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. 107 No. 1The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 JANUARY 2021 | Vol. 107 No. 1DAIRYTrade issues, pandemic dog dairy producers 7 PREVIEWPacific Ag Show embraces the digital realm 19 TECHNOLOGYTaking the guesswork out of herd management29by PETER MITHAM SURREY – An insurance crisis is brewing for farmers and food processors as commercial insurers face the worst market in living memory. “We’re in the worst insurance market we’ve seen in the past 40 years,” says David Bastow, an account executive with HUB International in Burnaby. “I don’t see that changing any time soon.” Costly payouts and poor returns on the investments that fund policies have contributed to a more selective approach to lines of business and specic policies, says Bastow. For local nurseries and greenhouses, that means obtaining coverage – typically required in order to safeguard the assets that secure mortgages and others loans – has become more costly. HUB recommends that nursery operations plan on a 25% to 35% increase in their premiums while greenhouses should budget for even greater increases. Specic numbers are hard to come by. Rob de Pruis, consumer and industry relations director, Western with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, says it’s tough to get a handle on how much premiums for farm insurance have increased, given the several variables unique to each farm that aect coverage. However, De Pruis says Clear skies made for a spectacular view of the full moon rising over the ridge of Mount Cheam in Chilliwack at the end of November. Above-average precipitation in the Fraser Valley kept local elds green as December approached, while other areas of the province saw the rst storms of winter descend. PHOTO / JANIS STARKInsurance premiums soar1-888-770-7333 Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!YOUR BC SEED SOURCESee INSURANCE on next page oNew year, new eraTrade woes could improve BURNABY – A new administration in the US this month is raising hopes for fewer trade hassles in the months ahead. “I expect more predictability and more following the rules,” federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau told farm media last month regarding the new US administration. She had previously announced that Canada would not make additional concessions on market access in future trade negotiations as Full moon risingSee US on next page oIndustry Experts in Agricultural & Greenhouse Irrigationwatertecna.com Happy NewYear fromLangley 1.888.675.7999Williams Lake 1.855.398.7757
US launches challenge to Canadian dairy tariff rate quotas nfrom page 1INSURANCE policies come with increased rates, exclusions nfrom page 1part of an announcement that a total of $4.3 billion would be paid to dairy producers by 2024 for concessions granted to the EU and trading partners around the Pacic. However, the pledges came as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer launched the rst enforcement action under CUSMA, the successor to NAFTA, over the tari rate quotas (TRQs) under which Canada grants domestic dairy processors allocations of 14 types of imported dairy products. “Canada’s measures violate its commitments and harm US dairy farmers and producers,” Lighthizer says. “We are disappointed that Canada’s policies have made this rst ever enforcement action under the USMCA necessary to ensure compliance with the agreement.” Lighthizer issued a letter December 9 demanding consultations with Canada, threatening to escalate the matter to a dispute settlement panel if those consultations are not successful. However, the US dairy industry has yet to take full advantage of what they’ve got. During the BC Milk Marketing Board’s fall producer meeting on November 25, board vice-chair Tom Hoogendoorn reported that butter and milk powder were the most common products arriving from the US, at 22% and 9.5% of allocations, respectively. All other categories saw ll rates of less than 3%; no US uid milk entered Canada. 2 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCagriculture has experienced a much harder market over the past couple of years. Factors include exposure to risks such as extreme weather, wildre and ood, which tend to be more signicant in rural areas where farms operate. “[Farms] can be impacted very signicantly by extreme weather,” he explains. While farmers may look to the brokers for policies, the brokers simply broker the options available from the major insurers. There are fewer of these active in the market, thanks to their assessments of the risk. The insurers, in turn, have policies backed by the reinsurance companies, which have found it to tougher to recoup their losses in recent years as returns on the investments that anchor the policies haven’t kept up. Therefore, insurers look to premiums to make up the shortfall, based on their sense of the risks a given client faces. And, with fewer clients following businesses closures in the pandemic, there’s a smaller number of clients over which to spread the greater insurance costs. The overall eect is a more conservative approach from the reinsurers on down, and higher premiums. “The insurance industry is having a lot more discipline in its underwriting,” De Pruis said. “The commercial industry is just seeing a lot of challenges.” A few days after Bastow delivered his report, insurers voluntarily agreed to amend practices with respect to strata corporations following an investigation by the BC Financial Services Authority. Skyrocketing premiums and rising deductibles had left many residential properties scrambling to secure adequate coverage, often at twice the cost for half the coverage previously enjoyed. Many would often not know till the week before policies renewed what the terms would be. Often, terms were oered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. But no such help has been forthcoming for farm businesses. During a question-and-answer session December 1, BC agriculture minister Lana Popham elded a question about rising farm insurance rates and addressed crop insurance instead, noting a recent federal proposal to change business risk management programs. Meanwhile, the range of aected businesses is expanding. BC Association of Abattoirs executive director Nova Woodbury says the number of companies writing policies for her members has been going down. This year, terms became tighter and new exclusions were introduced. Communicable disease liability is a common exclusion since COVID-19 struck, for instance. One farm abattoir was denied general processing liability insurance of $2 million, which is no longer being covered by 90% of underwriters. However, without general processing liability insurance, the insurer wouldn’t provide general coverage, either. The farm eventually obtained all the needed pieces but the cost was thousands of dollars more than what it paid a year ago. With producer margins being squeezed across the board, the extra costs are a kick in the teeth. “I'm sure it's going to happen to the other ag products – farms and processors,” says Woodbury, who notes that the premiums for her own, relatively simple farm increased by a small amount but came with more exclusions. Just when producers want peace of mind, the insurance that helps provide it is being pared back. “It was a hard market prior to COVID, and it’s made it worse and we’re going into uncharted territory over the next year about how long this is going to last,” says Bastow. “Insurance going forward is going to be a bit of a challenge.” “I guess their distribution channels aren’t really set up yet to bring all their product in,” Hoogendoorn speculated. Dairy Farmers of Canada, which objected to implementation of CUSMA on July 1 before the end of the last dairy year, dismissed the move as mere politics. (Lighthizer is a political appointee; president-elect Joe Biden has nominated Katherine Tai to be his successor in the new administration. “TRQ allocations by the federal government are consistent with the terms of the agreement,” says DFC CEO Jacques Lefebvre. “Anyone who reads the text of CUSMA would see this, but the outgoing administration may feel that, by taking this approach, it will endear itself with family-owned dairy farms in the US.” Other products have also been in the crosshairs of the outgoing administration. Raspberries, blueberries and greenhouse vegetables have all been the target of sabre-rattling. Southern US blueberry growers formed a new lobbying alliance on December 16 to address the question of imports; while Peru and Mexico were the targets, rather than Canada, the pressure on producers in Canada is clear. Hoogendoorn says strong domestic support is producers’ greatest asset. When consumers have a choice, they’ll buy local over imports. “We do know that the public really wants Canadian, domestic milk,” he says. “That’s our ace in the hole.” www.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 Fax. 604/854-6708 email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard YANMAR FX42D 2WD OPEN STATION, 42HP PSHIFT TRANS, 4 SPEED PTO. 2961 HRS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6,500 CLAAS 350T AND 370T PULL TYPE ROTARY RAKES . . . . 4,500 & $6,500 SIP 165G THREE POINT DRUM MOWERS, GD COND. . . . . . . . 2,800 ea KUHN 1219 SINGLE AXLE MANURE SPREADER WITH GATE . . . . 6,500 DEUTZ FAHR AGROLUX 67 4X4, LOADER, 70HP . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,000 JOHN DEERE 7000 4 ROW, DRY FERT, MECH MARKERS, NEW FINGERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,500 JOHN DEERE HD BALE CONVEYOR 40FT ON ADJ FRAME WITH AXLE, PTO DRIVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,200 MASCHIO DM 4500 POWER HARROW 14 FT WIDE W/ROLLER, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,000 MF 265 2WD, CAB, 60 PTO HP, INDUSTRIAL LOADER . . . . . . . . 10,500 GMC CAB OVER 5 TON DIESEL TRUCK WITH 18 FT TYCROP SILAGE BOX, GOOD CONDITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,000 LOEWEN 9612 VERTICAL MIXER . 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Popham looks forward to a new termThe past three years established a foundation for what’s to comeGrow BC, Feed BC, Buy BC was a pet project of agriculture minister Lana Popham during her rst term in cabinet. That work will continue, now that food security and safety have been prioritized for her ministry. PHOTO / BCMAFF COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 3Proudly offering quality farm equipment and wholesale farm product delivery across BC.Call, email or visit us email@example.comCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders t3PX$SPQ$VMUJWBUPSTr3PUBSZ)PFT $BNFSB(VJEBODF4ZTUFNAND On In StockAEROSTAR Tine WeedersDELTA Drain Tile Cleaner *NQSPWFT%SBJOBHFr$POEJUJPOT4PJMr&DPOPNJDBM 3FMJBCMFr-PX.BJOUFOBODFr4BGFBOE1SPWFOSPECIAL PRICING On In Stock by PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – A new year and a new mandate stretches before BC agriculture minister Lana Popham, who is starting her second term in cabinet. While her expectations have been tempered by experience, her ambitions for agriculture in BC remain high. “It was only three years but I feel we put in a good foundation to be able to move more quickly on the issues that we want to get done,” she told Country Life in BC in early December. “I feel we’ve got an excellent mandate, and the foundation that we’ve built will allow us to get it done.” The mandate letter outlining expectations for her ministry – rechristened Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, last used in the early 2000s – prioritizes food security and safety in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as expansion of the Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC programs that were a hallmark of her rst term. But it also emphasizes food security in partnership with other ministries, including those responsible for education, social development and poverty reduction. The role of technology in achieving greater food security, an outcome of last year’s food security task force report, is also at the fore in the form of a regenerative agriculture network. The importance of technology in helping farmers do what they do better was part of what made the rst funding announcement of her new term so exciting for her. She was the rst minister to hit the ground, allocating $800,000 for a small farm acceleration pilot program. While many small business accelerator programs oer coaching and support services, this one provides matching funding for infrastructure investments. “We really haven’t seen that before,” she says. But if the program covers existing technology, it’s what’s under development that will be a focus of her work with Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation minister Ravi Kahlon to create a regenerative agriculture network. A former organic farmer, Popham says the concept of “regenerative agriculture” wasn’t taken seriously for a long time. But that’s changed as criticism of conventional agriculture’s role in climate change has mounted. Now, the idea has been embraced by the agrifood sector with the aim of claiming the moral high ground. “In the past two years things have really changed,” she says. “One of the reasons is because it allows for agriculture to be a solution to climate change rather than just have ngers pointed at agriculture as part of the problem.” Of the 150-plus agritech companies in the province, Popham calls out Vancouver-based Terramera Inc. for its technology designed to reduce pesticide use and its more recent bid to promote carbon sequestration. These are tools that make agriculture a more sustainable pursuit, and projects that engage local farms to achieve knowledge transfer and establish the kind of network the province envisions. “People think agritech is for large scale, but it’s actually for small, medium and large,” says Popham. “[Terramera] are setting up their agritech research network on farms in BC, and we feel we have some space there to set up a regenerative agriculture network at the same time, because they are actually very complementary of one another.” Popham took ak last year over a food security task force recommendation that 28,500 acres be set aside within the Agricultural Land Reserve for agritech uses but her mandate letter directs her to “position our province as an agri-tech leader, while protecting farmland in the ALR.” Criticisms are likely to persist, however, with several items from her rst term yet to resolve. Small-scale meat producers across the province have yet to see signicant change in slaughter capacity, a gap in the province’s food security that expanded during the pandemic. Many facilities are booked through next spring and beyond. Yet another consultation last fall on what needs to be done left many producers frustrated; some have threatened to shut down. Popham says expanded slaughter capacity is “a high priority,” and says the transfer of authority for meat inspections to her ministry from health last summer was critical. “Now that we have authority, we can make changes,” she says. “We’re going to move as fast as we can because I would like to see the improvements before the next season. I won’t be able to build a bunch of slaughterhouses, but we can change regulations.” Secondary on-farm housing is another contentious issue triggered by legislative initiatives in her rst term that have yet to be resolved. A grandfathering period for manufactured secondary homes on properties in the ALR expires July 31. Many landowners want clarity about what’s coming; some have been in limbo since February 2019 thanks to rule changes and confusion over their interpretation. While the pandemic has increased public support for agriculture, many smaller farmers have yet to feel the love from the province. Once a small farmer herself, Popham shares their impatience while recognizing that government moves slowly. “I’m not going to say it’s going to be easier, I just think I know how to do it better now. I understand the process better,” she says. “Now we just have to get the legislative work done.”
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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.107 No. 1 . JANUARY 2021Published 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 Roll up your sleeve, PW! New openingsBC agriculture is one of the most diverse in the country, with more than 200 farm products harvested here. The province is also home to some of the largest and smallest farms in the country. There’s also diversity of ownership, from Dutch dairymen to Punjabi fruit growers, Asian market gardeners and Indigenous harvesters and ranchers. Gender diversity is also present, with BC home to a greater percentage of female farm operators than other regions. But diversity is often best praised in the abstract. Specics, like those listed above, risk limiting what it can be. Diversity is also profoundly local, diering from community to community and sector to sector. While the acronym BIPOC – Black, Indigenous, people of colour – has been shorthand for the kind of diversity valued in central Canada and the US, the mandate letters sent to the new cabinet in Victoria rearranged the letters as IBPOC. Diversity in BC begins by establishing proper relations with the province’s Indigenous peoples who welcomed everyone else. Welcoming something new doesn’t work without a recognition of common ambitions, however. Supply managed groups struggled last year to meet diverse local demand within a national quota system, an experience that forced them to recognize how the national system is much bigger than any one provincial market. “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,” remarked one chicken grower in October. “We can’t become fragmented and disband.” Similarly, recent federal initiatives have focused on supporting women and youth in agriculture. (With some of the oldest farmers in Canada, BC's demographic diversity could benefit from additional younger farmers.) Policies can help, but as new entrant Vicki Brisson told participants in the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference this fall, welcoming and retaining diversity hinges on a collaborative approach rather than seeing outside groups or even each other as competitors. Being exible enough to accommodate others doesn’t mean being silent about our own issues. Dicult conversations may be needed to ensure everyone understands each other and is on the same page. Succession planners will tell you how often a lack of transparency makes welcoming a new generation into the family business more of a challenge than it needs to be. The same principle holds true when we welcome people from dierent backgrounds, cultures and life experiences. Understanding what they bring to It’s the turn of the year, when trees throw noon-day shadows more than twice their height across the elds, and farmers and ranchers from Saanich to Cecil Lake might nd time to reect on the year past and the one to come. COVID-19 will be the dening event of 2020 for nearly all of us. A year ago, many among us were looking forward to kicking tires and seeing old friends at the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford. We will be attending the 2021 show virtually [www.agricultureshow.net]. It won’t be the same, but if we’ve learned anything on our farm in the past year, it’s that dierent isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The virtual show might be just the ticket for a ranch family in Fraser Lake, who couldn’t consider leaving home in the dead of winter to attend in person, to participate. COVID aside, 2020 was a year of mixed blessings on our farm. A warm May and cool, wet June was ideal for the grass elds we overseeded and yields were up by 30%. The pumpkins got o to a slow start in June but most of them made up for lost time over the summer and were ready for the Hallowe’en u-pickers in October. We didn’t start irrigating until July, but we grappled with the lack of meat-packing capacity all year. As the old saying goes: “All-in-all, we done okay.” But the best thing to come out of 2020 on our farm is the success of a crop we hadn’t tried before: new farmers. The seed for this venture showed up in the fall of 2019, newly arrived in the community to a part-time job teaching school and looking for a spot to park her camper van, hopefully in exchange for helping on the farm. We met Anna and agreed to trade a camping spot for housekeeping in the horse and donkey stalls. Anna turned out to be down-to-earth, dependable, inquisitive and eager to learn. During afternoon chores in the barn one day, Anna admitted to a keen interest in gardening and having spent time the previous summer working on a small farm. I said if she was truly keen, perhaps we should nd her a spot to try it out on her own. She said thanks, but she already had plans for the summer. Neither of us realized it then, but a seed was planted. Weeks later, Anna said she had been thinking about what I said and wondered if I was serious. Voila, the seed was sprouted. Within days she was asking details regarding how much space, greenhouse use, how much was it going to cost, and would it be okay if her boyfriend came to help? We oered half an acre, included the greenhouse, tools, irrigation, compost, any tractor work and accommodation, in exchange for a family-sized share of the vegetables and occasional help on the rest of the farm. Seeds were ordered. A year has passed, and a crop of new farmers has sprouted and taken root. We are looking forward to seeing them grow in 2021. It has been a win-win for all concerned. We have land, water, an under-used greenhouse and equipment: an opportunity that was going unrealized, and would still be if it weren’t for Anna’s and Evan’s enthusiasm, commitment and industry. Though they are growing on a very small part of it, they have made the whole farm a better place. This is not a scenario we hadn’t considered before. But there always seemed to be too many concerning what-ifs to contemplate. Now the only question is what if they weren’t here? We would miss the help, and all the vegetables, but most of all we would miss them. I think deep down we recognize our younger selves in Anna and Evan. The same passion and determination to farm and the same joy to be doing it. Who wouldn’t want to see that happen? Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley. The Back Forty BOB COLLINSthe table, and how we can help them nd a place is necessary if we want agriculture to benet from new perspectives. The good news is we’ll often nd that new entrants, newcomers – even new years – have the same hopes and ambitions we had when we were new. With another 12 months ahead of us, how will we make room for what’s to come, perhaps things we haven’t yet imagined are possible? New farmers are a crop worth growing4 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWe acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.
Let’s get real about mental wellness on the farmPersonal tragedy becomes a lifeline of hope as tough conversations become mainstreamCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 5Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the agriculture industry continues to demonstrate resilience and reliability. It’s on my 2021 agenda to continue to talk about this achievement publicly to continue to educate those outside agriculture, but I’m also marking the beginning of a new year celebrating the growing normalization of talking openly about mental health within agriculture. Like many of you, this fall I attended agricultural conferences and meetings online. It’s not the same as meeting in-person, which I love, but these gatherings enable me to continue sharing stories with you in Country Life in BC. A number of the events contained a mental wellness component. Anxiety, depression and even suicide within the agriculture community are being talked about openly. Here’s an example. As a board member of the BC Farm Writers Association and its representative to the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation, I participated in an online reside chat last month with federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. My question: what is her message is to those who target the beef sector for its contributions to climate change? One of the rst things she said was, “I worry about the mental health of those in the meat sector.” She went on to say farmers are essential to society and that she wants to put more emphasis on building increased public pride and trust in Canadian farmers across sectors. She mentioned producers’ strong dedication to their work, to sustaining the land as well as their commitment to continuous improvement and technology adoption. It wasn’t exactly the direct answer I was hoping for, but that was secondary. Hearing an agriculture minister use the words “mental health” in a conversation with about 40 agricultural journalists and writers made me smile. Why? Because the topic is personal. January 10, 2021 marks 26 years since my dad died by suicide. On dad’s side of my family, mental unwellness – depression – goes back several generations. Although dad, who I loved dearly, never farmed, he was raised in a farming community in Saskatchewan. His father took up grain farming when he retired from operating the town’s general store. Getting through my grief involved attending a group called Survivors of Suicide. It was for people like me who’d lost someone in this very dierent way. My mom and I hated why we needed this group, but it was a godsend. We weren’t alone. Others had been on a similar journey. Although that was 26 years ago, something struck me then that still remains. The facilitator, a most compassionate woman, shared suicide statistics. She strongly believed the number was underreported. One of her reasons was the number of rural deaths that are classied as accidental. She mentioned farm accidents, as well as those who just happened to drive into a moving train. I never researched her theory, but as a television reporter at the time, it seemed plausible to me. While society acknowledged pressures on producers, the impact of those pressures on mental health was rarely if ever discussed. Anxiety, depression and suicide weren’t part of mainstream conversation. Since then, whenever someone openly acknowledges or speaks the words “mental wellness” or “mental health,” I consider it a big win. Talking openly about an issue is the rst sign of positive change. The Advancing Women in Agriculture conference last month, with about 700 registrants, also featured two mental health testimonial sessions. A mother and daughter spoke about learning to live with the younger’s on-going anxiety saying “those facing physical exhaustion or mental health challenges don’t often hold up an ‘I need help’ sign.” One tip oered was for the person struggling to start using a set phrase such as, “That’s all I have for you today,” to indicate their emotional or mental exhaustion to others. In all my years, I’d never heard this before. It’s great advice. Additionally, conference speakers suggested journaling, taking time each day to note moments of gratitude or joy, and using apps like Headspace, Calm, Happify, Breathe and Lifeworks to aid mental wellness. Keynote speaker Michelle Cederberg said agricultural women know how to “get sh*t done” but too often say “I haven’t even had time to pee.” She told the audience that statement shouldn’t be a sign of achievement but rather a Viewpoint by MYRNA STARK LEADERDowntown 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 SALMON VALLEY RD. SALMON ARMwww.OkLandBuyers.ca “Farmers helping farmers with their real estate needs”Custom-built home w/million dollar view on private 16 acres. Farm Status with 2+ acres of berries, grapes, fruit trees, plus 2-bed modular home, 24X32 shop, 12X32 attached lean-to. 30 min. from Armstrong, Salmon Arm & Vernon. MLS® 10220386. $1,050,000physical and mental health warning. Another speaker shared his attempted suicide story. The big positive in this is how it inspires and gives courage to others to share their journey and ask for help. While I’ve never attempted self-harm, there’ve been times where the thought crossed my mind, always in the midst of one of my bouts of depression. I’ve had a few, in my 20s and following the birth of one of my kids in my 30s. I like to say I’ve carried on the family illness. Luckily, I found a medication that works. And now I’m also able to notice when I’m not feeling myself and take action. Each time I share my experience, most people share their own direct or closely-related experience right back. In talking openly, I always hope the negative stigma associated with mental health is destroyed. The illness doesn’t discriminate by commodity, income level, age, nationality or sex. So, if at the beginning of this new year, when everyday farming pressures are coupled with the pressures of living in a pandemic, if you aren’t feeling yourself, be brave. Tell someone. You‘re not weak, crazy, or seeking attention. Most of all, you are not alone. And if you see someone who is not themselves, have the courage to say, “I’ve noticed you don’t seem like yourself lately. I care about you. Are you thinking about hurting yourself?” You won’t be giving them a suggestion. You’ll be creating an opening that could be their lifeline. 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Trade issues, pandemic dog dairy producers 2020 taught producers the importance of being responsiveCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 7Insurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Please visit www.assante.com/legal.jsp or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planningDriediger Wealth PlanningMark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth AdvisorBrent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth Advisorwww.DriedigerWealthPlanning.com | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd.by PETER MITHAM BURNABY – BC milk producers gathered for the fall producer meeting of the BC Milk Marketing Board on November 25, part of a three-hour videoconference that allowed them to look back at the year that was and forward to what might be in store in 2021. The event was a virtual alternative to the annual dairy conference that typically takes place in downtown Vancouver the same week. “It’s been a year,” BCMMB vice-chair Tom Hoogendoorn told producers. “A tremendous amount of uncertainty, a tremendous amount of crazy things happened.” CUSMA bookended the debut of the pandemic, and was the focus of Hoogendoorn’s comments, who seemed more condent of the industry’s ability to weather the pandemic than the potential inux of product from the US. “The whole of 2019 we spent working on trying to mitigate the eects for the Canadian dairy industry [of CUSMA],” he said. “The biggest thing that happened for us immediately was the elimination of Class 7 and the cap on the powder export.” The elimination of Class 7 meant that all dairy products had to be priced on end-use, reducing the blend price producers are paid. To soften the blow, a new pooling arrangement was struck in January 2020 creating a national pool (P10), replacing the former P4 (Western) and P5 (Eastern) pools. “[This] meant a price haircut to the tune of about $60 million to the West,” explained Hoogendoorn. But a subsequent comparison of production costs by the Canadian Dairy Commission discovered that the production costs in the former P4 bloc was $1.19 per hectolitre higher than in P5. CDC rejected an appeal that would have factored the higher costs into pool payments, and instead oered a payment of $40 million over three years, Hoogendoorn reported, “to ease the pain a little bit.” However, producers are warned that pricing volatility will increase as part of the new pool structure. Moreover, while the implementation of CUSMA on July 1 has had a minimal impact on BC producers to date, it will be a growing challenge as market access increases through mid-2026. On milk alone, 50,500 tonnes of US product will be allowed to ow north by 2026. While the majority will go north to processors rather than for retail sale, Hoogendoorn drove the point home for producers. “If you take how many litres your farm produces in a year and gure out how many farm sizes will be lost of market access to CUSMA because of this deal, it’s astounding,” he said, hoping consumers will step up and buy domestic milk. “Hopefully, the domestic market increases in Canada and we can still grow our farms.” Even without that support, producers face higher per-unit production costs as their share of the market shrinks. And this is on top of costs that are already higher than in the rest of Canada. “With the higher cost in the West, the less milk we ship or the less milk we can produce, it just increases our cost per unit,” he said. “It’s worrisome, but we will get through it and we’ll all work together.” Producers have already shown themselves up to the challenge through COVID-19. “It’s amazing when you look at how the processors and the milk boards and the CDC across the country worked well together to use all the milk that was produced by the farmers, get it into the processing facilities, and the consumers really stepped up to the plate,” said Hoogendoorn. Reviewing industry’s response to COVID-19, board member David Janssens praised producer eorts to meet the initial surge in demand, producing a record 2.3 million litres of milk in a single day, then retrenching as foodservice demand disappeared. For several weeks, producers dumped 150,000 litres of cream (or 15 million litres of milk) into manure pits and digesters as the industry pivoted towards a new and uncertain normal. “We want to thank the producers who did respond to the call and help us control production in this uncertain time,” Janssens said. The dumping ended by the end of May and stability seemed to be returning. By October, orders were rising and producers received three incentive days. But utilization was just 38%, primarily exercised through butterfat, a move that wasn’t entirely helpful. What the year-end holidays and new year would bring was beyond telling, Janssens said, but the year did teach producers the importance of being responsive to shifts in and between the foodservice and retail channels. While overall market demand didn’t shift, where consumption happened did. “The growth in retail was not due to total increased dairy consumption,” he said. “Rather it was a shift in the [foodservice] trade, more people eating at home. And also with the border crossing [restrictions], it probably had an eect on cross-border shopping.” Competition from plant-based beverages also continued to increase rising, with demand for plant-based dairy alternatives rising 16% during the pandemic to account for 8.7% of total dairy milk sales. “They are becoming a source of competition and we have to continue to invest in our education, nutrition and research to demonstrate the power of dairy,” said Janssens. Most of all, he said communication is key to weathering future challenges. “Never let a bad event go to waste. You always want to take some lessons from it,” he quipped. “I think the lesson we’ve learned is that communication is key among all those in the supply chain.” As a result of Farm Show cancellations we are oering 10% -15% discounts.Call 877.966.3546 or visit www.agritraction.com25 Year Anniversary | Patented Traction MillingProducers, processors and yes, even the cows, kept the milk owing during an unprecedented year. FILE PHOTO
8 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDairy associations pull through challenging yearFinances in good shape despite pandemic as 2021 holds promise by PETER MITHAM BURNABY – The annual general meetings of the province’s three key dairy groups took place via videoconference on November 25, closing out a year that was remarkable for significant shifts in domestic and international markets. It marked a trial-by-fire for newcomer Jeremy Dunn, who became executive director of the BC Dairy Association in October 2019 but soon found himself navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. “To say that this has been an interesting year is an understatement,” he said in his report to association members. “This year has been characterized by change, and I’m incredibly proud of how our team at BCDA has adapted and adjusted and continued to find ways to serve dairy producers in a way that benefits the industry.” Indeed, the association is pursuing 35 different initiatives on behalf of producers covering topics from on-farm trespass to water access and nutrient management as well as trade and policy issues. “He’s been an absolute rock for us,” BCDA chair Holger Schwictenberg remarked of Dunn’s performance in his first year. Dunn told producers that he’s working to ensure the association continues to advocate for them for the duration of the pandemic and afterwards. “As the pandemic continues to unfold, BC Dairy will engage with both provincial and federal governments to support dairy farmers in producing food for citizens across Canada,” he says. The year’s twists and turns reduced activities at the BC Dairy Industry Development Council, which ended the year in a healthy financial position. This resulted in levies being left untouched for the coming fiscal year. Treasurer John Kerkhoven noted that of the council’s $12 million budget, $7.5 million is allocated to nutrition and education programs, $1.4 million to services that benefit producers and $157,000 to research. The council maintains $5.2 million in assets. Kerkhoven represents BC producers on the board of Dairy Innovation West (DIW), which is managing the new milk concentration plant in Lacombe on behalf of producers in Western Canada. The plant addresses the elimination of Class 7 milk under CUSMA, which took effect July 1. The council wasn’t the only one of the three organizations to enjoy financial health this year. BC Milk Marketing Board treasurer Jeremy Wiebe reported that milk revenues increased by $15 million. While this was a little less than expected due to quota restrictions as a result of COVID-19, producer payments increased by $12 million. While the board approved a 2% increase in transportation rates for the coming year, Wiebe said rates remain competitive. “It really hasn’t changed much over the past seven years,” he reported. “If anything, it’s come down.” Tom Hoogendoorn and Jeremy Wiebe were re-elected to the board for three-year terms. Deroche producer Paul Schmidt’s election bid was unsuccessful. Schmidt, who joined the industry in 2011 through the graduated entry program, was encouraged to continue to seek opportunities to serve. Meanwhile, Stan Van Keulen, who stepped off the BCDA board this year, will be honoured for his long service to industry (including as a founding member of the BC Dairy Association) when in-person producer meetings resume. Making money. Milk revenues increased this year by $15 million. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADERCLAAS 860 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 12.5’ PICKUP & 6 ROW CORNHEAD $93,700 CLAAS 970 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10’ PICKUP & 10 ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS/PRICING CLAAS 4000 4-ROTOR RAKE CALL FOR DETAILS FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR FRONT HITCH & PTO CALL FOR DETAILS X 2 FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS JD 8295R MFD CAB TRACTOR WITH DUALS $279,000 MERLO TELEHANDLER MF 40.7CS $134,900 NH BB340 LARGE SQUARE BALER CALL FOR DETAILS NH 900 PT FORAGE HARVESTER WITH GRASS PICK UP $5,400 Pre-owned Tractors & EquipmentWe cut everything, except corners. SOLD!SOLD!See you at the Pacific Ag Show Virtual Edition!www.caliberequipment.ca STORE HOURS MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8-5 SATURDAYS CLOSED ‘TIL SPRING604-864-2273 34511 VYE ROAD ABBOTSFORD
Mark, Holger and Philip Schwictenberg are back in the barn now that both boys have recovered from COVID-19. The dairy went into lockdown after Mark tested positive in early November. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 9Dairy producer offers first-hand advice after sons test positiveSecond wave of pandemic hits close to homeThis year has looked a little different, but our wishes for you remain the same: peace, happiness and time with those who matter most.Happy Holidays from your FCC team. DREAM. GROW. THRIVE.www.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onBALEWRAPPERSSPREADERSSILAGE BLADES BALE PROCESSORSWrap up yoursavings with low rate ﬁnancing.Visit us online for program details.by PETER MITHAM AGASSIZ – While foreign workers were the focus of concerns during the rst wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the second wave has brought the risks of the disease home to local farms. Millennium Pacic Greenhouses Ltd. in Delta and a mink farm in the Fraser Valley were among those hit by outbreaks in December. Both sectors were free of the disease during its rst wave in BC, though mink farms in Denmark were depopulated following an outbreak and potential transmission between mink and humans this summer. Greenhouses in Ontario were the site of signicant outbreaks involving foreign workers this summer. But the risk posed by the disease, which turned a year old November 17, recently hit close to home for Holger Schwictenberg, a dairy farmer in Agassiz. Schwictenberg’s youngest son, Mark, age 16, tested positive for the disease in early November, resulting in Schwictenberg self-isolating for two weeks. Schwictenberg did not test positive for the virus but Mark's brother Philip did. The point of infection is unknown. The rst indication was symptoms, easily confused with a cold, prior to a father-son hockey game. “Saturday morning he had a headache and a runny nose and I said, ‘We can’t do this,’” says Schwictenberg. “We had him tested on Saturday, and on Monday morning – positive.” The farm had a basic COVID-19 protocol, drafted in accordance with AgSafe BC directives, but the safety plan took on fresh importance when the positive test results came back. “We’ve been very careful, but it ramped up once we had it here,” he says. “It’s a hell of a learning curve – who you can be in touch with, who you’re going to talk with to make sure you’re on side, and everything you can do to prevent it from spreading.” Sanitation stations and masks provided external protection, but keeping the milking herd of 160 cows going was tough given that Schwictenberg was in isolation and most of the farm’s workers were told to stay home. “I did not set foot in the barn for two weeks,” says Schwictenberg. “We had four part-timers who come by and help with stu. They were immediately asked not to come anymore. We had one full-time employee, Tara, who we can’t do without. She was in the barn by herself, so between herself and my sister, who’s a vet, we managed to keep things going.” Service calls were another matter. Keeping everyone safe The BC Milk Marketing Board had stipulated since the beginning of the pandemic that no one approach the milk truck driver, and in Schwictenberg’s case that was unlikely. “We’re lucky there – he shows up at 11:30 at night, so there’s nobody out in the barn anyways,” he says. “Any visitors, we say don’t bother – the nutritionist, and we even, for the rst time in 25 years, cancelled our herd health.” The cattle were another matter. While milking continued, so did other natural processes. Alta Genetics delivered semen supplies, but in full personal protective equipment. Sticking to the written protocol was important for on-farm accountability and made for straight-forward communications with AgSafe BC and the Fraser Health Authority. It helped keep people on the farm as well as visitors safe. “You can’t expect everyone else to do it,” says Schwictenberg. “If we took that attitude, it’s not fair to the people in your community and other people you work with. If you have it, play by the rules that [provincial health ocer] Dr. [Bonnie] Henry set out. She’s an expert, I’m not. That’s how we roll here.” While the rst doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 began to be administered in mid-December, the earliest the general public is expected to be treated is this summer. That means everyone, including farmers, will need to be on guard against the virus for the foreseeable future. “No one’s immune,” says Schwictenberg. “It can happen to anybody.”
10 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWeather conditions continued to plague BC’s grain producers this fall. FILE PHOTOGrain producers mark one of their worst harvestsWeather issues force association to pull back on research plotsby PETER MITHAM DAWSON CREEK – While the grain and oilseeds sector in northern BC largely escaped negative impacts from COVID-19, adverse weather conditions made for their own share of challenges. “The is the rst time I’ve had three harvests in a 12-month period,” remarked Fort St. John producer Larry Kantz in his president’s report to the BC Grain Producers Association on December 3. “[There were] denitely challenging times coming out of 2019 and into 2020.” While the 2019 season was shaping up to deliver a decent crop, autumn rains prevented the grain from drying out on the stalk and kept farmers from entering the elds. A large portion of the crop was swathed for recovery in spring, amounting to a second harvest. The third harvest at the end of this past summer was one of the worst in the region. “Incredible damage to the properties and the elds. You name it, it was happening,” Kantz told the meeting. Conditions were so poor that the association scaled back research activities to a single trial site in Fort St. John, halting activities at the research site in Dawson Creek. Even then, half the trials got mowed down on account of extreme wetness and data that wasn’t worth using. Small victories But there were small victories. The association’s fee-for-service research projects went forward, and the results are now in the hands of producers. On the production side, BC Ministry of Agriculture regional agrologist Lori Vickers stepped up to help obtain permits for the region’s producers to burn the residue of the 2019 crop in the eld. The province also allocated money for a dryer program as part of funds to help the province recover from the economic eects of COVID-19. Despite a short timeline, three producers submitted applications by the deadline of December 2. According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, $112,000 was awarded. Kantz would like to see funding for grain dryers renewed in the government’s next budget. “We’re hoping it will be rolled into more of a permanent program come spring, where we have a year to work on it,” he says. Another success was upgrades to the BC Peace Agri Weather Network, courtesy of Andy Nadler of Peak Hydromet Solutions in Campbell River. “He’s got things up and running for us really well again,” says Kantz.“ You can get the data again and it’s accurate and it’s working the way it should be.” During a presentation following the business portion of the meeting, Nadler outlined planned upgrades for the system. These include a more intuitive interface and user experience. He also wants the site to deliver regular weather updates and alerts to producers, something it doesn’t do right now. Providing climate normals to put current data in context is also planned. Nadler also wants the site to provide information on frost risk through the season. Tying growing degree days, already available, to crop stage is also planned, an improvement that will help producers predict crop development. The successes demonstrate the ability of even a relatively small segment of the BC agriculture sector to take steps to improve its lot. However, its status on the national stage remains minor. This was driven home when Cereals Canada and the Canadian International Grains Institute merged. This resulted in a new tiered membership structure that, because of the small size of the BC sector, would have left the province as a non-voting member. “BC is relatively small in the grain industry in Canada, so we ended up down at a level 4, which means we were there but we didn’t have a voice,” explains Kantz. “We weren’t going to sign on as a member, because you’re not a true a member then without a vote.” The association instead opted to remit its membership fee, supporting the organization’s work on behalf of the sector. “Cigi and Cereals Canada do incredibly valuable work for the grain industry, so we felt that was worth it,” says Kantz, who hopes Cereals Canada will re-examine the new membership structure. BC is not the only region left without a vote. Atlantic Canada also lost its vote in the new tiered system. Grain producers typically hold their AGM during the summer but COVID-19 restrictions prevented an in-person meeting at the time. The association hoped the pandemic would abate and allow a regular meeting to occur later in the year, but the surge in cases at the end of the summer nixed that idea and the meeting was held via videoconference instead. Approximately 15 people attended. Farm and Rural Residential Properties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, AIC CandidateAppraiser250.email@example.com
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 11Oliver grape grower Hans Buchler says the province's decision to license groundwater use to crop unfairly limits his management and diversication options. PHOTO / TOM WALKERTHE INVESTMENT AGRICULTURE FOUNDATION OF BC IS AN INDUSTRY LED, NOT FOR PROFIT SOCIETY THAT CREATES FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES TO SUPPORT A THRIVING BC AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD SECTOR THROUGH THE EFFECTIVE DELIVERY OF PROGRAMS. BOARD OF DIRECTORSLooking for a way to make a di昀erence in the BC agriculture and agri-food industry?The Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF) Board of Directors is looking to recruit talented, energetic, industry leaders who are passionate about helping to build a competitive, sustainable and resilient agriculture and agri-food sector in British Columbia.We are currently looking for a total of two (2) Directors, one from each the following sectors:1. Livestock2. Tree Fruit & GrapesFor the full job description, visit iafbc.ca/director. If you are interested in joining the IAF Board of Directors, please visit iafbc.ca/director for more details. Please note, submissions are due by February 12, 2021.DETAILS:iafbc.ca/directordrainage 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 TOM WALKER OLIVER – When Hans Buchler and his wife bought the land for their 18 acres of vineyard almost 40 years ago, one of the attractions was the water. “There is a good well on the property, which was important,” he says. “When I talked to the district of Oliver, they told me it would be dicult and expensive to pump water up here, and there still isn’t a purveyor connection up to this bench.” The bench sits north of Oliver in the shadow of McIntyre Blu. The sandy soil supports grape vines for Covert Farms, Andrew Peller Ltd. and Okanagan Crush Pad. Buchler’s own vines are nestled in small pockets among rocky clis. When you notice the dry grasses and the antelope and rabbit brush popping up between the rocks, it is hard to imagine cultivating any crop without water. Indeed, the surface water rights on the property extend back to 1898. But in order to tap groundwater under the new licensing regime the province introduced in 2016, Buchler has to specify the crop he intends to irrigate. He feels that backs him into a corner. “When I began discussing my application with FrontCounter, I was told that my licence has to be tied to the crop that I currently grow, my grapes,” he says. He feels this ignores the historic uses of the property, which in the past has supported livestock, forage and vegetable production. By licensing to crop, as the practice is known, he says FrontCounterBC is unfairly constraining him. “Wine is a luxury item,” he says. “With the realities of climate change and food security, we may need this land for growing vegetables. I’ve had livestock here in the past and have even grown forage.” Je Nitychoruk, senior water stewardship ocer for Okanagan-Shuswap with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, says groundwater allocations are tied to crop under section 30 of the Water Sustainability Act. “If we were to issue a license that was designed for maximum allocation for forage, regardless of what was being grown, we would be setting people up for non-compliance of section 30,” he says. Buchler led his licence application three and a half years ago, in June 2017. The water use calculator the province provides applicants directed him to seek a licence for an annual allocation of 42,400 cubic metres for each of his two parcels. But that’s less than half the allocation he would need if he was growing apples. FrontCounterBC says applicants can simply apply for a new groundwater licence if they change crops, but Buchler says it’s an expensive undertaking. Given the province’s duty to consult other stakeholders, he worries there wouldn’t be enough water to spare if he went back and asked for more. “The amount of proof you would have to provide through environmental assessments and aquifer assessments would make it pretty much impossible for most farmers,” he says. “You are talking tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to have that type of assessment performed.” Buchler believes that his surface water source, Park Rill Creek, is already over-allocated. “I expect that I would be told that there was no more water volume available,” he says. “In very dry summers in the past, we have nearly run out of water.” He also worries that a new license would jeopardize his rst-in-time/rst-in-right status. Changing viticultural practices may also aect water demand. The growing adoption of organic practices in the Okanagan and Similkameen could see greater extractions to enhance cover crops and control emerging challenges such as red blotch virus.“There are several studies that are showing that doubling the amount of water for diseased vines helps control the virus for a time,” says Buchler. Watering is cheaper than pulling up and replanting an Grower takes issue with groundwater limitsIntended use governs water licencesentire vineyard with virus-free stock and waiting the three years before the vines are in full production. But the new groundwater regime isn’t exible enough to accommodate such shifts, he contends. “The people at FLNRORD who are administering the water licensing program seem to be completely out of touch with the needs of the farming community,” he says. “They have told us that our traditional water rights can be grandfathered in, which in my mind means that I would get to keep the volume of water that I now have.” But that was never the intention of the legislation says Mike Wei, a consultant who was the province’s technical expert during development of the Water Sustainability Act and the Groundwater Protection Regulation. “Grandfathering” is not a term found in the legislation, and sta are discouraged from using the word in explaining the licensing process to applicants, he says. Buchler could appeal, but there is a catch. “They have told me that I can appeal the allotment in my license, but of course I have to get the license rst.” With les from Peter Mitham
12 | JANUARY 2021 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!v BC Farm Business Advisory Services Consultant v Farm Debt Mediation Consultant v Meat Labeling Consultant Phone: 604-858-1715 Cell: 604-302-4033 Fax: 604-858-9815 email: firstname.lastname@example.orgCONFIDENTIALITY GUARANTEEDJack Reams P.Ag. Agri-ConsultingPROFESSIONAL SERVICESCALL 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 BCKnown as root louse, grape phylloxera has been discovered on the leaves of grape vines on Vancouver Island, prompting growers and CFIA to lock down plant movement to prevent spread. FILE PHOTOby RONDA PAYNE DUNCAN – An unwelcome guest has been discovered in vineyards on Vancouver Island. Telltale galls on the leaves of vines in the Cowichan Valley and on the Saanich Peninsula this summer tipped o growers to grape phylloxera, also known as root louse. Wineries are uncertain how long the aphid-like pest has been present on the island or the degree of risk it poses to local growers. “Oregon has phylloxera and nobody talks about it; Washington has phylloxera and nobody talks about it,” says Bailey Williamson, winemaker at Blue Grouse Estate Winery in Duncan and a former director of the Wine Islands Grape Growers Association who helped spearhead recognition of the Cowichan Valley as its own sub-appellation. The discovery was conrmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (BCMAFF) in September. While there have been occasional detections in the Okanagan, Vancouver Island was previously free from the insect. “It’s native to eastern North America and it has travelled around the world into major grape growing regions,” says provincial entomologist Tracy Hueppelsheuser. While the pest spends time above and below ground, it’s best known for the damage it does to vine roots. How phylloxera made its way to Vancouver Island is unknown, though infested rootstock is one possible source. “Nobody wants to point ngers or create any kind of hysteria,” says Williamson. “We’ve decided not to move plant material around until we have a better handle on it. We don’t know how long it’s been here.” CFIA stops plant movement CFIA issues a notice prohibiting movement of plant materials from aected vineyards. The prohibition does not prevent the harvest or removal of fruit. Many growers on Vancouver Island have implemented bleach Grape phylloxera found on Vancouver IslandIsland growers act quickly to prevent the pest’s spread footbaths for workers entering and leaving vineyards to limit the spread of the pest. Vancouver Island growers will be unable to rely on winter weather to control the pest, something that has helped limit populations in the Okanagan. It is unknown how widespread the pest is on Vancouver Island. The province is conducting surveys and hopes to have a better idea later this year. Williamson says additional information from BCMAFF will help growers move beyond their existing protocols. “We’d rather work from a position of knowledge than fear,” he says Once the pest establishes in a region, growers typically shift from planting own-rooted vines to grafting vines onto phylloxera-resistant rootstock. “You may have phylloxera in your vineyard, but if you have resistant rootstock, then the plants won’t get impacted,” explains Hueppelsheuser. She also recommends growers buy clean plants. The Canadian Grapevine Certication Network is developing a protocol to give growers condence that the plants they’re receiving are clean and free of disease. The fact that phylloxera is only aecting the leaves of local vines has Williamson hoping that phylloxera may not be impacting roots. “It has so many dierent stages of its lifecycle. It’s indiscriminate; it moves around,” he says. “As a group, what we’re trying to do is to identify where it is, keep the protocols tight and make sure no one is moving materials, and then make a push that any new plantings done will be on new rootstock.” “Phylloxera is not the end of the world,” says Williamson. “But you have to know it’s there and be prepared to monitor and mitigate it. A lot of questions need to be answered. We as a region need to try to educate people. And then just keep an eye on it.” While phylloxera can kill vines, it does so slowly. Hueppelsheuser notes that weak or declining areas of a vineyard may indicate the presence of phylloxera. The pest takes several years to kill vines, providing an opportunity for identication and action. Growers who suspect phylloxera should contact her to conrm the pest’s presence. YOURHelping YouHelping Youcoucountrylifeinbc.comylifeinbc.comFARM NEWS UPDATEScountrylifeinbc.com
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 13Brian Mennell and Linda Edwards shared 30 years together, growing organic fruit and helping others do likewise. Edwards passed away November 13 at 77 after a career spent supporting the tree fruit sector. SUBMITTED PHOTOby JUDIE STEEVES CAWSTON – A Similkameen entomologist will long be remembered for inspiring hardcore conventional tree fruit growers to spray laundry soap on their pear trees instead of chemicals to combat pear psylla infestations. Linda Edwards died suddenly at the age of 77 on November 13 with her partner of 30 years, Brian Mennell, by her side. A grower of organic Ambrosia apples in Cawston, Mennell says one of Edwards’ biggest projects involved changing growers’ habits from using conventional pesticides – which were proving ineective – against the devastating pear psylla pest, to searching out and encouraging benecial insects in the orchard to do the job instead. “She stressed that the whole natural system in the orchard needed to be encouraged to help control the pest. She would be out there at 6 a.m. teaching growers to look for predators,” commented Mennell. Retired provincial entomologist Hugh Philip says it was one of her major contributions to the industry. “Pear growers were unarmed because conventional chemicals were no longer working to control the pest,” he remembers. “Within a year, there was a miraculous change. Instead of black leaves and sooty mold in the trees, there were green orchards and unblemished leaves. The change led some growers to continue on toward certication as organic growers. It was a major demonstration of how you can work with benecials to control pests in agriculture.” Although the concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) was not new, Edwards and Philip worked with growers looking for new non-chemical controls for tree fruit pests. They employed tactics such as pest monitoring and using care to avoid destroying pest predators in the orchard. Even weeds can provide forage for benecial orchard insects. “Linda made her mark early on in her pest management consulting practice (it was a novel career at the time, even for men) by persuading pear growers to spray laundry detergent on their pears instead of pesticides. This was a gutsy thing for guy farmers to buy into, being used to using strong chemicals as the answer, and risking their crop if it didn’t work,” says Christine Dendy, former president of the BC Cherry Association. “For a brash woman to advise generations of old fruit growers to take a dierent path was a gamble and heads were turned, but gradually, they adopted integrated pest management techniques. She was tenacious and great at pulling research projects together.” Mennell notes that Edwards came to entomology rather late in life, receiving her master’s degree in that specialty from UBC at the age of 36. However, she was fascinated by bugs as a youngster growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan. He says there were many chapters in her life, from an early career in sociology in Saskatoon working for government to work in Vancouver as a community development worker; then in Kelowna working at Okanagan College before she decided to pursue her interest in agriculture. Research and searching out grants to fund research marked her life’s work, including eorts to control the peach borer and support for the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release program to combat the codling moth pest in apples. “She mentored many,” comments Mennell, who adds that just 35 acres of organic orchards existed in the Similkameen in 1991, when Edwards was just beginning to consult with growers. Today, the valley has 1,000 acres in organic production. She mentored a host of researchers and entomologists, and just before her death she completed an update of the Organic Tree Fruit Management production guide. “She had a massive impact on the tree fruit industry,” he adds, and she was a big promoter of Ambrosia, an apple discovered by Wilf (Brian’s brother) and Sally Mennell as a chance seedling in their Cawston orchard. Bruce Curry, chairman of the New Variety Development Council which promotes the Ambrosia apple, says Edwards was the organic sector representative for many years and was very articulate and a real asset on the council. “She even had an impact on conventional growers. Today, the harsher chemicals are gone, replaced with more environmentally friendly products – products that are more targeted instead of broad spectrum insecticides,” he notes. Edwards' successor on the council has not been named. Pioneering entomologist remembered Linda Edwards championed IPM among fruit growersAfter a challenging year, in which we all worked together, the BC Fruit Growers’ Association extends warm holiday wishes for the New Year to all members and friends of the tree fruit industry of BC.BC Fruit Growers’ Association1.800.619.9022www.bcfga.comThe Lakeside Country Inn on Kamloops LakeCustom 3 Bedroom Home on 8.2 Acrest#MBDLXBUFS3Et1SJWBUF)PVTFT5JUMFTt/FX.PEVMBS3BODIFSt)BZ'JFME#BSO4IPQQuesnel, BC $898,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398Horse Lovers Dreamon 63 Acres with Hay Call 604.491.1060www.theBestDealsinBC.comSelling BC’s Lifestyle Propertiesinfo@thebestdealsinbc.c omtGFFUPG4BOEZ#FBDIt%XFMMJOHTHVFTUTVJUFTt1SJWBUFCBMDPOJFTQBUJPTt8FMMCVJMUJOGSBTUSVDUVSFSavona, BC $1,989,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398tTRGU#ESN$BCJOt"DSFTMBLFBDSPTTSPBEt8PPETUPWFFMFDUSJDJUZtZS3FOFXFE(PW-FBTF70 Mile House, BC $155,800 Call/Txt Linda 604.997.53992 Bdrm Cabin across road from Green LaketTRGU-PHIPNFtCFECBUILJUDIFOTt"DSFTFTUBCMJTIFEUSBJMTt#BSONJOTUP%FLBMBLF Lone Butte, BC $1,250,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398tTRGU$BCJOTMFFQTt"MM*OWFOUPSZ*ODMVEFEt"DSFT(PW-FBTF-BOEt%PDL&BTZ#PBU"DDFTTMahood Lake, BC $274,000Call/Txt Freddy 604.997.5398Waterfront Cabin on Mahood LaketTRGUTUPSFZTt(SBOJUF#JSDI,JUDIFOt3FBMIBSEXPPEøPPSTtUJUMFTHSBWFMSFTFSWJPSChetwynd, BC $589,000 Call/Txt Linda 604.997.5399Nature & Privacy at Beaver Guest Ranch
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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 15Lorraine and John Buchanan of Parry Bay Sheep Farm own just two of the 1,000 acres they manage on southern Vancouver Island. It’s the most economical way to get onto land, they say. PHOTO / BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMERLeasing farmland a vital strategy for farmers Land-matching initiative builds on strong foundation by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER METCHOSIN – While the province has been keen to support land-matching to help new farmers launch their operations, leasing farmland is a long-standing practice in BC that’s been vital to many farm businesses. Recent research by the provincial government’s Behavioural Insights Group underlined the importance of land leases to agriculture, stating that it’s commonplace for BC landowners to lease unused farmland to farmers. John and Lorraine Buchanan of Parry Bay Sheep Farm in Metchosin on southern Vancouver Island only own two acres, yet they are one of the biggest operations on Vancouver Island. “We lease all of the land we farm,” says Buchanan. “The land ranges from two to 200 acres for about 1,000 acres in total.” Parry Bay has 30 pastures and croplands spread over a large geographic area, from Central Saanich to Metchosin. The Buchanans grow barley, wheat, oats, kale and turnips, as well as hay and pasture for their large ock of sheep. “In the mostly suburban areas where we farm, it is the most economical way to get onto the land,” explains Buchanan. “We have had no issues in the 40 years that we have been farming with this arrangement.” Economical Bill Zylmans of W & A Farms in Richmond agrees with that observation. “Of the 400 acres that we are farming, we own 70 of that,” says Zylmans. “The costs are much less to lease compared to buying in an area that has become quite urban.” Zylmans calls himself the “biggest dirt farmer in Richmond,” based on the number of cultivated acres that he farms, outside of the region’s blueberry and cranberry farms. He leases a range of parcel sizes. As a seed potato farmer, he is happy if he can rent six to 12-acre parcels for the dierent seed potato varieties he grows. He has a long-term lease for 200 acres from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, along with leases from non-farmers and other farmers. “I lease from older farmers who want to see their land farmed,” says Zylmans. “One of the farms that I lease is from a widow whose husband passed away. It is a win-win for people who want their land farmed and looked after, and they can receive a property tax reduction.” Zylmans also subleases to other farmers for rotational purposes. It introduces diversity into the cropping system, which in turn benets the land. One thing that Zylmans stresses is the importance of good-quality land. “We have the [Agricultural Land Reserve] which provides great protection to good land. We can’t aord to farm marginal land anymore. It has to be top-notch,” says Zylmans, a former vice-chair of the Agricultural Land Commission’s South Coast panel. “They aren’t making any more farmland.” Zylmans says that it’s more cost-eective to keep good quality farmland in good shape. It no longer pays to put in infrastructure improvements and extra inputs to upgrade marginal land. However, lower quality farmland can host greenhouse operations and other uses that don’t require highly productive soil. Long-term leases preferred He prefers long-term leases that give him the condence to make investments and manage the land with a view to its long-term quality. 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Bill Zylmans has leases for over 300 acres of farmland in Richmond. Even the smaller six-to 12-acre parcels are worthwhile for his seed potato crops. FILE PHOTOLEASES nfrom page 1516 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCZylmans. “Farmers are the best stewards of the land.” The BC Land Matching Program managed by the Young Agrarians provides a new spin on the old practice of leasing land, providing a customized service to help match those looking for farmland to rent with landowners who are interested in leasing part – or all – of their land for farm use. The program launched in Metro Vancouver in 2016, and matching began in 2017. With support from the province, the program expanded across BC in 2018. Young Agrarians now has ve trained land-matchers in BC covering Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan-Thompson, Columbia Basin and Central and Northern BC. The team oers a range of support services, lease forms and materials and recently released a “BC Transition Tool Kit” to help with non-family land transfers. To date, just under 600 people have registered for the program: 334 land-seekers and 264 landowners. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic enquiries for land from land-seekers doubled but this has since levelled o, says Darcy Smith, BC Land Program Manager at Young Agrarians. At the same time, there has been a slight decline in landowner enquiries. “I would say that there’s a wide variety of people participating in the BCLMP for both land seekers and landholders – folks of all ages, production types, backgrounds, etc. – where the unifying thread is a focus on building resilient food systems and providing opportunities to farmers to grow viable farm businesses,” explains Smith. The program recently made its 100th match. For the 81 land matches with statistics available from the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, 4,653 acres are being leased for farming through the program. Tenure documented Statistics Canada’s Census of Agriculture, which is set to take place this May, records land tenure. The last census in 2016 reported 17,528 farms in BC covering a total of 6.4 million acres. Nearly half of this acreage was owned, with the rest leased from governments, non-farmers, other farmers, or rented under other arrangements such as crop-sharing. BC Assessment reports 11,138 farm properties on the 2021 tax roll, of which 869,382 acres are leased. This does not reect area leased from one farmer to another for cover crop rotations or other arrangements. It also doesn’t reect properties being farmed but not holding farm class status. It is also not indicative of the total number of leases in the province, as a farm can have more than one tenant. FOLLOW USLIKE US@countrylifeinbcOLLOW USTRACTOR 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
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 17by RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – The strawberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus rubi) captured the attention of raspberry growers during the annual general meeting of the Raspberry Industry Development Council, held via videoconference November 17. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency conrmed the presence of the pest in the Fraser Valley in early September, following surveys by the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries this summer. The pest was detected in wild and low-spray raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. However, Carolyn Teasdale, berry specialist with the ministry, says the presence of parasitic wasps associated with the weevil may indicate that it’s been here for years. “We know it’s widespread throughout the Fraser Valley,” she says. How it arrived is unknown. A major pest in Europe, the weevil is sometimes confused with botrytis, a fungus. “This weevil is quite dierent from the root weevils that you are familiar with,” Teasdale says. “The adult weevils are about 3 mm long. They lay their eggs in the ower buds at the pre-bloom stage and then those ower buds don’t develop into fruit.” The weevil can also y, something most weevils can’t do. Pheromone traps, visual inspection of bushes, and beating trays (to catch weevils while shaking canes) are techniques for discovery. Pre-bloom sprays and those used to control spotted wing drosophila are the recommended control strategies. Those who suspect the weevil’s presence in their plantings should contact provincial entomologist Tracy Hueppelsheuser. Variety update Growers also received an update on berry breeding activities from Michael Dossett of the Agassiz Research and Development Centre. The meeting’s deferral from its usual spring date was a chance to discuss results from not only the 2019 season but also 2020, though results from this year are still being analyzed. The program continues to prioritize machine harvestability and root rot resistance in new selections. Winter damage and poor fruit quality saw 200 selections eliminated from the program in 2019, while 4,700 new plantings were completed. “We got rid of a lot of things, made some room,” he says. “We add a lot of selections each year.” Among the trial varieties evaluated in 2019, 10-79-33 continues to perform well and has exceeded Chemainus yields per acre since data collection started in 2017. BC 10-84-9 is a larger berry than Chemainus and has had a comparable yield since 2017. Another trial berry looking good for fresh markets is 10-71-27. “It was the highest yielder in 2020,” he says. A recent selection, 1653.7, has rm berries and non-sagging laterals despite the 20 to 30 berries on each, while 1855.11 produces heavy berries that result in saggy laterals. However, the latter has good qualities for the fresh market and will be used in crosses. “Growers are telling us that yield is important obviously. They are also telling us that earliness is important,” says Dossett. “All the data we have shows that earliness and yield are negatively correlated. We’re picking this all apart … to make progress on both of these traits simultaneously.” Restrictions associated with COVID-19 limited access to research elds, resulting in later planting of this year’s 4,600 seedlings. Genetics testing and mapping of traits was on hold due to the lack of lab access, but work will resume this spring. Dossett urges growers to participate in a project funded by the Abbotsford Community Foundation grant last year that will build an economic model assigning values to dierent raspberry traits. “To build these economic models … we need input from growers about management practices and costs,” he says. “All this information is going to be kept anonymous.” Raspberry research director Eric Gerbrandt notes the research team responded quickly to mitigate any challenges due to COVID-19 restrictions. “The main pipeline of the [breeding] program is making Raspberry growers tackle new pest challengeGrowers briefed on trade challenges, opportunities with new varieties at AGMcrosses, planting out seedlings and evaluating them,” he says. “That’s the portion of the program that we really focused on maintaining this year.” A new project, “Development of Molecular Diagnostics for Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in BC,” led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientist Tom Forge will develop a lab method for detecting nematodes in soil and root samples. This work will resume in 2021 after being halted by COVID-19 restrictions. Sales up RIDC chair James Bergen says u-pick operations saw sales increase and fresh market sales were also up. However, berries originally destined for IQF were downgraded in quality due to signicant rain events. Many growers were disappointed with 2020 production, which is set to come in below the 11.8 million pounds harvested in 2019. The lower yields come as the US International Trade Commission is investigating the impact imports of foreign raspberries have on growers in Washington. “We will be submitting a letter to the USITC shortly to outline that BC raspberry growers face many of the same challenges and competitive disadvantage as our counterparts to the south,” Bergen says. RIDC will also be contacting CFIA regarding Chinese raspberries sold in Canada as “Product of Chile” in 2020 and what will be done to prevent similar incidents. RIDC ended 2019 with a net surplus, with some of the money destined for research and development activities unspent. The 2020 budget anticipated a decit, but the pandemic will likely leave a small surplus. Amrit Brar, Arvin Neger, Jordan Alamwala and Dave Maljaars were acclaimed to the board. Neger assumes the position vacated by Paul Sidhu. www.masseyferguson.usWe’ve invested heavily in the future, and the new Massey Ferguson® 6700 Series tractors are unlike any mid-range we’ve ever built. They’re engineered from the ground up, then tested in the harshest conditions around the world, for more power, versatility and long-lasting operation. These machines are purpose-built to provide unmatched lift capacity and the power to pull heavier implements through the toughest jobs, with the next-level comfort of our deluxe cab and features. Come demo the 6700 Series today, and don’t be surprised if this ends up being the last tractor you ever buy. 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18 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCTOLL 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 778-441-3210Save $10,000 on 5100GN, 5R Series, 5M Series and 6E Series Tractors. Save $14,000 on 6M Series Tractors. Offer valid until January 31, 2021. Some restrictions may apply. See dealer for details.$14,000SAVEPLUS 0% FINANCING$10,000SAVEPLUS 0% FINANCING6M SERIES TRACTOR 5100GN TRACTOR5R OR 5M SERIES TRACTOR6E SERIES TRACTORProvince comes through with replant moneyRaspberry replant program will help growers transition to new varietiesby RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – A long-awaited raspberry replant program kicked o BC agriculture minister Lana Popham’s second term in cabinet. The raspberry sector requested the program during meetings with agriculture minister Lana Popham during Ag Days in Victoria in 2019. Orchardists and hazelnut growers enjoy similar programs. Popham announced $90,000 in funding for the program December 1 as part of a suite of announcements designed to help growers recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The program will see $72,000 contributed by industry for a total value of $162,000. “We hope that this program is the rst step towards revitalizing the BC raspberry industry,” says James Bergen, chair of the Raspberry Industry Development Council, which will administer the program. Provincial funding will cover $9,000 worth of administrative costs as well as the direct costs of replanting. Growers will receive up to $1.50 per plug and up to $1 per bare-root plant to a maximum of $3,300 per acre, says Carolyn Teasedale, berry industry specialist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Growers are eligible for funding covering up to 10 acres each. Varieties must be intended for either the fresh or IQF markets. “I’m glad that we’re getting some assistance in trying to rejuvenate the raspberry industry in BC,” says Arvin Neger of Mukhtiar Growers and a director of the Raspberry Industry Development Council, which will administer the program. “It’s nice to see some light in that industry instead of seeing raspberries being pulled out and planted in other crops.” Planting new varieties is important to renew elds with old varieties like Meeker while also ensuring BC raspberries continue to be seen as having world-leading quality. “The future of protability in our industry is not picking fruit into a drum,” says Michael Dossett, berry breeder with the Agassiz Research and Development Centre. “The stu that we’re trying to select to move forward in the program is the stu that’s going to have the quality that it doesn’t just end up in a drum.” The timeline for the program is tight, however. The deadline for applications is January 11 and planting must complete by March 31. The tight timeline means growers who have already ordered new raspberry stock will be the program’s main beneciaries. However, if uptake is strong enough, the program could be extended. “It really allows us to do this pilot and set it up for the budget process,” Popham told Country Life in BC. “It’s not massive amounts of money, but it’s not insignicant. So we’ll see how that goes.” Growers echoed Popham’s optimism. “It’s in its infancy stages so we’ll see where it goes,” says Paul Sidhu of RPR Farms in Abbotsford. “You gotta start somewhere.” The program will support renewal of at least 25 acres. BC growers tended 2,694 acres of raspberries in 2019. With les from Peter Mitham The province has committed $90,000 for a raspberry replant initiative. It’s a good rst start, say growers, who will contribute another $72,000 for the program. FILE PHOTO
Pacific Ag Show embraces the digital realmIt will be a different experience for exhibitors and trade show guests as the Pacic Agriculture Show transitions to a virtual format this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. FILE PHOTOCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 19by PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Despite the challenges agricultural fairs and events faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, many found ways to bring people together and ll the need farmers and communities everywhere have to stay connected, up to date, and in touch with the latest trends and one another. This month, on January 28-30, the Pacic Agriculture Show will aim to do the same as it brings together suppliers in a wholly digital trade show alongside the short course organized each year by the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association. The online platform will add a new dimension to the show, says organizer Jim Shepard, one born out of necessity this year but in keeping with the constant evolution of the province’s agriculture sector. “I’m trying to get something started here,” he says. “It forces us to get into the digital world, which is good for the long term.” The decision to go digital was made for him when provincial health ocer Dr. Bonnie Henry made clear that trade shows and large events were o the table in BC until a vaccine against COVID-19 is widely available. Shepard began considering his options, and reviewed several conference platforms until discovering Pheedloop, a platform developed at the University of Toronto. Organizers of the Washington Small Fruit Conference and Lynden Ag Show in Lynden, Washington had selected it for their event, and the ease of use made it perfect for the much larger event in Abbotsford. “It’s well suited for incorporating the short course,” he says. “It lends itself very nicely to this format.” Working together with the LMHIA as well as the BC Agriculture Council, which will be a partner in this year’s event, Shepard began drafting plans for transitioning the full range of events that take place the week of the PAS each year to an online format. The annual gala which typically kicks o the show will take place on the platform, as will a streamlined version of the short course with two concurrent streams each day instead of four. The trade show will operate in a third stream, allowing short course participants to interact via chat or streaming video with exhibitors. “It’s going to be a neat thing,” he said. “They can connect with anyone in the booth. It’s all going to be there.” Even, he says, the ever-popular Aldor Acres petting zoo. While the chance to meet suppliers in a single place will oer convenience to attendees, Shepard says exhibitors will be able to quantify the return on their investment easily because they’ll know who visited their booth, and whether those visits converted into business. While people might not be kicking tires, they’ll be interacting, something that’s taken extra eort to arrange during the pandemic thanks to business closures, social distancing and safety protocols. “Don’t compare it a trade show,” says Shepard. “Compare it to not having to drive around to see a dozen customers.” There is no charge to browse the trade show or other public elements of this year’s show. People simply need to register using the code “pas2021” at [www.agricultureshow.net]. Best of all, unlike past years, this year’s event will remain live after the exhibitors have left the building (as it were). The conference platform will remain available for a year, allowing visitors to view exhibitors and reach out through the site. Short course presentations will also be available for a year following the event, complementing the current archive of proceedings typically posted a few weeks after the event ends. The sessions will be oered via the Zoom app embedded within the platform and the video will be available for review immediately afterwards. “This is setting us up for success in the future,” says Shepard. Popular trade show will be virtual alongside short course, gala
20 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC19TH ANNUAL BC AGRI-FOOD INDUSTRY GALA 2021 FEATURING KEYNOTE SPEAKER:AGRI-FOOD INDUSTRYBCREX MURPHYCanadians are treated to Rex’s Saturday column in the National Post and previously enjoyed his weekly commentary on CBC’s The National. The one and only Rex Murphy is a trusted face and voice across Canadian media. His intellect and biting humour strike through the heart of profound political and social issues. His endearing style brings forth a sarcastic intellect and deep insight into issues aecting individuals and businesses. GALAALSO FEATURING: • The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Government of Canada• The Honourable Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Province of British Columbia AWARDS CEREMONY:• Scotiabank Champion Award• Outstanding Teacher Award (Presented by BC Agriculture in the Classroom)• BCAC Leadership AwardSILENT AUCTION (Proceeds donated to BC Agriculture in the Classroom)Champion SponsorBrought to you by:Pre-register at: bcac.ca
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 21This year’s short course will be narrowed down to two concurrent streams from four. Presentations will begin at 8am each day, and wrap up shortly after 5pm. The webinar format will allow participants to interact directly with presenters, similar to the in-person course. Questions that go unanswered may be addressed later. Registration for this year’s short course will be online only, with an early-bird deadline of January 12. The regular registration fee is unchanged from last year at $100 for the rst person from each farm or organization and a discounted rate for each additional person. Further details and registration is through the LMHIA page on the PAS site [www.agricultureshow.net]. Participants will register with their e-mail address, and receive a unique access code which they’ll use to access sessions. Recertication credits will be oered to eligible growers. Sessions can be attended via any Internet-enabled device, so long as a decent Internet connection is available. All sessions will be recorded and available for viewing over the course of the event, enabling participants to catch-up with presentations they miss. Generous breaks in the middle of the day will allow attendees to rest their eyes, network with trade show exhibitors and have lunch. Registration fees not only support the course, but also the researchers whose work each year is shared over the course of the event. A review of LMHIA activities, including research projects the association funds as well as administers funding for on behalf of member organizations, will be shared at the association’s annual general meeting on Friday afternoon.Short course continues to educate growersFirst out of the gate is a raspberry and strawberry session on Thursday morning, headlined by strawberry blossom weevil, a new pest of strawberries and raspberries making itself felt in BC. Michelle Franklin of Agassiz Research and Development Centre and provincial entomologist Tracy Hueppelsheuser of the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will discuss the biology, monitoring and management recommendations for the weevil. What growers should consider with respect to producing strawberries in tabletop systems and raspberries in substrate will follow. The latter will see Joey Boudreault and Valerie Bernier-English of Ferme Onésime Pouliot Inc. in Quebec speak from the experience growing long-cane raspberries in Quebec, with an emphasis on the economic and agronomic considerations. The raspberry-strawberry session will conclude with the market outlook for red raspberries, delivered by Ben Klootwyk of Pacic Coast Fruit Products in Abbotsford. A general session for all berry groups dominates one of the two concurrent short-course streams on Friday. Practical information growers across the three key berry groups can use will be delivered in two, two-hour blocks. Pesticides dominate the morning presentations, while farm management is the theme of the afternoon. The session begins with Jasn Deveau of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Aairs discussing sprayer calibration to make the most eective use of pesticides. Weeds will be the focus of Ken Sapsford of the BC Ministry of Agriculture in Kelowna, who will discuss strategies for managing some of the more resilient invaders into local berry elds. A velvet Berries, berries and more berriesst is an apt metaphor for the approach Andony Melathopoulos of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, recommends with respect to insect control. His focus is how to go hard on pests while protecting pollinators, a key concern of growers and consumers given the high prole such issues have had in recent years. Caroline Bedard of the BC Ministry of Agriculture will help growers sort through the options available to them with an update on pest management tools that have recently been registered and products that are expected for 2021. Pest applicator recertication credits will be oered to eligible growers who participate in the morning sessions. How to improve berry eld management will be the focus of the Friday afternoon presentations, which lead o with Eric Gerbrandt of Sky Blue Horticulture in Chilliwack discussing the economic value of alternative crop inputs for blueberry and raspberry producers. “Do humic acids, kelp extracts, high P fertilizers and phosphites improve protability?” he asks. He’ll share the results of multi-year replicated eld trials that will give growers insights. Oregon researcher David Bryla of the USDA Agricultural Research Service has addressed local growers before on irrigation management. He’ll return this year to discuss the benets of pulsed irrigation for raspberries and blueberries. Given concerns about hive health among local beekeepers and the producers they support, Andony Melathopoulos will return to the virtual podium with tips on how understanding the hive mind of the honeybee can lead to more eective pollination. Growers will receive insights Berries have been at the heart of the growers’ short course from the beginning, and it’s no surprise that they feature all three days of this year’s event.Preview by PETER MITHAMPlease turn to next page o2021HORTICULTURE 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`\j=`\c[M\^\kXYc\&GfkXkf>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@FEFEC@E<8Knnn%X^i`Zlckli\j_fn%e\kPh: 604-857-0318 | email@example.comInnovate. Grow. Prosper.
22 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCwww.firstname.lastname@example.orgFOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.email@example.comCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.Closed controlled systems are relatively new to berry producers, but Lower Mainland vegetable growers have been using them for years in the form of greenhouses. Whether in soil-based, hydroponic or container systems, greenhouse production will lead o the presentations for vegetable producers. The rst presentation, at 8am on Thursday morning, will foreground the advantage of this year’s online course platform. Suthaparan Aruppillai of Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås, Norway, will beam in to discuss the potential of optical radiation in the management of powdery mildews in greenhouse vegetables. Protecting plants is one thing, but protecting the workers who care for them is another. This hit home for many growers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Wendy Bennett of AgSafe BC will discuss the importance of a safety culture. Continuing on with the management tips, Peter Chapman of consulting rm SKU Food in Hammond Plains, Nova Scotia will encourage growers to adapt their practices to satisfy retailers and consumers in a world coloured by COVID-19. Concurrent with the Thursday morning greenhouse session, potato and eld vegetable growers will be briefed on disease issues. The recent decision to cancel the registration of chlorpyrifos threatens to have signicant ramications for many growers, potentially ending the BC rutabaga industry. Provincial pesticide specialist Ken Sapsford will help growers navigate the tide of information concerning pesticide re-evaluations, summarizing decisions of note. Wim van Herk of the Agassiz Research and Development Centre will oer hope to growers struggling with wireworm in the wake of the cancellation of chlorpyrifos with his discussion of broanilide, the new kid on the block. “Research shows that this one is a winner for potatoes,” he says, and he’ll discuss this and other emerging tools, including pheromones for controlling adult click beetles. The national research program of federal research scientists Rick Peters of Charlottetown and Rishi Burlakoti of Agassiz is helping develop and rene management tools for late blight, and includes work with home gardeners to ensure the management of non-commercial plots doesn’t blight the production of commercial potatoes. The forward-looking session will be rounded out by Renee Prasad of the University of the Fraser Valley in Chilliwack, who will dig into the integrated pest management toolbox. into colony behaviour, helping them see the world from the bee’s perspective in order to make them full partners in the production process. Friday’s berry sessions close with a return to the topic of pesticides and insect management with Arlan Benn of ES Cropconsult Ltd. in Delta. He’ll share the results of a recent eld trial that screened insecticides against adult weevils. Blueberry thrill Blueberries rank as the biggest berry crop in the province, with an annual harvest of close to 200 million pounds. They’re also the province’s third-most lucrative food export in the province, with $273.4 million shipped abroad in 2019, primarily to the US. With plenty of older varieties in the eld, new cultivar opportunities and future breeding prospects for better fresh market quality is a topic that’s always in season. It will be the focus of Michael Dossett of BC Berry Cultivar Development Corp. in Agassiz and Eric Gerbrandt of Sky Blue Horticulture in Chilliwack on Saturday morning. The dynamic duo will discuss how promising new blueberry cultivars from BC’s homegrown breeding program will help growers address global competition for high-quality, fresh market blueberries in the fresh market. Of course, great cultivars need great care, and long-time presenter Bernadine Strik of Oregon State University will return to the short course via videoconference to update growers on key considerations for pruning to ensure sustained yields and optimal fruit quality. Strategies for better fruit quality will also be the subject of Grant McMillan’s summary of recent research on the use of reective tarps in Fraser Valley berry elds. The tarps have delivered benets to orchardists in the Okanagan, and McMillan’s work is showing how they can benet berry growers, too. A midday hiatus in the blueberry presentations on Saturday will allow growers to stretch their legs before returning to hear Strik discuss fertility management. She’ll discuss the best timing, frequency and application method for fertilizers, helping growers view nutrient management from the plant’s perspective. Knowing when to use fertilizer, and how much a plant really wants, is key to maximizing returns and minimizing costs in an environment where margins are under constant pressure. Saturday closes with an update on management techniques for spotted wing drosophila with Jana Lee of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis, Oregon. Green shoots on the vegetable front
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 23Financing the future of agriculture.At BMO, we know that farming is more than just a business – it’s a way of life. And as a longstanding supporter of the BC farming community, we’ve been committed to agriculture since we began working with farmers in 1817.A handle on the markets Two concurrent sessions on Saturday morning will help vegetable growers and producers who market their products direct to consumer better understand market opportunities. Renee Prasad of the University of the Fraser Valley in Chilliwack will discuss how to undertake trials and evaluate the potential for new crops based on her experience with sweet potato, eggplant and bitter melon. Grant McMillan of Integrated Crop Management Services in Abbotsford will show the potential of cooperative variety trials in evaluating the market potential of new varieties based on his experience with sweet corn and beans. The session concludes with a panel discussion of the many varieties available to producers from suppliers including West Coast Seeds, Stokes Seeds, Osborne Seeds and Norseco Seeds. But what to do with the crop after selecting the ones that grow well? The direct farm marketing session, also taking place Saturday morning, will share lessons from 2020 on engaging with the market. A panel will present the personal experiences of Tom Davison of Davison Orchards Country Village in Vernon, Katie Leek of Emma Lea Farms in Ladner and Dave Semmelink of Ag Innovation DayGlobal perspective on spuds Going online meant this year’s short course would be able to deliver a world of content to growers, giving them access to presenters who wouldn’t normally attend. Potato growers will be among those beneting most. Their session on Friday morning will feature no local expertise. Instead, the line-up will be headlined by Walter Hernández of El Parquet Papas, an integrated producer of seed and table potatoes as well as a potato processor in Argentina. The success of El Parquet Papas has stemmed from a philosophy of continuous improvement that embraces innovation, including a gradual conversion from traditional types of irrigation to drip technology. Hernández will show how the company has applied technology to reap several advantages. Hernández’ presentation will be followed by three researchers, who will share recent projects aimed at managing production and storage issues. Lydia Tymon of Washington State University in Mt. Vernon, Washington, will draw a bead on Colletotrichum coccodes, the fungus that causes black dot. Black dot continues to be a challenge to manage because the fungus can infect its hosts without causing symptoms. Xiu-Qing Li of the federal research station in Fredericton will focus on the risks posed by climate change and management of heat and other environmental stresses. Rick Peters of the federal Charlottetown Research and Development Centre will discuss storage management practices that can reduce or minimize disease issues in stored potatoes. Please turn to next page oThe involvement of the BC Agriculture Council as an organizing partner in this year’s Pacic Agriculture Show means the annual gala dinner that usually precedes the show will be part and parcel of the program this year. Just like every other element of the program, it will take place online. The festivities will kick o January 28 at 5:30pm following the rst day of seminars. While guests will have to provide their own dinner and drinks, the event will feature the popular, interactive silent auction raising funds for the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. Fortunately, recent years have seen bidding take place via tablets, meaning this year’s virtual format promises little change to attendees. Presentations will feature the usual array of luminaries include BCAC president Stan Vander Waal, agriculture minister Lana Popham, and keynote speaker Rex Murphy, a well-known commentator on national issues. The event will also include presentation of the BC Agriculture Council Leadership Award, BC Agriculture in the Classroom’s Outstanding Teacher Award and the Scotiabank Champion Award. The proceedings are scheduled to last an hour, and participation is free. Those interested simply need to register using the code “pas2021” at [www.agricultureshow.net].Gala closes out opening dayRex Murphy to deliver keynoteThe sixth year of the popular Ag Innovation Day will be walking the talk, as all presentations and exhibits go online as a public component of the Pacic Agriculture Show. Host Mike Manion of Agrisco Supplies Corp. says the Friday afternoon event will feature two panel discussions as well as a chance to meet and mingle with approximately 20 agritech startups. The two panels will focus on robotics and the eect of COVID-19 on innovation and development. Speakers include Selena Basi, assistant deputy minister with the BC Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, who will provide details on the $3 million agritech grant program the province launched in mid December. Applications for grants of up to $500,000 will be accepted until February 12, meaning the presentations will provide applicants some last- minute inspiration for how the grants can help them. Companies showcasing their technology include Salmon Arm-based Techbrew, which is commercializing a robotic mushroom harvester that won the province’s agritech innovation challenge in 2019; Neupeak Robotics of Vancouver, which is designing a robotic strawberry harvester and Point3 Biotech Corp. of Toronto, which is researching the best manure recipe for natural gas production at the Bakerview EcoDairy in Abbotsford. There is no charge to attend Ag Innovation Day or to browse the exhibitors. Attendees simply need to register using the code “pas2021” at [www. agriculture show. net].
24 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMNP is a proud sponsor of the 2021 Paciﬁc Ag Show: Virtual Edition. We look forward to connecting with you there virtually this year.Your farm has hundreds of moving parts – each as important as the next. With an eye for detail and personalized approach, trust MNP’s agriculture specialists to provide the accounting, consulting and tax advice you need. Trustfamily neighbours wisdom intuition dreamsMNP.caDespite the challenges facing the cannabis sector, growers continue to seek fresh knowledge to help them produce a better bud. This year’s third iteration of the popular CannaTech West conference will take the form of two-hour afternoon sessions on Friday and Saturday that give growers the latest information on this emerging crop. On Friday, agrologist Av Singh of Greenstar Plant Products in Wolfville, Nova Scotia will discuss pre- and post-harvest practices to reduce microbial loads that ensure top-quality cannabis passes the stringent tests set for government-regulated cannabis. The cleanliness of product is also the focus of Anoo Solomon’s review of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and good production practices for eective pest control in both indoor and outdoor cannabis production. Solomon’s perspective from his work with CannaProtect IPM Solutions will complement that of Amanda Brown from BioBest Canada Ltd., who will review the results of research on the use of predators against cannabis aphid (Phorodon cannabis). Simon Fraser University researcher Zamir Punja will review new and emerging pathogens and diseases that threaten the cannabis sector, helping producers stay ahead of potential contaminants that threaten quality. Quality assurance is the focus of the rst presentation in the Saturday afternoon sessions. Liam Polsky of records management company Elevated Signals Inc. reviews the tools and systems available to help producers stay on top of quality-control protocols and measures. His presentation will be followed by Thamy Sriskandakumar of Ocion Water Sciences in Surrey, who will discuss measures producers can take to ensure high-quality irrigation water and appropriate crop nutrition. Since individual cannabis plants will take up nutrients in dierent ways, it pays to know what you’re growing. Ryan Lee of Chemovar Genetics on Vancouver Island will provide an overview of cannabis plant genetics that give growers the low-down on what’s available. Registration is included with the growers’ short course. Details are located at [www.agricultureshow.net]. CannaTech West returnsLentelus Farms in Courtenay. Their experiences will lead into a presentation by retail consultant Peter Chapman of SKU Food in Nova Scotia, who will share innovations and solutions for producers and direct marketers to help them succeed in this new environment. Chapman’s emphasis will be practical ideas that producers can implement in anticipation of the 2021 season. Going with the flow There’s one year left until the province’s deadline to register existing wells and obtain a groundwater licence. But water comes in all forms, and presentations on Thursday will oer plenty to absorb. Matt Osler, an senior project engineer with the city of Surrey, will update growers on the Surrey Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy. The initiative includes several major projects designed to address agricultural needs, and Osler will ll in growers on their progress. Surface water will be the focus of Jacquelyn Shrimer of the BC Ministry of Forests, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. She’ll discuss stream ow monitoring in the Fraser Valley, and how this can give growers a better understanding of hydrometric drought and low ows in the region. Two sessions will dig into groundwater. FLNORD’s water authorization team, consisting of Maria Nguyen, Kumar K C and Danielle Loranger, will give an overview of the application process and deadline for existing groundwater users. The trio will also discuss the practical implications of groundwater rights and licences on businesses. Growers applying for a groundwater licence will nd the BC Agriculture Water Calculator a useful tool. Ted van der Gulik of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC will explain how the tool can help them develop and justify allocation requests. Hops, hazelnuts & flowers One of the strengths of the horticultural growers’ short course is its diversity. This year is no dierent, with concurrent sessions on Thursday afternoon dedicated to the production of hops and hazelnuts. Beer is nothing without well-tended hops, and two speakers from Oregon will share their tips for keeping the hop crop in tip-top shape. Anne Iskra of Marion Ag. Services in St. Paul will share her ndings on the inuence of nitrogen fertilization rate and timing on cone quality and nitrate accumulation in cones while David Gent of Oregon State University will discuss best management practices for powdery mildew, including the potential of mildew-resistant varieties. With some growers also diversifying into hop drying to ensure maximum freshness, Thomas Shellhammer, also of Oregon State University, will discuss how kilning temperatures inuence the brewing quality of major aroma cultivars. Meanwhile, in the hazelnut stream, Steve Hope of Fraser Valley Hazelnuts in Chilliwack will update growers on BC hazelnut production and processing activities in recent years and provide an outlook on market trends in the year ahead. Complementing his presentation, Spanish hazelnut grower Pere Arbones Aurich will oer a international perspective. Spain is the 10th-largest hazelnut producing country in the world, and Aurich will provide a perspective on how Please see next page o
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 25Silagrow.com1.800.663.6022 | ofﬁce@silagrow.comMulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTw i n eNet WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain SeedVisGreenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmsProtection NetsSALMON ARM 5121 - 46 Ave S.E. SURREY 112-18860 24 Ave (PU & Delivery Only)Serving all of BCglobal trends are playing out in Spain. The nal hour will present a research update from Oregon as well as information on emerging pests and diseases impacting Fraser Valley growers, including brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). On Saturday afternoon, oriculture has its time to shine. The initial two presentations will discuss pest and nutrient management. Sarah Jandricic of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Aairs will join from Vineland with the latest on thrips management in ornamental crops. She’ll discuss both chemical controls and biocontrol measures. Then, from across Lake Ontario, Neil Mattson of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY will oer tips for successfully transitioning between liquid versus controlled-release fertilizers with a view to helping growers save money. Pest management will also be the focus of provincial entomologist Tracy Hueppelsheuser, who will give growers the latest on the ght against Japanese Beetle. The ongoing eects of COVID-19 will be the focus of a presentation by Chilliwack grower Brian Minter, who will highlight challenges and some of the innovative solutions the oriculture industry can adopt to take advantage of market trends in 2021. Organic makes an impact The morning sessions on Friday and Saturday will focus on organic production, which continues to see growth in BC. The focus of the Friday sessions will be soil health, while Saturday will discuss innovations in the sector. Two presenters from the US kick o Friday’s presentations. Eric Brennan of the USDA in Salinas, California will present the ndings of long-term research in to the eects of cover crops and compost on yields, weeds, soil health and the balance of inputs applied to the soil in organic vegetable systems. Doug Collins of Washington State University in Puyallup will discuss the advantages of reduced tillage strategies as demonstrated by three projects focused on vegetable production. Friday morning will close with a change of pace, as Jean-Martin Fortier, an organic market gardener in St-Armand, Quebec discusses how to run a protable farming operation on just 1.5 acres, and make a living at the same time. The session will be a good segue to sessions the following morning that focus on innovation in the organic sector. Saturday begins with a presentation by Mike Bomford and Andy Smith on the sliding high tunnels installed at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s farm on Richmond’s Garden City Lands. They’ll also discuss the use of composted mushroom manure to build soil health and vitality, the focus of student research that investigated it as an alternative amendment for fertility, soil building, and weed management. Wisconsin horticulturist Sam Oschwald Tilton will continue the discussion of weed management with his “extremely satisfying” use of machines. He’ll share steps to improve mechanical weed control and introduce growers to some of his favourite modern weeding tools. It’s not just cultural and mechanical elements of farming that are subject to innovation. Keremeos-based consulant Rochelle Eisen will provide an overview of changes to the Canadian Organic Standards and how they impact growers. Taking care of business While most growers hate oce work, many realize they’re not just farming crops but also paper. Riding herd on the host of documents they’re required to le to keep their businesses running will be the focus of management sessions on Thursday and Friday. Thursday afternoon, right before the BC Agriculture Council gala, Veronica Moreno, program manager with the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative, will tell growers the dierence between the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, and why the latter might be more appealing this year. Jennifer Wright of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council in Ottawa will share recommendations designed to help farmers secure top-notch domestic workers and improve retention through eective communications. Her presentation will be followed by the practical experience of local grower Stan Vander Waal of Rainbow Greenhouses Inc. in Chilliwack. He’ll describe how Rainbow Greenhouses has successfully recruited and retained both local and foreign workers. The labour session will end with Claire Tamang of Carcajou Fruit Co. explaining how the Summerland cherry grower pivoted its workforce into the new world of safety measures as the COVID-19 pandemic hit home. With the pandemic showing no signs of ending, and widespread vaccination still months away, Friday morning’s farm business management session will oer two hours of insights into what the year ahead might hold. Craig Klemmer, principal agricultural economist with Farm Credit Canada in Regina will discuss the economic outlook for BC horticulture in the wake of the pandemic. He’ll be followed by the keynote presentation by Manitoba business coaches Kelly Dobson and Elaine Froese. The pep-talk for executives will inspire farm entrepreneurs to see adversity as an opportunity for growth. The presentation will discuss practical, leading-edge strategies to build resiliency and leadership eectiveness that help people face challenges head-on and move forward. Despite the heroic eorts to take the Pacic Agriculture Show and growers’ short course online, some events opted to take a year o and focus on preparing for 2022. The BC Dairy Expo, together with the popular dairy self-tour, is a case in point. “Dairy Expo farm tours are postponed until 2022, in light of COVID-19 public health recommendations,” said Christine Terpsma, communications manager with the BC Dairy Association. While farmers will miss the networking and luncheon that usually accompanies the BC Dairy Expo, a loss that follows on the virtual meeting that replaced annual general meetings at the end of November, the hiatus will make next year’s gatherings that much more welcome. Similarly, the Islands Agriculture Show, typically held a week after the Pacic Agriculture Show at the beginning of February, has been postponed until February 4-5, 2022. A smaller show, it nevertheless provides an important point of connection for Vancouver Island growers from its central location at the Cowichan Exhibition in Duncan. The show must go on – next yearYOURHelping YouHelping Youcoucountrylifeinbc.comylifeinbc.comFARM NEWS UPDATEScountrylifeinbc.com
26 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC© 2020 CNH Industrial America LLC. All rights reserved. New Holland is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or afﬁliates.Ultra-narrow and powerful, T4F/T4V vineyard and orchard tractors are one of the only specialty tractors on the market that are DEF-free for lower ownership costs. Add in a best-in-class 600-hour service interval on their turbocharged four-cylinder engines, and you’ve got tractors that go where others can’t and save you money doing it. Get your hands on one of these easy-to-own, DEF-free T4F/T4V narrow tractors before the new 2021 models arrive. Stop in today or visit newholland.com to learn more. DEFinitely easier to own.ARMSTRONG HORNBY EQUIPMENT ACP 250-546-3033 CHILLIWACK ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-792-1301 CHEMAINUS ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-246-1203 FORT ST JOHN BUTLER FARM EQUIPMENT LTD 250-785-1800 KELOWNA ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 250-765-8266 LANGLEY ROLLINS MACHINERY LTD 604-533-0048 WILLIAMS LAKE GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-392-4024 VANDERHOOF GRASSLAND EQUIPMENT LTD 250-567-4446COMMITTED TO AGRICULTURE in the FRASER VALLEY CHILLIWACK: 44725 YALE RD WEST 604-792-1301 | rollinsmachinery.com
Strong demand for beef positions it to fuel the economic recovery from COVID-19. PHOTO / TOM WALKERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 27by TOM WALKER CALGARY – While most people were glad to bid adieu to 2020, ranchers were able to look back with gratitude on a challenging year. “There were some real wins for the industry,” says Bob Lowe, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, told stakeholders in an online update on December 10. Lowe related that in September’s throne speech, the federal government recognized ranchers for playing an important role in the ght against climate change. He says that’s a nod to a changing attitudes among Canadians towards farmers. “Consumer awareness really came to the forefront during COVID,” says Lowe. “They want to know where their food comes from. And we have been able to tell our story, that we have a safe and reliable food source here in in Canada.” CCA executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft pointed to important moves with respect to Business Risk Management programs (BRMs) that emerged from the federal-provincial-territorial ministers’ conference on November 27. Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has proposed removing the reference margin limit for AgriStability and increasing the compensation rate from 70% to 80%. The moves follow similar, unilateral steps by BC. Laycraft calls the federal proposal “signicant changes for the industry.” “For cow-calf operators and smaller backgrounding and feeding operations these are changes that will have considerable benets to our industry,” says Laycraft. “The minister also signaled that she is prepared to consider other program enhancements. We will continue to advocate on the breadth of recommendations we have put forward, including the trigger and removal of the caps on payments.” However, the changes hinge on funding agreements with the provinces, something discussed at the December 10 premiers’ meeting. “The provinces are not being supportive in paying for improvements,” warned Michel Daigle, chair of the National Cattle Feeders Association. Laycraft agrees. “I would ask producers to talk to their MLAs to get the provinces on board with the feds and accept the changes to AgriStability,” says Laycraft. “Nothing will change unless the provinces align with the federal government.” Laycraft also reected on the dierence in emphasis for the industry over the last nine months. “We are really seeing the results of the focus that was put into resilience in our business,” he says. “I don’t think that in late May we would have thought our partners in the processing industry would be handling 10,000 animals above last year, this week.” The momentum needs to be maintained in the coming months. “We have requested that frontline food workers, whether they be in plants, or in retail or food service outlets, get priority in vaccination schedules as essential workers,” says Laycraft. On the export front, Laycraft expects both the value and the volume of beef exports to be on par with last year by year-end, notwithstanding summer shutdowns in processing capacity. A provisional agreement will ensure UK access for Canadian beef following Brexit, while talks continue towards a nal trade agreement. “We are also seeing CP-TPP countries taking more product as well,” says Laycraft, referring to Pacic Rim trading partners party to a free trade agreement in that region. But the US remains the key destination for Canadian beef exports, accounting for 75% of beef exports as well as all live cattle shipments. “We expect that the new US administration will certainly be taking a dierent direction and we are working closely with them,” says Laycraft. Calf prices this fall have left Brian Perillat, manager and senior analyst with market analysis rm Canfax in Calgary, scratching his head. “We keep seeing reasons for caution,” Perillat says. “Feedlots are losing about $250 an animal, feed prices have risen, the Canadian dollar has risen, but calf prices in particular, have been resilient. They are close to a year ago in the $215 to $220 range for a 550-weight animal.” But there’s a need for more shackle space and less cattle in feedlots, Perillat adds. He says the capacity situation has impacted the prices for fed cattle, which have ranged between $132 to $138 a hundredweight through the last 25 weeks. “I have seen fed cattle touch $140 this week. That’s moving in the right direction, but still disappointing overall,” he says. The next three to four months will be a tough slog, but Perillat is optimistic. “We are pointing to less cattle on feed and more space as we work through these bigger cattle numbers and high feed costs,” he says. “And beef demand has been very strong, both domestically and for export.” Optimism follows on the heels of 2020’s challengesPolicy changes, price moves offer hopeBC ANGUS BULLS IN 20205HANKYOUFOR#UYINGwww.bcangus.caOur Best Wishes for a Happy New YearJim Moon President 250.567.9762 z Carley Henniger Secretary 250.571.3475Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333
28 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCby RONDA PAYNE COURTENAY – Cattle farmers are increasingly seeing themselves as grass farmers but at Beaver Meadow Farms in Courtenay, owner Edgar Smith and his family also see themselves as solar farmers. Smith farms about 700 acres at an operation his grandparents started in the 1950s. Beaver Meadow has raised organic grass-fed beef for decades on land that’s a mix of forage and forest. He recently shared the story of its transition during a video tour Vancouver advocacy group Farm Folk/City Folk hosted on November 18. “When my grandparents came here, this was a natural meadow and it was grazed by elk and deer,” he says. “Over the decades our family has more or less carried on the natural processes that were here when our family arrived.” The meadow grasses convert sunlight into sugar and Smith’s cattle convert the sugars into protein. “All the energy is converted in the rumen of the cow,” he says. “It’s a natural process that’s occurred in all parts of the world for millions and millions of years.” To assist this age-old process, Smith has experimented with dierent forage grasses over the years to nd those that will do best under local conditions and enable him to feed his cattle for 10 to 11 months a year. Rotational grazing allows the animals to move around the farm, eat the grass quite evenly and replenish the soil. Smith says they grow a thicker coat than cattle that live in barns. Smith employs moveable electric fences to create 2.5-acre paddocks that enclose the herd as they move around the farm. The grass rests about 80 days between grazing, harvesting sunlight that the herd will convert into protein. “We decide every day how much the cattle need and we give it to them. This is a very low-stress lifestyle for cattle when they’re outside in the sunshine and fresh air and eating natural grass and pastures,” Smith says. “They feel very safe when they are in a group.” Smith currently has about 300 head (mostly Angus crosses), but he has raised as many as 700 and as few as 200. Herd size is driven by the health of the soil, but he aims for about one animal per acre. A retired professional agrologist, Smith is constantly testing new ways of doing things. “We don’t do it by formula. We do it by watching the health of the soil and the plants,” he says. “I do soil testing. What I’m generally looking for is how many bacteria are in a gram of soil. Bacteria and arthropods and soil predators.” While none of the soils on the farm are short of nutrients, Smith wants to make sure there are enough microorganisms in the soils to keep them healthy. Smith’s cattle are constantly depositing manure and urine as they graze, which provides fresh organic material. Since the cattle tend to be smaller than conventional beef cattle, their hooves work in the nutrients without compacting the soil like larger animals. To protect the soil during the wet months of winter, Smith separates the herd in two before sending them into separate barns. In the barns, they receive grass-based silage to ensure they are 100% grass-fed year round. “They have been selected through generations of eating grass to live on nothing but grass,” he says. “That’s how we are hoping to be able to deal with any changes in the climate over the next decades. If we can get all of our ruminants out of the feedlots and back onto the grasslands, people will be healthier, the planet will be healthier.” Smith makes use of about 15 dierent types of grasses including legumes, clovers, herbs, plantains and chicory. While Smith says this type of farming is a lot lower stress for the cattle, it also reduces stress for the farmer. Rotational grazing improves soil healthCattle work in harmony with the natural environment FILE PHOTO
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 29Taking the guesswork out of herd managementArtificial intelligence may power the ultimate ranch hand Feb 27, 2021 : 26th Annual Pine Bu琀e Ranch Hereford Sale, Kamloops April 10, 2021 : 46th Annual Vanderhoof All Breeds Bull Sale April 15 & 16, 2021: 84th Annual Williams Lake Bull Show & Sale BCHA Secretary Janicice Tapp 25050-69999-6466466 BCHA President Johohn Lewisis 25050-21818-253537 British Columbia Have you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops or Webinarsare Free!Looking to learn moreabout how to raisehealthy beef cattle?Open to producers of allsizes!free to all beef producersin bc!by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER VANCOUVER – OneCup AI is a Vancouver-based articial intelligence (AI) company that was inspired by a ranching family’s idea for better livestock identication and management using technology. In just a year, the agritech start-up has developed and led a patent on an AI ranch hand capable of monitoring cattle and other livestock around the clock using a “facial recognition” system to identify individual animals. OneCup CEO Mokah Shmigelsky grew up in Alberta with a family background in ranching. She saw the challenges ranchers and farmers must deal with every day. “RFID tags have no benet to most producers,” says Shmigelsky. ”They are expensive, need readers or must be read manually. There is no time nor desire to do so.” Shmigelsky and her family saw a need for aordable, accurate animal identication with less need for livestock handling, which can reduce handling stress and dangerous situations. Soon, the cup of coee by the campre where the idea was formed symbolized the company’s beginning. Shmigelsky’s husband Georey applied his master’s degree in computer science, with a specialization in AI and deep learning, to the task at hand. He soon had a computer designed that learned how to pick out individual animals by dierentiating between body parts in a process called annotation, using Black Angus cattle as its training ground. The prototype was named BETSY, short for Bovine Expert Tracking and Surveillance. The next step was to partner with Olds College in Alberta to create a large cattle annotation dataset to train BETSY. BETSY “learns” by looking at thousands of pictures to recognize what makes each animal unique. BETSY is a small computer linking up to 30 cameras. Dierent types of cameras can select dierent features. An RGB-IR camera uses infrared to see at night for identication. A thermal camera can detect body temperature from the eye, or inammation at a specic location. A 3D Lidar camera can estimate weight or detect respiration. The data can be uploaded through an online portal, allowing data to be accessed by a computer or mobile device. The potential as a management tool is being explored at various beta test sites and academic institutions. Cameras are located where animals tend to congregate. BETSY can detect calving and estrus behaviour and an alert can be sent to the producer’s phone. The computer has also been able to determine if an animal has been missing for a period of time and sends an alert to the rancher. Predators and other wild species can also be identied by the computer through machine learning. “When we can show a producer how BETSY can benet their operation, they get excited,” says Shmigelsky. “Even the most skeptical.” Extensive testing Since the company launched in January, OneCup is testing BETSY at 15 beta sites in Saskatchewan and Alberta, including cow-calf operations, feedlots, elk and bison ranches and three academic institutions. The company has also started a project with the Canadian Sheep Federation which began with Barb Ydenberg, a CSF director and president of the BC Sheep Federation. The partnership began as a “happy coincidence,” according to Shmigelsky, who had a team head over to Ydenberg’s farm in Langley for a video session with the sheep ock. This developed into a national project with CSF to further the development of “facial” recognition in sheep, with the Tech startup OneCup AI visited Barb Ydenberg’s farm in Langley to start gathering images so their software could learn to identify sheep the same way it has been programmed to identify cattle. SUBMITTED PHOTOSee TOP on next page o“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 firstname.lastname@example.org
30 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC34511 Vye Road Abbotsford, BC V2S 8J7 604-864-2273 www.caliberequipment.ca See us at the Pacific Ag Show Virtual Edition!Food allergies are a serious problem. According to Health Canada, about six percent of young children and 3% to 4% of adults are aected by food allergies while in the US, 7% of children and 2% of adults suer from the condition. They can cost billions of dollars in health care not to mention time lost at work and school. And they can be deadly. Allergic reactions can be triggered by a wide range of foods, including peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sh, shellsh, soy, wheat and other basic foods or food ingredients. COVID-19 threatens to further complicate the lives of those with food allergies, thanks to warnings that they should avoid the Pzer vaccine countries began rolling out in December. At the University of Arizona, plant sciences professor Eliot Herman, who is allergic to dairy products, has spent his career studying not only why plants trigger allergic reactions but ways to reduce their threat. He is a member of the Crop Science Society of America and recently presented his work at the virtual 2020 ASA-CSSA annual meeting. “There are three primary ways to approach food allergies,” says Herman. “The rst is medical attention and treatment with a number of ongoing approaches. The second is simple avoidance. The third is to x foods, which is not so much medical but in the hands of agricultural scientists and the food industry.” Herman has focused on soybeans. Soybean allergies particularly aect infants and children and, because soybean protein and oils are used in many food products, soybean can be hard to avoid. Problem protein Early in his research with USDA, Herman’s work led to the discovery of the soybean protein responsible for most soybean allergies. That research led to the need to understand why this protein is so aggravating, which is still not fully known, and how to x it. It is highly conserved in the plant and present in all but one line of soybeans in the entire US collection. “It is present in wild relatives,” he says. “I had a paper years ago with a plant pathologist that proposed it was a defense protein against a plant disease, which would make sense. It is possible it is a disease not extant in domesticated soybeans but rather something that infested wild soybeans before they were domesticated a few thousand years ago.” At rst, working with the company DuPont, Herman’s research team used genetic engineering to produce a new line of soybean. But there was a demand for a non-GMO soybean without the allergenic protein. “I have had two successful projects to remove this protein,” he says. “In the rst instance we used biotech. This used new technology at the time to suppress the allergen and was entirely successful. But it was conated with all the controversies about biotech and simply could not be commercialized. We retooled and, working with a plant breeder, we assayed the entire USDA national soybean collection and found one line Highly sensitive pigs help solve soybean allergiesNon-GMO solutions sought to make human food saferResearch by MARGARET EVANSlacking the allergen. This was then stacked into a prototype soybean line with other traits. This is entirely a product of plant breeding, not biotech.” The work created a new soybean line with reduced allergic sensitivity, and it looked good in eld tests. But it needed animal testing which led him to working with the swine research group at Purdue University. “It has been known for decades that piglets can have an adverse reaction to soybean much like a human infant,” he says. “This limits the use of soybean in piglets until they are about 45 days of age, when they outgrow soy intolerance. The ability to feed soybean earlier is of economic advantage with 150 million piglets per year in the US. To produce a test animal, I worked with a group led by Allen Schinckel at Purdue who is a swine breeder. He selected and inbred the most sensitive piglets to produce a piglet model specically mimicking the human neonate allergy. We are now testing the low-allergen soybean on the highly sensitive swine to see if this will mitigate the potential allergic response for piglet feed and potentially provide a low-allergen source of soybean for the food industry that is not biotech in origin.” The hypersensitive pigs can now be used to test if the low-allergen soybeans are safe enough for allergic individuals. In addition, a low-allergen soybean could be fed to pigs to safeguard their own allergic response, making the new hypoallergenic, non-GMO soybean valuable for both people and animals. “The big bottom-line question is, can we x our food with respect to allergens and make it better?” he asked. “This is the question I am working on with the swine research group. If we can prove it with the piglet model, then maybe we will have a good position to advocate xing food.” goal to identify animals using cell phones which could be integrated into a traceability system. Ydenberg is excited at the added potential for the new technology. “I am very interested in being part of the trial and encourage others to participate,” says Ydenberg. “I have a barn camera right now, and I could see value in using this technology to send me an alert to my phone when a ewe is lambing. I can also see value for predation and disease management.” OneCup nished in the top 10 in the international TESCO AgTech competition this fall, in a eld of 170 new technologies. OneCup expects to ocially launch BETSY at the end of the rst quarter in 2021 and will be commercially available shortly after launch. TOP 10 nfrom page 29
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 31Agricultural 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.COMby MYRNA STARK LEADER ABBOTSFORD – Bill Awmack never farmed, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a trusted resource to farmers across BC on all things related to seed and forage. In recognition of his standing in the industry, Awmack – who retired in December – became the rst BC recipient of the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association’s Leadership award. In his plus-30-year career, the agrologist has worked with and provided extension services to hundreds of BC farmers. But he would never have ranked himself in the same category as the other eight recipients of the award. “I’ve never considered that I did an awful lot of leadership,” says Awmack, with characteristic humility from the home oce where he runs Abbotsford-based Quality Seeds West. “I've worked with the BC Forage Council for probably 15 years as a treasurer and a director. As such, you sort of push projects in certain directions. I was there helping. That’s really what it was,” says Awmack. Awmack grew up near Cranbrook on a hobby farm where his parents had cattle. His dad was the district agriculturalist until moving to Victoria to oversee community pastures for the BC Ministry of Agriculture. In 1974, Awmack graduated from UBC with a degree in agricultural economics. He initially worked in mining, making enough money for a trip to Europe with his wife. Not one for oce work, he joined Continental Grain in Vancouver on his return as a domestic and overseas grain trader. A transfer to Winnipeg with Continental saw him work with eld reps to contract growing acres of mustard seed, buckwheat, coriander and other specialty crops. He bought product on the open market and arranged cleaning and shipping to customers. He did similar trading of crops like peas, lentils, buckwheat and sunowers, shipping to domestic and oshore customers as marketing manager in the seeds and special crops department at Manitoba Pool Elevators. Wanting to get back to BC, Awmack worked for a succession of companies before launching Quality Seeds West, a partnership with dairy producer Ari Ekstein of Ontario-based Quality Seeds Ltd., in 2003. BC Forage Council general manager Serena Black says the council nominated Awmack for the leadership award in recognition of his long-standing support of the sector. Awmack joined the BC Forage Council at its launch in 1998 and easily gained people’s trust. This enabled him to shepherd valuable information and support producers and the new generation of forage-Bill Awmack honoured with leadership awardSeed isn’t glamorous but it’s the foundation for everything else, says long-time seed repA xture at farm trade shows around the province, seed rep Bill Awmack has retired. FILE PHOTOSee AWMACK on next page o
AWMACK shuns the moniker of “expert” nfrom page 3132 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411GIVE YOURSELF THE AVE NUEFarmers know the importance of each generation building on the last. The introduction of the Fendt 700 Gen Six grows on the Fendt legacy by bringing precision agriculture solutions to a whole new level. SOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSfocused agrologists in BC. “Bill has been an enormous resource for me,” says Black, who’s been with the council for three years. “There’s no question too small for him to take time to give me background. He regularly contributes to our newsletter and is a sponsor of the council itself. Indeed, he just sent me three boxes of valuable information on past variety trials that we are looking at how to capture and archive.” An understanding In addition to working with farmers, Awmack also worked on forestry reclamation projects providing seed and advice, although he shuns the moniker of “expert.” He says being raised on a farm and around farmers much of his life was helpful in his career. So were jobs which enabled him to travel much of BC working directly with farmers. “I understood some of their problems and what they were doing and how they're doing it. That's helped me all the way through. I was able to build relationships,” says Awmack, adding his perspective could often be the seed industry’s voice in farming discussions while still understanding farmers’ points of view. When the provincial government moved away from providing agriculture extension services at the beginning of the 2000s – a move he still disagrees with – it created a need for organizations like the forage council to help with research and knowledge transfer. Since forage is perennial, there are fewer dollars put into the crop, including less research funding and emphasis, particularly since private companies don’t benet from annual seed sales. “It’s just not as sexy,” he says. Yet as the climate shifts, quality forages are gaining importance. Twenty years ago, tall fescue, one of his personal favourites, wouldn’t grow in parts of BC due to its lack of winter hardiness. Today, it’s grown much more broadly. Farmers are adapting, but change isn’t easy. “In the forage business, there's a big ‘we’ve never done it that way’ type of attitude,” he says. “Lots of young farmers do what their fathers did before, so it's a real mind shift for younger guys to use things like tall fescue as opposed to more orchard grass or others.” However, some producers are willing to try new plants, particularly those that see themselves as quality forage producers. Rather than understanding themselves as simply a beef or dairy producer, they recognize that what they grow and feed to their animals is fundamental to the quality of the nal product, he says. Awmack praises farmers as some of the best land stewards. “They’re going to be living on their land for 20 or 30 years or 100 years. It’s not a get-rich quick thing so they're not going to screw things up for themselves or screw it up for other people, either,” he says. “It's the get-rich-quick people who are in and out of agriculture; they're the ones causing problems.” Most of his work has been in the Cariboo, South Okanagan-Boundary country and on Vancouver Island. But anywhere he goes, treating others like you want to be treated is his guiding principle. “If you give farmers the straight goods, hopefully, they're going to come back and they're going to work with you,” he says. “Farmers can spot a story real fast. If you screw them once, they'll never come back. That's just the way it is. You can't hard-sell a farmer. They have to make up their own mind and will come back to you when they’re ready.” As for his hopes for agriculture’s future, he’d like the government to get back into the business of extension. He says there’s more knowledge now than ever about seed and growing. While acknowledging it might be easier to nd information online, he believes government-employed representatives help ensure things like trial outcomes and information is unbiased. “That’s the type of information farmers need,” he says, adding there’s room for farmers to advocate for themselves, but many are too busy farming or trying to survive to do so. Awmack will stick around BC, but he isn’t sure what’s next. Stepping back from agriculture seems likely, however. One is either involved and on top of the industry or they’re not, he maintains. Those who come after will do well to build relationships, he advises. Even though producers have the Internet and can buy online, people still like to get information from people. “If you have the relationship, it doesn't matter what company you're with, people remember you,” he says. “It's important stu.” “Farmers can spot a story real fast. If you screw them once, they'll never come back. That's just the way it is. You can't hard-sell a farmer. They have to make up their own mind and will come back to you when they’re ready.” BILL AWMACK, P.Ag.
The solar panels on top of ‘Sparky’ do double duty providing shade and power to this 1950s Massey Harris Pacer now equipped with an electric motor. Sparky’s no chump – she can pull a loaded bale wagon, says Drew Gailius, who masterminded the conversion. SUBMITTED PHOTOCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 33MFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTS INCLUDING: BRUSH MULCHERS | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERSSTUMP GRINDERS | PTO GENERATORS | AUGER DRIVES | TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | TREE SAWS & SHEARSTREE SPADES | BOOM MOWERS | TREE PULLERS | FELLER BUNCHERS | EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | SCREW SPLITTERSsales@baumalight.com | BAUMALIGHT.COMDale Howe 403-462-1975 | email@example.com JACKIE PEARASE CRESTON – Full Circle Farm owners Drew and Joanne Gailius so love how well their electric tractor works, they gave it a name. Drew built Sparky 10 years ago to see if he could create a solar powered electric tractor from a 1950s Massey Harris Pacer that started as a “bucket of parts.” “When I rst decided to make it, it was more or less a trial balloon. I just thought, let’s see what we can do,” he says. Switching out the 20 horsepower gas engine for a 10 hp electric motor running o eight six-volt lead acid batteries fed by solar panels was tricky but his background in engineering, machining and welding gave him a head start. It still took him about a year to complete the project while also working with his wife on their 40-acre certied organic mixed farm in Creston. The couple works hard to tread lightly on the earth by incorporating regenerative agricultural practices and renewable energy sources while reducing their use of fossil fuels. The solar-electric tractor ts so nicely with their agricultural vision that it has replaced their diesel tractor for many farm chores including cultivating, spreading manure, cutting wood, raking and hauling. “It can pull surprisingly heavy loads like 100 bales of alfalfa on the wagons, and we have some hills. It’s surprised us,” adds Joanne. The tractor can do about an hour’s hard work like discing but retains a charge for up to three hours for light work. Drew says the electric engine provides excellent starting torque, is a reliable starter, quiet and does not emit smoke or exhaust. The solar panels have the added bonus of providing shade while the ability to go extremely slow is attractive to organic and vegetable producers wanting precision planting and weeding. Drew has adapted equipment to t the small tractor and most of the farm tools now run on electric power. “It’s a very useable tool and now we have so many implements to put on to it … we really get by with the little electric so often,” Drew says. In fact, Sparky served them well during a recent three-day power outage, keeping food frozen and machines operating. The tractor runs on the same batteries installed a decade ago and Drew, a heavy-duty mechanic by trade, says it has been virtually maintenance-free. The tractor is a true workhorse but the couple has not done a cost-benet analysis. “The nancial truth is building Sparky took a lot of nancial commitment and Drew’s skill and shop and equipment,” Joanne notes. “People ask us if it was worthwhile to do it; nancially, ‘I don’t know’ is the answer to that.” Reducing fossil fuel reliance Organic carrot farmers Paddy Doherty and Elaine Spearing of West Enderby Farm in the North Okanagan also see their electric tractor as an on-farm tool to help reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. Doherty retrotted an engineless Allis-Chalmers Model G tractor to electric in a few weeks during the pandemic lockdown in April. With the engine located in the back, these favourites with vegetable growers are ideal for retrotting, using kits available for the electrical and mechanical aspects. “I had three of these tractors and I knew, because of YouTube, that this was a thing that you could do,” Doherty says. “The only way I could do it is because there is a kit you can buy. Otherwise, even with that, there’s a limit to my mechanical abilities.” He installed the electric motor and hooked up eight six-volt lead acid batteries, added a 100-pound counterweight to the front of the tractor and he was o Farmers put electric tractors to the testSolar-battery, retrofit and ready-madeSee TRACTOR on next page o
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Endless outdoor opportunity! $299,000Completed to lock-up stage only, so interior room arrangement & nishing is to your own taste. 1,000+ ft2 of main, & auxiliary guest bdrm cabins, on sloping lot above the lake, 4 km of paved road past Youbou, near Pine Point Campground. Beautiful beachfront for swimming or boating. No services connected. $299,999Saddle 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 $1,595,000Fantastic 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. $800,000Lac La Hache, BC. Stunning lakefront home at the north end of Lac La Hache. 3,136 ft2 residence is the perfect option for a family or anyone looking for a serene getaway. An open oor plan and large windows bathe the interior with sunlight, providing picture perfect views out onto the lake. $799,000Diamond in the rough best describes this gently southeast sloping, nicely treed almost half acre lot with 105 feet of lake frontage. Just park your motor home or trailer, go shing and start enjoying this recreational paradise with beautiful views. Roughed-in driveway off paved Mahood Lake Road. $250,000One of a kind private island with airstrip & easy boat access from Vancouver Island to a sheltered dock. Miles of sandy beaches, 400 acres of precious conservancy lands, managed forest, freshwater ponds, orchard & a fulltime caretaker. Ultimate privacy & spectacular views. NOW FROM $235,000Beachcombing, shing, and hunting getaway with abundant blacktail deer 1.5 hours from Vancouver. Waterfront acreage with 545 ft of low bank waterfront and big views on Georgia Straight. 4.94 acres of peace and quiet, walking distance Dionisio Provincial Park. House and cottage permitted. $749,0002,190 ft2 home with inground pool on 158 picturesque acres. Ideally set up for a hobby farm with a nice mix of forest, open pasture (fenced & cross fenced), year-round creek & spring fed soft water to house. Large dream shop ideal for business operation with man cave above. Located 40 km S of Dawson Creek. $685,000Sprawling 280 acre creekfront estate. Stunning views of Marble Mountains. 75 acres of hay land with 63 acres under pivot irrigation. Water licenses. 3,470 ft2 log home. Indoor riding arena, heated shop, equipment storage. Additional 70 acre agricultural lease. Fenced & cross fenced. $1,839,900RICH OSBORNE 604-664-7633Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comLYLE BRAITHWAITE CCIM firstname.lastname@example.orgFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comJOHN ARMSTRONG email@example.comCOLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793 CHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634MARTIN SCHERRER firstname.lastname@example.orgLandQuest® Realty Corp CaribooDAVE COCHLAN email@example.comDAVE SIMONE 250-539-8733DS@landquest.comMATT CAMERON firstname.lastname@example.orgSAM HODSON 604-694-7623Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comcultivating carrots with it this spring. Already the owner of an electric forklift, Doherty has wanted an electric tractor for many years. He loves its quiet operation and ease of use, even if driving without a clutch is taking some getting used to. He says it makes sense as an organic grower but the cost was steep at about $9,000, even with a used tractor as the starting point. “If you were going to do something, I would suggest it would make more sense to build a tractor. Don’t retrot a tractor, build it from scratch,” he adds. Carbon tax inevitable Vincent Burkholder took over Peter and Ray Murray’s 40-year-old corn farm in Chase last year after working there for 12 seasons as a teen. He now operates Burkholders’ Corn Farm with his brother Lewis. Burkholder thinks replacing his 50 hp diesel row crop tractor with an electric version would be eective at reducing his farm’s carbon footprint. “When the tractor gets used a lot, it starts to make some sense. Some of the more pressing reasons people are getting into it are the zero emissions,” he adds, noting that he expects a carbon tax for agriculture is inevitable. Burkholder worked briey as an engineer testing new electric vehicle products before choosing farming over the oce. He wants to seek out government grant funding to purchase an electric tractor, provide demonstrations to other producers, and put together a case study for using the equipment on vegetable farms. A slow down on production of the equipment altered Burkholders’ plan from 2021 to 2022 but he remains focused on the benets of the advancing technology for producers. Step in the right direction Director of climate crisis policy and action Darren Qualman with the National Farmers Union says the use of electric and solar energy is a step in the right direction toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. “The sooner that we cease to consume fossil-fuel machinery, the sooner we can move to low-emission farm power,” he says. “If we can reduce input use, we have the opportunity to not only reduce emissions but maybe raise that farm income and go from keeping ve cents out of every dollar to maybe start to move back to when farmers were keeping 30 to 40 cents.” He says the NFU and Farmers for Climate Solutions are pushing hard to see more research and development investment in low-emission machinery. Changing battery technology has everyone waiting to see what wins out. “Two at the forefront now are hydrogen or battery-electric,” says Qualman. “We’re trying to gure out which of those two is likely to prevail. We think that the trucking sector is largely going to answer that question. Whichever way the trucking industry goes, that will probably be replicated in the agricultural machinery sector.” Drew also waits for new battery technology that might triple his power output but he is content with what Sparky can do. “What I think it proves is what electrics on a farm could do. If it works for us, I’m sure it’s scaleable to a lot of farms,” he says. With things working so well, Sparky will likely have more to do on the farm soon. “How we harvest our grain has become a real focus. So we’ve been looking for an old All-Crop harvester combine that Sparky would be able to manage and then we’ll be able to retire our diesel powered swather and John Deere combine. We can pass them along to another organic farmer,” says Joanne. Paddy Doherty demonstrates the ease of operating his retrotted electric tractor at West Enderby Farm in the North Okanagan. PHOTO / JACKIE PEARASE
Kootenay farm advisors resume field daysKnowledge, connections key to Kootenay programCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 35Proudly certifying Producers and Processorswithin BC and Alberta.FVOPA provides year round certiﬁcation services compliant with the Canadian Organic Standards (CAN/CGSB) and in accordance with the BC Certiﬁed Organic ISO 17065 recognized program. Products may be sold Canada-wide and in international markets. FVOPA ensures an efﬁcient, professional certiﬁcation process for all farm, processing and handling operations. Inspectors are lOlA trained and qualiﬁed making FVOPA a leading Certiﬁcation Agency.Message 604-607-1655Email: email@example.comPhone 604-789-7586P.O. 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Proudly certifying Producers and Processors across Canadaby TOM WALKER CRESTON – Kootenay producers enjoyed a full slate of workshops this year as Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors resumed programming this fall after halting activities in May. “We actually saw a rush for support,” says KBFA program coordinator Rachael Roussin. “People were really thirsty for knowledge.” She says KBFA found it was still able to bring people together safely for outdoor eld days once the initial period of hunkering down was over and information about available pandemic support programs had been distributed. “I think people felt safe and it gave them a sense of normalcy and connection with the ag community,” she says. All told, the KBFA hosted 16 events in 2020, kicking o with a two-day grazing school with Steve Kenyon in January and wrapping up with a virtual vegetable storage workshop with Hermann and Louise Bruns at Wild Flight Farm in early December conducted via smartphone. Soil health was a popular topic with four events that culminated October 5 with Wayne Blashill’s presentation “Digging Deep into Soil Knowledge” in Rock Creek. “We were really able to talk production and soils and better understand those excellent Rock Creek chernozem soils that are predominant in the Okanagan and Boundary area,” says Roussin. Seed cleaning and seed production in October allowed KBFA to host Farm Folk/City Folk at events in Argenta, Winlaw and Grand Forks. “David Catzel with the BC Seed Program brought in and demoed a mobile seed cleaner,” says Roussin. “People really appreciated the hands-on learning opportunity. We did clean a lot of seed.” This was the second year of on-farm research into orchard mulching to improve soil moisture at Don and Susan Low’s Quiet Valley Farms in Creston. A eld day at the end of August shared the results and discussed irrigation techniques. “We had a lot of tree fruit producers out talking about optimising irrigation practices,” says Roussin. The BC Cattlemen’s Association’s targeted grazing project was featured in a eld day in Cranbrook. “There was such rich discussion about how the agricultural community can work in collaboration with our municipalities to make our communities safer and potentially increase the areas that grazing can take place for ranchers,” Roussin notes. “For so long the urban-agriculture divide seems to be getting greater and this is agriculture supporting community goals and a chance to get agriculture in the spotlight.” Another positive outcome of the season was the adoption of technology for some events. “We found out that farmers can really Zoom,” says Roussin. “I’m not sure that they wanted to let us know that before.” Molly Thurston, a tree fruit specialist with Pearl Agriculture Consulting, delivered two presentations via Zoom on nutrient management and pest management for small orchards. But the most exciting use of videoconferencing technology for Roussin was the virtual eld day with veteran organic farmers YOURHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATEScountrylifeinbc.comSign up for FREE today.YOURping Youpingpgpping Youc.comSignupforUSED 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 NH 1033 BALE WAGON, 105 BALES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000 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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SUBMITTED PHOTOwe have a video that people can watch.” Renewed COVID-19 restrictions this fall did put a slight damper on the nal eld tour of the new greenhouse at Salix and Sedge Farm in Salmo. “We were inside the greenhouse, so we limited the tour to 12 people and we were all wearing masks,” Roussin explains. “But with the small number of participants who were interested in commercial greenhouse production they were able to ask and get answers to their in-depth questions.” Despite the challenges the year presented, Roussin believes KBFA was still able to fulll its mandate. “We have been able to bring people together in a safe and supportive outdoor environment within their own community, and grow their knowledge,” she says. Hermann and Louise Bruns of Wild Flight Farm in Mara. “We had wanted to connect with the Bruns for some time now,” says Roussin. “But the logistics of getting over to the Okanagan, particularly this year, got in the way.” Smart phone technology provided a solution. “Hermann just walked around his farm and broadcast live video with his cell phone, talking about mechanization and showing us tools for cultivating market vegetables,” says Roussin. “It was so clear, and being live, people were able to ask questions, just like a live tour.” That same technology allowed Bruns to present the nal virtual eld day of the year on winter crop storage in early December. “The smart phone was a real eye-opener. I don’t know if I ever would have tried that technology without the pandemic,” Roussin acknowledges. “I just pressed record on my Zoom and now
36 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC*Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer based on the purchase of eligible equipment defined in promotional program. Additional fees may apply. Pricing, payments and models may vary by dealer. Customers must take delivery prior to the end of the program period. Some customers will not qualify. Some restrictions apply. Financing subject to credit approval. Offer available on new equipment only. Pricing and rebates in CAD dollars. Prior purchases are not eligible. 6 Year Warranty for Non-Commercial, residential use only. 6 Year Warranty applies to CS, CK10, DK10 and NX model KIOTI tractors and must be purchased and registered between September 1, 2016 – June 30, 2020. Offer valid only at participating Dealers. Offer subject to change without notice. See your dealer for details. © 2020 Daedong-Canada, Inc. Kioti Canada.Timberstar Tractor Vernon B.C. 250-545-5441 Harbour City EquipmentDuncan B.C. 778-422-3376Matsqui Ag RepairAbbotsford B.C. 604-826-3281 Northern Acreage SupplyPrince George B.C. 250-596-22730%FinancingCASHBack OffersUnlimited HourPowertrain WarrantyRangeland Equipment LtdCranbrook B.C. 250-426-0600
KLO Middle School student farmers Riley Gayford, Arsh Rifan and Kaydence Aubin show off some of the produce grown in the school’s new container farm. The farm was gifted to the school by President’s Choice Children’s Charity. PHOTO / KLO MIDDLE SCHOOLCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 37v4200W 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 MYRNA STARK LEADER KELOWNA – The newest container farm in BC is at Kelowna’s KLO Middle School. Since mid-November, a 40-foot shipping container just outside the school’s front doors has produced lettuce, kale and bok choy. The next crop will include basil, thyme and oregano. “Right now, we’re only growing about one-sixth capacity but the farm could produce 525 lettuce plants every harvest,” says Karla Lockwood, a Grade 9 math and science educator. “This farm hits on the Grade 9 science curriculum of scientific method – starting with a question, developing a hypothesis, identifying variables, gathering data, analyzing it and reporting it. That's all the competencies,” says Lockwood. “From a content standpoint, we teach nutrient cycles, the nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon cycles, which is exactly what a modular farm does. It's an automated version of nutrient cycling.” Raised in Kelowna, Lockwood watered plants at Lake Country Greenhouses in Winfield during high school and part of university. Her second teaching job was in Summerland, where the school also had a small outdoor greenhouse. The container farm at KLO is much bigger since nearly every school subject across Grades 7-9 can be linked to the farm. Food classes, career education, math, physical education around healthy food choices, English and French classes where students can write about the project and even technical education, where students might design and build an entry area where students can prepare themselves to enter the farm. KLO’s farm is the second pilot project President’s Choice Children’s Charity has funded. The first is at a school in La Loche, Saskatchewan. The charity helps combat child hunger by raising and distributing about $16 million annually. Funds come from donations by Loblaws customers, employees and suppliers, as well as direct fundraising. The charity is the largest charitable funder of school meal programs across Canada. “We’re focused on tackling childhood hunger, food access and food-based education, but also innovation, which led us to offering container farms as a way to grow food year-round in the north, our first pilot project site,” explains the charity’s executive director Lisa Battistelli. KLO’s principal Ashley Ragoonaden learned of the La Loche project when his son and the son of Peter Boyd, owner of the Independent store in Kelowna, were playing soccer. Boyd mentioned La Loche to Ragoonaden, who sought more information through the charity and spearheaded KLO’s grant application. He also won approval for the project from the local school district. “I’ve seen schools with little gardens, but this was dierent,” says Ragoonaden. “My teaching team are really working on our environmental stewardship and sustainability. The farm connected Kelowna school embraces new container farmMicrogreens project promises many teaching momentsServing 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 250-838-6414See FARMING on next page oRENEWyourSubscriptionDon’t forget toRESubscripforg
FARMING now part of curriculum nfrom page 3738 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCAs a day o goes, it wasn’t bad. It failed to attain languid hibernation-style status, due mainly to the presence of an eight-year old but, as I always say, don’t make it a goal if you can’t achieve it. I was obliged to run the child all morning to render him docile enough to prefer reading over rampaging in the afternoon. An energetic hike, a bonre of big branches and strenuous play involving damming a ditch did the trick. I spent a couple of peaceful hours sitting in a chair. Inside. I hold the very reasonable expectation of stringing together a few of these days o in the coming weeks of winter. It is a delightful prospect, sensibly tempered with a hard-learned lesson: it’s easy to get behind in farming during impulsively restful times. I was once advised to do a farming job every day. An outside one. Not an easy indoor one. Website redesign absolutely does not count. Right. Today’s topic is customer service. That’s hardly a farming topic, you cry. To which I say, show me a farmer who does not need to engage with a customer to sell the crop and I’ll show you a problem with the food system. Alternatively, we could talk about jobs that have to be done out in the winter rain, but the weather is currently atrocious, and I would prefer not to think about it. Returning to customer service. My customer service skills, honed over years in the food service industry, were approximately the only skills I possessed that were useful to the farm business when I returned as an adult. Also, I was able to manage inventory and understand the importance of a good signage program. I have farming friends who, when their kids returned to the farm as adults, required that they arrive with tens of thousands to invest and a business plan justifying their existence. Thank goodness I did not face this situation. As it turned out, customer service skills were useful: our farm would not be doing very well if I was no good at selling food to people. I digress. I am struggling with a particular issue and thought by reecting on the topic, I might hit upon a solution to my problem. I have heard from a customer that the Red French Fingerling sometimes taste bitter when boiled. First of all, why are they boiling them? These are for roasting and I do it all the time. They are excellent. Second of all, bitter potatoes are usually green potatoes. Are the French Fingerling turning green easily? Tough to tell with their deep red skins. We don’t prefer to grow varieties that are good cooked only one way, or that require careful handling. It’s too hard to control what customers do with them. An exception has been made for the Kennebec variety. They are for making fries. I assumed they were a gimmick, given the number of mainstream restaurants that have advertised their Kennebec fries. However, we nally grew them and fried them and they are indeed top-shelf fryers. The best ever, perhaps. Ugly, though, and very susceptible to turning green. Their ugliness might be a result of being grown in an organic system. Some varieties are like that. Yukon Gold, for example, can be very meagre producers in our elds. Perhaps they were intended to be used with chemical fertilizers for best yields. The Kennebec, like the French Fingerling, are not at all meagre and produce a ton of tubers under a veritable hedge of vines. The Kennebec sign at market says: We admit these are ugly, but they are the best for fries. And suddenly my problem is solved. It’s all about signage. The French Fingerling sign now reads: Not for storage – Roast these tonight! I’ll have to investigate this potential easy greening problem, though. We can’t have that. Anna Helmer farms with her family and misses farming with her friends. immediately to those ideas.” Battistelli says KLO was approved for several reasons: the potential to interest urban students in new farming methods and innovation, the possibility of using produce to feed kids and families, and KLO’s intention to work with Kelowna Secondary School and Okanagan College, both across the street. But KLO’s commitment to develop a Grade 9 credit course rooted in the farm was the clincher. “We recognize the limited capacity of all teachers to create new curriculum and/or lesson plans related to the farm and appreciate KLO’s commitment to sharing the content they create,” says Battistelli. The charity fully funded the unit and equipment, transportation, set up and three years of 24-hour support, technical as well as servicing costs and supplies such as seed. The grant is worth approximately $250,000 so far. In addition, the school’s parent advisory council committed $50,000 towards site prep. KLO chose the Canadian-made Growcer brand container system. The Ottawa-based company was founded three years ago by Corey Ellis and Alida Burke, who wanted a customizable plug-and-play hydroponic food-growing system northern communities could use to grow healthy food and help them become more self-sucient. The farm’s hydroponic system doesn’t require soil. Lockwood says the students she’s had working in the farm at this early stage are highly engaged. The farm has also piqued the curiosity of others. “The farm is an amazing way to grow food really quickly and eciently. Instead of taking up a lot of at ground, we grow the plants in shelves so that there's more food growing at once,” says Grade 8 student Arsh Rifan. “The automatic water chemical control is a very handy piece of equipment because we don't have to test the water every day. The hydroponic farm is the future of farm agriculture.” “It’s a pretty amazing gift,” says Tamara Knott of Bright Greens Canada when she learned about KLO’s farm. “I hope the students will understand what they’ve been gifted.” Knott and her husband Bruce have been producing greens in converted shipping containers in Central Saanich since 2016. She and two farm helpers grow about 70-80 pounds of fresh produce each week in two containers, located on a property within the Agricultural Land Reserve. About 70% is marketed to direct to consumers and 30% to restaurants. Knott sees KLO’s farm as a great student learning opportunity. Her experience with Bright Greens has taught her the need for strong scheduling and recording of farm data and procedures. She believes having a system to transfer knowledge between teachers and students working in the farm will be critical as things can be accidently overlooked. A way to share knowledge between those working inside the farm is also important. Lockwood and her colleagues are employing two apps to help coordinate farm operations. Growlink monitors the farm’s system while Artemis AG helps schedule harvesting, cleaning and other chores. “We can set up independent users and as farm tasks are done individuals can identify what they’ve completed, make notes and even post pictures as documentation,” says Lockwood. The farm has been a bright spot for the school in a year dominated by COVID-19. Future opportunities include using produce in cooking classes and the school lunch program as well as working with President’s Choice Children’s Charity to address challenges like creating enough fridge space for the harvested produce. “We are working hard to create a culture of learning, not just one course … it's about building an environment where, you know, everybody is involved, it becomes part of our fabric,” says Ragoonaden. Farm Story by ANNA HELMERWinter is a good time to problem-solve
40 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCBreaking the good (and not so good) newsWhen we left o last time, Kenneth’s lawyer was trying unsuccessfully to convince him that anything but a 50/50 split in a divorce settlement was risky business. Meanwhile, his mother was negotiating a new living arrangement with Newt Pullamn. Rural Redemption, Part 130, continues. Newt broke out laughing when Susan asked if they could get a puppy. “I suppose so,” he said. “Are you saying you’re not interested in staying unless there’s a pup in the deal?” “I’ve wanted a dog for years. Kingston forbid it and it seems like there’s a place here for a dog now that Rocky’s gone.” “There’s a vacant position in the dog department alright,” said Newt. “You sure you want to take on a pup?” “In for a penny, in for a pound,” said Susan. “Something old, something new. Are you ready for us?” “Absolutely. It might seem like we’re a little quick o the mark, but at this stage of the game there’s no point in marking time is there?” Susan bent down and kissed him. “Let’s keep it to ourselves until Ashley and Christopher go home.” vvv The quarantine was set to end at the end of the week. Deborah was planning for Susan and the kids to come home on Saturday morning. Kenneth sent her a terse text message saying he would be home on Sunday, and he wanted time to speak to her privately. Deborah called Susan on Friday morning and said the quarantine was pretty much over and wondered if Susan would drop by because she had something important to talk to her about. Susan agreed and said she had important news, too. An hour later, they were sitting in Deborah’ kitchen. Susan could sense Deborah’s unease and asked what was up? “Kenneth is coming home on Sunday morning and we have something serious to discuss so I was wondering if you would mind staying at Newt’s with the kids until Monday, if you haven’t worn out your welcome.” “Far from that, actually,” said Susan. “In fact, that’s kind of what my news is about. I’ll be staying with Mr. Pullman.” “We’ve got room here; you don’t have to stay at Newt’s.” “Not at Newt’s…with Newt.” It took Deborah several seconds to connect the dots. “Oh, my goodness. Susan! Ashley said you were causing a bit of a stir with the menfolk. Does Newt even know what hit him?” “It was his idea.” “So, it’s serious then?” “Apparently so. We’re getting a puppy.” Deborah rose and gave Susan a hug. “What wonderful, totally unexpected news!” Tears welled in Deborah’s eyes as she sat down. She wiped them away with her ngertips. “There’s no easy way to tell you this: Kenneth and I are getting a divorce.” “Mutual?” asked Susan. “My idea,” said Deborah “I can’t go on like this.” They were still talking about it a half hour later when the Ashley walked in the back door. “Hi. Mr. Pullman said the quarantine was over and Grandma was here having coee. What are you two yakking about?” Susan and Deborah looked at one another, then Deborah turned to Ashley. “Come and sit-down sweetie. Grandma and I have something to tell you.” Susan told her about her new living arrangement. “No way!” said Ashley. “I’m not surprised. You were such a total fox in that red dress! “ Ashley gave Susan a big hug and spotted Deborah’s weepy eyes. “What’s wrong, Mom?” “I have some less happy news, I’m afraid.” “You’re not sick are you?” “Nothing like that. Your father and I are getting a divorce.” Mother and daughter stared at each other for several seconds while the news sunk in for Ashley. “Does it have anything to do with that Janice lady where he works?” “You mean his secretary?” asked Deborah. “Secretary or whatever,” said Ashley. “The one he was talking to on the phone at Grandma’s the last time we were there for Christmas.” “How do you know he was talking to her on the phone?” Ashley explained how she had overheard the conversation from the hallway, and how the hotel from Tono had called to conrm his reservation when they got home, and she told Daddy how sweet it was for him to be taking Deborah for a surprise New Year’s getaway, and didn’t it seem odd the reservation was for the fancy hotel, but they ended up staying at a bed and breakfast? Deborah said that would explain the coincidence of Janice staying at the fancy hotel and being at the New Year’s Eve party and she wished she had her phone number. “That shouldn’t be a problem,” said Ashley as she walked to the kitchen phone. “She called and left a message for Daddy while you were away. Her number’s right here on the call display. She wrote it on a memo pad and handed it to Deborah. Has anyone told Chris yet?” Deborah shook her head. “I’ll tell him then,” said Ashley. Deborah looked uncertain. “Don’t worry, Mom. Chris and I are chill.” vvv Ashley found her brother in Newt’s barn. “Looking at more cows, Chris?” “No. Looking at heifers. Mr. Pullman says he wants to AI some of the best ones and he wants to know which ones I think they should be.” “Ah, cool. I was just over talking to Mom and Grandma. We’re not going back until Monday night.” “I thought we were going home tomorrow.” “No, there’s some stu happening rst.” “What kind of stu?” asked Christopher, as he compared heifers. “Well, Grandma’s staying here to live with Mr. Pullman…” “Whaaaat?” “Yeah, she’s moving in with him.” “Go, Grandma! That should get everyone talking. I’ll bet that old newspaper lady will be all over it.” “Maybe. Mom and Dad are getting a divorce, too,” said Ashley. “No way!” “Yes way. You can’t be too surprised. You know he treats her like crap, right?” “I wouldn’t call it that. They don’t talk that much but Dad doesn’t talk that much to any of us. Maybe he’s just quiet.” “Do you remember the last time Daddy gave Mom a kiss?” “I don’t think I remember him ever giving her a kiss.” “My point exactly,” said Ashley. “That doesn’t mean anything.” “Really? How long has it been since you kissed Lisa?” “That’s not the same.” “Yeah, it sort of is, Chris. And besides that, it looks like Daddy’s had a girlfriend from where he works. He’s coming home Sunday, so we’ll probably nd out all about it then.” to be continued ... Woodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINSYOURHelping YouHelping YouWEEKLY FARMNEWS UPDATESSign up for FREE.coucountrylifeinbc.comylifeinbc.comKLYMSATESE.KuhnNorthAmerica.comVisit your local British Columbia Livestock dealer today!INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordCountry TractorKamloopsCountry TractorArmstrongVT 100 SERIES GII VERTICAL MAXX® Twin-Auger Mixers320 - 1,10 0 cu. ft. mixing capacities • truck, trailer and stationary modelsRugged front and side conveyorsfor reliable service and long lifeFront, side and rear discharge options offer maximum versatilityAdvanced auger design for superior feed movement and auger clean offEfficient mixing chamberpromotes a fast, complete mixFAST, COMPLETE MIXING AND PROCESSING
Financial advisor Sherry Watty says women need to continue to educate themselves and not let anyone tell them they can’t do something. They need to follow their passion, she says. PHOTO / SUBMITTEDCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 39Monitor TSUM on farmwest to schedule manure and fertilizer application! by MYRNA STARK LEADER CALGARY – More than 75,000 farm operators in Canada are women – about a third of all farm operators in the country – but they’re seldom speakers at farm leadership conferences and relatively few attend such events. “It became apparent there was a strong need for women in every sector to hear and learn from the experience of successful women,” says Iris Meck, owner of Iris Meck Communications in Calgary. Six years ago, after bringing a group of farm women together, Meck launched the Advancing Women in Agriculture conferences to help grow leadership skills among farm women. Eleven conferences later, she’s still targeting women engaged in activities from farming to nance and food processing. This year’s event, held online November 24 and 25 in partnership with Glacier Farm Media, attracted more than 700 registrants. Speakers ranged from young women relatively new to agriculture to successful entrepreneurs from across Canada, Australia and the UK. While there’s no shortage of issues facing women in the industry, from lack of rural childcare to challenges accessing nancing, a persistent issue is the barriers they face even as they take on leadership positions in family businesses. Sherry Watty, a nancial advisor and owner of Watty Insurance Services Ltd. in Abbotsford, discovered that rst-hand when she relocated her oce from northern Alberta in 2017. A male colleague told her, “You know Sherry, Abbotsford is a community where women don’t sell farm insurance.” Although she didn’t believe the comment was ill-intended, it was o-putting. She became determined to prove him wrong. “The rst day on the job I had seven new team members and felt like a sh out of water. I sat in my oce and told myself, ‘Sherry you’ve got this,’” says Watty. She studied dairy terminology so she would know how to work with local farmers in her new community, and paid farmers visits. She asked questions and soaked up the answers. She leveraged the knowledge to oer to re-examine farmers’ current policies from a risk management perspective. The approach helped her stand out. Soon, in the community she was hearing, “Hey, I’ve heard about you,” spoken in a positive light. Watty encourages women to continue to educate themselves and not let anyone tell them they can’t do something and to follow their passion. Taking a stand Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, CEO of CL Ranches Ltd. near Cochrane, Alberta, encouraged women to stand up for what they believe and address misperceptions of agriculture and agricultural practices. When trees encroached on her pasture, she met some public disapproval of her plans to fell some of the them to maintain the boundary. Some claimed the stand of trees was historic and needed protection. But as she took the ranch through the ocial approval process and explained that the stand had only been on the ranch for a hundred years, she was able to proceed. Today, some of the opponents now enjoy walking the newly cleared land. “The agriculture community needs to reach out to politicians and others locally to keep them informed and educated about agricultural practices and why they are important,” says Copithorne-Barnes. “Don’t be afraid to stand up and say what needs to be said.” Sheryl Wallace, corporate vice-president, risk management with Cargill Inc., dared women to reach their fullest potential and talk more about their accomplishments. “As women, we assume that our work speaks for itself. We struggle with balancing being humble and also sharing our achievements. Find creative ways to share your success,” said Wallace who’s has had career ups and downs but learned to be more condent. “Don’t rely on someone to tap you on the shoulder to say you’re CEO material; just believe it and step up.” Vicki Brisson was raised on a dairy farm in Ontario and currently serves on the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council, convened by federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau last year. Brisson stresses the importance of developing and reaching out to a personal support network. Women need to help other women advance in the industry and promote diversity within the sector. They also need to be collaborators in building a new paradigm of leadership rather than competing with men or each other. This can give them a sense of the unique value they bring to the table. “Women, in general, don’t value themselves as highly as men, which leads us to take on more and more responsibility without asking for adequate compensation, which can lead to burnout,” says Shelby Corey of 4-H Saskatchewan. Corey explained how she factored in her labour costs when pricing her beef. Instead of being positive, the move garnered criticism from producers who didn’t like her pricing strategy. She did it anyway, explaining that her consumers understand. “We need to know our value and negotiate that. We bring a dierent value to the table and it’s needed … Know when to use your voice to ask for help or to say no. Speak up when you need to step down from some roles,” advises Corey. Brisson warned that women need to stop wearing busy like a badge of honour. “I thought that if I enjoyed my job, I could abandon all my other passions … and I lost myself,” she says. “It’s when I set strict boundaries on how I spend my time that I get the most done.” Farm women encouraged to make their stand Self-confidence, good boundaries key to successfrom our family to yours 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD.@strategictill | lemken.caLook to LEMKEN’s Zirkon 12 for one-pass seedbed preparation in any condition. The well-thought-out details offer critical advantages, including a modular design with a larger range of available transmissions and tines. This ensures that each machine can be optimally adapted to the specific needs of each individual farm. 0% Financing. Certain Conditions Apply
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 41Uncertainty prevails for BC fairs in new yearAgricultural fairs set sights on 2022 as they chart a way forwardWHY THE LONG FACE? COVID-19 continues to put a damper on planning for this year's agricultural fairs, but organizers are taking stock with a view to making it through to 2022. LINDSAY BARTKO FILE PHOTOCREDIT CARD # _________________________________________________________________ EXP _____________ CVV _____________ NEWS & INFORMATION YOU (and your friends) NEED! Thousands of BC farmers and ranchers turn to Country Life in BC every month to nd out what (and who!) is making news in BC agriculture and how it may affect their farms and agri-businesses! Check someone off your list this holiday by sending them a gift subscription to Country Life in BC. They’ll be glad you did – all year long! o NEW o RENEWAL | o ONE YEAR ($18.90) oT WO YEARS ($33.60) o THREE YEARS ($37.80) Your Name _______________________________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________ Postal Code __________________________________ Phone _________________________ Email __________________________________________________ www.countrylifeinbc.com/subscribeMAIL TO: 36 DALE RD, ENDERBY, BC V0E 1V4 | email@example.com Please send a _______ year gift subscription to ________________________________________________ Farm Name ______________________________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________ Postal Code ________ _________________________ Phone _________________________ Email _________________________________________________ by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER SECHELT – The BC Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions (BC Fairs) is starting o the new year looking forward, reaching out to members to assess the impacts of COVID-19 and chart a path through 2021 and beyond. Sixteen fairs have set dates for 2021, but the next few months of COVID-19 will ultimately determine how many fairs will be open to the public this year and the community activities they’ll be providing. “It is going to be a tough year,” says BC Fairs executive director Janine Saw. “But we feel pretty good.” BC Fairs recently moved its fair oces and phone number during the pandemic from Surrey to Sechelt, adding to the stress, but preparing it to move ahead. “BC Fairs are putting together an eight-part webinar series for our members,” says Saw. “The rst will be a townhall to be held January 19, 2021, with a full schedule to be sent out in early January.” For most fairs in BC, the only time they have had to cancel was during wartime. Some took several years to start up again. Although several fairs all over the province cancelled in 2020, some found creative ways to keep their fairs alive, and rose to the challenge. Live-streaming concerts, drive-through events, entries submitted and judged digitally, were a departure from what fair organizers were used to. “We felt out of our comfort zone with all the changes, but after we overcame the sadness of cancelling the heritage event, the anxiety of learning new live-streaming skills and learning COVID-19 restrictions to keep everyone safe and sound we showed success,” stated a press release this past summer from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest. “The board of directors of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Agricultural Association saw no reason to allow COVID-19 to stop them to fulll their mandate of promoting agriculture, and with the assistance of grant funding from the federal and local governments and enthusiastic volunteers, the show went on,” it stated. Fair boards are now meeting virtually to decide how to make it through 2021, and how they will make it through to 2022. “The Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE) has been listening to the BC Health Authority and Dr. Henry about the continually changing rules and regulations concerning COVID-19,” says Armstrong Provincial Exhibition president Heather King. “We are being optimistic about 2021. We are in no position to decide this early about any cancellation plans for the 2021 season.” The fairs are sending the message that the main objective is to stay safe and healthy. They are moving forward by monitoring the health orders and advice and are comparing notes with other fairs through BC Fairs’ networking events. “The IPE is looking forward to hosting a fall fair once again,” says King. “ We want to do it safely and we want to do it right.” Some fairs are tourism event-based non-prot societies and are struggling now that their main revenue source has disappeared. A few have diversied through new or strengthened revenue streams, such as lm industry production sets and storage locations. “There are opportunities for engagement with the communities, but it will be dierent,” says Saw. “These historical organizations have been there for their communities, and now many are asking for some help and attention in order to survive through this year and until the fairs of 2022.”
42 | JANUARY 2021 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCLeftovers re-imagined make tasty mealsThis is a nice savoury topping for a bit of leftover stew instead of using pastry to make a pot pie. 3/4 c. (175 ml) our 1/4 c. (60 ml) whole wheat our 2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder 1 tbsp. (15 ml) brown sugar 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) salt 1/4 tsp. (2 ml) black pepper 2 tbsp. (30 ml) fresh parsley 2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil 1/3 c. (75 ml) milk • Mix dry ingredients with a whisk and add minced fresh parsley. • Combine olive oil and milk with the dry ingredients in a few quick strokes. • Squeeze dough or knead it a dozen times, then pat out to a half-inch thickness and cut into rounds, or just dab onto top of hot stew. • Bake, uncovered, at 425° F for about 15 minutes, or until nicely browned. • Serves 2-4. PARSLEY BISCUIT TOPPINGThis makes leftover cubes of roasted squash totally new again for a later meal. It’s full of healthy avours and can be accompanied by a simple, lean protein such as chicken, pork, beef, lamb or seafood. 1-2 c. (250-500 ml) squash cubes spray of olive oil 1 tsp. (5 ml) cumin powder 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) chili powder salt & pepper, to taste 4 c. baby spinach leaves 1/4 c. blue cheese, optional 2 tbsp. (30 ml) dried cranberries 1 tbsp.(15 ml) toasted candied pecans Balsamic Vinegar Dressing: 2 tbsp. (30 ml) good quality balsamic vinegar 2 tsp. (10 ml) extra virgin olive oil 1/4 tsp. (2 ml) dry mustard salt and pepper, to taste • Pre-heat oven to 400° F. • Peel and cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes. This is easiest with the butternut variety of squashes, which has a delicious avour, but you can substitute any variety of winter squash. • Spray a sheet pan with oil or brush with a little oil and scatter the squash cubes on it. Sprinkle with the cumin and chili powder and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until just cooked through. • Rinse and dry spinach and arrange on plates or heap in a serving bowl, and arrange the cubes of squash. Add dried cranberries and toasted, candied pecans. • Make the pecan topping ahead of time by lightly toasting the nuts in a hot frypan, then removing to a bowl and dusting with sea salt and a pinch of brown sugar. Stir together with a teaspoon of melted butter or olive oil and let cool. • You may add crumbled blue cheese or shreds of cooked chicken to the top as well. • Just before serving, whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar dressing. • Serves two. SQUASH SALAD WITH SPINACH & CRANBERRIESI like good food prepared from fresh, local ingredients, but I don’t always have time to make complicated meals. So to get the most out of my eort, I try to get a couple of meals out of a single session, often on a weekend. That way I use my extra weekend time to make a nice meal, but one from which we can use the leftovers to turn around quickly for another meal during the week. For instance, I’ll cook extra chicken and use the leftover chicken in a salad for a meal, or in a wrap, or with veggies in fried rice or pasta. A steak works the same way: it’s great sliced into a salad for a meal, or a wrap, rice or pasta with veggies. When you make a stew, it’s like a whole new meal if you use the leftovers as a pot pie later in the week by just making some quick biscuits and putting them on top of the stew to cook. Sometimes the leftover meals are better than the rst one! I do the same with vegetables such as squash, one which is readily available from BC sources even in mid-winter. We might roast a whole squash for a meal for two, and only eat half of it. The other cubes can be tucked into the fridge for a lovely robust salad meal later in the week, with just a piece of chicken or cheese on the side. January always seems like the month we eat simpler food, which is refreshing after the excesses of December with its rich avours and array of sweet baking. My guilty conscience also gets me outside and exercising as I become more aware of what the holidays and the short, dark days have done to my body. It’s fun while it lasts, but the legacy can be a loss of muscle tone, an increase in inches here and there and a feeling of “that was too much!” Now that the days are beginning to lengthen, despite the cold temperatures and that white u on the ground, I’m inclined to strap on the boards or webbed shoes in order to enjoy a bit of sun and fresh air. It’s the least I can do to get ready for hiking season! Jude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESAs pretty as it is delicious to eat, a squash salad with spinach and cranberries is the perfect leftover. PHOTO / JUDIE STEEVESHave YouMoved?Or has CanadaPost Changed your mailing firstname.lastname@example.orgWe won’t know unless you tell us! Don’t miss a single issue of Country Life in BC.c
ZcXjj`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$FEBRUARY issue deadline JANUARY 22COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JANUARY 2021 | 43countrylifeinbc.comvisit us online TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTLIVESTOCKREAL ESTATEWANTEDTRACTORS/EQUIPMENTFOR SALECOURTENAY HEREFORDS. Cattle for Sale: yearling bulls and bred heifers. John 250/334-3252 or Johnny 250-218-2537.HAYSEEDBILL AWMACK1-888-770-7333PYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 email@example.com www.coppercreekranch.com PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE. Call DON GILOWSKI 250-260-0828 Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd INTERESTED IN BUYING OR SELLING OKANAGAN FARM, RANCH OR ACREAGE? 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Completely turnkey. RANCHERS & DAIRY FARMERS: 320 acres, 2 residences, 6 mas-sive outbuildings, 15 km from downtown PG. MLS C8030418 $2,599,000 150+ ACRES Turn-key horse breeding ranch, 2,900 sq ft log home, fenced/cross-fenced. MLS R2441103, $1,720,000 STATELY CHARM on 11 acres. 5 bed/3.5 bath.Barn and plenty of room for horses. MLS®R2379161 $699,900 2 ACRE BUILDING LOT, PG, MLS R2446743, $79,900 55 ACRES Development potential close to airport. MLS R2435958, $599,900 112.02 ACRES IN CITY LIMITS. Potential for development. MLS R2435725. $1,300,000 271 LEVEL ACRES Not in the ALR. Residential/commercial rezoning potential. Fertile soil, MLS C8027179. Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 FOR SALEBERRIESDeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCLOOKING TO BUY USED JD TRACTORS 60-100 HP JD 7810 COMING SOON! IHC 474 W/LDR 7,950 JD 950 2WD W/LDR, 30 HP 10,500 JD 2350 4WD, RB & CANOPY, 3,000 HRS C/W LOADER SOLD JD 2750 4WD, RB & LDR 26,500 JD 5105 2WD, 2006, 1,400 HRS 15,000 [ADD LOADER TO 5105 3,500] JD7600 MFWD 45,000 JD 6300 MFWD, CAB, LDR 47,000 JD 230 24’ DBL FOLD DISK 16,500 ED DEBOER 250/838-7362 cell 250/833-6699 CURT DEBOER 250/838-9612 cell 250/804-6147IRRIGATIONIrrigation 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 • 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. 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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 604-852-6148HAY 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)WANTED TO BUY JOHN DEERE FRONT END LOADER MODELS 143, 145, 146, 178 604-794-7139SOLD!SOLD!Wanted: Parts for VICON mower conditioner, KM series. 604-530-2907.It’s the top linethat makes the Bottom LineBC SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION Scott Fraser, President Bob Merkley, BC Director 250-709-4443 604-607-77332009 FRONTIER 1112 Manure Spreader. Very good condition. Kept indoors, maintained regularly. $6300.00. Mid Vancouver Island. 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