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USDA declares Wheat Belt disaster

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Canfax analyst says outlook for calf prices is strong DEMAND REMAINS  While drought and high feed prices are pushing down


U.S. cow herd numbers, the country’s beef exports are soaring and domestic prices are expected to stay strong

conditions on record; up to a quarter could be abandoned




f you’re mulling whether to buy calves to put on grass this spring, keep in mind that there’s a great big red blob of uncertainty looming over the market. To see it, go to the U.S. Drought Monitor website at The map on the home page shows much of the Midwestern Corn Belt and major cattle-producing states is coloured red or rust red — the colours assigned to the two worst drought categories. It is also the region that sucked up huge quantities of


he United States government declared much of the central and southern U.S. Wheat Belt a natural disaster area on Jan. 9 due to persistent drought that imperils this year’s winter wheat harvest. In its first disaster declaration of the new year, the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) made growers in large portions of four major wheat-growing states — Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas — eligible for low-interest emergency loans. The four states grew one-third of the U.S. wheat crop last year. Kansas was the No. 1 state at 382 million bushels. In all, USDA listed 597 counties in 14 states as natural disaster areas. They suffered from at least severe to in some instances extraordinary drought for eight weeks in a row to qualify for the designation. More than half of them, 351 counties, were in the Wheat Belt,

hay from the Prairies and sent feed grain prices to the moon last year. No one knows how much longer the drought will last but experts say North American cattle prices going into the fall are likely to remain strong no matter what happens. If it rains, calves in backgrounding lots now will go to grass and hit the market at the usual time next fall. No rain, and they’ll show up earlier. “But if a whole pile of calves go into the feedlot right now in the U.S., it may be good to buy grassers to fill that void in August or later in the year,” Canfax market analyst Brian Perillat said at a recent meeting in Ste. Rose du Lac, Man.

Cow-calf producers needn’t be concerned too much about it, however. “Supplies are tight no matter what happens. There’s going to be way less calves in 2013,” he added. With the U.S. cow herd continuing its 14-year trend lower by a further three per cent, and the country’s exports continuing to soar due to the devalued greenback, the massive hole in North American beef supplies will take several years to fill, he predicted. That’s because heifer replacements for the 30-million-head herd south of the bor-





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news » inside this week


inside » More goats wanted Immigrants arrive with a taste for the meat




Beef in the Peace

Break up your hardpan


Corn-based sugar doesn’t satisfy Fructose } Unlike glucose, it doesn’t make you feel full


f you have hunger pangs, don’t expect to get rid of them with a soft drink, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers say glucose, but not fructose, suppresses brain activity in regions that promote the desire to eat. High-fructose corn syrup is the main sweetener used in soft drinks. A Gallup survey last year reported that 48 per cent of Americans drink an average of 2.6 glasses of soda daily, the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar. Researchers using magnetic resonance imaging found that ingestion of glucose reduced blood flow and activity in brain regions that regulate appetite, but fructose did not. The U.S. Corn Refiners Association criticized the study, saying the results were tested on only 20 people in amounts “that people do not consume in real life.” “It is highly unusual for humans to consume this much sugar in one sitting, particularly if they had just finished a fast,” said Dr. James Rippe, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute and professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida, and also a consultant to the Corn Refiners Association.

Bullying isn’t only in the schoolyard

Strangles contagious, but recovery likely

27 28

Bernie Peet High Prairie hosts 15th Beef Congress


Tillage radish exerts 240 psi of pressure


Using NIRS in a commercial feed mill


New campaign wants to create a passion for pork THINKING YOUNG } Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all play key role in the “Passion for Pork” marketing campaign by alexis kienlen af staff/leduc


here’s nothing better than a nice pork roast or chop — if you’re an older male. But if you’re under age 25, neither is likely to show up on the dinner table. That’s something a new Alberta Pork marketing campaign hopes to change. Alberta Pork delegates got an overview of the “Passion for Pork” campaign from Dennis McKnight of the Innovators at their recent AGM. That data on consumption comes from a 2004 Ipsos-Reid study, and the older male demographic is not good news, he said. “I’m not being prejudiced on this, but this is not a bright future,” said McKnight, who is overseeing the campaign. The same study said consumers under the age of 25 seldom eat pork. “This is a very important demographic,” he said. “If you want to have a future, you have to have young people eating your product.” Understanding consumer preferences and markets is key, he said. Research finds more people want top quality in smaller portions, he noted, and that Asian Canadians are more likely than average to eat pork once a week. “We have, on the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, one of the largest Asian populations in Canada. Let’s get after them,” he said. Pork consumption is higher in regions such as Quebec and the Maritimes, where


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consumers are more aware of the nutritional benefits, said McKnight. “Local” is also key. “There are over a billion dollars of sales at farmers’ markets in Canada because people want to support local farmers,” said McKnight. But large numbers of consumers don’t know how to cook pork, save for frying chops or bacon. But there’s an easy way to address that. “Do you realize that last year there were 1.5 billion hits on the Internet by people looking for recipes?” said McKnight. That’s one of the things that Passion for Pork is trying to leverage. The campaign, which kicked off in May, has a website with information about pork, 24 cooking videos by top chefs from Alberta and B.C., and more than 100 pork recipes. So far, 20,000 people have visited the website. Social media is also vital to reaching young people, said McKnight.

Alberta Pork wants its share of the 1.5 billion annual “hits” by people looking for recipes.

To increase sales, target those who aren’t eating pork now, says Dennis McKnight. “We’re part of the conversation,” he said. “If you want to be part of the conversation with younger people, you have to be on social media.” The campaign, largely funded by Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, has an active social media campaign including a YouTube channel for the chefs’ videos. There are also bloggers in Edmonton and Calgary who post personal blog entries with pork recipes, and there’s a Facebook page and Twitter feed. But none of this will change consumer buying habits overnight. “You have to make the long-term commitment to this stuff and you have to constantly be there,” McKnight said. The campaign also involves ads in food publications and participated in a restaurant week where top restaurants in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary had to put pork on the menu and come up with three new pork recipes. “They did, they loved it, and I can tell you that those restaurants still have pork on the menu,” McKnight said. Restaurants are now challenged to create great meals for under $20 a plate, and are making more of their own products, which can include charcuterie (the branch of cooking devoted to prepared pork products such as bacon, ham, sausage, etc.). “It is a good time for pork, if we do it correctly,” he said. “It’s about giving people ideas and recipes and being part of their conversation.” The next phase of Passion for Pork will focus on telling people where they can purchase Alberta pork. Salford, Ontario • 1-866-442-1293 Ad#: SFM01_09-10.25x3



Predictions for livestock in 2013 cautiously optimistic about profits, stability FORECASTING  Good crop year could mean the difference for some Alberta livestock producers Producers have tools to help their members with those calculations.


Positive outlook for bison producers


lberta’s livestock producers are staying positive that 2013 could be a profitable year. Representatives from various organizations throughout the province expressed their hopes that things will go their way this year, even as some of them face challenges and new player JBS enters the market.

Cattle industry has good potential

Brent Chaffee, chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, said the market is a bit unknown and could depend on how JBS handles buying their cattle. He said major issues facing members of his organization are continued volatility in the market, the planned resolution of the country-of-origin labelling in the U.S. that will help Canadian cattle prices and potential labour shortages. He predicted that if feed prices stay steady profits are possible, though he cautioned that while feedlots with large farming operations should do well, smaller ones that rely strictly on cattle could suffer losses depending on how the dollar and grain prices fluctuate. “I think it’s going to be tight,” he said of the market. Feeder Associations of Alberta chair Jim Bowhay said their members are trying to stay relevant and attract more youth to the industry. With cattle numbers down, Bowhay said the “dots line up” for a good market situation this year. He thinks they’ll be

Brent Chaffee thinks the market could be tight for cattle feeders.

Frank Novak predicts another tough year for pork producers.

Lynn Jacobson thinks it might be hard to turn a profit in the livestock industry in 2013.

seeing expansion as profits pull more people to the sector. As for how his members will be doing, he said the industry can be profitable if input costs are kept in check, but said producers need to listen to what consumers want, to stay in the black.

such as the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan and the new energy regulator bill, as issues facing his members. He’s expecting the market to stay “relatively strong” but said having only two main packers is a bottleneck for sending product to markets outside of North America. “I’m hopeful that we’ve seen the end of our contraction,” he said, forecasting “2013’s going to be a profitable year.”

“I don’t expect the profits will be large,” he said, continuing that it will take years to reach any kind of financial strength again.

“”I’d say profitability in the livestock industry, it’s going to be very hard.” LYNN JACOBSON

Western Stock Growers Association chair Phil Rowland named upcoming provincial policies,

Pork industry challenging

“The major issue facing the producers in Alberta is profitability or the lack thereof,” said Frank Novak, chair of Alberta Pork. The industry has faced a variety of challenges over the past few years, he said, with the most recent one rising feed costs. A number of people have left the industry, he said, and more could leave. Novak said if 2013 is a good crop year that could be good news for pork producers.

Lamb still in demand

Alberta Lamb Producers chair Ron den Broeder said his organization’s members are still going through an adjustment that saw prices drop in 2012. However, lamb is largely an import product and while a drought and economic woes in Europe caused the drop, he said, there’s still demand for lamb. “There is not enough lamb on the market,” den Broeder said. He said prices should climb, but he’s not sure when or by how much. That demand means expansion could continue. “It depends what the prices are going to do. Right now we’re in expansion mode,” he said. He’s positive about the future of the industry, though he said producers have to carefully calculate their costs. He said Alberta Lamb

A steady demand and well-established markets are helping the bison industry stay stable, said Thomas Ackermann, chair of Bison Producers of Alberta. “We see it going, I wouldn’t say mainstream but it’s well known,” he said. Issues facing producers include trade barriers and the need to find more ways to include value-added products like sausage and jerky. He’s anticipating stable prices for finished animals. While more people are expanding, however, others are leaving so he’s not sure if it will balance out. High feed prices could impact profitability but overall he said there’s a positive outlook for the industry.

Making a profit could be difficult

Lynn Jacobson, chair of the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers, said in general he sees some contraction coming in the livestock industry, especially for feeders. “I think the smaller feeders are going to have a hard time surviving,” he said. For pork, the longterm outlook might be better but in the meantime he predicted a hard time. “It all depends on what the retail price of pork and beef and everything can actually go up to,” he said. JBS will probably have a controlling effect on cattle prices, he said. What the livestock market is going to do is “anybody’s guess.” “I’d say profitability in the livestock industry, it’s going to be very hard,” Jacobson said.

Cargill profit quadruples, led by grain sector CONSTRUCTION  The company is focusing on capital investments rather than acquisitions CHICAGO / REUTERS


.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. said Jan. 9 quarterly earnings quadrupled, led by profits from trading operations amid the effects of last summer’s U.S. drought, the worst in more than 50 years. Minneapolis-based Cargill, one of the world’s largest privately held businesses and a leader in world commodity markets, said net earnings soared to $409 million for the quarter ended Nov. 30 from $100 million a year earlier. Revenue rose six per cent to $35.2 billion. Strong global trading and risk management results and improved oilseed processing margins in several regions boosted earnings, the company said in a statement. It was Cargill’s second straight quarter of strong earnings after weak results in 2012 prompted Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the company’s outlook to negative. Smaller rivals like Archer Daniels Midland and Bunge

faced similar pressures but also emerged from a period of poor earnings during 2012 amid volatile commodity markets. Cargill, a leading food processor, grain and meat exporter, and ethanol producer and a trader in dozens of countries around the world, said it was pulling back from acquisitions to focus on capital investments. “We have a record $2.4 billion of large projects under construction in 13 countries,” Cargill CEO Greg Page said in a statement. “As these facilities come online, they strengthen Cargill’s supply chain, risk management and innovation capabilities.” Earnings rose in four of five Cargill’s business segments, with its grain processing and origination division posting the strongest results. Food ingredients and applications was the only segment down from 2012, reflecting excess capacity in the North American ethanol market. But Cargill’s animal protein business posted a profit, versus a loss last year.


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henever energy prices take a dive in Alberta, cutbacks to government spending are sure to follow. Reports indicate that the provincial government will be short over $3 billion in tax revenue due to depressed bitumen prices. Deputy ministers have been ordered to come up with budget reductions of 10 per cent for their respective departments. It’s a familiar song-anddance routine, but reducing the deficit is only going to work if all departments are equally included in a big cutback. The reality is that cutting back the Agriculture Department isn’t going to make much difference in the overall fiscal scheme. The ag budget is peanuts compared to the monster budgets of the big-dog spenders like health, education, and welfare. But those big dogs tend to be yappy, highly political and sacred, so the pressure is usually on the other departments to come up with even more cutbacks. But veteran Ag Department bureaucrats are like the farmers and ranchers they serve — they are used to booms and busts. This old warhorse remembers a few cycles of boom and bust in government spending going back to the Lougheed days. Back then the government flush with cash from high energy prices (it’s hard to believe but $35 a barrel was high back then) went on a diversification spending spree that included the Agriculture Department. Tax money was pumped into every idea with the hope it would bring more industry to the province. Old-school ag bureaucrats saw that as a blank cheque to increase extension services, a traditional department service that was dear to their hearts. New district agriculturist offices where opened in every small town in Alberta, along with more district home economists (something unique to Alberta). Millions more were spent on livestock diversification, market development and promotion. A new Ag Department head office was also built in Edmonton to house all the new administrators needed to manage

the rapidly expanding empire. I believe there were at least five assistant deputy ministers at the time. Then when energy prices collapsed and the merciless Klein cutback era arrived, all that Ag Department expansion came crashing down. Those glory days lasted about 10 years. Since that time the Ag Department has had various reincarnations, but it’s a ghost of its former self. That’s probably a good thing, since the ag economy has changed with consolidation and specialization. One of the advantages the Ag Department has over other ministries is that because it is so small, structural changes can be made without a lot of bureaucratic inertia and political consequences.

Reductions of a few million in the department’s budget is all that is realistically possible, which is pretty insignificant in the big deficit picture.

On the other hand, that causes instability and sees policies change on a whim. Department officials probably shudder whenever a new minister or deputy arrives expecting that they will probably want to launch some new restructuring scheme just so they can make their mark on the department. One of the realities that affects the extent of any government department cutback has to do with the role of each ministry within the context of its contribution to the economy. That’s where agriculture pales in comparison to such bigdog departments as education, health and welfare. It even loses out to the Environment and Energy departments because those folks deal with more sexy issues like monitoring and emissions. Even though agriculture and food processing are the

second-largest sector of the economy, the department’s size relative to that sector is small indeed. The only thing that upsets that situation is when some climate, market or disease calamity requires a sudden infusion of taxpayer cash. It seems whenever that happens it takes at least a billion dollars to resolve the crisis. To keep those unexpected, unbudgeted expenditures at bay I expect there is probably a group of ag bureaucrats whose main job is just to pray that no such calamities will occur. But when they do occur, the ag minister of the day has to go cap in hand to the cabinet to beg for help. That hasn’t been easy for many years due to a revolving door of ag ministers — I believe there have been seven in the past nine years, but I have lost track. With all due respect to those ministers, such a temporary nature to the job doesn’t give them much clout around the cabinet table. In reality it probably puts them at a disadvantage whenever a new cutback campaign is launched. Without a lot of experience, political clout and backup in cabinet I suspect all a neophyte ag minister can say to cutback demands is “Yes Ma’am.” Which brings us to the present situation. The best that can be hoped for is a minor reduction in the department’s budget — not that it matters. Reductions of a few million in the department’s budget is all that is realistically possible, which is pretty insignificant in the big deficit picture. However, department bean counters will be trying to find anything that can be reduced or eliminated. I expect such agencies as ALMA and many ag-related research bodies will see reductions in their budgets. That would be short sighted, as those folks can actually generate more returns to the economy and tax base than most other government bodies. I am biased, but perhaps the Ag Department needs to be exempted from any big cutbacks being their activities tend to contribute to a net benefit to the taxpayer. Compare that to recent media reports about such spendthrift agencies as Alberta Health Services, where millions were spent on travel, perks and over-thetop salaries. I rest my case.

New advocate will need to define job A recent appointment by the ruling PC government would indicate that it’s full steam ahead for their overall land use policy agenda. Lethbridge lawyer Lee Cutforth was appointed the first-ever Alberta property rights advocate. At this point it’s hard to determine what his exact role will be as it is the first job of its kind in the country. From the title it could be presumed that the duties will be similar to those of the longstanding and well-respected Farmer’s Advocate position. However, that position has an activist undertone to it that helps

farmers deal with not just corporate bureaucracy and red tape, but also red tape and inertia by government departments and agencies. The latter is probably not what the government has in mind in dealing with property rights issues, hence creating a new position and not giving the new responsibilities to the existing Farmer’s Advocate program. Besides creating the new position makes it look like the government is truly concerned with property rights, an issue that has caused the ruling PC party so much political grief in southern Alberta.

Justice Minister Jonathan Denis, who made the appointment, has stated that the new advocate will furnish information to landowners (which the government perceives as resolving all the political misunderstandings on the issue) and provide advice to the government. The advocate is also supposed to investigate any complaints. I expect how that specific duty is carried out will decide whether this position is of actual consequence, or as some suspect nothing more than political smoke and mirrors.

One difference in this appointment seems to be that it does not appear to be an outright political job reward similar to the one given by the government to defeated former ag minister Evan Berger. One hopes that considering the estimated million-dollar cost of the new advocate’s office that it will produce some value for the taxpayers’ money. If it doesn’t it will surely become just more political cannon fodder for the opposition Wildrose Party, that has found that the property rights issue is a political gift that just keeps on giving.



The world turns its attention to animal welfare Part one of two World standards } The World Organization for Animal Health starts with a focus on beef production mal care comes from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in its interactive “Gateway to Farm Animal Welfare” website. The Gateway is equal parts information source, a forum for discussion and a platform for the international animal welfare community to engage in collaborative projects.

Meristem Information Resources


e hear a lot about how livestock welfare has become a front-burner issue around the world. But what specifically is happening at that big-picture global level that Canadian livestock producers and their industries should keep an eye on? University of British Columbia animal welfare expert Dr. David Fraser is often invited to international livestock welfare discussions and participates in several of the major international organizations and initiatives. He regularly speaks to livestock industry groups to provide what he calls “the 30,000-foot view” — a unique perspective on the global animal welfare agenda. Fraser provides colour commentary on several key international developments that have stuck in his mind based on activities and observations of the past several months. • The “Gateway” opens. An ambitious new web-based communications effort that promises to reshape how the world learns and collaborates on farm ani-

“The proposed beef standard had enough specifics to provide real value and it passed overwhelmingly 177 to 1.” David Fraser

The FAO is highly influential, especially in the less-industrialized countries, and the activity of the Gateway is likely to be a major driver in shaping how the world thinks about and manages farm animal welfare issues. “This is the first major public communications effort the

FAO has really done on farm animal welfare,” says Fraser. “Globally it’s quite significant because this is an information channel to most of the countries in the world. The Gateway should be a very good indication of what the big issues are globally and how different countries are approaching them. It could become a solid resource and tool for Canadian organizations and interest groups involved in livestock welfare.” • OIE adopts beef production standards. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has adopted its first-ever international standards on animal welfare in livestock production systems, starting with a focus on beef production. The OIE is the major intergovernmental global organization responsible for improving animal health worldwide, with a total of 178 member countries including Canada. The beef-production standards adopted this past spring by OIE delegates cover a number of components. These include: criteria and indicators to measure the welfare of beef cattle, nutritious quality of feed, supplementary lighting for

cattle that do not have access to natural light, bedding and many other aspects of cattlebreeding conditions. This move is a major shift from the OIE’s traditional focus on animal health into the broader livestock welfare arena. It opens the door to more OIE standards to come and continued building of consensus-based international approaches. Fraser says there’s nothing mandatory about the standards, but they set a consensus on baseline expectations. “I think it’s very significant that the OIE is now playing such a role. To me, this signifies a global acceptance of the issue that wasn’t there 10 years ago.” An interesting footnote is that the year before, a draft attempt at standards for broiler chicken production was put forward but did not reach consensus and was withdrawn, says Fraser. “The proposed beef standard had enough specifics to provide real value and it passed overwhelmingly 177 to 1.” • Statement of 10 general principles. Another big development out of OIE in 2012 was the organization’s landmark adoption of 10 “general principles for the

welfare of animals in livestock production systems.” This was another breakthrough example of global consensus on livestock welfare. The 10 principles, agreed upon unanimously by the 178 OIE members, were designed to guide the development of animal welfare standards for the organization. The beef production standards were developed under these principles, which are meant to provide a consistent basis for all future livestock welfare standards. The principles outline basic elements that should be incorporated into standards for all types of livestock production, regardless of species or jurisdiction. As such, they represent a historic achievement and promise to be highly influential in shaping the design of livestock welfare approaches throughout the world. “The sheer number of countries agreeing to these fundamentals, to me represents a monumental shift,” says Fraser. “This signifies a global acceptance of the issue that simply wasn’t there 10 years ago.” From the NewStream farm animal care newsletter by Meristem Information Resources. To subscribe email

The meat industry needs to show it has nothing to hide Options } Consumers can choose to get their protein from other sources By Darryl E. Ray and Harwood D. Schaffer


ver a century ago, a journalist obtained employment in the meat-packing industry in Chicago intending to draw attention to the deplorable working conditions. When Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle was finally published, the public reacted not to the conditions endured by the workers, but to diseased cattle and the lack of sanitation in an industry that provided the meat they ate. Today we see the same sort of activism surrounding the meat industry. The differences between the two eras are mostly a matter of technology. Sinclair used a pen and paper. Today, the tools are hidden video cameras and videos posted to the Internet where some of them go viral.

No less than in Upton Sinclair’s day, the battle today is an ideological one. He was a socialist hoping to end wage slavery; concern about tainted meat was the public’s interest. Today’s videographers’ issues range from the humane treatment of animals to making the eating of meat unpalatable to a large swath of the U.S. public. For those concerned about animal welfare, the target audience is typically consumers who will pressure large restaurant and grocery chains to set standards for the meat/egg/ milk products they sell. One hundred years ago, the result of the work of Sinclair and other muckrakers was the passage of the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Today, state legislators debate ways to make it illegal for workers to surreptitiously make videos in meat-production facilities.

“(I)f there is something we are unwilling to show, we probably shouldn’t be doing it.” Temple Grandin

The problem with legislation that aims to punish today’s muckrakers is that it makes the meat industry look like it has something to hide. And, that only makes matters worse for everyone, all of the way back to the cow-calf operator. If consumers think the industry has something to hide, they will switch products. With today’s emphasis

on a diet that includes a variety of whole grains, the only thing consumers have to do is add a complement of pulses and they can consume all of the essential amino acids needed for full protein utilization in humans — no meat or animal products needed. As recently reported on the Drovers Cattle Network, Colorado State University and the Colorado Beef Council sponsored a “conference titled “Beef + Transparency = Trust.” In an article, “Trust through transparency — Part 3,” Drovers managing editor John Maday wrote, “Temple Grandin, known worldwide for her work in animal behaviour and handling, told the group that the livestock industry needs to show the public what they do. And if there is something we are unwilling to show, we probably shouldn’t be doing it.”

As economists, we agree. The availability of completeas-possible information to all market participants is a key expectation for economic transactions in freemarket economies. Information restrictions of all kinds are indefensible and totally foreign to the perfectly competitive models ascribed to by economists. In this case one could argue that detailed information from producers, along with the reasons for practices, would provide a more balanced and realworld window into livestock production than an agendadriven, highly edited video that goes viral on the Internet. Daryll E. Ray is the director, and Harwood D. Schaffer a research assistant professor, at the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at the University of Tennessee.




CALF PRICES  from page 1 der are up only one per cent, and even a hefty expansion of Canada’s four million head won’t be enough to fill the gap. Many ranchers south of the border are desperately trying to hang on despite high feed costs. If they are forced to fold due to a second year of drought, the resulting shortage of cattle will push prices skyward in the coming years. “If they don’t get the rain, there could be another flush of cattle hit the market. Then next year, the beef shortage will really show up,” Perillat said. But producers will continue to face high feed costs. Ethanol still soaks up 40 per cent of the corn crop and with last year’s harvest down by a quarter, even a perfect growing season in the Midwest won’t mean a return to $3-perbushel corn. Meanwhile, U.S. beef net exports have shot up to 750 million pounds a year, a sharp reversal from 2006 when the country imported two billion pounds. That shift is equal to taking Canada’s total beef production at 2.8 billion pounds off the market, said Perillat.

WHEAT BELT  from page 1 The liquidation trend has ended, but Canada’s herd is down 25 per cent from the peak six years ago. When the Jan. 1 Statistics Canada numbers come out in February, it is likely to show that heifer retention numbers only rose 50,000 head for a total of 600,000. “Historically, we’re still very low,” said Perillat. Five years ago, everyone thought Brazil would dominate world exports, but higher prices for corn and soy have swallowed up acres that would have been used for beef production. Richer now than they were, Brazilians are eating more beef and the country’s exports have dropped 20 per cent in the past five years. Oddly enough, India is the wild card in the international beef trade. The cow may still be sacred, but outcrosses with water buffalo and dairy cows have opened up a niche that doesn’t offend Hindu sensibilities. “India in 2013 could potentially be the biggest beef exporter in the world,” said Perillat.

Brian Perillat, a Canfax analyst, gives an overview of beef markets for 2013 at a meeting in Ste. Rose, Man. PHOTO: DANIEL WINTERS


running through the Plains from Texas to North Dakota. All but one of Oklahoma’s 77 counties were termed disaster areas, along with 88 of Kansas’s 108 counties, 30 of Colorado’s 64 counties and 157 of Texas’s 254 counties. Crop condition ratings for winter wheat were the worst on record in early December, the most recent figures available. Some experts said up to a quarter of the crop will be abandoned because of poor development. Winter wheat, the dominant U.S. wheatB:10.25” variety, is seeded in the fall, goes dormant during the T:10.25”

JANUARY 8, 2013

winter and is harvested the following spring. USDA also declared as natural disaster areas 14 counties in Alabama, 47 counties in Arkansas, four counties in Arizona, 92 counties in Georgia, two counties in Hawaii, 31 counties in Missouri, 19 counties in New Mexico, nine counties in Nevada, 11 counties in South Carolina and 17 counties in Utah. In 2012, USDA designated 2,245 counties in 39 states as disaster areas due to drought. Some 42 per cent of the contiguous 48 states were under

Some experts said up to a quarter of the crop will be abandoned because of poor development.

severe to extraordinary drought, according to U.S. officials. The worst of the drought was in the Great Plains.


By 2050, there will be 9,000,000,000 hungry people and less farmland than there’s ever been. On August 19–25, 2013, the world’s youth will gather at the global 4-H Youth Ag-Summit to advance solutions to this growing crisis of agricultural sustainability.



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JBS to purchase troubled Brooks beef-packing plant, other assets POSITIVE REACTION  Canadian groups happy to hear plant’s ownership is now stable BY VICTORIA PATERSON AF STAFF/CALGARY


he future of the Brooks beef-packing plant at the centre of an E. coli outbreak that triggered the largest beef recall in Canadian history has been secured. JBS USA announced in a press release that its subsidiary JBS Food Canada Inc. was exercising its option to purchase the XL Foods Lakeside beef-packing plant. JBS has been managing the facility since it reopened on Oct. 29, 2012. In addition to the Brooks plant, the deal includes another packing plant in Calgary and a 70,000-head feedlot with an adjoining 6,000 acres of farmland in Brooks. “We’re absolutely thrilled to

Tokyo trader buys into Manitoba pork firm Non Bleed

ASIA TRADE  Itochu seeks to sell “safe, secure” pork in China, Japan



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Japanese trading firm aiming to sell Canadian pork into Asian markets has bought a third of a major Manitoba producer and packer. Itochu Corp. on Jan. 8 said it has paid about five billion yen (C$56.6 million) for a 33.4 per cent share of HyLife Group, based at La Broquerie, Man. Itochu said in a release that the deal is based on the understanding that HyLife’s expansion strategy “most prioritizes markets of Japan and Asia” where the two companies could mutually help each other. HyLife’s sales of “safe, secure pork” are expected to increase through Itochu’s marketing network in the Asian market, “with a focus on China, where consumption continues to grow, as well as in the Japanese market.” HyLife, which operates out of livestock-rich southeastern Manitoba, produces over 1.4 million pigs a year and has owned and operated the former Springhill Farms pork-processing plant at Neepawa, about 75 km northeast of Brandon, since 2008. HyLife, known as Hytek until 2011, also owns feed mills, genetics labs, a barn construction business and a farm supply distribution business for its barns. The company expanded its hog production business into the U.S. and, in 2008, China, where it’s now a partner in Tianzow Food Co. Itochu said it also expects the HyLife deal to help expand its business with China’s Longda Foodstuff Group, a “significant partner” of Itochu’s, by way of “technical exchanges in the field of pig production.”

officially enter the Canadian cattle. Bruett said the slaughter beef-processing market,” said mix under JBS will depend on Cameron Bruett, head of corpo- the market. rate communications for JBS USA The release said JBS is awaiting in an interview. the U.S. government’s regulatory I n O c t o b e r t h e r e w a s a n review for whether it can proceed option to buy the plant and with the purchase of XL Food’s other Canadian and American assets south of the border. Howfacilities from Edmonton-based ever, while they’ve been embraced Nilsson Brothers, the owners by Canadian cattle producers, of XL Foods for $100 million in there’s been some opposition cash and JBS shares. The exact south of the border. “We have seen details of the sale have not yet some cattle groups raise some been released. Decisions about concerns, yes, but we’re going the name and any changes to through the process with the U.S. the facility haven’t been deter- government on that and they’ll mined yet, Bruett said. conduct their review,” Bruett said. “We’ll address those issues Representatives from Canadian when we officially acquire the cattle groups welcomed the deal. facility,” adding it was hoped “That’s certainly good news for the the acquisition would be done industry,” said Doug Sawyer, chair b y m i d - J a n u a r y . T h e p l a n t of Alberta Beef Producers. “We’re SEC-WHEAB13_AF.qxd 1/10/13 Pageto1see JBS is making under XL Foods processed both 4:32 very PM pleased cull cows and finished slaughter the full commitment.” Sawyer

said JBS has a lot of experience in expanding export markets, which he’s hoping will help Canadian beef. “I’m not seeing any concerns,” he said. It would have been nice to see a Canadian company step up, he said, but there was nobody willing to do so. “I think that JBS, judging from what I have learned from them, they look like a good fit,” he said. “I think it bodes well for the foreseeable future for that plant.” Brent Chaffee, chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, agreed it was good news, though he’d like to see a third bidder enter the beef-packing market. “What the Canadian market needs is either another entity as a reliable local bidder and/or a fluid border. Those two things would help the industry as much as another name on the packing plant in Brooks,”

he said. Chaffee thinks JBS will continue to operate the plant at an “economical level” but said they might not try and feed as many cattle in the area as Nilsson’s had. “I think the overall concentration of captive cattle for that plant will be lower,” he said, adding that should mean a more robust cash market. Western Stock Growers Association chair Phil Rowland agreed with Chaffee that he’d like to see a third bidder in the marketplace, but felt the JBS purchase is good news. “It’s more important that we have a stable packing market than our concerns about a foreign ownership,” he said. “They certainly are experts in the packing industry.” JBS USA is owned by JBS S.A., a leading Brazilian global meat production company.

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Good year for wheat and barley predicted, stability for other crops FORECASTING } Most producer groups think 2013 will be profitable By Victoria Paterson af staff/calgary


epresentatives from Alberta grain, oilseed and special crop producer groups predicted a hopeful 2013 when asked to forecast how their industries would fare this year. The general manager of the recently formed Alberta Wheat Commission said this year looks good for wheat, though there may be a shift in the varieties grown following the end of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly. Rick Istead said this year the commission will be building awareness in its stakeholders and striving to deliver value to its members so they’ll accept a checkoff to promote marketing- and variety-development initatives. He predicted continued strong prices for wheat and good demand, though said there may be a shift to more Canadian Prairie Spring wheats. “Growers will grow those varieties or those classes that will make them the most money,” Istead said. “I think we’re going to see some expansion of the smaller classes at the reduction of the hard red spring.” He said he thinks wheat will definitely be profitable. However, he cautioned farmers to pay close attention to the markets and their contracts. Disease management was the No. 1 issue facing producers this year, said Jody Klassen, chair of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. He named clubroot and blackleg as main

concerns. “I think obviously the markets would be the second… if it can stay where it is, canola’s going to continue to be a profitable crop,” Klassen said. He guessed that demand would remain strong and supply concerns an issue, resulting in another strong year for canola prices. Klassen said he thinks canola acreage will remain similar to 2012 levels. “I don’t really see it growing or shrinking,” he said. Canola will remain profitable if there are good yields and prices, he said. “It’s probably better than most years,” he said for 2013.

Barley might expand

With good health claims and opportunities for exports in the feed and malt market, Matt Sawyer, chair of the Alberta Barley Commission, is predicting strong prices. “It’s a great crop to grow agronomically,” he said. Some of the group’s main issues this year will be making research a priority and focusing on making sure the livestock producers they supply are happy. “My initial thoughts are there’s going to be more barley acres put in,” he said. “I would say the prices should be staying strong for a few years to come,” he said. “Generally speaking I think you could say the market is bullish,” said Gerry Good, president of Alberta Pulse Producers. He said disease management, especially for peas, is a key challenge for the pulse industry. He said more

plant breeding and research is needed, including research into developing markets for the fraction or processed components of peas. Good predicted some small expansion for the pulse industry in general, but said there’s “tremendous” interest in faba beans right now. Helmut Leili, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta, said the main issues this year are to hold their own in terms of acreage and volume of production. Overproduction of potatoes in other parts of Canada and the U.S. is a concern for Alberta growers, he said. “We’re hoping for stability,” he said of the market and acres planted in Alberta. The group would also like to see more research dollars from the government. Lynn Jacobson, chair of the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers, said for grain producers the main issues in 2013 are changes to the grain commissions and to insurance. “I guess what we’re looking at is that prices don’t seem to be related to supply and demand anymore,” Jacobson said. “We’re cautiously optimistic in the grain and oilseed industry at this point in time,” adding it’s not possible to predict production and prices at the time of year. Jacobson expects expansion in grain crops and stability in oilseed producers, though he noted there’s a likely shift in the varieties of wheat that will be produced this year.

Alberta Barley Commission chair Matt Sawyer expects more acres in the crop this year.   PHOTo: Alberta Barley Commission

Making healthy bread taste and smell better Aroma } Ferulic acid in flour suppresses one

of the critical components in baked bread Staff


new finding by USDA researchers could mean that instead of eating more whole wheat bread because it’s good for them, people will eat more simply because it’s good. The key to giving whole wheat bread a more appetizing aroma and taste may lie in controlling the amounts of a single chemical compound that appears in the bread, which nutritionists regard as more healtahful than its refined white counterpart. That’s the finding of a new study in ACS’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which opens the door to making whole wheat bakery products more appealing to millions of people. Whole wheat flour includes all three layers of the grain — bran, germ and endosperm — while refined flour is mostly endosperm. Whole wheat flour contains more

fibre and compounds called phytochemicals, both of which can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Despite wheat bread’s benefits, many consumers choose white bread because they prefer its taste and aroma. Devin G. Peterson and colleagues wanted to find out how one specific compound prevalent in whole wheat flour impacts its taste and aroma. They focused on ferulic acid (FA), found mainly in bran. Scientists already knew that FA suppresses one of the critical components of baked bread’s aroma. When Peterson’s team added FA to white flour dough, the bread tasted and smelled like wheat bread. They linked those changes to reduced amounts of a number of compounds that help shape bread’s aroma. Understanding these chemical reactions could help bakers make healthier bread more appetizing, their study suggests.



NEWS Feds fund research on genetic markers The federal government has provided more than $575,000 from the Agricultural Innovation Program for Delta Genomics Centre in Edmonton to accelerate the adoption of new genetic profiling tools. The tools identify SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), which are genetic markers that can be tracked between parents and their offspring. They would identify traits such as meat quality, animal health and feed efficiency. “This project is an essential stepping stone to get the benefits of genomics into the hands of producers on the ground,” Colin Coros, vice-president of operations of Delta Genomics Centre said in a government release. “It will allow our project partners to adopt a new sire identification tool, which is fundamental to using more in depth DNA profiles for genetic improvement of Canadian cattle.”

CFIA to open “Centres for Expertise” staff / The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is opening 16 “Centres for Expertise,” including two in Calgary, in a bid to get all of its inspectors on the same regulatory page. The centres “will provide interpretation and guidance” to front-line staff, said Paul Mayers, the agency’s associate vice-president for policies and programs. The agency has been operating under a “dispersed model” in which inspectors in different parts of the country go to different places for regulatory interpretation, he said. “The challenge that we have in the dispersed model is that it’s possible therefore for an inspector in one part of the country to get subtly different interpretation provided,” Mayers said. “We want to avoid that where we can. We want to have consistent interpretation.” The locations for the various centres were partly determined by the local concentration of related industries and academic experts. “We want to be able to tap into other experts outside of government,” Mayers said. Calgary is to be home to the centres for red meat slaughter and foreign animal disease and emergency management expertise. The former was a natural fit while the latter reflects the fact that recent foreign disease events — including BSE and avian influenza — have occurred in Western Canada. The centres were announced as part of the 2012 federal budget and are part of “modernization effort” aimed at ensuring more efficient and consistent delivery of inspection services, he said. ”We’ve seen where inconsistency can contribute to a bit of confusion,” Mayers said.

Monsanto sees range of new products, raises profit outlook Ambitious } The world’s largest seed company is positioned to launch

a new technology every year through the end of this decade

States this spring at about 76 million acres or more. “The bottom line is our order book is strong,” Grant told analysts in a conference call. Total sales of corn seeds and genetic traits rose 27 per cent to $1.1 billion in the first quarter compared with a year earlier. Soybean sales, conversely, fell to $231 million, down 4.5 per cent. Sales for cotton, vegetable seeds and all other crop seeds and genetic traits were lower for the quarter. Monsanto’s sales of herbicide and other crop, lawn and garden chemicals were up nearly 31 per cent to $1.2 billion, largely due to strong pricing and other favourable market dynamics, the company said.

By Carey Gillam Reuters


onsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, said Jan. 8 that expansion efforts in Latin America are paying off, adding to the company’s strength in the U.S. market and helping it capture surprisingly strong profits. Monsanto has been pushing for deeper penetration of its corn seed products in Latin America and said it was seeing good progress on upgrading offerings in Brazil and Argentina. In particular, sales of corn engineered both to tolerate weed-killing treatments and to protect the plant from pests are expanding rapidly in both countries, the company said. “The Latin American opportunity is tracking very well,” said Monsanto chairman Hugh Grant. The growth in Latin America, along with early U.S. spring seed sales and strong herbicide sales, helped Monsanto raise its earnings outlook for fiscal 2013 and delivered surprisingly strong firstquarter results. Shares rose nearly three per cent after the developer of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and other crops said it was aiming for $4.30 to $4.40 per share on an ongoing basis in fiscal 2013, up from its previous guidance of $4.18 to $4.32 per share. If achieved, it would mark the third straight year of ongoing earnings growth. The guidance fell shy of analysts’ estimates, but still was applauded. On average, analysts were looking for $4.43 a share for fiscal 2013 guidance, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The guidance excludes what could be 20 cents to 25 cents of earnings contribution from soybean sales in Brazil, as the company is involved in a dispute there over

Trait Stewardship Responsibilities

Notice to Farmers Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of BiotechnologyDerived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Genuity®, Roundup Ready®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. Used under license.

Pipeline of new products

Hugh Grant, the chairman, president and chief executive of Monsanto.  PHOTo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson collection of royalties on its patented “Roundup Ready” herbicideresistant soybeans. Monsanto has been meeting with grower groups in Brazil to try to forge an agreement even as its legal dispute with the government over royalty collection continues. The company wants to resolve the issue before it launches a new “Intacta” soybean. Intacta beans are genetically altered not only to tolerate Roundup herbicide, but to also protect plants from harmful worms and to offer increased yields. Brazil, the world’s No. 2 soybean producer, is one of Monsanto’s fastest-growing and most important markets after the United States and demand for soybeans in Brazil has increased sharply.

Fast-growing markets

Monsanto said corn seed and genetic trait sales in Latin America

and in the United States were key to a total jump in sales of 21 per cent, to $2.9 billion for the quarter, a surge that even surprised Monsanto, Grant said. The company expects U.S. acreage planted with both its leading corn and soybean products to expand this year, officials said, as the pace of U.S. seed orders exceeds last year’s. Monsanto said it expects U.S. farmers to plant 36 million to 38 million acres with its key corn seed products, up from 27 million acres in 2012. Company officials reiterated expectations for a total of about 96 million acres planted by U.S. farmers with corn. Monsanto said it expects U.S. farmers to plant about 39 million to 41 million acres with its Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans, up from 32 million acres in 2012. The company has said it sees total soybean planting in the United

Monsanto also said that it has a record number of projects in its research and development pipeline and is positioned to launch a major new technology every year through the end of this decade. Commercial sales of the company’s new “DroughtGard” corn begin this year. The company is moving forward on new dicamba-tolerant soybeans, as well as beans with resistance to root rot disease, and it is enhancing insect control for corn and pushing forward on a wheat with improved yield capability, officials said. The dicamba-tolerant soybeans are seen as a critical move for Monsanto, as its core Roundup Ready crops lose their appeal due to growing weed resistance to Roundup herbicide. The company is also deploying a “steady wave” of new vegetable products ranging from diseaseresistant cucumbers to broccoli that is easier to harvest and has improved appearance on store shelves. The company hopes to launch the broccoli this year in the United Kingdom.

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NEWS » Markets


Food prices to stay high in 2013

Peregrine CEO to be sentenced

Food prices will stay high in 2013 and low stocks pose the risk of sharp price increases if crops fail, says the United Nations’ food agency. A surge in food prices over the summer of 2012 fuelled by drought in the U.S. and dry weather in other major exporters raised fears of a new food crisis such as the one seen in 2008. But the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index, which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, fell for the third month in a row in December to 209, its lowest level since June, led by declines in cereals and oils prices.

Peregrine Financial Group’s former chief executive, who pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $100 million from customers of his futures brokerage, will be sentenced on Jan. 31. Russell Wasendorf Sr., 64, who founded the now-defunct firm, faces a potential maximum sentence of 50 years in prison after pleading guilty in September to mail fraud, lying to regulators and embezzling customer money. Last July Wasendorf attempted to kill himself and confessed in a suicide note to bilking customers over nearly 20 years. Peregrine Financial, known as PFGBest, quickly collapsed and thousands of former customers are still missing money.


}crop concern


USDA’s latest production bullish for grains; bearish soybeans Tight stocks } Canola is still well supported by its own supply-and-demand fundamentals

By Phil Franz-Warkentin


he ICE Futures Canada canola market saw some choppy activity during the week ended Jan. 11, as positioning in the U.S. ahead of a much-anticipated production report kept some uncertainty in the Canadian market as well. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final production numbers for the 2012 growing season were released Jan. 11, along with updated supply and usage projections. When the dust settled, canola, soybeans, corn and wheat were all higher for the most part, although soyoil posted losses on the week. While the actual numbers contained only minor adjustments from previous estimates, the immediate response to the report was bullish for the grains but a little bearish for soybeans. The U.S. wheat contracts saw the largest price move in response to the report, as seeded acres were not as big as market expectations. U.S. wheat stocks at the end of the current marketing year, May 31, were also

forecast to be tighter than most traders had anticipated. After dropping steadily for all of December, the wheat market was looking for a reason to correct higher. That catalyst finally came with the January USDA report. Whether or not the bounce can be sustained remains to be seen, but the fact remains that wheat posted its first weekly gains since late November. U.S. farmers planted 41.8 million acres of winter wheat this past fall for harvest in 2013, according to USDA. That represents a one per cent increase from the previous year, but average market guesses had been for a three per cent rise. On top of that, what’s in the ground continues to be hampered by drought conditions across much of the U.S. Plains, which will likely hamper yields. U.S. wheat exports have been admittedly lacklustre to date, as the country faces stiff competition in the international market. However, ending stocks are still forecast to be on the tight side at only 701 million bushels. That compares with a previous estimate of 754 million.

More wheat is said to be finding its way into feed rations.

Corn carry-out revised

The corn numbers included an increase in 2012 yields, due to improved yields, but a decrease in ending stocks. The carry-out for the current marketing year was revised lower due to an expected increase in domestic consumption. Corn ending stocks are now forecast at only 602 million bushels, which compares with 989 million at the close of the 2011-12 marketing year. However, export demand also remains poor for corn, especially as end-users are now anticipating the cheaper South American supplies soon to be available. For soybeans, the USDA report could be seen as a little bearish, as U.S. soybean production in 2012 came in above trade guesses at 3.015 billion bushels. Export demand is firm for the commodity, but as in corn, South America’s large crop will soon be displacing the U.S. in the international market.

For Canada, the canola market bounced around in sympathy with its U.S. counterparts for the most part during the week, but remains well supported by its own fundamentals. Tightening stocks remain a concern across Western Canada, with end-users still looking to secure supplies before they run out. The latest Canadian Grain Commission data, as of Jan. 6, shows visible stocks held in commercial hands have declined to 879,200 tonnes, from a million the previous week and 1.5 million at the same time in 2012. Crushers and exporters continue to work at a solid pace and, depending on the location, are offering good basis opportunities to keep operating. The best basis can be found in southern Manitoba, but with crush margins at very weak levels, it’s uncertain how long those opportunities might last. Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

MARKET BRIEFS • Argentina’s 2012-13 corn harvest is expected at 28 million to 30 million tonnes, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Oscar Solis said Jan. 14, increasing expectations after President Cristina Fernandez forecast a crop of 24.5 million tonnes last year. “There is a lot of corn, and in exceptional condition,” Solis told Reuters. “The range will be roughly between 28 million and 30 million tonnes.” The projection puts the ministry in line with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which earlier upped its 2012-13 Argentine corn crop estimate to 28 million tonnes from 27.5 million tonnes. The season started with heavy August-November storms that flooded wide swathes of the

Pampas Grains Belt, raising fear that many areas would not get planted. The rains have since given way to extended stretches of sunny weather, allowing farmers to get most areas planted and setting the stage for healthy yields. • Argentine soy planting advanced quickly in the week ending July 10 to cover more than 90 per cent of the targeted area, easing fears of a crop shortfall that could keep world food prices high. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said recent sunny weather firmed topsoils enough to finally allow farmers to drive heavy seeding machines into fields that had until recently

been turned to mush by a series of violent rainstorms. “Farmers in western Buenos Aires province were able to take advantage of this rain-free period and plant more late-seeded fields, including low-lying areas that had until recently been waterlogged,” the exchange’s report said. Farmers, worried about diseases that could strike soy plants in areas that remain waterlogged, are keeping a sharp eye out for fungal outbreaks such as Asian soy rust and frog-eye leaf spot that thrive in soggy conditions. “Some areas that still cannot be planted with soy will be seeded with corn,” the exchange said. “Growers are looking for alternatives to make sure fields are productive.” — Reuters

• U.K. wheat imports surpassed one million tonnes during the first five months of the 2012-13 season, exceeding the total for the entire previous marketing year, customs data showed Jan. 15. Imports had soared this season after a poor wheat crop in Britain with yields slumping to a 23-year low and quality hurt by high diseases levels. Britain is expected to be a net importer of wheat in 2012-13 for the first time in more than a decade. • Italy’s stock market is considering adding more commodity futures contracts as it gears up to launch Europe’s first futures market for durum wheat later this month.

“We are studying other derivatives on other agricultural products,” Borsa Italiana Commodities head Ennio Arlandi said on the sidelines of a conference. He would not specify which. Borsa Italiana, which runs the Milan exchange and is controlled by the London Stock Exchange, will launch its new AGREX futures for durum wheat on Jan. 21 in a move to help Europe’s pasta makers offset price volatility. Italy is one of the world’s leading producers of durum wheat, which is used mainly to produce pasta in the continent and couscous in North Africa and the Middle East. — Reuters



Impact of climate change hitting home, U.S. report finds NEW NORMAL  More heat waves, heavy downpours, floods and droughts BY DEBORAH ZABARENKO REUTERS


he consequences of climate change are now hitting the United States on several fronts, including health, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture and especially more frequent severe weather, a congressionally mandated study has concluded. A draft of the U.S. National Climate Assessment, released Jan. 11, said observable change to the climate in the past half-century “is due primarily to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuel,” and that no areas of the United States were immune to change. “Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington state, and maple syrup producers in Vermont have observed changes in their local climate that are outside of their experience,” the report said. Months after Superstorm Sandy hurtled into the U.S. East Coast, causing billions of dollars in damage, the report concluded that severe weather was the new normal. “Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/ or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts,” the report said, days after scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared 2012 the hottest year ever in the United States. Some environmentalists looked for the report to energize climate efforts by the White House or Congress, although many Republican lawmakers are wary of declaring a definitive link between human activity and evidence of a changing climate. The U.S. Congress has been mostly silent on climate change since efforts to pass “cap-and-

trade” legislation collapsed in the Senate in mid-2010. A three-month period for public comment will now ensue, as well as a review by the National Academies of Sciences, before the final version is produced.

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“A warning to all of us”

The report noted that of an increase in average U.S. temperatures of about 1.5° F (.83° C) since 1895, when reliable national record-keeping began, more than 80 per cent had occurred in the past three decades. With heat-trapping gases already in the atmosphere, temperatures could rise by a further 2° to 4° F (1.1° to 2.2° C) in most parts of the country over the next few decades, the report said. Certain positive consequences of rising temperatures, such as a longer growing season, were said to be offset by more disruptive impacts, including: • Threats to human health from increased extreme weather events, wildfires and air pollution, as well as diseases spread by insects and through food and water; • Less-reliable water supply, and the potential for water rights to become a hot-button legal issue; • More vulnerable infrastructure due to sea-level rise, bigger storm surges, heavy downpours and extreme heat; • Warmer and more acidic oceans. “This draft report sends a warning to all of us: We must act in a comprehensive fashion to reduce carbon pollution or expose our people and communities to continuing devastation from extreme weather events and their aftermath,” Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who heads the Senate environment committee, said in a statement.

WHAT’S UP Send agriculture-related meeting and event announcements to: January 22: Explore Horticulture, Memorial Centre 9:00 am, Lacombe. Call: Rob 403-742-7901 January 22: Open Wheat and Barley Markets, Coast Hotel 9:00 am, Lethbridge. Call: Rick 780-4274466 January 23: Explore Horticulture, Community Hall 9:00 am, Veteran. Call: Rob 403-742-7901 January 23: Farm Succession Series, Mallaig Unity Hall, Mallaig. Call: Kellie 780-826-7260 January 23: Open Wheat and Barley Markets, Legion Hall 9:00 am, Bow Island. Call: Rick 780-427-4466 January 24: Explore Horticulture, Agriplex Banquet Hall 9:00 am, Millet. Call: Rob 403-742-7901 January 24: Farm Legal Issues, Best Western Resort 10:00 am, Camrose. Call: Alvin 866-828-6774 January 24: Farm Succession Series, Location TBA, Bonnyville. Call: Kellie 780-826-7260 January 24: Open Wheat and Barley Markets, Civic Centre 9:00 am, Strathmore. Call: Rick 780-4274466 January 25: Explore Horticulture, Provincial Building 9:00 am, Grande Prairie. Call: Rob 403-7427901

January 26: Farm Succession Series, RCMP Hall, Glendon. Call: Kellie 780-826-7260 January 26: Farm and Ranch Succession, Rocky View County Bldg, 9:30 am, Calgary. Call: Susan 403-520-6291 January 28: Winter Grazing School, Agriculture Hall 10:00 am, Manning. Call: Nora 780-836-3354 January 29/31: FarmTech 3013, Northlands Expo Centre, Edmonton. Call: Rick 780-678-6167 January 29: Grain Marketing Course, Taber Golf Course, Taber. Call: Lee 403-376-0419 January 29/30: Greenhouse Business Planning, Crop Diversification Centre, Edmonton. Call: Rob 780-310-3276 January 29: Winter Grazing School, Tindall Farm, High Prairie. Call: Morgan 780-835-6799 January 30: Alberta Pulse Growers AGM, Northlands Expo Centre 2:45 pm, Edmonton. Call: Jennifer 780986-9398 February 5: Open Wheat and Barley Markets, Centennial Hall 9:00 am, Spirit River. Call: Rick 780-4274466 February 8: Peace Country Beef & Forage AGM, Dunvegan Motor Inn 4:00 pm, Fairview. Call: Morgan 780-835-6799

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Kenya farm clashes turn deadly ETHNIC VIOLENCE  The

two groups have fought for years over access to grazing, farmland and water BY JOSEPH AKWIRI



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aiders armed with guns, machetes and spears killed 30 people, including several children, and torched their houses in Kenya’s coastal region Dec. 21, police said. Nine of the raiders were also killed in what appeared to have been a revenge attack by settled Pokomo farmers against the seminomadic Orma pastoralists after a series of clashes in August in which more than 100 people were killed. The two groups have fought for years over access to grazing, farmland and water, but human rights groups have blamed the latest violence on politicians seeking to drive away parts of the local population they believe will vote for their rivals in parliamentary elections in March. If those charges are true, it further raises fears of a repeat of the ethnic violence that rocked Kenya after the disputed 2007 presidential election, in which more than 1,200 people were killed countrywide. “About 150 Pokomo raiders attacked Kipao village which is inhabited by the Ormas early on Friday. The Ormas appeared to have been aware and were prepared,” Robert Kitur, Coast Region deputy police chief, told reporters. One survivor said the attackers struck at dawn. “There were too many gunshots. They used also spears and machetes. I ran out of my house and left behind my wife and two children, and told them not to leave... but the enemies reached my house, killed my family and burnt my house as I watched from where I was hiding,” said Osman Amran, 63, of the Orma tribe.



After a bumper harvest in 2012, India poised to be a new wheat-export powerhouse Surplus } Government reserves now have reached 31 million tonnes, second only to China and three times the official target levels by gavin maguire chicago / reuters


hile most other major wheat growers around the world suffered from production setbacks in 2012 due to drought, India’s farmers had a banner year which has resulted in a glut of wheat supplies at state-run warehouses and export facilities. India’s state reserves of wheat have reached 31 million tonnes the highest level in the world outside of China and three times larger than official target levels. This sets the stage for the country to emerge as a major player on the wheat export stage in 2013 and potentially make up for any shortfalls from other exporting regions. India is the third-largest consumer of wheat in the world, and this boost in supplies puts the country’s exporters in an unusual position, as traditionally India is only a bit-part player in global wheat trade. So far, the Indian government has raised its wheat export allowance gradually as it assesses overall crop supply prospects for 2013, with licences for 2.5 million tonnes of wheat recently issued to follow on from the two million tonnes released from state reserves in late 2012. But with global prices remaining attractive due to the shortage of supplies out of other regions, additional flows of Indian wheat are very likely, and should hit a record by the end of 2013. Traditionally India ranks around 10th among wheat-exporting nations, but will likely move up three or four places this year.

put will likely remain destined for domestic users. Still, from time to time India will emerge as a major force on the export stage in certain markets to play a critical role in plugging supply shortages, as looks likely to be the case in wheat this year.

Workers load wheat onto a cargo ship at Mundra port in the western Indian state of Gujarat.  PHOTo: REUTERS/Amit Dave


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However, the country’s status as a major player on the wheat export stage may not last long. Massive domestic demand levels coupled with erratic production of all major food and feed staples mean that India’s exporters may well have substantially lower levels of crop excesses to trade with a year from now. That said, steady improvements in the country’s wheat yields have materialized over the past five years or so, which suggests that sustainable increases in food and crop production could be seen from India going forward that may secure its place as a top exporting powerhouse. But given the relentless levels of demand for all crops stemming from its giant human and animal herd populations, the lion’s share of India’s crop out-






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Still-potent U.S. drought robs cattle ranchers of wheat pasture Light weight} Shortage of feed forces ranchers to sell to feedyards earlier than normal By Theopolis Waters Reuters


klahoma rancher Kent Donica has given up. The drought that has ravaged pastures on his ranch and throughout the region has won. Since last September, Donica has sold nearly all of his 800 cattle because there is no pasture to feed them and he now works as a ranch hand nearby to make ends meet until it rains again. Last autumn he had hoped his winter wheat crop would feed his cattle and keep his ranching business going. The wheat also would reduce the need to buy high-priced feed like corn, which would wipe out earnings from the cattle he fattens and sells. But the worst dry spell in half a century stopped the wheat crop from sprouting properly, depriving Donica’s herd of the green shoots that would have sustained it through winter.

Donica is not alone. Across the southern Plains, the worst-ever starts to the winter wheat crop have put in jeopardy ranches that depend on wheat pasture for cheap feed, raising the prospect of higher beef prices this summer. U.S. farmers, squeezed by high prices for corn and other fodder on one hand, and drought that has parched pastureland on the other, are cutting back their herds in a bid to survive. The U.S. cattle herd has shrunk to 91 million animals, the smallest in 60 years. More pain seems to be on the horizon for ranchers after the USDA on Jan. 11 reduced its estimates for corn stocks, sending Chicago Board of Trade corn futures sharply higher. “The drought has absolutely put me in a survival mode and I finally decided there was no way to fight this,” said Donica, who now tends a nearby rancher’s cattle to pay expenses. “If we don’t get some rain

pretty quick, it will be the end of the world in Oklahoma as far as the cattle business is concerned,” said Donica, 47, whose ranch is near Ardmore, Okla. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, which have all been hurt by drought, are important pieces in U.S. cattle production accounting about 25 per cent of the nation’s herd, including dairy. The share is even larger for beef cattle, with the three states currently fattening 46 per cent of the supply. Already the shrinking herd is driving up cattle and beef prices, which could further accelerate the decline of beef consumption in the United States, which has fallen more than 16 per cent per capita in the last decade. Farm lender Rabobank forecasts U.S. cattle prices will soar to a record high $140 to $145 per cwt this spring as numbers decline. The shrinking herd will reduce beef production, with USDA forcasting a 4.3 per cent drop this year from 2012.

The smaller U.S. cattle herd and the resulting drop in beef production has lifted retail beef prices to an all-time of $5.15 per lb in November, surpassing the previous peak of $5.09 in January 2012.

Poor wheat crop

Winter wheat is a key link in the economic chain of the U.S. cattle industry. Animals that graze on the tender shoots in the fall and early winter before snow covers the ground tend to put on more muscle than they would eating grain like corn. Only a third of the U.S. winter wheat crop at the end of November was rated “good to excellent” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the crop has deteriorated since then. “We essentially have no wheat pasture. There are very few cattle on wheat in Oklahoma at this time and many of them will probably not make it through the winter,” said Darrell Peel, Oklahoma State University

Winter wheat that would usually be grazed over the winter did not germinate for many farmers last fall  PHOTo: Texas A&M extension livestock marketing specialist. Peel expected ranchers to continue selling off their herds to avoid buying high-priced feed. This year, stocker cattle in the Ohio Valley are going to go to auction barns or feedyards a lot sooner, said Sam Roberts of United Producers Inc, a farmerowned and operated livestock marketing co-operative based in Columbus, Ohio. “Many of those cattle will wind up being moved to feedyards in the Midwest at a lighter weight than they would normally,” said Roberts.

Pork could top beef as No. 2 U.S. meat in 2014 Recovery } Economist says corn

production can still rebound Nashville/Reuters


.S. corn production, slashed dramatically by drought in 2012, could rebound to a record-large crop this year if yields improve moderately, said an agricultural economist from Texas A&M University. David Anderson also said pork production could top beef in 2014, pushing beef into third place in U.S. meat production. Poultry and pork production are on the rise while beef is held back by high feed costs and drought-damaged grassland. “What we’re trying to do is make it to the next crop,” Anderson said, describing how livestock producers face several more months, at a minimum, of tight feed supplies. High commodity prices will encourage farmers to plant roughly as much corn as last year, he said, and with higher yields, “you get a record crop,” with lower prices that will ease the financial squeeze on livestock producers. During a presentation at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation meeting Jan. 14, Anderson said corn plantings were likely to match the 97 million acres of 2012 and yields could run around 150 bushels an acre. With an average amount of abandonment, that would bring a crop of 13.4 billion bushels, topping the record of 13.092 billion bushels in 2009.

Large plantings allow a record crop even with below-average yields, said Anderson — “It just doesn’t have to be as awful as last year.” The 2012 crop averaged 123.4 bushels an acre. U.S. corn and soybean production as fallen for three years in a row with harsh weather pulling down yields. Drought persists in the Plains and western Corn Belt although rainfall levels in the eastern Corn Belt are improving. Chad Hart, an Iowa State University agricultural economist, said corn, soybean and wheat yields “will likely remain below trend line in 2013” but production totals could “bump up.” He did not suggest harvest size. Demand for U.S. meat will be stable to growing this year, with beef output falling and production of poultry and pork rising, said Anderson. Pork exports are booming. “I think it certainly could happen,” Anderson told reporters, for pork output to exceed beef in 2014. “They’re very close at that point.” Beef production may begin to rise in 2015, he said, responding to high market prices. The U.S. Agriculture Department projects a decline in beef production while pork increases this year to within six per cent of beef’s total — 24.8 billion lbs. for beef vs 23.3 billion for pork. Poultry was forecast at 43.3 billion lbs. in a USDA report in early January.

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New report decries food waste in developed and emerging countries Lost } The British engineering society estimates that 1.2 billion to two billion tonnes of food are wasted each year london / reuters


A woman plates up food at a restaurant in Leicester, central England. Up to half of all the food produced worldwide ends up going to waste due to poor harvesting, storage and transport methods as well as irresponsible retailer and consumer behaviour, a new report says.  PHOTo: REUTERS/Darren Staples

p to half of all the food produced worldwide ends up going to waste due to poor harvesting, storage, and transport methods as well as irresponsible retailer and consumer behaviour, according to a new report. The world produces about four billion tonnes of food annually, but 1.2 billion to two billion tonnes are not eaten, says the study by the London-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers. “This level of wastage is a tragedy that cannot continue,” the report states. In developed countries, like Britain, efficient farming methods, transport and storage mean that most of the wastage occurs through retail and customer behaviour. Retailers produce 1.6 million tonnes of food waste a year because about 30 per cent of fruit and vegetables don’t meet exacting size and appearance criteria. As well, 30 to 50 per cent of what makes it to the grocery shelves in developed countries is thrown away by customers, often due to poor understanding of “best before” and “use by” dates. A “use by” date is when there is a health risk associated with using food after that date. A “best before” date is more about quality — when it expires it does not

necessarily mean food is harmful but it may lose some flavour and texture. Promotional offers and bulk discounts also encourage shoppers to buy, and waste, more.

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In Britain, about $16.3 billion worth of food is thrown away from homes every year, but the situation is very different in less developed countries, where wastage mostly happens due to inefficient harvesting and poor handling and storage. Southeast Asian countries, for example, lose anywhere from 37 to 80 per cent of their entire rice harvest, totalling about 180 million tonnes per year, the report said. A rising global population — expected to peak at around 9.5 billion people by 2075 — will push up prices and make the practice of discarding edible fruit and vegetables on cosmetic grounds less economically viable, the report forecasts. But it argues governments should not wait for food pricing to trigger action on this wasteful practice, but produce policies that change consumer behaviour and dissuade retailers from operating in this way. The report says developing countries should follow the example of China and Brazil, which have not only invested in infrastructure to move and store crops, but have also spent money to ensure they are efficient and well maintained.

COOL costs farmers $2 billion: Pork Council report Retaliation } Pork Council calls for

tariffs if U.S. does not meet WTO deadline By Rod Nickel

winnipeg / reuters


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he United States’ countryof-origin meat-labelling rules have directly cost the Canadian hog and pork industry more than $2 billion, according to a report that could help determine retaliation against U.S. exports if Washington does not change its rules. The United States must bring its labelling rules, known by the acronym COOL, into compliance with an earlier World Trade Organization ruling by May 23, 2013, according to a WTO decision last month. But citing no apparent movement by the U.S. Congress since the original WTO ruling in mid-2012, the Canadian Pork Council released its estimate of damages Jan. 14, and called for Ottawa to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports to Canada if there is no change by the deadline. “COOL continues to cost hog and cattle producers tens of millions of dollars every month and must be dealt with sooner rather than later,” said Jean-Guy Vincent, a Quebec hog farmer and chairman of the Pork Council. The labelling program has led to a sharp reduction in U.S. imports of Canadian pigs and cattle,

because it raised costs for U.S. packers by forcing them to segregate those animals from U.S. livestock. Some U.S. groups, however, have said COOL offers consumers valuable information about the origin of their food. The Pork Council’s report, written by economist Ron Gietz, calculated that the labelling rules cost Canadian farmers $2 billion in lost hog exports by the end of 2012, plus an additional $442 million in reduced pork shipments and suppressed prices for feeder pigs. The report does not address damages to the Canadian cattle industry, or Mexico’s livestock sector. The WTO ruled on June 29 that the U.S. country-of-origin labelling program unfairly discriminated against Canada and Mexico because it gave less favourable treatment to beef and pork imported from those countries than to U.S. meat. Meat labels became mandatory in March 2009 after years of debate.The law requires grocers to put labels on cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and ground meat or post signs that list the origin of the meat. U.S. officials have said they intend to bring COOL into compliance by the WTO’s deadline.



Long-term water-management planning yields clear value for producers EFP } Provides an ideal starting point to developing a long-term water-management plan Agri-News


here’s no doubt that access to a supply of quality water is key to the success of any agricultural operation. However, some years, quality water may not be so easy to come by. Now, more than ever, farmers and ranchers are taking control of the resource by developing long-term water-management plans, geared towards identifying their usage needs through a water-source inventory. The results will help producers preserve existing water sources and weather the challenges of drier years. “When it comes to water-management planning, it’s all about quantity and quality,” says Joe Harrington, agriculture water specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “Many agricultural producers do find themselves short of water or they find that they don’t have the quality of water that their operation needs. The idea is planning ahead and being proactive to ensure your operation has enough quality water for immediate needs and for future needs.” The first step towards developing a water-management plan is for producers to calculate how much water they need for any purpose, including household

use, livestock use and spray water use. While this may sound straightforward, Harrington says that pinpointing water requirements for an operation can be challenging. That’s why a long-term water-management plan template has been developed. Although every farmer has different water-usage requirements, the template is generic and will work for any type of agricultural operation. The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) workbook contains a section on water sources and Harrington points out that long-term watermanagement planning is a key component of any environmental plan. “It’s taking a look at their operation, assessing their water needs, assessing their current water supply,” Harrington says. “They look at whether or not they have enough quantity and enough quality and then they can make an action plan to address any shortfalls. That’s really the gist of any planning, taking a look at what you have, what you need and then making an action plan on how you’re going to address any problems.”

Determining normal

He says that operating without a water plan can be costly for any operation. For example, if drought depletes a dugout, cat-

Planning ahead can ensure enough water supply for immediate and future needs. tle producers may be forced to haul water, move their herds or reduce herd sizes. “If they’ve looked at it and calculated that the volumes they have are barely meeting their needs in a normal year, and they know from experience that they don’t always have normal years, then that’s an indication that they should be looking at expanding their water supply,” says Harrington. The province’s water act spells out who can use the water, based on environmental consider-

ations, and Harrington says producers can be surprised when they discover how much of the resource they’re actually consuming. However, he adds that the process can spark improvements in water-usage efficiencies, as well as a heightened awareness of environmental considerations. As a fundamental self-assessment tool, the EFP provides an ideal starting point to developing a long-term water management plan. As the EFP process continues to be refined, pro-

ducers can expect to see watermanagement features to become even more of a focus, according to Harrington. “There’s no question that water management will be a more significant component of on-farm environmental management heading into the future,” he says. Harrington believes the agricultural industry as a whole is becoming more aware of the value of managing water resources. Cattle are watered away from riparian areas at offsite watering sources such as troughs. It’s no longer common practice to pump water from a well into a dugout in dry years. Producers are choosing to pipe water, rather than develop new water sources. Old water wells are being properly decommissioned so they don’t contaminate groundwater aquifers. Wells are being built to last longer and well-drilling techniques are more advanced, with less environmental risk. “There’s more understanding now that these aquifers are a limited water resource,” Harrington says. “They aren’t an unlimited supply of water and so farmers are becoming much more efficient in their use.” More information on EFPs in Alberta is available on the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan website.



Wanted: More Canadian goats, more Canadian producers ETHNIC DEMAND  Many of Canada’s new immigrants come with a taste for goat meat BY ALEXIS KIENLEN AF STAFF/EDGERTON


t’s a good time to be a goat farmer, and it would be even better if there were more goat farmers to supply the growing demand, says the vice-president of the Alberta Goat Breeders Association (AGBA). “The Canadian palate is changing. We have a lot more ethnic diversity and people coming into Canada,” said Laurie Fries, who runs SLF Ranch near Edgerton along with her husband Shay. “It’s an up-and-coming industry that is growing from year to year. Many of these new immigrants are used to consuming goat products and want to keep their traditional eating habits when they settle in Canada. All of these new people are really driving the interest in goats,” said Fries. Central Canada has the highest numbers of goats, but demand continues to grow strongly in the western provinces, said Fries, who has a herd of 100 Boer goats. In 2012, the Alberta Goat Breeders Association had about 200 members. Membership in the organization has grown dramatically over the past few years. Fries said there is a huge need in the industry for new producers. “It’s just hard to get producers to take notice and come into the industry,” she said. Still, the influx of people into the industry has created a shortage of available breeding stock to cope with the demand. In order to offer quality breeding stock to new producers, the AGBA decided to hold a goat sale at the same time as its annual general meeting last fall. Fries said many young people who want to come back to the farm are seeing the goat industry as a viable option. The business is also attractive to farm families, especially young mothers who want to involve their children in their operation. Goats are also winning favour with 4-H clubs and older people who want to downsize or retire from the cattle industry.

said the industry was affected by restrictions put upon the industry after BSE, and the number of goats in the country dropped for a few years after 2003. Sixty per cent of the goat meat consumed in Canada is imported from New Zealand and Australia. Many producers are marketing off farm, but feedlots are buying through local auction markets or by contacting producers directly, said Fries. The Sungold plant in Innisfail and some local provincial abattoirs are slaughtering goats. Many of the ethnic communities need their goats to be halal, and only some of the abattoirs are able to fulfil this requirement. “Basically, if you’ve got a goat for sale, it’s sold,” she said. “It’s not an issue of marketing; it’s an issue of getting enough product.”

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Some producers are choosing to add goats to their operations because of their interest in multispecies grazing. Goats are browsers and can eat noxious weeds, so some municipalities and community pastures are turning to goats as an option for natural weed control. Goats need less space, which makes them an attractive option for the small acreage owner. Seven goats can live on the space needed by one cow, said Fries. Goats can live on a less profitable land base, as they prefer to eat weeds and trees. “You can get a piece of land that you couldn’t raise a cow on and raise a goat on it,” she said. “That’s one of the benefits of multi-species grazing, because you can get more value off your land by running multiple species that eat different things.” In order to manage goats, producers need good fencing and good predator control. Fries advises new goat producers to talk to more experienced producers about best management practices, and to attend AGBA workshops and conferences. Fries 19769-04 E_Carmela_8.125x10.indd 1

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Cowbytes software saves money on winter feeding Rations } Producers can modify the nutrient content of feed components based on their own feed test results ment. “Producers can also adjust for climatic conditions such as temperature, wind speed, or mud in pens, as well as for hide thickness and summer or winter hair coat depth that is dry or wet.” The program comes with a feed table based on average values of Alberta feeds. After selecting feeds from the feed table, producers can modify the nutrient content of these feeds based on their own feed test results. Then they enter the amounts fed of the various feeds to balance the ration for energy, protein, major minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, trace minerals such as copper, zinc, manganese and selenium, and vitamins A and E. The program also allows producers to enter water analysis which may affect the feeding program especially in salt and mineral intake. “Once the ration is balanced producers can create a feed mix, such as a grain mix, or grain/ silage/supplement mix, or mineral/salt/vitamin mix, and create batch-scale sheets in increments that allow for adjusting the levels of the mix for increased size of the cattle,” says Ramsey. “The number of head for the feeding period can also be entered to create a ration summary report of all the feeds used in the various rations for different groups of cattle, to determine the inventory of feeds that will be required. This helps producers to purchase more feed in advance or to sell some animals to match feed inventory with cattle requirements.”



owbytes is a cattle ration balancing program developed by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. It allows producers to optimize the use of homegrown feeds by only purchasing supplements that are necessary or by taking advantage of lower-cost alternative feeds or byproducts. In this way, producers can often reduce feed costs while meeting production targets or even boosting productivity and profitability. “The program allows producers to select the type and breeds of cattle they want to feed, and productivity levels based on body weight, average daily gain in growing cattle, or body condition score, stage of gestation or milk production level in cows,” says Patrick Ramsey, business development specialist — beef competitiveness with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Develop-

Yardage calculator


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One of the new features of Cowbytes Version 5 is a yardage calculator. This allows producers to enter their facility and equipment costs, expected life of these facilities and equipment, expected salvage values, annual interest rates, taxes, insurance and other costs such as vet/med, utilities, repairs, fuel, corral cleaning, labour, additional insurance and interest along with the number of cattle and number of days on feed to determine yardage costs per head per day. This is especially important if producers are overwintering someone else’s cattle on a custom rate per-head per-day basis as often producers underestimate their yardage costs. The Cowbytes Manual has also been expanded to include everything producers would ever want to know about cattle nutrition while also having a very practical beef ration rules of thumb section. “By playing with the amounts fed of various combinations of feeds and byproducts at different prices, producers can find ways to reduce feed costs while achieving production targets,” explains Ramsey. “One time I helped a producer shave off $0.10 per cow per day by cutting back on feeding levels during mid-gestation. For 900 cows for 30 days this amounted to a saving of $2,700. Most producers will easily find $1,000 in feed savings for overwintering their cattle, by scouting around for some cheaper alternative feeds such as crop residues and byproducts, and by using this program to prevent over- or underfeeding while getting the performance they desire. Boosting your cattle’s performance could lead to even greater returns.” Cowbytes can be ordered online on the Alberta Agriculture website or by calling the publications office toll-free at 1-800-292-5697.



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Grazing season should be 365 days a year AGRIPROFIT$  Cow-calf producers who want their operation analyzed can contact AARD Stocking rate



ach grazing management year comes with opportunities to make a difference and learn new or improve techniques. “Many of the skilled grazing managers I talk to are real systems thinkers,” says Grant Lastiwka, forage, grazing and beef specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “Just by listening to how they put the pieces together, I get creative ideas on how to address some of the grazing projects I am working on.” Excellent grazing management is a complicated system, and every year is different. While that is true, Jim Gerrish, a wise grazing mentor, says it’s simpler than that. He says, “It takes grass to grow grass. Keep working on building the best ‘green solar panel’ on each 43,560 square feet (one acre) of land that you graze.” Spring is when the plant-growing season is largely set up. That

Grazing specialist Grant Lastiwka says to think of each acre as a “green solar panel.” is when managing grazing has the greatest effect on determining the length of the grazing season. Grazing management actions taken during this time set up the potential for the year’s forage yield. Springtime in grazing should be viewed as when a grazing-system strategy starts its new cycle. In northern climates, spring grazing is especially crucial because the season is short.

“Early-spring grazing season is about a ‘40-day game’ once over across the whole farm, which sets up many new plant tillers for regrowth thereafter,” says Lastiwka. “If management is successful, you’ll have a 10-watt and not a three-watt solar panel on each pasture acre. That 40 days will vary, but in this short window of time, we want to challenge plants/pastures to perform

at a maximum rate of photosynthetic capture for their one to three growing cycles per year. We want these cycles to capture plant food at a maximum as long as plant vigour, nutrients, and weather conditions will allow. The captured sunlight energy is converted into plant/forage yield that will be used to budget for the other 325 days of the grazing year.”

Plants that have over three leaves are healthy enough to remove some leaf area with spring grazing. Using systems thinking well in advance, balance stocking rate to a conservative pasture carrying capacity for the grazing season length desired. If stocking rate is balanced to carrying capacity for the desired length of grazing period, you need to start grazing early on very vigorous plants (stockpiled stands), because by the time you finish that first grazing cycle you are ending that 40-day period with this year’s plants now reaching maturity. For example, grazing new green plants before the three-leaf stage, but mixed with last year’s stockpiled forage growth, means that grazing starts before much new growth occurs, but it starts on last year’s banked, stockpiled forage.

“If management is successful, you’ll have a 10-watt and not a threewatt solar panel on each pasture acre.” GRANT LASTIWKA AARD

By mid-April or slightly later, there are new green plants growing into the cow bite zone. Some of these new green plants are less than the three-leaf stage of growth, but by the time the graziers complete this very earlyspring grazing, they are into forage stands of too mature green growth that is heading out. “However, on average, you are starting at just the right time, grazing with a healthy transition for plants, animals and food for the soil rhizosphere,” says Lastiwka. “Challenging the plants in this way keeps them growing by removing the growing points that create a seed head. You are setting up vegetative tillers to be regrowth, leaving behind a green solar panel with a varied set of pasture growth stages, and this green solar panel is set up to be at its maximum photosynthetic and yield potential. This solar panel has a new set of tillers growing as dense vegetative stems and leaves to be high in quality for the later season grazing. You are also feeding the soil organisms and making soil with key species like arbuscular mycorrhizae transporting carbon products into the soil in symbiotic exchange for nutrients and water going back to the plants.” Take advantage of the winter for getting more information from grazing events put on by Forage and Applied Research Associations, and government or industry extension efforts. Annual AgriProfit$ business analysis done by senior livestock economist Dale Kaliel of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, shows that a 365-day grazing mentality of management is a leading-edge method being applied by most managers to cost effectively create a profitable cow-calf business. If you would like to get your cow-calf operation analyzed to participate in AgriProfit$, visit the website or contact Dale Kaliel at 780-427-5390.

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Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Roundup Ready®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada, Inc. licensee. ©2012 Monsanto Canada, Inc.

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Standardbred Tennessee Walker Thoroughbred Combines Warmblood RECREATIONAl VEhIClES Belarus lIVESTOCK Cattle Welsh All Terrain Vehicles Case/IH Cattle Auctions 1-888-413-3325 TRAIlERS Horses For Sale Boats & Water Cl Angus 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 3 28328_PPAC_Classified 13-01-152012 12:38 AB.indd PM 6 13-01-15 12:3 Grain Trailers Horses Wanted Campers & Trailers Caterpillar Lexion Black Angus herbicides Livestock Trailers lIVESTOCK Sheep Golf Carts Deutz Red Angus Provost - 780-753-3150 Trailers Miscellaneous Sheep Auction Motor Homes Ford/NH Aryshire Arcott Motorcycles Gleaner Travel Belgian Blue Columbia Snowmobiles John Deere Blonde d'Aquitaine Water Pumps Dorper Massey Ferguson Recycling Brahman Water Treatment Dorset Versatile Brangus We know that farming is enough of a gamble so if you Refrigeration Welding Katahdin White want to sell it fast place your ad in the Alberta Farmer Braunvieh Restaurant Supplies Well Drilling Express classifieds. It’s a SureLincoln Thing. Call our toll-free Combines Various BueLingo herbicides Sausage Equipment Well & Cistern number today. We have friendly staff ready to help. Suffolk Combine Accessories Charolais Sawmills 1-888-413-3325. Winches Texel Sheep Hydraulics Dairy Scales Sheep For Sale Express Irrigation Equipment COMMUNITy CAlENDAR Dexter Go public with an ad in the Alberta Farmer Sheep Wanted SEED/FEED/GRAIN Loaders & Dozers British Columbia Excellerator classifieds. Phone 1-888-413-3325. lIVESTOCK Swine Parts & Accessories 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 21 13-01-15 12:38 PM Pedigreed Cereal Seeds Alberta Galloway Swine Auction Barley Salvage Saskatchewan Gelbvieh Swine For Sale Durum Potato & Row Crop Equipment Manitoba Guernsey Rycroft 780-765-2865 Swine Wanted Oats Repairs Hereford CAREERS lIVESTOCK Poultry Rye Rockpickers Highland Career Training Poultry For Sale Triticale Snowblowers/Plows Holstein Child Care Poultry Wanted Wheat Silage Equipment Jersey Construction lIVESTOCK Specialty Cereals Various Specialty Equipment Limousin Domestic Services Hit our readers where it counts… in the classifieds. herbicides Alpacas Forage Seeds Spraying Lowline Farm/Ranch Place your ad in thePedigreed Alberta Farmer Express classifed Bison (Buffalo) Alfalfa Sprayers Luing section. 1-888-413-3325. Forestry/Log Deer Annual Forage Spray Various Maine-Anjou Falher 780-837-2205 Health -Care Elk Clover Tillage & SeedingFARM MACHINERY Miniature Help Wanted Goats Forages Various Air Drills Management Grain Handling Murray Grey Llama Grass Seeds Air Seeders Piedmontese Mining Rabbits Pedigreed Oilseeds Harrows & Packers Pinzgauer Oil PM Field 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 4 13-01-15 12:38 Emu Ostrich Rhea Canola Seeding Various Red Poll Professional Yaks Flax Tillage Equipment Salers Resume Services Specialty Livestock Various Oilseeds Various Tillage & Seeding Various Santa Gertrudis ENGINES Sales/Marketing herbicides Livestock Equipment Pedigreed Pulse Crops Tractors Shaver Beefblend Trades/Tech Livestock Services & Vet Supplies Beans Agco Shorthorn Truck Drivers ASSORTED DEUTZ AND OTHER diesel engines. Chickpeas Allis/Deutz Miscellaneous Articles Simmental Employment Wanted

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vacs to suit your every • Minimum charge — $15.00 per week for first 25 • Advertising copy deviating in any way from the With to display words or less and an additional 60 cents per word for regular classified willno befilters considered lessrate damage every word over 25. Additional bolding 75 cents per and chargedplug at theand display of $34.30 per MAiL TO: Alberta Farmer Express, Box 9800, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3K7 FAx TO: 403-341-0615 PhOnE in: Toll-Free in Canada 1-888-413-3325 OR (403) 341-0442 in Alberta word. GST is extra. $2.50 billing charge is added column inchdone ($2.45toperyour agateproduct line). than an auger, you’re sure to ANTIQUES to billed ads only. • Minimum charge $34.30 per week. find the right system to herbicides • Terms: Payment due upon receipt of invoice. • Illustrations and logos are allowed with full suit you. Call now for a free • 10% discount for prepaid ads. If phoning in your border. demonstration or trade in your NAME ___________________________________________________________ PHONE # ______________________________ ANTIQUES ad you must pay with VISA or MasterCard to qualify for • Advertising rates are flat with no discount for Antique Equipment old vac towards a new WALINGA AGRI-VACS discount. TorringtonTOWN - 403-631-3900 frequency of insertion or volume of space used. ____________________________________________ ADDRESS ____________________________________________ Fergus, ON: (519) 787-8227 • Ask about our Priority Placement • Terms: Payment due upon receipt of invoice. 1953 FARGO 3TON, ALMOST complete, open to Carman, MB: (204) 745-2951 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 1 13-01-15 12:38 PM • Prepayment Bonus: Prepay for 3 weeks and get a offers. 1947 Chev Mapleleaf, 2Ton, 2.8x42 duals, • Price quoted does not include GST. PROVINCE ___________________________ POSTAL CODE _________________________ Davidson, SK: (306) 567-3031 nearly complete, located in Maple Creek, Sask. bonus of 2 weeks; bonus weeks run consecutively (403)722-2409, 403-845-0414 and cannot be used separately from original ad; All classified ads are non-commissionable. SEED/FEED MISCELLANEOUS additions and changes accepted only during first 3 Lethbridge - 403-328-5531 Even if youAUCTION do not want your name & address to appear in your ad, we need the information for our files. SALES AUCTION SALES weeks. Grain Wanted Auctions Various Auctions Various • If you wish to have replies sent to a confidential box BUYING HEATED/DAMAGED PEAS, FLAX & number, please add $5.00 per week to your total. PLEASE PRINT YOUR AD BELOW ______________________________________________________________________________ GRAIN “On Farm Pickup” Westcan Feed & Grain Count eight words for your address. Example: Ad XXXX, 1-877-250-5252 Alberta Farmer Express , Box 9800, Winnipeg, R3C 3K7. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ • Your complete name & address must be submitted to BUYING SPRING & GRAIN (2 weeks prior)THRASHED CANOLA General Auction Services since 1960 13-01-15 12:38 PM WANTED our CANOLA office before publication. (This information will be “On Farm Pickup” Westcan Feed & Grain 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 5 Stettler - 403-742-8540 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ kept confidential & will not appear in the ad unless 1-877-250-5252 Heated, Green, Damaged requested.)

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Buying all levels of damaged canola. Excellent Prices. _PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 32 Market WINNIPEG OFFICE Alberta Farmer Express Bonded, Insured. Published by Farm Business Communications, 1666 Dublin Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0H1

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

AGREEMENT The publisher reserves the right to refuse any or all advertising for any reason stated or unstated. Advertisers requesting publication of either display or classified advertisements agree that should the advertisement be omitted from the issue ordered for whatever reason, the Alberta Farmer Express shall not be held liable. It is also agreed that in the event of an error appearing in the published advertisement, the Alberta Farmer Express accepts no liability beyond the amount paid for that portion of the advertisement in which the error appears or affects. Claims for adjustment are limited to errors appearing in the first insertion only.

WE BUY DAMAGED GRAIN _________________________________________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ FARM MACHINERY

Wheat, _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ FARM MACHINERY Barley, Oats, Haying & Harvesting – Baling _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ etc. At Farm BusinessPeas, Communications we have a firm commitment INC. 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd to protecting your privacy and security as our customer. Farm WANTED: JD 78108 c/w fel & 3pth; sp or pto bale13-01-15 Green or Heated Canola/Flax Business Communications will only collect personal information if wagon; JD or IHC end wheel drills. Small square • Phone: 403-464-0202 it is required for the proper functioning of our business. As part of CLASSIFICATIONEmail: _____________________ 1-877-641-2798 ❏ I would like to take advantage of the Prepayment Bonusbaler. of 2 FREE weeks when I prepay for 3 weeks. (877)330-4477 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., Winnipeg, 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 (204)-954-1456. 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 Communication assume no responsibility for any actions or decisions taken by any reader for this publication based on any and all information provided.


OVER 43,0 00

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While every endeavor will be made to forward box number replies as soon as possible, we accept no liability in respect to loss or damage alleged to a rise through either failure or delay in forwarding such replies, however caused, whether by negligence or otherwise.

Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc.

BOW VALLEY TRADING_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ LTD.

CAUTION The Alberta Farmer Express, while assuming no responsibility for advertisements appearing in its 13-01-15 12:38 PMcare in an endeavor to columns, exercises the greatest restrict advertising to wholly reliable firms or individuals. However, please do not send money to a Manitoba Co-operator box number. Buyers are advised to request shipment C.O.D. when ordering from an unknown advertiser, thus minimizing the chance of fraud and eliminating the necessity of a refund where the goods have already been sold.

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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; Sundance tub grinder; Oswald 400 feed wagon; Morand Calving chute, Calf tipping squeeze, steel frame calf shelters, 3/bale feeder. (780)623-1008


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Double LL Industries

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780.905.8565 Nisku, Alberta

1986 Case-Ih 585

2005 Toyota 25 Forklift

1974 John Deere 2130

John Deere 2550

Orchard Special, 52 Pto Hp, 60 Eng HP, 3PTH

5000 lb Lift

70 HP Turbo Diesel, 3PTH

65 HP Diesel, 3PTH

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FARM MACHINERY Tillage & Seeding – Air Drills 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd FLEXICOIL 2001 11 5000 13-01-15 12:389in. PM spacing, tank, 39ft, Atom Jet openers, (306)228-3665, Unity, SK.

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

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.

FARM MACHINERY Tractors – Various

JD 3140, 3pth loader JD 4050 fwa, 3pth loader AIRDRILL, w/2340 TBT13-01-15 12:38 PM Jd 4020, loader available 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 14 c/w liquid nitro/alpine kit, JD 4440, loader available 3in. rubber packers, JD 4450, loader available JD 4560 FWA, 280 loader JD 6410 3pth, FWA, loader available JD 7810, FWA, 740 loader • JD 746 loader, new Cat Skidsteer 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

41-35FT FLEXICOIL 700 CHISEL plow, W/harrows, 43ft-47ft. Leon chisel plow w/harrows; 40ft crowfoot packer bar; IHC 12 bottom plow; JD336 Square baler; Case IH 8380 Haybine. (780)623-1008.

28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 19 WANTED: Small square balers and end Wheel13-01-15 12:3 Seed Drills, Rock Pickers, Rock Rakes, Tub grinders, also JD 1610 cultivators (403)308-1238

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Tillage & Seeding

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FARM MACHINERY Tractors – John Deere

Agro Guys Inc.

28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 10 RECONDITIONED COMBINE HEADERS. RIGID13-01-15 12:38 PM and flex, most makes and sizes; also header transports. Ed Lorenz, (306)344-4811 or Website: Paradise Hill, SK.


Many Other 4WD’s Available!

FARM MACHINERY Machinery Miscellaneous


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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.


1989 JD 4755 TWD, 175 hp, 6050hrs, PTO, 15spd. p/s, 3hyds, new 20.8x38 duals, rear wheel weights, exc. con. (306)228-3665, Unity, SK.

Combine ACCessories

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8100 Wilmar Sprayer JD 4710, 4720, 4730, 4830, 4920, 4930 SP sprayers JD 9770 & 9870 w/CM & duals CIH 3185, 3230, 3330, 4430, 4420 sprayers

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CAREERS Truck Drivers

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DRIVER’S WANTED. EXPERIENCED OILFIELD vac truck or body job tank truck operator w/Class 3, H2 S, WHIMIS & T.G.D. certificates required. Consort Area. Phone Ed (403)575-1423. Fax resume & driver’s abstract Ed (403)552-3825.

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Flexicoil 6 run seed treater ................................ $2,000 2006 51’ Flexicoil 5000 airdrill, 10”, 5.5” rubber packers ............................................. Call 2005 45’ Flexicoil 5000 Airdrill 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 31 13-01-15 12:38 PM 10”, 4” rubber packers ................................................ Call Bioriginal Food & Science Corp., based 2006, 39’ Flexicoil 5000 airdrill 10”, 5.5 rubber packers, in Saskatoon, are looking to contract double chute, used 1 year, like new ............................... Call Borage acres for the upcoming 2013 134’ Flexicoil S68XL sprayer, 2007, suspended boom, growing season. auto rate, joystick, rinse tank, triple quick jets, auto boom CAREERS height, electric end nozzle & foam marker............. $39,500 Employment Wanted Great profit potential based on high 130’ Flexicoil 67XL PT sparyer, 2006,trail boom, auto yields, high prices and low input costs. rate, rinse tank, hyd. pump, combo jets, nice shape $26,500 Agricultural Collateral Inspection and Appraisals 51 Flexicoil Bodies c/w GEN. 4”carbide Attractive oil premiums and free Ag background required. Training course available. spread tip openers, single chute, like new ................ $3,500 visit or Call on-farm pick-up. 4800 Prairie Star MacDon diesel swather, 800-488-7570 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 2 13-01-15 12:3 c/w 25’ 960 header w/PU reel .......................... $30,000 PERSONAL Flexible contracting options 8110 Hesston diesel swather, available as well. 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 23 13-01-15 12:38 PM c/w 25’ header & PU reel, nice shape.................. $32,500 herbicides 2360 JD diesel swather, 1700hrs, c/w 25’ table & For more information, U-2 PU reel, new drive tires, outback auto steer, always please contact Shane at: shedded, exc. cond. ............................................ $19,600 30 6-229-9976 (cell) 2360 JD swather, gas, c/w 18’ table & PU reel .... $7,500 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 27 13-01-15 12:3830 PM6-975-9271 (office) 30’ 8230 CIH PT swather, PU reel, nice shape,.. $10,000 25ft Hesston 1200 PT swather, pu reel, nice shape................................................ $7,500 herbicides 21’ 4600 Prairie Star PT swather, UII pu reel, nice shape .............................................................$5000 16’ NH 2300 hay header & conditioner from NH 2450 swather, nice cond. ......................... $5,000 1372 MF 13’ swing arm discbine 4yrs, like new$20,000 MATR 10 wheel V-Hayrake, hyd. fold, as new .... $5,250 Demo Sakundiak 10x46 40HP, Kohler eng. EKHD mover, P/S, remote throttle, slim fit, belt tightener, scissor fit, lights, FAB TEC flex spout .............................................. $25,000 At 55 this pretty lady is 5’6 120lbs, she New Sakundiak 10x1200 (39.97’) 36HP Kohler eng., has the same amount of energy she did E-Kay mover, Power steering, electric belt tightener, herbicides when she was in her 20’s (seen here with work lights, slimfit, 12 gal. fuel tank..................... $18,000 New Sakundiak 7x1200 (39.97’) , 22HP Robin-Subaru her daughter). I am young a heart, take eng.,w/Winter Kit, battery & fuel tank .......................$7,500 care of myself & have the means to travel. New E-Kay 7”, 8”, 9” Bin Sweeps .........................Call I am looking for a man who is in the same 8x1600(52.5’) Sakundiak auger ROUND AND SQUARE HAY bales, excellent c/w newer 30hp Koehler engine, gear box clutch, position as me. I have no bagage I am quality alfalfa timothy brome mix, shedded, good for Hawes mover, spout, nice shape........................... $10,000 easy going, very loyal & up for anything I horses & Cattle (780)967-2593, Calahoo, Ab. Flexicoil 10”x 50’ Grain auger ......................... $2,500 have raised my family who are all happily 2002 7000HD Highline bale Processor, married with children. There are many c/w twine cutter, always shedded exc. cond ........... $7,000 18.4”x30” tractor grip tires on rims .......................... Call things in life I would like to try but don’t New Outback Max GPS Guidance have anyone to do these things with. I am Monitor Available................................................... Call 28328_PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd 26 13-01-15 12:38 PM don’t mind kicking up my active, slim, New Outback S3, STS, E drive, TC’s...................... In Stock New Outback E drive X c/w free E turns ..................... Call heels every now & then too, love to cook, New Outback S-Lite................................................$900 need a man with a hearty appetite. Used Outback 360 mapping...................................$750 herbicides Used Outback S guidance .......................................$750 Used Outback S2 guidance ................................. $1,000 Used Outback E drive Hyd. Kits. (JD,Case, Cat & NH)$500

Grassy Lake - 403-655-2497

Foremost - 403-867-2436

Sedgewick - 780-384-2265

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Fort Saskatchewan 780-998-2808

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Agro Source Ltd. Dawson Creek 250-782-4449

Richardson Pioneer

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

SALES REP FOR GEORGE’S FARM CENTRE FEED GRAIN WANTED! ALSO buying; Light, tough, or offgrade grains. “On Farm Pickup” Westcan Feed & Grain 1-877-250-5252

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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, _PPAC_Classified 2012 AB.indd cut 22 early, little or no rain,13-01-15 12:38 PM (780)696-2491, Breton, Ab.

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13-01-15 12:3


news » livestock


Nicaragua opens to beef and pork

China approves more beef plants

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of International Trade Ed Fast have announced that Nicaragua has approved imports of beef and pork from Canada. Effective immediately, Canada can export beef to Nicaragua, with full access restored after the closure of this market in 2003 due to BSE. Also, for the first time ever, market-access conditions have now been established for Canadian pork. In 2011, Nicaragua imports of beef and pork were $1.6 million and more than $17 million respectively.

China has approved four additional Canadian beef facilities that will now be able to export beef to China. They are Les Viandes Laroche Inc. (Asbestos, Que.), Ryding Regency Meat Packers Ltd. (Toronto, Ont.), St. Helen’s Meat Packers Limited (Toronto), and Canadian Premium Meats Inc. (Lacombe, Alta.). The additions are part of a staged market approach in a June, 2011 agreement with China to allow imports of Canadian deboned beef from animals under 30 months of age (UTM), making Canada the first BSE-affected country to resume trade of beef with China.

High Prairie hosts 15th annual Peace Country Beef Congress Rotation } Annual event is moved around each year to a different town to maximize exposure

RC – Cattleman’s – The Cattleman’s choice for the Reserve Grand Champion went to Colby Klassen from Willow Creek Simmentals. Standing next to Colby and his prize bull are his father, Mike, and judge Rob Young (far right). Colby’s brother, Colton, accepted the title of Grand Champion on behalf of the family farm.  PHOTos by: Kim Prinz

By Kim Prinz

af contributor / high prairie


rganizers of the Peace Country Beef Congress (PCBC) demonstrated years of experience, excellent judging, and the ability to host another successful show during the 2013 Beef Congress, which was held recently in High Prairie. From the buff bulls to the heartiest heifers and the strongest steers, there was a sense of excitement amongst the competitors as they carefully coiffed their cattle, trying to impress the judges with their animals’ conformation and overall appearance. Impress they did, especially Willow Creek Simmentals, which took away the most titles over the two days, including the Grand and Grand Reserve Champion for their pen of three bulls, as well as the Grand and Grand Reserve Champion for the Cattleman’s Choice Bull. PCBC president Danny Waluk said he was impressed with the turnout at this year’s show. “Sometimes these shows really depend on the weather,” he said, “but we were fortunate this year. Overall, we had a really good show. There was a strong showing from the competitors. We saw some really remarkable animals. We also had an excellent turnout of exhibitors and we thank all of them for their continued support.”

4-H participation

One of the highlights of the show is the chance for 4-H clubs to bring in their projects and have them professionally judged. Members of the clubs get a chance to participate in a professional show for the first time, as they take their animals through the ring in front of a large crowd of spectators. They are also given a seminar on exactly what the judges are looking for, and then asked to judge several cattle themselves and compare notes with the real judge. “We learned a lot,” said 16-year-old Jess Verstappen, a member of the Coyote Acre 4-H Club out of High Prairie. “They teach a lot of this in 4-H, but to be able to come to a show like this and then use their techniques to place cattle and see how our marks line up with the judges is an excellent experience.” In addition to the judging, Mel Hyland offered up tips on how to communicate with horses, while Alberta Beef Producers director Roland Cailliau spoke about the 2013 market outlook. “Everything we are told about our prospects in the cattle industry is that we are looking at excellent prospects for the next four to eight years,” Cailliau said. “Cow numbers are down in Canada, the U.S., South America, and other parts of the world. Demand for protein is up and beef is part of that. That is the simple equation.

Roland Cailliau spoke to a large number of producers about the cattle market outlook for 2013.

High demand, relatively low supply.” He concluded by saying the cow-calf business in the Peace Country appears to be at the beginning of several years of profitability and producers are in an excellent spot to “reap the rewards.”

Continued success

This was the 15th year the PCBC has held its annual event. Back in 1998, the first Peace Country Beef Congress was held in Fairview, when Peace Country cattlemen wanted to showcase the quality of the cattle they raised. Government funding was arranged for the first few shows, but the success of the shows soon attracted sponsors, making the show self-sufficient. At one point, the show became so successful, the decision was made to move to Grande Prairie to secure a larger venue; later on High Prairie was added. Nine years ago, when the Encana Centre was built in Dawson Creek, B.C., it was added into the rotation. Now each town hosts the event every third year. This gives many producers the opportunity to get their cattle judged. In the Peace Country, one of the three towns is always conveniently located. And although the congress gets national sponsors, moving between towns gives local businesses the chance to get their names out to everyone who arrives from the large number of surrounding communities.

Competitors and cattle took up most of the High Prairie AgriPlex during the 2013 Beef Congress, held Jan. 4 and 5.

The Cuthbertson brothers, Layne, seven, wearing the blue vest and Wyatt, eight, wearing the green vest, stand in front of their Grand Champion pen of purebred heifers.



Bullying doesn’t only happen in the schoolyard From the hip } The farm is one of the workplaces where bullying has been identified as a problem By brenda schoepp


om* continues to work on the family farm that was established by his father. He has a loving wife and five school-age children. Tom is getting long past the stage of waiting on Dad to fulfil his commitments and comes to the realization that he is simply a free hired hand and that his brothers and sisters have no intention of coming back to help. To further complicate things, Tom feels pressured and belittled. He is tired and having health issues. Tom’s dad Henry* is disappointed that Tom takes time off work for his frequent health problems and to spend time with his family. He is a hard-working man who expects the same from his family and has little tolerance for slack. When Tom is there Henry never misses a chance to remind him of his incompetence, all the while increasing his expectations. Henry has a habit of failing to include Tom in important decisions or bank meetings. To make his position known, Henry lets the world know how lazy Tom is and how many mistakes he makes. Even if it is Henry who leaves the gate open, Mother and the coffee shop crew get to hear all about Tom’s error. Tom is being bullied. A recent Alberta study on bullying identified the workplace, including the farm, as a key area of complaint. The top complaint was the inconsistency of policy or standards. In Tom’s situation, what Henry said and what he did were two different stories. The complete lack of protocols or a clear definition of expectations does not allow for clear communication. In this case Tom will likely never get it right because he cannot read Henry’s mind. Henry likes to ignore Tom when he does not feel like owning up to an issue or when someone important is around. When Tom feels ignored he is one of nearly 50 per cent of workers who feel the same way. Henry may not know it but when he looks down at Tom and ignores his requests or does not include him in decision-making, this is a form of bullying. And when Henry does talk and accuse Tom of mistakes, it makes Tom feel small and frustrated although he is reluctant to go against his father, because Father can feign fragility on cue. So Tom carries on, fixing behind Dad and covering up mistakes while living with the world thinking the mistakes are made by him. It is one thing to cover up for Henry but extremely stressful for Tom to be held responsible for Henry’s mistakes. To make things worse, Henry often accuses Tom of things he did not do and many days are missed because Tom is too exhausted to cover anymore.

Constant criticism

Some days are diamonds and some days are stones between Tom and Henry but normally at least one-third of Tom’s day is under constant criticism. Tom is not alone — 36 per cent of the

bullied workforce suffers such barrage from a bad mouth. Not only is this form of criticism draining, it is also counterproductive. When Tom cannot get out from under it and when he finally has had enough and addresses the situation in a positive way, Henry blows a fuse. If yelling were a national sport, Henry wins gold as he strips Tom down from head to foot, belittling his performance and taking the opportunity to attack him and his family. Last week Tom’s brother came home with a fancy consultant to look at a watering design created by Tom. It could have been a good day but Henry gave full credit to the brother and himself. Tom may have been momentarily

speechless but he was far from dead. His delayed response was not pretty and Henry could not wait to gather some sympathy at the coffee shop within the hour. It not only broke Tom’s heart but he came to the realization that his dream of being on the family farm had simply vaporized. And so like so many other men and women who are bullied, Tom simply quit, taking his belongings and his ever-patient family and moved to start a new life. This inspired Henry to ensure that Tom was never to get a cent and to create chapters of new stories for the “boys downtown.” Bully behaviour is for real on the farm and a huge concern for workplace health. Unlike other careers, the farm tends to hold

on to its people, even to the point of breaking, because they feel they have no place to go. But any other place may be a safer, healthier, stress-free place that gives you time to think and grow. If you are being bullied please seek help from a trusted source. And what of Tom? Tom may have been bullied and emotionally bleeding but he was not down. Moving to a new community and starting again was hard, but he found himself and his family surrounded by loving and supportive people who did not have preconceived expectations. In removing himself from the former workplace he was free to navigate his way to success and ensure his new farm had a positive environment, a clear

mandate and a primary focus on relationships. The processes he put in place ensured that any member of the team could do the job and do so joyfully. And while Tom’s health and wealth improved, Henry was back on the home place hiring and firing — and trying to find someone — as good as Tom. *names changed Brenda Schoepp is a Nuffield Scholar who travels extensively exploring agriculture and meeting the people who feed, clothe and educate our world. A motivating speaker and mentor she works with young entrepreneurs across Canada and is the founder of Women in Search of Excellence. She can be contacted through her website www.



Strangles — highly contagious, but most horses recover PREVENTION  Good stable management and biosecurity as

well as vaccination can reduce frequency of the disease BY CAROL SHWETZ, DVM


trangles, also known as equine distemper, is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease of horses, mules, and donkeys. Strangles infection, or the fear of strangles infection, tends to unsettle many horse owners despite the fact that strangles itself is rarely fatal. The stigma attached to this disease is fuelled by its highly contagious nature and the striking, often “messy” clinical signs that accompany it. Any age of horse can become infected with strangles, although generally it is a disease of the younger horse, less than five years of age. Cool and damp conditions tend to favour its occurrence. Most horses contract the

disease through contact with infected nasal discharges from a horse that has an active case of strangles, or from a horse that has recently recovered from strangles and is shedding the bacteria. Symptoms of infection begin to appear two to 14 days following exposure to the bacterium, Streptococcus equi. This bacteria initially invades the tonsillar tissue of the horse, then spreads to the lymph nodes of the head and back of the throat. Within days the lymph nodes in the neck and throat-latch become enlarged, swollen and painful. Fever, poor appetite, depression and heavy nasal discharge commonly accompany infection. Afflicted horses may show difficulty swallowing and develop a soft, moist, guarded cough, often

standing with their necks outstretched in an attempt to find relief. When the infected and enlarged lymph nodes become increasingly enlarged, the horse’s breathing is likely to become impeded/ obstructed. The resulting distressed/strangulating breathing sounds are what give this disease its name. With time, abscesses in the lymph nodes mature, rupture and drain a creamy pus. The drainage is highly contagious. The lymph nodes in the space between the jawbones are commonly affected and drain externally. Other lymph nodes in the head and throat may also be involved, but are not as apparent because many of them will drain into the horse’s throat and nasal cavity.

Most horses recover

Typically the disease runs its clinical course in three to four weeks. Some horses exhibit a milder form of the disease with fever, cough, and nasal discharge, but no draining abscesses. These horses often have a level of immunity from prior exposure. Most horses that contract strangles recover without complications, acquiring a lasting immunity. Symptomatic care while the disease runs its course is usually sufficient to aid recovery. This may include hot packing abscesses to hasten their maturation, followed by flushing of the ruptured abscess with dilute iodine solution. Strict hygiene is highly advised when attending infected horses. Antibiotic therapy remains controversial and is often avoided in

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strangles cases. Veterinary involvement is advisable with animals in respiratory distress or with unrelenting malaise. Severe and complicated cases generally do require antibiotics and other supportive therapies. Complications are most likely to arise when horses are immunocompromised or stressed and thus struggle with clearing the bacteria. This includes animals that are very young, old, heavily parasitized, in crowded or inadequate and unsanitary housing conditions or animals receiving inadequate nutrition. When the immune system fails to contain the bacteria to the lymph nodes of the head and neck, the lymph nodes of the thorax, abdomen or brain can become infected. This form of the disease is known as “bastard strangles.” Another complication of strangles is an immune-mediated disease called purpura hemorrhagica. Both scenarios often have a poor outcome.

It is estimated that up to 20 per cent of all recovered horses shed S. equi from their nasal secretions for up to six weeks following resolution of clinical signs.

Long-term carriers

The most frustrating complication of this disease is the development of the chronic asymptomatic carrier. It is estimated that up to 20 per cent of all recovered horses shed S. equi from their nasal secretions for up to six weeks following resolution of clinical signs. It is these horses that tend to spread the disease as owners often feel that the horse is “recovered” and of no harm to other horses. Contaminated water buckets, feed tubs, housing or handlers can also source the infection. A very small percentage of horses continue to shed the bacteria for months to years beyond the original illness, serving as an ongoing source of recurrent infections. The carrier horse can be very difficult to identify. Currently consecutive negative nasal swabs are cultured as a means to identify carriers. Maintaining good biosecurity measures, isolation and meticulous hygienic procedures are necessary to prevent introduction and spread of the disease. Field experience suggests that vaccinating horses reduces the incidence and severity of strangles. Vaccination is not an absolute prevention nor is it deemed useful in all situations. It can be considered a tool in strangles management, not a replacement for good stable management and biosecurity. Thus far intranasal vaccination results in the best local immunity.

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Carol Shwetz is a veterinarian specializing in equine practice at Westlock, Alberta. FarmlandFinancing_Ad8.125x10.indd 1

12-09-25 9:37 AM



Capitalizing on NIRS technology in a commercial feed mill Peet on Pigs } Machine allows feeder to check against nutrient content provided by the supplier By bernie peet


n the current high feedprice climate, knowing the nutritional value of an ingredient can make a big difference to the cost of feeding a pig. It also allows more accurate formulation so that the pig’s nutritional requirements can be met more accurately, and performance targets met. In recent years, the use of Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) has become affordable for the feed industry and even for individual producers, providing the opportunity to capitalize on its capability for quick and accurate nutrient analysis. At two recent workshops held in Lethbridge and Lacombe, Alberta, feed manufacturers, nutritionists and producers heard how this technology can be used to save feed costs. “NIRS can be used in three ways,” said Geoff Smith with DFS Animal Nutrition, Newell, Iowa, who has been using it since 2006. “First, we use

it for purchasing, to help us understand the value of different materials from various sources. We also use it to check compliance with quoted specifications, and finally we use it as the basis for formulation.” For purchasing and formulation, NIRS is used to observe nutrient trends in raw materials, either due to changes in the process carried out by the supplier or, for example, when changing from one season’s crop to the next. Smith said individual suppliers and supplier locations are compared and the data used for “shadow pricing,” where the nutrient value of the material is compared to the price charged. This allows purchasing on the basis of nutrient costs, which means that the cheapest materials by weight will not always be the best value nutritionally.

DDGS example

As an example of supplier monitoring, Smith showed data for corn DDGS from a specific plant, where crude fat

Figure 1    

Example of ingredient supplier process change for percentage crude fat

content fell from 10.3 per cent to 8.7 per cent as changes were made to improve the efficiency of fat removal (Figure 1). “The graph shows that there were several ‘blips’ due to plant maintenance or shutdown and overall a lot of variation,” he said. “However, the supplier doesn’t always tell you what is going on so you can’t take advantage of, say, a high oil level. You also need to recognize when changes are likely to happen, for example when new-harvest corn comes in.” Different sources will have different nutrient values for the same raw material. For example, there can be a wide range of variation between different sources of DDGS. Demonstrating an example for a specific finisher diet, “This can lead to a difference in cost in the finished diet of $8.24 in a $300-plus diet, and this is a lot,” Smith said. For materials such as soybean meal and meat and bone meal, there is a specification that they must meet. “We monitor these to identify any product that is ‘out of bounds,’ then inform the supplier,” Smith said. “We can use the NIRS data to make a claim for the value of the difference between the spec and the actual value. It’s not a good tool to use as a club, but we use it to influence suppliers and to help them to understand what their product is worth.”


DFS Animal Nutrition has developed a database called Datamaster to handle the masses of information coming from the NIRS and laboratory analyses. “Data can be imported directly from the NIRS machine, so that there is no dual entry of information

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Geoff Smith, from DFS Animal Nutrition, Newell, Iowa, speaking at a recent meeting in Lacombe, Alberta. and it also includes other, non-NIRS data,” Smith said. It’s also web based so can be accessed from anywhere and it has filtering capabilities to check the veracity of data. If a mistake is made, it’s identified and then odd results can be removed before adding to the database. Smith said that when dealing with so many analyses, accurate labelling of samples is vital so that there is precise identification of each one. Changes to feed formulations are made based on the analytical data as new materials enter the mill. “This is mostly driven by product flow and changes are determined by how often you can justify a change in formulation,” Smith said. “It’s also driven by economics and changes will be made if the value is significant.” Smith said that although they carry out shadow pricing

continuously, it is difficult to segregate materials by bin and take advantage of differences in nutrient content, but doing so would add further value to the use of NIRS. The main value in using NIRS comes from holding suppliers to claims, especially with soybean meal, and in being more accurate in the feeding of key nutrients. “The NIRS machine can pay for itself very quickly, in some cases it could be less than a year,” Smith said. “Also, when feed costs are high, people are much more focused on nutrient content, the cost of those nutrients and, of course, the performance of the feeds. Being able to fulfil their needs more accurately can certainly impact customer satisfaction.” Bernie Peet is president of Pork Chain Consulting of Lacombe, Alberta, and editor of Western Hog Journal

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Veteran sheep producer says high standards are the key to his success HIGH STANDARDS } Patrick Smith’s ewes

produce an average of 3.4 lambs and have to lamb on their own or else they are culled from the flock


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Patrick Smith produces 5,000 lambs per year on just 80 acres.  PHOTo: Alexis Kienlen

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f you want a high-performance flock, you can’t tolerate problem ewes, says a veteran Manitoba producer. “We have always been very vigorous about removing any ewe that has any problems,” Patrick Smith said at a recent Alberta Lamb Producers meeting in Leduc. “If the ewe can’t succeed in our operation, it has to go. If you don’t do this religiously, you’ll never end up with a flock that is truly self-sufficient.” Smith runs 2,350 Rideaucross ewes on a farm near Sarto in southern Manitoba. Sarto Sheep Farms is primarily a confinement operation organized around a feedlot and mixed pasture. Smith has just 80 acres of pasture as he has found ewes are unable to maintain enough condition on pasture to meet his high lambing goals. “What we looked for were animals that could and would deliver quads at a size that allowed them to be self-sufficient,” he said. Smith’s system is designed to minimize labour needs. “With 2,350 ewes and 5,000 lambs each year, it’s just not feasible to run sheep that require extra attention,” he said. His ewes produce an average of 3.4 lambs and have to lamb on their own, as Smith and his workers do not go into the barn between 10 at night and 7 in the morning. He keeps bright lights on 24 hours a day in the lambing area, so ewes and lambs can locate each other. The sheep are on a two-week breeding cycle. Ewes begin breeding at nine months of age, and are rebred every eight months. Lambing occurs every two weeks.

Heavy culling

The first rule is to cull any ewe requiring extra time or effort. Smith, who has been raising

sheep for more than 40 years, culls 15 to 20 per cent of his ewes, relying on carefully kept records to make decisions. “It’s important to use the records to determine who you are going to cull,” he said. “Almost always, the sheep who looks the best is the worst. Just because a ewe is 10 years old, it doesn’t mean she should be culled. She should be culled because she doesn’t perform.” Ewes that come out of lambing looking thin can be good ewes, especially if they are feeding big quads, he said. Young ewes are allowed to have singles, but older ones are expected to produce twins, triplets or quads. Ewes that have second singles are culled, as are ewes that miss a lambing cycle. Ewes with poor udders as culled, as are their female offspring. He also selects for lack of wildness. Smith said he believes it is important to have a mortality rate below six per cent preweaning. “A lot of people have come to accept that 15 to 20 per cent mortality in a multiple-lambing environment is acceptable. I don’t think it is,” he said. Smith runs the operation, which mostly sells breeding stock, with a small staff that includes his wife, a fulltime farm manager, and one employee. The key is having simple procedures that are rigorously applied, he said. “We know where the tools are and how to do specific operations,” said Smith. “Because everything is done the same way as part of the cycle, everyone who is participating knows what to do and does it effectively.” Consistency is also critical to establishing a brand, he said. Smith recommends that people who are getting into the industry buy all their sheep from one flock to avoid problems. Buyers are allowed to come to his farm and work with him for a week to see how things are done.



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Rain misses wheat belt

El Niño unlikely into spring

Heavy rainfall over the weekend of Jan. 12-13 in the southern Midwest provided muchneeded soil moisture in some areas and also boosted river water levels, an agricultural meteorologist said Jan. 15. However, the western Midwest and Plains States, areas where nearly all of the U.S. hard red winter wheat is grown, remained dry, and there are no forecasts for drought-relieving rain or snow soon. “Dry weather will prevail in core drought areas of the western Midwest and Central Plains through the last half of January,” said Joel Widenor, agricultural meteorologist for Commodity Weather Group. — Reuters

The U.S. national weather forecaster has reiterated its prediction that the much-feared El Niño phenomenon is unlikely to affect the Northern Hemisphere weather this spring. In its monthly report on Jan. 10, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said conditions will remain neutral for the next few months, further reducing the chances of a drought in Asia and flooding in South America. The report also raised the possibility that the pattern that can wreak havoc on weather would not reappear before the summer, but said a forecast so far ahead covering the April to June period may not be accurate. — Reuters

More of the world’s weather stories from 2012 Part 2 } Major weather events included Hurricane Isaac,

hot rain in Mecca and Greenland’s major melt by daniel bezte


t has been a fairly active start to 2013 across much of Canada. With heavy snows over parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, blizzard conditions over southern Manitoba, recordshattering heat over southern Ontario, and the season’s first big snowstorm in Newfoundland. If this keeps up, 2013 just might be one of those weather years for the record books — much like 2012! In this issue we’re not going to look ahead to see what 2013 might hold in store for us; that will be in a few weeks. Instead, we are going to continue our look at what I think were the top weather stories around the world in 2012. Instead of ranking them like most lists, I chose to look at the weather on a monthby-month basis, picking out the biggest weather stories for each. In our last article I finished up with April, a surprisingly quiet month globally. May continued this quiet trend, although there were a few notable weather events. The two most prominent of those were tied together: record heat over Europe and extreme record heat over Greenland. A persistent area of low pressure allowed warm Saharan air to invade much of central Europe during the last few days of April and the first week or so of May. Temperatures soared into the low 30s in Austria, Poland and Germany during this earlyseason heat wave. Later in the month, climate records were rewritten over the southern coast of Greenland when the temperature at Narsarsuaq reached 24.8 C. This was the hottest temperature ever recorded in May for Greenland and was just 0.7 C below its all-time record high.

Warmest. Temperatures. Ever

There were, I think, two weather stories in June worthy of discussion. The first occurred June 5 in the city of Mecca, when sea breeze from the Red Sea pushed inland creating thunderstorms with some light rain. What’s astounding was that rain fell when the temperature in Mecca was 43 C, making it the hottest

rain ever recorded! The other big event was the record-warm temperatures over much of the central U.S. During the last week of June nearly five per cent of the main long-term weather reporting stations in the region broke all-time record highs. These were not just June all-time records, but rather, records for the warmest temperatures ever recorded! This was definitely a heat wave that would rival the 1930s-era dust bowl. The big story of July was not the continuation of the heat over much of the central U.S and southern Canada, but the extreme heat over Greenland. On July 12, satellites observed that 97 per cent of Greenland had experienced melting, something that only appears to occur naturally every 150 years or so. At the top of Greenland a weather station that has only reported four days above freezing over the last 12 years experienced five days during June with abovefreezing temperatures. These warm temperatures and melting resulted in record flooding and may have contributed to a massive 119-square-kilometre iceberg breaking off the Petermann Glacier. I think I also have to note Death Valley, California broke the world record for the warmest overnight low on July 12, when the thermometer only dropped down to 41.7 C (107 F). The big weather story for August was probably Hurricane Isaac, which formed in the tropical Atlantic on June 21, hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti on the 25th, and finally made landfall in the U.S. near New Orleans on Aug. 30. While Isaac wasn’t an exceptionally strong hurricane it was very slow moving. This resulted in rainfall totals exceeding 400 to 500 mm (15 to 20 inches). The reason for Isaac’s slow motion was the continued drought over the central and northern U.S., which helped to intensify a ridge of high pressure over this region, preventing Isaac from moving northward. I think unquestionably the biggest weather story of September was the record-low Arctic ice. After ice levels over the Arctic Ocean reached near-average levels in April, the ice began to quickly melt from May through

into August. This melt was mostly due to the fact that previous years’ melts have greatly reduced the amount of multi-year ice, leaving mostly thin one- or two-year-old ice that is susceptible to quick melting. Weather conditions over the Arctic were warmer than average, but overall, they were not conducive to extreme melting. By the time Sept. 16 rolled around, sea ice extent had fallen to 3.41 million square km, beating the previous record set in 2007 by 18 per cent. This past year was also the fifth in a row (and also the fifth time in recorded history) in which ice-free navigation was possible in both the Northwest Passage and the Russian Passage. Once again that’s all the room I have for this issue. Next I’ll finish my roundup of 2012 world weather events, then take a quick look at Canada’s top 10 weather stories from 2012.

Continued drought over the central and northern U.S. helped to prevent Isaac from moving northward.

This map is created by Environment Canada, but I do a fair bit of tidying up of the data displayed to make it easier to read. Because of this, the data on the map should be seen as giving you a general idea of how much snow there is across the Prairies. This is especially true for southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan. For the first time in a couple of years there is significant snow cover across all three Prairie provinces. If this keeps up I might need to add a 100-plus-cm measurement as this value has already been reached over the mountains and in north-central Manitoba.



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WHEAT COMMISSION HOLDS FIRST AGM The Alberta Wheat Commission holds its inaugural annual meeting at the Westin Hotel in Edmonton on Monday, Jan. 28. The meeting will provide wheat producers with the opportunity to meet the 2013 board of directors and regional representatives in person, learn more about the business of the new organization, and hear updates on priorities for 2013. Eligible producers will have the opportunity to vote on two resolutions, and elect a director-at-large who will represent the interests and perspectives of wheat growers across the province on the AWC’s board of directors.

Tillage radish has numerous uses but excels at breaking up hardpan layers UNDER PRESSURE  The brassica crop produces a “super carrot” type of root that can generate pressure of 240 pounds per square inch to bust through hardpan BY HELEN MCMENAMIN



illage radish seems to be a crop with almost endless uses. It can break up a hardpan better than costly deep rippers and subsoilers, provide forage for cattle, prevent soil erosion, and boost yields in following crops. Tilley-area seed grower Patrick Fabian has seen it work well in a wide variety of situations. “We first started looking at these radishes three years ago as a soilremediation crop,” says Fabian. “Especially with irrigation, nutrients can be lost below the rooting zone of most crops, even sunflower.” That’s not a problem for tillage radish, a brassica and relative of canola. Its “super carrot” type root grows and if the main root meets resistance — like a hardpan layer — lateral roots spread out to find tiny cracks and force their way in. “Radishes go right through all sorts of hard layers that stopped other crop roots,” says Fabian. “I’ve been told they can exert as much as 240 pounds per square inch of pressure to penetrate hard layers in the subsoil. They bend a little to find a crack in the hardpan, then they keep growing below that hard layer and bring moisture and nutrients up closer to the soil surface where other crops can use it.” Fabian advises seeding tillage radishes after June 21, when days are getting shorter, but likes to see them go in even later, after another crop is harvested. Seeded earlier they don’t produce as much root. He advises seeding them after winter wheat or

silage barley harvest or even later after other crops. “It’s an almost instant cover crop after beans or potatoes or other crops that don’t leave any cover,” he says. For late-harvested special crops, he suggests blowing on strips of radish in crop — even at the same time as herbicides or other crop protectants. Next year, he’s going to seed some radishes in crop, blowing the seed on and working along his sprayer tracks so he’ll have 40-foot-wide strips of cover crops every 90 feet.

Scott Lehr’s fall/winter pasture with winter cereals, sunflowers, canola and tillage radishes. Leaves channels

Despite its tough tap root, the tillage radish doesn’t overwinter. “Three nights of -9 C will kill it,” says Fabian. “The roots rot almost entirely over a winter and leave channels that help roots of following crops grow and spread quickly. A whole crown can leave a hole about two inches across. They’re almost like a gopher hole but with no mound of earth and no badger diggings. They leave a lot of nutrients in the soil around the old root.” Several of Fabian’s seed customers have used tillage radishes on part of a field to see whether they make a difference to following crops. “One guy put in an irrigation half-

circle he seeded to barley silage,” he says. “The next summer he called to tell me he didn’t need to weigh the crop to know there was a difference. Where the radishes were, the crop was taller, it filled faster, and the silage wagon filled up faster.” Even though it’s a brassica plant, it isn’t affected as much by diseases or insects as canola. Nor is it a host for clubroot, a major concern for crop pathologists because other brassicas, such as cabbage, can harbour the pathogen and infect the soil. Tillage radish is a very long-season crop, so Fabian has to import the seed, but the cost is reasonable. This year seed was $3.45 a pound, so $10 an acre was enough to seed into a crop for erosion protection. For a cover crop after an early-harvested crop, Fabian advises seeding about six pounds per acre. Scott Lehr, a Medicine Hat cattleman, has had his cows grazing through the fall and early winter on a mixture of cover crops he seeded after silage harvest in early August. He put in winter triticale and winter wheat that he hopes will overwinter for a silage crop next year. He also mixed in tillage radishes, sunflower and canola to penetrate and break up the hard soil without using tillage equipment. “I’m hoping the roots will make channels that will help the soil absorb moisture rather than allowing it to run off,” he says. “And once the moisture gets into the channels I’m hoping to get some freeze-thaw action — ice is powerful.” Lehr notes some other tillage radish characteristics. “The radishes have much deeper, stronger roots than the sunflower or

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Tillage radish — the long root — compared to canola and sunflower from Scott Lehr’s field. the canola. It’s hard to dig in the hard ground, but I’ve broken off roots 16 inches or more into the ground. They go deeper, but they narrow as they go down,” he says. “The cows didn’t eat the radishes at first — they ate the heads off the sunflowers and grazed on the winter cereals first. By early January though, they’ve been grazing the radish leaves as well.” Lehr wants his land to absorb more moisture so he doesn’t get run-off as he irrigates. He has the radishes under irrigation, but in the corners where the pivot doesn’t reach, the radishes haven’t done as well. “They were a good companion crop,” he says. “They grew well, but they didn’t crowd out the triticale or the wheat.” He plans to grow radishes again as they fit with his no-till approach. “I don’t think they’re a one-year fix,” he says. “But if they’ll help get moisture into the soil and provide some grazing for the cows, that’s better than pulling iron around.”

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Lab error paves the way for potential breakthrough in storage of leafcutter bees Fluctuation } Raising the temperature for an hour a day in cold storage boosts survival prospects

by shannon vanraes staff


cientists may have found a way to increase the shelf life of leafcutter bees, even if they didn’t intend to. “Honestly, we misprogramed an incubator and blundered into it,” said Joseph Rinehart, a USDA research biologist at the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, N.D. After mistakenly programming a daily hour-long increase in temperature, the researchers discovered the leafcutter bees were better able to withstand cold storage for longer periods of time.

More research is required to find out what exactly is taking place, but the researchers have been able to successfully keep leafcutter bees in storage for nearly two years, Rinehart said at a recent meeting of the Manitoba Forage Seed Association in Winnipeg. “The ultimate goal is to get it so that you can use the bees for either this year, or next year, in the alfalfa field,” said Rinehart. “We’re very close to that.” Early crops that make use of leafcutter bees, such as onion seed, could also benefit by a greater ability to control the time of emergence. “It looks like your table scraps — the bees that didn’t actually get used in the alfalfa field this year —

can be used next year with fluctuating thermal regime,” he said. Longer storage periods would also make the transportation of bees, especially over long distances, more feasible, Rinehart said. But exactly how this technology will make the leap from the lab to the farm still has yet to be nailed down. The researcher notes he has the luxury of storing his bees “almost individually,” allowing precise temperature changes and easy airflow. Most producers store their bees in bulk, which makes it a challenge to do what Rinehart does — raise the storage temperature from 6 C to 20 C before returning it back to 6 C an hour later. The researcher said engineers

are working on that problem, as are some producers, but that now isn’t the time to go in whole hog. “I’m always nervous when someone else is going to bet their money on my idea, so I’m suggesting we take it slow,” Rinehart said. More research needs to be done on the quality of bee produced by this method as well, he said.

“If they come out, but they are not reproductively viable that would suck, so we’re working on that to make sure all our bases are covered before we make suggestions to anybody,” he stressed. That being said, if you have a couple of extra gallons of bees at the end of the summer “you might give it a try,” he added.

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Joseph Rinehart, a research biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture, speaks to the Manitoba Forage Seed Association about storing leafcutter bees.   PHOTo: Shannon VanRaes

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Monsanto to launch first new novel biotech trait in 18 years TRUFLEX  New trait allows double the rate of application than the existing Genuity Roundup Ready canola system STAFF


onsanto Canada will launch in 2014 what is billed as the first novel biotech trait in canola to be introduced to western Canadian farmers since 1996. TruFlex Roundup Ready canola trait maximizes yield opportunity through enhanced weed control and increased flexibility, the company says in a release. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada granted full food, feed and environmental safety approval to the new trait in June 2012. Monsanto anticipates offering a commercial preview to farmers in 2014. TruFlex Roundup Ready canola will serve as the base platform on which all future Monsanto

pipeline traits in canola will be stacked, the release says. “Over the years, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to receive feedback from growers and they have consistently communicated the need to bring yield and agronomics to the next level over older canola trait technologies,” said Jesse Hamonic, canola trait marketing lead with Monsanto Canada based in Winnipeg. Speaking to farmers and industry stakeholders at a VIP reception in Saskatoon as part of the Crop Production Show, Hamonic said Monsanto’s goal with any new trait introduction is to bring a “step-change” to farmers. He said he’s confident TruFlex Roundup Ready canola will deliver higher yields through a combination of enhanced weed control that provides more effective and consistent control of

both annual weeds and tough-tocontrol perennials, and through increased flexibility provided by a wider window of application at higher rates under more challenging weather conditions.

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“We think the increased flexibility provided by the wider window of application is really going to appeal to farmers.”


“Dandelions, foxtail barley and wild buckwheat are some examples of tough-to-control perennial and annual weeds that will have improved control with the new TruFlex Roundup Ready canola system,” said David Kelner, Monsanto’s canola technical lead for Western Canada. “As well, the increased application rate allows for control of a much wider spectrum of weeds, with the ability to now control new weeds such as yellow foxtail, biennial wormwood and common milkweed.”

Higher rate

The new trait will allow farmers to apply Roundup WeatherMAX in crop at a rate of 1.33 litres/ acre for a single application or 0.67 litres/acre for two applications. This is more than double the rate of application with the

existing Genuity Roundup Ready canola system. As well, the window of application extends past the six-leaf stage all the way to the first flower which is 10 to 14 days longer than current commercial technologies. “We think the increased flexibility provided by the wider window of application is really going to appeal to farmers,” said Hamonic. “Farmers are increasingly pressed for time and TruFlex Roundup Ready canola will give them almost two weeks more time to spray without causing harm to the crop.” Monsanto Canada is seeking regulatory approvals in six key export markets identified by the Canola Council of Canada’s Market Access Policy. Regulatory approvals are already secured in Canada and food safety approvals have been granted in the U.S.

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he Monsanto Fund has announced that it is now accepting 2013 applications for its Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities program. It provides farmers with a chance to win $2,500 for a local charitable or not-for-profit group. First offered on a Canadawide basis in 2012, a total of 58 winners nominated by farmers in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and northeastern B.C. received $145,000. They covered a wide range of focus areas from agricultural societies, playgrounds, day cares and school projects to community sporting organizations, libraries and health/service groups. A complete listing is posted at www.CanadasFarm In 2013, two $2,500 grants will be awarded in each of 30 different territories across the graingrowing regions of northeastern B.C. (Peace River district), Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. The application submission period has been extended for 2013, giving farmers more time to consider and submit an application until Sept. 30, 2013. Complete contest rules and an online application form are available at www.Canadas Farmers who are 19 years of age or older and actively engaged in farming corn, soybeans and/ or canola on at least 160 acres in Western Canada, or corn or soybeans on at least 80 acres in Eastern Canada, are eligible to participate in the program. Nonfarming residents living within rural communities can go online and make suggestions of worthy groups or projects.

For the



110200806_HEATAd_AB FarmerExpress_v1.indd 1


12-11-21 1:16 PM

Publication: AB Farmer Express




Jean and Bill Carruthers point their sleds west towards the Rocky Mountains, as they sleigh across their property, near Millarville, Alta. When not driving and sledding horses, Bill is a farrier. PHOTO: WENDY DUDLEY

Mexico reports bird flu outbreaks DEADLY  Nearly 300,000 birds were culled in latest outbreak PARIS / REUTERS

Mexico reported outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu virus at two egg farms and that these had been resolved after the culling of nearly 300,000 birds, world animal health body OIE said Jan. 9. A total of 740 poultry had died from the virus which emerged in the two egg farms located in the central state of Aguascalientes, said a report by the Mexican Agriculture Ministry to Paris-based OIE. The virus, reported to be the highly pathogenic avian influenza serotype H7N3, is different from the deadly H5N1 strain, which has devastated duck and chicken flocks and caused hundreds of human deaths after it was first detected in 1997 in Hong Kong. Outbreaks of H7N3 occurred previously in Mexico, with the latest one in September last year in the northeastern part of the state of Jalisco, which is near Aguascalientes, it said. “Timely notification from the farmer and surveillance activities allowed immediate depopulation of the two affected production units, reason why both outbreaks identified are closed,” the ministry said in the report. Countries that are members of OIE have the obligation to report outbreaks of certain animal diseases to the Parisbased organizaton. The ministry said it was still doing active and passive surveillance at national level and that epidemiological investigation was ongoing. The source of the outbreaks or origin of the infection was still unknown.



Wheat midge forecast for 2013 INCREASED RISK  Farmers urged to monitor risk in areas where presence indicated AARD RELEASE


lberta’s wheat midge forecast for 2013 indicates an increase in midge risk. Pockets of moderate to high risk are found in central and southern Alberta. Throughout central and southern Alberta individual fields could have a high population even if the forecast in the area is low. Producers should pay attention to midge downgrading in their wheat samples and use this as a further indication of midge risk in their fields. Wheat midge was confirmed in the Peace region in 2011 but the survey indicates that levels remain low there. Individual fields throughout Alberta may still have economic levels of midge. Each producer also needs to assess their risk based on indicators specific to their farm. The 2012 fall survey included wheatgrowing areas throughout Alberta. In total 297 samples were taken from 57 counties. The survey involves taking soil samples from wheat fields after harvest using a standard soil probe. Larval cocoons are washed out of the soil using a specialized series of screens. Larvae are counted, and then dis-

sected to determine if they are parasitized. The midge density displayed on the forecast map is based on viable (live, non-parasitized) midge larvae. This forecast is not intended to take the place of individual field monitoring. It is important to note that over such a wide range, populations in individual fields can be and often are highly variable. Producers should plan to monitor their fields when the midge adults are flying and their wheat is in the susceptible stage. In all areas where midge is present growers are urged to monitor their wheat fields from wheat head emergence to anthesis (the susceptible stage). Regular field scouting on multiple nights in succession is important in understanding the population in a particular field. Parasitism of midge larvae by small wasps (Macroglens penetrans) has been important in keeping wheat midge populations below the economic threshold in many areas. These beneficial wasps tend to thrive in warm, dry conditions. Parasite populations increase and decrease with changes in the midge population and are very important in moderating population levels in Alberta.

BRIEF U of Calgary student receives scholarship Tariq Munir, who is entering his third year of a full-time PhD degree program in the department of geography at the University of Calgary, is one of two 2012 recipients of the Agricultural Institute of Canada Foundation Dr. Karl C. Ivarson (soils) scholarship. Munir is continuing research on the “potential effects of climate change on soil biogeochemistry of a boreal Alberta peatland.” This is a field-based experimental project in which Mr. Munir has applied drainage and warming treatments and is monitoring carbon gas exchange, nutrient availability and dissolved organic and inorganic carbon to investigate the potential impact of climate change on organic soil carbon stocks. The second Ivarson scholarship was awarded to Alexander Koiter, a PhD student at the University of Northern British Columbia, where his thesis work focuses on sediment fingerprinting.

Former ag minister John Wise passes You’ve come to trust Meridian for the best SmoothWall hopper bins in the industry… as of 2013, we’ve merged Meridian, Behlen and Sakundiak brands all under MERIDIAN. Combined, these well established and trusted industry leaders have over 180 years of experience manufacturing innovative, high quality products for customers across North America and around the world. Insist on Meridian for all your Storage and Handling needs.

© 2013 Meridian Manufacturing Inc. Registered Trademarks Used Under License.

Memorial services were held Jan. 14 in St. Thomas, Ont. for John Wise, the southwestern Ontario dairyman who served as the federal agriculture minister for Brian Mulroney and Joe Clark. Wise, the Progressive Conservative MP for Ontario’s Elgin constituency from 1972 to 1988, died Jan. 9 at age 77 at Victoria Hospital at London, Ont. Wise became minister of agriculture in 1979 during the Tories’ short stint in government under Joe Clark. He was returned to the ag critic’s chair in 1980, opposite Pierre Trudeau’s ag minister Eugene Whelan, and became agriculture minister again 1984-88.



Survey indicates low risk seen for sawflies in 2013


Downward trend } Lowest level of concern since the outbreak began over 13 years ago AARD release


he area at risk of economically significant sawfly populations in 2013 will be limited to only a few areas. The 2012 field margin survey shows low populations in most of the area surveyed including the traditional sawfly areas in the Special Areas. The damage ratings are based on 71 fields in 17 municipalities. One field was found with elevated but still low sawfly infestation in the MD of Acadia. The most significant populations are in Forty Mile County in southern Alberta. Overall this is the lowest level of sawfly concern since the outbreak began over 13 years ago. This continues the downward trend of sawfly populations that is the result of the use of solid stem wheat and naturally occurring parasitoids. Individual fields may still have higher wheat stem sawfly

populations than are indicated in late June through early July. in the survey map. Winter conditions have very litThe wheat stem sawfly map tle impact on sawfly populations is based on cut stem counts and a high proportion of wheat conducted after the 2012 har- stems cut in the fall will produce vest. The per cent of stems cut adults. Producers in areas with by sawfly gives an indication moderate to high levels of cutof the number of reproductive ting should consider using solidB:8.125” adult sawflies that will emerge stem wheat as a control strategy. T:8.125”

Italy to launch durum wheat futures market on Jan. 21

It is possible that population hot spots still exist in areas of lower risk, individual producers need to be aware of the potential risks in their own fields. Cutting levels higher than 10 to 15 per cent in the previous crop indicate the need to consider seeding solid-stem wheat to reduce sawfly losses. It is important farmers evaluate their individual situations in making their variety choices. When populations are low it is typical to have small, localized populations of sawfly that affect only one field or even just a portion of one field. Parasitism can reduce populations and reduce the level of cutting. A parasitic wasp, Bracon cephi, has been shown to have significant impact on sawfly populations. The use of solid-stem wheat varieties and the increase in parasitism are the major factors in lower sawfly populations in Alberta.

milan / reuters Europe’s first futures market for durum wheat, used mainly to produce pasta in the continent and couscous in North Africa and the Middle East, will get off the ground on Jan. 21, the Italian stock market said Jan. 9. Borsa Italiana, controlled by the London Stock Exchange, was due to launch the durum futures in November but the date was put back for market conditions. The new AGREX futures, which will be traded on the Italian Derivatives Exchange Market (IDEM), will trade in 50-tonne contracts, with five maturities available at any one time. The delivery months will be March, May, September and December. Italian pasta maker Barilla advised the Italian exchange on the launch of the market. Futures could be useful for Barilla and other big durum wheat buyers to help cope with volatile grain prices. Traders have said the new index could find it hard to build enough liquidity and trading volumes. Grain futures generally take a long time to attract a large trading base, and the minimal volumes seen since the launch of durum futures in Canada at the start of the year have highlighted the difficulties in the niche grain market.


Comes out fighting.


Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through StewardshipSM (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of BiotechnologyDerived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through StewardshipSM is a service mark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® agricultural herbicides. Roundup® agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Acceleron® seed treatment technology for corn is a combination of four separate individually-registered products, which together contain the active ingredients metalaxyl, trifloxystrobin, ipconazole, and clothianidin. Acceleron®, Acceleron and Design®, DEKALB®, DEKALB and Design®, Genuity®, Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Roundup®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup Ready 2 Technology and Design®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, RIB Complete and Design™, RIB Complete™, SmartStax®, SmartStax and Design®, VT Double PRO™, VT Triple PRO™ and YieldGard VT Triple® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada, Inc. licensee. LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are trademarks of Bayer. Used under license. Herculex® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Used under license. Respect the Refuge and Design is a registered trademark of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Used under license. (3701-MON-E-12)


For more information visit:

Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers S:10”

Raxil® MD is the winner and undisputed seed treatment champion of wheat, barley and oats. Its micro-dispersion technology provides uniform and thorough seed coverage resulting in strong emergence, superior plant protection and an increased return on your investment. Score an easy victory over the most serious early-season cereal diseases, including true loose smut and both seed- and soil-borne fusarium, without the application struggle. or 1 888-283-6847 or contact your Bayer CropScience representative. Always read and follow label directions. Raxil® is a registered trademark of the Bayer Group. Bayer CropScience is a member of CropLife Canada.


Alberta Farmer 1 x 84 li B/W



J A N U A RY 2 0 1 3

BULL BUYERS e d i Gu 8th Annual Family Day Sale

February 18, 2013


1:00 p.m. at the farm at Athabasca, AB Lunch at 11:30 a.m.





MOre HerefOrd Means MOre dOcility.


is a win-win for the inDustry

improveD economic aDvantages anD improveD animal welfare

there is a substantial anD growing boDy of scientific knowleDge on the effects of temperament on beef cattle. At the 2012 World Hereford Conference, Dr. Rober Weaber of Kansas State University cited recent Canadian studies by Nkrumah, et al, in which animals with the worst temperament scores were correlated with lower feed intake, poor residual feed intake, lower feed conversion rates and higher death rates.

AnimAls with the best dispositions consistently performed more efficiently thAn those of poor disposition.

In a German study cited, Herefords had the best temperament scores numerically and statistically, among five bos taurus breeds.

Weaber cited research showing that docility improves growth, feed efficiency, meat quality, animal health and welfare and reproductive efficiency; not to mention handler safety.

area.. Plan to attend a Hereford Consignment or Production Sale in your area For full event listings see The Canadian Hereford Digest or visit

Canadian Hereford Association • 5160 Skyline Way NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6V1 • 1-888-836-7242 • Photo of Borman calves courtesy of Martha Ostendorf Mintz.



Rawes Ranches Ltd. 30th Annual

Performance Tested Charolais Bull Sale Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at the Ranch, Strome, AB


• Many half and three quarter brothers • View cattle and catalog online Philip & Marie 780.376.2241 John & Myrna 780.376.3598

We’ve turned Angus upside do doWn doW n

& creAted A poWerhouse of grAsslAnd genetics

• Line Bred and forage tested for 65 years, our cattle are bred to do more with less.

• 100% forage developed 2 year old red and black angus bulls for sale by private treaty

find out more Call Christoph & Erika Weder 780-765-2855

Visit or



Monday, February 25th 1:00 P.M Beechinor Bros. Sale Barn Bentley, Alberta Selling: 55 Fleckvieh, Red & Black yearling bulls 5 Two year old bulls

Bee BenZ 26Z SIRe: AncHOR d VIpeR 103W FULL FLecK

Bee ReBeL 802Z SIRe: IpU ReVOLUTIOn 172U





Bee OcTAne 3Z SIRe: AncHOR d VIpeR 103W pOLLed FULL FLecK


RJY Independence 20Z SIRe: IpU ReVOLUTIOn 172U

Bulls available for viewing any time.

SLY SURe FIRe 41Z SIRe: 3d MR. Red SURe FIRe

Contact consignors for a catalogue.

danny and Loretta Blain denny and dallas McLean home 403-556-2598 cell 403-556-0903 RR 2 Olds, AB T4H 1p3

4398 Summitt Ad.indd 1


John and Michelle 403-748-2406 Stefon and Rebecca 403-597-4001 RR 1 Bentley, AB T0c 0J0

Bee AngeL eYeS 201Y SIRe: AncHOR d VIpeR 103W pOLLed FULL FLecK

Rob & dee Young - crystal & Stacy Box 577, Breton, AB, T0c 0p0 H: 780-696-3643 c: 780-514-0758 e:

1/4/2013 2:20:33 PM



Spady Bull Sale l a u n n A 10 Wednesday, April 10 , 2013 th



1:30 pm at the Ranch

Black Angus Bulls

Alliance, AB

Black Angus has been the foundation of the Spady program for over 75 years. Free Delivery or $50 Credit

Bulls Semen Tested

Volume Buyer Incentive

Craig Spady 403-740-4978 Travis Spady 780-879-2298 Tom Spady 780-879-2180 Brian Spady 780-879-2110 View catalogue online at



9th Annual

Bull & Female Sale Monday, 1:00 PM - ON THE FARM

February 18, 2013 134Z Upstart X Touchdown


136z Walker X Big Ben

57Z Crosby X Touchdown

Offering Approx 110+ Bulls & 45+ Heifers



143Z Tracker X Black Edition


254Z Black Baron X Midnight

92Z Tracker X Like A Rock

Consistant, affordable, easy fleshing, super thick bulls and heifers for all sectors of the beef industry HOMO

Sale Videos Available Now!


130Z Gladiator X Northern


8Z Santiago X Northern

88Z Gladiator X Jeremiah

Stop in anytime to view the cattle prior to the sale

KOPP FARMS SIMMENTALS Edmund, Pauline and Laura Kopp Steven and Amanda Kopp Box 41 Amaranth, MB R0H 0B0


Home: (204) 843-2769 Edmund’s Cell: (204) 856-3064 Steven’s Cell: (204) 843-0090 ARE REPEAT CUSTOMERS








R PLUS SIMMENTALS R PLUS c & Sons Ross LeBlan S4A 2L7 x 1476 Este

van, SK


Bo Ross LeBlanc & Sons 634.8031 arlin 306. SK S4A Box 1476MEstevan, 2L7 6. 30 421.2470

Ross LeBl Box 1476 E

Ross LeBlanc & Sons Box 1476 Estevan, SK S4A 2L7

306.421.18 Marlin 306.634.8031 Ross 306.421.9909 Cell 306.421.2470 Jason

Marlin 3 Cell 3

Marlin 306.634.8031 Cell 306.421.2470













Jason an306.421.9909 ement: Sales M ag


Sales Management:

Sales Management:



Sales Management:



Ross LeBlanc & Sons waychuk Mark Holo RobEstevan, Holowaychuk Box 1476 SK S4A 2L7 403.896.4990Rob Holowaychuk


R PLUS SIMMENTALS 780.916.2628


Marlin 306.634.8031 & Sons HolowaychukRoss LeBlancMark Holowaychuk Cell Mark 306.421.2470 Box 1476 Estevan, SK S4A 2L7 403.896.4990 403.896.4990 Ross 306.421.1824 Marlin 306.634.8031 Jason 306.421.9909 Cell 306.421.2470

Rob Holowaychuk 780.916.2628 Mark Holowaychuk 403.896.4990





ULRICH Sales Management:


Rob Holowaychuk 780.916.2628

HMark Holowaychuk E R 403.896.4990







Watch for progeny from these & other fine sires in our

Bull & Heifer Sale Feb 26th , 2013

Specializing in Light Birthweights with Great Performance plus Remarkable Cows!

Balog Auction Lethbridge, AB Lunch 11:30 a.m.


AGA 46E BRITISHER ET 2U AGA 114L GENERAL WILEY 24W Delivers calving ease and excellent top & thickness BW Trait Leading EPD of +1.0 and Calving Ease +6.5

ALNK 48Y - BW 86 lbs

Sale includes Curve-bender bull excellent set of Very stout son of Long Yearlings by ALNK 2U – hard-working fault-free cow highest marbling index available to view on website.

ALNK 153Y - BW 88 lbs

highest weaning index deep & extra long lots of red with two goggle eyes

Excellent calving ease and birth weight with many offspring thick and well-marked BW EPD -1.3 Calving Ease +2.4

ALNK 65Y - BW 78 lbs Curve-bender bull Heifer bull Well-marked Good-haired

No bulls sell in Medicine Hat or Calgary. All our best bulls are in this sale!

ALNK 7Y - BW 74 lbs - heifer bull long & correct with red testicles dam’s 3 progeny avg’d 73 lb BW and 107 avg WN index

Peter Ulrich cell (403) 625-1036 Hans Ulrich (403) 625-2237 ULRICH HEREFORD RANCH INC fax: (403) 625-2399 Box 843, Claresholm, Alberta T0L 0T0 From Claresholm: 8 mi (12.8 km)E, 4 mi (6.4 km) N & 1/4 mile E



Bull Buyer Ad_Layout 1 1/7/13 11:52 AM Page 1

Lazy LLaaazzy RC RC Ranch RRaaannncch Bull Buull Sale B Sallee


FFebruary Fe br

amp am mple l of o the the th he bulls in the the th he sale l :: le sample :: a sam


Lunch: 11:00 a.m.

Sale: 1:00 p.m.

22013 0

at the Lazy RC Ranch Beechy, SK




Red & Black Long Yearling Bulls (Coming Two's) RCSB 121Y


information & Catalogue (when available) online @: RCSB 145Y (RC)


Can’t Make it to the Sale? RCSB 1118Y

RCSB 147Y (RC)



Bid OnLine visit or call 780.699.5082 for more info

Lazy RC Ranch

Russ & Cindy Sibbald Ph: 306.859.2244 • Cell: 306.859.7726 Box 329, Beechy, SK S0L 0C0





8th Annual Family Day Sale February 18, 2013

1:00 p.m. at the farm at Athabasca, AB – Lunch at 11:30 a.m.


150 Red and Black coming 2 year old Bulls that have been grown out slowly, primarily on forage.

• Our bulls will not be as fat as you will �ind at other sales.

• They are deep bodied, easy �leshing bulls with lots of capacity.

• They are bred to perform, yet have calving ease and possess strong maternal traits. •

150 Elite Commercial Heifers bred to easy calving Angus Bulls for 45 days to start calving May 1st. 100% HOME RAISED. THE RIGHT KIND.

Mothers of Sale Bulls Grazing December 31, 2012

• These bulls and heifers have been produced in a high volume, low maintenance environment. Ole Farms is now the largest Purebred Angus operation in Alberta. We run 1600 cows and do not have time for high maintenance cattle. • Pro�itability is key in our breeding decisions. Our goal is to make YOUR operation more pro�itable.

“Sharing in the Excitement of Agriculture” Kelly & Anna Olson: 780-675-4664 – Kelly Cell: 780-689-7822 Travis: 780-689-8324 – Graham: 780-675-0112

Sale Managed by: Doug Henderson 403-782-3888 Charolais

Red Simmental

BOZ 4Z Guest C Saddlerid onsignor ge Charo la

Sire: Shelco Made Easy

BOZ 2Z Sire: WFL Identity 23X


February 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Bow Slope Shipping Association Brooks, AB BOZ 8Z

Brian Bouchard Sales Manager 403.813.7999

Selling: Yearling, Two Year Old Simmental & Charolais Bulls and Open Commercial Replacement Heifers

Sire: Merit Roundup

BOZ 92Z Sire: JSR PCC Wiser 49W

BOZ 51Z Sire: LFE Red Ridge

BOZ 36Z Sire: LFE Red Ridge

Black Simmental Rainalta Simmentals & Charolais Bill Swenson 403.362.0854

BOZ 6Z Sire: Stubby

BOZ 75Z Sire: Red Bull



Supplying Cattlemen with the Quality, Quantity & Selection they demand, and the service they deserve.

19th Annual Bull Sale with Select Open Females

Saturday, March 2, 2013, 1:00pm


Red & Red Blaze Polled Simmental Bulls

At the Ranch, Carievale, SK (heated sales arena)

150 Bulls Sell

20 Select Open Females • All bulls born, bred & developed right here at MRL • Large sire groups 1/2 and 3/4 brothers Pen fulls of uniform bulls in every category • Sight Unseen Buyer’s Program The majority of ou r bulls sell in the (Can’t make it sale day, give us a call. $3000-$5000 pri ce range, and Almost 25% of our bulls sell SUS. 9 5 % g o to Commercial Cowb Many repeat customers year after year.) oys • Semen evaluated and guaranteed • Free Delivery in Western Canada. Cost sharing to the East (Our trailer is most likely going right past your gate.) • Sound rugged Bulls developed on a high roughage ration (Born, bred and fed to work and stay working) • Extra Age Bulls ready to cover some ground. Offering 25 fall born long yearlings & January/February born yearlings • Genetically engineered to excel for the commercial cattleman. Calving ease, performance and packed full of maternal traits.

• Affordable Bulls •




Black Polled Simmental Bulls

Fullblooded Fleck Simmental Bulls

Supplying Quality Herdbulls for progressive Cattlemen for 40 years! The value of MRL bulls is 40 years rich in history with commitment to quality, functional, ranch-raised genetics that can only be matched by the longevity of a breeding program. “No Fluff No Puff ”. Over 600 mother cows managed the same as our commercial customers’ herds. The 150 bulls on offer rise to the top on the strength of their genetic makeup, backed by our highly regarded cow herd and one of the top herd bull batteries in the business. Calving ease, performance, maternal traits, herd bulls that work in the real world. “Come see for yourself what keeps the commercial cowboys coming back year after year!” Give us a call or email for a full color catalogue and bull video.

Untitled-1 1


Purebred Red Angus Bulls


Simm/Angus Bulls (Red and Black)

12/17/2012 10:00:38 AM



18th AnnuAl

Bull SAlE Steve & Bonnie Schweer RR 1 Red Deer, Alberta, T4N 5E1 Phone: 403-227-3428 * Cell: 403-304-7354 Email: Website:

march 21, 2013 • 1:00 pm (mST) croSSroAdS cEntrE – oyEn, AB


3R Limousin

g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g

The Rea Family


We are proud to present one of the largest selections of Red Galloways in Canada

Marengo, SK

red bLack POLLed 20 YearLINGS & 20 2 Year OLdS

Free Delivery!

red 2 yEAR OLd

bLack 2 yEAR OLd

Join us for our

Alberta Plaid Galloway Bull and Female Sale March 19, 2013 Sale catalogue available by request or on our website.

Talk to us about Boarding your purchase till May 1, 2013.

red 2 yEAR OLd



(306) 463-7950


(306) 463-7454 (306) 968-2923





Dave Bonchuk - 204-773-0467 or 204-842-3706 Wayne Bonchuk - 204-796-0004 Amy Bonchuk - 204-773-6140


Check catalogue online at or




Year Old Black Angus Bull Sale



Rugged Rising Two Year Olds! Summer grazed on grass from April 26 to October 15 for development of their future. Many 1⁄2 and 3⁄4 brothers.

Bred & Owned STACEY & MICHEL STAUFFER & FAMILY Contact Us For A Catalogue Box 2377, Pincher Creek, AB, T0K 1W0 Email:

Office: 403-627-2190 Stacey’s Cell: 403-627-8229






OFFERING 55 HORNED HEREFORD BULLS AND PENS OF CUSTOMER OPEN HEIFERS 1:00 pm | March 21, 2013 | Heartland, Swift Current, SK


EPDs CE -0.8 BW 5.4 WW 39.3 YW 56.1 Milk 13.9 TM 33.6



EPDs CE -2.0 BW 6.0 WW 43.5 YW 67.2 Milk 18.7 TM 40.5

EPDs CE -0.8 BW 5.4 WW 42.3 YW 64.3 Milk 9.4 TM 30.6


Ranch Ready Customer Calves



35 2 Yr Old Pure Bred Bulls 20 Commercial Bred Heifers EPDs CE -2.0 BW 5.2 WW 48.8 YW 79.6 Milk 21.5 TM 45.9

EPDs CE -1.3 BW 4.2 WW 43.6 YW 86.8 Milk 21.0 TM 42.8

20 Commercial Yearling Heifers



EPDs CE-0.1 BW 4.1 WW 37.7 YW 76.5 Milk 15.8 TM 34.7

Ph: (403) 882-3416


EPDs CE 1.5 BW 3.4 WW 33.3 YW 62.3 Milk 9.6 TM 26.3

Les & Karen Holloway Fax: (403) 882-3417

EPDs CE -1.9 BW 5.6 WW 36.6 YW 77.8 Milk 12.2 TM 30.5

Cell: (403) 740-0380

Located 1 mile north of Castor on Highway 36 and 5 miles east on secondary Highway 599

Jeff & Amy Holloway

Anthony & Samantha Plett

Hybrid Vigor...

the only thing free in the cattle business FOR INFOMATION CONTACT:


Craig Braun Braun Ranch 306-297-2132

Donnie Gillespie Gillespie Hereford Ranch 306-627-3584

24th Annual

BULLPOWER & SELECT FEMALE SALE 1 pm – Friday, February 15, 2013 Olds Cow Palace, Olds, AB Guest Consignors: Diamond T Cattle Co. (Angus) & Pearson Simmentals

90 ALL POLLED • BLACK + RED Simmental • Salers • Angus


8 Fancy Simmental Show Heifers


March 8 at the Ranch

Over 20 Waldo sons sell Selling 75 bulls (35 yealings & 40 grass born 2 yr olds) and 30 Open Heifers Limousin (Red & Black) Limflex and Angus

Selling Bulls for 30+ years 65% Sell under $4000

Easy Calving Bulls for Heifers • High Performance Bulls for Cows

Call Ahead & Watch & Bid Online at • Call for a free catalogue or go online at • Trucking arranged anywhere at minimal cost. • Free wintering ’til April 1. 2/3 Down Option.



(403) 337-4014

(403) 337-2928

Wulfs Waldo T928W

Call for Videos! Jim: 403/368-2103 Cell: 403/323-8433



HirscHe Herefords & Angus Ltd.

Announces Their FirsT spring Bull sAle February 19th at High River at 1:00 pm MST

Selling 100 Two year old Hereford Bulls 30 Angus Bulls will be Offered by Silent Auction on Sale Day The Sale includes ALL of the

Anderson Family Hereford Bulls

94Y BW 65 lbs

49Y BW 88 lbs

108Y BW 85 lbs

33Y BW 102 lbs

3Y BW 95 lbs

96Y BW 94 lbs PO LL ED

99Y BW 92 lbs

19Y BW 83 lbs

45Y BW 95 lbs

The Anderson Hereford Advantage still applies

For More Information or Catalog Please Contact Us:

OUTSTANDING COWHERD: We demand our cows work for us, not us for them. Like you, we do not have time for poor udders, poor feet, poor performance or poor dispositions. We cull HARD!



VALUE, QUALITY AND QUANTITY: We are selling 70 of the top bulls out of the 350+ Registered Females we breed each year, that is only 45% of the bull calves born. Our bulls are only offered in our Production sale, so all the best are here, not one has been sold.

#4-34 Southridge Drive Okotoks, AB T1S 2G5 Email: Grant Hirsche (403) 652-8254, (403) 652-1173 Tom Elliot (587) 297-7022

Box 89 Aetna, AB TOK 1Y0 Email: Darryl Anderson (403) 653-1385

RANCH RAISED FOR RANCH CONDITIONS: We have never chased fads, or lost sight of what makes the rancher money. We breed for calving ease, mothering ability, easy fleshing, soundness and fertility, longevity, natural thickness and carcass traits. We use our eye, common sense, performance records, ultra sound, customer feedback, and the best genetics available. FREE DELIVERY WITHIN 300 MILES OR TAKE YOUR BULL SALE DAY FOR $100/HEAD CREDIT. SIGHT UNSEEN PROGRAM, visit with us about your needs and we guarantee the best possible bull for the best possible price. If you don’t like him, we keep him.

Directions to Ranch : 30 miles south of Calgary or 8 miles north of High River on Hwy2, directly east of Highwood Auction




GRAND TRADITION CONTINUES with the 113th annual Calgary Bull Sale

SHOWS Wednesday, March 6 11 am Angus 1 pm Hereford followed by Commercial Replacement Heifer Pen Show & Sale (approx. 6 pm)

The Calgary Bull Sale has built its reputation on integrity, service & quality with bulls that meet everyone’s budget & requirements


MARCH 6 - 7, 2013

Thursday, March 7 8:30-10:30 am Ranch Horse Demo 11 am Angus immediately followed by Gelbvieh, Hereford (approx. 1 pm) & Ranch Horses (approx. 6 pm)

Stampede Park, Calgary, Alberta

For more than a century the best have come to Calgary For more information & catalog


Phone 403.261.9316

Fax: 403.262.3067


Brandl Cattle Co. & Guest Lake Bottom Cattle Co

Black & Red Angus & Simmental Bull Sale Plus New this Year 60 Customer Commercial Heifers Live Auction Sale • Saturday March 2nd 2013 At Brandl Cattle Co. - Jarvie, AB - Sale Time: 2:00 PM

For More Info or Catalogues Contact: Byron & Gwen Kailey, Wynton & Landon Brandl Box 128 • Jarvie, AB • T0G 1H0 Ph/Fx: 780-954-2599 Email:


Barrie, Colleen & Dacie Przekop Box 42 • Smoky Lake, AB T0A 3C0 Barrie Cell: 780-656-5466 Dacie Cell: 780-656-5513 Email:



27TH ANNUAL Spring Spectacular


MARCH 16, 2013 at the farm Erskine Alberta

Offering over 700 head of Quality Angus Cattle Canada’s Largest Angus Production Sale • 150 yearling bulls • 100 two year old bulls • 150 yearling heifers • 300 commercial heifers

Canada’s Quality Angus Seed Stock Source

LEE, LAURA & JACKIE BROWN TRISH, TIM & LUKE HENDERSON Box 217 Erskine, AB T0C 1G0 Fax: 403-742-2962 Phone: 403-742-4226 catalogue online



A&L Robbins Ranching


HD Ranching


Fred McGlynn


Char-Lew Ranch


Turnbull Charolais


Sproule Charolais


Prime Rib @ 12 noon

View catalogue on line at: www.

Where serious bull buyers are looking. Is your ranch included? WESTERN CANADA’S COMPREHENSIVE BULL SALE SOURCE

2013 EDITIONS Give your bull sale the exposure it needs and its best chance of reaching the 70,000 Beef Cattle Producers in Canada, using the Western Canadian Comprehensive Bull Buyers Guide.

PUBLICATION SCHEDULE BBG#1 · JANUARY 2013 EDITIONS January 17 - Manitoba Co-operator January 21 - Alberta Farmer Express January 21 - Sask Wheel & Deal Space and material deadline: Jan. 4th

BBG#2 · MARCH 2013 EDITIONS March 7 - Manitoba Co-operator March 4 - Alberta Farmer Express March 4 - Sask Wheel & Deal Space and material deadline: Feb. 15th looK inside for ag eQuiPment deals!

Crop insuranCe deadline is april 30 » paGe 18

Branding and fencing offers on now at UFA See page 13 for more details.

WhiCh Crop to seed first? » paGe 16 Publications Mail Agreement # 40069240


UFA 2011 GTG AFE.indd 1 Fileearlug Name: UFA 2011 GTG_Earlug_AFE

11-04-13 12:47 PM

Project: Going to Grass Campaign Image Area or Trim: 3.08” x 1.83” Publication: Alberta Farmer Express

Book an ad in the 2013 Edition of the Bull Buyers Guide and receive a 20% DISCOUNT OFF any ad booked in Canadian Cattlemen or Grainews - Cattlemen’s Corner Deborah Wilson

Tiffiny Taylor

National Advertising Sales Phone: (403) 325-1695

Sales & Special Projects Phone: (204) 228-0842

1 shi

Vo lu m e 8 , n u m b e r 9

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


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


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


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 Insti-

tute 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



Stewart Cattle Co. & Guests

5th Annual Black Angus Bull Sale

Friday, March 15, 2013

Innisfail Auction Market - 1:00 pm

50 Black Angus Bulls & 12 Simmental x Angus Bulls 15 Registered Black Angus Replacement Heifers



White and Red-Factor Yearling Charolais Bulls Barry & Simone Reese Didsbury, Alberta


Barry: 403.870.3960 Greg: 403.507.9860

View our catalogue online:

SALE CATALOGUE will be available from consignors or online FREE BOARD on all bull purchases until April 1, 2013 Stewart Cattle Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204.773.6392 DJ Cattle Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204.354.2011 Legaarden Livestock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204.546.3052













Kelly & Elaine Ferris & Family Box 4, Stephenfield, MB R0G 2R0 Ph: 204.828.3483 Kelly: 204.745.7168 Nikki: 204.745.8849 Email:

Gilles & Jeannine Vuignier Box 585, St. Claude, MB R0G 1Z0 Ph: 204.749.2183 Fax: 204.749.2306 Email:





BULL SALE Two year old Limousin Bulls Top Genetics and Top Quality

You and your family are invited to join us at Saskatoon Livestock Sales on

Friday March 22nd 2013 at 1:00 PM

Top Quality Yearling Black Angus Bulls

We will have over 50 tremendous Gelbvieh bulls and a select group of fancy open Gelbvieh heifers on offer

Contact our Sale Mangement:

Don Savage Auctions Ph: 403-948-3520 or Fax: 403-948-2917

For further information call Darcy at Ph: 306-865-2929

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Provost Livestock Exchange, Provost, Alberta - 1:00 pm Guest Consignors: McGowan Farms, Killam, AB • Wildmere Black Diamonds, Paradise Valley, AB





Frank: 780-753-1959

Jerry: 306-753-7788 Darcy: 780-753-8669 Dean: 780-753-0803

Stop by MURPHY RANCH west of Altario on Hwy 12 to view the bulls.

PEDERSEN LIVESTOCK 780-755-3160 Kurt: 780-209-9999 Open House February 23, 2013 1:00 pm at the ranch north of Edgerton.

See our website: Genetics

Catalogue online @ and

New Ideas - From Old Values SS-TOPLINE POWERHOUSE 888Z TOP OF BREED – KING OF THE RING Farm Fair 1st class - Semen For Sale

Embryos of World Class

Sheldon & Shannon Archibald Irma, AB

Visit us 6 miles North of Irma, Alberta on Secondary 881, and 1 mile east (SW26-46-09W4)

(780) 754-2850 See What We Have to Offer Before The Spring Bull Sale

The Genetics You Need! For The Cattle You Want!

Sale Day: MARCH 4, 2013 Show Day: MARCH 3, 2013

Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Assoc. Box 690 5521 49 Avenue Lloydminster, SK S9V 0Y7 Ph: (306) 825-5571 Fx: (306) 825-7017 Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Assoc. Email: Sam Hardstaff, AG Manager Ph: (306) 825-5571

Ranch Ready Sons of 2010 - All Breeds Champion

Arrange a Visit Anytime to See Our Polled and Horned Hereford Bulls Baldie Bulls and Breds For Sale

Herd Sire GAH Everest 244U International Semen Progeny For Sale

Fx: (306) 825-7017 Email:

2010 Bull Congress Champion One of Our Great Sires SS-TOPLINE NEON FORTUNE 44U - Progeny For Sale

Champion Female SS-TOPLINE YES CANADIANNA 124YVisit to see more champion females in our herd



50 Bulls

3 March 21, 201

SimAngus ▪ Simmental ▪ Angus Yearlings ▪ Fall Born ▪ 2 yr Olds

2pm Grande Clairiere Hall

ing at Successful shoinw2012! Fall Shows 7 Champions!

Gerry & Linda Bertholet & Family

Hartney, MB, Canada Gerry & Linda (204) 858-2086



S: Wheatland Bull 786T DS: Angus

ML 2817 & 2 yr old dam

S: Wheatland Bull 786T DS: DLH Reno

Gerry (204) 741-0340

eights Bull weaning w s! averaged 970 lb

Andrea (204) 483-0319

the Check osuitte! b we



S: SixMile Full Throttle DS: Red Lazy MC Smash

S: SAV Pioneer DS: MVF Krugarrand

e Sibs S l l u F 3


7th Annual

100% “Forage-Developed” BULL SALE

February 14th 2:00 pm Stettler Auction Mart Stettler, AB Lot #1 from our 2012 Bull Sale. Pictured after breeding. Co-owned with Lacombe Research Centre. 100% Forage-Developed!

Starhuixin. Robot bull. 2008. Panoramio, Changning, Shanghai. 4 Dec 2012. <>

Canada’s Largest Offering of 100% “Forage-Developed” 2 Yr. Old Bulls Angus & Red Angus 70 Bulls Plus 25 Bred Females

✓ Developed exclusively on grass and hay

✓ Will continue to grow & gain weight breeding

✓ Predictable grass-based maternal Angus genetics

✓ More years service on your bull investment ✓ Environmentally sorted to be the right kind of bulls for most commercial cattle operations

✓ 2 Yr. Old bulls born in 1st & 2nd calving cycle

Request or view catalog at:

Featuring the 1st sons of resident herd side SINCLAIR RITO 9R7 BW 3.5 WW 51 YW 95 M 20 TM 46 SC 0.65

✓ 63 years & 3 generations of supplying purebred bulls ✓ 400 Forage-Developed bulls sold to satisfied customers to-date across Canada indicate versatility, virility, and value!

Silas Chapman (403) 741-2099 | Blake Chapman (403) 741-8625 | Shane Castle, Castlerock Marketing (306) 741-7485 | Auctioneer: Don Raffan (250) 558-6789



Donald & Tammy Williams

Jenna, Maston, Krista & Trevor ~Leroy, SK

Home: 306-365-3489

Donald: 306-231-5402 • Maston: 306-231-5415 Email:



Feb. 2

Moose Creek Red Angus 19th Yearling Bull Sale,

Feb. 4

Lazy RC Ranch Bull Sale, 1 p.m. at the ranch, Brady, SK

Feb. 7

Stauffer Ranches 2 year old Black Angus Bull Sale, Fort Macleod Auction, Fort Macleod, AB

Feb. 8

Ole Farms 8th Annual Family Day Sale, 1 p.m. at the farm, Athabasca, AB Lunch at 11:30 a.m.

Feb. 9

MJT Cattle Co. Ltd. Hereford & Angus 19th Annual “Back to the Basics” Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m. at the ranch, Edgerton, AB

Feb. 14

Chapman Cattle Co. 7th Annual 100% “Forage Developed” Bull Sale, 2 p.m., Stetter Auction Mart, Stettler, AB

Feb. 15

Mader Ranches 24th Annual Bullpower & Select Female Sale, 1 p.m., Olds Cow Palace, Olds, AB

Feb. 17

Bonchuk Farms Bull Sale, 1 p.m. at Virden Heartland Livestock Yards. Lunch at 11 a.m.

Feb. 18

Kopp Farms Simmentals 9th Annual Bull & Female Sale, 1 p.m. on the farm, Amaranth, MB

Feb. 19

Hirsche Herefords & Angus Ltd. 1st Spring Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Provost Livestock Exchange, Provost, AB

Feb. 19

30th Annual Rawes Ranches Ltd. Performance Tested Charolais Bull Sale, at the Ranch, Strome, AB

Feb. 23

Lewis Farms 28th Annual Bull Sale, 1 p.m. on the farm, Spruce Grove, AB

Feb. 25

Simmenal Summitt Bull & Female Sale, 1 p.m., Beechinor Bros. Sale Barn, Bentley, AB

Feb. 26

Ulrich Herefords Bull & Heifer Sale, Balog Auction, Lethbridge, AB

Feb. 26

Rainalta Simmental & Charolais Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Bow Slope Shipping Assoc., Brooks, AB

Feb. 28

Holloway Farms Ltd. 3rd Annual Rancher’s Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Dryland Cattle Trading, Vetran, AB

Feb. 28

Stewart Cattle Co. & Guests 5th Annual Black Angus Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Neepawa Ag-Plex, Neepawa, MB

Mar. 2

Brandl Cattle Co. & Guest Lake Bottom Cattle Co. Black & Red Angus & Simmental Bull Sale, 2 p.m. at Brandl Cattle Co., Jarvie, AB

Mar. 2

Char-Lew 39th Annual High Country Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Fairgrounds, Pincher Creek, AB

Mar. 2

McMillen Ranching Ltd. 19th Annual Bull Sale, 1 p.m. at the ranch, Carievale, SK

Mar. 3

R+ Brand of Consistancy & Confidence 13th Annual Bull Sale, at the ranch, Estevan, SK

Mar. 3/4

Pride of the Prairies 9th Annual Lloydminster Bull Sale, Lloydminster Agriculture Exhibition Assoc.

Mar. 5

Belvin 1st Bull Sale, 11 a.m. lunch, 1 p.m. sale at the farm, Innisfail, AB

Mar. 6/7

113th Annual Calgary Bull Sale, Stampede Park, Calgary, AB

Mar. 8

Richmond Ranch Grass Country Bull Sale, at the ranch, Rumsey, AB

Mar. 10

Black Pearl Bull & Female Sale, Edwards Livestock Centre, Tisdale, SK

Mar. 13

Murphy Ranch Pederson Livestock Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Provost Livestock Exchange, Provost, AB

Mar. 15

Reese Charolais Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Innisfail Auction Market, Innisfail, AB

Mar. 16

Boynecrest/Skyridge 1st Annual Bull & Female Sale, Rathwell, MB

Mar. 16

LLB Angus 27th Annual Spring Spectacular Bull & Female Sale at the farm, Erskine, AB

Mar. 19

Alberta Plaid Galloway Bull & Female Sale, sale catalogue available by request on our website,

Mar. 20

W2 Farms 2 year old bulls consigned to Advantage Bull Sale in Saskatoon

Mar. 21

Bar 3R Limousin 18th Annual Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Crossroads Centre, Oyen, AB

Mar. 21

Maple Creek Stock Farms Kick Off to Spring Bull Sale, 2 p.m., Grand Clairiere Hall, Hartney, MB

Mar. 21

Braun Ranch Ready Bull Sale, 1 p.m., Heartland, Swift Current, SK

Mar. 22

Saskatoon Gelbvieh Bull & Female Sale, 1 p.m., Saskatoon Livestock Sales

Apr. 10

Rivercrest-Valleymere 10th Annual Spady Bull Sale, 1:30 p.m. at the ranch, Bentley, AB

Apr. 19

Moose Creek Red Angus 19th Yearling Bull Sale,



19th Annual “Back to the Basics” Bull Sale February 9, 2013, 1:30 PM (MST) at the Ranch • 50 Hereford Horned & Pulled • 35 Black Angus 2 Year Olds • 25 Red Angus 2 Year Olds Approximately 100 Commercial Females

• Bring your trailer on Sale Day for $150 off each bull you purchase

Join us for Lunch

Mick & Debbie Trefiak And Family

• MJT bulls are semen tested, guaranteed • MJT does not trim any bulls feet • 80% of MJT customers are repeat customers

Ph (780) 755-2224 Fax (780) 755-2223 Mick’s cell (780) 842-8835 Kurt’s cell (780) 619-2224 Sale Day Phone: (780) 755-2224 or (780) 755-3260

View our Catalogue Online

Web site: Email: or

R.R. #1, Edgerton, AB T0B 1K0 - 14 miles East of Wainwright and 11 1/2 miles North on Secondary Hwy 894



28th Annual Bull Sale - Saturday February 23, 2013 1:00 pm on farm - Spruce Grove, Ab SELLING:


24 Advance Sons

174 Simmental Yearlings * 48 Angus Yearlings * 124 Extra Age Bulls



Feb. 22nd Cattlemen’s Get Together Bulls Available for Viewing Feb. 23rd 11:00 Lunch 1:00 pm Sale Time


Bulls Fertility & Semen Tested * Optional Warranty & Financing Available * Free Delivery in Western Canada & Cost Shared to the East * Many Bulls Homozygous Polled * Volume Discounts


Lot 200

LFE LFE811Y 811Y Advance Advance xx Tangle Tangle


4 Broker Sons

Lot 3


4 Hot Iron Sons Lot 1

LFE 369Z Broker x Stubby

LFE 445Z Hot Iron x Tangle


12 Stubby Sons Lot 17

LFE 3079Y Stubby x Top Gun

Lot 29

LFE 3076Y Stubby x Top Gun



4 Rochfort Sons

6 Ridge Sons Lot 300

LFE 323Z Rochfort x Dream On

LFE 384Z Lakota x Bombshell

Lot 222

LFE 340Z Ridge x 338L

LFE 340Z Ridge x 338L


18 Lakota Sons Lot 227



9 House Sons

10 Hot Topic Sons LFE 357Z Hot Topic x Dyna


Ken Lewis: 780-818-3829 Kyle Lewis: 780-220-9188 Jordan Buba: 780-818-4047 Leonard Mark: 780-336-5424 Brian Bouchard: 403-813-7999 Jim Pulyk: 780-853-0626 Scott Bohrson: 403-370-3010 OBI Rob H.: 780-916-2628

LFE 372Z Advance x Adrenaline

LFE 318Z Advance x 514N

Lot 15

LFE 830Y House x Iron Man


10 Justified Sons Lot 53

LFE 552Z Justified x Samurai



3 Ayers Sons

Lot 49

15 Net Worth Sons

LFE 338Z Ayers Rock x King

LFE 344Z Net Worth x Vrd

Lot 404 Lot 600

Lot 800

27115A Twp. Rd. 524 Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3M9 Office Ph.: 780-962-5050 FAX: 780-962-2467 Office Email: Ken & Corrie Email: Jordan Email:

2013 bull buyers guide ad.indd 1

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912152A05_FCB TDCT M0219 AGRI M0219_Mag_C_2_ST

Dec. 05, 2012


TD Canada Trust

As third generation farmers, the Jeffries look to us for next-generation advice

Dave, Roland & Ernie Jeffries Vegetable Growers

Vince Puchailo TD Agriculture Specialist

TD is committed to helping farmers build for the future. Dave Jeffries and his sons, Roland and Ernie, know a thing or two about farming. So, when it was time to expand the business, they naturally chose a bank that knew how to help. At TD, they found Agriculture Specialist Vince Puchailo, who helped implement a succession plan. Vince’s understanding of the complex process even impressed the lawyers handling the sale. A personalized approach to agriculture finance, like Vince’s, is something all TD Agriculture Specialists bring. Maybe it’s time you brought one to your farm.

For more information, visit a branch or

Banking can be this comfortable ® / The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.

M0219_Mag_C_2_ST.indd 1

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