Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to: Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Postage paid Port payé Publications Mail Post-Publications 40012122Vol. 108 No. 11The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 NOVEMBER 2022 | Vol. 108 No. 11DISASTER Producers look beyond 2021’s floods 7 DISEASE Movement of poultry banned to curb AI threat 11 CROPS Hazelnut industry continues to thrive 21PETER MITHAM REGINA – An unprecedented year for BC farmers led to unprecedented recognition for Country Life in BC at the Canadian Farm Writers Federation awards in Regina, October 1. The paper received a record eight awards for its coverage of last year’s extreme weather and resilient people in words and photographs. Photo of the Year went to Chelsea Meier of U&D Meier Dairy Ltd. in Abbotsford, whose front-page drone shot of last November’s ooding on Sumas Prairie also won top spot in the Landscape class. It captured the family’s farm surrounded by rising water as she stood on the deck awaiting rescue. It’s the paper’s second Photo of the Year award. The rst, four years ago, captured the devastation of another unprecedented event – the 2017 wildres in the Chilcotin. Kamloops photographer Murray Mitchell received a bronze award in the People category for his photo of Rhonda and Wayne MacDonald of Merritt on the cover of the November 2021 issue. Wildre ripped through the MacDonald ranch last summer, and the couple have since faced two subsequent weather-related disasters. Mitchell’s photo bumped contributor Ronda Payne’s photo of Vic Forster and Theresa O’Connor tossing cranberries for the camera at Riverside Cranberries in Langley o the November 2021 cover, but it came out Jodine Leslie of Okanagan Sunshine Fruit Packers gives one last look to a run of Ambrosia apples before they’re packed and off to market. Opened last year, the Kelowna plant is owned by Surjit and Jagdeep Gill. Centrally located to serve their expanding operations that run from Osoyoos to Armstrong, the plant’s state-of-the-art lines emphasize food traceability and safety. MYRNA STARK LEADERCountry Life in BC wins awardsSee KUDOS on next page oPETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – A long, dry fall was exactly what many growers hoped for as cool weather delayed planting this spring, but it’s also pushed a record number of watersheds into extreme drought. By late October, provincial authorities had declared Level 5 drought in 10 of the province’s 34 water supply basins. All of Vancouver Island as well as all basins on the South Coast and in the Peace were experiencing severe drought. The northern Fort Nelson and southern Kettle basins were also Level 5, where adverse impacts are “almost certain.” A year ago, just four basins were rated Level 5 before rain began falling in September. The late arrival of rain this See DROUGHT on next page oDryseasonDelayed rains deepen droughtFinal inspectionForage Seed1-800-661-4559Produced by & available at
KUDOS nfrom page 1DROUGHT raises potential for flash flooding nfrom page 12 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCon top in the People category with a gold award. In the Production category, photojournalist Jean-Phillipe Marquis won silver for a photo the Tsawwassen Farm School submitted two years ago. It nally found a spot alongside a hog story in the August 2021 issue. Myrna Stark Leader received bronze for her ‘Night Moves’ shot on the August 2021 cover. It previously won rst place in the Production category as part of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Star Awards in July. On the writing front, Kate Ayers won top spot in the Technical Feature category for her coverage of dairy farmers’ response to last year’s heat dome in, “Helping cattle keep their cool in the heat” (August 2021). The highly competitive category saw the most entries of any, and Ayers nished ahead of veteran writers Karen Davidson of Ontario and CFWF Writer of the Year Trevor Bacque of Alberta. “Farmers struggle to get insurance coverage” (July 2021) won Jackie Pearase bronze in the Current Aairs category. On a lighter note, columnist Anna Helmer received gold in the Opinion category for “To hoard or not to hoard” (November 2021). fall means soils and plants will be entering winter at a disadvantage. Blueberries, fruit and nut trees may not have taken up enough water to withstand storms and cold temperatures, while winter crops will be drawing on tapped-out soils. “Water availability for the winter crops is going to be limited, and because soil moisture is low, you would also expect lower than normal output,” says Zafar Adeel, executive director of the Pacic Water Research Centre and a professor in the School of Resources and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. Rain began to fall October 21, but sta with the BC Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy say it will take a while to make a dierence. “Typically, groundwater is low at this time of year with aquifers starting to recover as rain returns. The cycle of recharge lags behind surface water and is slower to respond to precipitation,” the ministry told Country Life in BC. Adeel says much will depend on the amount, location and intensity of rainfall. “The surface vegetation has dried o or has burnt o, which means that the absorptive capacity of the soil is not as it used to be, which means there’s a greater risk of ash oods,” he explains. “Instead of solving any water shortages, it might create new problems in terms of ooding.” Mixed blessing Potato growers are happy to have made it so late into the fall without having to deal with rain but above-average temperatures meant some varieties took longer to nish. Cool temperatures enhance colour development in mid-season cranberries, which saw harvest delayed by a week. “The berries tend to colour up when the nights are cooler,” says cranberry grower Jack DeWit, chair of the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission. The cranberry harvest started September 23, a week later than usual. While early-season varieties were dark, later-season varieties like Stevens weren’t ready until early October. By mid-October, DeWit said the harvest was in full swing. “With the beautiful fall weather that we’ve had the berries have ripened up and everything’s going good,” he says. But low streamows in the Fraser River meant the wedge of salt water that ows up river from the Strait of Georgia at high tide penetrated further inland than usual. “A lot of people are struggling with water this year,” DeWit says. “In the Richmond area, they’ve got to be very careful that they don’t get salt water because there’s not a lot of sweet water coming down the Fraser River right now.” The dry weather this fall is something Alexis Arthur of Pacic Forage Bag Supply in Delta says many forage corn growers dreamed of. Some planted as late as July 14, raising the prospect of an incredibly short window for maturing the crop. But the window stayed open. “Corn that wouldn’t be as tall as it was, was,” she says. Water was the price of such a long season, however. “There’s always some form of payment,” Arthur says. “Many are putting in cover crops, because they realize they have the opportunity to, [and] because they may need more tonnage based on what’s been happening over the last couple of seasons … it’s very dry.” Arthur is condent the rains will come and recharge the aquifers and reservoirs that growers rely on. But like Adeel, she says it’s a question of when, and with what intensity. “The wet’s coming, it’s just how much will come and in how short a time,” she says. Wet forecast Current forecasts call for the rst half of winter to be wetter than average. This raises the risk of ooding. Dry soils are less porous and less able to absorb sudden bursts of rain, says Les Lavkulich, professor emeritus in UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems and director of its Master of Land and Water Systems program. The dangers prompted the province to warn people October 13 to prepare for potential ooding, but added, “the transition to moderate rainfall patterns does not normally cause extensive ooding.” Dry soils are also less hospitable to microbes, impacting agricultural viability. “Well-aggregated soil is a healthier soil, both in terms of water movement and air movement,” says Lavkulich. Aquifers struggling While aquifer levels will continue falling until signicant rains arrive, he expects them to rell over the winter. But the long, dry summer is a warning of the havoc a prolonged dry spell – one several seasons long – could wreak. “If that drought continues, yes, it’s going to be very serious problem because the aquifers are not going to be recharged,” Lavkulich says. “If we don’t get that water moving through the rivers, then in the groundwater, we will be in trouble.” This year has seen a dramatic swing in water supplies. According to modelling by the Pacic Climate Impacts Consortium, the South Coast is facing a transition towards more rainfall-dominant watersheds and less reliance on snowfall to recharge the water supply. This could increase the need for conservation programs as well as seasonal storage. Data for Metro Vancouver indicates that reservoir storage was at seasonal peaks through July 25, then fell steadily. While reservoirs typically begin to recharge by late September, storage levels were well below the lows of 2015 as of mid-October. Adeel believes water managers and farmers need to take a long-term look at water use. “The most important thing is for all of us to re-examine our relationship with water,” he says. “Plan ahead for what kind of crops we might be growing.” Patrick is an experienced portfolio manager that brings a focused 昀nancial and estate planning team to clients to ensure the best and most effective investment decisions are made now and in the future. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 3Duncan feed mill sounds supply chain alarmTug dispute could sink local food producersPETER MITHAM DUNCAN – Transportation disruptions are pushing Vancouver Island’s agriculture sector to the brink. A strike by tugboat operators at Seaspan in late August forced Top Shelf Feeds Inc. of Duncan to truck in the raw ingredients needed for the 140 tonnes of feed it mills each day. Typically, its raw materials are barged over from the Lower Mainland. Now, it’s responsible for trucking them in daily from Alberta. This has boosted costs by an additional $50,000 a week, on top of sky-high commodity prices that have seen ingredients like wheat soar past canola meal for the rst time ever. “We did not put any increase on the books for October for this Seaspan strike,” says mill general manager Dennis Comeau. “At $50,000 a week that we’re spending out of our own pocket, who’s going to pay for it at the end of this strike? It’s certainly not going to be our customers.” The scope of the increase needed to cover the cost of the strike would be unsustainable, says Comeau. The added costs follow the disruption to its business by the closure of transportation routes into the Lower Mainland last winter. It has been reliant on Seaspan since 2014, when freight service on the Island Rail Corridor (previously the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway) shut down. Previously, Top Shelf received its shipments by rail. “Since 2014, we’ve spent over $3.5 million extra,” says Comeau. “Those costs have never been passed onto the end-user.” Top Shelf’s owner opted instead to reduce his own margins to support farmers, expecting the rail line to resume operation. It still hasn’t, though hopes are high for the resumption early next year. But that’s not soon enough for Top Shelf, which says it will have to raise prices in order to cover its costs. This would likely prompt about 40% of its commercial clients to look to larger mills in the Lower Mainland. “A lot of them may just say this freight issue has nothing to do with me,” he says. “If our large commercial farms decide to leave on that basis, then Top Shelf has no viability.” Comeau says another 40% of Top Shelf’s clients would have no other option. This would leave small-lot growers without a local supplier, with a cascading eect on the Vancouver Island farm economy. “They do all the sack feed for the Island, for the backyard people,” says Bev Whitta, a commercial grower in Nanoose Bay and Vancouver Island director with the BC Chicken Growers Association. “And that’s big over here. I don’t know that one could survive without the other.” Whitta doesn’t buy her feed from Top Shelf, but 10 of the other 11 commercial chicken growers do. With feed costs now more than $800 a tonne and growers embroiled in pricing discussions that hinge on production costs, a sharp increase in feed would sink some growers. The issues aren’t lost on George Hanson, senior advisor to the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, which has applied to the National Trade Corridor Fund for a project to develop a supply chain management system for the region. “This is a long-range issue that has been an issue for a very long time, and has only continued to get more challenging as we’ve gone into the COVID years,” he says. “There’s plenty of potential, we believe, for larger scale food production on Vancouver Island. We believe that we’re underdeveloped in that direction. But the supply chain issues [and] transportation issues are inhibiting factors.” He points out that local food has declined as a proportion of local consumption in recent decades. The centralization of grocery distribution isn’t the only culprit; the cost of real estate and aging out of farmers are others. Twenty years ago, there were 13 dairy farms on the Saanich Peninsula; now there’s just one. Higher feed costs and the loss of Top Shelf would prompt others to shut down. “We have been doing everything we can to help improve awareness and improve market share for Island products through our Island Good brand to try and reverse that trend and build more sustainability and more security in the food industry on the Island by helping to increase the market for Island producers,” says Hanson. “But that’s all within this context of supply chain challenges and increasing costs and companies like Top Shelf being at risk because of that.” Comeau has raised the issue with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, which has passed the buck to other agencies, including the provincial and federal transportation ministers. “[We’ve] been in contact with Top Shelf Feeds throughout the labour dispute and we have been working to ensure other agencies, both provincial and federal, are aware of the impact the strike is having on the feed mill, its operations and farmers on Vancouver Island,” it assured Country Life in BC. The others have in turn have passed the buck back to the province, all the while bucks keep passing out of Top Shelf’s pockets. The costs may eventually force it to shut down. That’s something that’s never happened for more than three days in its 49-year-history. “Animals eat 24 hours a day,” he says. “It’s not an operation you can shut down for a week.” firstname.lastname@example.orgCheck 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 ProvenFALL PRICING ON IN STOCKPerfect pumpkin weather this summer meant Okanagan growers had a very good year as evidenced by the many gourds at local markets, including Tejay Bilga Farms in Kelowna. A great crop equals good business, and colourful, eye-catching displays attract customers even on the greyest of days. MYRNA STARK LEADERThe great pumpkin
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Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.108 No. 11 . NOVEMBER 2022Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . email@example.com Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover email@example.com Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Lest we forget, PW!October is pumpkin season on our farm. Three acres of u-pick pumpkins are our best scal performers every year. They don’t out-earn the beef, but given the relative time, eort and acreage devoted to them, the pumpkins are the hands-down stars of the show. Most of the pumpkin pickers who swamp us every October weekend are looking for more than a single pumpkin. Some buy them by the wheelbarrow load and nearly all of them are looking to make it a family outing. We encourage this with an extensive pumpkin-head scarecrow display, a selection of animals to view and visit, and seasonal fare in our small café. All of this began very modestly 20 years ago with the thought that a few rows of Jack-O-Lanterns might yield a welcome bit of income to coincide with the property tax due date at the end of the month. Though it has become much bigger and more complicated than what we rst envisioned, growing the pumpkins has always been straight-forward and dependable – until this year. Cool and wet spring weather continued into early July. Planting was delayed three weeks, and half an acre was under water so long it wasn’t planted at all. Germination was spotty and some varieties just didn’t grow. Weeds, on the other hand, seemed to nd the conditions ideal. Little did we imagine we would be sitting in 27-degree temperatures in mid October wondering when the next drop might fall. According to the province, all of the South Coast and Vancouver Island are in severe drought conditions. The little creek that meanders through a few acres of forest along our southern boundary is bone dry in places. Hopefully, the Coho salmon that usually start spawning there by now are still somewhere downstream and will be able to hang on until enough rain falls to make it ow again. Despite the early challenges, three months of hot sunny days and irrigation made for ideal pumpkin weather. Fortunately, our go-to variety for standard-size carving pumpkins was our best performer and we got a good look at what other varieties performed well and, more important, which ones didn’t. This is the kind of information we will need to heed as we try to out-guess the changing weather. Another upside is that the rest of the farm is dry enough that the cows are still grazing, and we can oer wagon rides out to see them. For a modest fee, pumpkin pickers can make the trip, and most do. This late in the year, the cows have the run of 40 acres and the wagon ride destination depends on what patch of shade they are currently lying in. The real value in this situation is that you end up with a captive audience of mostly urban, mostly interested people somewhere in the middle of an honest-to-goodness farm, and eager to know something about it. In a seven to 10-minute stop, they hear about the cows, and the land, and how important a water licence is, and how high the water would have been over their heads during the ood in 2014, and how some of the maple trees in the riparian area have started dying since the 40°-plus temperatures last year, and how the ALR is actually food security insurance for society at large, and how that might be important given California and Mexico are running short of water, and any number of other things they might care to ask about. Before we start the return trip, I always ask if anyone would like to oer some advice. So far there have only been two: one concerned recycling irrigation water and the other, the most memorable, was from a small boy who suggested I start the tractor and take everyone back to the pumpkins. That young lad notwithstanding, the fact that so many of the riders took the time to say thank you for taking the time to tell us about it, I had no idea, or I never thought of it that way, is a clear sign there is a gap in public knowledge that needs to be lled. If farmers and ranchers don’t take the time to tell their stories, someone else will. And there’s no guarantee that someone will know sheep droppings from cherry stones. Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley.The Back 40 BOB COLLINSWe acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.4 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThe price of peaceRemembrance Day was born in the aftermath of the First World War, a day to remember the armistice that ended four years of conict in 1918. The conict cost Canada dearly in terms of lives lost and shattered: 67,000 men, women and children died, and nearly 150,000 combatants were wounded. No conict before or since has extracted such a toll on this country. There’s good reason many hoped and expected the Great War, as it was once called, would be the war to end wars. A little more than a century later, emboldened by the 2014 annexation of Crimea, Vladimir Putin brought war back to Europe with the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Canada has sent personnel to Europe in supporting roles but the West has so far avoided direct participation. Yet the war’s impact has been felt here, in rising costs for fuel, fertilizers and food. Canada has welcomed those displaced by the conict. War north of the longest undefended border in the world is something that happens elsewhere, and our governments pride themselves on stepping up and oering assistance. But assistance is also needed for those struggling here at home. Our farmers are not farming elds littered – and in some cases booby-trapped – with unexploded ordnance, but some of the natural hazards post equal threat to life and limb. The landslides that have sideswiped homes and destroyed elds in recent years make the job of farming and food production equally challenging. Support for those abroad should be an extension of the care we take of our own, that all may enjoy the benets of the peace we enjoy. But of more than $5 billion in disaster relief and recovery funds the federal and provincial governments pledged in the wake of last November’s catastrophic ooding through disaster nancial assistance arrangements and AgriRecovery, just a fraction has been disbursed. While government talks about building back better, many farmers are stuck waiting for the means to build, period. Meanwhile, some producers, like those in the Nicola Valley, have been pummelled by repeated disasters. It’s fair to say some have been shell-shocked, and the government’s recognition of the importance of mental health supports is a welcome shift from how things were handled even a decade ago. But real change is also needed. “Suppose they gave a war and nobody came?” was the old peacenik slogan. Pumpkins make great conversation startersDisasters, alas, keep showing up whether we want them to or not. And for those whose livelihoods are rooted in the land, there are few places to run (especially with the cost of land what it is). Governments at all levels need to recognize food security on a par with international security. The conict in Ukraine has shown how the two are intimately connected, as the cost of staples in many countries has risen and even our own has seen relatively dramatic escalations in the cost of our, vegetable oil and other products. A greater number of items are out of stock than in the days before COVID, when supply chain disruptions began making themselves felt for the rst time many of us could remember. Peace is never just the absence of war but all that allows for human ourishing, including farming. What price are we who live in the absence of war willing to pay for it to be so?
The roots of the ALR point a way to its futureCooperation and collaboration are needed to protect farmland and farmersCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 5A key issue for the ALC during this time was the future of unfarmed and underutilized properties within the ALR: “What about the properties inside the ALR that are not used agriculturally, and the owners have no intention to use them agriculturally? Is this socially useful? Are we trying to preserve farmland, or farmers, or both?” It was a rhetorical question. Its 1977 annual report noted, “Recognizing that the land base is but one aspect of a stable agricultural industry, the Commission views the preservation of the expertise of the farmer and the health of the farm community as an integral part of its prime objective.” To preserve “the expertise of the farmer and protect the sense of identity, self-condence and vitality of the farm community” were deemed of equal importance to preserving the agricultural land resource. Preserving farmland was pointless without preserving farmers. “They are so few as to cause us concern,” the commission wrote. “The loss of farmer skills in the population is serious.” In its early years, the ALC was given $25 million to buy land it could then lease back to farmers “in order to stabilize farming in British Columbia by reducing the exodus of competent farm families from the industry.” It was positioned as a “buyer of last resort” for sick or retiring farmers, spending $13.5 million to acquire nearly 22,000 acres of land in its rst ve years. Farmers were never incidental because food itself was not. Bill 42, the Land Commission Act, was presented as necessary for the province because of two primary reasons: 1) farmland loss was increasing and had been for some decades, and 2) provincial food suciency (the ability of the province to feed itself from its own production) had to be secured. These two foundational reasons were inseparable – they form the logic of the ALR’s existence and are why many agreed to work on its creation. The ALC’s rst annual report in 1974 states, “In 1946, food consumption in the province required a net import of 3%. By 1955, this decit had risen to 29% and remains above this level. Dependence on external food producers could pose several long run problems for the province. It will be highly vulnerable should external political, economic market competition, or physical factors cause a reduction in the reliability or availability of imported agricultural products, or drastically raise their prices.” Our situation has worsened. Today, our import rates are higher and the province is more vulnerable to external supply chain disruptions. As Mary Rawson, an original member of the ALC, wrote in 1976, “The prospects for continuing, let alone improving, the quality of urban life are intimately tied to the pattern and prospects of agriculture. Have a care, urban intruders. Have a care, or we will starve tomorrow.” Fused Land and food are fused within the ALR. This is why other uses of farmland have always been acceptable provided they do not diminish future agricultural possibilities. Today we stand at a crux – a point of diculty and choice. As we make choices that will shape reality for the next generations, we carry with us the words of those before us and the legacy with which they left us. When the ALC was created, our food circumstances were felt to be dire. In 1975, the ALC wrote, “we must act soon, for if we do not, as Sir Julian Huxley wrote, ‘Man will become the cancer of the planet, destroying its resources and eventually his own future self.’” In those years, the ALC said it found itself both contemplating the growth of cities and standing in the farmyard. From this vantage point, Rawson wrote that they glanced back with Oliver Goldsmith's poetic words in mind, “Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates, and men decay.” Nothing has changed. Our ‘saved’ farmland sits within the hands of many who do not produce for the community or act in the spirit of co-operation. Much of this land also lies idle, facing a questionable future. For the past 50 years, farms, farmers and local production have continued to be lost. But if we choose to embrace the ALC’s formative roots of cooperation and dialogue with farmers, ensuring the commission works with them rather than against them, it may nally deliver the sustenance we need to grow upright. Meagan Curtis is a doctoral candidate and public scholar based at UBC whose work focuses on the history and economics of food suciency. Fifty years ago, the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) began its operations in the spirit of cooperation. Despite serious debates and legitimate concerns around its beginnings in the run-up to the initial freeze on subdivision on December 21, 1972, a collaborative spirit emanated from within the ALC outwards towards other provincial departments, regional districts, the general public and last but not least, the farmer. In 1975, the commission wrote, “It was only through the spirit of cooperation which emerged from joint eorts of the general public and local, regional and provincial governments that the ALR was established in so short a period of time. The Commission will continue to encourage such participation in the ongoing administration of the ALR.” This spirit was made possible through a belief in the value of listening, understanding, appreciating dierences, and non-adversarial problem-solving. During these formative years, the approach of the ALC was grounded in a belief that truth and fairness is found through an authentic dialogue that allowed it to adapt its position to make way for new understandings of how best to serve farmers. At the centre of its work were food producers, who the commission viewed as “essential to the long-term success of agricultural policy in British Columbia.” Viewpoint by MEAGAN JOAN CURTIS%PXOUPXO3FBMUZtOE4U7FSOPO#$t0óDFPat | 250.308.0938QBUEVHHBO!SPZBMMFQBHFDBThea | 250.308.5807UIFBNDMBVHIMJO!SPZBMMFQBHFDB6475 COSENS BAY RD, COLDSTREAMwww.FarmRanchResidential.ca “Farmers helping farmers with their real estate needs”Very private, full manicured 20-acres. 3 bed/3.5 bath well-maintained home w/many outbuildings incl detached garage, machine & wood sheds. Excellent valley views off covered deck. Fully fenced with ~11 acres in hay/pasture. 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 7Making the most of a (really) bad situation. After oodwaters subsided on Sumas Prairie last fall, volunteers like Abe Gotzke, right, came to the aid of Caroline Mostertman, left, and Ripples Estate Winery to get the family business up and running within six months. RONDA PAYNEProducers look beyond 2021’s floodsMany have yet to receive compensation KATE AYERS ABBOTSFORD – A year after successive atmospheric river events dropped between 200 and 300 mm of rain on southern BC, many producers are still in recovery mode. The deluge resulted in several feet of water on some farms, the evacuations of thousands of people and livestock, and the Lower Mainland being cut o from the rest of Canada due to landslides. But as producers look back on the events – many of then still waiting for nancial assistance – they’re most thankful for the ood of support from neighbours and strangers as they began to rebuild. Back to business Caroline Mostertman of CPM Farms Ltd. and Ripples Estate Winery on Tolmie Road in Abbotsford dealt with six feet of water on her property for three weeks. Her home, winery, crops and equipment sustained signicant damage. “I was pretty much wiped out,” Mostertman says. “Every building had to be gutted and repaired. We lost, of course, the majority of our inventory, machinery, equipment – the list goes on and on.” The 20-acre farm’s lost its blueberries but two of its three grape varieties survived. “One produced marginally, one did not, and the third variety we had to rip out,” Mostertman says. She, along with her husband Paul and dutiful volunteers, brought part of the farm back to working order within six months. The couple reopened their winery in May, but the rest of the farm remains a “shambles,” Mostertman says. “We are by no means nished. What we did is we concentrated on our business rst,” she says. Chelsea Meier and her husband Karl of U&D Meier Dairy Ltd. also continue to repair their farm. “It’s a never-ending process,” Meier says, taking a break from repairing the front of a barn where a wave had shattered one of the windows. “We’re taking o the barn siding to put a wall in instead of a window,” she explains. Karl has also spent time levelling a eld the couple acquired before the ood. Much of the soil was washed away, reducing nitrogen levels. Corn and forage volumes were down 15% to 20% this year, Meier says. “Last year, we made around 487 round bales out of our elds, and we've only been able to make 150 this year,” Meier says. “Last year, we made 4,000 little square bales and this year we’ve only been able to make 1,800.” Fortunately, the Meiers’ cattle are healthy and milk production has remained steady. Blueberry and saron grower Avtar Dhillon and his family were also heavily impacted by the ooding. “Four acres of blueberries were damaged, and all of my saron crop is gone. The whole house was damaged,” he says. They were just able to replant crops and move back into their home a few months ago. Poultry producer Hester Mulder and her husband Ed lost all the layers in two barns and had four feet of water in their house. She estimates barn damages at between $750,000 and $800,000 but thanks to the eorts of volunteers and contractors, the operation returned to full production at the end of October when chicks were placed in the repaired pullet barn, Mulder says. Over 12% of BC farms were aected by the ooding. The Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry “Serving British Columbia proudly since 1946”Machinery LimitedROLLINS RToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.com firstname.lastname@example.orgChilliwack 1.800.242.9737 . 47724 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 . 21869 56th Ave Chemainus 220.127.116.113 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StToll Free 1-800-242-9737 www.rollinsmachinery.comChilliack 1.800.242.9737 | 44725 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 | 21869 - 56th Ave Chemainus 1.250-246.1203 | 3306 Smiley RdChilliwack 1.800.242.9737 . 47724 Yale Rd W Langley 1.800.665.9060 . 21869 56th Ave Chemainus 18.104.22.1683 . 3306 Smiley Rd Kelowna 250.765.8266 . 201-150 Campion StAre you READY for WINTER feeding?“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.com hearings for its study on impacts to the province’s agricultural industry and government’s response to the event. The committee’s report with recommendations for the federal government is expected later this year. Inadequate funding But one year later, less than a quarter of the landmark $228 million federal-provincial recovery program announced in February to help farmers and ranchers has been disbursed. Combining federal disaster assistance funds with AgriRecovery monies, the cost-shared program aimed to address losses estimated at $285 million. “To date, 478 applications have been received for the Canada-BC Flood Recovery Program for Food Security and almost $53 million has been provided to 361 applicants to help with expenses such as animal feed; shelter, fencing, the loss of perennial plants not raised for resale; and returning land to agricultural See RECOVERY on next page o
8 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCRECOVERY payments slow to come nfrom page 7production,” the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food reports. A total of 757 payments have been made, with many applicants receiving more than one. Dhillon and Mostertman aren’t among them. Mostertman says neither the AgriRecovery funding announced in February nor the federal disaster nancial assistance program announced November 18 for the general public have helped. “For many months, we were bounced back and forth between the two programs. And neither really were prepared to commit to any kind of funding,” she says. Mostertman says the AgriRecovery program is designed for farms that have the means to pay for repairs in advance. She says farmers can’t be expected to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and submit receipts for reimbursement when they’re not generating income. And since AgriRecovery doesn’t cover the repair or replacement of equipment, the chance of them earning income is pretty low when they’ve lost everything. “We've had several meetings with both AgriRecovery and DFA because in their words, we are a complicated case. Let’s face it, we just lost more than most people,” she says. Mulder and Meier have received AgriRecovery cheques, but it’s “not enough,” says Meier, who has yet to hear back regarding DFA coverage of house repairs. Happily, Meier was one of the 65 dairy producers who benetted from the $941,046 garnered by the BC Dairy Flood Recovery Fund, which was fully – and promptly – disbursed to producers by the end of February. Producers are not the only ones impacted by the delayed roll out of recovery funds. The province has yet to fully reimburse feed mills for feed provided to meet the immediate needs of livestock. “You can speak to any feed mill in the Lower Mainland, and they can tell you it’s an absolute catastrophe,” says Top Shelf Feed general manager Dennis Comeau in Duncan. “They told us to buy the grain you need, keep the animals alive, we will pay you back. And if we got paid back 15%, I’d be real surprised.” BC agriculture minister Lana Popham, who regularly addressed media during last fall's ooding, was not available to comment on industry’s concerns prior to deadline. BC Ombudsperson Jay Chalke is now asking for public input on the provincial government’s response to last year’s wildres and oods. The programs under examination are Emergency Support Services and DFA to examine their fairness and areas for improvement. The online questionnaire is available on the Ombudsperson website until December 31. Psychological toll Farmers are resilient, but the traumatic events took a toll on the mental health of many. “A lot of people just simply can't cope with that kind of traumatic event and carry on,” Mostertman says. “It's nancially exhausting, it's mentally exhausting and physically exhausting.” Meier’s children are upset by overcast or rainy days; they’re concerned about another ood and evacuation. But none of the farmers would be where they are today without community support. “We are so incredibly grateful because even if the nancial funds were not there, the support, the people turning up every day, have kept us moving forward,” says Mostertman. “Without that we would have just shriveled up.” Meier’s family members organized an extensive eld clean-up initiative to help any farmer in the Fraser Valley remove debris. “That had a tremendous outpour of people,” she says, from beyond the local farming community. Mulder also credits volunteers for their farm’s recovery and return to operations this year. “So many volunteers came out and helped us clean up. It really helped us get through this as we didn’t know where to start and how to get through it,” she says. “They’ve all gone above and beyond to help clean and repair and to ensure that things got done without delay to meet deadlines.” – With les from Peter Mitham Marketing 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 Website600 ACRE GUEST RANCH WITH PRIVATELY ACCESSED LAKE - 100 MILE HOUSE, BCJANDANA RANCHKAMLOOPS, BCEXECUTIVE LAKEFRONT HOME AND ACREAGE - PUNTZI LAKETHOMPSON RIVER ACREAGECLEARWATER, BC5.4 ACRES IN 3 TITLESLEVEL FORT ST. JAMES RIVERFRONTTAYLOR LAKE RANCH100 MILE HOUSE, BCOFF-GRID BACKCOUNTRY ACREAGE ON SMALL LAKE - 70 MILE HOUSE, BC10 ACRE OCEAN VIEW WILDERNESS PROPERTY - GALIANO ISLANDOnce-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own and operate your very own guest ranch, or retreat. This stunning 600 acre property is truly one of the most beautiful properties in western Canada. Offering undulating pasture and hayfields, a privately accessed lake, and adjacent Crown land. $5,999,000197 acres + 146 acre Range Permit. Great views. 2,800 ft2 log home, 4 cottages, lovely hookups, small campground. Fenced and licenses. Family compound or operate as a business. $2,595,000 Stunning, custom built, timber frame, 2 storey home on Puntzi Lake just 2 hours west of Williams Lake. 6.2 acres complete with a heated carport, 350 of waterfront, income right to the front yard, or by the 6,000 ft paved airstrip just 10 minutes away. $1,525,000Immaculate 3.8 acres with 515 ft of frontage on the North Thompson River. Bright 3 bedroom home, workshop, outbuildings, and an extensive garden area are all part of this riverside property. Two road accesses to the property may permit subdivision potential. $649,000Located just minutes from town center the nicely treed lots are located just as Stuart Lake becomes Stuart River. Build three residences or just keep a couple lots for an investment. Hydro, gas and Internet available all along paved Sweder Road. Country Life at $295,0001,631 lakefront acres in 7 titles. Good access 2 and 2,200 ft2 chalet style homes. “Schoolhouse” converted to caretaker’s residence. Outside the ALR. Fenced and leased out for cattle grazing. Some merchantable timber. Surrounded by Crown land. $2,595,00081 pristine acres on a small backcountry lake with no other private parcels of land nearby and 100% surrounded by Crown land. Mix of lake, meadows, a creek, ponds and approx. 35 acres of healthy forest. On property is a well set up sea can (insulated, wired, wood $350,000Quiet and private view acreage at the south spectacular ocean and mountain views. Seasonal creek, large mature timber, and several meadows. Drilled well and driveway in place. Priced to Sell at $595,000CHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634Personal Real Estate CorporationCOLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793RICH OSBORNE 604-328-0848Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comKEVIN KITTMER firstname.lastname@example.orgKURT NIELSEN email@example.comLandQuest® Realty Corp Comox ValleySAM HODSON 604-809-2616Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comMATT CAMERON firstname.lastname@example.orgDAVE SIMONE 250-539-8733DS@landquest.com97 ACRES OF PRODUCTIVE BARE LANDNORTH OKANAGAN VALLEYBLUEBERRY POINTBLIND BAY - NELSON ISLANDSpallumcheen, BC. 97 acres in the agriculturally rich and sunny Okanagan Valley. This desirable Spallumcheen property currently produces 80 acres of hay and has sites offer the opportunity to create your private estate. $1,900,000Over 800 ft of oceanfront in Blind Bay on Nelson Island. This location perhaps has one of the best views out over Blind Bay and Malaspina Straight. Protected deep water cottage, guest cabin and more. $895,000JOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100Personal Real Estate Corporationjohn@landquest.comJASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605Class action lawsuit still in the works On December 23, Slater Vecchio LPP initiated a class action lawsuit against the City of Abbotsford, the Province of British Columbia and the Fraser Valley Regional District alleging failure to warn of the ooding that occurred on Sumas Prairie. Producers Caroline Mostertman and Ted Dykman are the two representative plaintis seeking general, special and punitive damages as well as costs. A hearing to certify the lawsuit as a class action is scheduled to begin March 23, 2023, and last 10 days, Slater Vecchio says. “Maybe my grandkids will see something out of it,” Mostertman says. “The whole idea was to light a re under our governments to make them do something. … It's not the rst time we've dealt with ooding, and everybody talks about it, but invariably, nothing ever gets done.” — Kate Ayers
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 9No quick fix Big price tag, lots of players tied to flood mitigation plan The City of Abbotsford’s $2.8 billion plan to rebuild pump stations and upgrade dyke infrastructure is getting pushback from some landowners. EBBWATER CONSULTING INCwww.hlaattachments.com 1-866-567-4162 • Grapple clamps on to any Class II fork frame with walk through guard Grapple shown mounted on HD55 pallet fork.• Minimum 12 GPM required• Secondary metering drum regulates ﬂow onto the belt• 12” wide high abrasion rubber belt with 1 ½” paddles• Discharge from either side Straw/Lime model shown.• Includes 2-½”x 8” cylinders• Main bucket material ¼” end plates and clam ﬂoor bottom• Available widths 66”, 72”, 78”, 84”• Loader and skidsteer models available SINGLE ARM LOG GRAPPLESINGLE ARM LOG GRAPPLESIDE DISCHARGE BUCKETKATE AYERS ABBOTSFORD – Following council approval in June of a hybrid ood mitigation strategy for Sumas Prairie, the City of Abbotsford has yet to receive any response from senior levels of government regarding the potential for provincial or federal funding for the multi-phase project. The $2.8 billion preferred option can protect against one-in-200-year ood events, the city says. The plan includes a new Sumas River pump station, improving the Barrowtown pump station and installing permanent infrastructure along the Sumas Dyke. Abbotsford’s former mayor Henry Braun, who led the initiative but did not run for re-election in October, strongly believes that the $800 million pump station on the Sumas River should be the city’s No. 1 priority and construction should have started yesterday. “We're probably four years away, maybe ve, before that pump station would be operational, because of all the design work that has to take place and the hydrology that has to be done. The pumpmaker in the Netherlands says it takes two years to make those pumps from the time of the order,” Braun says. This pump station is an absolute must, he says, and could “solve three-quarters of the issues in Sumas Prairie.” The other elements of the plan are also important but could take up to a decade to complete. The city has not received any response from the province since submitting its preferred option in June. This makes Braun nervous. Abbotsford mayor-elect Ross Siemens was unavailable for comment before deadline on what he’ll be doing to move the project forward. Pushback While many want to see immediate action, engineer, policy analyst and Ebbwater Consulting Inc. principal Tamsin Lyle has “serious challenges” with the outlined work, beginning with the public consultation. “[The city] absolutely did not follow best practice in terms of process, in terms of who they consulted, how they consulted them, whether that consultation actually got the information that should be incorporated into a ood management plan,” she says. In addition, she says Abbotsford has chosen an old solution for a persistent problem. “Abbotsford is working on sort of 1970s engineering principles,” she says. “They have chosen more of the same, which we know has failed in the past: in November, in the 1990s and in other occasions. It’s not robust. It’s super fragile in terms of relying on a singular solution,” she says. Best practices Meanwhile, the province and the feds are working on best-practice controls like the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, she says. The Sendai Framework, frequently mentioned by BC public safety minister Mike Farnworth in press conferences during last year’s ood response, uses holistic, risk-based principles and shares the responsibility of disasters with a range of stakeholders. Abbotsford’s plan risks creating a false sense of security in which producers will continue to farm as if hazards have been eectively addressed instead of taking steps to prepare their operations for a natural disaster and bolstering recovery protocols, Lyle says. The city may also be overlooking the operational and maintenance costs of the proposed pump stations and dykes, which could leave farmers worse o if an event of equal or greater magnitude occurs. As it stands, Abbotsford is putting all of its eggs in one basket, while a more resilient plan would have redundancy and back- ups in place, she says. Sudden impact For Sumas Prairie residents, the proposed plan inevitably impacts their properties. “It aects everybody who was hit by water,” says dairy farmer Chelsea Meier. The proposed oodways will run through farmers’ properties but may only contain water for a couple weeks of the year, Braun says, so they can continue to grow crops on the land. “What they can't do is build any more barns or new houses in that oodway,” he says. While the design work has yet to start, Braun insists that exibility will be built into the plan so that the oodways won’t run straight through infrastructure and buildings but rather can move slightly to the east or west to reduce operational impacts. But some farmers may need to move their operations entirely. “There is no question there will be some farmers who will probably have to relocate their barns or their houses, or both. How many, we don't know,” Braun says. One thing he knows for sure is no one solution will satisfy everybody. “No matter what we do, somebody, depending on which side of the dyke you are on, is not going to be happy,” he says. Some residents could face expropriation, though Braun says the city uses the power "very judiciously, only in certain circumstances where it's for the greater good of the community. … It would be a last resort.” The cost to buy out those farmers to leave their operations would be astronomical, Meier says. Such actions would also impact food security. If the province lost 10 farms in this move, for example, the dairy industry would take a hit, Meier says. (Braun says the city would cover the costs.) BC Dairy understands that the current plan will not solve all the present issues but will continue to advocate for its members. “We've been very involved in discussions so far with our producers, with the City of Abbotsford and provincial government about what the plans have looked like,” says dairy farmer and BC Dairy vice-chair Sarah Sache. “Our intent is to be at the table as much as we possibly can. We're representing our producers and working to nd solutions that result in the least loss or damage to anyone's farms,” she says. In Sumas Prairie, Braun has received mostly cooperative feedback from farmers. “My sense of the farming community is they want to work with us, with us as a city to get this right,” he says.
10 | NOVEMBER 2022 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 SERVICESPlant health centre breaks groundsaved. In 2018, Ottawa pledged $80 million for upgrades as part of a broader $2.8 billion Laboratories Canada strategy. The centre has served as a plant quarantine station since 1965, and came under the jurisdiction of the CFIA in 1997. One of 13 research laboratories CFIA operates across Canada, it is where fruit-bearing trees, grapevines and small fruits imported into Canada are quarantined and tested for viruses, pathogens and other plant diseases that could devastate these sectors. The location is isolated enough from commercial growers to prevent a possible spread of infection and the climate is suited for growing all of Canada’s fruit crops and ornamental plants. Most of the buildings were built between 1912 and 1961. A modern, purpose-built greenhouse and header house are planned, parts of the facility will be upgraded while some buildings will eventually be demolished. The design phase is currently wrapping up and a community engagement plan is in the works. The site will tap geothermal capacity for a ground-source heat pump. Coast Salish stories will be incorporated into the design and artwork of the facility, which sits on 100 acres in the Agricultural Land Reserve overlooking the Salish Sea. Construction will begin this fall. The new centre is scheduled to open in 2025. — Sandra Tretick 4-H LEADer recognized Elena Sales of Good Nature Farms in Qualicum Beach is one of four recipients of the 2022 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction (LEAD). Growing up on her parents organic blueberry farm, Sales participated in her local 4-H club’s photography, poultry and bre arts projects and also served on its executive, most recently as president. The club’s public speaking competitions gave her an opportunity to nd her voice. She won the BC 4-H Communications Finals in 2020 and then, as president of her student council, led a district-wide zero-waste initiative and implemented a composting and recycling program at her high school. Outside of school, she has been involved with various municipal and community environmental committees aimed at making her community more sustainable. Sales co-founded the Vancouver Island Eco Restoration trash cleanup challenge in 2021, an initiative that cleaned up over 1,000 pounds of garbage. In 2022, she led her student council to create and publish a youth anthology on climate change, combining her love of photography and her passion for climate action. All proceeds will go to environmental non-prots. Sales’ accomplishments demonstrate the exceptional leadership the LEAD award recognizes. LEAD recipients receive a $20,000 scholarship towards their four-year postsecondary studies, generously supported by CN Railway Co. In addition, recipients are matched with a high-impact mentor from within their eld of study. Sales’ eld is science, which she is pursuing at McGill University. — Peter Mitham New child worker rules Certain work will now be o limits to workers under the age of 18, according to new rules the BC Ministry of Labour announced October 11. BC farms can no longer allow youth under the age of 18 to work in conned spaces or work with “dangerous equipment” at on-farm abattoirs. A chainsaw is also o-limits for workers under the age of 18. Workers under the age of 16 are also prohibited from engaging in construction work and jobs at heights that require fall protection. According to the labour ministry, 6% of the agriculture sector’s 28,500 workers are between the ages of 15-18. The new rules follow a public consultation regarding the types of work appropriate for the various age groups. The consultation took place April 21 to June 10. The new rules further align BC’s child labour laws with those of other provinces and Ground has broken in North Saanich on a new Centre for Plant Health, Canada’s rst line of defence against plant diseases. Representatives of the federal government and local First Nations gathered on site September 22 to mark the start of construction on a new diagnostic and research facility, operated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). “The new facility is a rst step to providing CFIA scientists and collaborators with state-of-the-art amenities and modernized tools to advance plant science while supporting Canadian agriculture, global trade and economic growth,” CFIA says in a press release announcing the project. Slated for closure in 2012, an outcry led by local MP Elizabeth May saw the centre Ag Briefs EDITED BY PETER MITHAMExpert 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 Consultancountries. Prior to new rules passed in 2019, BC was the only province in Canada where children as young as 12 could be employed legally and their injuries covered by WorkSafe BC. New rules that took eect last year raised the minimum working age from 12 to 16, and identied certain jobs as "light work" suitable for youth aged 14 to 15, with parental permission. This includes hand-harvesting produce on farms. The new rules continue to allow children as young as 12 to work on a family farm or a farm business owned by an immediate family member, according to a program expert at the BC Ministry of Labour, “provided that the work does not involve the specied elements that make the work unsafe for children.” Such elements include repairing, maintaining or operating heavy machinery; lifting, carrying or moving heavy items or animals; and using, handling or applying hazardous substances, such as pesticides. The new rules add conned spaces and the use of dangerous abattoir equipment to that list. But if youth are “simply performing a chore,” then the regulation doesn’t apply. AgSafe recommends considering the age, ability and maturity level of younger workers when determining what activities are appropriate. A task-specic safety orientation is also recommended. — Peter Mitham CALL 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 BCInsurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Please visit www.assante.com/legal.jsp or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planningDriediger Wealth PlanningMark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth AdvisorBrent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth Advisorwww.DriedigerWealthPlanning.com | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 11Movement of poultry banned to curb AI threatControl measures back in place as toll risesSmall ocks remain the most vulnerable to highly pathogenic avian inuenza as fall bird migrations take off and wet weather approaches. MYRNA STARK LEADERRotary RakesKuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia KUHN dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordNorthline EquipmentPouce CoupeHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeTHE MOST COMPLETE HAY LINE Cut • Dry • HarvestSave time, money and improve hay quality with KUHN.THE HAY AND FORAGE TOOL SPECIALISTS Mowers Mower Conditioners Mergers Wheel Rakes Tedders Harvesting high-quality hay and forage is the focus of KUHN's hay tool innovation. Our commitment is to help yougain a maximum return on investment by providing products known for performance, reliability, and longevity.PETER MITHAM LANGLEY – Small ocks are once again leading the way as fall bird migrations trigger an upswing in highly pathogenic avian inuenza cases. Since September 12, ten properties have reported infections. Three commercial farms in Chilliwack and Langley as well as four small-lot ocks on Vancouver Island and three non-commercial, non-poultry ocks have tested positive for the disease at press time. The cases in small-lot ocks have the region’s commercial chicken growers on edge. “We all practice our biosecurity, and we’re staying safe, so far,” says Bev Whitta, of Nanoose Bay who represents Vancouver Island for the BC Chicken Growers Association. “Because our farms are spread out, that’s to our advantage.” But the large number of small ocks on the island is a concern, because they’re not bound by the same rules as commercial producers, who are required to keep their ocks indoors. “It’s all complicated by the fact there are no regulations for the backyard people,” she says of the situation. “They view it dierently.” The challenges small ocks present prompted the province’s chief veterinary ocer to reintroduce an order October 14 indenitely prohibiting the comingling of ocks. “The BC Poultry Association (BCPA) has introduced the highest biosecurity ‘code Red’ standards in recognition of the current level of risk,” the order states. “As individuals who maintain small ocks of birds are not covered by the BCPA and not regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, additional measures need to be taken to protect these birds from virus transmission as well.” The order applies to all poultry, fowl, guinea fowl, peafowl, pheasants, pigeons, quail and ratites. During outbreaks this spring, small-lot producers were urged to follow the biosecurity protocols set forth by the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. Commercial ocks have been required to keep their ocks indoors since September 14. With wet weather on the horizon, this will ensure ocks avoid contact with wild birds and have limited exposure to mud and moisture that could expose them to the H5N1 virus. Small ocks continue to be allowed outdoors, which has left some commercial producers neighbouring them nonplussed. This fall, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food has been holding a series of 11 public information sessions for small-ock poultry owners to help them prevent, recognize and report the virus. The sessions began September 27 in Williams Lake. Sessions in November with address producers in the Lower Mainland and Southern Interior. Depopulation A a total of 28 ocks have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian inuenza since April. A positive case results in the depopulation of the entire ock to neutralize the risk. Approximately 255,600 birds have been aected at press time. The ten outbreaks this fall have aected more than 72,600 birds. The outbreaks have meant greater restrictions and paperwork for producers. They’ve also curbed the export of product to the US, as primary control zones established by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency cover the main highways through the Lower Mainland. The primary control zones remain in place until the CFIA is satised that infected premises are free of the disease, and there is no risk to surrounding premises. This can take several months. Control zones implemented in the spring were not fully lifted until early August. The good news is that domestic supplies of poultry and eggs have not been aected. “Most of our infected premises are small-lots, so that doesn’t aect the supply of product at all,” said Amanda Brittain, spokesperson for the emergency operations centre the BC Poultry Association established to coordinate industry’s response to the disease. She says biosecurity protocols also seem to be working. “There seems to be no farm-to-farm transfer, which is excellent. It means all the biosecurity that all the commercial farms and small-ock owners are doing is working,” she says. “The incursions are coming from wild birds.”
12 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMFG OF MINI SKID STEERS AND A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS INCLUDING: BRUSH MULCHERSPTO POWER PACKS | FLAIL MOWERS | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS | PTO GENERATORSTREE PULLERS | FELLER BUNCHERS | EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | STUMP GRINDERSAUGER DRIVES | DRAINAGE PLOWS | TREE SPADES | TREE SAWS & SHEARS | BOOM MOWERS | TRENCHERSBAUMALIGHT.COMAdair Sales & Marketing Company Inc.306-773-0996 | email@example.comPTO GENERATORSPRE-ORDER YOUR BAUMALIGHTGENERATOR NOW FOR DELIVERY IN8 WEEKS AND GET AN 8% DISCOUNT.Sentencing of animal activists disappoints industryCalls mount for tougher penalties to deter trespassPETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Two activists convicted for their part in the April 2019 invasion of Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford have been sentenced to 30 days in jail and a year’s probation. Amy Soranno and Nick Shafer received the sentences in Abbotsford on October 12, with the added requirement that they submit their DNA to a national databank of oenders. Both must also pay a victim surcharge of $200. “The oenders knew full well that they were deliberately breaking the law when they chose to do what they did,” Justice Frits Verhoeven said in his reasons for judgment. “It is impossible to feel sympathy for the predictable consequences of their own deliberate actions, or to consider them as mitigating.” Verhoeven described the incident as a grave threat to public order given that both Soranno and Shafer knew what they were doing, and knew that it was illegal. The occupation of the farm had been planned over several weeks, and close to 200 people were recruited to attend. “Violence could have occurred,” Verhoeven said. “The farmers were in fact overwhelmed by the number of participants.” Some members of the family continue to suer anxiety as a result of the protest, court documents note. “The harm to society's values lies in the pernicious and misguided idea that breaking the law for political purposes, or higher moral purposes, is acceptable,” Verhoeven said. “This kind of behaviour must be denounced and deterred in the most emphatic of terms.” Verhoeven felt nothing less than 60 days imprisonment was justied, but given the "precarious" nature of Soranno's health (court documents describe this as “a debilitating illness which has no denitive diagnosis” and severe celiac disease, he limited it to 30 days to be served intermittently. Citing the principle of equality, Verhoeven also limited Shafer's jail time to 30 days. But the duo have appealed their convictions, meaning the sentences will not be executed immediately. In the meantime, they’re free on bail, with several conditions including a requirement to report to a bail supervisor beginning October 19 as required; avoiding contact with Excelsior’s owners and remaining at least 5 km away from the farm; and not attending animal farms or petting zoos. The duo are also subject to conditions imposed following their release on bail after being arrested with four other activists in Waterloo, Ontario last fall. Those conditions included a “no contact” clause prohibiting them from speaking with each other. The conditions don’t impact their supporters, however. Dozens staged a demonstration outside Excelsior on October 12, while the farm’s owners continued caring for their animals. The protest was salt in the wound for the Binnendyk family, who BC Pork Producers Association president Jack DeWit say want to get on with their lives. “The family didn’t even go to court, they just want to put it behind them,” he says. “Hopefully, it’s enough of a deterrent that they won’t do it again, but I don’t think they’re going to stop because of this, either.” DeWit supports a recent BC Agriculture Council call for the province to mandate stier penalties to deter trespassers on farms. Proposals include raising the maximum ne for trespass to $750 from $115. Trespassers on farm properties in Alberta and Ontario both face maximum nes of $10,000. “The industry in general wants stier penalties,” DeWit says. “The next time it might be a turkey barn, or a chicken barn or a dairy barn.” BCAC has yet to hear from the province, which has simply acknowledged its “interest in modernizing legislation to better protect farmers, farm animals and local food security.” Delta South MLA Ian Paton, a former dairy farmer and now Opposition agriculture critic, said the penalties in the Excelsior case amounted to “a sham.” Paton supported a private member’s bill tabled by former Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness in 2019 to amend the Trespass Act to provide for nes of up to $10,000 for trespass anywhere food is “grown, raised, cultivated, kept, harvested, produced, manufactured, slaughtered, processed, prepared, packaged, distributed, transported or sold, or is stored or handled for any of those purposes.” The bill, lacking the support of government, did not advance beyond rst reading. Paton has pledged to raise the issue with the government both in the legislature and in private meetings with the ministers of agriculture and public safety. “It’s just a sham when you get 30 days you can serve on weekends,” he said. “Unbelievable.” YOURHelping YouHelping YouHelpinlpingYoulHHelping YoWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESSignSign upup for for FREE todaFREE today.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 13Peace Region grain producers have made the most of an extended fall. Conditions have been excellent for harvest. FACEBOOK / BC GRAIN PRODUCERS6 lanes with automatic drops and 3 semi-automatic drops. Comes with 6-person quality inspection table and macro bin tipper by BURG.Farm & Rural ResidentialProperties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, CRA P AppAppraiser250.firstname.lastname@example.org www.aspengrovepropertyservices.caKATE AYERS BALDONNEL – Following a wet and cool spring, Peace grain producers are thankful for the extended summer that brought warm and mostly dry conditions to the area through mid-October. While crops were light, BC Grain Producers Association president Malcolm Odermatt had his easiest harvest in about ve years. “We had a late and wet spring and then we had a drought,” he says. “So, the yields were less than half of our average for the most part. When there's not a lot of product out there, it makes harvest easier and also everything was nice and ripe and dry.” As a result of the delayed growing season, many producers welcomed the extended summer. “If you had to told us that harvest was this far along in the spring, I would tell you you’re lying,” laughs BCGPA crop technologist Kristyn Brody on October 5. On this date, she estimated that harvest in the Peace Region was between 70% and 100% complete. Despite the lower yields, the quality of most crops did not take a hit from this year’s tough growing conditions. “The wheat was nice and heavy, high protein across the farm. The barley yielded really poorly, but because we didn't have any fog it should be good quality. It will be malt quality,” Odermatt says. “The oats were nice and heavy again and the canola yielded better than the cereals.” Odermatt credits the warm and dry temperatures for the high quality and lack of green seeds in the canola. He usually swaths canola in the rst week of September to beat hard frosts that will kill the plants and lock in green seeds. But a killing frost had yet to hit by October 6. “If you can believe that,” Odermatt adds. “This year, we didn't have really any green in our canola and I've heard that right across the board, from Fort St. John to Dawson [Creek]. Everyone was super-happy with the quality of their canola.” However, a few growers were still waiting for their canola to ripen in early October. Brody cannot say for certain, but she gures that smoke from the Battleship Mountain wildre could have something to do with the delay in some farmers’ elds. “Prior to the res, everything was ripening quite quickly. And then when the smoke rolled in, it seemed to kind of stop,” Brody says. Parts shortage The fall weather may have simplied harvest operations for grain producers, but supply chain issues continue to complicate planning. “Luckily, we didn't really have too many breakdowns this fall, but the parts we needed, they weren't available,” Odermatt says. “We had to make a couple of parts and get creative because you have to keep moving forward. But it made me aware that we're going to have to store more parts on the farm.” Odermatt is already looking to purchase chemicals, fertilizer and seed for next year. Producers who wanted to upgrade parts or equipment struggled to nd what they needed due to short supplies, Brody adds. “That's been a battle all year,” she says. In addition, producers are tracking higher input costs in their balance sheets. “The cost of inputs in general – everything was substantially higher this year,” Brody says. “And then now they're kind of lowering the price at the elevator, so guys that didn't contract aren't getting as good [a return].” Like all producers, Odermatt has to bite the bullet when it comes to the price of fuel. “Fuel price is a little ridiculous. That’s a big part of these grain farms: we don't rely on manpower; we rely on horsepower,” he says. “That means we use a lot of diesel, so it’s of concern for sure.” BC has approximately 380,000 acres in annual eld crops. Of this area, just under 80% is in the Peace, according to the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The Peace also supplies more than 80% of the province’s grain and oilseed exports. Weather makes for easier harvest in PeaceYields are down but delayed harvest meant dry, ripe grains
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 15Western dairy groups target processorsSingle streamlined entity emphasizes regional collaborationPETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Dairy producers in the four western provinces will operate as a single entity under the terms of an agreement announced September 29. “BC Milk, BC Dairy, Alberta Milk, SaskMilk, and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba have all agreed to a partnership approach that aligns the resources and expertise of the ve organizations under one WMP,” the Western Milk Pool (WMP) says. The provincial marketing boards will remain in place, as each province regulates farm products, but their operations will be harmonized to eectively operate as one. A new governance model will be developed by spring 2023 to oversee the partnership, which the group says will “provide a more organized, unied voice for Western dairy farmers in discussions at the national table and with all dairy stakeholders.” Together, producers in Western Canada account for about 25% of the milk produced in Canada. This compares to about 33% in each of Ontario and Quebec. The remainder, less than 10%, is produced in Atlantic Canada. Producers will see no immediate change, says BC Dairy Association chair Holger Schwichtenberg. “I, as a producer, will initially see very little dierence,” he says. “What’s important here is that we’re setting ourselves up for the future.” Plans call for a harmonized milk transportation system across the four Western provinces. Policy and communications teams will be integrated. The changes will give Western Canada’s dairy industry the scale needed to attract the talent that can guide the sector forward. “It makes sense that we have one policy team in Western Canada, not four,” Schwichtenberg said. Harmonization will also position the region to attract processors, who will eectively be dealing with a single producing block rather than four units and the logistical challenges that creates. The cost of transporting milk across such a vast region has long been a bugbear of producers, especially given the relatively small volumes each province produces individually. Working together will give the region needed scale. “[Processors] are not stopping and talking to four provinces, they’re stopping and talking to one entity, the Western Milk Pool," Schwichtenberg says. Some of the changes are already well underway. Speaking at the fall meeting of the Mainland Milk Producers Association in September, BC Dairy general manager Jeremy Dunn said BC had received WMP’s blessing to hire a business development ocer to attract processors. The move was the top recommendation of a government-backed report BC Dairy presented to producers in January, Feeding the Future: Advancing Dairy Processing in BC. “We think this is important not only for BC but for the West and the Western Milk Pool agreed, and this is in an initiative that will be going forward,” says Dunn. “We will be bringing a professional on that can help attract processing into the West and again, try to help those processors to be able to get their businesses online as fast as possible, including trying to access government dollars that might be available to support these projects.” According to BC Milk Marketing Board general manager Robert Delage, the outlook is promising, with unprecedented demand and interest from processors. This is linked both to population growth and the need for regional processing capacity as well as demand for niche products. Comments at the release of Feeding the Future noted that greater access to grass-fed milk was a priority for processors. A joint marketing initiative is also underway between BC and Alberta, which represent 70% of dairy production in Western Canada. “It’s going to allow us to combine our administrative resources, and from a monetary perspective, that means more of your dollars as producers are in the marketplace and less are being used for overhead or administrative reasons,” Dunn told producers. One voice, more clout. Milk marketing boards in the four western provinces will be harmonizing operations to effectively operate as one following an agreement signed this fall. ANNA KLOCHKOHas Basic Grooving LetYou and Your Cows Down?We Can Fix at Permanently.Barn Floor Traction & CowComfort that Lasts Decades!1-877-966-3546OUR MACHINES ARE CUSTOM MADE AND PATENTED.If anyone says they do what we do it is a lie! We are the ONLY Providers ofTraction Milling in the World.Join the thousands of Happy Farmers and Cows!Agritraction.com28 YEARS OF TRUE TRACTIONCelebrating
16 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCFunding supports First Nations’ food securityIrrigation upgrades, abattoir planning in the worksKATE AYERS and PETER MITHAM LILLOOET – Processing capacity is essential to local food security, bringing local production across the nish line onto the plates of consumers. While the province’s agriculture ministry has invested in a food hub network, a number of smaller initiatives are also afoot to support crop and livestock producers as well as First Nations initiatives. On August 18, the province awarded $412,600 to Xaxli’p Development Corp. for irrigation upgrades at Sobotka Ranch in Fountain Valley, north of Lillooet. The corporation has already completed the planning work as part of a community readiness project that assessed soil capability, crop suitability and market opportunities, as well as the irrigation needs of the ranch. “Through the soil samples, the Sobotka came out that it would be suitable for winter produce like potatoes, turnips, carrots,” says Xaxli’p economic development ocer Lyle Leo. There were also discussions of a possible business venture with poultry. But before the community can begin producing crops, the irrigation system needs upgrades to divert water more eciently from Cinquefoil Creek. “They approved the $412,600 for the installation of a new irrigation line. The one that was there was more of a makeshift [line] put together by interested ranchers at the time. The intake wasn’t done right,” Leo explains. “This year we will get the irrigation line engineered and cleared and pipe installed. After the next sh window next spring we can do the work in the creek for the intake.” With the closest town being 15 kilometres away, Leo hopes that this project will enable community members to access fresher and more aordable food options. Production is planned for 60 of the ranch’s 161 acres. “Right now the focus is on food sustainability and security. And healthier foods for the community,” he says. Now with the cost of living going up and fuel … it costs them a lot of money to get to the store for vegetables.” Moving forward, the community hopes that agriculture development on the property will provide employment and generate revenue with an eventual commercial building to sell produce. The same announcement saw the province award $582,282 to Lytton First Nation to develop the Yekm Food Hub. The funding will contribute to the completion of the building’s exterior elements. According to the province, “The funding received has enabled the Lytton First Nation and Yekm Food Hub to work on making necessary purchases, such as a greenhouse, tractor and implements, irrigation pipes and the completion of the Yekm Food Hub building, as well as the addition of hydro poles, solar panels, a septic system and traditional signs.” In the Cariboo, ?Esdilagh First Nation south of Quesnel has received $410,000 to plan a Class A abattoir. Class A licences, now known simply as abattoir licences, are provincially inspected and are able to distribute product province-wide. The abattoir will be built on the east side of the community and is projected to have a capacity of up to 30 cattle per day and a larger number of smaller animals, such as sheep and pigs. The planning work includes hiring a consultant to develop a business plan and design the abattoir, the province says. Other work involves exploring food and economic security and conducting community engagement. Planning is only the beginning, however. Building an abattoir costs millions. According to the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association, which is spearheading a new abattoir for the Nicola Valley, project costs are in the range of $3.5 million to $5.5 million. ?Esdilagh First Nation did not return calls regarding its project. Other projects include $1 million in funding for the Upper Kanaka Community Resiliency Project, which will improve food self-suciency through commercial greenhouse construction. This infrastructure will allow community members to grow food year-round. A root cellar will also allow the Kanaka Bar Band to store seeds and vegetables without electricity. Hornby Island Farmland Trust Society has also received $626,750 to support construction of a food processing facility on 12 acres of land adjacent to the Donny Farris Community Farm and Garden “The facility will have an outdoor food-washing area, large indoor food-processing worktables, freezer/cooler capacity, a loading dock for facilitating logistics in the truck transport of palletized foodstus and a small retail counter,” the province says. The facility will incubate local food businesses as well as provide space to any of Hornby Island’s 1,225 residents who needs to clean, process, refrigerate, freeze and transport food products. The funding for all projects was provided in the form of rural development grants by the BC Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation as part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan. Don’t forget to RENEW your subscription
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 17The province is rethinking the way the tree fruit replant program will be offered to orchardists in the future. Since 1991, it has invested over $50 million to help revitalize Okanagan orchards. MYRNA STARK LEADERReplant report targets industry over orchardsProvince has yet to extend tree fruit program that ended last yearPETER MITHAM KELOWNA – The future of BC’s tree fruit replant program is no clearer following an audit of the most recent iteration than it was when the province failed to renew the program 18 months ago. The only thing that seems clear is that orchard renewal is likely to be secondary to industry renewal. “We believe that a potential continued TFRP or some other form of replant-renewal can focus on the tree fruit industry needs that relate to communication and individual orchard planning,” states the report, prepared by KPMG in March but just released in September. It notes that the challenges facing the tree fruit industry “are broader than those that a replant program can address,” and argues in favour of a renewal program that supports eorts to increase market share for BC apples, encourages new entrants to the industry and growers operating in niche markets and supports dened year-over-year increases in fruit quality. New and small-scale growers could be barred from the program, and participants could be required to submit marketing plans detailing how the grower expects to market or sell fruit from trees funded by the program. The program would be underpinned by an industry-led vision for itself. “Once a vision has been established, the role and goals for the program can be developed to align with the industry’s overall vision,” KMPG states. The BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food says KPMG’s recommendations are “consistent” with those of a stabilization plan the province developed in partnership with the tree fruit and grape industry last year. The stabilization task force recommended “some form of program” geared to the needs of “business-oriented farmers” and potentially integrated with other commodity replant programs “to facilitate diversication and orchard regeneration.” The province currently operates two other replant programs, one for hazelnuts and another for raspberries. “We will continue working with the industry going forward on next steps,” the ministry states. Lengthy history Originally launched in 1991 and administered by the Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority, the replant program has invested $50 million in the industry through 2021. The latest iteration launched in 2014. Program delivery for the nal six years was through the BC Fruit Growers Association, which handed the reins to the province with six months left to run in its administration contract. The nal work involved nalizing paperwork and making outstanding payments to growers, which the province delegated to the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. The province’s decision to change the program’s administration fee, eectively cutting it in half, and other changes to the administration agreement prompted BCFGA to walk away. KPMG’s review took issue with several aspects of BCFGA’s administration of the program, but it also highlights several shortcomings on the part of the province. For example, administration agreements were incomplete or non-existent for several periods. In addition, BCFGA faced several challenges related to sta turnover at the agriculture ministry, while its own sta remained unchanged. BCFGA was also not compensated for administration of the program in the nal year. But regardless of the critiques of its management, the program has been a boon for growers. BCFGA president Peter Simonsen says the program traces its roots to initiatives launched alongside the Agricultural Land Reserve to support the viability of farmers and protect local food security. “It was very successful and while the funding never kept up to rising costs, the program had been continually recognized as a worthwhile incentive that shows faith in the industry,” he says. The broader economy also benetted, with every dollar of government investment supporting several dollars worth of spending by growers over the life of the orchard. “It was continually renewed with little debate and is the model adopted and currently enjoyed by hazelnuts and raspberries,” he says. 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18 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSUBSCRIBE TODAYChampions Supporters BC YOUNG FARMERS PRESENTS OUR ANNUAL FARM FEST NOVEMBER 28 to DECEMBER 2 7:00—8:30 PM Funding for Best Practices Getting a Work-Life Balance Plus - wine & cider tastings! FIND OUT MORE - BCYF.CA 2 VIRTUAL EVENTS FARM TOURS SPEAKERS SOCIALS SANDRA TRETICK OTTAWA – In late September, the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry launched a national study on soil health. It is the rst study of the state of Canada’s soils since 1984. Senator Rob Black of Ontario heads the committee and says the previous report, Soil at Risk: Canada’s Eroding Future, has been the most frequently requested senate report since Confederation, but he notes that a lot has changed since 1984, making a new study imperative. “There’s things that we’re talking about today that weren’t even discussed back in 1984 … carbon sequestration, climate change, climate mitigation, food security,” says Black. “Without healthy soils, I don’t think we can guarantee food security, either in this country or around the world.” The 1984 report included 20 recommendations and Black says about half were acted on, including establishing National Soil Conservation Week and the Soil Conservation Council of Canada. Bella Coola farmer, regenerative agriculture consultant and Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC director Corine Singeld is familiar with the 1984 report but calls it pretty underwhelming. “I think there are more pressing action items than writing reports to sound the alarm about a well-known phenomenon,” says Singeld. “We just started seeing a heightened interest in preserving soils a few years ago from farmers, academics and government, but more than half of the world's top soil is gone already.” She would like to see an update to the national soil surveys to identify areas where soil health is at critical risk. “We also need a baseline to evaluate the success of recent initiatives, such as the promotion of cover cropping, grazing, rotations, hedgerows, etcetera,” she says. “Fortunately, there now exists remote sensing technologies that can help with this inventory, with ground-truthing.” Case study UBC associate professor of applied biology and soil science Sean Smukler has made a presentation to the committee, and called BC “an important case study for soil health” in reference to forest res, extreme heat, drought, ooding and this year’s long, cold spring. “We are the proverbial canary in the coal mine and hopefully a wake-up call for the nation,” he notes in his Zoom presentation to the committee. “These events have clearly highlighted our lack of resilience. Building soil health is key to building resilience and helping achieve emission reduction targets.” Smukler added “we have shockingly little understanding of the status or the direction of soil health” and highlighted four recommendations: changing how land management is viewed, doing a better job of measuring and linking soil health to farm and forest productivity, developing common metrics to measure and report soil health, and establishing a baseline status on soil health. Black challenges BC farmers, academics, agronomists, scientists, organizations and “folks that are in the know” to make a submission by notifying the clerk of the committee. Only about 5% of BC has the right combination of soil, land characteristics and climate suited for agriculture. It’s a nite resource. “Certainly soil is a regional thing,” says Black. “You folks have gone through droughts and oods in the last year or more. What’s that doing to our soil? What can we do dierently so that we know that we’re going to have healthy soils well into the future?” No comment Although it’s early days in the process, which is anticipated to run for up to two years, BC agriculture organizations haven’t yet made any commitments to participate. The BC Agriculture Council says it is unaware of any provincial submissions at this point and expects its members will be looking to their national counterparts to make submissions. The BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food has not been asked to make a submission and acknowledges that they do not have any data on farm land degradation in BC. The BC Institute of Agrologists participated in the 1984 exercise but did not conrm by deadline whether or not it was participating in the current study. UBC soil science professor emeritus Les Lavkulich was a witness in 1984. At the time, he chaired the soil survey subcommittee of the BC Land Resource Science Lead Committee. He thinks the 1984 report made a big dierence in terms of people’s perceptions. “Our agriculture community is pretty damn good, but they’re not perfect,” says Lavkulich. “So consequently, we have to keep working on that. The industry is starting to recognize that they need healthy soil.”New national soil study underway BC is the “proverbial canary in the coal mine,” says soil researcher
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 19Honey producers target growth with new studyBC Honey Producers looking to attract more beekeepersThe BC honey industry is looking to scale up production and membership and has received another inux of funding from the province to explore its economic and nancial prospects. MYRNA STARK LEADERTOM WALKER KAMLOOPS – The economic and nancial prospects for the BC honey industry will be studied with $75,000 in provincial funding announced at the BC Honey Producers Association annual general meeting and conference in Kamloops, October 14-16. “We have heard directly from the BC bee and honey sector that there is lots of interest in scaling up and opening up opportunities for both new and current producers,” BC assistant deputy minister of agriculture Arif Lalani said, speaking on behalf of agriculture minister Lana Popham. “The overall goal of the sector analysis is to look at the future and nd ways that we can work together and attract new farmers to get into bee production in British Columbia.” BCHPA president Heather Higo says the funding is just one of several ways that the province supports the industry, including the recent appointment of an industry specialist, funding for small- scale Bee BC grants, and start-up funds for a Technology Transfer Program (TTP). “A market sector analysis is exactly what we need to provide direction for the growth of our industry,” says Higo. “Our tech transfer lead initiated a roundtable earlier this year that included large bee operations, queen and stock producers, government representatives and university researchers to determine what we need in order to become more sustainable and to grow our industry. At the top of our list was a market analysis study to see where the gaps are and how we can best move forward.” The announcement was aligned with the conference theme, “battling for our bees,” with many discussions focused on addressing beekeepers’ challenges, helping them to grow and move forward. The newly launched TTP has been a focus for the association over the last year and members voted in favour of ongoing support to the tune of $10,000 a year. “We need to show the government that we are committed to supporting this program that we have sought for so long,” says Je Lee, rst vice president and a beekeeper from Creston. Dues increase To support the investments, members also voted for the rst increase in dues since 2004, with all categories of membership seeing dues rise by $10 a year. BC has more than 32% of the 13,100 beekeepers in Canada but many are small operations and the province only represents about 5% of Canada’s honey production. But the recent turnaround in prices has been welcome, says Stan Reist of Flying Dutchman Honey in Coombs, the association’s representative at the Canadian Honey Council. “From a range of $1.05 to $1.30 a pound just a few years ago, we saw the average national price rise to between $3.00 and $3.60,” he says. “That brought BC producers $14.2 million in 2021, the highest ever.” Winter colony losses continue to have a major impact on beekeepers nationwide, but BC beekeepers have fared relatively well with average losses last winter of just 32%. The national average loss was more than 45%. The winter losses have been compounded by the industry’s diculties importing replacement stock from Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii in recent years. “Large producers in Alberta and Manitoba in particular have been scrambling to stock their hives in the spring and many are calling to have the US border re-opened to import packages and queens,” says Reist. Canadian beekeepers have been unable to import packages of bees from the US since 1987, but queens have been allowed since 2003. Both the CHC and the BCHPA support keeping the border closed to US bees. “Stock from the US may carry pests and diseases, some of which may be resistant to treatments that we use, as well as the possibility of Africanized bees,” notes Reist. The closure has actually made for better beekeepers in Canada, argues Reese Chandler, president of Scandia Honey in southern Alberta, who spoke to the topic. Chandler says Scandia is able to overwinter hives and has developed the skills to produce queens and nucleus colonies to reduce his use of imported stock. “I am very optimistic about our industry and I believe that we can develop the skills to be sustainable,” he says. Chandler urged BC bee breeders who are able to produce stock earlier due to the province’s mild climate to reach out to their Prairie counterparts. “I think even small producers could organize a means to assemble stock and ship to Prairie beekeepers,” he says. 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20 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCBEES nfrom page 19"SFZPVSFBEZGPSXJOUFS :FTXFTIJQBMMPWFS$BOBEB$BMMVTGPSBRVPUFgood news on invasive species in his report. The Northern Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) – a pest formerly known as the Asian Giant Hornet – was not reported this year. The destruction of a nest in Nanaimo in 2019 and three nests in Blaine in 2021 appears to have eliminated the potentially invasive species. “There were no reports of the giant hornet in 2022,” says van Westendorp. “I think it has been eradicated.” Small hive beetle, a pest of note in the US, has had two sightings in the Lower Mainland as well as in Blaine, Washington. The beetle damages the comb, stored honey and pollen, and is a marker in the diagnosis of colony collapse disorder. “We need to start looking for it in the Fraser Valley,” says van Westendorp. Beekeepers should focus on colony health in order to bolster their resistance to the beetle. The colony that reported the pest in Blaine was in poor health. Van Westendorp also warned about resistance to Apivar, a standard tool for varroa mite control which contains the active ingredient Amitraz. “Apivar is registered to be used in a strip formulation as a contact insecticide for mite control,” he explains. “It has been around for 15 years, so it is not surprising that we are hearing reports of resistance.” There have been reports of beekeepers importing liquid Amitraz under the trade name Taktic to treat mites, but van Westendorp warned against this. “This water-soluble form of Amitraz was withdrawn from use on bees in Canada and the US and it is a prohibited chemical in Europe,” he says. Producers using it will be ying blind, possibly with disastrous results. “As it is not registered, you don’t have a label to tell you about application rates and there is a real risk of honey contamination,” van Westendorp says. “You could administer too little for no eect or too much and injure your bees.” And there is a real risk of honey contamination. “While the quantities may be negligible and not pose a health risk to consumers, the mere detection of liquid Amitraz as a non-registered product could have far-reaching economic consequences to Canada’s commercial honey producers,” van Westendorp warns. Sweet rewardBC Honey Producers president Heather Higo presented the 2021 President’s Award to Dawson Creek member Kerry Clark, right, in person during the BCHPA fall conference in Kamloops in October (it was awarded virtually last year). “Kerry is currently a bee inspector and teaches and mentors new beekeepers,”says Higo, adding his inquisitive mind is always thinking up new and interesting research. Appropriately, Clark also chairs the research committee, which he has done for two years. The 2022 President’s Award went to Coombs beekeeper Stan Reist, centre, who, like Clark, is a former BCHPA president and serves as the BC rep on the Canadian Honey Council. Reist contributes to bee meetings in BC and around the world, says Higo. “An example of Stan’s foresight and innovation in his bee business and an example to others to follow is putting together nucs in the spring and shipping them to Alberta,” Higo says. Clark also received a BCHPA lifetime membership, recognizing that while BC now has a tech transfer team, Clark was one of three extension ofcers who were a tech transfer team years ago. TOM WALKER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 21BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER CHILLIWACK – The BC hazelnut industry has been growing throughout the province, both in the number of trees planted and the number of new growers. Over 50,000 trees have been planted since 2016, helped in part by the BC Hazelnut Growers Association and the provincial government’s Hazelnut Renewal Program. At the same time, many acres of Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB) diseased trees have been removed, reducing the disease pressure on the new EFB-resistant plantings. The BC Ministry of Agriculture has extended the Hazelnut Renewal Program for another year. The Fraser Valley eld day was held September 10 at Fraser Valley Hazelnuts, an orchard and hazelnut processing facility in Chilliwack. Presentations by industry and government specialists were followed by a walking tour of a young orchard with trees ranging from one to seven years old. There was also a tour of the processing plant and a display of eld equipment. Thom O’Dell presented production data from Helmut Hooge’s 2021 harvest. Hooge has one of the oldest orchards with EFB-resistant hazelnut trees. The Jeerson variety was planted in 2011 and 2013, and the Yamhill cultivar in 2013. Dry weight yield was 3,169 lbs/acre and 2,959 lbs/acre respectively for the two varieties. Hooge bought his Chilliwack farm in 1990 with an existing Barcelona hazelnut orchard. He was BCHGA president when EFB rst hit the Fraser Valley in the 2000s and participated in early trials of the new EFB-resistant varieties developed by the University of Oregon. “At rst we tried to eradicate the infection by scouting for the disease, pruning and chipping,” says Hooge. “But it is windborne. We delayed it for some years, but the trees eventually succumbed.” Although it has been tough for many growers, those who stuck it out and replanted are thriving. “We had good reports from Oregon on the new varieties,” says Hooge. “The results have been good. The new trees are producing more than the Barcelonas.” Island growers meet Although most of BC hazelnut production is in the Fraser Valley, other areas of the province have been developing new hazelnut orchards with EFB-resistant varieties. A completely dierent management style was showcased at a eld day hosted by Amara Farm and the Mid-Island Farmers' Institute in Courtenay on September 25. Amara allowed a block of 40 EFB-resistant trees planted in 2018 to grow naturally in a multi-stem system on beds 17 feet apart. Elderberry and apple trees were planted between the hazelnuts and either garlic, potatoes or buckwheat were alley-cropped between the rows. Amara Farm is certied organic and is owned by Arzeena Hamir and Neil Turner. The event was supported with presentations by provincial agriculture ministry sta, including two regional agrologists with rst-hand hazelnut experience: North Island regional agrologist Thom O’Dell and Mid-Island and Gulf Islands regional agrologist Bejay Mills. O’Dell has a PhD in plant pathology and botany and has been supporting the hazelnut industry both as science advisor for the new cultivars and provider of new cultivars for producers through Nature Tech Nursery. Mills also has experience with hazelnuts, and is experienced in integrated pest management. BCHGA was represented at the Courtenay eld day by Zach Fleming, who demonstrated a backpack-style harvester, and some participants also brought small-scale hazelnut Hazelnut industry continues to thriveSector growing beyond the Fraser ValleyCornel Van Maren, far left, elds a question from Helmut Hooge during a pruning demonstration at Fraser Valley Hazelnuts. BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMERequipment. Both events were well attended, with over 50 attendees each. Following the two eld days, BCHGA held its AGM on October 4 in Abbotsford as well as online to encourage participation by growers outside the Fraser Valley. The association encouraged the expansion of the board beyond the Fraser Valley through the addition of directors from various regions of BC and were successful in securing new directors from Vancouver Island and Terrace. To help regrow the hazelnut industry further, BCHGA is actively recruiting a program coordinator to support the membership and identify new opportunities. The vls has received multiple international awards:Agritechnica innovation award 2011, silver Germanyeima innovation award 2012 ItalyEquitana innovation award 2013 GermanyWEIDEMANN T4512 COMPACT TELEHANDLERBETTER WORK FLOWVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 23Doctoral candidate Susanna Klassen believes more can be done to foster and protect workers in the organic sector by entrenching social welfare into the national organic standard. SUBMITTEDProponents look for measurable change in 2025 revisionsKATE AYERS SORRENTO – Most organic producers pride themselves on providing a safe and healthy working environment for their family and workers. But when it comes to social welfare, there are no measurable or enforceable standards within Canada’s organic certication regime requiring farms to treat workers with fairness and dignity. While general employment standards and labour laws are meant to provide some level of assurance of working conditions and apply equally to organic farms as any other farm, Susanna Klassen says “agriculture is exempt from certain protections and standards.” Klassen is a doctoral candidate in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC. Her work was recognized earlier this year when she received the inaugural Adrian Semmelink Memorial Award from UBC. Growers in BC aren’t required to pay farmworkers overtime or statutory holiday pay, for example. Enforcement and inspections of existing regulations are poor, and recourse for farmworkers if standards are not upheld is often dicult and time-consuming. “There is ample evidence that current standards and laws are insucient to protect farmworkers in Canada, especially migrant farm workers,” Klassen says. When the latest revision of Canada's organic standards was published in early 2021, it included a "principle of fairness" as one of four main production pillars that also include health, ecology and care. While previous revisions of the standards included fairness, Klassen notes the latest revision includes an expansion on the denition that explicitly mentions workers and explains the principle in more detail. It reects a commitment on behalf of the organic community to make improvements, she says. While these principles are a solid start, the concept of fairness is mentioned only in the introduction and appendices of the standards. As a result, the on-farm implementation of fairness relies on the farmer’s interpretation and application of the principle. Push for standards Over the past ve years, advocates have been pushing for the inclusion of more comprehensive social fairness standards in the Canadian organic standard, says Rebecca Kneen, a board member with the Organic Federation of Canada and operator of Left Field Farms in Sorrento. “The general concept of fairness is enshrined in the standards,” she says. “[But] the federal governmental bodies who oversee the whole thing were not interested in including [fairness] in the Canadian organic standard in the last major revision.” Advocates have now set their sights on 2025, the date of the next major revision, to achieve their goals. “There are a lot of really basic principles around worker fairness, equity and so on,” Kneen says. “There are some pretty straightforward issues and we’re really being guided by the various farmworker unions in this because they Proudly 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. Box 18591Delta, BC V4K 4V7Phone: 778-434-3070 202-4841 Delta Street email@example.com Delta, BC V4K 2T9 www.fvopa.ca Proudly certifying Organic Operators across Canada Fraser Valley Organic Producers Association (FVOPA) offers organic certication services for producers, processors, packaging and labelling contractors, distributors, and various organic service providers. We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and we welcome new members year-round. FVOPA certies to the Canadian Organic Standards and to the Canada Organic Regime (COR). Certied products may bear the Canada Organic logo and be marketed Canada-wide and internationally. FOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.firstname.lastname@example.orgCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.FOLLOW YOUR WEATHER at www.farmwest.com are the ones who really know what’s necessary.” Kneen would like to see the inclusion of safe working conditions as well as fair compensation, treatment and contracts. “We need to make sure – beyond the scope of organic standards – that temporary foreign workers’ contracts be decoupled from any individual farm,” Kneen says. “This is a huge problem because currently if they can’t work on a farm because they have been red or they have to leave to protect themselves, they are subject to deportation. That single thing puts them at such a huge risk of abuse.” Many organic growers want to see social fairness move beyond a principle, but several hurdles must be overcome. See SOCIAL on next page oProducers push for social welfare in organic standards
24 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSOCIAL standards have risks nfrom page email@example.comOver 30 0 Exhibitors Showcasing Innovative Agriculture TechnologyJanuary 26 - 28“As organic farmers and workers [and] members of OrganicBC, we’re denitely as a group really aware that social fairness is an important part of what we’re doing. It’s not an aspect of farming that we have ocial experience in creating standards for, so it is going to be a learning curve for us,” Kneen says. “There is a huge amount of work [required] to turn good ideas into a standard, which is partly why it is has taken so long.” But elevating social welfare standards could put Canadian organic farmers at a disadvantage when selling their products internationally, Klassen adds. Producers would have to adhere to higher standards and potentially higher costs than organic producers in the US, for example. A lack of information around social welfare improvements is another barrier to growers. Making changes Social fairness has been on the radar of BC’s organic sector for some time. It’s regularly featured on conference agendas; regional certifying bodies have also been paying attention. Klassen says some inspectors are already doing what they can by asking employers about farmworker conditions. “That’s how things get going,” she says. “You can’t make a big change unless you start talking about it and making sure people are aware and letting farmworkers speak for themselves about their experiences.” Overall, best management practices should apply to every aspect of an operation: the environment, livestock and people. And farmers should strive for continuous improvement. “If we’re going to consider fairness in the treatment of our livestock, which we most denitely do and have done for a very long time, then why are we not looking at human fairness?” Kneen asks. Despite the hurdles, Klassen believes change is possible. “The Canadian organic sector has a lot of power to change this if they want. Not to say that it’s easy, but it’s possible,” she says. The farm sector’s compliance rate with Temporary Foreign Work Program requirements is above average, according to a Service Canada presentation to employers on October 7. Compliance rates based on workplace inspections between April 1 and August 28 this year indicate just 1% of farm employers were non-compliant, according to statistics presented by Mark Douglas, a senior consultant with Service Canada. This is half the rate for all employers participating in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. With respect to actual compliance rates, the agriculture sector was clear in 59% of cases, versus 50% for all employers. The statistics also detail situations where issues were found, but the employer provided a justication for the breach of program terms. This applied to 40% of agriculture sector employers. In the case of the agriculture sector, top issues requiring justication included working conditions, wages and the retention and production of documentation. This was similar to program participants as a whole. Working conditions include the provision of an abuse-free workplace. Douglas says workplaces should have an abuse-free policy, train sta to recognize and prevent abuse, and have clear protocols to follow in the event of abuse being reported. Bullying, harassment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, nancial pressure, restrictions on freedom of movement and association and extreme hours of work all count as abuse. The abuse-free policy should be posted in common areas, ideally in the language of employees. The presentation was hosted by the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative in order to keep employers abreast of the latest changes in TFWP requirements. — Peter Mitham Compliance rate high
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 25The BC Fruit Growers’ AssociationDID YOU KNOW?supports members through programs:BCFGA provides free magazine subscriptions to Orchard and Vine, Country Life in BC, The Grower and Good Fruit Grower (NEW!).BCFGA provides assistance to members to complete Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program applications, backed by an accredited Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant.Free printed spray schedules.EFP Incentive Program ($250). Green Spark Consulting Services - Discount on housing bylaw assistance. COR Safety Certiﬁcation Incentive ($250). NEW!1234TRACEY FREDRICKSON CRESTON – British Columbia is one of Canada’s largest producers of garlic, a crop that is well suited to smaller farms since it does not require a great deal of land to support a protable business. Thistle Farm in Creston is an example of what can be achieved on just four acres with this much-in demand vegetable bulb. At a recent eld day facilitated by the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors and FarmFolk/CityFolk, farm owners Kip and Michelle Cantrell shared their success using mustard as a cover crop. Where Thistle Farm diers from other local growers is its use of biofumigation, the suppression of soil-borne pests and diseases using plants that produce chemicals called glucosinolates. When glucosinolates come in contact with water and plant enzymes, they transform into another type of compound which gives mustard its biofumigation power. Mustard can deter many pests while preventing soil erosion and improving soil structure, provided a rigorous protocol is followed. The Cantrells settled on their four-acre property in 2015 after working on farms across Canada, New Zealand and Australia for 15 years. “We knew the science behind growing garlic,” says Kip, “but here on the Creston ats, the soil is fertile but ne like silk, and contains little organic matter. We adapted what we knew as we learned about the land, including building up the soil so that it drained better.” He says they focused on garlic because it can be grown in a small area and sells well. It also doesn’t demand constant attention. “There are times during the year where the crop requires little management,” he says. “This lets us do other things, such as making value-added products and some o-farm work in the winter.” One of the farm’s early crops developed fusarium, a fungus that can live a long time in the soil and stops the ow of water and nutrients to the garlic bulb. To address the problem, the couple experimented with radish, oats, peas and buckwheat as cover crops, but had the greatest success with mustard, specically the Caliente 199 strain which is bred for biofumigation due to its high levels of glucosinolates. Incorporating mustard is a specic and time-sensitive procedure. It needs to be done before full bloom and before the mustard starts producing seeds, otherwise it can become a weed problem in the next season. Glucosinolate levels also go down quickly once mustard plants start producing seeds. Initially the farm hired someone with a ail mower to incorporate the mustard into the soil. This year, the Cantrells purchased their own ail mower. “The blades are like small hammers attached to a long spinning shaft that rotates at high speed, resulting in extremely nely cut plant material,” Kip explains. “The mustard needs to be mowed and tilled within 15 minutes – we use two tractors to do this – then irrigated as soon as possible. It’s important to wait two weeks after incorporating the mustard before planting the next crop to ensure maximum benets from the biofumigation process. “By using biofumigation, we’ve been able to reduce our previous four-year rotation to three which makes our production more viable,” adds Kip. “Mustard requires just nine to 10 pounds per acre while an alternative such as fall rye requires 100 pounds per acre. Now other growers are contacting us for information on garlic growing practices and drying and storage systems.” Thistle Farm also grows shallots, onions, beets and carrots which are sold at farmers markets in Creston, Cranbrook, Nelson and Trail. They also sell their fresh and value-added products such garlic grinders and garlic scape salt grinders at the farmgate. Its long-term plan is to grow the farm to 10 acres, with fresh garlic remaining the priority. “You can never grow enough garlic,” says Kip. Garlic grower cuts the mustard – and pestsBiofumigant attributes keep pests and fungi at bayKip and Michelle Cantrell shared their secret for suppressing soil-borne pests and diseases in garlic with other growers during a eld day at their Creston farm. TRACEY FREDRICKSONThere’s a very short window to cut and till mustard to control fusarium. A robust mustard crop waits to be harvested. THISTLE FARM PHOTOS
26 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC PRE-OWNED EQUIPMENT CASE IH MAGNUM 190 CVT MFD TRACTOR ROW CROP TIRES CALL FOR DETAILS CASE IH FARMALL 95A MFD ROPS TRACTOR WITH LOADER CALL FOR DETAILS CLAAS 860 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 12.5’ PICKUP & 6-ROW CORNHEAD $93,700 CLAAS JAG 870 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 6-ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING CLAAS 970 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 10-ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS SOLD! NH T4.75 TRACTOR ROPS MFD WITH LOADER CALL FOR DETAILS www.caliberequipment.ca STORE HOURS MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8-5 CLOSED SATURDAYS604-864-2273 860 RIVERSIDE ROAD ABBOTSFORD More Crops. Less Ash.JACKIE PEARASE ENDERBY — The drastically dierent corn growing seasons for Lower Mainland and Okanagan farmers is evident in that the one successful corn trial hosted by SilaGrow and Pacic Forage Bag Supply this year was in Enderby. Alexis Arthur of Pacic Forage Supply was not present for planting this year because she was still delivering corn to Lower Mainland farmers trying to make a go if it after November ooding and a wet spring. “I spent a lot of time trading out corn this year,” she notes about farms that needed lower corn heat units (CHUs) in an eort to get a crop nished. Arthur says lower CHUs are a site-specic tool for Okanagan producers with areas that may or may not ood; for Lower Mainland producers, it is becoming the go-to product. Arthur spoke to Okanagan producers at the September 28 corn trial at Cliview Dairy. She says many Lower Mainland farmers were so behind on their own crop decisions that corn trials there were impossible. “It’s been a tough go. There’s about a third of the crops coming o right now and they are wet from tip to toe in the kernel; they’re not ready at all.” Arthur says a trial she attended of six hybrid corn varieties planted June 30 was not ready and she knows of farmers who planted July 14. In Enderby, Cliview Dairy owner Henry Bremer planted 16 varieties on May 17 into soil measuring 10° C. There were 2,635 heat units measured at the Enderby station between May 17 and September 28, with just one temperature spike over 40° and not many days over 33°. The overall result was good kernel production on stalks of less girth and stature than other seasons. Some varieties boasted very good silage potential and a high percentage nished to tip. The varieties ranged from 2,100 to 2,700 CHUs and some were Roundup Ready, corn borer resistant or both. Bremer says this year’s trial was a better representation of what the varieties can oer than last year. “The heat had everything suering last year,” he said. “It was hard to gauge how any one type was doing because they were all struggling.” He gave this year’s crop a shot of water and manure when it was planted and two more waterings of three inches each. There was a total of six inches of rain in June and early July. “This year was much more forgiving,” Bremer adds. Armstrong producer Chris White says the corn trial is a good way to determine which corn may perform well on his 320 acres where he does both dryland and irrigated corn. “It’s good to see the comparison of what’s for sale,” he says. “I look at the sheet and choose what characteristics I want.” Arthur advises farmers to look at the dierent varieties to determine what will dry down suciently for them. “If it doesn’t nish, it isn’t worth feeding to your cows. If you’re going to spend all that money, get the grain from the cob.” She also tells clients to plant at least two varieties. “Because how they do in any plot, or in your neighbour’s eld, is not the same as what they’ll do for you. So put two in and see what works.” Arthur was able to assure Okanagan producers they could get results from SilaGrow by mid-October. Arthur says most farmers purchase their corn seed in the fall but some Lower Mainland farmers are still trying to determine the best course of action. “Hopefully we can cycle back into what’s our version of ‘normal,’” she says.Extended fall improves outcome at corn trialAn Okanagan farmer looks over the corn planted at Cliffview Dairy in Enderby for this year’s variety trial. JACKIE PEARASE
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 27Forest planning pilot includes range valuesForest Landscape Plans aren’tobligated to consider rangeCrown range is integral to the success of BC ranches but the Forest and Range Practices Act doesn’t take range values into account. A pilot of the new Forest Landscape Plans in Francois Lake hopes to change that. LIZ TWANemail: firstname.lastname@example.org St. Laurent Avenue Quesnel, B.C. V2J 5A3Producers can apply for an advance on calves, yearlings, lambs, bison, forage and grain up to $1,000,000.00 with the rst $250,000.00 being interest free. Plus, interest relief through the Advance Payments Program is available to association members on their feeder cattle purchases. BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 BCHA President John Lewis 250-218-2537 TOM WALKER FRANCOIS LAKE – Lakes District ranchers listened to an overview of the Forest Landscape Plan (FLP) process at a BC Cattlemen’s Association townhall meeting in Francois Lake, September 22. Recent amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) will make the FLPs mandatory across the province within a decade, but range values aren’t among those considered. Ranchers hope a pilot in Francois Lake will change that, establishing a standard for including them in future plans. BC Ministry of Forests resource manager Tara Dunphy explained that FLPs replace the Forest Stewardship Plans that currently exist. “FLPs are to be developed collaboratively in contrast to the old Forest Stewardship Plans that were done by the forest licensees,” Dunphy says. “This is a process where range is involved, the First Nations are involved, and forest licensees are involved along with community groups such as the snowmobile club and the cross-country ski club.” Planning in the Lakes District began as a resiliency project in response to the 2018 wildres in the region and the accumulating eects of climate change, Dunphy explains. “We realized there were many community concerns that were beyond wildres and beyond forestry, and that landscape-level planning was required,” she explains. Dunphy says there are ve FLP pilots underway across the province and the intent is to develop them for all forest districts over the next 10 years. “FLPs will be required to have monitoring plans to ensure objectives are completed and they also must report out to the public every ve years,” she says. The FLP framework in the Lakes consists of a main planning table that includes Indigenous representatives, timber licensees (including large companies such as West Fraser and local community forest operations), ranchers and government sta. Stepping up BC Cattlemen were invited to have a representative at the table and Francois Lake rancher Jon Solecki, a BCCA director, stepped up. “Jon Solecki and I sit at the main planning table which is tasked with making the technical decisions on what goes into the FLP,” explains Dunphy. Solecki says that he nds the process to be very positive. “This is a very progressive group that is open to ideas. Several of the reps from the forest companies really understand the rancher’s point of view,” he says. “We have an overriding focus on wildre management after the catastrophic losses we had in 2018. Things like economic resiliency and societal resiliency all hinge on wildres. There is a common theme that we want to set this up so that everyone can survive.” The planning table has identied core values. “We have chosen to focus on soil, range, recreation and wildres as values we will incorporate into our planning,” Dunphy says. She adds that there are separate technical working groups that will support each of the target values. Solecki says that the technical working groups are where specic practices such as ensuring a sustainable forage supply for ranchers will be developed. BC Cattlemen’s general manager Kevin Boon says that while ranchers have a seat at the central planning table in the Lakes, that is not yet the case for a second pilot that is underway in Quesnel. “Range is recognized as a signicant tenure holder in the Quesnel resource district, however, it is unclear as to what our involvement will be at the Quesnel planning table,” Boon explains. BCCA pushed hard to see wording included in recent amendments to the FRPA that would have ensured that range values would need to be considered in FLPs, Boon notes. Timber supply, conservation of the environment, Indigenous peoples’ values, local community values and forest health are all listed as objectives to be considered in a forest landscape plan, as outlined in FRPA, but there is no mention of range. “If they had included range, that would have ensured that range values must be considered and we wouldn’t need to be concerned about whether the district sta are open to considering range or whether we have strong representation at the planning meetings,” says Boon. Solecki says he hopes the Lakes process will inform others across the province. “There is a very strong local focus here,” he says. “We are setting the agenda and I hope we can set the template for the rest of the province.”
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 29Diversification keeps families on farmIt requires out-of-the-box thinking and plenty of communicationDiversication is keeping multiple generations on the de Dood farm in Grindrod, where an on-farm store, poultry operation and now an equipment dealership started by Curt de Dood are keeping the family busy. CATHY GLOVERwww.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onNITRO 275RS SPREADERSACCUMUL8 & RETRIEVERBALEWRAPPERS SILAGE RAKEHave you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops are Free!Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333TOM WALKER PENTICTON – Farm families often have to think outside the pasture when they are looking to provide opportunities for members to remain on – or return to – the family property. Three speakers at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Penticton this summer shared how they developed new on-farm ventures that have allowed multiple family members to remain on their farms. The de Dood family milks 110 cows at Sunninghill Holsteins in Grindrod, but that’s not enough to support the three family groups that would like to live there. “We are a second-generation farm without too much debt, but we needed other streams of revenue,” says Curt de Dood. “We are a big family.” The answer was Farmer John’s, on-farm store with a coee bar, children’s playground and farm tours. Son Jared won a BC Egg Marketing Board new producer program draw in 2017 and built a 1,500 bird organic egg barn. And Curt started a farm equipment business. Navigating a multi-family business structure requires lots of communication. “I don’t think we are great at communicating,” says de Dood. “We just put our heads down and work.” The family turned to a professional family business coach to guide them. “The questions they brought up were a real eye opener,” de Dood says. While many farmers believe no one can do a job as well as they can, it is important to hire right in order to diversify successfully. “You have to pay for good labour and the right people to do it,” says de Dood. An investment of money requires an equal investment of time. Time and money “You often have to invest more money to be protable,” notes Dean Casorso, whose family operates a ranch and outdoor cannabis grow-op in Okanagan Falls. He left his family’s cattle ranch in Okanagan Falls soon after graduating from high school. “I decided to go out to the oil patch for one winter and that was 25 years ago,” he chuckles. “But while being away, I was always thinking about ways to come back.” Like the de Doods, the scale of his family’s farm wouldn’t allow it. “You can’t support more than one family on 200 cow-calf pairs,” says Casorso. He notes that ag technology mean fewer people are needed to run a farm than in the past. “So we looked at how we could come back and get connected to the land and growing cannabis has worked for us,” he said. McIntyre Creek Cannabis has 8.5 acres of eld-grown marijuana plants thriving under the South Okanagan sunshine. It harvested its third crop this fall. Miranda and Del Halladay saw fruit wines as a way to expand her family’s Naramata orchard business. In 1999, Elephant Island Winery made See COACHING on next page o
30 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCOACHING helps nfrom page 29I really think the world would be a better place if everyone grew their own potatoes. Imagine that lovely scenario. Concerning that I would bring it up, however, given that most of our business very much depends on people doing nothing of the sort. Whatever. I never said I was a cut-throat businesswoman. It’s a vision, not a goal. What is much more problematic in terms of doing good business is that I consistently over-ll bags and round down at the till. This sort of practice can really chip away at sales. For example, at our big city markets we see roughly 600 customers during the market day (about 10% of the people attending buy at our stall). If I over-ll every bag by a quarter pound (generous mood) and round down a quarter dollar on every sale (frequent occurrence), it amounts to hundreds of dollars missing from the till. I have done this calculation a few times over the years and been inspired to smarten up, but I tend to slip back into it. Mainly it’s an instinctive reaction to the gratitude and amazement I feel that people are willing to give me money for something they really could be growing for free or getting for peanuts at the grocery store. Especially when it’s raining, or particularly hot, or snowing – then I feel especially compelled to reward them for coming to shop outside at a farmers market. Most of the time I don’t think the customer even knows I am doing it. Last year, desperate to change my habit, I began announcing what was happening. I would say something like, “Well, you’ve gotten to $16. 77, but we’ll just call it $16.” You never hear this sort of thing at the grocery store. Or really at any store. It sounded silly, and I began to round down less. So, it has been an immeasurable relief to nally see the grocery store prices inch up into reality. This year, rather than raise prices like everyone else in the world, I have just stopped rounding down and over-lling to quite such a degree. I am much happier, and the customers are none the wiser. Weak spot Well, I might not be cut-throat, but I do have a high pain threshold. I just spent the last month nursing fractured ribs, and I farmed through the pain. Part of the reason I had to work is that my mom doesn’t like it when I risk injury mountain biking and so I had to pretend like nothing was wrong. Happily for me, she fell when hiking that same week and gashed her arm so as it turned out we both were very busy pretending nothing was wrong. We have a long history of trying to pretend to one another that nothing is amiss. We used to attend a boring yet important market at which we made extremely valuable contacts in the world of big city haute cuisine. We would take turns going for runs and walks and I read the entire Harry Potter series in one summer while pretending to pay attention behind the till. Anyhoo. During one of mom’s excursions, she happened to trip on a curb and scraped her face quite extravagantly. Upon returning to the stall, she tried to pretend nothing was wrong. Perhaps she thought I wouldn’t look up from my book. I’ll never forget the sight, nor her determined nonchalance. To return to my heroic stoicism. The ribs are healing, and I am so relieved. The experience has put all my other little niggling aches, pains, worries and concerns into perspective: they are nothing I can’t handle. Anna Helmer lives and farms in the Pemberton Meadows where farming is life and life is farming. Rethinking the sales strategy could improve profitsBut rounding down and topping up keeps customers happy and coming backits rst 1,200 cases of fruit wines using grandfather Paul’s homebrew recipes. In 2013, they added grape wines and then, in 2016, cider. In 2021, they launched a line of canned wine spritzers. “We looked at how we could add value to a fresh fruit commodity and the winery business model made the most sense,” explains Halladay. The Halladays moved forward on their own. “We couldn’t get a loan for a fruit winery. Now we have people phoning us and oering money,” she quips. It is important to look at your skill sets. “I’ve been operating and maintaining farm equipment all my life,” de Dood says. “I started selling balers as a side hustle out of my dad’s shop in 2017.” In 2020 he started North Farm Story by ANNA HELMERValley Equipment with a partner and they now employ eight people and have a full shop in Armstrong. While cultivating cannabis may have a certain mystery about it, it’s all farming. “It’s called weed cause it grows like one,” jokes Casorso. “But it’s just another farm business. We tend it like you would a tomato eld.” A succession plan is also important. “In the beginning we could all agree, but that only works until you start making money,” says Halladay. “I have been extremely clear with my children that they can never ght over what we have built.” But that’s often easier said than done. “The conversations are never fun, and they are never easy,” says de Dood. “But you have to have them early and often.” Quality Pre-Owned Tractors & EquipmentANDEX 773 RAKE . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,500 BOBCAT T110 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37,500 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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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 31SUBSCRIBE TODAYTracey Wilkin shows off an impressive display of ginger grown in one of Sayward Haven Farm’s hoop houses. SUBMITTEDKATE AYERS COBBLE HILL – Tracey Wilkin and Don Nelson entered the agricultural industry later in life but apply previous job skills, including marketing and mechanical engineering, to bolster their market garden’s productivity and business strategy. The middle-aged couple from Cobble Hill started their Sayward Haven Farm last year and just wrapped up their second growing season. They grow vegetables such as salad greens, carrots, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh ginger, outdoors and in hoop houses. “I’ve always been an avid gardener,” Wilkin says. “We value preserving the environment, particularly around climate change, so that was our inspiration.” The couple formerly ran their own businesses, so the transition to operating a farm business happened “organically,” Wilkin says. “We didn’t want to work for anybody, and we didn’t want anybody working for us,” Nelson laughs. The couple were surprised by the physical demand of farm work. Fortunately, Nelson’s background in mechanical engineering saw them install solar-powered infrastructure that can be controlled from a smart phone. They have optimized their watering system by using drip irrigation on timers and a central computer that tracks weather and precipitation patterns. Nelson uses coding and spreadsheets to calculate the optimal timing and amount of water that needs to be applied. They store water in a 9,000-litre tank. “We dealt with the local water authority. They looked up our water usage and said that we use less water than some people use to water their lawns. It’s extremely efficient,” Nelson says. This efficiency and ability to apply water when it’s most needed is important, especially during Vancouver Island summers. This August, most of the southern half of the island received just 1 millimetre of rain, pushing the region to a Level 5 drought by mid-October. Nelson and Wilkin also built a wash and pack station and a walk-in cooler to maintain vegetable shelf-life during hotter months. Nelson’s cooler system uses a Coolbot, which hijacks a regular home air conditioner to keep the cooler’s temperature at around 3°C. No easy feat While the couple has invested in production-boosting infrastructure, starting a farm during last year’s heat dome and adjusting to the weather extremes since has been no easy feat. They tripled the size of their garden this year and despite the expansive build-out and challenges of growing during record-breaking temperatures last summer, “we’ll be lucky to do the same amount of sales as last year,” Nelson says. “That’s how much of an impact the spring had.” Pests and weeds are additional challenges. This spring, they lost 80% of their crops to wire worms, and weeds are a constant battle. Automation boosts market garden’s efficiencySayward Haven Farm uses sensors, timers and spreadsheetsSee TECHNOLOGY on next page o2638 with LoaderMORE BUILD-IN WEIGHTTRACTOR TIME VICTORIA 4377C Metchosin Rd. 250.474.3301 30 minutes from Victoria and 15 minutes from Hwy#1 in Metchosin.HANDLERS EQUIPMENT ABBOTSFORD 339 Sumas Way 604.850.3601HOUSTON 2990 Highway Crescent 250.845.3333
TECHNOLOGY worth the investment nfrom page 3132 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC“You can only pull so many weeds. I was introduced to the old idea of ame weeding,” Nelson says. “I got a hold of that just in time for the re ban. We wish we had people available, like a community that we could phone up and seek advice.” Wilkin echoes the need for reliable information that is applicable to a market-garden scale. “There are not a lot of resources for market farmers. Lots for big farmers but having community and knowledge-based support for market farmers – there’s not as much industry information out there. And we’re constantly battling Mother Nature,” she says. Fortunately, because of their professional backgrounds in business management, the couple drew up a realistic business plan and run their farm to make prots. Project management software is one tool they use to keep track of notes and important year-over-year data. Overall, the couple recommends that farmers – of any age and level of expertise – should invest in technologies that will improve operational eciency. “What we lack in energy and what we can feel in our bodies we make up for in the fact from a nancial standpoint, we were able to make an investment in the eciency stu up front,” Wilkin says. “Anyone looking to get into it, really look at where you’re going to get eciencies for yourself in your work. Make sure you’re making investments early on [in equipment] that you really need. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Get the barebones in place and then you can augment and invest in the nice-to-have things.” Proceed with caution While automation has its benefits and can bolster production, farmers, especially those in rural or remote areas, may face barriers to adoption and they should do their research. Some of these hurdles include lack of Internet connectivity, platform subscription and equipment costs, and sensitivity around data usage, says UBC’s LiteFarm team product manager Kevin Cussen. “Farmers are oftentimes either maliciously or carelessly kind of taken advantage of by people that are building tools,” Cussen says. LiteFarm is a free and open-source farm management tool co-designed by farmers. Producers who use the tool retain control over their data, which can be used for commercial or research purposes only with their consent. If farmers choose to adopt third-party automation tools, Cussen urges them to read the fine print. “When they're choosing tools to automate, [ask] what does the organization do with my data? Are they going to use it for research purposes? … Are they going to use it for commercial purposes? Sell it?” Cussen says. “Or is it just going to sit there, and no one will ever see it except for me? What your data is used for and how that impacts the farmer is another angle that many producers [should be] interested in.” Technology is helping second-year market gardener Don Nelson, above, and Tracey Wilkin of Sayward Haven Farm maximize production on their half-acre plot in Cobble Hill. SUBMITTED
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 33Fallow deer on BC’s Gulf Islands are wreaking havoc with farms and farmers are demanding the province step in to control them. FILESANDRA TRETICK MAYNE ISLAND – There’s no help in sight for Mayne Island farmers who have been dealing with fallow deer that escaped from a licensed game farm in the early 1990s. The feral fallows, more akin to goats than the native blacktail deer, do extensive damage to agricultural crops and understory plants in natural areas. This, in turn, leads to soil erosion and loss of habitat for birds and other species. It’s a signicant issue on Hedgerow Farm, a 144-acre hay farm and heritage orchard. “Fallow deer decimate the understory in the forested and shrub lands, resulting in more run o when it rains,” explains Hedgerow’s Kristine Webbers. “They eat the forage crops and dig big holes in the elds. When they dig it up, the weeds get a chance to sprout and then of course the holes are awful for machinery. And, of course, they eat our orchard crop and damage the trees when eating the fruit or rubbing their antlers on the trunks.” Webber and partner Peter Robinson have installed deer fencing around four acres of orchard and a 25-acre wetland that is part of a conservation project with the Mayne Island Conservancy. Initially divided on the deer issue, the conservancy has since taken up the ght. In a strongly worded letter to then-minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in late 2021, the conservancy said the duciary and stewardship responsibility for the problem lay squarely with the province. It urged the province to provide the funding for solutions to deer overpopulation and noted that the current fallow deer situation “could have been avoided if the Province of BC had taken timely and appropriate action at the time of introduction.” According to the BC government website, game farms are strictly controlled through regulations and licence requirements to minimize impacts on wildlife. The Game Farm Regulation places the onus on the licensed game farmer to control game and prevent escapes. However, after 30 days at large, ownership transfers to the government and the Wildlife Act takes over. It allows the government to seek redress for any damage to wildlife or wildlife habitat, and for all costs incurred by the government to recover the stock. The game farm has long since ceased operation, but its owner, Paula Buchholz, told Country Life in BC she held just the third game farm licence in BC. She says the agriculture ministry’s regulations specied an insucient gauge of wire fencing for the operation. A few bucks originally escaped when a tree took a fence out in a storm, but they pulled more fencing down during the fall rut in their attempt to reach the does. Neither the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food nor the Ministry of Forests responded to requests for comment by deadline. Permitted hunt Mayne Islanders, including local farmers, eventually signed a petition in 2000 that resulted in the province introducing special permits to allow hunting with ries. The permits helped keep the fallow population in check, but in 2018, the province started phasing out the special permits. That was a mistake, according to Jeanine Dodds, an egg farmer and one of two trustees representing Mayne on the Islands Trust. She says fallows are very skittish. “Without a rie, your odds of getting a fallow are greatly reduced,” she notes, adding that Mayne doesn’t have a hunting culture and there is no Crown land for open hunting. Dodds, who sits on an ad hoc Mayne Island Fallow Deer Fallow deer rattle Mayne Island farmersInvasive species wreaks havoc on island ecologyCommittee established in 2014 when the community realized the deer “were totally out of control,” says hunting alone will not solve the problem. With no reliable population estimates, it’s hard to know how big the issue really is. The conservancy has oered to conduct a study to ascertain deer populations and distributions, if funding can be found. Dodds would also like to see an agency provide See DEER on next page oGreenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmProtection Nets Mulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTwineNet WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain Seedwww.silagrow.com1.800.663.6022 | ofﬁce@silagrow.comSalmon Arm, BC 5121 - 46 Ave S.E. Surrey 112-18860 24 Ave (PU & Delivery Only)Serving all of British ColumbiaFor Cash out / Early sale details please contact our ofﬁce.
34 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDEER plan needed nfrom page 33Save 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 CHECKfunding so Mayne can prepare a comprehensive fallow deer management plan. A basic draft plan exists that was adapted from one prepared to address urban deer in Oak Bay. “Once we have that, we can apply for grants,” she says. The province did provide funding to the Capital Regional District, through the Provincial Urban Deer Advisory Committee, for a First Nations hunt, but that only lasted for three years. Dodds says it was a good idea but it didn’t run long enough to make a dierence. She and local MLA Adam Olsen met on Zoom with representatives of various federal, provincial and regional district sta in July to press their case. “I’m always kind of shocked with the dierent groups that should take ownership of this problem but somehow skirt around it,” she says. “They’re all well aware of the issue but it boils down to no funding. We’re at the bottom of the pile. We need a deer plan. We’d like long-term funding for First Nations hunters and funding for [conservation ocers] to come in and do some trapping and removal.” The ip side for Dodds is dialogue with the Mayne Island community, which grew 37% in the latest census. “We need to bring people up to date on the realities of where we’re at,” she adds. “As a community, we need to demand that the province step in and x the problem. It’s not our problem to x. It’s [the province’s] problem to x.” The problem isn’t limited to Mayne. Fallow deer have also taken up residence on neighbouring Galiano and Saturna. Dodds worries that they’ll continue to make their way from island to island. For his part, Olsen has been dealing with the issue of deer overpopulation and the impact on farmers for 14 years, since his days as a councillor in Central Saanich. It irks him that the provincial government has downloaded wildlife responsibility onto local governments and local farmers. “It’s angering and saddening all at the same time,” he says. “They have basically pushed it on to these government bodies that don’t have the resources to actually deal with it. Farms that are marginal in terms of protability now have to put kilometres of fence around their farms. Mind boggling.” Best of the bestCaleb Knoll’s homegrown entry, above, topped the market lamb division at the BC Ag Expo, September 23-24. This year’s fair welcomed 22 4-H clubs, 176 4-H exhibitors and 85 open exhibitors to the North Thompson Agriplex in Barriere to show in 10 divisions, with 4-H and open members working hard to showcase their projects to the judges and the public. The champion 4-H market steer went to Emalee Higgins of Four Corners 4-H Club and overall champion market steer was won by Sheila Erichuk of Knutsford. Avery Testawich of Westsyde Wranglers 4-H showed the champion 4-H and overall champion market lamb. Buyer support at the live auction was excellent. Jackson Brady of Tod Mountain 4-H sold his market lamb for $1,500.00 to A & T Development. Kelty Brady, also of Tod Mountain 4-H, had her 1,440 lb market steer sell for $6.00/lb to West Way Plumbing & Heating. Strong support from buyers pushed the gross receipts to $486,084.50. The Sunday night banquet hosted 425 4-H members, leaders and parents. BC AG EXPO
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 35Winery stakes its hopes on sur échalas plantingGrowing method allows vines to grow on steep, marginal terrainShay and Harlee Code are banking on a European staking model to make the most of the steep terrain at their Okanagan Falls vineyard. JON ADRIANServing 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 250-838-6414RONDA PAYNE OKANAGAN FALLS – The steep hillside portion of the 13-acre property east of Okanagan Falls was an unlikely planting location for most vineyards, but newly opened Code Wines isn’t about doing things the usual way. Shay Code and wife Harlee visited France’s Rhone Valley a couple of times and noticed similarly sloped hillsides covered with grape vines grown on stakes rather than the usual trellises. “We began to read about sur échalas plantings,” says Shay of the French term for on-stake planting. “The idea really took hold when we started to learn about the wines and grape-growing techniques of Christophe Baron in the Rocks district of Walla Walla. I’ve had a bromance with what he’s been doing for many years. He’s making 100-point Syrahs out of that vineyard.” The couple feels Baron is making some of the world’s best Syrahs. Upon learning about his Hors Catégorie Vineyard, they were sold on the technique for their hillside and chose the same clone (Joseph Phelps Syrah) for the steep block along with Syrah clone 07. As far as they know, no one else in Canada has planted Joseph Phelps. “Syrah will pretty much grow anywhere and adapt to the site where you grow it,” Code says. “We have three blocks of Syrah and we put it in the hottest blocks in the vineyard.” This growing technique will undoubtably create a dierent kind of wine than if the grapes were planted in the traditional guidewire system. Viticulturist Karnail Singh Sidhu of Kalala Organic Estate Winery in West Kelowna thinks the grapes may be too crowded in the stake method, but he understands the benets of being able to grow on land unsuitable for guidewire systems. “In the olden days, it was done like that,” he says of sur échalas plantings. “You’ll nd it in some vineyards where there’s no support. The vines will grow like that. It may make better wine.” The Codes think it will. Sidhu says management of stake-style growing will be hard and may have increased pest and disease pressures due to crowding, but admits he has no experience with the method and is curious. “The growing practice will make an impact on the grapes,” he says. The expected yield of sur échalas plantings is lower than for trellised vines at less than a ton per acre. “We’re hoping that we can make wines that are similarly unique [to Baron’s]. It requires a lot of hands-on,” says Code. With 10,000 vines in Syrah, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Viognier planted over ve acres, the Codes are banking on wine lovers appreciating the nuances of their small site. “We’re hoping to stay small, like under 1,000 cases,” says Harlee Code. “We’re focusing on the grapes and high-quality wines.” Uncommon techniques The Codes have also applied an uncommon technique to their Pinot Noir grapes. Each of four dierent clones are planted in unique blocks, which Sidhu notes is often done. 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36 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC“One sweet deal” too hard for Kenneth to resistWhen we left o last time, Kenneth was at the general store inquiring if Lois knew of any small acreages for sale. Junkyard Frank was all ears as Lois mentioned the old Murdoch Place was about to be listed. Rural Redemption, Part 152, continues ... Kenneth spun around and hurried out the general store door. He was already down the front steps before it closed behind him. “What do you suppose that’s all about?” asked Frank. “You don’t suppose he’s thinking about staying on here, do you? With the divorce and all.” “I don’t know, Frank,” said Lois. “All I can say for sure is that it is probably no one’s business but his own.” “You know, Lois, they say curiosity is the sign of an active mind.” “They also say it killed the cat, Frank. Just to be on the safe side, why don’t you sit back down and nish your coee?” vvv Kenneth caught sight of the real estate agent as soon as he drove around the little curve in front of the community hall. He was putting up a For Sale sign on the side of the road. Kenneth pulled in behind an enormous white SUV and stared at the signage covering the back of it: Gordon Sayles Your #1 Real Estate Pro “Sayles Sells Fast” Call now, Don’t wait! Kenneth climbed out of his car. The real estate agent was standing next to the For Sale sign. “Are you Sayles?” Gordon Sayles turned and looked at his own image on the sign and nodded his head. “Yessir, that’s me, alright! How can I help you?” “Are you selling this place?” “Not for long, friend,” said Sayles. “What did you say your name was?” Kenneth introduced himself and they shook hands. “What do you mean not for long?” “Well, fact is, I’ve got a list of names as long as the drive- through line at Tim Horton’s who are looking for acreage like this. I’m going to get my assistant to start calling them as soon as I get back to the oce. I’ll be surprised if one of them doesn’t make an oer before the day is out. Why do you ask? Are you looking yourself?” ”Maybe,” said Kenneth. “Are there other places like this for sale?” “This, right here, is it. I could sell a dozen like it in the next week but anything like this is gone in the blink of an eye.” Kenneth asked if Sayles would be able to let him have a look around. Gordon said he was short of time, but he was going to take some pictures to show to all the people waiting to buy it, so Kenneth was welcome to take a look around while he did that. They went down the driveway and parked in front of the house. “It looks pretty old,” said Kenneth. “Yeah, isn’t it great? It’s an Arts and Crafts classic. I need to get a shot of this verandah and that upstairs dormer. I know a retired couple who are after this very thing.” “It looks pretty run down.” “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” said Sayles. “The thing you need to realize is Woodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINSPlease send a _______ year gift subscription to _______________________________________________ Farm Name ____________________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________________ Postal Code ________ _______________ Phone _________________________ Email ________________________________________________ these old places all have great bones. You can’t even buy the kind of lumber they built this place with anymore. A little paint and TLC will sparkle it right up in no time.” Sayles led Kenneth on a whirlwind photo shoot through the house. “Wow! A real country kitchen! Look at that woodstove. People pay thousands for one of those. Oh, look here! See that breaker box in the hall? 100 amps; the wiring has been upgraded. Heating’s probably auxiliary electric. And I’d be willing to bet they redid the plumbing when they remodelled this bathroom. Look at those vintage xtures! Clawfoot tub, too. You can’t buy one like that anymore. I’ll bet there’s hardwood oors under this linoleum. Every square inch of this place is just oozing character. Man, this is great.” Sayles scrolled through the pictures on his phone, then slid it into his pocket. “That about wraps things up for me, I’m afraid. I have to get back to the oce. It’s been great to meet you. Here’s my card. Give me a call if there’s ever anything I can do for you.” Sayles stepped onto the verandah and closed the door behind Kenneth, then started toward his car. “Hang on a minute,” said Kenneth. “Maybe you can do something for me right now.” “How so?” “Show me the rest of the place. I might be interested,” said Kenneth. “You sure? Are you serious?” “I wouldn’t be wasting my time or yours if I wasn’t.” “Okay, seeing how we’re here anyhow we could take a walk around. Is your interest subject to anything?” “Like what?” “Like nancing, or the sale of another property maybe, or some other kind of thing.” “I’ve got cash. The only thing it will be subject to is if I want it or not.” “Alright then, just let me check in with my oce and we’ll take a look around. There are some beautiful elds out back.” Gordon Sayles punched a text message into his cell phone: “phone me in ve mins.” They headed for the back of the house and Kenneth said he presumed the water came from a well and he wondered if it was any good. Sayles said he understood the well had been dependable for nearly 100 years. He tuned on the standpipe behind the house. It spit a few times then settled into a feeble stream. Sayles explained a bit of air in the line was a common thing when the water wasn’t being used regularly. Kenneth wondered if there would be enough water for two horses. Sayles said he didn’t see why not, and how much could a horse drink anyway? Kenneth wondered about irrigation and Sayles pointed out the big patch of green grass in the back yard. Sayles said by the looks of it the ground was probably sub-irrigated. Kenneth pointed out the barn was starting to collapse. Sayles said that was probably a good thing because Kenneth would probably want to tear it down and build something bigger and better anyhow. They walked downhill through some small trees on a narrow road that opened onto several acres of at eld. Sayles said it was bottom land and you couldn’t nd any better. Kenneth said it looked a little rough and there was broom growing in the fence lines and patches of brush scattered from one end to the other. Sayles said it had been neglected for years and anyone who knew anything about farming could have it whipped into shape in no time. Kenneth asked if the property was a full ve acres? “Bigger” said Sayles. “Five point three one, to be exact.” Sayles phone rang. “What’s up Darlene? ... Yes, I’m there now… They want to see it this afternoon?... Yes, I know they’re serious… They did?... Did they say how much?... Okay, well hold o calling them back. I’m here with someone who is interested, too. I’ll let you know in 15 or 20 minutes. “ “Looks like you might have got here in the nick of time, Mr. Henderson. There’s someone chomping at the bit to get their hands on this place. Someone willing to pay more than the asking price.” “How much more?” “They didn’t say. But fair is fair. You were here in person rst, so you get rst crack at it. If you’re willing to oer something more than the asking price and pull the trigger on a deal right now, I’ll put a sold sign on it.” “How much more than asking price?” “That’s for you to say.” “Twenty thousand?” “I’ll call the owners right now. If they say okay, it’s a deal.” Sayles wandered o to call the owners in private. He returned ve minutes later. “Congratulations, Mr. Henderson. You’ve just made yourself one sweet deal. You follow me back to my oce and we’ll get the paperwork underway.” ... to be continued Thousands 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 www.countrylifeinbc.com/subscribe
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 37Rising input costs create challenges for direct salesRestaurants feeling the heat as farmgate prices creep upwardsWith no end in sight, buyers and sellers of fresh produce for the restaurant trade are struggling to keep costs in check in an effort not to alienate consumers. MYRNA STARK LEADERANNA KLOCHKO and PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – With the cost of everything rising, the relationship between restaurants and farmers has never been more complicated. Selling to restaurants is a popular way for farmers to optimize their revenue, but rising input costs this year – in part a result of the war in Ukraine as well as supply chain disruptions and other factors – mean they've had to raise prices. This has created challenges for buyers such as restaurateur Meeru Dhalwala, who told an audience at UBC earlier this year that weekly cost increases from suppliers had made it tough to set menu prices. That’s even more true now, with Statistics Canada reporting that food prices in BC were up an average of 9.4% in August versus a year earlier. According to Restaurants Canada, a national trade association, restaurant prices nationally are on track to be 13.8% higher by the end of this year than in April 2021. But chef Alex Chen of Boulevard Restaurant in Vancouver says restaurants and farmers both know they’ll be out of business if they raise prices too much. "It has to make sense,” he says. Chen says he's fortunate to work with long-time suppliers who in his opinion deliver the best quality. “There are some legends out there. And they are legends because they have been in the business for 30 years, know what to do, have enough sta, and know how to forecast, predict, and make good decisions,” he said. “We tend to have a couple that we work with, and then they tend to be the experts in what they do, so that's how we slowly built our menu". Expert growers deliver the level of quality Chen and his customers are willing to pay for. “We buy whatever is best, and then we charge the customer for it. That's our model. It's not about how cheap we can make it be,” he says. We also know when it doesn't make sense. … Paying $10 for an onion does not make sense. So we pick and choose.” In check Keeping costs in check so restaurants will keep buying is top of mind for Randy and Mio Molnar of Baker Breeze Farm in Abbotsford, who supply organic heirloom tomatoes to 16 restaurants in Vancouver. Randy sees the key to success in using small electric vans for delivering. The key to the survival of the agricultural business according to Molnar, is organic fertilizers and nutrients. “Everybody’s going to chemical fertilizers; we want to stay away from that. No Roundup, nothing. There’s nothing wrong with some weeds. We have to be able to grow the product,” he says. “Seed security for all our heirlooms is important. We get all our seeds from Eastern Europe, South America and Japan. And then I exchange with them some excess seeds of my own. So we keep the chain going and keep Monsanto out of business. That’s what we’re trying to do”. Mio insists on the importance of directly selling their farm products to restaurants instead of a wholesaler. This is mutually benecial. “They love that we will bring our fresh organic heirloom tomatoes from the farm twice a week, picked the same day. So that’s important to them and us because we like to be involved with all the best restaurants in town; we want to give them exceptional service.” The secret lies in the thoughtful planning of the volumes and characteristics of the products grown for every season – the same art of forecasting experienced farmers practice and chef Alex Chen admires. “We’re pretty comfortable now with our 16 restaurants,” Randy says. “But we don’t want to go bigger because then we’ll be wholesale, too. And then we can’t be as sure that everyone’s getting the good, local food they need. We don’t want our tomatoes to go to Saskatchewan. We want them to be consumed here.” Provincial farmer-chef event returns The province is reviving its Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef event. “This event is a great opportunity for chefs to learn more about the amazing ingredients and products available in their region, and for farmers, ranchers and other producers to showcase their products and connect directly with chefs to better understand what products are in high demand,” the province says. Previously a full-day conference held in Vancouver, the event is being split into two separate half-day events on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan. The rst takes place in Victoria on November 7. The second is scheduled for the Okanagan on February 28. A location has yet to be announced. Originally held in 2018, Every Chef Needs a Farmer was sidelined by pandemic restrictions. Plans were initially discussed for an online version of the event, but those did not come to fruition. The regional events will open the conference to a broader range of producers in markets outside the province’s largest city. The last event in 2019 attracted approximately 500 participants. — Peter Mitham J.R. (Tim) Armstrong Memorial Bursary for Students in Agriculture or Journalism ProgramsApplication Deadline:December 31, 2022The Tim Armstrong Memorial Bursary is open to British Columbian students who are enrolled in their second year or higher of a full-time agriculture or journalism program at a university, institute or regional college in Canada.www.bcfwa.ca/bursary--links.htmlContact: Ronda Payne, Scholarship Chairronda.email@example.com
38 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDeep in autumn and enduring much shorter days and longer hours of dark, we tend to think of ways to comfort ourselves and our families. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind, next to a bit of heat, is food. Rather than salads and barbecued foods, this is the time of year we turn to the oven and to satisfying casseroles and roasted foods. It’s very convenient to be able to make an entire meal in one dish, put it in the oven and turn your attention to completely different interests, knowing when it’s ready, you just have to sit down and eat. Most casseroles freeze well, too, so they can be made ahead and frozen, or in a double batch and half frozen for an easy dinner a few weeks ahead. Casseroles take all sorts of forms, from the familiar pasta dishes like macaroni and cheese (with added vegetables, of course), lasagna or cannelloni, to salmon or tuna rice casseroles, layered vegetable dishes with meat or cheese to scalloped potatoes with ham and spinach. Many make excellent leftover meals, too, because they are usually cooked with enough liquid that the leftovers aren’t all dried out. Good leftovers are like a gift, especially if you can freeze them and reheat them a week later, after you’ve forgotten that combination of flavours. November may be bright with autumn leaf colours, but otherwise, it’s one of the dark months, without all the sparkle of December, so warm it up a bit with candle light and good food, friends and family. SPINACH & CHEESE BAKED NOODLES WITH SEAFOODComfort comes from the ovenA family favourite with scallops or prawns and feta. JUDIE STEEVESJude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESThis was a favourite in our household when the kids were young and it still tastes very special. It’s simple, but really delicious and all you need is a salad on the side. 1 onion 6 mushrooms drizzle of oil 10 oz. (284 g) spinach 8-10 small scallops &/or prawns 12 oz. (350 g) egg fettuccini noodles 2 eggs 1/2 c. (125 ml) grated Swiss cheese 1/2 c. (125 ml) crumbled feta cheese 1/2 c. (125 ml) plain, fat-free yogurt pinch of nutmeg salt and pepper, to taste 1/4 c. (60 ml) Swiss cheese, for top • Pre-heat oven to 350° F. • Chop onion and quarter mushrooms. • Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frypan over medium heat and soften the onions. Add the mushrooms and let them brown slightly. Add the scallops and cook briefly, just until opaque. Remove the mixture from the heat. • If using frozen spinach, thaw and press out the liquid. If using fresh, chop and microwave until just limp. • Meanwhile, cook the fettuccini in boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, until just cooked, then drain and add to the mushroom, spinach and scallop mixture. Combine well. • In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs and add the cheeses, yogurt and spices. Combine and add to the scallop mixture, mixing in well. • Scrape it all into a casserole dish that’s about 8x10 inches in size and scatter the final quarter cup of grated Swiss cheese over top. • Bake for about 30 minutes, uncovered. • Serves 4. SHEPHERD’S PIEThis makes a reasonably-priced meal for a family, with everything in one dish for the meal. Simple, but full of avour. My mom used to grind up the leftover Sunday roast beef to make this. 4 russet potatoes 1-2 garlic cloves 4 carrots 2 celery stalks 1 onion 1/2 lb. (227 g) mushrooms 1 lb. (454 g) lean ground beef 1 tbsp. (15 ml) our 1 c. (250 ml) beef broth 1 tsp. (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh parsley 1 tsp. (5 ml) fresh thyme 1 tsp. (5 ml) fresh rosemary 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) pepper 1/2 c. (125 ml) frozen peas (optional) 1/2 c. (125 ml) cheddar cheese • Pre-heat oven to 350° F. • Peel, cut and boil medium-sized potatoes, then drain and mash them, seasoning with nely-minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. • Dice vegetables. (You could use a bag of frozen, mixed vegetables if you’re feeling really lazy.) • Drizzle a bit of cooking oil in a large frypan with a lid, heat to medium-high and soften the onions, adding the other vegetables as well. Once they’re all softened, remove from the pan and brown the ground beef. • Sprinkle our, salt and pepper over the mix, cook and stir, then add beef broth and Worcestershire sauce, combining well. Return the vegetables to the pan. • Cook, covered, on medium-low for a few minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the carrots are nearly cooked. Add fresh or a smaller amount of dried herbs.You may add frozen peas at this point if you wish. • Scoop out into a shallow casserole dish (two-quart size), cover with the mashed potatoes and grate cheddar over the top. • Bake in the oven for about a half hour. • Serves 4-6. Don’t forget to RENEW your subscription toCountryLife in BCn’t forget to RENEWur subscription toguntrye BC
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC NOVEMBER 2022 | 39FOR LEASEBOOKYOURMarketplace Adby JUNE 19TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTREAL ESTATEREAL ESTATEFOR SALEFOR SALEHAYBERRIESIRRIGATIONFor 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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.coppercreekranch.com PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE.RAVEN HILL MEADOWS: Coneygeers stock - ewe lambs available. 250-722-1882. NanaimoLIVESTOCKIt’s the top linethat makes the Bottom LineBC SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION Scott Fraser, President Bob Merkley, BC Director 250-709-4443 604-607-7733DeBOER’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 4230 CAB, 3PT SOLD! JD 7200 4WD OPEN STATION PWR QUAD TRANSMISSION CALL 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 ENDERBYADVERTISING THAT WORKS!FOR 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$Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 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 TONY 604-850-4718Craig Elachie ShorthornsGrant & Barbara Smith | Balmoral Farms 250.835.0133 email@example.com 1802 Tappen-Notch Hill Rd Tappen BC V0E 2X3DECEMBER DEADLINE NOV 19CARIBOO DORPERS: Top Dorper ram lambs for sale. New genetics. Bryan, 250-706-7077 or firstname.lastname@example.orgDISCOVER PRINCE GEORGE PRINCE GEORGE & AREA SUBDIVISION LOTS: PARADISE ESTATES: R2688574; R2688580; R2688588; R2588581 and more lots available in this sub-division. GLADTIDING ESTATES: R2687614; R2687593; R2687125; R2687155 and more lots available in this subdivision. CHIEF LAKE ROAD: R2689813; R2689815; R2689817 and more lots available in this subdivision. 56 CITY ACRES Zoned AF, bring your ideas MLS R2716736 $2,599,900 160 ACRES west of PG, Zoned RU3, MLS R27229 $369,000 BUCKHORN LAKE Beautiful 8.5 acres with 2600 sqft log home. MLS R2707052 $740,000 PARADISE FOUND updated log home on 42 acres. $749,900 MLS R2691271 COUNTRY GEM 3 bed/1 bath home of 2.2 acres. R2711734 $379,900 DOME CREEK 160 acres with tons of potential. MLS R2702148 $599,900 SALMON VALLEY 370 acres; 3 titles. 150 ac cleared, MLS R2675843 $599,000 STUNNING MTN RESORT on 82.25 acres, 17 chalets, 50 camps. MLS C8040948 $4,850,000 CATTLE RANCH 1,280 acres; 5 bed/3 bath home. Fenced, outbuild-ings; MLS R2677116 $2,100,000 CONCRETE BUSINESS Robson Valley, MLSC8040939, $759,000 PARADISE IN THE VALLEY 192 acre private estate, custom home, out-buildings to die for. MLS R2720083 $1,450,000 SAXTON LAKE ROAD: R2610535 R2610527; R2610554 and more lots available in this area. CRANBROOK HILL 77 acres w/dev potential minutes from UNBC. MLS R2640598 $1,500,000 HART HWY 54.95 acres. MLS R2640583. $750,000. CLOSE TO THE LAKE 8.3 acres. MLS R2610880 $295,000 74 ACRES w/ 20,000 sq ft bldg., 40 acres cultivated. MLS C8041167 $1,700,000 ESCAPE the city. Two lots in Willow River, 22,500 sq ft. MLS R2591708, $28,900 69+ ACRES ON RIVER Approx 50 acres in hay. River, road access. MLS R2685535 $838,000 55 ACRES Dev potential close to airport. MLS R2707390, $699,000 TREED LOT on edge of the Fraser. MLS R2622560 $250,000 2 LOTS IN ONE PKG! 3.55 acres residential Quesnel R2657274 $289,000 80 ACRES/TIMBER VALUE Zoning allows ag, housing, forestry & more. MLS R2665497 $495,000 15 MINUTES TO PG ~58 acres with timber value. Mostly flat lot with lots of potential. MLS R2665474, $395,000 HWY FRONTAGE 190 acres w/exc potential for subdivision/commercial ventures. MLS R2660646 $799,000 CHIEF LAKE RD 5 acres ready to build. MLS R2715818 $150,000 BRAND NEW! 2022 SR1-built home by owner. 1 bed/1 bath, open floor plan, Whirlpool appliances, soaker tub. $170,000. Buyer to move. email@example.com 42-ACRE PARADISE Updated 3 bed/3bath 3248 sq ft log home, 35 minutes from downtown PG. MLS R2726021 $674,900 WRIGHT CR RD 195 acres undisturbed bare land. M LS R2655719 $699,000 36+ACRES in PG, prime for busi-ness. MLS C8046015 $6,900,000 21 ACRES PG in city limits on Hwy 16, MLS R27163337 $595,000 TABOR 7.61 acres short drive from town. MLS R2716743 $129,900by November 19Baler, NEW HOLLAND 2004’ Model 570, $16,000; 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 DISCOVER PRINCE GEORGEGREENHOUSESouth Delta glass greenhouse for lease app. 50,000 sq. ft. consisting of growing area + header house under glass 44,500 sq. ft. and two 3,200 sq. ft. side poly houses Call John @ 778-877-75364x3 BIG SQUARES, first crop, $250/ton; Round bales, first crop, $90 ea. 250-833-6699; 250-804-6147First cut 3X4 BIG SQUARE bales, various hay, Creston. Call Stewart, 604-308-6222.ROUND BALES good tight, high quality, well-wrapped. $95/bale. Carl 604-825-9108BADGER BN3330 tandem manure spreader, like new condition, hydraulic operated, $17,500. Carl 604-825-9108
40 | NOVEMBER 2022 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWhen you’ve got a lot on the go, Kubota has the landscaping equipment and attachments you need for any task. Compact yet powerful, Kubota mini-excavators, skid steers, compact track loaders, trailers, mowers and utility vehicles keep you as versatile as your business. ALL-PURPOSE. ALL DAY.1521 Sumas Way, Box 369avenuemachinery.caPROUD PARTNER OFkubota.ca | 1521 Sumas Way, Box 369Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568avenuemachinery.caAVE010OLIVER 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