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Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to: Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Postage paid Port payé Publications Mail Post-Publications 40012122Vol. 106 No. 7The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 JULY 2020 | Vol. 106 No. 7ALRFarmland advocates pan agritech plans 7 DAIRYSmall on-farm dairy processors raise concerns 9 FRUITLeaming confident fruit industry can rejuvenate13by PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – BC farm leaders have pledged to work with the federal government and Mexico to overhaul the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. Mexico announced June 21 that it had reached an agreement with Canada to ensure its citizens participating in SAWP remained safe while working in Canada. The deal establishes a committee with representation from Canada’s federal ministries responsible for employment, health, immigration and agriculture, as well as Mexico’s ministries of labour and foreign aairs. The intergovernmental group will identify risks, address complaints and take immediate action to protect SAWP participants. Canada will support Mexico’s eorts to identify high-risk farms, ensure timely access to health care and review instances where workers have been put at risk. Provincial authorities will also be involved, with a key area being education of employers regarding their responsibilities. Reg Ens, executive director of the BC Agriculture Council, which administers SAWP in BC through the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative, says industry is prepared to assist with any changes Mexico requests. “The government of Mexico is very concerned about their workers,” he says. “We’re supporting them.” WALI has been asked for information, which it’s providing, and it’s also reminding growers to follow BC blueberries have 10 days to make it from eld to market in top shape, says Rhonda Driediger of Driediger Farms in Langley. She says growers need to work with packers to ensure they get top value for their fruit. High quality is the key for BC growers as rising global production makes for more competitive times and pushes down prices. Speakers this past winter encouraged growers to renew their elds with berries that deliver value in the fresh market. See story on page 13. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNE Mexico launches SAWP review1-888-770-7333 Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!YOUR BC SEED SOURCESee SAWP on next page oGrowing more with less waterwatertecna.comttttttttIRRIGATION LTD1.888.675.7999 888 6 9999888669999 Diesel & PTO Pumps PVC & Aluminum PipeIrrigation ReelsDRIP IRRIGATIONCentre PivotsProvince expands slaughter licencesMore changes promised to strengthen sectorby TOM WALKER PORT ALBERNI The BC Ministry of Agriculture has announced the opening of three new regions for class D onfarm slaughter licences. Farmers within the Regional District of AlberniClayoquot, as well as electoral area D in Central Kootenay and electoral area H in FraserFort George Regional District, will now be eligible to apply for class D licenses. While consumers are more attuned to the security and advantages of a local meat See NEW on next page oBlue streak
NEW operators face a steep learning curve nfrom page 1SAWP review nfrom page 1supply due to COVID19, the timing is just a coincidence says BC agriculture minister Lana Popham. “The great thing is that consumers are now asking for more food security and regional supply, and just by coincidence we were ready to make this announcement,” she says. “It looks like we responded to the concerns around the pandemic but we were going to do this anyway.” This is the province’s second action as a result of ongoing consultations with respect to slaughter capacity. The rst, in June 2019, was allowing applications for class E facilities if they were at least an hour away from a provincially inspected facility. Previously, they had to be at least two hours away. The change followed a consultation on class D & E licences in spring 2018 as well as a report prepared by the legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food that year. “It looks like it took a long time to make these changes,” adds Popham. “But I can tell you there’s a lot more changes coming. … It’s going to address other problems within the meat system.” That’s good news to the BC Association of Abattoirs, which sees the expansion of class D to a total of 13 regions as just a rst step. “I am happy for the producers who will be able to expand their operations with these facilities,” says association executive director Nova Woodbury. “We are supportive of onfarm slaughter. Many of the province’s inspected abattoirs started and continue as onfarm slaughter operations.” But she says it’s important that any new class D facilities in the province have better oversight than in the past. “We need to reassure the public that they are getting a wholesome meat product from an operator who is following humane practices at slaughter,” she says. New operators face a steep learning curve, she says, and courses such as SlaughterSafe, a oneday course uninspected licensees must take, don’t require participants to demonstrate that they’ve learned anything. She says this could create “some potentially devastating issues for the industry.” They will also need to obtain insurance, which Woodbury says is no small feat for an uninspected processor. While the facilities are audited by their local health authority, this doesn’t happen as regularly as it should. An agriculture ministry report on D & E licensing released in June 2018 noted that a third of plants surveyed said a regional health authority inspector hadn’t visited them in more than a year, and over half had only had one visit. There is no mandatory requirement for inspection and all ve of the regional health authorities surveyed said annual inspections don’t happen. Woodbury says new class D licences will only add to the burden on local health authorities. “I am mystied how the minister of agriculture is allowed to increase the workload of local health authorities,” adds Woodbury. Popham disagrees. “We don’t see this as putting a strain on the resources that we have currently,” she says. One of the rst licensees under the expanded class D provisions could be Lisa Aylard, a longtime advocate of increased local slaughter capacity in AlberniClayoquot and president of the Alberni Farmers’ Institute. She penned a letter this spring after the closure of Plecas Meats urging the province to make changes. The letter was endorsed by the regional district, which noted it had asked to be designated for class D licences in 2017. “Smallscale slaughter was identied as a priority in our 2011 agriculture plan as a means to help local farmers,” says Tanya Shannon, director for electoral area B and a member of the regional district’s agricultural development committee. “I’m really happy to see that it has gone through. This is just a small step in what it could be for the valley.” Agriculture used to have a much greater role in many communities around the province, Shannon notes. Having local slaughter will allow livestock farmers to 2 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCwww.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 Fax. 604/854-6708 email: email@example.comWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard MASCHIO DM 4500 POWER HARROW 14 FT WIDE W/ROLLER, GOOD CONDITION .................................................................... $14,000 FORD 7000 2WD OPEN STATION, 83 HP, 540 PTO, ONE OWNER . 7,000 NH 8160 4X4, CAB, 3358 HRS, 100 HP, PS TRANS, 5401000, GOOD CONDITION ...................................................................... 45,000 MF 265 2WD, CAB, 60 PTO HP, INDUSTRIAL LOADER, SPIKE MOUNT, FRONT HYD REMOTE, 2,200 HRS, ONE OWNER... 9,500 JD 336 SQUARE BALER, SMALL CHAMBER, HYD TENSIONER, ¼ TURN, GOOD CONDITION ......................................................... 6,500 NH 1047 SELF PROP BALE WAGON OPEN STATION, 120 BALE, 6CYL GAS ...................................................................... 9,000 NH 166 HAY INVERTOR, 6FT PICKUP.............................................. 3,800 GMC CAB OVER 5 TON DIESEL TRUCK WITH 18 FT TYCROP SILAGE BOX, GOOD CONDITION ......................... 14,000 LOEWEN 9612 VERTICAL MIXER . GOOD CONDITION .............. 18,000 CASE CHIESEL PLOW 9 FT WIDE, HD SPRING SHANK .................. 2,500 TYCROP 12 FT HYDUMP, GOOD CONDITION ................................ 3,500 MF 1085 CAB TRACTOR FOR PARTS OR COMPLETE UNIT, NEWER 318 PERKINS ENG. DECENT 18.4 X34 RUBBER................... CALL NEW REPLACEMENT PARTS for MOST TRACTORS & FARM IMPLEMENTSGD Repair LtdTractor/Equipment Repair Mobile Service Availablethe protocols required by the province and industry to ensure the safety of workers. Signicant challenges remain with respect to labour, however. While Mexico says it has sent 16,000 workers to Canada this year, BC remains short-handed. “We had hoped to get 1,000 workers in this month, and we’re probably going to end up with 600 to 700,” Ens explained in mid-June. Those challenges include securing work permits in Mexico and Jamaica, where processing timelines have lengthened as a result of COVID-19. A lack of approvals led to cancellation of at least two ights chartered to carry workers from Mexico to Canada. Approved workers were instead booked on available commercial ights, with about 250 workers expected in the nal two weeks of June. However, the ow of workers hasn’t stopped, unlike in Ontario where more than 600 farm workers have tested positive for COVID-19. By press time, three had died. While there have also been cases among farm workers in BC, the numbers have been in the dozens rather than the hundreds and no workers have died. When it announced the ban on sending workers to Canada in June 15, Mexico claried that BC farms should not be aected by the stoppage. expand, reversing the downward trend. “We have seen it decline because of cost, aging farmers, and barriers to entry,” she says. “This is a step to turn that around and get more economic growth by having local products available. … It will be a long process to get this going, but now the opportunity is there.” Greater local slaughter capacity will complement the seafoodoriented food hub the province is funding in Port Alberni. “There will be cooler facilities in the hub,” notes Shannon. “North Island College has already said they would be interested in oering cutandwrap courses.” Education is a real opportunity to support meat processing in BC, says Julia Smith of the SmallScale Meat Producers Association. “With more licenses we will need butcher services,” Smith points out. “This is an opportunity to increase the prole of butchers here in BC. They are considered skilled tradesmen in many other jurisdictions.” The push for having D licences has been a project of the whole community, says Shannon. “The city of Port Alberni, the towns on the west coast, the regional district, the local farmers’ institute and the District A farmers’ institute have all been involved,” she says. “This has been quite the collaboration and everybody is excited to see it coming together.” With les from Peter Mitham
Ranchers troubled by inconsistencies in well licensingGovernment fails to communicate options to well owners A hawk takes a refreshing break from hunting and the heat, perched on an irrigation system in a farmer's eld in Coldstream. PHOTO / FILE by PETER MITHAM BEAVERDELL – An analysis of nearly 500 groundwater licences the province has issued under the Water Sustainability Act reveals sharp inconsistencies in what’s being required of owners. Sandra Ryan and partner Bill Di Pasquale are small-scale forage producers in Beaverdell. They registered their well and this past March received a conditional groundwater licence for a withdrawal of about 67,640 cubic metres a year. However, they were surprised to discover among the conditions of the licence a requirement to “install a ow meter or other measuring device” and “retain the ow/measurement records for inspection upon request.” “When we applied for the licence (as an existing user), there was absolutely no notice that this would be a condition to subsequently use the water. We, along with everyone else, were only told there would be retroactive water rental fee(s),” says Ryan, whose preliminary research showed that a ow meter would be “prohibitively costly.” “A four-inch recording meter, anges and other installation materials is in the range of $4,000. This does not include hiring a mechanical contractor to do the installation. So, at a bare minimum, this is a $5,000-plus venture.” Ryan, who studied law, began to investigate the matter. Reviewing 475 of the 1,080 groundwater licences issued through the end of May to existing well users since the Water Sustainability Act took eect in 2016, she found that not all users are required to install a meter. While well owners in the Victoria and Nanaimo water districts are the least likely to be asked to install a meter, she discovered a case in the Vernon water district where two licences with identical parameters were issued. One owner required to have a ow meter and the other was not. According to the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the conditions are at the discretion of the “statutory decision makers,” which in this case is usually the assistant water manager overseeing a given district. “[They] have the discretion to add terms and conditions to the water licences, such as installing a ow meter. Once these terms and conditions have been met, then a nal licence may be issued,” says FLNORD, which administers the application and licensing process. Ryan also noted that one decision maker, who made 44 decisions of the 475 licences examined, always required the licensee to install a meter, irrespective of use or quantity. The minimum fee for a non-domestic water user is $50 a year, which amounts to a draw of up to 60,000 cubic metres a year. The decision maker required one licensee to install a ow meter for a licensed use of just 266 cubic metres a year. “I fail to see how requiring a licensee to install a ow meter when they use 266 cubic metres of water/year for their livestock makes any sense whatsoever,” she said in a letter outlining her concerns to Ted White, comptroller of water rights for the province. White replied, reiterating that any conditions attached to a licence, including the installation of a ow meter, was at the discretion of the assistant water manager. However, he said the province is open to making improvements. “The Province is listening to user feedback on the system and is taking steps to make the process more user friendly and where it is challenging, FrontCounterBC sta are available to help,” he said. Ryan has taken her concerns to the province’s environmental appeal board, a quasi-judicial body. This is one option for licensees, says Mike Wei, an independent consultant who served as the province’s technical expert during development and implementation of the Water Sustainability Act and Groundwater Protection Regulation. One reason for the inconsistencies between water districts is the discretion decision makers have, and the lack of a single standard for when to impose conditions or how to measure water use. “There is no policy, that I am aware, regarding measuring and reporting and when to put it on a condition or not, and what is the acceptable measuring method. So each decision maker is kind of on their own,” he says. One of the things his team looked at was alternative methods of estimating water use. “Can you record time pump on, time pump o, and do that and, given how much you’re pumping, just calculate how much it is without buying additional infrastructure?” This is an idea that appeals to the BC Cattlemen’s Association, which has taken a COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 3strong stand against water meters in discussions with government. “We feel that there are other, less costly ways, to estimate that use,” says association assistant general manager Elaine Stovin, noting the province has no regulations governing measuring and reporting requirements. “What we’re saying is you don’t need a water meter to do that. You need a good relationship with the producer; you need to make a simple way for them to report that use.” Good relationships will also encourage producers to embrace the new groundwater management regime, the intent of which Ryan generally supports. Requiring producers to measure water at some cost to themselves, and then not providing grants to assist with modernizing and upgrading equipment to achieve the goal of more ecient water use, doesn’t wash with her. While some water districts have done a good job at letting producers know their options, Stovin says that’s clearly not the experience of most producers. Bill Everitt 250.295.7911 ext #102 firstname.lastname@example.org tToll free 1.877.797.7678 ext #102Princeton Wood Preservers Ltd. 1821 Hwy 3 Princeton, B.C. V0X 1W0KILN DRIED PRESSURE TREATED ROUND WOOD POSTS AND RAILSPreferred supplier for British Columbia Ministries & Parks Canada.&ARMs/RCHARDs6INEYARDs"ERRY4RELLISING
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Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.106 No. 7 . JULY 2020Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . email@example.com Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover email@example.com Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Happy Canada Day, PW! All togetherHalf the year’s passed and, in many regards, it’s been one of disease, physical distancing and reminders that, even so, “we’re all in this together.” Appropriately, Canada Day kicks o the second half of the year. Cue the reminders that the true north remains strong and free, the nods to all the ways we’ve fallen short, and the reworks that celebrate all we hope to be. “We are more,” as poet Shane Koyczan said at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics: we do more than grow wheat and brew beer we are vineyards of good year after good year we reforest what we clear because we believe in generations beyond our own knowing now that so many of us have grown past what used to be This doesn’t mean the future we’re growing into will be easy. Some issues will continue to dog the farm sector like a lingering cough. The challenges bringing foreign workers to the province this year are a reminder that our food supply is dependent on human hands. “We’re all in this together” too often stops at the farm gate. A similar dilemma faces agriculture ministers across the country. The federal government alone has made nearly $700 billion worth of support available as part of its response to COVID-19. Provincial governments have announced their own relief programs, easily putting the total response closer to $1 trillion. Agriculture is a small part of the total picture and, with only so much money to go around, ministers have to ght for every penny. But, as BC agriculture minister Lana Popham notes on the opposite page, buying locally deepens the reach of dollars into local communities. The people who put food on the nation’s tables don’t have to settle for crumbs from government if we make them the rst stop for the dollars from our pockets. Whether we’re patronizing local farmers, retailers or restaurateurs, choosing to buy BC is one way we can directly support those trying to stay in business. Of course, with only so much money to go around, the federal government will likely be looking at ways to cover the massive outlay it’s made this year ghting COVID-19. Changes to sales taxes, capital gains provisions and even HAPPYCANADADAY4 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and “you reap what you sow” were two of my grandparents’ favourite sayings. I remember being overwhelmed by the size and scope of the garden when I rst moved to the farm and asking why there was so much of so many dierent things. I was trying to imagine how many precious childhood hours would be lost among its rows. “You reap what you sow,” said Grandad. “How would you like to eat just cabbage and turnips for every meal?” Inspired by the vision of a solitary, steaming pot of boiled cabbages and turnips, I connected the dots. I was soon thankful for the garden at every mealtime, where Grandad often explained that variety was the spice of life. I never heard either of my grandparents ever say the word diversity, though that was exactly what Grandad was driving at that rst day in the garden. The word is commonplace now, used in various contexts, but in its broadest sense it is the dening trait of the natural world. Diversity is particularly familiar to most of us on farms and ranches. Sunshine turning to thundershowers and back to sunshine in minutes; elds, forest, at land and side-hills, mountains, a river, a creek and a wetland marsh are all visible through the window in front of me. Tilled ground and grass elds, cows and horses grazing, deer passing through, birds of all sorts, and any day now, there will be sockeye salmon in the river. Every acre lled with billions of living parts from massive to microscopic. As general diversity shrinks, nature begins to break down. Eliminate it all together and the jig is up. Diversity is also critical in more specic circumstances. Genetic diversity is critical to agriculture. One of the seed catalogues on my desk has 61 varieties of pumpkin. We have 13 of them in the ground. They were chosen carefully for myriad traits that suit our land, climate, market and personal preference. Away from the natural world, diversity is still an important concept. Politicians of all stripes advocate for a diverse economy. The most diverse economies are more stable and resilient overall. Economies heavily reliant on a single commodity or activity often soar or crash in spectacular fashion. There are several diversities that are distinctly human: racial, ethnic, religious, political and intellectual. Sadly, these diversities are often faced with prejudice and intolerance from the very species they are exclusive to. Intolerance of one or more of these diversities has been the reason – or justication – for several thousand years of war, genocide and oppression. It is a simple equation: identify a point of diversity, vilify it, attach blame to it and call it a threat. We need look no further than the polarized political landscape in the democracy next door. Reasoned political discourse and debate has dissolved into something along the lines of: “We are right; you are wrong; everything that is already wrong is your fault, and what is the point in talking to people who are wrong about everything?” The stance is very hard-edged and has become a solid line where there was once a fuzzy edge where opinions and ideas could be exchanged and minds could be altered. Moderate voters could nd a spot on the political spectrum where they were most comfortable and wait to see whose ideology could grow to embrace them. Polarization is a dangerous thing for a democracy because it destroys the ability to reach social consensus. Without that consensus there can only ever be winners and losers, anger and mistrust. Diversity is variety, variety is choice, and choice is the lifeblood of democracy. On this Canada Day, we might do well to consider our country and all its diversities and dedicate ourselves to respecting and protecting them, whatever they may be. Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley. The Back Forty BOB COLLINSestate taxes are past fears that seem set to resurface. Whatever measures government introduces, they must support the farm sector rather than make it harder to do business or pass businesses on. Without business continuity, we betray our belief “in generations beyond our own.” Ultimately, we are more than the challenges that confront us. Canada is a confederation, a mosaic of provinces and peoples that saw themselves as greater together than any of them could be alone. This summer is a chance to embrace that spirit as we chart a path forward beyond COVID-19. Canada Day is a time to celebrate diversity
BC producers keep our local food system strongCOVID-19 has highlighted the growing resilience of BC agricultureall our communities up and running again, and I believe British Columbians will have a new and greater awareness and appreciation for the economic, social and community benets they create when they Buy BC. I’m also heartened to see the enormous wave of support from British Columbians who are passionate about BC’s food system and want to be part of our food security solution. As a former small-scale farmer, I’ve always felt the need for BC to be more food self-sucient. There is no doubt that the pandemic, coupled with existing threats like climate change, oods and wildre, is highlighting this need, but I believe we are on the right path. As we move forward, innovation and new technology are critically important in our ongoing eorts to build a safe, sustainable and resilient food system. This will also help the agriculture sector grow while remaining competitive, productive, and ecient. Earlier this year, the Food Security Task Force, appointed by Premier Horgan, released a report on the future of BC’s food system and we’re looking at how we can best adopt some of their recommendations. As a innovation and success from all over the province. Farmers, shers and processors have had to nd new markets and I’m so proud of them for funding success in unexpected places. Many of the stories we’ve heard have been about hardships, but many have also been about creativity and resilience. We’ve been hearing about unprecedented support for Buy BC and the domestic market remains our most stable option going forward. Throughout the pandemic, the partnership we’ve had with people who grow, process, distribute and sell our food continues to indicate the innovation and resiliency BC’s food producers are so well known for. Together, we have made progress on addressing the labour supply, ensuring thousands of temporary foreign workers were able to safely join BC farms and companies for harvesting and seasonal processing jobs. We also developed the new BC Farm, Fish and Food job connector, a website that proles all the opportunities in BC food, to help connect employers with the local workforce. We’ve helped BC companies and farmers markets expand their online sales and worked with processors through BC Food and Beverage to ensure those making our food have access to quality personal protective equipment. The BC government is working to get businesses in Over the past few months, COVID-19 has impacted all our lives in one way or another, including raising questions about our food supply and how we can support the more than 63,000 British Columbians who help put food on our tables. BC farmers, ranchers, shers, harvesters and food processors are resilient by nature and on behalf of all British Columbians, I sincerely thank you for facing these new and unexpected challenges head-on and keeping food owing to our homes. Many of you have had to adapt and make changes to the way you work and sell your goods, but in the face of this pandemic the agricultural backbone of our province is still strong. You are providing us with an abundance of fresh, local food that keeps our communities healthy. As agriculture minister, I try and visit as many people as possible that work with the 200 commodities on land and 100 in the sea that are my ministry’s responsibility. In these unique times, that’s simply not doable. My sta and I have instead been reaching out since the pandemic began and have more than 6,000 connections. Most important, we’ve been listening not only to concerns but hearing stories of COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 5starting point, we established the Agri-Tech Land Use Secretariat to engage with stakeholders and develop policy recommendations that will increase food security. The secretariat will also look at land-use opportunities for agri-tech across the whole province, not just in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The secretariat will report to me and work closely with both the ministry and the Agricultural Land Commission. There is lots of work to do and I will be making sure it all aligns with our government’s core values of promoting farming and protecting farmland. We have also been working with ranchers, abattoir operators and regional governments to increase the amount of locally raised meat in rural communities to support regional food security. If we give consumers and chefs more choices, it’s better for our farmers and food producers and makes us more resilient. It hasn’t been easy lately, and I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone involved in the agriculture, sh, food and beverage sector, and a big thanks to all of you who are choosing products that are grown and made here right here in BC. My commitment to you is that our government will keep listening and continue to work hard on our three pillars: Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC. We are all in this together and we are all trying the best we can. Please continue to support your fellow British Columbians and make it the summer of Buy BC! Lana Popham is BC’s Minister of Agriculture and a former organic grower on the Saanich Peninsula. You’re invested in your businessSo are wePartner with the only lender 100% invested in Canadian agriculture and food.1-800-387-3232 | fcc.caInsurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. 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Farmland advocates pan agritech plansUsing the ALR for industry no route to food securityCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 7SIMPLICITY. VERSATILITY. QUALITY.INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeNorthline Equipment, Ltd.Dawson CreekCountry TractorArmstrongKamloopsVisit your local British Columbia KUHN Dealer today!SR 10 0 GII SERIES SPEEDRAKE® WHEEL RAKES• Adjust windrow widths independently to match crop pickup widths• Superior terrain following without the need for hydraulic oat• Rear wheels raise last for cleaner windrow ends• Fast, easy switching between transport and eld positions8-, 10- and 12-wheel models • 18'10" – 23'4" working widthsby PETER MITHAM BURNABY – A ght is brewing over the province’s decision to establish an Agri-Tech Land Use Secretariat in response to the nal report of the food security task force the BC Ministry of Agriculture launched last year. Wes Shoemaker, former assistant deputy minister within the ministry, has been appointed to “engage with stakeholders to develop policy recommendations” that could result in the designation of 28,500 acres within the Agricultural Land Reserve for a new agri-industrial zone. Shoemaker would also be responsible for attracting companies to the proposed zone. But the move has drawn criticism from farmland advocates, including Jennifer Dyson, chair of the Agricultural Land Commission. “Respectfully, careful consideration must be given to future agricultural innovation and the role in which the ALR and ALC may have,” she said in a strongly worded letter to Premier John Horgan on March 9. “The commission would like to be consulted before any decision is made about potentially increasing the impact of processing and retail facilities on the agricultural land base.” On May 19, shortly after Shoemaker’s appointment became known, 23 people including former ALC chair Richard Bullock and ve former land commissioners and sta members wrote Horgan their own letter. “For government to facilitate and promote non-farm uses within the ALR – with no requirement that they be tied to food production on surrounding lands – ignores the well-documented negative impacts such uses can have on surrounding farms and the feasibility of bringing more farmland into production,” the letter states. “To circumvent the ALC endangers, rather than enhances, BC’s food security.” Despite monthly discussions with BC agriculture minister Lana Popham, Dyson says the ALC has yet to be meaningfully consulted. “The minister is allowing a process to continue on,” she told Country Life in BC last month. Popham, for her part, said government wasn’t following the task force’s recommendation to the letter. “We’re just looking for ways to nd a place for that to happen,” she told a press conference on May 28 in response to a question about the new zone. “It’s not necessarily on the Agricultural Land Reserve … it’s [not] going to take away from the parts of agriculture that we believe in so much.” Sta with the ministry reached out to Country Life in BC to reiterate that “the Secretariat will look at land-use opportunities in the province as a whole rather than at the ALR specically.” The assurances are cold comfort to Shaundehl Runka, whose term as a commissioner ended in 2017 and was among those who signed the May 19 letter. Follow the arrowFarmers market managers have struggled to keep up with COVID-19 protocols but were relieved early last month when provincial health ofcer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced non-food vendors and public seating would once again be permitted. While the lifting of restrictions could help to improve prot margins for markets, many are still implementing social distancing protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Enderby Farmers Market provided hand sanitizer at the entrance and had the luxury of space to set up vendors in a u-shape in the Splatsin Community Centre parking lot. PHOTO / CATHY GLOVERSee LAND on next page o
LAND in short supply nfrom page 78 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCALL FOR AN ESTIMATE LARRY 604.209.5523 TROY 604.209.5524 TRI-WAY FARMS LASER LEVELLING LTD.IMPROVED DRAINAGE UNIFORM GERMINATION UNIFORM IRRIGATION FAST, ACCURATE SURVEYING INCREASE CROP YIELDS We service all of Southern BC“I’m not feeling a whole lot better about where things stand now,” she says, noting that the initiative has proceeded with no public documentation other than the task force’s report and no denition of what agritech looks like in the context of the ALR. “Agritech to me is oces, labs, research and development facilities, production facilities, parking lots. That can occur anywhere.” She also doesn’t know how the task force could say there was nowhere else for such activities but within the ALR, given that many existing stars of BC’s agritech sector are miles away. The province touts Terramera Inc. as one of its agritech successes, but it calls downtown Vancouver home and doesn’t expect its pesticide-reduction technology to be available in Canada. “We’d often laugh and say, ‘Okay, so they’re saying X and Y can’t happen because the ALR exists.’ But it’s not true, because the land use is already taking place on other land,” says Runka, recalling scenarios she encountered at the land commission. “I think it was a bit cart before the horse in saying there was nowhere for this land use to go and the ALR was the best place.” No land available Yet with an industrial land base of just 28,000 acres and few new sites available, Metro Vancouver – indeed, the whole Lower Mainland – simply doesn’t have 28,500 acres to set aside for agritech. “They wouldn’t nd the amount of land they need in Metro Vancouver,” says Beth Berry, vice-president, industrial development with Beedie Development Group and chair of the development issues committee of commercial real estate association NAIOP in Vancouver. “It would be amazing if we could nd agri-industrial land, but the reality is that the only place that acreage is going to come from is the ALR.” Metro Vancouver is developing a regional industrial lands strategy, but declined comment on how agri-industrial uses t in the vision. However, its agricultural advisory committee – chaired by Mike Manion, a champion of the local agritech sector – has expressed concern at the loss of farmland and the potential for non-agricultural companies to use the zone. To address the concerns, Mission says it has 300 acres of underutilized industrial lands adjacent to its downtown as well as 600 acres within the ALR the secretariat should consider. “We should be looking to solve some of those issues on these lands,” says Stacey Crawford, economic development director with Mission. “These will support the work we’re doing to grow responsibly.” But the province has yet to share its vision with municipalities. “We’re doing our best to stay engaged in those discussions, but I can’t say we’re getting a whole lot in return,” he says. “It’s dicult to sell policy when you’re not clear on what the objectives are.” Biosolids project misguidedEditor: Tom Walker’s article “Biosolids project halted following harassment” (June 2020, p. 17) is misleading and biased. There was no “smear campaign” and the harassment and vandalism that occurred were the regrettable actions of individuals not linked to this process. If the Turtle Valley Bison Ranch lost customers, perhaps it should have realized that its clientele would not be interested in food produced on a farm using biosolid sewage sludge. Here are the facts: 35,000 tonnes of Class B biosolids were to be applied to a 31-hectare site on a steep, logged hillside. The application site borders Chum Lake and Chum Creek, eventually ending up in the Thompson River system. The proponents, Turtle Valley Bison Ranch and Nutrigrow/Arrow, describe this as a land reclamation project, mixing biosolids with wood bre then hauling roughly 700 B-train trucks up the steep, narrow, winding, gravel road where it would be mixed on site with soil and applied to a depth of one metre. Even more alarming is the fact that the chosen location sits at least partially on top of a 17.5 square kilometre aquifer used by residents as a drinking water source. This body is described in the BC Water Resources Atlas as vulnerable, volatile and highly susceptible to surface contamination. While the landowner could have discussed the plan with neighbours who might be directly or indirectly aected, he chose not to do so. Community safety, quality of life and property values were not considered in this process. Dissatised by the information provided by the plan’s proponents and frustrated by response from local ocials, provincial politicians, and government employees, the group Turtle Valley Against Biosolids was formed. Our small community of farmers, retirees, small acreage owners and loggers found itself up against a corporate heavyweight with lots of resources. We used all of the tools available to us to stop the project before it started, including petitions (2,800 signatures), letters to all levels of government, local newspapers, protests and a blockade. When the blockade was removed, the Secwepemc Water Protectors from Neskonlith arrived to light a sacred re and maintain their own blockade for the rest of the summer. The problem of what to do with the annually increasing stockpile of sewage sludge in the form of biosolids is a growing one. The application of Class B biosolids to agricultural land is a risky and questionable process with long-term implications that may not fully understood. The list of toxic and harmful chemicals that can be present in biosolids is long: pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, hormone-mimicking compounds, bacteria, viruses, solvent residues, microplastics etc. Many of these compounds do not break down quickly but can remain in soil for a very long time. Assessing risk potential is hard because biosolids are not tested as “hazardous materials” but only for a limited range of heavy metals, coliform, and vectors. While there is science that supports and promotes the use of biosolids as fertilizer, there is also science that would ban such practices. The contract that Nutrigrow/Arrow has with the City of Kamloops amounts to millions of dollars. This is big business and the pressure to use easily accessible farm land will increase. Connie Seaward Salmon Arm Letters There are two sides to storyCLARIFICATION: An application to apply biosolids at Turtle Valley Bison Ranch near Chase (“Biosolids project halted following harassment,” June 2020) had support from both the elected band council and a number of hereditary chiefs of the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band who are members of the Shuswap First Nation. Opposition led by the Secwepemc Grassroots organization includes individuals from a number of bands within Shuswap First Nation. Editor.www.countrytractor.caCLAUDIO ROTHENBACHER 778.921.0004claudio@countrytrac tor.ca1MPXJOHr1PXFS)BSSPXJOHr$PSO1MBOUJOHr4FFEJOH .PXJOHr3PVOE#BMJOHr.BOVSF4QSFBEJOH $PSO(SBTT4JMBHF)BVMJOH email@example.comWillem Kersten
Erin Harris of Kootenay Meadows Farm in Creston is lobbying the BC Dairy Association and milk marketing board for a more equitable approach for small on-farm milk processors. PHOTO / THOMAS NOWACZYNSKI COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 9www.tubeline.ca 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onBALEWRAPPERSSPREADERSSILAGE BLADES BALE PROCESSORSWrap up yoursavings with low rate ﬁnancing.Visit us online for program details.by JACKIE PEARASE KAMLOOPS – Two small dairies are hoping there’s room in supply management for an alternative way of doing business that will keep on-farm processors viable into the future. Laura Hunter of Blackwell Dairy in Kamloops and Erin Harris of Kootenay Meadows Farm in the Creston Valley reached out on Facebook recently seeking support for ideas to make supply management more equitable for small on-farm processors. They also presented their proposal to the BC Dairy Association and BC Milk Marketing Board. Each of the farms produce and process 12,000 to 15,000 litres of milk each week, with the bulk of it going into uid product. Blackwell Dairy has processed its own milk since 1983 and Kootenay Meadows started about 15 years ago. As part of the supply management system, they are required to sell their milk to the BCMMB, then purchase it back for processing. “The supply management system works really well for producers but being a small processor, when we’re buying our milk back, it’s costing a signicant amount. It’s about a 35.5% mark-up on milk from our tank to our processing facility,” says Harris. “On milk that doesn’t ever leave the farm; nobody touches it but ourselves.” The farms also incur producer fees on one end, processing costs on the other plus farming costs faced by all farmers, leaving a slim prot margin. “I think why we’re aected the most and why this hits us pretty hard is both of our plants produce 75% uid milk product and uid milk is priced the highest. So, we’re putting the most money back into the pool but we’re getting it as a farm at the pooled price,” notes Hunter. “It wasn’t always like this. When we rst opened the plant here, the margins weren’t that far apart. If those margins get further apart, it just puts us in a position where we’ve got to make nancial business decisions.” The farms appreciate and understand the importance of supply management but think there are other ways for small on-farm processors to t into the system. One idea is to create an on-farm processing class with dierent pricing. “Our proposal would be that any milk that’s end use is processing on-farm, regardless of what you’re making with it, should be priced at the same price as the farmer gets paid. So that, basically, we’re producing within our quota and we’re accounting for where our milk is and where it’s going, but we’re not paying to buy our milk back,” explains Hunter. “That way it doesn’t harm the pooled milk price at all but it means that we as small businesses can keep going.” The other idea is to increase the volume cap on milk processing under a cottage industry licence and include these processors in the supply management system. Unique issues BCMMB director David Janssens says the board understands small on-farm processors face unique issues that require unique solutions. “It’s in our strategic planning agenda and we’re certainly aware of the challenges they face. It’s a question of working through what can we do,” Janssens says. “The problem is that the proposed ideas are contrary to the board’s founding principle of fairness for all producers and processors.” Harris says a recent BC Dairy Industry Development Council plebiscite prompted them to explore their options. She says the plebiscite is eectively asking them to subsidize large processors – their competition. BCDA general manager Jeremy Dunn says the plebiscite was held to approve a new plan for the DIDC, which includes enabling the DIDC directors Small on-farm dairy processors raise concerns Producers want break for fluid milk that doesn’t leave the farmto consider investing in processing initiatives on behalf of BC producers. “Investments would be made according to a set of strict criteria and all See MORE on next page oVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | vanderwaleq.com The 5080T is particularly ideal for those who need more lift height. With a high level of working comfort and excellent safety standards, these machines have a telescopic arm that provides considerably greater lift height. For all those that want to go UPCall us for a test drive!
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From $225,000 or $2,170,000 totalSecond Sister Island is located approx. 4 km east of Grace Point in Ganges Harbour and mins from Salt Spring! The Island is treed and remains in its natural state, with an excellent protected dock and private moorage licence. Zoned for main home and seasonal cottage. NEW PRICE $950,000Privately situated 40 acres off HWY 24 with dog grooming business already a go. Renovated rancher, 15 acre hayfield, workshop, wood & hay sheds. Lots of open space for your hobby farm plans. Only 1/2 hour to 100 Mile House. REDUCED & READY FOR OFFERS $399,900Custom built 5,300 ft2 home & 2 bdrm guest home. 235 south facing acres bordering Crown land. Sweeping valley views. Home is designed summer shade & lots of light in the winter. 9 ft ceilings, hardwood & tile ooring, cherry cabinets & granite counters. Well suited for equestrian use. $2,950,000Very private parcel 3 minutes off the Highway. 185 acres in one title with 2 parcels divided by piece of Crown land and 2.5 km of river frontage. Wildlife corridor with elk, deer, turkey’s and trout fishing. Quality timber frame style cabin. RV parking with washroom / shower building. $1,200,000Quaint hobby farm style acreage with cozy residence, corrals, coverall, Sea-Can storage (on piles), large garden area & privacy. Fully serviced & offers 4.62 acres of manicured property. Located minutes north of Fort St John, there is significantly more value compared to residences in town. $499,000153 acres on Lonesome Lake in Tweedsmuir Park. Original homestead of the Edwards family for 100 years. True off-grid living on a historic, world famous property within the majestic Central Coast Mountain Range of BC. Wildlife everywhere you turn. Plane access only, old gravel road, hiking trails. $899,0003 bdrm home in near new condition. 4.6 acres of meadows, ponds & wetlands. Blacktail deer, beavers, river otters, migratory birds, cutthroat trout & a wide variety of creatures frequent this well-established wetland year-round. Ideal property for birders & naturalists. Walking distance to commercial area. $775,0005 minute walk to the marina from this 5,000+ ft2 beautiful log structure. Ideal B&B setup with 4 bdrms up + their own en-suite. Great view out the oor-to-ceiling windows from the huge front room & upstairs sitting area. Lots of wood, tile & granite features in this ageless design. Way below replacement at $669,000Columbia Valley, BC . This view would be your backyard and private playground; the front and side views aren’t bad either! Hard to beat this acreage for geographic variety and spectacular vistas. The land is fully fenced and currently being grazed by cattle. Lots of water. Lightly treed. $1,092,500RICH OSBORNE 604-664-7633Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comJASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605WENDY PATTEN firstname.lastname@example.orgLandQuest® Realty Corp CaribooJOHN ARMSTRONG email@example.comSAM HODSON 604-694-7623Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comCHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634COLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793FAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comDAVE SIMONE 250-539-8733DS@landquest.comKURT NIELSEN firstname.lastname@example.orgLandQuest® Realty Corp Comox ValleyMATT CAMERON email@example.com projects, large or small, would have an opportunity to be considered,” he explains. “Eighty-nine per cent of dairy producers who participated in the plebiscite voted yes. Important role Harris wants to see more support for small on-farm processors because they have a key role to play, too. “We’re an important part in a resilient food system if and when we have another situation like COVID,” she says. “It is easier for a small plant to pivot quicker than it is for some of the large processors so we really lled in a gap when they could not service the market.” The farms were able to continuing supplying their customers, including large grocery stores and boutique stores, throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and even provided product to areas running short. “With the system right now, it doesn’t encourage or support the uid milk. In a time like this, especially, we can see how small processors such as ourselves are super important to the industry because there is a need for uid milk,” adds Hunter. Harris says they are committed to lobbying for change because their future, and the future of small on-farm processing in BC, depends on ensuring their bottom line doesn’t get smaller. “Right now, it’s sort of just our two farms working together but it would impact anyone that wants to start on-farm processing. It really disincentivizes local, on-farm processing of milk,” she says. Tough gig Janssens says BCMMB’s cottage industry program is designed to give a start to small on-farm processors but admits there has been little interest. “There hasn’t been a lot of uptake on it, to be perfectly honest, because it’s a lot of work milking cows all day and then processing it and trying to sell it,” he says. “The uid milk racket is a tough gig.” Morningstar Farm completed its 15-year run in the cottage industry program in 2016. Co-owner Ray Gourlay says the 20-year-old farm is now part of the supply management system, producing and processing 1,500-1,800 litres of milk on farm per day. Gourlay says the BCDA and BCMMB provide invaluable contributions to the industry that he is happy to help fund. But he also sees the need for the organizations to be creative about diversifying the industry by encouraging more on-farm processors and agri-tourism. “It’s fantastic marketing and education for customers and consumers. It helps make our whole processing infrastructure, our whole processing systems, more resilient, particularly when we have massive disruptions in our supply chain,” Gourlay adds. Agriculture minister Lana Popham says dairy producers and processors of every size are key to vibrant local food systems. “I look forward to continuing to work with dairies and dairy producers of all sizes and scales to ensure that the industry continues to grow, thrive and provide food security for all British Columbians,” she says. The ideas presented by the two farms were on the agenda for discussion at the BCDA’s June 17 meeting. The farms stress that they are not seeking a hand-out. “We don’t want anyone supporting or putting money into our plant. We just want the pricing and licensing structure to be equitable enough that we can compete on our own,” says Harris. “We want to not have a system that’s creating this massive nancial burden that could ruin our businesses.” Kootenay Meadows Farm pays the same amount for uid milk as large processors, even though the milk never leaves the farm before it is bottled. PHOTO / THOMAS NOWACZYNSKI MORE support needed for on-farm processors nfrom page 9
Zoning bylaw limits urban farmersMission faces criticism for rural residential lawsJudy Kenzie, with her son Ethan, says Mission’s rural residential bylaws are badly written and over-reaching and she is lobbying for change as the district updates its zoning bylaw. 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During the rst two years she planted fruit trees, established a small chicken ock and made plans. Then, in 2017, neighbours moved onto the lot next door with the same zoning, built a large home and began complaining. “[District planners] have combined rural residential with small-scale agriculture [in one zone], which is a really bad idea,” she says. “There are also properties zoned for general agriculture in these same areas.” Kenzie had to remove her rooster and the guardian donkey for her livestock. The goats she kept during the summer for weed control also had to be removed because of complaints. While the situation got her goat, Kenzie is ghting back. “Because I moved here specically to create local food sovereignty, I decided I needed to ght against badly written, over-reaching laws,” she says. “People don’t even know they are doing something wrong until a complaint is led.” She soon learned that being in Mission’s rural residential zone (RR7) didn’t give her the right to farm the way she wanted. The zone includes rural properties outside the Agricultural Land Reserve, where farming is a primary and protected use. RR7 species residential as the primary use while small-scale agriculture is permitted as an accessory use. Property owners are permitted to keep bees, one cow, one horse and nine hens per 0.88 acre. Goats and other livestock are not explicitly allowed; as a result, district planners say they’re prohibited. Moreover, since small-scale agriculture is an accessory use, zoning doesn’t allow the storage of equipment related to agricultural activities. Kenzie thought creating an agricultural advisory committee would help address the issues small-scale farmers in the district face. Council considered a motion to create such a committee at its June 1 meeting, but the motion was withdrawn. She suspects a reference to urban agriculture led to its demise. Mission mayor Pam Alexis conrmed this, explaining that including urban beekeeping and backyard hens in the denition alongside small-scale agriculture was the issue. She says residents who keep bees and chickens are a dierent group from small-scale farmers. “That’s why it wasn’t supported at the council table,” says Alexis. “An agricultural committee doesn’t satisfy, necessarily, the two very dierent requirements and needs of the two groups.” But change is coming. The district has been working to update its zoning bylaw for the past two years. The current draft maintains residential as the primary use within RR7. Small-scale farming – now designated “agriculture (minor)” – remains an accessory use, but the bylaw updates the zoning provisions to explicitly allow ducks, geese, goats, sheep, llamas and alpacas among permitted livestock. The storage of farm equipment up to 35 horsepower will also be allowed if the bylaw is adopted. A date for nal reading has yet to be set. District council will review the bylaw, See ZONING on next page oDon’t forget to RENEW yourSubscription.
ZONING bylaw is under review nfrom page 1112 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCincluding changes aecting RR7 properties, at a workshop on June 29. A report on small-scale urban agriculture will be a separate project of the bylaw update, and sta will prepare a separate report regarding it. “Council can look at the feedback received from those in the rural parts of Mission who say they want to have more animals included or farm implements,” says Alexis. “We are trying to make some changes with respect to that particular bylaw.” Still, the pledge doesn’t make Kenzie happy. “Mission has been really sneaky about this in my opinion,” she says, noting there’s no denition of small-scale agriculture in the zoning section of the bylaws. Instead, the denition, including the kind and number of animals permitted, is in the denitions section of the bylaw. There’s also no limit on house sizes in RR7 or anywhere else in the district, so long as height, setbacks and site coverage restrictions are respected. This eectively allows owners of RR7 properties to build what Kenzie calls “trophy houses” that can have a footprint of up to 11,300 square feet. Mission expects to have 55,678 residents by 2041, a 43% increase from just over 38,800 today. Alexis believes RR7 acreages “will become quite precious” as a result. “There’s two kinds of people, I think, coming to Mission,” says Alexis. “One that is very attracted to the acreage parcels and wanting that kind of simple life and working with soil and animals and all that, then there’s those that really want that piece of heaven.” Other farmers in Mission aren’t experiencing the same challenges as Kenzie, but they also face limitations. James MacNamara of Larkspur Nursery also has two acres within RR7. He produces plants that he sells at farmers’ markets. He also has a few laying hens. While he has thought about adding an aquaponics operation, he hasn’t done so because the zoning doesn’t allow it. “You’re not allowed to do that unless you’re on rural property,” he says (rural zoning is separate from rural residential). “I get along with my neighbours. I don’t make a lot of noise. I don’t make any smells.” Mission councillor Ken Herar believes a trial of some agricultural aspects may allow the district to see what will work for the RR7 zone and identify potential issues. “We don’t have all the information on the pros and cons of this,” he says. “We’re forgetting about farming and how it’s often the base of our local community.” Kenzie wants to grow her business to include soaps made from goat milk. But goats aren’t allowed under the current zoning bylaw and the draft bylaw, if approved, will allow just two goats. That’s hardly enough to support a small-scale dairy. Alexis says council is “on it.” “It’s a great time to have a conversation about sustainability and food security and all of that,” she says. “There’s lots going on in the background and we’re well aware of what certain people in the community are wanting.” Kenzie says the state of the world means Mission needs to get on with it. “The current pandemic had demonstrated how fragile our supply chains are,” she says. “We do not have decades or even years to make local, sustainable food resources a priority.” Kelowna readies exclusion bidKelowna wants the Agricultural Land Commission to approve the exclusion of 40 acres for a new and expanded regional transit facility at 4690 Highway 97 North, adjacent to UBC Okanagan. “The expansion would allow for increased transit service in order to meet long-term transit demand in the Central Okanagan,” says the city in information provided as part of a public consultation on the lands that wrapped up June 30. The tract is part of a 140-acre property the city acquired in 2017 for $11 million. It did so with a vision of creating new public spaces, improving drainage in the area and balancing development with agriculture. “The city is committed to working with the Agricultural Land Commission to identify opportunities to improve agriculture as outlined in the city’s agricultural plan,” city director of strategic investments Derek Edstrom said at the time. The city now says the soil is of poor quality, noting that the site has long been deemed ripe for removal. “In 1995, the Agricultural Land Commission acknowledged the site to be seriously compromised for long term agricultural use based on the isolation of the property and proximity of the university lands to the north,” it says. However, it hasn’t ruled out agriculture on the remaining lands, which includes a small lake and marsh. “We are hopeful that innovative farm use may emerge on the remnant lands,” it says. The city planned to submit an application in June and review feedback from the consultation sessions this summer. It expects the ALC to consider the application this fall, with a decision anticipated in November. —Peter Mitham Long lasting 7-Year and 5-Year limited powertrain warranties.HANDLERS EQUIPMENTABBOTSFORD, 339 Sumas Way 604.850.3601HOUSTON, 4001 Williams Crescent 250.845.3333TRACTOR TIMEVICTORIA, 4377C Metchosin Rd. 250.474.3301 30 minutes from Victoria and 15 Minutes from Highway#1 in Metchosin.PREMIUM TRUCKPRINCE GEORGE, 1015 Great Street 250.563.0696WILLIAMS LAKE, 4600 Collier Place 250.398.7411Contact your MAHINDRA Dealer
Blueberry grower and packer Rhonda Driediger says it’s time for BC growers to think about replanting their elds with newer varieties that will give them a competitive edge in the global market. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 13Global market puts emphasis on top-quality fruit Growers, packers need to work together to boost returnsby PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Prior to the Great Recession, BC blueberry farmers regularly saw more than a dollar a pound for their fruit. Over the past decade, the average was 94 cents a pound, but last year it dipped to 88 cents. To reverse the trend, growers and packers emphasized the importance of boosting quality as foreign competitors take aim at the domestic market. “Quality is a really critical part of our industry, and it’s going to become even more important going forward,” Travis Drew, president of Valley Select Foods Inc. in Abbotsford, said during a panel discussion at the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford at the beginning of February. A key reason is that volumes around the world are increasing, a phenomenon that was the topic of much discussion when the International Blueberry Organization met for its summit in Richmond last summer. BC growers were already harvesting their berries during the summit, eventually pulling o a record 190 million tons of fruit. Other regions have logged incredible growth, too, creating a crowded market and slower sales. “Traditionally, especially in the frozen market, people would contract to take so many pounds,” explains Drew. “We’re starting to see those large buyers holding out a lot longer now to commit to that volume and, along with that, we’re seeing people waiting a lot longer to take that volume. It’s helping them with their nancing [but] holding on to their money longer is aecting everyone down the supply chain.” Rhonda Driediger of Driediger Farms Ltd. in Langley agreed, noting that buyers are not only holding out longer, they’re also taking longer to pay with some seeking 120-day payment terms. This payment pressure may push packers to nd buyers who pay faster, something Driediger has been able to do, but fruit quality still has to be there. “We all know that when there’s a lot of something, whatever it is, the buyer will always take the best,” says John Quapp, who worked closely with berry growers during his career at Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods Inc. in Abbotsford. “We’re now in a situation where there’s an ample supply of blueberries and the growers that have the quality will sell easier than the growers who don’t.” Boosting quality requires packers and growers to work hand-in-hand, communicating regularly with a view to supporting each other’s operations. “Both the packers and the growers have to work together to try and maximize the number of dollars and the number of pounds we can sell in the global market,” says Drew, noting that many buyers seek out blueberries from BC on account of their quality. “If we can get the best quality out of every berry that we can, then we’re going to get the best amount of return out of each berry.” Growers have to act fast, though, so that packers like Driediger can get fresh fruit to market in the best shape possible. This may mean delivering fruit ve times a day, rather than once. “Work with your packer to make sure everything gets processed on time, gets packed on time, so we can continue to try to get that high value,” she tells growers. “We have 10 days to move product. So we receive it, we have to pack it, cool it, get it on a truck to a customer and sold and get paid for that product at the highest value that we can to return you the highest value that we can.” Growers shouldn’t consider frozen or processed fruit as an alternative. While some growers predict a larger volume of fruit will go for processing this year as a result of labour shortages, she says fresh is where the money’s at. “We can’t lose our fresh market because that takes up a huge part of our volume, and if we all turn to processing … we’ll see our prices go down,” she says. “Fresh supports that higher price in the market.” While labour is a long-term challenge, growers will be compounding the issues they face if they can’t justify the prices they need with high quality. “I think that’s a collective discussion that we’re going to have over the next ve to 10 years,” she says. drainage 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 With a global market facing abundance and domestic elds facing a tight labour situation, some BC blueberry growers are paring their production plans this year. But speakers at the Pacic Agriculture Show in February suggested that growers seize the moment and replant their elds with new, more desirable varieties. “With prices going downhill as they are … now is probably a good time to pull out varieties that are may be questionable in quality,” says John Quapp, now retired from Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods Inc. in Abbotsford. “Now may be a good time to replant with the good-quality varieties … because that’s going to sell easier.” But many growers are still relying on Bluecrop, Duke and Eureka and haven’t upgraded their plantings. “How many people are planting Calypso, Valor, Last Call? Not a lot of hands. You should be,” says Rhonda Driediger of Driediger Farms Ltd. in Langley. “Bluecrop isn’t going to make it for fresh any more.” The changes aren’t just because the local production has increased but because there’s a world of growers looking for markets, including Mexico, which is both a key trading partner with Canada and a competitor. “We’re up against amazing fruit from Mexico and they’re gunning for our season,” she said. “You have to start converting. … We’re just not going to have the buer [room] anymore.” —Peter Mitham Time to renewHAPPYCANADADAY
14 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCIF IT’S WORTH IT TO YOU, IT’S WORTH IT TO US.Contact our agribusiness specialists by email at agribusiness@ﬁrstwestcu.caWHEN SUCCESS IS MEASURED IN ACRES AND NOT HOURSKeeping it Simple®Divisions of First West Credit UnionBank. Borrow. Insure. Invest.
Leaming confident fruit industry can rejuvenateLongtime fieldperson reflects on 35-year career as she heads into retirementCharlotte Leaming says she loved working with growers during her career in the tree fruit industry. She retired this spring. PHOTO / TOM WALKERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 15SIMPLE. DEPENDABLE. AFFORDABLE.INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordCountry TractorArmstrongCountry TractorKamloopsVisit your localBritish ColumbiaKUHN Dealer today!VS 100 SERIES VERTICAL MAXX®SINGLE-AUGER MIXERS (trailer models)• Versatile processing and mixing of a wide variety of materials• Increased feed, fuel and time efciency through rened design• Simple, low maintenance direct planetary drive• Fast, consistent discharge with exible conveyor options270, 350, & 430 cu. ft. mixing capacitiesby TOM WALKER KELOWNA – It seems tting that Charlotte Leaming’s career in agriculture began with the recommendation of an advisor. As a eld services consultant, advising others has been her vocation ever since. “I was just a kid who grew up in suburban Richmond,” says Leaming. “My parents weren’t farmers, but we would come up in the summer and visit my grandfather’s farm in Kelowna.” An academic advisor steered her in the right direction. “It was that time of my life when I was trying to decide what to do. I’d taken a couple of years of university and a vocational counsellor suggested I try the Food Production Technology diploma program at BCIT,” recalls Leaming. “The summer after rst year in 1980, I came up and worked for Buck Barkwill in his Summerland orchard.” It was hard work, moving irrigation pipes and hand-thinning apricots, but Leaming had found her place. “When I got to that orchard, I realized I really liked what I was doing,” she recalls. “I’ve always thought that somehow I was smart enough to know that if I liked all the stu at the bottom of the ladder, I’d probably have stu to learn and things I’d like to do for the rest of my life.” After receiving her diploma, she went back to work with Barkwill and his cousin Jack, and stayed in the Okanagan for a couple of years. “Working with Jack was the start of my life-long learning process,” she says. She has since studied fruit growing and worked in several countries, combining the experiences with local knowledge to help the BC industry grow. Her rst stint with a major packing house was seasonal eld service with BC Fruit Packers in Summerland in 1985. Leaming went on to work as a tree fruit pest management consultant, including a contract with CF Fresh, an organic brokerage in Washington State. After a three-year sojourn out of the valley, she returned in 2001 to work for Sun Fresh Cooperative. When it amalgamated with BC Tree Fruits in 2008, Leaming continued on until her retirement this year, on April 30. “I’ve always loved working with the growers,” says Leaming. “I try to be helpful in any way.” She says her connections with farms across the industry have allowed her to share information, support a new idea, or sometimes discourage it. “They all work so independently, so to have the opportunity to talk to someone about your plans and bounce ideas back and forth – I love doing that,” she says. Leaming leased her own orchard for a number of years before she had a full-time contract. It helped her to gain See LEAMING on next page o
LEAMING leaving nfrom page 1516 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCwww.horstwelding.com 1.866.567.4162 Side Discharge • For straw and lyme• 1-1/2” high paddles• Rear mesh back panel• Secondary beater drum• Agitator• Material can be discharged from either sideResearch and practical demonstrations show that light re昀ecting materials improve colouring and enhance product quality when apples are harvested at the proper ripeness (e.g. not overripe due to delays in harvest to attain higher colour saturation).July 31, 2020 is the deadline for submitting project applications for 2020 purchases.The program will be available until 2022 to encourage early adoption of light re昀ecting materials. Program policies, requirements, and application form are on the NVDC website: www.nvdc.ca This project is supported by The BC Government’s Tree Fruit Competitiveness Program; delivered by The BC Fruit Growers’ Association and The Investment Agricutlure Foundation of BC.E\nKi\\=il`kMXi`\k`\j;\m\cfgd\ek:fleZ`cEM;:practical experience. But the intensity of the job has not left time for the dual roles of grower and eld service. “I have had a single one-week summer holiday in my entire career,” she says. The role of a support person can have a downside. “There are orchards that make my heart sing and orchards that make me want to cry,” Leaming says. “You can make a recommendation, but you don’t actually do the work. It is up to the grower and if they don’t follow through, that can be frustrating. Okanagan orchardists do a number of things very well, says Leaming. “Ambrosia has a lot to do with our recent achievements,” she says. “It is pretty major for an industry to have such success with a new variety.” But a lot of things had to fall into place for that to work, she explains, starting with the super spindle orchard architecture common in the Okanagan. “Ambrosia on super spindle is a match made in heaven,” she says. The rst Okanagan plantings were three feet apart on 12-foot rows and the closest she has seen recently are trees 18 inches apart on nine-foot rows. “We learned a lot about tree physiology, how to grow this tall column with virtually no branches and keep it producing young fresh buds,” she says. Leaming notes that super spindle architecture has stood the test of time so well that some trees are now suering from old age in some orchards. The development of SmartFresh, a treatment that slows apple ripening in storage, was also a key. “It came just when we needed to lengthen the storage time for Ambrosia,” says Leaming. The New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council subcontracted Leaming from BC Tree Fruits for a couple of years to be the Ambrosia coordinator. “I love Ambrosia. I was honoured,” she says. “I helped develop some standard operating procedures for Ambrosia and increase the awareness of what needed to be done to keep the quality of Ambrosia up.” Falling returns But returns for Ambrosia growers have fallen as the volume of plantings expands. Growers are beginning to wonder about the future. BC also grows very good cherries, Leaming notes, but the cherry industry may be in line for the same kind of change the apple industry has experienced. “Our industry is quite committed to Mazzard rootstocks that grow big trees and big fruit,” she notes. However, they’re more labour-intensive and labour is a growing issue worldwide. Leaming recalls an International Fruit Tree Association trip to South America. “Both Chile and Argentina rated labour as their number one issue,” she says. “And like us, they went to their closest poorer neighbour for workers.” The industry is in need of a rejuvenation, Leaming says. “I know we can do it. We’ve done it before,” she says. “But I’m not sure what that looks like. Perhaps if I did, I might stay a few years and help implement it.” She continues to support the training of new quality standards sta at BC Tree Fruits a couple of days a week and will continue a weekly newsletter to growers until the end of the season. “Right now, I can’t wait until September when I am totally free,” she says. If she were granted one nal wish for the industry, Leaming says it would be for the co-op to ourish. “I really hope for a thriving of the cooperative again,” she says. “[But] in order to get that, we need change from the grower through to the packinghouse and sales practice.”Book clubSophia Hoessl, 8, of Horsey, may be missing her school friends during the COVID-19 pandemic but she’s found plenty on the family ranch for companionship. PHOTO / AMBER HOESSL LIKEUS@countrylifeinbc
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 17PRINCE GEORGE 250-561-4260 | KAMLOOPS 250-573-4412 | KELOWNA 250-765-9765 | CHILLIWACK 604-792-1516 | NANAIMO 778-441-3210NEW Model Year 2020 110-140 HP Cab Tractors have arrivedOpen Stations 120-155 HP in stock nowPRAIRIECOASTEQUIPMENT.COMTOLL FREE: 1-877-553-3373Order before July 31 and save an additional 8%2021 Planter Early Order Program0% for 72 Months$15,000 in Factory Discounts+6M HOT Summer SaleMY21IVT MY21AutoTracSome restrictions may apply. See dealer for details. Most oers valid June 1 - August 31, 2020.Review of vegetable commission forges ahead Governance, storage crop allocation are key issues in supervisory reviewby PETER MITHAM SURREY – A supervisory review of the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission is forging ahead despite an underwhelming response from industry members. The review, launched in April by the supervisory panel of the BC Farm Industry Review Board, focuses on the commission’s governance and structure, the accountability of designated marketing agencies and the methodology for determining storage crop delivery allocations. The topics reect a number of recent appeals FIRB has heard in recent years and related industry issues. One sequence of appeals relates to an order and decision the commission issued against Prokam Enterprises Ltd. and Thomas Fresh Inc. in 2017, and which has exposed the commission’s over-reliance on minimum pricing to ensure an orderly marketing environment for regulated crops as well as the need for commission decisions to be free from the apprehension of bias. An initial request for feedback was issued on April 3, with submissions requested by April 30. Speaking at the commission’s annual general meeting on April 29, supervisory panel chair Daphne Stancil encouraged the 46 stakeholders present to weigh in. “This is your chance through this review to get your input in, so we can get a pretty tight package for recommendations and outcomes,” she said. However, of the more than 155 stakeholders contacted, including 105 registered growers and 17 agencies, just eight responded. While the results generally supported the direction of the review, a report on May 15 indicated that eight responses were “not enough to fully represent the industry or to provide the panel the kind of guidance” it needed. A second request for feedback was circulated with a deadline of May 29. The results were to be discussed at a meeting on June 9, with a view to establishing the consultation process. A timeline has not been established for completing the work, which is being further complicated by COVID-19. Besides Stancil, the supervisory panel includes Tamara Leigh and Dennis Lapierre. While Stancil’s time with FIRB ends July 31, regulations provide a means to allow her to complete work begun during her term. The supervisory review is happening alongside other initiatives aimed at reforming the commission’s activities. Advisory groups have been set up to advise commissioners and two independent members are being appointed to boost decision-making capacity while limiting the perception of bias among commissioners. “With the structure of the commission being composed of elected producers, everyone knows that the legislation is prepared to accept a signicant degree of conict of interest to ensure that industry knowledge and expertise is preserved,” commission general manager Andre Solymosi told members. However, he said the commission also has to “facilitate a sound decision-making process” that is both free from the apprehension of bias yet remains informed and sensitive to the interests of both industry and the public. “We have been recusing certain elected members from having access to information and participating in any discussion or decision-making on issues before the commission,” Solymosi explained, noting that a similar accountability is expected of designated agencies. The commission also continues to pursue a strategic planning initiative. Originally launched last year, it’s now being revamped following an extensive round of consultations that engaged with 65% of the sector but failed to complete. “It was evident that much more work was needed to go forward,” commission chair Debbie Etsell said. “The commission is working towards presenting to producers and industry a practical and eective plan as soon as possible.” The commission has a shortlist of candidates to complete the project, which was originally expected to happen last fall.BC Vegetable Marketing Commission chair Debbie Etsell
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Agri-ConsultingRecord funding pledged for coupon programThe BC farmers’ market nutrition coupon program is being backed by nearly $1.9 million in provincial funding this year – a new record. BC health minister Adrian Dix announced the funding on June 5. “It is so important to ensure the farmers’ market is everyone's farmers' market,” he told market managers in a conference call organized to break the news. “Markets are for everybody.” Dix says the funding, administered by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, meets both health and community objectives. The province is committed to supporting the program in the years to come, he adds. Participants will receive $21 a week through November 15 to purchase BC-grown vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, dairy products, herbs, meat and sh at markets in 79 communities across BC. This is up 29% from $16.22 a week last year. Coupons can also be applied to online purchases at the 64 markets that oer this sales channel. A total of 6,000 low-income households and 18,000 people, including expectant mothers and seniors, are expected to benet. This is approximately double what it was in 2018 and a 300% increase from 2012. BC agriculture minister Lana Popham participated in the announcement, saying the program helps support local farmers during what has been a challenging year trying to gauge demand. She calls herself “Polly-Lana,” saying she likes to see the silver lining in bad situations. This is a case in point. "People are more connected to food, now more than ever,” she says. “I have so much pride when I go to farmers' markets and see the changes that have been made.” “We are so grateful to the program, it provides so much to our community,” says Rob Pingle of the Tuesday market on Salt Spring Island. However, the program isn’t a cure-all. Pingle said COVID-19 continues to have a negative eect on market operations. Operating expenses are up 6% while income is down 50% because it had to relocate and physical distancing measures mean fewer vendors can participate at the new location. Other markets have also seen a decline in vendors, with some seeing operating income fall by 75%. —Barbara Johnstone Grimmer Province boosts online grants Overwhelming demand for provincial funding to support online sales activities has led the province to add $250,000 to e-commerce grants provided as part of the Buy BC program. The program reached capacity in just two business days after applications began being accepted on May 15. Applications continued to pour in, however, as the original deadline was May 29. “The demand was so great that it was clear we needed to help more businesses move online so they can sell their products direct to consumers across the province,” said agriculture minister Lana Popham in announcing the additional funding, which boosts total program funding to $550,000. She says the top-up is nal and no new applications will be accepted to the program, which requires recipients to spend grants by September 30. The funding will support development of websites that allow for online sales and will cover the cost of publicizing the option and shipping costs. Grants will cover up to $2,000 in packaging costs associated with online shipments and advertising costs to a maximum of $1,000. Successful applicants can receive up to $5,000 apiece, meaning the program will support at least 110 agri-food businesses across BC. Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, which is administering the program, received a total of 304 applications, 140 of which arrived in the rst hour. Funding was approved for 109 applicants, including 44 producers and 65 processors, on a rst come, rst served basis. —Peter Mitham Organic matter regulation delayed Chalk up delays in the province’s revision of the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation to COVID-19. “We were anticipating regulatory updates to occur in fall 2020. However, at this point we are expecting this do be delayed due to COVID-19,” the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy told Country Life in BC. The regulation is signicant because of its role in managing composting activities and the application of biosolids. Originally promulgated in 2002, the regulation addresses “the recycling of organic material while protecting human health and the environment.” Two intentions papers, one in September 2016 and another in September 2018, have been issued for discussion with a view to updating the regulation “based on the best and most current science.” Proposed policies include increased public transparency and information sharing, including specic requirements with respect to notifying and engaging with First Nations and local governments. The report on the most recent consultation recommended steps to reduce the risk of introducing invasive weeds via compost and the development of communications materials for ranchers and farmers considering applying biosolids. Biosolids were a hot topic in the consultation, frequently featuring as something that shouldn’t be applied at all. A spokesperson with the environment ministry says that most feedback supported the proposed changes, however, and will shape the new regulation. —Peter Mitham Ag Briefs EDITED BY PETER MITHAM
Ralph and Tina Gerlitsch plan to operate their microgreens business for a few more years but say they are thinking about their exit strategy as well. Their biggest advice to others is answering: “What is the need out there?” If you can gure that out, they say, the chances are good that you will have a successful business. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 19Little & Large, Local & Long, Europe & N. AmericaPort to Dealer, Farm to Farm & Anything in Betweenby MYRNA STARK LEADER KELOWNA – In five years, with no traditional agriculture experience, Tina and Ralph Gerlitsch have built a certified organic microgreen business which supports them in their urban backyard. After spending most of her career in the service industry, Tina was bookkeeping for a compost operation and dabbling in worm farming on the side. She’d been demoing the value of worm castings as a natural plant growth promoter at a local retailer when she noticed the pea shoots she was growing to show off the casting product weren’t widely available at local grocers. So, she took one day a week away from her paid work to experiment growing shoots. Family and friends liked them so much she knew she’d hit on something with value. “As I learned more and about the nutrient value of microgreens, I wanted to be first to the grocery store market in Kelowna,” explains Tina. Avenue M, named for Mountain Avenue where they live, was born. The 700-square-foot operation now produces 130 trays of fresh, healthy greens a week. The greens sell at farmers’ markets and at select local grocers. Consumers in their 20s and 30s understand that microgreens are packed with nutrients. An ounce of broccoli microgreens has the equivalent nutrient value of 1.5 pounds of broccoli florets, for example, making them appealing to people following plant-based diets, children who don’t enjoy veggies and those looking for more options as they aim for a higher percentage of greens on their plates. “At first, I thought if we can sell enough to earn enough for a six pack of beer a week that would be good,” says Ralph, who was working fulltime as a component technician in the aviation industry when the business launched. “But within a few months, the man cave – my shop directly behind our bungalow where I worked on snowmobiles and stuff – was reconfigured as a production facility.” A combination of hard work and a temperature of 78-80°F and 40% to 50% humidity enables them to grow and harvest a crop about every eight days, year-round. While they tried many different seeds, they focus on pea, broccoli (the most popular), sunflower (high in protein), mustard, kale and radish. Broccoli, kale and purple kohlrabi are sold individually and as part of a mix. “We strive to be consistent with good product, consistently delivered on time, which is what helps to differentiate us,” says Ralph. Avenue M uses certified organic, non-GMO seeds sourced from Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds in Parkside, Saskatchewan. They chose this supplier because of its strong organic reputation, product consistency and cost effectiveness. Their product is packaged Kelowna couple sprouts successful businessSilagrow.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 BCPlanning, relationships key to successSee SOURCE on next page o
SOURCE your market first, then start growing nfrom page 1920 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCCASE IH MAXXUM 120 MFD, CAB TRACTOR W/LOADER $117,700 CASE IH 1250 6 ROW CORN PLANTER $14,500 CLAAS 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 X 2 FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS JD 7230R MFD TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS JD 8295R MFD CAB TRACTOR WITH DUALS JUST IN! CALL FOR DETAILS NH 900 PT FORAGE HARVESTER WITH GRASS PICK UP $5,400 Pre-owned Tractors & Equipmentwww.caliberequipment.ca STORE HOURS MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8-5 CLOSED SATURDAYS ‘TIL SPRING604-864-2273 34511 VYE ROAD ABBOTSFORD Go with your gut. JAGUAR. SOLD!SOLD!in recyclable clamshells because single-use plastic bags made the product sweat, an unattractive feature on store shelves. They’ve been looking for an eco-friendly solution suitable for retail which wouldn’t increase the shelf price and is also properly processed but that’s been difficult. Their labels are created locally and affixed by Tina’s mom. They firmly believe one of the keys to Avenue M’s success is establishing a market for the product before producing it. Their greens are now stocked at Nature’s Fare Markets, Choices Market in Kelowna, Peter’s Independent, Lakeshore Market and Quality Greens as well as to several restaurants. “We didn’t take on a new client until we were sure we could meet their expectations. That means ensuring supplies of inputs and coordinating processing and delivery,” says Tina. They also sell at the Kelowna farmers’ market as space allows; they have yet to receive a permanent spot. “Every week, you have to book a spot and you don’t find out until late in the week, so you need to have product ready but aren’t guaranteed sales which is something that’s been a challenge for us,” says Tina. Today, Avenue M is the couple’s sole source of income. While the two have very different personalities – he’s a linear thinker, she’s creative – they’ve managed to make it work. “We work together pretty efficiently now so seeding, growing, harvesting and packaging happen pretty easily and seamlessly,” says Tina glancing at Ralph with a smile. When she hears of new growers in the marketplace, she hopes they’re being strategic. COVID-19 has highlighted the risk of focusing on just one kind of buyer, such as restaurants. Tina says she’s learned to be more flexible and sometimes just accept that there are things you can’t control. She recalls being turned away with a delivery in West Kelowna because the store was closing. Another important success factor has been continuously building and nurturing relationships. “You need to talk with the local produce managers and staff who look after your product so that when his boss comes looking to trim to get shelf space, yours isn’t the product to go. … You need to spend time asking about kids and family. I see them every week. They do become friends,” says Tina. The Gerlitsches sees year-round food production in a controlled environment gaining importance as people seek personal food sovereignty. “The big advantage with microgreens is that you don’t need expensive grow lights … they don’t need any nutrition from the sun. Cost-wise for nutritional value, these are off the charts compared to eating the plant once it’s grown,” says Tina. “We’re a good example that anyone can create a business as long as they have resilience and genuine interest in learning,” says Ralph. “We really love what we do.” Tina Gerlitsch, right, says COVID-19 has had limited impact on sales at the local farmers market but Avenue M is just starting to get into online marketing. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER
Carmen and Glen Wakeling of Eatmore Sprouts and Greens. PHOTO / BOOMER JERRITTCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 21FOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.firstname.lastname@example.orgCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.by MYRNA STARK LEADER COURTENAY – COVID-19 has been a mixed bag for sprout and microgreen growers but it’s also highlighted the need for a stronger industry association. Carmen Wakeling, owner of Eatmore Sprouts and Greens Ltd. in Courtenay, is president of the US-based International Sprout Growers Association. Eatmore has been operating for 45 years and its retail sales have stayed strong, even with the loss of many restaurant and wholesale customers as a result of COVID-19. “In the USA, COVID-19 followed a substantial recall of clover sprouts for E. coli O103. … Even though there are challenges for our producers in BC, Canada and internationally, it’s also the time to start thinking about how we do things dierently across the industry,” says Wakeling. One positive step would be a better understanding of who is producing sprouts and microgreens both in BC and Canada to help create a more accurate picture of the industry. It’s partly why she and Lisa Mumm, owner of Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds in Parkside, Saskatchewan, spearheaded Sprouts and Microgreens Canada in 2016. The organization is a subcommittee of the Small-Scale Food Processor Association, a national trade association based in Nanaimo. “We were fairly low key until late last year because we’ve now recognized microgreen growers across the country need support to understand more about crop management, including potential risks, some of which have been highlighted with COVID,” she explains. Sprouting seed requirements are quite dierent from other crops, for example. Mumm’s is the only Canadian supplier Wakeling knows that specializes in sourcing and growing organic sprouting seed. This is good for Mumm’s business but a potential risk for the industry. “If we can continue to build a stronger association in Canada, I feel we’d be more equipped to manage industry changes in the short, medium and long term and build a more resilient industry,” says Wakeling. “A big challenge with a small and diverse group of producers is that it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack to connect with growers so we are asking all industry partners to help us.” Meanwhile, COVID-19 is prompting growers to rethink their business model. Some BC growers are pursuing a CSA (community-supported agriculture) model, which provides certainty in terms of cash ow, while others are pursuing direct delivery options. Comox-based Love Local Food Co. has been distributing Eatmore Sprouts’ products since launching in April with a vision of supporting local farmers and businesses. When restaurants suddenly shut down in March, excess Eatmore product was donated to local food banks and hamper programs such as LUSH Valley and Cumberland Food Share. Although Eatmore adjusted production to account for lower demand from restaurants, it continues to grow a little extra for local food security programs. Some of the crop is donated and some is paid for. Wakeling says the pandemic also highlighted input supply security. Hydrogen peroxide, used as part of her seed sanitation program, is a main ingredient of sanitizer needed for healthcare. She would be stopped her in her tracks without it so has made a priority to ensure Eatmore maintains an ample supply. Getting products on and o Vancouver Island with limited airline and ferry service was another big hurdle. “Historically, we’ve shipped all our testing to Vancouver three times a week by air,” says Wakeling. “No product leaves our facility without a clear test result. Suddenly, we had to add 24 hours transport time to a process with very little timeline wiggle room. We had to go back to the drawing board on some of our production timing to accommodate this.” Thankfully, she had another option as well to support some of Eatmore’s testing requirements. FoodMetrics, an ISO 17025-accredited testing lab, opened in Courtenay in 2018 thanks to a three-way partnership between the Small-Scale Food Processor Association, Intrisk Training Solutions, and Biomedix, a California-based company that provided the equipment. “The idea of this lab is to serve a much more local client base so that we can alleviate some of the issues around having to ship time-sensitive test samples to larger labs,” explains lab services manager Spencer Serin. “This is the rst lab like this to be ISO accredited, a nine-month process. Now, we’re proving the concept and hoping to take this model to other rural areas, really helping producers who don’t have easy access to testing to meet safe food regulations.” Even in the midst of recent events, Wakeling remains positive about the future of the industry. The pandemic has boosted interest in local food, and the potential for aordable, year-round production of nutritious sprouts make them an ideal t with current concerns. “Suddenly, there is a focus on food security like we’ve never seen before,” Wakeling says. “Given that our products take about four or ve days to grow, I think growers have an opportunity to put this crop forward as a healthy, wise alternative to imported greens, especially during winter months when other green options are limited.” Greens growers see need for support Canadian sprout growers have an opportunity to up their gameHAPPYCANADADAYr-FWFMT#FET#BUITr2VJFU/FJHICPVSIPPEr4IPQ0VUCVJMEJOHTr"DSF-PU'PSU4U+BNFTYOUR LAND IS IN DEMAND! 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Cattlemen host virtual annual meetingVideoconference covers all the key issues from a safe distanceCOVID-19 is complicating the outlook for fall calf prices as producers try to meet market demand. PHOTO / LIZ TWANCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 23PROVINCIAL LIVESTOCK FENCING PROGRAMApplications Close: September 30, 2020View program updates at cattlemen.bc.ca/fencing.htmOce: 1.778.412.7000 Toll Free: 1.866.398.2848email: email@example.com In partnership with:Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry Projects.www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333www.cattlefund.net 1.877.688.2333by TOM WALKER KAMLOOPS – The 92nd BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) annual general meeting was radically dierent from past years. The event normally runs over three days. This year the convention ran just over two hours and took place via videoconference rather than in Fort St. John. “Welcome to our way of doing things this year,” quipped BCCA general manager Kevin Boon. Although Boon acknowledged the time and cost savings of the Zoom meeting was a positive, he says there is also a loss. “We are missing the opportunity to meet and discuss with our fellow ranchers,” he says. “We have lost the opportunity to provide comment.” A total of 64 people attended the June 8 meeting. BCCA president Larry Garrett made a similar point. While the association has reached out to members through townhall meetings, a biweekly e-newsletter and Beef in BC magazine, more communication from members would be nice. “We are struggling to hear from you,” says Garrett. “If you are not comfortable in talking with us directly, then make sure that you talk to your board director.” BCCA undertakes much of its work through its many committees, and Garrett took time to acknowledge their work. He mentioned the work of public aairs, research, livestock industry protection, public trust and the environmental code of practice groups. “We have a lot of volunteers that step up to help us out,” he says. “It makes a signicant point when it is real ranchers with our hats on doing the talking.” The Indigenous aairs committee has spent time talking with Members of Parliament and senators. Garrett says that it has become clear that the province moved too quickly to adopt UNDRIP. “They are seeing some challenges and it is clear that they will need to rethink their implementation,” he says. On the provincial front, the land stewardship committee is making headway in having the province recognize the value of forage on range lands, which provides forage not only to cattle but wildlife. Garrett says he recalls provincial wildlife habitat ecologist Walt Klenner telling the research forum at last year’s convention that farms and ranches provide 76% of BC’s wildlife habitat. “That’s pretty amazing when you consider that only 5% of the land in BC is farmland.” Going forward, Boon says ranchers are viewing COVID-19 with a combination of interest and anxiety. “Right now, we have strong retail prices and the beef supply to service those markets,” he says, cautioning members not to compare the current situation to BSE. See RISK on next page oYOURHelping YouHelping YouWEEKLY FARM NEWS UPDATESHave you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops are Free!
24 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThis is nothing like BSE, he stressed. “There are strong markets for beef this time, which were missing with BSE,” he explains. “When we get through the processing diculties it will be easier to recover.” There is lots of good news on the processing front, Boon notes. “Processing has really come back,” he says. “The Alberta plants are actually processing more now than they were this time a year ago.” Yet the backlog of animals waiting in feedlots to be processed remains. “And how long will that last?” Boon asks. The set-aside programs that have been developed for Alberta feedlots will help to clear pen space, he says, and that has helped to support current prices. However, there is still uncertainty around what pricing will be for the fall run when ranchers look to sell their calves. “What prices are going to look like in the fall will depend on how ecient they are at clearing that backlog.” In the midst of all this turmoil and dierence, the normalcies are still there. “The market is still functioning the way the market is supposed to,” Boon assured producers. Garrett noted that some producers may be left out of current risk management programs. “[Ottawa] has said over and over again to the committee that I sit on that if there is any support it will come through AgriStability,” says Garrett. But he adds there is work to do to make sure it will support everyone, especially the mom-and-pop cow-calf operator. They’re usually sole proprietorships, and labour isn’t considered a business expense as it is for larger incorporated ranch operations. The targeted grazing pilots that are being coordinated by the land stewardship committee are seeing multiple benets beyond the work that the animals are doing. “The projects are designed to reduce ne fuels in interface areas, but the grazing is only a small part of what we have an opportunity to do,” says Boon. The landscape-level planning possible when all the stakeholders come together has been key, he says. “We are learning that there can’t be a single tenure focus. We need to accommodate everyone,” he explains. “We not only have FireSmart interests, but timber density, water developments, impact on wildlife and the public needs to consider.” BCCA will approach the BC Ministry of Agriculture for money to track the impacts and eects of targeted grazing plans. The tone of the BCCA oce changed on May 29 with the retirement of longtime executive assistant Becky Everett. “I really want to express my gratitude to Becky who has been the voice of BC Cattlemen’s for 28 years,” says Boon. “There is no one in our oce who has had more direct contact with our members than her. We know the work she has committed to this industry and it is greatly appreciated.” Boon always takes time to acknowledge the eorts of others and tradition and protocol are important to him. As such, he wonders about the new reality the pandemic has ushered in. “I’m not sure that we are going back to normal or if we will ever regain some of our traditions,” he says. “I worry that we have lost our handshake. It’s one of the things we value most in our industry; an elbow bump just doesn’t seem the same.” Cattlemen change gears Plans for a BC-branded beef product have been rejigged to focus on hamburger. BC Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon provided an update on the initiative to develop a BC-brand processing facility during the association’s annual general meeting on June 8. “We felt that the easiest way to get started with a BC brand was to create a grind product with our local label,” he says. Cattlemen’s is negotiating to use existing processor space in the province to produce the ground beef, which is a shift from earlier plans to build a federally inspected plant. “With a lot of consultation and discussion it became evident that we were headed in the wrong direction,” explains Boon. “We don’t have a fed cattle industry here in BC and it was felt that a federal plant based in a fed program was not going to meet the needs of our cow-calf operators.” The recent processing slow-downs and feedlot backups in both Alberta and the US highlighted how a grind plant could serve BC ranchers. “When operators were looking to retire cows this spring, they had diculty nding a market for them,” Boon explains. “These cull animals are coming o grass and they don’t need to go through a feedlot; they can go straight to a grind plant.” Boon said the plant will operate as a producer-owned co-op and have a capacity of 7,500 animals a year. He expects an information package will be ready for producers by early July. “It’s a pretty exciting time,” he says. “If this had been in operation right now during COVID, the rancher could easily have been putting as much as $200-$250 more per head in their pockets.” —Tom Walker RISK management programs nfrom page 23
IN SHORT SUPPLY. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t impacted BC’s small-scale hog producers. With an increased demand for local meat, the biggest challenge has been nding replacements. PHOTO / BLUE SKY RANCHCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 25 THE HE BREED YOU CAN TRUST BrBrititish ish Cololumbiabia BCHA President John Lewis 250-218-2537 * Fer琀lity * Eciency * Longevity * www.bcbchehereforord.ca BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 by PETER MITHAM LILLOOET – While the federal government announced $125 million in support for the beef and pork industry at the beginning of May, small-lot producers weren’t the target. The funds largely benetted producers sidelined by disruptions associated with COVID-19 at the major beef and pork processing plants. Shutdowns as a result of outbreaks and slowdowns that resulted from social distancing measures led to backlogs of animals. For pork producers, thousands of animals that should have entered the food supply didn’t, costing producers millions. But for small-lot pork producers, who represent the majority of the industry in BC – the BC Hog Marketing Commission oversees just 14 producers, versus hundreds of small growers – life largely continued as normal. “The experience of small-scale pork producers is almost completely separate from BC’s few large operations,” says Tristan Banwell of Spray Creek Ranch in Lillooet and a director of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. “The abattoirs used by small operations have been much busier than normal, but are still in production.” Headlines regarding closures at large plants and fears of long-term disruptions and meat shortages put small producers in the limelight. Sales shot up as many people looked for local alternatives to an unpredictable and possibly unreliable supply chain. “Most small-scale meat producers selling direct to customers are seeing strong demand for their oerings, including pork,” says Banwell. “We saw quick work among our members to pivot sales and delivery options to remain safe and continue to serve customers.” One unexpected result of the concern was a shortage in weaner pigs. Demand among producers for the young animals increased as consumer demand for nished animals rose, but consumers themselves were also seeking out the animals. Just as demand for vegetable seed skyrocketed, prompting some suppliers to hit pause on orders from home gardeners, consumers ocked to order pullets and piglets in a bid to take control of their food supply. “Supply of weaners has been short as small-scale producers ramp up and more people raise a few hogs in the backyard, and some people are bringing in hogs from Alberta,” says Banwell. In a timely move, the province released an electronic edition of its Small Lot Pork Producer manual in early May to assist producers. BC Ministry of Agriculture pork industry specialist Tom Droppo noted that several other management tools are under development, including a series of six one-day workshops that will be oered in spring 2021. Whether the uptick in demand as a reaction to the pandemic represents a long-term shift is another question. Demand for local food has grown over the past 20 years, as consumers cocooned after the shock of 9/11 then embraced the idea of the 100-mile diet BC authors Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon made famous in 2007. The pandemic was yet another incentive for consumers to go local. But many small-scale producers will face the same challenges as they did before the pandemic. “The biggest challenges in all of this for small-scale producers are the same challenges to scaling operations that we have been experiencing for years,” says Banwell. “We are short on reliable, local options for slaughter, butchery and value-adding services like smoking and sausage-making, we have little access to cold storage, there is limited availability of breeding stock and weaners and many producers have diculty accessing markets.” While the province extended the regions where on-farm slaughter can occur in June and also awarded nearly $560,000 to projects supporting the meat industry in the Peace, Cariboo and Kootenay Boundary regions, much more remains to be done. The Small-Scale Meat Producers Association, for example, would like to see more meat processing infrastructure in the Lower Mainland to further improve BC’s food security. “BC producers of any scale only produce 16% of the pork we consume in this province, and there is a lot of opportunity for small-scale producers to help meet demand,” says Banwell. “When a customer purchase local pork raised on a local farm and processed at a nearby abattoir, nearly all of that money stays in the local community, providing livelihoods in rural parts of our province.” Pandemic less challenging for small farmsDisruptions occurred, but many issues predated COVID-19Get a FREE PTO Pump or $2500 discount on select Irrigation Reels*Computer included with 110/450 only.Province Wide DeliveryProvince Wide Deliveryt (3.5”x985’)......$25,200 r (4”x1378’).....$30,900 r (4.5”x1476’)...$39,300“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
26 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCROTATOR®TECHNOLOGY1000 SERIESIRRIGATION AUTOMATIONHELPS AID NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT Wirelessly automate your valves to turn your sprinklers on and oﬀ as needed and reduce potential for runoﬀ.Contact us to learn more: Tel: +1 509.525.7660nelsonirrigation.comBIG GUN® SPRINKLER + TWIG® WIRELESS CONTROLSHigh-uniformity Rotator® sprinklers help manage water & nutrients uniformly in the soil.Nelson valves are designed for tough agricultural applications. 3030 SERIES PIVOTSPRINKLERS1/2” & 3/4”IMPACT REPLACEMENTSby RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – Wet weather can happen without much notice in BC. But for farmers who’ve just sprayed an insecticide or fungicide, it’s not just an uninvited guest. It can represent a waste of money and create confusion as to whether a fresh application is needed. A critical variable is the rainfastness of the material, an issue BC Ministry of Agriculture pesticide specialist Ken Sapsford discussed at the Pacic Agriculture Show in January. A centrepiece of his presentation was a new study by Michigan State University entomologist John Wise that provides guidelines rooted in research. Sapsford says it’s the rst of its kind. “Until this report came out from MSU we did not have research information to give [growers] some guidelines,” he said. The rst step of rainfastness is ensuring products are being applied correctly. Sapsford says this means ensuring calibration of sprayers is correct to apply the right amount uniformly to the target area at the right time for optimum coverage and minimal o-target contamination. His four steps to calibration are to inspect (and perform maintenance on) the sprayer, match air ow to the canopy, set an appropriate delivery rate and conrm spray coverage. He suggests growers who need help calibrating their sprayers consult [www.sprayers101.com]. Calibration needs to be checked and reset for each spraying occasion because air ow will be dierent for each spray. Sometimes, dierent elds during the same spray occasion require adjustments. “Wherever that air is moving, that is where that pesticide is going. After eight inches [out from the sprayer] it’s up to the air,” he says. He suggests conrming coverage by using water-sensitive paper within the canopy. Pin the paper near the main target so it utters like a leaf. The paper doesn’t need to be saturated to indicate eective coverage, but it should be uniformly coated. Wise’s study provides further information to growers. “Products that penetrate into the plant tissue are generally expected to enhance rainfastness,” Sapsford says. Products in Group 1B – organophosphates such as Cygon, Malathion and Imidan – have limited penetration into plant tissue and have lower rainfastness. They’re highly susceptible to washing o. They are, however, highly toxic to pests, so a light rain doesn’t lead to a need for reapplication. Group 1A – Carbamate (Sevin) – and Group 3, pyrethroids (such as Silencer, Matador and Mako), penetrate the plant cuticle and are less likely to wash o. “Once they enter that leaf area, they are more rainfast,” Sapsford says. Systemics including Group 5 (Delegate, Success, Entrust), Group 6 (Agri-mek), Group 28 (Altacor and Exirel) and groups 15 and 18 (insect growth regulators such as Rimon, Conrm and Intrepid) all penetrate the plant cuticle and have moderate to high rainfastness. Group 4, neonicotinoids, are also systemic and can only be applied after petal fall when bees are not present. The sole product available in Canada is Assail. It needs about 24 hours to be rainfast. “If you are applying it, you must do some cutting back. It does not say how much,” he says of Group 4. “It’s really getting confusing with the neonics.” Regardless of rainfastness, producers should consider reapplying any product if there’s been more than 25 mm of rain following an application. While most insecticides dry within two to six hours, if they are slow to penetrate the plant tissue, rain will prevent their ecacy. However, if the rainfall comes after 24 hours, all the systemics will be rainfast. Fungicides perform similarly in that 25 mm of rain will remove about half the spray if they haven’t had sucient time to penetrate. In wet, rainy periods, Sapsford says to apply sprays at the highest label rate. However, it’s important that the plant is actively growing and that the pores of the leaf are open, allowing the spray to be taken up. Rainy day thoughts for pesticide applications Understanding rainfastness will help reduce costs and improve efficacyFILE PHOTO
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 27Scott Orr, a technician with the research team at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis, Oregon uses a drone to scout for signs of water stress and poor nutrition in a commercial blueberry eld. PHOTO / DAVE BRYLAby PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – The potential of drones as management tools in several sectors of agriculture is now widely recognized, even as regulations lag new applications. Trials of drones as pesticide applicators began in Agassiz last year, and now their use as monitors of plant health is coming into focus as a way to provide a comprehensive look at what’s going on in elds beyond what in-row monitoring can do. “You don’t have to go up and down the rows,” says Dave Bryla, a research horticulturist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service based in Corvallis, Oregon. “We’re starting to nd that we can use this perhaps for scheduling irrigations, perhaps for evaluating diseases in the elds and maybe even nutrient management.” Bryla discussed his work with drones at the Pacic Agriculture Show in Abbotsford at the beginning of February, highlighting their potential for berry growers. Plant water requirements can be modelled through the use of soil sensors and tracking weather conditions, with various tools provided through services such as Farmwest. These are based on evapotranspiration rates and crop coecients that estimate crop water use in relation to a reference crop, usually grass or alfalfa. “The problem is, this is an ideal situation, and no eld is ideal,” explains Bryla. “What we’re trying to do is use a drone to get site-specic estimates of how much water a eld requires.” The idea isn’t new. The approach involves taking images of elds, which in the past were obtained from satellites. However, using a drone from Oregon-based Aerial Technology International LLC equipped with spectral imaging cameras, researchers are able to hone in on what’s happening within the crop canopy. “You get dierent values depending on how healthy or how stressed a particular plant is,” he explains. “A stressed plant will reect more light from the visible range. On the other hand, a healthy plant is going to reect more light in the infrared range.” The linchpin of the approach is the canopy, because it’s the leaves that are doing the work of harvesting light, breathing and keeping the plant cool. By determining canopy cover, for instance, water uptake can be determined under given conditions using the crop coecient. The goal is to be able to send drones into berry elds and have them analyze the canopy and relay the data so that irrigation volumes can be adjusted accordingly. “We can basically take this information and translate that into the actual water requirements,” he says. “Growers can get a quick estimate of how much irrigation they should be putting on their specic eld.” This information can be tailored to specic varieties, because the vigour of dierent varieties mean they take up water at dierent rates. The more vigorous a variety is, the thirstier it tends to be. This is the case with Wakeeld, a raspberry cultivar that puts out a larger canopy than Meeker. It will take up water at a faster rate, meaning it may require more frequent watering than Meeker and could suer if it received the same amount. “If we just used the estimates o the Internet, or measuring soil moisture, it’s not going to really tell us that. But with a drone, we might be able to pick up that sort of dierence,” says Bryla. But the kind of light leaves absorb doesn’t just reect the health of the plant. It also indicates the temperature in the canopy. “The warmer an object is, the more infrared radiation it gives o,” says Bryla. “When a plant is happy, it’s transpiring a lot; as it transpires, just like when we’re sweating, that water evaporates. It cools the canopy down. When it’s stressed, it doesn’t transpire as much water and the leaf temperature goes up. You can detect that dierence with an infrared camera.” Thermal imaging has revealed that the temperature of a canopy for blueberries that weren’t irrigated was 89° F but with full irrigation it was 86° F. “The canopy cover then is going to be correlated to the water status of the plants, or the water potential. As the temperature is warmer, the water status of the plant is more negative, or the water potential is lower or more water-stressed,” he says. “By developing these relationships, we can map out which plants are looking good, have plenty of water, and which plants are water-stressed.” Similarly, drones can collect images that reveal issues associated with changes in terrain, such as low points where water tends to collect and put crops at risk of root rot. Alternatively, it may identify malnourished parts of a block using an index based on the kind of light reected. “This could eventually be a useful tool where not only could we use it to look at water requirements, but we might be able to use it to assess nutrient issues and make recommendations on how much nitrogen or other nutrients that we could apply to those plants,” says Bryla. “There’s a lot of potential here, but a lot of work that has to be done.” Drones hone in on crop water requirementsTechnology picks up on subtle cues in the canopy1.604.363.8483FARMREALESTATE.COMMLS® FARMREALESTATE.COMPerfect hay, dairy, horse, cannabis or orchard mul -purpose irrigated propertyOne newer pivot with second one being installedOver 800 feet of water licenseNew workshop and beautiful living quartersKETTLE RIVER IRRIGATION FARMID#1101959 • ROCK CREEK, BC194.2 ACRES403.308.1737HANKVANHIERDENFEATURED PROPERTIESSOLD )$,5MLS® FARMREALESTATE.COMRare opportunity to purchase excep onal landHistorical value, located on Horseﬂ y RiverHunters delight with abundant game & fowlTwo immaculate homes, heated shop, and barnCurrently capable of running 525 pairs year round self suﬃ ciently with room to increaseWOODJAM RANCHID#1100751 • HORSEFLY, BC2,121.9 ACRES$11,250,000403.308.1737HANKVANHIERDENMLS® FARMREALESTATE.COMPerfect weekend getaway or summer homeExceptionally built 2,027 sq. ft. custom log homeWell upgraded and in excellent shapeWorkshop with living quarters & detached garageLand is mix of trees & meadows ideal for huntingPIONEER LOG HOME GETAWAYID#1100870 • WILLIAMS LAKE, BC203.1 ACRES$2,300,000403.308.1737HANKVANHIERDEN
28 | JULY 2020 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.Fast-forward your productivity. New Holland T6 Series tractors with the Dynamic Command™ dual-clutch, semi-powershift transmission give you 24 gears in both forward and reverse. That’s three gear ranges, eight steps in each, and plenty of overlap, so you can select the right speed for any job. It’s a true power shuttle, too, with programmable gears and three shift aggression levels to match your preferences. Dynamic StartStop provides no-clutch control for smoother loader work—just press the brake to come to a standstill, release it to re-engage the drive and go. Test drive a T6 with the industry-leading Dynamic Command™ transmission today. Or visit newholland.com to learn more. 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 LANGLEY: 21869 - 56 AVENUE 604-533-0048 | rollinsmachinery.com
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 29BC farms adapt chicken tractors to local conditionsPredator protection and size are key improvementsSUPERSIZED! Little Fork Ranch improved bird comfort and reduced labour inputs by creating a 20x40-foot chicken tractor to graze birds on its pasture. The structure, covered in greenhouse plastic that can be rolled up to increase air circulation, is surrounded by a fence to ward off predators. PHOTOS / LITTLE FORK RANCH1-866-820-7603 | BAUMALIGHT.COMDale Howe | 403-462-1975 | email@example.comMFG A VARIETY OF ATTACHMENTSBRUSH MULCHERS | BOOM MOWERSSTUMP GRINDERS | TREE SAWS & SHEARSTREE SPADES | ROTARY BRUSH CUTTERS TRENCHERS | DRAINAGE PLOWS | PTO GENERATORS EXCAVATOR ADAPTERS | FELLER BUNCHERSTREE PULLERS | SCREW SPLITTERS | AUGER DRIVESby PETER MITHAM GREENWOOD – Rotational grazing is growing in popularity among livestock producers as a way to boost and sustain pastures while reducing the need to buy feed. It yields both economic and environmental benefits. The system works well with larger stock like cattle and sheep, but poultry is another matter. While the idea of pasture-raised poultry has cachet among city-dwellers, limiting the birds to a defined patch of ground and keeping them safe poses challenges. While fencing may not be a concern, protecting the birds from raptors and coyotes is another matter. To get around the challenge, many small-lot producers use a chicken tractor modelled on the design of Virgina poultry farmer Joel Salatin. The structure is a moveable 10x10-foot enclosure two feet high. “You get the benefits of a confinement operation without any of the negatives,” says Eric Moes of Little Fork Ranch in Greenwood. “The actual structure is really to keep the birds safe.” To accommodate the three flocks of 350 broilers it produces each year, Little Fork has developed a tractor that’s effectively a 20x40-foot hoophouse on skids. Greenhouse plastic covers the aluminum and steel frame; the plastic sides can be rolled up to provide ventilation. “Instead of moving 10 small pens a day, we took another play out of the playbook and have one large chicken tractor,” Moes says. The system works well, protecting the birds from raptors as well as most four-footed predators. Any large animals are kept out by the fencing that surrounds the pasture area, although Moes notes that the local black bears are generally friendly. “We’ve got a lot of black bears here but they respect the fences that we’ve got around our fields,” he says. Grizzly proof Grizzlies are a different proposition, and pose a significant challenge to growers in the Kootenays. Gillian Sanders of Grizzly Bear Coexistence Solutions in Meadow Creek works with producers across the province to foster better relationships with bears. She typically encourages producers them to make sure their defences send a clear message to bears of what’s theirs and what’s not. An electric fence is what’s most commonly used to protect livestock and crops. Sanders says it needs to be have proper grounding for the soil type and a jolt strong enough to send a clear message to a bear (7,000 volts will do). It also needs to deliver the jolt to the right part of the animal – the snout, rather the haunch, for example. But fences are stationary while chicken tractors are designed to move. Recognizing the desirability of a viable solution for free range poultry producers in bear country, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets chose to support a grizzly-proof tractor as this year’s recipient of the Mary Forstbauer award, a $500 annual grant designed to support innovation and adaption among market vendors. The project proposed a steel structure held in place by anchors but capable of being lifted and relocated. Electric mats and fencing designed to ward off predators would provide additional protection. “If they can’t lift it or break into it and they are zapped in the process this will make it a viable option,” the grant application stated. The issues electrification poses were part of the discussion when Moes showed off his own tractor during a field day the Kootenay Boundary Farm Advisors organized at his farm last September. “It would be a bad day if a bear got in, so one of the ideas that came out of that field day was to electrify it,” he says. “The problem is you’ve got this steel fencing lying on the wet ground, and electric fencing doesn’t operate that way.” One option is to insulate the skids with rubber feet, which would avoid grounding the structure. This could also make it easier to move because the chickens would stay away from the walls. Moes has yet to implement the ideas, but he’s keeping them in mind as his farm continues to evolve. A bare patch of ground is ready to grow after being pecked and fertilized by a the chickens at Little Fork Ranch.
Breeders pin a value on traitsAbbotsford enhancement grants to boost raspberry productionMarcus Janzen, left, chair of the Abbotsford Community Foundation's agricultural enhancement grants committee, presented a cheque for $38,500 to enable research that will put dollar values on raspberry traits to James Bergen, chair of the Raspberry Industry Development Council, and berry researcher Michael Dossett. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNE30 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCIMPROVING IMPROVING AGRICULTURE!RENN0LOO&HQWHULV\RXU+6'LVWULEXWRUP: 403.784.3518 ZZZrennmill.comRENN Mill Center Inc. RR#4 Lacombe, AB T4L2N4The LW1100 In-Line Bale Wrapper features the new Honda EFI engine for fuel savings, and an updated hydraulic system for faster wrapping! Available in 12, 14, and 16 wheel models,H&S Hi-Capacity Rakes are the PRVWÀH[LEOHUDNHVRQWKHPDUNHWand feature an overhead frame design for high volume capacity of crop.by RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – Researchers are giving raspberry growers a way to select new varieties based on dollars and cents. A newly funded project will assign nancial values to specic berry traits such as harvest timing, rot resistance and pruning requirements which may lead to increased returns to growers. Michael Dossett, berry researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, says the study is the industry’s best shot at preventing the loss of acreage and declining yields. He notes that while BC still produces 78% of Canada’s raspberries (nearly 15 million pounds in 2019), primarily in Abbotsford, yield per acre has dropped 30% over the last 30 years. “There’s a whole long list of things you want in any variety, but you can’t have all of them so you need some way to prioritize,” Dossett says. “This will allow us to come up with an estimated economic value for everything. Right now, we have an idea of what’s important [from grower input]. The question really is how do you weigh all these dierent traits.” The “Economic Tools in Innovation in Raspberry Breeding” project received $38,500 through the Abbotsford Community Foundation’s agricultural enhancement grant program. The funds were presented to the Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association, which administers funding for berry development on behalf of the Raspberry Industry Development Council, on May 29. The funds, combined with funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, will support the new project. “We’ll be leveraging what we’re already doing as part of the breeding program,” says Dossett. “I’d been looking for alternative pieces of funding.” ACF’s funds will pay for an agricultural economist to determine values for each trait and develop formulas that put the results together to allow for better berry variety selection. “We’ll be able to take any given selection and estimate the economic value and then rank them that way,” says Dossett. “We’ll be guring out what the incremental or marginal values are for specic traits in raspberries so that we can create what’s called a selection index. We can estimate the value of what any particular variety would be.” The values will help determine which varieties to continue with and which to drop when Dossett discusses selections with growers. While yield is often seen as the grower’s Holy Grail, varieties that reduce labour can be just as benecial nancially. “It will give us some hard numbers,” he says. “What this is all about is guring out how can we develop a raspberry that is going to be more protable for the grower.”
Eleos Robotics CEO Yahoel Van Essen watches as his brother Sam (left) and Iain Kay (right) ne tune a prototype of the company's RoboWeeder. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 31Proudly offering quality farm equipment and wholesale farm product delivery across BC.Call, email or visit us firstname.lastname@example.orgCheck out our Einbock Tillage Equipment For Organic FarmingTine Weeders t3PX$SPQ$VMUJWBUPSTr3PUBSZ)PFT $BNFSB(VJEBODF4ZTUFNAND On In StockAEROSTAR 900 Tine WeederDELTA Drain Tile Cleaner *NQSPWFT%SBJOBHFr$POEJUJPOT4PJMr&DPOPNJDBM 3FMJBCMFr-PX.BJOUFOBODFr4BGFBOE1SPWFOSPECIAL PRICING On In Stock by RONDA PAYNE SURREY – Imagine having a weed-free eld that didn’t require back-breaking manual weeding or herbicides. It could be reality thanks to some made-in-BC technology. Surrey-based Eleos Robotics Inc. is set to begin commercial production of a fully autonomous robotic weeder later this year after four years of development. Eleos founder and CEO Yahoel Van Essen wants to eliminate herbicides while also delivering an eective time and money-saving option. “If you’re not spraying, you’re hand-weeding,” he says. “Growers are spending around $800 an acre to spray their elds. If they are hand-weeding, it’s much more. We want to provide a technology that can be used on an organic farm and make it economically advantageous.” The robotic weeder is more ecient at its task and more eective in removing weeds than either sprays or manual picking. The robot uses microwaves to destroy weeds and there is little or no harm done to adjacent perennial crops like blueberry bushes or grapevines. (It hasn’t yet been tested on annual crops.) “It becomes a no-brainer for the farmer,” says Van Essen. “We’re going through an environmental and labour crisis globally. It’s all connected.” Eleos raised $655,000 last year to develop a commercial prototype of the robot, now in version 4.0. It recently secured a $50,000 grant through the Abbotsford Community Foundation’s agricultural enhancement grants to begin commercial production. Jason Smith of Fraser Berry Farms in Abbotsford and an investor in the project can’t wait to get it into his blueberry eld later this season. “[Autonomous weed control] is taking something o my plate,” Smith says. “Right now, I’m trying to nd a window of weather where I’m trying to spray weeds. … It’s one less thing I have to worry about.” The robot navigates a eld using multi-spectral cameras. When it detects weeds, it microwaves them, causing them to wilt and start decomposing immediately. The robot patrols both day and night with a range of up to 30 acres. It returns to charge if the battery runs low so farmers don’t have to go looking for it. Since it is low to the ground and has a multi-hinged arm, it has minimal contact with crops, preventing damage to fruit. Smith’s only concern at this stage is whether the robot will be able to keep up with the weeds. While it’s autonomous, he acknowledges it will need to be checked occasionally to ensure proper functionality. In addition to Smith’s trial, Mission Hill Family Estate winery in Kelowna will have a robot this summer. Prototype is a Roomba for weed controlA new robotic weeder will provide autonomous, eco-friendly weed control for farmers“There are a handful of startups with weeding robots,” Van Essen says. “I’d say our dierentiator is we have the more eective way of removing weeds and we have the smallest. We have the most intelligent and, nally, we are one of the only robots that doesn’t use chemicals.” While COVID-19 and a break-in have delayed production, demand is strong. Van Essen says a waitlist has 41 growers on it. While there are a few kinks to be worked out, it’s all systems go for production. “We’re just guring out the maintenance issues and testing out systems,” he says. “We’re building something that has never been built before.” Although Willmar® pull-type spreaders can’t control the volatility of fertilizer prices, they can certainly help improve your margins by delivering product more accurately and eciently than any other spreader. What more could you ask for?For Small to Large Farm Operations
More isn’t always better. A study has found that a 35% increase in rainfall over the study period led to a 21% to 33% reduction in water inltration rates in soil and only a small increase in water retention. PHOTO / FILE32 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCServing 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 250-838-6414Soil health is, quite literally, the foundation of crop production and new research is digging into the complexities of soil structure. When it is dry, the tiny spaces in soil fill with air but, lower down, the spaces are filled with rainwater. In between is what is known as the capillary fringe, a dynamic and less understood layer in the soil where chemical, bacterial and microbial activity goes on, depending on the levels of air and water at any given time. The capillary fringe is known for the capillary action that constantly takes place as subterranean water rises above its level through its unique ability to flow upwards in narrow spaces in opposition to gravity. Researchers at Virginia Tech have been studying the capillary fringe in lab-based experiments to understand its influence on soil processes. The goal was to evaluate the effects of the capillary fringe moisture changes on biogeochemical processes and to assess if they were more similar to saturated or unsaturated zones. “Important processes like contaminant breakdown and carbon storage depend on the amount of water and oxygen available,” says graduate student Jaclyn Fiola. “Understanding the conditions in the capillary fringe will help us predict where certain soil processes will occur.” They packed five-gallon buckets with two kinds of soil, one sandy and one loamy. Holes near the bottom let in water, which was maintained at a constant height. Parameters measured over 118 days included soil moisture, inorganic nitrogen, decomposition, and reduction changes. To study the oxygen content, they painted PVC pipes with rust-embedded paint and inserted them into the soil. They found that, when there was not enough oxygen, microbes would breathe rust and that action turned the rust into a different form of iron that washed away. But what surprised them was that the water in both soil types rose the entire height of the buckets indicating the capillary fringe extended at least 9 inches (almost 23 cm). As well, the PVC pipes had lost their rust well above the water tables in the buckets. “This means the soil in the capillary fringe at least two inches (5 cm) above the water table is behaving like soil in the water table even though it's not fully saturated,” says Fiola. They found that decomposition was lowest in, and just above, the saturated water table and greatest where moisture and oxygen were balanced. Reducing conditions existed around 10 cm above the water table in the sandy soil and around 5 cm in the loamy soil, indicating that these regions share characteristics with the saturated zone. The research team is planning to study the capillary fringe in more realistic field conditions. “The capillary fringe is far too complicated to define based on one single measurement,” says Fiola. The study was published in Soil Science Society of America Journal. In another independent study, scientists from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, led a 25-year experiment in Kansas involving irrigation of prairie soil with sprinklers. The focus was that climate change may reduce the ability of soils to absorb water. This could have serious implications for groundwater, food production, food security, stormwater runoff, biodiversity and ecosystem functions. The scientists found that a 35% increase in rainfall over the study period led, surprisingly, to a 21% to 33% reduction in water infiltration rates in soil and only a small increase in water retention. The report, which was published in Science Advances, stated that the biggest changes were linked to shifts in relatively large pores, or spaces, in the soil. “Large pores capture water that plants and microorganisms can use, and that contributes to enhanced biological activity and nutrient cycling in soil and decreases soil losses through erosion,” the report stated. “With increased rainfall, plant communities had thicker roots that could clog larger pores and there were less intense cycles of soil expansion when water was added or contraction when water was removed.” The next step in the research is to investigate the mechanisms that drive the changes in order to extend those findings to other regions of the world and incorporate them into predictions of how ecosystems will respond to climate change. “Since rainfall patterns and other environmental conditions are shifting globally as a result of climate change, our results suggest that how water interacts with soil could change appreciably in many parts of the world, and do so fairly rapidly,” said co-author Daniel Giménez, soil scientist and professor in Rutger’s Department of Environmental Sciences. “We propose that the direction, magnitude and rate of the changes should be measured and incorporated into predictions of ecosystem responses to climate change.” Exploring the complexities of soil structureTwo recent studies get the real dirt on the movement of water through soil Research by MARGARET EVANSUSED EQUIPMENT N/H FP230 27P GRASS HEAD ............................................... 17,500 CLAAS VOLTO 1050 8 BASKET TEDDER ................................. 12,500 FELLA TS1502 2012, HAY RAKE ........................................... 20,000 MF 1372T 2008, 13FT DISCBINE, METAL ROLLERS.................... 22,000 USED TRACTORS KUBOTA T2380 2017, 48” DECK ............................................. 4,500 KUBOTA BX2360 2010, 1,900HRS, TRAC/MWR.......................... 9,750 KUBOTA F3680 2013, 600HRS, 60’ MWR & CATCHER ................ 21,500 N/H TN90F 1998, 7,600 HRS, CAB, MFWD................................ 8,000 CASE MAGNUM 225 CVT NEW ALO LOADER........................... 170,000 DEUTZ TTV 6130.4 2014, 1,760 HRS, LDR, FRONT 3PT/PTO....... 97,000 NEW INVENTORY: KUBOTA RAKES • TEDDERS • MOWERS • POWER HARROWS ....... 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 33Farm and Rural Residential Properties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, AIC Candidate250.email@example.com tourists a year? Globally, we have experienced food supply-chain issues. Just-in-time delivery means limited capacity for food storage. Tons of potatoes grown for French fries became useless across the globe. Single-serving milk cartons for school lunch programs are a poor substitute for home-based consumers. In the meat sector, producer prices are falling. High-end cuts of beef are no longer in demand. Across the globe, packing plant consolidation has meant more ecient production and more aordable food for consumers. But when one major processor goes oine, the risks to the food supply become crystal clear. The IFAJ calls have also revealed how the agricultural fortunes of exporting nations increasingly hinge on China. Argentina exports 70% of its beef and 22% of its pork to China. Parallel to shrinking rural populations is the loss of traditional, trusted rural media worldwide. In Australia, News Corp Australia recently announced it will close 36 publications and move 76 regional and local papers online. In April, Postmedia announced 80 layos and is closing 15 community papers in Manitoba and Ontario. What will be the lasting impact, particularly on the coverage of agricultural issues? Thankfully, border closures didn’t stop agricultural shipments. However, the pandemic has shone a spotlight on food security. I’ve always been proud to be Canadian, knowing we produced so much we could export to help feed others worldwide. I’ve never worried about having enough to eat, but my sense of personal relief was checked when a fellow writer in Liberia shared that his country imports most of its food. He was very worried about exporting countries cutting o food supplies. I also felt remorse. The International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations states on its website, “The COVID-19 crisis could put 265 million people at risk of acute hunger by the end of 2020.” The divide between countries with food and those without is abundantly clearly when you’re on a call with a farm writer in Africa. Can we continue to dump milk and let food spoil because there is neither the will nor the dollars to move product from place to place when others need it? To protect their own, some food-producing and exporting countries like Russia, Kazakhstan, India and Vietnam have imposed export bans or quotas, but how is that making the world better? Most of these issues aren’t new, but they are important. American historian Niall Ferguson calls the pandemic the biggest economic shock since the Great Depression. He says we need to start thinking about living in the world with COVID-19, not the world after. I think he’s right, and when it comes to agriculture, global thinking is required. COVID-19 is giving us an opportunity to reshape our world view and possibly change our path. May there be a will to make it so. Myrna Stark Leader is a regular contributor to Country Life in BC and a past president of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation. She lives in Kelowna. Isolation brings the world closerThe issues that unite us are greater than what divides usNever in my lifetime has anything focussed a lens on agriculture – provincially, nationally and internationally – like COVID-19. Over the past months, I’ve been part of a number of Zoom meetings with agriculture writers and communicators worldwide, members of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists. In a world of increasingly globalized food systems, IFAJers have always understood the value of communication, but it took a crisis to gather us in a way that hasn’t happened before. With 70 members on these calls representing more than 20 countries, our discussions have touched on the issues we share in common as we navigate these uncharted times. Food production’s reliance on foreign labour is global. Australia counts on backpackers; Israel relies on workers from Thailand; pickers in the UK are from Eastern Europe. Italy’s workers are from Romania. Spain employs Moroccan workers. The issues around foreign worker movement and safety, wages and living conditions and the debate over employing foreigners when domestic workers are unemployed are very much the same. At a global level, this issue highlights the real tension between the public’s demand for cheap food and the precarious situation countries face if foreign workers aren’t available. Like here, in the outback of Australia and in Scotland, agritourism is a way to diversify and grow farm income. However, grim predictions for tourism numbers and cancellations of farm weddings, events and tours brings uncertainly. Tourism also impacts the restaurant industry, shrinking the market for local food products. Did you know that 60% of the butter produced in the United States goes to restaurants and that Turkey grows food to serve seven Viewpoint by MYRNA STARK LEADERCooper, 5, from Revelstoke, enjoyed a Father’s Day outing visiting with some of the Holstein calves at D Dutchman Dairy in Sicamous. Visitors can enjoy their ice cream, milk or cheese while checking out the animals that produce the ingredients. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER Buds
34 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCGIVE YOURSELF THE AVE NUEFarmers are the lifeblood of our civilization. Uncountable hours of hard work go into keeping the people fed. Avenue Machinery wants to offer a hearty thank you to all the farmers. We don’t say it enough. ABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411COURTESYOURTESYThe ideal seedbed consists of a powdery yet substantive tilth. Here’s one of my burning life questions: How? More specically: Which piece of equipment should next be attached to the tractor in the pursuit of such. On our farm, I am sorry to say, the question comes up a lot and the answer is usually very unclear. An obvious barrier is our fertility program, which relies completely on building organic matter during a ve-year rotation of cover crops between the cash crop. That’s a lot of forage and mulch to be broken down prior to seeding. To that end, we have many cultivation implements and each of them may be adjusted for depth, speed, spacing, drag, tilt and more, depending on conditions which seem to be innitely variable. So many decisions. Furthermore, unfortunately, and critically, all this farming has failed to stamp out our perfectionist streak. We are pretty much doomed. I note the ease with which other farms in my general vicinity seem to achieve seedbed perfection. They possibly do the same thing every year, in the same order, equipped with perfectly adjusted implements and the breezy condence that loose, owy loam will be the result of their application. Many of them kill their forage rst with a chemical. Now, as an organic farmer, I realize it is not cool to admire a tillage practice that utilizes a forage-killing chemical, so I don’t. Today’s world demanding inclusivity, however, I can admit the appeal and contribution made by agricultural chemicals in the creation of perfect seedbeds. And while we’re on the topic, consider that a weed-lled acre of carrots, which to me represents an entire growing season of near-constant apoplexy, may be rendered weed free in a matter of hours just days after planting. One pass with the sprayer and that eld will shortly present nicely ordered rows of nothing but carrots proceeding unhindered on the path to large and consistently cylindrical carroty perfection. It is a marvel and I get it. I really do. Weeds trump carrots Our carrot seeds are germinating along with, but probably slightly behind, all the weeds imaginable. Also, there are hard dirt chunks in the seed bed. They are there because we had to incorporate a verdant fall rye cover crop growing in the cool, moist soil before cultivating for carrots. We recently planted potatoes into a eld that in places looked like a hay bale had been exploded. We just couldn’t get the cover crop buried and broken down enough before planting. Perfection is not being achieved this year. On our farm, we have two types of farmer, representing subsets of perfectionism: the bung-em-in crowd (ironically devoted to perfecting imperfection), and the let’s-do-this-right crowd (steadfast in the endless pursuit). Recount: there are three types of farmers. There is also the type that moves in both worlds, willing and able to perform the functions of each, yet lacking the consistency of either. I am the third farmer, and this year my devotion is to job completion satisfaction. COVID-19 has meant that most of my farming is done in the company of a seven-year-old sidekick, whose name is Productivity Impediment. Alone time on the farm is a precious occurrence and seeding carrots the solo job that had to be completed. Today it rained and I kept planting. Mud balled up the Stanhay seeder, which consequently caused about a quarter of the carrot seeds to be deposited on top on the soil. We, all three types, had to cover them with hand hoes. Not a perfect start to the carrot crop. You know what? I think it will be okay. Anna Helmer is intrigued with this notion of blaming a global health pandemic for this year’s crop of farming ops and is starting to keep a list at her farm in Pemberton. Weeds make perfection an impossible dreamSeedbeds are fields of dreams — build them and weeds will comeFarm Story by ANNA HELMERcool,
Matthew Vasilev and Katie Selbee are ready to open a tasting room at Twin Island Cider on Pender Island as COVID-19 sanctions start to lift. PHOTO / SUBMITTEDCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 35by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER PENDER ISLAND – Katie Selbee and Matthew Vasilev of Twin Island Cider on Pender Island have a business as unique and authentic as the cider they produce, taking apples from century-old orchards on the Gulf Islands and fermenting them traditionally with naturally occurring yeasts in their farm-based cidery. They started just four years ago after three years of planning and preparation. “It is a shared dream, and a more viable option than starting a veggie farm,” says Vasilev. Selbee is a graduate of the UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture. She followed it with a year growing mixed vegetables on an urban farm with other program graduates, running the farm’s CSA (community- supported agriculture) program. She also completed an orchard internship at UBC Farm. It was at UBC Farm where the two met. Vasilev had experience making cider and had also worked in organic farming and food distribution in both Montreal and Vancouver. “We were both drawn to the close-knit community and the social and environmental justice aspects of small organic farming,” says Selbee. They toured cideries in BC, Washington and the UK. They talked to cider makers. They also started making cider from the Vasilev family’s orchard on Pender Island. They preferred the traditional style of natural fermentation. “The traditional, or hobby style, is the best cider in the world,” says Vasilev. They realized that the way they wanted to make cider, however, was labour intensive and risky. “It is hard to scale up, but it is authentic,” explains Vasilev, “You have to do it yourself. Use simple tools and simple methods.” The pair soon partnered with cider-lovers Sandra MacPherson and Noel Hall who had recently purchased farmland with a neglected old homestead and orchard on Pender Island. “Within three months, we were rolling,” says Vasilev. “We BC FRUIT GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION 1-800-619-9022 (ext 1) email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bcfga.comANNOUNCEMENT: Application forms and the updated requirements of the 2021 Tree Fruit Replant Program are now available on the BCFGA website, www.bcfga.com. Project applications (along with the required documents) will be received by November 30, 2020. Please avoid the last minute rush and get your application in early. An horticultural advisor is required to sign individual applications for the 2021 Tree Fruit Replant Program. The following information will be provided to assist growers in completing applications. a. A list of qualied advisors. b. Program operational policies. c. A series of reports on replanting and variety performance and selection are available and should be referenced when preparing a Tree Fruit Replant Program Application. The Tree Fruit Replant Program provides funding for quality projects. Project approval is subject to funding availability and is allocated by the date of receipt of applications. Completed projects are veried by inspection and must attain minimum program standards. The Tree Fruit Replant Program is a 7 year program, funded by the Province of BC. 2021 Tree Fruit Replant ProgramManage your water resource! Get daily weather data from a station near youwere starting from the ground up, every skill, every aspect.” They learned from the orchard and cider community, making valuable contacts, and learning the necessary skills. They collected scion wood of cider apple varieties from various sources. Year zero was all about grafting and planting 1,300 cider-variety trees, including Yarlington Mill, Dabinett and Chisel Jersey for a two-acre orchard, and rehabilitating heritage orchards. The rst cider batches were blends of Gulf Island and Okanagan apples with a goal of 7,000 litres. They soon honed their skills to harvest and process 32,000 pounds of fruit from 30 orchards. Last year, 60,000 pounds of fruit from 48 properties on North and South Pender, Mayne and Saturna islands were harvested. Vasilev estimates the fruit included 70 to 100 varieties of apples. Seventeen orchards were pruned last year. This valuable service alone has given Selbee and Vasilev access to a range of orchards for each harvest. The under-utilized old orchards have also received a fresh purpose. “The older trees that have been neglected produce more phenolics, which is important in cider quality,” says Vasilev. “They are dry farmed, which is a great legacy.” Total control Every aspect of production, marketing and sales is kept in-house. They work to keep it enjoyable, small and creative. “We do all the milling/pressing ourselves at the cidery with the help of family and a couple of part-time helpers,” says Selbee. “We use a traditional rack and cloth press. It’s very labour and time-intensive but worth the amount of control it gives us over the nal product.” “There is no slow time; we work year-round and do it all,” says Vasilev. This attention to detail and hands-on approach to the work has made it a challenge to stay on top of the two-acre orchard they originally planted. The leases of the old orchards have distracted them, and the new trees struggled with a canker and a less-than-perfect site. This year, the plan is to expand with more two-year old trees in a sunnier spot. But it is perhaps their non-farming skills that give them Cidermakers give fresh purpose to island orchardsClose to 100 varieties of apples gathered for farmstead ciderSee TRADITIONAL on next page o
TRADITIONAL nfrom page 3536 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCWhen we left o last time, Susan Henderson was telling Lois all about Newt Pullman’s generous oer to have her and the kids stay with him while Kenneth and Deborah self-isolate at home when they arrived back from their vacation. Over at the coee club table, Jimmy Vincent was all ears. Rural Redemption, part 124, continues ... Frank was dumbstruck by the news that Susan Henderson was planning to shack up with Newt Pullman. Jimmy Vincent took a long sip of coee while it sunk in. Frank’s jaw was hanging like the tailgate on a 29-year-old pickup. “That can’t be so,” said Frank. “Where’d you hear that?” “Right here. Right from the lady herself. If you’da been here ve minutes ago, you coulda heard it for yourself. Right, Lois?” “No, Jimmy. That’s not what she said, and I’ll thank you to leave me out of it.” Jimmy turned back to Frank. “Maybe didn’t say it in so many words, but that was the upshot of what she was saying.” “I’ll believe it when I hear it with my own ears,” said Frank as he strode out the door. “Well, Lois, don’t you wish you were going to be a y on the wall for that conversation?” “You know what I wish, Jimmy? I wish you were more like a sh.” “A sh? I don’t follow.” “Surest way for a sh to stay out of trouble is keep its mouth shut,” said Lois. “Do us all a favour and start thinking like a sh.” vvv Frank climbed into his old Ford wrecker and headed o in hot pursuit of Susan Henderson. She was still getting out of her car when he turned up the driveway. “Good morning again,” said Susan. “I’d like to have a word with you,” said Frank. “Certainly,” said Susan, sensing his agitation. “Is there something wrong?” “I’ll get right to the point. Folks are saying you’re planning on moving in with Newt. Is that so?” “What FOLKS did you hear this from?” “At the store.” “Do you mean from Lois?” “Yeah, her and Jimmy Vincent. Jimmy says you told Lois and Lois says you didn’t tell her that, so I don’t know who said what.” “That’s the trouble with gossip, isn’t it?” said Susan. “That’s why I’m here. I just want you to level with me. I think you owe me that much.” “Well, I think perhaps you are trying to collect a debt that isn’t due.” “I’m just going to lay my cards on the table.” “Oh, please do,” said Susan. “A man doesn’t like to have his aections tried with and folks ought to be honest with one another when it comes to aairs of the heart. That’s all I’m asking. You can’t say you haven’t been leading me on, asking me to join you for dinner when you got stood up and the like.” “Oh yes, the ambush at the seaside restaurant. Were you being honest then?” Frank gulped uncomfortably. “I only did that because Pullman swooped in and laid a-hold of you before I even got a chance. The point is, I like you just as much as he does, probably more, and you need a chance to weigh your options before you go settin’ up shop at his place.” “Frank, I don’t know where to begin, and given the fact you have a wife, I’m not even going to try. Let’s just say that all of the conclusions you’ve jumped to are mistaken and leave it at that, alright?” “So, if I get your drift, and none of what I’m thinking is right… there’s no reason you and me can’t go on seeing each other is there?” “I can think of two reasons,” said Susan. “First of all, you can’t go on doing something you weren’t doing in the rst place and second, you have a WIFE, Frank.” “So does Pullman. His wife is as alive and kicking as mine.” “Newt has an ex-wife, Frank. Not quite the same thing, is it? Look, Deborah and Kenneth are away, and they will be in isolation for two weeks when they get home. Newt has very kindly oered to let the children and I stay with him until we can go back home.” “I’ve got a house, too. You’d all be welcome to stay with me.” “That’s very thoughtful of you but I’ll have to decline.” “I’m only oering so you don’t end up trapped into going to Newt’s place.” “Again, very thoughtful, but not necessary.” “I guess this is goodbye then,” said Frank. “Yes, I think it is,” said Susan. Five minutes later, Frank walked back into the store. “Cleared the air, did ya’?” said Jimmy. “Oh ya. I set her straight, that’s for sure,” said Frank. “What’d you say? How’d she take it?” asked Jimmy. “Remember the sh, Jimmy. Be the sh!” called Lois. vvv As soon as Frank was gone, Susan drove next door to Newt’s house. “Come to take the grand tour before you make up your mind?” asked Newt. “Apparently my mind’s already made up.” “How’s that?” asked Newt. “I just had a kind of strange visit from Frank. According to him, there’s a rumor ying about us living together.” “And did Frank say where he came by it?” “At the store. I mentioned to Lois that you had oered us a place to stay.” “Doesn’t sound like Lois. She’s death on gossip.” “Not Lois. I guess old Mr. Vincent overheard.” “Ah. Well. That cat’s out of the bag and long gone then. I hate to think of where it will wander o to.” “That said, maybe we should cut it o at the pass. If the oer still stands, the kids and I would like to accept,” said Susan. “Of course it still stands. But don’t you at least want a look around before you take the plunge?” Newt gave Susan the grand tour. “What a wonderful house, Newt. I had no idea it was anything like this.” “Chris tells me it reminds him of his grandfather’s house in the city.” “Trust me,” said Susan shaking her head. “This is nowhere near as heartless and dreary as the Kingston pen.” “It will be all the more warm and cheery for all of you being here,” said Newt. “Bring the kids over after supper and they can pick rooms so you’ll be all ready to move over when Deborah and Ken get home.” Susan took Newt’s hand and leaned her head on his shoulder. “So, do you want to set the rumour mill straight then?” she asked. “Nah, let’s let it go for a few days just for the hell of it.” Newt winced as Susan dug her elbow into his ribs. ... to be continuedFrank makes Susan’s deliberation easyWoodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINSthe edge: Vasilev has a degree in history from McGill, and Selbee graduated in honours English from UBC, and she is a talented artist as well. These skills have brought the historical importance of the land, traditional fermentation methods, and heritage orchards to the forefront. "It's neat to do everything in-house from harvesting to bottling to design," says Selbee. They have a large garden, and last year used their garage to host a farm store for the Pender Growers Collective, a group of small-scale and backyard growers. “Our values are embedded in what we do,” says Vasilev. Vasilev credits Selbee with pushing new ideas, such as presenting cider like wine which can command a higher price. They are looking for ways to diversify into related products such as apple cider vinegar, but they also want to maintain their authenticity. Plans have been tempered by COVID-19, but some changes made last fall made the shift easier. A cider club sends subscribers a shipment of selected batches of cider to their door, and the online ordering system has been useful with the tasting room closed. “We used to have 50% to 60% of our sales from the tasting room, and it has been closed three months now,” says Vasilev. “COVID has strengthened our customer base. It boosted online sales.” The other 50% of sales is from restaurant and liquor stores. Both have decreased as well during the pandemic, but Vasilev remains optimistic. They are lucky, he says, because alcohol remains in high demand even in times of crisis. Like many small businesses, Twin Island Cider applied for and received a $40,000 loan from the Canada Emergency Business Account but it was not eligible for funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. MAIL TO 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4 email@example.com Don’t miss a single issue of Country Life in BC!CREDIT CARD # _____________________________________________________________ EXP _____________________________________________ CVV ______________________oNEW oRENEWAL | oONE YEAR ($18.90) oTWO YEARS ($33.60) oTHREE YEARS ($37.80) Name Address City Postal Code Phone Email NEWS & INFORMATION YOU NEED! Join thousands of BC farmers and ranchers who 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!
Veggie Days adapts to event restrictionsBC Ag in the Classroom creates Fresh Flavours cooking seriesVideos showing Chef Trevor Randle preparing dishes using BC greenhouse-grown vegetables replaced the annual Veggie Days greenhouse tours, cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO / AITCCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 37by RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – A highly successful outreach initiative of the BC Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association every May is BC Greenhouse Veggie Days. The week-long event includes a retail promotion as well as school tours that bring up to 1,500 students through four Lower Mainland greenhouses in partnership with the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. But this year, school closures and restrictions on large events thanks to COVID-19 forced BC AITC executive director Pat Tonn and her team to reconsider how they could ensure the message, and BC-grown vegetables, still got into the hands of students and their families. “We were talking with Chef Trevor Randle, who is our celebrity chef with Agriculture in the Classroom, and Chef Randle said to us, ‘Well, why don’t we take it to the classroom?’” explains Tonn. “So we talked with the greenhouse growers and they were really happy about that.” The Fresh Flavours cooking series, available on the BC AITC website, launched with six new recipes and videos of Randle preparing them from his home kitchen using BC greenhouse-grown tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Ruben Houweling, general manager at Houweling’s Group in Delta, is one of this year’s four participating greenhouse operators. The casual setting for the cooking series and the greenhouse tour videos that show how the food is grown resonate with him. “I was involved in previous years with the greenhouse tours,” he says. “Students were so engaged in the greenhouse. There were so many questions. We had to have another way [during COVID] to reach out to them and keep them engaged and keep them in touch with what we are doing.” To support the videos, 586,000 servings each of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers were provided by BC AITC to students around the province with food security challenges and in culinary arts programs. Tonn explains school district hubs were established with teams of coordinators to dole out the vegetables that would normally be distributed in local schools. Where the school district couldn’t handle distribution, BC AITC delivered vegetables to the local food bank for distribution in the community. “We typically deliver a school fruit and vegetable program to over 90% of the schools in British Columbia,” she says. Chefs in the organization’s Take a Bite of BC program have circulated the Fresh Flavours videos to students, encouraging them to make a home project of it. “We know there’s lots of learning at home right now,” says Tonn. “There’s an opportunity for people who are checking our website to get the information and do the learning at home.” Houweling says it’s important to get younger people in touch with where their food is grown. “There’s always challenges in … the way the public might view what you’re doing,” he says. “When you can speak to people and they can say, ‘Yeah, I know, I’ve been in a greenhouse and I’ve seen how it works,’ it makes people more relatable.” Tonn says with the prospect of COVID-19 being an issue well into the next school year, she is exploring additional ways to present BC AITC programs. Teachers will be given electronic resources to provide to their classes where possible, for example. Houweling sees this ongoing exposure to agriculture as a good thing – not just because it’s a form of education about the industry and is getting produce into the hands of kids and families, but also because students are the future of the greenhouse industry. “Whether it’s crop work or growing, looking at nutrition or fertilizer, or pests, who’s going to implement IPM, who’s going to be the technicians and control greenhouse equipment, these are all jobs that young people might not even be aware of,” he says. 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38 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCSummer food in colourThis light salad dressing is good on many dierent green salads, from strawberry, blue cheese and pecan; to feta, pear and walnut; raspberry, cucumber and shrimp; or chicken and avocado, all with lovely fresh, BC-grown greens and herbs. 6 tbsp. (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil 4 tbsp. (60 ml) lemon juice 3 tbsp. (45 ml) water2 tbsp. (30 ml) white wine vinegar 2 tbsp. (30 ml) black mustard seeds 2 tbsp. (30 ml) poppy seeds 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) dry mustard 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) brown sugar 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) fresh-ground black pepper1/2 tsp. (2 ml) sea salt • Put all ingredients in a small jar or cruet and shake well until it’s emulsied. Keeps for a week or so in the refrigerator. • Serves 8-10.This is not a savoury pizza, but a very fun, colourful dessert, alive with fresh fruit atop a cookie crust and cream cheese icing. You could substitute whatever fruit you have on hand. Make double this recipe for a larger pizza pan instead of a shallow pie pan. Cookie crust: 1/4 c. (60 ml) butter 2 tbsp. (30 ml) icing sugar 1/2 c. (125 ml) our • Pre-heat oven to 350° F. • Mix crust ingredients together well until they can be brought together into a ball you can atten out on a shallow pie pan to form the ‘crust’ for your dessert pizza. • Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Icing base: 1/4 c. (60 ml) cream cheese 2 tbsp. (30 ml) sugar 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) vanilla Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together well until it is the consistency of icing and set aside until the cookie crust has cooled. Spread over the cookie crust. Fruit topping: • Core and slice pears; peel and slice peaches; or pit and slice apricots. It’s nice to use fruit of a contrasting colour for the second ring, so I used peeled and sliced kiwi. • For the inner ring, I used fresh strawberries, sliced; but raspberries, cherries or other fruit would also work well. I dotted the outer ring with fresh blueberries, because the contrasting colour and avours are so inviting. • Spritz the entire pie with a little lemon juice to keep the colours fresh and make it glisten. • Alternatively, you could glaze the top. Glaze (optional): 1 tbsp. (15 ml) cornstarch 1 tbsp. (15 ml) brown sugar 1/3 c. (75 ml) orange juice 1/4 c. (60 ml) light-coloured jelly • Blend together in a small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a bubble and becomes thick and clear. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly before spooning over the fruit topping. • Serves 4-8, depending on the slice size. LEMON, MUSTARD AND POPPY SEED DRESSINGSweet, colourful summer pizza. PHOTO / JUDIE STEEVESPEACH OR PEAR PIZZASince we eat with our eyes first, adding colour to salad greens or dessert is an inviting way to encourage big and little appetites to enjoy what’s healthy instead of what’s fried in deep fat. Add some fresh, local BC beef, chicken, pork or lamb to your plate and you have a simple, healthy meal that supports your neighbours and friends as well as your own health. Eat well and stay healthy and safe. With mid-summer comes the opportunity to make use of a cornucopia of fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables from the farms, fields, orchards and berry patches of BC. We are so lucky to have the local, raw ingredients for a wide variety of salads, desserts and main dishes right on our doorsteps. For boosting your immune system and staying healthy, there’s nothing like increasing your intake of fresh, simple produce instead of reaching for the convenience foods located in boxes in the centre of your grocery store or at the local drive-through. The most difficult part of making a salad is probably washing the greens and drying them in a salad spinner before popping them into a bowl and adding some fresh, crunchy vegetables. I like a bit of local cheese in my salad, particularly if it’s my whole lunch, and I love adding the crunch of nuts and seeds as a garnish for salads. If salad is a bad word in your household, try adding a touch of sweet with fresh berries or cherries, chopped peaches, apricots, pears and apples, and see if you can get those taste buds turned around. Cucumbers and celery can be chopped into any salad, whether or not fruit or cheese are part of the mix. Try this magical Lemon, Mustard and Poppy Seed Dressing for a lean way to add flavour to the whole mix just before it’s served. With the lemon and mustard, it has a bit of pizazz and there’s a bite of crunchy seeds, too. And, for dessert, go wild and top a cookie iced with cream cheese with fresh fruit, in all the colours of the rainbow. Everyone will want to eat their fruit this way. Jude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESFresh, cheery fruit and berries make summer eating sweet
COUNTRY LIFE IN BC JULY 2020 | 39TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTLIVESTOCKLIVESTOCKTRACTORS/EQUIPMENTFOR SALECOURTENAY HEREFORDS. Cattle for Sale: yearling bulls and bred heifers. John 250/334-3252 or Johnny 250-218-2537.RAVEN HILL MEADOWS Flock reduc-tion - will consider offers on yearling rams and ewes, yearling rams and ewes and mature ewes. We need to downsize.250-722-1882. NanaimoNEW 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. Toll Free 1-888-357-0011 www.ultra-kelp.comREGISTRATION NO. 990134 FEEDS ACT EXCELLENT RESULTS FOR 35 YEARS! FLACK’S BAKERVIEW KELP PRODUCTS INC Pritchard, BC (est. 1985)COMMUNITYHAYREAL ESTATESEEDBILL AWMACK1-888-770-7333PYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 firstname.lastname@example.org www.coppercreekranch.com PRINCETON, BC Raising registered polled & horned Herefords & F1s. BREEDING BULLS FOR SALE. Call DON GILOWSKI 250-260-0828 Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd INTERESTED IN BUYING OR SELLING OKANAGAN FARM, RANCH OR ACREAGE? Exciting New Crop!DIVERSIFY YOUR FARM WITH HASKAPS & HONEYBERRIES!This Super Berry has an amazing avour and is loaded with antioxidants & vitamins. It is known for its health benets and role in prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases! Sold at premium prices, they are great for value added products like juices, jams, jellies, value added nutraceuticals and alcoholic beverages!4290 Wallace Hill Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 4B6info@agriforestbiotech.com 250.764.2224 www.agriforestbiotech.com YOUR GO-TO PLACE FOR • Small square bales of horse HAY & STRAW • Distillery WHEAT & RYE EGBERT SCHUTTER 403-393-2418 email@example.comDISCOVER PRINCE GEORGE NEARLY 500 ACRES of excellent farmland. Stunning views. Only 800 m from Tachick Lake. $1,190,900 WHAT A DELIGHT! Expansive ranch home with exquisite views. Ideal horse property w/private spring fed lake. The home beams with an abundance of natural daylight. Just over 3,000 sqft over 3 levels. 128 acres. $699,900 NEARLY 500 ACRES of prime farm land on Fraser River, almost all in cultivation. 5 bed/3 bath home, outbuildings. Turn-key cattle ranch and/or prosperous haying enterprise. MLS®R2163561 $1,400,000 CASH FLOW! 5 homes on one peaceful 4.4 acre lot. All houses have been renovated. Completely turnkey. RANCHERS & DAIRY FARMERS: 637 acres, 2 residences, 6 mas-sive outbuildings, 15 km from downtown PG. MLS C8030418 $3,330,000 150+ 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. MOUNTAIN RESORT on 82.2 acres. 17 furnished chalets, 50 RV campsites. MLS®C8019821 $5,500,000Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 FARM EQUIPMENT • FIELD SPRAYERS, Truck,Trailer and 3PH models, 150 to 800 gal, 50’ to 90’, Hyd, Mech, or Wheel back fold. Call for details. • NORTHWEST ROTOTILLER, Straw-berry Row-Crop 2 row, $2950. • 2 NEW CULTIVATORS, 3ph, 5 and 6’ S-tines, $650 each. • JD CULTIVATOR, Row-Crop for Spe-cialty crops, 4 row, $950. • IH CULTIVATOR / SIDE-DRESSER, Granular Fert, 4 row, $1850. • CULTIVATOR PARTS, New Duck Foot tips, Call for other parts. • KUBOTA FLAIL MOWER, 50” 3ph, $1950. • FLAIL PADDLE MOWER, 9’ Drawbar Pull, Swath Boards, 540 PTO, $1500. • KUHN GC300G Disc Mower Condi-tioner, 10’ cut, low acres, $11,900. • JD 467 Square Baler, low bale count, 1/4 turn shute, hyd tension, can show bales, $10,500. • JD 670 Rake, wheel drive, drawbar pull, $1850. • NH S1049 BALE WAGON, Self-Pro-pelled, low usage, $19,500. • NH 258 and 260 Rakes with tow bar, V-Combo set, $5900. • VICON WHEEL RAKES, 4 to 8 wheel, 3ph, drawbar and V Combinations, $350 to $1400. • HAY WAGON and Utility Trailer Chas-sis, $200 to $2000. • NEW BALE SPEARS for Skid Steer and loader bucket mount, $150 to $550. • NEW SKID STEER Brush Cutter 72’ head, $3250. • FORD UTILITY TRACTOR, 57 hp, Cab, 3ph, PTO, mid-mount Sickle Mower and front mount detachable Angle Broom, Ex Military, Less than 1000 hrs $15,500. • FEEDER HAY, 400-16’ by 18’ Bales on trailers, can deliver, OFFERS! Call Jim for Anything! Abbotsford at 604-852-6148Looking for an organic mineral supplement? Balanced and natural, kelp is a great supplement for horses, cattle, sheep and goats AND its organic! $60 for 25lbs. To order call: (250)-838-6684 Located in Enderby, B.C. FOR SALEFeeders & Panels that maintain their value!ROUND BALE FEEDERS BIG SQUARE BALE FEEDERS FENCE PANELS CATTLE & HORSE FEEDERSHeavy duty oil field pipe bale feeders. Feed savers, single round bale feeders outside measurement is 8’x8.5.’ Double round bale feeder measurement is 15’x8’. Silage bunk feeders. For product pictures, check out Double Delichte Stables on Facebook Dan 250/308-9218 ColdstreamPacifc Forage Bag Supply Ltd.www.pacificforagebag.comCall 604.319.0376BERRIESDeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCJD 7200 4WD, CAB, LDR 45,000 JD 6410 MFWD, CAB, LDR SOLD! JD 2750 MFWD, CAB, LDR 29,000 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 250/804-61472015 INTERNATIONAL TERRASTAR 4WD w/sleeper, 17ft. custom-built deck with hydraulic lift gate, like new in and out with only 16,000 km. $63,500; 2012 business class FREIGHTLINER M2 106 24ft flatbed truck with Cummins diesel, 6 speed standard trans. Many unique features. 240,000 miles. Looks/runs great, recent service, $35,500; Antique CASE-O-MATIC 830 farm tractor, runs like new, looks great, 60 HP $3,800; ROCK PICKER former potato harvester but works great removing rocks. Rugged machine w/large catch box. Ugly but works beautifully. $3,500. 400 liter TIDY TANK w/15 gpm pump, new hose, nozzle. Like new. $650; MX7 JOHN DEERE finish-ing mower used only one season, $3,800; FRONTIER RT1207 large tiller just like new, $4,500. RANKIN B27 ripper subsoiler, like new, $2,500 Carl, 604-825-9108FOR SALE Registered Texel Ram & Ewe Lambs High percentage Texel ewe lambs Freezer lamb 250-546-6223 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nlayfarm.com ALBERT & DENA FINLAY 1952 RASHDALE RD., ARMSTRONGUSED & NEW SHIPPING CONTAINERS Perfect for any storage needs. www.coastcontainers.ca 866-761-2444 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$8l^ljk@jjl\;\X[c`e\1Alcp)+#)')' BC farmers & ranchers raising meat outside the conventional system www.smallscalemeat.caIRRIGATIONIrrigation Pipe | Traveling Gun/Hose ReelsPivots | Pumps | Power UnitsCall for a quote on Irrigation Design and our current inventory of new & used Irrigation Equipment.Several used 1,200ft pivots & used hose reels available now.TALK TO BROCK 250.319.3044Dynamic Irrigation email@example.com EQUIPMENT DISPERSAL 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. Loaded, as new, 597 hours. Warranty till May 2023. $76,500 NEW HOLLAND 824 2 row corn head $1,250 20 ft HAY WAGON, aircraft tires, heavy duty, $1,500 TONY 604-850-4718TOP BORDER COLLIE pups for sale. Ranch-raised for cattle or sheep. Ready for new homes July 15. First shots & wormed. 250-706-7077Reg. breeding pair of BELGIAM MALINOIS DOGS. Best of the best. European bloodlines. Reg., vaccintaed, micro-chipped. Some canine exp necessary. 250-333-8862. firstname.lastname@example.orgCOW/CALF for sale. WAGYU calf born Apr 20 w/3 yr old Angus cross cow. Asking $2,400. Pitt Meadows. Text or call Arnie 778-908-8513
40 | JULY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCGREAT TOOLS FOR GREAT RESULTSFor over 40 years, Great Plains has innovated tillage, seeding and nutrient application equipment to give customers the right tools to achieve great results. You can now nd Great Plains implements, parts, and service exclusively at your local Kubota Dealer. Contact us today.kubota.ca | 1521 Sumas Way, Box 369Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z6(604) 864-9568avenuemachinery.caAVE010PROUD PARTNER OFOLIVER GERARD’S EQUIPMENT LTD 250/498-2524 PRINCE GEORGE HUBER EQUIPMENT 250/560-5431 SMITHERS HUBER EQUIPMENT 888/538-6137 VERNON AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/545-3355 ABBOTSFORD AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 604/864-2665 COURTENAY NORTH ISLAND TRACTOR 250/334-0801 CRESTON KEMLEE EQUIPMENT LTD 250/428-2254 DAWSON CREEK DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/782-5281 DUNCAN ISLAND TRACTOR & SUPPLY LTD 250/746-1755 KAMLOOPS DOUGLAS LAKE EQUIPMENT 250/851-2044 KELOWNA AVENUE MACHINERY CORP 250/769-8700