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N OV E M B E R 1 9, 2 0 1 2

Nine grizzlies in one day scare Beaver Mines family TOO MANY BEARS  A rancher in the southwest corner of the province

is applying to carry a handgun for his own protection

Complaints about delivering CWB grain GROWING PAINS 

CWB vice-president says the system can be made to work BY ALLAN DAWSON STAFF

S

A grizzly bear pops its head out of a granary, seemingly unconcerned by the trap.

BY SHERI MONK

AF STAFF / PINCHER CREEK

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yan McClelland likes bears, but he doesn’t want to end up in the belly of one. “I don’t leave the house anymore without packing a gun with me,” he said. He lives near Beaver Mines, a small hamlet southwest of Pincher Creek, with his wife Jessica and their three children. McClelland is the fourth generation on the ranch, and while the family

PHOTO: COURTESY MCCLELLAND FAMILY

has a long history in the hills of Beaver Mines, the grizzly bear chapter is a relatively new one. “Until maybe five or eight years ago, a grizzly bear was a strange thing to see,” McClelland said. He rarely sees black bears any longer, whereas they used to be seen regularly. In the early-morning hours of Oct. 21, McClelland was awoken by his dog barking and what he found astounded him. “There was a grizzly at the garage, right outside the house,” he said, adding

that the first bear was a large male. But that wasn’t all — he found another eight of the beasts exploring his property, one of which had already broken into the family’s business, McClelland’s Meat Processors, a small meat-packing shop. The big boar breached the door to the meat shop to snack on a quarter of beef. Meanwhile, a sow with three cubs had broken into a granary, and a second sow with two cubs had destroyed her way into a second granary. “Everybody is

SEE GRIZZLIES  page 6

ome grain handlers are refusing to accept CWB grain deliveries and promising better grades to farmers who bypass the new voluntary board, farmers said during a recent conference call with CWB officials Oct. 17. During the conference-call meeting with more than 3,200 farmers, an Alberta producer (who identified himself only as John) said elevator employees in Medicine Hat, Stettler and Oyen told him they would not be accepting CWB grain. “I’d like to deliver my grain through the Canadian Wheat Board but if I can’t deliver it, I don’t have any choice,” said John. “They’re all saying the same thing: ‘We’ve got lots of sales for our own grain so why would we take wheat board grain in when we don’t have rail cars for it right now?’” Dual-market skeptics predicted these kinds of issues would surface when the new company relies on competitors to handle its grain. A Saskatchewan farmer named Carl said be went to a Viterra and Pioneer elevator and was told they couldn’t accept CWB grain because the CWB hadn’t set a basis. Gord Flaten, the CWB’s vice-president of grain procurement, responded that grain companies, not the CWB, set elevation and freight charges. In a later interview, Flaten said he had previously heard similar complaints, and acknowledged that, in some cases, companies are favouring their own grain. “We recognize there’s an issue out there at a number of elevators, but I also don’t want to blow it out of proportion either,” he

SEE CWB GRAIN  page 6

HEMP:

EVALUATING THE VARIETIES AND THE MARKETS  PAGE 26-28

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SPELLCHECK STUDIO


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news » inside this week

inside » Realizing hemp’s potential Promoters want to develop a value chain

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

livestock

crops 

ABP meeting wants inquiry

Heat-damaged canola crop

columNists Roy Lewis Common errors in handling vaccines

26

brenda schoepp

U.K. bakers looking for high protein

13

Beef industry couldn’t tell its story on XL

14

Yields are down, and so is the oil content

Daniel Bezte

25

Don’t like the forecast? Make your own

22

U.S. Thanksgiving turkey dinner to be easy on the wallet Hedged } Many retailers locked in turkey costs

before drought drove up feed prices By P.J. Huffstutter

THANKSGIVING      DINNER COST

chicago / reuters

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mericans will be able to enjoy relatively cheap Thanksgiving turkeys this year, thanks to many retailers locking in their costs before a drought this year drove up U.S. feed prices. And retailers are determined to keep prices for the traditional Thanksgiving main course as low as possible, even though sky-high corn prices have nearly doubled the cost of producing a pound of turkey meat this year. Offering attractive prices for turkey can help retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Supervalu Inc. lure customers into their stores for other Thanksgiving staples such as turkey stuffing, cranberries and sweet potatoes, industry sources said. “Like the rest of the industry, we’re seeing an increase in the prices on turkeys,” said Mike Siemienas, spokesman for Supervalu Inc, the third-largest U.S. grocery store operator. “We continue to work with suppliers to ensure we’re getting the best price possible for our customers.” Retail prices for frozen turkeys have barely moved in recent weeks. Whole frozen turkeys were selling for $1.62 a lb. in September, up from $1.57 a lb. at the same time two years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. One reason for that is many 9/29/12

2:35 PM

Page 1

Every year the American Farm Bureau Federation releases an informal price survey of classic items found on the American Thanksgiving dinner table. It says the cost of this year’s meal for 10 is $49.48, a 28-cent price increase from last year’s average of $49.20. The shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk. AFBF

producers’ contractual prices with retailers were set this spring when feed was far cheaper as U.S. farmers began planting what looked like would be a record corn crop. The expectations for a bumper autumn harvest evaporated as the worst drought in half a century devastated crops and sent corn and soybean prices to record highs this summer. The impact of higher feed costs are beginning to show up at some

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Guinness World Records has recognized Archie, a 29-month-old Dexter from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, as the shortest bull in the world. He measures just 76.2 cm (30 in.) from the hoof to the withers, 15 inches shorter than other bulls of his breed. Guinness says that 15-year-old student and farmer Ryan Lavery bought Archie at five months old and says that if it wasn’t for his small size, the bull’s fate would have been very different. “When we bought Archie, he was destined for beef. However, by Christmastime, he still hadn’t grown and because we had become so fond of him we decided to keep him. His size saved his life and now he’s going to live out the rest of his life as a pet.” Ryan says Archie may be small, but that hasn’t diminished his “bullish” temperament. “Archie doesn’t realize that he’s so short. He thinks he’s the biggest in the herd and he’ll grunt and roar at the rest of them. He’s generally OK around the other farm animals like horses and goats, but if something agitates him, he’ll go for them, and even though he’s little, at 155 kg it can hurt.” Photos and a video at www. Salford_SFM10_01-10.25x3PSO_AFE.qxd guinnessworldrecords.com

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Irish bull takes world record, but not for performance

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supermarkets that did not lock in pre-drought prices. A manager at Paulina Market in Chicago said the meat market recently increased the price of their fresh turkeys by about 50 cents a lb. to $3.75 a lb. At Casey’s Market in a Chicago suburb, owner David Casey said his wholesale suppliers are quoting prices that are “up a couple ticks, about five per cent.” The surge in grain prices was also making it more difficult for

some producers to secure bank loans. John Burkel, a turkey grower and processor in Minnesota, said the rising grain prices can make it difficult to obtain bank financing. “I used to feed a turkey for 22 cents a lb., now it costs 45-50 cents,” Burkel said. “When you go to the bank and say, ‘I need a line of credit that’s twice what I typically have,’ they look at you and say, ‘Are you out of your mind? How are you getting that back?’” In 2011, the United States produced 5.79 billion lbs. of turkey — a 7.4 per cent drop from the 6.25 billion lbs. produced in 2008, according to USDA data. The nation consumed about 5.02 billion lbs. of turkey in 2011 — 6.6 per cent less than the 5.37 billion lbs. in 2008. Industrywide, farmers and processors say they have scaled back their flocks, and further production cuts are expected as grain prices remain high. September’s egg set placements fell six per cent from a year earlier, according to USDA data. Jim Hertel, managing partner of Illinois-based food retail consultancy Willard Bishop, cautioned that even if turkey wholesale prices continue to rise savvy retailers will eat as much of the difference as possible. “Smart retailers will be looking to absorb the costs they can, and spread any of the price increases across other categories that haven’t been as hard hit,” Hertel said.

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ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Grain commission fees poised to jump 44 per cent User pay } Despite shaving $20 million in costs, the CGC proposes

big increase in fees so Ottawa no longer has to pay the bill

Fee Name

A load of grain being shipped out before snowfall. If the Canadian Grain Commission gets its way, cost of moving grain through the system will rise by $1.38 per tonne next fall.   Photo: Jeannette Greaves

Unit (per)

Current Fee

Proposed Fee for 2013-14 with proposed amendments to the Canada Grain Act

Inspection

$20.10 - $27.10

Not Applicable

$0.51

$1.60

$29.00

$143.99

$7.50 -$25.00

$70.48

Railcar or truck or container

$5.90

Not Applicable

(Monitoring) Outward Official Weighing – ships

Tonne

$0.27

$0.15

(Monitoring) Outward Official Weighing – railcars/ trucks/containers

Railcar or truck or container

$18.00

$13.87

Not Applicable

$140.97

Inward Inspection Inward Official Inspection railcars/ trucks/containers Outward Inspection Outward Official Inspection – ships

Tonne

Outward Official Inspection – railcars/ trucks/containers

Inspection

Reinspection Reinspection of grain

Re-inspection

Inward weighing Inward Official Weighing railcars/ trucks/containers Outward Weighing

Inspection and weighing authorization Authorized service provider application

Application

Supplementary fees for official inspection or official weighing Travel and Accommodation

Trip

Actual

Actual

Time and One-half Overtime

Hour/ employee

$14.20

$64.50

Double Time Overtime

Hour/ employee

$21.00

$86.00

Time and One-half Overtime – cancellation

Employee reporting

$107.20

$193.50

Double Time Overtime – cancellation

Employee reporting

$107.20

$258.00

Standby

Employee

$23.20

$43.00

Registration and Cancellation of Receipts

By Allan Dawson staff

I

n its government-ordered drive to cost recovery, the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) wants the grain industry to pay an extra $16.7 million a year in user fees effective Aug. 2013. That’s a 44 per cent increase amounting to an extra $1.38 a tonne on total CGC-inspected Canadian grain exports. Some fees will skyrocket. For example, the CGC would charge $149.99 for outward inspection per rail car, truck or container — a whopping fivefold jump from the current charge of $29. The CGC’s outward inspection fee for ships will rise 58 per cent to $1.60 a tonne from the current 51 cents. The CGC will charge $46.99 to grade a grain sample versus the $15.10 to $24.47 it charges now. Producer car application fees will increase 33 per cent to $26.50 compared to the $20 farmers pay now. Citizens have until Nov. 30 to submit written responses to the CGC about the new fees, which are outlined in the CGC’s 54-page User Fees Consultation and Pre-proposal Notification.

More cost reductions needed

The CGC should make more services optional to reduce operating costs, said Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA). The association also says the federal government should cover the cost of CGC services, which benefit the nation. Currently Ottawa contributes $5.45 million to CGC services identified as for the public good. The plan is to keep it the same. If the CGC’s proposed user fees are implemented, the grain sector will cover 91 per cent of the CGC’s bud-

get and the federal government the remaining nine per cent. Right now it’s split 50-50 between the government and the industry. The fee increase could have been worse, according to the CGC. Amendments to the Canada Grain Act contained in the government’s omnibus Bill C-45, will cut CGC operating costs by $20 million. Initially the grain sector faced a doubling of CGC fees. Making CGC inward grain inspection at terminals and transfer elevators optional, and other changes, will reduce costs. The CGC says its new fees will amount to about $1.82 a tonne or just 1.9 and 2.2 per cent of the total cost of handling and transporting grain from the middle of the Prairies to Vancouver or St. Lawrence ports, respectively. Without changes CGC services would have cost around $3.07 a tonne. “We found that our proposed fees appear to be low relative to maximum elevator tariffs,” the CGC states in its consultation document. “Because our fees are low relative to these elevator tariffs, the impact of our fees should have a lower impact than the fees for elevator services.”

Grain quality leader

The CGC says the services it will continue to charge for are critical to maintaining “Canada’s reputation as a leader in grain quality.” The WGEA says the following CGC services are for the public good and the government should cover the costs: Grain Research Laboratory, the grain quality assurance system, maintaining grain quality standards, food safety activities, policy development, traceability and monitoring, producer security and other overhead costs. The WGEA says industry users should only pay for producer car administration, subject to grade and dockage adjudication, elevator licensing and accreditation and certification

“We found that our proposed fees appear to be low relative to maximum elevator tariffs.

Elevator Receipt Registration / Warehousing of inspection and weighing data (Inward)

Tonne

$0.08

Not Applicable

Elevator Receipt Cancellation / Warehousing of inspection and weighing data (Outward)

Tonne

$0.08

Not Applicable

$5 or $100

$276

Not Applicable

$353

$20.00

$26.50

Sample

$15.10 - $24.47

$46.99

Sample

$31.00

$70.48

$5.00 - $395.00

$35.24 - $1,609.87

$2.50 - $24.00

$77.50

$37.6M

$54.3M

Licensing Full-term Licence

Licence/ month

Short-term Licence

Licence

Producer cars Producer car application

Car

Grading of submitted samples

Canadian Grain Commission

Grading of submitted sample Samples Provision on samples Analytical testing

of third parties to provide inspection services. “For the remainder of CGC functions competitive alternatives must be allowed,” the WGEA says in a position paper. The WGEA also questions whether the CGC has the legal authority to charge fees for many of its services, Sobkowich said. The User Fee Act only allows fees to be charged where the service “results in a direct benefit or advantage to the person paying the fee.” The CGC document says its proposed user fees are consistent with those charged for similar services in the United States and Australia. However, the paper also says in 2011 the U.S. government covered 37 per cent of inspection fees with user fees covering the rest. If the CGC’s new fees are implemented the Canadian grain industry will cover 91 per cent of the bill. That puts Canada’s grain industry at a competitive disadvantage, Sobkowich said. The WGEA is also disappointed the House of Commons agriculture committee has rejected the association’s request to appear to state its position. “I would think the largest user of CGC services should have a voice at the table, even if it’s only for a few minutes,” he said.

Analytical tests

Analysis

Documentation Documentation issued

Document issued

Total Revenue Estimates from User Fees

How to make views known on proposed new CGC user fee Citizens have until Nov. 30 to submit, in writing, their views on the Canadian Grain Commission’s proposed new user fees. The CGC’s User Fees Consultation and Pre-proposal Notification document is available on the website at www.grainscanada.gc.ca (See page 39, Annex 2, Table 6, for a list of the CGC’s current fees and proposed new fees, shown above). Email submissions to: consultations@grainscanada. gc.ca. Mail submissions to: User Fees Comments, Canadian Grain Commission, 600-303 Main Street, Winnipeg, Man. R3C 3G8. Include a return address. Those dissatisfied with the CGC’s response to submissions can take their case before an independent advisory panel. The CGC and the complainant each select a panellist. Those two panellists then select a third independent panellist. The deadline for requesting a panel is Dec. 30, 2012.


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NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

EDITOR Will Verboven Phone: 403-697-4703 Email: will.verboven@fbcpublishing.com

Reporters Alexis Kienlen, Edmonton (780) 668-3121 akienlen@fbcpublishing.com

Feds change much abused legislation

Sheri Monk, Pincher Creek (403) 627-9108 sheri.monk@fbcpublishing.com

PRODUCTION director Shawna Gibson Email: shawna@fbcpublishing.com

Director of Sales & Circulation

Regulations } Bureaucratic mischief caused considerable costs to municipalities

Lynda Tityk Email: lynda.tityk@fbcpublishing.com

CIRCULATION manager Heather Anderson Email: heather@fbcpublishing.com

By will verboven

Alberta Farmer | Editor

national ADVERTISING SALES James Shaw Phone: 416-231-1812 Fax: 416-233-4858 Email: jamesshaw@rogers.com

classified ADVERTISING SALES Maureen Heon Phone: 1-888-413-3325 Fax: 403-341-0615 Email: maureen@fbcpublishing.com

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PUBLISHER Bob Willcox Email: bob.willcox@fbcpublishing.com

Associate PUBLISHER/editorial director John Morriss Email: john.morriss@fbcpublishing.com

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

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S

ometimes a government decision comes completely out of the blue, and much to the surprise of many, actually turns out to be a wise decision. I refer to the recent federal government decision to change the Navigable Waters Act to the Navigation Act. In the process the new act will only cover waters that actually have genuine navigation by vessels of a minimum size. The old act was so misinterpreted over time that it covered virtually every watercourse in the country including some ditches and sloughs. That interpretation was a surefire playground for federal government busybodies. To most folks the announcement was probably the first time they had even heard of such legislation. But if opposition party naysayers were to be believed, even the thought of changing the act was sure to bring down upon Canada an environmental armageddon. Which might cause the innocent citizen to ponder what has navigable water to do with saving the environment? Municipalities, provincial government agencies and anyone owning property that bordered on water would sooner or later have been made aware of the much abused piece of federal legislation. Those who had to deal with the federal bureaucratic watchdogs of the regulations attached to the act would surely have some pointed perspectives on their experiences with government busybody enforcement madness. But first a bit of history. The original legislation dates to the 1880s, and its intent was to protect navigation on lakes and rivers in Canada. It was designed to have federal government oversight on provincial government schemes to dam rivers that might impede navigation or affect river flows downstream in other provinces. It was never designed to deal with the environment, since back then no one even knew what the word

meant. Luckily for Alberta the original act (by accident or design) did not interfere with the development of the irrigation industry that began around the same time. However over the ensuing years, particularly the past 40 years, all of that changed. That’s when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, now known as Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC) began its quiet expansion into landlocked and seemingly non-navigable Alberta and Saskatchewan. Over time it quietly built up local offices and filled them with bureaucrats looking for something to do. One of the pieces of legislation the FOC used to expand its empire was the iconic 1880s Navigable Waters Act. To justify their activities clever senior officials attached new environment-related regulations to the act. One could surmise that it didn’t take much prodding to get the Liberal governments of the day to inflict some political mischief on some of those defiant Alberta voters who had the audacity of always voting against them.

It’s been stated that if the now defunct regulations had been enforced 100 years ago by FOC, there would be no irrigation industry in southern Alberta.

The additional regulations reinterpreted the act to define navigable waters as anything that could float a canoe. Somehow no affected party at the time figured out what impact that new interpretation would ultimately have in the countryside. The new rules required the FOC to approve any action that might affect navigation including adverse environmental impacts. That became a free ride to get the FOC involved in anything that affected water including

road culverts, drainage of almost any significance, diversions for irrigation, and even cottage boat docks amongst other activities. Previous to the FOC bureaucratic invasion, municipalities and provincial government regulators had quietly and competently handled those matters themselves. Legendary farm writer, the late John Schmidt, used to regale readers of his columns with tales of outrageous FOC bureaucratic bungling and stonewalling of even the simplest of county repair work. It’s been stated that if the now-defunct regulations had been enforced 100 years ago by FOC, there would be no irrigation industry in southern Alberta. Most folks don’t realize that the main reason the infamous “road of death” to Fort McMurray has not already been twinned is the mindless interference by FOC demanding endless environmental assessments every inch of the way. To date literally millions of dollars have been spent to satisfy those never-ending demands. Those federal assessments were in addition to the ones that were already required to be carried out by the provincial government. It was all a gold mine for an ever-increasing army of environmental consultants. Well it seems the glory days of the FOC may well be over if the original enabling legislation is changed. The biggest losers will be the buses full of private environmental consulting companies that were hired to create the endless environmental assessments. One might ponder whether environmental impacts will be ignored. Not likely; provinces have been mixed up with assessments of their own for years. All this does is eliminate a layer of duplication, but it will save millions. But don’t count the FOC outposts on the Prairies out yet — federal bureaucrats are remarkably adaptable and ingenious at circumventing actions they don’t like. They may lie low for a while, but I expect they will institute a medium-term survival plan to wait out the time until a more friendly federal government is elected.

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

New ag education support group is most welcome by will verboven

I

f there is one universal annoyance that virtually everyone in the agriculture industry shares, it’s the blissful ignorance of the urban public about where food really comes from and agriculture in general. Many city folks either believe food appears magically at grocery stores, or they just don’t care as long as it’s cheap and always available. The conventional wisdom is that if consumers were made more aware, then agriculture would be much more appreciated. I expect better awareness applies to a lot of issues, but it’s hard to educate people about food production when there is an overabundance available everywhere. In lieu of starvation to focus consumers’ attention, governments and producer groups have tried education as an avenue to better inform the urban public. It’s a process that has gone on under various efforts for at least 40 years in Alberta. The problem these programs have is that they are chronically underfunded and in many cases rely on volunteers or just goodwill to carry out the message. The

provincial government gets involved sporadically, but it’s usually never enough. The underlying issue in trying to educate the consumer about agriculture is that there is no real payoff for the investment of time and money by the ag industry or the government. The entire effort seems to be more of a feel-good exercise for producers, because in the end even a consumer who is well informed about agriculture isn’t likely to buy any more food than before. Having said all that, another industry promotion organization has sprung up and taken up the torch to educate the public about agriculture. The new organization called Agriculture for Life strives to support agriculture education and farm safety programs. To date it has put its money where its month is and invested $1.2 million into such well-known programs as Classroom Agriculture Program, Little Green Thumbs and a number of other initiatives across the province. The idea is to expose many more Alberta youth to agriculture and its role in our society. To say the least the support and leadership of this new group is very much appreciated. A big concern in the past has been the lack

of significant support and participation by agribusiness and related organizations in the ag education process. Many of the early efforts relied on support from producer groups with limited funding or the fickle interest of government. Agribusiness was conspicuous by its absence in many of those early efforts. However the new group seems to have been initiated and financed by some of the big dogs in the agriculture business amongst them Agrium, ATB, UFA, RME. Even the energy industry has joined in the effort with the likes of PennWest, TransCanada and ATCO. The owner of this publication, Glacier Media, is also a significant supporter. When big players like this get involved it tends to create a rolling snowball effect as others want to get involved. This all bodes very well for agriculture education and farm safety programming everywhere. One ponders when and why all this agribusiness enthusiasm suddenly started considering the long history of ag programs operating from hand to mouth. But it is most welcome indeed. Next time a few comments on what other areas some of this new-found support could be directed to.


5

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

After beef’s biggest recall: Is the cattle industry “headed south?” Turmoil } The reopening of the XL beef plant at Brooks is not the end of troubles for the Canadian beef industry By Fred Hays

policy analyst, alberta beef producers / calgary

T

he past two months have seen considerable turmoil in Alberta’s beef sector because of the XL beef recall. Although there has been some relief with the JBS takeover there could still be a long way to go. Canada’s beef sector has been influenced by a number of factors: • Grass. Western Canada’s cowcalf sector grew because of an abundance of prairie grass and water. The feedlot and packing sectors developed close to the cattle. • Overabundance of feed grains. The Crow rate subsidized movement of grains to Eastern Canada until it was eliminated in 1995. The feeding industry in southern Alberta flourished with this policy change. • The dollar. There is a strong correlation between the exchange rate and cattle prices. In January, 2002 the loonie dropped to 62 cents U.S. compared to parity today. Historically, for every one per cent change in the exchange rate, cattle prices move by a little over one per cent in the opposite direction. • BSE was devastating to the sector, with losses calculated at $7 billion. The industry still feels the effects. • Rethinking of Canadian government agriculture policy and support. The Canadian govern-

ment has in the past been prepared to assist food production as a way to sustain the country’s food supply. It is less concerned these days about food security, evident with the changes to Growing Forward 2. • Reduced Canadian and Alberta beef cow numbers. The beef cow herd has decreased in 2012 by 24 per cent since the high of two million head in 2005. This number equals the cow inventory in 1993. • U.S. drought. Corn production is projected to be about 13 per cent less than it was for 2011 with the lowest production since 2006. Pasture acres have been affected dramatically. • Barley acreage and prices. In 2012 barley acres in Alberta decreased by over 20 per cent compared with five years ago. Feed barley prices in Lethbridge have gone from $165 to $270 per tonne, an increase of over 60 per cent. This reduces the price for feeder cattle. • Resurgence of risk. The most relevant risk is margin risk, not price risk. At the same time, conventional tools to manage operation risk are becoming less effective. • Growth, consolidation and structural change. During the past 20 years Lakeside Farm Industries has been through several ownership changes. Mitsubishi, Iowa Beef Producers, Tyson and Nilsson brothers were all involved before JBS. Two beef packers now own 80

The pivotal part of Canada’s beef sector is now controlled by head offices in Minnesota and Brazil.

per cent of Canada’s processing; two plants process 70 per cent of Canada’s beef. Recently because of low cattle numbers these plants have been running at 70 per cent capacity. There are problems with plant staffing, with packers relying on foreign workers. This is not exactly optimistic.

Foreign control

Purdue University economist Michael Boehlje has assessed how North American agriculture trends are affecting Western Canada. He cautioned that “unanticipated surprises” could dramatically alter the industry. Some of this would be the effects of consolidation and concentration along the entire value chain. The pivotal part of Canada’s beef sector is now controlled by head offices in Minnesota and Brazil. They are controlling the future of the Canadian beef business: Canada has become a branch office. They run multinational businesses that compete with Canadian product and distribution.

Kansas feedlots such as this one could soon contain more Canadian feeders.  ©ISTOCK To some, involvement of JBS is a godsend ensuring fed cattle can be sold on a local market and feeder prices will be partway reasonable. However, the long-term positioning of Canadian producers needs to be discussed now, not six months from now. What will happen next year when the four big packers, including JBS, 30 per cent of which is owned by Brazil’s government, and Cargill in the U.S. begin downsizing, as projected, because of the drought? How will this affect the

Canadian packing, feeding and cow-calf sectors? As in the past, significant vertical supply chain functions will return to more open-market arrangements with tight strategic alliances between buyers and sellers. More Canadian feeder cattle could be shipped south to American feedlots and more fed cattle could be shipped south to American packers to buoy their lines. And there could be fewer Canadian feedlots and packers able to compete in this market arena.

Hog processors need to help Canadian producers stay in business Broken } There’s no obvious solution of how to repair the value chain in the pork business George Matheson, a pork producer who sells directly to consumers from his farm in Stonewall, Man., gave his view of the state of the hog sector at a Keystone Agricultural Producers meeting last month.

T

he futures say that it’s going to be deep into 2013 that we’re going to remain in the red. Short term there is very little relief for us. Very few producers are interested in any type of advance payment. They’ve got enough debt. They’re probably going to leave rather than take on something like that. The government has told us that there will be absolutely no ad hoc payments whatsoever. So for the next 12

months things don’t look very good at all. Long term I’m disappointed to say... there’s no plan whatsoever for the industry long term. I’m going to give you my view on what I think needs to be done long term. And (to another producer) I appreciate your comments earlier today about this industry and how broken it is. It is absolutely broken, and to me the biggest problem is the value chain is not working. It hasn’t worked for quite a while. We are at a definite disadvantage to the U.S. producer. I would say we’re at a $10-a-hog deficit to the U.S. producer. That doesn’t sound like very much. But if you take even a modest

farm today producing 10,000 hogs times 10 is $100,000 you’re behind your U.S. counterpart in one year. The exchange rate has been behind quite awhile. So if this sort of thing goes on for five years as a producer you’re down a half-million (dollars) and really you are out of the game. You’re not going to compete with your American competitor at all. As far as the exchange rates there doesn’t look to be any relief in the near future. The buck is going to stay about even. If it was in the ’90s that would probably make up the difference because we are paid in American bucks. What I feel needs to happen is the processor, if he wants an independent producer in this

country, he’s got to sit down with reps from the producers and they’ve got to come up with a way this $10 can be paid to the producer so they can continue to exist. I don’t know if that can be done at all or not. There’s 25 per cent of Canadian consumption coming in from the U.S. If we could put a levy against that pork, slow it down perhaps, that would give the processors an opportunity to pay the producer more. I’ll tell you to be quite honest I think the processor can dig a little deeper into his pockets and pay the producer and hopefully between different things we can make up that $10 difference. Otherwise, to be quite frank, I think the independent producer

in this country is dying a slow death. They are halfway finished. If we cannot be competitive with the U.S. we’re finished, other than vertical integrators — the HyLifes, the Maple Leafs, because nobody (independent) is going to see pigs produced in this country. Olymel is interested in Big Sky. They’re going to ensure their production. People want to know how I’m staying in. In a way I’m a vertical integrator — a flea on the back of a dog really, the dog being HyLife or Maple Leaf. That’s how I am continuing to be a pork producer in this country. As an independent producer, things do not look very good until there are changes to that value chain.


6

OFF THE FRONT

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

GRIZZLIES  from page 1 getting in, but nine bears in one night just raised so many flags,” he said, adding that folks in the area have to be well armed these days just to go and fix fence. “We’ve got wooden granaries that are 60 years old that in the last five years have been attacked, and they never were before that.” The family’s story has received press coverage across the province, but many reader comments indicate blame is being placed on McClelland for attracting the bears by having grain on the property, and the meat shop. However, he says his meat-processing business is clean, and that he reduces any odours or attractants as much as possible. “I get rid of my scraps either that day, or the first thing the next morning so that they never hang around and create any odour,” he said, adding that the second boar was clearly attracted by his house as well.

Costly repairs

McClelland said the family has been upgrading the property and infrastructure in an effort to make it more bear-proof since the grizzlies have become a problem, but each project costs money and it’s not financially feasible to be able to complete it all at once. The ongoing grizzly problem creates other bills that must be paid. He’s replaced the door to the meat shop with a new steel one, replaced a customer’s lost quarter of beef, and other repairs have been undertaken as needed. “They’ve eaten grain, and they waste more than they eat. I’ve lost hundreds of bushels of barley and oats they’ve spread on the ground. They’ve torn doors open on metal bins, they’ve torn wooden granaries apart, and they wreck corrals. It’s cost thousands and thousands of dollars as the years go by,” he said, adding there is no

The McClelland ranch seems to be a popular hangout for area grizzly bears. compensation available for the escalating damages. “In the last five years, it’s been horrible. We’re allowed to protect ourselves, but we’re not allowed to protect our possessions or our livestock or our farm.” McClelland’s experience isn’t an isolated one. Throughout this area, producers and rural residents are seeing an increased grizzly population and what appears to be displacement of the black bear population as a result. The Crowsnest Pass to the west is a key wildlife corridor, and the south end of the area is bordered by Waterton National Park and Glacier National Park on the U.S. side of the border. These factors create a funnel effect that serves to increase potential human and wildlife conflicts.

The southwest corner of the province comprises just three per cent of Alberta’s land area, but accounts for 37 per cent of livestock predation claims, most of which result from wolf predation. McClelland and others in the area are concerned that these encounters will eventually end up in tragedy as the frequent encounters appear to be habituating some animals to human activity. “The bears aren’t scared anymore. I can drive down below through our granaries and they’re walking away from me, or just standing up and looking at me,” he said. Area conservation officers were called immediately and McClelland says they have done everything they can to help with the situation. One of the boars,

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the one believed to have broken into the meat shop, was elderly and in poor condition and was subsequently euthanized. The other boar was relocated. McClelland is so concerned for his family’s safety, he’s applying for authorization to openly carry a handgun for protection. The application is permitted under Canadian law, but permission is usually only granted to people living in very remote areas with large predators, few people, and where it isn’t practical to constantly carry a long gun for protection. Nonetheless, McClelland is optimistic his request will be granted and says the Pincher Creek RCMP have offered their recommendation for approval based on his circumstances.

CWB GRAIN  from page 1

“The bears aren’t scared anymore. I can drive down below through our granaries and they’re walking away from me, or just standing up and looking at me.”

RYAN MCCLELLAND

said. “There are lots of farmers getting their contracts signed and they’re making their deliveries, and things are going to work well.”

tonnes,” he said. “It can still work well.” Nevertheless, the CWB is thinking about buying some of its own handling facilities. “But it’s not likely something we’ll do this winter,” Flaten said.

Better offers

Pulse crops

In another example, a farmer from Wawanesa, Man., said an elevator manager told him he’d get a better grade and price if he sold to him instead of the CWB. Flaten noted farmers can still get an official grade from the Canadian Grain Commission. He also stressed that farmers can shop their CWB pooled grain around to different companies to get the best deal on grades, freight and elevation. The basis between different elevators handling CWB grain has varied by as much as $8 a tonne, but farmers can get help with this issue by contacting the new CWB, said Flaten. “In fact we really want farmers to phone us so we can share that information,” he said. “That’s one of the helpful roles we can play — being a good source of information on things like that, that’s going to help farmers get a better deal.” Sometimes grain companies won’t want to handle CWB grain, but another company will because it makes them money, Flaten said. “It worked well for decades (under the monopoly) for handling companies to handle CWB

Later this crop year the CWB will explore marketing pulse crops, president and CEO Ian White said. The CWB already has a canola pool, and 45 elevators across the West have agreed to take delivery of canola for the company. But more would be welcome, Flaten added. “I think Year 1 is a bit of a test to see what level of interest is out there,” he said. “The other thing with canola, the yields are lower than what farmers expected. So they may have pre-sold a greater portion of their crop than they realized.” The CWB has no immediate plans to sell itself to another grain company, White said. “Our plan is to find ways of having farmers as shareholders and maybe some other companies as shareholders as well and looking for sources of capital,” he said. “We aren’t out there necessarily just to make profits from marketing grain, we’re out there to make sure farmers have the best contracting options they possibly can and provide some additional competition in this marketplace, which has been changed now and will be forever.”


7

Albertafarmexpress.ca • November 19, 2012

CN CEO says legislation to improve service could backfire Complaints } Legislation stems from a rail service review conducted for the government by an independent panel

By Nicole Mordant/Reuters Vancouver

L

ooming legislation aimed at improving rail service for shippers in Canada could backfire and end up making the country’s sprawling rail networks less efficient, the chief executive of Canada’s biggest railroad warned Nov. 7. Canada’s Conservative government plans to introduce legislation this fall giving all shippers more clout in ensuring consistent rail service, and improve ways to resolve disputes. The rail companies are concerned that the legislation could end up dictating or imposing levels of service that don’t take into consideration existing commercial arrangements with customers.

Claude Mongeau, the CEO of Canadian National Railway Co., said the imposition of service obligations on rail companies might give relief to one unhappy shipper but that may come at the cost of upsetting service for others down the line as railroads are large, interconnected networks. “It doesn’t take many to create a ripple effect... I say beware of what you ask for as you may just derail the efficiency that we have been able to gain,” Mongeau told Reuters in an interview after speaking to a business audience in Vancouver. The planned legislation stems from a rail service review conducted for the government by an independent panel following years of complaints from shippers, such as farmers and forestry companies, about poor rail service, including

damaged rail cars and unpredictable pickups. Railroads have defended their service track record saying it is fairly good overall and that additional legislation is not the answer, especially in a free-market economy.

Mutual trust

Mongeau said legislation could poison relationships built up between customers and railroads over many years, and stop them from sharing information and data for fear it could be used against them in a dispute. “It is difficult to have mutual trust with a gun to your head,” he said. Representatives of shippers and railroads spent four months in a government-sponsored committee this year trying, but ultimately failing, to develop both a template for service agreements and a dis-

pute resolution process that could be used commercially. Mongeau said that if the government is bent on introducing legislation it should be “balanced” and “targeted.” That could be achieved by requiring mediation as a first step to resolve disputes, rather than imposed arbitration, he said. If cases did end up in arbitration, it should take place under the aegis of the Canadian Transport Agency, a government regulator that has a duty to ensure transportation efficiency in Canada, instead of a roster of arbitrators who don’t have rail industry experience, Mongeau said. Arbitration should also only be available to rail customers whose access is limited to a single railroad, not to those who can switch service providers if they are unhappy with their service, he said.

Claude Mongeau wants mediation rather than imposed arbitration as a first step to resolve disputes.

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8

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

The long, brutal haul from farm to port in Brazil Infrastructure deficit } If you think you have a long haul to the elevator, how about seven days? By peter murphy reuters | brazil

W

and doubles as an instructor for aspiring drivers. “May God protect us,” he said, above a hiss of the air brakes. Our 1,600-km (995-mile) stretch of his 2,100-km (1,300-mile) journey took us over broken asphalt, past points of deadly smashes, and on a nightly search for a rest stop with space for a last truck. The trip, from the western farm state of Mato Grosso, across Brazil’s central savannah and southeast to the Atlantic port of Santos, highlighted rigours of the road familiar to truckers anywhere — long hours, loneliness and bad meals.

hen Marcondes Mendonça hauls corn from Brazil’s Farm Belt to port in the distant south, the young trucker prays for protection from gaping potholes and dangerous drivers, and dreads the squalid toilets on the seven-day journey ahead. He also braces for other hassles: traffic bottlenecks, backlogs at port and stifling bureaucracy. Overwhelmed infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges facing Brazil. Transporters estimate road haulage rates will rise about Inefficiency 30 per cent once the grains crop But it also made clear how Brazil’s is harvested, with a shortage of ambition of supplying more of the drivers and new legislation that world’s food is being hampered by will keep trucks off the road for inefficiency. “Logistics are jammed up,” says longer by requiring minimum rest Glauber Silveira, head of Mato periods for drivers. T o s e e t h e p r o b l e m s u p Grosso’s association of soy growclose, a Reuters reporter and ers, who lose a quarter of their photographer hitched a ride with revenue to transport. “The buyer Mendonça on a recent journey. A is losing out and the producer is 27-year-old father of two and fan of losing out.” jauntPM fromPage farm1 to port in The 4:18 Brazilian country music, he hauls SEC-MERE12-T-REV_AFE.qxd 11/7/12 freight for a truckers’ collective Brazil already costs more than

twice the sea freight fees to China, and that ratio is about to climb sharply as wages rise and the laws on rest periods for drivers take effect. The rising costs are forcing commodities traders to bid higher for Brazilian soy just to make sure growers keep planting. If prices approach costs, “it will seriously disincentivize Brazilian production,” said Kona Haque, an analyst at Macquarie Bank.

Off the rails

The cabin of Mendonça’s Scania truck affords ample views of the chasm between Brazil’s first-world ambitions and the much humbler reality on the ground. Reuters joined his journey on a Monday afternoon in Rondonopolis, a dusty logistics hub in southern Mato Grosso. By then, he had already driven three days north and back to load his two tarpcovered trailers now brimming with corn. From there, we headed south. Three hours in, we reached Alto Araguaia, a town where Mendonça’s journey could easily end.

RecIP Con om tra me ct nde d

That’s where America Latina Logistica SA, a rail operator, runs the one link from the Farm Belt directly to Santos, the country’s biggest port. The company’s 80-rail-car trains haul as much corn as 230 twotrailer rigs like Mendonça’s, but burn the diesel of just 40 of them. High demand after the harvest, though, means the trains run full and at prices producers say don’t save much money. Besides, the train takes just as long, with extended loading times at several terminals along the track and a steep decline near Santos port that has to be taken at crawling speed. Brazil’s rail network, spanning 29,000 km, is now smaller than it was 90 years ago. The government is spending 22.4 billion reais ($11 billion) to build two major new rail lines that should help the Farm Belt. One stretches north-south, the other runs east-west. Commodities firms say the investments can’t come soon enough, but most new rail projects are still five years away, or more. So Mendonça drove on. Before midnight, we pulled into a rest stop. Mendonça slept on a mattress at the rear of the cabin. The reporter and photographer made do with a bench and a hammock. On Tuesday, we headed for Mato Grosso’s southern border, a swooping toucan and cluster of ostrich-like rheas breaking the monotony of the flat terrain of brown, harvested fields.

Life on the road

The work is steady but trucking companies are struggling to find drivers. With unemployment near record lows, workers in Brazil have plenty of other, less demanding opportunities. “There are no decent toilets or rest areas and so much dust everywhere,” complained Aguinaldo da Silva Tenorio, a 28-year-old trucker along the route. In the cab

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beside him were his wife, threeyear-old daughter, and a monthold son. Taking them along, Tenorio said, is “the only option” for family time. Truckers also complain of the dangers — occasional muggings and bad, congested roads. Driving across Mato Grosso do Sul, the next state down, Mendonça pointed to a spot where a drunk driver slammed into his cabin, killing the car driver’s girlfriend. “I can’t blame myself for something that wasn’t my fault,” he says. Often, it’s fellow truckers that he worries about. In a rush to get to port — many are paid by the load — drivers make reckless efforts to pass. Many also take cocaine and an amphetamine derivative known as “rebite” to stay awake. “When you’re sleepy, it sorts you out, but you can end up causing a huge mess,” says Ademir Pereira, a 36-year-old driver who admits to once popping the rebite pill. Mendonça says he never takes drugs to stay awake.

Time at the wheel

More than 1,200 truckers died on Brazil’s federal highways last year, according to police data. To dissuade drug use and reduce the death toll, the government recently mandated rest periods for truckers for the first time. Employed truckers who drive most of the truck miles covered in Brazil are now restricted to eight hours at the wheel per day, but self-employed truck owners can press on for 13. On Tuesday night, we slept at another rest stop. At midday on Wednesday, Mendonça pulled into a restaurant in the north of Sao Paulo, the last state on the journey. There, a worker said she sees benefits from the new law. “Before, you would see truck drivers coming in with their eyes almost closed,” says Nilda Pereira Alves Pinto, who works the restaurant’s CB radio, touting its rice and beans over the airwaves. “They aren’t in such a rush anymore.” On Wednesday evening, we bypassed Sao Paulo, South America’s biggest city, and the traffic thickened as trucks from across Brazil funnel onto the two highways to Santos, 80 km away. The lack of rest areas was painfully clear. Mendonça paid a 150reais toll for one highway but had to circle back and repay after leaving the road, only to find all rest stops were full. He’d gone beyond his legal driving time but had nowhere to stop. At 2 a.m., as we descended through Atlantic rainforest, a wreck halted traffic. An hour later, we reached a rest stop. “It’s looking ugly,” a gate attendant said, waving Mendonça in to try his luck for a parking spot to end a 20-hour day. On Thursday morning, Mendonça waited for clearance to proceed to the Santos terminals. The port is infamous for red tape and is strained by rising cargo volumes. Not until 4 p.m. was the terminal ready for Mendonça. It wasn’t until Friday morning, nearly seven days after he first left Rondonopolis, that Mendonça was finally able to pull up to a platform and off-load, just yards from the docked bulk carrier ships filling with grain bound for other continents. The corn’s value: $10,200. The cost of the haul: $3,800.


9

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

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NEWS » MARKETS

ANXIETY

10

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

REPORT DELAY UNNERVES TRADERS

TRADERS FEAR EMBARGO

A U.S. Department of Agriculture official forgot to flip the “on” switch to release the Nov. 9 monthly crop report, creating 28 seconds of anxiety for traders. News agencies prepare the report for publication in a secure room under the watch of armed guards and have no communication before the release time. Alarm rose in the lockup room, and at the Chicago Board of Trade, when USDA’s new data failed to appear at 8:30 a.m. EST on the nose. “You have to wait for the numbers, (so) the algos (algorithmic traders) are not going to jump out ahead. The 30-second delay just means we’ll react 30 seconds later,” said Jeff Thompson, broker at ABM Amro in Chicago. — Reuters

Grain traders expect the Ukrainian government to introduce curbs on wheat exports early in December but fear that instead of an official ban it might opt for informal restrictions, the grain lobby said Nov. 9. Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said last month the government would halt wheat exports from Nov. 15 due to a fall in the harvest. Subsequently the ministry softened its talk of an outright ban but said it would apply “necessary measures” to limit sales if a critical shortage of food grain appeared. — Reuters

Canola futures see downward price action WILD CARD  There’s lots of potential for markets to move either up or

down based on what happens with weather, currency and seeded acres

BY DWAYNE KLASSEN

COMMODITY NEWS SERVICE CANADA

C

anola futures on the ICE Canada platform experienced some weakness during the week ended Nov. 9 with the bearishly construed USDA supply-demand balance tables for soybeans encouraging some of the downward price action. A larger-than-anticipated U.S. soyoil ending stocks estimate from the USDA added to the bearish sentiment in canola. The unloading of positions by a variety of market participants during the reporting period also helped to undermine canola futures. Some of that selling was based off of the charts turning negative as well as ahead of the three-day weekend closure of the ICE Futures Canada platform (November 12). The weakness in canola also was facilitated by reports of improved weather for the planting and development of the soybean crops in Brazil and Argentina. Underlying support in canola continued to come from the need of commercials to cover export commitments and from domestic processors to secure enough canola in order to meet sales on the books. The reluctance of farmers to deliver canola also restricted the losses.

Deferred canola futures meanwhile found some support from sentiment that values will need to climb significantly from current levels in order to buy acreage next spring. There was speculation in the market that acres to canola will drop significantly as Prairie farmers look to finally move canola out of crop rotation and into more financially attractive choices. There was some arbitrage pricing evident in the ICE Canada milling wheat future during the week, but nothing in the way of actual volume. Durum and barley activity was also non-existent. ICE Canada officials, however, remain optimistic that trade in these contracts will pick up as grain companies learn to work with the new non-monopoly wheat markets in Western Canada. Market participants, however, doubt the sincerity of the commercials to use the risk management tools of the ICE Canada platform given that these firms are more than comfortable using the exchanges in the U.S. to hedge wheat, durum and barley positions.

Soy under pressure

Soybean futures at the CBOT suffered some steep losses during the reporting period with a drop-off in export demand and the expectation of larger-than-anticipated U.S. soybean production being

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

reported in the Nov. 9 supply-demand balance tables from the USDA, behind the price decline. Soybean values easily dropped to new four-month lows on the USDA report, which pegged U.S. 2012-13 soybean output at 2.971 billion bushels. The projection easily came in at the high end of pre-report expectations that ranged from 2.720 billion to 2.959 billion bushels. U.S. soybean production in October had been forecast by the USDA at 2.860 billion bushels while output a year ago totalled 3.094 billion. U.S. soybean ending stocks were raised by 10 million bu. to 140 million, and while that may not be all that shocking, it does ease the fear of the U.S. running out of soybeans this year. From a global perspective, world soybean carry-out was raised to 60 million tonnes from the 57.6 million projected in October. This estimate based on comments from market participants, suggests that there is plenty of supply worldwide. Add to that the record area that is currently being planted to soybeans in South America, and the big picture does not seem to be as rosy as it once did.

Corn firmer

Corn futures on the CBOT managed to hold fractional advances during the reporting period. Some support came from reports that delays in shipping corn out of Brazil have forced Japanese buyers to turn to the U.S. to cover some nearby commitments. The talk in the trade is that Japan had purchased roughly 900,000 tonnes of corn from Brazil for shipment from July through September. However, heavy port congestion has prevented that corn from moving. As a result, export sources were indicating that at least 500,000 tonnes of U.S. corn

has been bought by Japan for movement during the January to March period. Japan reportedly also purchased U.S. barley for the first time in over two years. The USDA report, meanwhile, pegged U.S. corn ending stocks at 647 million bushels, which was up from the October projection of 619 million. The estimate was also at the high end of pre-report guesses. The numbers were considered by the trade to be nothing special and were unlikely to significantly break corn out of its consolidation phase of price movement.

Wheat concerns

The price trend in wheat futures on the CBOT, MGEX and KCBT was up with the extremely dry conditions in the U.S. Winter Wheat Belt providing the price advances. Lingering worries about poor growing conditions for wheat in other major producing regions of the world also added to the support in the market. The release of the USDA report, however, changed the bullish tone that had existed in U.S. wheat. While there had been hopes the USDA would raise its U.S. wheat export prospects, the government agency actually lowered the forecast. Sluggish wheat exports and expectations that world competition will remain strong encouraged the USDA to increase its U.S. wheat inventory forecast to 704 million bu. This represent a 7.6 per cent jump in supply from the October projection. World wheat carry-over in 2012-13 was pegged by the USDA at 174.2 million tonnes, which was up from the 173.0 million projected in October. Dwayne Klassen writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a grain and livestock reporting service in Winnipeg.

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11

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Alberta ag industry promoter inducted into hall of fame

A

lberta’s Kim McConnell was one of three Canadians inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame at an awards banquet in Toronto Nov. 4. Other inductees included Bertrand Boisclair, a prominent Holstein breeder from SaintSamuel-de-Horton, Quebec, and Barry Wilson, a long-time national correspondent in Ottawa for the Western Producer. McConnell is the cofounder and former chief executive officer of AdFarm, one of the largest and most respected agricultural marketing firms in North America with its head office in Calgary. McConnell was one of the first to recognize that agricultural marketing and communications is a specialized business that must evolve to meet industry and consumer challenges and opportunities. He says a key passion is to be a catalyst for agriculture and to enhance the perception of agriculture with stakeholders, media and the general public, in particular, urban consumers. McConnell launched the Growing Alberta Program and provided the initial support for the Alberta Farm Animal Care program. He has served as a board member or chair for a wide range of organizations including: Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Canada 4-H Foundation, Centre for Health and Safety for Agriculture, YMCA and Crime Stoppers.

Kim McConnell with his portrait to be displayed at the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.  Supplied photo

Canola variety selection tool now live Comparison  } The tool includes an economic calculator, interactive maps,

and the ability to refine searches by five traits Canola Council release

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he online Canola Variety Selection tool is now live with data from the 2012 Canola Performance Trials (CPT), giving canola growers another tool to compare variety performance. The CPT provides science-based, unbiased performance data that reflects actual production practices. The selection tool provides comparative data on leading varieties and newly introduced varieties. The tool includes an economic calculator, interactive maps, and the ability to refine searches by season zone, herbicide tolerance (HT) type, yield, days to maturity, lodging and height. This year producers will benefit from being able to compare data from the 2011 trials as well. “With all the weather challenges in 2012 we did lose some sites, but overall the year went well and we collected a lot of data to help growers make their seed decisions,” says Franck Groeneweg, chair of the

CPT governance committee and grower director with SaskCanola. “The committee worked very well together, with good co-operation among representatives from the seed industry and the provincial grower groups.” The three Prairie canola grower groups —the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (SaskCanola) and the Manitoba Canola Growers Association — fund the CPT program. Seed trade companies that participated paid entry fees. The B.C. Grain Producers Association conducted trials in the Peace as their means of participation. The CPT 2012 booklet has results from 23 small plots and 81 fieldscale plots. Line companies, independent retailers and seed companies, including Viterra, Bayer CropScience, Monsanto, Cargill, Canterra Seeds, BrettYoung Seeds, FP Genetics and SeCan, participated in small-plot trials. Monsanto, Bayer CropScience and Canterra Seeds

The production trials have results from 23 small plots and 81 field-scale plots across the Prairies. participated in audited field-scale trials. Results are organized by short-, medium- and long-season zones. In addition, a booklet containing the results is being mailed with the November 1 edition of Canola Digest to Canada’s about 43,000 canola growers. A pdf of the booklet

can be downloaded at canolaperformancetrials.ca. Haplotech (led by Dr. Rale Gjuric) co-ordinated the trials under the guidance of a governance committee that oversaw approval of varieties, protocol design, data collection, analysis and reporting, and financial management.

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NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

AARD releases fruit and vegetable study FULL REPORT  Available on Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s website AGRI-NEWS

I

nterest regarding the commercial production of fruits and vegetables in the province of Alberta is on the rise. Although traditional cereal crops, canola and pulses generally come to mind when speaking about Alberta crop production, there are many producers that are growing a diverse number of vegetable and fruit crops across the province. “As consumers continue to look to fill their grocery carts with locally grown produce, there has been an upswing in interest of Alberta producers to fill this demand. This has led to greater opportunities for our commercial fruit and vegetable producers,” notes Rob Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. A study assessing the profitability of Alberta’s commercial fresh vegetable, table potato and fruit industries was recently completed. The focus of the study was directed towards commercial growers to assess the profitability and competitiveness of the crops that are currently produced in the province. Each of these segments was found to have unique challenges and opportunities. A total of eight competitive issues are impacting the profitability within the sector and the industry’s ability to compete. These include: import competition, food trends, climate, labour, storage capacity, innovation support, industry organizational structure and branding. “Many of the issues facing commercial vegetable and fruit producers are similar to those of Alberta’s agriculture commodity sectors,” says Spencer. “If anything, some of the issues are even greater due to the intensive nature of the commercial vegetable and fruit industry.” The report provides an industry profile for three of the industry subsectors. Cost of production budgets (including detailed breakdowns of fixed and variable costs) were established for sweet corn, cucumber, fresh table potato, dryland carrot and irrigated carrot. Alberta’s relative competitiveness in other fruit and vegetable crops are also examined in the report. The complete report can be downloaded from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s website.

Interest in local food could boost demand for Alberta-grown vegetables.

CORRECTION Two errors occurred in a story about a meeting on GM alfalfa in the Nov. 5 issue. Stephen Denys is the president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association, not the seed association as reported. And Monsanto oversaw the destruction of an unlicensed field of Roundup Ready alfalfa in Saskatchewan in 2011, not the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. As Roundup Ready alfalfa is approved for use in Canada, Monsanto was not required to inform CFIA about the field, but did so as a courtesy.

T:17

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Albertafarmexpress.ca • november 19, 2012

Poor quality and yields send British wheat imports soaring Shortage } Britain is on the hunt for high-quality bread wheat after domestic production and quality come up short By Nigel Hunt london / reuters

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Bread is displayed for sale at a bakery in central London. High-quality bread wheat is expected to be in short supply this year.   photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville

ritain will be a net importer of wheat for the first time in a decade this year, turning customer to its traditional export rivals after a disease-ravaged harvest, much of which fails to meet the quality required for bread. Traders and analysts said diseases fuelled by the wettest June since records began more than a century ago have left Britain, the European Union’s third-biggest producer, with a lot of wheat which fails to meet minimum quality standards required by industries such as flour milling. “The expectation is we will import quite a lot more wheat in the current year, probably about

double the normal level, and that is because the quality of what is available in the UK is much lower than normal,” said Alex Waugh, director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers. Britain normally imports about one million tonnes of high-quality wheat for the milling sector while exporting up to 2.5 million tonnes of lower-grade supplies, much of which is used in animal feed rations. This season, imports look set to soar while there appears to be little interest from overseas buyers in Britain’s often substandard supplies. Trader estimates for U.K. wheat imports this season range from about 1.8 million to 2.5 million tonnes. “We’ve got an incredibly bizarre

quality that has been produced in the U.K. which is causing a lot of problems for a lot of people,” one trader said. Britain’s Farm Ministry earlier this month estimated that U.K. wheat yields have fallen to a 23-year low, citing high levels of disease and a lack of sunshine in the key grainfill period. The U.K. crop was estimated at 13.31 million tonnes, down 13 per cent from the prior season and well below the record 17.23 million harvested in 2008. The low level of yields has been compounded by poor quality with specific weights, a measure of the density of wheat, particularly low. “There is simply not the same amount of flour in the U.K. wheat as there would be in a normal year. So that is part of the reason for having to look overseas,” Waugh said. Strategie Grains estimates that only about 10 per cent of this year’s British wheat crop is of milling standard against 27 per cent in 2011.

Looking far afield

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Germany, France, the United States and Canada are the U.K.’s traditional suppliers but this year the net has been cast wider to include Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden and Poland, traders said. “Initially there has been a bit of a hunt around to find what works best but the main sources are going to be Germany, France, Canada and the U.S.,” Waugh said, noting they had all supplied the U.K. market for years, though not in the quantities that will be needed this season. Traders in Germany said British buyers have been in their market seeking both standard and higher-protein grades. “We have seen some purchases in the last month or so of several shiploads of between 1,500 to 3,000 tonnes from German Baltic Sea ports,” one German trader said. “These are relatively small volumes but are probably being used as test blendings to see how the flour turns out. Talk is they were successful and I think we will see more substantial business in coming months,” the trader added. The final level of imports will depend on the extent to which domestic consumers make use of the poor-quality U.K. wheat. Some British traders noted biofuels producer Ensus has been willing to buy wheat, and bioethanol producers outside Britain may also take a look if the price was right.

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news » livestock

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

50,000 Brands in Alberta

JBS to buy Brazil poultry producer

Livestock Identification Services Ltd. (LIS) is offering a free brand and a free copy of the 2013 Brand Book to the individual, partnership or company who registers the 50,000th brand in the province of Alberta. This is a special celebration of the province’s brand history along with the history of LIS and Alberta Agriculture. All applications will be processed by date in the order that they are received with money and all supporting documents in place. The winner will be announced on Jan. 4, 2013.

Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest beef producer, has signed a deal to buy local poultry processor Agroveneto for 128 million reais ($63 million) just months after its first move into the Brazilian poultry sector. Agroveneto can process 140,000 birds a day, whose meat is sold in Brazil and export markets. It would merge with JBS poultry unit JBS Aves and add about 10 per cent to the unit’s daily processing capacity of 1.34 million birds. Brazil is one of the world’s top producers and exporters of chicken meat.

“This requires the prime minister’s office…”

Alberta Beef Producers meeting calls for inquiry into CFIA handling of XL Foods recall MEDIA INATTENTION } While the media couldn’t get enough of the safety aspect

of the recall story, ABP’s chairman says the cattle industry wasn’t given a proper chance to tell its side of the story by sheri monk

af staff / fort macLeod

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here should be an independent inquest into the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s handling of the E. coli contamination and meat recall at XL Foods, say members of Alberta Beef Producers Zone 2. “I appreciate that the Beef Value Chain Round Table is going to review this, but that’s not good enough,” said Bill Newton, the Porcupine Hills rancher who made the motion for the inquest, which passed unanimously. “This requires the prime minister’s office. The CFIA has been basically out of control for quite some time.” Newton, who is also a veterinarian and former president of the Western Stock Growers Association, said there has been too much grandstanding on the issue, with opposition politicians making partisan attacks and the food inspectors’ union lobbying for more funding and higher staffing levels. Most of the meeting was spent discussing the recall, the ramifications of recalling primal cuts, and whether the cattle industry was effectively represented in the media during the crisis. Alberta Beef Producers chairman Doug Sawyer said his organization and others tried to paint the industry in a positive light, but were unsuccessful in getting media attention. “You’re right, you didn’t hear from us, (but) it wasn’t because we weren’t trying,” said Sawyer. “I know Rich Smith (the association’s executive director) said he did more interviews in the last month than he did in the previous seven years. We just couldn’t get out in front of it.” Sawyer agreed there should

Bill Newton, addresses the crowd at an ABP zone meeting asking for a resolution to investigate the CFIA’s handling of the XL Foods beef recall. Looking on is John Kolk, prominent ag industry activist and producer from Picture Butte.   Photo: Sheri Monk be a review of whether the Canadian Food Inspection Agency used appropriate and science-based measures. “Certainly the answers we’re looking for are between the CFIA and the XL company,” said Sawyer. “This is the first time we’ve ever had a muscle meat recall in Canada and quite frankly, I think it caught everybody, certainly me, with my pants down. I had never even thought about that. And I don’t know that CFIA had, but I can’t speak for them. We’ll find that out when we start doing the proper review process.”

However, Sawyer cautioned that once JBS started managing the plant, industry had to support its efforts to get the plant reopened fully before beginning any inquiry. “The answers we’re all looking for will have to come out over time,” he said. “Right now what we’re working on desperately is to see if we can make a way to get that plant open again, and that’s no small task.” Although the Zone 2 meeting was the only one to produce a resolution calling for an inquiry, Smith said the organization is keen to find out exactly what happened.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had a muscle meat recall in Canada and quite frankly, I think it caught everybody, certainly me, with my pants down.” Doug Sawyer ABP chair


15

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Diet could be the culprit in increased incidence of bone fractures PEET ON PIGS  This relatively new problem has been increasing at some

plants, and doesn’t appear to occur until physical trauma takes place BY BERNIE PEET

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Broken ribs that have healed suggest that bone mineralization has been compromised since pigs were young, says Dr. Eduardo Beltranena. Suboptimal mineral nutrition on the farm is the most likely predisposing factor for this condition, says Beltranena. “We see broken ribs that have healed perfectly by the time of slaughter,” he observes. “Broken ribs that have healed suggest that bone mineralization has been compromised since pigs were young.” While the cause is speculative at this time, a common denominator to farms where hogs are affected is the inclusion of phytase enzyme in hog diets. “It is unlikely that the cause is the feed enzyme that increases phosphorus availability from cereal grains and protein meals,” comments Dr. Beltranena. “Possibly the cause is the parallel reduction of phosphorus and calcium inclusion from mineral sources in feed, on the assumption that the phytase enzyme makes more phosphorus available from feedstuffs.” Mono-dicalcium phosphate and limestone are the most com-

mon sources of rock-derived phosphorus and calcium, he adds. “It might be that in affected farms the reduction of rockderived phosphorus and/or calcium in feeds including a phytase enzyme might have gone past the threshold level, resulting in a mild but prolonged phosphorus deficiency,” says Beltranena. “It does not mean that the phytase enzyme is at fault or ineffective, just that in farms with increasing incidence of spine fractures, mineral phosphorus and calcium inclusion in feed needs further consideration and adjustment.” The incidence of spine fractures at slaughter may also be compounded by pen crowding on the farm. “Nutritionists formulate calcium and phosphorus feed content to expected hog feed intakes,” says Beltranena. “Pen crowding may limit feeder access and reduce feed intake resulting in compromised bone phosphorus uptake from feed.”

He notes gilts and sows likely won’t be affected due to greater phosphorus and calcium inclusion margins in breeder diets. Producers should monitor their condemnations and trim levels carefully for any indication of a problem with spine fractures, advises Beltranena. If the level is increasing, they should be more gentle when moving pigs and avoid the use of electric prods. “Any pen crowding should be alleviated and feeder access improved if it is limiting feed intake,” he suggests. “Also ask your nutritionist to review dietary phosphate and limestone inclusions.” Finally, he recommends discussing any problem with the farm’s veterinarian because there may be other causes compounding the occurrence of spine fractures. Bernie Peet is president of Pork Chain Consulting of Lacombe, Alberta, and editor of Western Hog Journal.

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he incidence of hog carcass contamination and trimming related to spine fractures is increasing at Olymel’s Red Deer processing plant and possibly at other plants, according to Eduardo Beltranena, monogastrics research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. While the incidence is not widespread, for some farms this problem is up to six times more common than for the plant average. The culprit could be a reduction in calcium and phosphorus in hog diets associated with the use of the enzyme phytase, leading to bone weakness, says Beltranena. Along with Matt Schoonderwoerd, Olymel’s director of veterinary affairs, he has been investigating spine fractures and other associated bone fractures. “The fractures we are seeing involve one or more adjacent vertebrae or the spine breaking above the pelvis,” says Beltranena. “Yellowish or bloody bone fluid leaks out of the fracture(s) running down the carcass and causing contamination.” He notes this seems to happen close to the time of slaughter or carcass dressing as there are no signs of prior swelling, hemorrhage, necrosis or nervous tissue damage. As this appears to be a relatively new problem, processor reports on carcass contamination and trimming do not provide enough information for producers to identify that something is wrong. Therefore, unless they are contacted by the processor, they are largely unaware of this type of mild mineral deficiency, although the packer may report an increase in the number of “downer” hogs. “Spine fractures may also occur when moving pigs for shipping at the farm, during trucking, or at lairage at the plant,” notes Beltranena. “Affected hogs may still be able to walk, appear normal, and may not be identified by CFIA inspectors during antemortem inspection. Most likely, abrupt leg extension and muscle tensing as a result of stunning, followed by scalding and dehairing are the main triggers, he says. The spine fractures don’t seem to occur until physical trauma takes place, says Beltranena. Thus producers may never see hogs walking abnormally if trauma happens after hogs left the farm or after stunning. “If spine trauma occurs when moving pigs, during weighing, or when loading onto the truck, the stockman might see the odd hog walking abnormally from the hind limbs, even showing leg tremors, distinct from lameness or lower leg injury symptoms,” he says. “Seriously affected hogs ‘dogsit,’ squeal when disturbed, and should not be shipped. Such hogs may be coded as downers if they arrived like that at the plant or the spine fractured fighting in lairage.”


16

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

Common errors in handling vaccines beff 911 } Vaccines are expensive, so make sure you store

and administer them for maximum effectiveness By Roy Lewis

I

n order to achieve the maximum benefit out of vaccines or antibiotics this fall they must be handled properly right up to the time they are administered. You as producers pay good money for these products and the pharmaceutical companies want to ensure you get the maximum benefit. Vaccine failures are not desirable in anyone’s eyes. The most common way products are damaged is with poor temperature control. In the heat of the moment (this could be considered a pun) with handling cattle you must put someone in charge of handling the products to be administered. Their job is to ensure safe, efficient administration of a quality product. We often are processing in inclement weather, either freezing in winter or under very hot conditions with lots of sunlight in summer. It is far more harmful to freeze product than have it get a bit warm. Keep in mind as soon as the product is administered it is in an environment of 39 C (body temp). If you freeze vaccines they are toast and should be discarded. I have most producers use an insulated container. You can put in warm water bottles in winter or ice packs in summer to keep the product at the right temp. If the weather is really bad the full syringe can even be placed in the container between uses. This also protects the product from UV light, which can also be detrimental to some products. Heat lamps or in-car heaters are also used to keep product warm. Be ever cognizant of maintaining the ideal temperature — 5 C to 15 C is what you want to aim for. Getting product too close to these heat-producing devices can fry product and that is a no-no as well. This is likewise very true when picking product up from the veterinary clinic. I encourage producers to bring the insulated containers with them or we send them home with ice packs in the summer. Don’t make the mistake of throwing vaccine up on the dash; the strong heaters in vehicles or the warmth of the sun has

1 Excellent

It is not uncommon for automatic guns to get bumped and the setting accidentally changed. cooked a lot of vaccine over the years, I am sure.

Rehydrate as needed

Only rehydrate the amount of vaccine you will use directly (within the next hour). This is especially true of the modified live vaccines, which are in common use these days. Once rehydrated their absolute maximum shelf life is a few hours. It is better to rehydrate and use them right away (within one to two hours). The modified vaccines are also very fragile so do not disinfect the needle with things like alcohol between uses. This will render the vaccine inactive and destroy its effectiveness. Always label the syringe as to what product it contains. As an example, formalin is present in the blackleg vaccine and if you accidentally pull up a full syringe of modified live vaccine in the same syringe, the small amount of formalin left will destroy all the vaccine in the syringe. Label the syringe to avoid this mistake and place the vaccines apart from each

CANTERRA 1970 2 Very Good 3 Good

other so these mistakes don’t happen. Double and triple check the volume to be given. It is not uncommon for automatic guns to get bumped and the setting accidentally changed. Overdosing wastes valuable product and underdosing will not give you the desired effect. Make sure if using automatic guns they are dispensing properly. The newer models are very accurate and don’t allow air to get into the syringe. I always make a mental note that vaccine is running out when they should be. A 50-dose bottle of vaccine should run out after 50 head. If it doesn’t run out or runs out too early, take a minute to check things out. Often the setting may have been improperly set. Companies usually have just a little bit extra product as a buffer (one or two per cent). When administering multiple products, make sure they are at least 10 cm (hand width) apart as contact may inactivate them. Either give the product on opposite sides of the neck or make a conscious effort to place

them apart. Try and consistently give products in the same place therefore if you have any types of local reactions at least you know what product is giving the problem. Last but not least, follow label directions as to dosage and type of administration (subcutaneous or intramuscular). Try and use the neck area when administering either way. Have the cattle properly restrained to avoid broken needles or vaccine being discharged into the air. Use the onehanded subcutaneous technique to avoid injury to the applicator. If you believe a product was not given properly, repeat the vaccination. This will not harm the animal and it is far better than way underdosing. This occurs in situations where vaccine is injected intradermally (between the skin layers), discharged into the hair, the automatic gun is not discharged fully or the needle is pushed through the skin and out again so the vaccine is discharged into the air. Check the vaccine’s expiry date. These are all very common

DOES YOUR STANDABILITY MEASURE UP? SEE FOR YOURSELF Always follow grain marketing and all other stewardship practices and pesticide label directions. Details of these requirements can be found in the Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers printed in this publication.

errors right at the time of vaccinating and need to be avoided. Avoiding or recognizing these common errors will help you convey maximum immunity benefit to your herd. The products have been engineered to work and it is up to all of us to be diligent with their handling and administration. If we administer them properly and handle them carefully our cattle should derive maximum protection. Lastly select the proper needle size and length (subcutaneous vaccines can be given with a three-quarter-inch needle), change needles frequently and don’t vaccinate through manure or dirt. If you follow all the above recommendations you and your livestock will derive the maximum benefit from the vaccines you used good money to purchase. There are many causes as you can see for “supposed” vaccine failure. Roy Lewis is a large-animal veterinarian practising at the Westlock, Alberta Veterinary Centre. His main interests are bovine reproduction and herd health.


17

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

NEWS Novozymes and Syngenta team up on product registration

The average cost of a collision with an elk is estimated at $17,845, says a new study.

Biological manufacturer Novozymes and chemical/ seed giant Syngenta, have announced a global marketing and distribution agreement for Novozymes’s microbialbased biofungicide Taegro, a microbial-based fungicide based on the naturally occurring Bacillus subtilis bacterium. Novozymes says Taegro targets fungal diseases such as rhizoctonia and fusarium on fruit and vegetables, and its

©THINKSTOCK

Collision reductions a winwin for motorists and wildlife

do YoUR VARIETIES mEASURE Up?

GOOD INVESTMENT  Underpasses and other measures to avoid wildlife collisions pay off, says a U of C study

AF CONTRIBUTOR / LETHBRIDGE

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f you drive a lot of country roads or big highways, sooner or later you’ll hear the thud of your vehicle hitting a bird or an animal and feel the guilt of killing or injuring an innocent creature. If you hit a big animal, like an elk or a moose, you or your passengers could be killed or injured. Aside from that, there’s vehicle repair and other costs associated with wildlife accidents. They’re substantial, according to a study by the Mistakis Institute at the University of Calgary. It estimates the immediate peraccident costs of human injuries and fatalities, vehicle repairs, towing costs, emergency attendance at scene, accident investigation, carcass removal and the hunting value of the animal at $6,617 for deer, $17,485 for elk and $30,760 for moose (in 2007 dollars). That makes underpasses and other measures to keep wildlife off the highway a good investment, says Tony Clevenger, a lead scientist on the study. He’s a specialist in road ecology with the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State College of Engineering, which focuses on rural transportation issues. “This is the first time a study in North America has shown the savings realized by building wildlife crossing structures on a major roadway,” Clevenger said. The study looked at the number and cost of wildlife-vehicle collisions on a 38-km stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between Canmore and Highway 40 to Kananaskis Country, but focused on a three-kilometre stretch where an underpass with three km of deer fence was installed in 2004.

“This is the first time a study in North America has shown the savings realized by building wildlife crossing structures on a major roadway.” TONY CLEVENGER MONTANA STATE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

The researchers figured the average cost of wildlife collisions before the underpass and fencing were installed was $128,300 a year. After installation there were 80 per cent fewer collisions, reducing the cost to about $17,500 a year. The average number of deer killed dropped from 30 to eight a year, moose from five to zero and elk from 22 to three. Coyote, wolf and cougar collisions dropped to zero from five, two and one respectively. However two black bears and two beaver a year were killed where few had been killed before. Clevenger suggests installing an underpass pays off for any stretch of highway where wildlife collision costs average more than $18,000 — 3.2 deer-vehicle collisions — a year. But he says an underpass alone isn’t enough and it isn’t always the best way to keep wildlife off the road.

Identify hot spots

The first step is to find the hot spots where animals most often cause wrecks. Clevenger says this is not easy, as there’s no organized data. He suggests Alberta Transportation should collect systematic information on both roadkills and injury, as injured animals can leave the highway and be out of sight of cleanup crews. Clevenger maps roadkill hot spots and overlays the map with maps of the geography and wildlife activity and habitat areas. He prioritizes potential sites for underpasses or overpasses by the importance of connecting habitat areas, which are particularly important for carnivores that need big territories. He also considers development and land ownership, to avoid investing in an area where development is likely to drive wildlife away. Clevenger says underpasses and fences are not the only collision-prevention strategy. Land management, fencing design, and adaptation of existing highway structures can help wildlife passage. At one hot spot in the stretch of highway east of Banff Park, animals can cross under the highway beside a bridge. Adding fill and vegetation for cover along with fencing to funnel animals in that direction would push them to avoid the highway. In another spot a drainage culvert could be retrofitted to the size Clevenger says is the minimum for an underpass — four metres high and seven wide.

Other measures

The traditional static signs such as “elk crossing” cut collisions by 26 per cent, and moving wildlife out of an area by 50 per cent. Locating salt licks away from the highway or de-icing the highway with non-salt products may help cut collisions with ungulates. Electronic animal detection systems linked to changing signs that warn motorists of the presence of animals on the road cut collisions with wildlife by 85 per cent. Clevenger is hopeful that electromats will be more effective than cattle guards in keeping animals off highways. The team is also looking at strategies to cut wildlife vehicle collisions in Foothills and Crowsnest sections of Highway 3. They have volunteer motorists reporting where on the highway they see wildlife.

“AC” is an official mark used under license from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

BY HELEN MCMENAMIN

application is expected to be expanded to a wider portfolio of crops such as wheat, soy and corn. The two companies will work together to bring Taegro to market. Syngenta will be responsible for sales, marketing and distribution, while Novozymes will be responsible for production and registration. In a release, Novozymes said trials are planned to secure data to continue to build on the current U.S. registration in other regions, following which the two companies aim for a global rollout.

SEE FoR YoURSELF

Cow-Calfenomics 2012: Transitions, Tools and Technologies

TOPICS COVERED:

• Transitioning the Business: A Next Generation Perspective • Strategic Risk Management for Cattle Producers • Cattle Price Insurance Program – Managing your Risk • Economic Value of Genomics – Current and Future • BIXS/TRACEBACK – Tools to Improve Herd Profitability • Profitable Strategies for Full Time Ranching (Producer Panel)

Date

Town

Location

Time

November 20, 2012

Fairview

Dunvegan Motor Inn

9:30 am - 3:30 pm

November 21, 2012

Barrhead

Barrhead Agrena Rec Centre

9:30 am - 3:30 pm

November 22, 2012

Rimbey

Best Western Rimstone Ridge

9:30 am - 3:30 pm

December 11, 2012

Lloydminster

Lloydminster Exhibition Association

9:30 am - 3:30 pm

December 12, 2012

Brooks

Heritage Inn and Conference Centre

9:30 am - 3:30 pm

December 13, 2012

Nanton

Nanton Community Centre

9:30 am - 3:30 pm

HOW TO REGISTER:

To register call the Ag Info Centre at 1-800-387-6030. Registration fee is $25.00 (includes lunch) and payment can be made by cheque or credit card (MasterCard or Visa). Please make cheques payable to the Government of Alberta. Cheques can be mailed to Ag-Info Centre, Bag 600, Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L0.


18

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

In Peru, a farmer’s hat means more than sun protection NEW PERSPECTIVE  Compared to Canada, farming in the

Andes is a hard and precarious existence BY BRENDA SCHOEPP

Regular columnist Brenda Schoepp was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship this year, and is visiting several countries to learn more about the role of women in agriculture.

E

very bus and taxi is named in Peru and our bus, the Patron Saint of Terror, steamed into the outskirts of the city of Arequipa at dawn. Muchrelieved tourists scrambled for solid ground after 12 hours of tossing and rocking on the narrow ledges of the Andes Mountains. The locals did not move from their slumber nor were they distressed at the complete lack of facilities, food or drink. They simply grinned from under their varied hats at the complete lack of hardiness in the front seats. From the window, I could see the pink morning starting to come to life. The ground is sandy brown and dotted with tiny tin huts that gave reflection to the heat of the day. The little houses, just four walls and a roof at best were 12x12 feet and kept

together entire families, often of several generations. By 4:30 a.m., the people of the soil emerged. I counted a dozen from one hut and eight from another. And so it went, the slow, sure dawning of men and women to work the fields for yet another day, their feet in sandals made of car tires. Like so many cultures outside of the western world, the women farm solo or with the men. In Peru, the hat you wear is a reflection of your marital and financial status as well as your tribe and job. All married women wear hats, but the shape, colour and fabric of the hat reveals where you are from and how well off you are. The farm workers, both men and women, in this region wore an oversized white cowboy shape made of straw. The wide brim protected them from the sun from dawn to dark. The high crown allowed the hat to breathe and the white straw was a symbol of status. [I went to Peru with a pack on my back and a smaller version of a cowboy-shape hat on my head. Interestingly, that hat created problems for me in the fishing region of Pisco and I

All married women farmers wear a hat that reflects their tribe and status.

was spit on for being a vaquera (cowgirl) and was forced to buy a different hat].

Market day

On market day the same hat could be seen in town at the lively stalls where I would walk in the morning to buy fruit to distribute to the poor who lined the streets begging. Behind the vendor stalls, little children could be found playing and to these wee ones I gave small books. It was a way of connecting to families of farmers many miles from home. It was getting hard to breathe as we reached 4,800 metres above sea level with the highest destination of 6,300 metres, but I had to stop to watch the land being worked. Farmers (men and women) behind their oxen

tilled the red soil, their backs bent in labour and the everpresent hat bobbing in the thin air. Perhaps they were planting one of the more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes grown at levels of up to 12,000 feet or an ancient grain such as quinoa in the little red square tucked into the stark, grey landscape. As we arrived in the Sacred Valley to our destination of Ollytamtambo, the farms became little holdings that housed donkeys or beef cattle behind circular fences made of boulders. The main activity was cattle of the thin, brown mixed breed variety (I could never get an answer on the breed). The women worked especially hard and without running water, health care or child support. I often spoke to the women farmers, peddlers and café workers. Young mothers who looked 40 were often in their 20s, fatigued and weathered by the sun and thin air. They carefully tended little plots between the mountain rocks and patiently sat by the street waiting for a buyer, children quietly playing behind them. All were hoping

for a sale so they would eat that night and many boarded the train in hopes of a better market at the next town. That blue train carried an assortment of humanity, sacks of fruit and vegetables, chickens, lambs and baby calves — each farmer on board with their animals or produce and identified by their hat. All married women farmers wear a hat that reflects their tribe and status. I think of them now in the comfort of my home, with markets for my product and shoes on my feet. I treasure their soft greeting of “little mother” (interpreted) and the quiet understanding we shared as women of the land. And each time I put on my farm cap or cowboy hat I do so with pride knowing that a world away another woman farmer does the same before she greets the pink dawn of the Andes. Brenda Schoepp is a market analyst and the owner and author of Beeflink, a national beef cattle market newsletter. A professional speaker and industry market and research consultant, she ranches near Rimbey, Alberta. Contact brenda.schoepp@cciwireless.ca or www.brendaschoepp.com.

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19

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Report says supply management hasn’t prevented productivity gains SHRUNK  Report says number of dairy farms has fallen by 90 per cent since the

late 1960s and the cow herd has fallen from 3.5 million to one million today BY ALEX BINKLEY

AF CONTRIBUTOR / OTTAWA

C

anada’s dairy herd, as well as the number of farms and processors, has contracted at about the same pace as its counterparts in the U.S., Australia, and Europe, says a new report from the George Morris Centre. The main difference is that Canada hasn’t increased milk production as much as other countries have, and due mainly to regulated pricing, hasn’t seen the volatile swings in consumer prices for milk and other dairy products, says the Guelph-based agriculture think tank. Raw milk prices are considerably higher here than in the U.S.,

but because Canadian dairy farmers don’t require government subsidies, there hasn’t been the same fiscal pressure to change the system as was the case in New Zealand or other countries. The report was commissioned by the Conference Board of Canada, a vociferous critic of supply management. It shows supply management “has contributed to stagnating production, reduced Canada’s ability to negotiate for freer trade for all Canadian goods and services, and created incentives for individuals to allegedly smuggle cheese from the United States and resell at a massive profit in Canada,” said Danielle Goldfarb, an associate director of the conference board. But the George Morris report

paints a more balanced picture of the dairy industry. “Industry adjustment has occurred in Canada, but without the market growth seen elsewhere,” it states. “Overall, the evolution of Canadian dairy policy is consistent with that of its peers.” Often overlooked by critics, the report states, is how much more efficient dairy farms have become under the system. “In the late 1960s, there were over 135,000 dairy farms in Canada, more than half of which were in Ontario and Quebec. In 2010, there were just under 14,000 dairy farms, with the dominant proportion remaining in Ontario and Quebec… In 1940, there were just over 3.5 million dairy cows

in Canada; today there are just under one million.” Technology has made the sector much more efficient, the report states. ”Since the early 1970s, overall milk production has been stable, while the cow herd declined by about one-half, implying major productivity improvements at the producer level.” The number of dairy processing plants has followed a similar trend, falling by half since the mid 1970s and by 90 per cent since the early 1960s. Still, supply management is expected to come under pressure during trade negotiations with Europe and in Trans-Pacific Partnership. The system was introduced in the late 1960s to deal

Canada’s dairy herd has declined at about the same rate as that in the U.S. with chronic surplus production that pushed prices down for farmers and prompted government to create costly support programs.

Winter will be dry, says AccuWeather ROCKIES 

Near-normal snow predicted from Alberta Clippers AccuWeather.com forecasts that following the third-warmest winter on record in Canada last year, snow and cold will make a comeback across much of the nation this winter. In a forecast issued Oct. 17, the U.S.-based firm said slightly colder-thannormal weather with nearnormal snow is predicted for most of the Prairie region, which was the warmest spot last winter. “While a large area of high pressure dominates Alaska and at times Western Canada, drier-thannormal conditions may be in store for much of Alberta and British Columbia this winter,” the forecast said. It said near-normal snowfall is predicted for the Canadian Rockies, while Alberta Clipper systems graze the area. “With cold air, the snow that falls will stick around through much of the winter and into spring,” the forecast said. It said southern Ontario and Quebec should have a return of winter with near-normal temperatures and snow, especially during January and February. Atlantic Canada and the Maritime provinces will be one exception to colder weather, but long-range forecasters expect major winter storms to have an impact on the region.

We greW up With AlbertA Agriculture. For more than 100 years, ATCO has provided critically important services to more than 300 rural communities. From humble beginnings, we’ve seen agriculture become the foundation for a growing province. Today, agriculture is a vibrant industry in our province – a backbone for the hundreds of communities served by ATCO. ATCO and its people are committed to investing and volunteering in the communities we serve to help make them vibrant places to work and live. ATCO is a founding partner of Ag for Life, a program that delivers educational programming to improve rural and farm safety. Ag for Life also builds a genuine understanding and appreciation of the impact agriculture has on the lives of all Albertans. To learn more about Ag for Life, go to agricultureforlife.ca. Visit ATCO Group at www.atco.com.

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20

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

Somaliland hopes oil will replace goat dependence SOUNDS FAMILIAR  Government looks to make exploration attractive to oil companies BY ED STODDARD CAPE TOWN / REUTERS

W

anted: investors for small African nation with good oil and mineral potential — no seat at the United Nations but history of independence in rough neighbourhood. The break-away nation of Somaliland is a tough sell but the recent announcement that serious hydrocarbon exploration is about to kick off there shows that oil talks, regardless of political status. For Somaliland, an internationally unrecognized state of 3.5 million people that declared independence from Somalia in 1991, it promises to be a game changer. “We need to find a way to earn hard currency besides selling goats, sheep and camels to Arabs. This is the only way we earn hard currency

now,” said Energy Minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh. Ophir Energy Plc, Australiabased Jacka Resources and Genel Energy, which is headed by former BP chief executive Tony Hayward, are all about to start exploration in Somaliland. Dualeh said the investments would be worth tens of millions of dollars, small change in the global oil industry but a windfall to a government that only has a budget of $120 million. Gas discoveries off Mozambique and Tanzania and oil finds in Uganda and Kenya have sparked a hydrocarbon scramble into previously unexplored parts of Africa. “Oil companies are concerned about geology, not politics,” said Dualeh, before adding his country offers investors something sorely lacking in anarchic Somalia: stability.

“We control our borders, we have a police force and military. We have had four governments come and go with democratic elections.” The territory has not exactly been an oasis of peace, however. Fighting erupted there in January after the leaders of the northern regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn decided to band together into a new state called Khaatumo. Somaliland’s troops have since clashed with militia fighters loyal to Khaatumo, with reports of dozens of casualties.

And what about pirates?

“The pirate problem is not off our coast, it starts in the Indian Ocean with Somalia. We have a nimble coast guard that does its job with limited resources,” Dualeh said. If oil is discovered, Somaliland would also welcome the steady stream of revenue that would fol-

“We need to find a way to earn hard currency besides selling goats, sheep and camels to Arabs.” HUSSEIN ABDI DUALEH ENERGY MINISTER

low. Dualeh said livestock sales across the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia followed a seasonal pattern with sales peaking during the annual haj pilgrimage. “We need to get stuff out of the ground. Selling livestock during the haj is not sustainable,” he said.

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FCC seeks applications from official language minority communities DIVERSITY 

Communities and non-profit groups can apply for funds for local projects FCC RELEASE

For the sixth year in a row, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will award $50,000 from the FCC Expression Fund to encourage the use of Canada’s official languages in communities across Canada. The fund supports projects that contribute to the vitality of official language minority communities and help residents express the cultural and linguistic diversity of the area. Successful projects will receive between $2,000 and $10,000 to fund initiatives, including community centres, day care centres and artistic projects, such as theatrical productions. “As a self-sustaining federal Crown corporation serving the agriculture and agri-business sectors across Canada, FCC values the ability to offer service in both official languages,” says Kellie Garrett, FCC senior vice-president, strategy, knowledge and reputation. “As a bilingual employee, I’m proud that FCC serves our customers in the official language of their choice. Our bilingual heritage is so unique and FCC is pleased to support it by offering funding to worthy projects that promote both official languages.” Last year, the FCC Expression Fund donated $50,000 to nine linguistic minority community projects in Canada. Community and volunteer groups located in English and French linguistic minority communities are encouraged to view the eligibility criteria and apply online at www.fccexpressionfund. ca. Applications for the FCC Expression Fund will be accepted until Dec. 14. FCC will announce the selected projects in spring 2013. For a project to be considered for funding, the organization must be a registered charity or a registered non-profit organization.

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21

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Britain may be Ag for Life announces $1.2 million in project funds a net importer EXPANSION  Currently successful projects will be taken province-wide of wheat STAFF

REVERSAL  The U.K.

has been a net exporter since 2001-02 LONDON/REUTERS

B

ritain looks set to become a net importer of wheat in 2012-13 for the first time in more than a decade following a poor harvest this summer, according to figures issued by the HomeGrown Cereals Authority Oct. 15. The HGCA, issuing its first supply and demand estimates for the current season, saw imports rising to 1.7 million tonnes, up 87 per cent from last season. There is also expected to be a surplus of just 750,000 tonnes that could be exported or held as free stock. “This is an historically low surplus and suggests very limited export availability,” the HGCA said, noting that last season the U.K. exported 2.55 million tonnes of wheat. Earlier on, Britain’s farm ministry estimated this year’s U.K. wheat crop at 13.31 million tonnes, down 12.8 per cent from the prior season, with yields falling to a 23-year low. “Yields have been affected by the poor weather this year which led to high levels of disease during spring and summer along with low sunlight levels during the grainfill period,” the ministry said. Britain has been a net exporter of wheat each season since 2001-02. HGCA noted that the decline in U.K. wheat production was exacerbated by “historically low opening stocks” of 1.50 million tonnes resulting in “poor domestic supplies.” The Netherlands and Spain have in recent years been the two most important customers for U.K. wheat. Britain was a net importer of wheat in July, the first month of the crop marketing year, with exports of 33,673 tonnes and imports of 135,917 tonnes. Traders in recent weeks have cited an increase in the volume of Baltic, German and French wheat coming into the U.K. to meet the harvest shortfall and ensure flour millers get the quality of wheat they need.

A

griculture for Life is investing $1.2 million over the next three years towards the long-term funding of four schooland community-based programs to enhance rural and farm safety and agriculture education. • The Classroom Agriculture Program (CAP) has operated for more than 25 years and currently reaches more than 15,000 Grade 4 students Alberta CAP has been operating in Alberta for over 25 years. With the support of Ag for Life, the goal for the next three years is to expand program distribution to reach 30,000 Alberta students annually. • Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF) is the largest rural and farm safety education program for children in North America. Ag for Life will fund the establishment of additional safety days in the province, with a goal to triple the number delivered in Alberta from 16 to 48. • The Sustainable Foods Edmonton — Little Green Thumbs program helps young people understand where food comes from and the impact fresh food has on their health, the environment and their community through active participation in classroom gardening. During the next three years, the goal is to expand the program to reach 65 Edmonton schools while working to expand the program province-wide.

Funding will help increase the number of farm safety days from 16 to 48. • The Multicultural Heritage Centre City Slickers program introduces Grades 4 and 5 students to the many facets of agriculture and to develop firsthand an understanding and appreciation for food and how it is produced. The program brings together farmers, producers and consumers. The goal is to expand from Stony Plain to communities all across Alberta.

Ag for Life is made possible through the funding of companies that employ almost 20,000 people in more than 350 Alberta communities. Members include Agrium, ATB, ATCO, Penn West Exploration, RME, TransCanada Corporation, UFA, AdFarm, Alberta Agriculture, Glacier Media Group and Mosaic Studios.

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22

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

}Dormancy

Cold snap may harm U.S. wheat The drought-plagued U.S. hard red winter wheat crop is facing a cold snap and more dry weather as it enters dormancy, agricultural weather experts said Nov. 12. “Over a third of the Plains wheat likely will enter winter poorly established, and late-emergence issues persist for the very dry areas in South Dakota and parts of northwest Kansas, northeastern Colorado and Nebraska,” said Commodity Weather Group meteorologist Joel Widenor. He said cold air over the weekend with temperatures falling into the teens and single digits (F) in the foothills of the Rockies might have caused some minor damage to wheat. — Reuters

More rain in Argentina A cold front dumped about 50 millimetres of rain on Argentina’s already soggy Grains Belt over the weekend of Nov. 10-11, bringing corn and soy planting to a halt. “Big areas of prime Argentine farmland are flooded and will have to be written off for this season,” said Anthony Deane, head of consultancy Weather Wise Argentina. “Better weather is expected later this month, allowing farmers to seed 80 per cent of the corn they had originally hoped to plant.” Deane said the rains may prompt a switch to soybeans, which tolerate more moisture. — Reuters

How to find a weather forecaster whom you can’t criticize DIY  } Don’t think forecasts are accurate enough? Create your own using this website by daniel bezte

I

t’s been a while since I’ve discussed weather-related websites, and I figured it was about time to share one of my favourites — The Weather Underground (www.wunderground. com). The Weather Underground is literally the first-ever Internet weather website, and I think it’s the best weather website out there. I figured the best way to introduce you to this site was to provide you with a bit of background on it, so the following two paragraphs have been taken directly from their “About Us” page. “In 1991, while working under the direction of Perry Samson at the University of Michigan, PhD candidate Jeff Masters wrote a menu-based telnet interface which displayed real-time weather information around the world. By 1992, the two servers his system used were rattling off their desks as ‘um-weather’ became the most popular service on the Internet. In 1993, Perry and Jeff recruited Jeff Ferguson and Alan Steremberg to help build a system to bring Internet weather into K-12 classrooms. Chris Schwerzler joined Alan in his work on the Mac gopher client, ‘Blue Skies,’ which won numerous awards for its interactive imagery and text information. In the interest of expanding ‘Blue Skies’ to other platforms, Dave Brooks, author of the Windows ‘WS Gopher’ client, developed ‘Blue Skies for Windows’ in 1994. The growing Internet weather program was given the name Weather Underground, a reference to the 1960’s radical group that also originated at the University of Michigan, which had taken its name from the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues, ‘You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.’ “In late spring of 1995, Weather Underground, Inc. evolved as a separate commercial entity from the university. By fall, the official website, www. wunderground.com, was released with daily forecasts and hourly conditions. Weather Underground has developed the world’s largest network of personal weather stations (almost 23,000 sta-

tions in the U.S. and over 13,000 across the rest of the world) that provides the site’s users with the most localized weather conditions available. In 2008, they launched WunderMap, the web’s most interactive weather map, that allows users to choose from a number of different weather layers that are plotted on top of a dynamic map interface. Finally in July 2012, Weather Underground became part of The Weather Channel Companies.”

WunderMap

One of my favourite parts of this website is WunderMap. In particular, I really like to use the weather model layers. With a little background knowledge on how to interpret these maps, almost anyone can start to develop their own weather forecasts. To find WunderMaps from the main Weather Underground web page you need to click on the Maps and Radar tab near the top of the page. From the drop-down list you then select WunderMaps. Those of you who have used Google Maps or Google Earth will recognize how to navigate around the map. Along with automatically loading the map of your region it will bring up two layers of information, current radar imagery and weather station data. The layers that are visible are controlled by the menus on the righthand side of the screen. To turn on and off a layer you simply click on the checkmark located just to the left of the layer’s name. To learn how to view and understand the weather model layers, the first thing you need to do is turn off the radar and weather station layers. You then need to click on the Model Data layer to turn it on. When you do this nothing on the map will change, but a new menu will open up under the layer name. Before you start to play around you will probably want to zoom out on the map so that you can see at least all of Alberta. The first option you have is to pick the weather model you want to look at. The GFS model is the weather model created by NOAA in the United States and the ECMWF is the weather model created by the United Kingdom. These models are both considered to be very good.

Those of you who have used Google Maps or Google Earth will recognize how to navigate around the map.

This map shows the total precipitation across Alberta during the 30-day period ending Nov. 4 relative to the long-term average. The green areas have received near-average amounts while the light-blue areas are slightly above average. Areas that are dark blue and pink have seen well-above-average amounts. The next option to choose from is which weather model information you want displayed on the Map Type. While there are lots of different maps to choose from, here is a short list of the more useful maps. •  M SL — This map shows the surface pressure patterns along with where precipitation is forecasted to fall and how much precipitation is expected over a 12-hour period. •  2 mAG — This map shows the ground level forecasted air and dew point temperatures.

• Wind — This map shows expected wind speeds measured in knots (quick conversion is to double it for km). It also shows wind direction. While there are many more maps to choose from, these three maps will allow you to create a fairly accurate forecast. I’ll continue this discussion in an upcoming issue. In the meantime, your homework is to check out this website and see if you can start to become a weather forecaster!


23

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

BriefS Behlen and Sakundiak now Meridian Meridian Manufacturing and Winnipeg-based parent company WGI have announced that effective Jan. 1, all agricultural products manufactured by Behlen Industries, Sakundiak Equipment and Meridian Manufacturing will be branded Meridian. “Our new product line will now include a full offering of SmoothWall hopper bins, bulk seed tenders, augers and conveyors, commercial and oilfield tanks, fuel tanks, aeration, galvanized hopper bottom bins, galvanized flat-bottom bins, grain rings, ArchWall and on-farm buildings,” Meridian marketing manager Sid Lockhart said in a release. “This merger will expand our resources and experience, and will present all parties involved with greater team knowledge,” said Glenn Friesen, senior vice-president of Meridian Manufacturing.

Barley genome breakthrough may lead to better beer london / reuters / An international consortium of scientists has published a high resolution draft of the barley genome in a move that could not only improve yields and disease resistance, but may also hold the key to better beer. “This research will streamline efforts to improve barley production through breeding for improved varieties,” said Prof. Robbie Waugh, of Scotland’s James Hutton Institute, who led the research. “This could be varieties better able to withstand pests and disease, deal with adverse environmental conditions, or even provide grain better suited for beer and brewing.” Barley is the world’s fourth most important cereal crop, trailing only maize, rice and wheat. Its genome is almost twice the size of that of humans. “It will accelerate research in barley, and its close relative, wheat,” Waugh said. “Armed with this information, breeders and scientists will be much better placed to deal with the challenge of effectively addressing the food security agenda under the constraints of a rapidly changing environment.”

DuPont opens new seed production facility

DuPont Pioneer celebrated the startup of its new $15-million parent seed production facility near Wingham, Ontario on Nov. 8. It is primarily focused on the production of parent canola seed, but it can also handle the conditioning and treating of parent soybeans. Product from the Wingham Parent Seed Plant is shipped to Pioneer locations across Canada and around the world.  Supplied photo

FarmTech 2013

Global Perspectives... Local Knowledge

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David Chilton

Author of The Wealthy Barber Series and co-star on CBC’s Dragons’ Den

Todd Hirsh

Senior Economist, ATB Financial

Dr. John Izzo

Author, Business advisor

Ron MacLean Host of Hockey Night in Canada FarmTech 2013 Banquet

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NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

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CANOLA DIRECTOR NOMINATIONS COMPLETED Sitting Alberta Canola Producer Commission directors Ray Blanchette (Falher, Region 3), Lee Markert (Vulcan, Region 9), and Marlene Caskey (Oyen, Region 12) were elected to a second term on the board by acclamation Oct. 31. Renn Breitkreuz of Onoway was elected by acclamation as the new director for Region 6 as director Jody Klassen of Mayerthorpe has reached the ACPC two-term limit. He will begin to serve as director for Region 6 immediately following the ACPC Annual General Meeting January 29, 2013.

Heat-damaged canola crop creates supply shortages DOUBLE WHAMMY  In addition to lower yields, this year’s crop contains less oil Potentially, crushers could slow processing if margins are weak enough, Lussier said. So far in 201213, however, they have crushed 16 per cent more volume than during the comparable period in recordsetting 2011-12. Last year, crushers produced 3.1 million tonnes of oil and four million tonnes of meal, which is used mainly as a protein source for animals. The United States and China were the biggest importers of Canadian canola oil in 2011-12, with the U.S. also the biggest meal importer.

BY ROD NICKEL

WINNIPEG / REUTERS

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upply worries about Canada’s disappointingly small canola harvest this year are compounded by the oilseed’s reduced oil content, crimping profits for crushers and leaving food companies to scramble for other vegetable oils. Expectations were high early in the crop year that a record-large canola crop in Canada would compensate for some of the damage the drought did to U.S. soybeans. However, midsummer heat in Western Canada during canola’s vulnerable flowering period reduced yields. The crop came in smaller than expected at an estimated 13.4 million tonnes and contains a lower percentage of oil than usual, government data shows, hitting crushers’ profit margins by an estimated $8 per tonne for every percentage point lower than last year. “It poses a problem for exporters and crushers,” said Tracy Lussier, manager of canola trading for Louis Dreyfus Canada, which acts in both roles. “If you lose a per cent of oil, you lose a significant amount of money.” Shorter supplies of canola oil come as projected stocks of U.S. soyoil, a competitor in the global vegetable oil market, for the juststarted 2012-13 crop year look to be the smallest in nine years at 576 million tonnes. The world’s stocks-to-use ratio for vegetable oils, a measure of supply to demand, will reach its tightest level in 2012-13 since the mid-

Roundup Ready ® is a registered trademark used under license from Monsanto Company. All purchases are subject to the terms of labelling and purchase documents. The DuPont Oval Logo is a registered trademark of DuPont. ®, TM, SM Trademarks and service marks licensed to Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited. © 2012 PHL.

 ELECTIONS

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Looking to alternatives

Top-grade canola has a mean oil content of 43.5 per cent, down from last year’s 45.2 per cent and slightly off the 10-year average of 43.8 per cent. 1970s, due to relentless demand growth, especially in China, Rabobank said in a report this month. About three-quarters of the world’s vegetable oil production is used for food purposes like cooking oils, margarine and spreads, with biodiesel also a major use.

Oil yield lower

Top-grade canola has a mean oil content of 43.5 per cent, down from last year’s 45.2 per cent and slightly off the 10-year average of 43.8 per cent, according to a sampling program by the Canadian Grain Commission, the industry’s regulator. Lower oil content hits crush margins and also hurts exporters who may have guaranteed a percentage of oil content in the canola

seed they ship, Lussier said. Crush margins are already one-fifth lower than a year ago at around C$72 per tonne for the ICE January canola futures contract. Along with Dreyfus, major Canadian canola crushers and exporters include Cargill Ltd., Richardson International Ltd., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd. The oil content may improve as farmers sell later-harvested canola to crushers, said one oilseed industry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Typically, higher oil content is found in northern and western parts of Western Canada. “We’re still in the early stages of trying to figure out what the real oil content is, and it is all over the place,” he said.

With less canola oil available, food companies are looking to alternatives. Global importers are likely to turn to relatively cheap palm oil — the most abundantly produced vegetable oil — as an alternative to more expensive products, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said this week. At least in the short term, palm oil is inexpensive and available, thanks to record-high stocks in Malaysia as of September. Ontario-based Saporito Foods, which buys canola oil from crushers and bottles it to sell to restaurants and on store shelves in Eastern Canada, has seen prices “drastically increase” compared to soyoil. “We’re trying to push our customers to soya, but some need canola for sure in their recipes,” said Saporito’s president, Bill Tserpes. “If our customers want canola, they’ll have to pay extra for it.”

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NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

Hemp promoters see possibility for a value chain CHICKEN AND EGG  Can’t produce without market, can’t market without supply BY ALEXIS KIENLEN AF STAFF / EDMONTON

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uss Crawford likes to compare hemp with canola 40 years ago — small acreage, and uncertain markets. “Hemp provides a unique opportunity because it has been a marginalized and an unrealized crop. There’s tremendous potential to capture,” said Russ Crawford, vice-president of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. “Because it’s so small, it’s hard to get people’s attention and it’s hard to get people talking about hemp,” said Crawford. “Because you’re small, you might have a very small voice. But nonetheless, the opportunities are significant.” He notes that the hemp market in Canada has developed erratically. Farmers get signals to grow, then they grow too much and cut back, resulting in an erratic pattern of production and consumption. Crawford said the hemp indus-

try looks to canola as a role model and hopes the industry can follow a similar path. “This is a case of what comes first. Do you grow hemp and then hope that someone will build a plant that will process your product, whether it’s food or fibre? Or do you look to someone to invest and build that facility and roll the dice that farmers are going to grow the crop and you’ll be able to sustain that industry and that business?” he said. The industry will need to work collaboratively to grow for everyone’s benefit. Crawford said there is opportunity to create a hemp value chain by bringing together growers, processors and consumers, and attracting investment will move the industry forward. Investors need a consistent supply and need to know that there will be available crop. The government also needs to create a favourable investment climate, and people need to have a positive attitude and a strong voice in support of the industry.

“Because it’s so small, it’s hard to get people’s attention and it’s hard to get people talking about hemp.” RUSS CRAWFORD CANADIAN HEMP TRADE ALLIANCE

Trevor Kloek, program lead at the Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre, said Alberta cannot satisfy demand alone and there’s a large potential latent demand for the crop. “Some of the markets we’re addressing right now who are seriously interested will require about 300 tons of straw to meet one company’s requirement. That’s not something one prov-

Matching production to demand is a challenge for the new industry. ince can do, it’s something Western Canada has to do,” he said. Kloek said there is latent capacity in growing, as well as latent, untested demand. He said the crop has great potential but

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lacks critical mass. “I think we need to produce what the customer wants and not what we have. That’s a fundamental law of how we’re going to succeed here,” he said.

Rail bill still coming, minister insists DM SHUFFLE 

Shippers fear change of deputy ministers will mean more delay

Non-resistant 55% infection

Resistant

13% infection

Sclerotinia disease infection on canola stems in a non-resistant hybrid (left) versus Pioneer ® brand 45S52 (RR) with the Pioneer Protector Sclerotinia Resistance trait (right). 2012; Nanton, Alberta.

Sclerotinia can be a costly disease for canola growers. Lost revenues exceeded an estimated $600 million in 2010, in a year when conditions were favourable for development of the disease. While the numbers are not all tallied yet, for many areas of the Prairies incidence of sclerotinia in 2012 was higher than we have seen in quite a few years.

Management approach

1. Crop rotation 2. Final plant population of 6–10 plants per square foot 3. Sclerotinia resistant hybrids 4. Foliar fungicide

“In 2012 sclerotinia incidence was worse than 2010 and far worse than 2011. Southeast Saskatchewan experienced much higher incidence than the south-central parts of the province. Seeding date also had a huge effect on levels of incidence.” Dave Vanthuyne, DuPont Pioneer agronomist for central and southern Saskatchewan

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“As far as incidence and severity, 2012 has been the worst I have seen for sclerotinia since 2007. I saw ranges of incidence from less than 5% to as high as 60% in fields. Some of the fields were sprayed and still had levels in the 30% range.” Doug Moisey, DuPont Pioneer agronomist for central and northern Alberta

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www.pioneer.com *Field results show that Pioneer Protector ® Sclerotinia resistance can reduce the incidence of sclerotinia in a canola crop by over 50%. Individual results may vary. Depending on environmental and agronomic conditions, growers planting Pioneer Protector Sclerotinia resistant hybrids may still require a fungicide application to manage sclerotinia in their crop. Roundup Ready ® is a registered trademark used under license from Monsanto Company. The DuPont Oval Logo is a registered trademark of DuPont. ®, TM, SM Trademarks and service marks licensed to Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited. © 2012, PHL PR383_TechTorial_AFE_FE

PR383_PR_TechTorial_AFE_FE_v4.indd 1

12-10-10 1:41 PM

BY ALEX BINKLEY

AF CONTRIBUTOR / OTTAWA

Transport Minister Denis Lebel says long-promised legislation to balance the market power of the railways and their customers will be introduced this fall. Shippers have expressed concern that a deputy minister shuffle will delay the legislation until next year, when it could be sidelined by a rail costing review already scheduled for 2013. They’re pushing for legislation based on the findings of a rail service freight review launched in 2008 that advocated service guarantees, a disputesettlement mechanism, and financial penalties if the railways failed to meet performance standards. The railways that would be an unnecessary regulatory burden. Last month, shipper organizations representing the major resource sectors such as forestry, fertilizers, mining and agriculture called again on the government “to address inefficient and inadequate rail freight service.” They met ministers and MPs, but came away no wiser about the government’s plans. Western farm groups have been among the most vocal supporters of rail freight service legislation. Meanwhile, CN and CP have both reported substantially higher net income for the first nine months of 2012.


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ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Evaluating hemp performance is a work in progress: Specialist Trials } Hemp was tested in several locations last year, but more site years are needed for recommendations by alexis kienlen af staff / edmonton

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anitoba has been conducting hemp agronomy trials at research stations across the province for several years, and thanks to a grant of $70,000 from the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, this year trials were expanded to other provinces. “If you get enough site years, then the data starts to mean something,” said Keith Watson, a diversification specialist with Manitoba Agriculture. Watson told a recent meeting of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance conference that data needs to be used with caution and more research is needed before recommendations can be made. This year, Manitoba research stations included Arborg, Gilbert Plains, Carberry and Melita. Trials were also done at Vegreville, Alberta, Kemptville, Ontario and Melfort, Saskatchewan. Watson said seeding rates for hemp need to be high enough to allow producers to get good fibre and grain yields. Researchers had a target population of 250 seeds per square metre. They measured the seedlings when the plants were two to four inches out of the ground and found only 25 per cent had emerged. This loss represents a huge cost to producers, who will need to bump their seeding rates. “There’s a lot of research we need to do to figure out why we get the plant population we do. It is normal in all crops to have a mortality rate, but hemp’s is particularly high,” said Watson. Researchers began at rates 25 seeds per square metre and increased to 350. Results showed about 150 seeds per square metre gave the best yields for dual-purpose fibre and grain varieties. There still isn’t enough research on the varieties to prove which varieties are outstanding, Watson said. Researchers also measured seed size, which is important to know because it has an impact on seeding rates. “In order to get the right population, you have to adjust accordingly,” said Watson. Researchers tested seed treatments Gemini and Raxil to try to reduce mortality rates. They did

“There’s a lot of research we need to do to figure out why we get the plant population we do. It is normal in all crops to have a mortality rate, but hemp’s is particularly high.”

Keith Watson

increase plant establishment and coverage in some of the locations, but not others. However plant population was not directly related to yield. “We can have a pretty thin stand of hemp, but we end up with huge heads and can end up with the same grain yield,” Watson said. Researchers also tested fibre yields. Each variety and location included in the trials has to be THC tested, which represented a significant cost to researchers, said Watson. Recommendations for fibre agronomy and characteristics are difficult to determine as there is no commercial processor for hemp fibre in Canada and these specs are defined by the market. Any current fibre being used is a byproduct after a grain harvest, said Watson.

Manitoba Agriculture diversification specialist Keith Watson at hemp trials in Manitoba.  Photo: Laura Rance

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NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

Right agronomics are key to hemp growing VARIETIES  Growing season and whether to straight combine or swath are considerations BY ALEXIS KIENLEN AF STAFF / EDMONTON

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now your varieties, talk with other growers, do your research and use your best land. Those are hemp agronomy tips from Kevin Friesen, seed production manager with Hemp Oil Canada and a partner with Hemp Genetics International. Friesen, who spoke at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance conference has been in the industry since 2001 as a pedigreed seed grower, working primarily with grain and non-fibre varieties of industrial hemp. Most hemp grown in Western Canada is grown for grain production, although there is dual-purpose production as well. Canada grew 52,560 acres of hemp in 2012, of which 24,700 were in Saskatchewan, 12,958 in Manitoba and 12,602 acres in Alberta. Those precise figures are possible because anyone who wants to grow hemp in Canada has to apply for a licence from Health Canada. Depending on the variety, many producers will have to have their crop tested to be low enough in THC, the compound which produces the “high” from marijuana varieties. Friesen said the hemp industry has grown by about 35 per cent each year for the last few years. “I think that reflects the markets for hemp. The retail side is maturing because companies are contracting in a responsible manner.”

He said growers often run into problems if they grow hemp on spec. “Work with the company, produce under contract and get your licensing in place,” he said. “Make sure you have the right agronomic information.”

“Work with the company, produce under contract and get your licensing in place.”

Varieties sensitive to area

Hemp varieties react differently in various locations. “Finola, for example, will grow nine feet tall in the Peace River area but will grow only 2-1/2 feet tall in Ontario. Not every variety is the right match for every grower in every location,” Friesen said. Finola is the main variety grown in Alberta. It’s attractive because it has a short growing season and a short stature. The variety is small seeded, easy to harvest and matures in 100 days. It is well suited to irrigation, can be swathed and does well in northern climates. Friesen said the second most popular variety is CFX-2. This variety and its similar counterpart, CFX-1, have moderate height, moderate growing season and a large seed size. “As hemp varieties get taller, harvest tends to get a little bit more difficult,” said Friesen. The third most popular variety, CRS-1, is grown primarily in Manitoba, takes 110 days to mature and has a large seed and high yield. “I kind of call that the full-season grain variety,” Friesen said. Dual-purpose varieties include Delores and Alyssa. These varieties

KEVIN FRIESEN

produce more biomass, are longer season and are large seeded and high yielding. “You have to realize that not every variety fits everyone and you have to be careful to choose what works for your area,” said Friesen. He recommends growers get professional advice and find out what other growers in their region are doing. It’s important to grow hemp on the best land available.

Organic option

Friesen said hemp can be grown successfully using organic or conventional methods. Producers who go organic should choose high-fertility, medium-textured soils with good drainage. Row cropping works well in organic dryland situations. Conventional farmers should plan to add as much fertility as they do when growing canola. Adding extra fertilizer helps growers deal with weed pressure from wild oats.

“Fertility is really the key to growing this crop and it’s also your herbicide,” said Friesen. Finding the optimal plant density and seeding date can help producers cope with weed pressure. Friesen said the industry has to work to get minor use herbicides registered for hemp, and some herbicides do work well on the crop. Friesen said hemp does not have many disease problems, but can develop sclerotinia under humid conditions. It’s not known if clubroot is a risk. Pests are not a large issue, but bertha army worms have been known to defoliate the plant.

Harvest

Harvesting hemp is the most challenging part of the growing process. “It’s really important to take it off at the right time, which can be different from year to year,��� said Friesen. Generally, the crop is harvested when it is green, which minimizes fibre wrapping in the combine.

Shorter-season varieties are taken off at lower moisture. Most producers straight combine. Hemp needs to be cut cleanly in order to prevent it from bunching up and creating havoc inside the combine. Strong wind can shatter heads on a mature crop, so to manage this risk, many producers in southern Alberta grow shortseason varieties and swath. “The advantage is that you have dry seed. The disadvantage is that you do put more fibre through the combine,” Friesen said. He recommends grain dryers or the use of an inline heater between the fan and the bin, as hemp has a strong tendency to spoil if it is not dried efficiently. Growers who are not selling their fibre will have to figure out how to manage it. Some bale it, some incorporate it and others rake it with heavy harrows. “At the end of the day, it’s either a bale or a match that takes care of it and gets it off the field,” Friesen said.

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ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Organic farmers ponder the future of food BRIDGING GAP  Organic conference looks at the transition between current farming methods and those of the future BY DANIEL WINTERS STAFF | REGINA

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hey weren’t shying away from the big issues at the recent Organic Connections conference here. Renowned sustainable farming expert Fred Kirschenmann declared the days of “cheap” energy to be coming to an end. “It’s not a question of exactly when we run out of oil, natural gas, or coal — it’s when it’s no longer going to be affordable,” said Kirschenmann, who has a 2,600-acre organic farm in North Dakota, and is also the distinguished fellow at Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and a professor of religion and philosophy at Iowa State University. He framed the issue in a much wider context spanning virtually all of human history. Back in the hunter-gatherer days, humans garnered an excellent return on the energy they “invested” in feeding themselves, said Kirschenmann. He estimates people expended only 1,000 calories for every 20,000 calories of energy they gathered or hunted. That efficiency ratio fell by half about 10,000 years ago, when mankind adopted animal-powered agriculture and herding, but the real sea change was when it began tapping into “old calories” in the form of fossil fuels, mined mineral amendments such as rock phosphate, and water pooled in underground aquifers. Today, it takes 10,000 calories to produce a single calorie of food, he said. Kirschenmann, who adopted organic production methods on his farm more than 35 years ago, said he was disturbed by the realization of how dependent he is on fossil fuels. From the transport of organic inputs such as manure to the shipping of his production to market, “everything is based on fossil fuels,” he said.

Aquifer in danger

But the bad news doesn’t end there. Agriculture in his area also faces a critical shortage of water, mainly because the Ogalalla aquifer that feeds irrigation across much of the central U.S. has been drawn down by half since 1960. “We are still drawing it down by six to eight feet a year, and in 20 years from now, it won’t have any water left for irrigation,” said Kirschenmann. “What happens then? Finally, it turns into a kind of buffalo commons.” It’s time humans confronted the biggest question of all, he said. “What is the next era of food production for us as a species?” Rob Avis offered a partial answer to that question. The former mechanical engineer in Alberta’s oil and gas industry has become an advocate of permaculture, and trumpets the idea that urban farms could produce significant amounts of food in the decades ahead. Avis and his wife, also an engineer, formed Verge Permaculture, a Calgary-based company that specializes in a systems-design approach to creating “sustainable human habitat” via interconnected elements such as low-energy buildings, water management, waste reuse, and renewable energy and food production. (Information on their projects and seminars is posted on their website and blog at www.vergepermaculture.ca.)

Fred Kirschenmann is a farmer and distinguished Rob Avis of Verge Permaculture in Calgary specializes in a fellow at Leopold Center for Sustainable systems-design approach to creating “sustainable human Agriculture. PHOTOS: DANIEL WINTERS habitat.” Citing the need for radical change, he points to the ruined landscape left behind by humans in the Middle East. The cradle of civilization, and formerly one of the most abundant places on Earth, it is now largely a desert. “There’s a pattern of human settlement that we don’t want to follow,” Avis told conference attendees. “If they had been told

they would end up in a desert, they would have laughed at you.” Like Kirschenmann, he marvelled at how cheap energy has been, noting a single 160litre barrel of oil represents the equivalent of 10,000 hours of manual labour. “When in history has one person had 150 horses at their disposal at the turn of a key?” he asked.

Avis said he hopes the days of peak oil are far off. “I have a two-year-old son — I hope it’s 50 years,” he said. “It will take that long for us to transition our culture to one that can use renewable energy.” In the meantime, Avis is promoting the merits of sustainable habitats. Among his projects is a mobile tool “library” for gardeners

to share; mapping 150 apple trees in Calgary that can be harvested on a one-third basis for the owner, the picker and the local food bank; and a community edible reforestation program. Urban farming can play a major role in food production, he said. “They say we can’t feed the world. I call that B.S.,” he said. One of his next targets is the urban lawn. There are 40 million acres of lawn in the U.S. alone, something he describes as the greatest misallocation of resources on the planet. “It turns out that we can feed every person in the country a 2,000-calories-per-day diet for two years off of one crop,” he said, adding that two crops could be sown in many areas. “There’s more than enough land to feed the world. We just have to get out of this disempowerment concept, and start moving forward with our lives.”

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NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

All Alberta potatoes aren’t grown around Taber MEAT AND POTATOES } Alberta’s potato industry is worth $1 billion annually By sheri monk af staff | taber

H

elmet Leili has had a lot to learn in a short period of time as the new executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA). “There’s been a lot to learn, but it’s very interesting,” he said. Headquartered in Taber, the PGA represents 135 potato growers in the province. In 2012, a total of 55,700 acres of potatoes were planted and the total value of the industry, including crop and value added, amounts to $1 billion annually. “It’s a big industry in Alberta,” said Leili. While the Lethbridge, Taber, Vauxhall and the Bassano-Brooks area is the most known for potato production, Leili says there’s another integral region. “Up near Edmonton and Lacombe we grow a lot of seed potatoes and a lot of people don’t know that.” He says potato producers had a very good year. “During harvest, there was only one day of rain, so that was very good.” SEC_CAR11_T_MC.qxd 8/26/11 There isn’t a hurry for these

Lane Lievaart Farms Ltd. of Coaldale, Alberta was the recipient of the McCain Environmental Award at the Annual McCain Growers’ Banquet in Nov. This award recognizes the grower who has an outstanding environmental performance over the course of a year. Ross May (l), agronomist, presents a special plaque and $1,000 cheque to Lane Lievaart.  PHOTo: mcain foods

Potatoes are stored by the producer for a year after they are harvested.  PHOTo: pga potatoes anyway because after they are harvested, they aren’t sent for processing right away. “The potatoes are stored for a year they’re 4:23before PM Page 1 sold, and that’s where things can get tricky,” Leili

explained. Potato producers store their harvest in large buildings with carefully controlled temperature and humidity. “You know those small town arenas with the dome-type roof

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that goes down to the ground on either end? That’s what they look like,” said Leili. Within the southern Potato Belt, there are a number of potato-processing plants. Alberta’s potatogrowing regions are among the best in the world, and there are 197 varieties grown in the region. In many instances, producers are contracted by an area processing company to grow a specific variety for a specified price. Leili said potato producers may not achieve fame and fortune contract growing, but it’s sustainable and it works out well. “They can make a good life that way, and continue to do what they love,” he said, adding that the province’s growers take pride in having a very small footprint, and in using very few chemical interventions. “That information needs to get out there.” While Alberta may be known for its beef, Leili said the PGA is going to be reaching out to consumers more effectively in the future to really share the province’s meat and potatoes story. There

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are three distinct sectors of the Alberta potato industry. The fresh market supplies table potatoes to the end consumer through direct purchase and through retailers. That segment accounts for five per cent of production. The processing sector accounts for 81 per cent of production in the province. The seed potato market accounts for the remaining 14 per cent of production in the province to supply other growers domestically and internationally.

“The potatoes are stored for a year before they’re sold, and that’s where things can get tricky.” Helmet Leili, PGA

The irrigation available in the southern region, the number of hours of sunshine and welldrained soil is key to Alberta’s potato success, and several processing plants have set up shop in the province to take advantage of the reliable supply. In the southern area there is a Lamb Weston plant at Taber and a McCain plant at Coaldale. Both of these plants are producing french fries for the fast-service restaurant industry. As well, there are potato chip plants including an Old Dutch facility at Calgary and a Frito Lay plant at Taber. Ross May, an agronomist with McCain Foods, says production has been very good recently, although there have been some issues with late blight in the last couple of years. Overall, he says, Alberta is perfectly suited for the industry. “The cold winters that we have here in Alberta are ideal for a lot of our disease prevention. Not a lot of diseases can survive our cold winters whereas in the Columbia Basin or the Magic Valley of Idaho, it’s a lot milder and diseases and insects vectoring those diseases have a better chance of surviving,” said May. McCain held its annual Growers’ Banquet recently in Lethbridge and more than 120 guests helped celebrate producer achievements. Claassen Farms Ltd. of Vauxhall was named the 2011-12 McCain Champion Potato Grower and Lane Lievaart Farms Ltd., of Coaldale, Alberta was the recipient of the McCain Environmental Award.


31

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

U.S. drought boosts demand and prices for Prairie hay EAST TO WEST  Demand is expected to move more to Alberta when

Manitoba and Saskatchewan supplies diminish

“Even though the majority of buyers in the U.S. would prefer to have the big square (bales), they are buying the big rounds — because they just have to.” LORNE KLEIN SASKATCHEWAN AGRICULTURE

Forage prices are generally up by 30 to 40 per cent from year-ago levels, says a Manitoba forage specialist.

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I

ncreased demand from American livestock feeders for Canadian forages should keep domestic prices firm, according to provincial forage specialists. While most of Western Canada has relatively good forage stocks, some areas are short on supply and will face high prices because of U.S. demand fuelled by this year’s drought. Forage prices are generally up by 30 to 40 per cent from year-ago levels, said Glenn Friesen, a provincial forage specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. U.S. buyers are focused on areas near the border, but will start purchasing hay from northern areas as well if they get desperate, said Friesen. Volumes heading south will be relatively small — likely a “couple hundred thousand tonnes” — but that will be enough to keep prices high, he said. In Manitoba, forage yields were average to below average, he said. Supplies are particularly short in the southeast corner, while more minor shortages were seen in the south-central Manitoba into the Interlake and on some of the sandier soil areas of the southwest. Around Lake Manitoba, where fields were flooded out a year ago, producers had smaller reserves and are now needing to bring some hay in from elsewhere, said Friesen. Some producers who are short on feed are reducing the size of their herd, he said. However, many are hoping for a mild winter so they don’t have to buy high-priced feed. “They feed more expensively when it gets cold,” Friesen noted. Forage is also moving out of Saskatchewan, which is a relatively new thing for that province, said provincial forage specialist Lorne Klein. The U.S. drought has boosted demand, but another factor is that truckers bringing supplies to the province’s oil patch are looking for freight to haul back south, he said. American buyers are primarily looking for alfalfa in big square bales, said Klein. He said he’s heard that hay is fetching as much as $140 a tonne, a sharp increase from the $90 being offered last year. Even with those higher prices, he expected to see more hay move to the U.S. in 2012 than the previous year. “Even though the majority of buyers in the U.S. would prefer to have

and humidity resulted in good second growth, and even third growth in some parts of the south. The Peace River area, the extreme north, and the southwest were drier, and production was hindered as a result. However, cattle numbers are not as large in those areas and large greenfeed crops were making up for any shortages. There is good carryover inventory from the previous year in eastern Alberta. American forage buying in Alberta has so far been less than expected, but is forecast to increase once Manitoba and Saskatchewan supplies are drawn down. International demand for forage is also expected to increase in the coming years, he said.

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the big squares (bales), they are buying the big rounds — because they just have to,” said Klein. By spring, there will be little carryover of hay in Saskatchewan — especially in the south, he said. But Klein said U.S. demand could be short-lived as high feed costs may lead to herd reductions or force some feeders out of business. While Saskatchewan’s yields were average to above average, there are some areas where forage is in short supply. Alberta also had “for the most part, some pretty good crops,” said provincial forage specialist Grant Lastiwka. He said quality was better than in the past two years, as moisture conditions were good, while the heat

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32

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

THEY ARE ALL WINNERS, AND SO IS AGRICULTURE

Dasha Metropolitansky of Oakville, Ont. was first-place winner of the junior competition in the 28th annual Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition held Nov. 3 at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. Junior participants were (l-r) Raveena Raveendran, Tania Abraham, second runner-up Zackery Walker, Priethu Raveendran, Claire Doris, Karen Lemon, first runner-up Maxwell Archer and first-place winner Dasha Metropolitansky. PHOTO: MARTIN SCHWALBE

Even when GMO patents expire, the regulatory burden lives on

E C N A M ERFOR

S L A E H R E G C I H

NOTICE ď ˝ Companies

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would advise of expiry three years in advance BY CAREY GILLAM REUTERS

W

hat happens when patents for genetically modified seeds expire? Monsanto has made billions off Roundup Ready soybeans, corn, canola, and other crops since launching a glyphosate-tolerant soybean in 1996. But the upcoming expiry of its patent for the herbicideresistant trait in 2014 raises an array of concerns, including who bears the costs and responsibilities of maintaining regulatory approvals. That involves submitting data to foreign countries to maintain approval for seed sales in those countries. The American Seed Trade Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization say they have completed the first phase of an industry accord that addresses these issues. The announcement marks progress in an ongoing, sometimes contentious, effort by major seed industry players like Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, and smaller seed companies to agree on obligations and opportunities as biotech seed patents expire. Monsanto has said it will maintain Roundup regulatory approvals globally through 2021. But the industry has been seeking a broad mechanism to protect international regulatory approvals and address product stewardship to keep international trade from being disrupted. Under the accord announced late last month, those companies that sign on will be required to provide notice of patent expiration three years before the last patent on the biotechnology event expires, and provide access to the genetic event at patent expiration. The company then must maintain the regulatory data for at least four years or transition that with other users.

T H G RI

T S S O R C A

GROWING REGIONS CDC Stanley and CDC Abound were bred at the Crop Development Centre, University of Saskatchewan.


33

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

SPEAKING UP FOR AGRICULTURE

Lydia Harrison of Durham, Ontario was first-place winner of the senior competition in the 28th annual Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition held Nov. 3 at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. Senior finalists were (l-r) first runner-up Elizabeth Schouten of Kanata, Ont.; first-place winner Lydia Harrison; Christopher MacFarlane of Peterborough, Ont., second runner-up Victoria Blakely of of Riverview, N.B.; Mackenna Roth of Delaware, Ont. and Morgan McNeil of Hantsport, N.S. At right is competition president John MacDonald PHOTO: MARTIN SCHWALBE

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NEWS BHP in no rush to build $14-billion Saskatchewan potash mine LONDON / REUTERS / BHP Billiton says it won’t decide soon on whether to build the world’s biggest potash mine in Western Canada, a project some say would exacerbate a global glut of the fertilizer. In late August, BHP pushed back to at least June 2013 a decision on building an eight-milliontonne mine at Jansen, Sask., but emphasized it would still proceed with construction and was planning to double the first phase of production. The Anglo-Australian mining giant has been aiming to start production in 2015. But now chief executive Marius Kloppers has suggested there’s little urgency to proceed. “The guys still have their lease agreements to complete, they have a substantial amount of engineering to complete,” he said. “We do have quite some time ahead of us before we need to consider additional approvals.” BHP continues to dig two shafts and build surface facilities at the mine site. Analysts estimate the mine could cost up to $14 billion to complete, and some analysts say buying U.S. potash producer Mosaic makes more sense. The world’s potash capacity surplus looks to climb as high as 19.3 million tonnes by 2020 from 11.3 million tonnes in 2012 due to expansions and potential new mines, including Jansen.


34

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

Fear of consumer backlash keeps irradiated beef off the shelf Still waiting } Canadian cattle producers applied 10 years ago asking for ground beef to be irradiated By Lorraine Stevenson staff

T

he Canadian Cattlemen’s Association once thought it would be just a matter of time before Canadian food companies would get the green light to start irradiating ground beef. That was a decade go, when the CCA submitted a petition to Health Canada seeking regulatory approval for use of irradiation as another tool to reduce pathogens in meat. At year’s end in 2000 things looked promising. Health Canada had given the proposal a favourable recommendation and public consultations were ahead. No one dreamed then that 10 years would pass and with no approval at the end of it. “I’m not entirely sure to this day why we don’t have the ability to use this,” said Mark Klassen, director of technical services with the CCA. “The best I understand is there were concerns whether the public would accept this.” Fear of a consumer backlash — as per comments logged during consultations throughout 2003 — did, in fact, spook government. Health Canada completed its scientific review of CCA’s submission that year — as well as those asking for permission to irradiate poultry, shrimp, prawns, and mangoes. A regulatory proposal was published in the Canada Gazette on Nov. 23, 2002 and a recommended Canadian code of practice for food irradiation developed. Then, nothing happened. A prepared statement released by Health Canada said it was “because of significant public concerns related to irradiation” that the government did not move forward with regulations at the time. There are no plans to do so in the foreseeable future either, it said. But when it becomes significant public

concerns about food, Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers Association of Canada, says it’s time to pay attention to what people are really worried about — getting sick from foodborne illness — and to take more measures to stop it.

Too wary

The government is still paying too much attention to groups wary about irradiation, and not enough to those who don’t oppose its use. “Canadians believe this should be an available option,” he said. “We would like the government to do whatever it has to do.” A CAC survey released earlier this year shows Canadians, while divided, are willing to have irradiated meat become available as a clearly labelled product choice. Conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, it found that while Canadians don’t really understand the process of food irradiation, they are most certainly concerned about food contaminants. Two in five (45 per cent) said they were “very concerned” about the presence of food-borne illness causing bacteria in both chicken, hamburger and deli meat. Eleven per cent also said they were “very likely” and 43 per cent “somewhat likely” to consider irradiated meat as a choice for their household. Had the time that has elapsed been used to raise awareness about irradiation and how it works, more would probably support it, said Cran. “They’ve missed an opportunity to educate the public,” he said. Health Canada does post on its own website information about irradiation, including that irradiation does not diminish the nutritional value of food, leaves no radioactive energy in it nor changes the food in any way to have adverse effects on health. It also acknowledges that irradiation does

cause minor chemical modifications, similar to cooking, in food.

Minor modifications

International bodies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have long recognized irradiation as a safe and scientifically valid means of reducing levels of organisms that cause foodborne illness and it is used in many other countries including the U.S., says University of Manitoba food scientist Rick Holley. It’s time Canada looked at this again, he said. “I am firmly convinced that we’ve got something here that we just haven’t taken advantage of in terms of what it can do to protect us from the organisms that just naturally occur in the agricultural environment,” he said. He’s also convinced that the public is ready for the technology. He’s now completing a two-year research project, funded by the Beef Cattle Research Council, investigating the effectiveness of low-dose gamma and electron beam irradiation on ground beef. Holley said he thinks the government won’t move forward with regulation on use of irradiation until industry starts asking for it again. “I think they’re just sitting there waiting for industry to come forward and industry is reluctant to do it because they’re worried that there may be an unexpected backlash,” he said. “But I also think we’ve reached the point now where, in terms of the public’s understanding of what the technology does to food and the potential of what it can do in terms of reducing contamination, that we’re ready for the technology to be introduced to the country.

U.S. grocery chain Wegmans offers irradiated beef products. “Most folks who are aware of what irradiation does, both the positive and negative aspects of it, realize that it is beneficial. And for the other folks, let’s just talk to them and tell it like it really is.”

Petition status

Despite all the time that’s elapsed, the CCA hasn’t given up, still stands behind its original petition, and continues to believe Canadians should have the choice of buying irradiated ground beef, Klassen said. He has recently inquired about the status of their original petition, he said, adding that they’re wondering if the whole process must start over to get this moving again. “We’ve been trying to find that out,” he said.

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1 shi

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Dominoes falling as beef industry ‘rightsizes’

april 25, 2011

KeepinG WatCh from above

END OF THE LINE? } XL Foods

processing now consolidated at Brooks, after Moose Jaw and Calgary plants shut down By madeleine Baerg af CONtRIButOR | cAlgAry

T

© 2012/13 Farm Business Communications

Deborah Wilson

Tiffiny Taylor

National Advertising Sales deb.wilson@fbcpublishing.com Phone: (403) 325-1695

Sales & Special Projects tiffiny.taylor@fbcpublishing.com Phone: (204) 228-0842

he recently announced shutdown of XL foods’ beef kill plant and fabrication facility in Calgary is no surprise to those in the know. “No, it’s not a shock,” said Herb Lock, owner of farm$ense Marketing in Edmonton. “the packing industry in North america is rightsizing itself. as soon as you have excess capacity, everybody is losing money. It’s not just a Calgary thing, it’s not just an alberta thing, it’s not just a Canadian thing. this is happening on both sides of the border.” that view was echoed by Charlie Gracey, a cattle industry consultant and current board member with the alberta Livestock and Meat agency. “We’ve known for quite a long time that the herd was being sold down,” said Gracey. “It’s always regrettable to see a decline in what might be seen as competition. But there isn’t enough cattle herd to service the plant.” Lock estimates the packing industry is currently about 25 to 30 per cent overbuilt across the Pacific Northwest. Most of the processing facilities were built several decades ago, in a time when herd numbers were significantly higher, he said. Given that processing is a margin business, the only way for processors to make money is to operate at near full capacity. With today’s herd numbers at a 50-year low and the three- to fiveyear outlook not indicating much improvement, Lock sees the XL closure as a “nimble” preemptive move. Competition for live cattle sales shouldn’t diminished, said Bryan Walton, CEO of the alberta Cattle feeders association. “I don’t think the closures are going to have a material effect,” said Walton, noting XL foods still operates the Lakeside plant in Brooks. Essentially, the Calgary and Brooks plants were competing for the same animals. selling the Calgary facilities, which are fairly old and sit on valuable real estate, makes good business sense, he said.

BSE boost

While BsE has been devastating to all parts of the beef industry, Lock believes it may have had a positive — albeit short-term — influence on XL’s Calgary facilities. “the plants’ lives may have been extended by a

shutdown } page 6

AFAC ConFerenCe

JBs

oPerations, gloBal aQuisitions

at strangmuir farms south of strathmore, Kerri ross (left) and Becky tees spend their days riding through pens checking on the health of the cattle. Kevin LinK

Testing for bSe worthwhile FaIrLy LOw } Cost would be about $40 per head, but actual

financial benefits are uncertain By ron friesen staff

A

new industry study concludes a voluntary BsE testing program for cattle could help boost Canada’s beef exports to asia. But it cautions that BsE-tested beef would only be a niche market and the demand for it might be limited. testing alone may not fully restore Canada’s beef markets lost to BsE in Japan and other asian countries, says the study by the George Morris Centre in Guelph, Ontario. But it’s still worth considering, said al Mussell, the study’s lead author. “We think this has got potential. I think it needs to be explored further,” Mussell said following the study’s release March 31.

“I think it does give the impetus for people to take a serious look at it and say, ‘hey, this is something we could take advantage of.’” the study funded by PrioNet Canada, the alberta Prion Research Institute and the alberta Livestock and Meat agency weighed the costs and benefits of voluntarily testing cattle for BsE. It found the cost fairly low — just over $40 a head, or about five cents a pound carcass weight. that wouldn’t burden processors with huge added expenses and “drag down the operation of a beef plant,” Mussell said. He said Japanese importers have periodically asked for BsE-tested beef over the past five years, so the demand for it should be there. But whether the economic benefits

“We think this has got potential.” aL MussELL GeorGe Morris Centre

of testing outweigh the cost is hard to say. a 2005 analysis by Rancher’s Beef, an alberta processor no longer in business, concluded BsE testing would increase the value of beef sold to Japan by $75.71 per head.

see Bse testing } page 26

Consumers must lead Changes in animal welfare } Page 33


35

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Satellite monitoring shows smaller harvest than reported Official pressure } Farmers complain they are told to exaggerate yields By Raushan Nurshayeva astana / reuters

K

azakhstan’s Agriculture Ministry said it suspected regional grain-belt governments of exaggerating the size of their crops to win political favour, raising the possibility that exports could be lower than forecast. According to figures supplied by local governments, the droughtravaged grain crop fell to 12.3 million tonnes by clean weight this year from a post-Soviet high of 27 million tonnes last year, the ministry said. Deputy Agriculture Minister Muslim Umiryayev said Nov. 13, however, that the three biggest grain regions — Akmola, Kostanai and Northern Kazakhstan

U.S. weather forecaster drops El Niño watch Warm ocean }

resembling a weak event

Reuters The U.S. national weather forecaster has called off its El Niño watch five months after raising the alert as it is now less likely that the much-feared phenomenon that can wreak havoc on global weather will emerge. Since June, the weather forecaster had predicted that El Niño conditions, essentially a warming of waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that can cause a major drought in Asia, would develop gradually during the Northern Hemisphere winter. For the United States, El Niño can bring higher-than-average winter precipitation to the Southwest, less wintry weather across the North as well as stronger winter storms in California and increased storminess across the southern states. “The previous El Niño watch has been discontinued as the chance of El Niño has decreased,” the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said Nov. 8 in its monthly report. While the chances of El Niño are low, the CPC said the tropical ocean and atmosphere may still resemble a weak El Niño at times, with sea surface temperatures above average. “While the development of El Niño, or even La Niña, cannot be ruled out during the next few months... neutral is now favoured through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2012-13,” it said. La Niña is El Niño’s less infamous counterpart and cools the waters in the equatorial Pacific, mainly causing crop-killing droughts in the Americas. The phenomenon was blamed for last year’s crippling drought — the worst drought in a century — in Texas, the biggest cotton growingstate in the United States and only disappeared at the end of April. El Niño leads to a heating of Pacific waters, triggering drought in Southeast Asia and Australia.

“These distortions are not by 0.1 or 0.2 tonnes per hectare, but twofold.” Kazakh farmer

— reported a combined grain crop of 11.2 million tonnes, while satellite monitoring data showed a crop of just 9.8 million tonnes. “What causes the Agriculture Ministry concern is that we have a discrepancy of 1.4 million tonnes,”

Umiryayev told a news conference. The ministry will verify the data within a month. Large-scale distortions of grain crop data in one of the world’s 10 biggest wheat-exporting countries, if confirmed, would smack of a Soviet-era corruption scandal, when the leaders of neighbouring Uzbekistan reported implausibly high cotton harvests, which were later disproved by satellite photos. A farmer from Kostanai region wrote to the minister, Asylzhan Mamytbekov, on Nov. 2. He identified himself as “Citizen” and said he had been compelled by district authorities to report higher yields than were true. “These distortions are not by 0.1 or 0.2 tonnes per hectare, but twofold,” he wrote. “Those refus-

A combine harvests wheat in a field near the town of Akkol, some 110 km (68 miles) north of the Kazakhstan capital Astana. Farmers say local governments have pressured them to inflate yield reports.  Photo: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

ing to do so are intimidated with non-stop inspections by various

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36

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

New Mexico coyote-hunting contest prompts outcry Squaring off } Cattle ranchers and environmentalists are on opposite sides over the controversial hunt carnivore protection for the conservation group WildEarth Guardians, said the threat to livestock from coyotes is overblown by the ranching industry. Citing U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, she said predators such as coyotes and feral dogs accounted for less than a quarter per cent of all cattle losses nationwide in 2010, the most recent year for which data was available. The overwhelming majority of livestock deaths due to disease, bad weather and birthing difficulties, she said.

By Zelie Pollon

santa fe, new mexico/ reuters

A

planned statewide coyotehunting contest has caused an uproar in New Mexico, pitting environmentalists against ranchers, as heated words flooded social media networks and thousands signed a petition opposing the hunt as cruel. The furor prompted the Albuquerque gun store owner who originally sponsored the contest to cancel, but a second gun dealer in the southern New Mexico town of Los Lunas, Gunhawk Firearms, stepped in to take over the event scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 17-18. “Coyotes are a direct threat to the cattle industry,” Gunhawk owner Mark Chavez said Nov. 2, accusing environmentalists of trying to stir up sentiment against the contest to further their “hidden agenda.” “They’re trying to get rid of the hunting industry and the gun industry,” he told Reuters.

Hardy species

A coyote hunts in the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park. While these predators are protected from human hunters, their cousins to the south in New Mexico will soon be the prey.  REUTERS/Jim Urquhart According to New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association, wild predators killed 5,500 sheep and 3,700 lambs in the state in 2009 alone. Caren Cowen, executive direc-

tor of the association, said coyotes pose a greater threat to sheep than larger livestock, such as fullgrown cows, though calves also are vulnerable.

“A calf today is worth $1,000,” she said. “In today’s market, how many times can you stand to have $1,000 taken from your wallet?” But Wendy Keefover, director of

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Although the coyote’s natural range has expanded threefold in recent years, Keefover called the premise of a hunting contest a “myth,” insisting that killing coyotes would fail to reduce their population in the long run. “Coyotes make up for their losses by changing behaviours, such as more females breeding and with larger litters or increasing migration,” she said. In addition, coyotes play an important role as natural predators in a healthy ecosystem, helping to maintain rabbit and other rodent populations at balanced levels. Neither side in the debate had any figures on the current size of the coyote population in New Mexico. Many other states have held similar annual contests, said Mary Ray, wildlife chair for the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club. But heightened publicity in New Mexico, amplified by Facebook and other social media, has generated a greater level of attention than usual, she said.

“A calf today is worth $1,000… in today’s market, how many times can you stand to have $1,000 taken from your wallet?” Caren Cowen, New Mexico Cattlegrowers

Nearly 15,000 people responded to an online petition opposing the event as of Nov. 2. Hundreds more wrote on Gunhawk’s Facebook page in support, Chavez said. Chavez said 25 two-person hunting teams have signed up for the contest so far, and he expects about 100 teams will be registered by the start date. The team that bags the most coyotes will win an automatic rifle, he said. “We’ve hunted for many years. It’s my heritage and my right to hunt and to teach my kids to hunt,” Chavez said. Contestants must register with the Los Lunas gun shop and attend an orientation before the contest, but coyote hunting in general is unregulated in New Mexico and requires no licence. Keefover said a separate coyotehunting contest in Montana was cancelled on Friday after an article about the event was featured in the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Colorado banned contest hunting in 1997, the only state to do so, she said. “Contest hunting is not ethical hunting. The point of hunting is not to pile up a bunch of bodies,” Keefover said.


37

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

1-888-413-3325 • abclassifieds@fbcpublishing.com

inDEx Tributes/Memory Announcements Airplanes Alarms & Security Systems ANTIqUES Antiques For Sale Antique Equipment Antique Vehicle Antiques Wanted Arenas AUCTION SAlES BC Auction AB Auction Peace AB Auction North AB Auction Central AB Auction South SK Auction MB Auction Parkland MB Auction Westman MB Auction Interlake MB Auction Red River Auction Various U.S. Auctions Auction Schools AUTO & TRANSPORT Auto Service & Repairs Auto & Truck Parts Autos Trucks Semi Trucks Sport Utilities Vans Vehicles Vehicles Wanted BEEKEEPING Honey Bees Cutter Bees Bee Equipment Belting Bio Diesel Equipment Books & Magazines BUIlDING & RENOVATIONS Concrete Repair Doors & Windows Electrical & Plumbing Insulation Lumber Roofing Building Supplies Buildings Business Machines Business Opportunities BUSINESS SERVICES Crop Consulting Financial & Legal Insurance/Investments Butchers Supply Chemicals Clothing/Work wear Collectibles Compressors Computers CONTRACTING Custom Baling

Custom Feeding Custom Harvest Custom Seeding Custom Silage Custom Spraying Custom Trucking Custom Tub Grinding Custom Work Construction Equipment Dairy Equipment Electrical Engines Entertainment Fertilizer FARM MAChINERy Aeration Conveyors Equipment Monitors Fertilizer Equip Grain Augers Grains Bins Grain Carts Grain Cleaners Grain Dryers Grain Elevators Grain Handling Grain Testers Grain Vacuums haying & harvesting Baling Equipment Mower Conditioners Swathers Swather Accessories Haying & Harvesting Various Combines Belarus Case/IH Cl Caterpillar Lexion Deutz Ford/NH Gleaner John Deere Massey Ferguson Versatile White Combines Various Combine Accessories Hydraulics Irrigation Equipment Loaders & Dozers Parts & Accessories Salvage Potato & Row Crop Equipment Repairs Rockpickers Snowblowers/Plows Silage Equipment Specialty Equipment Spraying Sprayers Spray Various Tillage & Seeding Air Drills Air Seeders Harrows & Packers Seeding Various Tillage Equipment Tillage & Seeding Various Tractors Agco Allis/Deutz

Belarus Case/IH Caterpillar Ford John Deere Kubota Massey Ferguson New Holland Steiger Universal Versatile White Zetor Tractors 2WD Tractors 4WD Tractors Various Farm Machinery Miscellaneous Farm Machinery Wanted Fencing Firewood Fish Farm Forestry/Logging Fork Lifts/Pallets Fur Farming Generators GPS Health Care Heat & Air Conditioning Hides/Furs/Leathers Hobby & Handicrafts Household Items lANDSCAPING Greenhouses Lawn & Garden lIVESTOCK Cattle Cattle Auctions Angus Black Angus Red Angus Aryshire Belgian Blue Blonde d'Aquitaine Brahman Brangus Braunvieh BueLingo Charolais Dairy Dexter Excellerator Galloway Gelbvieh Guernsey Hereford Highland Holstein Jersey Limousin Lowline Luing Maine-Anjou Miniature Murray Grey Piedmontese Pinzgauer Red Poll Salers Santa Gertrudis Shaver Beefblend Shorthorn Simmental

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Published by Farm Business Communications, 1666 Dublin Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0H1 WINNIPEG OFFICE Alberta Farmer Express 1666 Dublin Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0H1 Toll-Free in Canada 1-888-413-3325 Phone 403-341-0442 in Winnipeg FAX 403-341-0615 Mailing Address: Box 9800, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3K7 • •

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38

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 • ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA

ANTIQUES Antique Equipment

ANTIQUES Antique Equipment

FARM MACHINERY Sprayers

FARM MACHINERY Sprayers

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous 1996 ROGATOR 854, 800/GAL, 80ft. 4x4, 2 sets tires, 3790/hrs, GFS boom, Raven auto-rake, Raven cruiser, GPS, spd. hydro. 195hp Cummins, $58,500; 1999 CAT 460 1300 sep. hrs, rake up $95,000; 2006 JD 567 mega-wide, mesh wrap, 5453/bales, $24,000; (403)665-2341, Craigmyle, AB.

SPRAYERS!

SPRAYERS!

SPRAYERS!

ACREAGE EQUIPMENT: CULTIVATORS, DISCS, Plows, Blades, Post pounders, Haying Equipment, Etc. (780)892-3092, Wabamun, Ab.

Are you having bad dreams about spraying your crops?

Earn

LOW HRS; KOMATSU WA 320-1 3yd loader; 122 trackhoe; (306)236-8023

• JD • CIH • ROGATOR • WILMAR • SPRA COUP

Increase your productivity, ease your Operator’s fatigue level!

Put money in your pocket!

RETIRED FROM FARMING, MOST machinery shedded, 1998 Peterbuilt, 460 Cummins, 18spd, w/36ft tandem Doepker grain trailer $75,000; Rock picker, $1,000; (403)586-0978, Torrington, Ab. WIRELESS DRIVEWAY ALARMS, calving/foaling barn cameras, video surveillance, rear view cameras for RV’s, trucks, combines, seeders, sprayers and augers. Mounted on magnet. Calgary, Ab. (403)616-6610. www.FAAsecurity.com

ALL THE TOP BRANDS!

Because if you have this thought for more than 4 minutes you should call Ken Deal about a sprayer!

Profit from our experience. Make a PrePay program deposit to your CPS account and earn 5% toward crop input purchases.

RON SAUER

We can turn your nightmare into a dream come true!

Ask at your local CPS retail store.

MACHINERY LTD.

KEN DEAL 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: kendeal@shaw.ca

FARM MACHINERY Parts & Accessories

10/12-19585_1A

SEED/FEED MISCELLANEOUS Grain Wanted

19585-1A CPSClassified_4x4_BW.indd 1

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

BOW VALLEY TRADING LTD.

WE BUY DAMAGED GRAIN

Combine ACCessories 10/11/12 12:18 PM

FARM MACHINERY Combine – Accessories

JD 925 STRAIGHT CUT header, c/w pu reel, and Elmer’s 30ft transport, like new condition, always shedded, (780)518-0635, Sexsmith RECONDITIONED COMBINE HEADERS. RIGID and flex, most makes and sizes; also header transports. Ed Lorenz, (306)344-4811 or Website: www.straightcutheaders.com Paradise Hill, SK.

FARM MACHINERY FARM MACHINERY Haying & Harvesting – Baling

Wheat, Barley, Oats, Peas, etc. Green or Heated Canola/Flax

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

FARM MACHINERY Haying & Harvesting – Swathers

1-877-641-2798

BUYING:

MACDON 972 30FT SWATHER header, 2002, split pu reel, triple delivery, excellent condition (403)886-4285

HEATED & GREEN CANOLA

Combines FARM MACHINERY Combine – Various

• Competitive Prices • Prompt Movement • Spring Thrashed “ON FARM PICK UP”

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

Tillage & Seeding FARM MACHINERY Tillage & Seeding – Tillage 41-35FT FLEXICOIL 700 chisel plow, W/harrows, 43ft Leon chisel plow w/harrows; 40ft crowfoot packer bar; IHC 12 bottom plow; (780)623-1008

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – John Deere JD 2007 7520 C/W 741 loader, bucket & grapple, smooth bucket, pallet fork, 3hyd outlets, elect. joystick, 60% tire tread, 4790/hrs, good shape, $87,000 (403)337-2162, Carstairs

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Kubota

1-877-250-5252

CANOLA WANTED

USED KUBOTA Utility Tractors (780)967-3800, (780)289-1075 www.goodusedtractors.com

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

JD 3140, 3pth loader JD 4050 fwa, 3pth loader JD 4250 c/w loader • JD 4320 loader avail. JD 4440, loader available JD 4450 c/w loader JD 4560 FWA, 280 loader JD 6410 3pth, FWA, loader available JD 746 loader, new • Cat 256C, 1000hrs Mustang 2044 Skidsteer, 1300hrs. Kello 10ft model 210 disc Clamp on duals, 20.8x38-18.4x38 158 & 148, 265, 740, 280, JD loaders

CALL 1-866-388-6284 www.milliganbiotech.com

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 www.combineworld.com

INC.

FARMING IS ENOUGH OF

Big Tractor Parts, Inc. Geared For The Future

STEIGER TRACTOR SPECIALIST

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

1-800-982-1769 www.bigtractorparts.com

SALES REP FOR GEORGE’S FARM CENTRE

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Various

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Various

Stretch your ADVERTISING DOLLAR!

ANTIQUES Antique Equipment

1-888-413-3325

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

1-888-413-3325

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

FARM MACHINERY Combine – Accessories

**Flexi-Coil, Westward MacDon Swathers, NuVision, Sakundiak & Farm King Augers, Outback GPS Systems, EK Auger, Movers, Sweeps, & Crop Dividers, Degelman, Headsight Harvesting Solutions**

Hit our readers where it counts… in the classifieds. Place your ad in the Alberta Farmer Express classifed section. 1-888-413-3325.

A GAMBLE...

ANTIQUES

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 chute, used 1 year, like new ............................... Call 134’ Flexicoil S68XL sprayer, 2007, suspended boom, auto rate, joystick, rinse tank, triple quick jets, auto boom height, electric end nozzle & foam marker............. $39,500 130’ Flexicoil 67XL PT sparyer, 2006,trail boom, auto rate, rinse tank, hyd. pump, combo jets, nice shape $26,500 51 Flexicoil Bodies c/w GEN. 4”carbide spread tip openers, single chute, like new ................ $3,500 2940 Premier MacDon, c/w 25’ 972 header w/PU reel .......................... $65,000 4800 Prairie Star MacDon diesel swather, c/w 25’ 960 header w/PU reel .......................... $30,000 8110 Hesston diesel swather, c/w 25’ header & PU reel, nice shape.................. $32,500 2360 JD swather, gas, c/w 18’ table & PU reel .... $7,500 30’ 8230 CIH PT swather, PU reel, nice shape,.. $10,000 25ft Hesston 1200 PT swather, pu reel, nice shape................................................ $7,500 16’ NH 2300 hay header & conditioner from NH 2450 swather, nice cond. ......................... $5,000 21’ 4600 Prairie Star PT swather, UII pu reel, nice shape .............................................................$5000 1372 MF 13’ swing arm discbine 4yrs, like new$20,000 MATR 10 wheel V-Hayrake, hyd. fold, as new .... $5,250 New Hawes fuel tank & Hyd. motor w/ring drives for P auger mover .................................... Call New Sakundiak 10x1200 (39.97’) 36HP Kohler eng., E-Kay mover, Power steering, electric belt tightener, work lights, slimfit, 12 gal. fuel tank..................... $18,000 New Sakundiak 7x1200 (39.97’) , 22HP Robin-Subaru eng.,w/Winter Kit, battery & fuel tank .......................$7,500 New E-Kay 7”, 8”, 9” Bin Sweeps .........................Call 8x1600(52.5’) Sakundiak auger c/w newer 30hp Koehler engine, gear box clutch, Hawes mover, spout, nice shape........................... $10,000 Flexicoil 10”x 50’ Grain auger ......................... $2,500 2002 7000HD Highline bale Processor, c/w twine cutter, always shedded exc. cond ........... $7,000 18.4”x30” tractor grip tires on rims .......................... Call New Outback Max GPS Guidance Monitor Available................................................... Call New Outback S3, STS, E drive, TC’s...................... In Stock New Outback E drive X c/w free E turns ..................... Call New Outback S-Lite................................................$900 Used Outback 360 mapping...................................$750 Used Outback S guidance .......................................$750 Used Outback S2 guidance ................................. $1,000 Used Outback E drive Hyd. Kits. (JD,Case, Cat & NH)$500

SOLD

FINANCE, TRADES WELCOME 780-696-3527, BRETON, AB

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Various NEW TRACTOR PARTS and engine rebuild kits, specializing in hard to find parts for older tractors, tractor seats, service and owners manuals, decals and much more, our 38th year! 1 800-481-1353, www.diamondfarmtractorparts.com

(403) 540-7691 ronsauer@shaw.ca

FARM MACHINERY Parts & Accessories

TracTors

FARM MACHINERY Combine – Accessories

Double LL Industries 780.905.8565 Nisku, Alberta

1974 John Deere 1020

Agripac 9100 Round Bale Tuber

2001 Kubota M9580

2005 Toyota 25 Forklift

40 HP Gas, P/S, 3 point Hitch,

With Honda Eng, Very good Condition

FWA Tractor, 95 HP Diesel,4767 Hours, 3PTH

5000 lb Lift

AUTO & TRANSPORT AUTO & TRANSPORT Trucks 2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD Diesel Crew Cab, Allison Auto, 4WD. One owner, no accidents, never towed, well maintained. Safetied. Excellent condition. $22,995 OBO (204)248-2208 or (204)723-0057

BUSINESS SERVICES BUSINESS SERVICES Crop Consulting

5,500

$

Earn

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

FARM 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

Ask your CPS retailer about the PrePay program and earn 5% toward your crop input purchases.

5,800

$

JD 4710, 4720, 4730, 4830, 4920, 4930 SP sprayers JD 9770 & 9870 w/CM & duals CIH 3185, 3230, 3330, 4430, 4420 sprayers 9580 Kubota, FWA, FEL, low hours 3545 MF w/FWA FEL GOOD SELECTION OF JD & CASE HEADERS: 635F, 636D AND MANY MORE CASE & JD

“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: kendeal@shaw.ca

ENGINES 10/12-19585_2A

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

19585-2A CPSClassified_4x4_BW.indd 1

$ 5,000 28,500 www.doublellindustries.com $

10/11/12 12:19 PM

UH


39

ALBERTAFARMEXPRESS.CA • NOVEMBER 19, 2012

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Wanted

CAREERS Oil Field

CAREERS Oil Field

CAREERS

CAREERS

CAREERS Employment Wanted

CAREERS Help Wanted

CAREERS Help Wanted

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

PEDIGREED SEED

TIRES

PEDIGREED SEED Specialty – Various

WANTED: INTERNATIONAL 5000 SWATHER, needed hydrostatic pump. (403)638-2232 WANTED: NH BALE WAGONS & retrievers, any condition. Farm Equipment Finding Service, P.O. Box 1363, Polson, MT 59860. (406)883-2118 WANTED: Small square balers and end Wheel Seed Drills, Rock Pickers, Rock Rakes, Tub grinders, also JD 1610 cultivators (403)308-1238

HEALTH CARE VISIT: WWW.TOYOURHEALTHPRODUCTS.CA For All your health care needs and read the testimonials that has helped other people by using the products. Call us (403)345-7788 collect

HEAT & AIR CONDITIONING

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

Bioriginal Food & Science Corp., based in Saskatoon, are looking to contract Borage acres for the upcoming 2013 growing season.

� �

Great profit potential based on high yields, high prices and low input costs. Attractive oil premiums and free on-farm pick-up. Flexible contracting options available as well. For more information, please contact Shane at:

TRAVEL

SEED / FEED / GRAIN

Pacific Coastal Cruise ~ May 2013 Ukraine/Romania ~ May 2013 Austria/Switzerland ~ June 2013 Ireland ~ June 2013 Western Canada ~ June 2013 Alaska Land/Cruise ~ August 2013 Available Soon:

306-229-9976 (cell) 306-975-9271 (office) sfalk@bioriginal.com

Rural & Cultural Tours

SEED/FEED MISCELLANEOUS Feed Grain www.penta.ca

1-800-587-4711

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

FARM MACHINERY Irrigation Equipment 27 PAIRS OF 7IN hook and latch mainline, $150/per pair OBO; 40 doses Alltrace cattle bolus’s, (estimated worth $1200.) open to offers. (403)725-0002, Hayes, AB.

Specialty LIVESTOCK Livestock Equipment 5’X10’ PORTABLE CORRAL PANELS, 6 bar. New improved design. Storage Containers, 20’ & 40’ 1-866-517-8335, (403)540-4164, (403)226-1722 HAYBUSTER 1000 TUB GRINDER; BP 25/bale processor, w/bunk conveyor and recutter; Sundance tub grinder; Oswald 400 feed wagon; 150/bu creep feeder; (780)623-1008 WANTED: HESSTON 4870 BIG square bale shredder, or similar machine. (780)374-3574, 780-781-0046

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

SEED/FEED MISCELLANEOUS Hay & Straw

HAY FOR SALE: large round 208 first cut Alfalfa/Timothy, 400 orchard/grass mix, $.04/per/pound, 300/bales second cut (both types) at $.05/per/pound, little or no rain, (780)696-2491, Breton, Ab. ROUND AND SQUARE HAY bales, excellent quality alfalfa timothy brome mix, shedded, good for horses & Cattle (780)967-2593, Calahoo, Ab. SMALL SQUARE BALES HORSE hay, Crossfield, Ab. 50/lb bales $3.00/per bale, green, no rain (587)329-1796, (403)613-4570

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

REAL ESTATE Land For Sale

FEDERATION TIRE: 1100X12, 2000X20, used aircraft. Toll free 1-888-452-3850 Round up the cash! Advertise your unwanted equipment in the Alberta Farmer Express classifieds.

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

*Tours may be tax Deductible

Select Holidays 1-800-661-4326 www.selectholidays.com

HAY FOR SALE, 2012, excellent quality, no rain, 1600/lbs, 60% alfalfa, 40% grass, (403)854-2240, 403-854-0420, Hanna, Ab.

TIRES

Hit our readers where it counts… in the classifieds. Place your ad in the Alberta Farmer Express classifed section. 1-888-413-3325.

Australia/New Zealand & South America 2014

500 ROUND BALES MIXED Alfalfa hay, $120/per ton, (403)638-2232, Cremona area

REAL ESTATE

LAND FOR SALE AT ELKTON Alberta, 20/ac, zoned agriculture, 1 hour NW of Calgary. $285,000 OBO (403)638-2232

New 30.5L-32 16 ply, $2,195; 20.8-38 12 ply $866; 18.4-38 12 ply; $783; 24.5-32 14 ply, $1,749; 14.9-24 12 ply, $356; 16.9-28 12 ply $558. Factory direct. More sizes available new and used. 1-800-667-4515. www.combineworld.com

CPS Prepay Program

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

Ask your CPS retailer how to earn 5% toward your crop input purchases.

FARMING IS ENOUGH OF A GAMBLE...

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

Stretch your ADVERTISING DOLLAR!

1-888-413-3325

1-888-413-3325

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Vibrant roots fuel better performance. Crops thrive with Cruiser Maxx® Vibrance™. When the Vigor Trigger ® effect meets Rooting Power ™, you get enhanced crop establishment from stronger, faster-growing plants, above and below the ground. It also protects your wheat and barley crops against a broad range of insects and diseases and delivers best-in-class Rhizoctonia control.

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Visit SyngentaFarm.ca or contact our Customer Resource Centre at 1-87-SYNGENTA (1-877-964-3682). Always read and follow label directions. Cruiser Maxx® VibranceTM Cereals, Rooting PowerTM, Vigor Trigger ®, the Alliance Frame, the Purpose Icon and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. © 2012 Syngenta Canada Inc.

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