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Back Forty

December, 2019 ISSUE No. 90

The Latest Acquisition

Mental Health on the Farm

The Clipper AGM 224

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A mental-health crisis is blanketing farms

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SARDA Ag Research Variety Trials

Testing commonly grown varieties of wheat, peas and oats. Page 6

Water Quality Sampling Program Results, 2019

SARDA Ag Research began a water quality monitoring program in 2011 Page 12

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December, 2019

Table of Contents

The Latest Acquisition

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Mental Health on the Farm

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SARDA Ag Research Variety Trials (SARVT)

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Publication in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science

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The Clipper AGM 224 was purchased by SARDA Ag Research to enable staff to clean entire seed samples more effficiently. A mental-health crisis is blanketing farms and ranches across the country

Since 2017 SARDA Ag Research has been testing commonly grown varieties of wheat and peas. SARDA Ag Research often participates in projects with scientists who take the results further and publish them in scientific jounals for other scientists and researchers to review and possibly repeat.

2019 Wheat Protein Trial Summary of Results

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2019 Wheat Protein Trial Results

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Water Quality Sampling Program Results, 2019

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Canola Storage

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AFSC ready to support clients facing unharvested acres

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First Aid Essentials: Ready or Not?

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The 2019 SARDA Ag Research Wheat Protein Trial is the first year of a new protein focused trial.

SARDA Ag Research began a water quality monitoring program in 2011, with the help of Aquality Environmental Consulting Ltd (Aquality). No matter how good the harvest weather or how dry the harvested crop, all canola should be conditioned after it goes into the bin. “Harvest 2019 has been tough for farmers. Trade disputes, bad weather and high input costs have added up to be a difficult year. Whether it’s a medical emergency, workplace injury or exposure issue, having the right first aid training, knowledge and supplies can improve outcomes and even save lives.


The Clipper AGM 224 is a small cleaner designed for low maintenance and easy cleanout.

December, 2019

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The Latest Acquisition


he Clipper AGM 224 was purchased by SARDA Ag Research to enable staff to clean entire seed samples more effficiently. It will give us a more representative samples for further tests. Previously, cleaning samples was labor intensive, requiring samples to be divided into smaller portions, cleaned with a smaller Clipper, and then recombined into a larger clean sample. Every time a sample is handled there is more chance for spills and error. This new Clipper will quickly and easily clean entire plot samples in one operation, further reducing the chance for errors in processing. This machine is a small cleaner designed for low maintenance and easy cleanout. The new Clipper has been designed with two 24-1/2” x 22-1/4” screens. One screen for the top and the other for lower separation. Over 150 different sizes of perforated metal or wire cloth screens are available. With this unit we will definitely be able to clean all the crops that SARDA currently grows and any that we may grow in the future. Standard Features: Inlet Feed Hopper Heavy Duty Eccentric Shaft And Drive Scotch-Ply Shoe Hangers 2 Screens 24-1/2” x 22-1/4” Flows included: scalp, sift Ball Tray Screen Cleaning Adjustable Bottom Air - Bottom Cleanout Air Door 1 Hp, 60 Hz, 1800 RPM, TEFC, 1 Phase 115/230 Volt Motor and Drive Options: dust box 24” stand available to elevate cleaner if needed.

The seed is fed into the hopper and the adjustable gate helps to spread product evenly across the full width of the top screen. The product then moves across the top screen, which has openings larger than the product itself. Large foreign material is “scalped” off while the good product falls through the screen. The bottom screen is set up for sifting. The bottom screen openings are smaller than the commodity being cleaned. Trash, weed seeds and splits drop through the bottom screen while the good product passes over it. Next, the product is routed through a column of air from the bottom blast fan. This blast of air effectively removes any lightweight trash and dust that may have remained after screening. Dust is collected in the dust control box protecting staff from breathing in the irritants. Good clean product is discharged at the bottom of the air chamber. Compiled by Shelleen Gerbig, P.Ag. from factory sheets

December, 2019

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Mental Health on the Farm


mental-health crisis is blanketing farms and ranches across the country, and even though experts say the rate of mental illness exceeds those in other professions, Canada does not have a cohesive plan to track or address it. About 45 per cent of farmers across Canada have high stress, while 58 per cent meet the threshold for anxiety and 35 per cent meet the standard for depression, exceeding levels in the general population, according to research by Andria JonesBitton, a veterinarian, epidemiologist and professor at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. Her research also showed farmers are

more vulnerable to burn out – high emotional exhaustion, high cynicism and low professional efficacy – than the general population. About 67 per cent of the farmers she surveyed scored lower than people outside the industry when it came to resilience, which reflects the ability to cope with stress and bounce back from lows. The agriculture and agri-food industry contributes roughly $110-billion annually to Canada’s GDP and accounts for one in eight jobs in the country, according to the federal government. Yet investments in keeping farmers healthy have lagged. Demand for mental-health programming exceeds supply – if it exists at all. Furthermore, it

December, 2019

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can be difficult to access because farmers often work unpredictable hours in relatively remote, rural regions. This is compounded by the fact many are still unwilling to get help: About 40 per cent of Canadian agricultural producers say they would be uneasy seeking help for mental illness because of what others may think, according to research from the University of Guelph. To talk about this crisis, SARDA Ag Research has invited Lesley Kelly to speak at the AGM and Extension Event planned for February 20, 2020. Lesley is a motivational speaker, podcast host, blogger, creator of a snack food company, cofounder of the Do More Agriculture Foundation, creator of High Heels and Canola Fields. She is a high energy, positive speaker with a unique ability to empower and relate to her audience.

Lesley hales from the family farm near Watrous, Saskatchewan. The farm consists of about 6500 acres on which they grow canola, wheat, barley, flax, oats and lentils. Lesley provides marketing business strategy, human resources and accounting expertise. She is also available to jump in the combine and drive truck when help is needed. excerpts from 1. Tait and Leeder, “With high stress, anxiety and depression, 40 percent of Canadian farmers uneasy about seeking help, Globe and Mail, May 21, 2019 2.

December, 2019

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SARDA Ag Research Variety Trials (SARVT) Since 2017 SARDA Ag Research has been testing commonly grown varieties of wheat and peas. New to the SARVT trials this year is oats and hard white wheat. Recently producers have been interested in the outcome of these new trials, due to possible markets in the area. The SARVT trials stand out from other variety trials due to the inclusion of varieties that are popular to the Peace Region of Alberta. Producers benefit from the expanded knowledge of comparing the popular locally grown varieties. Generally these trials are located in two different locations in the Peace Region. The purpose of this trial is to demonstrate the genetic differences in varieties, and review the yield and protein results

prior to local producers purchasing seed for the upcoming growing season. Yields are expressed as a percentage of the check, this makes the data comparable to the regional variety trials hosted by the government of Alberta and to the results found in the seed guides. SARDA small plot trials are purposefully conducted on the most consistent and highest performing land possible, which allows genetic differences in varieties to be highlighted instead of other limiting factors such as water, nutrients or other potential deficiencies. This results in higher yielding plots compared to what growers would consistently average across a field or a farm.

Spring Wheat

S.D. Significant Difference: Letters used to identify statistically calculated significant differences between yields or varieties. Note: AAC Cameron VB, CDC Utmost VB, CDC Landmark VB and CDC Titanium VB are wheat midge tolerant varieties.

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Hard White Spring Wheat CWHWS is new to the SARVT trials this year. Recently CWHWS wheat has become an interest to local farmers, due to possible markets in the area.

CWHWS has been known to have many of the same similar qualities as CWRS wheat.


Field Peas

S.D. Significant Difference: Letters used to identify statistically calculated significant differences between yields or varieties. Note: Yellow field pea varieties include:: AAC Carver, CDC Amarillo, AAC Chrome, CDC Saffron, SW Midas and CDC Meadow. Green field pea varieties include: CDC Raezer and CDC Limerick. By Megan Snell, SARDA Ag Research

December, 2019

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Publication in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science


ARDA Ag Research often participates in projects with scientists who take the results further and publish them in scientific jounals for other scientists and researchers to review and possibly repeat. These publications are indicitive of the quality of research that SARDA Ag Research does. The following abstract describes a project that SARDA participated in and was done through colaboration between several scientists in Alberta. Also included in this summary is the conclusions. The full document has been accepted for publication and is currently available online at .

Agronomic practices for red lentil in Alberta R. Bowness, M.A. Olson, D. Pauly, R.H. McKenzie, C. Hoy, K.S. Gill, and E. Bremer


Lentil was seldom grown in Alberta prior to 2015 due to the lack of demonstrated ability to achieve adequate yields, even though it was potentially well adapted to most agricultural regions within the province. We conducted field trials at five locations for 4 yr to determine potential productivity and optimum seeding rate, N management, and imidazolinone herbicide formulation for two imidazolinone-resistant red lentil cultivars across a broad geographic region in Alberta. Over the 4 yr of this study (2012–2015), the average yield potential of lentil ranged from 3000 to 3700 kg ha−1 at five locations. Maximum yield was consistently obtained when plant density exceeded 90 plants m−2. Lentil yield was not influenced by rhizobia inoculation, N fertilizer rate, or their interaction. Application of imidazolinonebased herbicide did not impact yield or nodulation of the lentil cultivars used in this study. High productivity of two imidazolinone-resistant red lentil cultivars was attainable over a broad geographic region in Alberta.


High productivity of red lentil was achieved at the five locations included in this study. Over the 4 yr of this research, the maximum yield of red lentil ranged from 3000 to 3700 kg ha−1 among locations. Maximum yields were obtained consistently at plant densities exceeding 90 plants m−2, which were lower than most other studies, due to low weed pressure. Lentil yield was not influenced by rhizobia inoculation, N fertilizer rate, or their interaction. Application of imidazolinone-based herbicide did not impact yield or nodulation of the lentil cultivars used in this study. High lentil productivity was attainable in all major soil zones and agroclimatic zones in Alberta.

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2019 Wheat Protein Trial Summary of Results Trial Overview


Treatment List

1. Check (0%N) he 2019 SARDA Ag Research Wheat Protein 2. Urea 100%N Trial is the first year of a new protein 3. Urea 70%N focused trial. In 2018 SARDA Ag Research 4. Urea 50%N + ESN 50%N was lucky enough to purchase a Foss 1241 wheat 5. Urea 35%N + ESN 35%N protein tester which allowed us to increase the 6. Urea 100% N+ UAN30% N at Heading workload of trials that have protein as a key factor. 7. Urea 70%N + UAN30% N at Heading 8. Urea 50%N + ESN 50%N + UAN 30%N at With the extra capacity we were able to create a Heading protein focused trial based on the needs of our local 9. Urea 35%N + ESN 35%N + UAN30%N at Heading producers. In 2018 the Peace Region saw a small spike in demand for high protein wheat and many producers brought up questions around how to use Summary of Results fertility to maximize protein. SARDA Ag Research Nitrogen Rate went to work to design and implement a trial for Wheat protein is expected to follow a certain trend those producers. when it comes to nitrogen (see fig. 1).

Trial Design

There are two major questions that we are asking with this trial. First, how much nitrogen is necessary to increase protein? Second, how do different nitrogen application methods effect protein? We tested ESN which is a slow releasing plastic coated urea and UAN which is a liquid nitrogen source along with our traditional urea nitrogen source.

Factor 1: Nitrogen Rate:

• 70% Recommended Nitrogen from Soil Test • 100% Recommended Nitrogen from Soil Test • 130% Recommended Nitrogen from Soil Test

Factor 2: Nitrogen Application Method: • Urea Side Banded at Seeding • ESN Side Banded at Seeding • UAN Dribble Banded at Early Heading

Fig. 1. Wheat protein to nitrogen relationship.

Graph from Montana State University, Clain Jones, Kathrin Olson-Rutz, Practices top Increase Wheat Grain Protein, May 2012.

When a wheat crop has sufficient nitrogen to reach the maximum yield potential the plant begins putting nitrogen towards protein content. Our trial results showed the treatments with 130% of the total nitrogen recommendation were significantly higher in protein. On average the protein increase by 0.4% with the increased nitrogen from 100% to 130% of recommended.

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A clear trend was found of an increase in protein when nitrogen rates are increased passed the recommended levels. This is consistent with the graph above (fig. 1) and our theory of the relationship between increasing wheat protein and increasing nitrogen. With these three treatments, the two that stood out as statistically higher in protein at both sites were: • Urea 50%, ESN 50%, and UAN 30% at Heading • Urea 100%, UAN 30% at Heading

Nitrogen Application Method ESN: An obvious negative trend was present with the ESN treatments. A Urea 100% application was higher in both yield and protein than the Urea 50% + ESN 50% application. The Urea + ESN treatment’s lower yield and protein appear to be a nitrogen deficiency issue. With the shorter season we experience in the peace region and the fact that we only received 12.4 mm of rain in May versus the normal 42.5 mm, I suspect the ESN nitrogen released too slowly, and became available to the plant after the crucial nitrogen uptake timings. The extra timely nitrogen supplied by the in-crop UAN kept the wheat from being deficient in the Urea + ESN + UAN applications.

UAN: A wonderful story is shown for the UAN application. Treatments with UAN applied were all higher in yield and protein than treatments of Urea or Urea + ESN, even at the same total fertility rates. Using UAN as a portion of the total applied nitrogen appears to be an efficient way of getting nitrogen to the plant when it requires it most. Additional UAN in season on top of the already full fertility rate (130% total nitrogen) can have a positive effect on protein, but not always yield, as the nitrogen rates at that point have already reached the sufficient zone for yield (fig. 1) and the extra nitrogen is used mostly for increasing seed protein content.

Take Home Messages

1. Increasing nitrogen past the recommendation might not increase yield but it can increase protein. 2. ESN in the 2019 conditions did not increase yield or protein. 3. Having a UAN application at heading can increase protein over a urea only nitrogen application

By Darcy Boisvert, SARDA Ag Research

December, 2019

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2019 Wheat Protein Trial Results

SARDA’s Foss 1241 Protein Tester

Note: The “Check” indicates that there was no application applied. Note: Table is organized based on the highest protein to the lowest. By Darcy Boisvert, SARDA Ag Research

December, 2019

Pages 12-13 Event Name






AgSafe Workshop

AFSC Conference Room, Falher

8:30 - 4:30 pm

December 4


Visit for more information

Conflict Resolution Workshop

Smoky River Fire Hall, Falher

11:00 to 3:00 December 5 pm


Phone 780-837-3013 for more information or to register

Septic Sense Workshop

DeBolt Public Services Building, DeBolt

6:00 pm 10:00 pm

December 10


Phone Jacki Crocker to register at 780-524-7621

Prairie Cereals Summit

Banff Springs Hotel, Banff

1:00 pm 10:00 pm

December 11-12


Working Well Workshop

DeBolt Public Services Building, DeBolt

6:00 pm

December 11


Agronomy Update 2020

Cambridge Hotel, Red Deer

8:00 am 5:00 pm

January 7-8

$190 (early bird pricing)

Integrated Crop Management


Farm Tech 2020

Edmonton Expo Center, Edmonton

Peace Region Clubroot Response Meeting

Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Center, Grande Prairie


January 20 April 3


January 28-30

$665 (early bird pricing)

February 5


Register online

Contact Kristin King to Register

Register online

Register online academics/continuing-education/ registration/default.aspx

Register Online index.php?eventid=499909&

Visit for more information

SARDA Ag Research will be closed for the Holidays December 24 through January 2

Page Page14 14 December, 2019 SARDA News

Water Quality Sampling Program Results, 2019


ARDA Ag Research began a water quality monitoring program in 2011, with the help of Aquality Environmental Consulting Ltd (Aquality). Surface water samples were taken from three sites in SARDA’s research area: Peavine Creek, New Fish Creek, and the Little Smoky River. Sample locations, chosen by SARDA, were based on their proximity to agricultural lands, use as drinking water intakes, and their likelihood of exposure to terrestrial inputs. Semi-annual sampling continued in 2019. Sampling occurred once in the late spring to early summer after the spraying of pre-emergent herbicides on croplands, and again in late summer to early fall following harvest. Water samples were analyzed for nutrients, bacteria, pesticides, and metals. In 2019, samples were collected on July 22 for the spring/early summer period and October 16 for the fall period.

Water Quality Guidelines The Province of Alberta released new water quality guidelines in 2018, updating those previously available from 2014, though no guidelines for the parameters investigated here were changed. Where possible, the newer guidelines will be used in this report. For some parameters (nitrogen and phosphorus in particular), the updated document outlines an approach for calculating site-specific guidelines but does not provide a fixed guideline for comparison. Because site-specific guidelines have not been determined for the sites in the present study, the previous 1999 guidelines will be used for these parameters.

Results Phosphorus Concentrations of Total phosphorus (TP) were highest at all sites in the spring, and exceeded the guideline (0.05 mg/L) at New Fish Creek and Little Smoky River during the spring. Peavine Creek had the lowest average TP concentration in 2019, which contrasts with the historical pattern. Historically, concentrations of TP have been highest at Peavine and lowest at Little Smoky. Dissolved phosphorus concentration was the highest in Peavine Creek and the lowest in Little Smoky River, which generally agrees with the historical pattern (Figure 1 and Figure 2). Overall, dissolved fractions make up a minor component of the total phosphorus concentration. The red line indicates the Alberta surface water quality guideline for the protecton of aquatic life (0.05 mg/L).

Sampling locations for the SARDA Water Quality Monitoring Program

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Figure 1. Historical Total Phosphorus (TP) concentrations spring and fall 2011 – 2019.

Figure 2. Historical Total Dissolved Phosphorus (TDP) concentrations, spring and fall, 2011 – 2019.

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Nitrogen Concentrations of Total Nitrogen (TN) exceeded the guideline (1.0 mg/L) at all sites in the spring, but only at Peavine in the fall. Concentrations at all sites were highest in the spring, in agreement with the historical pattern. Dissolved fractions of nitrogen (nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia) have generally been a minor contributor to TN concentrations, indicating that most of the nitrogen in the system is in particulate form, either bound to suspended sediment or in particulate organic matter.

Figure 3. Historical Total Nitrogen (TN) concentrations, spring and fall, 2011 – 2019.

Overall, there has been a significant increasing trend in TN concentrations. This trend is strongest at Peavine, but this may be due to the exceptionally high measured value of TN which occurred in 2018 (Figure 3). However, the overall number of exceedances has been higher since 2015 than prior to that time, with 43% of samples in exceedance from 2015-2019 compared to just 29% from 2011-2014.

Figure 4. Historical total coliform concentrations, spring and fall, 2011 – 2019

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Bacteria In 2019, total coliform concentrations were highest in the spring at all sites, and exceeded the guideline (1000 CFU/100 mL) at New Fish Creek and Little Smoky. Concentrations were lower during the fall, with no exceedances during that sampling period. Total coliform concentrations have shown inconsistent trends between sites, with annual concentrations increasing at New Fish Creek and Little Smoky but falling at Peavine (Figure 4). E. coli concentrations were higher in the spring than in the fall at all sites in 2019, but were below guidelines in both seasons. New Fish Creek had the highest concentrations during the spring, but Little Smoky had the highest concentrations in the fall. No clear historical trend exists at any of the sites, with E. coli concentrations showing orderof-magnitude variability between years at all sites (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Historical E. coli concentrations, spring and fall, 2011 – 2019.

Pesticides Samples were analyzed for a total of 41 different pesticides; however, no pesticides were detected in 2019. There have been no pesticide detections at any of the sampling locations since 2015, with a total of 13 detections from 2011 – 2015, indicating improvement in these parameters.

New Fish Creek Sample Site on the Little Smoky River

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total forms of aluminum.

Samples were analyzed for 34 different metals, for both total and dissolved forms. Of these, four metals exceeded guidelines for 2019, including cadmium, chromium, lead, and zinc. Exceedances of cadmium, chromium and lead were found at New Fish Creek in spring, whereas Little Smoky had exceedances of cadmium and chromium during spring. Peavine Creek had exceedances of zinc for both seasons. Historically, New Fish Creek has had the highest total number of exceedances of metals (n=21), followed by Peavine Creek (n=15) and the Little Smoky River (n=11). The greatest number of exceedances have been for zinc (n=13), lead (n=9), and mercury and chromium (n=7 each), which together accounted for more than 76% of the total metals exceedances that have been detected over the course of the monitoring program. Aluminum was previously reported as having had numerous exceedances, but current guidelines for aluminum are determined against dissolved forms (Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development, 2018), and previous exceedances had only been noted for

Water Quality Index Site Ranking Aquality developed a modified version of Alberta Environment and Parks’ (AEP) River Water Quality Index in 2013. The index was modified to include all parameters sampled by SARDA; however, the methodology and statistical formula used to analyze the data remained the same. The index considers the number of times a parameter exceeded guidelines and the magnitude of those exceedances, broken down across four categories of parameters: • Nutrients and Related Variables, • Bacteria, • Metals, and • Pesticides The results from the sub-indices are averaged to provide an overall water quality index score for each site, with 100 being the best water quality and 0 being the poorest. From these percentages, we can obtain a water quality rating for each site from excellent to poor. In 2017 the AEP’s water quality tolerance parameters were updated to reflect changes in provincial water quality guidelines. The index was, therefore, subsequently updated to reflect these

River water quality rating categories.

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changes. The results from the past sampling periods were updated with the new changes, allowing for parameters to be comparable with the old data. The water quality index was calculated by season for all sample sites In 2019, the poorest water quality rating (60%)was observed at New Fish Creek in the spring, while the best water quality ratings (100%) were observed at the Little Smoky River and New Fish Creek in the fall. All other sample locations were

Summary and Conclusions SARDA Ag Research has been monitoring water quality at three locations since 2011. The parameters assessed followed Alberta Environment & Parks Guidelines for river water quality and included nutrients, bacteria, metals and pesticides. This program has assisted in determining the most serious impediments to water quality in Peavine Creek, Fish Creek, and the Little Smoky River. In 2019, nitrogen exceed guidelines at all sites in the spring but only at Peavine in the fall, while the only exceedances for phosphorus were at Fish Creek and Little Smoky River in the spring. Coliforms exceeded guidelines at Fish Creek and Little Smoky River in the spring but were at negligible concentrations in the fall; E. coli concentrations

considered to be Good in 2019. The table below shows the last 3 years of sample results. Scores are almost invariably poorer in the spring than the fall sampling period. Little Smoky has historically had the best scores, followed by New Fish Creek and then Peavine. Water quality based on nutrient levels, bacteria contamination, metals content and pesticide residues are available in the full report accessible on SARDA’s home page at .

were highest in the spring at all sites, but remained below guidelines during both sampling events. No pesticides have been detected since 2015 at any of the sampling locations. The majority of metals exceedances in 2019 occurred during the spring, and were most common at Fish Creek. Cadmium, Chromium, and Zinc were the metals with the greatest number of exceedances, with two exceedances per metal. Values for the River Water Quality Index in 2019 were generally in line with results from previous years, with nutrients, bacteria and metals the most impaired parameter groups. However, in 2019, New Fish Creek had the lowest overall scores, whereas historically the poorest scores were found at Peavine Creek. The highest scores in 2019 were at the Little Smoky River, which agrees with the historical trends.

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The results of this ongoing study indicate that Peavine Creek has generally had the poorest water quality, while Little Smoky River has had the best. Across all sites, nutrients and metals are generally the greatest impediments to water quality. The predominance of particulate forms of these pollutants suggests that they are entering the system bound to or as constituents of suspended sediment, as the parameters which have dominated exceedances are all regularly found within soils. The introduction of these types of pollutants can occur naturally through erosion, but erosion can be exacerbated through the

Canola Storage No matter how good the harvest weather or how dry the harvested crop, all canola should be conditioned after it goes into the bin. Canola can heat and spoil in the bin, costing growers a lot of lost income. Here are 10 situations that will increase the storage risk:


. Can’t remember what’s in the bin. Keep a composite sample for each bin of canola. Record average moisture and grain temperature when canola goes in the bin. Use this information, along with a visual assessment of green count and dockage in the sample, to see which bins may be at higher risk.


No cables. Bins with cables make it easy to keep tables on temperature. Bins without cables will need to be probed, or turned over with the truck and auger to check temperature. Even with cables, monitoring is still highly recommended.


Inaccurate cables or moisture meter. Calibratethe moisture meter each year to make sure it’s accurate. Check a few samples at home and at the elevator to see that they’re the same. Also check bin cables before the grain goes in.

removal of riparian vegetation and disturbances to the banks of watercourses, which is common in agricultural settings throughout the province. Protecting these aquatic systems from such pollutants will primarily rely on the establishment and protection of healthy riparian areas throughout the watershed. Excerpts from “Summary of Water Quality Sampling Program, 2019” prepared by Aquality Environmental Consulting Ltd.


Sub-par bin space. With a bumper harvest predicted for many areas, bin space will be at a premium. Not all canola will be able to go on aeration right away. And not all canola will be going into bins originally planned for canola. Make sure canola goes into bins that HAVE NOT been treated with malathion for storage insects. If canola has to go into a ring on the ground, seal the bottom and the top to keep out moisture and make clean up easier.


Larger bins. Bigger bins in general will have greater compaction. Tall and narrow bins have the greatest degree of compaction. More compaction means reduced airflow. Note that canola has greater density than cereals, and therefore needs more fan horsepower to do a proper aeration job.


Dockage. Insect bodies, plant material, and weed seeds tend to contain more moisture than canola seeds. High-moisture dockage of any type may not be enough to elevate overall grain moisture tests, but if dockage congregates in pockets in the bin, it can create localized hot spots for spoilage to begin. Keep in mind that grain with no dockage can also be at risk.

Page 21 December, 2019 SARDA News warm with low humidity and if canola moisture is just a point or two above 10%. A dryer may be required for canola above 12%. Keep in mind that a bin’s average moisture might be dry, but a couple tough loads could have gone in, or small areas within each load may have been harvested from weedy slough patches and have higher moisture and higher dockage. These small pockets of moist grain and dockage could create a start point for heating. Link:


This 10 000 bu bin of canola heated during the winter of 2017-2018. The producers were able to save the bin, but when all was said and done, there was no profit due to the discounted price for the canola and the time and equipment required to clean up the site.

4 3

Green canola seeds can increase the storage risk, even if canola is dry and cool.

Damp or tough canola. Canola is considered “dry” at 10% moisture, but 8% is safer for long-term storage. Anything above 10% should be dried. Natural air drying — your standard aeration fan — should do the trick if the air is

Hot canola. Canola binned hot, even if it has low moisture, low dockage and low green, should still be put on aeration. Target a core temperature of 15°C at harvest time, and watch throughout the winter to make sure it doesn’t start to increase. External temperatures moving from hot to cool in a few days create perhaps the worst situation for safe canola storage. A wide temperature differential between hot grain inside the bin and cool air outside sets up strong convection patterns in the bin. Moisture will be moving and concentrating at the top of the top middle core of the bin. Cool that grain fast.


Neglected bins. Growers are busy enough at harvest just getting the crop off, but take time to check all bins within the first two weeks after filling, and then again a couple more times until the canola is cool and winter sets in. Canola seed continues to sweat during the first 4 to 6 weeks after harvest, making this a critical period to move air through the bin and remove that moist air. It cannot always wait until after harvest. Canola can jump from 30°C to 50°C and beyond in two weeks or less. From Canola Watch

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AFSC ready to support clients facing unharvested acres The 2019 season has not been easy for Alberta producers, as weather and other challenges have had a serious impact on operations throughout the province. With snow blanketing the province, and harvest considered finished—farmers face large amounts of potential unharvested acres. In addition to reduced production levels, producers are concerned about potential quality, the increasing price of hay, getting products to market, and, in some cases, the stability of their overall farming operations. “Harvest 2019 has been tough for farmers. Trade disputes, bad weather and high input costs have added up to be a difficult year. With all the uncertainty, Alberta farmers can count on their government to find efficiencies and fund BRM programs, fight carbon taxes and promote free trade,” stated Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen. With a full suite of Business Risk Management programs, AFSC is ready to support clients facing financial difficulties due to circumstances beyond their control. These programs are designed to compensate for factors such as adverse weather, increasing costs and fluctuating markets. In years when harvest is delayed due to the onset of winter, AFSC will extend production insurance coverage to unharvested crops until the crop can be combined in the spring or managed by other means.

For clients facing financial strain caused by challenges this season, AFSC will work with them on a case-bycase basis to consider potential solutions. This fall, AFSC can help with loan payment relief through interest-only payments, payment re-amortization and payment deferral. Requests for interest-only payments or deferrals must be made prior to the payment due date. If the payment due date has passed, payment reamortization is an available option. Additionally, the Advance Payments Program (APP) is a federal loan guarantee program that provides agricultural producers with easy access to lowinterest cash advances. Producers can access up to $1,000,000 per program year in advances based on the value of their agricultural product, with the Government of Canada paying the interest on the first $100,000 advanced to a producer. AFSC CEO Steve Blakely recognizes the stress many producers feel these days, facing potentially significant losses. “Our programs recognize producers can’t control the forces of nature, and they are designed to respond in situations like this. We are here to help—and ready to work with our clients to support them through this difficult time.” For these and more options, clients are encouraged to contact their AFSC Relationship Manager or the AFSC Client Service Centre at 1.877.899.2372, to discuss their individual situation and options that might work for them. Additional resources such as Unharvested Acres Frequently Asked Questions and a recorded version of recent Town Hall Meetings can be found on AFSC’s website,

For producers facing an immediate cash flow challenge, this fall AFSC introduced the Preliminary Payment Option. This option allows producers facing a production shortfall to receive a significant portion of their estimated claim within days of submitting their Harvested Production Report. Clients with a Links substantial percentage of insured acres that remain 1. FAQ unharvested at the onset of winter may be eligible for an Unharvested Acreage Benefit through the 2. Recording annual production insurance program.

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Rake in security with Perennial Crop Insurance. Your line of defense when the unpredictable happens. Customize your hay and pasture insurance with multiple coverage options to fit your operation’s unique needs. Application for the Perennial Crop Insurance Program runs from January 2 until the last day of February. Talk to an AFSC Insurance Specialist about available options.

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First Aid Essentials: Ready or Not? Whether it’s a medical emergency, workplace injury or exposure issue, having the right first aid training, knowledge and supplies can improve outcomes and even save lives. “First aid requirements at work sites are based on three factors: how hazardous the work is, how far you are from a health care facility, and how many people are working,” said Laura Bezemer, safety manager for AgSafe Alberta. “Those requirements also vary depending on the hazard level of the work involved, and farming is generally considered a high hazard environment.” First aid training can take one of two forms. Emergency first aid is a one-day course that provides intervention training for life-threatening emergencies. For most farming worksites, standard first aid – a twoday course - is the norm, especially in remote areas. In addition to all topics covered by emergency first aid training, standard first aid addresses other injuries like fractures and covers treatment for adults, children and

infants. Certification for standard first aid is good for three years and can be renewed with a one-day course if completed before the initial certification expires. Ultimately, effective first aid comes down to ensuring that you are ready to respond when incidents occur. “You need to know what you’re doing beforehand, because once something happens, time is of the essence,” said Bezemer. “Especially with a critical injury in a remote area where maybe you can’t get assistance right away, you must be able to stabilize that person until help arrives. Also, keep in mind that even if there is a hospital close to the farm gate, incidents can occur in the field a long way from there. Considering factors like that, and having the proper first aid training and equipment in place, is all part of emergency response planning.” Excerpts from AgSafe Alberta newletter NEWSLETTERS

December, 2019

Page 24

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