1-888-770-7333
Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!
ALL THE BEST
for the
HOLIDAYS!
Postmaster, Please return
Undeliverable labels to:
Country Life in BC
36 Dale Road
Enderby, BC V0E 1V4
CANADA POSTES
POST CANADA
Postage paid Port payé
Publications Mail Post-Publications
40012122
Vol. 106 No. 12
The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 DECEMBER 2020 | Vol. 106 No. 12
POULTRY
ILT puts broiler farms on the defensive 9
TRUCKING
Island farmers frustrated by ferry waits 19
MEAT
Slaughter limitations forcing producers out
21
by PETER MITHAM
ABBOTSFORD – A shift to
home consumption as a result
of COVID-19 appears to have
favoured turkey growers, who
hope the trend will continue
through the Christmas season.
Public health restrictions
on private gatherings mean
smaller dinners but BC Turkey
Marketing Board general
manager Michel Benoit says
Thanksgiving sales point to a
steady consumer appetite.
“Storage stocks of whole
bird are down signicantly
(32%) compared to last year,
he says, noting that smaller
sizes saw the greatest
movement. “We still feel that
there are a lot of turkey
products that are suitable for
smaller gatherings. We have
also heard some consumers
say that they will purchase the
same size bird they always do
and just happily have more
leftovers.
The outlook for broiler
producers is more
complicated. While chicken
remains the most popular
meat in Canada, with nearly
1.3 billion kilograms
consumed in 2019, COVID-19
has made allocating
production to commercial
farms across the country a
dicult proposition.
“COVID-19 has been a real
challenge when it comes to
setting allocations, BC
Chicken Marketing Board
executive director Bill
Vanderspek told growers at
their fall meeting October 28.
The initial phase of the
pandemic saw the
A $14 million upgrade of the Noble Creek Irrigation System in Kamloops has been shelved after property owners like Jon Peachey took exception to
the plan. The city would pay $2.8 million of the project, leaving $11.2 million to be paid by the 47 property owners in the service area. The proposal
would have left Peachey on the hook, he gures, for just under $2.6 million. The story is on page 7. PHOTO / MURRAY MITCHELL
Turkey sales strengthen
See SHIFT on next page
o
Abattoirs
eye
pandemic
funding
Recovery
money could
help relieve
processing
bottleneck
by BARBARA JOHNSTONE
GRIMMER
VICTORIA – A sudden inux
of funding from the $90
million provincial Community
Economic Recovery
Infrastructure Program
resulted in the submission of
several abattoir applications
to the rural economic
recovery stream in October.
CERIP is providing fully
funded provincial grants to
support economic resilience,
tourism, heritage and urban
Water ght
See NICOLA on next page
o
watertecna.com
Industry Experts
in Agricultural &
Greenhouse Irrigation
Langley 1.888.675.7999
Williams Lake 1.855.398.7757
NICOLA Valley facility could create access to markets across BC nfrom page 1
SHIFT to retail came with challenges nfrom page 1
and rural economic
development projects in
communities impacted by
COVID-19. Each application
has a grant cap of $1 million.
The deadline for applications
was October 29.
Some applicants heard of
the funding the week before
the deadline and scrambled
to get the necessary budget
and supporting documents
together at one of the busiest
times of the year.
The Small-Scale Meat
Producers Association has
applied for $1 million to build
a Class A abattoir in the
Nicola Valley through the
Community Economic
Recovery Infrastructure
Program. It is our
understanding that details of
the program were released on
October 1 but this funding
was brought to the attention
of the SSMPA on October 20,
nine days before the
application deadline, says
SSMPA founder Julia Smith of
Blue Sky Ranch in Merritt.
“Fortunately, we had
already undertaken informal
discussions with the Shackan
Indian Band about working
together to build such a
facility and had recently
completed a detailed
business strategy, so we were
able to put an extensive
application together on short
notice and obtain a Letter of
Intent from the band, she
says. “In addition, we were
able to garner over 50 letters
of support from local farmers
and ranchers, community
members and aliated
associations and industries, as
well as municipal, regional,
provincial and federal
government representatives.
Consumer demand for
local meat has been growing
steadily, with demand
boosted by the COVID-19
crisis. This represents an
opportunity to revitalize rural
economies through the
growth and development of
the small-scale meat industry
and meets the conditions of
the funding.
Many livestock producers
ship to Alberta for nishing
and processing in federal
plants. Livestock producers
nd it a challenge to scale
their businesses to a
protable size due to
bottlenecks at the abattoirs.
The proposed Nicola Valley
community abattoir would
provide custom slaughter and
cut and wrap services to local
farmers and ranchers. It
would be a government-
inspected Class A facility able
to provide a full range of
services for red meat
processing.
Producers are currently
hamstrung by a serious lack
of processing capacity.
The proposed community
abattoir would be a rst-class
facility that would produce
the highest quality meat and
value-added products for BC
consumers while creating
numerous employment
opportunities for the local
community, says Smith. “It
will also enable local farmers
and ranchers to grow their
businesses and create greater
opportunities to maximize
prot.
If successful, SSMPA hopes
to begin construction on the
facility in early 2021 with a
goal of being operational in
time for the busy fall/winter
season. (The program
requires projects to complete
by March 31, 2023.)
Mobile abattoir proposed
Another funding
application through the
program is for a mobile
abattoir that would serve
Galiano, Mayne and Pender
Islands. It would be multi-
species and self-contained
with potable water, a
generator, processing area
and cooler. If successful, the
project will be a cooperative
eort with farmers and
farming groups on the
southern Gulf Islands to
increase employment,
increase farm revenue,
encourage increased livestock
numbers and farm viability,
and accelerate economic
recovery and enhance
regional food security.
While applicants believe
the program is a step in the
right direction, they also
believe that regulatory
changes and more support
and opportunities such as this
are needed to remove barriers
and realize the industrys
potential throughout the
province.
2 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
foodservice channel shut
down, consumer spending
shift and sporadic outbreaks
of COVID-19 at processing
plants.
The problem with setting
allocation at that point was
that the shortage in
foodservice did not equate to
the transfer to retail; it wasnt
equal, says Vanderspek.
(Foodservice typically
accounts for 40% of demand
nationwide.) “In addition, it
was extremely dicult for the
processing sector to shift
gears and now package a
much larger volume for the
retail market.
National allocations for the
A-163 and A-164 production
periods decreased 13% and
12%, respectively, but the cuts
weren’t allocated evenly. BC
production fell by 7.5% but
eastern Canada, which was
more impacted by the rst
wave of the pandemic, saw a
cut in the range of 15%.
We haven’t seen negative
allocations in Canada here for
a long time, and it was quite
foreign for us, Vanderspek
told growers.
A reduction in COVID-19
cases over the summer saw
Chicken Farmers of Canada
adopt a 2% reduction in
production for period A-165
(August 30-October 25) but
the outlook changed as case
counts of COVID-19 increased
in late August. Processors
contested an allocation of
0.5% over the base for A-167,
which begins December 20,
and Ontario growers asked
Chicken Farmers of Canada to
reconsider the decision on
October 26 as restrictions in
their region tightened.
Chicken Farmers of Canada
held rm, and while the
increase in A-167 means
production will increase in
eastern Canada relative to BC,
the system is serving its
purpose – however
imperfectly – in stabilizing
conditions for producers.
As much as we’re not
happy with how this played
out, it’s a better scenario than
what could have taken place,
says Derek Janzen, who
represents BC at Chicken
Farmers of Canada. Going
into 167 and beyond, we’re
going to be faced with some
situations like that coming up
as well, and we have to make
sure we steer out of that. But
we’ve got to make sure we
stay united as provinces in a
national system, because
that’s the backbone of what
were doing here with supply
management. We can’t
become fragmented.
Despite the concerns over
restaurant closures, take-out
options have kept chicken on
the menu.
“People aren’t ordering a
medium-rare steak to go,
notes Vanderspek. They’re
ordering chicken because it
travels well, it gets to the
home, you can reheat it.
GD Repair Ltd
604.807.2391
www.tractorparts4sale.ca
Setting the record straight
Sustainability program delivers value to industry (November 2020)
identied Tantalus Vineyards as following organic practices, but its
vineyard is not certied organic; Re: Bigger, Better Egg Production,
the Big Dutchman Natura Step XL Aviary system at Nest Egg Farms
in Abbotsford is the largest installation of that particular system in
the world.
Orchardists forge
ahead following
late-season freeze
Growers continue to pick to
preserve tree health
Tahir Raza stands between rows of frozen Ambrosia apples in his brother Sajid's orchard. The apples look ne but
when cut open, the core is soft mush. PHOTO / TOM WALKER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 3
Serving 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 250-838-6414
by TOM WALKER
LAKE COUNTRY – The Raza
brothers received the Golden
Apple award from the BC Fruit
Growers Association in 2016,
but this year has left them
feeling anything like winners
after an early frost combined
with snow hit their orchard.
“Mother Nature can sure
suck, comments Sajid Raza,
bundled up against the cold
and barely recognizeable as
he drives by on his tractor
picking up bins of apples.
The Galas in the bin are a
good size and fully coloured,
but when Sajid’s brother Tahir
cuts into one, the centre is
discoloured and mushy. Its
almost worthless.
Towards the end of
October, the Razas were
watching the weather, racing
to get their crop picked before
the rst frosts hit. One of the
most northern orchards in the
Okanagan, it takes longer here
for apples to achieve full
colour and avour than at
sites further south.
The weatherman is not
always right, Tahir says. We
knew some weather was
coming, but we only had two
days warning of the freeze.
He says they have fewer
seasonal workers from abroad
than last year and they were
only able to hire one local
person when they usually get
two or three. Friends in the
industry showed up with
some extra crews, but it wasn’t
enough.
Tahir estimates 650 bins of
apples (approximately 500,000
pounds) had yet to be picked
when the temperatures hit -
10° C across the Okanagan on
October 23-26.
That was cold enough to
freeze the apples. Some are
visibly damaged with black
spots that appeared a couple
of days after the freeze while
others have a pale yellow
discoloration that’s hard to
spot.
Sajid ships to Consolidated
Fruit Packers Ltd. in Kelowna,
which will pay him four cents a
pound for the damaged fruit.
While picking costs work out
to 12 cents a pound – making
it a money-losing exercise –
Tahir says the payment from
CFP will give the business
some cash. The fruit has to be
picked anyway to protect the
trees and support the growth
of new buds for next year.
“If the apples hang on the
tree and collect ice and snow,
their weight will break
branches and damage the
trees, Tahir explains. And
while they are still hanging on
the tree, energy is going into
the apple and not the buds
and we want the best bud
growth for next year.
The range of microclimates
in the Okanagan means a cold
snap doesn’t aect all growers
the same way. The BC Ministry
of Agriculture says eight
producers in the north
Okanagan have submitted
notices of loss related to the
freeze. However, the ministry
says it is waiting on harvested
yield declarations and expects
to have nal gures in the
coming weeks.
www.rollinsmachinery.com
info@rollinsmachinery.com
Madeline Madeleine van
Roechoudt, president of
Dorenburg Orchards, also in
Lake Country but further
south than the Razas, had
one block left to pick when
the temperatures dropped.
But it was close to Okanagan
Lake, which moderates the
eects of local temperature
shifts.
We tested the apples and
they were okay so we picked
and shipped them, she says.
The freeze caps a tough
year for tree fruit growers.
Stone fruit growers were
impacted by a freeze in
February, then rains
hammered cherry growers,
resulting in record-setting
losses.
“[The cherry crop] was
hammered by rain as COVID
came along, explains Warren
Saranchan, CEO of BC Tree
Fruits Co-op. There were as
many as four hail storms that
damaged both cherries and
apples depending where you
were in the valley, and now
this freeze.
Saranchan estimates that
just 5% of the BC Tree Fruits
crop was aected by frost.
Meanwhile, grape growers
appear to have escaped
unscathed. Most of the grape
crop was in and a bit of frost
will not usually aect grape
quality. Growers were initially
worried about vine damage,
but grape specialist Pat
Bowen of the Summerland
Research and Development
Centre says that grape vines
gain hardiness very quickly in
October. The frost at the end
of the month was late
enough that there shouldn’t
be any long-term eects.
Advertising is accepted on the condition that in the event of a typographical
error, that portion of the advertising space occupied by the erroneous item,
together with reasonable allowance for signature will not be charged, but the
balance of the advertisement will be paid for at the applicable rate. In the
event of a typographical error which advertises goods or services at a wrong
price, such goods or services need not be sold at the advertised price.
Advertising is an offer to sell, and may be withdrawn at any time. All
advertising is accepted subject to publisher’s approval.
All of Country Life in British Columbia’s content is covered by Canadian
copyright law.
Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the writer and not
necessarily those of Country Life in British Columbia.
Letters are welcome, though they may be edited in the interest of brevity
before publication.
All errors brought to our attention will be corrected.
36 Dale Road, Enderby BC V0E 1V4 . Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GST
The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915
Vol.106 No. 12 . DECEMBER 2020
Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd.
www.countrylifeinbc.com
Publisher Cathy Glover
604-328-3814 . publisher@countrylifeinbc.com
Editor Emeritus David Schmidt
Associate Editor Peter Mitham
news@countrylifeinbc.com
Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover
sales@countrylifeinbc.com
Production Designer Tina Rezansoff
Ho! Ho! Ho! PW!
Back to the future
Most people will be glad to see the end of 2020, a year that stands a good
chance of dening a generation in the same way the year 2000 did for
millennials. It may not have been the end of the world, but a lot of people felt
like they could see it from here. Yet people continued eating and drinking,
buying and selling, planting and building for the future. The things that were
essential continued. This will go onward the same / Though Dynasties pass, as
poet Thomas Hardy said a century ago in the midst of the First World War.
A reminder that theres always opportunities for positive change came to us in
a letter from Hilda Born of Abbotsford, a retired dairy farmer who recounts the
critical role that women from BC made in the ght for equal rights for farm
women across the country back in 1980. Those old enough will remember that
Ronald Reagan had just defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter in the US election
against a backdrop of a hostage taking in Iran, and an energy crisis led Canada
to introduce the National Energy Policy as a recession took hold.
Born was one of a six women who boarded a plane for Ottawa on December 2
that year, angry that farm women could not get bank loans or contribute to the
Canada Pension Plan. It was only eight years earlier that inheritance laws
changed to allow daughters to inherit the family farm on equal terms as sons.
Quebec laws at the time still accounted farm women as little more than chattel,
she points out. When the group landed in Ottawa and caught a shuttle bus to
the convention venue, a civil servant exclaimed that none of them looked like
farm women. “Did he think we would head to the Chateau Laurier in our barn
boots?” she wondered.
The rst National Farm Women’s Conference urged federal agriculture
minister Eugene Whelan to change the Income Tax Act to allow farm women to
be paid for farm work, and to grant associated rights under the Canada Pension
Plan and unemployment programs. Moreover, lending rules needed to be
changed to extend credit to male and female farmers equally, and wives should
have the same rights as unmarried women in farm business partnerships.
The women were heard, and the changes became law on December 14, 1980,
Surely one of the most unexpected consequences
of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the public
support for politicians leading the charge to
vanquish
it.
On
October
24, BC
Premier
John
Horgan
led the NDP from a minority coalition toehold to an
overwhelming majority, winning 57 of 87 legislature
seats. Just a week earlier, New Zealand Prime
Minister Jacinda Ardern garnered 50% of the
popular vote and won 64 of 120 seats to form the
rst majority government in 24 years. On September
14, New Brunswick voters gave Premier Blaine Higgs’
minority Conservative government another seven
seats and a solid majority.
Each of these contests was considered a toss-up
before the arrival of COVID-19. All three leaders were
stalwart in leading the battle against the virus and
the economic challenges that came with it, and were
rewarded with a surge in popularity.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has seen a similar
rise in public opinion and is likely itching to try
turning it into a majority. Donald Trump, on the
other hand, was unable or unwilling to mount a
robust response to COVID-19 in the US. Given the
closeness of the US election, you have to wonder if
all the strident denial rhetoric and the absence of a
meaningful and eective pandemic response cost
him a second presidential term.
The takeaway from all these elections is eective
leadership is critical in times of crisis, and the public
will rally behind whoever can provide it. This was
certainly the case in BC where the government
quickly stepped behind the lead of provincial health
ocer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Dr. Henry and BC Minister
of Health Adrian Dix became the public face of the
provincial COVID-19 response.
The professionalism of Dr. Henry and the certainty
of the government’s approach inspired public
condence. Dr. Henry garnered the trust of 79% of
British Columbians and health minister Dix was close
behind at 71%. Those are heady numbers for any
politician, and when the government’s COVID-
related approval rating topped 80% last summer, the
writing was on the wall.
Timing is everything
Timing is everything in politics and numbers like
80% are unlikely to last for long, regardless of how
eectively the COVID pandemic is managed. As it
drags on, other priorities will capture voters
attention. Ultimately, the pandemic will subside and
the government will have to face the economic
aftermath, along with drug overdoses, homelessness
and all the other ongoing challenges.
With a solid majority to see the government
through the rough patches to come, another
election is likely four years away.
The government’s support is drawn largely from
heavily urban ridings. Where does this leave BC
agriculture?
Agriculture has an indisputable relevance for
every person in the province, but individual realities
are often worlds apart.
Consider an Okanagan apple grown in Kelowna-
Lake Country and purchased in Vancouver-West End:
the grower is paid four cents for it and the consumer
buys it for 67 cents. Both are concerned: the
consumer because the apple is so expensive, the
grower because four cents is less than half the cost
of growing and picking it. The consumer wishes the
apple cost less, never realizing that even if the
grower provided the apple for free, it would still cost
63 cents.
There are larger issues at play in this scenario, and
others, that fall squarely in the governments
purview.
Governments always have objectives. Primary
among them is re-election. To that end,
governments pass legislation that includes
regulation that requires implementation that
necessitates compliance.
Farmers and ranchers will be watching closely to
see what priority agriculture will nd in the
government’s expanded benches and what exactly
is the objective for agriculture.
More importantly, and concerningly: how does
the government plan to achieve it?
The apple grower should be a cautionary tale for
the premier: legislation isn’t agriculture, and it
cannot be sustained by good intentions and sunny
rhetoric or a legislature full of honourable members.
It can only be sustained by the farmers and ranchers
who do it every day.
They deserve more than a four-cent apple.
Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on
his farm in the Alberni Valley.
The Back Forty
BOB COLLINS
making women full partners in the essential work of putting food on the tables
of Canada and the world. The legacy continues to be felt today, as the role of
women in agriculture grows beyond the eld into legislatures and parliament.
As one year ends and another begins, there’s no shortage of opportunities to
advance farming. If not now, when?
Pandemic gives leaders a boost, but what about farmers?
4 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
We acknowledge the
financial support of the
Government of Canada.
BC agriculture set to lead food conversations
Policy document lays foundation for wider alliances for food security
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 5
BC agriculture just
published a sele: a timely
and detailed self-portrait. BC
Agriculture Council president
Stan Vander Waal introduced
the October 2020 Study of the
BC Agriculture Sector as farmers’
response to the report earlier
this year of the provinces food
security task force, saying, “BC
agriculture needs to come
together and express its own
plan for the future.
The report makes a case for
BC agricultures wider
contribution as an economic
stabilizer and public good,
outlining policy opportunities
at the provincial and
regional/municipal levels. A
bubble diagram on page 41
with BC’s agriculture sector at
the centre shows its
connections not just to the
food supply but to the
environment, emergency
management, economic
recovery, employment and
more. This is what some
analysts call the multi-
functionality of agriculture.
The diagram of the
producers universe is
important because of the
linkages it describes and
because other actors in the
larger food universe –
Indigenous, public health,
environmental, anti-poverty
groups – also see themselves
that way, with their work at
the centre of their bubble
diagrams.
The report stumbles in its
case study of food security
where, after a discussion of
subsidized or charitable food
distribution programs, it picks
up on the task force report to
suggest “exporting intellectual
property in the form of
technology solutions to
jurisdictions all over the
globe.
At best, this comes o as a
non sequitur. The trouble is in
the term “food security, by
which this study and the task
force report mean security of
supply – the producers
domain.
However, food
security is a
signicant term in
other food
domains, where it
is assigned other
meanings. The BC
Ministry of Health calls food
security a “key determinant of
health, meaning safe and
nutritious food to support
healthy food choices.
Organizations such as Food
Secure Canada have moved
from focusing on food
security to speaking about
food sovereignty to tackle
questions of ownership and
control in food systems from
seed to plate.
Downloading risks
Food insecurity for
Canadians who go hungry,
which has increased during
the pandemic, is understood
as a problem of poverty by
thought leaders like PROOF,
the food insecurity policy
research group at the
University of Toronto and the
Maple Leaf Centre for Action
on Food Security established
by Maple Leaf Foods in 2016.
Paul Taylor, former executive
director of Gordon
Neighbourhood House in
Vancouver and now head of
FoodShare in Toronto, refers
to the challenge of running a
food charity even before the
pandemic.
“Generations of
government downloading …
onto the charitable sector are
no substitute for eective
public policy “when it comes
to addressing wicked
problems like poverty and
food insecurity, he says in a
recent podcast for Toronto
anti-poverty group Maytree
[http://bit.do/paul-taylor-5-
ideas].
Taylor, with the authority of
Black experience, addresses
structural racism in food
systems. When FoodShare
collaborated with PROOF on
the research question “How
do Black and White
populations in Canada dier
in their risk of household food
insecurity?” the results
showed that Black households
are 3.56 times more likely to
be food insecure than White
households. PROOF’s report
Household Food Insecurity in
Canada 2017-18
[http://bit.do/fK8Jq] shows
that “the highest rates of food
insecurity are found among
households where the
respondent identied as
Indigenous or Black.
Working together
Awareness of structural
racism has been accelerated
by the pandemic, which most
heavily impacts the racialized
communities from which
many food system workers
come. UBC’s Centre for
Sustainable Food Systems
brought this and other topics
into a webinar series this year
entitled “Building Resilient
Food Systems During COVID-19
and Beyond”
[http://bit.do/fK8Jt]. Ten
panels engaged BC farmers,
workers, Indigenous teachers,
business leaders and
academics. Though not all
agree on solutions, all share a
passion for and commitment
to food, jointly displaying a
large reservoir of talent and
expertise in BC.
Industry leaders are already
making progress on another
issue highlighted by the
pandemic – the tension
between eciency and
resiliency in supply chains –
with the new BC Beef brand
and processing plant in
Westwold. The project has
been developed to a regional
scale; it will serve both beef
and dairy sectors; it will give
rancher members a cut of the
prots; and it will produce a
branded product under a
federal licence (meaning
products can be exported
internationally as well as sold
domestically). These
innovative features make the
project a promising resilience
case study.
BC’s agriculture sector looks
to be in a good leadership
position for 2021. A May 2020
public opinion poll
commissioned by BCAC
showed that public approval
and trust for BC farmers,
already good, has improved
since 2018.
BCAC’s goal of developing
strategic partnerships
provides a welcome bridge to
new conversations with
current and potential allies
such as those convened by
UBC, and new opportunities
for policy advocacy. The
multifunctionality argument,
in particular, could play into a
proposal for a provincial food
policy council, through which
food systems in BC could be
strengthened across
disciplines and silos. BC
producers have made a good
case for their primary role.
Kathleen Gibson is a policy
analyst and founding member
of the Capital Region Food and
Agriculture Initiatives
Roundtable (CR-FAIR), the BC
Food Systems Network and
Food Secure Canada. She lives
and grows food on the
traditional territory of the
Lekwungen-speaking peoples
and the Songhees, Esquimalt
and WSÁNEĆ Nations.
Viewpoint
by KATHLEEN GIBSON
Downtown Realty
4007 - 32nd Street, Vernon, BC V1T 5P2
1-800-434-9122 www.royallegpage.ca
PAT DUGGAN
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd.
Farm | Ranch | Residential
Bus: 250/545-5371 (24 hr)
Cell: 250/308-0938
patduggan@royallepage.ca
www.OkLandBuyers.ca
Build your dream home! 44 acres of irrigated property ready for your new home, orchard,
cattle or crops. Mostly usable land with shop. All perimeter and cross fenced ready for
your ideas. Great valley views from all sides. MLS®10204233 $1,395,000
Downtown Realty
4007 - 32nd Street, Vernon, BC V1T 5P2
1-800-434-9122 www.royallepage.ca
PAT DUGGAN
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd.
Farm | Ranch | Residential
Bus: 250/545-5371 (24 hr)
Cell: 250/308-0938
patduggan@royallepage.ca
1429 MCLEOD RD, AMRSTRONG
www.OkLandBuyers.ca
“Farmers helping farmers with their real estate needs”
26.46 acres w/10,000 sqft former chick hatching facility. Build your dream home! Currently
planted to alfalfa but suitable for orchard, vineyard/winery/cidery, cold storage, off-farm
sales. Zoned A-2, ALR, minutes from Armstrong. MLS®10218806 $1,600,000
From everyone at Country Life in BC, may the spirit
of the holiday season be yours now & in the new year!
CATHY GLOVER
publisher
DAVID SCHMIDT
editor emeritus
PETER MITHAM
associate editor
contributors
Anita Desai
Barbara Johnstone Grimmer
Sean McIntyre
Ronda Payne
columnists
Bob Collins
Margaret Evans
Kathleen Gibson
Anna Helmer
Judie Steeves
Jackie Pearase
Richard Rolke
Myrna Stark Leader
Sarbmeet Singh
Tom Walker
graphics
Tina Rezansoff
office
Betty Lee Longstaff
6 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
As 2020 comes to a close the sta and agents at
BC Farm & Ranch Realty Corp. would like to thank
our amazing BC Farmers for all they did for
our communities this past year and every year.
May 2021 bring you happiness, good health, and success.
We look forward to serving you in the new year for all your
acreage and agricultural real estate needs.
bcfarmandranch.com
info@bcfarmandranch.com | 604-852-1180 | 1-888-852-AGRI (2474)
John Glazema
778.201.2474
agri@bcfarmandranch.com
Georgia Clement
250.378.1654
georgiaclement_2@hotmail.com
Susanne Walton
604.309.9398
sw.bcfr@gmail.com
Gord Houweling - PREC
604.793.8660
gordhouweling@gmail.com
Rajin Gill - PREC
778.982.4008
rajinrealtor@gmail.com
Gordie Blair
250.517.0557
gt.blair@live.ca
Veer Malhi - PREC
778.241.7451
virbinder77@gmail.com
Gordon Aikema
250.306.1580
gordon@bcfarmandranch.com
Steve Campbell
250.550.4321
s.campbell.sells@gmail.com
Emma Rose
604.614.9825
emma@bcfarmandranch.com
Barry Brown-John
250.342.5245
b.brownjohn@gmail.com
Robbi-layne Robertson
250.453.9774
rlr@bcfarmandranch.com
Greg Walton
604.864.1610
greg@bcfarmandranch.com
Alec Yun
778.859.8011
alecyun@icloud.com
Amanda Leclair
604.833.1594
amandaleclair@live.com
Ruth Meehan
604.309.2295
ruthma.meehan@gmail.com
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 7
2021
HORTICULTURE GROWERS’
SHORT COURSE
VIRTUAL EDITION
Cfn\iDX`ecXe[
?fik`ZlckliXc
@dgifm\d\ek
8jjfZ`Xk`fe
AXelXip
)/$*'
?dfWhjd[hi^_fm_j^j^[
FWY_ÓY7]h_Ykbjkh[I^em
K?LIJ;8P
IXjgY\ii`\jJkiXnY\ii`\jM\^\kXYc\j>i\\e_flj\?fgj
?Xq\celkj8^i`ZlckliXcNXk\iDXeX^\d\ekCXYfli
=I@;8P
=Xid9lj`e\jjDXeX^\d\ekB\pefk\8[[i\jj
8cc9\ii`\j:XeeXY`jGfkXkf\jFi^Xe`Z
J8KLI;8P
9cl\Y\ii`\jFi^Xe`Z;`i\Zk=XidDXib\kj
:XeeXY`j=cfi`Zlckli\M\^\kXYc\
I<>@JKI8K@FEFG<E@E>JFFE
FEC@E<8KNNN%8>I@:LCKLI<J?FN%E<K
Ph: 604-857-0318 | growers@agricultureshow.net
Innovate. Grow. Prosper.
Kamloops farmers push back on irrigation plan
System upgrades could cost
$14 million
by JACKIE PEARASE
KAMLOOPS – A group of
irrigation water users in
Kamloops received a reprieve
on a city plan to undertake a
$14 million system upgrade
that would leave users on the
hook for the bulk of that cost.
Representatives of the
Noble Creek Irrigation System
petitioned Kamloops city
council November 3 to cancel
the local area service (LAS) the
city planned to implement to
recover 80% of the project’s
cost from NCIS users.
Kamloops had committed
to funding $2.8 million of the
project but the 47 property
owners within the service area
would need to pay their share
of the remaining $11.2 million
based on parcel size.
The cost per property
ranged from just over $5,000
to over $1.9 million to be paid
as a one-time sum or as an
annual payment on the
parcel’s property tax over 30
years, with interest accruing
on the amount owing.
Kamloops cattle rancher
Jon Peachey says the interest
would bankrupt his 248-acre
farm.
“I am signicantly impacted
with the cost of this because I
can only irrigate arable acres
but I would have to pay for
the total acreage if the LAS
procedure went through, he
says. The proposed LAS
would cost me just under $2.6
million. With interest, by my
calculation, payment for
irrigation water would be
approximately $175,000 per
year if current water charges
remain the same and the LAS
is implemented. This
translates to $1,400 per acre
per year for the next 30 years,
which makes my farm
completely non-viable. …
Theres no hope of competing
in that circumstance; it’s a
hopeless situation.
Ailing system
The process around the
NCIS began in 2016 when city
sta requested council’s
direction on the future
operation of the nancially
failing and aging system, some
of it dating back to 1968. Much
of the system is constructed
with asbestos cement pipe
that has an approximate
lifespan of 60 years.
Kamloops-based
engineering rm Urban
Systems released a condition
assessment of the system to
Kamloops council in mid-
February. It provides
recommendations for repairs
and upgrades to the system
including a new concrete
reservoir at a cost of almost
$4.2 million.
Rancher Joe Peachey (right) and his family would have paid millions for their water if Kamloops had approved a
Local Area Service for irrigation. PHOTO / MURRAY MITCHELL
Users received notice of
the need for the upgrades in
a letter from the city on
October 21. The letter gave
the option of opposing the
LAS via a counter-petition.
The last time we were
consulted was July 31, 2019.
Its been 15 months and then
we received another crummy
letter, says farmer Adam
Woodward, speaking on
behalf of 40 NCIS users.
He says the group could
easily defeat the LAS through
the assigned process.
We’re condent that we
can, however it’s not a good
use of time and taxpayers
money, says Woodward of
the family-run Woodward
Christmas Trees and
Woodward Cider Co. “More
importantly, if we don’t reject
it now, it says we do accept
the process and associated
costs to the users, which we
currently don’t.
Woodward says the Urban
Systems report provides good
information on the system
but users take exception to
the city going ahead with the
entire project regardless of
peoples ability to pay.
“It appeared that city sta
just grabbed the report and
elected to choose all the
optional items that were in
there, he notes. “If this goes
forward, it will simply put
farmers out of business,
devalue our land, and how
does that benet the
community?”
Riverbend Orchard co-
owner Carole Gillis applauds
the city for its work to oer
winter stock water to NCIS
users but says more eort is
needed around consultation
with farmers.
She suggests the creation of
an agricultural advisory
committee as recommended in
the citys agricultural area plan.
“I would suggest that if
that an (AAC) had been
established, we might not
nd ourselves in this place
because I would argue that
the farmers represented on
the (NCIS) collectively
embody every single aspect
of the strategies and goals of
your local agricultural area
plan. And we can only do so if
we have access to irrigation
as the plan acknowledges.
Debbie Woodward of
Woodward Christmas Trees
says the system is subsidized
by about $130,000 annually
because rates have not
increased since 2001.
“If we’d had an increase of
even 3% per year, the revenue
you are enjoying now would
actually be double what it is
today.
The option to establish a local area service (LAS) was given to municipalities under the
BC Community Charter, enacted in 2003 by the Gordon Campbell government. The
charter, controversial at the time because it was considered a tool to download
responsibilities onto municipalities, aimed “to give communities the powers and resources
to make local decisions locally.
The option of an LAS gave municipalities and property owners a mechanism to provide
services to a specic number of properties. Property owners within the service area, rather
than the municipality, would in turn pay for the services provided. The municipal bylaw
establishing the LAS would set forth the manner of payment. Property owners would
receive an estimate in advance of what their individual share of the costs would be.
Under the Community Charter, property owners within the LAS can initiate a counter
petition against the proposed service. The counter-petition process requires that the bylaw
not be adopted if at least 50% of owners representing at least 50% of the assessed value of
land and improvements subject to the tax sign a petition opposing the LAS.
Jackie Pearase
See WATER on next page
o
A new tool for municipalities
8 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
WATER issue prompts calls for an ag advisory committee nfrom page 7
Agricultural Grade Products - Made in the U.S.A.
Contact your local Nelson Irrigation dealer today!
THE ORIGINAL
BIG GUN®
TWIG® Wireless Automation Systems
(Approved for Canada)
Rotator® Sprinklers for Center Pivots
Rotator® Sprinklers for Field & Orchard Crops
Irrigation Control Valves
NEW HANGING
SPRINKLER SOLVES
PROBLEMS FOR
ORGANIC GROWERS
15-50 PSI
8.5-75 GPH
9-16’ RAD.
Introducing the S7 Spinner - a new Nelson innovation designed to combat
rising energy and labor costs. The S7’s modular design allows quick and easy
nozzle exchange - and the Quick Clean (QC) technology reduces irrigator
hours — simply turn, flush and reconnect. Special insect protection helps
prevent plugging or stalling. Find out more at WWW.NELSONIRRIGATION.COM
NCIS requested that council
halt the LAS process, create an
AAC, do an agricultural economic
assessment on the land, enhance
infrastructure management, and
seek funding from provincial and
federal levels of government for a
portion of the project costs.
Inuenced by the arguments,
council voted to stop the LAS
process on November 3.
Clunky process
This has been a bit of a clunky
process, notes councillor Arjun
Singh. “I understand the angst
and respect how the users feel
hearing about this at a time when
they feel they haven’t had a lot of
time to work with it and touch
and feel what were proposing
here. We have been trying very
hard to gure out how to make
this work.
Councillor Bill Sarai says it is
important for them to support
local agriculture.
“I want you guys to succeed. I
don’t want a farm to go under for
a nancial reason. I don’t think
that’s what were here for. We
need to nd a solution and I think
that’s what local governments are for.
Mayor Ken Christian welcomes the creation of an
AAC to encompass the numerous farming
communities within the Kamloops region including
Heey Creek, Knutsford, Campbell Creek and
Barnhartvale.
“I think theres enough interest there that we
could have an engagement group that would feed
information through to council through a
community relations committee, he says.
Christian says the city is constantly seeking
outside funding for such projects but much of the
funds oered by higher levels of government are for
domestic, not agricultural water projects.
He takes exception to NCIS users comparing
Kamloops agricultural water rates to those in
Kelowna. He says NCIS users have a separate
domestic potable water system (created in 2010 at a
cost of $5.5 million) whereas the Kelowna systems
are shared by domestic and
agricultural users.
Christian says it is unfair for the
NCIS system to be subsidized by
domestic water rates because
none of Kamloops’ other
agricultural water systems are
subsidized.
He suggests that NCIS users
consider taking over the system
and undertake repairs as needed,
a plan the city cannot follow
because it is obligated to bring
the system up to the engineering
standard.
Theres a bit of a disconnect
because the users out there
wouldn’t normally go for that
complete reconstruction; they
would probably do something
that was much less expensive.
They have the ability to do that;
we unfortunately don’t, he explains.
After reversing the LAS
process, the city released
decisions made at closed council
meetings leading up to the
recommendation to implement
the LAS process.
Christian instructed city sta
that further NCIS discussions be
open to the public.
“I want to have that discussion occur in an open
session of council so it’s like any other matter that
comes before us on a regular basis until its resolved,
he says. The one thing I know for sure is that system
will fail. What I don’t want when it does fail is people
pointing ngers saying you didn’t do this or you
didn’t do that. I want to have good, frank, open
discussions about what the future is. We can’t ignore
this problem.
If city plans to upgrade the Noble Creek irrigation system were to go forward, Debbie and Adam Woodward say it
would put farmers like them out of business. They grow Christmas trees, and operate Privato Vineyard and Winery
and the Woodward Cider Company on 80 acres on Westsyde Road in Kamloops. PHOTOS / MURRAY MITCHELL
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 9
www.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613
@TubelineMFG
Find us on
BALEWRAPPERSSPREADERSSILAGE BLADES BALE PROCESSORS
Wrap up your
savings with low rate financing.
Visit us online for program details.
ILT puts broiler
farms on the
defensive
Biosecurity, proper vaccination
key to protecting flocks
by PETER MITHAM
ABBOTSFORD – A highly
contagious form of respiratory
herpes has prompted broiler
farms in the Fraser Valley to
take a closer look at
vaccination protocols.
Infectious Laryngotracheitis
(ILT) is endemic in the Fraser
Valley but annual cases have
surged to 30 ocks a year
from an average of about two
a year prior to 2018. This year,
21 ocks have reported
infections.
The BC [Animal] Health
Centre has been diagnosing
ILT in an increasing number of
ocks lately in the Fraser
Valley, says Dale Krahn, an
Abbotsford grower and
president of the BC Chicken
Growers Association.
To improve ock
management and health,
producers were treated to a
webinar on the issue on
November 18. A short form
was presented to BCCGA
members at their regular
meeting on October 28.
Dr. Gigi Lin, a veterinarian
with Canadian Poultry
Consultants Ltd. in
Abbotsford, told producers
that the highly contagious
disease is tough to detect,
helping it gain a foothold in
barns before producers know
what theyre dealing with. The
only signs may be mild watery
eyes and “snickering
vocalizations by the birds, and
then, only midway in the
production cycle. Death is not
always immediate.
“Usually in broilers we see
the signs coming up later in
the production [cycle], usually
the third to fourth week,
closer to shipment,
fortunately, says Lin. Very
often the rst sign that you
will see is the dirtiness or
crustiness around the eye
because they have watery
eyes; it’s irritation and they
start scratching it and
bringing all the litter into the
eye.
Once the virus is circulating
in the ock, producers need to
work to limit its spread. There
is no cure.
“ILT is a virus so theres no
treatment that is available,
says Lin. “Its very important to
euthanize birds that have ILT
symptoms very promptly
because these birds are
denitely carriers and active
shedders of ILT viruses, so you
want to remove them very
quickly to minimize the
spread.
While there are some
indications that iodine in the
water can help mitigate the
spread, Lin emphasized the
importance of quarantine for
infected barns and strong
biosecurity protocols to
prevent the virus from
spreading between ocks. This
is important regardless, in
case the initial symptoms
prove to be another disease.
“Its very important to make
sure when you see the signs
to submit birds to your vet or
to the lab because many,
many dierent diseases that
are in poultry can share similar
clinical signs, she says.
Sanitation between
production cycles is key.
Standard pest control
measures and maximizing the
time between restocking
barns is important when a
cycle ends. The virus that
causes ILT is particularly
susceptible to heat, meaning
the litter can be treated before
disposal to limit the risk of
spread.
“You can actually kill a lot of
the virus through heat
treatment, she says. “Before
Fraser Valley broiler farms are on alert as Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) cases have risen dramatically since
2017. Crusty eyes are the rst visible sign of infection. FILE PHOTO / RONDA PAYNE
you move the manure out, I
would recommend that you
heat the litter for at least 100
hours [at] 100 degrees
Fahrenheit.
While controlling the
disease requires special
attention to management
practices, there is a bright
side. The manifestation of the
disease relatively late in the
production cycle means
producers can limit losses by
See BIRDS on next page
o
WANT TO GET A LOT OF WORK
OUT OF A SINGLE MACHINE?
Check out the complete line of newly improved
compact and utility tractors from Massey Ferguson
®
.
23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6
604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com
VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT
(1989)
LTD.
BIRDSnfrom pg 7
10 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Engineered for the long haul and designed
with endurance in mind. Every one of the many
H&S Manure Spreader models is quality built.
We have the machine to it your operation.
RENN Mill Center Inc. has a corporate policy of continuous improvement and development; therefore
models and specifications are subject to change without any advance notice.
Standard Duty
Heavy Duty
Ground Drive
Hydraulic Push
Top Shot Side Discharge
Manure Spreaders
RENN Mill Center Inc., RR#4 Lacombe, AB T4L 2N4
The full line of H&S agricultural equipment is available from
RENN Mill Center, the exclusive distributor in Western Canada.
Call to find your local dealer.
TEL: 403-784-3518
|
www.rennmill.com
by PETER MITHAM
ABBOTSFORD – A new
human disease has resulted in
chicken growers holding onto
tools designed to protect
ock health.
The phase-out of Category
3 antimicrobials – a move that
would end all preventative
use of antibiotics from broiler
production – was scheduled
for the end of 2020.
COVID-19 has kicked those
plans to the curb, however.
The pandemic prevented
producers and processors
from agreeing on a
compensation formula to
mitigate higher production
costs incurred by the loss of
bacitracin, an antibiotic
primarily used to ght
Gram-positive bacteria.
An agreement had been
Antimicrobial
phase-out delayed
expected by June 2020.
“COVID in March-April
denitely derailed that
process, reports BC Chicken
Marketing Board director Ray
Nickel, who has represented
BC in the discussions.
Marketing boards in the
four western provinces
agreed to compensation of
5.4 cents per kilo but
processors countered with an
oer of one cent, without
oering any rationale for the
lower sum.
We could not come up
with a united agreement on
what that [cost] recovery was
going to look like, says Nickel.
“In August, it was decided
that there were much more
important things to deal with
over the next year.
While everyone agrees on
phasing out preventative
antibiotics, the delay in
accomplishing it may not be a
bad thing. Several research
projects are set to complete
in spring 2021 that promise a
better understanding of how
to manage the diseases
antibiotics addressed, and
what future costs to
producers will be.
“It is something that will in
one way, shape or form will
come to fruition, says Nickel.
“But we do need to have a
better agreement with our
processing partners on what
that cost-recovery is going to
look like. … I expect it will
probably pick up momentum
again in the spring of 2021.
arranging to ship birds early.
However, shipping seriously ill
birds contravenes humane
shipping regulations, and risks
a warning from the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency.
“If you notice any birds that
are in severe distress –
gasping already and very sick
– I would highly recommend
you euthanize the birds, Lin
says. “Don’t ship them to the
plant because it’s denitely an
animal welfare issue.
Lin urges growers who are
restocking barns where ILT
was present, or in areas where
ILT is prevalent, to vaccinate
their ocks. But she adds, Just
because you’ve vaccinated
your birds doesn’t mean you
don’t have to do proper
biosecurity.
Vaccination protocols were
the focus of discussions
November 4 among the BC
Poultry Association, sta from
the BC Ministry of Agriculture
and Animal Health Centre and
local poultry veterinarians.
Best practices for vaccination
and disease management
were discussed.
An early snowfall complicated the last of the year's grape harvest for growers such as Leo Gebert of
St. Hubertus Estate Winery in Kelowna. The winery's tractors chained up to haul its mechanical
harvesters and bins through the snow. While early frosts are not unknown, snow is an unusual
challenge for Okanagan grape growers. PHOTO / ST. HUBERTUS ESTATE WINERY
Snowed under
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 11
BC Tree Fruits Co-op members have given the board the green light to proceed with bylaw changes that will
restructure board membership and help modernize the coop. FILE PHOTO
Significant work left to do to
address grower concerns
BC Tree Fruits
makeover gets
green light
by TOM WALKER
KELOWNA – BC Tree Fruits
Co-op cleared a major hurdle
at its annual general meeting
on October 22 with the
approval of several bylaw
changes.
The members approved
all of the bylaw changes that
were identied as part of the
governance study, completed
earlier in 2020, says co-op
CEO Warren Saranchan.
The changes set the stage
for continued progress in
revitalizing the beleaguered
business.
The co-op board
developed the new bylaws to
implement recommendations
of the governance report
delivered to members in
February. Of the report’s 15
recommendations, four
required member approval,
while others that dealt with
board structure, board
membership and board
authority only required board
approval.
Bylaws that addressed the
recommendations of limiting
board member terms to two
consecutive three-year
tenures, adding two
independent professionals to
the board, members agreeing
to pay their share of the true
and direct costs of processing
and marketing fruit and
changing the qualications
for directors were all
approved by a super majority
at the AGM.
“I want to point out that
the super majority of 67% is a
very high threshold to
achieve, notes Saranchan.
This gives the board and
myself a very strong mandate
to make the changes that
were identied and we are
moving quickly to implement
what the members approved.
Saranchan is optimistic.
The bylaws support
recommendations that were
all designed to modernize the
cooperative, he notes. They
are very consistent with how
And increasing director
academic qualications is
something I expect will
happen as we go through
towards the next AGM, he
says.
On the issue of improving
fruit quality, Saranchan says
fruit delivered to the co-op
should be of sucient quality
to command a return that
pays both the direct costs of
packing and the indirect costs
of marketing that fruit.
The big question is how to
accomplish it. An incentive
program this year has helped,
but further initiatives are
required.
See MEMBERS on next page
o
FARM NEWS
updates
to your
inbox
Sign Up for Free today.
GENTLE, HIGH-QUALITY RAKING
INVEST IN QUALITY
®
www.kuhn.com
Matsqui Ag-Repair
Abbotsford
Huber Farm Equipment
Prince George
Northline Equipment, Ltd.
Dawson Creek
Country Tractor
Armstrong
Kamloops
Visit your local British Columbia KUHN Dealer today!
GA TWIN-ROTAR ROTARY RAKES
• Masterdrive GIII gearbox is designed to handle the heaviest of forages
• Double curved tine arms provide clean raking and increased forward speed
• Superior raking quality for uffy, fast drying windrows without roping
11'6" – 30'6" raking widths
other large successful
cooperatives work.
The rst item moving
forward was an orientation
session for the board, which
was delivered in November
by one of the governance
study authors, John Kay, who
also worked with the board to
develop a policy and
procedure manual.
The orientation will help
ensure that all of the board
members are on the same
page as to how the bylaws
and the policy and procedure
manual should work, says
Saranchan.
Board member changes
were immediate. Saranchan
acknowledged the service of
three board members who
will not be returning:
Talwinder Bassi, Nirmal
Dhaliwal and Joginder Khosa.
Coming on to the board are
Andre Scheepers, Greg
Sanderson and Phil Patera,
who were all elected for
three-year terms.
Saranchan says
discussions on recruiting two
independent business
members for the board will be
happening in the near future.
12 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
All rights reserved. Case IH is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries,
owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or afliates. www.caseih.com
IT’D BE EASIER TO
LIST WHAT IT CAN’T DO.
Is there a job that a Maxxum
®
series tractor can’t handle? Good luck nding
one. These versatile workhorses move from eldwork to daily chores with ease
— thanks to features like the advanced loader joystick. Now you can shift all
24 gears without taking your hand off the joystick. To take productivity to the
next level, visit caseih.com/activedrive.
CONTACT US TODAY!
Dealer Name 1
Dealer Name 2
000.000.0000
www.dealer_url.com
Dealer Address 1
Dealer Address 2
City, State Zip
34511 Vye Road
Abbotsford, BC V2S 8J7
604-864-2273
www.caliberequipment.ca
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
from all of us at Caliber Equipment
PTO GENERATORS
1-866-820-7603 | BAUMALIGHT.COM
Dale Howe 403-462-1975 | dale@baumalight.com
MFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS
BRUSH MULCHERS | BOOM MOWERS
STUMP GRINDERS | TREE SAWS & SHEARS
TREE SPADES | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS
TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | PTO GENERATORS
EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | FELLER BUNCHERS
TREE PULLERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | AUGER DRIVES
Pre-order your Baumalight
generator now for delivery in
8 weeks and get an 8% discount.
MEMBERS vote for one-year contracts nfrom page 11
That is something that the
board and myself will be
working to assess how we
best accomplish, he says.
The co-op may need to
revisit the issue of grower
support. The previous board
and management approved
the ring of most of the eld
services support sta in 2019,
and others have resigned or
retired.
“One of the comments I
made at the AGM is that we
need to reassess the support
that the cooperative provides
to our growers, he says. As
we look forward to the spring
of 2021, based on the
learnings from 2020, we are
going to reassess what that
support looks like.
It will not simply be
smooth sailing from here on,
however. Members passed a
motion from the oor asking
that grower contracts be
reduced from a three-year
term to one year.
The board and I will be
providing a response back to
the membership no later than
February 28, 2021, says
Saranchan.
The shorter term will allow
growers who are not satised
with their returns to end their
contracts with BCTF and
approach one of more than
20 independent packing
houses now operating in the
valley. Several co-op
members chose to go against
their contract obligations
with BCTF this fall and ship to
one of the independent
packinghouses.
The issue is a dicult one
but Saranchan pledges to
face it head-on and seek the
best outcome for members.
There are elements that
are benecial and there are
elements that can be
problematic, so the task is to
gure out on balance what
the better option is, he says.
“It is an important question
within our membership and
one that we owe a response
to.
Both the board and
management have a lot of
work to do to build grower
trust.
“It is hard to watch the
management of the co-op
get paid their salaries
regardless of the price that
we growers receive for our
fruit, says one grower, who
asked to remain anonymous
for fear of repercussions from
the co-op.
Many growers were
particularly angered last fall
when a top orchardist
received signicantly
Similkameen Valley
growers were surprised
to learn that the Growers
Supply Co. store in
Keremeos, owned by BC
Tree Fruits Cooperative,
would close November
21.
The store sold a range
of farm supplies to both
fruit and grape growers
as well as other farm
businesses.
BC Tree Fruits CEO
Warren Saranchan did
not disclose the reasons
for closing the store,
which was the second-
smallest of the six
Grower Supply locations
across the Okanagan
Valley and in Creston.
However, he indicated
that nancial
considerations were key.
What I can say is that
the nancial position of
Growers Supply will
improve, he said.
He said growers can
transfer their accounts to
Grower Supply locations
in Oliver or Penticton,
noting that operations at
both stores were being
improved to better serve
customers.
That was part of this
overall package, he said,
adding that the company
is also considering a
delivery service as part of
the improvements to
customer service.
Tom Walker
Keremeos
supply
store
closes
dierent assessments of his
fruit from the packinghouses
in Oliver and Wineld. Oliver
graded the fruit at a lower
quality than Wineld.
“My apples were only 3%
to 5% culls in Wineld at pack
out, but up to 40% culls in
Oliver, the grower said, again
asking to remain anonymous.
Several growers
complained about the
discrepancy and the co-op
investigated.
We evaluated the grading
from our 2019 crop year,
specically looking at fruit
that was graded in both
Wineld and Oliver, says
Saranchan. “Through that
assessment we felt that we
had to make some
corrections to the grading
results in Oliver.
The co-op sent a letter
October 14 to growers who
had delivered three varieties
– Gala, Ambrosia and
McIntosh – to the two
packinghouses, describing
how to apply for the grading
assessment and corrective
payments.
We adjusted the amount
that we returned to growers
to an amount that we felt
provided an increased equity
between both sites, says
Saranchan. “It was a very
complex process to gure out
how to make the adjustments
for growers. I expect all the
money will be paid by the
end of the year.
Avoiding that pack-out
discrepancy in the future is a
priority.
We are working very hard
to ensure that we have an
appropriate level of equity in
our grading between both
sites, says Saranchan. “It has
been a focus area for the
co-op all summer and we
continue to focus on it.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 13
Province rethinks land matching pitch
Behavioural insights could give young farmers land access
Gold Sponsor
Presented by:
Check out the very latest equipment, technology and
techniques to improve your farm operation - all online
info@agricultureshow.net
January 28, 29 & 30 2021
by BARBARA JOHNSTONE
GRIMMER
VICTORIA – To increase
landowner participation in the
BC Land Matching Program
administered by Young
Agrarians, the BC Ministry of
Agriculture is drawing on
behavioural insights to nudge
landowners into leasing their
unused farmland to new
farmers.
Behavioural scientist
Christine Kormos presented
details and results of the
project at the BIG Dierence
BC online conference
November 6.
Kormos worked with the
provinces agriculture ministry
as a Mitacs Canadian Science
Policy Fellow to develop,
implement and evaluate
behavioural interventions to
target improved access to
land among new entrants to
agriculture in BC. She is
currently working as senior
behavioural scientist with the
BC Behavioural Insights Group
(BC BIG), established by the
province in 2016 as “a unit
within the BC Public Service
Agency that applies
behavioural science to
complex public policy
challenges.
Other members of the
project team included Mikayla
Ford (BC BIG), agriculture
ministry sta Lindsay
Bisschop, Adrian Semmelink,
and Lindsay Miles-Pickup.
“Nudge policies use
insights from behavioural
science to achieve policy
outcomes. They aim to
inuence peoples decisions
by changing the way options
are presented to them rather
than changing the options
themselves.
“Nudges are small tweaks,
not policy changes, explains
Eldar Shar, a psychology
professor at Princeton
University and keynote
speaker at the conference.
The policy challenge is
that farmland is a limited
resource in BC, and it is
important that farmland be
farmed to ensure a strong
localized food supply, says
Kormos. The ministry has
used various policy levers to
meet this land management
goal, such as the Agricultural
Land Reserve and the farm
class tax threshold.
Kormos added that there is
still an opportunity to
optimize the use of farmland
in BC, since a signicant
portion of the farmable land
in BC is not currently being
used for agriculture.
“However, there is limited
access for new farmers, says
Kormos. There are a couple of
key reasons for this. Not only
does BC have some of the
oldest farmers in the country
with more than 58% of the
see it worth the cost, they had
concerns about lack of control
and privacy, the hassle, and
the lack of clarity around the
steps involved, says Kormos.
These are major barriers
and this is a life-changing
behaviour, explains Kormos.
“So, I was not expecting a big
response rate.
Messaging rethink
Postcards sent to selected
landowners to advertise the
program were redesigned
from the original “Got Land?
Want Land?” postcard using
behavioural insights.
The new design presented
leasing as normal by stating
that each year, thousands of
landowners in BC lease out
unused farmland. As social
proof and an incentive, a
quote from a landowner
stating the benets to the
program was added. The
messenger eect was
modied by giving the
postcard a government look
and feel.
To address the question
about the lack of clarity, the
postcards clearly outlined
steps in the land matching
process.
To humanize the message,
a photo of the BC Land
Matching program manager
with a welcoming message
and contact details was
added.
Another set of postcards
was tailored to specic
regions of the province.
The impact of the
postcards was evaluated in a
randomized controlled trial.
They were distributed this
summer to select landowners
in Metro Vancouver and the
Fraser Valley, Central
Okanagan and on Vancouver
Island. The selected
landowners were in the ALR,
65% or more of their parcel
was prime agricultural land,
less than 100% of the parcel is
currently farmed, and it is
greater than two acres.
The control group of 544
landowners was sent no
postcard. One group of 519
was sent the original postcard.
A third group of 508 was sent
the behavioural insights-
informed postcard, and a
fourth group of 511 sent the
behavioural insights-informed
postcard tailored to their
specic regions.
The plan was to measure
inquiries to the program by
phone or email over the
following three months, the
number of applications
initiated, and change in
farmland use by August 2021.
The response rate was
lower than expected at 12
inquiries out of 2,082
landowners, or 0.6%. The only
landowners who responded
by email or phone were in the
groups that received
postcards modied by
behavioural insights. Tailoring
the postcard to region had no
added benet. In short, the
nudge was eective, but only
slightly.
Kormos says if the inquiries
translate into matches it
would be encouraging, but is
it worth the cost?
Kormos suggests that the
ministry needs to consider the
next steps for improving
participation rates.
farmers over the age of 55, BC
also has some of the most
expensive farmland in Canada.
It is really dicult for aspiring
farmers to enter the
agricultural market.
The BC Land Matching
Program, administered by
Young Agrarians and funded
in part by the BC Ministry of
Agriculture, was developed to
address this policy challenge
by matching landowners with
land seekers.
“So far, BCLMP has
appealed to land seekers
more than landowners, says
Kormos. There are lots of
farmers looking for land, but
fewer landowners looking for
lessees. Can landowners be
‘nudged’ to participate in the
BC Land Matching Program?”
Research with landowners
through focus groups and
farm visits helped the team
understand why landowners
weren’t knocking down the
door to get into the program.
“Landowners cited a lack of
awareness of Young Agrarians
and the BCLMP, and of those
who were aware, they didn’t
14 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Dustin
Stadnyk
CPA, CA
Chris
Henderson
CPA, CA
Nathalie
Merrill
CPA, CMA
TOLL FREE 1-888-818-FARM | www.farmtax.ca
Expert farm taxation advice:
• Purchase and sale of farms
• Transfer of farms to children
• Government subsidy programs
• Preparation of farm tax returns
• Use of $1,000,000 Capital Gains Exemptions
Approved consultants for Government funding through
BC Farm Business Advisory Services Program
ARMSTRONG 250-546-8665 | LUMBY 250-547-2118 | ENDERBY 250-838-7337
View over 100 listings of farm properties at
www.bcfarmandranch.com
BC FARM & RANCH
REALTY CORP.
Buying or Selling
a Farm or Acreage?
GORD HOUWELING
Cell: 604/793-8660
GREG WALTON
Cell: 604/864-1610
Toll free 1-888-852-AGRI
Call BC’s First and Only
Real Estate Office committed
100% to Agriculture!
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
v BC Farm Business Advisory Services Consultant
v Farm Debt Mediation Consultant
v Meat Labeling Consultant
Phone: 604-858-1715 Cell: 604-302-4033
Fax: 604-858-9815 email: marlene.reams
@
gmail.com
CONFIDENTIALITY GUARANTEED
Jack Reams P.Ag. Agri-Consulting
Adams, Ian Knudsen, Richard
Mumford, Ione Smith and
Gerry Zimmerman were
appointed for two-year terms
ending in October 2022.
Three-year appointments
were given to
Janice Tapp, Susan
Gimse and Jerry
Thibeault, whose
terms end in
October 2023.
Commission
members represent
a cross-section of expertise
from across the province.
Under the previous
government, the system of
regional panels was
disbanded but at least one
commissioner must be
appointed from each of the
provinces administrative
regions.
Candidates are selected in
a merit-based process
through the Crown Agency
and Board Resourcing Oce.
Appointments are made by
the agriculture minister in
consultation with the
commission chair.
—Peter Mitham
Blueberry council
set for elections
The BC Blueberry Council is
set to elect six new directors.
One will be elected from
Region A, which includes
Abbotsford, Agassiz and
Chilliwack. Two directors will
be chosen from each of
Region B (Coquitlam, Pitt
Meadows, Maple Ridge) and
Region C (Surrey, Delta,
Richmond, Langley). The sixth
director is at large.
Seven candidates are
running for the positions.
Xin Wang, Dalbir Benipal,
Ryan Thiara and Ray Biln are
running in Region B. In
Region C, Gurprit Singh Brar,
Paul Sangha and Harjot Toor
are trying their luck.
"Being a blueberry grower,
I have faced a lot of
challenges. My aim is to raise
the voice of the blueberry
growers and work for a
change in research,
marketing and processing of
the berries," says Gurprit Brar,
a young blueberry farmer in
Langley.
Two directors were
acclaimed. Bryce Guliker was
chosen to represent Region A
while Dave Gill will be
director-at-large.
The new directors will hold
their positions for three years.
There are around 80 voters
in Region B and 200 voters in
Region C.
"Members in Regions B and
C will be receiving ballots in
the mail, which need to be
mailed or hand-delivered to
the MNP oces in
Abbotsford by December 4.
MNP will count the votes,
said Abbie Henderson,
program coordinator with the
BC Blueberry Council. “Due to
COVID-19 concerns, our
annual general meeting is
taking place virtually. The
results will be announced at
the meeting on December
10."
—Sarbmeet Singh
Award honours
young agrologist
Adrian Semmelink, a
respected new entrant
agrologist with the BC
Ministry of Agriculture, died
suddenly in his sleep at the
age of 28 in October.
To honour him and
recognize his dedication to
sustainable agriculture
practices, family and friends
are establishing a bursary in
his name.
The award will support
students pursuing
postgraduate studies in the
Resources, Environment and
Sustainability (RES) Program at
UBC with preference given to
those focused on sustainable
agriculture.
Adrian Semmelink was a
2018 RES graduate who
studied sustainable
agriculture and farmer
practices.
The ministry is supporting
creation of the bursary and
extended its deepest
condolences to his family,
friends, and colleagues.
“He was well respected by
those he worked with in the
farming community for both
his personality and his
commitment to help new and
young farmers get into
agriculture, says a statement
from the ministry. The
ministry is in contact with UBC
as they pursue the creation of
an award for best graduate
work in the area of sustainable
agriculture to honour Adrian.
The goal is to establish
either an annual award or an
endowed award.
The minimum amount to
establish an annual award is
$10,000 to be distributed in
increments over ve to 10
years. If the amount raised is
$50,000, the award will be
endowed in perpetuity. The
nal use of the funds will be
determined by the UBC
Institute for Resources,
Environment and
Sustainability in consultation
with Adrians family.
To contribute to the award,
visit [support.ubc.ca/adrian-
semmelink].
—Barbara Johnstone
Grimmer
Horticultural loss
Linda Edwards, a respected
horticultural consultant and
author of Organic Tree Fruit
Management, the rst
complete guide for Canadian
organic fruit growers, has died.
Edwards brought extensive
experience to the industry as
an IPM consultant in
conventional orchards for
many years and had her own
organic fruit farm in Cawston.
Her experience as a grower
was invaluable to her
appreciation of the challenges
others faced and made her a
sensitive mentor, too.
Together with husband Brian
Mennell, she was a partner in
Cawston Cold Storage, an
organic fruit packinghouse
and marketer.
--Peter Mitham
Several members of the
Agricultural Land Commission
whose terms expired the
week of the October 24
election were quietly
reappointed to their roles via
ministerial order on
September 11.
The order ensured
continuity at the ALC
between governments, and
heralds no major change
among the players
responsible for adjudicating
land use applications.
The commission has 14
members, including chair
Jennifer Dyson. The
ministerial order saw nine
members reappointed to the
commission.
The continuing members
include Honey Forbes of
Duncan, reappointed for a
one-year term ending
October 23, 2021.
Commissioners Andrew
Land commission appointments announced
Ag Briefs
EDITED BY 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 BC
Creating informed consumers and showcasing career opportunities in agriculture are just two of several preferred
outcomes for students participating in the Agriculture in the Classroom program. FILE PHOTO / RONDA PAYNE
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 15
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance.
Our success comes from the 86,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and
communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified
business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other
countries. Learn more at rbc.com.
We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer
activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.
® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada.
VPS107683 107684 (11/2020)
On behalf of Melanie Lantz,
VP Agriculture & Agribusiness,
we are pleased to announce the
appointment of Iain Sutherland to
RBC’s Commercial Agriculture Team.
Iain will lead business development efforts across BC’s Interior
regions. We look forward to expanding our reach to even more
producers across multiple sectors who will be well served by his
knowledge and expertise. Welcome Iain!
iain.sutherland@rbc.com
Phone: 250 515 0173
by RONDA PAYNE
ABBOTSFORD – BC
Agriculture in the Classroom
Foundation has been
introducing BC students to
agriculture for nearly four
decades.
Now, it’s kicked o a
national discussion organized
by Agriculture in the
Classroom Canada in order to
keep students informed for
decades to come.
BCAITC was the rst
provincial organization to host
a live videoconference where
stakeholders could discuss
their successes, concerns and
hopes. The nine other
provincial organizations will
follow suit through 2021.
A unique challenge BC
faces in delivering agriculture
education is the province
produces more than 200
products across diverse
regions, says BCAITC executive
director Pat Tonn.
We need to get into
diverse regions of the
province, she says. We have
to make agriculture relevant
to them.
Prior to the videoconference
on October 19, stakeholders
in BC were asked to share
their thoughts through an
online written forum.
Questions included: Why is
AITC important to you and
your organization?” What
sector topics are priorities in
your province to increase
public trust?” and What do
you want students to think,
know and feel about
agriculture during and at the
end of their K to 12 journey?”
Responses to the rst
question included creating
informed future consumers
(the most important reason to
respondents), showcasing
career opportunities to build a
thriving industry and making
agriculture understandable
and relatable to students.
“It requires unbiased
education and understanding
of the pros and cons, says
AITC Canada executive
director Johanne Ross, who
participated in the BC
videoconference.
She pointed to one
comment that had been
included in the online forum:
“I’d rather students ask Ag in
the Classroom than Google.
During the live discussion,
BC Cattlemens Association
beef production specialist
Bree Patterson noted that
connecting with the urban
public is a key issue, while
nursery operator Brian Minter
wanted thinking globally to
be part of the discussion.
There are new ways
through technology that were
going to be able to produce
food, even locally, says Minter.
We need to be thinking of
the larger scope and future
scope.
Dierentiation of Canadian
agricultural products versus
those of other countries was
top of mind for Melanie Lantz,
vice-president agriculture and
agribusiness with RBC. Other
participants in the live
discussion noted that climate
change and land use
information is important, as is
making agriculture relatable
to students, both as a
consumer and as someone
working in the industry.
Illustrating job opportunities
in a hands-on way was
recommended in order for
students to embrace the
innovations.
We’re currently preparing
students for jobs and
technologies that don’t even
exist yet, says Tonn.
Breaking it down
Within the climate change
and sustainability topic
posted in the online forum,
the most important subtopic
for respondents was
sustainable agricultural
practices with environmental
issues second and soil health
third. The business of food
and agriculture topic saw the
economic impact of
agriculture and food sector
rank as the most important
subtopic. Demystifying
corporate involvement in
agriculture and how the value
chain works tied for second.
Under the question about
what respondents wanted
students to think, know and
feel, one online comment was,
“that it takes smart savvy
people to grow the plants and
food that they enjoy.
The theme of social justice
and food security came up
numerous times.
“Its been on the radar in a
way it’s never been before,
says Rob Hannam of Synthesis
Agri-Food Network, a Guelph,
Ontario consulting rm that
facilitated the stakeholder
videoconference.
Minter asked how it would
be possible to get more food
into food banks for those who
don’t have access to it.
We need to be very
diverse, he says. This whole
issue of social justice (and)
poverty leads to people not
having fresh food. We need as
many cultures included in this
as possible.
Concerns about food
shortages during the
COVID-19 pandemic gured in
the discussion.
“I think food security (has)
become a bigger
conversation, says Julie
Dickson Olmstead, managing
director, public aairs and
corporate social responsibility,
with Save-On-Foods in Surrey.
“Its not just about people
who can’t aord it anymore,
it’s about everybody.
Ross notes that students
are taking a greater interest in
food security issues.
Outcomes of the BC session
will be available to
participants who will also hear
what other provinces discuss.
The overall conversation will
help drive the national
strategy.
We would love to see
every student in Canada have
an agricultural education
experience, every year, says
Ross. That is our North Star
goal.
She says becoming a
household name and a charity
of choice is one way to reach
this goal, as is building
national collaborations.
We can get that loud and
proud out to the whole
country, she notes.
Ag in the Classroom prepares for change
Consumer education and social
justice a priority
16 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
IF IT’S WORTH IT TO YOU, IT’S WORTH IT TO US.
Contact our agribusiness specialists by email at
agribusiness@firstwestcu.ca
WHEN SUCCESS IS
MEASURED IN ACRES
AND NOT HOURS
Keeping it Simple
®
Divisions of First West Credit Union
Bank. Borrow. Insure. Invest.
Kerry Clark, left, has stepped down after six years as president of the BC Honey Producers Association. He
presented Lance and Bobby Cuthill with a lifetime achievement award at last year’s meeting. FILE PHOTO / TOM WALKER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 17
USED EQUIPMENT
FELLA TH680D HYDRO 6 BASKET TEDDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,000
N/H FP230 27P GRASS HEAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,500
CLAAS VOLTO 1050 8 BASKET TEDDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,500
KV 9469S VARIO, 2014, RAKE, 1 OR 2 ROWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,500
JD XUV850D, 2007, DIESEL, CANOPY, 2,150 HRS . . . . . . . . . . 6,500
USED TRACTORS
KUBOTA T2380 2017, 48” DECK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,500
KUBOTA BX2360 2010, 1,900HRS, TRAC/MWR . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,750
DEUTZ TTV 6130.4 2014, 1,760 HRS, LDR, FRONT 3PT/PTO . . . . 97,000
NEW INVENTORY:
*NEW MODEL- JBS MISP1436 IN THE YARD*
KUBOTA RAKES • TEDDERS • MOWERS • POWER HARROWS . . . . CALL
JBS VMEC1636 VERT. SPREADER, SAWDUST & SAND THROWERS,
KUBOTA K-HAUL TRAILERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NOW IN STOCK
CONSTRUCTION
KUB SSV65, 2018, CAB, A/C, H-PATTERN,2 SPEED, 150 HRS . . . . 47,000
KUB SVL75-2 2016, ROPS, 1,700HRS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53,500
ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD.
DUNCAN 1-888-795-1755
NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR
COURTENAY 1-866-501-0801
www.islandtractors.com
Happy
Holidays!
Insurance 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 planning
Driediger Wealth Planning
Mark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth Advisor
Brent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth Advisor
www.DriedigerWealthPlanning.com | 604.859.4890
Assante Financial Management Ltd.
FOR BAGGED or
BULK ORDERS
Darren Jansen Owner
604.794.3701
organicfeeds@gmail.com
www.canadianorganicfeeds.com
Certified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.
by TOM WALKER
DAWSON CREEK – It was
not the celebration originally
planned, but the BC Honey
Producers Association forged
ahead with its 100th annual
general meeting on October
30 via Zoom.
We had planned a number
of features for our 100th
anniversary celebration that
was to be in Abbotsford,
hosted by the Langley Bee
Club, says rst vice-president
Dan Moss. This is not the
grand style we were hoping
for but perhaps we will be in
Abbotsford in the fall of 2021.
The 90-odd online
participants were a mere
fraction of the association’s
680 members and about half
what the AGM in Prince
George attracted last fall.
The business meeting
included committee and task
force reports and elections of
ocers, including a new
president.
Kerry Clark, a rural Dawson
Creek resident who served as
association president for six
years, remarked how
privileged he feels to be
involved in beekeeping.
“It is one of those unique
activities that has a mutual
benet to myself, to my bee
partners and to the land we
occupy, says Clark.
BCHPA second vice-
president Je Lee recognized
Kerry for his contributions.
“I want to take the
opportunity to thank Kerry
Clark for his years of service
and competent leadership,
Lee says. “He stepped in to
help guide and stabilize the
BCHPA at a time of crisis, and
ever since has been a valued
president."
Heather Higo was
acclaimed as the new BCHPA
president, bringing more than
30 years experience in the
bee industry, primarily in
research, to the role.
Incumbent treasurer Irene
Tiampo was re-elected over
Carolyn Essaunce, a graduate
of KPU’s commercial
beekeeping program and
owner of two bee industry
businesses. Essaunce was
encouraged to continue to
seek ways to be involved in
BCHPA.
We value a diversity of
opinions, notes Lee.
In her treasurers’ report,
Tiampo noted the very
healthy nancial statements of
the BCHPA.
“Our membership should
be condent in our nancial
position, she says.
Stan Reist was returned as
the BC rep to the Canadian
Honey Council (CHC). In his
report, Reist recalled the
diculties BC producers
encountered trying to import
queens and bee packages this
spring, when air freight was
challenged by international
travel restrictions at the start
of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reist is a strong advocate for
the industry to be self-
sucient in replacement stock
for bee colonies that have
been lost over the winter.
We spend approximately
$11 million on importing bee
stock each year in Canada,
notes Reist. “It would be nice
to have that money stay in
local beekeepers’ pockets.
Reist says the CHC has
worked to have Fumagillin-B
reintroduced into Canada to
support the treatment of
nosema. CHC has also
supported the registration of
Formic 65 for varroa and
tracheal mite control and
Oxytet-25 to treat American
and European foulbrood.
The production of those
products is expected to begin
in the new year, says Reist,
adding that plans are also
under way to expand the
registration of oxalic acid to
include an oxalic-glycerin
application to combat mites.
Export market expanding
Honey exports are an
expanding market for
Canadian producers. CHC is
coordinating a marketing
campaign with the provinces
targeting overseas markets
beyond the US. As part of that
initiative, the Canadian Food
inspection Agency is
establishing maximum residue
levels (MRLs), particularly of
glyphosate, for Canadian
honey to be shipped abroad.
With support from the
Canadian Agricultural Human
Resource Council, CHC is
developing a series of training
videos for apiary workers.
With topics such as seasonal
management, biosecurity,
moving bees and worker
health and safety, Reist says
that the videos will support
the training of both local and
foreign workers for the
industry.
Beekeepers go virtual for 100th anniversary
Education component spread over
five fall webinars
See BEES on next page
o
BEESnfrom pg 17
18 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Marketing British Columbia to the World
®
www.landquest.com
Toll Free 1-866-558-LAND
(
5263
)
“The Source” for Oceanfront, Lakefront, Islands, Ranches, Resorts & Land in BC
®
CHILCOTIN WILDERNESS
CATTLE RANCH
CREEK FRONT ACREAGE WITH
MOUNTAIN VIEWS - COOMBS, BC
CALL THIS HOME FOREVER
BRIDGE LAKE - SOUTH CARIBOO
TEXADA ISLAND
ONE-OF-A-KIND LOG HOME
PONDEROSA RANCH
COBBLE HILL, BC
THE HISTORIC RIVERFRONT
MANDALAY RANCH - VANDERHOOF, BC
WISTARIA CATTLE RANCH
OOTSA LAKE
KAYANARA GUEST RANCH & RESORT
EAGLE CREEK, BC
BEAVER CREEK RANCH
ANAHIM LAKE, BC
HIGH QUALITY ACREAGE AT THE FOOT OF
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS - EDGEWATER, BC
Saddle Mountain Ranch 1,457 acres, 9
titles, former buffalo ranch, 2 homesteads,
including a super comfortable off-grid home
with solar power at the edge of wilderness in
stunning mountain setting. Ideal for families
who like adventure, self-sufficiency and
privacy. Priced right $1,595,000
34.5 acre equestrian farm with stunning views
of Mt Arrowsmith & 900+ ft of creek frontage.
Lots of room for everyone, consisting of a
2,600 ft
2
home with inlaw suite, a second home
as well as a 12-stall barn with a caretakers
suite on the upper level. Large riding ring,
shop & multiple outbuildings. $1,750,000
Dream come true ranch sustainment.
Sunkissed 64.7 acres 32 hay producing.
solid 2 bedroom, 2 bath rancher,
34 x 30 ft garage / shop, 50 x 40 ft shed,
36 x 56 ft 3-stall hay barn, fowl coops & veggie
gardens. Includes home furnishings &
shop equipment for $659,000
5 minute walk to the marina from this 5,000+ ft
2
beautiful log structure. Ideal B&B setup with 4
bdrms up + their own en-suite. Great view out
the oor to ceiling windows from the huge front
room & upstairs sitting area. Lots of wood, tile
& granite features in this ageless design. Way
below replacement at $669,000
Stunning private estate on 50 acres with
valley, ocean and Mount Baker views. 30
minutes from downtown Victoria. Main
home, caretaker / guest home, barn,
workshop & equipment storage. Turnkey,
meticulously maintained grounds and
improvements. $4,350,000
5,445 deeded acres with approx. 10 miles
of frontage on the Stuart River. Offered at
$696 / acre. 23 individual titles. 40 km from
Vanderhoof. 200 amp power and telephone.
Tons of game including a large herd of elk.
Ideal large private hunting retreat. A great
agricultural investment. $3,790,000
Fantastic opportunity for some ranchers to get
started or add to existing operations. This 900
acre homestead offers a home, outbuildings,
awesome hay production, grazing, timber
and an 800 AUM range permit. It also has
two quarter sections on a great shing lake,
and borders a private 8 acre lake. $800,000
Opportunity to own one of the most beautiful
guest ranches in all of BC. 220 acres,
Kayanara Guest Ranch & Resort offers the
perfect combination of ranch & lake activities
& is the ideal vacation for the whole family. 3
guest cabins, 6 RV sites (full hook up), 2 B&B
suites, owners’ residence & more. $1,799,000
24.7 deeded acres with 320 acre Crown
grain tenure off-grid ranch north of Anahim
Lake overlooking the Dean River. 3,000 ft
2
unnished, off-grid home, large shop & barn.
Produces approximately 60 tons of hay,
available grazing tenure. Endless outdoor
opportunity! $299,000
One of the nicest parcels I have seen come
available in a decade! Land is mostly at and
treed with some nice open clearings offering
amazing vistas and roadways within for easy
access throughout. Borders onto Crown land
and is privately situated at the end of the
road. $599,000
RICH OSBORNE 604-664-7633
Personal Real Estate Corporation
rich
@
landquest.com
KEVIN KITTMER 250-951-8631
kevin
@
landquest.com
WENDY PATTEN 250-718-0298
wendy
@
landquest.com
LandQuest
®
Realty Corp Cariboo
KURT NIELSEN 250-898-7200
kurt
@
landquest.com
LandQuest
®
Realty Corp Comox Valley
JASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577
JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605
SAM HODSON 604-694-7623
Personal Real Estate Corporation
sam
@
landquest.com
JOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100
john
@
landquest.com
COLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793
CHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634
FAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314
Personal Real Estate Corporation
fawn
@
landquest.com
MATT CAMERON 250-200-1199
matt
@
landquest.com
Education days have been
a key feature at the
associations annual general
meetings each fall and its
spring semi-annual meetings.
They are very well attended
and also generate signicant
revenue for the association.
Instead, the BCHPA has
opted to host ve webinars
with provincial funding from
Bee BC. The rst was a session
with provincial apiculturist
Paul van Westendorp that
had 168 attendees. The other
four sessions ran weekly in
November covering a
morning in the bee yard, the
potential for large-scale
nucleus production,
sustainable beekeeping with
a focus on queens and
nucleus production, and
innovative products and
marketing. All the sessions
will be recorded and archived
for future viewing.
The BCHPA presidents
award was presented to
treasurer Irene Tiampo for her
long service to the industry.
A beekeeper since the
1970s, Tiampo served
on the executive of the
Capital Regional
Beekeepers Association
for 20 years. She
became BCHPA secretary in
2013 and also took on the
role of treasurer.
Pandemic puts pause on bee research
Projects ongoing but in limited capacity
by TOM WALKER
The BC Honey Producers
Association prides itself on being an
active supporter of research. However,
current restrictions on researchers and
lab facilities resulted in a deferral of
research funding for 2020.
Nevertheless, research committee
chair Heather Higo reported on four
ongoing projects at the associations
annual general meeting at the end of
October.
A study to assess the quality of BC-
raised queens was completed this past
year and the results published. Eight
BC queen producers submitted stock
for evaluation and the local queens
scored very well when compared to
imported stock.
The bee health in blueberries study
is wrapping up with a nal analysis to
detect chemical residues in colonies
under way. Higo expects the full
results to be published in the new
year, but she says results show that
pollinating blueberry elds can aect
bee health.
“It is clear that the levels of EFB
(European foulbrood) increased over
time and were generally higher in
blueberry pollinating colonies
compared to non-pollinating colonies,
she says, adding that the bacterial
strains could also be detected in nurse
bees prior to the emergence of clinical
symptoms.
“So without even seeing clinical
symptoms in the colonies, samples of
nurse bees were taken and it could be
seen that EFB existed in many of the
colonies, says Higo. She adds that this
research aims to nd a path towards
the sustainable contributions of
beekeepers to the eective pollination
of BC blueberries.
Fake honey
The honey authentication testing
project continues. With worldwide
demand for honey increasing, the
importance of keeping fake honey
from the marketplace grows. Work
continues to develop protocols for
using both mass spectrometry and
magnetic resonance spectroscopy
technologies. Higo expects that a
combined system using both
technologies holds the best chance of
keeping ahead of honey adulteration
techniques.
Field testing of a novel compound
to help control varroa mites could not
be carried out due to restrictions
related to COVID-19.
Bee BC, a $400,000 initiative funded
by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and
administered by the Investment
Agriculture Foundation of BC, grants
up to $5,000 to projects that enhance
bee health. It has given $277,000 to 66
projects across BC since launching in
2018.
The BC Honey Producers
Association has been a recipient of
Bee BC funding for its hive monitoring
project, which collects data on colony
weight, temperature and humidity
from 30 hives located across the
province and the Yukon. Data is
available at [www.beecounted.org].
“Hopefully you will be able to see
how your colonies may behave relative
to those that are being monitored,
outgoing president Kerry Clark told
association members.
Bee BC also granted BCHPA funding
to convert its education programs
from in-person to online events this
year.
If program funding continues,
beekeepers are encouraged
to have project ideas
ready for a fresh
intake in
the new
year.
Reservation system hasnt lived
up to its promise, producers say
Farmers transporting livestock to and from Vancouver and the Gulf islands are frustrated they no longer have
priority boarding. PHOTO / BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 19
COMMITTED TO AGRICULTURE in the FRASER VALLEY & VANCOUVER ISLAND
rollinsmachinery.com
TRACTORS
CASE 35B 4WD, ROPS [CNS755] ........................................... 13,000
FORD 1910 TRACTOR 4WD, LOADER, BACKHOE [CNS765] ...... 11,500
JD 5100 MH, HIGH CLEARANCE, 3 REMOTES [CNS757] .......... 70,000
NH BOOMER 33 ROPS, LOADER, 4WD, TURF TIRES [U32032] . 20,950
NH 8560 4WD, 6,250 HRS [U32312] .................................... 59,900
TS135A 4WD, 6060 HRS, CAB, SUSP, PWR SHIFT TRANS [U32120] 42,900
QUALITY USED EQUIPMENT
AERWAY 11’ TRAILER, AERATOR, NICE CONDITION [U40045] .... 9,000
FRONTIER 12’ DISC, TANDEM 21” FRONT NOTCH,
21” REAR SMOOTH [U32343] ................................................ 7,900
GEHL 3250 SQ BALER, S/N20743, CRANK BALE TENSION,78” PU, 1/4 TURN
BALE CHUTE, GOOD CONDITION, SHED-STORED [U32407] ............... 7,900
KOMATSU LOADER BACKHOE, 7100 HRS, 4 POST, ROPS,
4WD [U40043] .................................................................... 19,500
KUHN PRO 150 MANURE SPREADER, VERTICAL BEATERS,
GOOD CONDITION [U32236] ................................................ 36,600
MCHALE FUSION VARIO 2017, 14,000 BALES [U32135] .......... 99,000
NH 258 RAKE 260, HITCH [U32143] ........................................ 4,950
NH FP240 GRASS-CORN-CROP PRO, TANDEM AXLE [U32193] . 32,500
NH 1044 BALE WAGON [U32420] ............................................ 7,000
NH 1412 DISC MOWER, GOOD CONDITION [U32468] ................ 9,000
NH 7550 DISC MOWER 13’ - PIN HITCH [U32358] ................... 16,900
NH C232 TRACK SKIDSTEER, DEMO SPECIAL, 500 HRS,
GOOD CONDITION [N31179] ....................................................... 61,000
NH TV145 BI-DIRECTIONAL TRACTOR, FRONT MOUNT TIGER BOOM
MOWER, GOOD CONDITION [U16916] ................................... 60,000
TAARUP 4036 DISC MOWER, REBUILT CUTTERBAR [U32093] ... 14,500
CHILLIWACK •
1.800.242.9737 .
44725 Yale Road West • 604.792.1301
LANGLEY •
1.800.665.9060 |.
21869 - 56th Avenue • 604.533.0048
CHEMANIUS • 1.250.246.1203 . 3306 Smiley Road
KELOWNA • 250.765.8266 . #201 - 150 Campion Street
Producer Check-o
Supports Beef
Industry Projects.
www.cattlefund.net
1.877.688.2333
www.cattlefund.net
1.877.688.2333
by BARBARA JOHNSTONE
GRIMMER
COURTENAY – Beef
producers Brad and Aleta
Chappell moved to Vancouver
Island from the Interior to be
closer to family 17 years ago.
One of Brad’s concerns in
moving his cattle to the
Comox Valley was the ferries.
“I did my homework. I
talked to BC Ferries, Ministry
of Agriculture, the regional
agrologist and the Comox
Valley Economic Development
Society, says Chappell. The
island was on the ascendency
of a new wave. From 2001 on,
things were looking up. We
decided to come home and
expand.
With the ferries, it was
smooth sailing. He would be
put right to the front of the
line with his livestock load. He
was never queried and was
even accommodated if he
arrived after the 30-minute
cut-o time.
The welfare of livestock
was of utmost importance,
says Chappell.
Then things started
tightening up. With livestock,
the policy was priority loading
for livestock if the load was at
the ferry booth at least a half-
hour before the scheduled
sailing. If trucks with livestock
arrived after the 30-minute
cut-o, they would need to
wait for the next ferry if there
was no room.
In 2005, it became
necessary to make a
reservation to travel with
livestock on many BC Ferries
routes. Further minor changes
to the livestock policy were
made in 2013.
“If there was a problem
loading the livestock onto the
truck, or a blizzard or any
other problem, we risked
losing our reservation, says
Chappell. The ferries would
say ‘not our problem.
Chappell believes that the
tourism industry is now BC
Ferries’ priority, heavily
aecting agricultural
commerce on the islands.
Sometimes, livestock trailers
and trucks are loaded after
recreational vehicles.
Early in the COVID-19
pandemic, the ferries were
essential services. The focus
reverted to tourism during the
summer. With escalating
COVID-19 case counts this fall,
essential travel is once again
the priority.
Animal welfare
The amended Humane
Transportation of Animals
regulation focuses on the
length of time that animals
are in transport without feed,
water or rest (FWR). This
includes the time spent
waiting at ferry terminals or
travelling by ferry. FWR
requirements vary by species
and age of animals.
The Canadian Food
Inspection Agency recently
released additional
information clarifying rules
around the transport of
livestock by ferries.
However, the net result is
more time in travel, which
benefits no one, including
the animals.
To get off the island, we
have to leave earlier,
sometimes stopping enroute
so our animals can be rested
and fed, resulting in less
revenue and less money
spent on the island
See LONG on next page
o
Island farmers
frustrated by
ferry waits
Moose Meadow Ranch
452 Acres Hay/Cattle
625 Morricetown Forest Road
tCESNIPNFTRGU
t"DSFTXJUIDSFFL
tTRGU#BSO5BDLSPPN
New Hazelton, BC
$1,499,000
Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398
7463 Moosehorn Road
t"DSFTMPHMPEHF
tDBCJOT37TJUFT
tTRGUPXOFSTSFTJEFODF
Southbank, BC $1,065,000
Call/Txt Linda 604.997.5399
Moosehorn Lodge &
Cabins on Uncha Lake
Ranches | Farms | Lodges | Resorts | Waterfronts & Recreational land
3830 Meier Road .44 Acre
t
CESNCBUI%FDLT
t$PMESPPNHSFFOIPVTF
t8PPEöSFIPUUVCTUPSHBF
Cluculz Lake, BC $360,000
Call/Txt Sabine 778.363.2750
Lakefront Escape
Year round or Rec
LONG wait times impact animal welfare nfrom page 19
20 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
economy, says Chappell.
Even though agriculture is
an essential service, Chappell
is concerned that BC Ferries
doesn’t see it that way.
“Space is being used for
other supplies and priorities
on the ferries, says Chappell.
“In the spring, there were
perfect growing conditions
but there was also a concern
about our national food
supply as our supply chains
for fertilizer and seed were
disrupted and it was a
challenge to secure our
supplies. Ferry schedules were
altered; boats weren’t being
lled.
Sheep producer and
shearer Lorea Tomsin agrees
with Chappell. Tomsin travels
by ferry regularly on main and
minor routes. Tomsin and
other sheep shearers were
starting a busy shearing
season when COVID-19 travel
restrictions began.
The smaller Gulf Islands do
not have a reservation system
for travel to and from Swartz
Bay, says Tomsin. “Sometimes
showing up early isn’t a
guarantee that you will be
loaded, especially if the boat
isn’t being fully loaded.
Tomsin is one of many who
believe that the ferry system is
part of the highway system.
Most respondents to the
provinces Coastal Ferries
Consultation and
Engagement report in 2013
disagreed with increasing
property taxes in coastal
communities to help fund
ferry service. Comments
pointed out that BC Ferries, as
part of the highway system,
should be funded by all
taxpayers in the province.
Galiano Islander Emma
Davis coordinates the Galiano
Food Program and is also the
Capital Regional District
liaison for her island. Davis
noted that the challenges
farmers face on a regular basis
“ramped up” during the
pandemic.
We usually don’t run our
food bank in the summer, but
it was open twice as often this
summer, says Davis. There
was an interruption in goods
and services early on, with
reduced ferry capacity,
reduced sailings (and)
cancellation of routes. Even
our grocery store was
impacted.
There are concerns that the
fall surge in COVID-19 cases
could cause these ferry
disruptions to be repeated. BC
Premier John Horgan has
voiced support for restrictions
on travel to and from
Vancouver Island.
Although the BC Trucking
Association reports that it is
satised with BC Ferries’
services and did not have any
concerns as outlined in a 2018
review conducted by the
province, those who transport
livestock do have concerns.
The BC Dairy Association
opposes farmers being
charged commercial rates
because of the importance of
agriculture to food security.
Vehicles that weigh over 5,000
kg and are longer than 20 feet
are charged commercial rates.
The exception is recreational
vehicles. This policy is applied
unevenly, as is priority
boarding. For livestock carriers
without a reservation or those
who miss the cut-o time, BC
Ferries provide an opportunity
to request priority boarding,
but it places too much onus
on ferry personnel for the nal
decision.
"Farmers and livestock
haulers plan their routes to
minimize the length of time
cattle spend in transport.
When reservation procedures
are applied inconsistently,
those transporting cattle wait
longer than necessary to
board a ferry, says BC Dairy
Association board member
Dave Taylor. “It's important
that livestock transporters are
given priority, recognizing
that long wait times impact
animal welfare. We are open
to continuing to provide
feedback to BC Ferries to help
streamline their process."
Despite a recommendation
by the 2018 government
review that BC Ferries should
review its policies regarding
the loading of livestock and
should change its online
reservation system to prevent
long waiting times for
customers transporting
livestock, BC Ferries told
Country Life in BC it does not
anticipate any further
consultations or changes to
the livestock policy.
We deal with issues on a
case by case basis, and if a
customer has not made a
reservation in advance and
there is no space available, the
terminal tries to
accommodate them on the
next available sailing, says BC
Ferries public aairs director
Deborah Marshall. To my
knowledge, it isn’t a
signicant problem.
BC Ferries charges a $25
no-show fee, and a $25 fee is
also charged if the livestock
vehicle arrives late. There is no
fee to make the reservation,
and bookings can be made up
to two hours prior to each
scheduled sailing, space
permitting. There is no fee to
cancel or change a livestock
reservation if it is made at
least 30 minutes prior to the
sailing.
On minor routes, such as
the Gulf Islands to Swartz Bay,
livestock reservations are not
available. During busy times
such as the summer, BC
Ferries have conrmed that
customers carrying livestock
will experience a maximum of
one sailing wait if they arrive a
minimum of 20 minutes
before the desired sailing.
The consultation BC Ferries
undertook regarding livestock
transport in 2005 identied
data collection as one of the
benets of a reservation
system. However, BC Ferries
says it doesn’t track what
customers are carrying, only
complaints.
“BC Ferries does track
complaints or problems with
livestock transportation on
their routes, and they record
feedback and respond to, or
share with the relevant
departments with the intent
of addressing customer
concerns and improving the
process for all involved, says
the BC Ferries statement.
Marshall adds that if a BC
Ferries customer has a
concern, it is best to reach out
directly, saying, We aim to
solve any problems.
Give a gift
SUBSCRIPTION to
Country
Life in
BC
the
gift
that
gives
all year
TRACTOR
TIME
VICTORIA
4377C Metchosin Rd.
250.474.3301
30 minutes from Victoria
and 15 minutes from
Highway#1 in Metchosin.
PREMIUM
TRUCK
PRINCE GEORGE
1015 Great Street
250.563.0696
WILLIAMS LAKE
4600 Collier Place
250.398.7411
HANDLERS
EQUIPMENT
ABBOTSFORD
339 Sumas Way
604.850.3601
HOUSTON
2990 Highway Crescent
250.845.3333
A glimmer of hope. Mark Ishoy is the CEO for the new BC Beef operation moving into the KML processing plant in
Westwold. Meat producers are frustrated by a lack of processing capacity. PHOTO / TOM WALKER
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 21
email: audreycifca@gmail.com
email: okanaganfeeders@gmail.com
308 St. Laurent Avenue Quesnel, B.C. V2J 5A3
Producers can apply for an advance on calves, yearlings, lambs, bison, forage and grain up to $1,000,000.00 with
the rst $100,000.00 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
The breed you can trust!
by TOM WALKER
FALKLAND – Shrinking
slaughter capacity across the
province is preventing BC
livestock producers from
expanding their operations at
a time when local meat sales
are skyrocketing.
Lisa and Hans Dueck were
planning to add a few beef
cattle to the chicken
operation they operate in
Falkland. Sterling Springs has
a loyal following of customers
and sales through the
pandemic have been steady.
The Duecks have raised a
few Angus cattle in the past,
and have never had trouble
arranging slaughter.
Customers liked the beef, and
current demand made the
time ripe for expanding.
Sterling Springs operates
its own provincially inspected
Class A plant for poultry,
processing about 300 birds a
week but the Duecks rely on
others to process their beef.
Calling their usual
processor in mid October,
however, they hit a brick wall.
The rst available slaughter
date was in March, so they
tried another local abattoir.
Some 40 calls later, he still
hasn’t picked up his phone.
Theyre not alone.
Poultry producers
elsewhere in the Shuswap
and across the southern
Interior as well as Vancouver
Island have all faced
obstacles lining up
processing this fall. Many say
the earliest dates available
are spring 2021.
The lack of capacity is
prompting some producers
to call it quits.
Kendall Ballantine of
Central Park Farms in Langley
announced October 26 that
she was closing because her
sales have outstripped the
ability of processors to keep
up. The award-winning farm
sells chicken, beef and pork,
producing 100,000 pounds
annually from locations in
Langley and Rock Creek.
“British Columbia doesn’t
have the supports in place to
get secure processing for its
farmers, she said in a letter
outlining her decision in
response to the provinces
recent intentions paper on
expanding slaughter capacity.
The Minister of Agricultures
oce promotes Buy BC. … I
hate to be the one to tell you
but if we can’t produce it in
BC, folks surely cant Buy BC.
Julia Smith of Blue Sky
Ranch just outside of Merritt
and president of the Small-
Scale Meat Processors
Association recently
submitted an application
under the provinces
Community Economic
Recovery Infrastructure
Program to build a Class A
abattoir in the Nicola Valley.
Similar to Ballantine, a lack
of processing capacity in the
area will drive her out of
business if the application
fails. She is unable to get a
booking date for her beef
and she worries about the
arrangement she has for her
pigs.
This is my last shot at it,
says Smith. “If we are not able
to get a Class A facility built
here in the Nicola Valley, I’m
out of business.
The Duecks have looked
into building a Class E licence
to allow them to process their
own beef, but existing
regulations make it virtually
impossible.
On the one hand, they’re a
55-minute drive from an
Slaughter limitations forcing producers out
Provincial consultations leave
producers waiting for change
existing Class A beef plant in
Kamloops, which disqualies
them. And even if they won a
concession, sales options
would be limited.
A quirk of mapping means
Sterling Springs is in the
Columbia Shuswap Regional
District, which prevents sales
at the farmers market in
Vernon, a half-hour drive
away.
We looked into building
our own Class E facility, but
we would be restricted to
selling in our on-farm store,
says Lisa. “People ask why we
don’t just go ahead and
expand our Class A poultry
plant. [But] we are not cattle
ranchers, and we don’t want
to run a large animal abattoir.
The one glimmer of hope
for the Duecks is the BC Beef
Producers Inc. plant in
Westwold, which plans to
oer customer slaughter and
packing services to small-
scale producers.
“Its so close we could
almost herd the animals
down the hill and the 10 km
along the highway, she says.
FARM NEWS
updates
to your
inbox
Sign Up for Free today.
22 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Livestock specialist has close ties to ranching
Code has experience in youth development and industry leadership programs
by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER
KAMLOOPS – Laura Code is the BC Ministry
of Agriculture’s new beef and livestock
industry specialist, based in Kamloops.
The livestock component includes sheep,
goat, bison and horse. She works in
partnership with the entire livestock sector as
a liaison between government and industry
and supports the work of ranchers and
livestock farmers around the province.
Code joined the ministry in 2006, beginning
as a youth development specialist. She worked
in that capacity for 10 years, then became a
regional agrologist. Throughout this time, she
had opportunities to support the next
generation of farmers in the province,
including through the 4-H program.
Code was actively involved in the 4-H
program while she was growing up on a
mixed farm on Vancouver Island. She
achieved in horse and beef projects, was a 4-H
BC Ambassador representing the Vancouver
Island Region and attended workshops
regionally, provincially and nationally. A
signicant highlight for her was winning the
beef heifer class at the International 4-H
Judging Seminar at the Canadian Western
Agribition, allowing her to judge the
Heartland First Lady Classic all-breeds heifer
show as a panelist on a team of selected
judges.
She pursued a career in agriculture and
graduated from the University of Guelph with
a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring
in Animal Sciences. In 2012, she was fortunate to secure a leave of absence to
obtain a dual masters degree in Management of Animal Resources and
Sustainable Development in Agriculture from
universities in Italy and France, with a research
internship in the Netherlands.
Code enjoys traveling and learning about
food systems and dierent cultures, bringing
back what she has learned to her job in the
ministry.
Building on her skills and expertise, Code
was selected as one of two BC nalists in the
Canadian Cattlemens Young Leaders
Mentorship Program for the 2020-2021
program year. The program is a national youth
initiative of the Canadian Cattlemens
Association for beef enthusiasts between the
ages of 18 and 35.
Code was selected from applicants across
Canada through judged roundtable
discussions. Sixteen nalists were awarded a
$2,000 travel budget and paired with a hand-
picked beef industry leader for a nine-month
mentorship in their specic area of interest.
Code will be mentored by Lee Sinclair from
Saskatchewan, a prominent beef industry
leader with a special interest in health and low-
stress handling of cattle.
Code recently married a cattle rancher’s son
and helps with the cattle and honeybees on
the farm. She also volunteers her time with
Junior Chamber International and has held
executive positions at the local, regional and
national levels. In 2019, she was recognized as
a Top 20 under 40 by the Greater Vernon
Chamber of Commerce.
Passionate about food and agriculture, Code
is looking forward to her new role in
supporting farmers and producer associations as well as being a liaison
between industry and government.
Laura Code is the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s new livestock specialist.
PHOTO / SUBMITTED
Cattle take lead
in fire prevention
efforts
Targeted grazing tested across
the southern Interior
Can cattle help reduce the risk of wildre? Pilot projects this summer aim to show how cattle can help reduce ne
fuels and wildre risk in BC’s wildland/urban interface. PHOTO / MIKE PRITCHARD, BCCA
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 23
Ha
ve
y
o
u
h
er
d?
V
B
P
+
T
r
a
in
in
g
Wo
r
k
s
h
o
p
s
a
r
e
Fr
ee!
1-866-820-7603 | BAUMALIGHT.COM
Dale Howe | 403-462-1975 | dale@baumalight.com
MFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS
BRUSH MULCHERS | BOOM MOWERS
STUMP GRINDERS | TREE SAWS & SHEARS
TREE SPADES | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS
TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | PTO GENERATORS
EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | FELLER BUNCHERS
TREE PULLERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | AUGER DRIVES
meadowvalleymeats.com
1.800.665.9731
by TOM WALKER
SUMMERLAND – BC
Cattlemens is assessing the
results of three provincially
funded pilot projects
conducted this past summer
to see if cattle can help
protect communities against
wildre.
“One thing we learned from
the 2017 and 2018 wildres,
particularly in the Cariboo
region. … [is] grazed areas can
act as agriculture re breaks
and change re behaviour by
helping slow, turn or stop
res, says Mike Pritchard,
wildre prevention
coordinator with the BC
Cattlemens Association.
Pritchard should know. He’s
a retired BC Wildre Service
Manager with 36 years
experience, as well as a cattle
rancher.
BC Cattlemens received BC
government funding in spring
2019 to study the role cattle
can play in mitigating re risk
through targeted grazing in
an eort to better protect
communities that have a close
interface between urban and
wildland areas. Its a
worthwhile investment. The
2017 and 2018 wildres
burned a total of 2.6 million
hectares at a cost of nearly
$1.3 million for re
suppression.
Most community re
management projects focus
on the conifer tree canopy by
removing and thinning trees
or pruning to remove the
understory, says Pritchard,
who is managing the projects.
But there is a downside to
that practice.
What happens when the
trees are thinned out is light
and moisture are better able
to get down to the ground
and the grass grows,
particularly in the southern
Interior, Pritchard explains.
When that grass dries later
in the summer it becomes a
re hazard.
Pritchard explains that the
initial spacing work has been
done correctly around
communities, but there has
been no follow-up
maintenance to remove new
growth.
All this grass and brush
that is growing among the
trees is starting to make our
re situation look like
California, he cautions. The
goal of the targeted grazing
pilot projects has been to
investigate how cattle can
reduce those ne fuel loads.
Its a win-win situation.
Cattle get to eat the grass,
wildre risk is reduced at no
additional cost and wildlife
habitat and recreational uses
continue without interruption.
There is also a third benet:
cattle get to be in the
limelight.
Typically, ranchers don’t
like to be right next to
communities, says Pritchard.
There are often dog, gate or
fence issues between ranchers
and other land users. This is a
chance to show the positive
work that cattle grazing can
do.
Sites in Cranbrook,
Summerland and Peachland
were part of the pilots in 2020.
Pritchard says one of the
considerations for site
selection was current or
previous tenures.
The cattle had been there
in the past, but the public just
hadn’t seen them, he says.
But moving cattle closer to
communities requires
infrastructure and thats
where the BC Cattlemens
program comes in.
We used a combination of
existing fences, built some
fences for the projects and
used high-tech electric
fencing from Range Ward,
Pritchard explains.
Range Ward Inc. is an
Alberta company that
specializes in portable
fencing.
A typical four-strand
barbed wire fence is $20,000 a
kilometre, Pritchard notes, and
Range Ward’s system was
costly as well. With the cattle
only in grazing for two to four
weeks, he is looking for a
cheaper way.
The project has been
investigating a virtual fencing
system similar to the kind pet
owners use to restrain dogs.
The collars change the
game, says Pritchard. You lay
out a virtual fence on a map
and download it onto your
phone. At 40 metres the cattle
get a warning tone that gets
progressively louder and at
ve metres they get a zap.
Data presented from the
Cranbrook plots shows good
results. The total biomass was
reduced by 40% through the
grazing treatment and the
height of the pinegrass was
also signicantly reduced.
The grazed areas don’t
have to look like a golf course
to be eective, says Pritchard.
We just need it to be a
mosaic of dierent heights,
he explains. This breaks up
the continuity of the fuel and
slows down the movement of
the re. We won’t stop the re,
but the reghting crews will
have an ability to better
control the res.
24 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
ARMSTRONG HORNBY EQUIPMENT ACP 250-546-3033
CHILLIWACK ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-792-1301
CHEMAINUS ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-246-1203
FORT ST JOHN BUTLER FARM EQUIPMENT LTD 250-785-1800
KELOWNA ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-765-8266
LANGLEY ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-533-0048
WILLIAMS LAKE GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-392-4024
VANDERHOOF GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-567-4446
GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD.
SERVING THE CARIBOO REGION FOR OVER 30 YEARS
WILLIAMS LAKE 600 11th Ave N 250.392-4024
VANDERHOOF 951 Hwy 16 West 250.567-4446
MORE CHOICES, MORE SAVINGS ON
NEW HOLLAND MID-RANGE TRACTORS.
Savings during Value Bonanza keep adding up. Get 0.9% FINANCING for 60 MONTHS
*
on select New Holland mid-range tractors including T5 Series, PowerStar™ Series and
WORKMASTER™ Series tractors. Increase your productivity with New Holland and save
during Value Bonanza!
0.9% FINANCING
FOR
60 MONTHS!
*
0EOFTSFGG% SFCNFDFZBMFEUOPEPT
*For commercial use only. Customer participation subject to credit qualication and approval by CNH Industrial Capital Canada Ltd. See your participating New Holland dealer for details and eligibility re-
quirements. Down payment may be required. Offer ends December 31, 2020. Not all customers or applicants may qualify for this rate or term. CNH Industrial Capital Canada Ltd. standard terms and
conditions apply. Example for new T5: Based on a retail contract date of November 1, 2020 with a suggested retail price of C$85,703.00 customer provides down payment of C$17,363.00 and nances
the balance of C$68,340.00 at 0.9% per annum for 60 months. There will be 60 equal monthly installment payments of C$1,165.27. The total amount payable will be C$87,277.80, which includes nance charges of C$1,574.80. These offers
may not represent actual suggested retail price. Taxes, freight, setup, delivery, additional options or attachments not included in suggested retail price. Offer is nontransferable. Offer subject to change or cancellation without notice. © 2020 CNH
Industrial America LLC.. All rights reserved. CNH Industrial Capital and New Holland are trademarks registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or afliates.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 25
Former COABC executive director Jen Gamble has created a business plan and is expected to follow through on the creation of a province-backed food
hub in Salmon Arm which would allow local producers to expand and add value to their products. PHOTO / SUBMITTED
Join us!
We are a national trade association of processors, growers, and suppliers of food
and agricultural products. We help members grow their businesses and expand
local economies. Call 1-866-553-7372 or email app@ssfpa.net for more information
about the Advance Payments Program. For information about other programs and
services oered through the SSFPA call 1-866-547-7372.
Advance Payments Program
The Advance Payments Program is a federal
program, delivered and administered by the Small Scale Food
Processor Association (SSFPA). The federal government funds
the interest free benefit of the program and makes low interest
rates available to Canadian producers.
The purpose of the APP is to increase marketing opportunities
through the provision of government guaranteed cash advances. This allows the
producer the flexibility to base their sales decisions on market conditions rather
than their short term cash flow needs. The SSFPA administers the program for
vegetable producers, greenhouse operators and fruit growers in Western Canada.
Local focus. Global impact.
The Small Scale Food Processor Association
provides leadership, education, marketing,
networking, and advocacy to foster success
in a competitive global market.
Small Scale Food Processor Association www.ssfpa.net
by JACKIE PEARASE
SALMON ARM – A food hub
in Salmon Arm will provide
much-needed processing
opportunities to producers in
the Shuswap-Okanagan.
In mid-September, the BC
Ministry of Agriculture
announced $500,000 toward
the creation of a food hub in
the community.
The provinces processing
sector is seeing success all
over BC and we are
supporting farmers and food
and beverage producers who
want to take their products to
the next level, says BC
Minister of Agriculture Lana
Popham.
The idea for a food hub
started two years ago with a
feasibility study done by the
Salmon Arm Economic
Development Society. The
study included consultation
with local producers and
processors to determine the
need and demand for such a
facility.
SAEDS economic
development manager Lana
Fitt says they are well aware
gaps in the local food
processing infrastructure are a
barrier to new business
development and expansion
of existing food producers.
The ability for them to
access shared equipment and
shared knowledge and shared
space for that initial food
production was denitely on
our radar for some time
before we proceeded with
the food hub feasibility
project, she notes.
Salmon Arm mayor Alan
Harrison says the facility ts
nicely with the citys eorts
around food security.
This is exactly one of the
ingredients that you need in
order to process local foods
New food hub planned for Salmon Arm
Project will
give local
producers an
opportunity to
expand
and be able to look after your
own area, Harrison says.
Thats our goal, to have that
anchor, the food hub, and
then have smaller producers
be able to process their
products and serve them
locally.
Jen Gamble was the
consultant for the food hub’s
subsequent business plan
and is scheduled to be hired
as the food hubs executive
director.
She says providing
producers with the means to
scale up production and build
their businesses will certainly
enhance local food security.
See PLAN next page
o
w ww.countrytractor.ca
778.921.0004
claudio@countrytrac tor.ca
26 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Proud of our roots since 1928
Customer Service
order@norseco.com
514 332-2275
|
800 561-9693
450 682-4959
|
800 567-4594
Our Team of Experts
Ben Yurkiw
British Columbia
ben.yurkiw@norseco.com
604 830-9295
Martin Deslauriers
Sales Manager
martin.deslauriers@norseco.com
438 989-4863
PLAN includes potential for growth nfrom page 25
“It will allow people that, right now,
are creating solutions for themselves
that are maybe not the most
convenient to adjust and hopefully
have something that works very well
for them, she says.
Elderberry Grove owners Jed
Wiebe and Louise Lecoue currently
process their syrup, juice and shrub –
a beverage made with the syrup,
apple cider vinegar and honey – in a
small rented kitchen.
Wiebe says the current
arrangement is working for now.
“If the scale of our production gets
any bigger, it will be too small. And
that’s the plan; we grow every year,
he says.
The recent announcement halted
their plans to construct a commercial
kitchen.
This is a lot smarter economically
and also for the environment: why
make two facilities when one can be
shared?” asks Wiebe. “If it opens next
year, we want to at least try it out and
see if it works for us.
Fitt expects a wide variety of foods,
beverages and value-added products
to be processed at the facility.
“Its denitely a multi-use facility so
we’ve all kinds of ideas and
opportunities coming from this, she
says. “It’s quite diverse in terms of
what could be oered in the space.
Selection of a site was expected in
late October. Fitt says the site needs
to have the potential to expand.
We’re hopefully looking to grow
the space and oer more services and
more activities, more support
programs in the space over time,
explains Fitt.
Business development services will
be provided through local
partnerships with the Salmon Arm
Innovation Centre, Shuswap Launch-
a-Preneur Program, Community
Futures Shuswap and Okanagan
College.
We see that as being a key
component of the food hub going
forward. Not just the physical space
and the equipment but actually the
training and support to get that new
product to market successfully, notes
Fitt. Those partners we see as
playing a very important role in
providing that ongoing support
service to businesses either as they’re
launching or through growth phases.
Once space is leased, Gamble will
get to work on sourcing equipment,
engaging and educating potential
food hub users and the public,
communicating with the BC Ministry
of Agriculture and Interior Health
Authority, and monitoring
construction.
Gamble says the hub will serve the
entire Columbia Shuswap Regional
District as well as some neighbouring
communities within the Okanagan.
“Its such a great area for
agriculture that it’s a really solid base
to build on.
The goal is to secure an anchor
tenant that will ensure year-round
operation of the facility to make it
financially viable within a two-year
timeframe.
That anchor tenant will help
secure and provide stability for the
hub and smaller people coming in,
she adds.
Gamble doesn’t expect to have the
capacity immediately to serve large
dairies in the area but there are many
small to medium producers and
processors that could benefit from
the food hub.
“People like that will hopefully be
able to hop right in and make this a
piece of their operation that
facilitates the business functioning
better and allows them to stay a little
more local, she says. “In the end, I
think it will build a really strong
network and community around our
food system here in the Shuswap.
This is the fth food hub established
in BC supported by the BC Food Hub
Network and Ministry of Agriculture.
There are operating food hubs in
Vancouver, Surrey and Port Alberni. A
food hub is scheduled to open soon
in Quesnel. The Salmon Arm food
hub is scheduled to open in 2021.
Jed Wiebe and Louise Lecouffe of Elderberry Grove. PHOTO / JACKIE PEARASE
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 27
Matthew Carr says a university education has helped him develop his farm business. PHOTO / LINDEN LANE FARMS
by MYRNA STARK LEADER
KRESTOVA – Matthew Carrs
rst memory of a job in
agriculture is working
alongside his grandmother
processing poultry on her
farm near Krestova, a
community of about 200 at
the mouth of the Slocan
Valley. Carr was about 10. He
gave up soccer to pull
gizzards for 10 cents apiece.
“I now nally gured out it
was because my hands were
so small, they could get in
inside the bird and do the job
really well, recalls Carr, now
26.
Today, he’s wrapping up
the 2020 season at Linden
Lane Farms, a four-acre
certied organic farm located
on his grandparent’s 150-acre
property. The farm produces
vegetables, small fruits,
vegetable and herb
transplants, sweet potato slips
and seed garlic, as well as fruit
trees and edible perennials.
The operation began as his
summer job while he played
junior hockey from 2011-2015
and while attending the
University of Saskatchewan.
Carr is fascinated by plants,
an interest that likely started
with a Grade 11 school
propagation project. He was
so interested he constructed a
propagation table at home,
growing mostly ornamental
shrubs. A young entrepreneur,
he sold them locally through
word of mouth and online
through Kijiji. He continued to
scale up until it got too big for
his parents backyard in
Bonnington, east of Castlegar.
“My dad was tired of
people showing up at our
house all the time thinking we
were a big wholesale nursery,
says Carr with a smile.
As a result, he relocated the
business to his grandparent’s
farm, about a 15-minute drive
away. He was raising plants
like willows, ninebarks and
spirea as eld-grown nursery
stock. The same season, he
capitalized on a local nurserys
end-of-season sell-o.
They gave me a smoking
deal, like $50 a truck bed-full,
explains Carr. “So, I lled my
pickup three times with
leftover seedlings, tomatoes,
peppers, eggplant and squash
which my sister and I planted
in a 100x100-foot garden on
the farm, says Carr.
The plants ourished. When
he left for Fernie to play
hockey that year, there was
more than 1,000 pounds of
tomatoes and lots of squash
in the eld. The produce was
shared with family and
neighbours, and Matthews
grandmother made enough
tomato sauce and juice to last
a decade.
That winter, Matthew and
his father discussed how the
successful gardening project
might be a way to utilize the
farm in Krestova. In the early
2000s, new provincial
regulations eectively shut
down his grandmother’s
on-farm meat processing
facility that served small-scale
and backyard producers. The
farm scaled back to a modest
hobby farm, home to plenty
of livestock, including goats,
sheep, chickens, turkeys and
Angus-Jersey-cross beef
cattle.
But seeing Matthews
growing interest, his
grandparents created an
opportunity – a land-match, if
you will, before it was popular.
It started as a one-acre lease,
including access to water,
utilities and equipment for
Matthew to pursue his
business. That same year, his
school guidance councilor
recognized his interest and
enrolled Carr in the Prairie
Horticulture Certicate
Program at the University of
Saskatchewan while he was
still in Grade 12.
There isn’t much for BC
high school students
interested in agriculture but I
was able to take online
university classes for high
school credit, explains Carr.
His grandparents urged
him to pursue something
other than farming, but he
Passion and schooling pay off for young grower
A fresh vision
helps revive
Kootenay family
farm
enrolled at the University of
Saskatchewan and continued
to learn about plants as he
pursued a Bachelor of Science
in horticulture. He spent his
summers building up Linden
Lane Farms, with help from his
family. Graduating in 2019, he
returned to farming full-time.
This was a good year at
Linden Lane, with sales up
60% versus 2019. About 25%
of the farms business came
from selling nursery stock,
15% from an annual
subscription-based CSA
program that serves 74
families weekly, 15% from
wholesale sales to Kootenay
Co-op in Nelson and 45%
from sales at Nelsons twice-
weekly farmers market. In
addition to family, he
employed eight people full-
time at peak season.
See PLANS next page
o
28 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
PLANS for growth nfrom page 27
Carr credits his post-secondary
education for teaching him how
to gather and analyze research
data. This aids in plant growing
and farm management decisions.
He also built a valuable network
of advisers and contacts.
“One of my profs when I was at
school is one of the top plant
breeders in the world. Being able
to phone or text profs or
researchers for advice has been
invaluable. And my classmates all
have specialties – horticulture
therapy, oriculture,
greenhouses, vegetables,
cannabis. I can also call on them
for advice, which is great, says
Carr, who remains inspired by
plant physiology.
While he doesn’t believe
farmers must have degrees, he
hasn’t given up the idea of going
back to school for post-graduate
studies. But right now, in addition
to farming, hes working towards
his professional agrologist
designation with a focus on
organic horticultural agronomy.
He says farming has rewards. Hes his own boss.
The business continues to take shape and theres
pride in reinvigorating a farm that’s been in the
family since 1978. Succession discussions with his
grandparents, now in their 70s, are a work in
progress.
We're building more and more infrastructure, so
my grandparents are kind of nervous. They've been
farming for years on the property so having me
come and change up things a little … is a little
dicult for them, says Carr.
In the meantime, Linden Lane is expanding
according to his strategic business plan. If he gets
time before the end of the year, he’ll develop a half-
acre for fruit production, mostly berries and some
fruit trees, not only for market but also as an
educational component.
We're one of the largest edible plant nurseries in
our region but because we specialize strictly in
edible products, the orchard will be an educational
space where we can show people things like
pruning or trellising methods, while trialing new
cultivars for the region, he explains.
The breadth of Linden Lanes production is
apparent in the more than 250 edible plant varieties
its nursery produces. A website enables him to share
information about each beyond what
can be written on a tag. The site also
allows customers to pre-order and
place deposits, strengthening the
farms cash ow in early spring. Carr
says online shopping is growing, and
that trend has accelerated during the
COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would say COVID had a lot to do
with tripling our online nursery sales
this year and we're really hopeful those
sales continues, he says. We had quite
a few positive responses from people
who liked being able to order their
plants online, then pick them up in
May.
With less than 2% of food in the
region produced locally, hes condent
theres a market. Hes currently seeking
CanadaGAP certication to open the
door to grocery store sales. That in turn
would aid his plan to grow Linden Lane
to 10 to 15 acres. The additional
cultivated area would allow for better
and longer cover crop rotations and
provide pasture for the familys
livestock to graze and help reinvigorate
the sandy soil.
Carr says one of the challenges of expanding
production will be developing an irrigation system
to draw water from the Slocan River.
Today when the cows come in, they suck that
water right out of the trough and you can see the
sprinklers just drop on the garden, he says.
Finally, he thinks the size will be manageable from
an employer perspective. After working the rst few
years himself for pennies per hour, he plans to
continue to hire and expand his team. While it
saddens him to shift from grower to farm manager,
he looks forward to becoming more involved in
industry and making a dierence.
ABBOTSFORD
1-888-283-3276
VERNON
1-800-551-6411
GIVE YOURSELF THE
AVE NUE
Technology can be your Advantage. Avenue Machinery can help you
capitalize on the advancements of precision agriculture.
FendtONE brings intuitive controls to highly advanced farming operations.
SOLUTIONS
SOLUTIONS
The Linden Lane market stall shows off an abundance of fresh vegetables. PHOTO / LINDEN LANE FARMS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 29
Cleanfarms executive director Barry Friesen stands in front of baled silage wrap ready for recycling.
Cleanfarms is looking to see if ag plastic recycling could be viable in BC. PHOTO / SUBMITTED
Cleanfarms looks
into ag plastic
recycling program
Regional recycling programs
could be in place by end of 2021
by RONDA PAYNE
DELTA – A new plastics
recycling initiative could
reduce the environmental
impact BC farm inputs have
on the environment.
BC farms generate nearly
4,000 tons of plastic waste
every year, according to 2012
data from Cleanfarms, a 10-
year-old manufacturer-led
environmental stewardship
organization based in
Etobicoke, Ontario.
The volume has increased,
according to Alexis Arthur,
owner of Pacic Forage Bag
Supply in Delta, who handles
agricultural plastics on a daily
basis.
We were just at a farm this
afternoon, she says. “Same
conversation, Alexis, I’ve got a
pile of plastic here, I’ve got to
get rid of it, do you know
anybody?’
Arthur has seen many well-
meaning starts to recycling
agricultural plastics but shes
also seen just as many stops.
Cleanfarms hopes to
change that with a new multi-
year initiative in BC dubbed
“Building a Zero-Plastic Waste
Strategy for Agriculture. The
program has three objectives:
build consensus on
appropriate management;
survey farmers on disposal
patterns; and demonstrate
best practices in agriculture
waste management.
But it won’t be until data
from three pilot projects is
collected that the program
will seek end-market options
for agricultural plastics. This is
the pinch point that Arthur
says has been the downfall of
previous recycling initiatives.
“It just comes down to the
money to get the used plastic
from the source to whatever
facility, she says. And then
what end user they have in
place. It can be recycled, abso-
ipping-lutely. It’s just about
volume. If theres enough
volume, you do it; if there isn’t,
you don’t.
BC typically hasn’t
generated enough agricultural
plastic for recycling to be
worthwhile. A program on
Vancouver Island stalled when
funding ended. A plastics
recycler in Delta used to
collect agricultural plastic,
clean it and ship it to China,
but when the market dropped
in late 2015, it stopped.
District of Kent farmers
have been recycling their own
plastic waste since 2011,
Farm and Rural
Residential
Properties
in the Peace
Country are
our specialty
Anne H. Clayton
MBA, AACI P App, RI
Appraiser
Judi Leeming
BHE, AIC Candidate
Appraiser
250.782.1088
info@aspengrovepropertyservices.ca
www.aspengrovepropertyservices.ca
taking on a program the
district initially launched as a
two-year pilot. Plastics are
gathered by farmers who pay
a $20 at rate per 400-pound
bag, which are collected from
a central pick-up location a
few times a year.
The farmers are glad to do
it. They want to do it, says
Dave Hastie, volunteer chair of
the Kent Agriculture Plastics
Recycling Program. We call
ourselves a collection model.
The program has recycled
406,700 pounds of plastic
since inception, primarily
silage wrap. Its success
recently prompted the district
to seek provincial support for
the program.
Hastie has sought
government support in the
past to expand it throughout
the province, but what to do
with all that plastic is a
perennial issue. He says the
program will end if a solution
isn’t found.
The organization Kent was
sending its plastics to, Blue
Planet Recycling in
Aldergrove, says it can’t
handle ag plastics anymore.
Cleanfarms executive
director Barry Friesen believes
there could be a solution for
BC. Traditionally, Cleanfarms
programs in the province
were limited to small
containers, pesticide and
livestock medication
container collection.
The world is ready to look
at better solutions for waste
plastics, he says. And if we
can have solutions sooner
rather than later, all the
better.
Pilot projects establishing
collection sites will be
explored in the Peace River,
Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-
Fort George districts. Regional
governments in these areas
have shown interest in plastic
recycling. The sites could be
operating by the end of 2021.
Cleanfarms is currently
researching the volume of
plastic waste farms in the
three regions generate,
including silage wrap, grain
bags and twine. This aspect of
the project is set to complete
this month.
In tandem with the
quantitative research, farmer
attitudes and behaviours
towards plastics will be
gathered, with results to be
published in the spring of
2021.
We’re going to be talking
to all those folks about what
they would like to see, he
says. “Building towards a
consensus of how they would
like to see management of all
those plastics.
The work complements a
provincial consultation on
extending producer
responsibility for recycling to
commercial waste, including
agricultural plastics. Right
now, packaging and paper
products beyond the
residential stream are
independently managed and
not subject to the provinces
recycling regulation. The
consultation ended
November 20, and a report
will be published in the new
year.
Cleanfarms will meanwhile
draft plans for implementing
the ndings of its own study.
We want to test it out, to
see what works and make a
few mistakes, he explains.
“You kind of gure out what
works, what kind of
messaging works with the
farmers and what will work
going forward to
demonstrate proof of
concept.
The pilot programs will
train farmers on which items
to recycle and how to handle
them, outlined at
[Cleanfarms.ca].
Saskatchewan and
Manitoba now have
permanent programs through
Cleanfarms while Alberta has
20 collection sites in its pilot
program and Quebec is set to
launch a similar pilot to the
one in BC.
Cleanfarms’ project in BC is
partially funded by
Environment and Climate
Change Canada and
Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canadas Canadian
Agricultural Strategic Priorities
program.
30 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
by RONDA PAYNE
VANCOUVER – The pickers
ngers extend, but a wasp
distracts his attention – and in
that moment a prized
strawberry ends up with
pressure damage as it’s
harvested.
Such losses cost strawberry
growers thousands every year,
and unlike blueberries and
raspberries, theres been no
automated option to reduce
the reliance on humans yet still
preserve fruit quality.
Neupeak Robotics of
Vancouver thinks its PixaBerry
will change that when the
robotic picker enters
commercial eld trials in 2021.
Neupeak CEO Anshul Porwal
knew he could make a
dierence with his engineering
degree from UBC by merging
articial intelligence and
robotics. He learned about the
labour challenges faced by
strawberry growers and saw an
opportunity.
We just learned so much
about this [crop] and how
much pain there is now, he
says. “I just knew that farmers
would hire some migrant
workers here and there, but I
had no idea that number was
close to 90% of the workers
they had.
With an idea in mind for a
strawberry-picking robot,
Porwal contacted growers and
was surprised by the positive
response.
“Farmers, they immediately
understood; 15 farmers told us,
‘if you have something like this,
show up to our eld, he says.
Thats when we knew that this was a great idea.
Porwal and co-founders Div Gill and Raaella Di
Mattia got the company started and created a
protoype with a Canada-BC Agri-Innovation
Program grant of $10,000 and $100,000 through the
Innovate BCs Fast Pilot Program as well as venture
capital. The rst robot made its way onto a
strawberry eld in August 2019, but grower David
Mutz of Berry Haven Farm in Abbotsford says its a
long way from proving its ability to replace humans.
“I’m optimistic but we still have a ways to go, says
Mutz. There wasn’t issues with the quality I’ve seen,
but we never picked full ats and held them and
compared them.
The most challenging issue, that of the pressure
required to pull the berry o its stem without
damaging it, has been solved. The robot makes use
of a camera, articial intelligence, arms and
specialized cups to exert the right force and friction.
The whole magic comes in the gripper and the
camera system, explains Porwal. The robot is being
designed to be a universal platform that closely
mimics what a human can do. If you close your eyes
and try to pick strawberries, you will nd that you
will damage most of the strawberries.
Cameras are mounted on both robotic arms and
the gripper cups are 3D-
printed from custom, exible
materials that Neupeak
designed in the shape of a
typical strawberry. The grippers
can be removed for cleaning.
Commercial eld trials were
delayed this year because
COVID-19 delayed the delivery
of parts from overseas.
However, Berry Haven and
Bergen Farms both hosted
Neupeak on-site this summer
to test and rene the robot’s
design.
“Until the world gets back to
normal, I don’t know how
much progress we’ll make, says
Mutz. “I would really need to
see how much fruit it can pick.
I’m not sure if it will pick [just]
the easy fruit. No one wants to
go through and pick hard fruit.
Its progress but it’s not a done
deal yet.
The battery-powered robot
is about the size of a German
shepherd and can pick day and
night. It has proven itself to be
on par with human pickers in
terms of fruit damage in the
volumes harvested to date.
We have very concrete data
to base these conclusions on at
this point, Porwal says of
quality. You would have the
same incidents of damage
rates as a human would.
A small tote on the back of
the robot holds about 40
pounds of berries. However, if it
only picks the easy fruit it sees
immediately, a human picker
will still need to nish picking
the plants.
The PixaBerry currently picks
about 75% as fast as a human
(about 30 pounds per hour),
but Porwal says this is improving. Neupeak will oer
the robotic harvesters to growers at about 15% to
20% less than human labour once they have proven
themselves commercially. Based on current piece
rates, that works out to about $14.42 per tote.
There is likely to also be an option to purchase
robots in the future. There are only two robots in
operation at this point, but Porwal plans to have a
eet of 10 for the 2021 season.
“Now youre nally getting to a point where
you’re deploying intelligent machines in the eld,
he says. This is going to take us into a completely
new area of agriculture.
Robotic strawberry picker on the horizon
Artificial intelligence prepares to fulfill challenging labour need
Look closely! That’s a strawberry gently held in the grippers of Neupeak Robotic’s PixaBerry robot. The robot was
eld tested in Fraser Valley strawberry elds this summer. PHOTOS / NEUPEAK ROBOTICS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 31
Telus Agriculture aims to grow
on BC farms
v
4200W Model Shown
DESIGNED
FOR HARSH CONDITIONS
34” high mouldboard
Spring trip on cutting edge
Bucket edge mount or Qtach available
Replaceable, reversible steel cutting
edge
Replaceable, reversible rubber cutting
edge (OPTIONAL)
Skid shoes optional
36” deep fixed endplates
Available in 10’ 12’ 14’ widths
2 Year Commercial Warranty
Max Operating Weight 25,000 LB.
Spring trip on cutting edge
34” high mouldboard
Lateral float
Two angle cylinders
Hydraulic 35º angle either direction
Replaceable, reversible steel cutting edge
Replaceable, reversible rubber cutting
edge (OPTIONAL)
Skid shoes
Cross-over relief valve protection
Heavy duty construction
Available in 9’ 10’ 12’ 14’ widths
2 Year Commercial Warranty
Max Operating Weight 25,000 LB.
1.866.567.4162 www.hlasnow.com
by PETER MITHAM
VANCOUVER – Global tech
giants like Microsoft have
partnered with local agritech
rms and now home-grown
telecommunications rm
Telus has launched an
agritech division to help
farmers manage their data.
Telus Agriculture brings
together an international
portfolio of nine agritech
companies that employ 1,300
people around the world. It
includes Vancouver-based
startup Farm at Hand, which
serves row crop growers on
the Prairies, but it aims to
grow its presence in the
province in the coming years
with data management and
compliance services.
“Its a new line of business
for Telus that we think is
going to provide innovative
solutions to support the ag
industry with connected
technology, says Chris Terris,
president, Telus Agriculture
Canada. “Its really around
optimizing the food value
chain by leveraging the data
that’s existing in new ways.
While each of the nine
business units are currently
positioned as oering unique
solutions, Terris says they’re
“100% intended to be unied”
and work together as one.
We have solutions today
that really allow you to
improve your production
practices but also digitize
them and share that information
downstream, he explains.
Such tools are what
agriculture needs to move
forward, say tech sector
veterans.
Claudia Roessler, who has
worked on business-to-
business projects with
Microsoft for more than 30
years and now oversees
strategic partnerships for the
tech giant’s Azure FarmBeats
division, says theres a need
for more consistent data from
each farm to enable local
decisions and a greater ability
to share data between
stakeholders to identify
trends and opportunities.
“Comparing data between
farms, that’s how we are
going to get insights, she told
the Toronto Global Forum at
the end of October.
Roessler says consumer
demand for more
transparency about where
their food comes from and
how it is produced will be a
key driver for data collection
in addition to production
eciencies and the need to
respond to a more variable
climate.
On the Fraser Valley
blueberry farm of Terris uncle,
for example, Telus could
provide tools to track crop
inputs for compliance
purposes, but also to market
the farms products to
retailers seeking fruit grown
according to particular
protocols.
We would be able to track
what happens on that farm.
What am I growing, what am I
applying in terms of nutrients
and pesticides, he says. “But
more importantly, we can
connect that grower to
grocers, for example, which
are looking for berries that a
certain pesticide or chemical
isn’t used on, and we can
authenticate that based on a
set of software we have called
Grower Greenlight.
Grower Greenlight is an
oering of Muddy Boots, an
English company that works
with everyone from
agronomists on the farm to
grocers and restaurants.
We feel that theres
opportunity to bring that
technology to Canada, he
says. The solutions that we
have acquired have
applicability in the BC
agriculture market.
The division has yet to do
much business in BC,
however.
“If you think about the
farms that were actually
serving, they are
predominantly in Alberta,
Saskatchewan and Manitoba,
says Terris.
With les from Myrna Stark Leader
Redmond, WA-based tech giant Microsoft Azure has been quietly moving into the
agritech space. Perhaps its most high-prole project in BC is a partnership with Vancouver-
based Terramera, a darling of the provincial government’s agritech thrust. Terramera
focuses on reducing pesticide use, with the US being its primary market.
While its agship Rango product is unlikely ever to be available in BC, Terramera has
partnered with local researchers on biological control of spotted-wing drosophila (SWD)
and recently announced an ambitious plan for a Global Centre for Regenerative
Agriculture.
The proposed centre, tagged at $830 million, will provide up to a million square feet of
oce, teaching, greenhouse and lab space. Research will focus on soil health, with
Microsoft Azure driving the data analysis and computing platforms.
Terramera describes its vision as “shovel-ready for 2021, with construction set to
complete in 2025. It aims to build the project with a mix of private and public funding.
The timeline coincides with the provinces plans for a regenerative agriculture network,
details of which have yet to be announced. It also follows the provinces creation of an
agritech land use secretariat last summer on the recommendation of the provincial food
security task force, which recommended setting aside 28,500 acres for agritech
development within the Agricultural Land Reserve.
—Peter Mitham
Microsoft moves in
Agritech venture
aims to unite data
management
Up in smoke
A re in the loading area of Canopy Growth Corp.'s greenhouse in Delta on November 1 generated a
plume of smoke visible across the Lower Mainland. The facility has been idle following layoffs last
year that affected hundreds of workers. It was converted from pepper production in 2018 as part of
an ambitious plan that saw Canopy become the largest licensed greenhouse cannabis producer in the
world. The structure sustained serious but limited damage. PHOTO / IAN PATON
32 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Thank you to our customers for their continued support this past year!
LIMITLESS VERSATILITY
JCB 3TS-8W
The JCB Teleskid is the only skid steer
and compact track loader with a vertical
reach of over 13 feet and a forward reach
of over 8 feet, allowing you to do things
you never thought possible.
JCB TELESKID
M
a
t
sq
u
i
a
g
Re
p
a
ir
Sales, Service & Par
t
s
est. 1989
@matsquiagrepair
Call today to demo any of our
JCB models today!
www.matsquiagrepair.com
34856 Harris Rd, Abbotsford BC V3G 1R7
604-826-3281
MATSQUI
It’s all about the timing. A new Application Risk Management tool developed for the BC Ministry of
Agriculture can help farmers determine the best time to apply manure and fertilizers. FILE PHOTO
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 33
Weather data helps farmers
know when to spread manure
by BARBARA JOHNSTONE
GRIMMER
ABBOTSFORD – BC farmers
have a new decision-making
tool to help with nutrient
management.
The BC Application Risk
Management (ARM) tool uses
weather data and eld
conditions to assess on-farm
conditions and predict the
potential for run-o on farms
after nutrient applications.
To sum it up, it is a tool to
answer this question: will
tomorrow be a good time to
spread manure on this eld?”
says BC Ministry of Agriculture
nutrient management
specialist Je Nimmo.
The idea is to support
growers to make sure there’s
limited run-o when they
apply manure. The tool aims
to keep manure and fertilizer
on the eld for better uptake
and improved eciency.
Preventing runo can also
enhance environmental
protection.
The tool was developed by
Nichole Embertson of the
Whatcom Conservation
District in Washington. It is a
real-time eld-specic
decision aid with
methodology and
implementation established in
Washington.
“It is great to borrow from
their experience and
implement it in BC, says
Nimmo. The tool was piloted
prior to its ocial launch in BC
in 2019.
The tool is based on factors
that aect runo from
agricultural elds,
New tool helps
farmers avoid
nutrient runoff
precipitation and eld
conditions. It uses 24-hour
and 72-hour forecasts and
eld conditions such as soil
moisture, soil cover, soil type
and method of application.
The tool uses a
precipitation forecast map for
high precipitation areas in BC
using OpenWeather, which
accesses multiple weather
stations. The level of runo
risk due to precipitation is
colour-coded (green means
go, red means stop). This is the
rst phase of the tool.
Once a date to apply is
chosen, the forecast runo
risk is indicated. If its a go, the
grower goes to the eld
condition questionnaire. The
questions are straight-forward
and user-friendly. For example,
a saturated soil is described as
squishy.
The nal scoring is based
on precipitation forecast and
the condition questionnaire,
with a nal rating that gives
the risk analysis for surface
runo.
The tool can give
documentation of farm
practices and is designed to
gradually educate and
promote the shifting of
practices, essentially acting as
an extension tool.
The ARM tool is an ‘in-the-
moment’ tool to help farmers
make quick decisions, says
Nimmo. “A nutrient
management plan involves
thinking about what you are
going to do and takes a lot of
data and time. The ARM tool is
a quick user-friendly tool to
help with day-to-day
decisions.
JUWEL – EASE OF USE AND SAFETY OF OPERATION
FOR ANY STRATEGIC TILLAGE PRACTICE
LOOK TO LEMKEN
Juwel mounted reversible ploughs from LEMKEN combine operational reliability and ease of use
to deliver excellent performance.
@strategictill | lemken.ca
VanderWal Equipm
ent
is now a LEMKEN dealer.
Optiquick for ploughing without lateral pull
TurnControl for safe plough turning
Hydromatic for disruption-free ploughing even in stony soils
Skimmer with easy adjustment options – all without tools
Also available as M version with hydraulic turnover device
Quality Pre-Owned Tractors & Equipment
VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT
(1989)
LTD.
23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6
604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com
BOBCAT 5600 TOOL CARRIER . . . . 32,000
FARMKING RB10FK WHEEL RAKE . 7,500
FELLA 800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,500
FORD 6610 CAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,500
JCB 409 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47,000
JD 770 4WD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,000
JD 3720 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COMING
JD 5525 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COMING
KUHN 4002 POWER HARROW . .12,500
KUHN FC313 MOWER TG . . . . . 20,000
KUHN 4 BOT ROLLOVER PLOW . COMING
K’LAND AB85 4 BOT PLOWS 11,000 ea
KUBOTA BX2200 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500
KVERNELAND 4032 MOWER . . 16,000
MF 1754 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COMING
MF 1529 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COMING
MF 1523 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COMING
MF 6616 4WD LDR . . . . . . . . . . . .95,000
NEW HOLLAND TM150 . . . . . . . 47,000
NEW HOLLAND TS 115 . . . . . . . 25,000
SUNFLOWER 7232 23’ HARROW 17,500
34 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER
DAWSON CREEK – Producers in the Peace region
are benefitting from a local weather tool thats
been scaling up over the past five years.
In 2014, in response to the BC Agriculture and
Food Climate Action Initiative Peace Adaptation
Strategies Plan, a report for the BC Grain Producers
Association identified accessible and agriculturally
relevant weather data as a gap for local producers.
In 2015-2016, the BC Peace Agri-Weather
Network was created and
weather stations were
installed across the region. A
website was built to access
the data but it was not very
user-friendly, according to
Talon Gauthier of the Peace
Region Forage Seed
Association, which has been
leading the project since
2017.
We got renewed funding
in 2017, and we decided that
we wanted to change
platforms, she says.
The association contracted
agricultural meteorologist
Andy Nadler from Peak
HydroMet to implement a
better forecasting system and
improve the user experience.
Now, producers have
current and historical
information available for
anyone needing access to
local weather data. There are
no subscription fees. Stations
are set up in several rural communities and there
are more planned.
The historical data can be used for things like
claims to crop insurance, and information can be
used to assist in drought or flood risks. There are
also tools to assist farmers in making seasonal
management decisions. This included a Fusarium
head blight model, wheat midge model and
growing degree days.
When I look at agricultural decisions, or tools, I
think of it as a pyramid, with quality data at the
foundation of everything, says Nadler.
Getting data to the user in a user-friendly way is
also critical. Decision support tools must be sector-
specific, regionally relevant, current and simple.
There are many factors to consider.
The Peace River has 32% of BC’s farm area, 90%
of BC’s grain and 95% of BC’s canola, yet is only 8%
of BC’s farms. Farms are much larger, so there is
more land to manage and the farms are spread out.
There are three Environment Canada stations in
the region, or one per 735,000 acres. There are
other stations as well but
many are at higher elevations
and less applicable to
agriculture. Twenty-two
weather stations were
installed through the project
to expand the measured
range, offering real-time
weather reporting thats
easily accessible and with
relevant parameters.
The website is easy to use.
There are decision support
tools for pests and growing
conditions. Current functions
are weather data,
visualization (and) decision
support tools, and features.
Proposed improvements
are to make the tool mobile-
friendly, with point-based
forecasts, and adding more
decision tools for growth
stages, spray advisory, heat
stress, and sharing data with
other platforms like
Farmwest.
NEW 5R SERIES TRACTOR
Premium Experience
Offering tractors from 90 to 125 engine hp*, the 5R Series
brings big advantages and advanced technology to utility
tractors with an easy-to-use transmission, unrivaled
maneuverability, improved visibility, integrated
load solutions, and enhanced comfort to meet
all your demands.
TOLL FREE: 1-877-553-3373 WWW.PRAIRIECOASTEQUIPMENT.COM
PRINCE GEORGE 250-561-4260 | KAMLOOPS 250-573-4412 | KELOWNA 250-765-9765 | CHILLIWACK 604-792-1516 | NANAIMO 778-441-3210
*Engine horsepower per ISO 97/68/EC
Offer valid until January 31, 2021.
Some restrictions may apply.
See dealer for details.
$10,000
SAVE UP TO
PLUS 0% FINANCING
Peace region weather network expanded
Weather stations provide relevant information to farmers
A ve-part webinar series organized by the BC Agricultural Climate Adaptation
Research Network culminated October 20 with three presentations on tools to support
on-farm decision making.
All of the tools incorporate real time weather data to aid in farm-level management
decisions. They include the BC Peace Agri-Weather Network, the BC Decision Aid System
to support integrated pest management and the Application Risk Management tool to
help farmers with nutrient application timing.
The tools promise to be critical for producers in eld management decisions, as well
as in the development of improved monitoring and forecasting of pests and diseases or
crop damage assessments.
The BC Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Network is a provincial network for
climate change adaptation research for the BC agricultural sector. The webinar series
included sessions on weather stations, historical and streamow data, climate modelling
analysis tools, Canadian climate data portals, and on-demand cloud computing and
open source technology.
All ve sessions are available for viewing on the networks website [bcacarn.com].
—Barbara Johnstone Grimmer
Adaptation network hosts webinar series
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 35
silagrow.com
1.800.663.6022
Greenhouse Ground Cover
Greenhouse Films
Mulch Film
Landscaping Fabrics
Shade Nets
Protection Nets
Bale Wraps
Bunker Covers
4JMBHF#BHTt5XJOF
/FU8SBQTt)BZ5BSQT
Forage & Grain Seed
Visit us
online
Silagrow oers superior
quality agricultural
products specializing
in forage storage.
To Valued Customers, Friends & Family
DeLisa Lewis, a farmer and assistant professor of biology, is seeing how tarps can be used to manage moisture, nutrients and microbial biomass in farm
applications. She’s part of a study called Too Much Too Little. PHOTO / SUBMITTED
Strategic use
can improve
soil health,
manage
moisture
by RONDA PAYNE
DUNCAN – Silage tarps
cover some low spots at
Green Fire Farm in Duncan
this winter in the hope of
managing persistent low-
lying moisture issues and
speed up land accessibility in
the spring.
The tarps are part of a UBC
study that farmer DeLisa
Lewis is taking part in to see
how silage tarps compare
with cover crops in terms of
managing moisture, nutrients
and microbial biomass to
assist with climate change
adaptation.
The two-year study, called
Too Much Too Little, will also
collect anecdotal feedback
from farmers about their
experiences.
Lewis, who is also an
assistant professor in biology
with UBC’s faculty of Land
and Food Systems, says many
farmers have been tarping for
years. Dierent from plastic
mulches, some consider it
akin to no-till practices that
preserve nutrients by not
disturbing the soil. Others
nd dierent benets.
So far, Lewis says
preliminary results show no
signicant dierence in crop
yield using tarps. Other
benets, like holding moisture
in the soil when needed and
decreasing it by preventing
absorption into the soil when
it’s too abundant, are
promising.
Sean Smukler, associate
professor of applied biology
and soil science and the
facultys Agriculture and the
Environment chair, says silage
tarps may help address
farming challenges around
the province. The study is
looking at using tarps versus
cover crops in a number of
annual eld crop
environments.
“If you’re a farmer in Delta,
your biggest problem is
migrating water fowl. If you’re
a farmer in the Kootenays it
may be that you had a
snowfall in early October, he
says. “One thing that we try to
do in my lab is to try to talk to
farmers about the questions
they have.
Tarps can help with issues
like these where cover crops
don’t provide much benet.
On Lewiss farm, she says
cover crops aren’t always
viable.
Sometimes getting a cover
crop started has worse results
than not starting one.
“Once there’s standing
water in the eld, I just call it.
No, I’m just not going out with
my tractor, she says.
Lewis says the study will
illustrate how to use tarps and
cover crops strategically. Last
year, she used tarping to help
prepare an area for berries.
“In a dierent area of the
farm, where I have some
persistent issues, I’ve got the
silage tarps just laid out, she
says. This year, I’m trying it in
a very low-lying area in my
eld. I’m interested in using
those beds a little sooner than
I might.
Smukler and Lewis don’t
see tarps as a replacement for
cover crops, but instead as an
additional management tool.
“I like the idea of cover
cropping. To me it is the
preferred alternative, but
farmers are doing this
[tarping] and some of them
are swearing by it, Smukler
says. “Maybe you want to
cover crop most years and
maybe you want to use a
silage tarp other years. We
want to be able to document
the pros and cons of the two
approaches. So if they are
integrating those approaches,
they know what they are
getting into.
Tradeoffs
Every management
technique has tradeos, says
Lewis, whether it’s cover crops
or tarps. She likes that tarps
have the potential to help
with too much water in the
o-seasons and not enough
in the growing seasons.
“Many of [the tools] with
respect to managing moisture
in the soil are expensive, she
says.
Tarping isn’t practical for all
40 acres of Lewiss farm, but
she says it provides a targeted
solution that helps improve
areas where soil variability is
high and improves
accessibility in the spring.
“Youre not going to cover
100 acres of your potatoes,
she says. “Strategically, there
are some applications for
medium and larger-scale
farms. Its just what are those
and what are the tradeos?”
A grower may be able to
tarp a quarter or half acre to
plant early in a specic
section and get those
potatoes to market faster. This
comes with a need to accept
that the nutrient contribution
cover crops make won’t occur
when the section is tarped.
Tarps also limit access to the
land.
The practice for deploying
and removing the tarps –
which are reusable – is being
assessed in the study and will
depend on regional issues.
Smukler has seen indicators
Tarps provide targeted alternative to cover crops
See TARPS on next page
o
As a result of Farm Show cancellations we are oering 10% -15% discounts.
Call 877.966.3546 or visit www.agritraction.com
25 Year Anniversary
Patented Traction Milling
36 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
www.tjequipmentllc.com
360-815-1597
LYNDEN, WA
ALL PRICES IN US FUNDS
X3 2019 MCHALE FUSION 3 PLUS
BALER/WRAPPER COMBOS
FROM 0 TO 2,000 BALES CALL
1981 JD 4440 4WD, 144 HP, 1748
HOURS, POWER QUAD $23,000
2007 JD 6120L 2WD, 84 HP,
4318 HOURS, QUAD RANGE $19,500
2001 NH LS180 W/ BUCKET,
67 HP, HYDRO, 3885 HOURS,
2200 LB BUCKET CAPACITY $17,900
BC FRUIT GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION
1-800-619-9022 (ext 1)
email: replant@bcfga.com
www.bcfga.com
The Province of BC has provided funding to enhance the
competitiveness of the tree fruit sector.
The fund is open to tree fruit growers, producers, and processors to
support three key areas of priority:
Research: cultivar, disease and pest research.
Marketing: export market opportunities and market
development research.
Infrastructure: sector-based infrastructure
modernization such as new equipment.
The Tree Fruit Competitiveness Fund is jointly delivered by the
BC Fruit Growers’ Association and Investment Agriculture
Foundation BC.
For details about the Tree Fruit Competitiveness Fund, including
eligibility and application forms, please visit www.bcfga.com or
iafbc.ca/tree-fruit, or contact funding@iafbc.ca.
Project intake is continous. Apply in advance of project
initiation – 8 weeks minimum is recommended.
Tree Fruit Competitiveness Fund
Orchardists making
greater use of
decision aid system
Three-year pilot shows the
system’s value and promise
The BC Decision Aid System (DAS) can’t recommend if a spray is needed for orchardists, but it can
recommend product options and timing for when to spray. FILE PHOTO
by BARBARA JOHNSTONE
GRIMMER
KELOWNA – Three years of
piloting the BC Decision Aid
System (DAS) has shown its
benet for orchardists in the
Okanagan and beyond.
The tool was developed at
Washington State University
to support integrated pest
management in orchards. It
was launched in 2007
because of reduced extension
services and a parallel
increase in complex pest and
disease issues. Spray
programs to manage disease
and reduce resistance were
becoming more complex, too,
and more data was needed to
manage existing and
emerging issues. Being able
to analyze climate and
weather data, including
growing degree days, was
seen as vital.
When the BC Agriculture
and Food Climate Action
Initiative worked with the
local industry to develop its
regional adaptation project
for the Okanagan,
Washington’s DAS system was
something in which industry
expressed interest.
One of the impact areas
that was given priority was
the projected change in pest
populations. There was an
interest in improving the
connections between climate
change projections and
weather, and pest monitoring
data.
There was already a
weather network with 21
stations and they were
already running some of the
degree day models for
insects. However, the system
was clunky, says
horticulturalist and tree fruit
grower Molly Thurston of
Pearl Agricultural Consulting
in Wineld. We were having
trouble with delivering that
information out to all growers
in a fast and eective
manner.
At the time, there was a lot
of hand work required.
Calculations were done in the
background with a lot of
complicated spreadsheets.
The recommendations were
being delivered by phone or
in a newsletter. This was not
very time sensitive.
With the changes that we
were facing like increased
rainfall in the spring, and
changes in humidity as well
as temperatures, there was
real pressure to get on top of
these models and provide
that information in real time
to growers, says Thurston.
BC DAS came about as a
cross-border collaboration
between the provinces Sterile
Insect Release program,
Washington State University
and BC Tree Fruits
Cooperative, with support
from the BC Fruit Growers
Association and the provincial
and federal governments.
Washington State
University provided growers
in the Okanagan with access
to a web-based platform
designed to provide time-
sensitive information on pest
management to orchardists
using real-time, local weather
data and scientic pest and
disease information to help
with the prediction and
management of these
problems.
The system collects daily
data from the 21 weather
stations Grower’s Supply
operates and eight
Environment Canada stations.
This allows it to run pest,
disease and horticultural
models for tree fruits. It
provides near-real time
information and
management
recommendations, with
added stories about
upcoming management
issues.
Currently 18 insect, disease
and horticultural models are
being run. More models are
being developed.
BC DAS cannot
recommend if a spray is
needed but it can
recommend product options
and timing for when to spray.
Management decisions are
ultimately made by the
grower. There is strong
support for the project to
continue and additional tools
for a wider range of fruits.
There are currently 144
active users of DAS and 317
registered users.
“BC DAS has good support
from industry, horticulturalists
and growers, says Thurston.
“It relies on high-quality
weather data.
As tree fruits expand
beyond the Okanagan to
other areas within the
province, there is potential to
add those regions to the
system, too.
that salts are not being
washed out of the soil under
tarps, for example, which
could be highly problematic
for areas like Delta with high
salt content.
Additionally, nutrient
amendment applications are
being studied in relation to
tarps and cover crops.
Researchers want to know
what impact tarps and cover
crops have on applied
nutrients. They are also trying
to nd the best ways to
measure soil health.
We hypothesize that there
will be interactions between
the winter cover treatments
and the nutrients being
added, Smukler says.
Participating farmers put
tarps on in the winter of
2019/2020 and will do so
again for the 2020/2021
season. Some will also plant
cover crops for comparison.
They receive soil sample
results from the fall and
spring and aggregated soil
data.
The project is supported in
part by the BC Agriculture
and Food Climate Action
Initiative through its Farm
Adaption Innovator Program
and regional adaption
programs.
TARPS nfrom page 35
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 37
Asian parasitoids
come to the rescue
of berry growers
Two tiny wasp species have
come to BC to prey on SWD
A good wasp. The Leptopilina japonica wasp, native to Asia, is a natural predator of spotted wing
drosophila and is now considered established in BC. PHOTO / WARREN WONG
drainage is
our specialty
VALLEY FARM DRAINAGE
31205 DEWDNEY TRUNK RD, MISSION • Fax 604-462-7215
604-462-7213 • www.valleyfarmdrainage.com
Proudly supporting Canadian industry
using Canadian product
LASER EQUIPPED & GPS CONTROLLED
TRENCHED AND TRENCHLESS APPLICATIONS
SUPPLIERS OF CANADIAN MADE BIG O DRAINAGE
by RONDA PAYNE
AGASSIZ – Two tiny wasps
native to Asia have been
found alive and well and living
in BC – and the dynamic duo
are lending their assistance to
growers in the ght against
spotted wing drosophila,
another insect from Asia that’s
been causing trouble in the
Fraser Valley.
The parasitoid wasps
Leptopilina japonica and
Ganaspis brasiliensis were
discovered in wild and
cultivated plants in 2019 and
are conrmed as established
in BC. Scientists had been
looking for a native parasitoid
to counter SWD since 2009,
when the invasive fruit y was
rst identied in North
America.
Now, researchers have a
locally established ally to
deploy against SWD,
complementing the
insecticides and management
techniques growers have
used to date.
There are a few native
species that attack SWD, but
they weren’t aiding in
suppression and aren’t as
resilient as SWD when it
comes to in-crop
environments. Biocontrol is
important because SWD has a
wide range of host species
that allow populations to build
prior to it attacking ripe fruit.
Benecial insects that
target SWD in these alternative
hosts, often in unmanaged
areas, are critical to keeping
SWD populations in check.
Tracy Hueppelsheuser,
provincial entomologist with
the BC Ministry of Agriculture
in Abbotsford, notes that the
non-stinging wasps were
detected in fruit in 2019.
Ganaspis brasiliensis was found
for the rst time in 2019, but a
re-inspection of samples from
2016 suggest Leptopilina
japonica has been around
much longer.
They have established
themselves in the areas where
there is [SWD], she says. “BC
was the rst location to detect
them naturally occurring.
There were some natural
detections, too, in Europe this
year.
The species were conrmed
by an expert at the
Smithsonian. Both likely made
their way to Canada on cargo
ships, just like their target host
SWD.
Body snatchers
The wasps are eectively
body snatchers. They deposit
their eggs in SWD larvae, and
the eggs hatch while SWD
larvae are pupating. The wasp
larvae devour the SWD pupa
and mature wasps rather than
the dread fruit ies emerge
from the fruit.
While researchers were
looking into the two wasps
already, there were concerns
about the impact on native
populations. Leptopilina
japonica is less selective and
will attack many ies in the
drosophila genus, possibly
native ones, whereas Ganaspis
brasiliensis prefers SWD.
“If there’s the thought of
introducing one of these
things into North America
from Asia, it has to go
through a very long study
process, says Paul Abram, an
entomologist at the Agassiz
Research and Development
Centre. This is a very big role
of the research community …
weighing out the very real
risks. Something were nding
more and more is that while
were in the middle of this
safety testing … sometimes
they show up on their own.
With the wasps already in
place, researchers don’t have
to worry about seeking
federal permission for a
controlled introduction.
The wasps are now found
all over the Lower Mainland
and Vancouver Island.
Theyre really well
established here now, says
Abram.
But it’s uncertain how
much they’ll benet growers.
Just because something is
attacking a pest doesn’t
necessarily mean it’s having a
huge impact, says Abram.
“Like every control technique
in agriculture, there’s
optimism and theres risk.
Research ongoing
Hueppelsheuser says
provincial, federal and other
stakeholders are now
collecting fruit, trying to rear
out the wasps and gain an
understanding of how they’ll
help protect fruit crops.
Because the wasps prey on
SWD in wild fruit, the chief
benet is limiting SWD
numbers before they attack
cultivated fruit, and an
increase in the parasitoid
wasp population that keeps
SWD numbers in check.
The hope is that reducing
SWD in wild habitats will
delay or reduce other
management practices like
spraying.
We never really expect
these natural enemies to do
much in crop elds, says
Abram. The best hope for
them is they are killing the
ies in natural habitats
adjacent to the crop elds.
He hopes there will be
ways to modify agricultural
habitat to encourage these
parasitoids and help provide
more control in crop elds.
“Does promoting the
presence of some owering
plants … help these
parasitoids? Can we add
alternative host species?” he
asks. “One of my biggest
hopes is that parasitoids delay
the buildup of [SWD] in the
spring. Its one more tool in
the tool box that’s stacking on
top of the other ones.
Contact Your Watertec Sales
Rep for a Free Estimate.
Langley 1.888.675.7999
Williams Lake 1.855.398.7757
CENTRE PIVOTS
AND LINEARS
38 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Lactating dairy cows that appear to be infertile
are a worrisome challenge for dairy farmers. In order
to meet
milk output
goals, many
dairies
depend on
year-round
calving with
reliable
reproductive
programs that will provide the needed milk yields,
animal replacements and enable consistent year-
round income.
But cows do not necessarily express estrus in the
same way or with the same vigour as each other, yet
estrus detection for dairy managers is key to
keeping a successful reproductive program on track.
Now, researchers at UBC’s Dairy Education and
Research Centre in the Faculty of Land and Food
Systems have discovered a strong correlation
between increased physical activity at estrus and
fertility.
A cow standing to be mounted has always been
a hallmark for humans to observe, says Ronaldo
Cerri, associate professor with the Applied Animal
Biology Program and director of the Dairy Education
and Research Centre. Also, if a cow is pushing other
cows. A quiet cow could be moving more or walking
more. It can be a dicult thing for someone to really
pick up on but a person with a trained eye can pick
it up.
What has really helped conrm movement and
the links with estrus and fertility is the use of
automated activity monitors (AAMs).
AAMs are Fitbits for cows, says Cerri. You attach
them to the leg or neck, or their collar and they
pretty much do the same stu they would measure
for you. They measure movement, naps, how much
time the cow is sleeping, how much time the cow is
lying down, rumination, feeding, etc. They are a
really good software/hardware combination.
He says that many dairy farms use AAMs but it
might also depend on the number of cows in a
herd.
“It depends on the farm. In the Fraser Valley, a lot
of cows would have them but on very large farms
[with thousands of cows] it would be overwhelming.
There are costs, the time to put them all on, and the
manpower needed for the work.
Let’s get physical
The data received from AAMs at various locations,
included in a paper submitted to the Journal of
Dairy Science, stated that animals exhibiting a
greater intensity of physical activity at estrus had
approximately 12% (or around 30% relative
improvement) greater pregnancy per articial
insemination (AI) than cows that had lower estrus
expression.
An animal that has a pattern of physical activity
during estrus has a clear association with fertility,
says Cerri. Then we found as we went into more
physiological things, change could be correlated
with progesterone levels during the estrus cycle
which seemed to be associated with ovulation
success. It became a very interesting behavioural
trait that we could later use to predict how the cow
would do fertility-wise.
The study also noted an association with cows
that had lower increases in physical activity and
their likelihood of a higher rate of pregnancy losses.
That association led to further studies to try to
mitigate the negative eects which resulted in the
administration of a single dose of the gondatropin-
releasing hormone (GnRH) at the moment of
articial insemination to stimulate ovulation.
“GnRH was a consequence of several other
studies, says Cerri. We found that cows with a
certain pattern of estrus expression tend to fail. We
tested GnRH and we found pretty good results. But
while it is practical from one standpoint, its not a
capability with the system we currently have
because you have to analyze the data from the AAM
more exactly. You would choose the cows that
respond or do worse fertility-wise and then give the
GnRH shot to improve fertility.
Cows were studied on three commercial herds
and divided into four groups: High estrus expression
with no GnHR injection; low expression with no
GnHR; high expression with a GnHR injection and
low expression with a GnHR injection. The result was
that the administration of GnRH along with AI
increased the pregnancy per AI of animals with low
estrus expression comparable to those with high
expression.
Cerri says that dairy farmers are understandably
very specic about what they are breeding for
future milk production and volume.
We are looking at very dierent things. While we
are trying to use data in a more complete way and
promoting the use of GnRH to improve fertility,
overall what we want is to use less. We are also
moving more toward health research. We just got
awarded a grant to use some of the data from the
sensors as a way to phenotype cows for genomic
selection. We want to use that to classify cows to
select for more fertile cows.
While further health research will be welcomed
by dairy farmers, the use of the GnRH hormone at
the moment of AI has proven invaluable to improve
fertility for cows with low-intensity estrus expression
and a great tool for farmers making breeding
decisions.
Keeping cows’ reproductive cycle on track
More physical activity at estrus can indicate greater fertility rates
Research
by MARGARET EVANS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 39
James Grifn hopes to plant more hybrid poplar trees to mitigate water issues on his farm and perhaps reap some additional benets in the long term.
PHOTO / JACKIE PEARASE
Agroforestry project makes farm viable
Trees help
increase
productivity
by JACKIE PEARASE
SPALLUMCHEEN – A stretch
of hybrid poplar trees growing
about 30 feet tall along the
highway portion of James
Grins farm have garnered a
lot of attention.
Grin started three years
ago with a row of 18-inch
trees that would grow quickly
to provide a sound break from
the constant trac on
Highway 97A in
Spallumcheen.
An ample buer is now
supplied by 400 trees of
varied sizes in two rows.
The trees provide the
additional benet of taking up
extra water that made farming
the 10-acre parcel of the 30-
acre farm almost impossible.
“I thought theres no harm
in putting them in. I have a
water problem there and it
controls it very well. The
ground was just saturated, he
says pointing to a eld where
his tractor got stuck in the
mud last year. There’s a huge
amount of water here. I only
have to go a foot under the
ground and I have the water
table right there.
He has two artisen wells
producing over 200 gallons a
minute and a creek that
comes from the hillside across
the highway.
Now that he has easier
access to the fertile soil, Grin
grows garlic and a variety of
other market garden
vegetables alongside a few
cows and chickens. Spring
runo this year did not ood
his barn or saturate the hay it
contained.
He says people stop at his
place often to ask about the
trees. He gives them a
synopsis before pointing
them in the direction of Dave
Debrowka of Passive
Remediation Systems Inc.
(PRSI).
Debrowkas
phytoremediation company
uses “intensive precision
agroforestry” to clean up and
mitigate the eects of
environmental contamination
of air, water and soil.
Phytoremediation is a
process using various types of
plants to remove, transfer,
stabilize and/or destroy
contaminants in the soil and
groundwater.
Debrowka says there are
many applications of the
process in agriculture but his
services are primarily sought
by regional districts and
municipalities seeking landll
issue solutions.
Trees he planted in 2010 on
public property next to
Armstrongs wastewater
treatment plant were used as
a carbon oset for the District
of Spallumcheen until they
were cut down last year.
Irrigated with wastewater,
trees planted this year are
about six feet tall.
A project for the Regional
District of North Okanagan
started in 2005 at the
Armstrong Spallumcheen
landll is producing good
results.
RDNO regional engineering
services manager Nicole
Kohnert says leachate stored
in a lined pond at the landll
was increasing in volume and
needed to be dealt with at
that time. Options included
irrigation as allowed in its
landll permit, treatment and
discharge to ground or
surface water, or piping to an
existing wastewater treatment
plant.
The use of the hybrid
poplar trees was determined
to be substantially less
expensive and provides
superior control over potential
impact to the environment,
Kohnert notes. “PRSI’s
methods and operations are
well planned and carried out
and their assistance to the
RDNO is top notch, ecient
and helps us protect the
environment. We also
appreciate that PRSI brings us
new ideas and methods to
consider on a regular basis to
help deal with climate change
and potential environmental
impacts at the site.
Debrowka is currently
looking at ways to remediate
the old leachate storage pond
at the landll.
Debrowka has projects in
Kitimat and Salmon Arm and
is elding interest from several
other municipalities.
A community can realize
some grants by growing a
carbon sink on top of their
garbage dump, he says. “It’s a
double whammy for them
because every bit of water we
use, that’s a bunch of methane
See SOIL on next page
o
Proudly offering quality farm equipment
and wholesale farm product delivery across BC.
Call, email or visit us online
info@reimersfarmservice.com
855.737.0110
reimersfarmservice.com
Check out our Einbock Tillage
Equipment For Organic Farming
Tine Weeders t3PX$SPQ$VMUJWBUPSTr3PUBSZ)PFT
$BNFSB(VJEBODF4ZTUFN
AND On In Stock
AEROSTAR
Tine Weeders
DELTA Drain Tile Cleaner
*NQSPWFT%SBJOBHFr$POEJUJPOT4PJMr&DPOPNJDBM
3FMJBCMFr-PX.BJOUFOBODFr4BGFBOE1SPWFO
SPECIAL PRICING On In Stock
40 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
SOIL rehab nfrom page 39
BC Young Farmers says,
TThanank k You
to our 2020 sponsors!
Silver
Gold
Platinum
Double Platinum
In spite of COVID-19, BCYF has enjoyed an eventful year. Through the support
of our sponsors and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, BCYF offered 16
young farmers the chance to attend choice of six conferences early in 2020, and
after the closure of in-person events, continued to hold virtual events for our
members over the rest of the year.
BC member of the Canadian
Young Farmers' Forum
Your generosity is building the next generation of farmers in BC.
facebook.com/bcyfarmers
instagram.com/BCYoungFarmers
twitter.com/BCYoungFarmers
BCYF event s provide opportunities for young farmers aged
19 to 40 to meet with peers, industry leaders, and educators,
whether in person or online. These events would not be
possible without our sponsors' generous support.
On behalf of all BCYF Directors and members we thank our
sponsors, and look forward to working together again next
year as we continue to provide opportunities for BCYF
members the next generation of BC farmers!
As in 2020, BCYF looks forward to a great year in 2021:
A booth at the (virtual) Pacific Agriculture Show
Funding BCYF members to attend agriculture conferences
Tours of successful farms run by young farmers across BC
Webinars on a range of topics for new farm operations,
such as financial stability, environmental responsibility,
public communication, and personal resilience
Farm Fest, our annual educational and social event
in November
Become a member & connect with us:
www.BCYF.ca
the ability to rehabilitate soil
decarbonized through
decades of farming.
Any time you put it on a
plant, you’re complementing
the plant’s ability to
photosynthesize, he notes.
Anybody that puts biochar
on their soil is protecting
water. Anybody that puts
biochar on their soil is
increasing their farm income
within ve years by 100%.
He says carbonized soil
uses less water and produces
better tasting food.
He is also researching the
benets of wood vinegar, a
byproduct of the biochar
process.
“Not a lot is known about
the wood vinegar. They’re
looking at it, studying it, he
says. “It’s a natural fungicide.
Its an insecticide in that if you
spray it on your leaves, insects
won’t like it anymore and stay
away. It doesn’t do killing but
it keeps them away.
In 2016 Debrowka did a
research project with
chemistry professor Susan
Murch from UBC Okanagan
using a Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council
of Canada Engage grant.
“My research investigates
the chemistry of plants and
how plant chemistry aects
human health. Daves project
is a good mix of
environmental remediation
and recycling. I was interested
in the chemicals we could
detect in his biochar and
wood vinegar and the
potential applications of these
chemicals, explains Murch.
We tested biochar, wood
vinegar and wood tar. We
tested for natural fertilizers,
insecticides, antibiotics,
polyphenols, antioxidants,
metals, plant growth
regulators, etc.
She says wood vinegar
could have multiple uses in
the future including natural
fertilizers, herbicides,
pesticides and anti-microbials.
Other uses include industrial
chemicals; activated charcoal,
carbon nanobres and
nanoparticles; and natural
biopolymers and composite
materials.
Debrowka is pleased with
the research results and sees
wood vinegar as one direction
to take PRSI in the future.
“One day, as we grow as a
company, that will be a
possible lucrative direction to
go.
Grin hopes to reap some
benets from his trees wood
vinegar so he tries to add
biochar annually and wants to
add more trees along his
creek but is limited by time
and money.
“I have a hard time doing all
that (Dave) wants but I try to
nd the middle of the road,
he says. “I planted enough so I
can take out a row and let
them come up before I take
out the next one or two.
Passive Remediation Systems Inc. owner Dave Debrowka with some of the compost he creates with help of
biochar. PHOTO / JACKIE PEARASE
that did not go in the air, so
they give you double money.
There are now 600 trees
growing next to the RDNO
landll irrigated by a new
leachate storage pond created
by Debrowka. The original 400
trees were harvested and
continue to grow as poplars
do.
Debrowka also processes
the felled trees into biochar,
made from burning the trees
at extreme temperatures in his
specially made cooker.
We heat it up and it
releases volatile organic
compounds, which go up in
the pipe, come down and go
back into the re to make the
re hotter, he explains. What
happens is it cooks itself.
Debrowka says biochar has
multiple benets for farmers.
It adds porosity to the soil,
enabling it to retain water and
good microbes, thereby
improving soil fertility and
stability.
He also says biochar has
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 41
Young farmers encouraged to cultivate resilience
Farm Fest connects the next generation for support and development
by MYRNA STARK LEADER
ABBOTSFORD – Quite a few
young dairy farmers were
among the 20 people who
participated in a November
18 online session regarding
personal resilience as part of
this years virtual edition of
Farm Fest, organized by BC
Young Farmers since 2011.
“Resilience is the healthy
functioning in the face of
adversity, explained presenter
Faith Matchett, vice-president
of customer service centres at
Farm Credit Canada.
Matchett says adversity is
often thought of as a major
life event, like a death, but it
can also be experienced as a
constant ow of challenging
events – weather, markets,
trade and so on.
Agriculture is a resilient
sector, but when it comes to
creating more business
resilience she says it’s
important for producers to
intentionally take time to
think and strategize.
“You really have to carve
out a time in your annual
schedule, because a clear
strategy builds resilience in all
avenues of your business,
says Matchett.
A strategy doesn’t have to
be extensive. She says even a
four-page strategy can help
share the business vision with
family, fellow team members
and service providers. Once
documented, reviewing the
plan annually or even
quarterly can help normalize
more strategic discussions. It
can also help make
conversations around
transitions into or out of
operations easier, especially in
family-owned farm
businesses.
Matchett says keeping
numbers also helps build
resilience, though it might not
be everyone’s favourite job.
She advises a systematic
approach, such as setting
aside time each week to do
the books rather than letting
it pile up and add to existing
pressures.
“Once you have production
and nancial numbers, it also
allows for month-over-month
or annual comparisons, she
says.
The comparisons can help
paint a clearer picture of the
business, easing stress and
building resilience.
On the personal front, she
says producers need to build
their own resilience before
they can help others.
“Its like putting on your
own oxygen mask rst in an
air incident, she emphasizes.
Basic self-care is
particularly important.
“Its become a badge of
honour to exist on ve hours
of sleep, she says, noting that
studies indicate the average
person needs eight to nine
hours of sleep a day on a
regular basis. For those who
need to rise early for farm
work, she suggested napping.
She says it’s also important
to think about personal
values and what’s really
important to you at least
annually. This helps people
live more into their purpose.
Matchett says pausing in
gratitude on a daily basis is a
helpful exercise. She writes
down three things shes
grateful for nearly every day.
Others may have specic
spiritual disciplines. Some
may sign-o social media for
Set aside time weekly for bookkeeping rather than let it mount up and add to existing pressures. FILE PHOTO
a time to minimize
distractions and stop on-
going comparisons to others
in order to cultivate joy in
their own lives.
Resilience matters because
of its direct link to mental
wellness. She says agriculture
is getting better at having
mental health conversations
but theres still room for more
discussions. This was
evidenced by one
participants follow up
question. He asked how he
could help someone he
knows who is struggling.
Matchett advised him to
oer to listen and not be
afraid to ask that person
straight-up if theyre thinking
of self-harm. She said it’s
important for everyone to
remember that there are
resources at hand to support
them.
“Its at the dip point in our
resilience that we tend to
forget this, she says. You are
surrounded by resources,
family, friends, colleagues and
most people, if you ask them,
they will help you.
J.R. (Tim) Armstrong Memorial
Bursary for Students in Agriculture
or Journalism Programs
Application Deadline:
December 31, 2020
The 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.
See: http://www.bcfwa.
ca/resources--links.html
Contact:
Ronda Payne
Scholarship Chair
ronda.eyben@shaw.ca
from your AGRICULTURE & AGRI-BUSINESS TEAM
All of us wish you a very
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Melanie Lantz
604-217-2572
Quincy North
604-621-6795
Michele Anderson 778-986-2109
Steve Saccomano
604-703-5161
Parm Kooner
604-360-1740
Iain Sutherland
250-515-0173
F
ern McDonald
604-556-1537
Lauren Tap
604-217-3950
Teresa McKinley
250-618-4316
Rick Tilitzky
604-360-5876
42 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC
Winter markets aren’t so bad after all. PHOTO / CARMEN KLOTZ
A SPREADER FOR EVERY OPERATION
PS 200 Series ProSpread
®
Rear-Discharge Spreaders
INVEST IN QUALITY
®
www.kuhn.com
Matsqui Ag-Repair
Abbotsford
Country Tractor
Armstrong
Country Tractor
Kamloops
Visit your local
British Columbia
KUHN Dealer today!
We have a wide range of models and sizes with multiple options to t any operation. Our innovative,
high-quality spreaders provide superior performance with years of low-maintenance service.
PXL
100
Series ProSpread
®
Rear-Discharge Spreaders
1200 Series EasySpread
®
Rear-Discharge Spreaders
2000 Series ProPush
®
Rear-Discharge Spreaders
SL
100
Series ProTwin
®
Slinger
®
Side-Discharge Spreaders
Oh dear. I’ve had an
unexpected change of mind.
Having just spent some ve
years convincing the boss (my
parents) that we shouldn’t be
doing big city markets
anymore, I have just admitted
to myself that I don’t mind
them all that much and it
seems a little rash to remove
them from the revenue
stream.
Our farm was built and
paid for with the money that
city people have given us for
potatoes. I have always
privately bristled when non-
market people have
expressed incredulity that
driving down there has been
worthwhile. I am not sure
what those people picture
when they think of farmers’
markets. Probably not these
commercial juggernauts with
upwards of 10,000 people
with money and shopping
bags passing through every
weekend, summer and winter.
We could always count on
about 10% of them buying
our potatoes, which left the
other 90% as our target
market. Growth was not only
reliable, but it also seemed
inevitable.
COVID, however, did away
with the crush of humanity
and laid bare the fact that the
emotional and physical toll of
trundling down there has
increasingly outpaced the
desire for that money. Finally,
after several years of
persistent
campaigning on that
point – several
skirmishes, the odd
big battle, very
carefully crafted
diplomacy, and the
shameless exploitation
of a global pandemic – we are
all in agreement.
Problem being, I went to
the big city market yesterday
(rst one since March) and it
was great. Loved it. I’m
looking forward to next
week’s installment. So nice to
see these people, both
customers and fellow farmers,
again. It was satisfying to
move a larger volume of
potatoes, even though the
capacity restrictions have
reduced the commercial
juggernaut to something of a
more dubious nature. An
excellent new stall location
with both truck and trailer
parked adjacent allowed me
and my helper to enjoy the
warmish sunny day with
minimal heavy lifting. The city
driving was easy.
Evidently, there is more
than money drawing me to
markets and I am now
eortlessly cataloguing the
desirable aspects of the
experience. Included are
honest admissions and
pandemic positives. For
example, I have missed
showing o our beautiful
potatoes and the glowy
feeling I get when they are
admired. Another: city driving
conditions have improved
immensely. Volume exists at
certain times and in certain
neighborhoods, but overall,
there are new and
unexpected gaps into which
my large truck and half-
empty/half-full trailer easily t.
Contributing greatly to my
mood swinging from
oppressively obsessed with
work requirements to breezily
musing on the charms of
attending city markets, is the
change in season. That is to
say, the ground is now either
frozen or too muddy for
tractors, day-light hours are
seriously reduced, and
weather conditions require
clothing choices incompatible
with high productivity
expectations: all this signals
good times ahead. Its a far
cry from yester-week when I
was roaring around the farm
pursued by an aggressive
to-do list.
I learned years ago to
measure my work-life balance
over nothing less than the
course of a year. It is sensible
to make hay while the sun
shines, after all, as that is what
we are here to do as farmers.
It is equally important to
cherish the impossibility of
farming potatoes when there
is six feet of snow on the
ground, which is the lesser-
known correlated farming
cliché. Leaving aside the fact
that we still have almost the
entire crop to wash, sort and
sell, I don’t have much to do. I
guess I can’t leave that aside.
So, point being, a change is
as good as a holiday.
Winter is coming! Markets
are fun! Hooray for
unexpected mind changes!
Anna Helmer is farming and
doing other things in the
beautiful Pemberton Valley.
A change of season brings a change of mind
Perhaps markets are a good thing
Farm Story
by ANNA HELMER
WEEKLY
FARM
NEWS
Updates
Sign up for FREE today.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 43
HIGH EFFICIENCY. HIGH ACREAGE. HIGH YIELDS.
LOOK TO LEMKEN
RUBIN 10 – its superior clearance and 25” discs allow the Rubin 10 to work and control a greater amount of organic
matter. Its symmetrical arrangement of discs is unique in the industry and ensures work in a straight line without any
lateral oset. Working in a straight line saves fuel and optimizes GPS guidance.
@strategictill | lemken.ca
(604) 864-2273
caliberequipment.ca
(250) 938-0076
agrigem.com
VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT
(1989)
LTD
(604) 463-3681
vanderwaleq.com
0
%
F
ina
nc
ing.
Certain Conditions Apply
by SARBMEET SINGH
ABBOTSFORD – The recent
announcement of an additional
$750 million for the universal
broadband fund by the federal
government is pleasing farmers.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
ocially launched the Universal
Broadband Fund on November 9,
which was originally announced in
the 2019 federal budget. The fund,
now worth $1.75 billion, aims to
provide high-speed Internet access
to 98% of Canadians by 2026 and
100% by 2030.
In a bid to improve connectivity
and expand high-speed Internet
coverage to the far north, rural and
remote regions across Canada,
Ottawa allocated $600 million of
the fund to secure capacity on
Telesats low Earth orbit (LEO)
satellite network. The network is
scheduled to enter service in 2022,
improving broadband capabilities
across northern Canada.
These are ambitious targets and
we're ready to meet them, Trudeau
says.
Amandeep Singh, a blueberry grower in the
Fraser Valley, welcomed the announcement.
A large number of farmers have relied on
technology in this pandemic as meetings of various
farm organizations were held online. Producers will
reap benets of the technology in future, he says.
Speaking at the Toronto Global Forum at the end
of October, Claudia Roessler, director, agriculture
strategic partnerships with Microsoft Azure’s
FarmBeats division, said better Internet in rural
communities is essential for farmers and rural
businesses. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to take
advantage of new data analytics platforms and
leverage the power of articial intelligence.
While mobile networks cover more than 96% of
Canadas rural communities, the
latest report of the Canadian
Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission
indicates top-level broadband
coverage is far lower at 37%.
Coverage in BC is at
approximately 53%, on par with
Quebec and second to New
Brunswick at 64%. (The gures are
based on 2017 data.)
Yet gaps still exist, making it
dicult for producers in some
regions to make eective use of
digital home assistants, let alone
wireless systems for farm
management. Several systems,
from data loggers to pest
monitoring, irrigation and fencing,
are making use of wireless
technology or soon will be.
Without reliable coverage,
adoption will be hampered.
The federal governments