before it clicked that farm life held a deeper value than she once realized. The summer of 1997 was filled with nervous excitement for Jolly-Nagel, a fresh high school graduate who was eagerly awaiting her hospitality and tourism marketing diploma program to begin at Medicine Hat College in Alberta. For the exuberant 18-year-old, she was finally following her dreams. “I had that travel bug and that was going to be part of my life, traveling and experiencing other cultures,” she says. “If there was one thing I knew for sure it was that I wasn’t going to be a farmer.” The next two years blew by as Jolly-Nagel happily devoured class after class. With parchment in hand, she began to search job postings to match her globetrotting education. Well, good things come to those who wait, or won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. A Latin dance instructor position with Club Med—Jolly-Nagel’s “dream job”—was available in Providenciales, a bustling town in the British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Rarely pleased with not achieving her goals, Jolly-Nagel did all she could to get the job, including lie about her age and experience. “I don’t regret that for one second,” she says. “I was determined to get that job.” Jolly-Nagel successfully landed the job. She spent six months in the latter half of 1999 teaching dance all day to patrons from around the world before dancing more in the evening and carousing with visitors enchanted by the sights and sounds of the Caribbean. It didn’t matter either that she couldn’t converse with many others, after all, movement transcends language.
“We had music and rhythm and that was it.” However, it was during select moments of downtime when she would engage with vacationers that they would inquire about her life and where she was from. Without fail, guests would be enthralled to learn Jolly-Nagel was from a farm with a nearby town replete with a stereotypical Main Street. Jolly-Nagel made sure to pack a photo album with her and it was well-worn by the time she came home. “They were so much more familiar with an urban environment and different careers and had so little connection to a farm,” says Jolly-Nagel. “I found quite early on that with my background and childhood; I was a rock star. I had all these ‘cool’ stories about growing food. I had got an appreciation for what I had by going somewhere else. I didn’t realize I had something as cool as farming as a background.” A few of those pictures in her album were of David, her high school sweetheart back home in Mossbank. As Jolly-Nagel’s contract term was close to expiring, she quickly found herself at a crossroads. Sign on for another sojourn at one of Club Med’s many locations or head back to David, who by that time was farming his own land and working for Jolly-Nagel’s parents Paula and Warren. She came home without a plan or direction, so she went and talked with the most trusted people she knew, her parents. They promptly directed her to Alanna Koch, a prominent figure in Saskatchewan agriculture and provincial politics. “Of all things, she suggested I go to school for agriculture,” says Jolly-Nagel with a laugh. “In hindsight that should have already occurred to me, but I did not think I could learn to love farming.” In short order, Jolly-Nagel had her eyes opened to many exciting classes through Olds College’s agricultural business diploma, including policy. For Jolly-Nagel, her penchant to never take no for an answer found a welcome home through lively debate about real life issues that affected everyday people such as her parents. The class would help kick off a successful calling in policy throughout her adult life. 23
COVER STORY | GAME CHANGER
“The philosophy around the Wheat Growers appealed to me: ‘Let the farmer decide for themselves.’ Someone shouldn’t decide collectively for us.” - Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel With another diploma on the wall, Jolly-Nagel found herself back in Mossbank with a renewed appreciation and respect for agriculture. Soon after, she became the town’s first economic development officer, married David and continued to farm with him and his parents Lloyd and Marjorie. They also handled operations at the family’s outfitting venture, Hunter’s Paradise. The hunting lodge primarily offered ducks and snow geese. It was a hit with blue collar Americans who ventured north for a rural getaway. For the next four years the family, which grew to include two young daughters, the couple worked 24/7/365 operating the hunting lodge and farming. Jolly-Nagel used her tourism school skills to promote the hunting lodge and continued to farm with David. “Every dollar we had went back into building the land base and infrastructure for the farm,” says Jolly-Nagel. The Nagel family expanded their land base for many years and they now crop 15,000 acres or more each year. The family has also added in David’s brother Mike and his wife Natalie in 2005. A few years later, the Great Financial Crisis broke out and rocked worldwide markets, including North America, the epicentre of calamity. It naturally forced the outfitting business to wind itself up, but also allowed everyone to focus solely on farming. The couple has tried their hand at just about everything over the years—spring wheat, durum, barley, flax and mustard, although, “once canola hit the scene and we weren’t getting the genetics and yield potential from mustard, we moved to canola we didn’t go back,” she says, adding that this year they are growing large green lentils, canola and durum.
Photo: Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel is a farmer, speaker and all-around
advocate for agriculture. She was also the president of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association for five years and still serves on its board as a director.
With pulses in the mix since the early 2000s, the family has been pleased with the performance of chickpeas and lentils. Their somewhat sandy soil and lack of flex headers made harvest a challenge at harvest time, but as the years rolled on, so did the technology, and it became increasingly profitable to grow pulses, specifically lentils.
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COVER STORY | GAME CHANGER
Photo: Husband and wife David and Cherilyn farm near Mossbank, Sask., growing canola, durum and lentils. When she is away from the farm,
Jolly-Nagel often presents to different groups about Canadian agriculture. She has made more than 500 presentations to different groups about the industry over the last 10 years.
“Our land is fairly conducive to grow lentils and pulse crops,” she says. “We have a good rotation with cereal, oilseed and a pulse, makes for good cycle. We had to learn about nitrogen fixation. We’ve learned so much about how good it is to have all these crops working together for soil health.”
attend. She went to simply listen in, take notes and be done with it. However, she could not help but be moved after having conversations with certain members after the meeting. Jolly-Nagel realized this policy-driven organization had talented minds and was well-known in the Prairies.
Jolly-Nagel says the industrywide push towards data analytics does not get them excited because margins are too tight and Excel spreadsheets work just fine to track their data and the cost—free—is a better deal.
“The philosophy around the Wheat Growers appealed to me: ‘Let the farmer decide for themselves.’ Someone shouldn’t decide collectively for us,” she says.
“When you look at the budget, we’d rather put it into seed technology, new chemistries or fertilizer,” she says. “The data piece is simply too unreliable.” In addition to agronomy, Jolly-Nagel is keenly interested in issues surrounding trade, market access and transportation thanks to a chance meeting. Early in 2002, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association prepared to close up shop due to dwindling membership and finances. Jolly-Nagel attended a session on behalf of her father who was unable to 26
Jolly-Nagel and a few others quickly formed an ad hoc renewal committee, including fellow farmer Paul Orsack. In rapid succession, she became a director and president at the group’s next AGM that December. That year the conference theme was It’s Up To Us, fitting for the newly charted direction and youth within the organization. The Wheat Growers were willing to invest in the steadfast 25-year-old policy rookie. And even though she was as green as July barley in the ag policy world, she did have some policy background. “As a kid I have memories of dad screaming and yelling in his
GAME CHANGER | COVER STORY
“I found quite early on that with my background and childhood; I was a rock star. I had all these ‘cool’ stories about growing food. I had got an appreciation for what I had by going somewhere else. I didn’t realize I had something as cool as farming as a background.” - Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel home office, that’s what I thought policy was,” she says with a laugh. “He would get so passionate about topics. I see now that I have inherited that part of his personality, I get quite passionate talking on the phone.” Jolly-Nagel has found a home within the Wheat Growers where she sees Canadian and provincial laws governing agriculture fluid and not concrete. “If you don’t like the rules, there are ways you can change and influence the rules,” says Jolly-Nagel, who has her corporate director’s designation from the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, Ont., and the Levene Graduate School of Business in Regina, Sask. “You can have a say in that. The Wheat Growers, for me, was an organization that reflected my views and a way to influence those.” Jolly-Nagel is grateful the group that “let her make mistakes on behalf of the organization” and labels former executive director Blair Rutter her “lighthouse” during her five years as president. As she transitioned out of the president’s role in 2009, mutual acquaintance Adele Buettner was forming up the forerunner of Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan, an organization dedicated to telling the positive stories of farming and empowering the agricultural community to talk with anybody about the industry in a straightforward, positive light. “People were going to other decision makers and it was a learning process for the whole industry,” she says. “How can we reach influencers? How can we counter the misinformation? It was a huge learning process for us.” Interest rapidly grew in the training sessions and Jolly-Nagel and Buettner quickly expanded as association groups showed an interest in honing such skills. She also thinks it’s necessary for farmers to show pride in their industry to inspire a new generation. “That sense of pride has led to much better, in-depth conversations with consumers,” she says. “We don’t shrug our shoulders. The consumers in Canada are supportive in
general of farmers, they want to know more. They want to know what we are doing. Now we have people actively engaged in this industry.” Unlike many in agriculture who shy away from questions about crop spraying, GMO technology or other regulatory issues, Jolly-Nagel embraces it wholeheartedly as she believes it to be the only way the conversation will advance in a positive direction. To date, she has hosted more than 500 meetings with groups big and small and spoken to more than 20,000 people about agricultural issues. As one might imagine, she has slowly but surely crafted her presentations with confidence and openness. “Before I was defensive,” she admits. “Now that I have been doing it for 15 years, I welcome it. What are your questions? We have good answers. I welcome the questions anytime. Give me any stage, I will explain what I do, and own the mistakes we made. I’m not afraid of it at all. I understand the defence mechanism, the anger about what’s being said. I fully get it, but it’s just not effective to be angry.” Being such a positive force in Canadian agriculture led to a unique opportunity for Jolly-Nagel to take her skills worldwide as an international director with the Global Farmer Network in 2018, 10 years after becoming a member. The international organization of farmer speakers promote sustainable agricultural practices, economic growth and food security around the world, knowing that a collective effort is far superior to a series of individualist pursuits. “It’s been one of the most impactful organizations I’ve ever been apart of,” she says. And while Jolly-Nagel is off promoting agriculture, having camera crews film on their property or simply engaging with people at the grocery store, she is forever indebted to her family for all the opportunity. “I have a strong team at home,” she says. “It takes all kinds of skills to operate a farm these days. My skills are in communication and I’m grateful for my family’s support. They believe our licence to farm depends on it as much as I do.” 27
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FERTILIZER | FACT OR FICTION
FACT OR FICTION
Loads of new products are in the marketplace, but how can a farmer know what’s legitimate? By Alexis Kienlen Top dressings, biostimulants, foliar fungicides and more. These are just a few of the products available to farmers. However, with so many products on the market it is easy to get confused sorting out what works and what may just be a flashy label. What’s kind of rigour are behind such products? What works, and what’s the equivalent to pouring money down the drain? Ray Dowbenko, an independent agronomist from Calgary, Alta., believes part of the puzzle is determining what the problem is in the crop. Products only work if there is a need for them, he said. Biostimulants activate the plant and change how it responds to the environment, in cases of drought stress, cold stress or heat stress. “They regulate different genes in the crops and may be beneficial in certain cases,” he says. “With biostimulants and other products out there, you need to really understand their mechanism and mode of action, and then decide, ‘do you really need this?’” Anyone who wants to use a biostimulant, top dressing or fungicide should look into information about nitrogen and phosphorus, soil testing, limiting factors and how applying nutrients can affect the crop. Dowbenko says there’s now a cornucopia of products available, including those from other countries that were not previously available in Canada. Select products contain proteins and amino acids, or humic acids, which are derived from organic matter. Other biostimulants include mycorrhizae or bacteria that may be used for tried and true actions, such as inoculating 30
soybeans with nitrogen-fixing bacteria that helps the plant make its own nitrogen. If a farmer wants to use a product, they or their crop advisor should look at the scientific literature. When appraising a product, scientists look at research done over multiple years, at multiple locations and in different soil types and environments. They base their answers off that data. “It’s kind of wrong to say [a product] doesn’t work for everybody. There’s always something that will work for somebody,” says Dowbenko. In order to make sure the product is a good fit, it’s good to check who has done the research on the product, and verify whether the research has been done by an independent third party, or by the company itself. “Use caution and look for independent, third party, replicated research. Look for trials and statistical analysis that has been done over many years. Look for analysis in different soils, in different soil types and of course, different crops,” he says. It’s also good to check how long the product has been around. If a product offers a long-term benefit for the farmer, it will continue to be in the marketplace. If not, it will eventually disappear, says Dowbenko. It is also a prudent idea to check and see if the product was tested in your area, or an area with similar growing conditions, otherwise the results could be irrelevant for a farmer’s region. In addition, the product has to be registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to be sold in Canada. This registration
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FERTILIZER | FACT OR FICTION
Photo: Ray Dowbenko is an independent agronomist who believes in study scientific literature and doing on-farm research while you’re appraising a biostimulant, a top dressing or other products. Credit: Ray Dowbenko
also means the product is safe for humans, animals and the environment. The label should say how the product is supposed to work and list active ingredients. If a farmer finds a product they are interested in, they may consider a trial test at their own farm. “Target the product in the area where it fits and not in other areas,” says Dowbenko. He says some of the products work and others do not, but it is not necessary to dismiss them all right away. “Find the right situation where it can be used. It could be beneficial. It’s just about finding out where it works,” he says. Jeff Schoenau is a professor of soil science at the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan ministry of agriculture soil nutrient management chair. His area of expertise is in the foliar application of nutrients. Schoenau recommended talking to the experts, asking questions to agronomists and crop consultants. Farmers should also be prepared to delve into the literature about the products they intend to use. “If this is a product for which there is existing scientific research, the documentation should be available to demonstrate its efficacy,” he says. Like Dowbenko, Schoenau advised looking into the product history, and checking for independent research evaluations and scientific literature. In particular cases, other farmers or research associations may have conducted different on-farm testing of the treatment. 32
“Look for trials and statistical analysis that has been done over many years. Look for analysis in different soils, in different soil types and of course, different crops,” - Ray Dowbenko “Keep in mind that some products will perform well under some environmental conditions, but others won’t,” he says. “Trying to get information relevant to your own conditions is valuable. Ask lots of questions. In fairness, some products may have a limited suite of research validation available, because they’re relatively new.” A little bit of information can help a farmer decide whether the product is suitable for them. Schoenau said that in some cases, neighbours might also have had good experience with the product. Farmers should look for products that work on the crops they have, and in similar conditions to what they have on their farms. “Something that was efficacious in North Carolina may not be efficacious in Western Canada,” he says. “That’s important to ascertain to how much you can extrapolate those results from somewhere close to the conditions at hand.”
Harvest is here and thankfully your TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology left you with an amazingly clean crop. So now you’ve got a little extra time to babysit some of your other fields.
READY WHEN YOU ARE
Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. These products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from these products can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for these products. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Roundup Ready® and TruFlex™ are trademarks of Bayer Group. Used under license. ©2020 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
FERTILIZER | FACT OR FICTION
Farmers also need to do a cost comparison and crunch the numbers to make sure the treatment is worth their money. Beyond that, Schoenau is a big advocate for on-farm evaluation. “Growers have the capability to do some test strips,” he says. Many farmers have access to tools like yield monitoring, yield mapping and Normalized Vegetation Difference Imaging (NVDI), which can tell them if a particular product or treatment had an effect. “I encourage all growers to do on-farm assessments of the new technologies and products out there,” he says. To figure out if a product or treatment is working, farmers need to single out the factor they are interested in looking at and not expect everything to be solved in an instant. “Vary that factor and keep all the other factors the same or controlled,” says Schoenau. “If you put a whole bunch of things together, you’re not going to be able to tell what caused the effect. You have to keep everything else the same.”
Photo: Jeff Schoenau is a professor of soil science at the
University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture chair in nutrient management. He has done a lot of research on fertilizers and their efficacy. Credit: Jeff Schoenau
“There’s a lot of different products out there, and certainly a person wants to do some on-farm evaluations. For some things like micronutrients, there are a lot of complex weather and soil factors that will influence whether or not you will see a response to that application. It’s difficult to predict whether you will see a response based on a single diagnostic tool, like a soil test or a tissue test. Because of the complexity or the difficulty to establish whether there will be a response or not, it’s a good idea to do a bit of testing on your own farm, to see if the product is going to do something or has the potential to do something, to help you make a decision before you go whole hog and put it on every acre,” he says. Above all, Schoenau advises farmers to approach their testing with a degree of caution objectivity to legitimately determine if a person truly received a response from their fields.
Fertilizer is a farmer’s largest input cost, with Canadian growers spending over $5 billion annually. By applying 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place ®) practices, growers not only protect their investment and increase their economic return, they further their on-farm sustainability goals by ensuring positive environmental impact. 4R Nutrient Stewardship is simple to implement. In fact, many farmers are already practicing it without even knowing it. According to a 2019 grower survey, approximately 78% of canola growers and 97% of spring wheat growers used the “Right Place” best management practice of in-soil placement of phosphorus at planting, which can lead to a reduction of phosphorus run-off of up to 75%. Efﬁcient fertilizer management is key to a Climate-Smart Agriculture plan, which includes environmental beneﬁts such as reduced nutrient run-off and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). To further reduce on-farm GHGs, such as nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, the fertilizer industry has developed the 4R Climate Smart Strategy (formally known as the Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol (NERP). The Strategy is a science-based framework that uses the principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship to create an actionable outline for widespread implementation of sustainable agriculture. Research has shown that if the 4R Climate-Smart Strategies were implemented across Western Canada it would reduce N2O emissions by 2-3 MT CO2e annually.
Climate Smart Agriculture: We know it’s on your mind, so be part of the solution today.
4R Nutrient Stewardship demonstrates how the Canadian agricultural industry is a leader in sustainable farming. Contact your local Agri-Retailer or Certiﬁed Crop Advisor today to learn how to implement a 4R Nutrient Stewardship plan on your farm.
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GRAIN DRYERS | DRIED AND TRUE
DRIED AND TRUE
On-farm grain dryers widen the harvest window
By Natalie Noble Photo: With wet falls
becoming a new normal, CanDri is committed to providing farmers an affordable grain drying option that’s easy to set up and comes with excellent support. It can be purchased and set up for drying in one afternoon.
Last winter, many Prairie farmers lay awake at night worried about the condition of crops left under snow in their fields after 2019’s “harvest from hell.” Others slept well despite conditions that devastated thousands between the Peace Region and Manitoba, for they had the means to dry the grain on their farm, starting and ending harvest successfully on their own schedule, rather than Mother Nature’s. Grain dryers have become a can’t-miss tool on western Canadian farms. In large part, cyclical weather patterns are driving demand. “The last few years there’s been quite an increase in demand for dryers on the farm as fall comes later each year,” says Wentworth Ag’s dryer sales and service provider Jayde Klassen, based in Winkler, Man. “They’ve also tended to be wetter, so the dryer is now essentially replacing that second or third combine. That combine can’t dry the wet grain for you. If you want to keep up, you’re going to need that dryer.” Raymond Sloan agrees. The Flaman Agriculture equipment salesman specializes in grain dryers and handling equipment in Nisku, Alta. “I’ve seen the benefit now in adding the grain dryer to the equipment portfolio,” he says. “An extra combine doesn’t help when the weather’s tough and it’s sitting in the shed.” The dryer improves farmers’ control over the harvest timeframe. They can enter the field sooner, collecting, harvesting and preserving grain at its best quality. “You can always dry the grain down, but you can’t always bring back the quality,” says Sloan. “This is where a grain dryer shines on any particular farm.” Getting grain in the bin removes the worry of the unknown. “When you leave a crop out over
DRIED AND TRUE | GRAIN DRYERS
“You can always dry the grain down, but you can’t always bring back the quality. This is where a grain dryer shines on any particular farm.” - Raymond Sloan combine, the grain cart or the beach in Mexico, anywhere with access to a data plan or internet,” says Sloan. An alarm code notification sends alerts through email or text message, while an automated shutdown prevents over-drying or damage to the machine. As transparency and traceability are increasingly important, today’s dryers can map the grain coming through. The record of what’s drying, moisture, temperature and bushel amount can be sent to the elevator ahead of time. It’s also handy for farms that custom dry grain for neighbours. “They can show the neighbour all of this logged information and accurately assess what needs to be charged,” says Sloan.
winter, you don’t know what you’re getting when you go at it in the springtime,” says Sloan. “We had a late spring this year and the moisture kept coming. People had to try and get the crop off that they left out, plus get into spring seeding when we were already 10 to 15 days late.” Considering the current landscape of many operations where equipment is often financed or leased, payments are inevitable, says Sloan. Another draw has been the technological advancement in grain dryers over the years, such as better wiring, computer operating systems and remote monitoring. Many older models had an auto-fill feature where they could only keep filling the dryer. That’s been replaced with a full programmable logic controller and with top and bottom moisture and temperature sensors that allow for auto-drying. “It will speed up and slow down the dryer in order to hit your target moisture for each grain type,” says Sloan. “It has a remote-net package available with it that is linked to a website the farmer can go on with their smartphone, tablet or laptop.” Farmers click into the secure website to see what’s happening with their dryer in real time, bringing peace of mind and freeing up time. “You can monitor it from any remote location—in the
Other advanced options include small grains kits to prevent canola loss through exhaust ports and variable frequency drives that speed up and slow the blowers to match the airflow required for each crop’s optimal drying. Mixed flow dryers are replacing screen dryers for more even access to the warm drying air and less moving components mean less maintenance. While there can be more economical options at purchase time, some can have a higher running cost and require more energy. Power and fuel sources are also key differentiators in the dryer game. Klassen says one of the biggest ways to see money invested into a dryer returned is to ensure the system is set up properly with the best power source available. “Three-phase power over a single-phase system is one way to get that return,” he says. “Cleaner power sources are also able to run later on in the year without being hard on equipment.” Considering the fuel source can also cut costs, such as using natural gas over propane in the long-term. However, getting natural gas into the yard can be costly depending on the farm’s location. Saskatchewan and Manitoba farmers do not have the rebate opportunities of Alberta farmers thanks to the province’s Efficient Grain Dryer Program. “This can help offset the cost of upgrading an older dryer to these newer options,” says Sloan. “Or when purchasing a new dryer, you can get a portion of the option costs back as well.” Once a farmer makes a dryer inquiry call, planning starts with 37
GRAIN DRYERS | SET IT AND FORGET IT
Set it and forget it Effective grain drying that’s portable and affordable By Natalie Noble CanDri Industries and general manager Mike Duns have the latest in agriculture innovation hitting Prairie fields with its Cyclone Twin Grain Dryer. The portable in-bin drying system features an electronic temperature control thermostat kit and probe system with a weather resistant enclosure. “It’s going to be the way most farmers are drying their grain in a few years,” says Duns. “With our system, the grain goes in the bin, you hook up our system and it’s a ‘set it and forget it’ once you know what you’re doing.” CanDri recently took the Cyclone Twin for a spin at a Hutterite Colony near Dundurn, Sask. Drying 60,000 bushels of wheat in a 60,000-bushel bin was no problem for the Cyclone Twin’s 800,000 BTU indirect fire diesel heaters and dual aeration fans. In fact, it dried the grain down from 17 to an average of 13.5 per cent moisture while using a mere $2,500 in diesel fuel in one week. “This is astronomically cheap, a fraction of the regular price of $0.20 per bushel for custom drying,” says Duns. “These results were exceptional. Typically speaking, we pull one per cent of moisture per day on a five-to-10thousand-bushel bin for approximately $100 worth of diesel each day.” As the West has been receiving increased moisture over the years, CanDri promises affordability, ease of set up and use. “Maybe these wet falls are the new normal,” says Duns. “We have lots of units in stock. You can pick it up at the shop and be drying that afternoon. We’re ready to roll for this fall.” 38
“There was an old adage that dryers just cost money,” says Sloan. That’s just not true anymore.” - Raymond Sloan a farm visit. Existing equipment, bin-handling capacity and farm acreage all factor in. In light of recent challenges, farmers might overestimate the amount of grain drying capacity they actually need. “Yes, we’re in this wet weather cycle right now and it sucks trying to stay ahead of the combines, but there are going to be dryer years coming,” says Sloan. “Don’t buy a dryer to dry 95 per cent of your crop right now. We use a 70/30 rule. Buy a dryer that will work well for about 70 per cent of your crop size. Then, in the years where you only need to dry 40 per cent, you don’t have this massive dryer with high financing put into the system that might not be used as much.” Timeline is also important. “Give yourself at least five months ahead of time to think about where you’re putting it, get the best power source you can and get onto the build list early in the year to be sure everything is ready to go when you need it,” says Klassen. As with any investment, the farm’s long-term goals are paramount. “Some of the original Vertecs are 40 years old and still running,” says Sloan. “I can set dryers up where we run simply for a couple years with one wet and dry bin and a couple simple utility augers. But we’ll make sure to put that concrete pad in a position for the future capability to add extra bins and [other upgrades].” While purchasing and setting up the right grain drying system for any given farm can carry a steep price tag depending on the complexity of the system, Sloan sees paybacks time and again. Last year, certain elevators even paid farmers a premium to over-dry their own grain. “This made it easier for them to mix off and blend with other farmers’ where they didn’t have dryers,” says Sloan. “Most of them said the math worked out and they made more money in the end by over-drying and taking these premium paid contracts to help the elevator. It was a win-win situation.” Finally, times have changed. “There was an old adage that dryers just cost money,” says Sloan. “That’s just not true anymore. There is an input cost to running the dryer, but the return on that investment is a big number at the end of it. If you take the lesser quality in the grain and ship it to the elevator, you make less money. As long as the input cost is covered in the returns, you’re still making money.”
Photo: Flaman’s Raymond Sloan says over the last few years crops
have been leftover in the springtime because farmers couldn’t get them into the bin. “They were always having to wait until the crop was at its optimum moisture to bring it off. We are now seeing a lot of farms that have never had a grain dryer on their operation, getting into having one and seeing those benefits.”
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FARMING YOUR MONEY | COVID AND FARMING
Covid and farming Paul Kuntz
Paul Kuntz is the owner of Wheatland Financial, he offers financial consulting and debt broker services. Paul is also an advisor with Global Ag Risk. He can be reached through wheatlandfinancial.ca
As we manage our way through this pandemic, I am interested to see how it affects different industries. If we look at the hospitality and entertainment industries, we see devastation. Hotels, restaurants and businesses that depend on tourism have been hit very hard. The personal care industries like hair and nail salons were forced to close. Massage and physiotherapists had to close. Dentist and optometrists were also not allowed to stay open. A lot of the world changed. Agriculture had many areas that were not affected. For many of us, life went on as normal. I laughed when I heard people discussing what they were able to accomplish during the lockdown: caught up on reading their favourite book, learned a new language, crafts or exercise. Most farmers kept busy farming. There was no leisure time. Our flock of sheep began lambing in April during the heart of the lockdown. It was 24 hours a day of mayhem and excitement. We had family helping out and we still could barely keep up. The sheep did not adhere to social distancing rules nor were they in any mood for a lockdown. It was business as usual. I am sure cattle producers had the same experience. Regardless of stay at home orders, we did stay at home because we were busy carrying on with the business of agriculture. We went from livestock rearing right into seeding and again the 18- to 20-hour days began. Working around the clock to get the crop seeded. Then, getting up at 4 a.m. hoping there was not an 80 km/h wind so you could get some spraying done. Going to town to make your purchases had a few changes. 40
We were all more careful with hand cleanliness and sanitizers. We did not visit as much at the local hardware store. But for the most part, living on farm this spring did not feel a lot different than other years. If you had loved ones that were in a hospital or care home, your life would be much different and also more difficult. If you had compromised health, there would be extra stress on your life. I do not want to make light of that. These are real situations that produced a lot of stress. Compared to other industries, agriculture went on as it normally does. This is not to say that the COVID-19 pandemic did not have any affect on our industry. The cattle business went through turbulent times. We soon realized that having 95 per cent of the beef processing capacity in three plantsâ€” Brooks and High River, Alta., and Guelph, Ont.) is not a great idea. We all understand efficiency but if you have to kill 4,500 cattle per day, thatâ€™s the capacity at JBS in Brooks, to be efficient, there is a problem with this industry. As COVID-19 rolls through, we will see what areas Canada can improve and the areas that are strong. All in all, our food supply remained strong through the lockdown. There was a bit of panic buying but, there was enough for everyone. Except for toilet paper. The cycles of agriculture and Mother Nature dictate our lives and our schedules. The pandemic definitely threw a wrench into our lives, but the work continues and stops for no one. An example is we saw a decrease in milk demand through the lockdown but that did not affect the work of a dairy farmer. Regardless if the milk went to the processor or not, two or three times a day the cows got milked. Anyone involved in agriculture should feel truly blessed. We are very lucky to be part of a great, resilient industry. This pandemic has reinforced the place agriculture has in Canada. It is one of the most important industries in our country. We should be proud of the work we do and understand the importance. We are an essential service.
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Get started today at ClimateFieldView.ca Performance may vary from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields. Climate FieldView™ services provide estimates or recommendations based on models. These do not guarantee results. Consult your agronomist, commodities broker and other service professionals before making financial, risk management, and farming decisions. More information at https://climatefieldview.ca/legal/disclaimer. FieldView™ is a trademark of The Climate Corporation. Monsanto Canada ULC licensee. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2020 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
CATTLE | RAISING CATTLE AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
RAISING CATTLE AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES By Alberta Beef Producers staff
One of the mandates of Alberta Beef Producers is to help the beef industry reduce its environmental impacts and try to promote areas where we can demonstrate how raising cattle on native and tame pastures can benefit the environment. This is mostly done through recognizing the value of ecosystem services that we provide on our land for the benefit of all Albertans, while raising cattle or other livestock.
have submitted a pilot project proposal to test how the carbon credit would work on Canadian pasture lands. Another carbon credit opportunity in the future could be to capture value on carbon sequestered through a “Conversion of Annual Cropland to Perennial Cropland Carbon Credit” protocol.
A particular area of interest is whether we can capture some of the value from carbon that is stored in intact native grasslands, or carbon that is sequestered when restoring perennial forages on previously cultivated annual cropland. We are involved in many discussions on what tools or market mechanisms could be developed to help receive payment for these ecosystem services, carbon storage being one of many that we provide.
Carbon storage is not the only ecosystem service that pasture lands provide. While we do benefit by raising cattle on these lands, we also provide wildlife habitat, maintain biodiversity, provide nutrient cycling and water filtration services that everyone can benefit from. Many of our environmental non-profit organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Nature Conservancy of Canada and ALUS provide value to landowners by paying for the stewardship, conservation or restoration of privately held lands and wetlands.
We have been helping the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association and Viresco Solutions in their development of a Canadian “Avoided Conversion of Grasslands Carbon Credit” protocol, where a landowner could potentially sell carbon credits or offsets to a large emitter or organization interested in contributing to conservation and stewardship. While this project can be developed to sell credits under the U.S. Climate Action Reserve voluntary carbon market, CFGA and Viresco
Wildlife habitat is another ecosystem service we provide that benefits recreational users of private and lease lands. Alberta’s ranchers and farmers depend on a healthy, natural environment to run sustainable operations and recognize that proper stewardship of the soil, water, air and biodiversity is essential. Livestock owners place great value on environmental stewardship which ensures healthy rangelands and riparian areas for both domestic livestock and wildlife. Ranchers also
Crop insurance made easy recognize that healthy wildlife populations are not only an indicator of rangeland health, but also provide wellbeing and enjoyment to both landowners and the rest of society. Unfortunately, while we are passionate about stewardship this sometimes comes at a great cost, especially if we lose crops or livestock to wildlife. We continue to work closely with the Alberta government on our proposed “Co-existence with large carnivores” pilot project, which will hopefully help to better manage and reduce predator conflict while providing sufficient compensation when losses occur. As predator depredation claims on livestock increase, we hope to address these issues and minimize the risk of worst-case scenarios resulting in unnecessary loss of livestock and wildlife, or the conversation of rangeland. This project would be another way to help recognize the value we provide through wildlife habitat where we do sometimes incur losses.
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Lastly, we know our industry produces many ecosystem services for others to share and enjoy, like recreational access for hunting. Unfortunately, we still see conflict between hunters and landowners in certain regions, which we are also trying to address. For example, we are currently working with the Canadian Land Access Systems to give landowners an 43
CATTLE | RAISING CATTLE AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
As always, we greatly value environmental stewardship that not only benefits our producers, but also the rest of society. If we continue to take care of the land, the land will take care of us. opportunity to manage capacity on their land and set rules for access through an online system. While this may not work for everyone and other options may be better suited to your operation, this tool could be useful in managing access on one’s property. As always, we greatly value environmental stewardship that not only benefits our producers, but also the rest of society. If we continue to take care of the land, the land will take care of us.
Forage U-Pick: An interactive forage species selection tool for Western Canada Karin Schmid, research and production manager, Alberta Beef Producers This tool is designed to provide users from British Columbia to Manitoba with a selection of forage species best suited to a
particular region or field, and for a specific use (such as pasture, hay and reclamation). You begin by choosing your province and soil zone/eco-region and then you can choose from 10 different selection criteria that best represent the conditions of the area you intend to seed. Search results will be the best if you limit the criteria to the top two or three priority characteristics. The “My Field Characteristics” selection criteria allows you to choose the use of forage, timing of use, whether you prefer native or tame, or grass or legume species, desired stand longevity and soil characteristics, including soil type, acidity, salinity and erosion tendency. A list of suitable forages matching your selection criteria will be displayed. Unsuitable forage species will be greyed out. More information is available on each species by clicking their picture. Forage U-Pick also contains a seeding rate calculator and resources for weed management. This tool would not have been possible without the active and engaged participation of forage researchers and specialists from more than 13 different organizations, as well as funding from the Beef Cattle Research Council, Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre, Saskatchewan Forage Council, and the Government of British Columbia and Government of Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. For more information, visit upick.beefresearch.ca.
THE GREAT GRAIN ROBBER RIDES AGAIN | THOSE WILY WEEDS
The Great Grain Robber Rides Again Tammy Jones B.Sc., P.Ag Tammy completed her B. Sc. In Crop Protection at the University of Manitoba. She has over 15 years of experience in the crops industry in Manitoba and Alberta, with a focus on agronomy. Tammy lives near Carman, and spends time scouting for weeds and working with cattle at the family farm in Napinka, Manitoba.
It has been more than 30 years since wild oat herbicide resistance was first confirmed in the Canadian Prairies. In 1989, Group 8 resistance to triallate (Avadex) and difenzoquat (Avenge) was discovered in Alberta. Just one year later, Group 1 resistant wild oat was found in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Even before that, a Wild Oat Action Committee had been tasked with stopping the “Great Grain Robber” in its tracks. Wild oat can be a huge yield robber, when they emerge earlier than the crop, wild oat can rob up to 70 to 80 per cent of the yield, and that does not factor in the economics of future weed issues and dockage and grade downgrades. Even with three decades of research and education, wild oats continue to be in the top five weeds in the Prairiewide Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) weed surveys that have been conducted since the 1970s. Shifts in tillage patterns, new herbicide tolerance traits in crops and herbicide rotation have done little to prevent wild oats from flourishing. And thus, a new committee, the Resistant Wild Oat Action Committee has been established to “engage scientists, producers and the agriculture industry to advance the technology and management available to producers to address herbicide resistance on their farms.” The levels of herbicide-resistant wild oat have been widely documented. The snapshots provided by weed surveys are likely an under-reporting of resistance levels, because random samples will never catch every resistant weed. Based on weed resistance reporting for the Canadian Prairies summarized in the Weed Technology journal in 2008, of 1,067 wild oat seed samples submitted by farmers and industry for testing between 1996 and 2006, 725 samples had Group 1 herbicide resistance (HR), 34 samples were Group 2 HR and 55 samples possessed groups 1 and 2 HR. In more recent studies, across the prairies 69 per cent of wild oat populations have some level of herbicide resistance, with Manitoba leading the way at 79 per cent of the wild oat samples being positive. 45
THOSE WILY WEEDS | THE GREAT GRAIN ROBBER RIDES AGAIN seed bank, but that is not easily measured or estimated. Those susceptible seeds contribute to confusion because when a farmer uses a herbicide that the wild oat population has tested to be resistant, there is a certain level of effectiveness. No, the population has not lost its resistance, there is just a mixed population and using that herbicide is simply getting rid of any susceptible wild oats.
Photo: There are drastic differences in wild oat control with one mode of action (left) versus two modes of action (right).
Over the years, research has focussed on the mechanisms of herbicide resistance along with communications on how to manage these herbicide resistant wild oats. After 30 years, farmers expect that herbicide resistance testing will give them firm answers for making management plans. That is not always the case and there are a number of reasons for that: First, field populations are more diverse than the samples submitted for testing. A sample is typically collected after a product has failed to provide control of the wild oat. The sample is biased towards the resistant biotype in the field, if the patch is indeed due to herbicide resistance rather than application problems or successive flushes of wild oat. It may be surprising that there is any level of susceptible wild oat in a resistant sample, but there typically is variation. Second, since the seed bank is not part of the resistance testing, the level of control in the field should be better than the testing. Presumably, there are susceptible seeds in the
Wild oat is a hexaploid. By contrast, humans are diploids, as in two sets of chromosomes, which seems complicated enough, but hexaploids have six sets of chromosomes. Hexaploidy results in a more complicated expression of genetic material and then add in that the resistance genes aren’t just a simple yes/no to being resistant, they are shades of resistant (R or r) and susceptible (S). Target-site resistance for Group 1 resistance in wild oat involves three copies of a gene and there are at least seven different mutations of that gene which provide varying levels of resistance to the three sub-families of the Group 1 herbicides (summarized in the table). There can be more than one mutation of the gene within the wild oat plant, so there are several possible cross-resistance patterns. In addition, there is non-target site resistance in some wild oat populations. What I’m trying to say is that with all of this complexity, there isn’t one simple test that can provide all of the answers to Group 1 resistance in wild oat. That doesn’t begin to describe Group 2 resistance mechanisms or any of the other herbicides. Table 1. ACCase mutations in Grass Weeds Source: H. Beckie, 2015 Management strategies have included utilizing a diverse crop rotation, rotating herbicides and enhancing crop competitiveness through adjusting seeding dates and rates as well as variety selection. More recently, recommendations for herbicide resistance management have focused on using multiple modes of effective action and herbicide layering. While herbicide-tolerant crops have added certain options for
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in-crop herbicides, managing Group 1 HR wild oat has seen a shift to increased use of Group 2 herbicides, which has resulted in a corresponding jump in Group 2 resistance. With Group 1 and 2 HR wild oat, there is no in-crop option to spray for wild oat control in wheat and barley. The options for previously “easy” broadleaf crops such as canola and soybean become limited. We continue to rely on herbicides because they are cost effective and reliable but those options are steadily decreasing and results are less reliable. Wild oats have been confirmed to be resistant to Group 1, 2, 8, 14, 15 and 25 in Canada and in Australia. Group 9 resistance has also been documented. Alternatives such as patch management, harvest weed seed destruction and altering seed dates are barely being utilized. However, not due to a lack of effectiveness, one study showed that a patch of wild oats could increase by 330 per cent in six years if not treated, but when seed shed was prevented, the patch footprint only increased by 35 per cent. We need to implement these alternative strategies for minimizing the impact of the Great Grain Robber. The Resistant Wild Oat Action Committee will be asking farmers about what tools they need to manage these issues. It’s time to work with these types of committees, so that effective tools are developed and more importantly utilized.
Think outside the bin
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SPRAYING 101 | WE NEED BETTER DRIFT CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES
We Need Better Drift Control Technologies
Sprayers have changed a lot over the past 25 years. They have become larger, with more tank capacity, boom width, and, if self-propelled, horsepower. They are more comfortable and ergonomic, with more sophisticated swath control and guidance systems. However, every year, a very important deficiency in their design becomes obvious: drift control.
Tom Wolf, PhD, P.Ag. Tom Wolf grew up on a grain farm in southern Manitoba. He obtained his BSA and M.Sc. (Plant Science) at the University of Manitoba and his PhD (Agronomy) at Ohio State University. Tom was a research scientist with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada for 17 years before forming AgriMetrix, an agricultural research company that he now operates in Saskatoon. He specializes in spray drift, pesticide efficacy, and sprayer tank cleanout, and conducts research and training on these topics throughout Canada. Tom sits on the Board of the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association, is an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and is a member and past president of the Canadian Weed Science Society.
The changes described above are intended to improve productivity and fight operator fatigue. Today’s sprayer can cover more ground than ever before. Although the demand to cover ground, through a combination of growth in farm size and frequency of treatment, has outpaced machine productivity. As a result, operators find themselves ever further in a time deficit, with acres on the to-do list and no time to get the work done. Spray drift remains the single-most limiting factor to the safe application of pesticides. Spraying cannot happen when it’s too windy. It has been an issue since spraying began. Simply put, pesticides belong in one place only, and that is on the treated swath. Applicators have certain tools to make this happen, such as using coarser sprays, lowering the booms and choosing very specific weather conditions. When winds are incessant, crops and pests are quickly growing out of the treatable stages, what is an applicator to do? There is only one thing they can do: lower their standards. Either miss the treatment and suffer the yield loss or spray in the wind and hope nothing bad happens. Neither of these options are acceptable. There isn’t an easy fix. Spraying is a game of tight margins. The spray liquid in the tank must be atomized in droplets that can make their way to the target and provide adequate coverage when they get there. The total liquid volume to achieve that task also must be practical. The global ag industry has determined, over the past 100 years, that about 100 L/ha, 10 gallons (37.85 L) per acre, is the ballpark amount that allows reasonable work rates with sprays that are just coarse enough to resist displacement in modest winds. If it gets windier and we need even coarser sprays, we need to add much more water to maintain an acceptable droplet density on the targets. Of course, the droplets need to stick to those targets, so there is a limit how coarse we can spray.
Cleanfarms 2020 Unwanted Pesticides & Old Livestock/Equine Medications Collection
Farmers! Got unwanted pesticides or livestock/ equine medications? Safely dispose of unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides and livestock/equine medications – no charge! Take them to the following locations on the dates noted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Check for Event Locations & Dates here:
We’ve been asking the low-drift nozzle to do the heavy lifting in drift management, and with a return to more contact modes of action for resistance management, there’s a limit to how much we can achieve with that approach before coverage and product performance go south. Agriculture needs a drift-reducing technology that is better than the low-drift nozzle. We need a technology that maintains a practical water volume limit and combines this with intermediate spray qualities that generate good pesticide efficacy without allowing drift under windy conditions. These technologies simply need to do just one of three things: Protect the driftable droplets from moving air with a physical barrier, make driftable droplets less drift-prone by increasing their velocity, or, lastly, eliminate the driftable droplets altogether. Let’s have a look at some options and explore the pros and cons. 1. Shields and Cones: A shroud surrounding the boom was first proposed and built in the 1950s in the U.K. by Dr. Walter Ripper. Although never commercial, the “Nodrif” boom inspired an entire industry that took hold in Western Canada in the 1980s and ‘90s. Shrouding worked. In studies conducted at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, shrouds produced by Flexi-Coil, Rogers Engineering, AgShield and Brandt reduced drift by up to 80 per cent. Shrouds disappeared in the ‘90s, partly because of the advent of tight-folding suspended booms where they posed a problem, but also because of crop contamination from the shrouds and poor nozzle visibility in case of plugs.
MOOSOMIN October 27 Sharpe’s Soil Services Ltd. 306-435-3319
CARLYLE October 28 Precision Ag 306-453-2255
INDIAN HEAD October 28 Nutrien Ag Solutions 306-695-2311
CENTRAL BUTTE October 28 Hawk’s Agro 306-796-4787
ITUNA October 27 Nutrien Ag Solutions 306-795-3606
CEYLON October 30 Ceylon Pulses Ag 306-454-2245
LEADER October 27 G-Mac’s Ag Team Inc. 306-628-3886
CORONACH October 30 Richardson Pioneer 306-267-2100
LEWVAN October 29 Synergy AG 306-789-9493
ESTEVAN October 29 Richardson Pioneer 306-634-2342
LUMSDEN October 30 Synergy AG Services 306-731-1200
ESTON October 26 Emerge Ag Solutions 306-962-4132
MAPLE CREEK October 28 Richardson Pioneer 306-662-2420
GRAVELBOURG October 27 Hawk’s Agro 306-648-3110
MOOSE JAW October 26 Moose Jaw Co-operative Association Ltd. Partner 306-692-1661
RAYMORE October 26 Cargill 306-334-2222 SHAUNAVON October 29 Pioneer Coop 306-297-2662 SOUTH DAVIDSON October 29 Richardson Pioneer 306-567-4778 SWIFT CURRENT October 30 Pioneer Coop Agronomy Center 306-778-8705 WHITEWOOD October 26 Richardson Pioneer 306-735-2626
• Next Cleanfarms collection in this area in fall 2023. • COVID social distancing measures may be in place. • For collection dates in Northern Saskatchewan or elsewhere in the Prairies, go to: cleanfarms.ca/materials/unwanted-pesticides-animal-meds/
Cleanfarms.ca email@example.com @cleanfarms
Given the current situation, please call ahead to collection sites for instructions on delivering empties.
49 2020_CF_OBS_SASK_FarmingForTomorrowAD_3.375x9.625.indd 1
2020-07-31 10:59 AM
SPRAYING 101 | WE NEED BETTER DRIFT CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES
Spray drift remains the singlemost limiting factor to the safe application of pesticides. Spraying cannot happen when it’s too windy. It has been an issue since spraying began. Simply put, pesticides belong in one place only, and that is on the treated swath. The advent of the air-induced low-drift nozzle offered an alternative, but coarseness has been taken to its practical limit. People who took shrouds off their sprayer because of the difficulties using them may not want them back, but what about a newly engineered version that addresses its shortcomings? Willmar Fabrication has created the Redball Buffer Sprayer, for example. We see hooded sprayers in row crops. But there may be other ideas. The simple device called the PatternMaster introduced by KB Industries a few years back was also a step in that direction. Let’s keep working on this. 2. Air Assist: Small drops don’t drift just because they’re small. They drift because they have very little kinetic energy, and they get blown off course easily. Speed them up, and that problem is solved. Introducing an air stream at the nozzle can do just that. Furthermore, air assist also enhances canopy penetration, a problem that we currently attempt to address with the addition of more water. Again, this idea is not new. Hardi, once the world’s largest sprayer manufacturer, has had the TwinForce boom available for decades. An inflatable bag is positioned over the boom. Openings along the bottom direct the air down. The operator turns a knob in the cab to control fan speed, and another for forward or backward angle, until the combination is suited to the canopy and the travel speed. The SprayAir, out of Carseland, Alta., (purchased by Miller and still available) was a less elegant version because they chose an air-shear atomizer that sometimes required more air than was prudent. Too much air rebounds off the ground, increasing the drift issue. Its Trident boom, allowing a hydraulic nozzle to be used with air assist, continues to have potential. Air bag type air assist systems were also available from other manufacturers, but none were ever commercially successful. 3. Low Booms: How low can booms go? It depends on the nozzle spacing and fan angle. Horsch claims that with a good 50
boom package, this is an option. It offers 10” spacing, and with wide fan angles, booms as low as 10” are theoretically possible. Hands up who will try this at 29 km/h. 4. Twin Fluid Atomizer: In this atomizer type, both air and liquid are forced out through the same nozzle. The ratio of air and liquid determines the liquid flow rate and the degree of atomization. First introduced by Cleanacres in the U.K. as the Airtec, improved by Harry Combellack in Australia over many years, and making a re-appearance with the Dutch manufacturer Agrifac, it’s been one of my favourite atomizers, mostly in theory. The small amount of air moving through each nozzle is not enough for serious air assist, but the idea is good and perhaps it can be improved. 5. Electrostatics: Forget about it for drift control. The attractive force is so weak that it only works for very small droplets over short distances. It needs air assist to work properly. See point 2. 6. Rotary Atomizer: These are all the rage on aircraft these days, offering a more consistent droplet size range that eliminates the largest, water-wasting droplets, and curtails many of the smallest droplets produced by hydraulic atomizers. These attributes are powerful and address the fundamental problem: If the small droplets drift, then let’s not produce them. In reality, rotary atomizers are used mainly to produce smaller droplets to save water in the aerial business, not really solving the drift problem. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the concept was advanced by Micron Corporation, led by Ed Bals and later his son Tom. Although very successful in forestry and hand-held applications in arid regions where water posed a serious limitation, the transition to boom spraying never happened. 7. A new atomizer: This is my Hail Mary. All hydraulic nozzles produce a wide variety of droplet sizes and that is a problem. Even the venerable dicamba nozzles that create ‘Extremely Coarse’ and ‘Ultra Coarse’ sprays produce some fines that drift in inversions. The idea put forth by Ed Bals, to eliminate the problematic size ranges, is sound. But the rotary atomizer is hard to implement on a boom sprayer. Can there be an innovation that maintains a simple overall design, produces a narrow, but low-drift droplet size range, and mates it to a bit of air assist to get the spray where it belongs? Absolutely. To create value for farmers you first need to understand their problems. Getting the spraying job completed on time often means squeezing the spray job into ever narrower time frame, between rains, between winds and inversions, between too much dew and too dry, between too early and too late. I look forward to the day when engineering resources are allocated to address these issues better, protecting both the environment and the stress levels on the farm.
CLAAS | ADVERTORIAL
THE ECONOMICS OF MACHINE VALUES The machine you use each season can make a huge difference in the profitability of your operation. At CLAAS, our goal is to arm you with the information you need to make informed business decisions that impact your bottom line. According to research conducted by IronSolutions®, a third-party trusted partner providing industry appraisal and value forecasting of equipment, there are three key economic influencers that impact the buying decision: • • •
Capital expense of machine; Maintenance and repair costs, and Opportunity costs (the gap in machine improvement
Further evaluation through a consortium of CLAAS dealers within the corn belt region provided insight on the variability of maintenance and repair.
advancements are made. For example, CLAAS implements yearly technology advancements such as increased horsepower, design, and feature improvements. As a result, CLAAS machines improve with approximately 1% greater efficiency annually, which can offset depreciation. So, what’s a smart operator to do? You have several options, each with advantages and disadvantages based on your purchasing type. Here are some things to consider:
Leasing Leasing new machinery lets you take advantage of the newest technology to cover more acres per year, while reducing the risk associated with operating older machinery that requires more servicing and maintenance. Questions to ask yourself:
Let’s look deeper into each of these factors. • • •
How long should your lease be? Are you buying an extended warranty for a longer lease? How can you cover more acres to take advantage of the new technology and efficiency of the machine?
Purchasing New Again, you’ll gain the newest technology for increased efficiency to get more crops through the machine. • • •
Capital Expense – Equipment Depreciation
Based on the data, how many years should your operation wait before trading? Are you buying an extended warranty for cash flow management? Can your operation increase harvestable acres to take advantage of the additional machine efficiency while at the same time dilute the capital expense?
Much like a new car, combines depreciate the moment you drive into the field. According to IronSolutions®, a new class 7 combine depreciates approximately $100,000 in the first year. Depreciation then levels off dramatically in years two through five. As the curve begins to flatten during this time, the role of economic impact as it relates to maintenance and repair becomes a growing economic factor to consider.
Maintenance & Repair
As your machine depreciates, maintenance and repair costs increase based on the level of wear and tear and hours you put on your machine. The annual maintenance cost associated with that combine falls somewhere between best case and poor case as shown in the chart above. For example, if a two-year-old machine requires approximately $1,000 of maintenance, the next year it will require $1,500, then $2,000 and so on. Based on the collaborative insight, data shows that by year five, the typical combine requires anywhere from $5,000-$10,000 worth of maintenance - and that doesn’t include the cost incurred by downtime.
Machine Advancements The ultimate goal in any machine purchase is to increase efficiency. That includes saving time, fuel and mitigating crop loss as machine
Minimizes the upfront capital expense associated with buying new in exchange for higher maintenance and repair cost and aging technology. • •
Do you have a planned maintenance approach? Do you have space in your harvest window for unplanned repairs and downtime? Are you buying an extended warranty for cash flow management? How many years behind the technology curve can you afford to be?
It’s important to note that every operation is different with a unique set of demands and challenges. CLAAS has multiple options when it is time to trade up. “No matter the brand you operate, CLAAS recommends evaluating which scenario is most profitable for your operation,” says Daryl Theis, Head of Marketing for CLAAS, “the most important item is knowing your numbers on the front end vs. the back end.” If you’re ready to talk about the pros and cons with someone who can guide you through the process without doing a hard sell, contact your CLAAS dealer today!
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
BASF BASF Agricultural Solutions has launched InField Innovation Tours in Canada. This new, interactive tour experience enables farmers to virtually visit trial sites across the country, learn about new, innovative solutions for 2021 and see how products perform. “With COVID-19 creating significant challenges for all Canadians, our initial focus this spring was ensuring the seed and crop protection products our customers rely on continued to be delivered in a safe and timely manner,” says Justin Gayliard, senior manager, customer solutions, BASF Agricultural Solutions Canada. “Then, our focus quickly turned towards identifying a way to meaningfully connect with our customers and provide … advice and technical expertise they have come to rely on each season from our BASF team.” BASF runs hundreds of performance trial sites across Canada each year. Through its new virtual platform, visitors can tour five BASF research farms as well as search performance results at a more localized level through an interactive map. Navigable by crop or solution, users will be able to explore field trials, view potential solutions for in-season weed, disease and insect pressures as well as examine new a new canola pres-seed herbicide aimed at kochia and volunteer canola. The virtual program allows farmers to see a 360 degree look at differences
Agri-trade Agri-trade Equipment Expo returns November 11th – 1¬¬3th, 2020 Since 1984 farmers and ranchers have attended Agri-trade for the latest information about new technology and equipment they can use to boost productivity and profit for their operations. Agri-trade has provided a key platform for producers to be able to learn from industry experts and be further educated about the growing trends in our industry to improve their business. Under the new guidelines from Alberta Health and Safety Agri-Trade is pleased to announce we will open the doors at Westerner Park in November. Agri-Trades staff is working closely with a range of Alberta agencies to ensure the show is conducted in a way that enhances safety of all those who participate. New carefully considered plans for safety precautions and procedures will be introduced for this year’s event. Safety is the top of mind for everyone who will be in attendance at this year show. 52
between treated and untreated crops, read performance and trial data and final yield results. With content added throughout the season, this online tour lets visitors to see how products perform over time in season and at any point throughout the year.
PICK A JOB. ANY JOB. DO IT ALL WITH BEST-IN-CLASS TORQUE AND CARGO ROOM. Take on every harvest with the most powerful, most versatile Defender yet. The industry-leading 69 lb-ft of torque and 1,000-lb cargo box capacity give you the power and room to hold bigger payloads and tow heavier charges than ever before. Whatever the task, the Can-Am Defender is ready to work.
© 2020 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US Inc. BRP reserves the right, at any time, to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. CAN-AM OFF-ROAD VEHICLE: Some models depicted may include optional equipment. For side-by-side vehicles (SxS): Read the BRP side-by-side operator’s guide and watch the safety DVD before driving. Fasten lateral net and seat belt at all times. Operator must be at least 16 years old. Passenger must be at least 12 years old and able to hold handgrips and plant feet while seated against the backrest. SxS are for off-road use only; never ride on paved surfaces or public roads. For your safety, the operator and passenger must wear a helmet, eye protection and other protective clothing. Always remember that riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Never engage in stunt driving. Avoid excessive speed and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Always ride responsibly and safely.
NEWS & INNOVATIONS
Alliance Tire Group ALLIANCE TIRE AMERICAS OPENS FIRST CANADIAN WAREHOUSE IN ONTARIO Alliance Tire Americas, Inc. (ATA) opened its first Canadian warehouse in Mississauga, Ont., this past June. The warehouse will serve dealers in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, says Dhaval Nanavati, president of ATA. “It’s very exciting to be able to support our dealers in eastern Canada with a new warehouse that puts them just a phone call away from a huge selection of Alliance tires for agriculture, forestry, construction, material handling, and more,” says Nanavati. “Pulling from our warehouse inventory can be a very cost-effective tool for helping their customers address just about any challenge.” Alliance Tire Americas, Inc. is the American sales and marketing arm of the Alliance Tire Group (ATG), a global leader in agricultural, logging, construction, material handling and other off-the-road (OTR) tires. The company’s Alliance, Galaxy and Primex brands have earned global reputations for excellence and performance. Alliance Tire Americas is also the exclusive U.S. distributor for Aeolus TBR tires, and also markets its own Constellation brand of TBR and OTR tires.
The new warehouse is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. For information on the warehouse or to order Alliance tires from the facility, contact ATA reps Daniel Menard at (819) 469-3574 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Barrie Taylor at (306) 381-5150 or email@example.com.
Merdian Manufacturing Meridian launches new continuous mix flow dryers Meridian to offer farmers Grain Handler Continuous Mix-Flow Dryers! With design origins in Alberta, Grain Handler dryers have been proven across the Prairies for decades. Meridian is proud to partner with UFA to offer these dryers in Western Canada. Grain Handler dryers are built heavier and are more efficient than any others commercially available. The dryer has many key features, including lower energy costs and higher retention time in the dryer. This results in a higher quality and test weight grain. The Mix-Flow design is also capable of drying all types of grains at equal rates and the equipment is able to dry any grain commodity to food grade levels. Currently, models range from 400 to 6,000 bushels per hour of drying capacity. In addition, 40-45 CFM of air per bushel vs. 80-100 CFM on cross-flow screen dryers means less fuel consumption overall. 54
All models are designed with the ability to be expanded and there are no screens to clean, making it a low maintenance option. There is a five-year limited warranty on all models and one year of parts and labour. Single- and three-phase options are available now. If you are interested, contact your local UFA or Meridian representative to learn more.
WORKING LONG HOURS TAKES INNER STRENGTH.
FOR YOU AND YOUR EQUIPMENT. For every harvest, and every season, you and your truck are up for anything. Shell Rotella® synthetic engine oil is built for those who depend on their trucks and tractors. So keep them running strong no matter what you put them through. Upgrade to synthetic engine oil – available at your local Canadian Tire.
Available at: ® Trademark of Shell Brands International AG. Used under license. © Shell Canada Products 2020. All rights reserved. CE16281-03 CANADIAN TIRE® and the CANADIAN TIRE Triangle Design are registered trade-marks of Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited.
Navigate Uncertainty Even in the best of times, farming is a risky business with exposures in various areas including people, finance, markets, management, business environment and production. With multiple risks to consider and various insurance programs to cover them, it can be a challenge to determine the best course of action for your farmâ€™s annual insurance risk management strategy. Through our full service approach, the team at MNP is here to support you so you can grow your business while protecting it during challenging times. Contact your local Business Advisor or Farm Management Consultant to learn more.