Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to: Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Postage paid Port payé Publications Mail Post-Publications 40012122Vol. 108 No.3The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 MARCH 2022 | Vol. 108 No. 3FLOOD Building back better means avoiding past mistakes 7 REVENUE Farm income projected to reach new heights 11 ODOUR Compost facilities facing pushback 23KATE AYERS DAWSON CREEK – A supplier’s plant malfunction is jeopardizing Bayer CropScience’s ability to deliver glyphosate-containing products. One of Bayer’s key raw material suppliers experienced a mechanical failure that’s led to a “substantial reduction in production rates,” the company announced February 11. “Bayer’s ability to supply its customers with glyphosate or glyphosate-containing products as agreed upon in certain agreements or under accepted purchase orders has been impacted,” says Bayer global head of active ingredient manufacturing Udo Schneider. Bayer’s best-known glyphosate product is Roundup, acquired with its purchase of Monsanto in 2018. The impacted manufacturing plant is working to restore production and Bayer has sourced other materials and made other eorts to manage the situation. The issue is expected to take about three months to resolve. This unexpected event compounds an already tight supply of global crop inputs due to challenging global trade ows, COVID-19, extreme weather, and other forces, the company says. Bayer produces glyphosate at for products in North America at its plant in Luling, Louisiana. That plant was termporarily shut down last fall following Hurricane Ida. Small-lot farmers James and Chelsea Keenan of Salmon Arm are about to ramp up production. They are the newest egg farmers awarded quota under BC Egg’s New Producer Program and will also operate a grading station. See story, page 33. SUBMITTEDGlyphosate shortage loomsSee USERS on next page oGrowing more with less waterwatertecna.comttttttttIRRIGATION LTD1.888.675.7999 888 6 9999888669999 Diesel & PTO Pumps PVC & Aluminum PipeIrrigation ReelsDRIP IRRIGATIONCentre Pivots1-888-770-7333 Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!YOUR BC SEED SOURCEPETER MITHAM VICTORIA – Tough negotiations have delivered a landmark assistance package for BC farmers recovering from catastrophic flooding and landslides last November. The provincial and federal agriculture ministers have combined two existing programs to secure $228 million in funding under what’s billed as the “2021 Flood Recovery Program for Food Security.” Delivered through AgriRecovery, it taps the $5 billion federal disaster financial assistance funding See FUNDING on next page o$228m rebuild fundSmall-scale producers fear they’ll be left out Lucky chickens
USERS nfrom page 1FUNDING will cover extraordinary costs nfrom page 12 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCBut chemical suppliers in BC say the immediate eects of the latest blow have yet to be felt. They’re waiting to hear more from Bayer. “It’s too early to tell yet,” says Lou Rioux, regional store manager at Growers Supply Co Ltd. in Kelowna. Last year proved challenging enough to source announced in December to increase coverage beyond that of past programs, such as the 2021 wildfire and drought recovery program valued at $20 million. “This program will be … leveraging the federal government’s AgriRecovery framework and Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA),” said federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau in announcing the program February 7. The combined funding will cover extraordinary costs – pegged at $285 million by government – not covered by other government programs, private insurers or recovery programs delivered by industry associations and charitable organizations such as Red Cross. Small farms – those with less than $2 million in annual revenue – will be eligible to receive up to 90% compensation, with coverage reimbursed to the province through DFAA. While the maximum coverage under DFAA is usually capped at $300,000, the flood recovery program lifts the cap to $3 million per farm. A farm with $2 million in revenue and up will be covered through AgriRecovery. Typically, farms with revenues above $1 million were not eligible for DFAA funds. The combined program addresses that by providing 70% coverage to the largest farms through the federal-provincial cost-shared program, with the federal government paying 60% of eligible expenses. The province was unable to say what its share of the program would be. “It’s not possible to offer an accurate estimate at this time,” ministry staff said in a statement to Country Life in BC. “The damages were serious for farms large and small, but we will know more as the claims arrive and are processed.” Bibeau encouraged farmers to review their options, including government business risk management programs. She urged farmers to sign up for AgriStability, which is offering late enrollment and expanded advance payment provisions. Crop insurance may also benefit growers of late season crops. “I encourage producers to make full use of all the tools available,” she said. Program payments began being distributed February 10. “It didn’t take us very long to start moving that money out the door,” BC agriculture minister Lana Popham told media February 20. “People did keep track of their receipts, so we are able to send out interim payments to folks as they try and rebuild their farms. And then there will be some applications that will take the next year to complete, but we’ll able to make payments in the meantime.” The funding promises to benefit a greater number of small producers as well as the chemicals, he adds. This latest disruption certainly isn’t making things better. “We don’t know how it will impact us. We have gotten product in so far, but we don’t know how much more of what we ordered we will be getting,” says Terry Marriott of Agro Source Ltd. in Dawson Creek. “I’m assuming we’ll know more in the next couple of days but as of right now, Patrick is an experienced portfolio manager that brings a focused nancial and estate planning team to clients to ensure the best and most eective investment decisions are made now and in the future. The RBC Wealth Management investment and planning program provides income security and tax minimization in the context of a holistic nancial plan and road map for each client.TAX TIPS“Multiple wills covering your farm corporation can save on probate costs.”www.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard BRILLION CULTIPACKER 14 FT WIDE, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . 6,500 FORD 7000 2WD OPEN ST 83HP 540 PTO GD COND . . . . . . . . . . . 7,000 VICON PS602 FERTILIZER SPREADER, 3 PT, 1,000 KG CAPACITY . . 2,200 MASHIO CM4500 14’ PWR HARROW W/ROLLER GD COND. . . . 14,000 FELLA TS1601 ROTARY RAKE, 3 PT HITCH, TWIN ROTOR, 25 FT WORKING WIDTH, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,500 YANMAR FX42D 2WD OPEN STATION, 42HP PSHIFT TRANS, 4 SPEED PTO. 2961 HRS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,500 SIP 165G THREE POINT DRUM MOWERS, GD COND. . . . . . . . 2,800 ea NH 256 ROLLARBAR 10 FT SIDE DELIVERY RAKE, GROUND DRIVEN, PULL TYPE, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,200 JOHN DEERE HD BALE CONVEYOR 40FT ON ADJ FRAME WITH AXLE, PTO DRIVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,200 LOEWEN 9612 VERTICAL MIXER . GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . 14,000NEW REPLACEMENT PARTS for MOST TRACTORS & FARM IMPLEMENTSGD Repair LtdTractor/Equipment Repair Mobile Service Availablelarge livestock producers whose gross revenues typically prevent them from accessing disaster assistance. “They’re able to cast the net a bit wider to the people who were really impacted. A lot of them were really being cut out,” says BC Agriculture Council executive director Danielle Synotte. “The benefit of this approach is that they’re reducing eligibility barriers. There’s a higher compensation rate, and they’ve really alleviated some of the administrative burden.” Drop in the bucket But not all small producers agree. Spences Bridge cattle rancher TJ Walkem says AgriRecovery funding is a drop in the bucket after the Nicola River washed away land, water pump installations, outbuildings and a house on the family ranch he manages. Walkem has spent $100,000 to stabilize the riverbank to prevent further erosion in advance of the spring freshet. A request for funding through the Thompson Nicola Regional District Emergency Operations Centre has yet to be acknowledged. “It’s been a very slow, numbing process, like pulling teeth,” he says. “Others that I talk to say it’s the same.” Popham says any BC producer who suffered losses as a result of the November rains will be eligible for funding, but Walkem is skeptical. “I’m really, really worried the Fraser Valley is going to overshadow anybody up here,” he says. “[AgriRecovery is] focused on those huge food producers and not someone with 100 head of cows. I’m worried that the Nicola Valley will fall through the cracks.” BC Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon was more optimistic. Overall, he says the package is a good one that took time to refine in order to be of most benefit to producers. “It has taken longer than some would hope,” he said. “Originally it was drawn up before Christmas but some of the criteria in the DFA would hamper the ability to do in-stream work and the [business risk management] specialists worked to make it more comprehensive and accessible.” With funds already flowing to producers, Boon says the program is delivering help just as quickly as previous AgriRecovery programs did for ranchers and farmers affected by wildfire. “With the fire recovery, some were getting initial cheques for part of the value of their claim within two weeks,” he says. Even if cash has yet to arrive, an accepted application can get the ball rolling with other funding agencies, allowing rebuilding to move forward. “An accepted application should also provide some security to go to the bank for funds to begin work,” says Boon. With files from Tom Walker yes, it’s probably impacting supply but I don’t know how badly.” The threat of a prolonged shortage threatens to ensure glyphosate prices remain above historical norms for the 2022 growing season. Some retailers in the US have tripled prices. Prices in Canada have yet to increase dramatically. Statistics Canada's industrial price index reports that pesticide prices overall increased 37% over the course of 2021. The greatest increase was logged following Hurricane Ida at the end of August. YOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESURg YougYouWS
Province opens ALR to agritech developmentRegulation change takes effect in AugustCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 3PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Vertical farms will no longer have to seek permission from the Agricultural Land Commission to set up on protected farmland under a host of changes announced February 20. “We are making changes to support agritech and intensive crop production, like vertical farming, on the Agricultural Land Reserve,” BC agriculture minister Lana Popham said in a sparsely attended Saturday morning news conference on the Family Day long weekend. “Regulatory updates are needed to ensure there is clarity about which new innovative systems are allowed on the ALR.” Popham said the move addresses a host of pressing issues, including food security, economic assistance to Abbotsford following the devastating November oods, and climate change. “The future of farming and food production here in BC is one where we must consider all options,” says Popham, who considers vertical farms a natural extension of greenhouse systems. “Vertical farming will create even more opportunities to increase the food supply in the province, allowing farmers new options to produce more food year-round in more challenging climates.” In addition to the rule change, the province is also pressing ahead with its Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech Network, an agritech concierge overseen by the BC Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation and an agritech centre of excellence. The announcement makes good on a recommendation the BC Food Security Task Force made in January 2020 to open the ALR for agritech development. It proposed setting aside more than 28,400 acres of protected farmland for agritech and agri-industrial uses. Popham downplayed criticism at the time, but the new proposal goes a step further by greenlighting agritech ventures across the ALR. The exact wording of the new regulation has not been released. Richmond’s Harold Steves, who was instrumental in establishing the ALR in 1973, called out the province on Twitter. “This #BCNDP Government has destroyed more farmland than all other governments combined since the #ALR saved farmland in 1973,” he says. “Just as we were getting resigned to the loss of 10,000 acres at #SiteC we are faced with the loss of more farmland to industry.” Shaundehl Runka, a former land commissioner who served on the task force Popham set up in 2018 to recommend ways to revitalize the ALR, expressed frustration. She called out the original proposal to create an agri-industrial zone within the ALR, and the current proposal is no better. “This is another thinly veiled excuse to use less expensive ALR land for a use that could be located elsewhere. It is no dierent than monster homes or other types of industrial activity locating on ALR land,” she says. “This is exactly the kind SHELVES, NOT ROWS: Vertical farms are another way the province hopes to boost food security as it embraces regenerative agriculture and agritech. SUBMITTEDof land use pressure that led to the creation of the ALR.” She wonders why the province isn’t creating opportunities for new farmers to secure land within the ALR. “It is shocking to hear that government will be helping agri-tech industry to secure land in the ALR,” she says. “They could instead be helping young farmers enter the land market for agriculture or existing farmers to expand.” Opposition agriculture critic and Delta South MLA Ian Paton echoed the concerns. “God knows they’ve covered up enough prime farmland in Delta with greenhouses, which is almost the same as vertical farming. Instead of growing lettuce, they’re growing cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. But it’s all, basically, on a concrete oor,” he says. Moreover, controlled-environment systems like greenhouses and vertical farms are typically beyond the means of new entrants, unless they’re extremely well capitalized. “It’s cost-prohibitive,” he says. “There’s only 12 vertical farms in all of Canada. And why is that? This is something that people with suits and ties get into from downtown Vancouver, not conventional farmers.” Changes to provincial regulations typically require a period of public feedback. However, Popham did not indicate any chance for public input. Instead, she said the change will take eect in August through an order-in-council. Paton plans to challenge the rule change in the legislature. KuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeNorthline Equipment Pouce CoupeStandard drawbar or 2-pointGyrodine® swivel hitch for tight turnsAllows wide spreading to over 90%of cut width for accelerated drydownLubed-for-life Optidisc®cutterbar and Fast-Fit® bladesFinger, rubber roller or steel roller conditioning - adjustable for any cropFAST MOWING, FAST DRYDOWNFC TC CENTER-PIVOT Mower Conditioners10’2” - 14’4” working widths
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Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.108 No. 3 . MARCH 2022Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . email@example.com Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover email@example.com Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Is anybody home, PW?The dening feature of the global economy is transportation. The transportation system that enables modern life across most of the globe is innitely complex and its scope is all-embracing. Take a moment to run the lm in reverse and follow the electricity coming into a modern home back to its source. Look in both directions as potable water emerges from a kitchen tap and falls into the drain a foot away where it becomes sewage. Try to imagine the incredible journeys that brought all the home furnishings, devices, gizmos and knick-knacks to your home. While you are at it, spare a thought for the food and drink. Altogether, the global supply chain is too complicated to fully understand or appreciate, yet day in and day out, people worldwide rely on it. Some more than others admittedly, but it is dicult to imagine anyone entirely free from it. The inter-connected global supply chain is incredibly complex. Many goods are assembled with parts and components sourced worldwide, as are the materials to make the parts and components. Eventually the supply chain lands them all in one place where they are assembled. Then it’s back onto the chain for distribution to consumers. If it’s a pickup truck, it will land at a dealer’s lot somewhere nearby; if it is a four-pack of mouse glue, Amazon can have a courier deliver it to your door. That can seem amazing but the supply chain, like the proverbial chain, is only as strong as its weakest link. In general, the more complicated something is, the greater the likelihood of failure. Compare all that could possibly go wrong with the new pickup truck versus what could possibly go wrong with mouse glue. Front-row seat For two years, BC farmers and ranchers have had a front-row seat to supply chain vulnerability. COVID has been an ongoing disruption, from closing meat-processing infrastructure to preventing queen bee imports and complicating workforce recruitment. Record-setting heat last June and summer-long wildres closed rail lines and highways. Record rainfall and ooding in November washed away bridges and roadbeds and severed all major road and rail links across the south half of the province. Last month, rebellion and/or civil disobedience (take your pick) closed US border crossings in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. Supply chain failures that aect agriculture can have dire consequences for producers and consumers on several levels. Food is produced by a tiny fraction of the population, but it is an existential necessity for everyone. An overboard container of glow-in-the-dark glitter pens bobbing in the Pacic Ocean and the ooded farms on Sumas Prairie are not calamities with the same consequences. Environmental impacts of more stu in the ocean notwithstanding, no one is going to go to bed hungry for the lack of frivolous gewgaws. The global supply chain has the ability to deliver foodstus around the world with little regard for distance or seasons. At rst blush, making the entire world your grocery store seems a sure path to food diversity and security, but that may not be the case. The longer those supply chains are, the greater their exposure to circumstances that could cause them to fail. Ironically, they have become the rationale for consolidation and rationalization in the food processing and retailing industries. Consolidation results in fewer and larger entities taking control of food processing. Rationalization usually results in centralized processing capacity. Three plants owned by two companies account for 85% of Canadian beef processing. When processing infrastructure disappears, agricultural opportunity goes with it. Some production becomes orphaned altogether and is abandoned while some surrenders to a long two-way trip on the supply chain so it can meet a corporate agenda. This has been an unfolding reality in BC for decades, at the expense of a more diverse and secure domestic food supply. As the events of the last two years have demonstrated, that is something that should concern everyone. Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley. The Back 40 BOB COLLINSBroken supply chain weakens food systemWe acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.4 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDecember 2, 1999 was sunny in Seattle as civil society groups from around the world gathered to protest corporate control over the global food supply. A few blocks away world leaders worked to hammer out a new trade deal. Biotech was the bête noir, yet another means to keep farmers in thrall to the corporations. Between speakers, activist folk troupe Seize the Day took to the stage at the north end of Pike Place market with their ode to Monsanto and its CEO: “Robert Shapiro, well he's our hero / He's on a mission with a vision of sustainability …” Bioengineered foods have largely fallen o the radar, but the visions of sustainability remain alive for a sector rebranded as agritech. Startups, including more than 150 in BC, are investing in production systems billed as being more ecient, productive and friendly to the planet than the earth itself. During a weekend press conference last month, BC agriculture minister Lana Popham announced that “all options” are in play as the province seeks to boost food security and address climate change. Regenerative agriculture practices that rebuild the soil aren’t enough; vertical farms are needed to produce what the soil itself cannot. Protected farmland – the earth that’s so passé for hightech farmers – will be opened up for development. While greenhouses were once controversial for paving over soil in Delta, they could at least claim to be harnessing light. Many vertical farms, however, are completely contained and indistinguishable from industrial facilities. Indeed, if anything deserved the name industrial farming, it’s a vertical farm. Yet the province sees vertical farms as the way of the future. Popham believes the decision to embrace agritech and soil-less farms is as bold and pivotal as the protections the Agricultural Land Reserve introduced in 1973 for soil-based farming. Many farmers would be hard-pressed to see farming that’s divorced from the soil as regenerative or contributing to a holistic vision of sustainability. They neither take from the soil nor enrich it. A lack of soil also means vertical farms don’t qualify for organic certication, something Popham should know from her previous career as an organic grower. A funny thing happened after Seize the Day sang of biotech’s ills that December afternoon. BC agriculture minister Corky Evans clambered onto the stage. “The rst thing I want to say is thank you,” he told the demonstrators protesting corporate power. “The second thing is, keep it up. That’s where I started, and someday you can become minister of agriculture.” But today, it seems that even an organic farmer can’t hold the line against corporate interests when it comes to protecting BC’s valuable food lands. Divorced from the earth
BC’s emergency response needs improvementSearch and Rescue teams provide a model for regional respondersCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 5recovery program to roll out but no one expected it to take so long. In the meantime, we had an unfolding disaster of Biblical proportions that could only be mitigated by the kind of resources government can muster. For 84 days, it was volunteers and local relationships and resources that shored up riverbanks and saved buildings and infrastructure. It was donations and loans from friends and family, lines of credit and racked-up credit cards that paid for feed, fuel and work that simply couldn't wait. It was the tenacity and grit and sense of community farmers and ranchers are so well known for that got us through this and prevented it from being an even bigger disaster. The local community is the rst responder. But we have also seen clashes between locals trying to help and government bureaucracy that prevents that from happening. Yet the province already has a system in place that allows Emergency Management BC to send in teams of professional volunteers: the BC Search and Rescue program. A similar system could also allow for regional agricultural emergency response teams to be deployed quickly and eciently. We have already demonstrated the resources and capabilities of these communities. What would it take to remove the barriers and allow us to take advantage of this incredible resource? How would things have been dierent during the res and oods, for instance, if instead of having to waste time and resources trying to get permission for livestock trailers evacuating animals to travel through the evacuation zone, those haulers were already on the list of professional volunteers and covered by EMBC insurance from the moment they got the call to help? What if local volunteers could take a one or two-day re safety course and be called upon to help farmers and ranchers prepare for an imminent re threat or come in after a re has burned through to put out spot res and be covered by WorkSafe? What if there was an app that used Premises ID to ensure a smooth ow of information to and from aected producers as well as providing information about the operation (livestock type, numbers, location of water sources etc.) to the response team? What if there were local knowledge-keepers on the team who farmers, ranchers and decision-makers could consult with regards to matters like local ecology and wind patterns? A program like this would allow for an immediate response on the ground while government implement long-term responses. Regional response teams could act as a conduit for information between producers and the government, streamlining and improving communication for everyone. There could be certications and training required and that information could all be managed and updated through the app (just like BCSAR teams do now). We have proven that our local resources are incredibly valuable in emergency situations. It's time to ocially recognize them in a way that improves communication, safety and well-being for everyone. This has been a challenging time, with a steep learning curve for everyone. But there is hope: In mid-February, the province began reaching out to our association and others, seeking input on how it could improve its response to disasters. It will be good to share what we’ve learned and make a plan for how we can meaningfully work together to be better prepared next time. We truly are all in this together and it's the only way we're going to make it. Julia Smith is a founding member and vice-president of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. She farms and ranches in the Nicola Valley, raising beef cattle and critically endangered Red Wattle hogs. She is also an active member of the Nicola Valley Search and Rescue team. The wrath of Nature came crashing down on much of BC’s agricultural community on November 15, and for 84 days many small-scale producers were left to fend for themselves and wait for the much anticipated “2021 Flood Recovery Program for Food Security.” The program was nally announced at a February 7 press conference where BC agriculture minister Lana Popham stressed that government had “worked closely with farmers and farming organizations” to develop it. In fact, many producers had spent the previous 84 days lled with uncertainty and fear that took a tremendous toll on their mental well-being, on their livelihoods and on their resources. So much of this could have been averted had better systems and communication been in place. 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6 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDivisions of First West Credit UnionBank. Borrow. Insure. Invest.IF IT’S WORTH IT TO YOU, IT’S WORTH IT TO US.Contact our agribusiness specialists at firstname.lastname@example.orgIT’S NOT A JOB, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 7TOM WALKER KELOWNA – Planners and decision-makers are in a difficult position as they face the challenge of creating a plan to mitigate damage from last November’s unprecedented rainfall. On the one hand, property owners want a return to life as it was, minus the water. But at the same time, building back – even if it is better – does not guarantee that future disasters won’t be repeated. If nothing changes, the same properties face the same potential for damage in the future, warns Tamsin Lyle, principal of Ebbwater Consulting in Vancouver. Lyle spoke to the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s water stewardship council in February and reminded them that flooding is both natural and necessary. “Flooding is the reason we have the wonderful farming area of the Lower Mainland,” she says. “But when flooding interacts with things we care about, we have a problem.” That interaction caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in November to more than 1,100 farm properties on Sumas Prairie, in the Nicola Valley and Princeton, according to the province. Yet if planners don’t expand their toolbox of mitigation strategies, we are at risk of the same amount of damage occurring again, says Lyle. Lyle urges planners to evolve past a singular approach to flood management. “We need to break out of the serial engineering path,” she quips. “Don’t put so much emphasis on dikes. They do breach and last November showed us how catastrophic Building back better means avoiding past mistakesGoing with the flow of status quo invites future disastera breach can be. There are so many other non-structural things we could be doing.” Restoring the more than 600 km of dikes across the Lower Mainland shows that government is responsive and is good for people, says Lyle, but it doesn’t address the fundamental risks extreme weather poses. “We know that climate change will continue to The rush to rebuild in areas of the province hammered by rain and oodwaters needs to include strategies that reduce future risk. SUBMITTED“Serving British Columbia proudly since 1946”Machinery LimitedROLLINS RToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.com email@example.comChilliwack 1.800.242.9737 . 47724 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 . 21869 56th Ave Chemainus 220.127.116.113 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.comChilliack 1.800.242.9737 | 44725 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 | 21869 - 56th Ave Chemainus 1.250-246.1203 | 3306 Smiley RdChilliwack 1.800.242.9737 . 47724 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 . 21869 56th Ave Chemainus 18.104.22.1683 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StSPRING FEEDING MADE EASYFOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.firstname.lastname@example.orgCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.increase the hazards of extreme weather events and we know that expanding development in the Fraser Valley will increase the numbers of people vulnerable to those events,” she says. The latest flood event caused disruptions similar to those of the 1948 freshet, notes Lyle. The accepted response after 1948 was to build more dikes to protect the population living on the flood plain, which is now more than 10 times what it was then. Lyle says planners should consider three non-structural risk reduction strategies See RISK on next page oFARMNEWSFANE@countrylifeinbc
8 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCRISK reduction nfrom page 7Even while the world seems unstable, the farmers of BC continue to display heroic character. Despite countless challenges, not the least of which are wild weather and unstable markets, you stand tall and keep us fed. Instead of buckling, you buckle down and get things done. Avenue Machinery wants to take the time to say - Thank You Farmers!THANK YOUFARMERSABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411KELOWNA1-800-680-0233under the themes of land stewardship, land-use management and building management. With land stewardship, planners and government work to maintain and restore natural assets and systems such as watersheds, wetlands and riparian areas. Land use management involves developing strategies and regulations to reduce exposure. Limiting or selecting development within a flood zone reduces the number of people or businesses that could be impacted. Sumas Prairie has much to offer as a farming location but building a processing operation such as a packing facility outside the flood zone would eliminate the risk for that business. Provincial animal and plant health labs that were closed due to flood damage also don’t need to be on the floodplain. Building management involves strategies and regulations that can reduce the sensitivity of structures to flood damage. Building codes can require flood protection, ranging from placing structures above flood levels (Sumas Prairie homes often sit atop a berm) to using flood-resistant materials, or even constructing a permanent water barrier around a building. Rush to rebuild In the rush to return to normal, Lyle says planners can overlook other important values. The dikes built following the 1948 flood often failed to consider Indigenous values. While no one would criticize the rapid rebuilding of critical highway infrastructure following the most recent floods and landslides, she says thousands of tonnes of untreated rock were dumped into important waterways in the process. But economic forces may mandate change faster than planners, Lyle believes. She has spoken with pension fund executives who are worried about the losses that they’re taking on real estate investments in the Fraser Valley. Banks are reluctant to lend money right now to Fraser Valley farmers, and insurers are declining coverage. “Insurers are saying that are no longer interested in insuring as it doesn’t make sense on the financial side,” she says. “These are really powerful tools for change.” Grand Forks is one municipality that’s combining structural and non-structural elements in its recovery from ooding in 2018. Its new ood mitigation strategy removed residents from an area extremely vulnerable to ooding. It is also working to restore the area as a wetland providing a natural buer against oodwaters. It’s an example of the kind of urban planning Tamsin Lyle of Ebbwater Consulting in Vancouver would like to see municipalities undertake. Grand Forks sits at the conuence of the Granby and Kettle rivers, which drain an extensive highland area north and west of the community. Dramatic ooding in 2018 led the community to develop a strategy for the North Ruckle area, some of which was under three metres of water. “Parts of North Ruckle are below even the 20-50 year oodplain,” explains Grand Forks ood recovery manager Graham Watt. “Over the years, people built on what was a broad ood plain, right at the conuence. They lled in the wetlands and built homes, industrial plants and roads.” Following a ood in 1971, the city built dikes to protect the area. “But that provided a false sense of security. The dike overtopped and breached in 2018,” says Watt. He says the ood recovery planning team was looking for a permanent solution. “We developed a buyout program for property owners within the North Ruckle zone,” Watt explains. “We were able to acquire funds through a disaster mitigation and adaptation grant and we approached owners to buy their properties.” The buyout program was not without challenges. Residents hoped for pre-ood values but had to accept signicantly lower post-ood assessments. “In an eort to provide fair value, we included adjustments for goodwill, hardship and fact-based situations,” Watt describes. The city purchased 20 bare-land properties right away and over the next 18 months acquired 57 out of 70 homes in the zone. The remainder were expropriated. “I think the buyout was a success over expropriation,” says Watt. Now that they have the land, the city is demolishing home sites and developing a plan to restore the area as a wetland and add sh habitat and park amenities. “A wetland has an enormous potential to absorb ooding,” Watt points out. It will also help reduce the damage to downstream properties, a number of which are farming operations. Watt says that improved diking is also part of the overall plan. “We still have areas of the downtown that we need to protect, but people are happy with the North Ruckle park design that we have proposed,” he says. —Tom Walker Grand Forks initiative protects farms
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 9Rural, urban areas prepare for extreme weather ‘It’s a battle that we face each and every year’Seasonal ooding in the lowlands of South Surrey is an annual occurence but the city is investing millions in upgrades to pump stations and risk reduction initiatives to protect farmland and infrastructure. PAUL GILLProudly offering quality farm equipment and wholesale farm product delivery across BC.Call, email or visit us email@example.comCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders t3PX$SPQ$VMUJWBUPSTr3PUBSZ)PFT $BNFSB(VJEBODF4ZTUFNAND On In StockAEROSTAR Tine WeedersDELTA Drain Tile Cleaner *NQSPWFT%SBJOBHFr$POEJUJPOT4PJMr&DPOPNJDBM 3FMJBCMFr-PX.BJOUFOBODFr4BGFBOE1SPWFOSPECIAL PRICING On In Stock KATE AYERS & PETER MITHAM SURREY – For Paul Gill of M&M Pacic Coast Farms in Surrey, ood mitigation is an annual task on his to-do list. M&M’s 180 acres of blueberries lie between the Serpentine and Nicomekl rivers, not far from Mud Bay. The family has grown blueberries in the area since 1979 and Gill knows the location comes with a range of risks and benets. “The farmland we have in the Lower Mainland is second to none with our climate and soil structure. It is tremendous, with 100 plus products that can be grown here,” he says. But farming on a oodplain also poses challenges. “A lot of things we need to do on the farm to connect to the city systems, in terms of drainage, trenching and berming up our elds, are ongoing projects,” he says. “Every year, we are continually upgrading and adding to it to keep our farm in a state where our plants can stay healthy, and we can continue to farm.” Fortunately, some high-risk areas of the province are actively involved in planning for coastal ooding and sea-level rise. Surrey, for example, has launched an ambitious series of coastal ood adaptation projects. The federal government invested over $76 million through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to support the rst phase of the city’s ood adaptation strategy, which is valued at $187 million. “We’ve now embarked on the largest ood control investment on the West Coast,” says Matt Osler, the senior project engineer with Surrey’s coastal ood mitigation initiative. “This investment will benet a wide range, from the residents to recreational users, the economy and the agricultural community, and all the regional infrastructure that crosses through it.” A number of projects are underway to achieve a future 200-year level of protection, which is good news for producers who are on the frontlines of climate change impacts. The City of Surrey has upgraded two pump stations built in the 1980s that were showing signs of distress. A third pump station will be constructed following work in progress on the Colebrook dike, which is being raised, as are those along the Nicomekl and Serpentine rivers. A public consultation regarding salt marsh restoration is planned for this year. The area’s intertidal zone once encompassed “many, many hectares” that provided a natural buer against salt water, but the construction of dikes interfered with this natural protection. While raising the dikes can protect lowlands vulnerable to ooding, restoring the salt marshes will create a natural defence against higher sea levels. “This project provides a way to help oset some of those losses that are coming with sea level rise,” says Osler. “This project will work to recreate the natural vegetation that’s resilient to wave attack.” Consultations that began in 2016 helped set the priorities for the work, with a total of 13 projects chosen. All projects are set to complete by 2028. Gill has participated in various project planning sessions related to the initiative and is grateful the city is taking measures to protect vulnerable and critical lowlands. “At the end of the day, with climate change, sea levels rising, and more and more ridiculous storms that we’re getting each and every year; it is something we certainly need to address,” he says. “We’ve been here since 1979, and it’s getting worse and worse every year. As we saw last year, these [weather] events seem to be more extreme and more common. It’s no longer like, ‘we had it and now we’re good for 50 years.’ It could happen again next year.” Wild weather coupled with upland development in Surrey could result in major damage to low lying areas. These ood adaptation projects are a solid rst step towards protecting food security. “I’m a second-generation farmer and have young children. I certainly hope that our blueberry farming operation continues for generations, but it will only continue if we really … prepare for the future,” Gill says. Injury ManagementInjury ManagementPreventing Injuries,Minimizing Impact,Encouraging Worker Health & WellbeingContact AgSafe for online and on-site injury management resources to build a program that works for your workplace.
10 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDustin Stadnyk CPA, CAChris Henderson CPA, CANathalie Merrill CPA, CMATOLL FREE 1-888-818-FARM | www.farmtax.caExpert farm taxation advice: • Purchase and sale of farms • Transfer of farms to children • Government subsidy programs • Preparation of farm tax returns • Use of $1,000,000 Capital Gains Exemptions Approved consultants for Government funding through BC Farm Business Advisory Services ProgramARMSTRONG 250-546-8665 | LUMBY 250-547-2118 | ENDERBY 250-838-7337View over 100 listings of farm properties at www.bcfarmandranch.comBC FARM & RANCH REALTY CORP.Buying or Selling a Farm or Acreage?GORD HOUWELING Cell: 604/793-8660GREG WALTON Cell: 604/864-1610Toll free 1-888-852-AGRI Call BC’s First and Only Real Estate Office committed 100% to Agriculture!PROFESSIONAL SERVICESProperty owner appeals BC SPCA seizureThe owner of 216 beef cattle seized from a property near Shawnigan Lake is appealing the removal. BC SPCA stepped in to remove the animals January 19-20 after the owner failed to heed orders to address issues related to shelter, nutrition and veterinary care. A warrant was executed and the animals were removed with the assistance of the BC Dairy Association, which provided contacts for a hauler and other accommodation. “The animals were suffering from a wide range of issues and illness, including emaciation, lameness, eye infections, as well as pneumonia,” BC SPCA regional manager Kaley Pugh said in a press release regarding the seizure. An investigation is ongoing into the animal’s care and whether or not criminal charges against the owner are warranted. BC SPCA declined to provide details of the complaint that triggered the removal, or how much notice the owner was given before officers removed the herd. The animals’ owner, Russ Crawford, is reportedly appealing the seizure. Both the phone number and e-mail for his business, Mid-Island Aggregate, were out of service when Country Life in BC reached out for comment last month. Conditions on the property in January were not surprising to many producers familiar with the area. The significant precipitation Vancouver Island and southwestern BC received in November and December created less than ideal conditions for livestock and their owners. Nevertheless, industry codes of conduct for livestock oblige producers to prevent distress to their animals. Whether or not the owner did this will be a focus of the investigation. BC SPCA has said it will be recommending criminal charges, even though its investigation is not complete. Others are urging a slower approach. BC Cattlemen’s Association is in touch with both the producer and the BC SPCA. It is calling for an independent investigation that will provide an accurate assessment of the circumstances that led BC SPCA to intervene. BC SPCA declined to provide an update on the matter at press time. “We are still currently focused on providing care for the cows and moving the investigation forward but nothing to report publicly at this point,” BC SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk says. —Peter Mitham Province sued over mink ban Canada’s mink industry is taking the province to court over its decision to ban mink farming. The Canada Mink Breeders Association filed a petition in BC Supreme Court on February 15 that seeks to overturn the ban, claiming the province “incorrectly assessed the risk associated with mink farming, failed to meaningfully consider available mitigation measures and instead chose an unreasonable solution.” The province announced Ag Briefs EDITED BY PETER MITHAMNovember 5 that it was banning mink farming, citing the alleged inability of public health officials to suppress COVID-19 at one of the province’s nine mink farms. Since the pandemic began, just three farms in Canada, all in the Fraser Valley, have reported the disease. The ban halted breeding immediately, with farmers required to remove all live mink from farms by April 2023. The industry, which produces 318,000 mink a year, must cease all operations by 2025. But the industry has long claimed that the ban was politically motived. The industry was among the first to have its workers fully vaccinated, and BC farms were also willing to vaccinate their stock. The province, however, was having none of it. While restrictions on human social interactions have been regularly revised, the province felt that mink were vulnerable and could serve as a reservoir of the virus. An order-in-council implementing the ban was signed November 26. The petition challenges the order’s basis. “This is but a thinly veiled attempt to end the fur-farming industry under the auspices of animal and public health when in fact it is an attempt by the province to distance itself from the fur-farming industry and appease special interest groups,” the petition states. Both the BC SPCA and the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals have regularly lobbied Popham and other cabinet members regarding a moratorium on mink farming and changes to the Animal Health Act in this regard. The lobbying intensified in the run-up to the November 5 announcement. Opposition MLAs have been vocal in support of the sector. Abbotsford West MLA Mike DeJong says other livestock groups should take note. “It sends a signal, ladies and gentlemen, about the degree of intervention that governments are increasingly feeling comfortable making in directing what you as professional agrifood producers engage upon,” he told dairy producers in January. “It begs asking, what’s next?” Demand for mink has rebounded, and many producers have reinvested and upgraded their operations. Many have assumed significant financial obligations to do so. By shutting down the industry, the province has effectively abruptly taken away their ability to repay those loans. The province has not announced a compensation package for the mink farmers it’s shutting down. “Those decisions are yet to be made,” BC agriculture minister Lana Popham told Country Life in BC. The matter is currently before the courts, so I’m not able to comment on that right now.” —Peter Mitham www.tjequipmentllc.com 360-815-1597 FERNDALE, WA ALL PRICES IN US FUNDS2001 JD 7210 W/ LOADER, 4WD, 110 HP, POWER QUAD, 10,048 HRS, RECENT MOTOR REBUILD $46,0001985 JD 2750 W/LDR, 4WD, 83 HP, ONLY 4 HOURS ON COMPLETE MOTOR REBUILD, 8340 HOURS, 540/1000 PTO. $26,0001983 JD 4250 2WD, 133 HP, 8615 HOURS, QUAD RANGE, 2 REMOTES, 540/1000 PTO $38,5002017 MCHALE F5500 2235 BALES, 15 KNIFE CHOPPER UNIT, DROP FLOOR DESIGN, VERY GOOD CONDITION $40,000Check out our free weather indicators
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 11Farm income projected to reach new heights Input costs pose challengesThe cows come rst and that is likely to result in a lower prot margin for BC dairy farmers who won’t sacrice feed quality to produce high quality milk. MARK VAN KLEIbcfarmandranch.com | 1-888-852-AGRI (2474)BC’s only brokerage dedicated 100% to farm, ranch and agricultural real estate.Agricultural Real Estate is our passion and we are looking forward to talking with BC’s farmers, ranchers and agriculture producers about their land needs and estate goals.KATE AYERS CHILLIWACK – Revenues from BC’s agriculture sector topped $4 billion in 2020, a new record that exceeded 2019 by more than 3%. “It’s very encouraging,” says BC agriculture minister Lana Popham, who was concerned that the events of the past two years would have cut into farmgate revenues. Fortunately, consumers and local markets stepped up. “I knew there was this renewed commitment by British Columbians to support local agriculture and local farmers,” she says. While these record revenues are positive, they’re only part of the equation. The rising cost of farm inputs makes the math less favourable. One such cost is feed. “The feed prices are denitely aecting our input costs and with that, farm protability,” says Chilliwack dairy farmer and BC Dairy Association director Mark Van Klei. Farm Credit Canada expects BC farm cash receipts to a climb a further 8% in 2021 (ocial numbers will be published later this year) and continue climbing in 2022. But this increase does not necessarily mean greater prots. Demand for specic products and input costs are both important variables. “Cash receipts, which are an estimate of gross income at the farm level … (are) a measure of economic health of the farm sector,” FCC’s vice-president and chief economist JP Gervais told Country Life in BC. “But in a province like British Columbia, there are a lot of nuances that I think are important … It has a very diverse ag sector. One sector could be doing well while another sector might not be doing as well.” Popham says 2022 revenues will depend on farms’ abilities to maintain business continuity following extreme weather events in 2021 and other risks. While she’s knows some farms saw their best sales ever last year, ooding in the Fraser Valley last November was an interruption. “Many of the supply-managed farms got up and got back at it fairly quickly. There are still a few that are denitely going to take this year to rebuild,” says Popham, noting that blueberry and vegetable producers will face particular challenges. “We’re really not quite there yet. We’re going to have to wait and see how it goes.” Despite the drought that aected BC and the Prairie provinces, FCC estimates that grain, oilseed and pulse crop cash receipts will increase this year. This projection assumes that yields return to normal. Strong prices for these crops should also continue in 2022. On the livestock front, FCC expects cattle prices to See BEEF on next page o
12 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCBEEF prices set to rise nfrom page 11Agricultural Grade Products - Made in the U.S.A. Contact your local Nelson Irrigation dealer today!NEW HANGINGSPRINKLER SOLVESPROBLEMS FORORGANIC GROWERS15-50 PSI8.5-75 GPH9-16’ RAD.PREMIUM PERFORMANCE ON HOSE REEL TRAVELERSIntroducing the S7 Spinner - a new Nelson innovation designed to combatrising energy and labor costs. The S7’s modular design allows quick and easynozzle exchange - and the Quick Clean (QC) technology reduces irrigatorhours — simply turn, ﬂush and reconnect. Special insect protection helpsprevent plugging or stalling. Find out more at WWW.NELSONIRRIGATION.COM®continue to rise this year, too. Receipts last year exceeded FCC’s expectations. Higher prices should continue to push up cattle receipts despite herd reductions as a result of the drought. A decision last fall by the Canadian Dairy Commission to increase farmgate milk prices will boost producer receipts by 8.5%, but FCC expects dairy production will see scant growth. Moving forward, farmers can expect strong demand in domestic and export markets. “Despite the pandemic and challenges surrounding transport and logistic and oods, despite all of that, the underlying demand for what we grow on the farm is still very, very strong,” Gervais says. “But there are some nuances. For example, blueberry prices have not trended as high as we would have thought. But we are optimistic for 2022 because we had a smaller crop in 2021, so I think that will bode well for prices.” Small fruit operations, for example, have expansion opportunities, Gervais says. “Demand from consumers in domestic and foreign markets is not slowing down,” he says. The challenges facing producers across the agriculture sector can be summarized in one word: ination. “It’s the higher costs of inputs. What we purchase to grow the crops or feed the animals. All of these inputs are going up,” Gervais says. “It’s challenging to make a prot despite projected gross incomes being high.” Van Klei has been able to source his herd’s feed from a local mill with no disruptions, but it comes with a much higher price tag. “The feed situation for us in the dairy sector is not very optimistic. We’ve had high prices getting higher for concentrates including grain and forages, mostly due to the heat dome and the drought last year,” he says. “If you take our purchased forages, like alfalfa, we’re up close to 30% from about a year ago. Our grain and concentrates are up at least 15% and straw and some of our extender forages are up 13% to 15%. Along with that, you add the increased freight costs. We’re up about $1.25 to $1.75 per cow per day of additional costs right now compared to this time last year, which was already a rise from 2020.” Despite price hikes and ingredient substitutions, farmers are not wavering on their commitment to feeding high-quality diets, Van Klei says. “Straight across the dairy industry, the cows come rst. We’re all optimizing reproduction, milk quality and milk production. We’re still putting a high-quality diet in front of the cows,” he says. “There have been some ingredients that we’ve had to move around. … Because of the heat dome and drought hitting the Canadian Prairies, we’ve had to move away from barley and we’re going with more corn for an energy source, which is coming from the US Midwest.” While ination is expected to slow down, producers should anticipate a stretch of higher costs. “I think we are likely to see ination slow down in 2022, but that doesn’t mean prices are going to go down. It means prices will remain elevated but the rate of increase in the second half of 2022 won’t be as high as in 2021,” says Gervais. But ination also has eects at the retail level. “Consumers are price sensitive. … They will compare sh protein to animal protein to plant-based protein and they will make purchasing decisions based o the relative prices of those sources of proteins,” Gervais says. “As a sector, industry or business, how competitive are we in the entire food supply chain? That’s a question about ination in 2022 that is going to be interesting.” Forage prices are up by as much as 30% over a year ago. MARK VAN KLEI
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 13Potato growers brace for higher input costsCost pressures promise an expensive crop“Farmer brewin fo Farmers”Turning soil since 1899. Cultivating Craft Beer since 2019.Brewed on-farm in Ladner, B.C.www.barnsidebrewing.caVisit us atthe Pacific Agriculture Show!Silagrow.com1.800.663.6022 | ofﬁce@silagrow.comMulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTw i n eNet WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain SeedVisGreenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmsProtection NetsSALMON ARM 5121 - 46 Ave S.E. SURREY 112-18860 24 Ave (PU & Delivery Only)Serving all of BCBC potato growers are likely to see reduced protability in the 2022 crop as input costs continue to rise exponentially. MYRNA STARK LEADERPETER MITHAM DELTA – BC potato growers are gearing up for what promises to be a costly season. “I don’t think there’s a single input that we have that goes into our crop that isn’t going up. Fertilizer and fuel are probably the main ones,” says Cory Gerrard of Swenson Farms in Delta, which has 400 acres of potatoes. “I think the cost of producing an acre of potatoes will be 25% to 30% higher this year than last year.” Diesel prices have increased 30 to 35 cents a litre since he ordered this season’s seed stock last fall, while fertilizer costs have also been increasing. Statistics Canada’s industrial price index indicates fertilizer prices soared 63% between August and December. Pesticide prices have increased 20%, with supplies of the weed killer glyphosate also threatened by production disruptions. “The massive amount of input costs is probably what scares everybody. Diesel seems to be going up ve cents every week,” he says. “If diesel continues to go the way it’s going, it’s going to be a very expensive crop to put in the ground.” While growers aren’t likely to scale back plantings, they will be closely managing their crop, he says. Given the staple nature of potatoes, it will be tough to recoup higher input costs. This will mean tighter margins for growers, even though demand shows signs of recovering from sales shifts during the pandemic. United Potato Growers of Canada reports that storage stocks are down 5% from the three-year average, though some of this reects the good crop of 2020. Production last year was down 2.5% from the three-year average and 3.5% below 2020 at just under 2.1 million hundredweight (cwt). Dry, hot weather cut per-acre yields by 2% to 325 cwt per acre, according to Statistics Canada, while wet fall weather reduced the harvested area by 100 acres to 6,400 acres. This meant lower volumes heading into storage than the previous year. By February 8, the province had 572,000 cwt in storage, down 8% from 621,000 cwt a year ago. Table potatoes, which represent the largest portion in storage, were down 8% from last year to 429,000 cwt. Seed stocks also fell 8% as growers prepared to plant early varieties by March 1. But table stocks could have been even lower were it not for the ooding and mudslides last November that prevented stock from reaching markets outside the Lower Mainland. This has left growers holding onto product. Now, a potential inux of PEI potatoes, which have been banned from entering the US, could be heading West. “The crop in Western Canada was lighter this year due to the summer heat so the demand has been good so far this season for the BC potato crop and prices have been stable. Conversely, the eastern market is under intense pressure due to the export restrictions on PEI potatoes due to potato wart,” says Murray Driediger, president and CEO of grower-owned BC Fresh Vegetables Inc. “We anticipate seeing PEI potatoes in Western Canada in the near future.” While the impact on the market here is uncertain, the inux adds another variable to a complicated outlook as growers prepare for the season ahead. Any additional supply will also increase downward pressure on prices. WEEKLYFARM NEWSUPDATESUPDATESDirect to your inbox.www.countrylifeinbc.com
14 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCNEW DATESMarch31- April 2, 2022Abbotsford Tradex604.291.1553 firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 15Proud of our roots since 1928Customer Serviceorder@norseco.com 514 332-2275 | 800 561-9693 450 682-4959 | 800 567-4594Our Team of ExpertsBen Yurkiw British Columbiaben.email@example.com 604 830-9295Martin Deslauriers Sales Managermartin.firstname.lastname@example.org 438 989-4863Keeping cranberries cool a hot topicMore frequent heat events make fruit management techniques a necessary topicRONDA PAYNE RICHMOND – Cranberries are often associated with crisp autumn days but they’re just as vulnerable as any other crop when it comes to extreme summer weather. This was the case last year when extreme heat enveloped southern BC last June, just as bogs were in full ower. “Fields that were in full bloom at the peak of the heat dome seemed to be the most aected,” says Ocean Spray senior agricultural scientist Miranda Elsby. “The owers did not like the heat.” The impact of the unprecedented temperatures had growers paying close attention to Rutgers University plant biology professor Peter Oudemans at the Pacic Northwest Cranberry Congress on February 16. Oudemans and his team have established 42.2°C (108°F) as the threshold beyond which cranberries sustain permanent damage. “When the temperature goes above 108°F and stays there more than two or so hours, those berries are irreversibly softened,” he says. “The quality will be severely degraded and they may not be harvestable.” This makes heat management an important consideration for growers. BC cranberry bogs seldom see temperatures exceed 35°C during the growing season, but cranberries can have a temperature that’s up to 11°C higher than the air temperature. To gauge the potential for heat damage, Oudemans recommends articial cranberries from Shapeways Inc. to check internal berry temperatures. “They perform pretty similarly to a real berry,” he says. “They last all season.” While blossoms were most impacted in BC last summer, late-season heat waves can also cause signicant damage. Ripening berries push outside the canopy where there is less protection from the heat. During a heat event, this exposure could lead to decreased yields if berries aren’t protected. Oudemans’ research looked at a variety of heat management techniques including shade cloth, evaporative cooling, varietal selection and the use of kaolin clay. Shade cloth was successful, although he acknowledges it can be challenging from a management perspective. “With a 60% blue shade cloth, the solar radiation is cut just about in half,” he says. “What that translated to for the berry temperature is that we had a severe overheating temperature without the shade cloth and we kept the berries under the threshold with the cloth.” Irrigation is eective when there is wind or other conditions that permit evaporation. Shorter, more frequent bursts (about 15 minutes long) are more successful and should be timed by monitoring berry internal temperatures. Some cranberries have more of a waxy surface than others and may have natural protection from heat. A low-wax variety like Stevens will absorb more radiation than a high-wax variety. Kaolin clay keeps berry temperatures lower, but Oudemans says it’s dicult to nd practical ways to apply it. The clay clogs sprayers, requires re-application and was applied at the extremely high rate of 25 pounds per acre in his trials. Based on his research, Oudemans recommends shading and evaporative cooling as the best ways to protect cranberries from adverse heat impacts. Cranberries need to be protected during extreme heat events. FILE PHOTO
16 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSpring 2022Online AuctionFARM &EQUIPMENTMarch 28/29/30thMarch 30th/31stSelling Online April 1st @10AMbeekmanauctions.comIt's Back &Bigger ThanEver !HeritageParkChilliwack
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 17Kootenay rancher Dave Zehnder is the founder of Farmland Advantage and a strong proponent of payments to farmers for ecosystem services. SUBMITTEDwww.hlaattachments.com1-866-567-4162 HLA grapples for compact tractors are now available with electric actuators in place of hydraulic cylinders. Ideal for tractors with limited hydraulic ports, these grapples are controlled with a supplied actuator switch and comes with the required wiring kit.Rewarding farmers for enhancing riparian areasKootenay program expands to new regionsSANDRA TRETICK INVERMERE – Farmers and ranchers in the Columbia Valley will continue to see rewards for taking action to conserve and enhance important riparian areas on their farms. The Windermere District Farmers Institute (WDFI) was one of nine groups named in January to receive a share of $133,600 this year through the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund for projects to support sh and wildlife habitat, water quality and advance conservation in the region. WDFI will receive $17,985 to provide incentives to 11 farms that are working to restore and conserve riparian zones. The project is part of the larger Farmland Advantage program, the brainchild of Invermere cattle rancher and WDFI director Dave Zehnder. Zehnder rst worked with the farmers institute to seek funding for the program in 2009, when the conservation fund was established. The idea was one he thought could work in BC, rewarding farmers for delivering what was then known as ecological goods and services. Such programs contract farmers to conserve and enhance natural values on private land and pay them for the benets. Unlike carbon credits, which can be traded, the value of wetlands ltering and purifying water and forests that clean the air and provide habitat for wildlife have a social value. Just 5% of the land in British Columbia is privately owned, and the majority of that is farmland in river valleys. Healthy riparian areas are important for water quality and as wildlife habitat. Zehnder has always envisioned a province-wide program paying farmers for ecosystem services to the broader community, similar to how Switzerland pays farmers to maintain alpine meadows. US Department of Agriculture programs have paid farmers since the 1950s to take ecologically sensitive land out of production. Rents paid through the Conservation Reserve Program are aimed at reducing erosion, improving water quality and providing wildlife habitat. Something like this had never been tried in BC and Zehnder wanted to see if it could be adapted for local conditions. Some small on-farm pilots laid the foundation for a ve-year pilot that started in 2016. The name Farmland Advantage was adopted and a working group that included scientists and experts with knowledge of the top conservation issues in the various regions identied new sites. This gave Zehnder and the group a chance to try dierent mechanisms, develop the structure and esh out how the contracts would work. By the end of the pilot in 2021, more than 60 demonstration sites were operating across BC and more than 740 acres of prime riparian habitat was contracted for conservation and enhancement. Based on this success, the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF) agreed to take over delivery and administration in spring 2021. IAF engaged Upland Consulting to assist with program management. Zehnder continues to advise on program development. “After the ve-year pilot, we said ‘Hey, it’s ready. Is someone interested in taking it on?’ IAF had just done strategic planning and decided this was a good t for where they wanted to go as an organization,” says Zehnder. “My dream has been realized in some ways in that it has become a program. That’s just a miracle to me.” Farmland Advantage now works in several regions See PROGRAM on next page oPrime Power or Emergency back-up Mobile Rentals Dewatering Pumps
18 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCPROGRAM growing nfrom page 17around the province to help farmers enhance the natural values on their land. In close cooperation with a local working group, WDFI oversees projects in the Columbia Valley. A working group on Vancouver Island focuses on the Koksilah River watershed and a Lower Mainland working group is addressing the Little Campbell River with input from the Langley Environmental Partners Society. Farmland Advantage also works with ranchers and farmers in the grasslands of the South Okanagan and is partnering with the Shuswap Indian Band on projects to conduct riparian restoration along creeks on farms and Farmland Advantage is a targeted program. In the Columbia Valley, farms are invited to take part based on GIS surveys that identify sites aligning with the funder’s priorities. A local working group, including experts such as biologists and ecologists, oversees selection. Signing a contract leads to an on-farm assessment of the riparian area. Program founder Dave Zehnder, who is also an advisor with the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program, calls it a health check. He says Farmland Advantage was designed to synergize with the EFP program. “We don’t have time to do a big study, so we look at indicators of health and write up a prescription for the site,” he says. “Based on that prescription, some work will be done, maybe protecting or enhancing, maybe fencing or planting. It varies by site.” Once in the program, each farm receives a modest payment to oset the cost of participating and to assist with ongoing maintenance. These payments range from $1,500 to $3,000 per year, per farm, based on available funds. Zehnder says it’s never been a problem getting farmers to participate. The farmers who owned the top-ranked sites were oered a contract to restore and conserve critical riparian areas. “We have an over 90% success rate when we talk to people,” says Zehnder. “We’re not targeting farmers who are particularly conservation-minded; they’re just whoever happens to be in that location. Here’s the deal, are you interested? Inevitably they say ‘yes, where can I sign?’” —Sandra Tretickranches within reserve lands. Funding comes from a wide variety of sources. Zehnder says it a good deal for the farmer, and a good deal for the funders and the community. “We showcase what could be done, to help the funders understand what the potential of the program could be,” says Zehnder. “The farmer gets paid and the money they get osets the costs they incur when they do these things. The farm doesn’t lose money doing this, and it helps improve the image of agriculture to society.” Zehnder credits the Columbia Valley conservation fund for its long-term support and encourages other jurisdictions to embrace their model. The funding structure itself is notable. It was the rst conservation fund of this type in Canada. The funds come from property owners in the service area, each of whom pay a parcel tax of ve cents per $1,000 of taxable assessed value, up to a maximum of $230,000 annually. It works out to about $20 per parcel. From its start in 2010 through 2021, approximately $2.5 million has been disbursed through 101 grants to local groups. “The local conservation fund has been part of that story all along,” he adds. “It’s always been an important source of funds and one that we think has tremendous potential in other jurisdictions in BC. You think about the population of Greater Vancouver for instance, even a dollar per household could generate signicant funds to support that region’s agriculture in their work in this area, never mind $10 or $20.” Zehnder likes the combination of local people paying into a fund that supports local farmers to do things that benet the local population but also society as a whole. Columbia Valley farmers – who would otherwise have limited resources to devote to stewardship eorts – have certainly benetted. Over the years, WDFI has received $135,125 through the local conservation fund. “[My] ultimate dream is that this could become a part of farming in BC,” says Zehnder. “Where this is part of the business of farming and we’re supported by the community and the community understands the value of agriculture beyond food.” After last year’s catastrophic res, Zehnder now has his sights set on getting communities to see the benet of paying farmers to keep farmland green to act as a buer between forests and communities. “There are so many amazing applications for this model,” he says. Farmers need not apply Cleanfarms Special Collection in March!For farmers in Abbotsford & Chilliwack regionsOld Unwanted Livestock/Equine MedicationsWhat’s InOnly livestock/equine medications used by primary producers in the rearing of animals in an agricultural context or horse owners• Identiﬁed with a DIN number, Serial Number, Notiﬁcation Number or Pest Control Product number (PCP No.) on the product label• Unlabeled animal health product – identify it by writing UNKNOWN across itWhat’s Not• No needles/sharps• No ear tags• No medicated feedUnwanted Old Pesticides What’s InOnly agricultural or commercial solid and liquid pesticides, insecticides & herbicides identiﬁed with a Pest Control Product number (PCP No.) on the label• Adjuvants: only open with partial amount le; no full, unopened containers• Unlabeled pesticide, insecticide & herbicide product – identify it by writing UNKNOWN across it• Seed treatment products• Growth retardants with a PCP numberWhat’s Not• No aerosols, even pesticides or animal health products• No treated seed• No rinsate• No household hazardous waste (residential waste, oils, paints, etc.)• No foam makers, sanitizers, soaps, iodine, acids, premise disinfectants• No fertilizer or micronutrientsFarmers! Got unwanted pesticides or livestock/equine medications?Safely dispose of damaged or ruined agricultural pesticides and livestock/equine medications – no charge! Take them to the following two locations on the dates noted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PartnerCleanfarms.email@example.com @cleanfarmsTuesday, March 8thTerralink Horticulture464 Riverside Rd, Abbotsford604-864-9044Tuesday, March 15thNutrien AG Solutions1454 Riverside Rd, Unit B, Abbotsford604-850-95002022_CF_OBSOLETE_AD_COUNTRYLIFE_8.167x10.5.indd 1 2022-02-18 2:12 PM
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 19TRACEY FREDRICKSON REVELSTOKE -- Dedicated farmers know that almost nothing is insurmountable with the right combination of passion, determination and planning. For farmers in the Revelstoke area, weather and geography create specic challenges. A humid continental climate results in a wet spring and fall and farmers have to adapt what and how they grow accordingly. As well, land availability has been limited since the 1960s when most of the arable land in the Columbia River basin was ooded to make hydroelectric reservoirs. At the same time, Revelstoke is a tourism destination world-renowned for its skiing, snowboarding and other adventure sports. It also has a dynamic culinary scene, says Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce executive director Stacey Brensrud. “As we move through the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain challenges have shone a spotlight on the amazing work that Revelstoke already had underway, focusing on quality products sourced closer to home to produce high-quality oerings,” she says. “We are seeing more and more food and beverage operators incorporating fresh and local ingredients onto the plate, creating an authentic dining experience that is uniquely Revelstoke.” Terra Park and Rob Jay have been among those leading the charge. They both had enough farming experience to make them want to farm full-time when they started their organic farm, Terra Firma, in 2010. With four children in tow, they leased a ve-acre parcel at the south approach to Revelstoke on Highway 23. The farm has grown every year and is now one of the largest in the Columbia River Valley. “We’ve always been passionate about what we do and sometimes you have to just jump in and try things,” says Jay. “But we’ve also been mindful not to grow too fast. Every year we add something new to the farm, experimenting with dierent revenue streams and setting new nancial goals.” Before they became full-time farmers, Rob worked as a ticketed millwright and welder. Those skills are Diversification drives growth of organic farmRevelstoke farm embraces farm-to-table modelRob Jay and Terra Park have paced the growth of their farm but readily admit sometimes you need to just take a leap and try new things. SUBMITTEDinvaluable when it comes to building and repairing equipment on the farm. Terra’s studies in holistic nutrition shaped her understanding of the symbiotic relationships between plants, animals and other species. Above all, they credit their loyal customers as the main reason for the farm’s success. “We feel deeply connected to our community and our customers,” says Park. The farm grew steadily in its rst six seasons. In 2015, the couple decided to take it to the next level. They purchased an additional 30 acres where they live and farm today, across the highway from their original location. Initially, they grew lettuce and other greens; now the farm specializes in garden transplants, heirloom vegetables and ethically raised meats. The land used for growing has expanded to eight acres. One of the rst signs the farm would be successful was its community-supported agriculture (CSA) box program. In the program’s second year, it had a retention rate of more than 90%. “At this point we realized we were on the right track and that our customers really did believe in us,” Park says. Revenue comes from produce and meat sales, including the 80-member CSA program, a weekly farmstand on the property and participation in one of Revelstoke’s farmers markets. A 600-square-foot Airbnb unit added in 2019 provides See FRESH on next page o 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD.Work hard. Feel good.When you have a lot of ground to cover and productivity is key, a Ferris zero turn mower with suspension technology is the best choice.
20 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCFRESH food takes centre stage at new restaurant nfrom page 19Marketing British Columbia to the World®www.landquest.comToll Free 1-866-558-LAND (5263)“The Source” for Oceanfront, Lakefront, Islands, Ranches, Resorts & Land in BC®STARTER CATTLE FARMFORT ST JAMESBARNSTON ISLAND ACREAGE785 ACRE RANCH LOCATED MINS SOUTH OF FRANCOIS LAKE - GRASSY PLAINS, BCLOG CABIN PUBSPENCES BRIDGE, BCSPECTACULAR SOUTH FACING RIVERFRONT ACREAGE WITH WATERFALL2 HOMES, LARGE SHOP ON ACREAGE MINUTES FROM DOWNTOWN SECHELTLARGE COMMERCIAL SHOP ON 51 ACRES - WOSS, BC118 ACRE OCEAN VIEW PROPERTYBOWEN ISLANDEXECUTIVE LAKEFRONT HOME AND ACREAGE - PUNTZI LAKEDUTCH CREEK RANCH & COYS PAR 3FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS, BC504 acre farm on 3 titles. Can hold 50 - 60 cow/calf pairs. Cross-fenced & has several dugouts for water supply. 300± acres clear & level pasture, 100 acres in alfalfa with the potential to clear more. The remaining is mostly grazeable forest. Powered hay barn. Merchantable aspen on about 70 acres. $849,000farmland, with 296 ft frontage on the Fraser River. Leased to a dairy farm, getting 4 cuts of hay for silage, it is considered to be the best agricultural land on the island. A hidden gem. Live a quiet rural lifestyle, minutes from the city with great highway access. $1,095,000Serene and picturesque 785 acre ranch. 240 acres of cleared area in hay production. This is a unique opportunity to purchase land in one of the most stunning areas of British Columbia. 3,100 ft2 residence as well as the necessary farm infrastructure in place. $1,099,000This property offers opportunities: carry on with the pub business (45+ years), convert to a family restaurant, start a winery, cidery or craft brewery & grow your own fruit / hops on 6.4 acres, convert to an equestrian estate with a 4,000 ft2 log home, create a new licensed event venue 3 hrs from YVR, or … $688,000New Hazelton, BC. 126 acres with 1.7 km of riverfront. Absolute privacy & backing onto Crown land. World-renowned Bulkley River aseparate creeks & possibility for micro-hydro power. Amazing 100 ft waterfall. Pockets of timber, network of roads & trails. $449,000Custom built 9-year-old 3 bedroom home with separate rental / guest home and a 32 x 48 ft workshop. Situated on 17+ acres of complete privacy surrounded by mature trees, only minutes to downtown Sechelt, close to golf course and marina. $2,200,000Spacious 5-bay, 6775 ft2 shop with office area and washrooms, 3-phase power, large paved parking lot, aggregate resources and 7 serviced RV sites outside of the main compound area. Zoning allows for a magnitude of different commercial uses. $825,000that exist on Bowen Island and currently the largest available for sale. Paved road access with stunning views of Howe Sound, Gambier Island and the coastal mountains. Gated, private and the ideal estate property. $2,590,000Stunning, custom built, timber frame, 2 storey home on Puntzi Lake just 2 hours W of Williams Lake. 6.2 acres complete with a heated carport, 350 of waterfront, income right to the front yard, or by the 6,000 ft paved airstrip just 10 minutes away. $1,525,000Family ranch with a scenic 9-hole golf course & restaurant a great source of additional income. 284 acres of mixed agricultural & resort zoning. home, basic mobile, & manufactured home. 3 hay sheds, machine shop, wood working shop, & 2 multi-bay machine sheds. $5,200,000JOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100Personal Real Estate Corporationjohn@landquest.comRICH OSBORNE 604-328-0848Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comCHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634Personal Real Estate Corporationchase@landquest.comROB GREENE firstname.lastname@example.orgSAM HODSON 604-809-2616Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comJASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605KEVIN KITTMER email@example.comJAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605 JASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577FAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comMATT CAMERON firstname.lastname@example.orgVisit our Websiteadditional revenue. Guests are encouraged to tour the farm and interact with the animals. The farm also hosts school eld trips. By late 2020, the recipe came together for another addition in the form of Terra Firma’s Kitchen. “We didn’t start the restaurant to create another revenue stream,” says Park. “It was about playing a role in the availability of high quality, local food people grow and consume.” Terra and her long-time friend and restaurant owner Kevan McCoy had talked about opening a farm-to-table restaurant in the area for years. Farm-to-table, sometimes referred as farm-to-fork, is described as the use of seasonal ingredients sourced locally which reduces the cost and environmental impact of shipping food long distances. The food is picked or processed at the peak of freshness, highly avourful and nutritious. Many farm-to-table restaurants opt for minimal use of sauces and strong ingredients, allowing the avour of the fresh food to hold centre stage. They secured a prime location for the new venture in downtown Revelstoke, just minutes from the farm. Terra and Kevan formed a business partnership and hired head chef, baker and kitchen manager Jodi Kay whose culinary, organizational and marketing skills have paid o from the start. Relationships were established with several BC farms, as the restaurant needed more than what Terra Firma alone could provide, including some dairy products, fruit, grains chicken and meat. These suppliers are recognized on the restaurant’s dine-in and take-out menus. The restaurant launched in November 2020, which Terra admits was a dicult time to start. Restaurant sales throughout Canada had plunged thanks to the pandemic, with thousands of restaurants closed permanently. “We had to deal with long shut-down periods and the need to lay o employees we could not always bring back. It was the support and feedback from our customers that kept our passion alive,” Park says. “The community has embraced our growth as we’ve added new menu items, more grab and go choices and a more diverse bread selection,” adds Kay. “We’ve created a space where everyone feels comfortable, whether it is a mom with young kids, the CP workers across the road, or a group of entrepreneurs having a business meeting.” Customers were mostly locals during the start-up period but as the area’s tourism has picked up that’s changed. “We see new faces walk in the door every day,” says Kay. “Some days I look out the dining room from the kitchen and I just have to smile because I can see all of this happening during a weekday lunch rush.” The menu changes seasonally to provide the best foods throughout the year. Terra Firma added two greenhouses to help supply the restaurant, focusing on hardy crops such as kale, chard and other greens that can withstand the cold. Microgreens were started this winter to further support a healthy supply year-round. In addition to six employees on the farm, 20 people are employed at the restaurant which operates seven days a week from 7am to 4pm. Plans include extending the restaurant’s opening hours into the evenings and serving liquor. Jay and Park are leaders in the local organic, small-farm movement. Terra Firma was the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year in 2017. The farm has hosted fundraisers, and Park is active within the Revelstoke Local Food Initiative which promotes local food production and use. She’s also an Airbnb Superhost, a designation given to someone who consistently provides an extraordinary Airbnb experience. Launching a restaurant during the pandemic was a way to share fresh food with others. SUBMITTED
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 21Leadership skills can help farmers cope with disasterManagement coaching could help boost farm performanceKATE AYERS VICTORIA – Farm Management Canada’s National Farm Leadership Program brings this year’s cohort to the province’s capital during its three-day residency this month. While the 19 participants won’t visit any local farms, they will stay at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort to “practice their leadership skills in real time, in a safe learning environment supported by our leadership coaches,” says Farm Management Canada’s executive director Heather Watson. The past year threw many obstacles at producers across the country, from drought to ooding conditions and temperature extremes that shattered records. While better leadership skills may not have topped the priority list when faced with these emergencies, Watson says eective leadership training improves strategic thinking, increases resiliency and helps farmers resolve complex issues – useful skills when navigating a pandemic or recovering from natural disasters. “Leadership eectiveness is important at all times, but especially when tensions run high or you nd yourself in challenging situations. It’s how you react to situations that determines how you will come through on the other side and who will be at your side when you get there,” Watson says. Stressful or abnormal situations make eective leadership a critical skill. The recent ooding, for example, is a “crisis because a lot has been lost but there is an opportunity to reimagine how you might want your farm and business to be,” says NFLP program lead Kelly Dobson, founder and performance coach at LeaderShift Inc. in Manitoba. Empowering This year’s program began on January 24 and includes 11 weeks of structured online learning, the Victoria residency, a personal leadership assessment against a global dataset of leaders, a personal plan to increase leadership eectiveness, monthly group and individual coaching sessions and access to a private online community. “The NFLP empowers participants to take charge of their personal and professional success. We help you identify your current challenges and opportunities, determine your current leadership capacity to succeed, and empower participants to take action,” says Watson. “Altogether, the NFLP supports the growth of a complete person capable of successfully navigating whatever opportunity or challenge has brought them into the program.” The training not only helps develop leadership skills for crises, but could help manage risk. “Studies have shown that leadership eectiveness accounts for 37% of business performance. And the top 25% of assessed leaders typically run businesses that produce 3.5 [times] the prots than the bottom 25% of leaders,” Watson says. “Improving leadership eectiveness is an absolute game changer. Even a modest increase will have a payback many times the nancial cost. Becoming an eective leader doesn’t happen overnight. Producers must be committed to honing their skills and continuous improvement. “We know changing behaviour takes time, and farmers are most likely to try out a new tool or practice when they see other farmers beneting and when they have encouragement and support,” Watson says. “Unlike production, where you plant a seed or nurture a calf and see it grow, the return on behavioural change is a long game.” Winter rainbowRainbow chard makes for a bright harvest on grey winter days at Cropthorne Farm in Delta. SUBMITTED
22 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC© 2020 CNH Industrial America LLC. All rights reserved. New Holland is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or afﬁliates.For the narrow rows, precious crops and challenging terrain of vineyards, look to New Holland for the industry’s widest selection of grape harvesters and specialty tractors. Braud grape harvesters, the standard in grape-harvest quality. Narrow tractors for go-anywhere performance. And crawler tractors that handle the ups and downs of hilly terrain with ease. All feature the power, comfort and reliability that make New Holland the trusted leader. Stop by today to 昀nd the harvester or specialty-tractor solution that’s right for your operation, or visit newholland.comNarrow it down. Only New Holland offers so many solutions.ARMSTRONG HORNBY EQUIPMENT ACP 250-546-3033 CHILLIWACK ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-792-1301 CHEMAINUS ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-246-1203 FORT ST JOHN BUTLER FARM EQUIPMENT LTD 250-785-1800 KELOWNA ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-765-8266 LANGLEY ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-533-0048 WILLIAMS LAKE GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-392-4024 VANDERHOOF GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-567-4446YOUR ORCHARD, VINEYARD & RANCHING SPECIALIST IN THE OKANAGAN VALLEY KELOWNA: 201-150 CAMPION STREET 250-765-8266 | rollinsmachinery.com
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 23Compost facilities facing pushback Neighbours raise a stink about handling of farm and food waste INSECTICIDEMultiple modes of action on your toughest pests. · Broad-spectrum, rapid insect knock-down control combined with extended residual control· Controls all damaging stages of target insects, including eggs, immatures and adults· Easy-to-use, pre-formulated mixture® CORMORAN is a registered trademark of ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Canada Ltd. Always read and follow pesticide label directions. © 2021 ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Canada Ltd.CORMORAN® INSECTICIDESerious Insect Protection KATE AYERS PRINCETON – BC prides itself on being a relatively green and progressive province but composting facilities say complaints from neighbours make it hard to do business. In the aftermath of last November’s oods, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries turned to composting facilities such as Abbotsford-based NetZero Waste Ltd. to handle deadstock. Composting was preferred to landlls, which aren’t prepared to deal with organic matter. NetZero’s Eastgate facility, west of Princeton, took in about 400 tonnes of pig carcasses, says company owner and president Mateo Ocejo. Other companies received about 200 truckloads of dead poultry. Odour was a top concern for neighbours of many facilities. “Some of those facilities are still dealing with odour today,” says Ocejo. “[But] that’s really a rare thing. If they put them in the landll, the landll would stink.” NetZero saw area residents, including the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, complain about its own practices. Weather prevented NetZero from covering the carcasses it received as quickly as usual. This led to pictures of exposed carcasses making the rounds. Concern was also expressed at the potential for leachate from the uncovered piles making their way into the nearby Similkameen River. BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy recommended a ne following a December 21 inspection. But a number of issues identied at the site were easy-to-x administrative oversights, says Ocejo. Others were based on misinformation. The company is responding to the ministry’s warning letter. NetZero isn’t the only facility facing criticism. Abbotsford chicken litter composter 93 Land Co. operates across from King Traditional Elementary School. It has been a frequent target of complaints and, in turn, government inspections since operations began in 2017. Seven investigations have resulted in one ne of $9,000 being levied. A new round of complaints last fall triggered another investigation. It upheld the complaints, nding seven counts of noncompliance. A second ne was recommended. It’s not the only operation facing nes. Rossland Mushroom Farm Ltd. in Abbotsford was ned $18,000 In December 2021 for non-compliance with environmental rules. Enviro-Smart Organics in East Ladner has also faced odour complaints from neighbours. Some of the concerns associated with composting facilities are real. When wildre ripped through Lytton last summer, re crews avoided the 280-hectare Revolution Ranch compost facility due to toxic smoke from the site. Botanie Valley residents had opposed the organic composting facility before its launch in 2011. By December 2015, residents had led more than 185 odour complaints and eventually led lawsuits against the operation. Others have called it quits. In 2019, Harvest Power of Richmond made the “business decision” to shut down. The facility had attracted nearly 4,600 complaints over the previous three years and in March 2019 received a record $300,000 ne. Ocejo takes the concerns seriously, but says well-run composting facilities don’t stink. “You shouldn’t have odour. That’s not a properly run facility,” he says. NetZero uses a waterproof membrane jacket made of Gore-Tex to control moisture and odours. “With composting facilities, there is always the potential for odour and that’s what impacts people in the area, but it should never be a constant odour,” says Ocejo. “You should not be able to smell a compost facility more than one day out of 100. When you do smell it, it should be like an earthy smell, but shouldn’t be a nuisance to people.” Ocejo says the only complaint NetZero has elded at its Abbotsford facility occurred during repairs to its roof following a winter storm. “When we were replacing it, someone smelled the facility and called us,” he says. “It was a one-o.” WEEKLYFARM NEWSUPDATESUPDATESDirect to your inbox.www.countrylifeinbc.com“You should not be able to smell a compost facility more than one day out of 100.” MATEO OCEJO, NETZERO WASTE LTD.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 2524 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BClearn more: farmlandadvantage.calearn more: iafbc.caFunding & support provided by:PeaceRegionOmenicaSkeenaCaribooCoastThompsonKootenaysVancouverIslandChilcotinCoast&CoastSouthOkanaganNicolaBeforeAfterKootenaysVancouver Island & CoastSouth CoastThompson Okanagan NicolaFarmland Advantage expanded to Vancouver Island in 2021, working with the Cowichan Tribes, farmers, and regional partners in the Koksilah River watershed. FLA works with farmers to restore the riparian area through the removal of invasive species, the planting of native species, and installing repairian fencing. In the grasslands of the Cariboo and Thompson Okanagan Regions, Farmland Advantage is working with ranchers and farmers on projects such as habitat protection, grazing management, UDQJHODQGHQKDQFHPHQWVZLOGȴUHmitigation, and the promotion of targeted plant growth to enhance soil health.Farmland Advantage is working with farmers in the Bertrand Creek and Little Campbell River watersheds to restore and maintain riparian areas. Partners include local organizations who help to undertake the ecosystem rehabilitation work in this rich and biodiverse landscape.Farmland Advantage and the Shuswap Indian Band (SIB) have been working together in the Upper Columbia River Watershed to restore riparian areas along creeks that run through ranches and SIB lands. Current and ongoing UHVWRUDWLRQ HRUWV ZLOO LPSURYH ZDWHU TXDOLW\ELRGLYHUVLW\ DQG KDELWDWV IRU DWULVN ȴVKpopulations and other wildlife.In the fall of 2021, 900 meters of riparian fencing was repaired and installed along the Spillimacheen River in the Columbia River Wetlands. This fencing will protect the sensitive wetland from excessive grazing pressure.Through this project 39.2 hectares of sensitive wetland will be protected, enhacing the health of this riparian area.TODATE150,000M2OFRIPARIANAREAACROSSBCHAVEBEENASSESSEDBYFLA.THATINCLUDES5,000MOFWATERWAYREACHES.FARMLANDADVANTAGEFarmland Advantage (FLA) targets sensitive ecosystems in farming areas and provides funding to identify restoration and maintenance actions that support ecosystem services: the things provided by healthy ecosystems, such as clean air, fresh water, and mitigation of climate change impacts VXFKDVWKHȵRRGLQJDQGZLOGȴUHULVNV)DUPODQG$GYDQWDJHworks with producers, local organizations, and Indigenous FRPPXQLWLHV WR XQGHUWDNH WKH UHTXLUHG UHVWRUDWLRQ ZRUNand maintain ecosystem services over the long term. Some key actions that are taken include removing invasive species, establishing fencing along streams to manage livestock, and planting native species in riparian areas.FLA began in 2009 by Invermere BC rancher Dave Zehnder in partnership with the Windermere District Farmers Institute DQGRWKHUVXSSRUWHUV:KDWEHJDQDVDSLORWSURMHFWTXLFNO\JUHZHVWDEOLVKLQJRYHUGHPRQVWUDWLRQVLWHVLQWKHȴUVW\HDUVΖ$)EHJDQRɝFLDOO\DGPLQLVWUDWLQJDQGGHOLYHULQJWKHFLA program in the Spring of 2021. IAF’s goal is to grow and expand the program to assist hard-working farmers who look after their land, so the land can continue to work hard for everyone.Ζ$)LVDQLQGXVWU\OHGQRWIRUSURȴWWKDWGHOLYHUVJRYHUQPHQWfunded programs to the agriculture and agri-food sector of British Columbia. IAF has been involved in many initiatives aimed at addressing climate change, including GHG reduction DQG FDUERQ VHTXHVWUDWLRQ 2YHU WKH SDVW IHZ PRQWKV Ζ$)EHJDQGHOLYHULQJWKH(QYLURQPHQWDO)DUP3ODQDQG%HQHȴFLDOManagement Practices (EFP & BMP) programs and the Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) programs, which were previously administered by the BC Agricultural Council through their subsidiary, ARDCorp. Both CCAP and the EFP & BMP programs are funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.The EFP & BMP programs provide eligible agri-food sector producers with access to consultants to assist in the completion of Environmental Farm Plans and support the application process to BMP funding. CCAP is led by industry with the goal of helping producers successfully adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. To learn more about programs delivered by IAF, please visit iafbc.ca.Farmland Advantage is a program developed by industry that works with farmers to conserve and enhance critical, natural values throughout British Columbia using a payment for ecosystem services model.
26 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCPETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Growing demand by industry for fresh investment in dairy processing in BC has resulted in a report that lays out several recommendations for attracting processors. Feeding the Future: Advancing Dairy Processing in BC was presented during a special online conference in January that took the place of the BC Dairy Industry Conference. The conference led o with a review of the global market by Christophe LaFougère, who oversees the dairy practice of international consulting and market research rm Gira Food, based in France. LaFougère said the global supply of milk is declining, reversing the surpluses of previous years. Tighter environmental laws are largely responsible for limiting production, and he believes that will only get worse over the next ve years. “We used to deal with surplus,” he says. “In the next ve to 10 [years], we will deal with less milk available.” And when it comes to using that milk, people are drinking less but eating more – especially in the form of cheese. This became clear during the pandemic, as consumption shifted from foodservice to homes. Statistics Canada reports a similar trend in BC, where cheese production increased 43% to 14,225 tonnes in 2020 versus 2019. Production increased a further 15% in the rst 11 months of 2021 versus a year earlier. Meanwhile, milk for drinking has seen tepid growth in BC in recent years, with consumption down 3% in the rst 11 months of 2021 versus a year earlier. LaFougère expects cheese to continue leading the way for dairy. “The only winning sector will continue to be cheese,” he says. “If you look at production growth … drinking milk is negative, yogurt is negative, and cheese, really, will continue to be the winner.” This is spurring the need for new production capacity, at least in the US. But the report agricultural consultant James Laws developed for the BC Dairy Association says several things are needed to make BC more attractive to dairy processors. BC is home to 54 dairy processors, split almost equally between federally and provincially licensed plants. Many are small processors, but the 28 with federal licenses are positioned for national reach. Together, they have about $1.5 billion in annual sales. But the need for more processing capacity, especially outside the Lower Mainland, has been a long-standing concern. Saputo has consolidated its BC operations at a new plant in Port Coquitlam commissioned last summer. When mudslides and ooding cut transportation routes to the Interior, smaller processors such as Blackwell Dairy saw demand for their milk surge. Greater capacity would help create a more resilient sector. Laws interviewed 26 processors in BC and across Canada for his report, which makes six recommendations for increasing dairy processing capacity in BC. These include the appointment of a business development oce for the BC industry as well as the hiring of an industry-led dairy processing specialist to guide innovation. Collaborative eorts in support of a grocery code of conduct are encouraged, in support of the overall sustainability of the sector. Such a document has wide support among producers and processors, and a federal working committee is currently drafting a document for release by the end of March. Confusing aspects of the dairy market also need to be simplied. For example, the BC Milk Marketing Board should work with marketing boards across the country to revamp the milk classication system from 30 classes to a handful. This would be simpler for new processors to navigate, and help make the sector more appealing for investment. Provincial legislation regarding ll sizes for dairy products should also be reviewed. Dairy beverages, for example, must be sold in one of seven package sizes. These are similar to but not the same as ll sizes in other provinces. Many processors, especially international entities that want to introduce new products to Canada, feel the existing system limits them to certain container sizes. The report also urges the establishment of a co-pack facility, which would make use of existing capacity that’s currently underutilized. While not part of the formal recommendations, processors interviewed for the report also oered several suggestions to dairy producers who want to attract processing capacity. These included participation in proAction, the industry’s quality assurance program that guarantees milk quality and production practices. Greater access to grass-fed milk was also a priority. Release of the report came just days before representatives of the BC dairy industry were scheduled to meet with their counterparts from across the Western Milk Pool for a strategic planning session. “The presentation here has given some really inspirational thoughts to consider,” said BC Milk chair Janice Comeau. “We will advocate for the needs of BC and the need to really build a plan to make that happen.” Cheese leads the way as BC dairies seek capacityReport presents recommendations to industry for attracting processors
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 27Scott DiGuistini and Merissa Myles are about to ramp up production for Tree Island Yogurt in Courtenay with a new, much larger plant. SUBMITTEDPROVINCIAL LIVESTOCK FENCING PROGRAMApplications Close: August 31, 2022View program updates at cattlemen.bc.ca/fencing.htmToll Free: 1.866.398.2848email: email@example.com In partnership with:PETER MITHAM CUMBERLAND – With ground breaking in January for a new plant after three years of planning, Tree Island Yogurt is emblematic of the kind of small-scale processing BC’s dairy sector says the province needs. It’s also providing a market for two herds of grass-fed cows who are poised to play a role in the industry’s shift to a more sustainable production model. “There’s lots of demand,” says Scott DiGuistini who with his wife Merissa Myles have operated Tree Island Yogurt in the small community of Royston just outside Courtenay since 2012. “We’re just trying to make more out of what we’ve got here, but we’ve reached the limit.” The current plant has a capacity of 650,000 litres a year but the new facility set to open late this year will be able to produce 6.5 million litres, giving the company room to grow. The new 28,000-square-foot facility is being built in an industrial subdivision in Cumberland owned by Acciano Development Inc., a company DiGuistini set up with the intention of creating a hub for locally owned businesses like his. While the new plant will be a big leap from the current facility, which is just 7,000 square feet, the space will allow for a more ecient production line and greater control over the company’s future. It ships its products as far east as Quebec, seeing strong demand from natural foods retailers such as Whole Foods, which provided it with a small equipment loan early on. But the success of Tree Island lies in the rise of high-protein yogurts and the more recent shift to grass-fed dairy products generally. Pivotal moment Now 44, DiGuistini began giving serious thought to the idea of making yogurt in spring 2010. He had completed his doctorate and was interviewing for a job in France but eruptions of the Eyjaallajökull volcano in Iceland delayed he and Merissa, who was pregnant, in Paris. It made them think hard about leaving Canada and raising a family in Europe. DiGuistini, who had lived o yogurt as a doctoral Island yogurt producer boosting productionProduct meets consumer demand, environmental goalsstudent, was having another on a park bench as they chatted. “We were making this decision about where to go with our lives,” he says. “I was looking into the cup. I said, ‘Why don’t we make yogurt?’” And my famous last words were, ‘How hard could that be?’” Drafting a preliminary business plan, DiGuistini went to Cornell University in New York for professional training. While there, he met Hamid Ulukaya, founder of Chobani, which popularized Greek-style yogurt in the US. “He was still in the Syracuse research centre producing Chobani in small batches. I see this guy, and he’s making this yogurt, and I think, ‘This is the way to go,’” says DiGuistini. A chemist friend who was working on biofuels introduced him to investors who helped him purchase the equipment that laid the foundation for Tree Island. But rather than make Greek yogurt, which had yet to take o in Canada, he decided to focus on yogurt from grass-fed cows because it made economic sense and met popular demand for a natural product. The rst batches sold at the Comox Valley farmers market in Courtenay and the Moss Street market in Victoria. The yogurt hit grocery stores in 2013, when Whole Foods picked it up. See SUPPLY on next page o
28 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSUPPLY management a barrier to innovation nfrom page 27PRINCE GEORGE | KAMLOOPS | KELOWNA | CHILLIWACK | LANGLEY | NANAIMO WWW.PCE.CA | 1-877-553-33731023Etractor loader$2360% FOR 60 MONTH TERMOVER 84 MONTHSAND GET A FREE iMATCH QUICK HITCH & SEAT COVERor(almost $600 value)PERMONTHTAKETHEiMatch Quick HitchSeat CoverSome restrictions may apply. See dealer for details. Offer valid March 1 - 31, 2022. Quote ID 26039222, 26039059.· 23 HP· Quick detach loader· Easy-lift hood· Twin-touch transmission· 6-year, 2000 hour limited powertrain warrantySupporting other local businesses has been a priority from the start. Tree Island’s honey comes from Big D’s Bees in Black Creek and Kidd Bros. in Langley. Vanilla comes from Daksha’s Gourmet Spices in Saanich. But nding a supplier of grass-fed milk was more challenging. It’s made DiGuistini a sharp critic of supply management, which he says benets farmers but feels discourages innovation and the establishment of new processors. “I love that system, and it supports farmers, which is great. But it’s also awed,” he says. The rst farm he worked with, in the Cowichan Valley, was certied organic but Island Farms (owned by Quebec dairy cooperative Agropur) didn’t pay them a premium for their milk. Shipping milk north to Royston would have been cost-prohibitive because of the transport fee the BC Milk Marketing Board levies. DiGuistini pays the conventional price for milk and would like to pay his producers a premium. This is part of the long-term plan, once he’s scaled up his operation. Right now, his margins are squeezed. Shipping costs work out to double the base price. This includes both built-in shipping costs as well as a surcharge for moving milk from a designated source farm to his plant. Transportation costs are also a concern for producers, but they’re also concerned about product being able to move to market. The disruptions seen this winter have increased the importance of smaller, local processors like Tree Island setting up shop. Similar to meat processing, smaller, local plants are seen as critical to a more resilient farm sector. Keeping it local Guy Sim of Birkdale Farm in Comox milks 90 cows. He’s been supplying Tree Island since it launched, and says Tree Island’s expansion helps oset the closure of the Saputo plant in Courtenay in 2019 after more than a century of operation. Saputo consolidated operations in the Lower Mainland in the name of eciency, leaving Island Farms as the island’s only major dairy processor. “We’ve seen what happened this past winter with all the road washouts and you couldn’t get milk to processing plants,” he says. “When you’re so dependent on one main processor, it really makes you vulnerable. … Something like this can help ease that.” Consumers also appreciate seeing cows grazing at the farm, and perceive the milk from grass-fed cows as a higher-quality product. The major processors are also demanding grass-fed milk. A report the BC Dairy Association released in January on advancing dairy processing capacity in BC found that processors would locate here if the industry could provide reliable access to grass-fed milk. The product ts with corporate support for regenerative agriculture and environmental commitments. “It oers a tool for trying to address climate change issues associated with high carbon levels in our era,” says Terry Shannon of Shannon Dairy in Port Alberni. Its milking herd of 200 cows has been grass-fed for 80 years. The animals seem to fare better on pasture than when fed grain, he says. “It’s the highest-quality forage you can put into cows. Cows love it,” he says, noting that herd health is also stronger. “We’re one of the few farms in British Columbia that doesn’t have digital dermatitis, and that’s probably largely a function of having the cows out on pasture. … They’re just more robust all the way around.” Processors and consumers also favour the greater nutritional value of grass-fed milk, something that’s beneted Tree Island and in turn the dairy industry as a whole on Vancouver Island. “The trend has been to move processing o the island, so it’s kind of exciting to see them building a plant,” he says. “It’s a really exciting move for them and a positive for the production side of the industry on the island.” Guy Sim, left, supplies Scott DiGuistini, right, with milk from grass-fed cows for Tree Island's growing business. SUBMITTED
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 29Grape growers prepare for climate changeTemperature extremes prompt site, variety shifts Tim Hirtz, a vineyard worker at Quails’ Gate Estate Winery in West Kelowna, was mechanically pre-pruning vines prior to handpruning as preparations for the 2022 growing season progressed last month. MYRNA STARK LEADERHave you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops or Webinarsare Free!Looking to learn moreabout how to raisehealthy beef cattle?Open to producers of allsizes!free to all beef producersin bc!www.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onNITRO 275RS SPREADERSACCUMUL8 & RETRIEVERBALEWRAPPERS SILAGE RAKETOM WALKER KELOWNA – Last year’s temperature extremes have BC grapegrowers wondering about the long-term health of their vines and planning for the future. “We recorded a high of 48°C on June 29 and a low of -28°C on December 27,” says Felix Egerer, vineyard manager at Tantalus Vineyards in southeast Kelowna. “That’s more than 75 degrees in temperature change and I really wonder how it will aect our vines.” Egerer, like fruit growers across the southern Interior, will have to wait and see. “We really won’t know until we see how the vines are doing through the summer,” he says. This will be the third consecutive season that vineyards in the Okanagan and Similkameen have suered cold snaps and Egerer says it has meant constant damage control for vineyard managers. “We have pruned less with the anticipation that fewer buds will survive. We have trimmed back crop load to be sure that we don’t put too much stress on the vines. We have been extra careful with new plantings to be sure that they can handle the temperatures and I’ve had to water my cover crops,” he explains. “It has all been reactionary; we haven’t been able to plan ahead at all.” While wine grape vines are generally seen to love heat, dierent grape varieties have dierent temperature tolerances. While most of BC can be described as a cool climate viticulture region suited to varieties like Pinot Noir and Riesling, the southern parts of the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys are hot enough to favour varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. “We nally pulled out the last of our old Cabernet vines a couple of years ago,” says Egerer. “They were on a north facing slope which made it even harder to ripen them.” It may not happen on Egerer’s watch, but climate change may see Cabernet return to Tantalus. Heading north Research by UBC Okanagan researchers Elizabeth Wolkovich and Louise Nelson indicate that sites suitable for fruit production in the Okanagan are gradually moving north and to higher elevations. Coral Beach has planted cherries at an elevation of 2,650 feet in Lake Country and there are also cherry orchards and vineyards along the South Thompson River. But the opportunities for expansion may also change the choice of varieties. “In a cool-climate region, a 1°C increase in the average temperature can change the location at which a grape varietal can be grown successfully,” says Greg Jones, a climatologist and CEO of Abacela Winery in Roseburg, Oregon, who spoke to BC growers in 2019 on the impacts of climate change. Outside that range and the grapes may not fully ripen, while at a warmer site they may ripen beyond what’s suitable for premium wine. “We know that as climate structure changes over time, it really inuences [site] suitability,” says Jones. This has Egerer watching his vines carefully and continually looking for ways to support their health. He is particularly worried about his oldest Riesling block, which dates back to 1978, and the vineyard’s 1985 plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. “Those mature vines are a real benet to our wine production,” he explains. Tantalus follows both organic and biodynamic principals in the vineyard and Egerer uses cover crops between the vine rows. He is switching to sap ow pruning, a method that has less impact on the vines than traditional pruning techniques. But he wonders if those strategies are enough. “If we continue to see these cold events, we might have to look at burying some of the vines for the winter like they do along the Thompson River and in areas of Ontario,” he explains. Or he might look at hybrids. A number of wineries in the Okanagan still make wine with the Marechal Foch grapes popular in the Okanagan before growers made the leap to vinifera grapes in the 1990s. “There are some breeding programs that are developing vines that are more than 90% true to the original varietal, but have better cold hardiness and tolerance to diseases,” says Egerer.
30 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC*Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer based on the purchase of eligible equipment defined in promotional program. Additional fees may apply. Pricing, payments and models may vary by dealer. Customers must take delivery prior to the end of the program period. Some customers will not qualify. Some restrictions apply. Financing subject to credit approval. Offer available on new equipment only. Pricing and rebates in CAD dollars. Prior purchases are not eligible. Offer valid only at participating Dealers. Offer subject to change without notice. See your dealer for details. © 2020 Daedong-Canada, Inc. Kioti Canada.Timberstar Tractor Vernon B.C. 250-545-5441 Harbour City EquipmentDuncan B.C. 778-422-3376Matsqui Ag RepairAbbotsford B.C. 604-826-3281 Rangeland Equipment LtdCranbrook B.C. 250-426-0600 Northern Acreage SupplyPrince George B.C. 250-596-22730%FinancingCASHBack OffersUnlimited HourPowertrain Warranty
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 31Matthew Kyriakides, director of land management at the Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture in North Saanich, standing in front of the centre’s new GAP Can vegetable packing cube. SUBMITTED Little & Large • Local & Long • Europe & N. America Port to Dealer • Farm to Farm & Anything in BetweenVersatile Ramp to Ground CapabilitiesSANDRA TRETICK NORTH SAANICH – Out in the elds of the Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture in North Saanich, something innovative is happening. If you drive by the 83-acre site on Glamorgan Road, once home to the Sandown Racetrack, you’d be hard-pressed to see anything out of the ordinary. Sure, there are two new 10-foot shipping containers sitting out there, but those are just used to store tools, aren’t they? But according to Ty James, the man behind the containers, they’re a game-changer for small farmers that produce eld crops, especially those who want to avoid sinking cash into costly infrastructure on leased properties. James, a 35-year-old market gardener who grows produce on leased farmland in North Saanich and sells to grocery stores like Country Grocer and Red Barn Market, knows what it’s like to move his operations from one farm to another. He used to lease two acres in Central Saanich before outgrowing that space three years ago. He now farms ve acres in eld production and 20,000 square feet of greenhouses. “I quickly realized that farming is a business of economies of scale and that I needed more land in order to make a living, and I also needed better infrastructure,” says James. “I was packing in a greenhouse in the summertime that was getting up to 40 degrees. I had a couple little household fridges strapped together, packing into clamshells, just trying to make the most of it.” It was insucient for what he needed to do to meet his buyers’ exacting specications. James says the CanadaGAP program is one of the must-haves for farmers today, because that’s what larger grocery chains demand. Even though there are about 1,000 farms in BC with GAP certication – the highest rate of participation in the country – James notes that most farmers don’t have it yet, especially smaller growers. GAP stands for good agricultural practices and James wanted to design infrastructure that would give farmers access to aordable GAP and HACCP-compliant infrastructure. He says CanadaGAP certication is important because it provides assurance to retailers that fresh produce growers are following appropriate food safety procedures. James believes having access to post-harvest infrastructure is just as important as having elds and fencing. By infrastructure, he means packinghouses and walk-in coolers; a dry place to store labels and packing materials and a cool place to store product during hot weather. Several companies, like Freight Farms out of the US, sell vertical farming and hydroponic farming systems in shipping containers but through his own company, Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333The perfect solution for farmers on the goShipping container offers packing facilities and cold storageSee CONTAINERS on next page oAerial seeding is a safe and cost-eective way to revegetate large areas.We carry seed and equipment for all size jobs.t3FDMBNBUJPOTFFEt/BUJWFTFFEt'PSBHFDSPQTFFE
CONTAINERS keep produce cool nfrom page 3132 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCLAAS DISCO 9400C TRIPLE MOWERS $53,800 CLAAS 860 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 12.5’ PICKUP & 6-ROW CORNHEAD $93,700 CLAAS XERION 4500 VC TRACTOR CALL FOR PRICING & DETAILS CLAAS JAG 870 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 6-ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING CLAAS 970 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 10-ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING CLAAS 4000 4-ROTOR RAKE CALL FOR DETAILS FELLA TS 880 CENTER DELIVERY RO-TARY RAKE CONSIGNMENT UNIT $16,000 X 2 FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS NH BB340 LARGE SQUARE BALER CALL FOR DETAILS NH T4.75 TRACTOR ROPS MFD WITH LOADER CALL FOR DETAILS SUPREME INTERNATIONAL 700T MIXER WAGON TWIN SCREW CALL FOR DETAILS TAARUP 338 10’ MOWER COND. COMING IN SOON VEENHUIS MANURE TANKER TRIPLE AXLE WITH BRAKES $140,000 0.99% for 60 MONTHS ON ALL NEW CLAAS HAYTOOLSOACwww.caliberequipment.ca STORE HOURS MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8-5 SATURDAYS CLOSED ‘TIL SPRING604-864-2273 34511 VYE ROAD ABBOTSFORD More Crops. Less Ash. See us at the Pacific Ag Show GAP Can, James is planning something entirely dierent. “We’re providing infrastructure for eld-growing operations,” says James. “With the heat dome we had last year, it would be virtually impossible to grow successfully without this type of infrastructure. You need access to a shady cold spot to keep your produce fresh as you pack it and get it ready to go to market.” Two summers ago, he built an early prototype on the farm he is currently leasing with a grant from the BC On-Farm Food Safety Program. To further develop the concept, James obtained $32,000 through the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program and entered into contracts last summer with Sandown Centre and Lytton First Nation to build what he calls “version two prototypes.” James worked with Keith Hayton of K. Hayton Construction Ltd. on the build. Each unit – built from a shipping container sold o after a one-way trip from China – is custom-built to meet the customer’s needs. That means a lot of discussions on layout and design. They are built to allow producers to achieve CanadaGAP certication, are Canada Safety Association-approved and inspected for road transportation. “We wanted to design something around CanadaGAP because I get audited on my farm every year,” says James. “We’re trying to service the area of the market that’s like myself, leasehold farmers, people that want to farm but need infrastructure and don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to build it.” The prototype at Sandown was built using two 10-foot shipping containers, avoiding the need for a building permit. One unit is set up for packing and the other is cold storage. Another unit – in a standard 20-foot container – was in the process of being delivered to the Lytton First Nation last month for a large-scale market garden project. Delivery was delayed by wildres, ooding and mudslides last year. The little cubes, which arrived at Sandown in January, still need an electrical hookup. Sandown Centre has a 10-year lease on the land from North Saanich and it in turn subleases small plots to farmers. What the centre oers its growers is a cross between land-leasing and farm school that includes learning about horticulture and business. Sandown director of community and partner engagement Jen Rashleigh says the GAP cubes, as she likes to call them, are a complete and utter game-changer. Growers will be able to use Sandown’s units this spring to weigh, bunch, pack and store produce, giving them the option to achieve CanadaGAP certication if they want to enter bigger markets. “If we don’t have a processing unit it’s a major setback,” says Rashleigh. “[With it] they can get the audit and they can get into the bigger retailers.” Having the units on site means they can also serve as a demonstration for other growers. The cubes, sold through James’ company GAP Can, come in dierent sizes and congurations – what James terms modular infrastructure. The company’s agship unit is a 20-foot container with a vegetable processing area and a walk-in cooler starting around $35,000. Forty-foot containers are also possible for larger applications. With these prototypes complete, James is now in discussions on two bigger projects, including a multi-unit food hub for Lytton First Nation and a three-unit prototype for a poultry processing plant at Glassen Farms near Nanaimo. He’s also looking for a new yard in Langford for the upcoming builds. Ty James, president of GAP Can, left, and builder Keith Hayton of K. Hayton Construction Ltd. in front of the newly delivered cold storage unit at Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture. SUBMITTED
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 33The Keenan family of Salmon Arm are the newest egg farmers awarded quota under BC Egg’s New Producer Program. SUBMITTEDInsurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Please visit www.assante.com/legal.jsp or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planningDriediger Wealth PlanningMark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth AdvisorBrent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth Advisorwww.DriedigerWealthPlanning.com | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd.SANDRA TRETICK SALMON ARM – James and Chelsea Keenan aren’t afraid to try something new. Five years ago, in March 2017, they uprooted their young family from Surrey and moved to Salmon Arm to farm. James, a carpenter by trade, was a construction superintendent on job sites all over the Lower Mainland. Their family was growing and they wanted to spend more time together, so they explored their options and settled on farming. It was a bold decision. “We moved up here with no prior farming experience,” says Chelsea. “No history at all.” The Keenans traded their condo for a 35-acre spread on Yankee Flats Road. While technically part of Salmon Arm, they are actually closer to Vernon and Armstrong. The Keenans tried their hands at pigs, broiler birds, layers and sheep, and gave themselves a couple of years to start making an income. Turns out that was more than enough time for the energetic couple, now in their late 30s (James is 39, Chelsea 37). “We started making money well before our rst two years was up,” says Chelsea. “We’ve managed to make a successful business out of it.” The couple view farming as an important life lesson for their children as well. The Keenan children – three boys and two girls ranging in age from three to 10 – help out with chores around the farm when homeschooling is done for the day. Chelsea says it helps teach them the value of hard work and connects them to the source of the food they eat. They’ve now focused on heritage breed, pasture-raised pigs – a mix of Berkshire, Tamworth, and Duroc – and free-range hens. Supplemental feed is all free of corn, soy and genetically modied organisms. They average 150 pigs a year and, as a small-lot permit holder through the BC Egg Marketing Board, they currently keep 350 hens. Eggs from small-lot producers like the Keenans are not graded and can’t be sold to stores, so they sell through farmers markets and their Egg Club. The pork ships to customers locally and in the Lower Mainland. But change is in the air at the family farm. Winner announced In January, BC Egg named Chelsea the successful winner of its New Producer Program (NPP) and the province’s newest producer/grader. The NPP is designed to help people become egg farmers by providing them with quota. Applicants must submit a comprehensive application package that proves they are capable of caring for hens and running a small business. Those meeting the requirements are entered into a draw for the quota. Small-lot egg producer awarded quotaGrading and direct selling part of the dealSee RIGHT on next page oFARMNEWSFANE@countrylifeinbc
34 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCRIGHT place at the right time with the right credentials nfrom page 33FUEL YOUR ANIMALS,RIGHT FROM THE START™E昀ective on-farm colostrum management practices will get your lambs or kid goats o昀 to the right start. When colostrum quality or quantity is lacking, LambGro KidGro Colostrum™ is here to help. Agri-Supply LTDKamloops (250) 372-7446Barriere Country Feeds Inc. Barriere (250) 672-5256Beavervalley FeedsWilliams Lake (250) 392-6282Country West SupplyArmstrong (250) 546-9174Chilliwack (604) 847-3737C.J Brookes Chilliwack (604) 846-2100Dares Country FeedsLangley (604) 856-1611Rafter MC AGventuresVanderhoof (604) 798-4847Smithers Feed Store Smithers (250) 847-9810Spruce Capital Feeds LTDPrince George (250) 564-6010Top Shelf FeedsCourtenay (250) 897-3302 Duncan (250) 746-5101 Powell River (604) 485-2244Victoria (250) 478-8012Contact the DairyCrop teamGerry DeGroot (604) 819-4139James Robinson 236.986.7693Evan Davidson (604) 991-6708Find Grober products at the following DairyCrop BC area dealers:www.GroberNutrition.com | 1.800.265.7863 |The Keenans applied last summer. Even with so much on their plates, they jumped at the chance to obtain quota. “We had always thought if a quota through the New Producers Program comes up, we would apply, because it’s a great opportunity for any farming family,” she says. “This time it was restricted to small-lot permit holders outside the Lower Mainland. We were in exactly the right position.” Chelsea prepared a detailed 65-page application and business plan over a two-month period ahead of the September deadline, tting it in around farming and homeschooling. They were up against three other applicants, but those were disqualied for not meeting all the requirements. Although the decision was made last fall, the announcement wasn’t made until this year. “We are so pleased to have an experienced small lot farmer and marketer become a full-edged egg farmer,” said BC Egg chair Gunta Vitins in a January news release announcing the Keenans’ success. The Keenans will eventually receive quota for up to 3,000 birds. They’ll also have to grade all their own eggs and handle their own sales. They are restricted from selling to another grading station. Most existing quota producers sell to grading stations in Abbotsford. “It’s not only getting 3,000 chickens, now we’ll have to sell 3,000 eggs a day on our own,” says Chelsea, adding that they’ll have to deal with everything, including all their oversized and undersized eggs. “The grading and marketing side is a large portion of this project that a typical egg producer doesn't have to consider in their business." Chelsea believes the amount of work that’s ahead of them may have deterred some small-lot permit holders from applying, but she is grateful that BC Egg is allowing them to gradually increase production. She also acknowledges the support they’ve been getting from other egg farmers. “Everybody’s been helping us,” she says. “Everyone is really excited about having a new producer join.” The Keenans are still a year away from ramping up production. It will take time to build a barn and a grading station, which will have to wait until the snow clears. They’re planning a two-sided barn, so they’ll be able to keep two separate ocks that are oset in ages. Since the hens will be free range, they’re also looking at fortication against coyotes and aerial predators. “We will start with 1,000 and in two and a half years we’ll be up to our full 3,000,” says Chelsea. In the meantime, they’re busy with research. Chelsea is working with a marketing company to develop a brand before approaching stores. Their name is already well-known in the area, so they’re thinking of branding as Keenan Free Range Eggs, but they don’t have that nailed down just yet. It’s all a bit daunting and it’s a huge learning curve, but the Keenans are ready for it. “Five years in, we’ve built this business, and now it’s almost like starting over again because of the amount of work that’s going to have to go into this,” says Chelsea. “There is a much greater chance of success with a slow build rather than a jump from 350 to 3,000 hens.” BC Egg chair Gunta Vitins encourages everyone with more than 99 hens to join the board’s small-lot program. It will likely be the only path open to those interested in obtaining quota through future draws under the New Producers Program (NPP). Requirements for the NPP draw change from time to time, based on the province’s current needs. In 2021, the goal was to start a new egg farmer in an area outside of the Fraser Valley, where 80% of BC egg farms are currently located. It was a good decision in hindsight, given the transportation and supply issues resulting from last fall’s oods. A small-lot permit holder is someone who has between 100 and 399 laying hens, is a direct marketer and who has voluntarily registered with BC Egg. In exchange for a $250 annual fee, they receive information on disease control, industry updates and an annual test for Salmonella enteritidis. “It is extremely likely that future NPP draws will only be open to our small-lot permit holders as we know these folks are dedicated to farming, caring for animals and building their market,” says Vitins. Small-lot producers are already good at marketing their eggs, an important skill as new quota allotments are tied to grading and direct selling. BC Egg currently has 149 quota farmers and 69 small-lot permit holders. —Sandra TretickFuture quota draws likely limited
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 35Broiler health in spotlight for small-lot farmersGrowing demand increases need for management skills Alex Fostvedt started raising broilers to improve the soil health on his Grand Forks farm but now demand for high-quality local food is prompting him to expand his small ock. 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And with two blending plants, we’re one of BC’s largest distributors of granular, liquid and foliar fertilizers. Our buying power and proximity to the Fraser Valley makes us the logical choice for truckload shipments. OKANAGAN FERTILIZER LTD 1-800-361-4600 or 250-838-6414on-farm issue. “It’s important to get a lab report,” she says. Most diseases that kill chicks are what she calls “self-eliminating,” and unless there are bacteria like salmonella, won’t harm the entire ock. Older birds also experience health issues and Bowes suggests growers learn acceptable ways to kill a bird in order to cull diseased individuals. Culling is economically important because it reduces feed loss from a bird that is eating but won’t generate full income. She suggests using the cervical dislocation method to euthanize sick birds. Bowes also recommends small lot producers familiarize themselves with the Code of Practice for Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens, and Turkeys developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council and the Ross Broiler Pocket Guide. RONDA PAYNE GRAND FORKS – Small ock broiler production is becoming more popular among small-lot farmers as consumers increasingly seek out local food sources. But healthy meat demands healthy birds, and that drew Alex Fostvedt of Faireld Farm in Grand Forks to a Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors workshop January 13 on maintaining meat bird health. Providing nutrients to the soil was his primary goal last year. “We did one round late summer, 60 birds,” he says. “You can put 50 to 70 broilers in each one of those [chicken] tractors and it really is just literally a fertilizer factory.” Now Fostvedt wants to increase ock size to supply meat to locals looking for high-quality, small-farm chicken. Small ocks tend to be overlooked by veterinarians says avian pathologist Dr. Vicki Bowes with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “If we can improve the rearing of meat birds, we address the welfare of the bird,” she says, adding that improved rearing reduces food safety issues and increases economic viability. Records on production, health, farm visitors, abattoir culls and downgrades are valuable pieces of information, and also help raise awareness of ock health. “Record-keeping also promotes people to be looking at their birds in dierent ways,” she says. “It’s important for early disease detection.” The most common health concerns for BC’s small ocks include early chick mortality (rst week), coccidiosis, bacterial septicemia (E.coli, enterococcus), ascites, nutritional rickets, footpad erosions and foreign body impacts. Small ock producers can expect double the normal mortality rates of commercial growers, who expect 1.5% mortality between one and seven days, 2-3% at two to eight weeks and 0.25-0.5% per month in older birds. “Maybe we got lucky, but we didn’t have any mass fatalities,” says Fostvedt. It wasn’t luck. He learned at the workshop that he’d done things right. Bowes says it starts with preparing for chicks with clean litter about six inches deep. Litter should never be carpet, newspaper, sand or leaves. It also needs to be pre-warmed. “You have to heat everything up at least 24 hours before the arrival of the birds,” she says. “They are very temperature-sensitive.” Broilers hatch from about 40° C, so their brooding area should be quite warm in the rst week, then gradually cooled. Lighting should start at 23 hours a day and be dropped to a minimum of 18 hours. Knowing if birds are too hot, too cold or experiencing disease comes from watching them. “Learn how to read the birds,” says Bowes. A self-described novice, Fostvedt watched his birds carefully. “If they’re away from the heat lamp, it’s too close,” he says. “If they’re huddling right underneath it, it’s too far away. We’re going to start earlier this year with [increasing] the temperatures.” Water and feed need to be available immediately with four to six inches of feeder space per bird. Additionally, Bowes recommends a multi-vitamin for the rst three days. A variety of conditions can cause early mortality, such as yolk sac infection. If birds die in one to two days, she says it’s important information for the hatchery. At three days, any deaths are most likely an
36 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 37Researchers in the Peace have been able to identify which species of grasshoppers appear in the region, and when they are most likely to impact crops. KEITH ULOTHFarm and Rural Residential Properties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, AIC CandidateAppraiser250.firstname.lastname@example.orgKATE AYERS DAWSON CREEK – An eight-year run of pest monitoring data is benetting producers in the Peace country and beyond by providing valuable insights into the variability of pest issues. Collected through the BC Peace Pest Monitoring Project, the data supports farm management decisions locally and contributes to the direction of research through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network. “They use all the data that we collect for our annual crops for forecast modelling,” says the project’s research manager Keith Uloth. “We have eight years of data on certain insect populations, which is huge for a small project like us.” This project provides producers and agricultural organizations with information and updates relating to eld crop insect pests and diseases for both annual and forage crops. Originally known as the BC Peace Collaborative Pest Monitoring Pilot Project and spearheaded by the BC Grain Producers Association, the monitoring initiative began in spring 2014 and ran through winter 2015-2016. It included 17 sites across the region. Team members collected data on pests and benecial insects, weed distribution, pathogen occurrence and weather. The two-year pilot focused on canola and wheat elds to measure the diversity of benecial insects and pests. The project also proactively monitored for the cabbage seedpod weevil in canola, which has yet to make it to the Peace. Upon completion of the pilot, it became apparent that producers were interested in local pest information. In 2021, the project had 35 sites. Research in the BC Peace equips producers in the region to adapt to emerging pest issues. This data becomes even more important as climate change causes shifts in pest pressures. As a result of the interest and ndings of the pilot, the pest monitoring project has continued with past and current participation of many organizations including the BC Grain Producers’ Association, Peace Forage Seed Association, Peace River Regional Cattlemen’s Association and Climate and Agriculture Initiative BC. Most recently, the monitoring project has kept an eye out for species new to the region. “Ones that may not have made it this far north without climate change; pea leaf weevil seems to be expanding further north and west as the years go on,” Uloth says. “Japanese Beetle is one we’ve started actively monitoring for. It hasn’t been found and it doesn’t seem to be coming from the Lower Mainland, but it is a population that’s established in the east and there’s concern it might move west.” They are also monitoring Swede midge, which hasn’t been found yet in the Peace but is considered an emerging threat to canola. While this project provides valuable data for producers, monitoring continuity has its challenges. “Funding is a big one for us. Being a project, we have to apply for funding. We only get funding for two years at a time, ve years at most. Trying to get long-term funding has been hard,” says Uloth. Limited resources make it dicult for specialized sta to fully dedicate themselves to tasks at hand. The vastness of the BC Peace also makes it challenging for a single person to cover. It’s only been in the last two years that the project’s budget garnered enough money to hire a summer student. “The project does have one summer student for four months of the year and for the rest of the season it is just me,” Uloth says. “I do get a lot of help from the AAFC Beaverlodge IPM research lab (Jennifer Otani and her lab), and also our provincial plant health lab entomologists Tracy Heuppelsheuser and Susanna Acheampong.” Producer extension is another hurdle Uloth faces in the project. “A challenge that we continue to have is getting the information that we do collect out to our producers during the season and in the o season,” he says. Despite these challenges, the project continues to produce valuable ndings and grow in scope. “We have determined and nailed down species of grasshoppers that we have in the area as well as their annual cycle, which was something growers in the area were having trouble with,” Uloth says. The project has expanded monitoring to crops including eld peas, oats, barley, creeping red fescue, timothy, brome grass, legumes and apples. In 2020, the project also began monitoring for pest-related issues in market garden crops, haskap berries, strawberries and raspberries. In addition, Uloth works with a UBC researcher on stripe rust and diseases in forage seeds as well as with a researcher in Agassiz on click beetle populations. They are also looking at stem eye spot research in creeping red fescue. 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Box 18591Delta, BC V4K 4V7Phone: 778-434-3070 202-4841 Delta Street firstname.lastname@example.org Delta, BC V4K 2T9 www.fvopa.ca Proudly certifying Producers and Processors across CanadaFraser Valley Organic Producers Association (FVOPA) offers year-round certication services for producers, processors, packaging and labelling contractors, retailers, distributors and various organic service providers. We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and are always happy to welcome new members. FVOPA certies to the Canadian Organic Standards and to the Canada Organic Regime (COR). Certied products may bear the Canada Organic logo and be marketed Canada-wide and internationally. them predict, say, what the Bertha army worm populations might look like in the coming year or wheat midge, which is an insect that causes serious damage in wheat,” says Uloth. “[It] gives them a predictive tool that they can use to essentially gure out how much wheat they want to seed in a year or when they should be seeding. The data feeds towards that.” Funding for the project has been provided in part by the Peace Region Forage Seed Association, the BC Grain Producers Association and in part by the governments of Canada and British Columbia under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Funding is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC and the BC Agricultural Research & Development Corporation. This project is part of the Regional Adaptation Program delivered by the CAI BC. Researchers discover a world of apple microbiomesOf all fruits, apples are a steadfast consumer favourite. More than 50 varieties of apples are grown in Canada, with Honeycrisp, Ambrosia and Gala being the top three by sales. BC, Ontario and Quebec are the leading producers. In 2020, Canadian growers produced nearly 386 million kilograms (386,000 tonnes) of apples. USDA estimates global apple production at about 82 million tonnes, with China being the largest producer. But despite the abundance and variety of apples, post-harvest fruit diseases can result in 30% loss during storage and at various stages of the supply chain. Preventing the proliferation of pathogens during long-term storage to maintain fruit quality and safety is a challenge. While biological control strategies are emerging, scientists worldwide have recognized a need to further understand apple microbiomes. In 2018, international colleagues joined in a rst-of-its-kind study of apple microbe communities. “The apple microbiome study will lead to the mapping of population dynamics of pathogen and biocontrol agents in global apple production systems,” says Oualid Ellouz, a federal research scientist at the London Research and Development Centre. “AAFC scientists joined international colleagues to study apple microbiomes around the world to determine the eect of climate and management practices on the apple orchard microbiome.” One of the questions was whether all apple microbiomes are created equal or whether they are inuenced by climates, management practices and the cultivars themselves. Researchers collected and analyzed Gala apples from Canada, the US, Uruguay, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Israel. Tissue samples were taken from the apple calyx end (the remains of the blossom), the stem end, and peel. From DNA studies, the team found that the composition and structure of fungal and bacterial communities varied and were highly dependent on geographical location. “During harvest, the microbiome composition is strongly dependent on the geographical location, the prevailing climatic conditions and local management practices," says Ellouz. " In particular, the fungal diversity of the fruit is signicantly dependent on the location and suggests a relationship to the type and frequency of post-harvest diseases.” He adds that a continental pattern can be drawn, especially for the bacterial community, indicating adaptation of the apple microbiome to local environments. “The geographic location was the main factor shaping the structure of the apple microbiome,” he says. “However, tissue-type eect was greatly reduced when samples were pooled across the countries.” He says that the conditions – morphological, nutrient and environmental – present in each of the tissue-type microhabitats could play an important role in determining community structure. “The calyx end is an open site that may create a niche for specialized fungi causing rot. Understanding may improve fruit storageResearch by MARGARET EVANSFederal research scientist Oualid Ellouz in the orchard. SUBMITTEDErwinia species were found at higher abundance in the calyx-end tissue compared with the other tissue types, especially in Canadian apples. This can be explained by the fact that the calyx contains oral residues which are most aected by Erwinia amylvora, the cause of re blight disease of pome fruit.” In the study, 90 fungal and 57 bacterial classes were characterized. Some 75% of the samples consisted of only six fungal and two bacterial genera. Turkey had the highest diversity of fungi and Spain the lowest. Western US and Israel had the highest number of unique bacterial groups. The majority of the fungal core microbiome consisted of yeasts known to ght pre- and post-harvest pathogens. “Knowledge of the local microbiome will lead to mapping up of population dynamics of pathogen and biocontrol agents in that specic apple production geographical area,” he says. “Isolation and evaluation of ecient strains of antagonists which are area-specic will further pave the way for faster developments in biological control. Local biological control agents are well adapted to the local crop environment and to the target pathogen, and their conservation is generally simple and cost-eective.” Attention paid to the local microbiome will ultimately lead to better long-term quality of produce and safer products for the consumer. Knowing which post-harvest pathogens persist in the orchard microbiome will help in the selection of integrated pest management practices. Further research on the population dynamics of pathogen and biocontrol agents on fruit surfaces is planned based on funding opportunities. The research was published in the journal Environmental Microbiology.
Amy Lobb and husband Calum Oliver of Makoha Farm use social media to let their customers know what products are available. ROB CAMPBELLCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 39Farms meet the demand for local foodFarmers, restaurateurs fostered partnerships during pandemicMAKE A DIFFERENCE SALEVisit givergy.ca/MakeaDierenceSaleMARCH 7-10th 2022JOIN THE AUCTION ONLINE THIS YEAR! No one should face hunger! Together we can make a dierence.OVER $348,000RAISED IN 2021Online auction powered byCoee and snacks provided by RBC and Trouw Nutrition for Friday, March 11th pick upCanadianFoodgrainsbankAbbotsfordAuctionMakeaDifferenceSaleBid on an item, or donate one! You can help by donating livestock or any sellable merchandise, open to all dairy breeds and beef. Donations accepted until Friday, March 4th. Donations of cash and proceeds may be eligible for a charitable donation receipt from Canadian Foodgrains Bank.Contact Rob or Bob Brandsma to advertise on the auction website Cattle Gift baskets New tools86 HOURS OF AUCTION BIDDING! Monday, March 7th 7 am Online auction goes liveThursday, March 10th 9 pm Online auction closesFriday, March 11th 9 am to 3 pm All items won to be picked up at Abby Stockyard in Abbotsford, BC located at 34559 McClary Avenue Livestock feed and accessories Wheels of artisan cheeses Much more!TO DONATE AN ITEM CONTACTSAMPLE AUCTION ITEMS 2022 AUCTION SCHEDULECONNECT WITH USEmail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or phone:Rob Brandsma 604-834-4435Bob Brandsma 604-855-8016Caleb Brandsma 604-226-0340Grace Browne 604-799-2437John Bruinsma 604-835-0297Diane Bruinsma 604-845-7771Gary Baars 604-316-3244Denise Dejong 778-878-0440Matt Dykshoorn 604-768-0131Melanie Dykshoorn 778-240-4110Casey Pruim 778-242-2620INTERIOR BCJohn Born 250-253-2200Fred Brandsma 604-302-3801VANCOUVER ISLANDMatthew Brandsma 250-732-6353Bill Wikkerink 250-743-9276SUPPORTINGA Christian Responseto Hunger KATE AYERS SAANICHTON – The COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of many disruptions and challenges but lockdowns and more cooking at home has increased appreciation for local food and farmers. Chrystal Bryson and Ilya Amrhein of Square Root Organic Farm in Saanichton can attest to this outreach and support during uncertain times. “We feel like we’re very fortunate because the restaurants that we work with reached out to us when things started to go down in March 2020,” Bryson says. “Our main season hadn’t started … but restaurants reached out to let us know what their plans were. That they really wanted to [continue] working with us.” Square Root collaborates with several Victoria restaurants, including The Courtney Room, The Drake Eatery, Part and Parcel and Café Brio. The two-acre farm grows a wide array of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. It specializes in chicory crops. “There’s a unique connection between farms and restaurants that have relationships. … We understand each other’s work,” says Bryson. “Wonderful relationships can exist between farms and restaurants.” Square Root’s direct sales to restaurants increased throughout the pandemic. In fact, the demand for its products has been so high they were forced to turn down some partnership oers. “We want to make sure we’re supplying the restaurants we have with the best produce we have. We don’t want to overextend ourselves,” she says. Creative thinking Amy Lobb of Makoha Farm in Saanich fostered business partnerships before and during the pandemic and looks forward to continuing business with local companies beyond COVID-19, including restaurants Hanks and Nowhere and catering company Bramble by Bilston. She and her husband Calum Oliver grow organic produce and use regenerative practices on their 0.6-acre of leased land. They sell kale, fava beans, peas, salad greens, eggs, potatoes and specialty items such as black radishes. “The creative restaurants at that time when they couldn’t have people coming into restaurants are the ones we have ongoing relationships with,” Lobb says. “They found ways to still stay open as a business and engage with their customer base while also supporting my farm and other community farmers.” Ultimately, good rapport with their partners transforms business relationships into friendships. At the consumer end of the farm-to-table model, Fireside Grill managing partner Tim Petropoulos loves the aspect of staying and supporting local. But he says it can be hard for restaurant owners to nd local operations that can supply the volume of produce they need. Petropoulos buys produce for the Victoria restaurant directly from Michells Farm, Galey Farms, Perks Microgreens and Sun Wing Greenhouse Ltd. He also purchases items from local foragers. “We try to source at least 60% of our food from local farms. From our main suppliers like Sysco or Island West, we try to source products that they’re buying from farmers locally,” he says. “We buy local strawberries and raspberries when they’re in season and try to use those for a lot of the dishes that we have.” However, nding local producers and learning what and how much they can supply is a challenge for Petropoulos. “The challenge we nd with some of the local farmers is … that you have to nd them. They don’t come to you. They don’t have a co-op per se where you can go and source a lot of their products,” he says. “When we do menu planning, a lot of the times we decide the menu and then we have to go nd farmers and see who can supply it for the timeline that we need it for. … We try to nd as many as we can.” All the restaurants that collaborate with Square Root Farm reached out directly to initiate partnerships. Makoha Farm uses social media to inform consumers about what products are available and when. Overall, local businesses are keen to support one another now and long into the future. “If we didn’t have our local customers supporting us during the pandemic, we wouldn’t have survived. We understand that wholly and fully when it comes to supporting other businesses,” Petropoulos says.
40 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 41A BC blueberry grower is importing a new solar-powered blueberry harvester that not only saves money and labour but has a soft touch resulting in higher quality fruit. FILE PHOTOBetter berry harvester meets growers’ needsChilliwack marks Dutch harvester’s North American debutPETER MITHAM CHILLIWACK – With the cost of everything from fuel to labour rising, farmers face a challenging year when it comes to maintaining margins. But for Klaassen Farms Ltd. of Chilliwack, a novel solution arrived last summer in the form of a solar-powered and largely autonomous berry harvester that delivers top-quality fruit. “It was just an amazing experience to have a machine that’s solar-powered and basically you point it toward the row, give it a pat on the butt, wave goodbye and away it goes,” says Klaassen operations manager Dean Maerz, who oversees 90 acres of blueberries. “One machine replaces dozens of workers and handpickers, maybe even more than a dozen.” Developed by Fineeld, a Dutch company started by long-time blueberry growers and brothers Leon and Marcel Driessen, the machine’s use in Chilliwack last summer marked its debut in North America. Its arrival followed Klaassen’s positive experience with an earlier model. “The blueberry industry is getting more complicated and more expensive,” says Maerz. “You can’t spend a quarter of your operating budget on picking your crop, or even more than that, and be sustainable.” Klaassen has harvesters from Oxbo and Littau, but the machines aren’t gentle handlers. Bruising reduces fruit quality, resulting in lower returns to growers. Maerz was looking for something that would deliver top-quality fruit while addressing labour costs. A shortlist of 25 companies led him to Fineeld. Klaassen ordered four Harvy 200 machines, a platform for hand-harvesters, which went to work during the 2020 harvest. “Instead of having 50 or 60 pickers, we used 16 workers,” he says. “Our picking costs went from 75 cents down to about 25 cents per pound.” But he also saw the work Fineeld was doing on the Harvy 500, a largely autonomous unit that only requires workers to unload lugs lled with freshly harvested berries. Rather than dropping fruit onto a catchplate, the Harvy 500 gently brushes fruit into lugs. Tests routinely conrm that the berries are in equal or better condition to hand-harvested fruit. This is what Maerz experienced last year, something conrmed by Valley Select Foods Inc. “The berry quality was so pristine,” he says. The quality actually came out better than a hand-picked berry.” See PRISTINE on next page ohandlersequipment.comMORE BUILT-IN WEIGHTHEAVY DUTY STEEL FRAMETRACTOR TIMEVICTORIA 4377C Metchosin Rd. 250.474.3301 30 minutes from Victoria and 15 minutes from Hwy#1 in Metchosin.tractortime.comPREMIUM TRUCKPRINCE GEORGE1015 Great Street250.563.0696WILLIAMS LAKE 4600 Collier Place 250.398.7411premiumtruck.ca HANDLERS EQUIPMENTABBOTSFORD 339 Sumas Way 604.850.3601HOUSTON 2990 Highway Crescent 250.845.3333American Race Car Driver Tony Stewart on a Mahindra.
42 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCPursuant to my mission of blowing up farmer stereotypes and farm generalizations, I am pleased to announce that I have a complicated relationship with spring. On the one hand, I toe the line and experience spring as invigorating, promising and pretty. I also consider it demanding, awkward and unwelcome. Firstly, I am not looking forward to it and I am not at all yearning for green grass and warm soil. All of that means work. It also signals the passage of time and I nd myself clingier than I used to be in that regard. Secondly, it’s irritating how many clothes I use on market day. My market day wardrobe must accommodate winter conditions at either end of a city spring day and usually rain is involved. The highway south has been rather misused by winter this year and what with all the potholes, frost heaves, sheer ice and packed snow it would be silly to assume I won’t have to change a tire or dig around in a snowbank. I need clothes for that. Upon arrival in the city, I instantly overheat and look dirty. I must be warm and dry, functional and presentable: these are vast and varied requirements. Thirdly, nally, and for the rest of the article, I will address the most seriously awkward sign of spring: 100 lb sacks of seed potatoes and the very uncomfortable annual requirement to lift them. At least once each spring, often this very week, I nd myself standing at the intersection of bad planning and necessary seed potato purchasing, which everyone knows is at a pallet of 100 lb potato sacks. With no forklift. Beside a pick-up truck. Alone. I can lift them, but it’s never been pretty and is becoming less so. It strains every sinew and leaves me feeling shattered, both physically and mentally. With each year I am less inclined to even try and, happily, this is coinciding with a willingness (and surprising ability) to convincingly play the role of a helpless female until an alternate solution arrives. There are legendary farming fellows who can stride around the roothouse with one sack under each arm and toss the things overhead to the top of the pile. The fact that several of them hobble about with uncomfortable backs, shoulders and knees suggests I am not the only one thankful that they are no longer much of a thing. Sometimes, we lift them together. Very bonding. Nowadays, potatoes are more commonly stored and transported in 1,000 lb totes and 2,000 lb bags. The opportunity to be a legend still exists – anyone who can demonstrate exquisite control of the conveyor and exactly ll to the precise weight is much admired. The lifting is relegated to the machines. Potatoes are heavy, though, and sooner or later they need Spring demands the old heave-ho Most folks welcome spring but they’re not dealing with 100 lb sacks of potatoesFarm Story by ANNA HELMERto go into smaller containers. The average age on our farm not trending to broader shoulders and stronger backs, we have adjusted accordingly over the years, and we never thought 100 lb sacks were a good idea. We even minimize the use of weak, expensive and still-quite-heavy-enough-thank-you-very-much 50 lb boxes. A few years back, we made a rather massive investment in plastic trays which hold around 30 lbs. They are stackable, nestable and indestructible which does wonders for eciency. Best of all, they are liftable. Repeatedly. Recently, we got into 20 lb unwaxed boxes for home deliveries. Now this is a delightful way to carry potatoes around. The boxes don’t sag, drag or break. They t well in the farmstand cooler and on the back of a bike. Very importantly, I don’t have to fret about hurting regular people’s unaccustomed backs. I would be happy to never see another 100 lb sack in my life. However, I rather think I will. And soon. Anna Helmer farms in Pemberton and has unexplained dents in her trailer. PRISTINEnfrom pg 41Moreover, the amount of dropped fruit was just 6% or 7% compared to between 18% and 23% with conventional machines. “It’s not only no bruising, no losing, the business case is also very good for this machine,” says Fineeld business director Marcel Beelen, who visited Klaassen Farms with the company’s executive team in October. “The machine solves, basically, the labour problem – getting enough people. It solves the problem of quality – bruising. It solves the losing of good product on the ground. And then the fourth one, it’s green – not only the colour, but it has a solar roof.” Powered by a 20 kW battery good for six hours, the machine consumes 4 kW when moving at full speed. However, it usually moves much more slowly in-row, allowing the solar roof to recharge the battery in step with usage. “You don’t need to plug it into the wall,” says Beelen. “It recharges all day because it’s out in the eld.” A eld day last summer drew 50 participants from as far away as Georgia. Klaassen is now arranging to import additional units for growers elsewhere in North America. “It will be a real lift for our blueberry industry here as far as exposure,” he says.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 43MANUFACTURING A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS INCLUDING BRUSH MULCHERS | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS | PTO GENERATORS | AUGER DRIVESDRAINAGE PLOWS | TREE SPADES | TREE SAWS & SHEARS | BOOM MOWERS | TREE PULLERSFELLER BUNCHERS | EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | TRENCHERS | STUMP GRINDERSAdair Sales & Marketing Company Inc. 306-773-0996 | email@example.comLocate A Dealer OnlinePETER MITHAM LANGLEY – The prole of injuries in the farm sector varies little from year to year. WorkSafeBC reports that overexertion, falls and struck-by incidents represented 61% of claims in the past ve years. The most recent penalty levied against a farm by WorksafeBC followed one such incident. Rage’s Farms Ltd. on Vancouver Island was ned $7,644 for failing to provide fall protection for work done at elevations after a worker fell 11 feet from a steel gutter. But this spring, workers on farms aected by ooding will face more subtle hazards. The oods and landslides that followed heavy rains last fall scattered a range of debris on elds in the Fraser, Nicola and Similkameen valleys. On Sumas Prairie, the hazardous deposits include jagged pieces of glass, wood and metal. Workers may also encounter partially lled jugs of farm chemicals. In the Nicola Valley, wildres and mudslides have created unstable, pocked terrain. Many of the hazards are obscured or completely hidden, an issue that’s going to get worse as grass gets growing this spring. “It was already really scary riding up there after the res. Unstable banks everywhere, falling rocks,” says Merritt rancher Julia Smith, who assisted with response eorts in the region last year. “It’s going to be ugly.” To raise awareness of the hazards lingering after last year’s weather, AgSafeBC has developed a restart task management package to guide farm owners entering what promises to be a challenging season. Its safety advisors in the Fraser Valley are working with individual farm operations to prepare them to re-enter elds. Being prepared for foreign objects and unstable ground are among the many issues AgSafeBC is discussing with employers. In addition to the physical hazards, AgSafeBC also continues to deliver assistance in the areas of mental health and wellness. This is a primary focus area, it says, especially as farmers come to terms with what government programs will and will not cover. Taking steps to protect mental wellness can have physical benets, too, by keeping workers alert to the hazards they face. “There's nothing like stress and sleepless nights to set you up for a wreck,” says Smith. “As we gear up for another season without ever having had a chance to catch our breath from the last, particularly apocalyptic one, we need to take care of ourselves, and each other.” Safety in the spotlight as farms recoverProperties affected by floods hold hidden risksDebris and unstable soils in the wake of November’s oods and landslides are likely to increase the hazards for farmworkers as this year’s growing season gets underway. RONDA PAYNE
44 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThousands of BC farmers and ranchers turn to Country Life in BC every month to nd out what (and who!) is making news in BC agriculture and how it may affect their farms and agri-businesses! www.countrylifeinbc.com/subscribeCREDIT CARD # _________________________________________________________________ EXP _____________ CVV _____________ o NEW o RENEWAL | o ONE YEAR ($18.90) oT WO YEARS ($33.60) o THREE YEARS ($37.80) Your Name ____________________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________________ Postal Code _______________________________________ Phone _________________________ Email _______________________________________________________________ MAIL TO: 36 DALE RD, ENDERBY, BC V0E 1V4 subscriptions@ countrylifeinbc.com Please send a _______ year gift subscription to ______________________________________________________________ Farm Name ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________________ Postal Code ________ ______________________________ Phone _________________________ Email _______________________________________________________________ Henderson style has chins waggingWhen we left o last time, Clay had just asked Ashley if she could picture herself with him on an 80-acre family farm that he had been oered. Rural Redemption, Part 144, continues. Ashley took a long pause to consider Clay’s questions. “I love it here,” she said. “I was born here.” “Born here?” “Yes, the Ashley you’re in love with isn’t the one who moved here.” “Okay. What happened to the rst one?” “Do you remember telling me about your girlfriend from high school?” “Desiree?” “Yeah. You said she was mean and sarcastic and self-centered, and everything was some big drama.” Clay nodded. “Well, that was me when we moved here. If it wasn’t for here, it would probably still be me.” “I can’t imagine that, Ash. What made you change?” “Here did. The people, the horses, being able to walk out the back door and go into the woods, the way neighbours do stu for each other, and how you can go to the store and everyone knows your name and says hi. And then one day, there you were.” “I remember that day. There you were, too. Pretty and smart and cheeky and a killer sense of humour. I was pretty interested right o the bat,” said Clay. “So, the answer is yes. I’d denitely stay…if you were. And I’d be okay with the farm part, too, as long as I get to keep some horses and we get a dog.” “Horses and a dog, huh? I might need a little time to think it over, Ash. And you do know farmers live at work, right?” Ashley said she could think of a lot worse places to live and work. Clay said they should probably be heading for school. They arrived at the school in spectacular fashion half an hour later. The Packard caught all the boys’ attention. Clay caught all the girls’ attention and, eventually, Ashley caught everyone’s attention. “Do you think maybe we’ve overdone this a little?” asked Ashley. “About all you can do now is smile and wave,” said Clay. The whole event was the brainchild of a group of parents in response to the news that a traditional ceremony would be cancelled because of the pandemic. It was a drive-by. Graduates and their rides were marshalled in alphabetical order in the parking lot, then sent in a long, slow parade up the circular driveway in front of the school. Each grad stopped momentarily at the foot of the front steps where the principal announced their name and one of the teachers passed them an envelope. They pulled ahead and had a picture taken by a photographer while the classmate behind them was receiving their envelope. It looked a little like a re drill from one of the old Keystone Cops movies. Clay said it kind of reminded him of vaccinating calves back at the ranch. Once they were done, Clay pulled out and headed for the park in town by the beach. Ashley asked why and Clay said because some of the grads’ families were planning to take pictures there. Ashley said it was the rst she’d heard of it and if it was all the same to him, she’d just as soon give it a miss. Clay said that apparently one of the families was hers. “I thought there was going to be a surprise party back at Newt and my Gram’s place.” “That’s still a surprise by the way,” said Clay. “But this isn’t that.” Deborah and Susan and Christopher and Lisa Lundgren all waved as the Packard approached. Each of the women gave Ashley a hug and a compliment. Christopher wrapped his arms around her and kissed her forehead. “Way to go, sis!” he said as he swung her, feet o the ground, in three full circles. Everyone took turns taking everyone else’s picture with Ashley, and Christopher asked Clay for a look under the Packard’s hood. Deborah slipped her arm around Ashley’s waist, and they wandered o toward the beach. “I’m so proud of you honey,” said Deborah. “It hardly seems like yesterday that I was taking you to the rst day of kindergarten and here you are, nished school and all grown up. And looking absolutely radiant.” “Thanks for everything, Mom. Thanks for putting up with me. I know I was a savage little cow for a few years. Thanks for bringing us here and thanks for keeping us here. I love you.” “I love you, too, sweetheart.” They walked on silently for another minute. “Speaking of love, do you remember when I was 16 and told you and Daddy I was in love with Clay?” Deborah nodded. “And you said it might not last and I should slow down because he might not feel the same way?” “Yes.” “Look at this,” said Ashley holding the locket in her palm. “It’s beautiful.” “Read the back.” Tears started to roll down Deborah’s cheeks. “Are you surprised?” said Ashley. Deborah shook her head. “Not even a little bit. I could see this day coming since the rst time he drove you home. The poor guy never had a chance.” Susan suggested it was getting late and maybe they should head for home. Clay suggested that Christopher and Lisa ride home in the Packard’s rumble seat. Deborah wondered if that might not be a good idea, because there were no seat belts. Ashley said she was sure Lisa and Chris would be able to hold on to each other. They drove the long way home. When they walked into Newt’s parlour to a boisterous “SURPRISE,” Ashley feigned a big fright and turned her face against Clay’s chest. There was a small crowd: Newt and her grandma, her mother and father, Doug McLeod and a stranger named Delta Poindexter, Chris and Lisa, the Fitzpatrick’s, Mrs. Montgomery and Junkyard Frank who was there at his own invitation because the graduation picnic he had hatched for the following day was still up in the air and because he gured Harriet Murray might be willing to pay good money for anything juicy. Frank was at the general store rst thing the next morning. “Yessir, it’s a regular Peyton Place around here anymore.” Lois ignored the comment, but Frank said it again. Lois took a deep breath. “Okay, Frank, I’ll bite. Why is it a regular Peyton Place around here anymore?” Frank was o. “I wouldn’t of believed it if I didn’t see it with my own two eyes. Imagine being in the same room as all them Hendersons. His mother and Newt Pullman are shacked up, Henderson and his missus are getting divorced, the ink is barely dry on that and Douglas McLeod is making eyes at Deborah. Henderson’s cozying up to that woman who blew her tranny and moved in at Newt’s place, and young Christopher, who ain’t a kid no more, is all lovey-dovey with Thel and Eddie Eberhardt’s granddaughter Lisa, and to top it all o the daughter is barely out of high school and she’s all smooches and snuggles with Clayton Garrison who is Mary Balfour’s boy and’s milking cows at Fitzpatrick’s and gave her a silver necklace locket for a present. Me and Eunice were the only ones there that weren’t all over each other. I gured I might have to give her a big hug just so we weren’t sticking out like a couple of sore thumbs. And I’d bet good money somebody’s going to marry someone else somewhere along the line.” Lois bowed her head in silent prayer: Lord help us all. ... to be continuedWoodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 45Chilliwack teams plow past the century markStraight furrows, deep history for milestone eventThere was a time when steel-wheeled tractors weren’t welcome at the Chilliwack Plowing Match. Those times have changed. SYD PICKERELLGATORGATOR LOTTERYLOTTERYGRANDGRANDPRIZE:PRIZE:John Deere XUV 560E 4X4GATOR utility vehicleMust be 19+. Know your limit. Play within it.BUY YOUR TICKETS NOWwww.4hbc.caDAVID SCHMIDT CHILLIWACK – Saturday, April 2, promises to be an a-maze-ing day for the Chilliwack Plowing Society. That day will mark the 100th anniversary of the society’s annual plowing match, to be held at the Chilliwack Corn Maze in Greendale. When COVID hit a couple of years ago, it looked like the society would miss its goal of hosting plowing matches for 100 consecutive years, but a concerted effort to hold unofficial matches in both 2020 and 2021 meant the society is now able to fulfill its dream of celebrating a true 100th anniversary. Although there had been earlier one-off matches in Abbotsford and Delta in the late 1910s and early 1920s, the Chilliwack match got started in 1923 and never stopped. The first few matches were limited to teams of horses but they were soon joined by farmers wishing to show off their new-fangled tractors. The Township of Chilliwack put a stop to that almost immediately, passing a bylaw prohibiting tractors on public roads – saying the lugs on their steel wheels caused too much damage to the roads. Tractors didn’t return to the Chilliwack match until the late 1930s, by which time rubber tires had replaced steel wheels. Interestingly, Ray Ramey and his daughter Hunter have brought steel-wheeled tractors back to the match in recent years and it is hoped one or both will make an appearance again this year. The annual match became a big event, reaching its zenith in 1950 when there were over 55 competitors and more than 3,000 spectators. “The whole town used to shut down on plowing match day,” says CPS president Francis Sache. While he does not expect that many competitors or spectators this year, he hopes to exceed both the 20 competitors and 300 paying spectators of recent years. Corn maze hosts The Chilliwack Corn Maze is doing all it can to make the event a huge success. This year’s entry fee of $10 for adults includes a pancake breakfast, tours of the maze’s buildings and grounds, strolling musician Ryan McAllister, horseshoeing demonstrations, kids games and the Atchelitz Threshermen’s Association display of old engines. Sache is one of five Chilliwack plowmen to represent Canada in the world ploughing championships, competing in the reversible plow class in both 2008 and 2018. The local list is led by Charlie Thomson, who competed in the world championships four times, returning home with a gold medal in sod in 1984. Other Chilliwack plowmen at the world championships were Charlie Hayton, Tom Hickman and Bill Higginson. Higginson is the only one to compete in both the conventional and reversible plow classes. The match promises to be extra special for one competitor. For Dugan Montjoy of Lillooet, this will be the 25th consecutive Chilliwack Plowing Match he has participated in. “The horses are always most popular with the spectators and Dugan is one reason why. We are going to take a few minutes during the match to honour his faithful participation for so many years,” Sache says. “Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 firstname.lastname@example.org
46 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCI add nutritional yeast, oat bran and sesame seeds for avour, crunch and nutrition to a pretty standard whole wheat bread. Often I use whole wheat our in this bread instead of a cup of white our and it turns out great. I sometimes add a few spoonfuls of sunower seeds to it for added texture and taste. 1 1/2 c. (375 ml) water 2 tbsp. (30 ml) skim milk powder 2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil 2 tbsp. (30 ml) honey 1 1/2 tsp. (8 ml) salt 1 tbsp. (15 ml) nutritional yeast akes • Measure ingredients precisely, using a spatula to level the dry measures, and place into the bread pan of your breadmaker in the order listed here. (Incidentally, the honey won't stick to the measuring spoon if you use the same one you used for the oil, after measuring the oil.) • Put bread pan into the breadmaker according to the machine instructions, select a whole grain setting to bake and press the start button. • I prefer to make two smaller loaves, so I press the Dough setting and remove the dough to a board when it’s ready. I slice it in half and use two smaller pans, forming loaves and putting them into each pan. They rise on the counter, covered with a tea towel, for about 3/4 to one hour. I then bake them for 30 to 45 minutes in a pre-heated 350°F oven. • Tap the bottom of the loaf to make sure they sound hollow before letting each loaf cool on a rack, after removal from the pans. • Makes one large or two small loaves.JUDIE’S BREAD MACHINE BREADAdding a cup of whole wheat our, and maybe some sunower seeds, makes fresh baked bread even better. JUDIE STEEVESSpring has sprung! Time to make bread!With spring on the way, it’s time to make the rst forays back into eating al fresco. Take a few slices of still-warm, fresh, homemade bread out onto the patio or deck with a few spoonfuls of that Ginger-Pear Chutney you made last fall, a nice sharp local cheddar cheese, a few pickles from last fall’s canning session and enjoy a Ploughman’s Lunch. That’s a pretty simple lunch that would taste delicious in the fresh air, particularly on a sunny day, whether it’s warm or not. Just dress for the weather. A tray to hold it all and a couple of napkins and you’re set. It all revolves around a still-warm, homemade bread fresh from the oven. And, with a breadmaker, it’s pretty simple to make good bread. However, I nd many of the bread machine recipes are for white bread, which lacks the nutrition of a whole grain bread, as well as the avour. Now, if you can nd a stone-ground whole wheat our to use in your favourite bread recipe, you can up the avour quotient immeasurably. Jude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESOn March 20, you can celebrate the onset of longer days than nights, as we pass the Spring Equinox, when This is not high in fat or sugar, but it’s full of avour. 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 1 small onion 6-8 mushrooms 2 tbsp. (30 ml) fresh ginger 1 orange 1 tsp. (5 ml) orange zest 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) crushed chili pequins 1 tsp. (5 ml) szechuan peppercorns, optional drizzle of cooking oil freshly-ground black pepper sprinkle of cinnamon sea salt, to taste 2 tbsp. (30 ml) dry sherry 1/4 c. ( 60 ml) chicken stock • Chop chicken thighs into small dice. Chop onion and slice mushrooms. Slice ginger and cut into small matchsticks. Zest an orange and cut it up to squish the juice into the chicken mixture later. • Finely mince the chilies and nely grind the peppercorns, if using. • Drizzle cooking oil into a saute pan over medium-high heat and soften the ginger, onion, and then the mushrooms, stirring occasionally. • Push the onions and mushrooms to the side and add the chicken bits to the pan. Turn the heat to medium and turn over the chicken. • Mince the orange zest and add it to the pan with the chilies and the szechuan peppercorns, if using. Stir and then grind black pepper over it all, along with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sea salt. • Cook for a minute until the chicken is just cooked through, then squeeze the orange juice over it all and add the sherry. • Add chicken stock to the pan and stir well, to combine everything. • Serve over raw, cleaned spinach leaves. Serves 2-3.WARM SPINACH SALAD WITH SAUCY CHICKENdaylight and night are equal in length. I love those lengthening days of spring, which culminate in the Summer Solstice June 21, and the longest day of the year. Garden planning is nearly at an end now, and I’ve begun planting vegetable seeds and plants I started indoors, while my mouth waters for the fresh, crisp greens harvested close to home instead of half a continent or a world away. From the rst spears of chives and asparagus to the young sprouts of green onions and radishes, spring is a wonderful time for everyone who loves to eat fresh, local produce. March is also the month some people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and I always feel that eating a mound of green is way better than just adding green food colouring to beer! With spring, fresh, local greens abound, so pick or pick up a bunch of fresh, local spinach leaves, which are nutritional powerhouses, and incorporate them into whatever meal you’re making. They’re great as a salad, slightly steamed, or under a saucy chicken, pork or beef dish. We can celebrate both spring and our Irish roots together! 2 1/4 c. (560 ml) whole wheat our 1 tbsp. (15 ml) gluten powder 1 c. (250 ml) white our 1/2 c. (125 ml) oat bran 1/4 c. (60ml) sesame seeds 1 1/2 tsp. (8 ml) bread machine yeast
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2022 | 47ZcXjj`Ô\[j7Zflekipc`]\`eYZ%ZfdfiZXcc1-'+%*)/%*/(+C@E<8;J1),nfi[jfic\jj#d`e`dld(*gclj>JK#\XZ_X[[`k`feXcnfi[`j%),;@JGC8P8;J1),gclj>JKg\iZfclde`eZ_M[WYY[fjcW`ehYh[Z_jYWhZi$TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTREAL ESTATEREAL ESTATEFOR SALE FOR SALEHAYSEEDBERRIESFor Tissue Culture Derived Plants of New Varieties of Haskaps, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Saskatoon Berries and Sour Cherries, Please Contact:DISEASE FREE PLANTING STOCK OF NEW BERRY CROPS 4290 Wallace Hill Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 4B6info@agriforestbiotech.com250.764.2224www.agriforestbiotech.com NEW POLYETHYLENE TANKS of all shapes & sizes for septic and water storage. Ideal for irrigation, hydropon-ics, washdown, lazy wells, rain water, truck box, fertizilizer mixing & spray-ing. Call 1-800-661-4473 for closest distributor. Manufactured in Delta by Premier Plastics Inc. premierplastics.com Feeders & Panels that maintain their value!ROUND BALE FEEDERS BIG SQUARE BALE FEEDERS FENCE PANELS CATTLE & HORSE FEEDERSHEAVY DUTY OIL FIELD PIPE CRADLE FEEDERS. Single big square or 2 round bales Outside measurement is 8 feet x 12 feet Silage bunk feeders For product pictures, check out Double Delichte Stables on Facebook Dan 250/308-9218 Coldstream DON GILOWSKI 250-260-0828 Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd BUYING OR SELLING OKANAGAN FARM, RANCH OR ACREAGE? COURTENAY HEREFORDS. Cattle for Sale: yearling bulls and bred heifers. John 250/334-3252 or Johnny 250-218-2537.PYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 email@example.com www.coppercreekranch.com PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE.RAVEN HILL MEADOWS: Coneygeers bloodlines - call for seedstock. 250-722-1882. NanaimoLIVESTOCKIt’s the top linethat makes the Bottom LineBC SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION Scott Fraser, President Bob Merkley, BC Director 250-709-4443 604-607-7733APRIL DEADLINE MARCH 19DeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCUSED JD TRACTORS 60-100 HP JD 1120 TRACTOR W/LDR SOLD! JD 6405 4WD, 90 HP, LOADER AVAILABLE CALL JD 7200 4WD OPEN STATION PWR QUAD TRANSMISSION CALL JD 1630 W/LDR 14,000 JD 3155 4WD W/CAB 38,000 JD620 21’ disc dbl fold 20,000 ED DEBOER 250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/838-9612 cell 250/804-61471-888-770-7333Call Daryl 604-855-2287SHOP & INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT • BIG HYSTER FORKLIFT High Lift Lumber Style, 8 ft tines extensions on propane. $5,500 • 3PH HYSTER FORK LIFT Heavy Duty attachment. $,2200. Other fork-lifts and attachments. • FORD NH by-directional Attach-ments; Fork-Lift $3500, loader silage forks/grapple $1,000 • ROAD SANDER Dump or deck mount, self contained power unit, medium size. $2,200 • BIG ROAD SANDER S/A Semi Trailer with liquid additive applicator, S/C. Power, X. VGR Airport, mint condition. $12,500 • FORD 4610 Tractor, 60HP, Narrow and low profile 2WD, Nice Cond, $11,500 • GALLION CRANE All Terran 4X4, IH diesel, extension boom with cable winch. $4,750 • AIR COMPRESSORS Various electric shop and portable diesel trailer style. $750 to $5,500 • BAND SAW for metal, used little, $750. • SHOP WELDERS $250 and up. • BELT CONVEYOR gravel/soil HD in-dustrial 50’x3’ electric on wheels. $7,500 • SCREENER Double Deck separator, belt driven, has been used for wood chip. $2,500 • LOADER ASSEMBLIES: FORD/NH 8360, CASE 56L, IH Ind, Allied 784, Tiger, etc. Call for details. • EXCAVATOR RIST A TWIST 50” cleaning bucket, NEW! $2,600. Many other buckets, call for details. • NEW SKID-STEER Bale Spear $550, Pallet Forks $950, Also used pieces. • OLDER FARM TRUCKS & PARTS Call Jim’s cell for hard to nd items If you’ve been trying to reach me on my landline, please call or text my cell 604-556-8579 LOWLINE semen for sale (registered bull). Silverhills Lowlines 250-547-6465 firstname.lastname@example.org 1/2 yr old dry GUERNSEY COW w/7 month-old crossbred calf optional. 250-442-2364S2-100 LORENTZ SOLAR PUMP w/module. New. $2,740 250-442-2364Purebred BLACK ANGUS cow/calf pairs born in October Bull now with cows, down sizing 12 pairs to go Call Ian @ 604-316-3517 or email@example.com Shadynook LowlinesImprove your efciency and moderate the size of your cows with top quality Lowlines 2-year-old bulls and yearling bulls and heifers available Enderby, BC 250-833-0491 firstname.lastname@example.orgCUSTOM BALING 3x4 BIG SQUARES SILAGE BALING/WRAPPING ED DEBOER 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/804-6147EDVENTURE HAY SALES ENDERBYYOURHelping YouHelping Youcoucountrylifeinbc.comylifeinbc.comFARM NEWS UPDATEScountrylifeinbc.comcouADVERTISING THAT WORKS!Pacifc Forage Bag Supply Ltd.www.pacificforagebag.comCall 604.319.0376KOMONDOR Livestock Guardian pups for sale born in October. Currently living with sheep. Clearwater, BC. Contact Jeff 250-674-7111 or email@example.comCarrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 DISCOVER PRINCE GEORGE PRINCE GEORGE & AREA SUBDIVISION LOTS: PARADISE ESTATES: R2628217; R2628221; R2629299 and more lots available in this subdivision. GLADTIDING ESTATES: R2598853; R2598860; R2599054 and more lots available in this subdivision. TABOR LAKE Ready to build on 4 acres R2648043, $209,000 LOG HOME custom built, 30 fenced acres, 50x50 shop, MLS R2648543 $1,245,000 192 ACRES on edge of PG. Zoned forestry, ag, residential. MLS R2649969 $795,000 PRIVATE OASIS steps from Fran-cois Lk, 5.1 acres, 2 homes, MLS R2654629 R199,900 SAXTON LAKE ROAD: R2610535 R2610527; R2610554 and more lots available in this area. EQUESTRIAN/CATTLE RANCH. Out-standing 445 acre property w/~250 acres in hay/pasture, updated home, MLS R2604494 $1,650,000 CRANBROOK HILL 77 acres w/dev potential minutes from UNBC. MLS R2640598 $1,500,000 HART HWY 54.95 acres. MLS R2640583. $750,000. CLOSE TO DOWNTOWN 8.3 acres. MLS R2610880 $295,000 74 ACRES w/ 20,000 sq ft bldg., 40 acres cultivated. MLS C8041167 $1,700,000 ESCAPE the city. Two lots in Willow River, 22,500 sq ft. MLS R2591708, $28,900 69+ ACRES ON RIVER Approx 50 acres in hay. River, road access. MLS R2569334 $785,000 RANCH PARADISE 700 acres, 5 titles, 160 acres in hay. MSL C8038028 $1,244,421 55 ACRES Dev potential close to airport. MLS R2435958, $544,900 112.02 ACRES IN CITY LIMITS. Potential for development. MLS R2435725. $1,300,000 VANDERHOOF 2 homes on 160 acres (95 in hay) MLS R2615764 $899,900 TREED LOT on edge of the Fraser. MLS R2622560 $250,000 160 ACRES waiting for ideas. MLS R2622568 $ 229,900 2 LOTS IN ONE PKG! 3.55 acres residential Quesnel R2628232 $199,000 SALMON VALLEY lot w/dev potential. MLS R2640612 $275,000 2 ACRES SALMON VALLEY 3 bed/2 bath mobile, RV storage, gh, MLS R2642918 $419,000YOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESYOURping Youpingpgpping YouiWSWSSign up for FREE today
48 | MARCH 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCA SHARED HERITAGE OF QUALITYMatch Kubota’s dependable equipment to the implements that work best for your needs. Whether it’s cultivation, seeding, forage, hay or crop care—Kubota and Kverneland have you covered.For quality and innovation you can trust, contact your local Kubota Canada dealer—the source for your Kverneland parts, service and new equipment needs.kubota.ca | 1521 Sumas Way, Box 369Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568avenuemachinery.caAVE010kubota.ca | 1521 Sumas Way, Box 369Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568AVE010OLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524 PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431 SMITHERS HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/847-3610 VERNON AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/545-3355 ABBOTSFORD AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 604/864-2665 COURTENAY NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR 250/334-0801 CRESTON KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD 250/428-2254 DAWSON CREEK DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/782-5281 DUNCAN ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD 250/746-1755 KAMLOOPS DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/851-2044 KELOWNA AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/769-8700 PROUD PARTNER OF