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Animal welfare — act now, or have someone else do it


PARTNERS  The National Farm Animal Care Council is comprised of members from both animal welfare groups and agriculture BY SHERI MONK AF STAFF | CALGARY


ivestock producers need to both walk the walk and talk the talk on standards for animal welfare, or have someone else set the agenda for them. That was the message from two speakers at the recent International Livestock Congress here. Dr. Mike Siemens, leader of animal welfare and husbandry for Cargill, emphasized that the industry must be proactive. “We’re very reactive. I know we try to do some programs and put things in place, but we’re afraid of the issue because the issue gets framed for us on a routine basis,” Siemens said. “We’ve got to try to interject facts, and try to counteract lies and mistruths, and that’s a hard thing to do.” Siemens said the Internet has changed the landscape, allowing animal rights groups inexpensive access to the public through social media. “That’s given our critics a huge venue to infiltrate the public persona, to get to them and given them information, be it accurate, or more times inaccurate, or partial truths.” Siemens said the push by rights groups really started to get intense in the mid-1990s, which resulted in individual fast-food chains being protested until welfare concessions were made. Recently, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) came to an agreement with the United Egg Producers to radically change the industry to make it more humane. The agreement came at a time when several states were contemplating legislation regarding cage size, and amid mounting public concern. “They found no other way to resolve that so they struck a deal with HSUS,” said Siemens, adding the other commodity groups were opposed to the precedent set by the direct negotiations between the two groups. Siemens said fallout from leaked videos from slaughterhouses and feedlots is always in response to animal abuse, not to routine protocol. He said the solution is to remove the cause. “We need to identify those in the animal protein supply chain who abuse animals and help them exit gracefully out of the industry,” said Siemens.

Camper Mariah White leads her horse Pioneer to the hitching rail after a day-long ride. For more photos see page 15. PHOTO: RICHARD ERLENDSON






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news » inside this week

inside » Another invasive hawkweed Reports of suspected infestations requested




Second thoughts on bale grazing

Corn spreads to the Peace

columNists brenda schoepp Women produce most of the food, but get least of the credit


carol schwetz Scratches — several names and several causes

Poppies for Alberta? Local product could displace imports for medicinal use

briefs Siberian cow climbs five storeys Reuters / A cow which was not in the mood ambled to the top storey of a Siberian apartment building to escape a bull which was, and had to be led back down by firefighters, authorities said. The cow was discovered bellowing on the top of a stairwell in the five-storey building in the village of Lesogorsk last month, with the probable cause of the cow’s distress an amorous bull at the bottom. “The bull was very loving and had paid excessive attention to the cow during the summer grazing,” the Irkutsk regional branch of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement. “Trying to escape from him, the cow ran into the building and climbed up to the fifth storey,” it said. It took firefighters about three minutes to get the cow downstairs by roping its horns and pulling, according to the statement, which suggested members of the crowd that gathered should have done the job themselves. “When we arrived there were dozens of people outside the building. There were members of the local administration, police and many bystanders,” it quoted fire station shift chief Yevgeny Smirnov as saying. “In principle, they could have done without us.”

French farmers protest markups A union of French family farmers on Aug. 22 held its annual sale of 40 tonnes of fruits and vegetables at “a fair price” to protest allegedly high markups by supermarkets. Two semi-trailers loaded with tomatoes, melons, plums, pears, potatoes, salad mixture and nectarines were offered in Paris and 27 other cities. The union said that for example, a kilo of tomatoes sold by farmers at 75 to 80 euros (C$.92-.98) was found at 2.5 euros (C$3.05) in supermarkets. Union general secretary Raymond Girardi said a fair price to the farmer should be 1.5 euros, with a consumer price of 1.7 euros.



Daniel Bezte


Researchers find nutrients aren’t staying put


Silage varieties tested for viability in the north


Summer weather review, and some new records


After 30 years of collecting, it’s time for some to go Downsizing } Collection of western Canadiana features lots of

horse-drawn implements by rebecca dika

af contributor | grande prairie


rent Donis would normally be chequebook in hand at the behemoth antique and horsedrawn equipment auction coming up in September north of Grande Prairie. He’s spent the past 30 years collecting similar antiques from all over western North America. Donis will be there, but he won’t be buying. This remarkable collection of antiques and horse-drawn farm equipment — there’s even a reproduction stagecoach — belongs to him. It’s that kind of almost salacious interest in western antiquing that led him to acquire a kind of collection that rivals that of many museums. Donis and his late wife spent three decades hitting every antique store and antique auction that caught their eye across Western Canada, Oregon and the northern States. Now that Donis is retiring, he’s ready to downsize. In preparation for the sale, he’s moved many pieces into a 1,000-sq.ft. machine shop. It’s full of hoosiers, sideboards, chairs, desks, barrister bookcases, crockery and odds and ends. Auctioneer Ged Willis said he expects people to come from as far away as Edmonton. “You’ll never find another collection like this,” he said. “I haven’t seen anything in such a wide range and good condition.” It’s a sea change for Donis. After raising his family on a large acreage while building a successful oilfield company, Donis says he won’t be looking back. “We really enjoyed the old stuff, especially western Canadiana and some oddball items.” Glancing around the massive collection, Donis laughs. “This is what happened when you stop in every antique store and auction you see over the course of 35 years.”

Brent Donis with some of his antiques that will be up for sale next month.  Photo: Rebecca Dika The collection is eclectic and includes an unusual mostly wooden barber chair. For years, it sat in his poolroom alongside a barber shop pole he picked up in Las Vegas and an array of vintage barbershop supplies. Then, there’s the 1886 Columbia portable gramophone (it works), a Feb. 24, 1927 edition of the Edmonton Journal (five cents per single copy!) blaring “Adzich Trial On, Courtroom Mobbed.” The 1932 pinball machine isn’t very challenging, but it’s a super conversation piece. How about the wooden cash register from Tucker & Dorsey Mfg. Co. that can only be operated by pulling a series of handles just the right

way? A collection of vintage cameras, a pair of handcuffs bears metal plates reading “Property of Alcatraz,” a scale to measure gold… complete with some gold.

Horse-drawn paraphernalia

Donis started buying antiques when he was 24. His first piece was an English hutch and sideboard and it too is in the sale. When the Donis family developed an interest in draft horses, he built a team and started buying horse-drawn farm equipment. Auction patrons will find equipment from the Amish in Pennsylvania. Also, an antique machine that uses dog or goat powered to pump

water is a real kick. A don’t miss is the stagecoach Donis commissioned from Hugh Pomeroy, a local craftsman. Truly a work of art, the three-quarter-size coach is crafted out of birchwood and polished to a high gloss. It’s completely tongue and groove with no nails. If all of that’s not enough to tweak interest, the fullsize vintage windmill is for sale. At about 40 feet high, it’s sure to draw buyers. Willis said the TV show “Canadian Pickers” (History Television) has been contacted. “This is the kind of sale that’ll attract nutcases like me,” says Donis. “A few years ago, I’d have loved to go to an auction like this.”



Irrigation farmers prepared to stand up for their share Allocation review } None announced yet, but irrigators prepared to respond if one is announced

by madeleine baerg af contributor | taber


ith drought affecting more than 80 per cent of the continental United States, water — or the lack of it — is back in the news. In southern Alberta, where more than threequarters of the average natural flow of water is already allocated to users, irrigation farmers are standing up for their water rights in preparation for any future allocation review. “There is some movement (by government) towards a water allocation review. How it will happen or if it will happen I do not know,” says Ron McMullin, executive director of the Alberta Irrigation Projects Association (AIPA). “We really don’t know if there is a concern. But, you don’t put your head in the sand and say nothing will ever happen.” While no water allocation review is currently scheduled, if and when it happens, it will be done with significant input from all Albertans, says Brent Paterson, executive director of the Irrigation and Farm Water Division of Alberta Agriculture in Lethbridge. “I’ve had no indication of any heavy-handed direction of a change in policy without public consultations. But all users, including irrigation users, need to be concerned about the future in terms of their own water demands. I would caution everyone to be very proactive.” The AIPA has clearly taken the proactive approach to heart. Last fall, it launched a billboard campaign to share the message about the value of irrigated water. Nine billboards around Calgary touted the advantages of irrigated water, from recreational uses (almost all lakes and water catchment areas in southern Alberta are current or past water reservoirs) to environmental benefits (the irrigation district, working with Ducks Unlimited, has restored

82,000 acres of wetland in southern Alberta) to public good (40 Albertan communities’ water supply depends on irrigation infrastructure). This campaign was in addition to the other ongoing public education initiatives, including presenting portions of the Classroom Agriculture Program for Grade 4 students, participating at Aggie Days in Calgary and Red Deer, and creating a www. website. “We ran this campaign because we wanted people to know that irrigation provides benefits to them, not just to farmers. Our campaign was not policy based, but it was a little bit policy motivated,” says McMullin. “If we don’t tell our story, no one else will tell it for us.”

Growing industrial demand

At issue is the fact that most of southern Alberta is part of the South Saskatchewan River Basin, an area fed by just three major rivers, two out of three of which have been closed to new water licences since 2006. With increasing populations, higher-intensity farming, and growing industry in the area, all demanding water access, government may have no choice but to review how it is allocating water. “When government makes a decision, they have to weigh all the aspects. As long as they have a heightened awareness of the overall benefits from irrigation, we hope they will make good decisions,” says McMullin. Though competition for water is highest in the south, water allocation discussions will need to take place across the province in the near future. “We always used to think of water being an issue of southern Alberta. It’s very clear that it’s an issue of every watershed in the province,” says Paterson. “There have been discussions on the need to engage Albertans on water supply issues throughout the province… I am not aware of a particular time

One of the nine billboards the Alberta Irrigation Projects Association Nine placed around Calgary to tout the advantages of irrigated water for recreation, the environment and municipal water supply. plan for this to take place, but I think it is recognized that it will be an important conversation to have given the increased demand for water, and an increased desire to ensure the environment is protected.” Irrigation is a significant part Variety deregistration– [6”]it of the fabric of society and

Alberta Farm Express 2012

goes well beyond producing commodities, says McMullin. “I like to say we’re the lifeblood of southern Alberta. Irrigation was created to bring people here, to make it possible for them to grow things they couldn’t grow otherwise, and to be more assured of making a living. We

need Albertans — all Albertans — to recognize the value irrigation has to them.” Water allocations compared to average natural flow http://envi Water use by sector http:// html.


Attention: Grain producers The registration for the following Canada Western Red Spring wheat variety will be cancelled effective August 1, 2013: 


Effective August 1, 2013, this variety will only be eligible for the grade Wheat, Canada Western Feed. The registration for the following flaxseed varieties will be cancelled effective August 1, 2013:  

CDC Mons CDC Normandy

Effective August 1, 2013, these varieties will only be eligible for the grade Flaxseed, 3 Canada Western/Canada Eastern.

Working together, we all play a part in maintaining Canada’s grain quality.

For more information, contact the Canadian Grain Commission : 1-800-853-6705 or 204-983-2770 TTY : 1-866-317-4289 Stay informed. Get updates by RSS feed about changes to variety designation lists. To subscribe, visit the Canadian Grain Commission’s web site.

This Alberta Environment map shows the relative supply versus demand across the province.



EDITOR Will Verboven Phone: 403-697-4703 Email:

Reporters Alexis Kienlen, Edmonton (780) 668-3121

Saving billions is tempting for penny-pinching feds

Sheri Monk, Pincher Creek (403) 627-9108

PRODUCTION director Shawna Gibson Email:

Director of Sales & Circulation

AGRISTABILITY } A return to normal prices could mean big payouts under the

Lynda Tityk Email:

current formula

CIRCULATION manager Heather Anderson Email:

By will verboven

Alberta Farmer | Editor

national ADVERTISING SALES James Shaw Phone: 416-231-1812 Fax: 416-233-4858 Email:

classified ADVERTISING SALES Maureen Heon Phone: 1-888-413-3325 Fax: 403-341-0615 Email:

ADVERTISING Co-ordinator Arlene Bomback Phone: 204-944-5765 Fax: 204-944-5562 Email:

PUBLISHER Bob Willcox Email:

Associate PUBLISHER/editorial director John Morriss Email:

Printed by Gazette Press, St. Albert, AB The Alberta Farmer Express is published 26 times a year by Farm Business Communications. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage for our publishing activities. Publications mail agreement number 40069240 Canadian Postmaster: Send address changes and undeliverable addresses (covers only) to Circulation Dept., P.O. Box 9800, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3K7

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1-800-665-0502 or U.S. subscribers call 1-204-944-5568 For more information on The Alberta Farmer Express and subscriptions to other Farm Business Communications products, or visit our web site at: or email: At Farm Business Communications we have a firm commitment to protecting your privacy and security as our customer. Farm Business Communications will only collect personal information if it is required for the proper functioning of our business. As part of our commitment to enhance customer service, we may share this personal information with other strategic business partners. For more information regarding our Customer Information Privacy Policy, write to: Information Protection Officer, Farm Business Communications, 1666 Dublin Ave., Wpg., MB R3H 0H1 Occasionally we make our list of subscribers available to other reputable firms whose products and services might be of interest to you. If you would prefer not to receive such offers, please contact us at the address in the preceding paragraph, or call 1-800-665-0502. The editors and journalists who write, contribute and provide opinions to Alberta Farmer Express and Farm Business Communications attempt to provide accurate and useful opinions, information and analysis. However, the editors, journalists and Alberta Farmer Express and Farm Business Communications, cannot and do not guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in this publication and the editors as well as Alberta Farmer Express and Farm Business Communications assume no responsibility for any actions or decisions taken by any reader for this publication based on any and all information provided.


t has gone in cycles over the past 50 years, but it appears the battle lines are again being drawn between the federal government and the agriculture industry over farm support programs. The latest began when federal officials claimed the AgriStability program is too rich. Essentially this support program kicks in when a producer’s income falls below 85 per cent of the previous five-year average income. That level seemed to satisfy the federal and provincial governments in the past, but that was then and this is now. Now the federal Conservative government is on a deficit-reduction crusade and is looking for soft targets that won’t attract a lot of public or media attention. Clearly the agriculture sector comes to mind when the latter two are a political consideration. After all city voters and the urban media don’t care much about the fate of a few farmers who have shown a predilection to vote Conservative anyway. To come up with their anticipated program savings, it seems federal number crunchers determined that if the AgriStability support level was reduced to say 50 per cent, the program would likely never pay out and could save as much as $2.2 billion. It was finally recommended that the program be reduced to 70 per cent, that would still result in a saving of $1.2 billion. Clearly, making billion-dollar savings is just too tempting for any government. Besides on the crop production side, grain and oilseed prices have seen a steady increase and could see new highs as a result of the American drought. That makes growers complacent about any changes to the program today, although they may wish they had paid more atten-

tion if future prices and markets hit the skids.

Large liability

What also worries government program administrators is that a few years of consistently high commodity prices raises the overall payout threshold for future years especially if future market prices collapse. Payouts could end up being many more billions than the present program levels. What causes one to ponder is why those who created the program didn’t anticipate that possibility. Actually it’s part of longestablished pattern where government

What also worries bureaucrats is the possible future image of some crop farmers receiving million-dollar government cheques.

program planners in faraway Ottawa office towers are determined to base programs on price averages that will never change. They consistently never plan for prices that may significantly rise or fall on short notice, a reality that is becoming more common. They do throw out the highest and lowest figures in the average, but that doesn’t work that well in a consistent decreasing market price situation spread over a few years. The livestock industry was the best example of that over the past few years. Hogs showed a persistent price depression for several years in a row. Support programs could not adjust to that quickly enough and producers received

little support even in the direst of times. Some payments were triggered, but only after tinkering with the formula. The same happened to cattle producers in past drought situations. Even when the formula does kick in, the feds only seem to get in motion after producer groups hammer on them to activate the program. History may repeat itself with cow-calf prices expected to drop considerably as feedlots squeeze them due to high feed grain prices. At the recommended 70 per cent or lower trigger rate, those producers will probably not see much of a payment any time soon. What also worries bureaucrats is the possible future image of some crop farmers receiving million-dollar government cheques if the trigger stayed at 85 per cent and grain prices collapsed. Such payments have occurred with past programs, and the reality is that there are more mega-farming operations of many thousands of acres and millions in bushels and cash flow. The classic example was when the Alberta government made multimillion-dollar payments to some feedlot operators and big packers during the BSE crisis. The urban media was outraged. As fair as such payments were, making million-dollar-plus payments to mere farmers is still something the urban public and media can’t comprehend. Such folks have been raised on the image of farming being akin to “Old MacDonald’s Farm” not large-scale corporate commercial agriculture. You can expect that in future programs, caps will be put on large payments to big operators, just for image purposes. AgriStability may continue in some form, but it seems whenever support programs begin to work as planned and may actually begin to pay out consistently, they are somehow deemed to be too rich (remember Tripartite and NISA). What is consistent is that in the 50-year history of national support programs, political interference occurs sooner or later.

Horse-slaughter protesters seek to deceive By will verboven

Alberta Farmer | Editor


algary recently saw a ragtag group protesting the slaughter of horses. They gathered under a billboard which featured the slogan, “Stop Slaughtering Us” with a picture of two pensive-looking horses. To many passing by it was probably bewildering, but it is effective. Slaughter is one of those hot-button buzzwords that gets immediate attention. The protesters would seem to be mostly American-influenced through an organization called Angel Acres. Even the horse picture was American, as the same billboard has been seen in the U.S. The American anti-slaughter lobby had won a victory in shutting down the horse-processing business in the

U.S. But what they had not figured was that American horses would then be exported to Canada for slaughter. The lobby groups then set up shop in Canada through surrogate groups to influence gullible politicians, close down Canadian plants, or at the least prevent the importation of American horses for slaughter. To date they have not been successful. But one surefire way to get media attention is to state that food is unsafe and contaminated, so the protesters claimed that horse meat is tainted with a drug called phenylbutazone. CFIA testing shows 99 per cent negative for the drug. The reality is the horse meat business in Canada is a thriving industry that is professionally run, and closely monitored and inspected by the CFIA. Besides, almost 99 per cent of Canadian horse meat is exported under even stricter European and Japanese

health and slaughter protocols. So for Canadian citizens the industry is essentially out of sight and out of mind. But that reality doesn’t stop lobby groups. So why not scare gullible consumers and media with bogus allegations — it’s a proven PR tactic used by animal rights groups. To attract media attention, the protesters also trotted out Alex Atamanenko, an NDP MP from B.C. He is the sponsor of Bill C-322 which aims to stop the importation of slaughter horses into Canada. One suspects his participation was more an opportunistic political stunt to appear trendy and politically correct to naive urban and eastern voters. Even better from an NDP political strategy, they get to again bash at Alberta where the horseprocessing business is centred. However, as deceptive as it all may be, it’s all part of lobbying tactics and the end justifies the means.



Women produce most of the food, but get least of the credit straight from the hip } Women asked to fill in

online survey about their needs in agriculture By brenda schoepp


omen empowering women to grow food, protect environments, strengthen trade and secure financial independence for themselves, their families and their communities.” That’s the theme of a project for which I received a 2012 Nuffield Agricultural Scholarship for Canada. This fall I start with rural leadership meetings in Australia as well as with Meat and Livestock Australia, Cotton Australia and production tours on all crops before moving on to India, Turkey, Qatar, Ukraine and France as well as a visit to the United Nations in Geneva. Next spring I leave again for New Zealand, Poland (land reforms), Geneva for followup meetings, the Netherlands, England and Ireland before making my way to every province across Canada. In total there will be a visit to 16 countries in 16 months. The scope of the project is to develop mentorship programs specifically for women in agriculture and agribusiness. The outcome for Canada is the first national program of this type in the world. Although this project is gender specific, the benefits of mentorship have a family and community reach as women gain confidence and expertise in their chosen field. Women constitute 53 per cent of the global agricultural workforce — in some areas that is up to

90 per cent. Today, more than 80 per cent of the food in our world is grown by women. Thirty per cent of rural households are headed by women, with 60-80 per cent of those solely responsible for all food production. As an exploding population faces a global shortage of access to food created by an exploding population, women farmers, and indeed all farmers, will see unprecedented stress and challenges in the procurement and development of agricultural products. A failure to improve infrastructure and address policies that enable women to access an equal level of education, technology, credit and land ownership has not prepared farming women for the current and future challenges of marketing and higher input costs. Indeed, women farmers in all cultures are facing increased stress without the support of systems that make much-needed capital or knowledge readily accessible.

could be reduced by 150 million persons per year if women had the same access to land, technology, education, financial security and markets.” This call for gender equality resonates worldwide. The Dairy Women’s Network of New Zealand says that “Gender equality is not just a lofty idea. It is critical for agricultural development and food security.”

More education — more food

Although it would seem at first glance that inequality and a lack of access to resources is limited to developing countries, the United Nations gives a candid descriptive of farming women worldwide as “undervalued, underpaid and underrecognized.” Corporate agriculture also concedes that as we go forward the challenges will be in infrastructure and in land ownership. Without these critical points, the second of which

Although consumers around the world are asking for a shorter link between the farmer and the fork, the political environment lacks an appreciation for this potential and fails to recognize that as resources for women increase, so does agricultural production. As rural economies are drained, the role of women in agriculture takes on urgency. In March of 2011, Earth Times reported that “hungry people

Normal is not high


t’s time the agriculture industry, especially those people directly involved with the cattle industry, stopped referring to current cattle feeder prices as “high.” The reality is that feeder prices are not high, they are just barely where they should be. Right now cattle prices are normal or adequate and the industry needs to recognize that fact immediately. Constantly referring to feeder prices as high gives the false impression that if prices drop, everyone will still be fine because they are getting “normal” value for their cattle. If prices fall people will call it a market correction, shrug their shoulders and turn away. Reality is input prices remain up

“Gender equality is not just a lofty idea. It is critical for agricultural development and food security.”

and if cattle prices fall a lot of people are going to be in trouble. Everyone knows this and it weighs on the minds of producers, but not many people speak up. Feeder prices are finally at the point where ranchers can maybe make a little money. Perhaps they can afford to finally replace the brakes on the old truck; maybe pay down their loans or put a couple of dollars away for retirement. Maybe, just maybe, they can start to dream about expanding their operations so one day their children can have a place of their own. When ranchers are driving nice trucks and have a smile on their face, then prices can be considered to be “high.” Travis and Kara Eklund WineGlass Ranch Cochrane, Alberta

is vital to women today, we will continue to see stress and strife in agricultural food production. Interestingly, these issues for women farmers and women engaged in agriculture are not limited to a faraway place. Canada does not have designated assistance, mentorship or support for women farmers. A collective voice that represents and addresses the issues that are truly Canadian is silent. Blanket statements regarding agriculture, farming or farming women are rarely valid. By working with and learning from women farmers at home and in different countries, one sifts out what can and will work and identifies pitfalls which may precede failure. Canadian women own and operate 29 per cent of agricultural enterprises and they own 53 per cent of all small-medium businesses, which contribute $27 billion to the economy annually. In post-secondary institutions, women students are predominant and these women will be our future leaders. It is important now, today, that our future leaders have the tools they need. As a national mentor myself through the Cattlemen Young Leaders Program, I can appreciate the value of mentorship to both mentor and mentee. Others recognize it too. The Conference Board of Canada has reported that it is not the glass ceiling that women hit in executive positions; it is the lack of men-

Forage association opposes GM alfalfa


he general membership of the Peace Region Forage Seed Association strongly opposes the introduction of genetically engineered alfalfa into Canada. The association, representing virtually all of the growers and marketers of seed for forage grasses and legumes in the B.C. and Alberta Peace region, has a major concern that international market opportunities may be greatly reduced if such GMO

torship and structure for women from women that often cripples advancement. The World Bank Group recently identified gender equality as the key to stimulating economic growth. Yet governments struggle with the concept of ensuring food supplies through enabling policy regarding access to credit, education, tools, materials, technology, land ownership and the encouragement of gender equality for women in agriculture. Despite the overwhelming evidence that addressing the issue provides sound economic foundations for men and women, boys and girls, for families, communities, regions and countries, we continue to watch women farmers struggle. Only when we empower these resourceful and committed women and provide for them an infrastructure which includes mentorship, can we hope to grow our economies. I ask all Alberta women to contribute to this project by completing a short online survey about their needs in agriculture, specifically for mentorship. Please go to www.brendascho and let your voice be heard. Brenda Schoepp is a market analyst and the owner and author of Beeflink, a national beef cattle market newsletter. A professional speaker and industry market and research consultant, she ranches near Rimbey, Alberta. brenda. or

crops are allowed to grow in the Peace Region of Alberta and British Columbia. The concern is not only that the markets for forage grasses and legumes will be damaged, but also that export markets of such products as hay and alfalfa pellets will be reduced. Members fear that cross-pollination and mixing of the GMO trait in normal handling would result in disqualification of their products for the GMO-free requirements of many of their key customers. Chris Thomson Peace Region Forage Seed Association Taylor, B.C.




saving lives in rural Communities. one man at a time.

Giving the Gift of Grain Combines for Cures seeks to improve prostate HealtH in rural alberta You would hardly think a grain donation might help save a farmer’s life, but that is exactly the strategy behind the new Combines for Cures™ (C4C) program. The Prostate Cancer Centre and Prostate Cancer Canada created this innovative program to increase the number of men in rural Alberta (aged 40+) to have a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test. This simple blood test can help with early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Part of the program asks farmers to give the gift of grain. Grain collected as donations from now until the end of the year will help Combines for Cures purchase a mobile testing clinic – a Man Van™ – with money raised in rural Alberta. This vehicle will be dedicated to testing men in rural Alberta. “Making a grain donation is easy”, says Jay Burrows of Western Feedlots Ltd. “Just allocate a portion of your currently contracted deliveries (or pledge a portion of your new crop production) to Western Feedlots Ltd. (barley), or to Richardson Pioneer (oilseeds and wheat). Simply allocate an amount and we will make a split payment, with your grain donation going to “Combines for Cures”. We will do the paperwork, and forward a cheque to the Prostate Cancer Centre (PCC) on your behalf. Burrows says the cash value of a grain donation will be the price of grain on an existing contract, or if not contracted, the day it is delivered. After the donation is made, PCC sends you a tax receipt. Agrium Crop Production Services (CPS) retail outlets in the pilot test area (central Alberta) are also accepting cash donations or grain pledges. “Through CPS and ourselves we’ll organize a central location where we can consolidate the pledged grain,” explains Burrows. The C4C test pilot program officially launched in March, 2012, and from five testing locations the statistics proved the need for a rural Man Van. Over 70 per cent of those tested had never had a PSA test. “We believe universal access in remote areas to prostate cancer awareness and PSA testing is clearly important,” says Pam Heard, executive director of the PCC. “When we involve communities in an important health initiative we stimulate change for a healthier future. It’s a call to action for men to take charge of their health.” Airdrie rancher John Lee encourages his rural colleagues to get that PSA blood test when the Prostate Cancer Centre brings the Man Van to their community. Lee had five years of baseline blood tests that proved critical in his cancer diagnosis in September, 2009. “Early diagnosis is important because it gives you so many options. With today’s medical technology it gives you such a huge opportunity for a complete cure,” says Lee. Burrows agrees with Lee. “We know our farm friends and clients are often too busy to go to the doctor,” says Jay Burrows of Western Feedlots, one of the locations where farmers can make their donations. “With the purchase of the mobile testing unit, we’ll help bring the medical experts to you.” Heard says statistics show that establishing a baseline PSA level at age 40, can help detect the early onset of prostate cancer, which will allow for more rapid access to treatment if necessary. “Ultimately, we will save lives,” she says. For more information about Combines for Cures go to


18552_02 PCC_C4C_JohnLee_AEF.indd 1

Attendees at the recent International Livestock Congress in Calgary.

ANIMAL WELFARE  from page 1 Too busy farming

Ryder Lee, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) manager of federal and provincial relations, also emphasized the need to be proactive rather than reactive. “Are we telling our story? I don’t think so — we’re too busy raising cattle,” said Lee. “We’ve seen the result of not being out there, telling our story about our sensitive areas when we get clobbered by things like lean finely textured beef which came to be known as ‘pink slime,’” he said. Lee said the pink slime controversy reduced the price of beef by as much as $40 per head, and reduced the supply of lean beef so much, increased imports from outside of North America were required to fill demand. Lee represents the CCA on the National Farm Animal Care Council, which consists of members representing industry, government, retail, consumers, and animal rights advocates. He said


the organization is unique in the world, and may help stave off some of the battles over animal welfare seen in other nations. “We’re talking in a civilized way rather than combatively in court fighting ballot initiatives and in MPs’ offices,” said Lee. “We’re all talking about how farm animals are raised in Canada.” Currently, a new beef industry code of best practices is being developed through the National Farm Animal Care Council, and when it’s unveiled in 2013, it will have been approved by all the organizations it represents. Lee says producers and the industry have to do a better job of letting the public and animal rights groups know what is being improved, such as using smaller brands, different castration methods, using pain medication, and other innovations such as twostage weaning. He said that unless the industry is continually improving animal welfare and communicating those improvements, government could

“We need to identify those in the animal protein supply chain who abuse animals and help them exit gracefully out of the industry.” MIKE SIEMENS CARGILL

step in with costly new regulations. Even retailers could demand new protocols that producers would have to comply with. Lee said the industry can lead on animal welfare, and circumvent outside intervention. “That’s what we want to avoid and if we become more talkers and more doers about animal care, I think we can get there.”

Alberta ranchers win national stewardship award BIODIVERSITY  Ranch is home to a wide variety

of animals and birds as well as cattle


hristoph and Erika Weder of Spirit View Ranch of Rycroft, Alberta are the 2012 recipients of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association “The Environmental Stewardship Award” (TESA). The national award recognizes excellence in sustainable management and conservation practices. TESA is presented annually to a beef cattle operation that exemplifies the initiatives that producers across the country undertake to preserve and care for their land. The Weders have a passion for the environment, and say that they have a responsibility to the next generation to look after the land. Their motto is, “Think globally but act locally, and communicate those values to other people to make a difference.” Spirit View Ranch is comprised of 2,800 acres of deeded land, 4,200 acres of leased land and 640 acres of rented land. The ranch has acres of aspen boreal parkland forests and natural grasslands, and it is situated between the Spirit and Peace Rivers. Operating as a commercial cow-calf grasser operation, Spirit View Ranch is home to 1,000 breeding females and grasser stockers. It’s also home to 150 species of birds, 45 mam-

4/19/12 9:07 AM

The Weder family combines a cow-calf operation with a strong environmental ethic. mals, seven amphibian and one reptile species as a result of the family’s stewardship practices. The ranch was one of the first in Alberta to participate in the Ducks Unlimited wildlife and habitat inventory surveys, and they worked with Ducks Unlimited to restore more than 100 wetlands. This effort has helped to preserve biodiversity, retain moisture, provide a great brood

habitat for ducks and geese, and increase forage production. The Weders accepted their TESA award at the International Livestock Congress (ILC) conference in Calgary, held in conjunction with the 2012 CCA Semi-Annual Meeting. Christoph Weder accepted a cheque for $1,000 and silver belt buckle, made possible by Meyers Norris Penny, TESA sponsor since 2009.

7 • august 27, 2012

Agrium posts record profit


New deal } Deal

confirmed to buy Viterra’s stake in Canadian Fertilizers Ltd. By Rod Nickel Reuters


orth America’s biggest retail supplier of farm products and services, Agrium Inc., reported record-high second-quarter profit on strong demand for crop inputs, but analysts said the severe U.S. drought presents downside risks. National Bank Financial cut Agrium’s rating to “underperform” from “sector perform” on Aug. 3, following a downgrade by Dahlman Rose and Co. “Management is optimistic about prospects given the rally in grain prices, though there is risk that nutrient demand could be muted near term if the U.S. drought persists into the fall,” National Bank analyst Robert Winslow said in a note to clients. “With much more apparent downside risk than upside for grains, we argue the next few quarters of fertilizer demand/pricing will be as good as it gets this cycle.” The stock has gained about 40 per cent this year, following skyrocketing corn prices. Dahlman Rose analyst Charles Neivert said he is turning cautious and downgraded both Agrium and rival PotashCorp of Saskatchewan Inc. to “hold” from “buy” recently. There could be a slight reduction this autumn in use of potash and phosphate nutrients, both of which Agrium produces, in the most parched areas of the United States, said Agrium chief executive Mike Wilson, but he said the drought will solidify demand overall for crop inputs in the 2012 second half. “Our fundamentals look great, not just for the next few months, but the next few years,” he told analysts. Calgary, Alberta-based Agrium reported its quarterly results following news that U.S. fertilizer producer CF Industries Holdings Inc. had struck a deal with Glencore International Plc to buy Viterra Inc.’s minority stake in Canada’s largest nitrogen fertilizer plant, Canadian Fertilizers Ltd. The deal gives CF full control of the Medicine Hat, Alberta plant and replaces a previous deal in which Glencore planned to sell the stake to Agrium, which had raised competition concerns among Canadian farmers.

Jessie and Zuni, a young pup, guard a stack of hay from livestock, while the bales are unloaded into the barn. Both are Australian shepherds, and live on Burro Alley Ranch, near Millarville, Alta.  Photo: Wendy Dudley



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Alberta Farmer AF-GEN-F’13 Jr. Page 4/C Junior page . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.125” x 10”



Pressure grows on livestock industry to reduce use of antibiotics HOT POTATO  The federal government licenses the drugs, but has no authority to control how they are used BY SHANNON VANRAES STAFF


anadian livestock producers who fear a U.S.-style clampdown on their use of antibiotics don’t have to worry — for now. Ottawa is sidestepping the issue and most provinces are only reluctantly beginning to fill the regulatory gap. But tougher rules that would more closely monitor, and possibly restrict, antibiotic use in livestock operations appear to be coming as concerns about antibiotic resistance grow. “It’s kind of slowly been building, it’s one of those things like global warming,” said Dr. Glen Duizer, animal health veterinarian for Manitoba Agriculture, Food

and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI). “It’s big and it’s been slow moving, but now it’s at a stage where for many of us... it has become much more significant in our minds.” The country’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Brian Evans, recently issued a plea to veterinarians urging them “to be vigilant in their oversight and to prescribe antimicrobials judiciously.” The U.S. has already moved past the warning stage. The Food and Drug Administration recently banned certain types of antibiotics, such as cephalosporins, for non-medical uses in livestock. And earlier this year, a New York judge, citing the mounting threat of “superbugs,” ordered the agency to withdraw approval for non-therapeutic use of antibiotics — specifically in animal feed

— unless drug makers can prove the practice is safe. But currently, the debate north of the border is on which level of government should be in charge of the issue. While the federal government monitors antimicrobial resistance, it does not control production, distribution, or use of veterinary drugs in Canada. That role belongs to the provinces. “There certainly can be a gap,” said Dr. Marc Philippot, president of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association. “If there is a concern with a certain drug, which level of government is responsible for that?” And concerns are mounting. The Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance, which collects samples

from abattoirs and on-farm animals, has found a growing number of drug-resistant pathogens in Canada’s food-animal sector, Evans noted in his call to vets to write fewer prescriptions. Philippot said Ottawa should be taking the lead on this issue but since it isn’t, the provinces will have to step in.

Taking steps

The biggest step taken so far may be in Newfoundland, the country’s smallest livestock producer. “People agree there is a concern over increased resistance, and a lack of new products coming out,” said Dr. Hugh Whitney, that province’s chief veterinary officer. Newfoundland’s greatest concern was the sale of over-the-

counter injectables and watersoluble medications, which could be bought and used without the advice of a veterinarian. “Were these drugs even necessary? Who knew?” said Whitney. “So we just made the decision that there was something we could do, and the decision was to restrict the use to veterinary prescription alone.” A federal committee recommended such a move a decade ago. Because many of these drugs do not require a prescription from a vet to obtain, there is no way of monitoring how much or how often they are used. The available estimates for the U.S. vary widely between 50 per cent and 87 per  Continued on next page

WHAT’S UP Send agriculture-related meeting and event announcements to: will. August 28: August Pasture Walk, Elzinga Farm 10:30 am, Valleyview. Call: Morgan 780835-6799 August 28: Planning for Drought East-Central AB, Sportex 9:30 am, Consort. Call: Sarah 888672-0276 August 28/29: Forested & Tame Pasture Criteria, Location TBA, Bonnyville. Call: Cassie 780435-0606 August 29: August Pasture Walk, Birch Hills Colony 10:30 am, Wanham. Call: Morgan 780835-6799 August 30: August Pasture Walk, McLaughlin Farm 10:30 am, Kinuso. Call: Morgan 780835-6799 August 30: Planning for Drought East-Central AB, County office 9:30 am, Sedgwick. Call: Sarah 888-672-0276 August 31: Extending the Grazing Season, L’Heureux/ Gaschnitz Farms, Joussard/ High Prairie. Call: Morgan 780835-6799 September 8: Flock Health for Productive Sheep, Olds College, Olds. Call: OC 800-6616537 September 11: Quality Water, Quality Life, Shorncliffe Lake Hall, Hughendon. Call: Sarah 888-672-0276



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A plate which was coated with an antibiotic-resistant bacteria called Klebsiella with a mutation called NDM 1 and then exposed to various antibiotics is seen at the Health Protection Agency in north London. Scientists have for decades managed to stay at least one step ahead of the ever-mutating bacteria. However, resistant strains, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA are surfacing. REUTERS/SUZANNE PLUNKETT cent of the antibiotics sold annually in that country are for growth promotion and prophylaxis in swine, cattle and poultry. “In Canada, we do not know the quantities of various antimicrobials used in animals, and we do not collect use data in a manner that

helps to further our understanding of resistance and its impact on human health,” says the report Uses of Antimicrobials in Food Animals in Canada: Impact on Resistance and Human Health. The committee behind this report recommended that be

changed, although it acknowledged that forcing producers to obtain a prescription would increase costs and would meet with resistance.

Consumer concerns

But in the end, it may be consum-

ers — not government — who drive changes. “Certainly at this point, we are trying to deal with public perceptions,” said Jake Wiebe, president of Manitoba Chicken Producers. “If there are ways we can cut back on antibiotics, just so they are at ease, we would gladly do it.” Like most poultry producers in the province, Wiebe keeps his flock healthy with medicated feed, but makes the switch to unmedicated feed 10 days before the birds are processed. He’s not required by law to do that, but Wiebe said producers want to allay consumer concerns. “We’re trying to manage it in a controlled fashion, and we’re trying to let people know we are working on this,” he said. “If something better is out there, we’re certainly not averse to change.” Wiebe said his industry is getting a bad rap on this issue, and many claims linking subtherapeutic antibiotic use to drugresistant diseases are not based on good science. Moves to limit antibiotic use in the U.S. also has implications for livestock producers here who sell in American markets. “We are certainly monitoring all

regulator activities related to agricultural practices in the United States,” said Dawn Lawrence of the Canadian Pork Council. “We will have to look at trade implications as we go along.” Describing American policies on antimicrobials as slightly ahead of those in Canada, Lawrence said it’s hard to predict exactly what stricter U.S. regulations might mean. That may be in part because there are no hard numbers on antibiotic use in Canadian swine production. “We cannot at this point put a number or identify a frequency of how commonly antibiotics are used as a growth promotant,” said Lawrence. “But certainly, antimicrobials are an important tool in our tool box, and producers and veterinarians want to ensure that their effectiveness remains in place for as long as possible.” But how to achieve that remains an open question. “It’s not just food we have to consider. We have to think about what is used in our pets, what gets out into the environment and what gets used by us,” said Duizer. “It’s not simple... it’s a big and complex issue.


Beef Cattle Research Council launches new website CENTRAL RESOURCE  All beef-related

topics can be posted


Sclerotinia is an expensive disease, costing Western Canada canola growers millions of dollars of lost revenue each year. Now there’s a revolutionary way to limit these losses: Pioneer Protector® Sclerotinia Resistance* – the first and only sclerotinia resistant trait on the market. It puts your first line of defense against this costly disease right in the seed, to protect your yield potential through to harvest. Control sclerotinia from the ground up. With Pioneer Protector Sclerotinia Resistance. *Field results show that Pioneer Protector ® Sclerotinia resistance can reduce the incidence of sclerotinia in a canola crop by over 50%. Individual results may vary. Depending on environmental and agronomic conditions, growers planting Pioneer Protector Sclerotinia resistant hybrids may still require a fungicide application to manage sclerotinia in their crop.

17/08/12 3:12 PM

he Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) has announced the launch of, a website which features information on the industry’s research priorities and objectives, background information on research topics and technical fact sheets on project results. The site also includes the BCRC Blog, where readers will find the latest research findings, learn how research connects to current events, and read commentary and information from researchers and other industry experts. The BCRC says the website currently features research results from studies funded by the BCRC, but in future, fact sheets on any project related to beef or beef cattle will be posted, regardless of the funder. “We encourage people to share their feedback with us and comment on the blog articles so that we know what kinds of information people are looking for,” BCRC chair Matt Bowman said in a release. “As time goes on and the website evolves, we’ll be able to deliver the types of information people want in the format they want it so they have the knowledge to do what’s best for their operation.”




Alden Young from Siksika (l to r), Jalen Twigg from Cardston and Seth Cardinal from Calgary wait their turn to compete.

Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park near Cluny was the site of the fifth annual World Chicken Dance Championship on Aug. 9 in conjunction with Blackfoot Crossing Fest, the site’s annual celebration of Blackfoot culture, heritage and tradition. Kitokipaaskaan — the prairie chicken dance — has its origins in Blackfoot Country, and mimics the prairie chicken’s springtime mating dance. The regalia worn by the dancers have not changed much, and includes a head brooch, breechcloth, round bells and a small feather bustle. PHOTOS: JANET KANTERS

Kayleb Scalplock, age five, from Siksika, competes in the junior competition.

BRIEF Grade changes for barley and lentils The Canadian Grain Commission has announced changes to grading specifications for barley and red lentils. Currently, barley is classed as malting, hulless or general purpose. After Aug. 1, it will be classed as food, malting or general purpose, to better describe end uses. The CGC also announced changes to specifications for the percentage of copper and bleached seeds in red lentils.

Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through StewardshipSM (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of BiotechnologyDerived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product 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 this product. Excellence Through StewardshipSM is a service mark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® agricultural herbicides. Roundup® agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Acceleron® seed treatment technology for corn is a combination of four separate individually-registered products, which together contain the active ingredients metalaxyl, trifloxystrobin, ipconazole, and clothianidin. Acceleron®, Acceleron and Design®, DEKALB®, DEKALB and Design®, Genuity®, Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Roundup®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup Ready 2 Technology and Design®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, RIB Complete and Design™, RIB Complete™, SmartStax®, SmartStax and Design®, VT Double PRO™, VT Triple PRO™ and YieldGard VT Triple® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada, Inc. licensee. LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are trademarks of Bayer. Used under license. Herculex® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Used under license. Respect the Refuge and Design is a registered trademark of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Used under license. (3701-MON-E-12)

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Alberta corn now stretches from Taber to the Peace SWATH GRAZING  Unlike oats or peas, corn resists being pushed down by snow or rain BY REBECCA DIKA



lberta’s corn crop has been spreading out of its traditional pocket in the south, but recently it’s taken a big leap all the the way up to the Peace. Recently the Peace Country Beef & Forage Association (PCBFA) hosted a field day at the farm of Lawrence and Lori Andruchiw near Spirit River to hear about their experience with corn growing. The Andruchiws wanted to extend the grazing season for their cattle and cut down on the yardage costs associated with using farm machinery. They planted 27 acres of grazing corn using two Pioneer hybrids on three plots as part of a PCBFA trial project this year. Andruchiw, a PCBFA director, said one plot utilized only fertilizer, the second manure and the third a combination of both. This is the second time he’s tried corn. A 2010 planting didn’t fare so well due to drought. Precipitation had been scarce this year too; an inch of rain on Aug. 14 was the first of any volume since June 6 and provided a boost to still-immature stalks. The plan is to turn their 77 cows into the cornfield for grazing in late fall. “Typically if you were to grow oats or peas for swath grazing in late fall or winter, conditions have to be just right because once you cut it you can’t have too much rain on it or it will rot and the snow can’t be too deep or the cows don’t like to graze, but with corn it is standing and the cows just graze it,” said Andruchiw.

Corn is expensive to seed, said Andruchiw, estimating it at about $100/acre including fertilizer. On average, corn has the highest input costs of all late-fall or winter grazing crops like oats or millet but the tonnage yield per acre is so much higher, he said. “And by turning the cows into the corn in acreage allotments you receive an even greater benefit.” As part of the field day, Richard Lussier of Pioneer Hi-Bred showed off Pioneer’s corn seeder, which is available on loan to producers. Corn is a big seed, so a corn-specific seeder helps a lot, said Lussier. “A good used one can be had for under $5,000,” he said. “Some feedlots in southern Alberta are paying $250 an acre to rent irrigated land to grow corn, and they’re getting 25 tonnes per acre,” Lussier said. Corn is simple to grow, and can be seeded early but weed control is key, Lussier said. “Selecting the right hybrid with the right weed control is critical,” he said. Fertilizer requirements are similar to canola, but once grazed for a couple of years, not as much is required as the cattle manure will boost nitrogen levels. “Turn the cows loose, an acre at a time, and it can take four to five days to eat it down,” Lussier said. They’ll start with the cob, or what he called the “candy bar inside the wrapper.” “One ear per stalk is ideal because half of the yield will come from the cob where there’s lots of fibre and good energy,” he said. Because most of the benefits are in the cob, height of the stalk isn’t that important. In late fall, stalks can be left stand-

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The severe drought in the U.S. Midwest doesn’t seem to have put a damper on land values. Landowner newsletter reports that an Aug. 9 auction of 163 acres in Christian County, Illinois, with 158.5 tillable acres and an average soil productivity rating of 133.1 (147 maximum) sold for a record $15,600 an acre. The buyer was a neighbouring farmer. The auctioneer said there were about 145 people at the auction with 12 registered bidders. The opening bid was $10,000 and the auction was over in under 15 minutes.

Richard Lussier of Pioneer Hi-Bred demonstrates silage varieties at a recent field day. PHOTO: REBECCA DIKA ing as the Andruchiws will do, or swathed for forage or made into silage. Next year, Andruchiw plans to do a pre-emergence burn-off spray and seed about a week earlier. Corn can be swathed and then grazed but since the Andruchiws are trying to cut down on machinery costs, they’ll leave theirs standing.

Research continues

Peace Country Beef & Forage Association (PCBFA) program co-ordinator Akim Omokanye says grazing/silage corn varieties are being monitored for forage yield and quality on 340 acres seeded this year by producers in parts of the Peace. Grazing corn fields vary from 20 to 90 acres per collaborating producer. Over a seven-year period (to 2011), a producer in Manning has recorded dry matter yield of up to 14,032 lbs./ acre per year, said Omokanye.

“In a good year with good management practices, a forage yield of 18 tons per acre (30 per cent dry matter) could be obtained in northern Alberta for silage,” he said. In 2011, PCBFA recorded between 12.2 and 17.9t/acre forage yield at 30 per cent dry matter on a 30-acre corn grazing trial with Odell and Lylian Raymond near Peace River. The corn field was grazed for 72 days with 108 cows last winter. Certainly, more producers are gaining confidence and experience in the agronomic skills needed to grow corn for grazing in parts of the Peace, said Omokanye. “Newer corn hybrids with lower corn heat units are constantly being developed by various seed companies to reduce the weather risk.” Results of the corn forage trial will be ready by mid-November.

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Poppies for legal painkillers closer to reality for Alberta IMPORT REPLACEMENT  Lethbridge company sees locally grown product displacing

imports from Europe and Australia BY HELEN MCMENAMIN



oppies get a bad rap because of the opium variety used in the illegal drug trade, so it’s sometimes forgotten that they are also a source of important legal painkilling drugs. Canada is a major user of these painkillers, especially oxycodone and codeine, but this country neither grows poppies nor processes the narcotic raw materials into medications. It’s the only G8 country that doesn’t have its own production systems. Glen Metzler, of API Labs Inc. in Lethbridge intends to change that and make Alberta a centre of poppy production for painkillers in North America. His dream is coming closer to reality with plant trials in southern Alberta this summer. Many countries have produced and processed the alkaloids from poppies into painkillers for many years, but most grow the traditional opium or morphine poppy (Papaver somniferum), which produce a resin that can easily be diverted into the illegal drug market. Metzler plans to grow thebaine poppies, which produce thebaine, an alkaloid that cannot be converted into heroin or related narcotics, but is an excellent raw material for processing into codeine and oxycodone. Thebaine is considered a controlled substance rather than a narcotic, and requires a much lower level of security. Thebaine poppies have been grown for over 20 years, mainly in Australia, Spain and France, but more recently in Britain as well. The demand for thebaine is increasing about six times faster than that for the traditional poppy resin, which has increased about 35 per cent in the last five years. According to a 2010 statement from the International Narcotics Control Board, global stocks of thebaine are 17 per cent undersupplied. Production increases in Australia and other regions have been absorbed in the last few years.

Favourable climate

Metzler sees potential for as much as 25,000 acres of poppies in Western Canada. He says the warm days and cool nights of the Prairies are generally ideal for poppies. This year is the first year his company has field trials. “It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point, where we can finally do some field research,” he says. The current trials focus on testing a range of poppy varieties to find some that are well suited to Prairie conditions. They’ll also be working on developing agronomic systems — minor use herbicides, rotations, fertilizer needs, seeding rates and dates, irrigation, harvest practices. For the moment, the field trials are all in southern Alberta, close to API Labs’ Lethbridge headquarters, but eventually he anticipates growing thebaine poppies in Saskatchewan and central or northern Alberta as well as the south. “We’ll need to grow the crop in two or three areas to mitigate the risk of a cropping issue in one area cutting into production,” he says. “Manufacturers demand security of supply.” The thebaine is produced in the vegetative parts of the plant, mainly the seed pod. Poppy seed is valued

for bakery goods — poppy seed breads and other baked goods are especially popular among central European bakers and their customers. So, harvesting both straw and seed will provide growers with two income streams, says Metzler.

Two-stage harvest

Metzler doesn’t plan to go into competition with drug manufacturers. API Labs plans to build a processing plant to extract the thebaine and sell it to manufacturers as pellets of the alkaloid resin. In total, Metzler expects returns from the crop could be as much as $2,000 an acre — enough to compensate a grower for the paperwork involved in producing a controlled substance and the modification of harvest equipment for the tiny seed and the seed pods.

Growers in other countries generally use a forage harvester to collect the alkaloid-rich straw and seed together and separate seeds and straw in a second operation. “It’s difficult to say what the regulatory environment for thebaine poppies will be,” says Metzler. “Thebaine production hasn’t required any special security measures in other countries — that’s Australia, France and the U.K. We hope it will be the same as for hemp — a licence to cultivate it and a contract with a processor.” A processing facility would clean and package the poppy seed for bakeries across and pelletize the alkaloid resin from the pod material. A linked facility would process thebaine into painkillers.

Glen Metzler checks thebaine poppy variety trials. Rather than the traditional scarlet flowers of oriental poppies, petals of the varieties in the trials range from white to pink or lilac, sometimes with dark-purple or violet areas. PHOTO: HELEN MCMENAMIN

Q: What are my options now? Q: How can this new open market for wheat benefit me? Q: Where do I find information about pricing? Q: How will premiums and discounts be applied to my wheat? Q: How do I upgrade my wheat marketing skills and knowledge? Q: Who can I call if I have questions? Q: Who will do the best job of marketing my wheat? Q: Who can I go to for advice? Q: Who can I trust? Q: Is there a lot of high protein wheat in the world? Q: How do I figure out what the CWB is offering? Q: Is the pool a safe place? Q: How do I know what quality of wheat I have? Q: How do I maintain the quality of my wheat in storage? Q: Are there times when the market will want my grain? Q: How will the sale of Viterra impact the market? Q: How is rail transportation going to work? Q: What should I plan for next year?



Buyer beware soon to be more important for fertilizer CHERRY-PICKED  Data can sometimes be used selectively when comparing one result to another



ost farmers would scoff at the notion of replacing their nitrogen fertilizer with maple syrup. But Manitoba Agriculture soil fertility specialist John Heard was able to make a convincing argument using some creative interpretation of data. In 2009, Heard conducted a trial comparing the impact of a special “growth enhancer” derived from Acer negundo on canola biomass. The study showed biomass gains where the enhancer was applied were just as high as where 60 and 120 pounds an acre of nitrogen were applied. One might conclude this product, also known as maple syrup, could replace nitrogen. But the check yielded just as well. Why? Because the plots were high in residual nitrogen. “Sometimes data can be

cherry-picked,” Heard said in an interview. Every year some questionable products, often originating in the United States, vie for farmers’ money, he said. Some predict that could escalate as the federal government eases out of its current role as efficacy enforcer over the next two years. In another demonstration in 2002, University of Manitoba soil scientist Don Flaten and Rigas Karamanos, then with Western Co-operative Fertilizers, conducted the “Two Penny” experiment demonstrating how selecting positive results from a couple of sites can be misused.

Penny wise

Two pennies were planted with canola at nine sites across Western Canada. The test was replicated six times at each site. At one, the twopenny plots outyielded the check by 45 per cent. The two pennies had nothing to do with the higher yield. The cause was random variability, which one time out of 20

results in a statistically significant response, Flaten said. “If we sort and sift our data and show only data from that one trial in 20 we can make nothing look like something,” he said. “Whether it’s two pennies added to a plot or an ounce of maple sugar added per acre we can do these things. “These are the sleight-of-hand techniques that can be used by someone who might be less than scrupulous or naively optimistic about their product. Farmers just need to be aware of those methods and keep their eyes peeled for that kind of misleading information.” Flaten said he’s disappointed the federal efficacy requirements are disappearing, but he also recognizes the previous system was difficult to enforce. It’ll be up to farmers, individually or collectively through their associations, to test new products, he said, especially in the wake of government spending cuts to fertility research and extension.

MAFRI fertility specialist John Heard displays a sample of his nitrogenreplacing product that showed some stunning results. PHOTO: ALLAN DAWSON

New website explains how to sell across the border BOTH DIRECTIONS 

Site has information for both Canadian and U.S. producers



Questions need toWe behave answered. You have questions. answers. Together, we can navigate the changes. get started. Decisions need to beLet’smade. Actions need to be taken. 1-888-855-8558

working group of Canadian and U.S. organizations has launched a website with information on how producers in each country can deliver grain across the border. The launch coincides with the end of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly Aug. 1, which will mean Canadian producers can deliver wheat and barley to the U.S. without an export permit. However U.S. and Canadian grain crossing the border will still be subject to the respective and applicable customs and import regulations, such as phytosanitary requirements. The website at http://can ada-usgrainandseedtrade. info/ has sections for both U.S. and Canadian producers. Topics include finding a buyer, grading system, contracts and pricing, crossing the border, delivery of grain, settlement-payment, checkoffs, taxes and other deductions and relevant regulations and standards. Organizations identified in the press release announcing the website include the Grain Growers of Canada, Canada Grains Council, U.S. Wheat Associates and the North American Export Grain Association.



NEWS » Markets




No embargo, says Russian minister Russia’s agriculture minister on Aug. 17 ruled out a ban on grain exports from the country, fears of which have helped to drive global prices higher following drought in U.S. and Black Sea Grain Belts. Nikolai Fyodorov said Russia might use sales in some of its regions from state intervention stocks of grain — “pinpoint interventions” — to contain domestic food price increases due to expectations of a weaker Russian harvest. “All instruments are on the table, except for an embargo, (which) could do more harm than good,” Fyodorov told Reuters.

Australian wheat crop needs rain Dry weather is threatening wheat output in Western Australia, the country’s top producing region. Forecasts suggest dry conditions could continue at least in the short term before sufficient rain patterns return. Parts of Western Australia received some of the lowest levels of rainfall on record in July, prompting at least one analyst to reduce production forecasts for the state by 300,000 tonnes or 4.3 per cent of the latest estimated total output of 8.08 million tonnes.

Canola buyers bide time waiting on new-crop supply ICE } New contracts remain stagnant as participants

stick with U.S. exchanges

By Dwayne Klassen


anola contracts on the ICE Futures Canada platform had small losses during the week ended Aug. 17, with the advancing harvest operations on the Prairies and pre-hedging by elevator companies, in anticipation of increased deliveries of old-crop supplies and new canola off the combine, behind some of the price weakness. Canola futures dropped $7.80 to almost $11 during the reporting period. The absence of fresh domestic crusher demand added to the general weakness in canola, with that sector now waiting for cheaper new-crop supplies to be made available before stepping up to the plate. The pricing of old export business by commercials, and some light chart-based speculative and commodity fund buying, helped to provide a firm price floor. Some of the price action seen in canola was also tied to the evening up of positions ahead of the Aug. 22 crop production report from Statistics Canada, issued after press time last week. This is the first official government survey of what producers seeded to the various grain and oilseed crops in Canada during the 201213 season. Earlier trade talk was that canola yields would not be as good as first indicated, but that is changing and several participants think that canola yields will be above normal if not at record-high levels. Pre-report production ideas ranged from around the 15.6-million-tonne range to as high as 17 million. Canadian canola output in 2011 totalled 14.2 million tonnes. Wheat yields in Western Canada were also said to be coming in at above-average levels, with the weather less of a factor than it was for oats and barley this year. However, cereal crops in general were said to be holding trend.

had geared these contracts up with the small trader in mind, the larger commercials would have found a way to trade those futures in a successful manner. With the smaller players involved, liquidity would have improved, and the contracts would then begin to thrive. However, until the setup of these contracts stops favouring the commercial sector, the success of these ICE Canada futures remains unclear. The absence of participation was also being tied to the fact that participants are more than comfortable using alternative commodities at different exchanges.

ICE trades slow

U.S. markets hot

Arbitrage pricing again was the main feature of the milling wheat futures contract on the ICE platform. Few to no actual trades were reported in the milling wheat, durum and barley contracts. Market players are indicating that the absence of activity in those commodities is due to a variety of reasons, the biggest of course being the absence of liquidity. Few of the smaller speculative accounts want to be involved, given that the commercials, who are the only participants, can easily push the market around. In doing so, the game is already stacked against the smaller players. A large international house trader once indicated that if the exchange

CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) soybean futures were narrowly mixed

during the week. The arrival of muchneeded precipitation in the main U.S. soybean-growing regions helped to spark some of the selling that surfaced in the commodity during the week. The taking of profits also fuelled some of the price weakness. However, the need to ration supply, as export and domestic usage of the commodity remains strong, helped to generate strength. The tight U.S. and world soybean supply situation also provided strong support for futures. Underlying support in soybeans was also coming from talk that crop tour scouts were indeed finding that yields will be below normal. Corn futures on the CBOT generally lost ground during the reporting

For three-times-daily market reports from Resource News International, visit “ICE Futures Canada updates” at

period. Profit-taking and the absence of demand from end-users accounted for the price declines. Some chartrelated speculative and commodity fund liquidation orders also stimulated the downward price slide. The losses in corn, however, were restricted by the fact that supplies of the commodity are extremely tight. Demand rationing was also evident and helped to slow the price drop. Wheat futures on the CBOT, MGEX and KCBT generally lost ground during the week. Losses were influenced by the quick pace of the spring wheat harvest in the northern-tier U.S. states and by reports of much better-than-anticipated yield potential. Larger-than-anticipated stocks of U.S. wheat also added to the bearish sentiment in the market. Profittaking also helped to undermine values. The declines in wheat, however, continued to be offset in part by ideas that with wheat output in Ukraine and Russia not meeting expectations, importers will need to turn to the U.S. to cover requirements. This in turn has caused a bit of a run on the wheat supply situation in the U.S. Dwayne Klassen writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.



Camp is like spending the summer at “the farm” BY RICHARD ERLENDSON GRANDE PRAIRIE


oing to summer camp this year meant a week of trail riding and farm life for some Alberta teenagers attending Peace Country Wilderness Camps in northwestern Alberta. The camp has adopted a mobile, out-tripping model of camping where young people and volunteer leaders spend a week together (each week through the summer) either in the hills of the Wapiti River east of Grande Prairie or in the Wilmore Wilderness Park south of the city. Although riding is a major component of every day, volunteer camp director Todd Donaldson of Grande Prairie said campers seem to enjoy each aspect of summer camp. “It’s pretty much the modern equivalent of spending a week at the farm. They have as much fun splitting wood for the bonfire as they do horseback riding. Actually, they seem to get loads of fun from

regular farm-like activities like throwing bales from the back of the truck or jingling the horses in the morning with the wranglers,” he said. “And, on hot days, who would not enjoy a few hours splashing in one of the nearby rivers?” Richard Erlendson teaches photojournalism at Mount Royal University in Calgary, and spent a week volunteering at the summer camp – as he has done for the past 32 summers.

Camper Austin Wooden prepares to groom his horse.


Campers watch as horses come in from the pasture.

Wrangler Bob Donaldson works with campers to feed alfalfa pellets to the camp’s 40 horses.

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8/16/12 12:02 PM



Use caution in feeding hail-damaged crops NITRATES  Cattle are most susceptible but sheep and goats can also be affected



torm damage to crops can result in problems with nitrate accumulations, especially if the crops were heavily fertilized in the spring to optimize yield. Nitrates are a poison that can kill ruminants. Cattle are the most susceptible to nitrate poisoning, sheep and goats less so, but still susceptible. “The problem with nitrates is that you don’t know how high the levels are until the crop is cut and the forage has been tested,” says Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “We’ve been getting a lot of storms… crop damage in hayfields, cereal and canola crops range from slight to severe. “It takes about four to five days for nitrates to accumulate

to peak levels in hail-damaged crops. In about six to seven days after that, or 10-12 days after the storm, if the plants are recovering from injury, the nitrate levels will return to normal and the forage should be safe to feed.” The problem that producers experience is the balancing act between reduced yields because the leaf material dies and falls off the plant and the possible nitrates problem. Loss of leaf material results in lower feed value and tonnage per acre. “If you can see that the leaves are drying off and you are losing yield and quality, then you need to get in and cut and silage the crop or put it up as greenfeed. In that case, it’s essential that the silage or greenfeed are tested for nitrates and that the levels are known before any is used as feed.”

Nitrate poisoning can reduce weight gains, lower milk production, depress appetite, cause abortions to occur in early pregnancy or in the last month of gestation and increase the susceptibility to infections. These problems or losses are not often readily recognized and will occur when nitrate levels are at 0.5 to 1.0 per cent of the feed consumed (on a dry basis). “It comes down to a management decision,” says Yaremcio. “If you’ve had to cut a field in that four to five days after a hailstorm, take representative samples of the silage or greenfeed and get it tested. Knowing what the levels are is absolutely necessary to determine how to mix off the feed and develop a feeding program so you don’t run into trouble with nitrates and lose animals or have cows abort.”

Alfalfa recovering from hail damage. If plants are recovering after 10 to 12 days, nitrate levels should return to normal. PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

Droughtstressed corn may be toxic to cattle NITRATE  Producers

urged to test before feeding chopped corn STAFF

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s if U.S. livestock producers don’t already have enough problems, they are being warned that what’s left of droughtdiminished feed supplies may be toxic to cattle. News releases from both Purdue University and the University of Missouri say that droughtstressed corn fodder may have elevated levels of nitrate, because the plant has not been able to survive long enough to convert it to protein. University of Missouri veterinarian Tim Evans says that in normal conditions, corn crops typically absorb nitrate into only the lower 12-18 inches of the stalk, which does not have to be fed to animals. However, during severe drought conditions, high concentrations of nitrate can accumulate in the upper portions of the stalk, which cattle and other livestock often eat. The Purdue release says that Ohio producers haven’t reported any livestock deaths from nitrate poisoning thus far this summer, but to prevent potential livestock poisoning, producers are encouraged to test their fields before feeding any chopped corn.

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Another invasive hawkweed found in Alberta Yellowdevil Hawkweed (Hieracium glomeratum) has been found growing in the Crowsnest Pass area, says Nicole Kimmel, weed specialist with Alberta Agriculture. Invasive hawkweeds are among the most troublesome weeds in the Pacific Northwest. If you suspect a hawkweed infestation in your area, it is recommended to contact local government specialists for proper identification, says Kimmel. — Agri-News

Milk pasteurization a requirement The Alberta government has reminded that it is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk. “The incidents of licensed dairy producers actively selling raw milk to the public are rare,” says Keith McAllister, manager, Inspection and Investigation Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “However, all producers are reminded that the Dairy Industry Act prohibits giving or selling raw milk to anyone other than a licensed dairy processor. Producers who sell unpasteurized milk may face a fine of up to $25,000 and their licence can be suspended or cancelled. — Agri-News

Bale grazing may increase nutrient loading, say researchers Not so green } Practice of in-field winter feeding may not make the

Beneficial Management Practice list By Daniel Winters

staff / Whitewood, Sask.


inter feeding cattle on pasture has long been pitched to ranchers as one of the best things they can do to help the environment and their own bottom line. But new research on the Pipestone Creek watershed in Saskatchewan shows that it may not be as green as earlier suggested. “It’s controversial only because you have to be very careful where you do it,” said Barbara Cade-Menun, an environmental scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and SPARC. Cade-Menun, the lead researcher at the Pipestone Creek Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs) project in the “knob-and-kettle” pothole country south of Whitewood, Sask., said that analysis of run-off water from bale grazing sites has found extremely high concentrations of nutrients and harmful bacteria. “When we set this up, there were a lot of people who were

“But that doesn’t take into account what happens when you pollute your neighbour’s well and they’re mad at you and sue.” Barbara Cade-Menun

hard-core believers that this was a great practice,” she said, as she guided a tour group through the WEBs site’s various research points that were installed on three area farms in 2008. “And then they saw the colour of the water coming off of those sites compared to the controls.”

Coloured water

Bale grazing, a practice in which winter feed supplies are placed in a grid pattern and doled out to cattle row by row with portable electric fences, is used by many ranchers to restore fertility to depleted pastures and hayfields. Proponents point to hefty savings in fuel and wear and tear on tractors during the winter, and the elimination of associated costs of clean- Dena McMartin and Dave Barrett, researchers from the University of Regina, explain the results of water ing out and spreading manure quality testing from a bale grazing site on the Pipestone Creek watershed.  Photo: Daniel Winters accumulated in dry-lot pens in spring. But Cade-Menun said that when they enter the water sup- “flocs,” a kind of microscopic environmental BMP is questionable. fecal coliform counts in the ply, they can make people sick, raft. “It doesn’t seem to hold back run-off water from the test as evidenced by the Walkerton “It’s allowing longer sursites were 200 times higher tragedy. vival times for bacteria,” he sediments, particulates, and it than allowed, and researchsaid. “These larger particles produces high numbers of bacers were advised to wear dis- Snowmelt can transport nutrients as teria,” she said. Cade-Menun added that posable gloves when handling In normal years, most of the well.” water flow on the Prairies samples. P r e l i m i n a r y r e s u l t s a r e more evaluation of all BMPs Economists working on the happens during spring snow- showing that about 50 per is needed to see if they truly project estimate it saves about melt. For about two days each cent of the bacteria in water perform as advertised before $25 per head on the cost of win- spring, run-off collected on the are associated with sediments, public money is spent on gentle slope downhill from the he added. promoting their widespread tering a cow. “But that doesn’t take into bale grazing site exceeded all Kyle Hodder, also from Uni- adoption. “A lot of these BMPs are account what happens when water quality guidelines, she versity of Regina, said that you pollute your neighbour’s said. one “flash” rainfall event — done without testing,” she “We’re seeing water that is just shy of an inch in under said. “They just sound good well and they’re mad at you not safe to drink for humans an hour — this past summer on paper.” and sue,” said Cade-Menun. But Brook Mercer, the landDena McMartin, from the or animals, and not safe to stirred up an amount of sediUniversity of Regina, said that swim in,” she added. “We’re ment that was “higher than owner on the site, who mob recommending bale grazing as seeing a large flash, or pulse, anything he’d ever seen,” grazes 800 head of cattle in a BMP is “more economic than of microbes leaving the fields.” even in his past experience 40-acre paddocks, believes At that particular site, the in mountain glacier environ- the nutrient-capturing benenvironmental.” “You save on time, fuel, and run-off “probably” stays on ments, typically deemed the efits of bale grazing outweigh the animals are happy and the field and doesn’t make most prone to suspended the potential downsides. “We’ve got bale grazing sites healthy in one place,” said it into the main stem of the sediment movement. McMartin, as she explained Pipestone Creek, which runs “The water was almost black where the grass is so thick water testing equipment at across the border into Oak with sediment,” said Hodder. you can hardly drive through the two bale grazing sites, Lake in Manitoba, into the “In Saskatchewan, this sum- with a quad,” he said. “You get one control where no manure Souris River, the Assiniboine, mer, at this site, we had three years and years of benefits.” Linda Corcoran, a rancher was spread, and one where the Red and eventually Lake times higher concentrations manure from dry-lot pens Winnipeg. than any of those glacier envi- also on the tour, added that Dave Barrett, from the Uni- ronments.” she believes the researchers was mechanically spread in versity of Regina, has been haven’t studied the issue long spring. enough to see if the nutrients Fecal coliform, also known looking at how sediments Questionable as E. coli, inhabit the guts of from the site can ferry patho- McMartin said that the research and bacteria are actually makall warm-blooded animals. But gens farther downstream via shows bale grazing’s status as an ing their way into the creek.



Maximizing efficiency during tough times Squeezed } With feed prices high for at least a year, small improvements

can add up impact on performance and profitability By bernie peet


he rapid increase in both cereal and protein prices over the last few months has pushed up the cost of producing a market hog dramatically. The cost of feed per market hog, using Alberta ingredient prices, reached $127 for July and will be higher for August, according to Neil Campbell, with Gowans Feed Consulting. “That is for a toll-manufactured diet, so people milling feed on farm would be lower and those buying complete feed would be higher,” he says. With relatively high summer hog prices, there is still a reasonable margin for most producers, but producers will be squeezed if, as futures prices suggest, prices are lower after the summer period. “By the end of the year, we could be looking at losses of $20-$25/hog, based on predicted feed and hog prices,” says Campbell. What should producers do in response to this high feed cost environment? From a feed cost viewpoint, there is no quick fix, Campbell says. “At the moment, there is no magic bullet. We will have to wait and see what ingredients are available after the harvest is complete and what the price is,” he says. “It could be that there will be some poor-quality canola or lentils available for use in animal feed.” With a good crop forecast for Western Canada, hog producers will find themselves at an advantage compared to those in the U.S., where the drought has caused the corn price to rocket. The bad news is that buyers of U.S. corn will be looking for other alternatives, which will mean strong demand for western Canadian crops, especially cereals. “I don’t see the price of feed going down a lot, due to this demand,” predicts Campbell. “There are

buyers from California looking at buying barley in Alberta and there will be interest from the northwest U.S. and Japan, in addition to Quebec.”

Regular reformulation

Despite the lack of wiggle room that producers have right now, there are still things that can be done. From a nutritional standpoint, regular reformulation as ingredient availability and prices change is a must. Accurate feed budgeting is essential. In the breeding herd, paying attention to sow body condition and gestation feed levels can shave cost. Sows tend to increase in condition in summer, providing an opportunity to reduce daily feed intake slightly. Sows entering the farrowing rooms should be condition score 3.0 - 3.5. If there are sows in score 4.0 or more, it is an indication that their feed level has been too high. Ensure that individual condition scoring is carried out at about four and nine weeks into gestation and, most importantly, feed level is adjusted accordingly. Learn how to carry out condition scoring accurately using feel as well as sight, and using a half-point scale from 1 to 5. Accurate sow feeding and optimum body condition will help to improve longevity. A longer productive life leads to higher average litter performance over the sow’s lifetime and spreads the overhead of the sow and the feed she eats over more piglets weaned, reducing feed cost per piglet produced. If you are not achieving an average of five litters per sow lifetime, look for factors that may be reducing longevity such as poor lactation feed intake, gilts bred too light or too young and physical damage to feet and shoulders caused by abrasive flooring or sharp edges on equipment.

Routine sow condition scoring to ensure sows enter the farrowing rooms on condition 3.0-3.5 will help to keep gestation feed cost under control. Production planning

Tightening up on production planning in order to maximize output, is always a good approach when times are tough. This means making sure that facility utilization is high, primarily through meeting weekly breeding targets in order to make sure farrowing crates stay full. In turn, this requires accurate prediction of future gilt requirements, predictable gilt development routines and a flexible

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culling policy. Two empty crates in a room of 20 means 10 per cent fewer hogs sold in six months’ time. Feed efficiency in the grow-finish herd is a major factor in overall feed cost per hog. The biggest cause of reduced efficiency is feed wastage, so regular and precise feeder adjustment becomes critical when feed costs are high. Also, feeding the correct diets according to weight of pig will optimize feed cost and performance. For producers manufacturing their own feed, checking that particle size is close to the optimum 650 - 700 micron range, will lead to high feed digestibility. During periods of very high feed costs, it is worth reducing market weight slightly, depending on the grid and current weight relative to the grid. The last few kilos of growth are the least efficient and could be up to 20 per cent less efficient than the average for the grow-finish period, so the feed cost saving can be worthwhile. This should only be done if there is some leeway in the grid, so that average index does not deteriorate. Increasing the accuracy of weight selection can allow the average weight to be reduced by perhaps two kg without pushing pigs out of the “sweet spot” on the grid. High feed prices are here to stay until at least next year’s harvest. Producers will need to batten down the hatches in preparation for a challenging year. The only way to mitigate the effects of high feed cost is to use feed more efficiently by tightening up on all aspects of management, maximizing throughput and optimizing carcass weight based on prevailing costs and returns. Bernie Peet is president of Pork Chain Consulting of Lacombe, Alberta, and editor of Western Hog Journal

Trait Stewardship Responsibilities

Notice to Farmers Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of BiotechnologyDerived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product 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 this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Genuity®, Roundup Ready®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. Used under license.



Brief Crying wolf by text message The Guardian (U.K.) reports that sheep could soon cry wolf via text message. A Swiss scientist is developing a special collar to detect when a sheep’s heart rate rises. If it remains elevated for a long time, a sign of distress, a text message warning could be triggered and sent by a mobile chip embedded in the collar. Tests on sheep subjected to stress from exposing them to muzzled Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs showed their pulses almost triple from the normal rate of between 60 and 80 beats per minute. Dr. Jean-Mark Landry of the Swiss livestockprotection group Kora said the first collars would be produced this fall and that instead of contacting shepherds, alternative versions might spray a wolf-repellent chemical or make a loud noise. Trials of the completed system are planned next year. The trials follow increased livestock losses following a comeback of wolves in the Swiss Alps.



Pork imports major problem in Canadian market Indistinguishable } No labelling required, so consumers can’t choose Canadian product by madeleine baerg

af contributor | edmonton


anadian pork is a big success overseas, which is a good thing because producers here are having a tough time getting their product on the shelf here at home. “Right now, more than 25 per cent of the pork on Canadian store shelves comes from other countries,” says Darcy Fitzgerald, executive director at Alberta Pork. “Canadian content in the pork section of grocery stores is shrinking all the time.” There are no barriers to slow the imports, which means other countries are welcome to flood the market. Fitzgerald says the problem is that competitors such as the U.S. carry lower regulatory burdens, lower taxation and lower employee costs, which means they can consistently undersell Canadian product. “It definitely does harm our industry when someone bigger can play the game longer. We often wonder if they can really make it at the prices they’re willing to sell their pork for,” says Fitzgerald. International customers appreciate Canadian pork in a way that domestic consumers still need to develop. Currently, Canada exports 70 per cent of its pork production. Most of this exported product is marketing with country-of-origin labels. Overseas customers value and are willing to pay a premium for Canadian pork’s safety standards, and the top-quality taste and texture produced by Canada’s high-quality feed, excellent animal health, specific genetics, and highly regulated raising conditions. In the last five years, export sales have increased by almost a billion dollars, with export sales as reported by Canada Pork International topping $3.2 billion in 2011. Conversely, Canadian consumers “often can’t tell the difference (between domestically produced and imported pork), and generally buy based on price,” says Fitzgerald. Unlike Canadian beef, which domestic consumers consider a premium product, and Canadian fruits and vegetables, which domestic consumers feel loyalty towards, Canadian pork is currently not differentiated in domestic consumers’ minds from imported pork. This is largely because Canadian pork is not required to be labelled any differently than imported pork, and packages of Canadian product are regularly mixed on grocery shelves with imported product, making it impossible for Canadian consumers to know where their intended pork purchase originated. While some grocery chains do label Canadian product, the labelling is sporadic at best. “If you surveyed people in the grocery store, most would think all the fresh meat products are Canadian. While we expect fruits and vegetables to be labelled as to where they come from, for some reason, we don’t expect this on our meat, and yet we should,” says Fitzgerald. “Canadian consumers should be asking for (domestic product) to be labelled. If it happens that Canadian product costs more than imported product, consumers should have the opportunity to decide if they are willing to pay the extra price to ensure they have a high-quality domestic supply in the future.” Currently, the Canadian Pork Council is working to develop a

domestic national labelling system for Canadian markets, which Fitzgerald hopes will roll out in the next year. Whether retailers will choose to implement the labelling system or not may depend on consumer demand. Should Canadian consumers not step up in support of this country’s hog farmers, it is likely Canada will soon not have much of a hog industry at all. Fitzgerald guesses about two-thirds of Alberta pork producers have left the business in the past decade, and the breeding sow herd has dropped from about 220,000 in 2001-02 to about 120,000 today. “We’ve always had lots of food at our fingertips, but one day the reckoning will come that the farms have disappeared and what is grown here is exported out. We really need to cultivate the relationship between consumer and grower again. As a country, we really need to recapture the passion for food and enjoy the benefits of what is grown in our country,” says Fitzgerald.

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Scratches — several names, several causes DUE DILIGENCE  Once the horse is placed in a favourable environment

a variety of treatments can be undertaken BY CAROL SHWETZ, DVM


cratches, greasy heel, mud fever, mud rash, or equine pastern dermatitis are all various names for a skin condition that occurs on the backside of a horse’s pastern. The area of skin on the underside of the pastern becomes inflammed and ulcerated, oozing and weeping to form scabs and crusts. The thick, crusty, black scabs often coalesce in a linear fashion across the back of the pastern region resulting in the name “scratches.” As the lesion progresses, crusty, black scabs become generalized across the back of the pastern, occasionally including the bulbs of the heel and/or fetlock. If left untreated lameness may occur. This location is particularly tender, continually flexing as a horse moves. Horses with white feet seem to be more prone to scratches as unpigmented skin is more sensitive to environmental agents than skin of a darker colour. Scratches has many contributing factors and generally investigation is necessary to uncover the actual problem that initiated the skin condition. Fungi and bacteria bear the brunt of the blame, yet that an infection

exists is only partially true. Often underlying causes occur first, weakening the immune system, and so creating an opportunity for the existence of fungi and bacteria to take hold. Weak immune systems, overactive immune systems, photosensitivities, allergies, poor or improper nutrition, dietary intolerances, overburdened livers and even copper deficiencies can predispose a horse to scratches. Since the skin only has a limited number of ways to express irritation it means that a myriad of conditions can present themselves as scratches. Horses living in unrelenting wet or muddy conditions are especially vulnerable to the development of scratches. The incidence of scratches also increases during July and August when morning dews are heavy. Dampness softens the delicate pastern skin, weakening skin As the lesion progresses, crusty, black scabs become generalized barriers. In addition a fungus across the back of the pastern, occasionally including the bulbs of the found on mature clovers favours heel and/or fetlock. these environmental conditions, exposing the horse to a greater- querade as scratches. Some cases with clovers and alfalfa as some are simple and respond to good horses can develop scratches than-normal fungal burden. hygiene. Removal of the horse to from a dietary sensitivity to such Treatment a clean, dry area brings relief to legumes. Clinically this sensitivity Due diligence is often required the sensitive skin. Additionally, can appear as scratches. to uncover the underlying condi- it is advisable to remove affected Once the horse is placed in a tions that contribute to and mas- horses from pastures laden favourable environment a vari-

ety of treatments can be undertaken to care for the skin lesion itself. Salves and ointments containing antibiotics, anti-fungals, carrying agents such as DMSO, and anti-inflammatories can be used as medications. Another equally effective method is to apply a poultice bandage to the area, drawing out inflammation and toxins. Although it is tempting to clean the affected area of scurf and scabs, it can be very painful for the horse. A soothing poultice bandage will soften the crusty debris, allowing for a thorough cleansing of the affected area once the bandage is removed. While medicated salves and ointments can effectively treat the affected region it is helpful to remember that symptoms may continue to reappear until the underlying problem is addressed. Since bandages hold in dampness it is best to minimize their use. Once the affected area is clean, creams used to treat diaper rash in babies can be applied to the affected skin to form an effective soothing barrier from dampness until the horse fully heals. Carol Shwetz is a veterinarian specializing in equine practice at Westlock, Alberta.


14 The most trusted online equipment marketplace is at your fingertips. Stay up-to-date with and know the real value of your equipment with just a few clicks. Driven by REAL-TIME data, you’ll see over 100,000 listings – each paired with a high level of detail, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Find the information you need to make your next equipment purchase in a matter of minutes, saving you time and money.

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SEED/FEED MISCELLANEOUS Grain Wanted BUYING HEATED/DAMAGED PEAS, FLAX & GRAIN “On Farm Pickup” Westcan Feed & Grain 1-877-250-5252 BUYING SPRING THRASHED CANOLA & GRAIN “On Farm Pickup” Westcan Feed & Grain 1-877-250-5252


WE BUY DAMAGED GRAIN Wheat, Barley, Oats, Peas, etc. Green or Heated Canola/Flax




WANTED: JD 7810 c/w fel & 3pth; sp or pto bale wagon; JD or IHC end wheel drills. Small square baler. (877)330-4477



Heated, Green, Damaged Buying all levels of damaged canola. Excellent Market Prices. Bonded, Insured.

CALL 1-866-388-6284

INC. ANTIQUES ANTIQUES Antique Equipment NEW TRACTOR PARTS and engine rebuild kits, specializing in hard to find parts for older tractors, tractor seats, service and owners manuals, decals and much more, our 38th year! 1 800-481-1353,


MORRIS 881 HAY HYKER, 8 round bale retriever/mover. like new, minimal use, mint condition, $16,000. (403)236-5415, Calgary Area

FARM MACHINERY Combine – Ford/New Holland 1998 TX 66 NH combine, 1600 Sep. hrs. 14ft rake up pu, excellent condition, $55,000 OBO (403)823-9222, 403-854-1044, Rosedale, AB.

FARM MACHINERY Combine – John Deere 1978 JD 7700, HYDRO chopper, good running condition, 212 PU, 3400 eng. hours, always shedded, $5,000 (403)854-2189, Hanna, Ab.


2006 JD 9760 BULLET rotor, 950sep. hrs. loaded, exc. condition, JD 615 PU platform, done approx. 1000/ac, $185,000; JD 936D draper header, pu reel, w/upper cross auger. (403)344-2160, Aden Ab.

1978 KENWORTH TANDEM 5SPD auto, 3406A Cat motor, 20ft grain box w/3-way endgate, good condition, (403)227-2788 Innisfail, AB.

FARM MACHINERY Combine – Various

AUTO & TRANSPORT Semi Trucks & Trailers

WOW! LOW LOW HOURS, 1480 IHC combine, shedded, upgrades, well maintained, 2436/hrs, great capacity, 30ft. straight cut header available, $21,000; (403)666-2111, Evenings.

30 MISCELLANEOUS HYBOY SEMI trailers; 8 step deck, and double drops; 5 equipment trailers; misc. gravel trailers, pictures & prices on Aberdeen/Saskatoon, (306)222-2413

Combine ACCessories FARM MACHINERY Combine – Accessories 24FT. RIGID STRAIGHT CUT header, JD 224, field ready, $2,500 OBO, (403)854-2189, Hanna, Ab.


FARM CHEMICAL SEED COMPLAINTS We also specialize in: Crop Insurance appeals; Chemical drift; Residual herbicide; Custom operator issues; Equipment malfunction; Yield comparisons, Plus Private Investigations of any nature. With our assistance the majority of our clients have received compensation previously denied. Back-Track Investigations investigates, documents your loss and assists in settling your claim. Licensed Agrologist on Staff. For more information Please call 1-866-882-4779

Stretch your 1-888-413-3325

Harvestore Silo 80 x 20 This Silo is in great shape, was built in 1988, was only used for 5 years at most, it’s in immaculate shape, comes w/ unloader & feeder(they may need a bit of work). Offers, you will have to deal with the disassembling & moving. Located 40min. south of Winnipeg in St-Malo, MB. Jean-Luc (204) 226-7783 or (403) 363-3483 email-

FARM MACHINERY Parts & Accessories 8FT TRUCK CANOPY, 102IN long x 66in. wide, off a 2006/07 GMC, never been used. $1,200. OBO (780)635-2401, trades considered. St. Lina, AB

NEW WOBBLE BOXES for JD, NH, IH, MacDon headers. Made in Europe, factory quality. Get it direct from Western Canada’s sole distributor starting at $995. 1-800-667-4515.

FARM MACHINERY Sprayers SPRAY-COUP 51FT MODEL 116, shedded, VW engine, wide flotation tires, 1547/hrs, 15in nozzle spacing = better chemical coverage. shedded, $7,250; (403)666-2111 Evenings.

48FT BOURGAULT SERIES 4000 packer bar, heavy P30 packers, hyd. fold, used very little, $12,000; (403)666-2111, Evenings.



FARM MACHINERY Tractors – John Deere

TOEWS CUSTOM SWATHING, M150 Macdon Swather, w/30ft header and Canola shears, will swath Canola, silage and cereals. (403)888-6702, Acme, Ab.

1845 JD MODEL H, running, shedded, good shape. $3,500 OBO, (780)352-2818, (780)361-9747

FARM MACHINERY Grain Bins RETIRED FROM FARMING: Selection of used Westeel flat bottom bins on wood floors, in 19ft dia., have 1 bin @3500/bu, 1 bin @2750/bu. in 14ft dia: have 7 @1750/bu. All 19ft bins priced from $1/per bu. All 14ft bins priced from $1.90/bu. Custom transporters available. Hussin Seed Farms, (403)936-5923, (403)680-4471 Calgary, AB We know that farming is enough of a gamble so if you want to sell it fast place your ad in the Alberta Farmer Express classifieds. It’s a Sure Thing. Call our toll-free number today. We have friendly staff ready to help. 1-888-413-3325.


Find it fast at

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Various CASE IH 1990, 7110, 2WD, 18 spd, 4 rev. 1000/540 PTO, 130hp,; 1984 Hesston, 1580 DT, fwa, 140hp, 1000/540 pto, c/w 125 ezee on high lift loader; 1983 Ford 3/4T F250, 4x4, c/w suburban bale handler. (403)577-2296, 403-575-0987, Consort, Ab. NEW TRACTOR PARTS and engine rebuild kits, specializing in hard to find parts for older tractors, tractor seats, service and owners manuals, decals and much more, our 38th year! 1 800-481-1353,

JD 2210, LDR, 3PTH, MFD JD 4050 fwa, 3pth loader JD 4430 c/w loader JD 4440, loader available JD 4450 c/w loader JD 6410 3pth, FWA, loader available JD 7710 fwa, 840 loader JD 7200, ldr, 3pth FWA JD 746 loader, new Mustang 2044 Skidsteer, 1300hrs. Clamp on duals, 20.8x38-18.4x38 158 & 148, 265, 740, 280, JD loaders FINANCE, TRADES WELCOME 780-696-3527, BRETON, AB

CONTRACTING Custom Harvest

ASSORTED DEUTZ AND OTHER diesel engines. KMK Sales, (800)565-0500, Humboldt, SK.

“LIKE MANY BEFORE, WE’LL HAVE YOU SAYING THERE’S NO DEAL LIKE A KEN DEAL” •Phone: (403)526-9644 •Cell: (403)504-4929 •Greg Dorsett (403)952-6622 •Email:

5100 IH SEED DRILL, hardly used, $3,500; 14ft deep tillage cultivator $800; 12ft deep tillage cultivator $500; MF #9 square baler $700; MF disc 12ft hyd. $800; #10 Seed drill with grass attachment, older, $500; Seed Drill mover, $700. (780)919-9985

FARM MACHINERY Tillage & Seeding – Various



USED KUBOTA Utility Tractors (780)967-3800, (780)289-1075



JD 4710, 4720, 4730, 4830, 4920, 4930 SP sprayers JD 9770 & 9870 w/CM & duals CIH 3185, 3230, 3330, 4430, 4420 sprayers 9580 Kubota, FWA, FEL, low hours 3545 MF w/FWA FEL

FARM MACHINERY Silage Equipment

Tillage & Seeding

CUSTOM COMBINING, 2388 CASE IHC, 20ft cutter, contact Pete Wierenga @(403)782-2596 or Cell: 403-877-2020

JD 9400, 9420, 9520, 8970 JD 7810 & 7210, FWA JD 9860, 9760, 9750, 9650, 9600 JD 9430, 9530, 9630 CIH 8010 w/RWD, lateral tilt, duals 900 hrs. Case STX 375, 425, 430, 450, 480, 500, 530 CIH 8010-2388, 2188 combine CIH 435Q, 535Q, 450Q, 550Q, 600Q pto avail. NH TJ 450, New Triples, Big Pump 8100 Wilmar Sprayer

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous



FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Kubota


COMBINE WORLD located 20 min. E of Saskatoon, SK on Hwy. #16. 1 year warranty on all new, used, and rebuilt parts. Canada’s largest inventory of late model combines & swathers. 1-800-667-4515


RECONDITIONED COMBINE HEADERS. RIGID and flex, most makes and sizes; also header transports. Ed Lorenz, (306)344-4811 or Website: Paradise Hill, SK.


40X80FT ARCH RIB SHOP package, newer metal cladding, ready to reassemble, good condition, (403)335-9205, Olds, AB.

1988 Kubota M8950

780-905-8565 NISKU, ALBERTA

2002 PREMIER 2940, 1250/HRS, 25ft 972 draper header, excellent condition, (403)886-4285


1986 JD 2750


FARM MACHINERY Haying & Harvesting – Various

RETIRED: CASE 8330 9ft haybind low acres, shedded ($6,900), Tram 10 ton farm wagon with 10 X 20 deck ($3,500 ) Older reel rake ($500), 92 GMC 2500 150K km 2wdr Rcab safety inspection ($3000), JD Saber 2354 lawn tractor ($3,000), Two Horse bumper pull trailer ($3,000) . 780-963-1155. Spruce Grove AB

40 Hp Diesel, 2986 Hours, P/S, 3PTH, 540 Pto, Rebuilt Motor, New Rear Tires


2000 CIH 8825 SWATHER, 1130 eng. hrs. 21ft U2 PU reel, double swath, dual knife, stored inside. $35,000 OBO (780)986-0678, 780-906-4240

DON’T SPEND $80,000! 722 Cereal Implements (Massey Ferguson twin), 30ft swather, Isuzu diesel engine. Tractor unit shedded. 707/hrs, $29,500. (403)666-2111 evenings.

JD 920

FWA, 8598 Hours, 98 Pto HP, JD740 S/L Loader, With 8 Foot Bucket + Bail Fork, 3PTH

FWA, 75 Hp, 5366 Hours, 3PTH

FARM MACHINERY Haying & Harvesting – Swathers

• Competitive Prices • Prompt Movement • Spring Thrashed

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Various


FARM MACHINERY Haying & Harvesting – Baling


FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Various

1996 JD 7200

NEW SUKUP GRAIN DRYERS On hand & ready for immediate delivery. Propane/NG, canola screens, 1 or 3 phase. Also some used dryers available. Call for more info (204)998-9915

2007 MF 9635 HESSTON swather, one owner, 267/Original hours, c/w MF 9175 15ft disc header, MF 5200 25ft draper header, 25ft Bergen header transport, pu reels, swivel gauge wheels, electric fore/aft, roto shears, factory hitch on tractor unit, asking $128,000 (780)955-2364, (780)554-4736,


FARM MACHINERY Combine – Various



Advertise in the Alberta Farmer Express Classifieds, it’s a Sure Thing!


Big Tractor Parts, Inc. Geared For The Future

ACREAGE EQUIPMENT: CULTIVATORS, DISCS, Plows, Blades, Post pounders, Haying Equipment, Etc. (780)892-3092, Wabamun, Ab. CASE IH 8230 HEAVY duty pull type swather. 1000 RPM. Great shape, always shedded; Bale trailer; Flail 3-PTH finishing mower. Call Ed (403)575-1423. HURRICANE DITCHER’S 3PTH, OR pull type, simple and efficient design, Taylor Farm Supply, 701-642-8827, please leave message. IHC 16FT CULTIVATOR W/HARROWS, $200; Rod weeder, 36ft, $200; JD side delivery manure spreader, $100; MH 6ft one way disc, $150; Co-Op 18ft, sp swather, $500; Co-Op 15ft pt swather, $150; Spot treatment sprayer, 2 tanks, plumbing for changing tanks and widths, $400; Bale stooker $100; (780)384-2366, Sedgewick, Ab. JD 1995 790 ELC TRACKHOE, low hrs; Komatsu WA 320-1 3yd loader; JD 3830 16ft hay header; 3830 w/16ft header and 21ft grain header; UH 122 trackhoe; (306)236-8023 MILK PROCESSING EQUIPMENT, PASTURISING vat, bulk tanks, ice bank tank, plate cooler, drain table, single to 3 phase converter, hot water heater, switching equipment. (780)352-9956 RETIRED FROM FARMING, MOST machinery shedded, 1998 Peterbuilt, 460 Cummins, 18spd, w/36ft tandem Doepker grain trailer $75,000; Rock picker, $1,000; (403)586-0978, Torrington, Ab. WIRELESS DRIVEWAY ALARMS, calving/foaling barn cameras, video surveillance, rear view cameras for RV’s, trucks, combines, seeders, sprayers and augers. Mounted on magnet. Calgary, Ab. (403)616-6610.


RED OR GREEN 1. 10-25% savings on new replacement parts for your Steiger drive train. 2. We rebuild axles, transmissions and dropboxes with ONE YEAR WARRANTY. 3. 50% savings on used parts.


FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous 1990 VERSATILE SWATHER, 4700, 22ft. reel and Honeybee knife 2043 hrs; 1978 combine w/1946 org. hrs, very nice Twister Hopper bottom bin w/aeration, (780)668-3104

w/U2 PU JD 7700 condition; 2300/bu,

2000 PREMIER/MACDON 2950 SWATHER, 972-25ft. triple delivery grain table, 922-16ft MacDon mower conditioner header w/5ft steel crimper, 2073/machine hours, excellent condition. (780)636-2463, 780-645-0492 2002 JD 1820, 45-FT., 10-in. spacing, double shoot, dutch paired row, 3-1/2in steel, $25,500; 1996 Rogator 854, 800/gal, 80ft. 4x4, 2 sets tires, 3790/hrs, GFS boom, Raven auto-rake, Raven cruiser, GPS, spd. hydro. 195hp Cummins, $63,000; Case Dot 28ft Tandem disc. $4,200 (403)665-2341, Craigmyle, AB.

Barb Wire & Electric High Tensile Wire Spooler Adapter available to unroll new barb wire off of wooden spool

- Hydraulic Drive (roll or unroll wire) - Mounts to tractor draw bar, skidsteer or bobcat, front end loader, post driver, 3pt. hitch or deck truck (with receiver hitch & rear hydraulics) - Spool splits in half to remove full roll - Shut off/ Flow control valve determines speed - Works great for pulling out old wire (approx. 3--5 minutes to roll up 80 rod or 1/4 mile) The Level-Wind Wire Roller rolls wire evenly across the full width of the spool automatically as the wire is pulled in Ken Lendvay (403) 550-3313 Red Deer, AB email: Web:

45-FT WILLRICH CULTIVATOR; CUMMINGS 240bp skid mount clutch&trans; 860 MF PU & 20-ft grain; D7G Cat dozer, tilt & ripper, (306)236-8023.

Stretch your advertising dollars! Place an ad in the classifieds. Our friendly staff is waiting for your call. 1-888-413-3325.

Go public with an ad in the Alberta Farmer Express classifieds. Phone 1-888-413-3325.

Looking for a hand around the farm? Place a help wanted ad in the classifieds. Call 1-888-413-3325.



FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous Used Flexicoil Aircarts, 4350, 3850 & 3450, 2340,2320,1720 & 1330................................................Call Flexicoil 6 run seed treater ................................. $2,000 2006 51’ Flexicoil 5000 airdrill, 10”, 5.5” rubber packers......................................................................................Call 2006, 39’ Flexicoil 5000 airdrill 10”, 5.5 rubber packers, double chutes, used 1 year, like new......Call 134’ Flexicoil S68XL sprayer, 2007, suspended boom, auto rate, joystick, rinse tank, triple quick jets, auto boom height, electric end nozzle & foam marker .............................................................................$39,500 130’ Flexicoil 67XL PT sparyer, 2006, trail boom, auto rate, rinse tank, hyd. pump, combo jets, nice shape...........................................$26,500 51 Flexicoil Bodies c/w GEN. 4” carbide spread tip openers, single chute, like new ............................ $3,500 150 MacDon swather, low hrs, 30’ header, roto shears, MTD Canola roller................................................Call 3000 36’ Westward MacDon PT swather...........Call 9352 C Westward MacDon swather, 1400/hrs, 30’ 972 header w/PU reel,.............................................$85,000 Flexicoil 10”x50’ Grain auger....................................Call CIH WD1203 swather 2011, 280hrs, 36’ header, split PU reel, roto shears, header transport, top auger, floating rear axle 1/yr ...........................................$100,000 1372 MF 13’ swing arm discbine 4yrs, like new .......................................................................$20,000 New Sakundiak 10x1200 (39.97’) 36HP, Kohler eng. E-K mover, P/S, electric belt tightener, work lights, slim fit, 12 gal. fuel tank ........... $18,000

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Wanted WANTED: NH BALE WAGONS & retrievers, any condition. Farm Equipment Finding Service, P.O. Box 1363, Polson, MT 59860. (406)883-2118 WANTED: Small square balers and end Wheel Seed Drills, Rock Pickers, Rock Rakes, Tub grinders, also JD 1610 cultivators (403)308-1238 Looking for a hand around the farm? Place a help wanted ad in the classifieds. Call 1-888-413-3325.

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous New Sakundiak 7x1200 (39.97’) , 22HP RobinSubaru eng., battery & fuel tank ...................... $7,500 New E-Kay 7”, 8”, 9” Bin Sweeps ...........................Call 2002 7000HD Highline bale Processor, c/w twine cutter, always shedded exc. cond ................... $7,000 New Outback S3, STS, E drive, TC’s in stock New Outback E drive X c/w free E turns ............Call New Outback S-Lite .................................................$950 Used E Drive Console ......................................... $2,250 Used Outback 360 mapping.................................$750 Used Outback S guidance......................................$750

LIVESTOCK Livestock Equipment 5’X10’ PORTABLE CORRAL PANELS, 6 bar. Starting at $55. Storage Containers, 20’ & 40’ 1-866-517-8335, (403)540-4164, (403)226-1722


2008 Monaco Camelot Motorhome, Loaded


Used Outback S2 guidance.............................. $1,000

Ron Sauer Machinery Ltd.


The Icynene Insulation System® • Sprayed foam insulation • Ideal for shops, barns or homes • Healthier, Quieter, More Energy Efficient®



(403) 586-0978 Torrington, AB

SEED / FEED / GRAIN SEED/FEED MISCELLANEOUS Feed Grain BUYING ALL TYPES OF feed grain. Also have market for light offgrade or heated, picked up on the farm. Eisses Grain Marketing 1-888-882-7803, (403)350-8777 Lacombe. FEED GRAIN WANTED! ALSO buying; Light, tough, or offgrade grains. “On Farm Pickup” Westcan Feed & Grain 1-877-250-5252


EARN $75,000/yr PART TIME in the livestock or equipment appraisal business. Agricultural background required. Classroom or home study courses available. 1-800-488-7570


Agriculture Tours Australia/New Zealand ~ January/February 2013 Kenya/Tanzania ~ January 2013 South America ~ February 2013 India ~ February 2013 Portion of tours may be Tax Deductible.

We know that farming is enough of a gamble so if you want to sell it fast place your ad in the Alberta Farmer Express classifieds. Call our toll-free number today. We have friendly staff ready to help. 1-888-413-3325.


Select Holidays 1-800-661-4326

CAREERS CAREERS Truck Drivers DRIVER’S WANTED. EXPERIENCED OILFIELD vac truck or body job tank truck operator w/Class 3, H2 S, WHIMIS & T.G.D. certificates required. Consort Area. Phone Ed (403)575-1423. Fax resume & driver’s abstract Ed (403)552-3825. Hit our readers where it counts… in the classifieds. Place your ad in the Alberta Farmer Express classifed section. 1-888-413-3325.

Advertise in the Alberta Farmer Express Classifieds, it’s a Sure Thing!



FOR SALE: MAGIC CHEF 30-in gas stove in nice condition, $150; Compost tumbler, approximately 18 bushels. Very low hours, $450. Phone:(780)597-3747, evening.

SEWING MACHINES INDUSTRIAL SEWING MACHINE FOR leather and upholstery (403)749-3871, Delburne, Ab.

TIRES FEDERATION TIRE: 1100X12, 2000X20, used aircraft. Toll free 1-888-452-3850

IRON & STEEL PIPE FOR SALE 3-1/2IN., 2-7/8in., 2-3/8in., Henderson Manufacturing Sales. (780)672-8585

Stretch your

2001 TRAVELAIRE TT250, FULLY loaded, original owners, non-smokers, adults, equalizing hitch, w/sway bar, electric jack, new tires, propane tanks, and battery, $10,000 Firm, Bruce @780-405-6688

SMALL SQUARE BALES HORSE hay, Crossfield, Ab. 50/lb bales $3.00/per bale, green, no rain (587)329-1796, (403)613-4570


CAREERS Employment Wanted

WANTED: HESSTON 60A STACKER any condition, preferably central Alberta area, also wanted a 60B stacker. (403)845-0414. (403)722-2409

(403) 540-7691 **Flexi-Coil, Westward MacDon Swathers, NuVision augers, Sakundiak, Farm King, Outback GPS Systems, EK Auger Movers, Sweeps, & Crop Dividers, Degelman, Headsight Harvesting Solutions** Sales Rep for George’s Farm Centre

TRAILERS Trailers Miscellaneous


Used Outback E drive Hyd. Kits ...........................$500


GENERATORS: 20 kw to 2000 kw. Low-Hour Diesel & Natural Gas / Propane Units. Abraham Generator Sales Co. Cooperstown, ND. Phone: (701) 797-4766 or (701) 371-9526.


Buy and Sell

anything you need through the

FARM MACHINERY Irrigation Equipment 50HP 3 PHASE ELECTRIC motor and Berkley pump, for irrigation system, good condition, (403)527-8720, Medicine Hat, AB. Hit our readers where it counts… in the classifieds. Place your ad in the Alberta Farmer Express classifed section. 1-888-413-3325.

New 30.5L-32 16 ply, $2195; 20.8-38 12 ply $866; 18.4-38 12 ply; $783; 24.5-32 14 ply, $1749; 14.9-24 12 ply, $356; 16.9-28 12 ply $588. Factory direct. More sizes available new and used. 1-800-667-4515.



} forecasts


Record-low Arctic sea ice

Busy hail season in Alberta

Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is likely to shrink to a record-small size sometime this week, and then keep on melting, a scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said last Monday. This summer could see the ice retreat to less than 1.5 million square miles. The previous record was set in 2007, when Arctic ice cover shrank to 1.66 million square miles 23 per cent below the earlier record set in 2005 and 39 per cent below the longterm average from 1979 to 2000.

The Canadian Crop Hail Association says this has become the second-busiest year in the past 10 for hail claims in Alberta. In its Aug. 17 report it said claims had increased from less than 2,600 to nearly 4,000 in the previous two weeks. July 31 had numerous hailstorms being reported throughout central Alberta with a storm from Olds to Three Hills and on through Morrin to Cereal. Smaller storms occurred throughout the north region ranging from Barrhead to Vermilion in early August. Storms of Aug. 12 and 13 affected areas around Cochrane, Indus, Brooks, Warner, Bow Island and Foremost.

A warm and wet July, but as warm as Needles? Temperatures } No scorchers, but above long-term averages overall

by daniel bezte


f you read my last article you might remember that I was originally going to take a look back at the weather across Alberta over the last few months, but problems with Environment Canada’s data feed prevented me from doing so. Since then I have been able to poke around a little bit, and I managed to piece together a pretty good picture of what has transpired. Before we move on to this, in the last issue I looked at some of the unique weather events around the world over the last month or two. Well, one more unique record-setting weather event has occurred since then. According to Weather Underground, on Monday, Aug. 13 the temperature in Needles, California soared to 47.8 C, which tied the record high for that date. The unusual record-setting weather event occurred that afternoon when a thunderstorm moved into Needles and rain began to fall when the temperature outside was a remarkable 46.1 C. With humidity levels only at 11 per cent, most of the rain evaporated and only a trace amount was recorded at ground level, but enough fell to make this the hottest rain ever recorded on Earth! The previous record occurred in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on June 5 of this year, when a rainshower was observed at 43 C. Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground points out that it is rare to see rain when temperatures rise about 38 C, since high temperatures such as these usually require highpressure systems and sinking air, which discourage rainfall.

Cool spring

Now on to our look at Alberta’s weather over the last few months. According to Environment Canada, spring across most of Alberta was colder than average, with the Edmonton region seeing temperatures in April and May that were around 1.0° below the long-term average.

This issue’s maps show the total precipitation across Alberta along with the temperature departure from average during the 30-day period ending on Aug. 12. Central Alberta was fairly wet during this period while nearly all of Alberta saw warmer-than-average conditions. Farther south, around Calgary, it was a little warmer, with average daytime highs coming in only 0.2 C below the long-term average. Precipitation during April and May was a story of north versus south. Northern regions saw relatively light amounts of rain, with the Edmonton region seeing less-than-average amounts. In the south things were pretty wet, with the Calgary region seeing aboveaverage amounts in both April and May. The month of June, which is the transition month from spring to summer, saw warm overall temperatures, especially over northern regions. During June, the region around Edmonton saw average daily temperatures that were a good 1.0 C above average.

Enough fell to make this the hottest rain ever recorded on Earth!

These above-average temperatures did not bring much rain with them, as precipitation amounts in June remained well below average. In the south, temperatures continued to run around average with Calgary reporting a mean monthly temperature that was only 0.1 C below average. Rainfall was the big story during June in the Calgary

region, as some areas reported over 150 mm of rain, which is around double the usual amount for the month. In July temperatures really warmed up, at least compared to long-term averages. While the month of July didn’t have any really sweltering hot days — both Edmonton and Calgary saw only one day warmer than 30 C — temperatures were consistently warm during the day and at night. By the end of the month nearly every place I checked had a mean monthly temperature that was at least 2.0 C above the long-term monthly average. Precipitation amounts in July reversed from what was seen in June. Southern regions saw things dry out, with general rainfall amounts running

a good 30 mm below average. Over northern regions July was a wet month, with most areas reporting rainfall amounts that were 10 to 25 mm above average. The one region that kind of followed its own tune during this whole period was the northern Peace River district. When I looked at the data for this region I found that for the most part, it has had a warm and dry spring and summer. As of last week August seemed to be following in July’s footsteps, but we’ll have to wait and see just how the second half of the month turns out. In the next issue we’ll take a look ahead to see what the different long-range weather models are predicting for us this fall.