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 1V4CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Postage paid Port payé Publications Mail Post-Publications 40012122Vol. 106 No. 12The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 DECEMBER 2020 | Vol. 106 No. 12POULTRYILT puts broiler farms on the defensive 9 TRUCKINGIsland farmers frustrated by ferry waits 19 MEATSlaughter limitations forcing producers out21by 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 signicantly (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 dicult 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 strengthenSee SHIFT on next page oAbattoirs eye pandemic fundingRecovery money could help relieve processing bottleneck by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER VICTORIA – A sudden inux 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 ghtSee NICOLA on next page owatertecna.comIndustry Experts in Agricultural & Greenhouse IrrigationLangley 1.888.675.7999Williams Lake 1.855.398.7757
NICOLA Valley facility could create access to markets across BC nfrom page 1SHIFT to retail came with challenges nfrom page 1and 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 aliated 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 protable 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 prot. 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 eort 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 industry’s potential throughout the province. 2 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCfoodservice 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 wasn’t equal,” says Vanderspek. (Foodservice typically accounts for 40% of demand nationwide.) “In addition, it was extremely dicult 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 we’re 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.caSetting the record straightSustainability program delivers value to industry (November 2020) identied Tantalus Vineyards as following organic practices, but its vineyard is not certied 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 healthTahir 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 WALKERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 3Serving 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 250-838-6414by 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. It’s 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 aect 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. email@example.comMadeline 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 eects 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 Saranchan, 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.” Saranchan estimates that just 5% of the BC Tree Fruits crop was aected 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 aect 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 eects.
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Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.106 No. 12 . DECEMBER 2020Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham email@example.com Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover firstname.lastname@example.org Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Ho! Ho! Ho! PW! Back to the futureMost people will be glad to see the end of 2020, a year that stands a good chance of dening 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 there’s 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 eective pandemic response cost him a second presidential term. The takeaway from all these elections is eective 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 ocer 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 condence. 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 eectively 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 government’s 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 COLLINSmaking 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 BCWe 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 | 5BC agriculture just published a sele: 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 province’s 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 agriculture’s 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 signicant 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 eective 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 dier 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 identied 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 eciency 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 prots; 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 GIBSONDowntown Realty 4007 - 32nd Street, Vernon, BC V1T 5P2 1-800-434-9122 www.royallegpage.caPAT DUGGAN Personal Real Estate Corporation Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd. Farm | Ranch | Residential Bus: 250/545-5371 (24 hr) Cell: 250/308-0938 email@example.com.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 $1,395,000Downtown Realty 4007 - 32nd Street, Vernon, BC V1T 5P2 1-800-434-9122 www.royallepage.caPAT DUGGAN Personal Real Estate Corporation Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd. Farm | Ranch | Residential Bus: 250/545-5371 (24 hr) Cell: 250/308-0938 firstname.lastname@example.org MCLEOD RD, AMRSTRONGwww.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 $1,600,000From everyone at Country Life in BC, may the spirit of the holiday season be yours now & in the new year! CATHY GLOVER publisherDAVID SCHMIDT editor emeritusPETER MITHAM associate editorcontributors Anita Desai Barbara Johnstone Grimmer Sean McIntyre Ronda Payne columnists Bob Collins Margaret Evans Kathleen Gibson Anna Helmer Judie Steeves Jackie Pearase Richard Rolke Myrna Stark Leader Sarbmeet Singh Tom Walker graphics Tina Rezansoff office Betty Lee Longstaff
6 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCAs 2020 comes to a close the sta昀 and agents at BC Farm & Ranch Realty Corp. would like to thank our amazing BC Farmers for all they did for our communities this past year and every year.May 2021 bring you happiness, good health, and success. We look forward to serving you in the new year for all your acreage and agricultural real estate needs.bcfarmandranch.com email@example.com | 604-852-1180 | 1-888-852-AGRI (2474)John Glazema778.firstname.lastname@example.orgGeorgia Clement250.email@example.comSusanne Walton604.firstname.lastname@example.orgGord Houweling - PREC604.email@example.comRajin Gill - PREC778.firstname.lastname@example.orgGordie Blair250.email@example.comVeer Malhi - PREC778.firstname.lastname@example.orgGordon Aikema250.email@example.comSteve Campbell250.firstname.lastname@example.orgEmma Rose604.email@example.comBarry Brown-John250.firstname.lastname@example.orgRobbi-layne Robertson250.email@example.comGreg Walton604.firstname.lastname@example.orgAlec Yun778.email@example.comAmanda Leclair604.firstname.lastname@example.orgRuth Meehan604.email@example.com
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 72021HORTICULTURE GROWERS’ SHORT COURSEVIRTUAL EDITIONCfn\iDX`ecXe[?fik`ZlckliXc@dgifm\d\ek8jjfZ`Xk`feAXelXip)/$*'?dfWhjd[hi^_fm_j^j^[FWY_ÓY7]h_Ykbjkh[I^emK?LIJ;8PIXjgY\ii`\jJkiXnY\ii`\jM\^\kXYc\j>i\\e_flj\?fgj?Xq\celkj8^i`ZlckliXcNXk\iDXeX^\d\ekCXYfli=I@;8P=Xid9lj`e\jjDXeX^\d\ekB\pefk\8[[i\jj8cc9\ii`\j:XeeXY`jGfkXkf\jFi^Xe`ZJ8KLI;8P9cl\Y\ii`\jFi^Xe`Z;`i\Zk=XidDXib\kj:XeeXY`j=cfi`Zlckli\M\^\kXYc\I<>@JKI8K@FEFG<E@E>JFFEFEC@E<8KNNN%8>I@:LCKLI<J?FN%E<KPh: 604-857-0318 | firstname.lastname@example.orgInnovate. Grow. Prosper.Kamloops farmers push back on irrigation planSystem upgrades could cost $14 millionby 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 signicantly 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. … There’s 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 MITCHELLUsers 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. It’s 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 condent 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 people’s 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 benet the community?” Riverbend Orchard co-owner Carole Gillis applauds the city for its work to oer winter stock water to NCIS users but says more eort is needed around consultation with farmers. She suggests the creation of an agricultural advisory committee as recommended in the city’s 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 specic 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 oA new tool for municipalities
8 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWATER issue prompts calls for an ag advisory committee nfrom page 7Agricultural 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 PivotsRotator® Sprinklers for Field & Orchard CropsIrrigation Control ValvesNEW HANGINGSPRINKLER SOLVESPROBLEMS FORORGANIC GROWERS15-50 PSI8.5-75 GPH9-16’ RAD.Introducing the S7 Spinner - a new Nelson innovation designed to combatrising energy and labor costs. The S7’s modular design allows quick and easynozzle exchange - and the Quick Clean (QC) technology reduces irrigatorhours — simply turn, ﬂush and reconnect. Special insect protection helpsprevent plugging or stalling. Find out more at WWW.NELSONIRRIGATION.COMNCIS 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. Inuenced 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 we’re 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 we’re 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 Heey Creek, Knutsford, Campbell Creek and Barnhartvale. “I think there’s 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 oered 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. “There’s 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 it’s 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 | 9www.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onBALEWRAPPERSSPREADERSSILAGE BLADES BALE PROCESSORSWrap up yoursavings with low rate ﬁnancing.Visit us online for program details.ILT puts broiler farms on the defensiveBiosecurity, proper vaccination key to protecting flocksby 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 they’re 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 there’s no treatment that is available,” says Lin. “It’s very important to euthanize birds that have ILT symptoms very promptly because these birds are denitely 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. “It’s very important to make sure when you see the signs to submit birds to your vet or to the lab because many, many dierent 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 PAYNEyou 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 oWANT 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 710 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCEngineered 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 DischargeManure SpreadersRENN Mill Center Inc., RR#4 Lacombe, AB T4L 2N4The 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.comby 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 delayedexpected by June 2020. “COVID in March-April denitely 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 oer of one cent, without oering 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 denitely 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 WINERYSnowed under
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 11BC 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 PHOTOSignificant work left to do to address grower concernsBC Tree Fruits makeover getsgreen lightby 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 identied as part of the governance study, completed earlier in 2020,” says co-op CEO Warren Saranchan. 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 qualications 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 Saranchan. “This gives the board and myself a very strong mandate to make the changes that were identied and we are moving quickly to implement what the members approved.” Saranchan 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 qualications is something I expect will happen as we go through towards the next AGM,” he says. On the issue of improving fruit quality, Saranchan says fruit delivered to the co-op should be “of sucient 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 oFARM NEWSupdatesto yourinboxSign Up for Free today.GENTLE, HIGH-QUALITY RAKINGINVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeNorthline Equipment, Ltd.Dawson CreekCountry TractorArmstrongKamloopsVisit 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 昀uffy, fast drying windrows without roping11'6" – 30'6" raking widthsother 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 Saranchan. Board member changes were immediate. Saranchan 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. Saranchan says discussions on recruiting two independent business members for the board will be happening in the near future.
12 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCAll 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 afliates. 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 2000.000.0000www.dealer_url.comDealer Address 1 Dealer Address 2 City, State Zip34511 Vye Road Abbotsford, BC V2S 8J7 604-864-2273 www.caliberequipment.caMerry Christmas & a Happy New Year from all of us at Caliber Equipment PTO GENERATORS1-866-820-7603 | BAUMALIGHT.COM Dale Howe 403-462-1975 | email@example.comMFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTSBRUSH MULCHERS | BOOM MOWERSSTUMP GRINDERS | TREE SAWS & SHEARSTREE SPADES | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | PTO GENERATORS EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | FELLER BUNCHERSTREE PULLERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | AUGER DRIVESPre-order your Baumalightgenerator now for delivery in8 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 Saranchan. The shorter term will allow growers who are not satised 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 dicult one but Saranchan pledges to face it head-on and seek the best outcome for members. “There are elements that are benecial 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 signicantly 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 Saranchan 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 closesdierent assessments of his fruit from the packinghouses in Oliver and Wineld. Oliver graded the fruit at a lower quality than Wineld. “My apples were only 3% to 5% culls in Wineld 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, specically looking at fruit that was graded in both Wineld and Oliver,” says Saranchan. “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 Saranchan. “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 Saranchan. “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 | 13Province rethinks land matching pitchBehavioural insights could give young farmers land accessGold SponsorPresented by:Check out the very latest equipment, technology and techniques to improve your farm operation - all firstname.lastname@example.orgJanuary 28, 29 & 30 2021by 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 Dierence BC online conference November 6. Kormos worked with the province’s 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 inuence people’s 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 Shar, 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 signicant 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 benets to the program was added. The messenger eect was modied 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 specic 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 specic 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 modied by behavioural insights. Tailoring the postcard to region had no added benet. In short, the nudge was eective, 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 dicult 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 BCDustin Stadnyk CPA, CAChris Henderson CPA, CANathalie Merrill CPA, CMATOLL FREE 1-888-818-FARM | www.farmtax.caExpert farm taxation advice: • Purchase and sale of farms • Transfer of farms to children • Government subsidy programs • Preparation of farm tax returns • Use of $1,000,000 Capital Gains Exemptions Approved consultants for Government funding through BC Farm Business Advisory Services ProgramARMSTRONG 250-546-8665 | LUMBY 250-547-2118 | ENDERBY 250-838-7337View over 100 listings of farm properties at www.bcfarmandranch.comBC FARM & RANCH REALTY CORP.Buying or Selling a Farm or Acreage?GORD HOUWELING Cell: 604/793-8660GREG WALTON Cell: 604/864-1610Toll free 1-888-852-AGRI Call BC’s First and Only Real Estate Office committed 100% to Agriculture!PROFESSIONAL SERVICESv 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: email@example.comCONFIDENTIALITY GUARANTEEDJack Reams P.Ag. Agri-ConsultingAdams, 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 province’s administrative regions. Candidates are selected in a merit-based process through the Crown Agency and Board Resourcing Oce. 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 oces 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 Adrian’s 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 announcedAg Briefs EDITED BY PETER MITHAMCALL 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 PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 15Royal 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 Iainfirstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 250 515 0173by 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 Cattlemen’s 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 we’re going to be able to produce food, even locally,” says Minter. “We need to be thinking of the larger scope and future scope.” Dierentiation 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. “It’s 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 aairs and corporate social responsibility, with Save-On-Foods in Surrey. “It’s not just about people who can’t aord 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 changeConsumer education and social justice a priority
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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 WALKERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 17USED 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 . . . . 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Please visit www.assante.com/legal.jsp or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planningDriediger Wealth PlanningMark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth AdvisorBrent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth Advisorwww.DriedigerWealthPlanning.com | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd.FOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.email@example.comCertified 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 ocers, 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 benet 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 condent 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 diculties 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-sucient 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 anniversaryEducation component spread over five fall webinars See BEES on next page o
BEESnfrom pg 1718 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMarketing British Columbia to the World®www.landquest.comToll Free 1-866-558-LAND (5263)“The Source” for Oceanfront, Lakefront, Islands, Ranches, Resorts & Land in BC®CHILCOTIN WILDERNESS CATTLE RANCHCREEK FRONT ACREAGE WITHMOUNTAIN VIEWS - COOMBS, BCCALL THIS HOME FOREVERBRIDGE LAKE - SOUTH CARIBOOTEXADA ISLAND ONE-OF-A-KIND LOG HOMEPONDEROSA RANCH COBBLE HILL, BCTHE HISTORIC RIVERFRONT MANDALAY RANCH - VANDERHOOF, BCWISTARIA CATTLE RANCHOOTSA LAKEKAYANARA GUEST RANCH & RESORTEAGLE CREEK, BC BEAVER CREEK RANCHANAHIM LAKE, BCHIGH QUALITY ACREAGE AT THE FOOT OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS - EDGEWATER, BCSaddle 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 $1,595,00034.5 acre equestrian farm with stunning views of Mt Arrowsmith & 900+ ft of creek frontage. Lots of room for everyone, consisting of a 2,600 ft2 home with inlaw suite, a second home as well as a 12-stall barn with a caretaker’s suite on the upper level. Large riding ring, shop & multiple outbuildings. $1,750,000Dream 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 $659,0005 minute walk to the marina from this 5,000+ ft2 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 $669,000Stunning 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. $4,350,0005,445 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. $3,790,000Fantastic 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. $800,000Opportunity 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. $1,799,00024.7 deeded acres with 320 acre Crown grain tenure off-grid ranch north of Anahim Lake overlooking the Dean River. 3,000 ft2 unnished, off-grid home, large shop & barn. Produces approximately 60 tons of hay, available grazing tenure. Endless outdoor opportunity! $299,000One 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. $599,000RICH OSBORNE 604-664-7633Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comKEVIN KITTMER firstname.lastname@example.orgWENDY PATTEN email@example.comLandQuest® Realty Corp CaribooKURT NIELSEN firstname.lastname@example.orgLandQuest® Realty Corp Comox ValleyJASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605SAM HODSON 604-694-7623Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comJOHN ARMSTRONG email@example.comCOLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793 CHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634FAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comMATT CAMERON firstname.lastname@example.orgEducation days have been a key feature at the association’s annual general meetings each fall and its spring semi-annual meetings. They are very well attended and also generate signicant 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 researchProjects ongoing but in limited capacityby 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 association’s 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 aect 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 eective 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 hasn’t lived up to its promise, producers sayFarmers transporting livestock to and from Vancouver and the Gulf islands are frustrated they no longer have priority boarding. 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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 aecting 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 oIsland farmers frustrated by ferry waitsMoose Meadow Ranch 452 Acres Hay/Cattle625 Morricetown Forest RoadtCESNIPNFTRGUt"DSFTXJUIDSFFLtTRGU#BSO5BDLSPPNNew Hazelton, BC $1,499,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.53987463 Moosehorn Roadt"DSFTMPHMPEHFtDBCJOT37TJUFTtTRGUPXOFSTSFTJEFODFSouthbank, BC $1,065,000Call/Txt Linda 604.997.5399Moosehorn Lodge & Cabins on Uncha Lake Ranches | Farms | Lodges | Resorts | Waterfronts & Recreational land3830 Meier Road .44 AcretCESNCBUI%FDLTt$PMESPPNHSFFOIPVTFt8PPEöSFIPUUVCTUPSHBFCluculz Lake, BC $360,000Call/Txt Sabine 778.363.2750Lakefront Escape Year round or Rec
LONG wait times impact animal welfare nfrom page 1920 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCeconomy,” 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 province’s 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 satised 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 aairs director Deborah Marshall. “To my knowledge, it isn’t a signicant 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 conrmed 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 identied data collection as one of the benets 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 toCountry Life inBCthegiftthat givesall yearTRACTOR TIMEVICTORIA 4377C Metchosin Rd. 250.474.330130 minutes from Victoria and 15 minutes from Highway#1 in Metchosin.PREMIUM TRUCKPRINCE GEORGE 1015 Great Street 250.563.0696WILLIAMS LAKE 4600 Collier Place 250.398.7411HANDLERS EQUIPMENTABBOTSFORD 339 Sumas Way 604.850.3601HOUSTON 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 WALKERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 21email: email@example.com: firstname.lastname@example.org St. Laurent Avenue Quesnel, B.C. V2J 5A3Producers can apply for an advance on calves, yearlings, lambs, bison, forage and grain up to $1,000,000.00 with the rst $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. They’re 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 province’s recent intentions paper on expanding slaughter capacity. “The Minister of Agriculture’s oce promotes Buy BC. … I hate to be the one to tell you but if we can’t produce it in BC, folks surely can’t 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 province’s 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 changeexisting Class A beef plant in Kamloops, which disqualies 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 oer customer slaughter and packing services to small-scale producers. “It’s so close we could almost herd the animals down the hill and the 10 km along the highway,” she says. FARM NEWSupdatesto yourinboxSign Up for Free today.
22 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCLivestock specialist has close ties to ranchingCode has experience in youth development and industry leadership programsby 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 signicant 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 master’s 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 dierent 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 Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Mentorship Program for the 2020-2021 program year. The program is a national youth initiative of the Canadian Cattlemen’s 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 specic 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 effortsTargeted grazing tested across the southern Interior Can cattle help reduce the risk of wildre? Pilot projects this summer aim to show how cattle can help reduce ne fuels and wildre risk in BC’s wildland/urban interface. PHOTO / MIKE PRITCHARD, BCCACOUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 23Have you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops are Free!1-866-820-7603 | BAUMALIGHT.COMDale Howe | 403-462-1975 | email@example.comMFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTSBRUSH MULCHERS | BOOM MOWERSSTUMP GRINDERS | TREE SAWS & SHEARSTREE SPADES | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | PTO GENERATORS EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | FELLER BUNCHERSTREE PULLERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | AUGER DRIVESmeadowvalleymeats.com 1.800.665.9731 by TOM WALKER SUMMERLAND – BC Cattlemen’s is assessing the results of three provincially funded pilot projects conducted this past summer to see if cattle can help protect communities against wildre. “One thing we learned from the 2017 and 2018 wildres, 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, wildre prevention coordinator with the BC Cattlemen’s Association. Pritchard should know. He’s a retired BC Wildre Service Manager with 36 years experience, as well as a cattle rancher. BC Cattlemen’s received BC government funding in spring 2019 to study the role cattle can play in mitigating re risk through targeted grazing in an eort to better protect communities that have a close interface between urban and wildland areas. It’s a worthwhile investment. The 2017 and 2018 wildres 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.” It’s a win-win situation. Cattle get to eat the grass, wildre risk is reduced at no additional cost and wildlife habitat and recreational uses continue without interruption. There is also a third benet: 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 that’s where the BC Cattlemen’s 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 signicantly reduced. The grazed areas don’t have to look like a golf course to be eective, says Pritchard. “We just need it to be a mosaic of dierent 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 reghting crews will have an ability to better control the res.”
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 25Former 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 / SUBMITTEDJoin 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Advance Payments Program. For information about other programs and services oered through the SSFPA call 1-866-547-7372. Advance Payments ProgramThe Advance Payments Program is a federalprogram, delivered and administered by the Small Scale FoodProcessor Association (SSFPA). The federal government fundsthe interest free beneﬁt of the program and makes low interestrates available to Canadian producers. The purpose of the APP is to increase marketing opportunitiesthrough 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 successin a competitive global market.Small Scale Food Processor Association www.ssfpa.netby 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 province’s 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 denitely 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 city’s eorts 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 ArmProject will give local producers an opportunity to expandand be able to look after your own area,” Harrison says. “That’s 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 hub’s 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 ow ww.countrytractor.ca778.921.0004claudio@countrytrac tor.ca
26 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCProud of our roots since 1928Customer Serviceorder@norseco.com 514 332-2275 | 800 561-9693 450 682-4959 | 800 567-4594Our Team of ExpertsBen Yurkiw British Columbiaben.email@example.com 604 830-9295Martin Deslauriers Sales Managermartin.firstname.lastname@example.org 438 989-4863PLAN 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 Lecoue 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. “It’s denitely 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 oered 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 oer 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. “It’s 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 | 27Matthew Carr says a university education has helped him develop his farm business. PHOTO / LINDEN LANE FARMSby MYRNA STARK LEADER KRESTOVA – Matthew Carr’s 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 certied 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 nursery’s 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 Matthew’s 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 eectively 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 Matthew’s 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 Certicate 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 growerA fresh vision helps revive Kootenay family farmenrolled 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 farm’s 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 Nelson’s twice-weekly farmer’s 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 BCPLANS for growth nfrom page 27Carr 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, he’s working towards his professional agrologist designation with a focus on organic horticultural agronomy. He says farming has rewards. He’s his own boss. The business continues to take shape and there’s 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 dicult 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 Lane’s 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 farm’s 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, he’s condent there’s a market. He’s currently seeking CanadaGAP certication 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 family’s 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 dierence. ABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411GIVE YOURSELF THE AVE NUETechnology 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. SOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSThe Linden Lane market stall shows off an abundance of fresh vegetables. PHOTO / LINDEN LANE FARMS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 29Cleanfarms 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 / SUBMITTEDCleanfarms looks into ag plastic recycling programRegional recycling programs could be in place by end of 2021by 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 Pacic 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 she’s 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 there’s 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 specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, AIC CandidateAppraiser250.email@example.com 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 province’s 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 Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities program.
30 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCby RONDA PAYNE VANCOUVER – The picker’s 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, there’s 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 dierence with his engineering degree from UBC by merging articial 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. “That’s when we knew that this was a great idea.” Porwal and co-founders Div Gill and Raaella 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 BC’s 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 it’s 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, articial 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 rene 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. It’s 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 oer 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 you’re 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 horizonArtificial intelligence prepares to fulfill challenging labour needLook 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 | 31Telus Agriculture aims to grow on BC farmsv4200W Model ShownDESIGNEDFOR 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 WarrantyMax 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 WarrantyMax Operating Weight 25,000 LB.1.866.567.4162 www.hlasnow.comby 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. “It’s 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. “It’s 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 oering unique solutions, Terris says they’re “100% intended to be unied” 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 there’s 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 eciencies 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 farm’s 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 oering of Muddy Boots, an English company that works with everyone from agronomists on the farm to grocers and restaurants. “We feel that there’s 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 we’re 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-prole 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 oce, 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 province’s plans for a regenerative agriculture network, details of which have yet to be announced. It also follows the province’s 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 inAgritech venture aims to unite data management Up in smokeA 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
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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 PHOTOCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 33Weather 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 eciency. 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-specic 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 ocial launch in BC in 2019. The tool is based on factors that aect runo from agricultural elds, New tool helpsfarmers avoid nutrient runoffprecipitation 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 it’s 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 OPERATIONFOR ANY STRATEGIC TILLAGE PRACTICELOOK TO LEMKENJuwel mounted reversible ploughs from LEMKEN combine operational reliability and ease of use to deliver excellent performance.@strategictill | lemken.caVanderWal Equipment 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 deviceQuality Pre-Owned Tractors & EquipmentVAN 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 BCby BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER DAWSON CREEK – Producers in the Peace region are benefitting from a local weather tool that’s 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 that’s 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 TRACTORPremium ExperienceOffering 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.COMPRINCE 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/ECOffer valid until January 31, 2021. Some restrictions may apply. See dealer for details.$10,000SAVE UP TOPLUS 0% FINANCINGPeace region weather network expandedWeather stations provide relevant information to farmersA 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 streamow 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 network’s website [bcacarn.com]. —Barbara Johnstone Grimmer Adaptation network hosts webinar series
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 35silagrow.com1.800.663.6022Greenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmsMulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Protection NetsBale WrapsBunker Covers4JMBHF#BHTt5XJOF/FU8SBQTt)BZ5BSQTForage & Grain SeedVisit us onlineSilagrow oers superior quality agricultural products specializing in forage storage. To Valued Customers, Friends & FamilyDeLisa 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 moistureby 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. Dierent from plastic mulches, some consider it akin to no-till practices that preserve nutrients by not disturbing the soil. Others nd dierent benets. So far, Lewis says preliminary results show no signicant dierence in crop yield using tarps. Other benets, 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 faculty’s 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 benet. On Lewis’s 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 dierent 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 tradeos, 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 Lewis’s farm, but she says it provides a targeted solution that helps improve areas where soil variability is high and improves accessibility in the spring. “You’re not going to cover 100 acres of your potatoes,” she says. “Strategically, there are some applications for medium and larger-scale farms. It’s just what are those and what are the tradeos?” A grower may be able to tarp a quarter or half acre to plant early in a specic 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. 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36 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCwww.tjequipmentllc.com 360-815-1597 LYNDEN, WA ALL PRICES IN US FUNDSX3 2019 MCHALE FUSION 3 PLUS BALER/WRAPPER COMBOS FROM 0 TO 2,000 BALES CALL1981 JD 4440 4WD, 144 HP, 1748 HOURS, POWER QUAD $23,0002007 JD 6120L 2WD, 84 HP, 4318 HOURS, QUAD RANGE $19,5002001 NH LS180 W/ BUCKET, 67 HP, HYDRO, 3885 HOURS, 2200 LB BUCKET CAPACITY $17,900BC FRUIT GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION 1-800-619-9022 (ext 1) email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bcfga.comThe 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 email@example.com. Project intake is continous. Apply in advance of project initiation – 8 weeks minimum is recommended. Tree Fruit Competitiveness FundOrchardists making greater use of decision aid systemThree-year pilot shows the system’s value and promiseThe 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 PHOTOby BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER KELOWNA – Three years of piloting the BC Decision Aid System (DAS) has shown its benet 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 Wineld. “We were having trouble with delivering that information out to all growers in a fast and eective 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 province’s 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 scientic 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 | 37Asian parasitoids come to the rescue of berry growersTwo tiny wasp species have come to BC to prey on SWDA 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 WONGdrainage is our specialtyVALLEY FARM DRAINAGE31205 DEWDNEY TRUNK RD, MISSION • Fax 604-462-7215 604-462-7213 • www.valleyfarmdrainage.comProudly supporting Canadian industry using Canadian productLASER 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 conrmed as established in BC. Scientists had been looking for a native parasitoid to counter SWD since 2009, when the invasive fruit y was rst identied 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. Benecial 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 conrmed 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 eectively 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 we’re nding more and more is that while we’re 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. “They’re really well established here now,” says Abram. But it’s uncertain how much they’ll benet 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 there’s 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 benet 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. It’s 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 1.855.398.7757CENTRE PIVOTS AND LINEARS
38 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCLactating 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 dicult thing for someone to really pick up on but a person with a trained eye can pick it up.” What has really helped conrm 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 articial 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 eects which resulted in the administration of a single dose of the gondatropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) at the moment of articial 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, it’s 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 specic about what they are breeding for future milk production and volume. “We are looking at very dierent 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 ratesResearch by MARGARET EVANS
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 39James Grifn hopes to plant more hybrid poplar trees to mitigate water issues on his farm and perhaps reap some additional benets in the long term. PHOTO / JACKIE PEARASEAgroforestry project makes farm viable Trees help increase productivityby JACKIE PEARASE SPALLUMCHEEN – A stretch of hybrid poplar trees growing about 30 feet tall along the highway portion of James Grin’s farm have garnered a lot of attention. Grin started three years ago with a row of 18-inch trees that would grow quickly to provide a sound break from the constant trac on Highway 97A in Spallumcheen. An ample buer is now supplied by 400 trees of varied sizes in two rows. The trees provide the additional benet of taking up extra water that made farming the 10-acre parcel of the 30-acre farm almost impossible. “I thought there’s 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, Grin 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). Debrowka’s phytoremediation company uses “intensive precision agroforestry” to clean up and mitigate the eects 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 landll issue solutions. Trees he planted in 2010 on public property next to Armstrong’s wastewater treatment plant were used as a carbon oset 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 landll is producing good results. RDNO regional engineering services manager Nicole Kohnert says leachate stored in a lined pond at the landll was increasing in volume and needed to be dealt with at that time. Options included irrigation as allowed in its landll 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, ecient 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 landll. 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 oProudly offering quality farm equipment and wholesale farm product delivery across BC.Call, email or visit us firstname.lastname@example.orgCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders t3PX$SPQ$VMUJWBUPSTr3PUBSZ)PFT $BNFSB(VJEBODF4ZTUFNAND On In StockAEROSTAR Tine WeedersDELTA Drain Tile Cleaner *NQSPWFT%SBJOBHFr$POEJUJPOT4PJMr&DPOPNJDBM 3FMJBCMFr-PX.BJOUFOBODFr4BGFBOE1SPWFOSPECIAL PRICING On In Stock
40 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSOIL rehab nfrom page 39BC Young Farmers says,TThanank k Youto our 2020 sponsors!SilverGoldPlatinumDouble PlatinumIn spite of COVID-19, BCYF has enjoyed an eventful year. Through the supportof our sponsors and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, BCYF offered 16young farmers the chance to attend choice of six conferences early in 2020, andafter the closure of in-person events, continued to hold virtual events for ourmembers over the rest of the year.BC member of the Canadian Young Farmers' ForumYour generosity is building the next generation of farmers in BC.facebook.com/bcyfarmersinstagram.com/BCYoungFarmerstwitter.com/BCYoungFarmersBCYF event s provide opportunities for young farmers aged19 to 40 to meet with peers, industry leaders, and educators,whether in person or online. These events would not bepossible without our sponsors' generous support.On behalf of all BCYF Directors and members we thank oursponsors, and look forward to working together again nextyear as we continue to provide opportunities for BCYFmembers – 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 eventin NovemberBecome a member & connect with us:www.BCYF.cathe 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 benets 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. It’s 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 aects human health. Dave’s 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 nanobres 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.” Grin hopes to reap some benets 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 PEARASEthat did not go in the air, so they give you double money.” There are now 600 trees growing next to the RDNO landll 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 benets 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 | 41Young farmers encouraged to cultivate resilienceFarm Fest connects the next generation for support and developmentby 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 year’s 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. “It’s like putting on your own oxygen mask rst in an air incident,” she emphasizes. Basic self-care is particularly important. “It’s 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 she’s grateful for nearly every day. Others may have specic 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 PHOTOa 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 there’s still room for more discussions. This was evidenced by one participant’s follow up question. He asked how he could help someone he knows who is struggling. Matchett advised him to oer to listen and not be afraid to ask that person straight-up if they’re thinking of self-harm. She said it’s important for everyone to remember that there are resources at hand to support them. “It’s 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 ProgramsApplication Deadline:December 31, 2020The 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.htmlContact: Ronda Payne Scholarship Chairronda.email@example.com your AGRICULTURE & AGRI-BUSINESS TEAMAll of us wish you a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!Melanie Lantz 604-217-2572Quincy North604-621-6795 Michele Anderson 778-986-2109Steve Saccomano 604-703-5161 Parm Kooner 604-360-1740Iain Sutherland250-515-0173 Fern McDonald 604-556-1537 Lauren Tap 604-217-3950 Teresa McKinley250-618-4316Rick Tilitzky 604-360-5876
42 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWinter markets aren’t so bad after all. PHOTO / CARMEN KLOTZA SPREADER FOR EVERY OPERATIONPS 200 Series ProSpread® Rear-Discharge SpreadersINVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordCountry TractorArmstrongCountry TractorKamloopsVisit your localBritish ColumbiaKUHN Dealer today!We have a wide range of models and sizes with multiple options to 昀t any operation. Our innovative,high-quality spreaders provide superior performance with years of low-maintenance service.PXL 100 Series ProSpread®Rear-Discharge Spreaders1200 Series EasySpread®Rear-Discharge Spreaders2000 Series ProPush®Rear-Discharge SpreadersSL 100 Series ProTwin® Slinger®Side-Discharge SpreadersOh 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 eortlessly 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. It’s 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 mindPerhaps markets are a good thingFarm Story by ANNA HELMERWEEKLY FARM NEWSUpdatesSign up for FREE today.
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 43HIGH EFFICIENCY. HIGH ACREAGE. HIGH YIELDS. LOOK TO LEMKENRUBIN 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 oset. Working in a straight line saves fuel and optimizes GPS guidance.@strategictill | lemken.ca(604) 864-2273caliberequipment.ca(250) 938-0076agrigem.comVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD(604) 463-3681vanderwaleq.com0% Financing. Certain Conditions Applyby 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 ocially 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 Telesat’s 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 benets 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 articial intelligence. While mobile networks cover more than 96% of Canada’s 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 dicult for producers in some regions to make eective 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 government’s commitment to expanding coverage consequently won praise from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. “With COVID-19 pushing many services to only be available online, rural broadband is a problem that can no longer be ignored,” says CFA president Mary Robinson. “Not only is this technology crucial for modern business, it is essential to attracting the next generation of farmers who see high-speed connectivity as an essential service for every day life.” Universal broadband fund cheers farmersImproved service to rural communities will allow farmers to access more online dataThe federal government is moving forward with its initiative to provide high-speed Internet access to rural and remote regions across Canada. FILE PHOTO
44 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWhen we left o last time, Janice Newberry had put to rest any thought Kenneth might have had of rekindling their romance. Back at home, however, sparks were reignited when Deborah announced her intention to divorce Kenneth to Doug McLeod. Rural Redemption, Part 129, New Beginnings, continues. It took Deborah two days of soul searching and a night of tful sleep before she contacted Kenneth. She sent a text at 7:30 in the morning. Kenneth woke and stared bleary-eyed at his phone to see who it was. He cursed and put the phone down, then closed his eyes. His throat was dry and his head was throbbing. He was almost back to sleep when his phone chimed again. He read the message: we need to talk, call me. Deborah was holding her phone when it rang. “Kenneth?” “Yes, Deborah, it’s me. Why are you calling me this early?” “Your voice sounds funny. You aren’t feeling sick, are you?” Kenneth cursed under his breath. “No, I’m not sick, but I’d be a whole lot better if I could get back to sleep. Good-bye!” Deborah poured herself a cup of coee and waited 20 minutes before she called again. Kenneth snatched up his phone in a t of pique. “Why do you keep phoning, Deborah? What do you want from me?” There was a brief silence. “A divorce,” said Deborah. “A what?” “A divorce. I want a divorce from you, Kenneth.” “Don’t be ridiculous. What makes you think I’d ever agree to a divorce? You’ve come up with some pretty brainless ideas over the years but this one takes the cake.” Deborah resolved to keep her cool. “It’s not ridiculous, Kenneth, and I don’t care if you agree or not. I’ve thought this out very carefully and I won’t live like this any longer. I want a divorce.” “Live like what any longer?” asked Kenneth. “You’ve never had to work or do without anything, and you’re living the dream out there in Hillbilly Heaven. Just because you want something doesn’t mean you can have it. You’re being frivolous.” “You were the one who wanted me to leave college and didn’t want me to work and, in case you’ve forgotten, Hillbilly Heaven, as you call it, was your idea. Nothing about this decision is frivolous.” “For gawd’s sake, Deborah, we’ve been married for nearly 19 years.” “Do you love me, Kenneth?” “That’s a dumb question.” “It’s a simple question. Do you love me?” “Well, what do you think?” “I think if you loved me at all, you wouldn’t speak to me the way you do. So no, I’m very certain you don’t love me. And just so we are on the same page, I’ve stopped loving you, too. It’s over.” “There’s no point in having this conversation. You’re talking nonsense,” said Kenneth. “I’ll be home next week. We’ll talk about it then. Good-bye.” vvv As soon as the call was over, Kenneth dialed his father’s old law rm. “Larry? Kenneth Henderson here. I’ve got a problem.” “Hello, Kenneth. Good to New beginnings for Deborah and SusanWoodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINShear from you. What’s up?” “My wife wants a divorce.” “Sorry to hear it. Has she started proceedings?’ “I don’t know. She just sprung it on me 10 minutes ago.” “So, you haven’t had any real discussion about it yet.” “No. I need some advice before it gets to that.” “Advice in what particular respect?” “Money. I’ve got money from my father’s estate that she doesn’t know about and I want to protect it.” Larry Berkovic leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath. “Take this from someone who’s dealt with a ton of divorces and been through two of my own: declare everything and split it 50/50. Trust me, it’s where every court wants to be at the end of the day.” “That’s not what I’m asking, Larry. If I wanted to give her half of everything, I wouldn’t need a lawyer, would I?” said Kenneth. “Fair enough. If you’ve got money your wife doesn’t know about stashed somewhere, you’ll probably end up having to lie about it unless she’s willing to accept whatever you’re oering without talking to a lawyer herself. I should warn you, judges are notoriously unforgiving about this sort of thing.” “So, you’re saying I should try low-balling her and see if she takes the bait?” “I’m telling you to do yourself a favour and get used to the idea of a 50/50 split. If you don’t see that happening, we can try it your way, but I can guarantee whatever that is, will turn out to be a costly long shot.” vvv Breakfast was over at Newt’s house. Ashley was o to the horse barn at Fitzpatrick’s and Chris was o to check on the late calvers in the little eld on the side hill. Susan leaned over Newt’s shoulder and set a mug of coee on the table in front of him. She stood behind him and rested her hands on his shoulders. “A penny for your thoughts?” said Susan. “I was just thinking how nice it’s been having you three here,” replied Newt. “It’s been our pleasure,” said Susan. “You’ve been a wonderful host.” “It’s been a long time since there was anyone here just to sit down and talk to,” said Newt. “The conversation was always pretty one-sided with Rocky.” “I’ve enjoyed our talks, too. Whatever are you going to do when I’m gone?” “Planning on leaving, are you?” said Newt. “We should be out of your hair in less than a week.” “You might have noticed my hair is getting a little thin. Where is it you’re heading for?” “That’s still up in the air at this point. I’ll probably go back to the city for now. There are friends I can stay with for a while.” Newt sipped his coee, then reached up and closed his hands over Susan’s. “You know, it occurs to me that you have a friend you could stay with a lot closer than the city.” “Are you sure you want a house guest?” said Susan. Newt turned and looked into Susan’s eyes. “I’m not sure I want a house guest at all. What I am sure of is I don’t want you to leave.” Susan bent down and they kissed. “People will probably talk,” said Susan. “Yup, it’s what they do alright. Question is, is either one of us going to give a damn?” “Not me, “said Susan. “Or me,” said Newt. “I’ve just have one question,” said Susan. “Can we get a puppy?” To be continued ... CREDIT CARD # _________________________________________________________________ EXP _____________ CVV _____________ NEWS & INFORMATION YOU (and your friends) NEED! 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC DECEMBER 2020 | 45Picture perfect! And fancy enough to catch the judge’s eye. Noah Sherwood from the Tod Mountain 4-H Club raised the BC Ag Expo champion market lamb this year. Members submitted photos and videos of their livestock projects so they could be judged and entered in the three-day online sale. Noah’s lamb sold for $650 to A&T Developments. PHOTO / BC AG EXPOHappy Holidays!4-H British Columbia !"#$%&!"%&'()*fromby JACKIE PEARASE BARRIERE – The 4-H community continued to demonstrate its resiliency with a much dierent show and sale at the BC Ag Expo in Barriere, September 25-28. With pandemic restrictions still in place, organizers put together a virtual show and sale for 4-H and open youth. “When we made our decision to go virtually, we really wanted to deliver an in-person fair but with the numbers that we have, it just wasn’t feasible. We couldn’t wrap our heads around the size restrictions,” says BC Ag Expo Society president Evelyn Pilatzke. Organizers quickly adapted a recently purchased software package from an in-person fair to a virtual format, with the volunteer members learning the ropes as plans progressed. Over 125 youth from the Cariboo, Shuswap, Okanagan, Boundary and Thompson Nicola Regional District participated in the 4-H and open categories. The fair typically has about 300 youth entrants plus adults. The youth competed in classes for beef, cavy, goat, lamb, photography, rabbits, carcass and educational display, plus the Fred Nicol, Twemlow and Boundary Dash events. Participants provided front, side and rear photos of their entries plus a 30-second video of their animal walking. The online auction showcased the various classes, champions and auction items including beef, lamb, photographs, a chevon goat and a rabbit. Fewer youth took part in the three-day auction but active bidding at the end resulted in decent prices for all participants. “It was a dierent concept than an in-person auction for us,” says Pilatzke. “It was a nail-biter right up to the end.” Over 70 bidders signed in over 52 hours. The average price for market steers was $3.09 a pound, $5.98 a pound for carcass steers, $583 a head for market lambs, $512 a head for carcass lambs and $176 each for photographs. South Thompson 4-H Club member Conor Brown entered in the beef and sheep classes this year to raise money for university. He is grateful for the community support that enabled the show and sale to take place despite the pandemic but missed the in-person aspect of a traditional fair. “It was a heartbreaker not to be able to show. That’s our grand nale,” he says. “The show means so much; it’s the time we get to show all our work. We work our beef for almost a year and the sheep for about six months. Plus the social part of the fair is gone, where you see old friends, kids you grew up with in 4-H.” Tod Mountain 4-H Club member Hailee Lamb was disappointed that COVID-19 limited opportunities to show her steer and heifer projects this year. But the 16-year-old was impressed by her sale prices at the online auction and vows to continue with 4-H next year. Stepping up BC 4-H manager Aleda Welch says clubs have stepped up this year to provide their members with some regular events during such an unusual year. “It’s fabulous that a lot of these fairs and third-party organizers were able to arrange for virtual auctions, shows and sales so that our members could complete their project year,” she says. “At the end of the year, a lot of clubs and districts were actually able to have their in-person achievements in a modied version. It wasn’t what they were used to in the past but the feedback was that they were very appreciative that the leaders rallied behind them and were able to have a little bit of normalcy for the end of the year.” BC 4-H also adapted, changing its annual ve-day Food for Thought event involving 45 youth to six one-day events in dierent locations across BC where group restrictions could be met. “It all worked out extremely well. We got some great feedback from the kids; they were very happy to have gotten out at least for that one day and participate in the 4-H program,” Welch says about the event. BC 4-H and 4-H groups across BC are now looking forward to an uncertain future with great hopes that things 4-H members finish season at virtual Ag ExpoBC 4-H planning for next seasonreturn to normal. “As for next year, we’re hoping for the best. We’re currently planning for in-person programming with the hope that we’ll be able to do the programs as we have been able to in the past where the members can get together and do the programs as a group,” notes Welch. But with virtual 4-H events behind most large agricultural fairs in BC, everyone also feels prepared for a repeat of this year. “If worst comes to worst, we’re certainly ready to put on another virtual fair. We’re hoping, though, it’s going to be an in-person fair. The kids really miss seeing all their friends and doing it as an in-person fair,” says Pilatzke.
46 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThese are a popular and classic appetizer, which can be prepared ahead of time, ready to pop into the oven when company arrives. Croustades: Make the bread cups ahead of time and keep them in an air-tight container. 24 slices of bread smear of butter or spray • Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Flatten each slice of bread with a rolling pin and cut a 3-inch round out of the centre and save the remainder of each for bread crumbs, perhaps for your turkey dressing. • If you have a ower-shaped cookie cutter, it’s better because you have less bulk around the top of the tart pan. If you use a plain round cutter, you’ll have to lap the corners of the bread to make each t the cup. • Butter or spray regular or small-size mun cups. • Fit each round into a tart shape, pressing rmly with your ngers. Bake the shells in the oven for 10 minutes or until slightly golden and crisp. • Cool and store in an air-tight container until needed. Mushroom Filling: Prepare the mushroom lling and refrigerate until ready to use. ½ lb. (227 g) mushrooms 3 tbsp. (45 ml) butter 3 tbsp. (45 ml) minced shallots or red onion 2 tbsp. (30 ml) our 1 c. (250 ml) whipping cream ½ tsp. (2 ml) lemon juice ½ tsp. (2 ml) salt ¼ tsp. (1 ml) cayenne pepper 1 tbsp. (15 ml) chopped parsley Parmesan cheese • Chop shallots and mushrooms very ne (don’t use a food chopper as it mushes them). • Melt butter in medium-hot frypan and before the foam subsides, add shallots. Stir almost constantly for several minutes, not letting them brown. • Add mushrooms. Stir gently to thoroughly coat them with the butter. In a few minutes, they’ll release their moisture. Stir when this occurs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all moisture evaporates, about 10 or 15 minutes. • Remove from the heat, add our and stir until none is visible. Immediately stir in whipping cream. • Return to the heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to bubbling. Simmer for a few minutes more to cook the our, stirring regularly. • Remove from the heat and add lemon juice, salt, cayenne and parsley. • Transfer to a bowl and chill – for several days if needed. • When ready to serve, pre-heat oven to 350° F and ll croustades with the mushroom lling. • Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. Do not reheat in a microwave as that would make the crisp cups soggy. Makes 24. Classic festive appies for the holidaysCheese balls are very adaptable, not only in terms of the ingredients you can vary to give them a dierent avour, but also in the shapes you can form them into to suit an occasion. I’ve made them into jack-o-lanterns and footballs as well as snowmen. And, you can add minced sweet pickles, or spicy jalapeno peppers to them to change the avour up a bit. 8 oz. (227 g) cream cheese 1 1/2 c. (375 ml) grated sharp cheddar 2 minced green onions 2 tsp. (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce 12 drops hot pepper sauce 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) black pepper chopped pecans or walnuts fresh rosemary twigs, for arms broccoli or coloured peppercorns, for face & buttons pepperoni, shaped for a mouth cucumber, green pepper or olives for a hatred pepper scarf • Soften cream cheese in a bowl. Add the grated cheddar, nely-minced green onions, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and black pepper and mix thoroughly. • Chop pecans or walnuts and spread on a sheet of waxed paper to roll the balls in, or mix them into the cheeseball. If they’re inside the mix, they will soften as it sits, while on the outside they remain crisper. • Divide the mix in half and roll one half into a ball for the base of the snowman. Place on a serving plate. Divide o one-third of the remaining mix and roll the other two-thirds into a second ball, placing it on top of the base. Roll the remaining mix into a ball and place on top for the head. • Coloured peppercorns work well for eyes, nose and I used orets of broccoli for buttons. I used a carved piece of pepperoni for the mouth, and a couple of rosemary twigs for arms. • You’re on your own for a hat. I carved up a piece of cucumber but use your imagination there. • Chill before serving with crackers.CHEESE BALL SNOWMANMany of us have been returning to the basics as we work out of our homes instead of going in to oces, and as we reduce the number of people we see to those within our ‘bubble’ and do more in our homes than going out. It’s resulted in many of us renewing our relationship with the kitchen and the garden and with outdoor adventures where we can safely enjoy ourselves without sharing indoor air with strangers. There’s been a return to the past, in a way, as we dig up old recipes passed down through the generations and ask our elders when you plant lettuce and harvest potatoes. Outdoor stores have empty shelves where the tents were stocked. It’s like fashions in clothing I guess, with new style pant leg shapes coming and going in cycles through the years, from roomy to snug; ared to straight; hip-huggers to waist height; oor-length to capri or pedal-pushers. We’re even returning to what was popular to eat in earlier times, although often with a healthier twist, because we tend to be much more aware that what we consume dictates our shape and our health. In that vein, generally it’s what you’re used to. I’m no longer accustomed to the thick taste of full-fat milk and I prefer 1%. That makes it easier to improve the nutritional prole of favourite dishes by substituting lower-fat milk for whipping cream in a recipe, or purchasing cheese with a lower fat content. Use of fresh, local vegetables and fruit improves both avour and nutrition, which otherwise can be reduced by shelf and travel time. There are fashions in food, too. People were very taken with sliced bread when it rst became available in the 1920s, but today we’ve returned to our roots, realizing that it’s vital our bodies get the whole grain so we don’t miss out on important nutrients. I’m sure this year’s festive season will take on a dierent hue, but I imagine there will still be celebrations amongst those within our bubbles. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for classic old appetizers that are delicious today, just as they were yesterday. Happy New Year, and I’m condent 2021 will be a better year than 2020 for us all. JAN’S MUSHROOM CROUSTADESJude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESThis classic cheese ball can be shaped into a snowman. PHOTO / JUDIE STEEVES
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MX7 JOHN DEERE finishing mower used only one season, $3,800; FRONTIER RT1207 large tiller just like new, $4,500. 12’ MF DISC HARROW $2,500 Carl, 604-825-9108IRRIGATIONIrrigation Design New and Used Equipmentpiperpivotsr pumps r power units traveling gun / hose email@example.comEQUIPMENT DISPERSAL • LOEWEN AGITATORS 22 ft, 100 HP prop, nice condition $2,250; 16 ft 100 HP prop, nice condition, $2,000 • 2017 KUBOTA M6 -141 4WD LH rev, cab, air, stereo, 24sp Powershift, 126 PTO HP, 540/1000 PTO, 2 sets remotes, radials 12 weights front-cast centers, rear. Loader available. Loaded, as new, 597 hours. Warranty till May 2023. $76,500 • NEW HOLLAND 824 2 row corn head $1,250 20 ft • 1988 FORD 7710 2WD, cab, A/C, stereo, 12 speed w/high low power shift, 87 HP, two sets remotes. Very nice original tractor. $28.500 TONY 604-850-4718RAVEN HILL MEADOWS: Coneygeers bloodlines - call for seedstock. 250-722-1882. NanaimoFor Tissue Culture Derived Plants of New Varieties of Haskaps, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Saskatoon Berries and Sour Cherries, Please Contact:DISEASE FREE PLANTING STOCK OF NEW BERRY CROPS 4290 Wallace Hill Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 4B6info@agriforestbiotech.com250.764.2224www.agriforestbiotech.com HAYLAGE EXCELLENT QUALITY HAYLAGE 950-1100 LB BALES Delivery available on Vancouver Island and along the Trans Canada Hwy corridor in BC. Reasonable prices. 250-727-1966NEW POLYETHYLENE TANKS of all shapes & sizes for septic and water storage. Ideal for irrigation, hydroponics, washdown, lazy wells, rain water, truck box, fertizilizer mixing & spraying. Call 1-800-661-4473 for closest distributor. Manufactured in Delta by Premier Plastics Inc. premierplastics.com. REAL ESTATEFeeders & Panels that maintain their value!ROUND BALE FEEDERS BIG SQUARE BALE FEEDERS FENCE PANELS CATTLE & HORSE FEEDERSHeavy duty oil field pipe bale feeders. Feed savers, single round bale feeders outside measurement is 8’x8.5.’ Double round bale feeder measurement is 15’x8’. Silage bunk feeders. For product pictures, check out Double Delichte Stables on Facebook Dan 250/308-9218 ColdstreamFARM / INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT FOR SEASONAL EQUIPMENT JUST CALL! • NEW HOLLAND 8 row Hyd fold corn head for a Self Propelled Harvester $12,500. • CATERPILLAR 215 excavator; Mechanical thumb, Caged all-around Protection, $22,000 • BIG HYSTER FORKLIFT High Lift Lumber Style, 8 ft tines extensions on propane. $5,500 • 3PH HYSTER FORK LIFT Heavy Duty attachment. $,2200. Other fork-lifts and attachments. • FORD NH by-directional Attach-ments; Fork-Lift $3500, loader silage forks/grapple $1,000 • ROAD SANDER Dump or deck mount, self contained power unit, medium size. $2,200 • BIG ROAD SANDER S/A Semi Trailer with liquid additive applicator, S/C. Power, X. VGR Airport, mint condition. $12,500 • FORD 4610 Tractor, 60HP, Narrow and low profile 2WD, Nice Cond, $10,500 • GALLION CRANE All Terran 4X4, IH diesel, extension boom with cable winch. $4,750 • AIR COMPRESSORS Various electric shop and portable diesel trailer style. $750 to $5,500 • BAND SAW for metal, used little, $750. • SHOP WELDERS $250 and up. • BELT CONVEYOR gravel/soil HD in-dustrial 50’x3’ electric on wheels. $7,500 • SCREENER Double Deck separator, belt driven, has been used for wood chip. $2,500 • LOADER ASSEMBLIES: FORD/NH 8360, CASE 56L, IH Ind, Allied 784, Tiger, etc. Call for details. • EXCAVATOR RIST A TWIST 50” cleaning bucket, NEW! $2,600. Many other buckets, call for details. • NEW SKID-STEER Bale Spear $550, Pallet Forks $950, Also used pieces. • OLDER FARM TRUCKS & PARTS Call Jim for hard to nd items Abbotsford at 604-852-6148ZcXjj`Ô\[j7Zflekipc`]\`eYZ%ZfdfiZXcc1-'+%*)/%*/(+C@E<8;J1),nfi[jfic\jj#d`e`dld(*gclj>JK#\XZ_X[[`k`feXcnfi[`j%),;@JGC8P8;J1),gclj>JKg\iZfclde`eZ_M[WYY[fjcW`ehYh[Z_jYWhZi$JANUARY issue deadline DECEMBER 18HAY FOR SALE Large quantities of 3x4 hay & 4x4 WRAPPED SILAGE BALES. Located in Salmon Arm. WE DELIVER. 250-804-6081Toll Free 1-888-357-0011 www.ultra-kelp.comREGISTRATION NO. 990134 FEEDS ACT Keeping Animals Healthy The Natural Way FLACK’S BAKERVIEW KELP PRODUCTS INC Pritchard, BC (est. 1985)Helping you complete your lease & water agreements, as well as renewal of well licenses for the provincial gov’t. Very reasonable rates. Michelle Downey Professional Services IncMDrmdowney1@gmail.com 250-830-8262 www.MichelleDowney.ca WANTED TO BUY JOHN DEERE FRONT END LOADER MODELS 143, 145, 146, 178 604-794-7139LAND FOR SALE BY TENDER Land has averaged an ~8% increase per year in sale price over past 50 years. Land is a tangible asset investment sought after by pension funds, insurance funds and smart money as today’s pre-ferred alternative to investment in gold, oil or equities. • Details of land and bid process are on https://kryskalandtender.ca/ • Deadline for submission of tenders is noon MST, Tuesday December 8, 2020 • Parcels may sell as individual 160 acre quarter sections or in blocks. Total 635.99 titled acres. • Located East of Edmonton, Alberta FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: BRIAN KRYSKA 780-604-0800INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITYPending Sale!SOLD!1968 NH BALER. Good working condi-tion square baler. Completely rebuilt several years ago w/minimum use. Can provide pics, video of baler in use. Perfect for hobby farm. $4,000. Arnie 604-819-3712Top DORPER LAMB rams; ready to go beginning of August. 74 Mile House Ranch, 250-706-7077
48 | DECEMBER 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCkubota.ca | Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568AVE010OLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524 PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431 SMITHERS HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/847-3610 VERNON AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/545-3355 ABBOTSFORD AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 604/864-2665 COURTENAY NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR 250/334-0801 CRESTON KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD 250/428-2254 DAWSON CREEK DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/782-5281 DUNCAN ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD 250/746-1755 KAMLOOPS DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/851-2044 KELOWNA AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/769-8700 JACK FROST? MEET THE JACK OF ALL TRADES.Tackle your property’s every icy task, with the all-new Kubota LX Series tractor. With its 4-point hitch and K-Connect, you can quickly and easily switch out any attachment—snow shovels and pushers, snowblowers, loaders, sweepers, or just about any other tool. The proven Kubota diesel engine, available with a turbocharge option, puts big power and torque where you need it most; under your precise control.PROUD PARTNER OF2020 has been a challenging year for everyone in the ag industry, and we hope you’re safe and healthy as you manage your business. On behalf of the Kubota dealers of BC and Kubota Canada Ltd, we want to thank you for keeping food on our table, and supporting all businesses that keep this industry alive and well. A special thank you for all front line workers and their families; we wish all of you the very best of the festive season, and a happy, healthy new year.