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PREHARVEST August, 2017 Hail on the SARDA Plots Aftermath of Hail by Khalil Ahmed, Phd, SARDA

Hail storms are brutal for every living and nonliving thing on earth. The severity of the damage on crops depends on growth stages and on the size of hailstones. The night of Saturday July 15th a hail storm hit the areas of Guy, Spirit River, and Falher, including SARDA’s research plots located south of Donnelly at Dion Bros. Ltd Farm.

regrow with no adverse effects were observed on yield.

We are already simulating various levels of hail damage on wheat, canola, and peas. Those trials got HAIL ON HAIL!!!

Assessing hail losses for the crops that remain can be a very difficult task. With my limited knowledge about hail, I am putting my observations on paper and sharing them with you.

Last year, we observed that after receiving simulated hail damage at the early stage canola has a high tendency to

Crop stage is a key factor during hail storms and differs for canola, wheat, and peas, the commonly grown crops in our area. Crops have a high tendency to produce yields after being hit by early hail damage and are less likely to recover from late hail damage.

At the time of hail storm at SARDA site, the canola was in full bloom,and fababeans

IN THIS ISSUE Hail on the SARDA Plots


Shades of Grey


Research Summaries


New Canadian Agricultural Partnership


Up and Coming Events


Changes to Wheat Classes...


How to reduce costly harvest losses


Comibine seed loss guide


County of Grande Prairie Corner


Wild Bees and Canola


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and peas were at the poding stage. After the hail storm, most of the flowers were shattered in the peas, fababeans, flax and canola. The hail storm hit the crops very hard and broke stalks on canola, hemp and fababeans. Hemp seeded on June 22nd was completely hammered; plants were very hard to recognize because leaves were completely ripped off and only stems left behind. During the first week after the hail damage, most of the plants looked green; hail damage was not quite visible throughout the plots. After a week, the severity of the hail storm started to show up on the plants; white and brown spots on leaves, knocked off stalks, and partially connected foliage started to dry up. Bruised pea pods started to

Hemp Seeded on June 22

Broken Stalks on Hemp

Flower Drop in Flax

Broken Stalk on Fababean

August 2017

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Bruised Pods on Peas

Mold and Disease on Pods get diseases and mold inside them; they started to bleed. No green color left, they ultimately turned white; that indicates a low grade seed quality.

Canola has a high potential to recover, peas can also bounce back because of strong root systems with nodules, if the season is long enough. Let’s

Flower Drop in Canola see how these crops recover from the hail damage this season. Observations and symptoms will be shared with you in our next newsletter.

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Many shades of gray – The contextdependent performance of organic agriculture Review Article Summary Presented below is brief version of a review article. Readers are encouraged to contact SARDA or the cited source for more information. Some promote organic agriculture as a solution to our sustainable food security challenges while others condemn it as a backward and romanticized version of agriculture that would lead to hunger and environmental devastation. This review addressed where organic agriculture performed well, and where it did not. It assessed the benefits and costs of organic agriculture across the following dimensions: (i) production, (ii) environment, (iii) producers, and (iv) consumers. It is limited to an examination of impacts at the level of the farming system (including indirect impacts on consumers), with no consideration of other aspects of the food system such as processing and distribution, consumption, or recycling. It is also restricted to cropping systems, excluding livestock systems (except where integrated into mixed systems) and animal welfare. Organic agriculture is defined here as a farming system that follows organic certification guidelines (avoidance of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) and that is intentionally organic (excluding organic-by-default systems that do not apply synthetic inputs due to lack of access).

Conventional agriculture is defined as mainstream agriculture as dominantly practiced today, including both high-input and lowinput systems. Yield: Yields matters for farmers and higher yields could be environmentally beneficial because we could take land out of production and restore natural ecosystems. Numerous meta-analyses have concluded that average per unit area yields are 19 to 25% lower (ranges 5-40%) under organic than under conventional management. However, the magnitude of this yield gap varies by crop type and depends on management practices (e.g. crop rotations, amount of inputs). Generally cereals show a higher yield gap, while hay crops tend to have smaller yield gaps or even higher yields under organic management. A more useful comparison would be of the total energy, caloric, or protein yield [that is, whole system output per unit area-time]. Yield stability: Yield stability is one measure of the resilience of food production. The relatively few comparisons of yield stability have shown both

higher and lower yield stability under organic management. Biodiversity: Organic management have increased abundance of 40 to 50% organisms across different taxa, while influence on species richness ranged from 1 to 34%. Generally, plants and bees benefit the most from organic management, and other arthropods and birds benefit to a smaller degree. Soil quality: Soils managed with organic practices have shown higher organic carbon content, reduced soil erosion, improved soil structure and nutrient status, and more abundant soil fauna, apparently due to amount of organic matter inputs such as composts or animal manure. However, the roles of legumes in the crop rotation, or of soil quality per unit output are not clear.

August 2017 Page 5 The use of increased tillage to control weeds can enhance organic matter loss and soil erosion. However, 41% of U.S. organic farmers reported the use of reduced tillage (which is the same proportion as for conventional farmers). Also a recent meta-analysis suggests that some organic reduced tillage systems (e.g. shallow noninversion tillage) can lead to higher soil organic matter content without incurring yield penalties relative to intensive tillage. Climate change mitigation: Per unit area, both N2O and total GHG emissions appear to be lower under organic management for most crops. Reduced energy use is attributed to avoidance of synthetic fertilizers and typically increases soil organic carbon content (contribute to carbon sequestration). Per unit output for N2O emissions under organic management appear to be higher, because of lower yields and higher for CH4 emissions from paddy soils. Energy consumption per unit output tends to remain lower, but with high variability.

N loss depends more on the specific management practices used. Lower N losses from organic systems are associated with lower N inputs and higher organic matter content induced increased N holding capacity. Higher N losses with lower nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of organic agriculture are due to the low availability of organic N to crops and asynchronies between crop N demand and N availability from organic sources, as well as the use of cover crops or leys that are not harvested. The limited number of studies and the large variation in results do not permit reliable conclusions on P loss. Organic management has a clear advantage because it relies more on recycled N and P inputs (such as composts and animal manure) and less on industrial N or mined P.

Water quality: Water quality is one of the environmental dimensions with greatest uncertainty.

Limited assessments indicated that organic pesticides typically have lower toxicity and often lower persistence in the environment. However, organic pesticides like sulfur and rotenone, can have a higher total impact because of the higher dosages and the higher frequency of applications, despite lower toxicity quotients. In practice, however, organic farmers typically use integrated pest management or use pesticides that are less harmful. Therefore, it is likely that pesticide leaching from organic agriculture is lower than that from conventional agriculture.

On average, N leaching per unit area appears to be lower in organic agriculture, but variation is high and the magnitude of

Water quantity: Overall benefits of organic management for water use requires greater attention.

The benefit of organic management in terms of energy consumption is lowest for vegetables and fruits, whereas the benefit in terms of GHG emissions was higher in mono cropping systems.

In general, organic soils show higher water holding capacity and water infiltration rates due to higher organic matter content. This can lead to higher yields and water use efficiency under drought and excessive rainfall conditions and to lower water limitation of organic yields. Farmer’s livelihood: A recent meta-analysis of studies from North America, Europe, and India concluded that organic was more profitable than conventional because of the prices premium. Total management costs were similar; organic had higher labor costs but lower input costs. But income without premium prices was lower under organic management because of lower yields. Organic systems, which are often diverse mixed farming systems, can minimize risk by reducing the economic dependence on a single crop. Organic agriculture can provide benefits for farmers in low-income countries, via organization of farmers in cooperatives and social networks, integration of traditional knowledge, providing training, and access to health and credit programs through the certifying and exporting agency. Farmer and farm worker health: Farm work is considered to be one of the most dangerous occupations due to frequent exposure to often toxic agrochemicals, which causes an estimated 1 million deaths and chronic diseases each year.

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Because of the lower use of pesticides in organic agriculture, it is very likely that pesticide exposure is lower on organic farms. This could be one of the most important advantages of organic management for farm workers, particularly in crops (e.g. fruits and vegetables) with typically high pesticide application rates and in regions with weak pesticide regulations. Organic farmers in low-income countries often report reduced health risks from pesticide exposure as one of their key motivations for adopting organic agriculture. Farm worker livelihoods: The limited research on farm worker livelihoods on organic farms suggests that, for the most part, farm workers on organic farms are faced with the same problems as those on conventional farms. The clearest distinction is that organic management typically requires more labor, attributed not only to more labor-intensive management practices (such as preparation of compost or weeding) but also to a higher share of labor-intensive commodities (such as vegetables and fruits) and often smaller farm sizes. Although this increases employment opportunities for farm workers, it can also be an obstacle to adoption of organic farming in regions with labor shortage. In low-income countries, it appears that organic certification mostly provides benefits to farm workers when coupled to Fair Trade certification of smallholder

farmers. Instead, large-scale organic production often does not provide any benefit for farm workers because it is typically not Fair Trade–certified. Consumer health: This topic has received great attention (22 reviews, including quantitative reviews and metaanalyses), although most of the comparisons are from Europe (and a few from North America). Some found a significant difference in nutrient content between organic and conventional crops, but others did not. . Few studies have examined actual health outcomes of increased consumption of organic foods. The only unequivocal benefit of organic foods is reduced contamination from pesticide residues; although this might not matter for consumers in high-income countries, where pesticide contamination on conventionally grown food is far below acceptable daily intake thresholds, it could provide an important health benefit for consumers elsewhere. Consumer access: Organic food typically has a substantial price premium, which benefits producers at the expense of consumers. Although direct organic marketing initiatives such as farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) aim to be more accessible to low-income consumers, they usually mostly reach middle-class consumers. A study estimated that the costs of a fully organic diet in the

United States would be ~50% higher than conventional. Scaling up organic: Some authors have argued that the yield gap between organic and conventional agriculture would increase if more farms were converted to organic because of problems in nutrient availability. Organic agriculture today often relies on nutrient inputs from conventional farms and is highly dependent on the livestock sector, and it is unclear whether there would be sufficient animal manure, municipal solid wastes, or crop residues if organic were to be scaled up. Currently, only ~11% of total N inputs to croplands are from animal manure and ~8%are from crop residues, and crop residues (if left in the field) could supply the equivalent of 30% of current global synthetic N fertilizer. Many organic systems require long fallow periods and (nonedible) leguminous crops in the rotation to manage soil fertility. This implies that the output of edible calories over the course of an organic rotation might be lower than that in conventional systems (although the legumes or leys in organic rotations are often used as fodder for livestock and can thus also contribute to calorie production). In addition to the question of whether organic could be scaled up, we also need to consider the question of how scaling up would influence the performance of organic agriculture. Current organic farms are often situated on marginal lands. Adoption of organic management on more fertile lands and more

August 2017 Page 7 beneficial production climates could potentially increase the productivity of organic farming. In addition, organic agriculture has received limited research to date, e.g. 95% of organic production relies on crop varieties bred for conventional systems. It is assumed that organic farms are currently benefitting from pest control on neighboring conventional farms and that pest pressure would increase under more widespread adoption of organic management and thus further reduce yields, though there is no theoretical, observational, or experimental evidence to support this hypothesis. An opposing effect: Increased crop diversity under organic management could potentially decrease the susceptibility to pest outbreaks and increase natural pest control. In terms of environmental impacts, increased density of organic farms may or may not have benefits for biodiversity and soil quality. Large-scale adoption of organic agriculture could potentially reduce nutrient losses at the regional or global scale because of its enhanced use of recycled nutrients and its linkages between crop and animal production systems. Most assessments fails to account for synergies or trade-offs between different outcomes of organic agriculture (for example, between yields and biodiversity), and it also fails to account for long-term consequences (for example, land degradation, water availability, or climate change) that may affect future food production.

Studies mostly conclude that wholesale conversion to organic would lead to reductions in food production, which would lead to slight increases in food insecurity, or require changes in diet. On the other hand, conversion to organic agriculture would decrease the eutrophication of local waterways. Knowledge gaps: More research on organic farming systems in low-income countries is greatly needed; where three-quarters of organic producers are located. An improved assessment requires more studies covering a wide range of conditions. Finally, another important knowledge gap is the environmental performance of organic agriculture per unit output. Conclusions: Critics and advocates of organic agriculture often seem to describe different realities. There is some evidence supporting arguments from both sides, and there is great uncertainty in many dimensions. Overall, organic agriculture cannot be the Holy Grail for our sustainable food security challenges. First, the outcomes are uncertain (given the ambivalence about the social and environmental benefits of current organic practices). Second, being primarily a production system, organic agriculture has limits in its ability to transform the food system. From an environmental perspective, other changes to the food system (for example,

reducing food waste and changes in diet) might have greater benefits. From an equity perspective, organic agriculture faces similar agricultural labor, farmer livelihood, and consumer access challenges as conventional agriculture, and we require more fundamental changes in the way we produce, distribute, and consume our food to improve these conditions. From a broad policy perspective, organic agriculture offers many benefits and could be an important part of a suite of strategies to improve the sustainability and equity of our food system. Influence of organic agriculture extends beyond the ~1% of agricultural land it covers at present. Many conventional farms have, in recent years, increased the use of organic practices such as conservation tillage, cover cropping, or composts. A further expansion of organic agriculture and integrating successful organic management practices into conventional farming are important next steps. (Source: Veren Seufert & Navin Ramankutty. 2017. Sci. Adv, Vol. 3: e1602638. 1-14 pages)

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August 2017

Research Summaries Kabal S. Gill, SARDA Ag research

The research summaries are very short versions of the studies, to provide brief information and to start the thought process of readers to further explore the topics covered. Readers are encouraged to contact SARDA or the cited sources for more information. Planting seeds in aqueous smoke solutions to improve seed germination and biomass production of perennial forage species. • Seeds of many forage species have dormancy and may have adaptation to fire. • Aqueous smoke solutions were prepared from prairie hay or wheat straw. • Compared non-primed seeds to seeds primed by soaking in distilled water, and 4 dilutions of aqueous smoke solutions (1:1000, 1:100, 1:10 and

• •

1:1) for at 20 oC 24 hrs. Priming was followed by drying in dark for 7 days before germination tests or seeding in field. Seeds of 2 legumes (Kura clover & cicer milkvetch) and 8 grass species (Altai wildrye, green needlegrass, needle-and-thread, northern wheatgrass, orchard grass, plains rough fescue, Russian wildrye & western wheatgrass) were tested. Priming of cicer milkvetch had no effect on germination. Priming in aqueous

smoke solutions partially substituted the light requirement for germination in some species. Priming in aqueous smoke solutions did not change total seedling emergence, but increased standing crop for orchard grass and plains rough fescue. But highest concentration of aqueous smoke solution had negative effect on germination. For some of the tested species, stimulating germination through aqueous smoke solutions could be a useful pre-

DEADLINE REMINDERS AUGUST 15, 2017 Annual Crop Insurance - Last day to file Report of Grain in Storage Prior to Harvest. Learn more by contacting an Insurance Specialist at one of AFSC’s Branch Offices today. • 1.877.899.AFSC (2372) •


August 2017 Page 9 sowing treatment.

(Source: Y. Abu, et al. 2016. Can. J. Plant Sci., Vol. 96: Pages 551-563)

Response of coolseason grain legumes to waterlogging at flowering • Evaluated effects of 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 day waterlogging at flowering on seed yield, biomass of shoots, roots and nodules, and N uptake of faba beans, pea and white lupin. • Waterlogging at flowering markedly reduced seed yield as well as biomass of roots, shoots, and nodules of all 3 crops. • The growth of pea and white lupins had markedly decreased with only 5 days of submersion (52-60%) and they died with 10 days of submersion. • Faba bean survived even 20 days of waterlogging, although its seed yield and biomass production were severely reduced. They also retained large nodules. • Waterlogging for 5 days reduced N uptake by 57% in pea, 69% in white lupin and only by 17% in faba bean. Uptake of N by faba bean was reduced by 48% with 20 days of waterlogging. • For all 3 crops, waterlogging induced reductions were similar for the weights and N uptake of plants parts. Consequently, waterlogging did not affect the N concentration in any of the plant parts. • Results highlight that waterlogging at flowering damaged the plant growth, which could not be recovered during seed filling. (Source: Silvia Pampana, et al.

2016. Can. J. Plant Sci., Vol. 96: Pages 597-603)

Swath-grazing oat or grazing stockpiled perennial grass compared with traditional winter feeding method for beef cows in central Alberta • Swath-grazed oat (Oat) and stockpiled meadow bromegrass (Grass) were compared with (Control) a pen-fed straw-based total mixed ration (TMR). • Carrying capacity (cow-day / ha) ranked Oat (637) > Control (454) > Grass (189). • In vitro digestibility (g/kg) ranked Grass (681) > Oat (588) > Control (530). • Average cow body condition score (BCS) ranked Grass (3.4) > Control (3.3) > Oat (3.0). • The daily cost ($/cow day) ranked Control (1.05) > Oat (0.48) > Grass (0.38) • Yardage (non-feed costs, $ / cow day) ranked Control (0.91) > Grass (0.50) > Oat (0.41). • Total daily cost ($/cow day) ranked Control (2.25) > Oat (1.07) = Grass (1.04). • Grass treatment cost was limited by the low regrowth of meadow bromegrass, which suggest more emphasis on forage regrowth to increase its carrying capacity and reduce feeding costs. • Overall, winter grazing stockpiled grass and swath-grazed oat are viable options for reducing costs of overwintering beef cows. (Source: Vern S. Baron, et al. 2016. Can. J. Plant Sci., Vol. 96: Pages 689-700)

Long-term (47 yr.) effects of tillage and frequency of summerfallow on soil organic carbon in a Dark Brown Chernozem soil in western Canada • Study was established in 1968 to compare 5 treatments with different frequencies of summer fallow (Heavy- duty cultivator, FHD; Wide blade, FBL; or chemical, FNT) and crops (Wheat, W; or W/flax): 1. FHD-W, 2. FBL-W, 3. FNT-W, 4. FBL-W-W, and 5. FNYW-W/flax (1988-2007). The plots were seeded with disc openers. All phases of rotation were present each year. • Soil samples were collected in fall of 2014, from 0-3, 3-6, 6-12 & 12-18 inch depths. • During initial years, wheat yield was lower from NT than tilled treatments. • Usually, the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequence was FNT-W-W > FBLW-W > FNT-W > FHD-W > FBL-W, with some exceptions. • The F-W-W (2 crops in 3 yrs.) added additional 14 ton C / ha compared with F-W (1 crop in 2 yrs.) systems. About half (7 ton C /ha) was translated in to SOC. • Overall results showed that SOC was improved by frequency of crops in the rotation and reduction in tillage frequency and intensity. (Source: Elvin Smith, et al. 2016. Can. J. Soil Sci., Vol. 96: Pages 347-350)

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The agriculture and agri-food sector is a key growth industry in Canada, contributing over $100 billion annually to the economy and employing 2.3 million Canadians. Ministers of Agriculture reached agreement today on the key elements of a new federal, provincial, territorial (FPT) agricultural policy framework during the Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, from July 19-21. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3 billion investment, will come into effect on April 1, 2018. It will strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agribased products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity. In addition, producers will continue to have access to a robust suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership will focus on six priority areas: 1. Science, Research, and Innovation – Helping industry adopt practices to improve resiliency and productivity through research and innovation in key areas. 2. Markets and Trade – Opening new markets and helping farmers and food processors improve their competitiveness through skills development, improved export capacity, underpinned by a strong and efficient regulatory system. 3. Environmental Sustainability

August 2017

New Canadian Agricultural Partnership to Help Position Canada as a Leader in the Global Economy News Release From Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada July 21, 2017 - St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

and Climate Change – Building sector capacity to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and adapt to climate change by enhancing sustainable growth, while increasing production. 4. Value-added Agriculture and Agri-food Processing – Supporting the continued growth of the value-added agriculture and agri-food processing sector. 5. Public Trust – Building a firm foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health, stronger traceability and effective regulations. 6. Risk Management – Enabling proactive and effective risk management, mitigation and adaptation to facilitate a resilient sector by working to ensure programs are comprehensive, responsive and accessible. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, BRM programs will continue to help producers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. Governments responded to industry concerns regarding eligible coverage under AgriStability, ensuring a more equitable level of support for all producers. Highlights of upcoming BRM changes are available at Canadian Agricultural Partnership Business Risk Management Programs.

Governments further committed to engaging in a review that explores options to improve BRM programming. The review will recognize the important role played by all programs (AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance) in the risk management plans of producers given the diversity of the sector. The review will also directly involve producers and have an early focus on market risk, including as it relates to AgriStability addressing concerns regarding timeliness, simplicity and predictability. Ministers will be presented with options in July 2018 for consideration based on early findings of the review. The agreement reached by ministers today sets the stage for FPT governments to conclude bilateral agreements by April 1, 2018. It is a priority for ministers to implement a seamless transition from the current policy framework to the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Extensive consultations with industry and Canadians informed the development of the new agreement, which builds on the success of previous FPT agricultural frameworks. Governments will continue to work closely with the sector as Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs are developed and implemented, to reflect the diverse needs across Canada, including the North. This year’s Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture focused on important initiatives touching the agriculture and agri-food

August 2017 sector including the status of trade negotiations and market access initiatives in key export markets. To this effect, FPT Ministers reiterated their support for supply management. Ministers agreed to the approach for optimizing the PanCanadian Regulatory Framework and endorsed the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada. Indigenous agriculture in Canada and the development of a Food Policy for Canada were also addressed. A summary of items discussed at the meeting is available at Summary of items from the 2017 Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture. The next annual FPT Ministers’ meeting will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, in July 2018. * The Ministers from British Columbia and New Brunswick were not in attendance but were represented by officials. Quotes “The Canadian Agricultural Partnership sets the direction for the future of the sector to help it continue to innovate, grow and prosper, and position Canada as a leader in the global economy. Together with provinces and territories, I am committed to expanding business opportunities for our Canadian producers, ranchers and processors, and strengthening the middle class.” Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“The Canadian Agricultural Partnership enables continued investment in strategic initiatives

Page 11 for agriculture and agri-food programming in Newfoundland and Labrador, and will have a significant impact on our rural communities and the provincial economy. The partnership will help our government achieve its goal of increasing food self-sufficiency to at least 20 per cent by 2022, and then building beyond that goal, as laid out in The Way Forward: Realizing Our Potential.”

Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

Quick Facts • Canadian farm incomes rose to $14.8 billion in 2016, the 2nd best year on record. • In 2016, the total value of Canadian agriculture, agrifood and seafood exports reached an all-time high exceeding $62 billion. • The food processing industry provides employment for a quarter of a million Canadians and is a major buyer of Canadian primary agriculture production. Associated Links Summary of items from this year’s Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture • Canadian Agricultural Partnership - Business Risk Management Programs • Calgary Statement • Consulting on the Canadian Agricultural Partnership • The View from Here (video)

Canadian Agricultural Partnership - Business Risk Management Programs (effective April 2018)

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, producers will continue to have access to a robust suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to help manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. • Governments continue to support proactive approaches to risk management • AgriStability provides support when producers experience a large margin decline. • AgriInvest provides cash flow to help producers manage income declines. • AgriInsurance provides costshared insurance against natural hazards to reduce the financial impact of production or asset losses. The Western Livestock Price Insurance program will continue to play an important role in the BRM suite. • AgriRecovery is a disaster relief framework to help producers with the cost of activities necessary for recovery following natural disaster events. • Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments will also continue to support the development of new risk management tools through the AgriRisk program.

Upcoming changes to the Business Risk Management suite of programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Changes to BRM programs will come into effect for the 2018 program year. The existing program

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Event Name


MOTHer of all Tours

Greg Sears Farm, Sexsmith

Pasture Rejuvenation Field Day Crop Walk - SARVT and RVT’s


Morning Crop Walk


High Prairie Plots

Pasture Rejuvenation Field Day Stockmanship School with Dylan Biggs

Gordondale Hall Bonanza

APG, ABC and AWC Annual Producer Meeting

Pomeroy Hotel Grande Prairie

New Zealand Ag Tour

New Zealand

Western Canada Conference Radisson Hotel on Soil Health & grazing Edmonton Alberta


August 2017

Time 11-12


August 9


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8-11 am

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November 23 to December 12


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Page 14 14

August 2017

Continued from page 11

rules remain in effect for the 2016 and 2017 program years. AgriStability and Reference Margin Limits Under AgriStability the Reference Margin Limit (RML) will be capped to ensure a more equitable level of support for all producers: • The change to the RML will ensure producers from all sectors will have improved access to support under the program, regardless of their cost-structure. • It will guarantee all producers at least 70% of their Reference Margin. • The RML will continue to target assistance to significant income losses threatening the viability of producers’ farms and that are beyond their capacity to manage. AgriStability and Late participation • A late participation mechanism has been added that provincial and territorial governments can trigger to allow producers to enter the program late in situations where there is a significant income decline and a gap in participation. • The mechanism will only be triggered in response to significant events and benefits will be reduced by 20% for

producers who enrol late, to encourage regular annual enrollment by producers. This measure is intended to allow governments to ensure all producers can access AgriStability support when a significant decrease in revenue threatens the viability of the farm, should provinces and territories choose to trigger it.

AgriInvest and AgriStability • While AgriInvest continues to be an important part of the BRM suite, changes to the program were necessary to reallocate funding to ensure a more equitable level of support for all producers in the AgriStability program. • Beginning in the 2018 program year, the maximum Allowable Net Sales (ANS) eligible under AgriInvest will be reduced to $1 million, down from $1.5 million. • The annual government matching contributions will be limited to $10,000 per AgriInvest account, down from $15,000. • Currently there is approximately $2.2 billion in AgriInvest account balances, which provides producers with flexibility and quick access to funds to help manage their risks. • Under AgriInvest the minimum payment will be

adjusted from $75 to $250. A $250 minimum payment will also apply under AgriStability.

Business Risk Management Program Review • Governments will undertake a review of Business Risk Management programs to assess program effectiveness and impact on growth and innovation. There will be an early focus on the ability of the programs to respond to market risk, with a specific focus on AgriStability. • Based on the early findings of the review, options will be brought forward for consideration at the July 2018 Ministers’ meeting to improve timeliness, simplicity and predictability, and that are cost-neutral. • The review will recognize the importance of all programs (AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance). • An external Expert Panel including producers, academia and global experts will be engaged to provide input throughout the review. • Broader industry engagement will also ensure an understanding of the nature of risk faced by the sector and the effectiveness of the programs.

Date modified: 2017-07-21

August 2017

Page 15

Changes to wheat classes in Western Canada undermining the quality of grain shipments. The changes are aimed at protecting the global reputation of Canadian wheat, but also have some stated indirect benefits like providing an opportunity for farms to grow higher yielding wheats with slightly lower market strength.

Wheat classes are changing in Western Canada. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) has initiated a modernization of the system in response to increased concerns in export market around gluten strength of Canadian wheat. It is the CGC’s role to designate new or existing varieties to specific wheat classes and to prevent varieties from

“The main focus of the wheat class modernization plan was to ensure the quality and consistency of the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat class and to address and improve the consistency of the Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat class,” said a statement from CGC on the Commission’s website. CGC also said it would not go ahead, for the time being, with the

development of a Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class as previously proposed. The new modernization plan includes variety designation changes that will move some existing varieties of wheat into two new classes: Canadian Northern Hard Red (CNHR) – A red spring wheat milling class with medium to hard kernels, very good milling quality (just below Canadian Western Red Spring - CWRS), medium gluten strength. Good for making hearth breads, steamed breads and noodles; Canadian Western Special Purpose (CWSP) – Not required to meet some of the strict requirements of the milling classes and is not generally good for milling because of low protein and high starch

Table 1 Provincial Movement of Insured Varieties from Current Classes to New Classes by Acres (2016 insured wheat data) Old Class

New Class

(AFSC Name)










Wht-HRW Total





Total 725,092

5,296 845,951



3,451,826 81,344




Page 16 August 2017 16  the International Grain Commission (IGC).

continued from page 15

content. The end uses for the class are typically feed and ethanol. The impact of the class changes varies across existing classes but there will be significant movement as the CGC re-designates existing varieties. Around 50 per cent of insured Canadian Prairie Spring (CPS) and 14 per cent of insured Hard Red Spring (HRS) wheat acres will migrate into one of the two new classes. Notable varieties moving from the CPS class include AC Foremost with 275,000 acres, Conquer with 42,000 acres and AC Crystal with 25,000 acres insured in 2016. More popular HRS varieties migrating are Harvest and Lillian with 287,000 and 153,000 acres, respectively, insured in 2016 . Table 1 and Table 2 show the acres and percentage of acres respectively of wheat moving from current classes into the two new classes in Alberta.

Mid-term outlook for global wheat market

Changes in wheat classification initiated by CGC come at a time of increased global wheat stocks and, consequently, depressed wheat prices as forecast by both the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and

In its latest brief on the state of cereal supplies in the 2017/2018 period, FAO said despite the abundant supply in the market, high-protein wheat would still be in short supply. “While wheat availabilities are also seen ample, supplies of high protein wheat could become tighter in view of a deteriorating crop outlook in the United States,” said the organization in its market outlook report published in July. “Global wheat output in 2017 is forecast at 739.9 million tonnes, nearly 3.3 million tonnes (0.4 percent) below June expectations. The downward revision is almost entirely on account of smaller crops in the EU and Ukraine, where dry conditions are anticipated to reduce yields,” it added. For its part, London-based IGC predicted in its latest five-yearly forecast that despite price pressures, wheat growing areas were not likely to see any contraction in the foreseeable future. “The world 2016/17 harvest is expected to be the fourth record in succession and will contribute to a further accumulation of stocks,” said IGC. “Despite the resulting pressure

on prices, little change in global planted area is anticipated in 2017/18 due to few more profitable alternatives. “In subsequent years, area is predicted to stay broadly stable, but trend yields will likely lift production to fresh records by 2020/21.” But IGC said, alongside the increased wheat output in the coming years, the wheat trade was also expected to steadily expand with sub-Saharan Africa and Asia fueling much of the demand growth as the fastest growing markets thanks to rising population in both areas, with India becoming a particular focus of attention. “Unless domestic crops outperform expectations, India could be a more regular buyer,” said the IGC forecast. In 2016, Southeast Asia imported about 25 million tons of wheat, accounting for 14 per cent of the global wheat imports, up by more than 25 per cent as compared to two years ago, according to U.S Department of Agriculture figures. IGC said US exports were expected to slightly decline over the next five years, by up to two per cent, while Argentina was on mark to recapture some of the market share it lost over the recent years.

Table 2 Provincial Movement of Insured Varieties from Current Classes into New Classes as a percentage (2016 insured wheat data) Old Class (AFSC Name)

New Class CNHR















August 2017

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How to reduce costly harvest losses Canola Watch, September

Canola producers can lose up to five bushels or more per acre if the combine isn’t adjusted properly. Here are tips to measure combine losses and make adjustment to limit those losses, putting more canola in the bin and reducing the volunteer canola seedbank in your fields. This video has similar instructions.

calibrated by taking proper measurements behind the combine. Measuring true losses out the back of the combine requires a drop pan. There are three droppan options: Option 1. • Various companies make a discharge-width pan that attaches under the belly of the combine. This type of pan is likely the safest option, and allows the combine operator to perform the checks on their own. These pans can either be set up electronically, with the addition of an electromagnet, or mechanically by simply attaching it via a form of pulley/ rope.

Option 2. A pan mounted on a stick allows for better placement in Tools to measure harvest loss. Credit: the discharge Angela Brackenreed area than just throwing it and Step 1. Measure losses can also help to keep Electronic loss monitors will not the user out of the accurately measure losses out dust. the back of the combine. They give a vague idea whether losses Option 3. are changing and the source of • A “throw pan” can the loss, but won’t tell how many simply be thrown bushels per acre are thrown in front of the rear over. The loss monitor should be wheels of the

8, 2016 - Issue 25 combine to land in the discharge area. This method is the hardest to control, with the potential for running the pan over, not having it land in the appropriate spot, or tipping over in the stubble. Beyond that, there are serious safety issues with such a method.

With all three methods, the size and style of the pan depends on how the operator prefers to check. For instance, divisions in a pan can inform where exactly the losses are concentrated. A pan that is equal to the width of the discharge area can remove some potential sampling error, and allow for one measurement to indicate total losses. A

This pan connects to the belly of the combine with a magnet, and drops with the flick of a switch in the cab.

Page 18 August 2017 18  3. Determine the concentration factor for your combine. This is a ratio of header width and combine discharge width. If you are picking up a swath, this will be based on the swath header width, not the pickup header width. For example, if the cut width is 30 feet and the discharge width is five feet, then the CF is “6.” Find the tables here.

smaller pan requires multiple measurements to be taken across the width of discharge. Any size pan can be used — the square footage just needs to be known to perform the calculations. How to take a sample Once the collection tool is chosen, here are the simple sampling steps:

1. Disengage the spreader and straw chopper and move them out of the way. That way, all straw and chaff drops straight down over the pan. This is important for calculations, as losses will typically not be uniform across the width of spread.

2. Drop the pan, throw the pan, or hold the pan. When using the stick pan, move it into position upside down so it doesn’t gather any losses ahead of time. To position the pan, walk behind and to the side of the rear wheels and extend the pan so its in front of the chaff and straw discharge area. Once the pan is in position, quickly flip it over and stand still until the combine has passed over the pan.

3. Remove the straw and

chaff and preserve only the seed. This can be done by hand relatively well, but a screen or sieve works best. Another method is to put the collected sample in the bottom of a deep five-gallon (20-litre) pail and stick a blower or old hairdryer into the pail. Chaff and straw will


Plug these numbers into the tables to get Screens can be handy to separate seed and losses in pounds chaff. Credit: Angela Brackenreed or bushels per acre. For example, blow out and leave the seed if the cleaned sample behind. amounts to 6.2 grams per square foot and the combine How to calculate loss per CF is 6, this converts to a acre loss of 100 pounds per acre 1. Measure the seed in the — or two bushels per acre pan. This can be done by . weight (grams) using a 5. Take another sample before scale or volume (millilitres) moving on to steps 2 and 3. using measuring spoons or volumetric cylinders. *The web-based app from The weight method is more allows you precise, but the volume to skip 2 and 3 above by just method may be slightly plugging in the appropriate easier to perform in the field. information. For more on these options, click here for a link to the Combine Seed Loss Guide.

2. Calculate based on one

square foot. If your pan is two square feet, for example, divide the measurement in Step 1 by two to get the total for one square foot.

August 2017

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Combine Seed Loss Guide

Step 1 Find your CF in this table Step 2 Collect a sample from the known discharge area Step 3 Clean Seed from the Catch. Sieve using a screen and blow out the chaff Step 4 Weigh, measure (volume), or count seeds, see guide Step 5 Calculate loss on per ft2 basis (divide results by ft2 of collection pan) Step 6 Select table 2,3 or 4 to find loss on a per acre basis

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August 2017

August 2017

Page 21


Look—Where– What

Start Up

Manual, Monitor, Pre-set for Faster threshing speed, tighter clearance, crop wider suggested sieve openings, slow down Straw seed left in head Increase threshing speed, decrease concave clearance, add concave blanks, slow down cleaner Increase threshing speed, decrease concave clearance, add concave blanks, slow down Return Increase threshing speed, decrease concave clearance, add concave blanks, slow down Graintank Increase threshing speed, decrease concave clearance, add concave blanks, slow down Straw-no Drive faster, decrease threshing speed, increase concave clearance cleaner-no Drive faster, decrease threshing speed, increase concave clearance ReturnDrive faster, decrease threshing speed, increase concave clearance Graintank Decrease threshing speed, increase concave clearance Straw-free grain Increase threshing speed, decrease concave clearance, use wider spaced wire concaves, reduce vane angle, slow down Straw-excess chaff Decrease threshing speed, increase concave clearance, use narrow wire space concaves, increase vane angle Start Up Feed combine slowly—increase fan speed until start blowing a few seeds over chaffer sieve Chaff-seeds(threshed) Increase chaffer sieve opining, even out chaff/ grain loading, decrease threshing, slow down Grain-light trash Increase fan speed, decrease chaffer opening, decrease cleaning sieve opening Return-clean grain Open sieve, open chaffer, decrease fan speed





Adjustment (make only one at a time)

Page 22 August 2017 22 

Good Day from the County of Grande Prairie! After what seemed like the longest seeding-time ever, we have crops up, canola blooming and things ticking along. Sadly, we also had some hail in a few areas that did damage; how much has yet to be determined. Our weed inspectors have been travelling the countryside, and just as we have sufficient moisture for crops, so the weeds are flourishing! The reemergence of white cockle is somewhat astonishing, as we had hoped it was more confined than it is. However, we are making progress on our Ox eye daisy in the Webster Area, having held another information session, and assisting landowners with ideas on how to control it. One thing to remember this summer season is that each Municipality is mandated by the

Alberta Government to enforce the Weed Act. That means we must hire weed inspectors, and they must inspect properties for weeds. Under the Act, an inspector does not require permission to enter onto lands, and they must not be prevented from inspecting for weeds. If you choose to lock your gate or try to deny access, we may remove your lock, or you could be subject to a fine for obstruction. Inspectors may not enter into any homes or structures, unless it is apparent that noxious or prohibitednoxious weeds are present. Our first focus is to make landowners aware of weed problems, and we hope that by working together, weed concerns can be solved quickly and efficiently. Our Youth AGventure Tour this June was a great success. Approximately 60 grade 4 students from R.W. Zahara School in Sexsmith, along with

their teachers and assistants, attended the Tour, which featured several demonstrations at the Scenic Heights Farm, with hosts Kim and Dan Richards. They got to see and learn about farm equipment brought out by Rocky Mountain Equipment, look at various types of grain, partake in the Alberta Farm Safety Program with a demonstration hosted by Raelyn Peterson, Farm Safety Co-ordinator, as well as meet the family livestock; lambs, chickens and ducks. After a great BBQ lunch, they moved on to a pasture session with Bob McCreight and Carolyn Slater. Bob and Carolyn’s steers were a little too shy to come out from the bush, but the kids did catch a glimpse of them! These steers are grass fed using a rotational grazing system and then sold in the fall. It was a great day teaching kids where their food comes from, and seeing them enjoy a small taste of farm life. We really appreciate our farming families making themselves available to help us pass the message of where our food comes from to the next generation. This July also saw us install our first beaver pond leveler in the west side of the county. We

August 2017 are hoping to be able to trick the beavers into not realizing that their dammed area is not flooding as much land as it could! This is an attempt to be able to leave the beaver dam and the beavers in place, rather than blowing the dam and removing the beavers. This allows us to maintain the wetland and the animals in it, while still allowing for mitigation of the negative effects of flooding of farm land. In its simplest form, a wire cage is built around the end of a high density PE pipe that has

Page 23 holes drilled into it. This cage and the pipe is then submerged in the beaver pond, with the other end of the pipe being fed over to the downstream side of the dam. The cage is to protect the end of the pipe from being blocked off by the beavers if they figure out that it has water flowing into the pipe. As long as the pond isn’t drained down excessively, the beavers can’t figure out why their pond isn’t quite as deep as it once was. We are looking forward to seeing how well this works!

Well, that’s about all the space I have this edition. Hope everyone has a successful growing season, and the weeds don’t keep you up at night!

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August 2017

SARDA Box 90 Falher, Alberta T0H 1M0 Phone: 780-837-2900 Fax: 780-837-8223 Email: manager@

August 2017  

In this Issue Hail on the SARDA Plots Shades of Grey Research Summaries Canadian Agricultural Partnership Up and Co...

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