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. 109 No. 3The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 MARCH 2023 | Vol. 109 No. 3POLITICS Farmers question regenerative ag agenda 7 WATER Trust lacking between well owners, province 11 PROCESSING Livestock response unit called into action 23PETER MITHAM DELTA – Kale was the fastest-growing vegetable in BC by acreage in 2022, according to Statistics Canada data that shows eld vegetable acreage in the province is on the decline. BC growers tended 13,146 acres of vegetables in 2022, according to Statscan’s annual report on fruit and vegetable acreage, released February 16 (potatoes and greenhouse crops are considered separately). This was down 7% from a year earlier and 4% from the ve-year average. But within those numbers, kale took top-spot as the fastest-growing crop, with acreage rising 55% versus 2021 and 36% over the ve-year average to 149 acres. The rise of kale is part of greater interest in leafy greens, with lettuce ranking second among the fastest-growing vegetables by acreage. Growers devoted 598 acres to lettuce in 2022, up 45% from 2021 and 20% higher than the ve-year average. The strength of leafy greens relates not only to a favourable climate but also market opportunities. The province’s most lucrative crops on a per-acre basis are spinach, at $28,051 per acre, followed by kale at $21,932 per acre. Its fast-growing counterpart, lettuce, generated farmgate receipts of nearly $9.5 million for growers last year, or more than $15,855 an acre. This puts it ahead of the top-grossing crop in BC, cabbage, which Horticulturist Molly Thurston attracted a keen audience for a tree pruning workshop at Claremont Ranch in Lake Country in February. Thurston says pruning is critical to orchard health and vitality. Getting out dead wood, training the tree and getting light to the branches encourages vigour and great fruit. She says this winter's cold snaps mean growers really need to watch their trees to determine if or how much to prune. MYRNA STARK LEADERKale acreage on fast trackPETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Damage from the atmospheric rivers that ooded Sumas Prairie farms in November 2021 is forcing the province to relocate its Plant and Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford. “It was severely damaged by the ooding, too, and completely inoperable for months,” BC agriculture minister Pam Alexis told producers gathered for the annual BC Agriculture Gala in Abbotsford on January 25. Besides the damage Health labs to be rebuiltNo easy fix for flood damageThe right cutForage Seed1-800-661-4559Produced by & available atMore secure location uGood news u
2 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCgenerated farmgate receipts of $13.6 million last year, or $13,953 per acre. The appeal has large growers like Quebec-based VegPro expanding lettuce production in the Okanagan to serve regional markets and compete against product from California. Lettuce also commands a premium at farmers markets, prompting many smaller growers to plant what can be a year-round crop in many of the province’s more temperate regions, providing steady cash ow. But leafy greens remain small potatoes when it comes to the province’s major eld vegetables. Potatoes are large enough to warrant their own report, with 5,200 acres planted last year. Challenging conditions last spring cut seeding by 1,100 acres from a year earlier, and a similar story played out for sweet corn, the second most-planted eld vegetable by area with 1,858 acres in 2022. This was down 21% from the ve-year average, but nevertheless gave it a dominant position over other veggies. Peas, primarily a processing crop, ranked second with 1,370 acres, up 16% from a year earlier and 28% over the ve-year average. With few exceptions, growers of all vegetables saw better prices last year, with farmgate receipts totalling $119.9 million, up 10% from a year earlier. This marked a sharp increase from the ve-year average, pointing to the eects of higher input costs and inationary pressures on what growers had to charge. Higher revenues for fruit Statscan delivered similarly good news with respect to BC fruit production. All crops except apples and blueberries saw farmgate revenues increase last year, for total receipts of $454.7 million. Blueberries accounted for the largest share, with $156.6 million in sales despite a 1% drop in production. Sweet cherries ranked second, with more than $80 million in sales while grapes came in third with nearly $75 million in sales despite a 7% decrease in tonnage. But the fastest-growing crops were raspberries and pears, crops that have both seen signicant investment in recent years geared towards renewal and greater eciencies. Raspberries saw marketed production rise 45% to 5,290 tons for a 50% increase in farmgate receipts to $17.2 million. In a promising sign, revenues were up 9% over the ve-year average even as production remained 14% below the ve-year average. This points to plenty of room for the sector to catch up as provincial replant funding supports the ongoing renewal of elds following years of poor weather and discouraging returns. Kelowna-based Day’s Century Growers investment in a state-of-the-art packing line in 2019 gave it the capacity to handle all the pears grown in BC, and Statscan’s numbers point to a parallel increase of pear production in the province. Pear tonnage increased 17% last year to 5,107 tons. While this was down 3% from the ve-year average, farmgate revenues rose 25% to $5.95 million, indicating a higher price per ton. Despite strong revenue growth, just two crops saw a signicant increase in bearing acreage last year. Sweet cherries increased 7% to 5,623 acres, and raspberries increased 6% to 1,925 acres. common to ooding, the incinerator, power systems and other critical equipment was damaged. “Though we managed to restore services in the months that followed and have almost returned to full testing capability now, it was clear that to provide the level of support that BC farmers need for the animals and plants, a dierent facility in a more secure location is required,” Alexis says. The labs gradually reopened between March and May 2022 but the facilities remain so compromised that rebuilding is the only way to restore them to anything near the level of biosecurity and testing capability they had prior to fall 2021. The Animal Health Centre describes itself as “the leading accredited full-service veterinary laboratory in Western Canada, oering more than 400 laboratory diagnostic tests for agents that may be found in wild and domestic birds, mammals, sh, reptiles and amphibians.” It also provides diagnostic services for companion animals, captive and free-ranging wildlife, zoo animals, sh, fur-bearers and bees. An upgrade 15 years ago added a Containment Level 2 lab, the only one west of Winnipeg. But when avian inuenza broke out last April, tissue samples initially had to be sent out of province for testing because provincial lab services were unavailable. Testing resumed in late April but the lab remains unable to perform cultures for avian inuenza and cannot oer electron microscopy. Horses greater than 80 kg cannot be submitted for necroscopy. While the lab has been an important part of the province’s response to avian inuenza, BC Egg Marketing Board executive director Katie Lowe says having a new, fully functional lab is critical to the long-term success of the industry. “We discovered how important the lab is to the egg industry when it was forced to close during the ooding in November 2021,” she says. “The lab sta perform a huge amount of work for all forms of agriculture, so having a larger lab located outside of the ood plain where it can continue its work in all types of weather is essential to BC’s farmers.” The dairy sector also applauded the decision rebuild the lab within the Fraser Valley, where it will be within reach of producers. “The lab is a really important facility, playing a key role in BC agriculture,” a statement provided to Country Life in BC by the BC Dairy Association said. “We appreciate the province’s commitment to building a new facility in the Fraser Valley to replace the current one damaged in the 2021 oods.” The labs will have a renewed provincial focus, according to Alexis. When the business plan is released later this year, it will provide details including a project budget, timeline, potential locations and opportunities to support testing facilities across the province. Alexis believes the new facility “will be one of Canada’s leading, full service veterinary laboratories.” While a new plant health centre will be part of the reconstructed facility, blueberry growers were less enthusiastic about the announcement. A growing number of viruses have been challenging producers in recent years, including blueberry scorch virus, but the BC Blueberry Council declined comment. “[We] will re-evaluate when lab development details are more clear,” says Clara Moran-Sakalauskas, public relations manager with the council. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 3Proposal aims to include 305 acres within the ALRPETER MITHAM LANGLEY – All going well, the Heppell family will once again begin planting potatoes this month on 220 acres they’ve farmed in the Campbell Heights area since 1974. The south-facing uplands are well drained, allowing the Heppells to get on the elds early and begin planting well before most other elds in the region – or Canada, for that matter – are available. It’s also productive, supplying 70% of the domestic potatoes marketed in BC between May and August last year. But the future of the property hangs in the balance, as the federal government has declared it as surplus to its needs. Since 2021, Public Works and Procurement Canada has been quietly moving towards disposing of what many see as a critical element of BC’s domestic food security. It is currently consulting the local Kwantlen, Katzie and Semiahmoo First Nations regarding their historical association and use of the site before moving towards a public oering of the property that could see it could fetch millions for industrial development. The prospect of losing highly productive and actively farmed land prompted BC’s Agricultural Land Commission to give notice December 7 of its plans to include the ve parcels that make up the site – a total of 305 acres – within the Agricultural Land Reserve. “Given the long-standing agricultural use and productivity of the properties, the Commission considers that the lands may be suitable for inclusion to the ALR,” the ALC said at the time. A public hearing on the proposal took place January 23, and drew a standing room-only crowd of more than 250 people who were unanimous in their support of the proposal. “When it comes to food security in BC, [this land] is priceless,” says Murray Driediger, president and CEO of BC Fresh, the rst of more than 30 speakers, including politicians, business leaders and concerned citizens. “There is a severe shortage of land that can produce crops reliably.” The land dries out quickly in the spring, allowing for early access, and unlike lower-lying areas, has never been subject to ooding. “We’ve never lost a potato or carrot or anything to oods,” says Ron Heppell, who took the helm of the 105-year old business in 1963 before selling it to the family’s next generation in 1993. “This land ticks all the boxes,” says Mike Bose, who has decades of experience farming in Surrey and now serves as a city councillor. “This land has drainage, it has water, it has a microclimate.” He says it would be an “absolute injustice” to let it be developed. Speaking on behalf of the BC Agriculture Council, long-time potato grower Bill Zylmans says the land “provides consistency to regional food supply.” “The potential loss of this area would equal a clear deterioration of regional food security in Canada and the resilience of Western Canada’s food system,” Zylmans told the ALC. Surrey councillor Linda Annis notes that Surrey unanimously voted to put the land into the ALR last year following an initial outcry over the potential loss of the land for agriculture in June. It rearmed that decision on February 13. Close to 80,000 people have signed an online petition asking municipal and provincial governments to protect the land from development, and for the federal government to grant a long-term lease to the Heppells. Of 365 written submissions received prior to the public hearing, just two expressed opposition – both due to a lack of broad consultation. “We believe the process should take into account broader regional interests and the totality of land-use and land utilization across the region,” the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade noted, pointing to the region’s dual shortage of housing and industrial land. However, its plea was oset by the Surrey Board of Trade, which set aside its pro-development attitude in favour of championing local food production. “While we are supportive of the need to intensify and create industrial lands (employment lands), we recognize and appreciate that at the same time we need to harness and sustain local food production,” SBOT president and CEO Anita Huberman said A public hearing about the future of 305 acres of farmland in Surrey drew at least 250 people in January, all of whom spoke in favour of having the federally owned parcel included in the ALR. RONDA PAYNEProvince makes bid to protect Surrey farmland %PXOUPXO3FBMUZtOE4U7FSOPO#$t0óDFPat | 250.308.0938QBUEVHHBO!SPZBMMFQBHFDBThea | 250.308.5807UIFBNDMBVHIMJO!SPZBMMFQBHFDB6475 COSENS BAY RD, COLDSTREAMwww.FarmRanchResidential.ca “Farmers helping farmers with their real estate needs”Private and spacious 183 acres off the grid with large 4 bed/2 bath home w/valley, mountain views. 28x38 shop, 20x40 machine shed. Updated solar panels, new well. Five acres game-fenced, balance open and treed parcels. MLS®10268123 $1,595,000248 BEAR VALLEY RD, LUMBYPERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION Greenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmProtection NetsMulch Film Landscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTwine & Net WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain Seed1.800.663.6022ofﬁce@silagrow.com5121 - 46 Ave S.E. Salmon Arm, BCPick Up & Delivery Only 112-18860 24 Ave. Surrey, BCsilagrow.comin her submission. “Given the unique nature of this piece of land, using it for anything other than agricultural purposes will be an economic and food security disaster for British Columbia.” “We support keeping these lands as food producing lands,” she told the public hearing in January. There is no timeline for a decision, but senior levels of government have shown an understanding of the need to factor agricultural and environmental considerations into their decisions. In November 2021, the federal government nixed a bid by CP to establish a logistics park in Pitt Meadows that would have developed 100 acres of farmland within the ALR. There’s no timeline for deciding whether or not to include the Campbell Heights lands in the ALR. Comments from the federal government and engagement with aected First Nations is still expected and will likely inform the timing of things on a go-forward basis,” ALC CEO Kim Grout told Country Life in BC. –With les from Ronda Payne
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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.109 No. 3 . MARCH 2023Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham email@example.com Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover firstname.lastname@example.org Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Welcome back, Kotter!My earliest farm memory is being terrorized by a cranky goose taller than I was on a farm somewhere in Langley Prairie. My recollections of the rest of the farm and the rest of that day are vague but I’d still recognize that goose anywhere. The next farm memory is of happier times among the crops and hens at my grandparent’s farm in South Burnaby. I’ve been thinking about those grandparents a lot since reading Ronda Payne’s Viewpoint column, Does farming need to be a full-time job?, in the February issue. Though my grandfather worked briefly on a farm near Chase before he married, farming afterward, part-time or otherwise, was never his job at all. What seemed a farm to four-year-old me was really the backyard and vacant lot next door to their house on 17th Ave. My grandfather worked as a warehouse shipping clerk but the fruit, vegetables, berries, eggs and chicken he raised at home fed his family and helped many a needy neighbour from the start of the Depression until the mid 1970s. In their day, my grandparents would have been referred to as home-gardeners, and would have agreed with that, but Ronda’s column has me wondering. They were tireless and dedicated to growing a secure supply of food, safely, sustainably and affordably. That sounds an awful lot like the outcome the premier has instructed the new agriculture minister to shoot for, albeit on a much smaller scale. The headline to Payne’s column asks if farming needs be a full-time job. According to the Canada Revenue Agency, if you make less than half of your income from farming you are a part-time farmer. By that logic, a part-time farmer could graduate to full-time farming simply by losing their off-farm job. Given the 2021 census report that BC farmers and ranchers generate 75% of their income from other sources, we can fairly conclude that the average farmer or rancher falls into the part-time category. This will come as shocking news to a great many of those producers. Some, I suspect, will be downright angry to hear it. The reality, of course, is that full-time farming or ranching all too often provides a part-time income. It has always been thus. One of the common denominators of nearly all the farmers and ranchers I have known, big or small, is the persistent need to find other money to keep the bills paid. Many of the farm and ranch families in BC live on leftovers, in that the money they are paid is whatever is left over when all the rest of the accounts are settled. The current BC living wage for a family of four with two full-time wage earners averages $22 per hour. That works out to about $88,000 a year. Given that 66% of all BC farms gross less than $50,000 per year, the necessity of off-farm income should be obvious, even to the deep thinkers at the CRA. In a province with a growing population and declining food self-sufficiency, with shrinking farm acreage and fewer and fewer, older and older operators, all of the labels and hairsplitting over who gets called what are meaningless. Payne’s conclusion is bang on: food matters, every little bit counts, and at the end of the day, someone is growing it. There are questions here the public in general, and politicians and bureaucrats specifically, might want to think about. Given the fact that farmers need to generate 75% of their income from other sources and that half of them are old-age pensioners, why do they keep doing it? And what would it be like if they didn’t? Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.4 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCollective wisdomSpring is a season of new beginnings. While many farmers spend long nights tending to newborn lambs, calves and preparing fruiting plants for new growth, it’s the frolicking lambs and fluffy chicks who are stars of the show. Youth is also the focus when we think about renewing the farm sector. Wringing our hands over how the average age of farmers is increasing, we create new entrant programs to create a pathway for younger growers to enter the sector. We wonder how to shake up the sector with fresh ideas, and position the sector among the life sciences and high tech with a view to attracting the whiz kids of computer science to the sector (a fireside chat the Canadian Federation of Agriculture held with media a couple of years ago outlined this very scenario). Too often, however, we overlook the fact that change often comes from within. An old parable, which should resonate with many growers, reminds us that a seed, while small, contains the potential to become a tree that can give shelter and food to many. What’s required are the right conditions for germination, and appropriate care. A glance through the pages of this paper shows that it’s not just the younger growers – technically, anyone under 40 – who are introducing new ideas to the sector. While they’re making an early commitment to the sector, there are plenty of growers who are coming to the field as a later career. They’re bringing ideas and perspectives from other sectors where they’ve worked. Many have the financial wherewithal to do things differently, something younger farmers don’t always have. Many of these ventures start out small. Older newcomers aren’t necessarily focused on growth in the way younger farmers with decades ahead of them are. And some younger growers are gathering the confidence – and the capital – to make the big leap but they’re keen to start somewhere. They’re part-time, but when it comes to the long game, they’re all in. It’s a new way of thinking about farming as next-year country. One also thinks of those pushing the limits of what the local season will allow. Growers of exotic crops from citrus to saffron on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland add diversity to BC agriculture as much as vegetable and small-fruit growers in less temperate areas of the province. Others are showing how alternative energy and production systems can be viable. While none of them may attain scale, all show what’s possible as the province grapples with adapting to the more variable weather patterns a changing climate brings. The future of the province, as recent writers in these pages have said, is not either-or. The large farms deliver the kind of volume needed to feed everyone, but small-lot farmers often have the luxury to experiment and explore fresh ideas. Older farmers have experience to share just as young farmers have lifetimes to learn. We need to value each for what they contribute, and let them sow seeds of the ideas needed for future growth. A new, regionally focused extension service that works to incorporate the diverse experiences of farmers across the province is scheduled to launch this spring. It could help bridge some of the gaps, helping the sector as a whole grow young with the wisdom of our collective years. Full-time, part-time, or time well spent?Back 40 BOB COLLINS
A lifetime of safe farming is never an accidentSuccessful farming depends on successful safety protocolsCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 5(ROPS) not being in place on the tractor. ROPS were not required on tractors until 1985, well after our friend lost his brother. Had they been a legal requirement sooner, it could have possibly saved his life. He should have had many good years ahead of him. Our friend was a farmer right until his last day on earth and passed away this past December, just a few days after his 96th birthday. He was still snowplowing and complaining that with getting older it was difficult to switch over the winter tires on his truck. Back in the day, he would just use a carjack, but in his 90s he started using the forklift to make it easier. The two brothers are both gone now, but only one was able to enjoy a full lifetime of working his land. Every year there are new people that want to throw out the tie and high heels and start their own small farm or volunteer their time on local farms. Unfortunately, it seems many aren’t aware of regulations in the industry that are in place to keep everyone safe and coming home at the end of the day to their loved ones. The photos in publications like this are proof of that. A cover image last fall showed a tractor in operation with its roll-bar down. A few pages later, another tractor appeared against an orchard backdrop with its ROPS down, flashing signals behind the seat and no slow-moving sign on the picking bins. Tractors must only be operated with an engineered and certified ROPS affixed and in combination with a seatbelt. Pre-1985 tractors were not required to have ROPS and some tractors equipped with post-1985 ROPS parts may require that a fold-down ROPS is put into the down position. It may be old news to many long-time farmers, but the safety of each new generation depends on repeating and continuing to reinforce the message. It’s why organizations such as the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association organize events like Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, taking place March 12-18. Setting an example also means being careful about how we represent the industry, in print and online. While the average person may not know the difference, as advocates for our industry we should take pride in championing safe farm practices. Posting images of work being done without proper safety equipment or precautions legitimizes unsafe practices. By watching out for our neighbours and training those new to the sector to watch out for themselves by word and example, we can help reduce and eliminate tractor rollovers. As an industry we have the responsibility to lead by example and demonstrate the proper and safe operation of farm equipment. Safety in agriculture must become the norm, not next year, but today. We owe it to each other, our families and the families we feed, to make sure we get home safe at the end of the day. The good news is there’s plenty of help available. AgSafe BC, an industry-led organization funded in part by our WorkSafe BC premiums, offers several resources both online at [https://agsafebc.ca/tools] and in person. Every farmer should know their local AgSafe representative. They are invaluable, and want to help all farmers ensure that farming is safe for everyone. Reto Gebert is a member of the BC Wine Grape Council Health & Safety Committee and viticulturist at St. Hubertus Vineyard in Kelowna. My folks recently returned from a celebration of life for a lifelong farmer and neighbour. Our families had been close when my parents came to the Okanagan from Switzerland in the early 1980s. His family owned the property we now farm. Their knowledge of the land and their support as we established ourselves and eventually opened St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery in 1992 laid the foundation for our success. But the celebration of life reminded me of another life – that of our friend’s brother. Our property had once been his but he never got the chance to see it reach its full potential. When civil unrest began rising in Angola in the early 1970s, he had fled the country with his family, bringing hopes for a better life in the Okanagan Valley. Unfortunately, his life was cut short as a result of a tractor rollover as he worked the hillside property we now farm. The fatal outcome of the accident was the result of a Rollover Protection Structure Viewpoint RETO GEBERTMAKE A DIFFERENCE SALEVisit givergy.ca/MakeaDifferenceSaleMARCH 4 to 7 2023JOIN THE AUCTION ONLINE THIS YEAR! Give today and make a dierence in the Horn of AfricaOVER $300,000RAISED IN 2022Online auction powered byLUNCHEON SPONSORSCanadianFoodgrainsbankAbbotsfordAuctionMakeaDifferenceSaleBID ON AN ITEM, OR DONATE ONE! You can help by donating livestock (all dairy breeds or beef) or any sellable merchandise. Donations accepted until Thursday, March 2. Donations of cash and proceeds may be eligible for a charitable donation receipt from Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Cattle Gift baskets New toolsSat. March 4 6pm Online auction goes live.Tues. March 7 9pm Online auction closes.Weds. March 8 11:30am to 2:30pm 12pm Luncheon at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre, Abbotsford. RSVP for luncheon at bit.ly/3JdV3AO 1pm Live Auction. All items won to be picked up at the luncheon. Livestock feed and accessories Wheels of artisan cheeses Much more!TO DONATE AN ITEM CONTACTSAMPLE AUCTION ITEMS 2023 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 604-845-7771Denise de Jonge 778-878-0440Matt Dykshoorn 604-768-0131Melanie Dykshoorn 778-240-4110Casey Pruim 778-242-2620Ed Vandenberg 604-835-2206Jonathan Driesen 604-556-6884INTERIOR BCJohn Born 250-253-2200Fred Brandsma 604-302-3801VANCOUVER ISLANDMatthew Brandsma 250-732-6353Bill Wikkerink 250-743-9276Contact Rob or Bob Brandsma to advertise on the auction websiteSUPPORTINGA Christian Responseto Hunger AgSafeBC.ca/Mental-Wellness/Mantengo/Mantengo Wellness PackageHelping Spanish speaking guest workers maintainmental and physical wellness while working inBritish Columbia agriculture.Mantengo is part of AgSafe’s Mental Wellness forAgriculture initiative.Corn hybrid results for 2022 on www.farmwest.com FARMNEWSFN@countrylifeinbc
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 7Farmers question regenerative ag agendaBC’s farm sector seeks a clearer definition of government initiativeBCAC president Stan Vander Waal is pleased the council has nally been asked for input as the province develops the strategic framework for its regenerative agriculture platform, but he has questions, too. ANNA KLOCHKOKATHLEEN GIBSON ABBOTSFORD – A new strategic framework for regenerative agriculture and agritech marked Pam Alexis’s rst major event as the province’s agriculture minister when she addressed the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford on January 26. The framework puts a fresh stamp on the province’s development of a Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech Network (RAAN), a priority in the mandate letter Alexis received when she took oce in December. But the reaction from farmers is mixed. “BCAC wasn’t involved in the process at rst,” says BC Agriculture Council president Stan Vander Waal. “Since we rst heard the terms in 2020, we had been asking the government to dene ‘agritech’ and ‘regenerative agriculture.’” A ministry presentation to farmers at BCAC’s Ag Days lobbying event in October led to BCAC being included in framework development. “Since we’ve been engaged … we’ve covered a lot of roadway very quickly,” says Vander Waal. “I believe we have come up with something we can work with.” Georgina Beyers of the ministry’s Agritech, Innovation and Regen Unit says a minister’s advisory committee was formed last June to guide network development. Tasked with providing “strategic advice to government on opportunities to promote innovation, technology adoption and regenerative practices,” the 17-member committee includes ve active farmers and ranchers. BCAC had no direct representation, however. But in January, the committee joined with the Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food and the BCAC working group in developing the strategic framework presented at the PAS. Beyers views the exercise as “an important opportunity, after the re and ood disasters of 2021, to engage in much-needed discussion about the future of food security in BC.” Whether or not it’s a good t for the farm sector is another question. “I’m going to be cautious,” says Vander Waal about the BCAC’s participation in the process. “There’s a mutual comfort level with where we’re going … but there are real dierences in the way we see regenerative agriculture.” He points out that “agriculture is a big business and feeds a lot of people; it’s got big responsibilities,” while regenerative agriculture, which is soil-based, is a subset, or “one tactical approach to sustainability.” Vander Waal is enthusiastic that the framework is focused on sustainable agriculture. “We have reached environmental standards in agriculture that didn’t exist 10 years ago … the sustainability of agriculture is growing every month,” he says. The PAS regenerative agriculture sessions included a keynote on Indigenous agriculture, panels on initiating and scaling regenerative agriculture practices, and presentations on soil science and the Rodale Institute’s Regenerative Organic Certied standard. Agritech funding The morning program was interrupted by an ocial announcement from the new BC Centre for Agritech Innovation at SFU about matching funding awards for four BC agritech businesses: Aeroroot Systems (aeroponics); Agrotek Industries (plant fertilizers); Bakerview Eco-Dairy (farm-based research and agritourism centre); and Lucent BioSciences (cellulose-based crop nutrition). “Agritech can be a great enabler for regenerative agriculture … to help us ensure that BC food systems remain secure, resilient and sustainable,” said Alexis in announcing the funding. “These are the rst of many exciting projects … which will stimulate BC’s agritech sector, support high tech job creation and introduce new technologies on farms to increase productivity and improve the bottom line for farmers and producers.” Though such high-level Struggling with the connection uFOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.email@example.comCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.Bill Everitt 250.295.7911 ext #102 firstname.lastname@example.org r Toll free 1.877.797.7678 ext #102Princeton Wood Preservers Ltd. 1821 Hwy 3 Princeton, B.C. V0X 1W0KILN DRIED PRESSURE TREATED ROUND WOOD POSTS AND RAILS&ARMs/RCHARDs6INEYARDs"ERRY4RELLISINGPreferred supplier for British Columbia Ministries & Parks Canada.
8 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCTristan Banwell of Spray Creek Ranch uses a lot of technology on his farm but he is confused about the province’s end goals for agritech and its practical applications for BC farmers. FACEBOOK / SPRAY CREEK RANCHu Struggling with the connectiongovernment statements consistently link regenerative agriculture and agritech, Vander Waal struggles to see the connection. “Regenerative agriculture and agritech don’t marry,” he says. “The two are almost on two dierent planets.” RAAN advisory committee member and Lillooet rancher Tristan Banwell also has questions. “We use a lot of technology on our farm,” he says. “Google Earth, RFID tags, movable electric fencing … but the agritech that government supports, who is it intended to serve?” Speaking at the PAS and in a workshop at the Islands Agricultural Show in Duncan, February 4, Banwell described the process of transitioning his ranch to regenerative agriculture practices. He emphasized the importance of establishing guiding principles and goals “to ensure our choices are taking us toward our desired future,” and of changing grazing patterns and animal genetics gradually, over time. The ranch, now in what Banwell calls its “10th rst year,” has transformed into “an organic diversied business selling around 200 dierent products while improving ecosystems, soil health and rural livelihoods at the same time … and producing more than six times the revenue we expected to achieve as a cow-calf operation.” Banwell is seeking regenerative organic certication to distinguish his products in the market. “Consumers want to make a dierence. Facing these [climate] challenges and looking for solutions toward them is driving this interest that we’re seeing in regenerative agriculture, both among consumers and producers, and also major agri-food companies,” he says. Fellow RAAN committee member and Tea Creek Enterprises owner Jacob Beaton from Kitwanga spoke in his keynote to the potential for farms that are “land-based, Indigenous-led and culturally safe.” Tea Creek enrolled 180 Indigenous farm trainees in 2022, and Beaton sees signicant opportunities for Indigenous farmers to help renew BC’s agriculture sector, which saw the number of operators fall 10% between 2016 and 2021. Beaton described how Indigenous agriculture has been deliberately restricted by the Indian Act and other colonial policies, many of which – such as 20-acre limits on farm size and lack of access to nancing – still hamper Indigenous farmers today. He calls for “reconcili-action,” beginning with changes to how Indigenous farmers access farm loans. “We’ve got to get away from just land acknowledgments and start changing policies,” he says. The current members of the minister’s advisory committee serve until the end of May. Going forward, it and the other advisory groups will focus on “tactical planning” through ve sub-committees looking at extension, regenerative agriculture guidelines, agritech description, incentives and soil projects. Vander Waal sees the planning phase as a time to sort priorities. “Some of the toughest discussions will happen through those committees, because that’s where we will learn how we’re going to achieve this and what it really means,” he says. Now more than ever, you need a Realtor® with specialized knowledge and experience in agricultural real estate to give you that competitive edge when selling your property. Our team can help, call us today!1-888-852-AGRI (2474) | email@example.com www.bcfarmandranch.comGord Houweling-PREC604.firstname.lastname@example.orgRajin Gill - PREC778.email@example.comJohn Glazema778.firstname.lastname@example.orgGeorgia Clement250.email@example.comGreg Walton604.firstname.lastname@example.orgGordie Blair250.email@example.comVeer Malhi - PREC778.firstname.lastname@example.orgGordon Aikema250.email@example.comSteve Campbell250.firstname.lastname@example.orgEmma Rose604.email@example.comBarry Brown-John250.firstname.lastname@example.orgRobbi-layne Robertson250.email@example.comSusanne Walton604.firstname.lastname@example.orgAlec Yun778.email@example.comAmanda Leclair604.firstname.lastname@example.orgRuth Meehan604.email@example.comTravis Walton604.firstname.lastname@example.orgAmy Brattebo-PREC604.email@example.comSMALL HOUSE AND ACREAGES, HOBBY FARMS TO COMMERCIAL FARMSWe are your acreage specialists!
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 9Growers flood back to Tradex for ag showAg Gala sets stage as it honours agriculture leadersBusy aisleways and plenty of conversation characterized the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford in January. Attendance returned to pre-pandemic numbers, according to organizer Jim Shepard. 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Show organizer Jim Shepard estimated attendance at between 5,000 and 6,000 people, on par with pre-pandemic numbers. “Attendance was very good all three days, and conference registration was way up, too,” he says. “Big improvement from last year.” An equally strong showing characterized the Regenerative Agriculture and Growers’ Short Course, led this year by the province in partnership with the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association, which established the educational program in 1958. The record number of registrations for the short course was a key topic of discussion at LMHIA’s annual general meeting on January 28. “The numbers were huge,” executive director Sandy Dunn reported. “It’s an all-time high.” More than 1,100 people registered to attend the short course in person and online, drawn in part by a $15 registration fee subsidized by the province. While the province had proposed making the event free of charge to growers, LMHIA pushed back, feeling that participants needed to pay at least a nominal amount in recognition of its value. LMHIA wasn’t collecting revenue o the event this year, with the province contributing research funds to the organization in lieu of event fees, but it didn’t want to just give the information away. “We want to make sure there’s something there,” Dunn said. And there was plenty, with a program of speakers from around the world both in-person and linked in by videoconference. The province’s support was invaluable for the technological component, and presentations continue to be available online for registered participants. A debrief on the event takes place this month, with a decision expected soon on whether or not to continue the partnership with the province. This year’s agreement left the door open to renewing for two more years. Plans for Tradex leave the door open to future changes, but after two years of pandemic-related disruptions, Shepard was happy to have the trade show back on its regular schedule. “It was refreshing to see the ag community back together again preparing for a productive 2023 season,” he says. Stand-up event Producers also had a chance to meet and greet at the BC Agriculture Council gala that preceded the show on January 25. Representatives of government and industry met at the Clarion Hotel in Abbotsford to network and celebrate ve leaders in BC’s agricultural community at a stand-up event that also raised funds for the BC Young Farmers. The awards showed that young farmers have plenty of role models setting the stage for them. Dairy farmers Jimi Meyer and Hallie Jacobs were honoured with the Scotiabank Champion of Agriculture award for their support of Fraser Valley dairy farmers following the ooding in November 2021, for example. “Our initial goal was just to bring a bit of cheer,” Meier told Country Life in BC in January. Meyer and Jacobs ended up raising more than $160,000 in a fundraising initiative that continues today through the Facebook page Helping Sumas Prairie Farmers–Flood Support. Recovery from the November 2021 ooding and landslides would have been impossible without government support, and the BC Agriculture Council took the rare step of awarding a seasoned bureaucrat with its “Special Recognition” award. Retiring director, policy and product review, with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s Business Risk Management Branch Lonny Steward received the honour for his knowledge of support programs and the respect in which he was held nationally. ”Whenever I attended meetings across the country, government sta, farmers, knew who I was talking about,” former BCAC executive director Reg Ens says. “Some spoke his name almost with Farm leaders honoured uExtreme High DigestibilityHigh Disease ResistanceBranch & Tap RootedPerforms in Heavier SoilsRapid Re-GrowthVery High QualityExtreme High DigestibilityHigh Disease ResistanceBranch & Tap RootedPerforms in Heavier SoilsRapid Re-GrowthVery High Quality1.800.282.7856 terraseco.comTerra Seed Corp Tap Root with Branch Root
10 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCView 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 SERVICESSpring bird migrations raise fears of AI’s returnNovember have been lifted, pointing to light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the good news, the imminent start of spring bird migrations is cause for concern. Similar to last year, cases started to be reported in Eastern Canada last month, which is where the disease touched down in Canada before being detected in BC last April. Speaking to chicken growers in January, BC Chicken Marketing Board executive director Woody Siemens said the lack of late-winter detections doesn’t negate the risk of a spring resurgence. Gregorio Torres, the head of the science department at the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health, an intergovernmental group and global authority on animal diseases, told the Reuters news agency in February that the current strain of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is here to stay. The latest data indicate that nearly 3.7 million birds have been aected in BC and more than 65.5 million in North America. Worldwide, more than 200 million birds in 54 countries have been aected since the current outbreak began in Europe in late 2021. Most recently, migratory birds heading south introduced it to countries in South America, and will likely bring it back with them when they return this spring, continuing the worldwide spread. As one US producer told Reuters: "You'd better buckle up and hold on for your dear life.” The potential for the disease to become endemic has raised the prospect of vaccinations, an idea gaining traction among producers in Canada. — Peter Mitham TJ Schur to lead IAF A new CEO has been hired to lead the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. TJ Schur will be the organization’s new CEO starting March 1, IAFBC announced February 3. She succeeds Michelle Koski, who left the organization at the end of January to become an assistant deputy minister in the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Schur brings an extensive resume to her new role, including senior management experience and leadership roles in not-for-prots, the agriculture sector and provincial government. She was most recently with the BC Ministry of Energy Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, where she served on the Indigenous Clean Energy Opportunities Initiative and as director, strategic initiatives, with the Columbia River Treaty negotiating team. In addition, Schur has experience in the hazelnut sector as a facilitator of recovery from Eastern Filbert Blight. “I look forward to working with IAF’s board of directors, member organizations, the sta, and all other stakeholders in BC for the betterment of food security in this province,” says Schur in the press release announcing her appointment. “IAF has a reputation of excellence in program delivery. I’m eager to join the team and forge new partnerships and collaborations with BC’s diverse and world-class agriculture, agri-food and seafood sectors.” Schur arrives as the ve-year Canadian Agricultural Partnership winds down and transitions to the new Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which is set to be in place April 1. It will run until 2028. Speaking at the BC Agriculture Gala in Abbotsford on January 25, Francis Drouin, parliamentary secretary to federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said work towards the bilateral agreement with BC for the new policy framework were progressing. “Movements towards that have been positive and programs will be available post-April 1,” he says. — Kate Ayers BC’s poultry sector is looking ahead to the spring migration after a late-winter pause in highly pathogenic avian inuenza. The latest date for a positive test during a winter outbreak is February 19, and the industry passed that date having logged four weeks without an infection. The last detection in the province was at a commercial poultry farm in Chilliwack on January 22. It occurred within the Canadian Food Inspection Agency control zone that’s home to 25 of the 71 commercial premises infected since November 16, when the disease exploded on commercial farms in the Fraser Valley. Moreover, 18 of the 74 primary control zones designated since mid-Expert farm taxation adviceApproved consultants for Government funding throughBC Farm Business Advisory Services ProgramEnderby 250-838-7337Armstrong 250-546-8665 |t1VSDIBTFBOETBMFPGGBSNTt5SBOTGFSPGGBSNTUPDIJMESFOt(PWFSONFOUTVCTJEZQSPHSBNTt1SFQBSBUJPOPGGBSNUBYSFUVSOTt6TFPG$BQJUBM(BJOT&YFNQUJPOT$ISJT)FOEFSTPO$1"$"-PSFO)VUUPO$1"$"5PMM 'SFF1-888-818-FARM |www.farmtax.comRossworn HendersonLLPChartered Professional Accountants - Tax Consultantsartered Professional Accountants - Tax ConsultanCALL FOR AN ESTIMATE LARRY 604.209.5523 TROY 604.209.5524 TRI-WAY FARMS LASER LEVELLING LTD.IMPROVED DRAINAGE UNIFORM GERMINATION UNIFORM IRRIGATION FAST, ACCURATE SURVEYING INCREASE CROP YIELDS We service all of Southern BCu Farm leaders honouredAg Briefs PETER MITHAMreverence, because he knew what he was talking about.” Honoured with the Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher award was Michelle Johnsrude of Chilliwack, who has engaged children at several levels, not only about growing food, but serving it to others. “They’re even more engaged in learning, she found out, when they plant then maintain a garden, and then they gain the satisfaction of eating or sharing what they’ve grown,” says AITC BC executive director Pat Tonn. The evening culminated with the presentation of the BCAC Excellence in Agricultural Leadership Award, to dairy farmer Ben Brandsema, honoured just two months earlier by dairy producers for his accomplishments. “His leadership was fundamental with incorporating organic milk and other specialty milks within the supply-managed system,” BC Dairy Association vice-chair Sarah Sache said, noting that he continues to provide “pointed inspiration and motivation with grace.” Brandsema says giving back is something he attempts to do, mindful of what others gave him. “When I started farming, I really looked up to the leaders of the industry and spent a lot of time talking to them and learning from them, and so I’d like to try and pass along some of those experiences to the younger people coming in,” he says, advising others: “Find new ways to make your industry better than it was yesterday.”
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 11Trust lacking between well owners, provinceStudy says provincial policies are not serving farmers wellAs the oodwaters receded on Sumas Prairie in November 2021, dairy farmers Jimi Meyer and Hallie Jacobs sprung into action, raising more than $160,000 to help displaced families. During the BC Agriculture Gala on January 25, Scotiabank head of agriculture Janice Holzscherer, left, presented them with the Scotiabank Champion(s) of Agriculture award. MYRNA STARK LEADERTOM WALKER KELOWNA – A report by a UBC Okanagan research team says the province’s seven-year-old Water Sustainability Act and current policies do not support climate change adaptation on BC farms. “Our key question was whether the Water Sustainability Act of 2016 and its associated water regulations were helping or hindering agriculture resiliency in the face of climate change,” says Joanne Taylor, lead researcher for the study Climate Change and Agriculture Resiliency in the Okanagan and Cariboo regions of BC. Taylor says the research found the WSA and associated regulations were not helping farmers respond to the challenges associated with a changing climate. “There is a real disconnect between policy and the delivery and application of the regulations to agriculture,” she says. One example is how groundwater licensing has unfolded. “The intent was to use licensing to establish what the true water supply is, so that going forward they are able to regulate it for the benet of all,” she explains. But it backred. “I don’t think government understood what a huge daunting task it would be for farmers,” she says. The province received 7,600 applications for existing wells by the March 1, 2022 deadline and told Country Life in BC it had issued approximately 2,000 decisions. “That is a far cry from the 20,000 they were anticipating says Taylor. The study interviewed stakeholders in the Cariboo and Okanagan. Both regions will face increasingly drier conditions leading to water scarcity, Taylor notes. In addition, extreme weather events such as ooding in the Cariboo, heat and drought in the Okanagan, forest res in both regions and increasing pressure from pests and disease will impact producers. “We must maintain exibility in the face of water changes and prepare for the unknown,” Taylor says. “And we must be prepared to shift to new crops and varietals in light of these changing conditions.” Researchers identied eight key themes or areas where they saw a need for improvement, with the most important being trust. “We found there was a huge lack of trust in the government around water issues,” says Taylor. “I was surprised by this, but it is clearly shown by the lack of uptake in groundwater licensing.” Producers said they did not trust the government to look after their interests if they were to license their wells. “Farmers stated that they were fearful of losing their water rights if they license their wells,” says Taylor. “They worry if they declare what they are using, the government might say they don’t need that amount and their rights might be taken away.” This uncertainty of future water capacity restricts future planning. “Producers no longer have Europe & North America, Little & Large, Local & Long Port to Dealer, Farm to Farm and anything in between.Versatile Ramp to Ground Capabilitiesemail@example.comCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders Row Crop Cultivators Rotary Hoes Camera GuidanceSystems AND AEROSTAR 900 Tine WeedersDELTA Drain Tile Cleaners Improves Drainage & Conditions Soil Economical & Reliable Low Maintenance Safe and ProvenSPRING PRICING On In Stock Complicated licensing process uChampions of agriculture
12 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Complicated licensing process has led to non-complianceSave water, save energy, save labor and do a better job of irrigating. NELSONIRRIGATION.COM Automatically change the arc of throw on traveling Big Gun® sprinklers. Find efciency and heavy-duty reliability in Nelson Control Valves. Achieve unmatched uniformity with eld-proven Rotator® technology.SR150 BIG GUN®ARC TIMERACV200800 SERIESCONTROL VALVESR2000WF ROTATOR® & MINI REGULATOR DRAIN CHECKthe ability to expand their agriculture, which is a disincentive to collaborate and comply,” says Taylor. “Producers told us that FLNRORD really needs to understand this.” There has been minimal eort and resources spent on educating producers across the province on the why and how of water licensing. “The complex and complicated licensing process has led to non-compliance,” Taylor says. “Both the time and the nancial burden of water licensing has been placed on producers and they found it overwhelming.” There has been a lack of exibility in the licensing process, she adds. The current practice of licensing well water use to the crop that is being grown greatly limits any ability to switch crops in the face of increasing climate shifts. “A farmer can’t change what they produce even if they have been working that land for 40 years,” Taylor notes. “They would have to reapply for a new licence, which is expensive and there is no guarantee that there would be any water allotment left for them.” Taylor says there are sociocultural barriers that can make it dicult to apply for a licence. “You can only license your well if you have access to a computer,” Taylor points out. “And there can be technological barriers that make long, on-line government application forms dicult to complete, as well as the challenges if English is not your rst language.” The study found that agriculture takes a back seat to domestic water needs and ecosystem function. “Development is always going to be prioritized over food production in BC,” Taylor says. “We heard time and time again that agriculture is not prioritized by the government, which limits agriculture’s ability to adapt and be resilient in the face of climate change.” Following the rules is expensive and time consuming, Taylor notes. The cost of licensing an existing, registered well can be upwards of $10,000, while a new well might require $100,000 for engineering reports. WSA dam safety requirements are also placing an enormous nancial burden on producers, although there are many additional public benets that ow from ood control, wildlife, recreation and wildre mitigation. “We also heard that climate change data and technology is lacking and is not being used by provincial water adjudicators,” Taylor says. She adds that hydrometric stations do not receive enough funding and aquifer mapping is limited. “More monitoring data and stations are needed in order to do water balancing and budgeting for agriculture,” she says. “Sta cannot accurately predict current and future water supply and licences are not being granted as the data says we do not have enough water.” Water ocers were found to be under-trained and understaed in order to be able to fulll their responsibilities under the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Taylor adds. BC is the only province in Canada to have formally entrenched UNDRIP in provincial law. “Indigenous agriculturists listed a plethora of reasons of why agriculture is becoming increasingly dicult, which will be covered in the written report,” Taylor says. Producer groups agree with the report’s ndings. “Our members tell us trust is a real issue for them,” says Elaine Stovin, assistant general manager with the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “What we have heard aligns with this study.” While agriculture uses some 70% of the water in the province, Oliver grape grower and BC Agriculture Council water representative Hans Buchler says producers lack a voice in policy decisions. “Time and again, when water policy decisions are made, we are not given a seat at the table.” The report’s eight themes highlight not only what prevents farmers from responding to climate change, but eorts to ensure the very future of agriculture and food security in BC. “Agricultural resiliency is not being achieved due to water volume restrictions and a lack of exibility for farmers to change crops. This will be further impacted if dams are decommissioned or deactivated because of onerous costs,” says Taylor. “We must have integrated water resource management so that all producers and water users can have access to safe amounts of water.” “We heard time and time again that agriculture is not prioritized by the government, which limits agriculture’s ability to adapt and be resilient in the face of climate change.” JOANNE TAYLOR LEAD RESEARCHER, UBC OKANAGAN
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 13Future uncertain for new varieties councilTransition options remain openCohortWholesale.comTechnical and sales support provided byCrack the cherry cracking code!Lalstim Osmo • Minimizes yield losses caused by rain-induced splitting• Works quickly and provides protection for several weeks• Excellent tank-mix partnerAlways read and follow label directions. Lalstim Osmo is a registered trademark of Lallemand Plant Care. Copyright ©2023 Lallemand Plant Care. CRACK THE C DElallemandplantcare.com TOM WALKER SUMMERLAND – Twenty years of supporting the development of the Ambrosia apple and brand comes to a close at the end of March, and next steps remain unclear for the New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council. “Our work is done,” says chair Bruce Currie. “We did not believe that growers would approve an extension of the mandate.” The council has some leftover funds that can be accessed by packers, and what has not been used can go towards promoting the 2023 crop, he says. The board put funds toward the recent report on establishing a marketing commission and held several sessions to inform growers of the concept and open discussion as to whether a commission might be a route for BC growers, but the initial response was very negative. “I shake my head,” says Currie. “The Ambrosia apple and our growing conditions are some of the best in the world. Every other country in the world that grows Ambrosia is making money but we can’t seem to.” Currie says the powers that could be granted through a marketing commission are invaluable. “I don’t see any other option,” he says. “Packers would have the ability to talk with each other and develop a pricing strategy that would ensure a minimum price in the market place that is a fair return for growers.” BC is such a small region that the industry can’t afford to be fragmented. “Packers can’t be undercutting each other,” Currie says. “It sounds like some of the packers are talking about working together; I’m not sure where that is going to go.” BC Fruit Growers Association general manager Glen Lucas says there must be a solution for the undercutting of prices for Ambrosia in the domestic wholesale market. “BCFGA is hopeful that disciplined, orderly marketing can be achieved under an apple marketing organization (NTFVDC 2.0) that will have the teeth to ensure Ambrosia resumes its place among premium apples, and builds on the past successes of the NTFVDC,” he says. “Growers have experienced the premium Ambrosia pricing enabled by the NTFVDC and recently, unfortunately, growers have experienced the terrible losses that occur under cut-throat marketing with no investment. The old NVTFDC or a new apple marketing organization is a way to work collaboratively to get ahead, instead of working to undermine your neighbour at a cost to everyone.” Here’s looking at youJealous Fruits packing operations manager Alex Geen explains how its state-of-the-art optical sorter captures 32 images of the outside and inside of each cherry on the 20-minute journey from bin to package during a plant tour, February 11. MYRNA STARK LEADER
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ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, CRA P AppAppraiser250.firstname.lastname@example.org www.aspengrovepropertyservices.caTOM WALKER SUMMERLAND – With the New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council set to wind down at the end of March, some of the loose ends needing to be wrapped up include recovering outstanding fees from delinquent growers. “We have about a half-dozen growers left that we have to collect from,” says NTFVDC chair Bruce Currie. To ensure every eort is made to recover the fees, the council has initiated court proceedings against some growers. In August 2020, the council sued Summerland grower and winner of the 2020 Golden Apple Award, Devon Jell, his wife Janine, and the Gartrell family’s Sun-Oka Fruit Farm for $31,621.78 in levies due for 2016 and 2017. Sun-Oka, the valley’s longest continually farmed family orchard, counter-sued to recover fees paid in 2018 and 2019, totalling $37,419.98. Jell argued in Kelowna provincial court that the fees violated his constitutional right to freedom of association, but did not present evidence. Judge Andrew Tam disagreed in a decision released in January. "The defendants do not say that they are barred from associating with others. Rather, their complaint is that they are forced to be associated with the council through the payment of the levy," Tam wrote. You don’t have to hang out with the council, but you do have to pay the fees, Tam said in his decision. "The defendants are not required to attend any meetings. There are simply no ‘causes,’ political or otherwise, associated to this whole exercise,” he wrote. The decision upheld the legal right for NTFVDC and other organizations such as the BC Winegrape Council to collect levies. “This was an important case,” Currie says. “The provincial government sent two lawyers who made a detailed presentation to the court.” Created under the BC Farming and Fisheries Industry Development Act in 2001, NTFVDC was set up to promote the Ambrosia apple, a variety discovered in a Cawston orchard in the 1990s. The council was authorized to collect a levy of two cents on each pound of BC production to support market development. “Those levies and the matching government funds we have been able to procure as a non-prot have funded millions of dollars in research into production and storage of Ambrosia, as well as marketing research and marketing promotions,” explains Currie. “And the matching funds have been a key. Sometimes we put in 10% and the government matched the other 90%. That’s a pretty good investment.” The council’s most recent funding supported domestic and export promotions for three packing houses, in-store demos at Costco Canada, a booth at December’s Asia Fruit Logistica show, as well as research and extension activities, all to the tune of $878,000. “This kind of work has been a key part of the success of the Ambrosia apple,” Currie explains. “It has helped producers learn to grow, pack, store and market quality Ambrosia apples over the last 20 years.” Council takes delinquent growers to courtTens of thousands in Ambrosia levies sought as council winds downOther BC apple varieties, such as Salish (launched in 2012) have not had this kind of support. “After our initial ve years of work, we went back to the Ambrosia growers three more times for a vote to extend our mandate up until June 30, 2021,” says Currie. While legal expenses are not the best use of funds the council has received from growers, Currie hopes the court will award costs in the latest decision. “It is unfortunate that we are spending growers’ money in court to collect fees that are owed,” he says. All Ambrosia growers have beneted from the program, notes BC Fruit Growers Association general manager Glen Lucas. “NTFVDC has been essential to the success of Ambrosia,” says Lucas. “When the variety was rst launched, it was an apple that marketers wanted sold by the end of December.” Lucas points out that the funds were used to explore the harvest window, the storage regime and colour indexes. Other funds were invested in marketing, with in-store taste testing helping Ambrosia to reach a wider consumer base and sponsorship of key events such as Agribition in Regina and national curling tournaments helping gain 'mind share' for the apple. “Perhaps the most important measure is that Ambrosia would have been an early-stage failure without the determination of the NTFVDC and the investment of growers into the variety,” Lucas says. That legacy is what has prompted growers to continue planting the variety. “After all the work that has been done, it’s not fair to say you want to opt out of the program at the end,” says Currie. “It is unfortunate that we are spending growers’ money in court to collect fees that are owed.” BRUCE CURRIE, CHAIR NEW TREE FRUIT VARITIES DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 15Spring Auction SellingOnline now until March 30beekmanauctions.com Consign Today - Beekmanauctions@gmail.comPreview - March 29th @Heritage ParkBid Online - March 30th 10AM PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – A new provincial agricultural extension program is in the works, and hopes are high that it heralds a fresh start for regional agricultural support in BC. The prospect was discussed at an Agri-Extension and Research event the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District organized and held at the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food offices in Abbotsford on January 27. Set to launch this spring, the regional extension program will be a progression of the regional model used by the Climate Change Adaptation Program but engage more with producers and include applied research, according to a presentation ACRD agricultural support coordinator Heather Shobe delivered. “Collaborative leadership and development of the program would be great opportunity for producers, First Nations and academia to work with [the province] and move towards trust-based relationships that help get us where we all want to go,” says Shobe, who has been overseeing a three-year project focused on expanding the influence of regional agricultural support. Dovetailing with provincial priorities, the new provincial extension program will focus on climate mitigation, adaptation and overall sustainability. Since human and financial resources are considerations, it aims to effectively use its own staff while engaging with allied organizations. The program remains in development, but Shobe said it promises to fit with the vision of a more integrated approach to regional agricultural support. “A network approach could be an avenue to ensure that producers and regional actors are co-leaders in development of programs that meet their particular regional needs,” she says. The ministry said it was unable to provide details on the new program until later this year. A total of 22 people attended the event, which also discussed how the province’s farmers institutes could play a role in delivering regional support to producers. A meeting of institute representatives took place in 2018 and 2019, but the pandemic ended the annual conferences initiated by Extension service hopes for stronger supportsResearch project envisions cross-regional networks to foster resilienceformer agriculture minister Lana Popham. Without a dedicated staff person overseeing the secretariat set up to coordinate communication among the institutes, the initiative fell by the wayside despite a desire to forge closer ties. Several speakers at the January 27 event saw the potential for institutes to support local farmers. But it’s also the kind of grassroots activity that’s been harder since the pandemic. Restrictions on social gatherings led to volunteers falling away with nothing to organize, and people disengaged. Closer collaboration Closer collaboration with the academic community is another opportunity. However, breakout groups at the event said a coordinator is needed to direct the work, similar to farmers institutes. One breakout group discussed a whole food system approach to regional support that would include both marine and Indigenous foods, not just conventional agriculture. But aquaculture and fisheries reps at the meeting noted that the relatively homogenous and focused nature of their groups makes them easier to support. Indeed, provincial staff at the event noted that the sheer diversity of BC’s food sector makes it challenging to tailor support to regional needs. “The diversity of farmers’ interests is very hard for us to manage,” says Mark Raymond, executive director with the ministry’s extension and support services branch. While local governments are closest to local farmers, just four municipalities in the province have support staff focused on agriculture’s needs. Yet this is where a regional approach can be important. “Strong regional structures will influence provincial frameworks and ensure accommodation of the unique contextual realities of BC’s various geographical regions and producer populations,” the project description states. The second year of the study surveyed the work of 17 regional districts in supporting agricultural systems, considering land use planning, economic development and governance issues. ACRD contracted researchers Colin Dring and Aaren Topley to prepare the report. Their recommendations included developing new methods to disburse funding to regional districts to support local food systems as well as funding for cross-regional activities. Recommendations from industry would guide where the money was best spent. Oversight of supports would be by multi-stakeholder food policy councils. Primary funding for the three-year project is from the Vancouver Foundation. Shobe said ACRD may consider a further three-year program when the current work wraps up in 2024.
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 17BC blueberry growers were advised to step up their quality and be strategic about varieties if they want to compete against Peru and other global powerhouses. MYRNA STARK LEADERWITH OVER 29 YEARS OF EXPERIENCEWe oer our clients the best service there is in the real estate industry ensuring there are no unanswered questions or concerns.8450 Gibson Road, Chilliwack 34.79 acre cranberry farm in East Chilliwack. Currently producing three varieties of cranberries for Ocean Spray with Class A shares. The perfect opportunity to start your farming dreams. MLS# C8049150 | Asking $3,900,000../$/'0$/(*/EP;8I<8CKPBlueberry growers focus on qualityNew genetics, narrower marketing window are changing the gamePETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Quality will be the dominant criteria for market success in the years to come as global blueberry production lls marketing windows throughout the year, growers attending the Pacic Agriculture Show were told. “The 2020s are witnessing a paradigm shift from a focus on supply to a focus on quality,” Cort Brazelton, CEO of Fall Creek Nursery in Oregon and founder of the International Blueberry Organization, says. “What was a series of peaks and valleys is becoming a more consistent supply. … I would not be surprised if between November 15 and December 15 of 2023, there was more global volume in the fresh market than there is in the month of July.” This is supply that didn’t exist a decade ago, thanks to new production systems and new genetics that have allowed countries in South America and elsewhere to take on established production regions in North America. “There are at the same time accelerating shifts in the consumer demands, the consumer preference for quality, especially around rmness and avour,” Brazelton adds. This is most apparent in the stunning rise of Peru, which has seen acreage increase from 10,131 acres in 2016/2017 to 41,637 acres in 2021/2022. This gives it a production more than three times the 165 million pounds produced in BC each year, making it the third-largest producer in the world after China and the US. While new plantings are slowing down, they’re focusing more on strategic varieties that are giving Peru a reputation for top-quality fruit. “We really have to pay attention to the quality piece,” says Brian Malensky, vice-president and director of fresh sales with Oregon Berry Packing Co. in Hillsboro, Oregon, who said 2022 was a breakthrough year for Peru. “That quality coming in from Peru is rock-hard. You take the rmest Draper that we have currently, and the stu we were receiving that had been on a boat for 30 days was rmer.” The success of Peru this year surprised John Lambiris, who oversees berry sales for Consolidated Fruit Packers Ltd. of Kelowna. “Five years ago, if someone would’ve said Peru wanted to ship to North America during the summer, I would have said, ‘You’re crazy, there’s no need for it.’ But Peru has never been one to slow down,” he says. In 2022, the rst shipments landed in early August and impressed both retailers and consumers. “The Peruvian blues this past summer really gained a reputation for being of outstanding quality,” he says. The variety Sequoia made waves, and BC growers need to change up their varieties to stay competitive. “I think we’re going to see a shift more to our stronger varieties – I think it’ll be Duke, Draper, Calypso – and then I think we’ll be largely done shipping by Labour Day,” he said. “If I was a grower, that would be my goal, just to avoid the potential of Peru. I wouldn’t bet against Peru. I would not really want to go head-to-head there. Their cost structures are dierent, their labour situation’s dierent.” This could focus growers more on domestic markets, where Lambiris says retailers are keen to buy domestic. But growers also have to be able to deliver, something that didn’t happen last summer when yields fell short and industry held the line on pricing. “Canadian retail really wants to promote BC blueberries, they really do. But in order to move the volume that we have, they feel like they need the support of our industry,” he says. “When they didn’t get the support, it was like we’d hurt their feelings a little bit. They’ve been with us through thick and thin for 20 years, so I think one thing you really have to keep a close watch on is that we do support Canadian retail, especially. We’re going to need them more and more in the coming years. And it might be dicult to meet the prices they need, but with the volume we have, we can’t really aord to damage those relationships.” Promotion is also important, said Jesse Brar, sales and marketing director at South Alder Farms in Abbotsford. “Promotion can be hard to measure, but promotion is critical. We’ve just got to stay on top of that,” he says. “We’ve got to remain competitive and keep spending money on promotion for our blueberries.” The advent of new genetics will be a talking point – not just for industry but consumers. “When we get the new genetics, we’re going to have fruit that people want to eat. You’re going to see consumption at the retail level go in a direction we’ve never seen before,” Malensky says. “People like Dukes. I can tell you that the new genetics are all better than Duke.”
18 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCResearchers home in on emerging blueberry virusesBetter sequencing is picking up more virusesBlueberry growers are struggling to keep their plants healthy as bushes succumb to a variety of new virus.’ PACIFIC NORTHWEST PEST MGMT HANDBOOKCohortWholesale.comTechnical and sales support provided byAlways read and follow label directions. Gatten® is a registered trademark of OAT Agrio Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2021 Nichino America, Inc. Worried aboutPowdery Mildew?Get Gatten!Gatten® fungicide Gatten®acts on multiple stages of powdery mildew development, delivering both preventative and post-infection control.PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Researchers have discovered a new virus in Fraser Valley blueberry elds, and it's so widespread that researchers will be paying special attention to it this year. While it may be harmless, it coincides with the quiet spread of blueberry scorch virus through elds that will require the replanting of thousands of acres in order to restore elds to health. Belonging to the family of luteo viruses, there is no indication that the new virus causes disease. “It does not seem to cause disease on its own,” SFU associate professor Jim Mattson told participants in the blueberry sessions during the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford on January 28. “This is something that happens with sequencing now. When people start sequencing healthy plants, healthy organisms, they do nd viruses that are around, they just don’t cause any symptoms.” But the near-ubiquitous presence of the virus in tissue samples is attracting the attention of Mattson and his research team, who will be watching the virus closely this season as part of a project funded by GenomeBC. Mattson is working with Peter Ellis, laboratory director at Phyto Diagnostics Co. Ltd. in Saanich, which hopes to use the ndings of the research to develop a more accurate diagnostic tool to detect the viruses aecting blueberries in the province. Better diagnostics are critical because a growing number of sick plants have been testing negative for both scorch as well as shock even as shock continues to spread. Ellis tested 5,080 samples from 234 farms in 2022, of which 56% tested positive for scorch and 32.5% tested negative for both scorch and shock. A year earlier, 47% tested positive for scorch while 25% of samples were negative for both. But with so many viruses circulating, Ellis told growers in Abbotsford that plants may be sick from a combination of viruses rather than just one. “They’re double-negative for scorch and shock but there’s a bunch of mixed virus infections going on, and I don’t think anyone can tell you for sure that these mixed virus infections have no symptoms,” he said. “Combined together, maybe these multivirus infections are producing compounding symptoms as well.” Scorch was rst identied in BC in 2000. Symptoms are similar to the eects of frost damage, insect feeding and mechanical wounds, so lab testing is needed to conrm and address the disease. Scorch-aected plants must be removed, a signicant cost to growers, whereas plants infected with blueberry shock can remain in elds with no impact on other plants. Scorch-aected plants cannot be exported, but testing by Phyto Diagnostics indicates that propagators are doing a good job of maintaining clean nursery stock. “We’re looking at roughly 40,000 leaf samples a year, and you can see that the propagators are doing a very, very good job at controlling these two viruses,” Ellis says. “In 2022, of the 40,000 leaves we looked at only two were positive for scorch.” This ensures that growers who do need to replant can expect to source clean material. Helping you grow your business. you ours.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 19Viticulture show draws record attendancePresentations at Oliver event focus on vine healthThe Growers' Supply hort show in Oliver, February 14, attracted a full house of growers from Kamloops to Osoyoos after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic. TOM WALKERIrrigation Pipe | Traveling Gun/Hose ReelsPivots | Pumps | Power UnitsCall for a quote on Irrigation Design and our current inventory of new & used Irrigation Equipment.Several used 1,200ft pivots & used hose reels available now.TALK TO BROCK 250.319.3044Dynamic Irrigation email@example.com www.hlaattachments.com 1-866-567-4162 • Independent grapples for clamping of awkward loads• Tine and grapple tips are AR400 material• Compact models available• 1-1/4” shaft diameter• 2-1/2” spacing between tines• Points are 5/8” thick, 400 Brinell high strength steel• Compact models available• Grapple clamps on to any Class II fork frame with walk through guard Grapple shown mounted on HD55 pallet fork.BRUSH GRAPPLESINGLE ARM LOG GRAPPLESTONE FORKTOM WALKER OLIVER – The return of in-person meetings continues to draw strong crowds, with BC grape growers clustering around the 22nd annual Growers Supply Co. horticulture show on February 14. The event focuses on viticulture and drew record attendance this year with the lifting of limits on public gatherings last year. “We had over 220 people come to the Oliver community hall,” says Seradaye Lean, technical sales manager for Growers Supply. “That’s the best attendance ever, with registrants from Kamloops all the way down to Osoyoos. … Part of it is that people just want to get out to a hort show again and meet colleagues.” The strong turnout also shows the breadth and importance of the industry to the southern Interior. Participants took in 12 sessions throughout the day, covering topics from automated irrigation technology and the use of autonomous rovers on the farm to current pesticide regulations and the role of biologicals for plant health and disease control. The overall theme of the day was how to support vines through the increasing weather challenges seen in BC winegrowing areas. “The seminars really owed into each other,” says Lean. “The topics of resiliency, sustainability and soil health complemented each other. Growers are really looking at building immunity in their vineyards.” Summerland Research and Development Centre research scientist Jose Ramon Urbez-Torres spoke about obvious and hidden causes of weak vine growth. Grapevines inherently carry many pathogens, often with little impact on vine performance, but when the plant becomes stressed those diseases can rise above critical levels where they impact vine health. “We did a study of nursery stock and pathogens were present in nearly 100% of the vines we tested,” he says. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the plant will become infected. Often the vine will need some form of injury.” That injury could be physical damage, such as a pruning or cultivating wound, or it could be weather-related. “If a vine is suering from water or heat stress or winter damage, we see a much higher growth of pathogens and an increase in the chances the vine will be infected with a trunk disease like crown gall,” Urbez-Torres says. Weather also has a direct eect on the growth of powdery mildew, a fungus that can have a severe impact on vine production and can aect the grapes to the extent they are unusable. It can also impact the foliage and vine shoots. “Powdery mildew is dependent on the weather – not too hot, not too cold and just the right humidity,” says Michelle Moyer, associate professor of viticulture and extension specialist at Washington State University. “But just as the weather is hard to predict, so is the occurrence of mildew.” She says growers need to be proactive in their eorts to combat the infection, anticipating it so as to prevent it from taking hold. “If you see it, it’s actually too late,” she warns. Moyer reviewed important points to be aware of in a spray program, but notes that powdery mildew is beginning to develop resistance to fungicides. She encouraged growers to integrate cultural practices such as canopy management and vigour control to support their spray programs. She also discussed a topic that is frequently coming up as viticulturists look for ways to resist the impacts of both disease and climate change – the role of genetics. “We know that the top common European grape varieties such as Merlot and Chardonnay are very susceptible to mildew, as they are to crown gall as well, and we have done little to cross- breed with disease-resistant grapes,” she says. Moyer noted that European viticulturists are breeding disease-resistant wine grape varieties such as Vidoc, Souvignier Gris and Monarch. “We have to start doing this,” she says. “Instead of 10 to 15 sprays a season, we could be down to two or three. I believe there is a huge potential impact for sustainable winegrowing.”
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 21Butcher hub moves ahead after three yearsProcessing facility will support the region’s growing sector“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 email@example.comAdvanced grazing practices that improve your bottom line• All grazing animals• All sizes of operation• All levels of knowledge• Private and Crown landBCForageCouncil.ca/events@BCForageCouncilFind an event in your regionCome to a demonstration to see which system can meet your operational needsTOM WALKER ROCK CREEK – A planned food hub in the Kootenay Boundary region could be a reality this fall after three years of planning, supporting local meat processing capacity in the southern Interior. “There have been a lot of changes since we rst began discussions in the spring of 2020,” says Vicki Gee, who was formerly involved with the project as a Kootenay Boundary Regional District area rep and now serves as a volunteer with the food hub committee. “There were challenges with our original site, changes in potential clients and increased construction costs.” The original site in Rock Creek next to the Riverside Centre wasn’t compatible with other property uses, Gee explains. The Kootenay Boundary Regional District came to the rescue by purchasing a nine-acre property 10 km to the east and leasing one acre for the food hub. “But it’s in the ALR and we had to apply for non-farm use,” Gee says. “We are still waiting to receive approval.” Organizers expect that approval to come through this spring and are busy with nalizing a business plan and construction details. “We had originally planned to have bakery facilities as part of the food hub, but those businesses have changed their plans,” says Gee. “We have settled on a butcher hub with two components, a dedicated space for cut-and-wrap with Magnum Meats as the tenant and a value-added meat processing area with a smokehouse and sausage-making equipment available for daily rental.” While construction details are yet to be nalized, Gee says that they are considering a steel-frame building. “Steel-framed buildings are relatively inexpensive. We can build the shell and develop areas inside as we need them. Services can be run down from the ceiling, and we could expand the building length if we needed more room,” Gee notes. A not-for-prot society, Boundary Community Ventures Association, has been established to build and manage the food hub, which will be exclusively dedicated to processing. “We have decided against any retail sales at the location,” Gee explains. “Local retailers already have that expertise and we don’t want to be competing with them. The purpose of food hubs is to be able to sell into retail and institutional markets, not just local or farmers markets.” As a member of the BC Food Hub Network, the project received initial start-up funding in addition to the support from the regional district for the location. Support has also come from the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior, Boundary Economic Development Services, and Kootenay Boundary Regional District’s Area E gas tax. Further support from KBRD’s economic development services division will fund a food testing lab as well as a half-time economic development manager for developing the project. A lot has changed in the three years since the rst community meeting for the hub. Back then, Magnum Meats was the only meat processing facility along Hwy 3 from Osoyoos to Creston. Over the past year, Farmhouse Butchery opened a cut-and-wrap shop in Westbridge about 20 km away, and has since added an inspected abattoir to process its own animals. Granby Meat Co. is a new butcher shop that’s opened in Grand Forks, about 70 km east of Rock Creek. Magnum Meats did not respond to requests for comment prior to deadline, but Dean Maynard of Farmhouse Butchery says government’s support of a facility for one of his competitors doesn’t sit well. “Government and private working together, how fair is that?“ Maynard asks. “Why would they not support both our businesses?” The three-year wait has changed producers’ plans as well. Eric Moes was looking to organize a co-op to run the original facility. “I’ve had to pivot my business plan completely,” he says from Little Fork Ranch in Greenwood. “We are doing more commercial cattle feeding and less direct meat sales. We simply couldn’t wait for the hub to get going.” There was talk of a Boundary-area beef brand as well. “That is something we are continuing to look into,” says Gee. “We had originally thought about grass-fed and nished, but that may not have the mainstream appeal that we want.” Snug as bugsA cow-calf pair at Schweb Cattle Co. in Salmon Arm settle in to a freshly bedded outdoor pen on a sunny day in early February. SCHWEB CATTLE CO.
22 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDucks Unlimited pilot helps ranch manage waterPilot enhances rotational grazing, helping livestockDucks Unlimited is assisting ranchers to help meet their goals of improving riparian management in eco-sensitive areas and protect species at risk like the long-billed curlew. CHILANCOH RANCHApproximately25 Cow/Calf Pairsto be SOLDdirectly followingour bull sale.Have 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!Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333TOM WALKER REDSTONE – A fencing project at a Chilcotin ranch will improve rotational grazing practices while beneting long-billed curlew habitat, thanks to support from Ducks Unlimited. “Amanda Miller approached me as she was looking for ranchers to work on new projects with Ducks Unlimited,” says rancher Hellen Bayli of Chilancoh Ranch in Redstone. “I have been expanding our wetland areas at the ranch and we have a lot more birds around than in the past, including long-billed curlews.” Ducks Unlimited paid for the installation of 2,300 metres of electric fencing that was a bonus for the ranch and the curlews. “I had a large pasture that I wasn’t able to manage very well because it included a variety of growing conditions,” Bayli explains. “We were able to divide the area into thirds with electric fencing and I can now put the cattle in when the forage is at its best and keep them out of a wetter area, for instance, when it isn’t ready.” Bayli says with the intensive grazing rotations, forage cover ranges from short, just-grazed areas to mature plants. “There is always an area that I can plan to move the cattle onto next,” she says. That’s a key for the endangered long-billed curlews, says Miller, a range ecologist and project coordinator. “The curlews require a variety of plant cover heights for an ideal habitat and this rotational grazing provides that,” she says. Conservation has long been a priority at Chilancoh, which Hugh Bayli began developing in 1886 on the banks of the Chilcotin river. “My father-in-law Tim Bayli was very involved with the Grasslands Conservation Council and it’s a real passion of mine as well,” says Bayli. “I worked as a parks naturalist before I married into the ranch.” With her late husband Hugh, Bayli worked on various conservation projects. It was one of the ranch’s projects involving beavers that attracted the curlews in the rst place. “We’ve left a beaver dam alone on one of our creeks and it has really expanded a wetland area,” explains Bayli. “As a result of the pond, the bird population has exploded, including the curlews which are a species at risk and are blue-listed in BC.” This work with the Bayli family ranch is part of new pilot program between Ducks Unlimited and ranchers to support species-at-risk habitat through wetland and grassland conservation. “It’s kind of a restart,” says Bruce Harrison, a registered professional biologist and head of conservation science and planning for Ducks Unlimited in BC. “We have a long history of working with BC cattlemen on projects, but funding sources changed and with COVID we lost some of our ability to engage with the agriculture sector.” Harrison says Ducks Unlimited has received funding support from federal carbon sequestration initiatives. “This pilot gives us a start and we hope to develop other projects in the next two to four years,” he says. “The key is to have the projects be practical for ranchers, and that’s where working with people like Hellen and Amanda come in.” Priorities include on-the-ground activities that benet not only waterfowl, but wetlands and wetland biodiversity in general. Harrison says that wetland restoration and ecological stewardship is expected to increase carbon sequestration. Ducks Unlimited was also able to help the Bayli’s fence o a spring used for livestock watering. “With exclusion fencing, we were able to restrict cattle access to just one small area,” says Miller. “It has really helped the overall water quality for both the cows and the ranch wetland areas.” Bayli says she is watching the beaver dam closely. “There is a balance here between the larger pond and an increasing beaver population,” she notes. “The pond provides a water source for birds and livestock, wildre protection and even some short-term irrigation, but more beavers increases the risk of damage, particularly with our irrigation ditches in the fall.” Alberta-based Cows and Fish, formally known as the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, helps ranchers eectively manage beaver populations. Bayli says she hopes to visit Cows and Fish later this year to learn more about its success with beavers. “I hope the beavers and the curlews work for us, but I also hope that this project is something people could come and see and possibly do on their place, too,” she says.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 23Livestock response unit called into actionTwo trailers now equipped to assist in highway accidents The Livestock Response Unit had its rst callout in February when it was used to respond to a rollover of a fth-wheel stock trailer with cattle. SUBMITTED March 4, 2023 - Richardson Ranch Online Hereford Bull Sale Farm Gate Sale, DLMS.ca March 7 2023 - Briar Ridge Stock Farm 4th Annual Bull Sale VJV Auction, Dawson Creek April 8, 2023 - 48th Annual Vanderhoof All Breeds Bull Sale BC Livestock, Vanderhoof April 13 & 14, 2023 - 86th Annual Williams Lake Bull Show & Sale BC Livestock, Williams Lake BCHA President: John Lewis 250-218-2537 BCHA Secretary: Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 TOM WALKER JAFFRAY – The initial callout for the rst of two provincially funded emergency livestock response trailers highlighting their importance. “We had our rst callout the night of February 13, says Bob Miller, general manager of Ownership Identication Inc., which received the rst trailer last fall. “A local rancher and his family were hauling eight cows from the Jaray area over to the Fort McLeod yards.” The highway was slippery and Miller says the rig went over an embankment. “The truck and the gooseneck stock trailer rolled over and the trailer came o.” Miller says. “Luckily, the family was okay.” OII brand inspector Heather Miller attended along with others from the ranching community. All but one of the animals survived. “Fernie RCMP and the DOT said they were so pleased that industry has our own equipment to help with livestock,” says Miller. “It’s just not their expertise.” Highways through the Kootenays see plenty of livestock trac. Highway 93 is the shortest route between feedlots in central Alberta and U.S. feedlots in Prosser, Washington, explains Tyler Morrison, president of the Kootenay Livestock Association. “We get a lot of livestock transport trac through here, some days 20 to 30 liners,” he says. “And in winter the highway gets a lot of snow.” The more trac, the greater the risk of vehicle mishaps, which gave rise to the suggestion of having a trailer in place to assist with a vehicle accident involving livestock. “The idea of the response trailers came from Corporal Cory Lepine when he was serving as a livestock protection ocer,” says Miller. “Cory was part of a committee we put together ve years ago and last summer we nally received funding to outt two trailers to support other responders in a livestock emergency.” The committee also includes Horse Council BC, BC Cattlemen’s Association, BC Association of Cattle Feeders and AgSafe BC. The federal and provincial governments provided up to $67,600 under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support the pilot project. The 14-foot enclosed cargo trailers have a drop-down rear door allowing ready access for a variety of equipment that could help with an animal transport accident. “We put together a variety of things that can be useful in any livestock emergency situation,” says Miller. “We have portable fencing panels that can work as a temporary pen to house animals, or as an alleyway onto another trailer. There are fencing tools in case we have to get animals in or out of an area and even axes to open up the side or roof of a damaged liner.” There’s a variety of personal protective equipment, a rst-aid kit and re extinguishers. There are lariats as well as halters and leads for both horses and cows. Miller says the team decided against power tools. “We didn’t want to mess with gasoline, or a generator, so we don’t have those,” he says, though he’s open to ideas for additional equipment. The trailer is currently located at OII’s brand inspector’s premises in Jaray. OII holds the required liability coverage. “We expect that it will really help in a liner rollover, but it will support any situation where you have animals that need to be moved, whether it’s horses on the highway, a ood or the threat of re,” Miller says. Morrison says other rst responders in the region will be made aware of the trailer and the role it can play. “It’s important for other responders to know how we can assist them,” he says. A second trailer has been outtted and OII showed it at various industry events last fall. The Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association is taking this unit and Miller hopes they will be able to outt a third. “We came in under budget and there was some hold back from the government, so we have enough to fund half the cost,” he explains. “We are looking for an industry association that can help with the costs and then the unit can be stationed in their region.” The province initially hoped to station one in the Lower Mainland, but it has been unable to nd an organization willing to take it on at this time. Miller says the trailers have an eective service range of a two-hour drive from where they’re stationed. “I know we have a huge province to cover, and we move a lot of livestock, but this gives us a start,” he says. “Hopefully we will be able to outt more units. I’d like to see one up in the Peace, one along Highway 16 near Prince George and we could use one in the Lower Mainland and in the Okanagan as well.”
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Less Ash.Farmland Advantage funding extended Program protected more than 4,400 acres last yearKATE AYERS VICTORIA – A project that started as a small ve-year pilot program in the Kootenays in 2016 has received renewed funding through March 2025 that expands it to the Thompson Okanagan region and beyond. The federal government, though Environment and Climate Change Canada, has committed $455,000 under the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) and Priority Places programs to Farmland Advantage. The funding will be administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. “It enhances the natural values of the land,” says IAFBC chair Jack DeWit of Farmland Advantage. “There are so many things that can be done to improve the ecosystem and everything around it. ... It’s a good program and people feel good about it.” Farmland Advantage provides producers with an incentive payment of between $1,500 and $3,000 each for improving or maintaining ecological services on their farms. “The Farmland Advantage program works with farmers to identify the natural values on their farms and develop recommendations to plan and preserve them,” says IAFBC senior program manager Alana Wilson. She spoke at the Islands Agriculture Show, February 3-4. The new funding will help farmers and ranchers continue to enhance and conserve habitats on farmland, benetting species at risk. Ottawa has funded Farmland Advantage since 2020. Part of a pan-Canadian approach to transforming species-at-risk conservation in Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada is concentrating conservation eorts on priority places, species, sectors and threats across the country. It has identied 11 priority places, with the two representative regions being Southwestern BC, including the east coast of Vancouver Island, and the “Dry Interior” – a region that includes the Thompson Okanagan and upper Fraser Canyon. The current iteration of the program supports farmers and ranchers in the latter region. “It’s a bit dierent than some of our other programs. It’s very regionally focused with a farm-based approach to addressing climate concerns,” Wilson says. “It’s also research-led, so each project is driven by informed research around BMPs. … Farmland Advantage is not open to applications from BC-based farmers directly. Instead, the program targets high-risk and high-opportunity areas in BC based on pre-determined selection criteria.” Program leads contact farmers whose land falls within identied areas and gauge producer interest in program participation. The new funding builds on $133,600 provided last year through the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, a project within the larger Farmland Advantage program. As of March 31, 2022, there were 47 farms under contract, which accounts for about 3,700 acres of grassland and 740 acres of riparian area under management to improve the health of those ecosystems. In total, about $78,000 in direct payments was provided to producers. During this time, the program targeted such regions as southern Vancouver Island, the South Coast, Okanagan, South Cariboo and East Kootenays. Some of the key program objectives for the next scal year include expanding partnerships and sites related to wildre and risk reduction on farms and ranches, further rening site targeting methodology and determining sources and mechanisms for long-term stable funding. DUNCAN – One of the most vulnerable watersheds in BC when it comes to farming and the environment may well be the Koksilah. The watershed was the rst to have agricultural water use curtailed under the Water Sustainability Act in 2019 due to low stream ows, prompting ARDCorp to work with farmers to develop an irrigation schedule that balanced the needs of farmers with sh. A further water curtailment order was issued in 2021, one of ve issued across the province. The same year, Farmland Advantage worked with six farms to assess, enhance and protect close to 90 acres of riparian habitat. “One of the reasons why Farmland Advantage is so important in this watershed is that the Koksilah watershed is a vulnerable area in terms of water quantity,” project manager Ione Smith says. “It is often impacted by drought, particularly during dry years, and so farms are impacted in the amount of water they are able to use for irrigation.” Together with the province’s rst-ever water sustainability plan, initiated for the watershed last year, the hope is that the quality and quantity of water will improve for all. — Peter Mitham Watershed moment
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 25Soil carbon only part of the green equationGrowers must also consider nutrient inputs UBC associate professor Sean Smukler (left) and student Emma Yates are studying ways to reduce farming's contribution to global warming. UBC FACULTY OF LAND AND FOOD SYSTEMSProudly certifying Producers and Processorswithin BC and Alberta.FVOPA provides year round certiﬁcation services compliant with the Canadian Organic Standards (CAN/CGSB) and in accordance with the BC Certiﬁed Organic ISO 17065 recognized program. Products may be sold Canada-wide and in international markets. FVOPA ensures an efﬁcient, professional certiﬁcation process for all farm, processing and handling operations. Inspectors are lOlA trained and qualiﬁed making FVOPA a leading Certiﬁcation Agency.Message 604-607-1655Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone 604-789-7586P.O. 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Another is carbon sequestration, which is an important component of meeting climate goals But carbon sequestration should not be the sole focus when reducing agricultural emissions, says Sean Smukler, an associate professor and Agriculture and Environment chair in the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems in Vancouver. Beyond carbon uptake in elds, producers must consider their net greenhouse gas balance and the environmental footprint of all crop inputs. “It’s not just about the carbon getting into the soil, it’s about how much overall greenhouse gas is leaving the soil,” Smukler says. The agricultural industry accounts for 10% of the country’s total emissions. The largest contributions by the sector include livestock methane production, manure management, and nitric oxide from soils, Smukler says. Canada aims to reduce the agriculture sector’s emissions 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, an annual reduction of nearly 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. While the livestock sector had cut emissions nearly 20% by 2020, emissions from crop production increased nearly 80% over the same period, cancelling out the benet. Soils are therefore key, but there are specic challenges when it comes to organic production. For example, applying organic nutrients improves soil organic matter and overall soil health, but challenges arise when it comes to knowing the timing and amounts of nutrients that crops can take up from organic amendments. Too much nitrogen and phosphorus, for example, can become an environmental risk while too little will impact crop yields. “You can’t just assume that if you’re farming organic and not using synthetic fertilizer, that you’re not putting nitrous oxide into the atmosphere,” Smukler says. “This is a biological process where microbes are utilizing nitrogen and that nitrogen, when not used eciently, can be transformed into nitrous oxide, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.” To address gaps in organic production and improve the sector’s sustainability, UBC researchers are trialing enhanced nutrient management planning through funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Organic Cluster III. The research approach for the UBC team and their Nutrient balance uFARMNEWSFANE@countrylifeinbc
26 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Nutrient balance firstname.lastname@example.org@cleanfarmsWhen recycling ag containers, every one countsGreat job recycling your empty pesticide and fertilizer jugs, drums and totes. Every one you recycle counts toward a more sustainable agricultural community and environment. Thank you. Ask your ag retailer for an ag collection bag, ﬁll it with rinsed, empty jugs, and load up your jugs, drums and totes, to return to a collection site for recycling. Find a collection location near you at cleanfarms.caOrganic compost a government priority A number of innovative solutions for dealing with on-farm organic waste have been developed in recent years, from on-farm digesters that harvest methane while producing cattle bedding and compost as byproducts. High-eciency drum composters have been proposed for abattoirs. But in recent months, the BC government has also invested heavily in new composting facilities to develop organic amendments for the agriculture sector. Through the province’s CleanBC Organic Infrastructure and Collection Program, Salt Spring Island will get a new composting facility. The facility, thanks to a $170,000 investment, will process organic materials from grocers, restaurants, healthcare institutions, schools and the Salt Spring Abattoir. The facility will produce Class A compost that can be used by local farmers. Also through the Organics Infrastructure Program, the District of Kitimat will receive about $910,000 to build a composting facility that will process 1,500 tonnes of organic waste annually. In total, the Organics Infrastructure Program is a $30-million commitment by federal, provincial and local governments that supports the province’s CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 climate plan to divert more organic waste from landlls. The BC Centre for Agritech Innovation will also contribute to the development of organic amendments for producers with its recently announced projects. In total, the centre and BC government are investing $540,000 to help four companies generate commercially viable products for the agriculture industry. Agrotek Industries will test the eects of an organic soil amendment on Okanagan blueberry plants and grapevines through its $186,000 project. —Kate Ayerspartners, including Green Fire Farm in the Cowichan Valley and AAFC, is to evaluate nutrient management strategies aimed at improving nutrient balance. The three treatments the team investigates include high compost (37 tonnes per hectare), low compost (24 tons per hectare) and low compost with nitrogen fertilizer (27 tonnes per hectare of feather or blood meal). Experimental trials are conducted at the UBC Farm and Green Fire Farm, and on-farm regional eld trials at 19 vegetable farms in the Pemberton Valley, Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley to account for variability in soil types and climates. UBC eld trials showed that between 4% and 15% of nitrogen and less than 5% of phosphorus were recovered by crops with high compost and between 33% and 53% of nitrogen and between 20% to 64% of phosphorus were recovered by crops with the low compost with nitrogen. Both treatments provided a similar yield boost of between 40% and 50%, with the low compost plus nitrogen providing more consistent results. Throughout this experiment, the team has also measured greenhouse gas emissions from 2015 to present at the UBC Farm in a four-year crop rotation of potatoes, a brassica, beets and beans. Chambers in the eld are connected to an instrument on the side of the eld to measure the day and night eects of greenhouse gas emissions in the eld. A mobile device called a Gasmet captures emissions throughout the day and at specic phases in the growing season when emissions may spike, including after tillage, application of compost, and end of season harvest when residue is left on the eld. Throughout these trials, one important factor examined is the net greenhouse gas balance, which plays a role in reaching the ambitious 2030 and 2050 emission reduction targets. Operations that sequester carbon also emit carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, which all need to be considered during nutrient management planning. “Over a three-year period, we converted the nitrous oxide emissions into carbon dioxide equivalents showing that the high compost releases the most nitrous oxide emissions of all the treatments,” Smukler says. “The low compost with nitrogen is able to reduce those emissions but not signicantly.” So even though composts can help improve soil health and organic matter, more may not always be better. “It’s theorized that we can only sequester carbon in our soil to a certain extent and then they become saturated,” Smukler says. “So even if we could sequester a tonne of carbon per year for 20 years, … we’re still going to have [greenhouse gas emissions] coming out every year. So, we have to gure out not only how do we sequester carbon, but how do we reduce these nitrous oxide emissions.” The next step in this research is to calculate net greenhouse gas balance: carbon sequestration alongside nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide emissions throughout the project. The team also wants to better understand the protability of these practices and how they impact farm resilience. Furthermore, the researchers are looking to integrate the valuation of cover crop mixtures into this system and alternative organic nutrients.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 27Lewis Burkholder has a passion for growing, marketing and eating corn, and with his brother Vincent he’s turned that passion into a viable farm enterprise. SUBMITTEDTruck market uKuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordNorthline EquipmentPouce CoupeHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeFAST MOWING, FAST DRYDOWNStandard drawbar or 2-point Gyrodine® 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 rollerconditioning - adjustable for any cropFC TC CENTER-PIVOT Mower Conditioners10’2” - 14’4” working widthsTRACEY FREDRICKSON CHASE – Who hasn’t tucked into a cob of sweet, juicy corn during a warm summer harvest? It was even better if you could buy it at a roadside stand, freshly picked and direct from the farmer. Many such memories began in the Village of Chase, on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake in the South Thompson River Valley. Here some of the best agricultural soil in the province has supported several generations of farmers in growing world-renowned corn. As the locals say, “There are two seasons in Chase: corn season and waiting for corn season.” Inspired by their own childhood growing up in the community, brothers Lewis Burkholder, now 25, and Vincent, 28, have become one of the main corn producers in the area in just three seasons. One of those farms, Pete Murray’s Corn Farm, was the go-to place for corn in Chase when the brothers were in their teens, selling most of its product through a market stand on the Trans-Canada Highway. “When I was 11, all I wanted to do when I got out of school was join my older brother working at Pete Murray’s Corn Farm,” recalls Lewis. By the time Lewis was in high school, he had joined his brother working at Murray’s after school and on weekends. They both went on to university; Vincent earned a degree in mechanical engineering and Lewis studied business, majoring in marketing. When Murray decided to retire in 2019, the brothers embraced their passion for farming with a vision of starting their own corn farm. They began leasing the 30 acres that Murray farmed, and gradually secured additional land from other nearby farms. By the time a new generation of Murrays took over the Murray farm late last year, the Burkholders had secured 32 acres – enough land to grow on their own. “Pete has been an incredible mentor for us on the growing side of things, teaching us which tools he liked to use and what varieties we would grow,” says Lewis. With their complementary business skills and the ability to work well together (which not all brothers do) the Burkholders created a formal business partnership with the goal of providing “the most delicious corn available to the people of Chase, Kamloops and the Shuswap.” They take pride in the fact their corn is never sprayed, non-GMO, hand-picked daily and sold direct to the public during from August to mid-October. “During our rst season in 2020 there were so many unknowns due to COVID,” says Vincent. “We made enough money to stay motivated for a second season, and just kept on going. We knew that if we were going to be career farmers, we needed to grow the business.” The community was there to support them. Incredibly inventive Tristan Cavers, whose grandfather helped pioneer the area’s corn industry, is the fourth-generation operator of Golden Ears Farm in Chase. He and his wife Michelle provided the brothers with mentoring and old tools and equipment that could be reused, repaired or modied to bring the Burkholders’ cultivation methods up to date. “These guys have been incredibly inventive,” says Cavers. “They were fortunate to have a viable business model to work from and turned it into something where there is a long-term future. They’ve always stayed ahead of the curve.” Filling a market for fresh corn in ChaseBrothers follow a passion for growing and selling sweet corn
The brothers also worked with Thiessen Tillage, specialists in weed control for small to medium-sized farms. “Ryan Thiessen introduced us to nger weeders, which have turned out to be one of the most valuable tools we use,” says Lewis. Finger weeders are designed specically for in-row cultivation and used to uproot small, emerging weeds. The ground engaging the steel drive plate turns the exible polyurethane “ngers” at a fast speed, icking out weeds at the hair stage. “Finger weeders changed the game for us,” Lewis adds. “We went from having patches of weeds that could barely be penetrated to virtually none at all.” The brothers attend up to eight farmers markets a week including Kamloops, Scotch Creek and Sorrento, but faced with a signicant hurdle when construction on the Trans-Canada Hwy closed the exit where Murray’s farm stand had stood for years, removing a major marketing location. “Up to that point, our business strategy was based on the cash we had in hand and the loan we had for the season,” says Vincent. “Everything was based on the budget. But when we realized our most important sales site was going to disappear, we had to quickly pivot. They began selling their corn and some other vegetables at a store in downtown Chase and strategized how to sell more corn to the Kamloops marketplace. They purchased a ve-ton truck, added a refrigeration system and had “Burkholder Bros. Corn Farm” emblazoned on both sides, creating an eye-catching mobile farmstand they could locate wherever they wanted. “It worked out well to have one of us at the truck handling sales,” adds Lewis. “It’s part of the experience we provide around our corn. People like to hear how we got into this and how it all came together. We’re still working on a more permanent location in Chase, but the mobile unit was critical to making the sales we needed.” They were warmly welcomed by the Tk’emlups te Secwepemec in Kamloops during the 2022 season and set up at the truck at the Tk’emlups Petro-Canada station on Hwy 5 during August and September. “Being there allowed us to bring fresh-picked produce to the people of Kamloops every day of the week, something that isn’t available anywhere else in town,” says Vincent. Three years in, the brothers have grown their business revenue by 50%, with the most intensive work – and sales – taking place from August to mid-October. The rest of the year is spent managing the farm and prepping for the upcoming season. The seasonality of corn also allows them to take time o in the winter and do some o-farm work to keep cash owing. The greatest challenge facing the farm today is nding good seasonal workers. “We need people with skills such as the ability to manage themselves and others, work in less-than-ideal weather and conduct high-energy sales when Vincent and I are on the road doing the markets,” Lewis says. Naturally, part of being a good corn picker is knowing the right time to pick the corn. “When we’re out in the eld training, we sample everything,” Lewis says. “I tell them, ‘When you bite into the corn, it needs to feel like an explosion of sweetness in your mouth.” That sweetness is due to the high sugar content of corn, so one might wonder if corn is good for our bodies. In fact, sweet corn has a number of nutrients including lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that can promote healthy vision, B vitamins, iron, protein and potassium. “And I am sure it is good for your mental health because it is so tasty!” Lewis adds. 28 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Truck market raises farm’s profileTo overcome the loss of their popular roadside stand, the Burkholder brothers invested in a refrigerated cube truck and bold signage that could be located virtually anywhere. SUBMITTED *Offer valid with 20% of purchase price down. Loaders are factory installed. Items may not be exactly as shown, accessories, attachments, and implements cost extra. Taxes, set-up, delivery charges notIncluded. Prices are based on the US exchange and may be subject to change. A documentation fee of up to $349 will be applied to all ﬁnance offerings. Additional fees may apply. Programs and pricessubject to change without notice. See PrairieCoast equipment for full details. Some restrictions apply. Offer valid until March 31 2023 while supplies last. Financing on approved John Deere Financialcredit only. Limited time offer which may not be combined with other offers. QID#28052023 1023E with loader. 1023EWITH LOADEREMPLOYEEPRICINGACT NOW!LIMITED TIMEDEALER REBATE!COMPACT UTILITY TRACTOR0% FOR 60MONTHS $319PER MOOR $23,495$27,995AFTERREBATE REGULAR PRICE PRINCE GEORGE | KAMLOOPS | KELOWNA | CHILLIWACK | LANGLEY | NANAIMO WWW.PCE.CA 1-877-553-3373
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 29On-farm trials address nutrient challengesUBC study helps Island growers get more from their cropsDeLisa Lewis is collaborating with researchers at UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems to address nutrient challenges faced by Vancouver Island farmers. GREEN FIRE FARMServing the Okanagan and Fraser Valley We’ve been proudly family owned and operated since opening in 1976. 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 250-838-6414www.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613TL1100RTL1700SRWraps round bales up to 6’ in diameter. Runs in automatic mode using either tractor hydraulics or as a standalone wrapper with the optional power pack. Wrap round or square bales in either manual or fully automatic operation when equipped with required options. Standalone operation with available power pack.Visit us online for complete listing of features and options.KATE AYERS DUNCAN – Producers have the tricky task of applying nutrients at the right time, rate and place. Over and under applications impact crop yield, the environment, operation eciency and protability. The fourth “R” is right source, which means ensuring a balanced supply of essential plant nutrients including granular or liquid fertilizers or manures, according to Fertilizer Canada. The source component depends on crop type and farm location. “Vancouver Island is a region that is separate from the Lower Mainland and separated from the rich and readily available sources of nitrogen and phosphorus in commercially accessible compost products,” says farmer and UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems assistant professor DeLisa Lewis. “We do not have all of those poultry farms and so the cost of buying that o farm, compost for me and for many others, makes it almost prohibitive.” As a producer and professor, Lewis has both an academic understanding and rst-hand knowledge of the challenges that accompany soil nutrient management on the Island. So when UBC approached DeLisa about running experimental trials, she was eager to get things started at Green Fire Farm in Duncan, which she operates with business partner and colleague Jana Kotaska. The 40-acre farm produces certied organic fruits, vegetables and owers, hay and livestock. Lewis is part of a longer-term study where researchers are partnering with growers to run real-life simulations that consider real-time decision-making throughout the growing season. The objective of the experimental and regional on-farm trials is to enhance the understanding of plant inputs and outputs, which in turn impact nutrient availability and use. Throughout this work and experience, Lewis learned that composts are not the most economically sustainable option for Green Fire Farm. Instead, she buys targeted organic fertilizers such as sh and bone meal to reduce the transportation costs for bulk materials. From an environmentally sustainable standpoint, producers should also consider nutrient source origins and transport when developing their nutrient management plans, says Lewis’s fellow faculty member Sean Smukler. These are called lifecycle and ghost-acre components. “Think about where all those nutrients came from to produce the manure that made the compost. Most of our grain that goes to animals does not come from this province. At best, it’s coming from a neighbouring province,” he says. “[Consider] conditions of production on those farms, emissions embodied there. … More compost does not necessarily mean more regenerative. We can’t just assume that putting on more carbon and organic matter [means] we’ll have a more regenerative system.” While not all farmers can have integrated crop and livestock systems to supply manure and compost, green manure is emerging as a plant-based solution to nutrient management. “Other tools include better rotations, better cover on the soil for longer periods of time and really focusing on plant-based solutions [for] nutrients with targeted cover crops,” Lewis says. “It is about getting the timing right, getting the cultivars right in a good cover crop mix and we do hope to include more work on that in the next … iteration of the research on elds here and in other regions.” Regular soil monitoring and analyses can equip producers with the information they need to make informed nutrient management decisions. “Understand the opportunities and constraints of their soils and I mean everything down to getting [to know] your texture, get a good grasp on both the drainage and the nutrient holding capacities of your soil,” Lewis says. “All of those really sort of fundamental understandings can help us reach better nutrient eciency.”
30 | MARCH 2023 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 2023 | 31Automation is revolutionizing dairy farmingFraser Valley farms heighten efficiencies with technologyThe family dairy farm Tim Elgersma calls home was started in 1974. They’ve recently added a third robotic milker and a Vector robotic feeding system that has improved efciencies in the barn and at the bank. RONDA PAYNERobots deliver data uTRACTOR TIME VICTORIA 250.474.3301 4377C Metchosin Rd. 30 mins from Victoria and 15 mins from Hwy#1 in Metchosin.HANDLERS EQUIPMENTABBOTSFORD 604.850.3601 339 Sumas WayHOUSTON 250.845.3333 2990 Highway CrescentRONDA PAYNE AGASSIZ – Knowing that the BC Dairy Association wasn’t organizing tours of Fraser Valley dairy farms prior to this year’s Pacific Agriculture Show, West Coast Robotics took the initiative and planned its own tour of farms benefiting from increased automation. “We found out no one else was doing it and decided to step up,” says Brian Rodenburg, owner of West Coast Robotics in Agassiz. The first stop was Chilliwack’s Boa Vista Farms, where Steve Elgersma, his wife Christine and son Tim manage a herd of 144 milking cows. Elgersma’s father, Charlie, started the farm in 1974. A barn was built in 2012 that houses two robotic milkers. “In 2020, we did an addition; there’s another robot there,” Elgersma explains. The expansion, and the need to replace his existing tractor and wagon, prompted Elgersma to also add a Vector robotic feeding system. In the barn, Elgersma keeps a kitchen area filled with the feed components that make up his total mixed ration or TMR. A claw from the feeding machine moves on a rail above the kitchen and drops down on a chain to select each ingredient, weighs it and deposits it for mixing. If it grabs too much, it drops it and tries again. Once full and mixed, the robotic feeder leaves the filling station next to the kitchen and tours the barn, depositing feed in front of cows and monitoring uptake. The robot scans feed levels as it moves so it can see where feed is needed next. West Coast Robotics account manager Jason Jordan says feed efficiency and accuracy were the primary reasons Elgersma chose the Vector system. “He feels the Vector had a great return on investment and paid back even quicker than his [milking] robots,” says Jordan. “He isn’t regretting his choice.” In adding the Vector system, fuel savings were about $4,000 a year while his electricity bill increased $1,200 a year – a net savings of $2,800. The robot achieves about 97% accuracy in TMR deliveries, resulting in very little feed left in front of the cows. There was no change in milk yields. “The biggest savings on the Vector is that it only feeds what they’ll eat,” says Rodenburg. “On a summer day, the thing will drive around and not give feed because they’re not eating.” The system does have a challenge with long strands of feed, so chopping in the field at harvest is important. Longer stands of two feet or more may cause an alarm when the claw moves to fill the robot and the strands catch on equipment. It took Elgersma about a year to become familiar with the system and get it to run efficiently. “This offers flexibility a feed box does not,” Elgersma says. “You do, kind of, have to plan your feed. The first year took a lot more effort to get it figured out.” The addition to the barn was built over the manure lagoon, eliminating the need for a pump as waste drains down. Management of the effluent is done from a carport-style structure at the end of the addition that covers the deeper portion of the lagoon. Waterbeds in the cow stalls are covered with small amounts of sawdust bedding. Bedding is replaced every three weeks. “If we load up the beds with bedding, it doesn’t make them a benefit,” says Elgersma. “We don’t use a lot of bedding so it makes the waterbeds economical.” The second stop was Abbotsford’s Rose Gate Dairy, with about 200 milking cows and six robotic milkers. Jared DeJong says his grandfather built the farm in the 70s and the biggest constraint to growing the operation was barn space. Now the focus is on maintaining the current size of the herd and enhancing both cow and human efficiencies. “In 2011, we made the transition to robotics,” he says. His latest investment is a SiloKing self-loading TMR mixer-feeder. “It’s been awesome,” he says. “We save money on fuel and labour. This thing did for feeding the same as robots did for milking.” He estimates it saves him about three hours a day in Be a Guest Contributor on our Viewpoint Page.email@example.comEmail us your submission today
32 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Robots deliver data to help dairy farmers improve production Chassis with ideal ground tracking Hydraulic working width adjustment. Very convenient operation on request Comfortable road transportMore success with PÖTTINGER.TOP 1252 CChilliwack – 1.800.242.9737, 44725 Yale Road WestLangley – 1.800.665.9060, 21869, 56th AvenueChemainus – 126.96.36.1993, 3306 Smiley RoadPÖTTINGER CANADATel. 450-372-5595, www.poettinger.ca 2 year warrantyfeeding time which frees him up to devote more time on cow health and herd efficiency. One area he focuses on is training heifers for robotic milking. “The extra work to do that, it pays off,” he says, explaining that cows enter peak milk production in the robotic system at just 30 days rather than the 60 they used to take. “Now, it’s just five days before they are productive.” This is significantly better than the two to three weeks it used to take before they were producing milk. DeJong appreciates the details available from his milking robots. As a supplier of Lely milking robots, West Coast Robotics is the only firm in BC able to track fat and protein in the milk. Plus, cow comfort is increased as the milking robots are designed in a straight-line in-and-out format, rather than K-shaped. “We’re so confident now in the data we provide that we offer service contracts,” Jordan says. “People want to know this information and make adjustments based on it.” Matlak Dairy on Nicomen Island was custom-built in 2022 for an approximately 110 milking cow herd. West Coast Robotics account manager Mitch McCormick says he started talking to the family about the barn’s design and construction in June 2020. “They had never dealt with West Coast Robotics before,” he says. The process of exploring the right supplier included touring barns with robots and considering potential barn designs. McCormick was able to provide input immediately, making suggestions for efficiency, cow comfort and future growth. “Ultimately, in the end, it came down to service and what [the Matlaks] felt was the best robot,” he says. “It came down to the data and the service costs. The Lely robot provides more data and information. It has fewer alarms and has lower costs of ownership. The Matlaks saw all those things.” Part of the barn’s design was to create a sense of openness with safety for people as well as the herd. The open alley rails provide increased visibility and comfort for the cows while the separated walkways allow for quick, cow-free movement. “You can walk into the centre robot rooms without ever stepping into the cow area,” McCormick says. “There is management space to accommodate growth towards the back of the barn.” The barn is “nowhere near full yet” in his opinion, and there is room in the milking stations for additional milkers to be added to the three already in place. Even when the back of the barn goes online, the alleys and concrete walls are designed around the flow of the cows and the position of the vet room and milking rooms to ensure efficiency for humans and animals. Robotic feeding systems have revolutionized the way dairy farmers manage their herds. RONDA PAYNE
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 33UBC research advances dairy herd healthStudents showcase new findings in cow, calf care to producersBC dairy producers were invited to join UBC animal welfare program students during a pre-ag show tour at Prime Acres in Abbotsford to discuss the faculty’s research. BC DAIRYQuality Pre-Owned Tractors & EquipmentANDEX 773 RAKE . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,500 CASE 580 LDR, BACKHOE . . . . . 29,000 CASE 595 4WD LDR . . . . . . . . . . . 18,500 CASE IH 4210 2WD . . . . . . . . . . . 20,000 X2 CLAAS 2650 MOWER . . . . . . . 9,000 FELLA SM320 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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Certain Conditions ApplyStable spring-steel supporting arms Uniform levelling Variable track looseners @strategictill | lemken.caVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989)LTD23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604-463-3681 | vanderwaleq.comRONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – More than 100 dairy producers learned about recent cow and calf research from UBC animal welfare program students at Abbotsford’s Prime Acres on January 25 ahead of the Pacic Agriculture Show. “People stopped by and they could have a chat with the students,” says Dan Weary, a professor in UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems. “We look at what is the problem and how we are using science and research to help farmers solve problems.” Four student-created poster boards were on display at Prime Acres, where BC Dairy Associate secretary Casey Pruim and his wife Sarah milk 300 cows on 200 acres. The project boards broke complex research themes down into three subsections focused on topics that would appeal to a variety of farmers and individual concerns. “There are dierent stories for dierent people,” says Weary. “It’s 20 years of research and each [presentation board] sort of chips away at a problem. There’s a reason to take it seriously.” The rst display was on rearing calves and Weary was encouraged by having Pruim’s “beautiful calf barn” as the backdrop for the presentation board that looked at the importance of calf-based indicators for feed and housing. “One of our students actually interviewed farmers to nd out what was important to them in calf-rearing,” he says. “Two things came back from that. How do we know when calves are ready to wean? And, how do we use social housing and get that to work?” The study found that weaning calves individually, based on their solid feed intake, allowed for a successful transition to a diet of completely solid feed. Weary explains automated feeders can help because they gauge how much solid food the calf is eating. “They basically tell you when the calf is ready to switch from milk,” he says. “It can really work for the calf.” Cow comfort is a constant topic in the industry, yet it has dierent interpretations. The presentations at Prime Acres looked at aspects of cow comfort to help farmers create stronger relationships within and among the herd. Social housing found that calves were willing to make eorts (through pushing a weight) in order to access a social partner. It’s an element that creates stronger relationships within the herd and ultimately, greater cow comfort. The project revealed that social relationships are important to calves. “We think of cows as being these wonderful, placid individuals,” says Weary. “[But] they can become aggressive if the farm isn’t designed right. How do we, as people who care for animals, learn to work with animals and maximize interactions that help cows get along?” It’s about training, which every dairy farmer participates in to some degree, but Weary suggests “we often don’t do it in a very explicit and thoughtful way.” He would like to see farmers use positive approaches that improve relationships. Another example was training to get a heifer to enter a headlock for an injection or other necessary procedure. Farm visitors watched a cow hurry to the headlock and eat happily while getting an injection from the student, illustrating the benets of positive training. “It can take something that’s not too pleasant of a thing to something that’s pleasant,” he says. Other research projects looked at competition at drinkers, brush use compared to group size and interpreting how calves experience pain. There were also studies into lameness and how pasture plays a part in potential recovery. Assessing lameness may one day be done remotely by non-experts through video, according to one study. “Hiring an expert to come in and measure lameness every week, it’s just not going to happen,” Weary says. In fact, when people around the world were shown two videos, side-by-side, each of a cow walking, even those without any knowledge of a cow could identify lameness with as much accuracy as an expert.
34 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMarketing 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®Visit our WebsiteNORTH END FARMSALT SPRING ISLANDHISTORIC RIVER RANCHVANDERHOOF BC 10 ACRE OCEAN VIEW WILDERNESS PROPERTY - GALIANO ISLANDHOME ON THE RANGEBUICK, BCOCEANFRONT COTTAGE IN A SPECTACULAR LOCATIONNAKISKA RANCH - WELLS GRAY PARKCLEARWATER, BCAFFORDABLE STARTER RANCH CLOSE TO TOWN - PRINCE GEORGE, BCPOTENTIAL HOBBY FARM WITH CHARMING COUNTRY HOME - QUESNEL, BCThe iconic North End Farm is a rare $11,500,000 $4,995,000 Priced to Sell at $595,000 $2,175,000 $759,000 $2,999,000 $1,179,000 $525,000KEVIN KITTMER firstname.lastname@example.orgRICH OSBORNE 604-328-0848Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comDAVE SIMONE 250-539-8733DS@landquest.comJOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100Personal Real Estate Corporationjohn@landquest.comJAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605 JASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577ROB GREENE email@example.comSAM HODSON 604-809-2616 Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comCOLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793 Personal Real Estate CorporationWESTERN LAND GROUPSUBDIVIDABLE RURAL ACREAGE WITH CREEK - TROUT LAKE, BCLARGE, NEWLY RENOVATED FAMILY HOME WITH SHOP- HAGENSBORG, BC $459,000 $589,000MATT CAMERON firstname.lastname@example.orgFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comAs winter fades into spring, mud followsThe farmyard is in its annual seasonally induced irritating stage. This is a topic not often mused upon in the annals of farm lore. Farmyards have a certain, horribly stereotypical, charming cachet – it’s all about friendly dogs, patches of lawn, antique equipment and cameo chickens. The whole scene is meant to carry the promise of sociable company, wholesome pursuits and the winsome likelihood of freshly baked rolls with lunch. Let me be among those who tell the truth: the farmyard is more often a scene of frenetic activity, unsightly messes and inhospitably busy people. And in the early spring, there is mud. Let’s begin with the driveway, a mud-covered icy and rutted dirty snow-banked chute. The entrance o the highway is indicated by mouldy old skis wrapped in green agging tape, poked lopsided into the snow. There was a low split-cedar rail fence until recently, when it got blown into the ditch by the snow blower that also blew the farmstand signs to pieces. The signs have been patched up, but the rails of the fence poke out here and there, lining the ditch. As the snow melts, the whole scene looks increasingly chaotic. Navigating the driveway, you encounter the driveway dog, who thinks it’s great fun to gambol out to meet moving vehicles, timing his arrival for the very last vehicle-bucking pothole. The front-porch dog is there barking a repeated greeting. They converge on the arriving vehicle and usually don’t paw the driver’s door window unless you are particularly slow to exit. Once nished with the greeting, they return to random hysterical barking jags whenever they see a crow. You have likely parked under a tree that is lled with little birds, so your vehicle will be peppered with poop and you are surrounded by ever more expansive puddles, deeper mud and underlying ice. There are also crowing roosters, bustling chickens and languidly pooping ducks. The barking dogs I have mentioned. Conversation is dicult enough before the three roosters get to crowing. There are currently three big loud, amboyantly feathered ones, hatched on the farm and as yet undispatched. Their presence makes the small ock of chickens seem like a veritable herd, as everywhere you look there is a chicken getting away from a rooster. You notice that the chickens outwit them quite easily, and chickens are not very smart. Roosters are less smart. For added eect this year, the large oak tree is dropping leaves everywhere. Many deciduous trees have failed to drop leaves in the conventional time-period allocated to leaf dropping, which I think has something to do with the enormous stress of the hot summer and fall. The massive oak leaves splatter the dirty snow and make a slimy sort of mash in the puddles and on the ice. Proceeding on foot, you will now be dirty. It is unavoidable. You must accept this situation and not wear anything but your most dirt-friendly clothes. It’s very slippery. Packed snow is turning to ice with every daily freeze-thaw cycle. You will nd that the rubber soles of your new winter boots are terrible in these conditions. They seem excellent at keeping your shins warm, for some reason, but your toes will be cold, and you can’t trust your grip. They cost a lot of money, and that’s irritating too. And now, what joy, it is time to wash and sort potatoes. Outside. This is your own fault. You are the one who thought it would be a good idea to shift the sales window away from the hot summers. It was a good idea in the middle of another 40° lunchtime six months ago, but it means getting damp in 1° today, fussing over an irritating farmyard and hoping nobody comes to visit. Anna Helmer farms and writes in the Pemberton Valley, and occasionally complains about it. Farm Story ANNA HELMER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 35The environmental footprint of greenhouses has been a hot-button issue for decades but the sector has more often than not been ahead of the curve in embracing high-efciency production systems. FILEWater management critical uMFG OF MINI SKID STEERS AND A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS INCLUDINGDRAINAGE PLOWS | TREE SPADES | TREE SAWS & SHEARS | BOOM MOWERS | PTO POWER PACKSBRUSH MULCHERS | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS | PTO GENERATORS | AUGER DRIVES | FLAIL MOWERSTREE PULLERS | FELLER BUNCHERS | EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | TRENCHERS | STUMP GRINDERSBAUMALIGHT.COMAdair Sales & Marketing Company Inc. 306-773-0996 | email@example.comLocate A Dealer OnlineKATE AYERS ABBOTSFORD – The greenhouse sector is on the leading edge of technological advancements but is a completely closed and controlled system possible in food production? This type of system is not required in BC at this time, but international researchers are exploring the possibility of zero-emission soilless cultivation. In BC, greenhouses are covered by the Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM Code), which requires that producers prevent direct discharges into watercourses or groundwater and prevent contaminated runo, leachate, solids or air contaminants from crossing property boundaries or entering watercourses and groundwater. The sector also has emissions limits for heaters and boilers. While growers in the province are not required to reduce their emissions or limit water discharge, many voluntarily use technologies that are cost-eective and protect the environment. Water recirculation is one approach producers use to reduce water use and discharge. “As a sector we're always looking at new and better, more economically feasible ways of doing things and certainly, nobody made us recirculate our drain water,” says BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association executive director Linda Delli Santi. “We did it because it made perfect sense to do it.” In fact, Delli Santi built a greenhouse with recirculation in 1989. “We've been doing it for a very long time already and it was because it made good business sense for us. And luckily it also helps the environment and helps us keep in compliance with not emitting pesticide and fertilizer products,” she says. While net-zero production is not yet a goal, technology is helping optimize greenhouse environments and reducing input use, says BC Centre for Agritech Innovation director of innovation and technology Laila Benkrima. The deployment of technology and automated control systems mean growers can better manage resources, reduce energy consumption and collect data to make better decisions. Crop yield and ripeness, pest pressure, and greenhouse conditions are being forecast using articial intelligence so that growers can be proactive and ecient in mitigating production challenges. Robotics, while expensive, are also helping scout, spray and harvest crops. “All of these intelligence systems are coming slowly and are being adopted slowly,” says Benkrima. “They are not for everybody, but hopefully some of the solutions will be aordable for all growers and they can have some savings on inputs.” The result is a sector that’s better prepared if – or when – the kinds of limits Dutch growers face become a fact Preparing for a low-emissions futureGreenhouse innovations target greater efficiency
36 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCu Water management critical to greenhouse growers’ long-term goalsABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411For those who demand quality, only AGCO Genuine parts will do.of life in Canada. The Netherlands has committed to reducing nitrogen and ammonia emissions by 50% by 2030 and ocials stipulate that greenhouse growers must stop discharging water by 2040. Researchers are therefore looking for ways to build an emission-free soilless greenhouse. As part of these eorts, Wageningen University greenhouse horticulture researcher Jim van Ruijven focuses on the development and implementation of water treatment systems – one piece of the zero-emission puzzle. He presented some of his ndings at the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford on January 26. “There is a water framework directive that says surface water should be at a high quality by 2027,” he told growers. “They made a legislation to decrease the amount of nitrogen leaving the greenhouse via the water based on nitrogen emission standards.” As Holland cracks down on water discharge, producers must ensure that every input into the system is used by the crop, disposed of with the substrate or removed selectively, he adds. Selective removal is expensive and means that growers have to be even more aware of the use of substrates, irrigation water sources, fertilizers, plant protection products and cleaning and disinfection products. Plant growth can be aected by even the slightest residues. The sprouts are smaller; the root development is growing much slower. So even very low concentrations of these things can have detrimental eects on growth,” van Ruijven says. To remove pesticides and nutrients from rinsing water, growers can use cloth lters between the sump and collected drain tank. Other water purication strategies include purication per company or location, collective purication per area, mobile purication for smaller volumes or building emission-free greenhouses from the start, which need to be certied by water authorities. Some in-house purication technologies used by Dutch growers include ozone, advanced oxidation, activated carbon adsorption and biological treatment. The work of van Ruijven and other researchers shows what could be on the horizon for the sector and exemplify that there is not a one-size-ts-all solution to net-zero production. “What we’ve shown in some research and demonstration projects is that zero-emission cultivation is possible. You can eectively remove plant protection products with the technologies that I’ve shown,” van Ruijven says. “But even if you are doing everything right and collecting all your drain water, trying to reuse it as much as possible, surface water quality can still be an issue because of leakages from your cultivation system.” Greenhouse operators have already invested in sophisticated systems to recirculate water but the pressure is on to make those systems even more efcient while still optimizing production. SUBMITTED
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 371.866.345.34141.866.345.3414FARMREALESTATE.FARMREALESTATE.COMCOMWith over 40,000 sq ft of greenhouse space you have a chance to become your own employer for yourself and your family. If you are eager, the infrastructure is in place to expand the greenhouse size by acres - including water license and natural gas supply. The current business supplies grocery stores in the city as well as two of their own direct market sheds. Outdoor market gardens are currently 13 acres of healthy soils which have produced potatoes, sweet corn, carrots, pumpkins, winter and summer squash, sunflowers and garlic. The sunflowers have provided fantastic photo opportunities as another stream of revenue. To expand on that the beautiful barn would be an excellent venue to rent out. The infrastructure is in place to raise your own livestock that you can market and/or provide an opportunity for Ag-Education. A corn or sunflower maze could be put in place, the cultivated crop land is currently rented out for revenue or you could grow crops for your own livestock. As part of this turn-key going concern sale you will take over all current growing inventory and supplies, machinery needed to grow just about whatever you want, equipment for delivering your product, irrigation equipment, pretty much everything you can think of to keep the operation going or expand it to your hearts content.HANK VAN HIERDENAB & BC* FARM REALTOR®*LICENSED WITH FAIR REALTY403.308.1737MARKET GREENHOUSE CLOSE TO CALGARY, ABMARKET GREENHOUSE CLOSE TO CALGARY, ABFarmRealEstate.comCHRIS VEENENDAALAB & SK FARM REALTOR®403.849.8211Show timeThere was plenty to experience at the Pacic Agriculture Show, January 26-28, with the Abbotsford Tradex lled to capacity with tractors, farm equipment and just about anything else producers could need to help their farms grow. MYRNA STARK LEADER PHOTOS
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023 | 39TOM WALKER LAKE COUNTRY – Apple orchards across the Okanagan are currently a vast sea of brown leaves, an unusual situation that has growers worried. “We had that wonderful warm October,” says Molly Thurston, a tree fruit industry consultant and owner of Claremont Organics in Lake Country. “There was a high of 15° C on October 31 and three days later the low was -8° to -10° C. The trees had not yet gone through fall leaf drop and the leaves were essentially flash-frozen onto the branches.” Thurston says the same situation exists in Washington orchards. “I traveled down to a hort show in eastern Washington earlier this month and it is the same wall of brown leaves down there,” she says. Those leaves won’t be dropping any time soon, Thurston says. “Growers in Washington have tried blowing them off with helicopters. They’ve tried high-pressure water hoses and they can’t get them to move,” she says. “It looks like they are there to stay until the new buds in the spring push them off.” The unusual situation will slow down spring pruning. “Some people are estimating it might take up to 50% more time to prune an apple block,” Thurston says. “The thick cover of leaves is hiding the branches. Pruning crews will take more time searching for the right spot to cut and they will likely have to strip away leaves to make sure the cut is accurate.” The leaf cover may also affect diseases, as the dead canopy may increase disease pressure as the new buds emerge. “It will create an unusual environment on the tree that may support disease pressures, we just don’t know,” Thurston says. The lack of bare trees is an added blow to fruit growers who have been dealing with the impacts of sudden, severe cold two years in a row. “Peach orchards had both winter damage and spring bud damage last year and we had significant winter kill this December,” says Thurston. “I won’t be pruning my peach trees at all this year, in hopes that some buds have Dead leaves are creating headaches for Okanagan fruit growers. TOM WALKERINSECTICIDEMultiple 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 survived.” Reports from cherry growers are mixed, as elevation, slope and orientation can all determine cold damage. “Though there are some variable levels of damage observed in cherry blocks, the December cold event has not impacted BC Tree Fruits’ volume significantly at this point,” reports Laurel Van Dam, vice-president, grower relations, at BC Tree Fruits Cooperative. Erin Carlson of Carcajou Fruit Co. in Summerland is seeing a variety of damage as well. “Freeze damage in our town blocks is minimal,” she says. “[But] at our higher elevation we figure 30% plus or minus damage. … That’s one in three or one in four buds with damage. Some areas on the flats got colder and have about 50% damage to existing buds.” Carlson says workers haven’t pruned yet, and she’s hopeful. “We will adapt as necessary based on what we see in March and early April,” she says. “We anticipate that without more damaging cold we could still get a full crop off of most of our trees.” Dead canopies from last year concern growersFlash-frozen leaves create challenging management conditions this spring
www.countrylifeinbc.com/subscribe/40 | MARCH 2023 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! CREDIT CARD # _________________________________________________________________ EXP _____________ CVV __________ o NEW o RENEWAL | o ONE YEAR ($18.90) oT WO YEARS ($33.60) o THREE YEARS ($37.80) Your Name ___________________________________________________________________________________ Farm Name __________________________________________________________________________________ City ______________________________________ Postal Code ________________________________________ Phone _____________________ Email ____________________________________________________________ MAIL TO: 36 DALE RD, ENDERBY, BC V0E 1V4 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Problems stack up for Kenneth at the new farmWhen we left o last time, Kenneth had been successfully albeit ungratefully rescued from the barn loft, at which point he announced to Delta that he had bought the farm so she could have a place to live. Rural Redemption, Part 156, The Landlord, continues. Kenneth called on Delta rst thing the next morning. “Good morning, Landlord.” Land-lord. Kenneth liked the sound of it. He thought it suited him. Land-lord. “I thought we could see what you think might need to be done to the barn and fences,” he said. Delta took a notepad along. Two hours later, she had a list two pages long. Kenneth was surprised to learn there would need to be an insulated and heated room built in the barn to keep all the saddles and bridles warm and dry. The need for a turn-out corral behind the barn was a revelation. He was amazed to learn that barbed wire fences and horses didn’t mix and page wire was the way to go. He hadn’t foreseen the requirement to fence both sides of the road from the barn to the elds to make a secure horse alley between them. He incorrectly surmised that would need to be page wire as well but found board fences were preferred and that way they would match the corral. He was bewildered to nd there would need to be a waterline in each box stall, to the corral and all the way to the gateway to each of the elds so no one had to monkey around dragging hoses everywhere and the horses could drink at their leisure. “You sure that’s it?” he asked a little sarcastically. “Except for the hot water tank in the tack room and a 30 amp RV plug for my trailer, and the lean-to on the end of the barn needs to be repaired so the horses can get some shade when they are out in the corral.” Kenneth said he’d see what he could do. Delta gave his hand a squeeze and assured him it was going to be perfect. Kenneth spent an hour on the Internet and vetted out a fencing contractor and arranged to meet him the next day. Dave Digby of Dave Digby Fencing Sales and Installation showed up with a digital measuring wheel and an iPad and told Kenneth to show him around and explain what he was after. Kenneth wondered if he might save some money if he got a mill in to cut the boards for the laneway and corral. Dave explained he would be better o to go with vinyl because it was safer for horses and lasted longer and looked much nicer. Kenneth wondered if he might spare some of the cost by using the fence posts already around the elds. Dave said he would be wasting his time and money because half of the posts were already too far gone to use and the rest soon would be. Kenneth asked if he could help with the installation to make things a little cheaper. Dave laughed so hard he was speechless for several minutes. Eventually, he shook his head and said no. Dave texted an estimate the next day. Kenneth took 20 minutes to recover, then phoned Dave. “Are you sure you haven’t made a mistake here somewhere?” “I don’t think so. Why, is there something I missed?” “No, it’s just that this seems like a lot of money.” “That’s because it’s a lot of fence.” “Isn’t there something I could do to make it cheaper?” asked Kenneth. “Sure,” said Dave. “Tell you what. You call up my supplier and get him to donate the posts and wire and vinyl planks, and phone the co-op and get them to kick in fuel for the tractor, then talk the crew into working for nothing and you could save a bundle.” Kenneth drew a deep breath and gave a long sigh, then asked Dave when he could start the job. Dave said as soon as Kenneth sent him a $10,000 e-transfer. Kenneth said he didn’t do business with strangers that way. Dave assured him that was the only way he did business with strangers, so think it over and let him know. Three days later, Gordon Sayles dropped by to give Kenneth the house keys and a folder full of paperwork and take the For Sale sign down. He shook Kenneth’s hand, said what a pleasure it had been, and to make sure to get the house insurance lined up pronto. The insurance agent told Kenneth he would need to have the chimney and wood burning appliances inspected before the house could be insured. Kenneth had an inspector on site the next morning. “You’ve got problems.” “What, specically?” asked Kenneth. “Where do I start?” said the inspector. “Your chimney looks like it hasn’t been cleaned for years. The ue liner is cracked from one end to the other, the mortar joints on all the outside brickwork need to be re-done, and your stove isn’t certied.” “What does all that mean?” “It means you need a new chimney, or you need to have a steel liner installed, and you’re going to have to buy a certied stove.” Kenneth took Delta to the heating and sheetmetal dealer in town to check out certied woodstoves. Karen at the heating and sheetmetal store was surprised they were looking for a wood cookstove because she couldn’t ever remember selling one, but she could show them some brochures and order one in if they found one they liked. Delta wondered if there was such a thing as a wood stove that had some electric elements, too, for cooking in summer. Karen found one in a catalog. She said the good news was, it was so ecient it would qualify for a $300 rebate from the regional board. She said the bad news was, it cost more than a small car and it would take six months to deliver. Kenneth said thanks but they would have to think about the stove a while longer and was there someone who could come and give him an estimate on a steel liner for the chimney. The next day Al from Jiy Electric showed up to install a buried line to an RV plug and run a service line into the barn where the tack room was going to go. While he was at it, Greg from heating and sheetmetal showed up and sized up the chimney liner, and worked out a ballpark estimate. Kenneth took a look and decided it would probably be cheaper to forego the wood stove and chimney and opt for an all electric kitchen. He called Al into the house and asked if he might be able to wire in a stove plug. Al said he’d take a look. Ten minutes later, he tracked Kenneth down on the front porch. “You’ve got problems,” said Al. to be continued ... Woodshed Chronicles BOB COLLINSFOR ALL THOSE WHO WANT TO GO UPVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD.5080T TELESCOPIC WHEEL LOADER 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023| 41 !COWICHAN EXHIBITION PARK • WWW.IASHOW.CA • COWEX@SHAW.CA"#$%&'!MYRNA STARK LEADER LANGLEY – A BC company is close to resolving the labour shortage facing the BC and worldwide mushroom industry. According to the Canadian Mushroom Growers' Association, entry-level harvester roles are harder than ever to ll. Harvesting requires a soft touch since mushrooms bruise easily, and since harvesting is typically an entry-level job, most workers tend to move up. This means foreign workers are required to ll over 30% of entry-level positions on Canada’s mushroom farms. But Vancouver-based Lyne Systems believes it’s built a solution. Company founder and civil engineer Mike Gardiner says much of the 15-year-old company’s work has sought to optimize agricultural packaging, including working closely with the largest fresh mushroom distributor in North America, Monterey Mushrooms of California. The idea of an automated picker’s assistant came to him about three years ago while attending Mushroom Days in the Netherlands, the world’s largest commercial mushroom conference. “Our work is all about process eciency, mostly related to making things easier for workers. I saw the potential of automation,” says Gardiner, whose prior career was operations management in heavy industry and food and beverage. While Salmon Arm’s TechBrew Robotics Inc. is focusing on robotic mushroom pickers, Lyne is developing an assistant to human pickers. As they move along a mushroom bed selecting mushrooms, PikAssist automates stem trimming, weighs each mushroom and places it in containers, creating uniform volumes in each package. This enables two-handed picking, increasing the picker’s speed. “We aren’t competing with TechBrew because these are two dierent systems. Ours still employs a person and ts on the existing picker platform,” explains Gardiner. Still three to four months from market, the machines will be manufactured in Kamloops and cost about $30,000 to $35,000 per unit, which he says ts the budget of the average grower. “Not all farms have lots of capital to spend. All our testing indicates payback within a year,” he says. PikAssist is currently being tested on small plots of white, brown and portobello mushrooms at Western Pacic Mushrooms Ltd. in Langley, where owner Dinh Luu is working with Gardiner to perfect the technology. “Where we tested on brown mushrooms being removed from a bed in order to allow space for portobellos to grow, the rate of picking with the machine in use was more than double,” says Gardiner. Made-in-Canada solutions are positive, says Janet Krayden, workforce specialist at the Canadian Mushroom Growers' Association, since labour is the biggest expense BC-made mushroom innovation in the worksDevice helps workers become more productiveMushroom pickers place mushrooms into the PikAssist’s ngers, which then trims, weighs and sorts mushrooms into trays. MYRNA STARK LEADERUSED EQUIPMENT MAS H125 TILLER, 2012, 50” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,500 KUBOTA K76249H 76” SKIDSTEER SNOWBLOWER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 USED TRACTORS KUBOTA T2380 2017, 48” DECK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,500 KUBOTA BX2360 2010, 1,900HRS, TRAC/MWR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,750 TORO 328D 48” MOWER, 2,900 HRS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,500 KUB GR2110-54 2010, DIESEL, 54” DECK, GRASS CATCHER . . . . . . . 9,000 GRAVELY ZTHD60 2017, 60” ZERO TURN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,500 KUB F2880 2006, 1,411HRS, 60” REAR DISCHARGE . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,500 KUB F3990 2015, 72” SIDE DISHARGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22,500 JD 4044M 2021, 265HRS, TRACTOR W/ LOADER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46,950 JD 3320 2005, 1,150HRS, TRAC/LDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25,000 NEW INVENTORY: GREENWORKS COMMERCIAL CORDLESS BLOWERS, CHAINSAWS, STRING TRIMMERS, HEDGE TRIMMERS, LAWNMOWERS. 82/48 VOLT KUBOTA RAKES, TEDDERS, MOWERS, POWER HARROWS - CALL! RAIN-FLO MULCH LAYERS, MULCH LIFTERS & TRANSPLANTERS, IN-STOCK OMH PROSCREEN, TOPSOIL SCREENERS. 68”, 78” AND 108” MODELSin the industry. Most new tech for the sector is from Europe. “It’s important for developers to work with farms to create technology that farmers will actually use,” she says. But development isn’t without challenges. Mushroom growing rooms typically don’t have an Internet connection, so machines inside can’t talk to each other. Instead, Lyne had to create a separate machine to collect data from the PikAssist in the harvest room. The portable device can then be moved to an Internet-enabled area to download production data. Lyne has received up to $200,000 for its work through the BC Fast Pilot Program with Innovate BC and the federal NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program as well as $25,000 from the BC Agritech Ramp-Up Pilot Program.
42 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMarch is marked not only by the advent of spring with the equinox on March 20 when the hours of dark and light are equal but the days begin to get longer, but also by St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Its Irish roots lead me to consider the cuisine of Ireland, which inevitably turns my attention to the humble, heroic potato. A dear friend reminds me that the essence of Irish cooking is the magic with which Irish women turned the lowly potato, which saved so many from starvation in times of poverty, into dishes which have become beloved and iconic parts of today’s meals on everyone’s tables. Irish cuisine tends to be peasant cuisine and includes such enchanting names as champ, or mashed potatoes, colcannon or mashed potatoes with cooked cabbage or kale, coddle, which is leftovers or potato and sausage stew; Irish stew with lamb; crubeens, or boiled pigs’ feet; barmbrack, an Irish fruit and tea bread; Irish soda bread; and boxty, or Irish potato pancakes. There’s an old rhyme for which I could be banished from modern society for repeating that’s based on one of those favourite Irish dishes, a concoction that’s pretty common on menus everywhere today: “Boxty in the griddle, Boxty in the pan. If you can’t make boxty, You’ll never get a man!” Recipes such as that for Irish soda bread and even for boxty are simple enough that the youngsters in the family could put them together, with a little help with frypans, hot stoves and ovens. Welcome to spring and have a little Irish fun in the kitchen. Irish spring fun in the kitchen“If you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man!” JUDIE STEEVESIRISH BOXTY WITH CHEDDARIRISH STEWI understand the name is a translation meaning ‘poor-house bread’ and it can be made more like bread with the addition of more eggs and our, and the use of half mashed and half grated potatoes –but I prefer all grated. I doubt green onions were part of the mix, either. In fact, even eggs might not have been present historically. I also added cheddar cheese, for more avour. 2 medium potatoes 1 egg 2 green onions 2 tbsp. (30 ml) our 1/2 c. (125 ml) grated cheddar cheese • Wash and grate unpeeled Russet-type potatoes and after pressing out as much liquid as possible, dump them into a bowl with the beaten egg and nely chopped green onions. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together until thoroughly mixed. • Drop spoonfuls onto a frypan with a dab of butter over moderate heat, pressing at. Add another wee dab of butter to the top of each cake. Turn when brown and continue to fry over moderate heat until cooked through. 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt 1/4 tsp. (1ml) black pepper 1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder Butter, for cooking This can be made with the traditional lamb or with beef or venison. It could also be made in the slow cooker by browning the beef and onions as described, then putting them into the pot and deglazing the pan with the beer and stock. Pour that over all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low. 2 lb. (1 kg) stew meat 1/4 c. (60 ml) our 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) pepper drizzle of oil • Coat cubes of lean beef in a mixture of the our, salt and pepper. You could turn them around in it in a bowl or wax paper, or a paper bag. • Heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat and put in the minced fresh ginger and as many beef cubes as you can t in one layer. Don’t stir until the one side has browned, then turn over to brown the other sides. Don’t let them burn. • Add minced garlic and quartered onions and stir in. Chop carrots and celery. • Pour beer and beef stock over browned beef and stir the brown bits around the pot til it bubbles and begins to thicken. • Mince fresh rosemary and stir in with the whole mushrooms. • Turn heat to low and let simmer, covered, for a couple of hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Serves 4. 2 small onions 1 large garlic clove 2 large carrots 2 celery stalks 1 1/2 c. (355 ml) dark beer 1/2 c. (125 ml) beef stock 1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh rosemary 12 small whole mushrooms IRISH SODA BREADThis is known as a quick bread and it is that, plus inexpensive and easy to make. You can add currants, grated cheese, herbs or minced citrus zest for additional avour. 2 c. (500 ml) white our 2 c. (500 ml) whole wheat our 1 tsp. (5 ml) baking soda • Preheat oven to 425° F. • Whisk ours, soda and salt together in a deep bowl. • Stir yogurt into dry mixture until dough forms a ball. • Knead briey on oured surface, then roll into a rough ball. • Work as quickly and lightly as possible since once the liquid meets the baking soda, it begins to work, and most of that is best occurring in the oven. Minimize handling, too, as the dough can get tough if it’s handled too much. • Either grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper and set the round on it, lightly pressing down to make a atter round. Slash across from four corners. • Bake for 40-45 minutes. • Let sit for just a few minutes before slicing and serving warm with butter. 1 tsp. (5 ml) salt 2 c. (500 ml plain yogurt Jude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESA bit o’ blarney with a meal of boxty to mark your Irish roots FARMNEWSFN@countrylifeinbc
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MARCH 2023| 43couADVERTISING THAT WORKS!TRACTORS/EQUIPMENT TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTREAL ESTATEFOR SALEFOR SALEHAYSERVICESBERRIESIRRIGATIONFor 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, hydroponics, wash-down, lazy wells, rain water, truck box, fertizilizer mixing & spraying. Call 1-800-661-4473 for closest distributor. Manufactured in Delta by Premier Plastics 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: Purebred North Country Cheviot yearly ewes and rams for sale. 250-722-1882. NanaimoLIVESTOCKLIVESTOCKIt’s the top linethat makes the Bottom LineBC SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION Scott Fraser, President Bob Merkley, BC Director 250-709-4443 604-607-7733DeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCWANTED: USED JD TRACTORS 60-100 HP JD 115 12’ DISK 6,500 JD 6400 W/CAB&LDR 60,000 JD 1830 W/LDR 16,000 JD 1830 W/LDR 15,000 JD 1630 W/LDR 16,000 OLIVER 12’ disc 3,750 ED DEBOER 250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/838-9612 cell 250/804-6147CUSTOM BALING 3x4 BIG SQUARES SILAGE BALING/WRAPPING ED DEBOER 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/804-6147EDVENTURE HAY SALES ENDERBYFOR SALE in Osoyoos: 2 electronic cherry PACKING LINES, 1 apple packing line, harvest bins, and other assorted packinghouse equipment. Please contact Tony for more details 250-498-7705Available now, 4- 1/4 mile Used VALLEY, ZIMMATIC, T.L. PIVOTS, 3- Used 1,000 ft, 1,250 ft Hose reels, 10,000 ft 12 in 8,000ft 10 in HDPE, Steel pipe in all sizes used. Dealer for Pierce Pivots, T.L Pivots, lease your new or used pivot, Hose reels, RM, Idrio, diesel pumps, centrifugal, sub-mersible, freq drives, pump stations, 30 years experience. Talk to Brock! 250 319 3044ZcXjj`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$EQUIPMENT DISPERSAL • LOEWEN 422 MIXER WAGON, good condition, $13,500 • LOEWEN SUBSOILER, 2 shank, 3 pt hitch, $2,500 • LOEWEN BOX SCRAPER, 3 pt, with rubber, like new, $800 • LOEWEN AGITATOR 18’, 100 HP prop, nice condition, $2,000 • WINPOWER 30/20 kw pto generator on trailer, exc cond. $3,500 • JD CLAMP-ON DUALS 18.4-38, $2,500 TONY 604-850-4718APRIL DEADLINE MARCH 18Baler, NEW HOLLAND 2004’ Model 570, $14,000; Tedder, CLAAS 2006’ Model 52T, 17’6” Hyd. Fold, $7,000; Tedder, CASE 2003’ Model IH 8309, 540 PTO, 9’2” Cut, $8,000; Manure Spreader, JOHN DEERE Model 40T, $4,000; Hay BALE SLED, bunches up approx. 40 bales, $2,000; HAY RAKE, 4 wheels, $1,500. Call Shawn (604) 615-3646 SEEDWANTEDADVERTISING THAT WORKS!4x3 BIG SQUARES, first crop, $250/ton; Round bales, first crop, $90 ea. 250-833-6699; 250-804-6147ALFALFA SEED For Sale. Tap root blend for hay and pasture. North Okanagan produced. Common #2, $125 for 44 lb bag. Larry 306-580-3002, Armstrong2012 JD 6320 PREMIUM 673 self leveling loader Was used for snow removal Very clean; 24 speed transmission Left hand shuttle shift; 2200 hours $85,000BRIGGS BOOM Waters 200 ft in one pass Very gentle on the ground Used only one year $30,000 CASE 1690 2400 original hours ; 3 point & pto 90 hp; Very good condition $11,000 KAL 604-760-9563 200 ROUND BALE SILAGE. First cut, good feed. $60/bale. South Surrey, Peter, 604-538-44352019 KUBOTA M6-141 1800 hrs, front axle suspension, elecronic controlled loader, soft ride, 3rd function live hydraulic control $97,500 250-616-6427 | firstname.lastname@example.orgHAY FOR SALE: 3x3x8 squares. Also barley for sale. Can deliver. 250-567-3287JD 4050; JD 4955; HAYBUSTER 107 no-till drill; VERMEER bale splitter; 20' silage CATCH BUGGY; 1999 WEST-ERN STAR day cab truck/tractor. 250-567-328754 GM COACH CONCESSION FOOD BUS Diesel, Auto and Reefer Trailer. This and other pics from its last event. Great for big events or a permanent location. Way to much to list, so just call. Complete setup for $35,000, and I mean everything or will separate if appropriately priced. I can help with freight. Located in Abbotsford CALL JIM AT 604-556-8579PACIFIC JET OPTICAL SORTER Designed for use with blueberries or cranberries. Ready to place in a production line to reduce labour costs in sorting. Located on Vancouver Island. Asking $19,980. CALL 250-743-9464 or email email@example.comCall us today for a free consult: 604-835-5155WE PAY CA$H FOR TREES!YOURHelping YouHelping YouHave You Movedfirstname.lastname@example.orgOr has Canada Post changed your mailing address? We wonʼt know unless YOU tell us!WANTED: Going concern Poultry farm or Quota. I'm interested in purchasing broiler, layer, or egg hatching opera-tion. Must be located in BC. Please contact Manny at 250-689-4119.
44 | MARCH 2023 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCAVE010kubota.ca | ALL-IN ON ADAPTABILITY.The New Kubota L Series sets new standards of performance, comfort, versatility and affordability. This compact tractor offers two engine options ranging from 33 HP to 37.5 HP to suit varied demands. Best of all, it works well with implements and attachments to handle different applications. Package this all up with signature Kubota quality and you have a hard-working tractor that gets it done and then some.PROUD PARTNER OFOLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524 PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431 SMITHERS HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/847-3610 SURREY DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 604/576-7506 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