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Rail shippers see silver lining in Dinning process Legislate } The railways wouldn’t agree to service agreements, so shippers want Ottawa to legislate

The federal process to negotiate service level agreements or a dispute settlement mechanism for railway customers didn’t deliver, but the exercise was still a success, according to Greg Cherewyk, executive director of Pulse Canada. By Allan Dawson staff


hat’s because it clearly demonstrates federal legislation is required to make it happen. “The Dinning process has done a great job informing the next stage, which is drafting legislation,” Cherewyk, one of two officials representing agricultural shippers during the Dinning process, said in an interview May 3. “By not establishing an agreement on the mandatory elements of a service level agreement (with the railways)... we have given a pretty clear signal to the government that their legislation will have to provide that guidance.” Some shippers, including Roger Larson, president of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute, is disappointed the “facilitated” Dinning process failed to deliver what shippers were seeking. But Cherewyk said he wasn’t surprised. After all, shippers had previously failed to convince the railways to enter into service level agreements voluntarily.

Shippers are hopeful government will move quickly to require service agreements.  ©istock





news » inside this week

inside » Counting to 10 Target 10 plants per square foot for best yields





Big investment, bigger payback

Flea beetles on the move


NEWS Dinosaur gas and the greenhouse effect washington /reuters In a major new climate finding, researchers have calculated that dinosaur flatulence could have put enough methane into the atmosphere to warm the planet during the hot, wet Mesozoic era. Like gigantic, long-necked, prehistoric cows, sauropod dinosaurs roamed widely around the Earth 150 million years ago, scientists reported in the journal Current Biology May 7. And just like big cows, their plant digestion was aided by methane-producing microbes. “A simple mathematical model suggests that the microbes living in sauropod dinosaurs may have produced enough methane to have an important effect on the Mesozoic climate,” researcher Dave Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University said in a statement. “Indeed, our calculations suggest that these dinosaurs could have produced more methane than all modern sources — both natural and man-made — put together,” Wilkinson said. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with as much as 25 times the climatewarming potential as carbon dioxide. This gas is enough of a factor in modern global warming that scientists have worked to figure out how much methane is emitted by cows, sheep and other planteating animals. The inquiry raised questions about whether the same thing could have happened in the distant past. A mid-size sauropod probably weighed about 44,000 pounds (20,000 kilos), and there were a few dozen of them per square mile (kilometre), the researchers found. They reckoned that global methane emissions from sauropods were about 520 million tons per year. Before the fossil-fuelintensive Industrial Revolution took off, methane emissions were roughly 200 million tons annually; modern ruminants, including cows, goats, giraffes and other animals, emit between 50 million and 100 million tons of methane a year.


Why so passionate about agriculture?


Carol Shwetz The risks of retained placenta in mares

Spring seeding update It’s been smooth seeding so far this spring

brenda schoepp

Daniel Bezte Using NIRS to analyze livestock feed


Populations are spreading across the Prairies


Understanding thunderstorms

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Global giving in a small community WALK FOR WATER } A small school raised more than $2,000

to build two wells in rural India

Happy high school students in India celebrate their new well, which was built thanks to the fundraising efforts of Fort Vermilion students.   photos: courtesy of Julie Gallant by sheri monk

af staff | fort vermilion


lthough Alberta is known to be one of the drier regions in Canada and drought years can be tough in agriculture, it is still very easy to take water wealth for granted. Most Albertans — with the notable exception of First Nation children — grow up with reliable access to safe drinking water. Rural kids are raised near creeks, streams and dugouts and in the northern part of the province, freshwater lakes abound. That’s one of the reasons why Julie Gallant, a teacher at Fort Vermilion Public School, thought students might be greatly rewarded by giving the gift of safe water. “We could really see the kids were interested in doing something outside of their own community,” she said. Fort Vermilion is a ham-

On World Water Day, students held a fundraiser called Walk for Water, which represented the long and arduous journeys made by women and children every day in India for water. let of 750 people, 661 km northwest of Edmonton, near the northern-most edge of agriculture in Alberta. Seventy students participated in the SOPAR (Society for Partnership) program, which is a non-profit organization devoted to international development in India, to fund building a water well in an impoverished community. “Our original goal was to

raise $850 to pay for one well. We actually exceeded our goal, as students raised over $2,200 for the cause,” said Gallant. “In the end, we purchased two wells and a class set of desks for an otherwise furniture-less school classroom in India.” Fundraising events included a Valentine’s Day dance, Candy-Gram sales and a Walk for Water which alone raised over $1,600.

One of the wells was actually built at a high school. “That was a twist we weren’t quite expecting,” said Gallant. “I think that meant a lot to them. They’re high school students, and they were helping high school students. I think it really made them realize that we’re a global community and we can make an impact on people and students far away from us.” Access to safe water is one of the biggest issues facing rural India, and it is usually the women and children who must walk tremendously long distances to bring water back to their home. Most wells built serve 150 people, but the high school well will serve 450 students. “The response was overwhelming and the community was amazing. We are very proud of our students,” said Gallant. More information on SOPAR can be found at



New agriculture Class of 2012 trail-blazing veterinary medicine in Alberta minister appointed SUCCESS  Four years ago, 30 students embarked on a journey

that marked a new chapter in Alberta’s academic history BY SHERI MONK



n May 10, the very first graduating class of veterinarians trained at the University of Calgary faculty of veterinary medicine held their convocation. The four-year DVM program began in 2008 and its arrival on to the Canadian academic scene made it the fifth veterinary program in the nation, and the only one in Alberta. The faculty was so new when the students began, that its very infrastructure didn’t exist yet. On May 9, the department hosted a Celebrate the Future event, which showcased just how far and fast the faculty has

come. “That was basically introducing the facilities because the facilities weren’t even built at the beginning of the program at our Spy Hill campus,” said Brooke Hunter, media relations adviser for the University of Calgary. Thirty new doctors of veterinary medicine graduated from the program, and half had already secured employment by convocation day. “There was a demand for it here in Alberta,” said Hunter. Half of the hired grads will be working in rural Alberta. Some of the new veterinarians will be going into the research field, while others will be working in a clinic setting. “When I got into the program I felt like I had won the lottery,”

said Katherine Sparkman, one of the newly graduated vets. Melissa Tannahill, another graduate, was equally enthusiastic. “I feel so proud and honoured to be a part of this new school. I feel ready to be a veterinarian,” she said. The class of 2012 will be a tough act to follow — 100 per cent of the students passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination on their first attempt, beating the average of 90 to 95 per cent. “We are really proud of our students. Their success is due to the commitment and expertise of our many partners in the veterinary community as well as our outstanding faculty and staff,” said Alastair Cribb, the dean of veterinary medicine.

The first graduating class of veterinarians from the U of C faculty of veterinary medicine held their convocation on May 9. PHOTO: RILEY BRANDT, U OF C

Verlyn Olson



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or the third time in just one year, Alberta has a new minister of agriculture with the appointment of Verlyn Olson to the cabinet position by Premier Redford. Olson was re-elected PC MLA for the Wetaskiwin-Camrose riding which he has held since 2008. Olson is a lawyer and was the former minister of justice and attorney general in the previous government. He replaces Evan Berger as agriculture minister, who lost his riding to a Wildrose Party candidate. Olson lives on an acreage

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near Camrose, where he was raised. Olson, a partner in an area law firm, has no known experience in the farming business. Ag industry leaders have reserved comment on the appointment, indicating that they wish to let the new minister get acquainted with his new portfolio and the current issues facing agriculture. In an announcement by Danielle Smith, the leader of the new Wildrose official opposition, Ian Donovan has been appointed the opposition agriculture critic. Donovan elected for the first time in the Little Bow riding is a farmer from Vulcan County.



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

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Will it be negotiation or more alienation?

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Soothe } Conservation approach might soothe property rights issue

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By will verboven

Alberta Farmer | Editor


t would be safe to assume that with the election over we are in for at least four (or 40 more — depending on your political perspective) years of steady government in Alberta. It means that the Land Use Framework (LUF) legislation can now be implemented and enforced by the ruling PC government. By all accounts that matter, better known as the property rights issue, is what drove the Wildrose Party victories in central and southern Alberta. Politically, that issue can now be approached by the re-elected government in different ways; will it be through mitigation, negotiation and perhaps reconciliation, or will it be through retribution, compliance and more alienation? It will be up to the government to determine what political outcome it want by the next election. I expect the Wildrose opposition party knows what outcome it wants. I would suggest rising above the issue and making some linkages that would actually help the agricultural land we so cherish. I would suggest a direct linkage between the overarching principle of land use with ecological goods and services, and conservation. Firstly, except maybe for any positive effects of climate change, it’s unlikely vast new acres of arable and grazable land will be coming available in the near future. That means we need to conserve and use the land we have for food production and not for fun, industrialization or trendy lifestyle philosophies. Having said that, common sense needs to be in play, muskeg, forests and oilsands cannot be farmed obviously. For some time now, a number of conservation organizations have been instrumental in the permanent preservation of ecologically significant agricultural properties. They have done this either by pur-

chase, or through conservation easements. In Alberta, they have been prominent in preserving rangelands on large ranches in the foothills. It’s estimated that over 200,000 acres of ranchlands in Alberta have been conserved in such ways. Such preservation is to be commended; it stops industrial and development encroachment on irreplaceable ranch and farmlands. In almost all the cases, the rangelands continue to be used for their original purpose, that being grazing by animals.

A first step would be to change the definition of “ecologically significant” land to include land that produces food. The conservation groups take an active part in seeing that the land is used and managed properly. I expect the landowners are satisfied with the arrangements they have made with conservation groups to conserve their land, and that their “property rights” have been respected, compensated and preserved. However, it would seem that sooner or later, the easily preserved land will run out and conservation groups may have to take a different approach to conserving more such land. In addition not all landowners accept the present approach that conservation organizations use, there may have to be different methods to achieve the same purpose. A first step would be to change the definition of “ecologically significant” land to include land that produces food — a more practical designation that will have a lot more significance as the world population increases. That would instantly increase land eligi-

ble for conservation purposes. It’s not a new concept; many countries in Europe have taken this approach and provide financial incentives to either keep their land in food production or treat it as part of their rural culture. Sure, one could see this as an indirect subsidy, but that’s the real world we compete in. Besides, maybe this is a way to be more honest about our on-the-sly AgriEverything support programs. The point is to conserve land both for food production and ecological significance. We can have both with some insight, daring and courage. Perhaps in an expanded role, conservation groups could get involved with government in providing landowners with a financial or tax incentive to actively renovate their farmland from brush encroachment back to its original purpose and condition. That could be just part of a larger ecological goods and services (EGS) program. It would be bringing back land from the dead, so to speak. If the idea was considered for the whole province could 100,000 acres of land be brought back to productive use and preserved? I’d say that was the least considering up to 40 per cent of foothills’ open rangeland has been lost over the past 100 years. I would suggest that conservation groups continue to be involved in monitoring renovated land to make sure it is not lost again. More land to conserve, and more food production — or is this too much common sense? My point is, that there should be a way to mitigate landowners’ concerns with property rights. Clearly, they don’t trust government intentions. But many landowners seem to trust the motives of conservation groups. Perhaps thought should be given to at least use some of the LUF legislation in a constructive way with conservation groups’ oversight and supported by an EGS program to begin to protect and conserve our precious agricultural lands. It just might change landowners and the agricultural community’s perception of “property rights.”

Latest census reflects a changing farm face Grizzled } Farmers are getting older and less interested in raising livestock by laura rance staff


hether or not you think consolidation in agriculture is a good thing, it’s continuing at a brisk pace. And nowhere is that more apparent than on the Canadian Prairies. The latest data on farm numbers and scale based on the newly released 2011 Census of Agriculture shows the pace of farm size growth in Alberta, where the average farm size increased by 10.7 per cent since 2006, Saskatchewan (up 15.1 per cent) and Manitoba (up 13.4 per cent) running well ahead of the national average of 6.9 per cent. As they say, they aren’t making any more land so if farm sizes are growing, it’s a sure thing the number of farmers is shrinking. In Alberta, numbers have dropped 12.5 per cent over the past five years. Manitoba led the country with a decline of 16.7 per cent, fol-

lowed closely by Saskatchewan at 16.6 per cent. Again, that’s well ahead of the national average of a 10.3 per cent decline. How big do you have to be to make a go of it farming on the Prairies? Right now, it would appear having gross sales of $500,000 and up is a good start. One thing is clear. If rural communities are going to survive in this region, they need to intensify efforts to diversify their economic base beyond agriculture. Given the advancing average age of farmers in this country, there is a growth industry for farm tools built with geriatrics in mind — starting with manuals written in large print. This census showed the 55-andover age category represented 48.3 per cent of total operators. This contrasts rather starkly with the rest of the labour force, in which only 15.4 per cent of those self-employed are over age 55. Less than 10 per cent of farmers in Canada are under the age of 35

and that proportion is declining. Consolidation and scale may make for a stronger balance sheet for the industry, but it sets up a pretty steep barrier for the next generation to buy in. Also notable is the decline of livestock in Canadian agriculture. In 2006, oilseed and grain farms accounted for 26.9 per cent of all farms, while beef farmers accounted for 26.6 per cent. In this latest census, oilseed and grain farms had increased to 30 per cent, while beef had declined to 18.2 per cent. The number of beef cattle reported for breeding purposes decreased by 22.3 per cent since 2006. The number of farms reporting breeding stock decreased by 25.3 per cent. We don’t argue the economic reasons for these declines. The meat export business is vastly more vulnerable to trade disruptions and market fluctuations than commodity crops.

Predictably, the land devoted to tame hay and alfalfa decreased by 14 per cent. Pasture lands are down by four per cent. Woodlands and wetlands decreased by 8.8 per cent. There is some good news. Summerfallow is sharply reduced, down 40.5 per cent since 2006. For the first time with this census, notill practices accounted for more than half of all area prepared for seeding across the country, a shift created by a 23.8 per cent increase in the area seeded under notill. That’s a positive trend. But is having half the land protected good enough? We need to keep livestock in the equation. Livestock plays an important nutrient recycling function, but beyond that, history has shown converting land that should be in forage to crops is courting environmental disaster. Short-term economics and budget-balancing exercises aside, we ignore these realities at our peril.



Railway raise of 9.5 per cent for hauling grain highlights need for review Invest } Grain farmers will be paying more so investors are attracted to CN and CP shares by Doug Faller


ecently the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) announced that Prairie grain farmers will pay 9.5 per cent more to ship their grain. Based on the 2011 total freight bill under the revenue cap of $952 million, a 9.5 per cent increase means another $90 million straight out of the pockets of Prairie farmers. Based on 31 million tonnes shipped in 2011, the average freight rate was $31.71 per tonne. A 9.5 per cent increase means another $2.92 per tonne in freight, or about $3 per seeded acre. Most of the 9.5 per cent increase has little to do with the actual costs of hauling grain. In fact, the price index for the actual costs of hauling grain went up by only 1.6 per cent. Most of the increase — about 7.9 per cent — is a result of two changes in accounting methodology made by the CTA to the way it calculates the railways’ corporate costs. According to the CTA website, the first change is based on recommendations from the railways

to change the way the CTA calculates the “cost of equity” component of the cost of capital. According to the CTA: “Cost of capital is defined as an estimate of the total return on net investment that is required by shareholders and debt holders so that debt costs can be paid and equity investors can be provided with an adequate return on investment consistent with the risks assumed for the period under consideration… “The new methodology is nearly identical to the previous methodology, but differs in establishing the cost rate of equity…” So, the change to the CTA’s cost of equity calculation has been done to ensure that CN and CP shareholders are provided an “adequate return on investment consistent with the risks assumed.” Grain farmers will be paying more so investors are attracted to CN and CP shares. But, is investing in CN and CP actually risky? APAS has learned from discussions at industry events that major investment firms in Western Canada have been advising

their clients to invest in CN and CP. When we asked why, the answer was simple: “Barrier to entry.” In other words, the railways have a monopoly; they have a captive market in grain and face no meaningful competition — as farmers have always known. Thus, there is very little risk investing in CN and CP as the trend in their share values and dividend payments attest. From January 1, 2003 to May 1, 2012, CN share price has gone up about 400 per cent while CP share price has gone up nearly 250 per cent. From 2001 to 2012, CN dividends on their shares have increased every year, a total of 388 per cent, while CP dividends have increased eight of 11 years, a total of 275 per cent. The revenue cap for grain has never prevented the railways from meeting their cost of equity. The second accounting change is the way the CTA determines how much the railways get to cover their pensions. Grain farmers will now pay more for funding CN and CP pension plans. This is not due to more employees. CN employed about the same

number in 2011 as in 2002. However, the cost to cover pensions to senior management may have gone up. For example, the CEO of Canadian Pacific is entitled to a pension at age 65 of $1.122 million, according to its 2011 annual meeting information. Is it really true that CN and CP need more money from farmers to fund their pension plans? Net income after taxes for CN and CP combined in 2011 was $3.027 billion. The net income after tax for two railways was at least 25 per cent higher than the net income before tax for all Prairie grain farmers combined in 2011, which was a record year for farm net income. The revenue cap for grain does not limit the railway profitability to cover their pension plans. Who is taking care of the grain farmers’ cost of equity or their pensions? The 2010 Travacon study showed that in 2007-08 and 200809 farmers were paying $6.57 per tonne more to the railways than they should be for freight. Deducting that amount from the 2011 average freight rate of $30.71 gets you down to a “reasonable”

Is it really true that CN and CP need more money from farmers to fund their pension plans? grain freight rate of about $24 per tonne. Not only has the freight bill been too high for years under the revenue cap, grain farmers are now being asked to pay an additional $3 per tonne. As APAS continues to call for a full costing review, the need grows. Farmers could understand a 1.6 per cent increase in the revenue cap based on a rising price index for actual costs. But an extra 7.9 per cent to increase railway profits by another $75 million so shareholders are happy and million-dollar CEO pensions are safe is another matter. Doug Faller is policy manager for Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS)

Defending America in a cow-eat-cow world fairness } Misplaced anger and a raw deal south of the border by sheri monk

af staff | pincher creek

“Schadenfreude” is when an individual takes pleasure in the misfortune of others. Although the word is German, the behaviour it describes is global, and it was alive and well in Canada when we learned the U.S. had discovered a new case of BSE. Facebook lit up like a Christmas tree as folks in the business on our side of the line started joyfully posting about how we ought to school them some by shutting down the border. Really? Have we learned nothing at all? It is a simple economic truth that we need the U.S. more than they need us. We will not be able to change that unless we’re prepared to downsize our herd faster than a bull would shrink if he sat on an igloo. And there are more complicated truths that cannot be ignored. An economic hiccup in the U.S. can feel like a tsunami in Canada — we just don’t have the density or volume to absorb as many big hits. And the BSE announcement came on the heels of the pink slime fiasco, compounding the fear of a virulent market recoil. While some may have found it intensely gratifying to ride that irresistible high horse around the corral once or twice, it was entirely illogical. Why? The border was reopened to our UTM

cattle in 2005, two years after BSE. America fully let us back in later in 2007, when OTM cattle were allowed to cross. Since that time, Canada has found another nine cases — and that’s while the border remained fully open. As bitter and angry as many still are over BSE, that anger is misplaced when directed at the Americans. If anything, they’ve had a raw deal because of our BSE. Canada’s first positive case of BSE was discovered in 1993 — 10 years before the second case. The six-year-old cow was an import from the U.K., brought in when she was just six months old. America’s first case was in 2003, seven months after our first case. Wait! How can we have had two first cases? Simple — we never had to count the first one in our tally because it was an import. America’s first case was in a six-yearold dairy cow that had been born, bred and imported from Canada only two years earlier. But this BSE cow was counted and immediately, export markets shunned America and all of her beef — no matter where it was born. There would only be three more cases in the U.S. — and all subsequent positive cases were atypical BSE, not classic BSE which is known to be spread through feed and is known to cause vCJD in people. In contrast, all but two of Canada’s cases have been classic BSE. We really don’t know yet precisely

While some may have found it intensely gratifying to ride that irresistible high horse around the corral once or twice, it was entirely illogical.

what causes the two atypical strains of BSE. Some believe it is spontaneous, like the CJD that develops sporadically in humans and is not related to ingesting bovine BSE. But it is different, and we know for sure it isn’t the classic BSE that terrified beef eaters across the globe when we saw it rise like a new plague from the decimated ranks of the U.K. cattle business. You know who else watched the BSE disaster unfold across the pond? Originally it was Agriculture Canada, but later the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). You know what they did? Absolutely nothing. In the U.K., the first BSE cow appeared in 1984, and the cause of BSE was first identified in 1986. In 1988, the feed connection was discovered and ruminantto-ruminant feed was banned. All the while, we were still allowing like U.K. imports to come in. Finally, in 1990, Canada closed its

border to the U.K. cattle trade, and the plan to monitor the imports was as stupid as it was naive — imported cattle were supposed to be checked on every six months by a vet. A BSEinfected cow can go from symptomatic to death in eight weeks. There were no restrictions on slaughter, and no followup to ensure the cattle were actually being looked at. Many never were. In 1993, the first BSE cow was found. Sadly, she was but one of 160 head imported between 1982 and 1990. The CFIA panicked, and attempted to find the rest of the imports they had so negligently failed to track. Only half were still alive. Eleven were exported to the U.S. and the others had made it into the human food chain and more importantly, rendered into the feed chain. It wasn’t until 1997 that Canada enacted its first feed ban — nearly 10 years after the U.K. There’s a reason why the BSE class action against the federal government led by lawyer Cameron Pallett hasn’t gone away — the evidence of nearcriminal ineptitude is overwhelming. The truth is that our government failed us, and the U.S. has never, ever had a case of classic BSE — unless you count the one we gave them. Indulging in a little schadenfreude may be fun, but it’s the furthest thing from fair.


Off the front

RAIL SHIPPING } from page 1 Federal rail legislation could be introduced this fall, Transport Minister Denis Lebel told reporters earlier in the day. “It’s very difficult to have a timeline before the summer... If it’s in the fall, it will be in the fall,” Lebel said, speaking to reporters by conference call from Germany. The government’s timeline makes sense, Cherewyk said. Former Alberta treasury minister Jim Dinning, who was appointed by the federal government Oct.

“There have been rail service complaints forever, what’s different now is we’re united on where we’re coming from and the government has responded.” Greg Cherewyk

31, 2011 to get the railways and its Rail Freight Service Review in its customers to develop a tem- 2008. The railways say new regulaplate for service agreements and tions aren’t needed. But Cherewyk a streamlined commercial dispute said shippers fear once the focus resolution process, held his last is off rail service, performance meeting April 16. Now he’s pre- could again suffer. Shippers face paring a report, which will assist penalties when they fail to meet the government in drafting legis- rail requirements and argue the lation designed to make railways railways need to face similar dismore commercially accountable cipline. If rail service remains to their customers and in so doing, good, penalties or other regulated improve railway efficiency. “backstops” won’t come into play, The government has also prom- he said. ised to consult with shippers and The Dinning process stems the railways. With Parliament from the service review, which expected to recess for the sum- resulted in the federal government mer in late June, there isn’t a lot announcing in March 2011 meaof time to consult and prepare the sures to enhance the effectiveness, legislation, Cherewyk said. efficiency and reliability of the Meanwhile, the shippers’ coali- entire rail freight supply chain. tion formed in 2006, has spelled The government accepted out in writing to Dinning exactly the review panel’s commercial what it wants in the legislation, approach and its four key eleincluding the right to service level ments: agreements. Shippers also want • R ailways should provide 10 regulations specifying elements days’ advance notice of service that will be part of the agreements changes. as well as a system to establish • R ailways and stakeholders agreements and resolve disputes should negotiate service agreethat arise from them. ments. “As someone described it, ‘we’re • A fair, timely and cost-effective only asking for a definition for sercommercial dispute resolution vices we’re buying from the railmechanism should be develways,’” Cherewyk said. oped. Railway performance has • S upply chain performance improved since Ottawa launched T:8.125” should be monitored through

may 21, 2012 •

enhanced bilateral performance reporting between shippers and railways, and through public performance reporting. Last month during the Canada Grains Council meeting Mark Hemmes president of Quorum Corporation, which monitors the grain handling and transportation system for the federal government, complimented the government for its careful and methodical approach to developing new rail legislation. He predicted the approach will result in good policy-making. Cherewyk agrees. Instead of holding town hall meetings to hear anecdotal complaints about rail service, the review panel examined data. Shippers are steadily moving the ball down the field getting closer to the end zone, he said. Cherewyk said their success so far stems from the strong consensus among all rail shippers — from grain, to coal, to cars — on what needs to happen. “There have been rail service complaints forever, what’s different now is we’re united on where we’re coming from and the government has responded,” he said. “It’s very positive.”

Cargill invests in Alberta youth SOCIAL RETURN } Research has shown that for every dollar invested in the Junior Achievement Clubs of Southern Alberta, there is a $45 economic return

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The Junior Achievement (JA) Clubs of Southern Alberta recently received a beefy $10,000 donation from Cargill Meat Solutions at High River. “Junior Achievement is excited to be partnering with a strong community leader like Cargill. Cargill shares our vision and goal for engaging youth in the building of communities and economies of rural Alberta,” said Scott Hillier, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta. JA clubs began in 1919 and spread throughout the world, and have a strong presence across Canada. The southern Alberta club is a registered charity funded entirely by donations and run by volunteers. The JA focus is arming youth with the life skills required to succeed in a global economy. A series of programs targeted at different age groups are delivered through three main programming pillars of personal growth – financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. The programming begins at the Grade 4 level, and there is no charge for program participation. There are over 20,000 students in Grades 4 through 12 participating in JA in more than 800 classrooms and in 105 communities in southern Alberta. “We are so proud to have the opportunity to support an admirable group like Junior Achievement,” said Scott Entz, general manager of Cargill Meat Solutions. “The work it has been doing for youth in our communities is something that Cargill holds in high regard. Our employees are passionate about giving back to the communities in which they live and work, and to know that by supporting JA they are contributing to strengthening our youths’ future is incredible.” Independent research has demonstrated that for every dollar invested into JA, there is a $45 return to the economy. The same report revealed that participants are four times more likely to complete high school, 25 per cent less likely to be unemployed, and 50 per cent more likely to start their own business. For more information on the programming JA offers, visit southern-alberta.



Constitution expert says FCWB has a good chance of winning in court

Appeal Court hearing set in CWB case COURT DECIDES  Will the open market be overturned? BY ALLAN DAWSON

TWO SIDES  Important challenge ahead BY ALLAN DAWSON STAFF


here’s a good possibility that the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board will win its case, according to Peter Russell, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto. “The wheat board is pretty well dismantled, but I think it (the legal challenge) has quite a chance of success,” Russell, one Canada’s leading experts on Canadian constitutional politics, told the CBC recently. “There are two sides to it. There’s the illegal introduction of the bill into Parliament and that is Federal Judge Campbell’s ruling, and it’s under appeal. There’s also a charter challenge to taking away the freedom of the expression of the farmers, so their views are before Parliament when the board’s mandate is changed. It’s certainly a very important challenge.” During an earlier interview with the Manitoba Co-operator Russell predicted the government’s decision to kill the board’s single desk would end up before the Supreme Court. “It’s a grave public mat-

ter,” he said. Parliament can amend the wheat board act to remove Section 47.1, ending the requirement that farmers approve, through a vote, changes to the board’s mandate, he added. “But I think there would have to be a full parliamentary debate.” Debate on Bill C-18, which removes the board’s single desk Aug. 1, was curtailed last fall. When Parliament passes legislation saying farmers have to vote before changing that law, that’s significant, Russell said. It’s important for democracy that proper process be followed. “We don’t just have simple majority rule,” Russell said. “It would be very dangerous if it didn’t matter what commitments Parliament makes, because again the honour of Parliament is at stake here. “When I mention the honour of Parliament people’s eyes glaze over and they think it’s a funny idea, but it shouldn’t be a funny idea. We should take some pride in our institutions and not just boil them down to bare power and the power of numbers. Parliament has always meant more than just a numbers game.”

“We should take some pride in our institutions and not just boil them down to bare power and the power of numbers. Parliament has always meant more than just a numbers game.” PETER RUSSELL



he Federal Court ruling that found Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz broke the Canadian Wheat Board Act last fall, will be heard by the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa May 23. If the ruling is upheld Stewart Wells, a former wheat board director and member of the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board (FCWB), expects the federal government will try to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. If the ruling is overturned the FCWB will review the decision before deciding to appeal, Wells said in an interview May 3. The Supreme Court itself decides if it will hear appeals. If it declines the final judgment stands. Dec. 7 Federal Court Justice Douglas Campbell ruled Ritz broke the wheat board act by introducing into Parliament Bill C-18, the Marketing Freedom Act for Grain Farmers, which proposed removing the board’s single desk and creating an open market starting Aug. 1. In a written decision Campbell said under Section 47.1 Ritz had a statutory duty to first consult with the wheat board’s board of directors and get farmers’ approval for the change through a plebiscite. His failure to do so “is an affront to the rule of law,” Justice Campbell wrote. Despite Campbell’s decision, C-18 was passed by Parliament and proclaimed law in December. According to Wells, the Appeal Court will hear the same arguments. The FCWB will argue again that the minister was obliged under the law, before killing the board’s single desk, to first consult with the wheat board’s directors and have farmers demonstrate support for the change through a vote. The federal government will argue Parliament is supreme and

therefore the minister didn’t break the law. “Government can change a law, it can make a law, but it can’t break the law,” Wells said. According to some observers the government should have removed 47.1 from the act through an amendment and then removed the single desk. The Appeal Court will also hear a motion from the FCWB that it shouldn’t even hear the appeal because by making C-18 law it ignored the Federal Court’s ruling, Wells said. “On the one hand the government ignored the ruling yet it didn’t ignore it completely because it’s appealing it,” he said. Whatever the outcome, the FCWB is continuing its classaction lawsuit against the federal government. The suit requests the board’s monopoly over the sale of western Canadian wheat and barley destined for export or domestic human consumption remain or that western grain farmers receive $17 billion in compensation. Although Ritz has said the government will cover the transition

“Government can change a law, it can make a law, but it can’t break the law.” STEWART WELLS

costs, Wells said he believes the pools are bearing some of those costs. “The government has a real incentive to make the pool low so the open market looks better in future years,” he said. Meanwhile, eight former farmerelected wheat board directors are appealing Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Shane Perlmutter’s Feb. 24 decision not to protect the board’s single desk. Perlmutter ruled he wasn’t bound by Campbell’s decision. He also dismissed the notion that 47.1 required the government to get farmers’ approval to change the board’s mandate.

WHAT’S UP Send agriculture-related meeting and event announcements to: will. May 23: Agriculture & Ag Processing Job Fair, Days Inn Calgary South, Calgary. Call: Jodi 780-644-5379 May 24/25: Ag Policy Research Network WKSHP, Lister Conf Centre, U of A, Edmonton. Call: Angie 780-492-4228 June 1/3: Calgary Stampede 4-H on Parade, Stampede Park, Calgary. Call: Kristin 403-2610271 June 11: Alberta Pork Region #3 Meeting, GP Inn, Grande Prairie. Call: Barb 877-2477675 June 11/13: Alberta Beef Producers Semi-Annual, Four Points Sheraton, Edmonton. Call: Rosanne 403-451-1174

June 12: Alberta Pork Region #3 Meeting, Dow Centre, Fort Saskatchewan. Call: Barb 877247-7675 June 13: Alberta Pork Region #2 Meeting, Westerner Park, Red Deer. Call: Barb 877-247-7675 June 14: Alberta Pork Region #1 Meeting, Coast Lethbridge Hotel, Lethbridge. Call: Barb 877-247-7675 June 14/15: 2012 Ladies Livestock Lessons, Christian Camp, Pine Lake: Call: Ken 403342-8653 June 14/15: UCVM Beef Cattle Conference 2012, Coast Plaza Hotel, Calgary. Call: Brenda 403-210-7309 June 18/19: Future Fare 2012, Deerfoot Inn & Casino, Calgary. Call: Alma 780-638-1699

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Obesity fight must be multi-faceted Environment } The report targets “obesogenic” environment, not individuals

as the root cause of rising obesity levels

No magic bullet

By Sharon Begley new york /reuters


merica’s obesity epidemic is so deeply rooted that it will take dramatic and systemic measures — from overhauling farm policies and zoning laws to, possibly, introducing a soda tax — to fix it, the influential Institute of Medicine said May 8. In an ambitious 478-page report, the IOM refutes the idea that obesity is largely the result of a lack of willpower on the part of individuals. Instead, it embraces policy proposals that have met with stiff resistance from the food industry and lawmakers, arguing that multiple strategies will be needed to make the U.S. environment less “obesogenic.” The IOM, part of the Washingtonbased National Academies, offers advice to the government and others on health issues. “People have heard the advice to eat less and move more for years, and during that time a large number of Americans have become obese,” IOM committee member Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine told Reuters. “That advice will never be out of date. But when you see the increase in obesity you ask, what changed? And the answer is, the environment. The average person cannot maintain a healthy weight in this obesity-promoting environment.” Shortly after the report was released, the Center for Consumer Freedom, which is funded by restaurant, food and other industries, condemned the IOM as joining forces with the nation’s “food nannies.” The centre said the IOM recommendations would “actively

An advertisement to fight obesity created on behalf of the New York City Department of Health is shown in this undated handout. The disturbing image of an amputee sitting near cups of soda has been plastered in city subways, part of a series of ads aimed at shocking people out of dietary habits that can lead to obesity.   REUTERS/New York City Department of Health/Handout reduce the number of choices Americans have when they sit down to eat,” and emphasized that “personal responsibility” alone was to blame for the obesity epidemic. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index — a measure of height to weight — of 30 or greater. Overweight means a BMI of 25 to 29.9. Officials at the IOM and CDC are trying to address the societal factors that led the percentage of obese adults to more than double

since 1980, when 15 per cent were in that category. Among children, it has soared to 17 per cent from five per cent in the past 30 years. One reason: in 1977, children two to 18 consumed an average of 1,842 calories per day. By 2006, that had climbed to 2,022. Obesity is responsible for an additional $190 billion a year in healthcare costs, or one-fifth of all healthcare spending, Reuters reported last month, plus billions more in higher health insurance premiums, lost productivity and absenteeism.

The IOM panel included members from academia, government and the private sector. It scrutinized some 800 programs and interventions to identify those that can significantly reduce the incidence of obesity within 10 years. “There has been a tendency to look for a single solution, like putting a big tax on soda or banning marketing (of unhealthy food) to children,” panel chairman Dan Glickman, a senior fellow of the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former secretary of the Department of Agriculture, told Reuters. “What this report says is this is not a onesolution problem.” The panel identifies taxing sugarsweetened beverages as a “potential action,” noting that “their link to obesity is stronger than that observed for any other food or beverage.” A 2011 study estimated that a penny-per-ounce tax could reduce per capita consumption by 24 per cent. As a Reuters report described last month, vigorous lobbying by the soda industry crushed recent efforts to impose such a tax in several states, including New York. The IOM committee also grappled with one of the third rails of American politics: farm policy. Price-support programs for wheat, cotton and other commodity crops prohibit participating farmers from planting fruits and vegetables on land enrolled in those programs. Partly as a result, U.S. farms do not produce enough fresh produce for all Americans to eat the recommended amounts. The IOM panel calls for removing that ban.

The true lack of choice

But the IOM panel argues that people cannot truly exercise “personal

choice” because their options are severely limited, and “biased toward the unhealthy end of the continuum.” For instance, a lack of sidewalks makes it impossible to safely walk to work, school or even neighbours’ homes in many communities. The panel recommended tax incentives for developers to build sidewalks and trails in new housing developments, zoning changes to require pedestrian access and policies to promote bicycle commuting. Flexible financing, and streamlined permitting or tax credits could be used as encouragement.

In class

The IOM report also calls for making schools the focus of anti-obesity efforts, since preventing obesity at a young age is easier than reversing it. The report also urges that healthy food and drinks be easily available everywhere Americans eat, from shopping centres to sports facilities and chain restaurants. The idea is that more people will eat healthier if little active choice is needed. “We’ve taken fat and sugar, put it in everything everywhere, and made it socially acceptable to eat all the time,” David Kessler, former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told Reuters. He was not part of the IOM panel. “We’re living in a food carnival, constantly bombarded by food cues, almost all of them unhealthy,” Kessler said. Experience has shown that when businesses offer consumers a full range of choices — and especially when the healthy option is the default — many customers will opt for salads over deep-fried everything.

High Prairie curling club wins award grand prize } Club plans upgrades to facility


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The High Prairie Curling Association (HPCA), is the 2012 winner of Monsanto Canada’s “Build a Better House” Community Curling Club Improvement Program. The grand prize of $10,000 will help upgrade its foursheet curling facility which was built in 1969. The HPCA has three improvement projects planned including roof repairs; adding additional insulation to the building; and purchasing and installing a new furnace to improve the energy efficiency of the club. The HPCA entry was built around the theme of “What curling means to us” and featured young and old alike talking about their involvement with curling and the experiences and friendships built at their local club. You can view their submission ch?v=6ujPJFCqZDY&feature= youtube. Seventeen curling clubs from Alberta, Saskatchewan

and Manitoba were awarded cash grants to improve their curling clubs. Entries came in all forms this year from YouTube videos and songs, poems, scrapbooks and personal stories. Judges included: Cathy Bowman and Kathryn Larsen with ProMar Management Services and liaisons with the Canadian Curling Association; Resby Coutts, president of CurlManitoba; Trish Jordan, Brad Goossen and Joel Wiebe, all with Monsanto Canada. Monsanto launched its Curling Club Improvement Program with the aim of assisting small-town clubs in Western Canada with local improvement projects. Applicants provide information about their club, the community in which it resides and why the curling club was in need of assistance. When this year’s funding of $51,000 is combined with cash awards given out since 2008, Monsanto has been able to provide almost $290,000 in cash awards to 101 different rural community clubs across the Prairies.




Farm subsidy talks back on table

Regina pasta plant on hold

Pressure around the world to cut government spending and accelerate economic growth has improved the environment for talks about reducing farm subsidies, one of the most sensitive areas of trade, a top U.S. official said May 15. “I do think the overall economic situation in all of our countries puts us in a better position to have a more thoughtful conversation about farming support than we have (had) in a very long time,” said. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. The 10-year-old Doha round of world trade talks to liberalize trade in agriculture, manufactured goods and services remains in a deep coma, but farm support programs are on the agenda in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

winnipeg / reuters Alliance Grain Traders Inc. shares dived as much as six per cent May 11 after the company reported sharply weaker quarterly earnings and said it was delaying plans for a pasta plant. Alliance said construction on Western Canada’s first major durum-processing plant — a project announced with much fanfare from the federal government as it prepared legislation to end the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly last October — might now start in 2013, after it assesses changes in the North American grain industry.

Canola markets take a tumble Bearish } Great spring seeding conditions and the potential for record canola

acreage contributed to the bearish market sentiments last week By Dwayne Klassen

Commodity News Services Canada


anola contracts on the ICE Canada platform experienced some significant losses during the week ended May 11. The sharp sell-off in the CBOT soybean complex helped to encourage the downward price slide as did renewed macroeconomic issues which triggered some aggressive liquidation of long positions by speculative fund accounts. The triggering of sell-stop orders on the way lower, further exaggerated the price weakness in canola. An improvement in the weather, allowing producers an opportunity to seed record area to canola this spring in Western Canada, also contributed to the bearish price atmosphere. Scale-down demand from commercials helped to slow the drop in canola, with most of that interest said to be covering old export business and some minor domestic processor requirements. A slowdown in farmer selling, as producers concentrate on spring field work, further tempered the price declines. The grain stocks in all positions report, released by Statistics Canada on May 7, also provided some minor support. The government agency pegged canola supplies in Canada on March 31, 2012, at 4.273 million tonnes. Canola stocks at the same time a year ago were 6.157 million tons. A reduction in U.S. and global soybean supplies by the USDA in its report

on May 10, helped to restrict the price declines seen in canola. There was some arbitrary price movement seen in milling wheat and durum contracts on the ICE Canada platform. However, the new barley contracts experienced some small, but noticeable volume totals during the week. Most of the action was conducted between commercials. Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures posted some significant declines during the reporting period with macroeconomic issues and the resulting liquidation of long positions by commodity fund accounts the key downward influence. The activation of sell-stop orders on the way down, amplified the price weakness. Soybeans had been sitting at their highest level in four years last week. Favourable weather for the planting and development of the U.S. soybean crop contributed to the bearish sentiment. The USDA pegged soybean planting intentions in the U.S. at 73.9 million acres in its supply-demand reports released on May 10. There are widespread ideas that final U.S. soybean acres will be higher, possibly considerably higher.

The losses in soybeans were offset by the tighter-than-expected U.S. soybean ending stocks projection for both old and new crop. The USDA estimated U.S. soybean stocks as of August 31, were likely to drop to 210 million bushels, which compares with the 250 million projected a month ago and down 2.3 per cent from the year-earlier forecast. The USDA’s ending-stocks forecast for the end of the next marketing year is even lower at 145 million bushels. Corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down on the week with losses associated with the unexpected jump in near-term corn supplies by the USDA in its recent supply-demand balance sheets. In its monthly supply-and-demand report, the USDA pegged U.S. corn inventories as of Aug. 31, the end of the current marketing year, at 851 million bushels, up 6.2 per cent from the agency’s previous forecast of 801 million bushels. U.S. corn production, meanwhile, was expected to rise this year to a record of 14.79 billion bushels, from 12.358 billion bushels last year, as a fast start to the planting season could boost yields to a

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

record 166 bushels an acre, the USDA said. Wheat futures at the CBOT, KCBT and MGEX were lower on the week. The active seeding pace of the U.S. spring wheat crop helped to fuel the price declines as did the favourable weather and the quick development of the U.S. winter wheat crop. The losses in corn and the more-thanadequate global supply of wheat also were undermining price influences. Other than the canola projection in the stocks report coming in tighter than anticipated, there were few other Canadian numbers that held any major surprises. Durum stocks at 3.002 million tonnes were on the high side and with anticipated large acreage this spring, could limit the upside potential in prices. The all-wheat stocks number of 14.479 million tonnes was at the lower end of expectations and suggests that usage of the commodity as a feed was greater than what had been anticipated. Other than that there were few surprises in the stocks figures. However, the big question being asked is whether the uptrend in the oilseed sector is over, or whether this can be viewed as a necessary, but temporary setback. Normally, when there is such a huge price swing on a Friday, the Monday, or next business day, sees a correction in price direction. Some market participants were also unsure of what exactly caused the selloff, noting that if there was a true sell-off because of the global economic worries, crude oil and the equity sector would have suffered greater losses than what those markets did.




Dow’s new biotech corn enters final stage of regulatory approval TIME BOMB  Is Dow’s new corn a “time bomb” or farmers’ dream? Or both? problems with 2,4-D “drift” and volatility, and that the new herbicide has been formulated to reduce those factors dramatically. Dow says that if farmers use the new Dow version of 2,4-D properly, drift is reduced about 90 per cent, and tests show the new product has “ultra-low volatility.” Even many opponents of Dow’s new herbicide say it is an improvement of generic rivals using 2,4-D. But they say Dow’s version will be expensive enough that many farmers will probably buy cheaper generics to spray on the 2,4-D-tolerant corn. Due to the already-known effects from “drift,” opponents have requested that some form of an indemnity fund be established to pay loss claims from farms damaged by inadvertent 2,4-D applications. Dow has opposed that safeguard.



new biotech corn developed by Dow AgroSciences could answer the prayers of U.S. farmers plagued by a fierce epidemic of superweeds. Or it could trigger a flood of dangerous chemicals that may make weeds even more resistant and damage other important U.S. crops. Or, it could do both. “Enlist,” entering the final stages of regulatory approval, has become the latest flashpoint in the debate about the risks and rewards about farm technology. With a deadline to submit public comments on Dow’s proposal at the end of this week, more than 5,000 individuals and groups have already weighed in. Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical Co., hopes to have the product approved this year and released by the 2013 crop. The corn itself is not the issue — rather it is the potent herbicide chemical component 2,4-D that is the centre of debate. The new corn is engineered to withstand liberal dousings of a Dowdeveloped herbicide containing the compound, commonly used in lawn treatments of broadleaf weeds and for clearing fields of weeds before crops like wheat and barley are planted. Enlist is the first in a planned series of new herbicide-tolerant crops aimed at addressing a resurgence of cropchoking weeds that have developed resistance to rival Monsanto’s popular glyphosate herbicide. It is part of an expanding agricultural arsenal advocates say is key to growing enough food to feed a growing global population. But while 2,4-D has a long history of effective use, the chemical’s volatile nature also worries environmentalists because winds, high temperatures, humidity can cause traditional forms of the herbicide to migrate from farm fields where it is sprayed to wreak havoc on far-off crops, gardens and trees that are unprotected from the invisible agent. Environmentalists are pushing the government to pause before opening the door to what they say could be a destructive turn. Opponents include some specialty crop farmers who fear 2,4-D herbicide use could cause widespread damage to crops that are not engineered with a tolerance to it.

High stakes A 2,4-D-resistant corn developed to counter weed issues caused by glyphosateresistant corn is causing alarm among special crop producers in the U.S. REUTERS/JOHN SOMMERS II

of farmers and food companies seeking regulatory restrictions or rejection of Dow’s plans. “Massive amounts of 2,4-D... can cause major changes, threatening specialty crops miles away,” said Bode, an assistant secretary of agriculture in the Reagan administration. The financial stakes are high as well. Dow projects a “billion-dollar value” in a product line that is its biggest challenge yet to the dominance of top seed company Monsanto’s revolutionary Roundup herbicide and its genetically modified “Roundup Ready” seeds. Dow hopes to expand Enlist into soybeans and cotton. Where Roundup once killed weeds easily, experts say that now, even heavy use of the herbicide using the

Major issue

It is so potent that its use is tightly restricted in some areas and at certain times of the year in some U.S. states. “It is a major issue for farm country,” said John Bode, a lawyer for a coalition

< Performance

key chemical glyphosate often fails to kill “super-weeds.” Some weed scientists are supportive of Enlist. In the southern third of Illinois, prime Corn Belt country, infestations of the invasive water hemp weed have doubled each year over the past three years, according to Bryan Young, weed scientist at Southern Illinois University. “The deregulation of Enlist herbicide-tolerant corn will expand grower options for controlling problematic weeds and has proven in my research to be effective as such,” Young wrote to the USDA in a letter supporting Dow’s application.

Aware of the problem

Dow officials say they are aware of the

“We are all producers and people who have no problem with new technology. But we see this new piece of it having side-effects that we don’t think people have adequately thought of.” STEVE SMITH DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE FOR RED GOLD, THE WORLD’S LARGEST PROCESSOR OF CANNED TOMATOES

Opponents have flooded the U.S. Department of Agriculture with petitions and pleas for either rejection of Dow’s new corn, or strict regulation before use of 2,4-D is expanded into millions of acres in the U.S. agricultural heartland. More than 90 million acres of corn alone will be planted in 2012. Last week, the Save Our Crops coalition representing more than 2,000 U.S. farmers filed legal petitions with the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency demanding the government scrutinize Dow’s plans more closely. The group has said it could file a lawsuit to try to stop the new type of corn. Steve Smith, director of agriculture at Indiana-based Red Gold, the world’s largest processor of canned tomatoes, calls the 2,4-D issue a “ticking time bomb.” “We are all producers and people who have no problem with new technology. But we see this new piece of it having side-effects that we don’t think people have adequately thought of,” said Smith. Others fear Enlist and 2,4-D may only be the beginning of a new wave of dangerous farm chemicals. Chemical giant BASF and Monsanto plan to unveil by the middle of this decade crops tolerant to a mix of the chemicals dicamba and glyphosate. This increasing use of chemicals will only spell worse weed resistance in years to come, warn weed scientists and environmentalists. “It’s a chemical arms race,” said Andrew Kimbrell, a lawyer at the Center for Food Safety opposed to the new crop systems. “It’s a scary scenario. We won’t be able to do anything with these weeds other than use machetes.”

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Move to longer trading hours raises concerns for smaller players Long days } Winnipeg ICE is also considering expanded hours washington / reuters


.S. Agriculture Department officials are studying whether a 22-hour trading day at U.S. futures exchanges should prompt any changes in timing of when USDA releases potentially market-moving data, a top official said May 2. Any change in USDA’s report schedule “is complex, has farreaching impact and would be taken very deliberately,” said Hubert Hamer, chairman of the Agricultural Statistics Board. At present, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) releases most of its market-sensitive reports, such as monthly crop forecasts or weekly summaries of U.S. farm exports, when the major futures markets are closed. The

timing allows market participants to peruse the reports before trading opens. CME Group pushed back the start of longer trading for its Chicago Board of Trade contracts by one week until May 21 after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it required notification of the change at least 10 business days in advance. It was a snafu for the massive exchange operator, which announced its original plans for longer hours for May 14 as it attempted to fend off a challenge from upstart ICE. Atlanta-based ICE said last month it would challenge CME’s iron grip on grains markets by listing look-alike wheat, corn and soy contracts on May 14 — on a 22-hour basis. Under CME’s new hours, elec-

tronic trading is set to run continuously from 6 p.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time the next day, Monday to Friday. The change applies to CBOT corn, soybean, wheat, soybean meal, soybean oil, oats, rough rice and ethanol contracts. Most other major commodity exchanges, including the CME’s New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), had already shifted to near 24-hour trading cycles as China’s rise spurred demand from Asia, while hedge funds and highfrequency traders clamoured for greater access. “It seems like everybody else in the world trades nearly 24 hours,” Citigroup analyst Terry Reilly said. ICE Futures Canada is meeting with traders and brokers to assess whether to change the exchange’s trading hours, said president and

chief operating officer Brad Vannan May 3, after its key competitors said this week they would expand hours. “It’s something you don’t want to make a knee-jerk response to, but it’s definitely a topic that’s on our mind,” Vannan said in an interview. ICE Canada trades electronically only from 7 p.m. each evening until 1:15 p.m. (local time) the next day, from Sunday evening until Friday afternoon. Denizens of CME’s CBOT trading floor — which will continue to trade during the same open outcry hours of 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Central Time had resisted the move toward around-the-clock trading. Groups like the National Grain and Feed Association remained worried that large traders will gain an unfair advantage from the lon-

“It seems like everybody else in the world trades nearly 24 hours.” Terry Reilly Citigroup analyst

ger trading day, which will keep markets open for the first time when the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues key crop data. Large traders are expected to gain a competitive edge because they will have the personnel and advanced technology to instantly analyze and react to U.S. crop data.

Pushing trade with Morocco Pulse talks } Canada’s

pulse industry could be a key beneficiary of trade talks


Moroccan pulse importers and Canadian pulse exporters are working to remove high tariffs that are restricting pulse trade. “Moroccan pulse importers and Canadian pulse exporters have a common view on the value of improved market access for pulse trade between Canada and Morocco,” said Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada in a release. “We need to encourage governments to conclude negotiations and implement a trade agreement,” said Ghalab Benchaib of AIMEXICLE, Morocco’s national association of importers of cereals, pulses and spices. Morocco is one of Canada’s top five markets for small green lentils and a major market for Canadian durum. On average, Canada exports approximately 23,000 tonnes of pulses to Morocco annually. Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz, and Canada’s chief negotiator for the Moroccan trade agreement attended a meeting of Canadian exporters and Moroccan importers in late April while Ritz was in the country for meetings promoting the Canada-Morocco trade initiative. Morocco’s pulse imports are currently governed by a range of policies and import tariffs for pulses from different origins. While some countries have tarifffree access, Canadian peas, lentils and beans face a 50 per cent tariff. In 2011, Canada’s export of lentils to Morocco was only 22.5 per cent of the previous five-year average. With the current price of small green lentils delivered to Morocco valued at approximately $1,000 per tonne, an additional $500 in tariffs is added to the price. Free trade negotiations between Morocco and Canada were launched in January 2011.

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You don’t have to tell Greg about the economics of farming. He raises cattle for himself and, through ATB, helps farmers raise the capital they need to keep going—and growing. He “talks the talk” with farmers because he “walks the walk” himself—and he’s got the “fertilizer” on his boots to prove it. For farmers, Greg’s wealth of hands-on agricultural knowledge yields better financial decisionmaking, resulting in the most valuable thing we can ever grow: trust.

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IN Brief

Canada could become a player in China’s forage market

New late blight fungicide

optimism } Import protocol is the key to more exports by alexis kienlen af staff | olds


anadian forage exporters are optimistic they can help feed China’s rapidly expanding livestock indus-

try. Marc Lavoie, a Peace River hay exporter and dairy farmer, says China’s need for more livestock feed is growing, but so are its cities. Forage-producing areas are being forced to relocate. China also has water quality issues, which limit forage production. “A lot of the water they have they can’t use on forages,” said Lavoie, who recently visited the country as part of a Canadian Forage and Grassland Association delegation investigating the market potential. “It’s too contaminated.” The delegation met with representatives from the Chinese Department of Agriculture and the Chinese equivalent of CFIA to talk about protocols for exporting timothy hay to China. “There is a protocol for exporting alfalfa that we can use to ship and there is a Canadian company that has recently shipped product to China,” said Lavoie. However, tests for exporting alfalfa into China are tedious and require a lot more work for farmers and exporters. In 2011, China imported 270,000 tonnes of forage. China’s large population has rising incomes, which means consumers are spending more on meat and dairy prod-

Canadian forage growers visit Chinese imported forage warehouse. ucts, products that require forages. There are also seven million horses in China and 300 equine centres. Most of these are workhorses, not highend horses. Horse racing has been banned, which means less demand for high-end hay for horse feed. The quality of hay being fed to horses in the equestrian centres is fairly low, but is sold for an expensive price, Lavoie said. Low-quality corn stover silage is also being used as a feed for horses. Forage is expensive in China due to the cost of transporting forages around the large country, said Lavoie. “The cities are expanding rapidly and forages have to come from a long distance,” he said. The Chinese are currently looking for low-priced, goodquality product. The Canadians also visited dairies in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. China has 12.6 million dairy cows, about eight million of

which are lactating, producing about 35.6 metric tonnes of milk a year. “They plan on doubling that by 2015,” said Lavoie. “It’s not an if, it’s a how, and it’s up to us whether we want to become part of this or not,” he said. “There are a lot of other markets, so we just have to make sure we’re there and participating.” China is the largest producer of milk in the world, even though the average dairy farmer has only five to 10 cows. If it plans to increase milk output, they’ll also have to increase forage imports. “Most of the farms are still small, have very little knowledge and they feed the cows whatever they can find,” Lavoie said. “The government wants to increase milk production so they’re talking about bringing in expertise in dairy management, feed management and feed production to increase milk production,” he said.

staff Engage Agro Corp. has announced that its Torrent fungicide has been approved for use in Canada. The product is approved for the control of late blight in potatoes, downy mildew in cucurbits and cavity spot in carrots. Additional crops and pests may be added in the future. Torrent is active in all stages of the disease life cycle to provide protection against diseases caused by oomycetes, especially infection by pathogens of the genera of phytophthora, pythium and pseudoperonspora. The product is a contact fungicide and has a different mode of action and belongs to the FRAC Group 21. “Torrent is particularly important to growers because it offers them another weapon to combat the increasing threat of pest resistance,” said Engage Agro’s product manager Bob Hamilton in a release. ISK Biosciences Corp. has an exclusive distribution agreement with Engage Agro Corp. for Torrent fungicide. The active ingredient in Torrent is cyazofamid, which inhibits mitochondrial respiration. While Torrent is not systemic, it does provide some translaminar movement through the plant tissue. It is available in a suspension concentrate formula.


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ON THE MOVE  Species may change, but the flea beetles’



lea beetles are already costing Prairie farmers $300 million a year and their populations are growing, an entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says. Julie Soroka told a recent Alberta Canola Industry Update seminar scientists don’t know why the beetle species populations are shifting, but they do know the populations are rising, particularly for the striped flea beetles. “I did not see high numbers of striped until about five years ago, but what we get now is primarily striped,” she said. Striped flea beetles are increasing all across the Prairies. Numbers of

other species are also increasing, Soroka said. In Brooks, there was a definite increase in striped flea beetles over the four years. “These trends also occur in the other two provinces. Northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba are also predominantly striped. In central Saskatchewan, striped beetles are now becoming more dominant over crucifer beetles,” she said. There are three species of flea beetles commonly found on the Prairies. Two of the beetles are originally from Eurasia and the third is from the circumpolar regions. The striped flea beetle, first reported in New York City in 1776, can be found in the boreal transition zone, the northern portions of the Prairies and the Peace Country. Forty years ago, the striped

“I did not see high numbers of striped until about five years ago, but what we get now is primarily striped.” JULIE SOROKA

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flea beetle was found throughout all regions of the Prairies except southern Alberta. The crucifer flea beetle is a much more recent introduction to North America and first appeared in British Columbia in the 1920s. “It rapidly spread across the Prairies, becoming a common pest of cruciferous vegetables in the ’30s and ’40s. By the time rapeseed became prevalent, it flourished very quickly and became a traditional rapeseed pest,” Soroka said. Forty years ago, the crucifer beetle was common in all three provinces, but was not found in central and northern Alberta and the Peace Country. Hop flea beetles can be found all over the Prairies, in very low numbers. The beetles are primarily controlled by chemical means. “Almost all the canola seed that goes into the ground in the Prairies is coated with an insecticide for the control of flea beetles,” Soroka said. Foliar sprays can be used if seed treatments fail or are ineffective. All registered seed treatments in Canada are neoniticanoids. The striped flea beetle is less resistant to these treatments than the crucifer flea beetle. Soroka, who was involved with a survey to map flea beetle species in Western Canada and North Dakota, said the preferential mor-

tality might be creating the shift in populations. Researchers placed a series of yellow sticky traps along shelterbelts and other areas where flea beetles overwinter. “We had a series of five, 10 or even 20 traps that we changed weekly, or more frequently if populations were high, for periods from seed emergence to about four weeks after,” she said. Some fields were surveyed for short periods, and others for the whole summer, from 2007 to 2011. Three hundred site locations from across the Prairies, North Dakota and the B.C. Peace were included in the study. Crucifer flea beetles were the most common at 139 sites. In 21 sites, striped flea beetle was the most prevalent. About 147 sites had some form of stripe and only four had hop flea beetles. Soroka noted a definite increase in striped flea beetles in Manitoba over the length of the study. Striped flea beetles are also increasing in the Alberta Peace region as canola acres increase. In central Alberta, four out of five sites showed a primary concentration of striped flea beetles. “If there was a species shift, it occurred prior to 1997,” she said. “Species are definitely site specific and we don’t know why a particular species occurs in a particular site.”



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STAFF / Alberta canola growers are being advised to monitor their frostbitten crops to assess survival rates before making the decision to leave it or reseed after southern Alberta logged temperatures as low as -8 C the second weekend of May. “If one or two plants per square foot have survived and if that stand is fairly consistent throughout the field, the best choice is probably to leave it alone,” the Canola Council of Canada says.




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Bigger seed changes the canola-seeding equation Count } Eight to 10 plants per square foot is the best way to maximize yield By Allan Dawson

“Going into this season with $10-a-pound seed with the potential for $14-a-bushel canola we have to know what we’re putting in the ground.”



he best chance for maximizing canola yields is a plant population of eight to 10 plants per square foot and a minimum of five throughout the growing season, says Doug Moisey, an extension agronomist with the Canola Council of Canada. “Typically when you have four to five plants per square foot or higher your yield goes up linearly until about 10 plants per square foot, and that gives you the best chance (for optimal yields),” Moisey said during a webinar May 3. Yields decline 13 to 21 per cent in fields with a minimum of four plants per square foot, he added. Seeding five pounds an acre doesn’t guarantee your field will achieve the ideal plant population, especially now with some canola seed being bigger. Bigger

Doug Moisey

seed generally survives better, but when sown by the pound there are fewer bigger (heavier) seeds per square foot. In a survey of 218 canola fields last year 34 per cent had less

than four plants per square foot, Moisey said “Forty-one per cent of those 34 per cent were seeded at five pounds per acre,” he said. Probably about 50 per cent of

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vive to harvest. Precipitation is the single biggest factor affecting emergence, Moisey said, but since that’s beyond farmers’ control they should focus on the agronomics they can influence. For starters, farmers should know their seed weight (grams per 1,000 kernels), seeding rate and plant stand from last year to serve as a guide for this year. But 75 per cent of western Canadian farmers don’t do plant counts, Moisey said. “Going into this season with $10-a-pound seed with the potential for $14-a-bushel canola we have to know what we’re putting in the ground,” he said. The canola council’s website (http://www.canolawatch. org/2012/04/25/wide-range-ofseed-weights/) has tables showing the plant populations per square foot expected when planting various seed sizes with survivability rates of 20 to 80 per cent. The following formula can also be used: Seeding rate (lb./ ac.) = [9.6 x desired plant density (plants/ft.2) x Thousand Seed Weight (TSW) (grams)] ÷ estimated seed survival (per cent, expressed as a whole number). So if the TSW is six grams, the desired plant population per square foot is eight and the survivability is 70 per cent, the seeding rate should be 6.6 pounds an acre. However, if survivability can be increased to 80 per cent, the seeding rate drops to 5.5 pounds an acre, saving the farmer $10 an acre. There isn’t much room for error when striving for 80 per cent survivability, Moisey said. Smaller seed can help. Plug four-gram canola into the formula and at 70 per cent survivability it takes just four pounds of seed an acre to get seven plants per square foot. Moisey has some tips for improved plant emergence and survival: • Fine tune your air seeder. Make sure it’s balanced front to back and side to side. • Keep fertilizer away from the seed. Reducing seeding speed can help. Travelling too fast also results in uneven planting depths. • S eed one-half to one inch deep. • Seed when soil temperatures average 4 to 8 C at seeding depth. • Increase the seeding rate when planting into cooler soils. • Measure seeding depth continually. Planting into soils cooler than 4 C will result in reduced and delayed emergence. Seed treatments only provide 21 to 28 days of insect protection. Seed that’s in the ground for 15 days might only have a week of protection after emerging.



Export customers worried end of CWB monopoly will hurt quality ACCESS  Millers want to keep access to top-quality wheat BY ROD NICKEL



lobal wheat importers fear the quality of Canada’s prized spring wheat and durum may deteriorate once the Canadian Wheat Board loses its marketing monopoly, creating problems for makers of breads and pasta. A broad swath of wheat buyers, including Japan, known as the most qualityconscious wheat importer, has raised concerns that the consistent, top-quality wheat they have long bought from Canada may not be the same in the open-market system, said Rex Newkirk, director of research and business development at the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi). Canada is the world’s biggest exporter of spring wheat and durum wheat. “We trust Canadian wheat, so if we didn’t have the quality we’ve had, it would be a catastrophe for us,” Miguel Montalban, production manager of the Harinera La Espiga mill in Mexico City, told Reuters through an interpreter. The wheat board has held a marketing monopoly over Western Canada’s wheat and barley for export or human consumption for 69 years, but it will end on Aug. 1 under a new Canadian law. Wheat buyers will then buy Canadian wheat directly from grain handlers such as Glencore International PLC, assuming it completes its takeover of Viterra Inc.

Canada’s wheat export customers worry that quality will decline as the sun sets on Western Canada’s wheat export monopoly. REUTERS/TODD KOROL this summer, Cargill Ltd. and Richardson International Limited. Eight Latin American wheat buyers, including Montalban, attended a weeklong Cigi program in Winnipeg to study the properties of Canadian wheat. The wheat board aimed to give farmers the highest possible returns, but also sought to keep buyers’ loyalty by at times delivering better-quality grain than it was getting paid for, Newkirk of Cigi said. “The concern (of millers) is that when

grain companies are selling now, what they might do is sell everything to the lowest end of the grade,” he said. “The grain companies are going to want to keep those buyers happy, so I don’t think they’ll intentionally sell them the bottom of the grade, but... there’s going to be a bit of a push and shove for a bit.” Cigi is an independent market development institute funded by farmers, the grain industry and Canadian government.

At least two private grain marketers — the Canadian arms of French grain trader Louis Dreyfus Corp. and German trader Toepfer International — have publicly said that Canada should grow more mid-quality wheat in light of stiff competition from the Black Sea region and elsewhere. Canada’s grading and variety registration systems will remain in the open market, but handlers could encourage farmers to plant more varieties designed to maximize yield at lower quality by narrowing their price discount to top-shelf wheats. If top-quality Canada Western Red Spring Wheat becomes scarcer, Montalban’s mill in Mexico would have to reluctantly buy U.S. spring wheat that it considers inferior, he said. The Pastas Capri C.A. mill in Venezuela relies on up to 80,000 tonnes of Canadian durum annually. “We are very tied to Canadian wheat,” said mill manager Freddy Rivas. “We’re concerned about availability in the future, and quality. We want to know that we can count on that.” The solution lies in millers and wheat exporters clarifying up front exactly what specifications they need, from protein content to the level of disease presence, as buyers already do to source U.S. wheat, Newkirk said. “We can still provide a reliable product, we just need to make sure we clearly understand each other.”


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Monsanto donates inputs to CFGB growing projects SEED MONEY  Monsanto’s $60,000 donation will support 86 CFGB

growing projects in four provinces STAFF


onsanto Canada has donated $60,000 worth of farm inputs to Canadian Foodgrains Bank growing projects his year. Community growing projects are a unique way for people to contribute grain and other agricultural commodities to help people who are hungry around the world. A typical project involves a group of people working together to farm a common plot of land. After harvest, the production is donated to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank for use in overseas food aid and agricultural development projects managed by its 15-member agencies.

“As a company 100 per cent focused on agriculture, we look for opportunities to give back to rural communities and rural residents through our corporate giving program,” said Trish Jordan, public affairs director with Monsanto Canada, in a release. Working co-operatively with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Monsanto Canada area sales managers and their teams in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, went through the list of established and new growing projects provided by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and were able to co-ordinate access to Genuity Roundup Ready technology, Roundup brand agricultural herbicides,

DEKALB seed and other Monsanto products for use in 86 different community growing projects. A total of 31 projects are being supported in Ontario, with the remaining 55 projects covering the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. By accessing available product donated by Monsanto Canada, these community growing projects are able to reduce their total input costs and hopefully pass along a larger donation of grain and cash to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. “Support from Monsanto Canada is an important part of our effort to end global hunger,” said John Longhurst, who directs communications and

marketing for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. “By helping the growing projects reduce input costs, they enable farmers to provide more money for people who don’t have enough to eat.” Last year, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank approved 116 projects worth $44 million in 36 countries to help over two million people. That included over $15 million for Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, three countries struck by last year’s severe food shortage in East Africa. This year, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is committing an additional $3.1 million of aid to those countries, along with $6.7 million for countries in the Sahel region of Africa where a food crisis is looming.




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Higher prices lure farmers to wheat RISE  Statistics Canada says allwheat plantings will rise 13 per cent BY ROD NICKEL


Canadian farmers intend to plant nearly a million acres more wheat than the industry expected in the first year of an open grain market, along with a record-large canola crop, Statistics Canada reported late last month in its initial forecast of 2012 planting intentions. Drier-than-normal weather in Western Canada, stretching back to last summer, brought millions of previously flooded acres back into production this spring, lifting plantings of most major crops. All-wheat plantings may rise 13 per cent to 24.3 million acres (9.8 million hectares) from last year’s 21.5 million acres, blowing away the average trade estimate of 23.4 million acres in the first year farmers can sell their wheat or barley to buyers other than the Canadian Wheat Board. A new Canadian law will end the wheat board’s 69-year-old marketing monopoly on western wheat and durum for export or human consumption on Aug. 1, allowing farmers to sell their next crops to any buyer, not just the CWB. Manitoba farmer Doug Chorney, who heads Keystone Agricultural Producers, said farmers’ bullishness about wheat is less about the marketing change than high prices. “I’ve been able to forward-sell my spring wheat at very good prices. Producers are fairly bullish on wheat this year,” he said. Canada is the biggest exporter of spring wheat, durum, oats and canola. Western Canada’s wheat acres, like those in the U.S. northern Plains, are getting a boost from a dry spring after two years of severe floods, said Mike Krueger, president of the Money Farm grain-marketing advisory service near Fargo, North Dakota. “They have had big fallow acres for the previous two years because of very wet conditions. So acres did not get planted in 2010 and especially in 2011,” he said. Statistics Canada surveyed 13,432 farmers across the country between March 23 and 30. Oat plantings look to be 3.4 million acres, just as traders forecast, and compared to 3.1 million acres a year ago. StatsCan expects farmers to plant eight million acres of barley, up by nearly onequarter from last year, and higher than trade expectations for 7.7 million acres.



Special crops off to good start in south OPTIMISM  Contracting dictates the extent of acres to be seeded BY HELEN MCMENAMIN



n southern Alberta, seeding of major crops was almost done by early May. And by midmonth, crops were emerging and even potatoes were at “groundcrack,” almost emerging. “It’s a month early, compared to a year ago,” says Hal Reed, production support specialist with Sunrise AG in Taber, who works mostly with potato growers. “There’s a lot more optimism this year. Guys can seed whole fields (instead of losing about 30 per cent of their land to flooding) and they’re 90 per cent done, just a few days to go. The moisture’s good, now we could use a little heat.” Sugar beets are doing well, with many crops emerged and the last few fields will be seeded by midMay. “Most stands are looking very good,” says Andrew Llewelyn-Jones, agricultural supervisor with Rogers Sugar. “I’ve seen some problems with soil crusting, but we had irrigation water available a couple of weeks earlier than usual, so people could water crops up.” Rogers has over 30,000 acres of beets contracted and optimism is high among growers and the company, thanks to a new contract and Roundup Ready beets. The new beets have been a “game-saver” for the industry, says Llewelyn-Jones.

want under contract,” he says. “Some people grow some beans on spec, but we’re limited by our storage capacity and the amounts we can ship within a season. A lot of beans, especially pintos and pinks, lose their bright colour after harvest and many of our buyers want new-crop beans. They say they cook better and taste better, so we’re developing slow-darkening pinto beans that store better.”

Bean scene

Pintos account for most of Alberta’s bean area at 23,500 acres, followed by Great Northerns at 13,000 acres, and 4,000 acres of reds. Black and yellow varieties make up the rest with just a few hundred acres of pinks. Viterra has a new yellow bean

variety close to registration and expects it will help increase production of this type. Upright varieties of pinto or Great Northern beans are increasing steadily and now make up about 10 per cent of bean acres. “New growers almost always solid seed, rather than buy the specialized equipment for traditional 22-inch rows, but it’s not easy,” says Clelland. “The upright varieties hold the pods off the ground well, but you need a newer swather header with adjustable pitch so you can cut the plants off just an inch above the ground. Then, if the weather co-operates and you can hit that swathing window it’s doable.” White mould is a challenging disease for bean growers. They

Upright varieties of pinto or Great Northern beans are increasing steadily and now make up about 10 per cent of bean acres. aim to put on as much water as they can in the fewest possible passes and often either interrow rip or use a dammer-dike to scoop depressions in the soil to prevent run-off of irrigation water on the field. That’s not

an option with solid-seeded crops. Irrigation and the southern Alberta heat make it possible to grow a wide range of special crops, but each of the special crops has special needs.

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very low toxicity in the environment, he notes. Growers have another new tool to help them control sugar beet cyst nematode — satellite mapping of canola fields. Canola is a host for the yield-robbing beet pest, so beets must be in a strict one in fouryear rotation without canola. But, growers don’t always have a complete cropping history on rented land. Rogers is collecting satellite images to identify land where canola is being grown, so growers can avoid costly rotation errors. Bean growers, who often delay seeding to be sure the ground is warm enough for beans to germinate and emerge quickly, are planning to start seeding May 14 or before. Bean prices have come off some exceptional prices recently but Owen Clelland, manager at Viterra’s bean plant in Taber, expects prices for most types to stay up in the 35 to low 40s cents per pound this year. “We’ve got all the acreage we

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Spring seeding looking great across the province TIMELY  All that’s needed is timely spring rains BY HELEN MCMENAMIN



pring seeding is rolling along about as well as anyone could wish with enough soil moisture to get crops a good start. According to Alberta Agriculture, surface soil moisture conditions are rated good or excellent in over 75 per cent of the farming area. The excess moisture conditions of the last two years are confined to the western edge of the province and the Peace country where 60 per cent of the area is too wet. The North Peace and east-central Alberta are dry. For most of the province, seeding started the first week of May. “This year, seeding seems late because the little snow and ice we had has been gone so long, but May is not late. And, we know from the last few years, we can get crops in pretty quickly these


days, ” says Harry Brook, of Alberta Agriculture’s Farm Info Centre in Stettler. Hay and pasture in most areas seems to be off to a really good start. And, fall-seeded crops came through the winter really well, despite the lack of snow cover, probably because there were no long cold spells. Some longtime winter wheat growers didn’t seed the crop last

fall because it was so dry. It may have been a wise move – some crops had poor germination due to lack of moisture or late seeding. But, most of the winter wheat looks really good. “Even with the lack of snow cover we saw last winter, I have seen very little winter damage,” says Autumn Holmes-Saltzman, winter wheat agrologist with Ducks Unlimited Canada. She

advises applying nitrogen fertilizer and taking care of winter annual weeds as early as possible and delaying any decisions on terminating a poor crop till you’re 60 to 75 per cent done seeding your spring crops. “I’ve seen some crops that were slower to start this spring, but only one I advised terminating. And, you need to fertilize and control annual weeds for any crop.”

Troy Prosofsky, agronomist with the canola council, has seen some good stands of canola this spring, with higher-than-usual seedling survival, 80 per cent rather than the 60 per cent usually considered good. “With warm conditions and good moisture, many growers have very good stands that make all decisions for the crop easier,” he says. “Seven plants per square foot is a really nice number, you get fewer side branches, bloom is a week shorter and hot winds in July have less impact on yield. And, decisions like when to spray for any problem, or when to swath is easier with a more uniform crop.”

“This year, seeding seems late because the little snow and ice we had has been gone so long, but May is not late.”

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Prosofsky has some cautions. He realizes economics drive many people to alternate canola and wheat, but sees it as agronomically unsustainable. “Breeders just can’t keep up with the disease pressure that builds up,” he says. He also has advice for crops in the fields. “Frost is always a worry in early spring,” he says. “The colder it gets, the longer it stays cold, and hotter it gets in the hours after frost, the higher the risk to the crop. Check seedling growing points three days after frost. If the growing points are green, those vital growing points haven’t been injured by cells bursting due to freezing and rapid thawing. Use plant counts to make reseeding decisions.” Prosofsky advises checking field edges, volunteer canola and related weeds for flea beetles. Most parts of Alberta have two species: the crucifer flea beetle is controlled by insecticide seed treatments, the striped flea beetle survives those neonicotinoid insecticides better, starts feeding earlier in spring and does more damage to the crop. The striped flea beetle dominates north of Edmonton and is spreading across the province. “Flea beetles overwinter in ditches and around trees,” says Prosofsky. “Watch for them and be aware that your first line of defence, seed treatment, won’t be effective against striped flea beetles. They start at the field margins, so if you need to use an insecticide, you can spray just the outside rounds.” Adding a reduced rate of insecticide to a herbicide treatment to lower insect populations is not wise, says Prosofsky. “You’re selecting for resistance,” he says.



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AUCTION SALES Alberta Auctions – North

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



HEATED & GREEN CANOLA • Competitive Prices • Prompt Movement • Spring Thrashed “ON FARM PICK UP”



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

CALL 1-866-388-6284

INC. ANTIQUES ANTIQUES Antiques Wanted WANTED: USED OR OLD guns, antique handguns, working or not, ammunition and related items. will pay cash. (403)816-1190



SATURDAY JUNE, 9, 11:00 AM FORT ASSINBOINE, AB 2 MILE EAST OF FORT ASSINIBOINE TO TOP OF HILL ALONG RIVER EQUIPMENT: 1983 7710 Ford diesel tractor with cab, standard, air & 3pth * 1967 5000 Ford diesel tractor (up graded to a 5610), standard & 3pth * 1940s Oliver 99 4cyl. Gas, (restorable) * two 715 IHC combines, gas, cab, air, (always shedded) * 12’ Glencoe vibrashank with mulchers * 16’ IHC #45 vibrashank with mulchers * 12’ Graham-Home chisel plow * 14’ IHC field cultivator * 30’ Malco harrow draw bar with six 5’ D harrows * 5’ Trak roto-mower * 16’ Robin grain auger with new 6½ hp motor * 51’ Westfield, 8” PTO grain auger * JD #6 forage harvester * Anderson bale wagon for square bales * IHC #10 12’ press drill *Artsway # 420 mixmill * TRUCKS: 1960 GMC 1 ton, 6cyl, box & hoist * 1993 Dodge ¾ ton, V8 auto, with new tires (good shape) * 1988 Dodge ½ ton V8 auto (for restoration) * SHOP & MISC: Lincoln 180 amp electric welder * acety torch with bottles * Coates tire changer * hand tools * ¾” socket set * ½” drill press * two 4” vices * 10” table saw * portable air compressor with 50’ hose * 20 T hyd. press * 20’ x 60’ hay tarp * asst lengths of 3’ wide metal rib roofing * lots of iron & pipe * YARD: 30 “snow blower * 1999 Suzuki Quad, 2 wheel drive * 46” Cub Cadet hydro lawn mower * gas driven 20” wood splitter * garden tools * 16’x20’ camping tent * 10’ x 10’ gazebo * FUEL TANKS: two 300 gal. & one 160 gal. fuel tanks and stands

Cash or Cheque No Buyer’s premium WERKMAN’S AUCTION SERVICE Phone Pete 780-674-5729

ATHABASCA, AB 3½ miles East of Athabasca on HWY 55 to HWY 827, 3 miles South to RR 660 (Paxon Road), 1½ miles East

FARM MACHINERY Parts & Accessories

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Kubota USED KUBOTA Utility Tractors (780)967-3800, (780)289-1075

You always get what you want at:

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

You always get what you want at:

COLLECTIBLE: JD “AR” tractor with steel wheels(S/N264187) * gas iron * 4 blow torches * sediment bowls * Esso, Texaco & Marlene, 5 lb. Grease tins * magnetos * Magrath - 403-758-3162 snow shoes * coal oil lamp * 2 lanterns * well pump * pump jack * well pump parts * 2 steel rake wheels * 2 wooden boxes * four 8 gallon cream cans * hames * several traps (incl. Hi-Grip #415X, Victor # 8, Hawley & Norton #4, and others) * fanning mill * TANKS: 2 500 gal. fuel tanks on stands * High River - 403-652-3500 500 gal. water tank on rubber tired wagon * several metal & plastic water tanks * tidy tank with electric pump * tidy tank with BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES hand pump * EQUIPMENT: 18’ crowfoot cast packers * hay dump rakes * old Co-op SP swather with Wisc. V4 engine (for parts) NEED TO SUPPLEMENT YOUR Agricultural Opera* Cat #12 road grader * 5’ rotary brush tion? Work P/T F/T income DP2371_PPAC_Classified BCwith & AB.indd 28 potential. No decent 2/24/12 4:17 PM mower PTO driven with hyd. * IHC steel “jobs” in your Rural small town? Make your own! Earn wheel, 20 run double disc seed drill * 10’ FARM MACHINERY 30% commission selling Silpada -Sterling Silver jeweldozer blade * Mayrath 6” x 24’ grain auger Tractors – Various ry. Become an Independent Repre-sentative and earn * 4” x 16’ augers * Jeoffroy 12’ chisel plow some extra cash/serious money! (306)468-3189 or sil* Ford 3pth, 7’ rotovator * harrow draw bar, JD 2210, LDR, 3PTH, MFD with 6 diamond harrows * 3pth & front end DP2371_PPAC_Classified & AB.indd 134430 c/w loader 2/24/12 4:17 PM loader bale forks * metal stock racks for ½ JD 4240,BC c/w loader • JD ton ALLIS CHALMERS: One-Eighty diesel Rycroft - 780-765-2865 CONTRACTING JD 4440, loader available Landhandler tractor with 3pth, 18.4x34 JD 4450 c/w loader rubber (S/N 10897-D) * D17 gas tractor CONTRACTING JD 7200, ldr, 3pth FWA, with 417 FEL, 3pth * WD gas tractor with canopy * Two WD45 gas tractors * WD & Custom Work JD 7710, FWA, low hours WD45 gas tractors for parts * 6’ metal Allis Steiger ST 270, 4WD Chalmers sign * numerous generators, 650 JD DOZER, READY for bush clearing, oilfield Mustang 2044 Skidsteer, 1300hrs. filters, starters, radiators for AC tractors, or land clearing, reasonable rates, contact Gordon (new & used) * 915 hydro-lift riding lawn JD 6410 3pth, loader available (780)878-3515, (780)910-2120 Tillage & Seeding mower * several Operator, shop & service Clamp on duals, 20.8x38-18.4x38 manuals * 10’ disc * side delivery rakes, HAVE GUNS WILL TRAVEL! Gopher control in IHC 5600 DT 33’ • 158 & 148 JD loaders one on 3pth * 4 bottom x 16” 3pth plow FARM MACHINERY north Central Alberta, Call Cameron at (780)349-0343 * 10’ spring tooth cultivator * round baler FINANCE, TRADES WELCOME Tillage & Seeding – Air Drills for parts * 12’ 3pth cultivator SHOP: (new DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 18 2/24/12 4:17 PM 780-696-3527, BRETON, AB SUPER CARBIDE PRODUCTS AT VW Mfg. Many & used tools, too numerous to list)Delta 5” 1998 JD AIR DRILL, 735 tool, 40ft, 787 tank, products in stock! VW Mfg, Dunmore, AB, See our table saw * Craftsman 7 ½”angle grinder * 230/bu, single chute, excellent conditon, field ready. website: or call (403)528-3350. B&D angle grinder * ½ ” air impact * 3/8 air $30,000 OBO (780)387-1743, Millet, AB cut-off tool * 3/8 air drill * ¼” air compact Building Land Rollers since 1983 FARM MACHINERY die grinder * ¾” air impact wrenches * 1/2 & 3/8 air ratchets * Manning ½” electric drill Tillage & Seeding – Air Seeders Geared For * 3/8 drills * deep socket impact wrenches 1999 FLEXICOIL 5000, 57FT airdrill, 12in spacing, * 3/8 socket set * 8 piece impact socket The Future 4in rubber capped packers, dual chute, c/w flexicoil set *deep sockets * Westward screw driver 3450 triple comp. tank, $39,000 obo (780)621-6704 set * HD, ball bearing 8” bench grinder * ITC ½” drill press * new ITC 45 piece tap FARM MACHINERY & die set * 22 piece bushing & inserting Tillage & Seeding – Tillage tool set * ITC 21 piece ¾” socket set * 4 piece pry bar set * hex key sets * 7 piece ED OR REEN 1997 JD 737 DRILL, 36ft, paired row, single chute, auto body repair kit * 6 piece bar clamp & 3-1/2in. rubber press, 787 TBH 230/bu cart, primary spreader set *6” bench vise * hyd. press blockage, shedded, exc. cond. (780)877-2518 * band saws * 5” swivel vice * laser level MENZO HIGH QUALITY MANDAKO ROLLERS, Summers kit * lots of hand tools * metal tool boxes Custom Fabrication discs, wing up rollers, 5 plex rollers, chisel plows, heavy * 12 drawer rolling tool cabinet * comb. 10’ 30’ Land Rollers • 3pth Units Available harrows, vertical tillage implements, packer bars, rock wrenches up to 2” * pipe wrenches incl. pickers, (403)545-2580, 403-580-6889, Bow Island, AB Cell: 403-380-0173 • Rigid 48” * speed wrenches * gear pullers * pulley puller * vice grips * hyd. pipe bender FARM MACHINERY * rolls of tape & ribbing * flanging tools * Tillage & Seeding – Various hammers * crow bars * sledge hammer * ENGINES files, rasps * tin snips * riveters * 24” bolt 1994 NEW NOBLE 9000, 28ft. seedovator, w/192 cutter * pipe bender * screw caddy * brace TBH tank, Good condition. $5,000 Call Rick ASSORTED DEUTZ AND OTHER diesel engines. & bits * numerous drill bits * grinding discs @(403)734-3831, Cluny, AB KMK Sales, (800)565-0500, Humboldt, SK * 19” lock chain clamp * halogen work 60FT 820 9IN SPACING cultivator, NH 3 kit and hitch; lights * tiger torch * booster cables * oxy 36ft 8810 10in spacing cultivator, NH 3 kit & hitch; 42ft & accet. tanks & access. * hyd. cylinders * FARM MACHINERY 7400 Ezee on deep tillage, 12in. spacing, lots of hyd. fittings *1000RPM – 540 PTO (403)350-0744, Eckville, AB adapter * McCulloch, Stihl & Husq. Chain saws * lots of tires – all sizes & rims * trailer FARM MACHINERY TracTors ball hitches * nails, bolts, etc * large asst. FARM MACHINERY Grain Cleaners of leaf springs * welding rod & helmet * Machinery Miscellaneous FARM MACHINERY new welding gloves * plumbing supplies GRAIN CLEANING BY COLOUR sorting, mobile *plumbers snake * pulleys * shot gun loader Tractors – Case/IH 2002 JD 1820, 45-FT., 10-in. spacing, double shoot, dutch unit. improve your profits on cereal grains and puls* jerry cans * sand blaster * 3 & 5T hyd floor paired row, 3-1/2in steel, $27,500; 2004 McHale 991B es! Removing Ergot, off color and dirt, phone for CIH 155 PUMA, FWA, 3pth, 220hrs, loaded, like jacks * jackal * portable air tank * Honda bale wrapper, $8,500; (403)665-2341, Craigmyle, AB rates. (403)377-2548 new, offers, (403)546-2170, Swalwell area 5hp portable high pressure washer * page 3 BUNNING MANURE SPREADERS for rent, call & chicken wire * misc lumber * approx 100 FARM MACHINERY FARM MACHINERY Lawrence 403-588-4787 treated fence posts * sickle sharpener * Haying & Harvesting – Baling Tractors – John Deere tractor wheel weights * steering wheel club 510 INT SEED DRILL, w/grass seeder, mint condition, * battery charger * HD ext. cords * chains * 2 JD 7400 TRACTOR, 740 loader w/grapple, 7550 hours, $2,800; 2 Int. #10 seed drills, fair condition, offers; 21ft WANTED: JD 7810 c/w fel & 3pth; sp or pto bale gas driven water pumps * several 2” rubber new tires, mfwd, new seat, one owner, (780)367-2483 IH deep tillage cultivator, $1,000; Fordson Major diesel wagon; JD or IHC end wheel drills. Small square hose rolls * boomers * wire stretcher * lots of JD 7810 840 LOADER, 4500hrs, mint. condition, tractor, w/bucket, not running, offers. 12ft Deep tillage baler. (877)330-4477 tractor parts * PTO shafts * oil * hand grass never been a chore tractor, (780)990-8412 cult. (780)919-9985 seeder * LOTS of scrap metal * cattle oilers * portable kerosene construction heater Combines * 34 concrete building blocks * Coronado unused gas hot water tank * new home weather station (outside) * VHF & CB radios FARM MACHINERY with leads & antennas TRUCKS, QUAD & Combine – John Deere TRIKE: Honda Fourtrax 250 Quad * Honda JD 9400, 9420, 9520, 8970 JD 4710, 4720, 4730, 4830, 4920, 250 Trike * Quad tires * head ache rack 2006 JD 9760 BULLET rotor, 950sep. hrs. loaded, JD 7810 & 7210, FWA 4930 SP sprayers with revolving emergency light * new truck exc. condition, JD 615 PU platform, done approx. JD 9860, 9760, 9750, 9650, 9600 JD 9770 & 9870 w/CM & duals mounted emergency lights * several older 1000/ac, $185,000; JD 936D draper header, pu Chev ½ tons some running, some not JD 9430, 9530, 9630 CIH 3185, 3230, 4260, 3150, 4420 sprayers reel, w/upper cross auger. (403)344-2160, Aden, AB HOUSEHOLD & MISC: new stainless steel CIH 8010 w/RWD, lateral tilt, duals 900 hrs. CIH Skidsteer 440 & 430 BBQ * misc. household *

Richardson Pioneer

Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc.

You always get what you want at: Dunvegan Ag Solutions


R G 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.


Combine ACCessories


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

Case STX 375, 425, 430, 450, 480, 500, 530 CIH 8010-2388, 2188 combine 9880, 9882, 9680, 9682 NH, 4WD CIH 435Q, 535Q, 450Q, pto avail. MF 8160 FWA Low hours NH TJ 450, New Triples, Big Pump STX 375 Case with Big Pump

9580 Kubota, FWA, FEL, low hours 3545 MF w/FWA FEL Rogator 854 c/w tires. Selection of Combine Headers & Haying Equipment

“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:


You always get what you want at: Richardson Pioneer

Waskatenau - 780-358-2720


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

You always get what you want at: Richardson Pioneer Stirling - 403-756-3452

International Hydro 70, 70 HP Diesel, 3PTH, $8900.

1982 John Deere 1140 Tractor, 56 HP Diesel, 3PTH, 540 PTO, P/S, $6800.

1992 Ford 7610, 86 Pto HP, 2566 Hours, 3PTH, 540 + 1000 pto,s New Clutch, $23,900.

John Deere 3140, 6845 Hours, 97 Eng HP, 85 Pto HP, 3PTH,John Deere 260 S/L Loader, 540&1000 Pto,s $13,900. 780-905-8565 NISKU, ALBERTA



FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous

LIVESTOCK Cattle – Red Angus

1990 MF 8450 COMBINE, HYDROSTATIC Mercedes engine, long auger, westward p/u hopper cover, $25,000; Case Int. 8500 Air Drills, 33ft, 54 points, 7in. spacing, $15,000; 70ft. Flexi-Coil Spray-er, Hyd. Pump, Auto fold, single wheels 16.5x16.1, windscreens, $3,500; Leon 3000 Rock picker, hyd. drive, $1,500; Blanchard swath roller 6ft. $200.; Loaders: Sakundiak HD6-37 12hp Kohler motor, $500., Sakundiak HD7-1000 c/w 13hp Honda motor $800; Co-op Press drill, 2-10, 6in. spacing, $1,000; 1975 Louisville 700-Gas 361, 58,980 miles, Steel box, wood floor, roll up tarp, 10.00R20 tires, $4,000; 1984 Versatile 4400 Hydrostatic swather, Ford motor, 20ft, pu reel, Keer Sheer, heater, a/c, radio, $3,500. All prices OBO. (403)734-2348

38 REGISTERED RED ANGUS bulls, (from 6 sires) quiet, easy calving, low to moderate birth weight, good growth, EPD’s, guaranteed breeders, exc. for heifers or cows. Cleveley Cattle Company (780)689-2754, Ellscott, AB

6200 IHC 24FT SEED drill, grass seed, rubber packers, factory mover, spare parts, markers, shedded, $5,500 OBO, (403)932-3047, (403)850-4395 ACREAGE EQUIPMENT: CULTIVATORS, DISCS, Plows, Blades, Post pounders, Haying Equipment, Etc. (780)892-3092, Wabamun, AB AEROWAY 15FT LOW ACRES, like new, $10,000 (780)524-2987, Valleyview, AB FLEXICOIL 1720 AIRTANK, (no monitor) $4,900; 2003 Case WDX 1101 swather, 25ft triple delivery, 2800hrs, header transport, $49,000 obo; 1996 Barrett 53ft triaxle liner, hog rail, $12,500 obo; JD 7721 combine, $2,900; (780)621-6704 FOR SALE: 3PH MESOLPA (Vicon) 8 wheel rake, all new teeth & bearings, $2,500; 1-MF 7ft 3PH Mower, $700. (403)934-4407 or (403)934-6666

LIVESTOCK Cattle – Charolais

You always get what you want at:

You always get what you want at:

Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc.

Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc.

DynAgra (a division of) Beiseker Agri Services Ltd.

Stettler - 403-742-8540

Beiseker - 403-888-1030

You always get what you want at:

REGISTERED RED FACTOR/WHITE BULLS yearling and 2/yr/olds, big butted, big nutted, quiet, semen tested, guaranteed, 50% down 50% upon free delivery. Call (403)933-5448, cell(403)608-1116.

Medicine Hat - 403-526-9499

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Wanted

You always get what you want at:

WANTED: NH BALE WAGONS & retrievers, any IHC 620 PRESS DRILL, 24ft, rubber packers, marker, condition. Farm Equipment Finding Service, P.O. one owner, stored inside, no rust, $4,750; Brandt 14ft DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC &MT AB.indd 2/24/12 4:17 PM Box 1363, Polson, 59860. 14 (406)883-2118 hyd. drill fill c/w spout, $475; (403)782-2545 WANTED: Small square balers and end Wheel JD 1995 790 ELC TRACKHOE, low hrs; Komatsu Seed Drills, Rock Pickers, Rock Rakes, Tub grindWA 320-1 3yd loader, JD 3830 16ft hay header; ers, also JD 1610 cultivators (403)308-1238 UH 122 trackhoe; Cat 631 scraped 24-yd; Bomag 170 PD packer Cummings motor. (306)236-8023

REAL ESTATE Farms & Ranches – Alberta

Crop Production DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd Services (Canada) Inc.



DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 20 2/24/12 4:17 PM


Taber - 403-223-2807

JD 4995 16-FT DISCBINE 2009; also Honey Bee 25-ft grain header 47-ft flex coil 800 Deep Tillage; 45-ft Willrich Cultivator; Cummings 240bp skid mount clutch&trans; 860 MF PU & 20-ft grain. (306)236-8023. MF 750 COMBINE, $6,500; MF 655 Swather, $1,200; Both in good running condition; 2-14ft IHC 150 Hoe press drills, good condition, $1,000; Leon Loader c/w bucket/ bale spike, $3,000; 1948 W6 IHC McCormick gas tractor, for parts or restoration, $1,500; Please call 780-281-0291 between 7-9pm or email: RETIRED FROM FARMING, MOST machinery shedded, 1998 Peterbuilt, 460 Cummins, 18spd, w/36ft tandem Doepker grain trailer $75,000; Rock picker, $1,500; PTO wind power plant; 400 barrel fuel tank. $14,000 w/fuel; 3pth, 6ft cultivator $800. (403)586-0978, Torrington, AB RETIREMENT SALE: LZB JD 12ft hoe drill, 7in spacing, w/fine seed & fertilizer box, stored inside, exc. cond. $3,200; JD 702 10 wheel rake $5,200; 20ft cultivator w/shovels and spikes w/3 bar harrows, cable lift, $2,200; 12ft double disc w/3 bar harrows, $3,500; Phone (403)932-5522, Cochrane, Ab VERSATILE 2200 HOE DRILLS, 42ft. Atom jet openers, tarps, liquid fertilizer kit, $5,000 OBO; 1998 Dodge truck box, dually, $1,200; Summers 70ft multi weeder, $4,800; (780)662-2647 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.

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

The Icynene Insulation System®


MAINE ANJOU BULLS FOR sale purebred and half blood, black yearling bulls. Semen tested and guaranteed! Rocky Lane Farms, Rumsey, AB (403)368-2114, (403)742-9835


DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 30


You always get what you want at:

You always get what you want at:

Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc. Torrington - 403-631-3900

LIVESTOCK Cattle Various

FULL FLECKVIEH BULLS, ONE and two year olds, born March & April, calving ease, and high maternal traits, (780)941-3843, New Sarepta, AB


LIVESTOCK Cattle – Angus

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous

LIVESTOCK Sheep For Sale PLAN TO ATTEND THE Warren and Norine Moore 6th 4:17Annual PM Pound Maker Ram Sale with guest consignors. 115 yearling rams sell by auction Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at Fort Macleod Alberta. Suffolk, Dorset, Hampshire, Rambouillet, North Country Cheviot and Coloured. For more information call Warren (403)625-6519

I am on holidays and I wish life was one great big holiday but it isn’t. I am a capable indepenREAL ESTATE dent lady, I am in my 50s you Land For Sale can ask me my real age later. I work out five days a week, RM 588 2 PARCELS in grass, these two would watch what I eat (Keep those make great BC acreages, 1 parcel DP2371_PPAC_Classified & AB.indd 21 in summer fallow. 2/24/12 4:17 PM cheese perogies away from Phone (306)204-5445, Meadow Lake, SK me pleeease). I am a romantic, I have a great job and I am putting it all out there to find RECREATIONAL VEHICLES a man who I can share the rest of my life with. I have no baggage, do well financially, want to travel more, see more, do more, have more adventures. I am in the RECREATIONAL VEHICLES prime of my life and I want to share it with a man I love Motor Homes and have memories that last eternity.

50’ Flexicoil #75 Packer Bar, 1/yr as new ...$25,000 New Sakundiak 10x1200 (39.97’) 36HP, Kohler work lights, slim fit, 12 gal. fuel tank ............ $18,000 New Sakundiak 8x1200 (39.97’) , 25HP Kohler eng., E-Kay mover, battery, fuel tank............$13,000 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 ......................................... $7,950 New Outback S3, STS, E drive, TC’s in stock New Outback E drive X c/w free E turns ........ CALL Used Outback 360 mapping.................................$750 Used Outback S guidance......................................$750 Used Outback S2 guidance .............................. $1,000 Used Outback E drive Case & JD Hyd. Kits......$500 Unused Outback Hyd. Kit Versatile 6 Series ........................................................................................... $1,000

Ron Sauer Machinery Ltd. (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

Advertise your unwanted equipment in the Classifieds. Call our toll-free number and place your ad with our friendly staff, 1-888-413-3325.

You always get what you want at: DynAgra

Neerlandia Co-op Association Ltd.

Kneehill Soil Services Ltd.

Drumheller - 403-823-4600


Forage DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 22

2/24/12 4:17 PM

GRASS SEED, MEADOW BROME, common #1 Alfalfa Seed, Certified Beaver and common, excellent quality, will deliver, (403)793-1705, Brooks, AB


DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 19 2/24/12 Price Reduced! 1998 Mfg. Home, 1216/sq ft. MB w/walkin closet, and ensuite, 2 more bdrms and guest bath. Open kitchen & LR, cedar deck, w/enclosed porch. (403)653-2166

Neerlandia - 780-674-2820

You always get what you want at:


Standard - 403-644-3707

You always get what you want at:

2008 MONACO CAMELOT MOTORHOME, loaded, $210,000; (403)347-0723, Torrington, AB

towns, villages. Face to face match making, customized memberships, thorough screening process. Let a professional take care of your personal life today with confidence & discretion

LIVESTOCK Livestock Equipment

DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 241997, clean always 2/24/12 eng. 4:17E-K PMmover, P/S, electric belt tightener, 2320 Flexicoil TBH airtank,

Kneehill Soil Services Ltd.


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

You always get what you want at:

2/24/12 4:17 PM Attractive brunette 38 divorced with two children, tall 5’8 131lbs a non smoker social drinker, had a long distance relationship for some time then had not had very many opportunities to meet a decent man. She wants tall, someone who is caring, enjoys the outdoors, fishing, camping, getting away. Would love to travel all over Alaska. I am adventurous I will give Linden - 403-546-4050 anything a try once. I love horses, but haven’t rode a horse for a very long time. I enjoy cooking, reading, love to ski would love to have a week in France or Italy on the slopes. I like the finer things in life but the simple things pull at my heartstrings

APPROX. 275 HEAD QUALITY commercial replacement heifers. Red & Black. No implants, herd Select 1-888-916-2824 DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd Ready 16 to breed. Will2/24/12 4:17Matchmakers PM health program, palpated. sell in smaller packages. Contact John (403)934-3012 Rural, remote, small communities, or (403)934-7972

REGISTERED RED ANGUS YEARLING bulls, quiet, various birthweights 70lb and up, semen tested, $2,250. Bellshill Angus, Lougheed, AB (780)386-2150, 780-888-1374

shedded, exc. cond ...................................................$20,000 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 33’ CIH 8500 airdrill, 7”..................................................Call 134’ Flexicoil S68XL sprayer, 2006, suspended boom, auto rake, rinse tank, single tips...........$39,500 130’ Flexicoil 67XL PT sparyer, 2006, tail boom, auto rate, rinse tank, hyd. pump, combo jets, nice shape ...........................................$26,500 51 Flexicoil Bodies c/w GEN. SC 4” carbide spread tip openers, like new .................................................. $3,500 70’ Degelman Heavy Harrow, 9/16 tines good condition...........................................................$20,000 9435 MF Swather, 30’, 5200 header, PU reel 200hrs...........................................................$100,000 810H 25’ Hesston grain table - PU reel ........$10,000 9300 Westward MadDon swather, 1883 hrs. 21’, 960 header w/PU reel ................................................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 ....................................................................................Call

REAL ESTATE Farms & Ranches – Acreages/Hobby



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

Cattle – Angus Neufeld PetroleumDP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 12 2/24/12 PB RED & BLACK Angus yearling bulls for sale. Canadian pedigrees, semen tested. Phone (780)336-4009, & Propane Ltd. Kinsella, AB

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous

Rycroft - 780-864-3778

$595,000 OBO PHONE: 780-961-2535

LIVESTOCK Cattle – Maine-Anjou

Richardson Pioneer 4:17 PM

25 Miles North of St Albert (Vimy Area)

Vegreville - 780-632-2363

Grande Prairie - 780-814-6111

LIVESTOCK Cattle – Hereford

• Sprayed foam insulation • Ideal for shops, barns or homes BULLS FOR SALE, REGISTERED Polled Here• Healthier, Quieter, More ford’s, Registered Black Angus, Yearlings and 2/yr DP2371_PPAC_Classified 15 2/24/12 ® olds, DoubleBCN& AB.indd Ranch, Sundre, 403-638-2356, Energy Efficient

Cargill AgHorizons

You always get what you want at:

You always get what you want at:


2/24/12 4:17 PM

Farming is enough of a gamble, advertise in the Alberta framer express classified section. It’s a sure thing. 1-888-413-3325.

SEED / FEED / GRAIN SEED/FEED MISCELLANEOUS Feed Grain 4:17 PM 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



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


You always get what you want at:

You always get what you want at:

Andrukow Group Solutions Inc.

Richardson Pioneer

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

Giving the Gift of Grain Combines for Cures seeks to improve prostate HealtH in rural alberta

Oyen - 403-664-2620

Camrose - 780-608-2351

Farming is enough of a gamble, advertise in the Alberta framer express classified section. It’s a sure thing. 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 $498. Factory direct. More sizes available new and used. 1-800-667-4515.

Advertise your unwanted equipment in the Classifieds. Call our toll-free number and place your ad with our friendly staff, 1-888-413-3325.


Agriculture Tours Ukraine/Romania ~ June 2012

DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 4

2/24/12 4:17 PM DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 29

Scandinavia & Russia ~ Land & Cruise - July 2012 2/24/12 4:17 PM Australia & New Zealand ~ Jan/Feb 2013 Kenya/Tanzania ~ January 2013 South America ~ February 2013 Costa Rica ~ February 2013 Select Holidays 1-800-661-4326

You always get what you want at:

You always get what you want at:

Richardson Pioneer

Richardson Pioneer Fairview - 780-835-3003

Dunmore - 403-527-6600

CAREERS CAREERS Help Wanted PART-TIME POSITION AS SECRETARY for Live-stock Breeder Co-op serving area surrounding Ed-monton. Must be able to work from home. Send re-sume to North Central Cow/Calf Co-op (780)896-3740 or call (780)896-2139

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

Watch your profits grow! DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 27 2/24/12 4:17 PM

2/24/12 4:17 PM


Looking for great deals on used ag equipment? OVER Start here.


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.

“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.

Advertise with AFe Classifieds Place your ad today by calling Maureen at

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.

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.

LOOKING FOR WORK on dairy or horse farm, experienced. Call Larry (306)276-2110 or (306)769-7405 evenings.

DP2371_PPAC_Classified BC & AB.indd 26

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

“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

Find it fast at 04/2012-18522

18552_02 PCC_C4C_JohnLee_AEF.indd 1

4/19/12 9:07 AM



“Pink slime” plants close

Going crate free

The top U.S. producer of ammonia-treated beef that critics called “pink slime” said May 7 it will close three of its four plants after sales dropped and did not recover following recent attacks on the product. Beef Products Inc. (BPI) will close plants in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas; and Waterloo, Iowa throwing 650 people out of work. Its South Sioux City, Nebraska plant will continue to operate at a reduced capacity. reuters

Safeway Inc., the second-largest U.S. grocery chain, plans to stop using pork suppliers that cage pregnant sows as part of their production process. “We think there are more sustainable pork production methods,” said Safeway vice-president of public affairs Brian Dowling, referring to a common industry process where pregnant hogs are kept for months at a time in narrow metal cages called gestation crates where they are unable to move. The retailer did not set a date for the phase-out but said it would take a “long period.” reuters

“The relationship between the NIRS values and the other measurements is very accurate…”

NIRS provides rapid feedingredient analysis Economics } Cost of $40,000 can potentially be paid off within

six months on a moderate-size beef or hog operation



he technique of Near Infrared Reflectance Spectrometry (NIRS) analysis is set to change the way livestock producers evaluate feed ingredients and have their rations formulated. Because this technology provides a rapid assessment of a wide range of nutritional parameters, such as energy value, dry matter and protein, the economic value of ingredients such as cereals and oilseeds can quickly be calculated. It can even measure the nutrient values of forage and manure. So what is NIRS and how does it work? “NIRS is based on light energy from a tungsten bulb reflecting off molecules in the grain or other substrate and the light that is reflected back is measured,” explains Mary Lou Swift, research scientist, feed quality, at Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, who has worked on NIRS for many years. “It relies on establishing a relationship between the pattern of energy absorption by chemical bonds within the sample and an animal or laboratory bioassay reference method.” She notes that, in most cases, whole grains or other ingredients are used for the analysis. Swift is working with Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra and Dr. José Landero at the University of Alberta, whose focus has been on developing calibration equations for the DE content of wheat and barley. “Energy is the most costly component of the diet and the digestible energy (DE) in barley may vary by as much as 20 per cent,” notes Zijlstra. “Assessment by bushel weight is inaccurate as it only accounts for 14 per cent of the variation in energy content in barley, while chemical analysis is moderately accurate but is costly and also takes a long time.”

Wheat and barley tests

The group has developed an NIRS calibration model for energy digestibility in wheat and barley, which is unique in

Dr. José Landero measures a sample of barley using an NIRS machine at the University of Alberta. North America. “NIRS technology requires reference samples with a wide variance in the component of interest in order to calibrate the instrument,” says Zijlstra. “The reference point for DE is fecal DE or in vitro DE measurement. You have to develop a relationship between the NIRS ‘fingerprint’ and fecal DE by regression analysis, in other words NIRS is not a direct measurement, it’s a secondary method.” In total 221 barley and 99 wheat samples were selected based on genetic background and physical and chemical characteristics. Digestible energy was measured by feeding the grain to pigs and measuring fecal DE. It was also measured in the laboratory and scanned using an NIRS machine. “The relationship between the NIRS values and the other measurements is very accu-

“The difference from best to worst barley is worth at least $8 per hog and that’s often the difference between profit and loss in this industry.” Ron Gietz Alberta Agriculture

DE may be from 2,700-3,500 kCals/kg at 90 per cent dry matter, although the majority of samples will be in the range of 2,900-3,400,” Zijlstra says. “Each 100 kCals is worth $10 per tonne.” With higher ingredient prices the value of accurate measurement is high, he stresses. “Not only is it important to know the value of the energy in grain in order to avoid overpaying for it, but also making a wrong assumption about nutritional value has implications for pig performance.”

Lysine-to-energy ratio rate,” Zijlstra says. “Work will continue in our lab to add sample data to existing calibration models in order to increase their robustness in terms of sample variation. “For barley, the variation in

In addition, being able to achieve the correct lysine-to-energy ratio in pig diets is very valuable. “If energy is low relative to protein, then excess protein will be broken down, which is inefficient and also increases nitrogen content of the manure,” says Zijlstra. “On the other hand

if energy is higher than the value used for formulation, there will be insufficient protein relative to the energy value, resulting in slower growth, which is also costly.” Ron Gietz, provincial pork specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, says that based on the energy value of Alberta barley samples at current market prices, hog producers will frequently be paying up to $17 per tonne too much for some barley loads and $11 per tonne below energy value for others. “The difference from best to worst barley is worth at least $8 per hog and that’s often the difference between profit and loss in this industry.” With the move to phosphorusbased manure management regulations in Manitoba, the use of NIRS can help to ensure that rations contain the correct level of available P in order to reduce its excretion. NIRS is also being used to measure the nutrients in manure, both to facilitate accurate nutrient application and to minimize environmental impact. NIRS is not new technology, but in recent years it has become affordable, which has led to more widespread use in the feed industry. Now, with machines costing in the region of $40,000, which can potentially be paid off within six months on a moderate-size beef or hog operation, their use is expanding considerably. In Alberta, financial assistance is available through the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund’s Feed Quality Evaluation Project and further information can be found at A 50 per cent subsidy up to the value of $20,000 is available and there is currently sufficient funding for an additional 17 machines. Also, the U of A offers an NIRS analysis service for $10 per sample and details are available from Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra at 780-492-8593. Bernie Peet is president of Pork Chain Consulting of Lacombe, Alberta, and editor of Western Hog Journal



New EU welfare laws could shrink pork supplies DEADLINE  Long-term plan to eliminate sow stalls comes to fruition early next year BY NIGEL HUNT AND NAOMI O’LEARY LONDON /REUTERS


ig numbers in the European Union could fall by as much as 10 per cent and the price of pork could rise substantially when tougher animal welfare regulations come into force next year. Some farmers are likely to leave the industry, especially in Spain, a major producer where a credit squeeze will make it harder to comply with the new rules. Alberto Herranz, director of the Ancoporc pork trader’s association in Spain, said estimates of a five to 10 per cent drop in herd numbers were “very reasonable.” “Some farms won’t be able to adapt because they cannot get the financing, or geographical conditions will leave them without room to expand and they won’t be viable with a lower head count,” he said. EU regulations stipulate that traditional stalls for pregnant sows must not be used from the start of next year. The stalls are already banned in Britain and Sweden. A 10 per cent drop in pig numbers would threaten the EU’s position as a pork exporter. “There are expectations that the changes in 2013 will make the EU a net importer of

pork,” a spokesman for the German Farmers’ Association said. The EU exports pork to countries such as Russia, Hong Kong and China. Exports in 2011 were worth about 4.6 billion euros (three billion pounds), according to European Commission figures. Germany and Spain are the EU’s top two pork producers.

FEED STUDY  Project

is a collaboration between industry and ag academia

Shrinking herd, rising prices

Stewart Houston, chairman of English pigfarming group BPEX, said the new welfare regulations would lead to a fall of between five and 10 per cent in the EU’s pork production. “There are only three countries that are 100 per cent compliant now, and that’s Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Sweden,” Houston said. “What it means is that some (pig farmers) will change and some will exit the industry.” He said some farmers would struggle to get planning permission and implement changes that cost about 300 pounds a sow before the end of the year. Moreover, high cereal and soy costs mean there is little incentive to do so, Houston said, adding that preliminary BPEX figures showing a three per cent drop in the European sow herd between 2011 and 2012 indicated the change was already underway.

Olds College receives grant for livestock research


Sows are seen in a field in Le Carnet, near Saint Nazaire, France in March. As of Jan. 1, 2013 sow gestation stalls will be banned across Europe. REUTERS/STEPHANE MAHE Danish Agriculture and Food Council analyst Karsten Flemin said the new rules could curtail EU pork exports, but may not lead to an increase in imports. “The reaction from politicians and consumers will influence how much EU production will drop, and if we are going to get imports to the EU from countries not fulfilling the EU (welfare) standards,” he said.

Overcoming challenges from the ground up. Be part of this year’s most dynamic conference on Beef and the Beef cattle industry. The International Livestock Congress Beef 2012 Wednesday august 15, 2012 deerfoot inn & casino, calgary for more information and to register for the ilc visit for more information on the cca semi annual meeting, august 14-17, 2012 visit

Olds College, the University of Alberta and their industry partners have received $945,000 for a three-year, $945,000 project entitled “Use of Genomic Tools to Improve Feed Efficiency in Purebred Hereford Cattle” from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) under the new College-University Idea to Innovation program. This will mark the start of a new, and in some cases renewed, collaboration between Olds College, the University of Alberta, Livestock Gentec, ARD, Canadian Hereford Association and the Integrated Beef Research Station (Cattleland). The project will allow the livestock industry to reap the benefits of the scientific research involving residual feed intake (RFI). It will characterize RFI in purebred Hereford bulls, produce an RFI expected progeny difference (EPD) using both phenotypic and molecular information, and use genotypes to assist in the validation of an existing RFI single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel produced by Livestock Gentec. This project will provide the means of identifying more efficient sires and improve the profit margin and competitiveness for many Canadian beef cattle producers. “These investments provide Olds School of Agriculture, Olds College Farm and our students with access to the people, resources and tools they need to be at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Tanya McDonald, dean, Olds College School of Agriculture. “Our students will benefit through active participation in the data collection and from the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with the University of Alberta and our industry partners,” she adds. “The ultimate goal is to create sustainable partnerships that will sharpen our innovative edge and have a positive impact on our country and industry.”



Every mile a memory straight from the hip } Neither distance nor language

can interfere with the sharing between us By brenda schoepp


he plane finally landed around 2 a.m. after an eighthour delay in Ottawa. As there was not much happening in Charlottetown at that time, a few lawyers on the plane offered a ride to the hotel. My luggage however did not arrive and so I spoke to the sole person in the airport to make a luggage claim. Well, she could not do a lot about the luggage — it was likely in Zimbabwe or somewhere — but I was the same size as her niece. What would I need? I explained that the next day, which was the first of 10 on the road, was to be spent between farm calls, a meeting with the Cattlemen’s Association and a formal speaking engagement that night. The hotel was only a few miles away but by the time the lawyers dropped me off there was a package containing a pair of rubber boots, coveralls, soap, toothpaste, change of clothes and — a bag of potatoes. Welcome to P.E.I! This is one of the many memories that make me smile. After tens of thousands of miles and thousands of days away from home over 25 years, the journey has been well worth it. As farmers, we have so much in common. Go to a beach, car show, park, church service or any gathering and farmers will join with other farmers. It is the same travelling — you are never really away — just with a group of new friends. Neither distance nor language can interfere with the sharing between us. We are rooted and grown in the soil on which we stand. Of course on this trip, the fun did not stop in the Maritimes. My luggage caught up with me a week later in Toronto, as did other gifts, a book, a crystal tray and a basketball (yes a basketball). The snowstorm that blew in while I was carrying all these things forced me to the home of Mrs. Heintzmen (of Heintzmen Pianos) which was a visit I remember with sincere warmth. I added

an antique treasure from her and then after five more nights came home weary and happy only to pack and leave in a few days to do it all over again across the Prairies, through the mountains or deep in the Interlake. Repeatedly, folks were gracious and kind and added weight to my bags with clothing, bison tooth checkers, jam, art, syrup, clocks and so much more. (Being a quick study I once traded my time for a bag of oats, woollen mittens, grass seed and a wheel barrel of other goodies.) Oh the fun we have had! Try getting fresh eggs through airport security! I never see agriculture in a negative light because I know her people. Nor has agriculture ever given me any chance for sorrow, for it has been good to me. With the grace and protection of God, my travels have taken me across Canada more than a dozen times and I have had

the honour of visiting hundreds of farms. These kitchen table, board room and back-40 meetings privilege me to the lives of those who grow our food, feed our animals and manage our environment in Canada. They are the foundation of our nation and the true reason for our prosperity. And it is the men and women of agriculture who build not only outstanding communities, they grow outstanding people. Who would not have a preference of a young man or woman with an agricultural background on their team? Pride shows itself in many forms. The soft pet of the family dog, a roar around the field in a new tractor, the kiss to a baby’s cheek, a sweeping gesture over land, a bountiful garden, a beautiful quilt, a new software program or technology, a community leadership program, a faithful employee or a child who came back home to invest in and

live on the farm. A bedraggled traveller such as me is witness to these stories and to this pride in every corner of our nation. Is that not amazing? Is it not amazing that communities can build first-class facilities with seemingly no budget? Is it not amazing that every farm table can be fully dressed in a heartbeat even when the fridge appears empty? Is it not amazing that after years of setbacks, farms continue to thrive and is it not amazing that our strongest leaders, best professionals and advocates for social change and most creative artists all came from rural Canada? It is staggering to think of the contribution that rural people make to urban wealth and security. To say that farmers are the foundation of a nation perhaps sells them short. They are the nation — for every civilization evolves around one thing — the production of food. I

get to see farmers do just that from coast to coast. It doesn’t get more exciting than that! I am often asked how I remain so passionate about agriculture. It is tough, demanding, exhausting and complicated, especially when you are farming and on the road with your family back at home. The answer is simple. With or without luggage — I am always surrounded by caring, intelligent, respectful, creative, talented, hard-working, sincere people. I am always surrounded by farmers — they are my reward and that makes every mile a memory. Brenda Schoepp is a market analyst and the owner and author of BEEFLINK TM, a national beef cattle market newsletter. A professional speaker and industry market and research consultant, she ranches near Rimbey, Alberta. Contact brenda. or

BECAUSE TURNING THEM OUT IS THE LAST THING ON YOUR LIST. Count on UFA for all the information and products you need for a successful branding and pasture season. Order your livestock products online from or see us in-store today.

I am always surrounded by caring, intelligent, respectful, creative, talented, hard-working, sincere people. I am always surrounded by farmers.

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Retained placenta in mares final push } Generally, discharge of the placenta occurs

within an hour of the foal’s birth By carol shwetz, dvm


he birth of a foal is a remarkable event that must unfold in an expedient manner. Expulsion of the fetal membranes or placenta is a seemingly less glamorous event than the arrival of the newborn foal, yet its well-timed release is equally important to the thriving foal. Discharge of the placenta is an extension of labour and fetal membranes retained beyond eight hours of foaling pose a serious concern to the mare’s health. The incidence of retained placenta in mares is two to 10 per cent. It is more common in draft horse breeds and is more likely to occur following a difficult birth or abortion. These scenarios result in uterine fatigue and inability of the uterus to complete its involution

process. Strong uterine contracThe gentle weight of the hanging tions are responsible for shrinking placenta and gravity are a mare’s the uterine lumen and release of ally. Between three and eight hours the placenta. post-foaling, small doses of oxytoWhen involution is incomplete cin can be given intramuscularly bacteria, inflammatory fluids, to the mare. This hormonal treatand toxins accumulate within the ment stimulates purposeful rhythuterine cavity. Mares are sensitive mic contractions of the uterine to resorption of these toxins into muscle. Signs of mild colic may the bloodstream, with laminitis be observed following injection. or death a common sequel. It is If this occurs walking can soothe important to note that retention the mare’s discomfort. is a much more serious affliction Beyond eight hours of foaling in mares than cattle. retained fetal membranes in a Generally, discharge of the pla- mare are considered a veterinary centa occurs within an hour of the emergency requiring timely interfoal’s birth. Most often diagnosis of vention and attention. a retained placenta is easy, for the Although it may be tempting to placenta is hanging from the vulva just pull on the hanging placenta three hours beyond foaling. Ini- and remove it, complications tially knotting or tying the hanging such as uterine involution, uterplacenta prevents the mare from ine prolapse, uterine hemorrhage stepping on and tearing it causing or incomplete removal of memB:8.125” further complications. branes will likely result. RetenT:8.125”

tion of partial membranes can be equally harmful to the mare. Veterinary practitioners rely on various techniques and clinical judgment to attend to the mare. Followup care may involve broad-spectrum systemic antibiotics, intrauterine antibiotics, antiinflammatories, a tetanus booster, and uterine lavage. Examination of the placenta with an experienced eye is suggested following all foalings to ensure its complete removal. Occasionally the placenta may partially fall away leaving a piece of the placenta in the uterus. In this case, the characteristic hanging placenta does not exist, however symptoms of illness follow three to seven days post-foaling. The mare will become febrile, depressed, and inappetent. Since her milk production often drops

It is important to note that retention is a much more serious affliction in mares than cattle. the foal will appear hungry and fail to thrive. Prompt veterinary attention is recommended. A mare’s reproductive health is also contingent upon timely release of the placenta. Mating a mare at foal heat that has had a retained placenta or foaling difficulties is not advisable. These mares require a period of time to recuperate and recover, readying themselves for successful conception.


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Mexican winds fuel energy boom

Russia drought-damaged crop

reuters / On an arid plain where sudden gusts of wind can rip roofs off buildings and knock over tractor trailers, Mexico is building a new engine for its energy future. The town of La Ventosa — which means “the windy place” in Spanish —­ is at the heart. Producing just three megawatts of wind power in 2005, Mexico now has nearly 400 times that, and will have two gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2012, says the Mexican Wind Energy Association. “We’re talking about the largest growth in wind power projects anywhere in the world,” President Felipe Calderon said recently.

A spring drought in parts of Russia’s southern grain export regions has raised concerns about the condition of the forthcoming crop, although rains could bring relief to some areas in coming days. Russia’s south escaped the worst of a 2010 drought which prompted the government to ban grain exports for nearly a year. As a result, Russia entered the new agricultural year with overflowing elevators in the south. But this year, closing stocks are likely to be lower and weather in the south has been far from favourable.

Which direction do thunderstorms move?

Upward and outward } The growth of thunderstorms can be explosive to say the least

by daniel bezte


s summer works its way back into our region it’s time to pick up where we left off in our discussion of severe summer weather. In this article we’ll look at how we can predict which direction a thunderstorm might be moving. Trying to figure out just how intense and which direction a thunderstorm is moving can be pretty tough if you have to base it on observation only. But with some background knowledge, you can make some pretty good assumptions. First of all, let’s look at how thunderstorms tend to move. We live in the part of the world that has predominantly westerly winds, especially at high altitudes. This is an important point when it comes to thunderstorms. When we look at a thunderstorm, it usually covers a relatively small area of land, at least compared to general areas of low pressure and winter storms. That said, thunderstorms cover a very large area when we look at them from a vertical perspective. A typical area of low pressure or winter storm will usually have clouds that extend from around 3,000 feet upwards to around

15,000 feet (usually much lower than this). In a thunderstorm, we can see clouds starting around the same height, but they can extend upwards as high as 50,000 feet. We rarely see thunderstorms that tower this high in Alberta, but it isn’t uncommon to have thunderstorms that are pushing between 30,000 and 40,000 feet. OK, so now we know that thunderstorms can reach very high altitudes, what does this have to do with the direction of a thunderstorm’s movement? Well, I guess what really bothers me when a thunderstorm is developing nearby, is when someone says “don’t worry it’s going to miss us, the wind is from ‘x’ direction.” Surface winds may or may not have any impact on a storm’s direction of movement. In fact, if I had to put money on it, I would probably bet against it almost every time. We need to remember that thunderstorms are regions of rapidly rising air. Kind of think of it like a vacuum, the storm is pulling air upwards, which means air all around the storm will be pulled in towards it. Every thunderstorm is different and there can be many things that will affect how air moves into a storm. But I think it is fairly safe to say that direction of the

surface winds, especially when the storm is fairly close to us, will have little effect on the storm’s direction. It is the wind higher up in the atmosphere that largely controls storm direction. Remember, these storms go way up into the atmosphere, often reaching the top of the troposphere or weather-creating regions. This means that the air flow high up tends to control the movement of the storm and these winds are usually westerly. Unfortunately, it isn’t always as easy as this, since we have all probably experienced thunderstorms coming from directions other than westerly. Due to the long wave patterns in the westerly flow of the upper levels of the atmosphere, these westerly winds can be bent so that they are blowing pretty much any direction. If we were to go with the statistics of wind direction in the upper atmosphere, we would find that most of the time, the wind is blowing from somewhere between southwest and northwest. Occasionally we will see these winds blow from the north or south, and even less often from the southeast or northeast. Easterly winds are extremely rare, so the chances of seeing a thunderstorm coming from the east are very small indeed!

But wait, you have seen a thunderstorm that came from the east? Well, it might have happened, but more than likely the storm didn’t come from the east, but rather, the storm grew from the east. The growth of thunderstorms can be explosive to say the least. Within a 10- to 20-minute period a thunderstorm can grow from a few square kilometers to hundreds or even thousands of square kilometres. If a developing storm is not moving very fast from west to east, and you were close to it, say it was 25 km to your east, that storm could grow rapidly spreading out in all directions. This would make it appear that it was coming from the east even though it is slowly moving away from you.

So how does all of this help you determine which direction a storm is coming from? If the storm is in a general westerly direction from you, then you should be concerned. Otherwise you need to be observant and see which direction the higher clouds are or have been moving, and be aware that the growth of a storm can mask the overall movement of the storm. You can also watch the top of the storm or nearby storms, to see which direction the anvil or wispy clouds are being blown off of the top of the storm. This will give you some insight into the direction of the upper level winds. Next issue we’ll look at how you can determine the intensity of a storm through observation.

This issue’s map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across Alberta during the 30-day period ending May 6. From the map you can see that the only region to see dry conditions during this period was the extreme northwest. Southern and south-central regions were the wettest with some locations receiving more than 100 mm of rain.   ©thinkstock



It’s a whole day to say thanks. Join us for Farmers Day at your local UFA on Friday, June 8, 2012. It’s a day of food, fun and celebration and our small way of saying a big thank you.

GrAnd Prize enter to Win a John deere 550XUV Utility Vehicle

Approximate retail value $14,460.00. One to be drawn from all eligible entries. See in-store for details.

Calling All Kids! Pick up your Farmers Day colouring contest at your local UFA and enter to win great prizes. See in-store for details.


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