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May 2020

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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. 5The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 MAY 2020 | Vol. 106 No. 5APIARISTSBeekeepers stung about import issues 9 DAIRYCOVID-19 leads to oversupply of dairy13 FRUITCo-op considers four-way fix at crossroads17by PETER MITHAM WILLIAMS LAKE – High temperatures prompted the rapid melt of above-average snowpacks in the upper and middle Fraser basins in mid-April, delivering high streamows to the Cariboo. Several ranches were hit with water and had to relocate equipment and livestock as this issue went to press, but Cariboo Regional District spokesperson Chris Keam was unable to say more. “It’s simply too early to tell,” he said. “There are denitely ranches and farms that have water on their property as a result of ooding or spring freshet, but we wouldn’t have a total number of hectares impacted or anything like that yet.” City sta in Williams Lake reported ooding unseen in living memory, estimating that ows were in the 150 to 200-year range. BC Ministry of Agriculture sta said ooding had largely impacted access to ranches and cattle, inundated elds of forage and damaged infrastructure such as fences. “The ministry has yet to receive any specic requests for assistance with relocating or caring for livestock,” the ministry added, noting that a sta member was in the Cariboo, Chilcotin, and Prince George emergency operations centres to assist producers. The province has poured a great deal of resources into mitigating ood risks since the disastrous 2017 season, which was followed by equally devastating wildres. A new tasting room and shiny new tanks at Forbidden Spirits in Kelowna risked sitting idle last month when the province limited gatherings to ght COVID-19. Instead, co-founder and CEO Blair Wilson joined a number of alcohol producers province-wide that began producing industrial-strength alcohol for much-needed sanitizer during the pandemic. Wilson still hopes to make good on Forbidden Spirits’ rst overseas shipments of apple vodka when the pandemic ends. Read Myrna Stark Leader’s story on page 37. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER Spring melt floods Cariboo1-888-770-7333 Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!SPRING TIME IS PLANTING TIME!See FLOODING on next page oGrowing more with less waterwatertecna.comttttttttIRRIGATION LTD1.888.675.7999 888 6 9999888669999 Diesel & PTO Pumps PVC & Aluminum PipeIrrigation ReelsDRIP IRRIGATIONCentre PivotsWorker health in focusOrchards step upby PETER MITHAM OLIVER – With foreign and domestic workers starting to arrive in the Okanagan for another season, growers are grappling with provincial health guidelines designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. “It’s going to start the rst week of May for grapes, doing some shoot-thinning in vineyards,” says Ron Forrest, the BC Fruit Growers Association liaison who connects domestic workers, including hundreds of Quebec youth, with local growers each summer. “People should start coming in between the rst week of May and the third week of May.” Given this year’s anticipated labour shortage, he was on the ground by mid-See COVID-19 on next page oRapid response

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COVID-19 puts wrinkle in farm labour nfrom page 1FLOODING nfrom page 1A combination of factors is usually needed to deliver a disastrous ooding: a high snowpack, high temperatures and rain. A snowpack will, ideally, melt slowly, providing moisture through the growing season. A warm spring will accelerate the melt. When both snowpack and temperatures are above average, ood risk is, too. With the provincial snowpack at 111% of normal at the beginning of March, and 135% of normal in the upper Fraser region, producers considered there to be a clear risk of flooding. With much of the local landscape scarred by fire and water-holding capacity diminished, the potential for run-off was that much higher. April, scouting out local campsites – legal and illegal – for workers. While the workers will be in high demand this year, the communities where they work have also voiced concerns about the seasonal inux. Several local mayors and the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce have all expressed fears regarding domestic migrants. Some residents worry they could incubate disease in their encampments and facilitate the spread of COVID-19 in the Okanagan. While several provinces require new arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days, even if arriving from within Canada, BC has opted for a far more liberal regime. It has so far rejected the implementation of checkpoints or travel restrictions within the province. However, Quebec, which has the highest rate of known infections in the country, has stringent regulations on the movement of people. “Such travel should be conned to trips for medical reasons and work when teleworking is not possible,” Quebec regulations state. “In order to protect the most vulnerable populations, checkpoints will be established to limit travel into and out of certain territories.” Restrictions wanted Growers are working to address the concerns. A key element is the Loose Bay Campground on Secrest Road in Oliver, which typically sees about 300 workers living there during the summer. Cherry grower Greg Norton was instrumental in its development and fellow grower and friend Allan Patton chairs the Loose Bay Campground Society, which runs it. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen designated it a campground for seasonal workers in 2017. Campers pay $5 a day or $30 a week. “Most places don’t really have any accommodations, especially down south,” says Forrest. “One of the most important things that we have to do is get Loose Bay going.” Several upgrades have improved servicing at the campground and more are planned this summer to ensure campers respect public health orders when it opens on May 1. “We’re going to try to add WiFi and washing machines so people don’t have the need to go down to town that often,” says Forrest. Local ocials say Loose Bay residents will be treated as a single group. Training required Provincial regulations governing farm workers during the pandemic were nalized on April 6. Workers must receive training on COVID-19 protocols prior to beginning work, including sanitization. The rules require employers ensure adequate distancing on the job, including during breaks, access to handwashing stations and sanitizer, and recommend providing every worker with a personal picking bucket or whatever tools they need. “Where it is not possible to provide personal tools, the shared tools and equipment must be wiped down and cleaned with a disinfecting agent such as disposable wipes or a diluted bleach solution between uses by dierent employees,” the rules state. “If you share a ladder, you’ve got to be able to wash a ladder,” says Forrest, noting that the boxes workers ll with fruit are another conundrum. “They ll it up, and then one person takes it in their hands and takes it to the tractor. How are we going to do this? Are we going to have to sanitize them before? After? These are all things that we’re going to have to gure out.” To support on-farm measures, AgSafe BC recently made COVID-19 workplace safety materials available on its website. These include prevention procedures, an exposure control plan and employer protocols for a pandemic. Safety notices for workers and signage is also available. Providers of essential services are protected by provincial order from liability in the event workers, by their own “gross negligence,” become infected. However, BCFGA warns growers to expect lower productivity this year as a result of public health rules. “Planning for lower production may be prudent,” it advised members, encouraging them to avoid sinking too much eort into their least-protable blocks. “On the other hand, it is expected that with reduced supply, produce prices will be increasing.” The extra cash could come in handy, as strict guidelines governing foreign workers have upped the cost of that option for growers this year. Charter ights from Mexico to Vancouver, including transfer to the Okanagan, is expected to be upwards of $1,200 per worker. An initial ight of 157 workers landed at Vancouver on April 16, and the province expected up to 1,000 workers by April 30. An additional 3,000 were expected to follow. All told, the province welcomes about 10,000 foreign farm workers each year. The province is covering the cost of housing and meals for incoming foreign workers during the 14-day isolation period required arrival. Ottawa is also providing employers with $1,500 per worker to cover other costs, including the $900 in wages owing during the quarantine period. Delays in the arrival of those workers may mean some tasks go unlled, while some workers may opt not to come during the pandemic. Another slice of the local workforce – students on working holiday visas – have been shut out by border closures. They typically account for about 15% of orchard workers. “I think we’re not going to have enough people,” says Forrest. “One thing we’re looking at is, hopefully, some locals. That’s what we would like to have.” While farm work would be a steep learning curve for people who might be used to working at local hotels and restaurants, the opportunities exist. “When I rst came to the Okanagan, I would be picking beside locals,” says Forrest. “This year, I’m thinking there’s no jobs at McDonald’s or anything, so hopefully we can get a few of them to come and help us.”2 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCwww.tractorparts4sale.caABBOTSFORD, BC Bus. 604/807-2391 Fax. 604/854-6708 email: sales@tractorparts4sale.caWe accept Interact, Visa and Mastercard WANTED: NEW HOLLAND 900-240 PULL TYPE HARVESTERS FORD 7000 2WD OPEN STATION, 83 HP, 540 PTO, ONE OWNER ... $7,000 NH 8160 4X4, CAB, 3358 HRS, 100 HP, PS TRANS, 540-1000, GOOD CONDITION ........................................................................... 45,000 NH TS115A 4X4,CAB, SYNCHRO-COM TRANS, SHUTTLE, 115HP, 8000 HRS, LOADER MOUNT.............................................................. 28,900 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 . 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Foreign labour an essential service for fruit growersA steady work ethic gives growers confidence Alan Gatzke depends on foreign workers at his Okanagan orchard. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADERby MYRNA STARK LEADER OYAMA – With cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise and more Canadians working reduced hours or experiencing layo and unemployment, one Okanagan orchardist says the public needs to understand the valuable role foreign workers play in local agriculture. Gatzke Orchards in Oyama employs about 35 people annually to tend 25 acres of gardens and orchards that support its agri-tourism operation. The farm’s main sales channels are a fruit stand opened in 1942 and an on-farm farm bakery. These are complemented by a restaurant as well as electric bike rentals and an import clothing shop, which also operate on the property. For 20 years, owner Alan Gatzke has depended on foreign workers as the key source of sta. He typically hires people with one- or two-year international work visas. However, in 2019, he enrolled in the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program. “When I’m seeing posts and comments on social media about temporary foreign workers, I’m sensing a social backlash toward them that could really hurt agriculture,” says Gatzke. Gatzke says many farms apply for permission to hire foreign labour in the fall. Producers must advertise for positions locally, but when domestic workers don’t apply Ottawa approves the application to hire foreign workers. “The fact is that most people don’t want to get up at 3 am to be ready to pick cherries or other fruit starting at 4 or 4:30 am,” he says. When he posted jobs prior to applying for foreign workers for this season, he had just two applications prior to January from locals willing to work as unskilled labour. But with many people facing the loss of work in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been renewed interest from locals in getting paid $15 an hour to work as unskilled labourers. Gatzke has received about 100 applications from locals in recent weeks. It’s encouraging. He’s grateful and is reviewing each application. He’s already hired a former hairdresser to work in the orchard. Risky business But he’s also aware of the risks. Domestic workers can and will leave when they nd better-paying work, unlike foreign workers who are restricted to the jobs they’ve been hired to do, either on their original farm or via transfer to another. (A potential shortage in foreign workers this year due to travel restrictions means Gatzke and a couple of his neighbours are already discussing plans to share workers this season.) Gatzke also wants to bust the idea that foreign workers provide cheap labour. That’s not the case, especially this year. “If a temporary foreign worker and a Canadian were working for the same wage, the farmer hasn’t cut corners by hiring the non-Canadian,” he explains. “They’re actually paying more when you factor in the cost of the ights, medical insurance, administrative costs to ensure proper documentation, plus the cost of establishing and inspecting accommodations we are required to provide.” Right now, Gatzke’s workers, who arrived from Germany, are living in four of the rental cabins on his orchard land. Three have completed self-isolation and the fourth is in the process. None are ill or have been ill. He estimates TFW administration and ights cost $2,500 to $3,000 per worker before any work has been done. Even so, with production costs for the orchards running about $7,000 an acre, he says foreign workers give him condence and certainty knowing he will have people to harvest fruit. “This certainty enables me to invest in my crop and decide what kind of crop we prune for, how much I spend on inputs like sprays and fertilizer. The public might not understand how much money producers invest during the growing season in hopes of producing a crop at the end that will be marketable,” says Gatzke. The marketability of fruit will be key this year, as international markets will be more competitive as trade is COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 3We grow a selection of Pollinator Plants and others for reclaiming disturbed land, ditches, and creating windbreaks and hedgerows. It starts with a conversation, contact our team today.604.530.930024555 32nd Avenue | Langley, BC V2Z 2J5www.NATSnursery.comAttract Pollinators to Your FarmLangley 1.888.675.7999 Williams Lake 1.855.398.7757Contact Your Watertec Sales Rep for a Free Estimate.CENTER PIVOTS & LINEARSlikely to be hit hard by restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. While trade in agricultural products isn’t supposed to be aected, the shutdown China imposed to contain the virus cost Chilean growers hundreds of millions in sales. Gatzke is optimistic, however. “We learn most when we struggle. Catastrophe causes innovation,” Gatzke says. He hopes that producers, especially those selling direct, will pursue opportunities among local consumers. He’s working on how to create a drive-though market so customers feel safe interacting with his sta. He also sees opportunities to increase collaboration between farmers and cross-sector partnerships like working with restaurants that are oering take-out to make deliveries. “These partnerships could have been forged before but maybe we weren’t motivated enough to pursue them,” he says. “This is an important time where I think partnering with like businesses will pay dividends to those who do this. Banding together with other neighbour producers, for example the local winery, might help everyone if we can get product to our customers or we can convince them to come and see us.”

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COVID-19 will be a reality check for manyAdvertising is accepted on the condition that in the event of a typographical error, that portion of the advertising space occupied by the erroneous item, together with reasonable allowance for signature will not be charged, but the balance of the advertisement will be paid for at the applicable rate. In the event of a typographical error which advertises goods or services at a wrong price, such goods or services need not be sold at the advertised price. Advertising is an offer to sell, and may be withdrawn at any time. All advertising is accepted subject to publisher’s approval. All of Country Life in British Columbia’s content is covered by Canadian copyright law. Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Country Life in British Columbia. Letters are welcome, though they may be edited in the interest of brevity before publication. All errors brought to our attention will be corrected.36 Dale Road, Enderby BC V0E 1V4 . Publication Mail Agreement: 0399159 . GST Reg. No. 86878 7375 . Subscriptions: $2/issue . $18.90/year . $33.60/2 years . $37.80/3 years incl GSTThe agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol.106 No. 5 . MAY 2020Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd. www.countrylifeinbc.comPublisher Cathy Glover 604-328-3814 . Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham Advertising Sales & Marketing Cathy Glover Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Keep your distance, PW! Watershed momentsSpring has sprung, and as this issue goes to press, ranchers in the Cariboo were dealing with ooding. Since 2017, farmers across the province have become all too familiar with how a rising tide doesn’t necessarily lift all boats. Sometimes, it sweeps them away. Here in mountainous BC, watersheds are probably a better metaphor, dividing the landscape into the fertile 5% of the province suitable for agriculture from everything else. The past month has seen the province – and indeed the world – reach something of a watershed moment, a great divide between the economic growth of the past decade and the great hiatus of 2020. A post that’s captured people’s imaginations on social media has challenged us, as we step back from our regular activities, to ask what kind of world we want to live in when regular activities resume. We have a chance to reset and reorder our priorities, to choose a new direction. We can choose how we get produce to market and how we reach consumers. Many growers are turning to online sales for the rst time, just as many consumers are signing on to order groceries online. The trend to buying local – which found its feet when the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington put the world on edge – is now supercharged. People are no longer content to buy local, they’re growing local. Seed sales have surged and our mills can’t keep up with the demand from homebakers. They’re quite literally taking local into their own hands. There will be losers, however. While larger retailers that oer one-stop shopping are doing well, many smaller shops are shuttered. Restaurants face a tough go. “Every Farmer Needs a Chef,” as the name of the province’s annual marketing and networking event puts it, but there’s likely to be fewer restaurants open this year. This has many farmers wondering how much to plant. The challenge comes as many veterans of the industry leave the stage. A wave of retirements has seen several provincial specialists step down this spring, meaning younger sta now face the tough work of guiding producers through the recovery process. Country Life in BC’s editor emeritus, David Schmidt, has seen the crisis as a chance to embrace retirement more fully, and his grasp of the 4 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThe emergence and spread of COVID-19 will etch the spring of 2020 into the memories of most of humankind. Many of today’s children will still have vivid recollections of it at the end of this century. Exactly what those memories will be is still up in the air. The year schools closed in March and everyone stayed home, at the very least, but perhaps the year that changed everything. Some things on our farm didn’t change at all. Spring came, frogs sang, birds nested, cows calved, and the long stretch of sunny April days and maple blossoms made for a lot of furious activity in the bee yard. All the usual eld work came and went but there was some second-guessing about crop plans. Pumpkins are our major eld crop and we sell most of them to customers who come to take a wagon ride and pick their own. It’s not an activity that lends itself to social distancing and just how many people will come – or if they will even be allowed to – is anyone’s guess at this point. We decided to hedge our bets and expand our repertoire. That decision led to another challenge: large numbers of people suddenly stuck at home with time on their hands and an uncertain future decided it might be prudent to plant a garden. They ordered seeds online, in amounts that swamped seed companies. In late March, Stokes Seeds closed its website in response to “the recent unprecedented surge in orders from home gardeners”, and asked, “Please do not call our customer service with questions or orders unless you are a commercial vegetable grower.” In early April, West Coast Seeds informed customers there was such a backlog, shipping was anticipated to take 30 to 45 days and a daily limit was being placed on new orders. Unplowed ground Gardening is unplowed ground for many new home gardeners. At the very least, the experience should give them some insight and appreciation for the eort it takes. The sudden surge in on-farm beef sales is a sure sign people are seeking a more direct connection from the eld to their fridge. Hopefully, these connections will endure and become part of the new normal in the post-COVID-19 landscape. Regardless of what that normal is, agriculture will be a given and while the details might change, the outcome is indispensable. That won’t be the case for other sectors of the economy. Despite rosy predictions of rapid economic rebirth, a slow and wary recovery seem more likely. It is hard to imagine there won’t be some serious second guessing about the notion of loading on to a cruise ship right away. The same for big sports events, tourism in general, or even public transit. Widespread access to a vaccine is said to be two years away and until then, COVID-19 will constantly threaten to emerge. As nations struggle to curb the virus, conspiracy theories and outright quackery are running rampant. The US, Russia, China, Bill Gates, Disney Plus, Netix, 5G transmissions, and outer space (among others) have all been blamed for concocting and/or spreading COVID-19: Bill Gates because he wants to take over health care in the US, Disney and Netix because sick people will stay home and watch their channels, the US, Russia, and China for any sinister reason you care to dream up, 5G because it will destroy your brain and deprive you of your freedoms, and outer space because no credible list of conspiracy theories would be complete without it. In the same vein, if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds you do not have COVID-19. If you don’t pass the 10 second test, you might eat garlic, snort cocaine, drink cow urine or inject Lysol (presumably not all at the same time) and be cured. Feel free to substitute whiskey and honey for the beverage selection. Conspiracies and cures notwithstanding, all plausible analysis and advice suggest we will be dealing with COVID-19 for some time to come. People will come to realize there are many things they can do without when the chips are down. Food isn’t one of them. Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley. The Back Forty BOB COLLINSindustry will be missed as we continue to cover agriculture in BC. The future is uncharted territory, and always is. But the watershed we’ve entered holds opportunities. It will be months before we fully understand how to harness them. The fact we’re doing so is hope for the future.

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Register now, question later to keep water rightsQuestions and myths abound, but like it or not a new water regime is hereGovernment will work with you to determine the right quantity. The main thing is to apply first; the details can be ironed out later. Some farmers fear that they’ll be denied a licence because the local stream is short of water every summer. However, transitioning existing groundwater users should be just that – transitioning them into the water rights scheme. An existing well will have priority over new wells or new applications to use surface water. (The conditions for using water during a drought will be specified in the licence – a benefit of securing a licence – or ordered by the government at the time of drought.) The challenges of implementing the new system have also raised genuine concerns among well owners. Applications for existing groundwater use have not been given the highest priority because staff may feel that existing groundwater users can continue to pump until a decision is made. In addition, other factors affecting the length of time for decisions in the past few years include: • capacity to hire, train and retain staff; • lack of communication to applicants about the reasons for the wait times; and • lack of strategic direction to staff to grant licences to existing users. Even so, by applying for a licence before the March 1, 2022 deadline, existing groundwater users have done their part. It doesn’t matter if government takes 10 years to decide, most existing users should get a licence for the right quantity with a priority date dating back to date of first use. Moreover, licencing fees will be retroactive to 2016, when the new system came into place, meaning there’s a financial incentive to figure out how much is owing, and plan payment accordingly (and claim the expense). Well owners who don’t obtain a licence and choose to continue to draw water will be doing so without authorization and this will eventually come to light. This could happen if someone files a complaint or if government orders well owners to stop pumping. Additionally, when you want to sell your property, buyers will be looking for a licence to go with the property. If the property lacks water rights in the form of a groundwater licence, they may hesitate to buy the property or offer a significantly lower amount. (Use of the land depends on access to water.) Applying for a licence now helps you maintain your competitive business advantage and avoids headaches and worries down the road. Mike Wei is a hydrogeologist retired from the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. He helped develop the Water Sustainability Act, and now, as a professional working in private practice, works to help water users understand water rights in BC. His website is []. and irrigation water, only the amount used for irrigation requires a licence. A water right, once granted, does not typically expire. The groundwater licence becomes part of the property. When the farmer or business owner sells the property, the new owner also acquires the water right associated with the property as well as the well and other works required to exercise that right. But how does government know how much water a well is drawing, and how much to charge users? The licence fee depends on the amount of water used. The rates are specific to each industry and use. For example, the irrigation rate is the lowest at $0.85/1,000 m3 of water. Commercial uses, including bottled water companies such as Nestle, and municipal water systems pay a rate of $2.25/1,000 m3. (This is the same fee structure for surface water. And don’t forget – the fees can be claimed as a business expense!) The fee is charged based on an estimate of annual use. Determining the right estimate sounds difficult, but here’s my thought: take your best guess. For example, you can refer to the examples the province provides (see []) and enter a quantity into the application. Then describe in your licence application how you use the water, for example: “My well is my sole source of water. My well supplies water to my household and also water to irrigate my quarter section of hay. I typically irrigate from mid-May to mid-September.” Four years after the Water Sustainability Act introduced groundwater licensing in BC, and with a less than two years to go in the latest extension of the window in which existing groundwater users can obtain a licence without paying an application fee nor undergoing expensive assessments, there are still plenty of fears, questions and myths about the new system. While the system is straight-forward for new users, many existing groundwater users – those who were drawing water from wells prior to February 2016 when the new act came into effect – continue to wonder what the new system means for them. Some see it as government trying to take away their existing water rights; others worry that they’ll be charged for domestic water use. The fact is, water is a public resource. But until 2016, there was no system in place to manage that resource and there were no groundwater rights. BC was among the last jurisdictions in North America to introduce a system for licensing and managing groundwater use. The new system establishes a first-in-time, first-in-right system that gives existing well owners priority over new users, which is why it’s so important for existing users to obtain a licence for their groundwater use. A licence authorizes well owners to use the groundwater they need to operate their farms and businesses. Domestic or household use does not require a licence. For example, if your well supplies both domestic Viewpoint by MIKE WEICOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 5Bill Everitt 250.295.7911 ext #102 tToll 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.&ARMs/RCHARDs6INEYARDs"ERRY4RELLISING... by applying for a licence before the March 1, 2022 deadline, existing groundwater users will have done their part. It doesn’t matter if government takes 10 years to decide ... countrylifeinbc.comvisit us online Downtown Realty 4007 - 32nd Street, Vernon, BC V1T 5P2 1-800-434-9122 www.royallegpage.caPAT DUGGAN Personal Real Estate Corporation Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd. 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COVID-19 has varied impact on poultry sector Egg sales stable while chicken takes a hit COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 7time to buyNow is theChoose from interest-free waivers, low ratenancing or low rate leases, OAC. 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VULCAN, AB2018 JD 5085E, Stk: 90544, 158 Hrs, 85 hp, Syncro Trans, 540M Loader w/ Grapple, 3 SCV, 540 PTO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PONOKA, AB$13,900 $96,900 $114,900 $96,9002016 JD XUV 825I, Stk: 74860, Miles: 1865, Hours: 203, 4WD, Gas, Poly Roof, Front Window ..................DRUMHELLER, AB2016 JD 946, Stk: 92809, Width 13’, Center Pivot, Impeller Conditioner, 1000 PTO, 3 SCV Required. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CALGARY, AB2014 JD 569, Stk: 88253, ONLY 8191 Bales, Twine/Net Wrap, Mega-Wide, Hyd Pickup, Hi-Float Tires. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CALGARY, AB2017 JD W235, Stk: 108519, 475 Hrs, 500R Hay Head, V10 Conditioner, Full GPS w/ Display ......................... OLDS, AB$46,900$42,500 $19,900 $209,900by JACKIE PEARASE VANCOUVER – Chicken Farmers of Canada reduced allocations across the country on April 14 to better manage fallout on the poultry sector from COVID-19. Retail chicken sales, which represent 59% of the Canadian chicken market, rose 21% between March 8 and April 4 compared to the same period in 2019. “This increase can be attributed to consumers eating more from home and purchasing reserves,” says BC Chicken Marketing Board executive director Bill Vanderspek. “We do not expect such high increases to continue as purchasing habits stabilize.” The foodservice industry accounts for 41% of chicken used in Canada so its collapse has delivered a blow to the poultry sector. The concern is that the closure of restaurants will have long-term eects. “Even with poultry processors channelling much more to retail, the chicken industry in Canada is in a situation where supply is exceeding demand,” explains Vanderspek. “The impact is greater in central/eastern Canada than it is in the west, likely because central Canadian plants focus a greater proportion of their production on the foodservice sector.” To deal with the imbalance, CFC cut the allocation originally set February 5 for period A-163 (May 10 to July 4) by 7.5% for BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and by 15% for Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic provinces. BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission chair Jim Collins says a 5% reduction of egg sets in the west started on April 6 to deal with an impending over-supply. But the timing of CFC’s allocation reduction comes in the middle of the eight-week cycle for broilers, which means egg sets will need to be cut by 15% for the balance of the cycle to reach the 7.5% reduction required by CFC. With some egg sets/chicks already placed on farms to be shipped for processing early in period A-163, Collins expects the timing to result in chicken being overproduced early in period A-163 and underproduced later in the cycle as numbers are ramped down. He is also concerned about long-term eects of the downturn on the poultry sector. “In certain sectors like the processing, they’re being driven into the ground trying to manage this,” he notes. “In the hatching egg sector with long-cycle ocks, we don’t want to kill our ocks early to cut production because once you kill a ock it takes months and months and months to get back in production.” Collins says the BCBHEC is working closely with chicken growers and hatcheries to best manage issues so producers don’t take too much of a nancial hit. “It’s a regulated sector; we can manage our way through it,” he adds. “It hurts but at the end of the day, we’ll come back when the time is right; but that’s probably going to be a while.” CFC will look at allocation for period A-164 (July-August) on April 21. Eggs good The egg side of the poultry sector, on the other hand, is weathering the storm well. BC Egg Marketing Board executive director Katie Lowe says the retail/restaurant market for eggs has collapsed but those eggs are now going to people’s tables. “Eggs are in good supply,“ Lowe says. “We have as many eggs now as we had before and they are being put to good use by consumers, which is fantastic.” MERIDIAN EQUIPEMENT CO., INC.5946 GUIDE MERIDIAN, BELLINGHAM, WAPhone 360.398.2141 Email ONLINE ONLY SATURDAY MAY 16- MONDAY JUNE 1meridianeq.comwww.meridianeq.hibid.comOn-site Viewing Daily Tractors Trucks implementsSPRING CONSIGNMENTFARM EQUIPMENTAUCTIONSocial distancingAt Dave's Farm Fresh Fruits and Veggies in Keremeos, a no-contact money box let Beverly (right) pay for a bag of local Ambrosia apples, helping keep staff, including Satpal (left), safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER

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8 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMarketing British Columbia to the World®www.landquest.comToll Free 1-866-558-LAND (5263)“The Source” for Oceanfront, Lakefront, Islands, Ranches, Resorts & Land in BC®640 ACRE PRIVATE WILDLIFE PARADISE NEAR ROCK CREEKTEXADA ISLAND ONE-OF-A-KIND LOG HOMEHISTORIC 143 ACRE RANCHSOUTH CARIBOOLIMESTONE MOUNTAIN RANCHBIG LAKE, BCBELLA COOLA ESTATE PROPERTYWISTARIA CATTLE RANCHOOTSA LAKE40 ACRE HOBBY FARMLONE BUTTE - SOUTH CARIBOO801 ACRES OF PRIME AGRICULTURAL LAND AND RICH HUNTING GROUNDSPONDEROSA RANCHCOBBLE HILL, BCHIGH QUALITY ACREAGE LAND AT THEFOOT OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS Private wildlife paradise 640± acres fenced and gated at the end of the road has 30 ponds, miles of roads painstakingly built by an owner who knows how to create the nest wildlife habitat possible. Delightful 4 bedroom cabin on the best wildlife property I have seen. $995,000Five minute walk to the marina from this 5,000+ ft2 beautiful log structure. This is the ideal B&B setup with 4 bedrooms up + their own en-suite. Great view out the oor to ceiling windows from the huge front room and upstairs sitting area. Lots of wood, tile and granite features in this ageless design. Way below replacement at $669,000Serene and pretty country setting offers approx. 80 acres of gently rolling hayelds with remaining acreage in grazing. 5 bedroom, 2 bath, two-storey farm house, large log hay barn and additional storage sheds. Pond, seasonal creek, adjacent to Crown land. $526,000Picture perfect cattle ranch, horse facility & recreational paradise. Private 50 acre private lake, dock & rainbows to 6 lbs. 1,415 acres, 11 titles fenced & cross fenced. 2,000 ft2 ranch house & cabins. Barn & many out buildings, 325 acre in hay 550-600 tons / year, 175-200 cow / calf pairs. Tons of wildlife. $1,995,0004,670 ft2 rancher style estate on 198 parklike, riverfront acres (3 titles). Home is approx. 50% complete with solid timber frame const. & massive 19 ft cedar beams. Copper roof, eves, gutters & some window ashing. Extensive work done on the property developing ponds, creeks, elds & gardens. $989,000This is fantastic opportunity for some ranchers to get started or add to existing operations. This 576 acre homestead offers a home, outbuildings, hay production, grazing, timber and a range permit. It also borders a private 8 acre lake. $800,000Nicely updated 3 bdrm, 2 bath rancher on 40 acres in private setting off Highway 24. 15± acre hay eld, workshop, hay & wood sheds. Recently logged for more open spaces; some fencing in place. Currently operating dog grooming business. Many options for your hobby farm. NEW PRICE $429,000Goodlow, BC. 801 acres of highly productive farmland & unlimited recreational / hunting potential close to Fort St John. 4 contiguous titles and is a combination of agricultural elds, timber & creeks. Presently there are 540 acres under production. Elk, deer & moose are in abundance. $749,000Stunning private estate on 50 acres with valley, ocean and Mount Baker views. 30 minutes from downtown Victoria. Main home, caretaker / guest home, barn, workshop & equipment storage. Turnkey, meticulously maintained grounds and improvements. NEW LISTING $4,350,000One of the nicest parcels I have seen come available in a decade! Land is mostly at & treed with some nice open clearings offering amazing vistas & roadways within for easy access and recreational pursuits. Borders onto Crown land & privately situated at the end of the road. Seller nancing available. $680,000RICH OSBORNE 604-664-7633Personal Real Estate Corporationrich@landquest.comKURT NIELSEN 250-898-7200kurt@landquest.comLandQuest® Realty Corp Comox ValleyMARTIN SCHERRER 250-706-9462martin@landquest.comLandQuest® Realty Corp CaribooSAM HODSON 604-694-7623Personal Real Estate Corporationsam@landquest.comFAWN GUNDERSON 250-982-2314Personal Real Estate Corporationfawn@landquest.comJOHN ARMSTRONG 250-307-2100john@landquest.comLandQuest® Realty Corp CaribooWENDY PATTEN 250-718-0298wendy@landquest.comLandQuest® Realty Corp CaribooCHASE WESTERSUND 778-927-6634COLE WESTERSUND 604-360-0793JASON ZROBACK 1-604-414-5577 JAMIE ZROBACK 1-604-483-1605MATT CAMERON 250-200-1199matt@landquest.comBy TOM WALKER KAMLOOPS – While the BC Honey Producers Association had to cancel its semi-annual education day scheduled for March 28 as a result of restrictions introduced to ght COVID-19, it was also one of the rst to take its semi-annual business meeting online. “This is a little one sided, and we can consider other formats if needed for future meetings,” BCHPA president Kerry Clark said at the end of meeting on March 27. “But we have been able to get through our agenda in record time.” The association has 502 paid-up members, reports treasurer Irene Tiampo. The balance is healthy, too, due in part to the education days held twice each year. The association’s representative to the Canadian Honey Council, Stan Reist, gave a thorough report on the possible eects that transport restrictions may have on importing bee packages and queens for replacement stock. Importing these bees enables BC and Alberta producers to stock up their apiaries for pollination services and summer honey production. Research remains an on-going priority for the BCHPA. UBC bee researcher Heather Higo reported on ve research projects BCHPA is funding. The bee health in blueberries project is in the second year of comparing colonies in and away from blueberry elds. More colonies had European Foulbrood (EFB) symptoms in the hives pollinating blueberries. These ndings concur with what groups across Canada and in several US states reported at Apimondia 2019 when they met to discuss the increase of EFB in colonies that pollinate blueberries. However, there has also been an increase in EFB symptoms recently in colonies not involved in blueberry pollination, Higo noted. Higo says the plan for the upcoming year is to complete pathogen and residue analysis, data compilation and evaluation and communicate the results and recommendations from the blueberry study. UBC researcher Leonard Foster has been working with Peter Awram of Worker Bee Honey Co. in Chilliwack to develop tests to detect adulteration of honey. Rice and corn syrups are increasingly being used worldwide to adulterate honey and stretch existing supplies. Foster is combining his work in mass spectrometry with Awram’s work with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to perfect honey sampling techniques. The project has nalized conditions for testing, Higo reports, and is proceeding to collect and analyze data and formalize the testing process. The objective is to extend the method to diagnostic labs or, perhaps, commercialize it. A novel compound to control varroa mites is the focus of Erika Plettner’s work at Simon Fraser University. She eld-tested an acaricidal compound in colonies last summer. It had a signicant impact on mite populations. “This is very promising work,” notes Higo, but will be a number of years in development. An atypical form of foulbrood that does not test positive for either American Foulbrood or European Foulbrood has repeatedly been found in hives in the Kootenays. The National Bee Diagnostic Center in Beaverlodge, Alberta is working to match the Kootenay disease with strains of foulbrood from other areas. No match has yet been found and more work is required. Better queens Grand Forks apiarist and BC Bee Breeders Association president Liz Huxter wants BC to develop better queens. Their availability is critical to the development of BC’s bee industry. Queens reared in BC were compared to imports from California and Hawaii. Sperm viability and sperm counts were similar, and the local queens had a larger ovary mass. The signicance of the dierence has not yet been determined. Provincial apiculturist Paul van Westendorp outlined the government’s campaign to rout out any possible nests of invasive Asian hornets. Following the destruction of a nest in Nanaimo last fall, a specimen was found in White Rock in November and another two just across the border near Blaine, Washington in December. “There is likely an urban nest near White Rock,” says van Westendorp. Beekeepers, municipalities, businesses and the public have been notied to be on the lookout, particularly in along 0 Avenue, which parallels the Canada-US border. Van Westendorp will be leading a trapping program in the area. As for any laggards from the nest in Nanaimo, van Westendorp is condent local beekeepers can handle them. Looking ahead, plans are still on track to hold the association’s 100th anniversary conference, trade show and business meeting in Abbotsford in late October. “We have until the end of April to negotiate a new hotel contract,” notes rst vice-president Dan Mawson. The 2021 semi-annual education day is scheduled for the Kamloops Coast Hotel and Conference Centre, which allowed the association to transfer the deposit from the 2020 meeting to secure space for next year’s event. Several speakers scheduled for the 2020 semi-annual meeting have promised to attend in 2021. Honey producers keep focus on research Semi-annual business meeting via videoconference updates apiarists

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Beekeepers stung about import issuesShortage underscores need for local beesTO BEE OR NOT TO BEE. Some apiarists are saying pollinators will be in short supply this spring due to travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 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 sideReist says rearing local stock – queens and nucs – has been a focus of numerous sessions at BC Honey Producers Association education days in recent years, noting how it could eliminate some of the diculties foreign queens have to overcome to be by TOM WALKER NANAIMO – Restrictions on international travel designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 are also preventing beekeepers across Canada, including many in BC, from accessing the bees needed to rebuild colonies for the coming season. “I have heard that orders of some 16,000 bee packages have been cancelled because they cannot be delivered to Western Canada,” says Stan Reist, co-owner of Flying Dutchman Honey in Nanaimo and BC’s representative to the Canadian Honey Council. “New Zealand has told us they can supply them but with commercial ights halted, we have no way to get them here.” Commercial ights take live cargo in the hold below passengers but that ended when Canada closed its borders to international visitors on March 18. Recognizing the urgency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Honey Council sprang into action in April to nd a solution and struck a deal with Air Canada. A rst shipment of queens landed in Toronto aboard a cargo ight from New Zealand on April 17. But the arrangement has yet to deliver a reliable supply of bees to BC. How large the shortfall will be is unknown. While hives in the Lower Mainland are already active, beekeepers in northern BC have yet to open their hives. “We just don’t know how many bees we will need,” says Reist. “We don’t know if there will be a shortage of pollinators.” Overwintering active hives and splitting them into multiple colonies in the spring, as well as rearing queens to go with those splits, is an advanced skill and beekeepers often depend on foreign queens. To make up for losses, BC beekeepers typically pour packages of live bees and a queen (often imported from California or Hawaii) into hives to get a colony buzzing. “Currently, we can get the queens in from California and Hawaii,” says Reist, “but we need the packages of bees to go with them.” Pollination risk Without strong colonies, blueberry, cranberry and raspberry production in the Fraser Valley could suer. Flowering usually begins in late April, depending on the variety, weather and the location and continues through late May. Alberta beekeepers usually bring their colonies to BC to forage and numbers typically double before the colonies head back to Alberta to tackle canola. Without the usual number of hives in the berry elds, yields may be much lower. “I moved some hives into blueberry elds this week,” Peter Awram of Worker Bee Honey in Chilliwack said the week of April 13. “Though we are a BC company, after pollination we move our hives over to Alberta to make honey.” Awram says he has heard that it will be dicult for beekeepers to ll pollination contracts. While he expects his hives to be strong pollinators, beekeepers depending on bees from overseas and who didn’t receive reinforcements before international ights shut down will be in a tough spot. Packages put together now will not be strong enough to do the work. “A package has 1.5 kg of bees,” Awram notes. “We usually put 3 kg colonies into the blueberry elds.” Pollination is always pretty tight, says Awram, but this year will be worse. With more than 30,000 acres of blueberries in the valley, up to 70,000 hives will be required. “I don’t think there are much more than 22,000 hives available for pollination,” he says. Advocating for technology transferLast May, BC Honey Producers Association members heard a presentation on the merits of a technology transfer team from Les Eccles, the Ontario team lead, at its semi-annual meeting. The team provides technical support to beekeepers. Since that time, Alberta has launched a technology transfer team and Manitoba has begun to develop its own. BC is now the only province in Canada without one even though – now home to more than 2,700 beekeepers, according to Statistics Canada, more than any other province. “A tech transfer team, I feel, could be a huge benet,” says Heather Higo. “But the biggest benet would be the increased level of reliable knowledge that would be available to BC beekeepers, translating to a better understanding of our bees, better management and healthier bees.” Higo says provincial beekeeping associations and their provincial governments typically provide startup funding for the teams, which then rely on multiple sources for ongoing funding. “They apply for grants, develop research proposals – the recent blueberry health project would have been ideal for a tech transfer team – and some oer fee-for-services to beekeepers and contracts with berry growers such as hive strength inspection services during pollination,” she explains. Testing, advising and educational services are common to all teams either through workshops or one-on-one. —Tom WalkerSee BEE on next page o

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IAFBC defers major decisions Annual meeting sticks to basicsBEE shortage nfrom page 910 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCDustin Stadnyk CPA, CAChris Henderson CPA, CANathalie Merrill CPA, CMATOLL FREE 1-888-818-FARM | www.farmtax.caExpert farm taxation advice: • Purchase and sale of farms • Transfer of farms to children • Government subsidy programs • Preparation of farm tax returns • Use of $1,000,000 Capital Gains Exemptions Approved consultants for Government funding through BC Farm Business Advisory Services ProgramARMSTRONG 250-546-8665 | LUMBY 250-547-2118 | ENDERBY 250-838-7337View over 100 listings of farm properties at www.bcfarmandranch.comBC FARM & RANCH REALTY CORP.Buying or Selling a Farm or Acreage?GORD HOUWELING Cell: 604/793-8660GREG WALTON Cell: 604/864-1610Toll free 1-888-852-AGRI Call BC’s First and Only Real Estate Office committed 100% to Agriculture!PROFESSIONAL SERVICESv BC Farm Business Advisory Services Consultant v Farm Debt Mediation Consultant v Meat Labeling Consultant Phone: 604-858-1715 Cell: 604-302-4033 Fax: 604-858-9815 email: marlene.reams@gmail.comCONFIDENTIALITY GUARANTEEDJack Reams P.Ag. Agri-Consultingby PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Two key issues facing the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC will be discussed another day thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation’s annual general meeting on April 16 should have been an opportunity to discuss its new strategic plan as well as a new trust fund to be created from $2.5 million in legacy funds left over from expired programs. But it was held by videoconference, thanks to social distancing requirements, so the foundation’s board decided to defer a discussion of the matters until members could meet in person. “These are pretty weighty topics and they need a big, fulsome discussion,” said executive director Michelle Koski. “The members need a space and time to do that.” The strategic plan species the creation of the new trust fund as its top priority, as it will contribute to the long-term nancial sustainability of IAF. The foundation’s outgoing chair, Arzeena Hamir, expressed pride in the foundation’s work over the past year, describing the new strategic plan as “a tactical action plan that will help ensure that we’re moving in by PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – BC farmland values rose 5.4% in 2019, according to Farm Credit Canada’s annual survey released last month. This compared to a 6.1% increase in 2018, and was slightly ahead of the national average of 5.2%. The highest average per-acre value in the province last year was recorded in the Okanagan at $103,288 as buyers purchased orchards for vineyard development. The most expensive region continued to be the South Coast, however, where sale values maxed out at $186,000 an acre. Northern BC, which was among the most active regions in the province last year according to provincial property transfer data, saw values rise 4% to an average of just $1,712 an acre. Vancouver Island, which led the country last year in terms of value gains, saw a 13.1% increase in land values to an average of $57,500, driven by transactions on the Saanich Peninsula. It was displaced as the top region for land price increases by Atlantic Canada, where PEI logged an increase of 22.6% and New Brunswick reported land prices up 17.2%. The driver of land values on PEI was potatoes, while dairy operations in southern New Brunswick helped boost prices in that province. Prices in both provinces are a fraction of what they are in BC, averaging less than $6,500 an acre. Many real estate markets are experiencing slower times as a result of the disruption caused by the the direction that the members and the directors want to see for IAF.” “We’re trying to be as transparent as possible with the new policies, and moving forward we really want to see the IAF as an enduring resource for the sector,” she told the meeting. In addition to nancial sustainability, the new strategic plan recommends a board that reects the make-up of the agriculture sector, and an applications system that’s client-focused. The foundation delivered funding for 11 programs in 2019 that supported 198 projects worth $11.2 million. Nevertheless, it remains in a strong nancial position, with $32.8 million in assets at the beginning of 2020. However, the impact of COVID-19 on nancial markets and farming operations isn’t going unnoticed. “We are anticipating signicant project changes and in many cases, projects will no longer be going forward,” Hamir noted. This means a total of 200 projects worth $4 million could see changes. IAF is working with the BC Ministry of Agriculture to “formulate strategies to re-allocate or re-purpose these dollars.” It is also working with its investment advisor at HSBC to minimize losses, with its investment portfolio down 3.9% as of March 31, 2020. “We will be providing enhanced nancial reporting to the board in 2020,” Hamir promised. However, she’ll be stepping down after six years on the board. Jack DeWit oered thanks for her service. “I was there with you for ve years, and I know how passionate you are,” he said. Also departing are Dennis Lapierre, Kiren Sihota, Kalpna Solanki and Walter Fritsche. The new slate of directors for the foundation includes new appointees Mike Manion, representing agri-business, retail and agri-tech, and Corine Springeld, representing general farm interest for one-year terms. Two-year terms will be served by Irmi Critcher, representing grains, oilseeds and specialty crops; Jack DeWit, representing horticulture; and David Eto, representing food and beverage processors. Current director Angela Groothof, representing supply managed commodities, was re-appointed to the IAF board. Farmland values facing headwindsBC increases still above the national averageCOVID-19 pandemic. This stands to put a damper on farmland sales this year, too. According to Gord Houweling of BC Farm and Ranch Realty Corp., many contracts now include clauses that anticipate delays in closing. The degree to which the slowdown affects transactions will depend on how long social distancing restrictions remain in place. Reductions in the Bank of Canada’s benchmark lending rate and other measures designed to counteract the depressive effect of the pandemic also stand to play a role in transaction activity this year. Property transfer data from the BC Ministry of Finance indicate that farm property sales were down 4% in the first three months of this year. Transactions totalled 283, led by the Peace River and Fraser Valley regions with 49 and 48 deals respectively. Metro Vancouver followed with 35 transactions. Outlying regions were hardest hit by the decline in sales. The most active regions of the province more than made up for slower activity elsewhere, with transactions at or above last year’s levels. However, almost all regions save for the Fraser Valley saw activity decline in March as restrictions related to COVID-19 restricted movement. FOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERSDarren Jansen Owner604.794.3701organicfeeds@gmail.comwww.canadianorganicfeeds.comCertified by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.accepted into a hive. The current situation reminds him of 35 years ago when the US-Canadian border was closed to bee movements due to varroa mite outbreaks in the US. He says it’s a classic case of the ease of globalism versus the security of raising your own stock. He is advocating for queen-rearing courses to help BC producers be self-sucient. “We spend approximately $11 million a year on imported stock across Canada. “Wouldn’t it be nice to recapture a big chunk of that revenue and have it returned to Canadian beekeepers’ pockets?”

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 11BCAC focuses on public trust with lower budgetMembership fees unchanged during pandemic by PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – A million-dollar budget will underpin the work of the BC Agriculture Council in the year ahead as it seeks to build public trust in local food and make sure there are workers on hand to harvest it. The budget for the coming year was passed during the council’s annual general meeting, which was held via videoconference on April 16 to meet its obligations under the Societies Act, as well as public health orders banning large gatherings. Close to 70 people attended the meeting, well above the limit of 50 people permitted by the province. The budget includes more than $141,000 for public trust initiatives. “People appreciated the work that’s being done around public trust and there was discussion that it actually needs to increase awareness of farming as a critical industry during the pandemic,” BCAC executive director Reg Ens said. Several members felt a proposed levy of $100,000 to fund the work was unaordable, however. On April 15, the BCAC board voted to eliminate quarterly payments scheduled for the remainder of 2020. Just $22,560 has been collected to date, and the shortfall – or about $63,435 – will be allocated from reserve funds to support the work. A slightly smaller budget means that scheduled program activities will be pared back, with in-person activities moved online where possible. BCAC is also allocating $50,000 to support the Western Agricultural Labour Initiative’s work with foreign workers. This was another late amendment to the budget, in view of reduced revenue from certain programs and the greater role WALI will have to play in managing workers this year. However, the dues BCAC charges members will be unchanged. While this may seem odd given that the budget is forecasting a deficit of $215,800 in the coming fiscal year, expectations of a deficit in excess of $181,500 last year did not materialize. In fact, the council ended up with a surplus of $70,173, thanks in part to strong growth in revenues from the annual agriculture gala and a revitalized Farmer ID card program. “Overall expenditures were less than budgeted, and this is primarily due to savings in both Ag Days and stang,” reported BCAC controller Jackie Mays. “These savings, along with increased revenues, resulted in a surplus rather than the originally budgeted decit.” The budget was passed with one abstention. Organic sector representative Niklaus Forstbauer abstained, “due to the public trust levy.” All sectors view building trust with the public as important work. However, the Certied Organic Associations of BC has long been concerned that work by the conventional sector builds on and ultimately dilutes its own work to educate and build trust with consumers. Forstbauer seconded a motion conrming the BCAC board of directors. The current slate was accepted, with one seat – for Interior horticulture – left vacant by the departure of cherry grower Sukhpal Bal. The vacancy is expected to be lled shortly. The Western Agricultural Labour Initiative is expecting to play a greater role in managing workers this year. SUBMITTED / BC WINE INSTITUTEA message from Ian Paton Opposition Critic for AgricultureAs the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold across our country and the world, we are only now starting to realize the full impact and long-reaching eects that it will have on our economy. is unprecedented crisis has brought tourism to a halt and lead to the closure or partial closure of nearly 80 per cent of Canadian businesses. But what many do not realize is the dramatic impact that COVID-19 is having on agriculture here in BC. Farmers are experiencing unprecedented labour shortages, disruptions in the packing, processing and transportation sectors, and increasing domestic and international market uncertainty. ese fears are resulting in dicult decisions about which crops to grow and whether or not to leave elds fallow for the season. e Canadian Federation of Agriculture cautions these compounding challenges could result in a decrease in the amount and quality of food in grocery stores and higher prices in the months ahead. It is imperative that British Columbia’s government work with federal counterparts and industry partners to help to re-stabilize our province’s agriculture industry. To whether this storm and ensure the security and longevity of our local food system, BC’s agriculture industry must become more self-sucient. As the old proverb goes, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Pre-emptively, BC should prepare for future interruptions in the international food supply chain, as COVID-19 has made us realize just how reliant we are on food imports. We can no longer rely on imports of meats, fruits, and vegetables from other countries like China, the United States and Mexico. We need to incentivize both buying and growing BC products. is can be done by utilizing more of BC’s crown ALR land and transitioning it into better and more ecient food production uses. More homegrown vegetables under glass is also to be considered, as well as increased opportunities to butcher, process, and package BC beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Every crisis in our nation’s history has spurred innovation. Let’s utilize this opportunity to remediate and revive British Columbia’s agriculture industry. Now is the time to consider bold ideas rooted in new technological developments. Vertical farming, for example, could be utilized to maximize crop yields and reduce the carbon footprint of food transportation in increasingly urban areas such as Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria. e biggest barrier to vertical farming is start-up costs. Our Ministry of Agriculture could play a pivotal role helping to fund research and development in this exciting new industry. Recently, BC’s new Food Security Taskforce recommended a certain amount of ALR land be set aside specically for agricultural-industrial use. is will be critical if BC is to bolster our packing and processing industries, as well as to provide local cold-storage facilities to help keep produce fresh, retain its value, and increase its shelf life. Additionally, we need to allow farm families to be creative and entrepreneurial in order to come up with supplemental income to support their farm operations. I get concerned when out-of-the-box ideas like festivals, processing facilities, eateries, roadside stands, and cafes are shut down by the Agricultural Land Commission. Agri-tourism is essential in this province. ese activities should be encouraged, not regulated into oblivion. Finally, if we are to truly take control of our own destiny when it comes to the preservation of our food system, we must invest heavily in education programs. Let’s re-establish farming as a subject of inquiry in our schools, and expand the oering of post-secondary programs in agriculture, horticulture, and agronomy. Let’s raise up the next generation of growers, ranchers, greenhouse operators, hobby farmers, and community garden enthusiasts. e time has come for BC to diversify its agriculture economy to better equip future generations of farming. Agriculture has been labelled as an essential service during this crisis and we need to ensure that it is treated as such, for the good of all British Columbians.Paid communicationIan Paton MLA for Delta South 604-940-7930

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AgSafe governance set for a shake-upBylaws must be revamped12 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCby PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Changing times are prompting a shake-up at BC’s farm safety association. “AgSafe is universally seen as a positive, helpful and inuential and impactful organization,” said Kyle Pearce, principal of think:act consulting in Vancouver, who was contracted last year to undertake a governance review of the association. “People also feel quite optimistic about the future for AgSafe and feel that there’s more potential to be reached.” But changes at one of its founding organizations mean AgSafe will have to revisit how it chooses its directors. Originally known as the Farm & Ranch Health and Safety Association, AgSafe formed in 1993 through a unique partnership between the province (through WorkSafeBC); employers (represented by the BC Federation of Agriculture, now the BC Agriculture Council) and workers (represented by the Canadian Farmworkers Union). But leadership of the CFU, established in 1980 to represent a workforce made up largely of Indo-Canadians, is aging and members have been mulling its future and how the union can better address the current needs of farmworkers, many of whom are migrant workers. This could include dissolution. The issue was agged in Pearce’s report to AgSafe as “a great risk for the organization” because its governance requires participation from the CFU. Right now, the CFU appoints three directors to the association’s board and industry appoints three. The current slate of directors includes CFU co-founder Charan Gill, Bhupinder Sidhu and Nina Hansen; industry appointees include Erik Bomhof, Larry Rast and Andrea van Iterson. Pearce’s governance report, delivered last November, recommended changes to the board’s composition to avoid any challenges the CFU’s collapse might present. They’re now essential. “We’re currently in discussions between the directors and the members, and we have plans for directors and members to meet to come to an agreement about what the process for selecting board members will be in the future.,” Pearce told AgSafe’s annual general meeting, held by videoconference on April 16.A consultation is planned for the coming months to amend AgSafe’s bylaws to allow changes in how directors are appointed. Pearce’s report also recommended changes to improve the relationship between AgSafe’s executive director – currently Wendy Bennett – and the board. The changes aim to enhance the board’s performance. “That involves changing documents, being more organized around the annual process of the work of the board,” says Pearce, noting, “Those recommendations are currently being implemented.” CASE IH MAXXUM 120 MFD, CAB TRACTOR W/LOADER $117,700 CASE IH 1250 6 ROW CORN PLANTER $14,500 CLAAS 780L DUAL ROTARY RAKE CENTER DELIVERY $9,800 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 CLAAS 1550 SIDE DELIVERY ROTARY RAKE $14,500 FELLA TH 1101 TRANS TEDDER 8 ROTOR $15,400 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 & STORE HOURS MONDAY-FRIDAY, 8-5 OPEN SATURDAY, 8-12604-864-2273 34511 VYE ROAD ABBOTSFORD Go with your gut. JAGUAR. A sure sign of spring. Cherry blossoms brighten the landscape in Osoyoos. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER

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Enderby dairy farmer Michael Haak says it’s incredibly hard to see the milk his cows produce go down the drain. PHOTO / JACKIE PEARASECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 13Little & Large, Local & Long, Europe & N. AmericaPort to Dealer, Farm to Farm & Anything in Between1.800.282.7856 Find out more at terraseco.comFiXaTion CloverFrosty CloverCrimson CloverDC Red CloverWhite CloverHybrid CloverAlfalfaWinter PeasFiXaTion CloverFrosty CloverCrimson CloverDC Red CloverWhite CloverHybrid CloverAlfalfaWinter PeasTerra Seed Corp Healthy Soil Nurtures a Healthy Herdby JACKIE PEARASE VANCOUVER – A series of unfortunate events has resulted in a slight downturn for the conventional dairy sector. On March 19, the BC Milk Marketing Board implemented a series of incentive days for dairy producers in March, April and May after uid milk sales at grocery stores increased 40% as consumers rushed to stock up in the face of COVID-19. But the board cancelled the incentive days for April and May on March 31 as demand for cream fell o due to the widespread closure of restaurants and coee shops. Starbucks, for example, announced March 20 it was closing most of its restaurants in Canada for at least two weeks; they remained closed at press time. “That demand at grocery stores quickly came backwards. Not all the way back but it came back signicantly. And on top of that, the [foodservice] sector essentially shut down,” explains BC Dairy Association general manager Jeremy Dunn. With BC cows continuing to produce as much milk as before COVID-19 – and wildly altered buying patterns and resulting supply chain issues presenting unique challenges for the sector – producers were told to begin disposing milk on April 3. “We’re only in a situation where about 3% of the daily milk production (in BC) is being disposed of on farms,” Dunn says. “We know the supply chain is adjusting rapidly. We are hopeful this will be a short-term situation.” Down the drain Enderby dairy farmer Michael Haak produces 3,000 litres of milk each day and the directive resulted in four days of hard work going down the drain. “I was asked by our milk board to dispose of 12,000 litres,” he says. “It’s incredibly hard seeing a product we work so hard to produce not make it into the hands of British Columbians.” Prior to milk being dumped, an industry-wide partnership led by the BCMMB allowed 10,000 four-litre jugs (40,000 litres) of milk to be donated to Food Banks BC on April 7. Vedder Transport hauled the milk to dairy processor Saputo, which processed it, and distribution partners Sysco Canada, Associated Grocers and Save-on-Foods made sure Food Banks BC received it. “When we have those abilities to adjust and we have excess milk and we have excess processing capacity, we’ll work to get that milk into food banks,” Dunn explains. “The last thing a farmer wants to do is to have to dispose of the milk on his farm.” Additionally, the BCDA and the Mainland Milk Producers Association collectively donated $175,000 to Food Banks BC to purchase food staples that are in short supply. Dunn says supply chain issues may have resulted in slower delivery times but he has been very vocal about the fact that there is no shortage of milk, meaning buying limits in stores aren’t there because there isn’t enough milk being produced. “We communicated to government, we COVID-19 leads to oversupply of dairyOrganic market sees upturncommunicated through the Dairy Farmers of Canada, the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers saying there’s lots of milk. Please take the signs down,” he said. Most stores had taken down limits by Easter weekend as the supply chain began adjusting, resulting in an uptick in retail sales. As a result, the milk board rescinded the disposal order on April 14. “There’s still an excess of cream, which has been repurposed for animal feed or into clean energy through an anaerobic digester,” notes Dunn. COVID-19 has also resulted in stang issues for at least one processor. Another on Vancouver Island had to switch from glass to cartons after stores’ refusal to take returns resulted in a shortage of the bottles, Dunn adds. While conventional milk is tackling its issues, the organic milk sector is going strong. The specialty product is more reliant on uid milk sales so reduced foodservice demand has little had impact on sales. In fact, a 3% sleeve which allows producers to ship more milk without buying quota on March 31 continues, something Mara organic dairy farmer Quentin Bruns doesn’t think will last long. “I kind of thought that during times of tight money that people would view organic milk as a luxury item and I thought we would be the ones to be hit,” he notes. ”I’m surprised by demand increase but not convinced it will stay strong over time.” Dunn says the rapidly changing situation is being monitored closely across the world. “It’s a national challenge; it’s an international challenge, really,” he says. “There’s milk being disposed of on farms in Wisconsin, throughout the United States and other countries in the world, including New Zealand. So this is not unique to British Columbia or even to Canada.”

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BC Fairs positive as large events bannedPlanning continues as fairs look for ways to move forwardIt’s anyone’s guess how many BC fairs will be cancelling this summer as uncertainties about COVID-19 restrictions start to take their toll. SUBMITTED PHOTO / CLOVERDALE RODEOCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 15by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER CLOVERDALE – The BC Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions is bracing for a rollercoaster of a summer as restrictions around COVID-19 prompt organizers to cancel events across the province. Gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people through the end of May, and while the restrictions are reviewed every two weeks, that’s not likely to change. The provincial health order limiting events will more than likely be extended. “Things like the PNE are not likely to happen this year,” provincial health ocer Dr. Bonnie Henry told media on April 18. “This is not the time for that, and it will not be through this summer.” PNE representatives conrmed that the annual fair, which attracts more than 700,000 people each year, would not be taking place. A week before Henry’s statement, the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, set for May 15-18, announced that it would not go ahead because of COVID-19. Typically the rst fair of the season in BC, it made the dicult decision to postpone until 2021. Not alone Cloverdale wasn’t the only fair scaling back or cancelling its plans for 2020. Grand Forks and District Fall Fair and Demolition Derby, scheduled for September 12-13, has announced its postponement until 2021. The Pass Creek Fair and Pender Island Fall Fair are also cancelled for 2020. The Alberni and District Fall Fair will also not take place this year. The cancellations have been playing out across Canada, with fairs set for May and June the rst to pull the plug. Those scheduled for later in the season have been holding on in hope, but have gradually started cancelling, too. Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick have gone a step further, cancelling all agricultural fairs through the end of 2020. Many fairs in BC continue to monitor the situation day-by-day as the fair season approaches, hoping the easing of restrictions will allow them to continue. IPE general manager Yvonne Paulson says the fair in Armstrong is one of them. “We are being cautious with our decision making and our number one priority is the health and safety of our guests, sponsors, volunteers, sta, board and membership (the community at large),” she told Country Life in BC at press time. Some fairs are exploring ways to have a safe event, such as an online virtual fair, or by incorporating hand-washing and sanitizing stations. Layouts to accommodate physical distancing are also being explored. Optimistic BC Fairs executive director Janine Saw and BC Fairs president Karen Streeter continue to be optimistic as they support fair and exhibition committees throughout BC with bi-weekly Zoom meetings. A resource page on the BC Fairs website provides regular updates regarding COVID-19. “Agricultural fair boards in BC range from really concerned and cautious to determined that if there is a way to do it, there will be a fair,” says Saw. BC Fairs recommends that fairs keep planning and set a decision date with enough lead time to cancel if necessary. Saw recognizes the service members such as the entertainers, the concessions and the midway. West Coast Amusements is not operating due to COVID-19. All 4-H events have been cancelled. BC Fairs is communicating with other provincial fair associations as well as the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE). CAFE is concerned that non-prot volunteer organizations and the service providers that are impacted by COVID-19 may fall through the cracks if they’re not eligible for federal funding. For those fairs faced with the dicult decision to cancel in 2020, BC Fairs says to call it a postponement instead. “You’ve got to stay positive,” says Saw. “Don’t lose hope. You can start on next year’s fair, help other fairs, and stay positive.” —with les from Peter Mitham Quality Pre-Owned Tractors & EquipmentVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | AGCO ST47A 4WD LDR . . . . . . . COMING BOBCAT TOOLCAT . . . . . . . . . . . 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16 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCby JULIE ROBINSON FORT ST. JOHN – Due to high moisture conditions last fall, Peace River farmers still have over 40% of their annual crops out and unharvested. This means over 140,000 acres need to be managed before seed can go into the ground, resulting in over $33.5 million of crop that will be lost or greatly reduced in value due to having spent the winter out in the eld. The big challenge producers in the region face at this point is three-fold, according to BC Grain Producers Association president Rick Kantz, who farms near Fort St. John: how to harvest and seed at the same time with only one set of equipment. “Seeding this spring and harvesting will be extremely challenging due to the late and cold spring that the Peace is currently experiencing,” he says. Producers were hopeful they could begin harvesting in April, but it looks like harvest will need to happen at the same time as seeding, stretching available equipment and labour to the max. A secondary issue facing producers is cash ow. This is the second year in a row that producers have faced delays selling their crops. The 2018 crop had diculty reaching markets due to issues around rail access. The 2019 crop is only partially harvested resulting in some producers with the 2018 crop still in bins on the farm and debts mounting. While cash advances from the federal government through the 2018 Advance Payment Program has extended their repayment deadline to September 20, 2020, many producers in the Peace will need to put in crops with very little cash and very little time. “This means there will likely be more acres seeded to cereals and peas than canola in 2020, reducing 2020 potential prot margins,” says Robert Vander Linden, a director of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, farming near Dawson Creek. The re restrictions that came into eect April 16 banning category two and three res provincewide has been another signicant issue facing producers. This ban, expected to last to June 15, limits burning to stubble and last year’s crops. “Burning the elds is a faster way of getting many acres ready to seed in a short period of time,” says Kantz. Burning also reduces unnecessary tillage and soil erosion risks. The re ban complicates the timely completion of the work for farmers but the province is working with producers to allow them to proceed. Grain and oilseed producers who can't harvest their crop and need to burn it before reseeding can obtain an exemption letter and registration number from the BC Wildre Service. Producers also need to check with local re departments to see if a burn permit is required in their area. Peace growers facing multiple challenges Moving ahead means getting last year’s crop off the fields firstJustin Shipton estimates losses at $72,000 on this quarter section of canola north of Dawson Creek. PHOTO / JULIE ROBINSON

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Co-op considers four-way fix at crossroadsBC Tree Fruits will put consultants’recommendations to a voteBC Tree Fruits CEO Warren Saranchan says the co-operative will be moving out of its ofces soon. The building sits in the heart of downtown Kelowna, across from city hall and a block from Lake Okanagan. PHOTO / TOM WALKERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 17BC FRUIT GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION 1-800-619-9022 (ext 1) email: www.bcfga.comThe Province of BC has provided funding to enhance the competitiveness of the tree fruit sector. The fund is open to tree fruit growers, producers, and processors to support three key areas of priority: ● Research: cultivar, disease and pest research. ● Marketing: export market opportunities and market development research. ● Infrastructure: sector-based infrastructure modernization such as new equipment. The Tree Fruit Competitiveness Fund is jointly delivered by the BC Fruit Growers’ Association and Investment Agriculture Foundation BC. For details about the Tree Fruit Competitiveness Fund, including eligibility and application forms, please visit or, or contact Project intake is continous. Apply in advance of project initiation – 8 weeks minimum is recommended. Tree Fruit Competitiveness Fundby TOM WALKER KELOWNA – BC Tree Fruits Cooperative (BCTF), the largest fruit packer in the province, is at a crossroads. The grower-owned cooperative has been in disarray for years. They have gone through four CEOs in eight years, board disagreements have hit the media and grower returns have plummeted. A promise of stabilization began to appear this fall with the hiring of Warren Saranchan as CEO. Saranchan brought 25 years experience in business restructuring at food processing businesses including Sun-Rype, Maple Leaf Foods and Labatts. Summerland apple grower Steve Brown, a former eld person with the co-op was elected board chair. The two men came on board just as the 354-member co-op was embarking on a governance study, funded in part by the BC Tree Fruit Competitiveness Fund and undertaken by consultants John Kay and William Oemichen. Saranchan calls them two of the best in the business. A 52- page report was presented to the co-op’s board and members in February that is clear, direct, and damning. “A cascade of complex factors has pushed BC Tree Fruits into a serious, life- threatening crisis,” the report states, placing much of the responsibility on the board. “We nd that BCTF has reached a crisis point caused by numerous failures and problems with the organization’s structure and governance.” Those failures and problems underpin much of the turmoil of the past eight years, including the steady succession of top executives. “The board and membership is factionalized, often driven by personal agendas rather than business decisions and is light on the skills, experience and qualities necessary to govern the operations of a $140 million enterprise,” the report states. This has led to some of the province’s top growers leaving the co-op in recent years to ship through independent packers. The independents only accept fruit that meets their standards, and can secure higher returns for growers’ fruit. BCTF enforces no quality standards for members, who are allowed to ship fruit regardless of condition. As a result, the governance report describes BCTF as the valley’s “packing house of last resort.” Growers consider the study well-written and credible. “It doesn’t tell us anything we haven’t known for a couple of years,” one long-time Kelowna grower remarked. (Sources asked not to be named for fear of recriminations from fellow growers.) “But it puts it all together in one package and makes some clear recommendations for the way forward.” Tough and bold The study makes 15 recommendations that it describes as “tough and bold decisions” needed to end the crisis and chart a path forward. Some relate to membership and will need members’ approval, while others address issues with the board and only need the approval of directors. Saranchan explains the recommendations that must receive approval from two-four or ve cents they might receive doesn’t even cover the cost of picking that fruit. Instead, it becomes the co-op’s problem, bringing down returns for all growers. “I’m getting tired of being a hospital for growers’ lousy fruit,” one marketer said a couple of years ago, and the problem continues today. “We had between 8 and 9 million pounds of fruit that went into diversion this year,” says Saranchan. Growers who delivered top-grade fruit of the correct size were advanced just half of what they would have received in previous years, and this spring their second draw was a bill. “That’s absolute BS,” says one third-generation grower. “This is the rst time we have ever received a bill.” More qualifications The second recommendation being put to co-op members seeks higher eligibility requirements for prospective directors. “Candidates should be thirds of co-op members. “There are four that growers will vote on at a special AGM and will require a super-majority,” he says. “There are some recommendations to be adopted by the board and a couple that are directed at management.” The rst recommendation deals with poor fruit quality and calls for more restrictive membership criteria and enforcement of standards. “Members who are unwilling to improve fruit quality should be terminated,” the study says. Growers still deliver low- quality fruit to the door of the packing house, although the See CROSSROADS on next page oProfessionally trained farmer/horticulturist with a lifetime of practical farming experience.Knowledgeable with plowing, seeding, fertilizing, haying & spraying, including calibration of sprayers, seeders, fertilizer spreaders & irrigation equipment. Free consulting for the above if you are my customer.www.countrytractor.ca250.851.3101 1.888.851.3101Kamloops 580 Chilcotin RoadCLAUDIO ROTHENBACHER c 778.921.0004claudiorothenbacher@countrytractor.caONLY TWO LEFT Farmall 95C - no DEFContact Claudio for more info today

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CROSSROADS nfrom page 1718 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCIMPROVING IMPROVING AGRICULTURE!RENN0LOO&HQWHULV\RXU+6'LVWULEXWRUP: 403.784.3518 ZZZrennmill.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 PRVWÀH[LEOHUDNHVRQWKHPDUNHWand feature an overhead frame design for high volume capacity of crop.required to posses a minimum of a post-secondary certicate, diploma or degree recognized by a provincial, state or national authority,” the study recommends. “The current composition of the board and the eligibility requirements do not appear to reect the business needs and realities of the cooperative.” Instead, the study says the board has become a political body controlled by factions and driven by personal agendas rather than by economics and sound business decisions. Thirdly, growers will be asked to approve the appointment of two independent directors. “Independent directors are necessary to supplement and enhance the board’s experience and skills in critical areas such as nance, market development, supply chain management, real estate and similar functions that are aligned with the cooperative’s business operations,” explains the study. Strong boards have been a fact of Saranchan’s business experience. “Directors who can provide expertise are a foundation of a successful board,” he says. “I’ve heard growers suggest that independent directors would be management pawns. On the contrary, they are there to make us work better; they think with a dierent mindset.” The nal recommendation for grower approval proposes limiting directors to two consecutive three-year terms. After a one-year absence they may stand again. The study explains that longer-term board members are likely to begin thinking of themselves as sta members rather than a board director and risk crossing over to make what would be considered management decisions rather than focusing on policy issues. The four recommendations have sparked a range of responses from growers. “There is a lot of talk about what it means to be a member of the co-op,” says Saranchan. “The questions are useful as we start to talk about what comes next.” Regular governance reviews are critical to the well-being of any board, notes Saranchan. “It is critical to get governance right,” he says. “Governance can dene how a business makes money and how they spend money.” He says the co-op is at a critical point in its existence. “If growers vote not to change how the business works it is only going to put more pressure on returns,” he says. “I can’t stress enough how important it is that we make the changes that we need to make and we do it in a very timely way.” He urges members to ask as many questions as needed to get informed. The initial conversations he’s had have stoked his optimism. “How I am operating now is that as members learn and understand more about the various options in front of them, they will move the motions through,” he says. “The reality is we have to change the trajectory of this business.”by MYRNA STARK LEADER OTTAWA – Plans are on track to step up unannounced audits this summer at premises registered with the CanadaGAP certication program. The program’s executive director, Heather Gale, says the program usually undertakes 2,000 audits of the program’s approximately 3,100 participants each year. A tenth of this year’s audits will be unannounced, up from 5% when unannounced audits began in 2017. The audits are required under the terms of the Global Food Safety Initiative, an organization headquartered in Belgium. The increase in unannounced audits has been driven by the processing sector, which has faced greater food safety issues. Processors will experience an unannounced audit once every three years while farms can expect one about once every 10 years. “Customers [believe] an unannounced audit is better at nding non-compliance, but that hasn’t been the case with agriculture,” says Gale. She says auditors nd very few issues during inspections of farms, largely because producers know it’s not in their best interests to lose certication. Public health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened consumer interest in food safety. A recent Angus Reid survey found 52% of Canadians are avoiding grocery stores, up from 18% before the pandemic. While ordering meat or buying eggs from the farmer next door is an opportunity for many producers, the majority of Canadians want reassurance that what they consume is safe. Gale says if restrictions on social engagement remain in place for an extended period, remote audits or audits when premises aren’t active are possible. There’s also the option to extend existing certicates six months and do the audits within that time frame. However, that assumes that travel restrictions and other measures related to the pandemic are lifted. Surprise audits to doubleGAP shift reflects issues in the processing sectorDon’t forget to RENEW yourSubscription.

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Co-op focuses on cutting costs, increasing sales Assets, target markets under reviewMolly Thurston, left, of Pearl Agricultural Consulting (formerly a horticulturist with BC Tree Fruits), thanks Charlotte Leaming for her service to the industry at the BC tree fruit hort symposium earlier this year. PHOTO / TOM WALKERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 19by TOM WALKER KELOWNA – BC Tree Fruits Cooperative is considering several strategies to revive its agging fortunes, drawing on the expertise of business consultants John Kay and William Oeminchen, authors of a recent governance report for the co-op. “The strategies we are working on touch every function of the business,” says CEO Warren Saranchan. “We can come out of this and provide better returns to growers.” A top priority is the re-negotiation of purchasing agreements – “the items that we buy to get the fruit to market,” says Saranchan. Overhead costs are a big issue. With that in mind, the co-op plans to close its Water Street oce in downtown Kelowna, a block from Lake Okanagan. It could be sold, but a nal decision hasn’t been made. “I don’t like re sales. We really have to understand what the market is doing,” says Saranchan. A similar approach applies to the 85-acre turf farm within the Agricultural Land Reserve near the airport, which the co-op bought last year for $6.5 million to consolidate its packing operations. “The idea of holding on to a non-performing asset does not sit well with me,” says Saranchan. “Still, we have to make sure we are selling assets at the appropriate value.” Sale of the co-op’s Broken Ladder cider brand is under consideration, too. It lost $850,000 last year, and Saranchan says it needs to be xed pronto. “I am not opposed to diversication, and turning process-grade fruit into something of higher value makes sense,” says Saranchan. “But selling cider is dierent from selling apples.” Selling assets will not directly improve grower returns; for that, quality fruit is needed. But growers will be on their own this year with the retirement of long-time eld person Charlotte Leaming. She’s the sole survivor of lay-os last year that saw ve other sta terminated. “We will need to contract a certain amount of technical expertise to support the packing house with information from the orchards,” says Saranchan. But he says the co-op can’t keep providing support to growers in the current environment, especially when they’re not obliged to follow the recommendations and continue to ship poor-quality fruit. This past year, for example, calcium levels in apples were the lowest in 20 years, negatively impacting storage life. “With our current model, I could put 100 eld services sta out there and it would not change the growing practices or the fruit quality of some growers,” says Saranchan. “If you are looking to increase your production, you are going to have to invest in the support you need like any other business.” Saranchan says the co-op is assessing its target markets and considering where it can compete and be both protable and sustainable. “We are very focused now in Western Canada and I think there is an opportunity for us to focus on other markets,” he says. “I would rather take the top-quality fruit that we have and sell that into markets that want to do more business with us and who see the value, rather than play a lowest-price game.” The co-op recognizes that grower returns have been down for several years and that could limit the nancial resources growers may have to work the 2020 crop. “The cooperative is moving quickly to present a plan that will provide some nancial support to growers for the 2020 crop," says Saranchan. 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Cargill announced a temporary shutdown of its beef plant near High River where ofcials in the area are dealing with over 400 cases of COVID-19 linked to the plant, including the death of a worker in April. PHOTO / THE CANADIAN PRESS/JEFF MCINTOSHVolatility from plant shutdowns could hit BCRanchers anxious about fall sale pricesCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 21 THE HE BREED YOU CAN TRUST BrBrititish ish Cololumbiabia BCHA President John Lewis 250-218-2537 * Fer琀lity * Eciency * Longevity * BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 email: audreycifca@gmail.comemail: okanaganfeeders@gmail.com308 St. Laurent Avenue Quesnel, B.C. V2J 5A3Producers can apply for an advance on calves, yearlings, lambs, bison, forage and grain up to $1,000,000.00 with the rst $100.000.00 being interest free. For Canola advances the rst $500,000.00 is interest free. Plus, interest relief through the Advance Payments Program is available to association members on their feeder cattle TOM WALKER KAMLOOPS – As beef processing plant closures and slowdowns expand, the Canadian cattle industry continues to press government for more support. “The assistance measures announced by the federal government are far from adequate to help beef producers navigate through this critical situation,” says Bob Lowe, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). “Any further delay in implementing policies to help us manage through these dicult times will be crippling to the industry.” BC sends more than 90% of its animals to Alberta for slaughter. But on April 20, Cargill announced it was temporarily – and indenitely – closing its plant in High River, Alberta, thanks to an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees. The JBS plant in Brooks, where workers have also been hit with COVID-19, is down to one shift. Together those two plants account for 70% of federally inspected beef processing capacity in Canada. “Those production losses mean about 6,000 head a day below normal capacity in Western Canada,” says Dennis Laycraft executive vice-president of the CCA. “That translates to 30,000 fewer cattle being processed each week.” Alberta Health is monitoring the situation at the two plants, says Laycraft. Cargill had already installed 450 plexiglass shields on the cutting oor, workers were wearing visors, masks and gloves, only essential personnel were allowed in and movement within the plant was tightly controlled. Cargill is not saying when it will reopen. When it does, output will be reduced as infected workers will remain at home and others will stay away out of concern for their health. The shutdowns mean plants are not accepting cattle from feedlots. This has pushed down prices to their lowest levels since 2013. The week ending April 18 saw prices drop from $1.45 to $1.05 a pound. The result is a backlog at feedlots, which have been putting animals on a maintenance ration, according to Janice Tranberg, president of the National Cattle Feeders Association. “They are just trying to make the best of it,” she says. The impact could move back through the supply chain to BC. “Whether people choose to get rid of cattle because they want them gone, or if they are wondering if they have enough feed to continue holding them, they are certainly taking a hit,” says Andrea van Iterson, executive director of the BC Association of Cattlefeeders. “Right now there are still sales happening; it’s just at a very lowered rate.” BC’s beef industry is largely cow-calf operators who are just nishing calving and looking ahead to when they’ll start shipping those calves to market. “They have spent the money up front to produce those calves and are looking with angst at fall prices,” says Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. It seems like the ghosts of the BSE crisis in 2003 are returning “With BSE, the markets were closed to us,” says Lowe. “This time we can’t get the cattle processed, so it amounts to the same thing. The markets are there, and the cattle are there but the middle part is suering pretty badly.” One way to ease that middle part is to revive the set-aside program instituted in 2003. The program pays producers to withhold cattle from market when processing See SET-ASIDE on next page o

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SET-ASIDE program could provide support for ranchers nfrom page 2122 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCspace isn’t available. Producers receive nancial support to keep cattle on maintenance rations that keep them at a steady weight until processing capacity frees up. A committee of industry and government ocials would monitor the supply to determine how many animals are placed in the program. The industry began lobbying the government on the issue in March, fearing plants might shut down. That moment arrived in April. “The situation has gone from serious to critical,” says Fawn Jackson, director of government and international relations with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. But the federal government has yet to respond, and seems to be counting on the provinces to step up. “At present there is no action being taken,” she says. “Somebody needs to act now.” The volatility in the markets has caused a sharp increase in the price of the Western Livestock Price Insurance program at a time when it is needed most. “Premiums that were historically in the range of $15-$20 per head are now in the $70 per head range and that makes it ineective for our producers to use,” says Jackson. Western Livestock Price Insurance is one of the main programs the beef industry uses to manage risk. “Our recommendation to the federal government is to extend the program right across Canada to address and implement a cost-shared premium similar to how crop insurance works,” she explains. “We think that [crop insurance] is an example of how it can be adapted to the COVID-19 times.” CCA is further asking the government that COVID-19 be deemed a natural disaster under the AgriRecovery program, as well as eliminating the $3 million payment cap on AgriStability. It’s also calling for enhancements to both programs to make them more useful to the beef industry. “This is close to the severity we saw during BSE,” says Laycraft. “During that time, 27,000 producers left the industry. That’s pretty much a generation of producers.” He doesn’t want to see the same thing happen this time around, as it would take years for the industry to recover. The government is aware of both the immediate and ongoing impacts, he adds. “If they do move quickly with these programs and we can start to manage our way through, we expect we will see prices come back – not all the way, but back to pre-plant closure levels," he says. Doing nothing is not an option. It would cost the industry $500 million over the next few months. Providing immediate, short-term support would contribute to $350 million in economic activity through improved prices and eliminate the need for long-term supports. Laycraft says he is optimistic about the future. “Heading into 2020, we were expecting substantial increases in our export sales as a result of the CP-TPP [trade agreement] and recovering our access into China,” he notes. “When we get through this, we believe Canada is well-positioned as one of the leading suppliers of high-quality beef in the world and we believe our industry can be one of the engines of recovery for our economy.” Cattle associations are lobbying federal and provincial governments to throw their producers a lifeline in the wake of plant closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. FILE PHOTO / LIZ TWAN

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Island farmers renew request for local abattoirDemand for local meat, shutdowns spur new pushCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 23Have you herd? VBP+ TrainingWorkshops or Webinarsare Free!Looking to learn moreabout how to raisehealthy beef cattle?Open to producers of allsizes!free to all beef producersin bc!by TOM WALKER PORT ALBERNI – The Alberni Farmers’ Institute is renewing a request to have the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) designated a Class D and E licensing area under BC’s Meat Inspection Regulation. “The regional district rst made a formal application to the government back in 2017,” says Lisa Aylard, president of the Alberni Farmers’ Institute. “They sent a follow-up request last September during the province’s consultation with regional districts about Class D slaughter licences as part of their on-going contact with the government over this issue. But no decision has been made.” ACRD lacks an A or B-class processing plant for red meat. The recent closure of Plecas Meats in Nanaimo means the closest provincially licensed abattoir to Port Alberni is 103 km away in Courtenay. The next closest is in Duncan, 134 km away. Aylard says the COVID-19 crisis has just made the situation worse. “Travelling that far is not acceptable for health and safety reasons,” she says. “We are seeing an increase in consumers wanting to purchase local meat during this time and producers in our region are facing an unfair economic hurdle to have to travel away and back to provide meat for those customers.” Paying someone else to process animals means less prot for small farmers. “We have lost a lot of local agriculture because of this,” says Aylard. “There used to be a lot of people in the valley who had one or two cows.” While the number of animals in the area doesn’t warrant a Class A facility, she says a Class D plant could go a long way to encourage more meat production. Aordable land in the Alberni Valley is attracting new farmers. “We have these young people in our farmers’ institute that are all gung-ho and then they get hit with these regulations [against on-farm slaughter,” says Aylard. Increased demand The lack of a local abattoir was highlighted as a barrier to development of the regional livestock industry in the ACRD agriculture plan drafted in 2011. A feasibility study for a Class A plant for red meat in 2016 highlighted many benets but the community said it was not feasible due to a lack of funding, management and inadequate production volume. But demand remains, and has even increased. “The lack of access to red meat slaughter services has been a key roadblock to sustaining livestock production within our region,” the ACRD told BC agriculture minister Lana Popham last September. ”Our producers are suering due to the competitive disadvantage of having to transport out of the region and the lack of access to services.” “What we need is the ability to do on-farm slaughter the way farmers always have,” says Aylard. “When the regulations changed after BSE, it took away our control and our ability to make economic development on local farms.” She is not opposed to a change to provincial inspection for remote facilities. “If they can do long-distance support for remote medical surgery, I’m sure we can put something in place for animal processing,” she says. The lack of government response to the issue is frustrating. “The wheels on the bus are turning awfully slowly,” says Aylard. The closure of Plecas Meats in Nanaimo means one less abattoir option among already too few for Vancouver Island farmers. Rod Plecas, left, with Susan Toth and butcher Brad Lester, retired at the end of March, closing the doors on the plant his dad started back in 1962. The last slaughter day was March 16. PHOTO / BOB COLLINSEnd of an era“Serving and Supporting the Community Together”PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR B.C. #34ALL SIZES MARKET GOATS & LAMBS604.465.4752 (Ext 105)FAX 604.465.4744 ashiq@meadowvalleymeats.comVAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 | Compact design, low centre of gravity, tight turning radius and powerful performance. Hoftracs effortlessly fulfil any work task and work quickly, flexibly and safely — ready to go to work.The multifunctional HoftracCall us for a test drive!

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Meat processing capacity stable despite closuresProducer incomes take hit as pandemic cuts demandBC meat processors haven’t been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic the way other larger operations have been across Canada. PHOTO / FILE24 | MAY 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 BCPROVINCIAL LIVESTOCK FENCING PROGRAMApplications Close: September 30, 2020View program updates atce: 1.778.412.7000 Toll Free: 1.866.398.2848email: In partnership with:Producer Check-o Supports Beef Industry 1.877.688.2333by PETER MITHAM LANGLEY – BC meat processors have largely continued to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite shutdowns at two federally inspected poultry plants last month. But shutdowns elsewhere have put downward pressure on prices, compounding the impact of reduced demand from foodservice buyers. The tiny BC hog sector, for example, has continued to send more than 2,000 hogs a week to the Johnston’s and Britco plants. Both operations have kept running, adjusting practices to keep workers healthy and maintain volumes despite reduced staff numbers. “Producers in the province, as far as getting their hogs processed, have had no trouble,” says Jack DeWit, chair of the BC Hog Marketing Commission. But the shutdown of plants in eastern Canada as well as the US has cut processing capacity and pushed down hog prices. This in turn means less cash for producers, including those in BC. “The problem is the prices have totally collapsed,” DeWit says. “Processors have a formula that they base off of the US price and they use it right across this country.” According to Rick Bergmann, chair of the Canadian Pork Council, hog prices have fallen by at least 30% since consumers’ first rush of panic buying ended. “While initially it looked like markets might strengthen under consumers’ panic buying in grocery stores, markets have since undergone some of the fastest, deepest declines on record as demand shifted from foodservice to retail and processors reduced capacity or closed plants,” says Bergmann. “Producers across our country expect to lose approximately $675 million. Individual producers are expecting to lose about $30 a hog for every hog marketed this year.” Hogs currently in barns are now virtually worthless, he adds. “[There’s] nothing to secure debt against,” he says. “Without emergency support, they won’t be in a position to repay the existing debt they already have, let alone any additional debt taken on during the crisis.” The Canadian Pork Council asked Ottawa on April 23 for an emergency payment of $20 a head to cover what amounts to a cash-flow crisis. The demand followed a similar request from the cattle industry a few days earlier, which has also seen market prices fall by more than 30% in a matter of days as key plants closed and demand for fed cattle collapsed. Chicken producers enjoy a shorter production cycle and can be more adaptable. The closure of United Poultry’s plant in Vancouver after employees tested positive on April 19 and positive test results at Superior Poultry, its sister plant in Coquitlam a few days later, have not had a significant impact on producers or retail supplies. “That plant took just under 4% of our weekly production, so as long as we don’t have another plant going down, we’ll be fine,” says Bill Vanderspek, chair of the BC Chicken Marketing Board. Physical distancing measures and changes to production practice have not impacted processing capacity, he adds. However, chicken producers have seen demand from foodservice customers collapse with the closure of restaurants and hotels. “We figure we’re down in the West about 7.5%,” he says, but noted that’s about half the decline seen in Eastern Canada. “Obviously, if you’re producing 7.5% less, your net income is going to be reduced somewhat, but right now we’re as close as we can expect to be to business as usual. There’s still high demand for our product at retail.” Nova Woodbury, chair of the BC Association of Abattoirs, understands that many provincially licensed plants have stepped up to accommodate additional product as necessary. “My understanding is that United Poultry also worked on redistributing to other plants,” she says. “Producers are finding that animals can be processed locally, which is good.” The challenges facing the entire supply chain underscore the need for better strategies to support meat processing in the province, however. “There’s some strategies that are going to have to be developed more regionally and nationally,” Woodbury says. “We need to build a strategy longer-term. … What [the pandemic]’s hopefully going to do is bring people together.”

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 25ROTATOR®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 REPLACEMENTSDirect marketing saves producers’ bacon Online sales pick up the slack from restaurant, market closuresby TOM WALKER FALKLAND – A stall at the farmer’s market is a key marketing strategy for many small producers across the province. But what do you do if the market is closed or greatly reduced and your restaurant clients shutter their doors? It’s a scenario many small farmers across BC faced in March and which is likely to endure for the foreseeable future. “In a period of several weeks in March we lost probably 80% of our usual delivery method to get our product to customers,” says Lisa Dueck of Sterling Springs Chicken in Falkland. “I can’t underscore enough how big a blow that was to our farm and our business.” Dueck says her barn is full of birds, as well as her freezer and fridge, in anticipation of summer farmers’ markets opening in Kelowna and Vernon. She also supplies winery restaurants throughout the region, but both her markets and restaurants were shut down in March as managers scrambled to navigate public health orders. “All of that expense in and we just had to pivot and try to nd new methods of getting product out,” she says. “We have been successful at doing that and I am super grateful that things have come together the way they have.” Sterling Springs has a farm store along the highway in Falkland and oers customers a curbside pickup option. “Retailers have picked up where restaurants have fallen o,” Dueck adds, with a special nod to Farm Bound Organics Ltd., an organic food delivery business in Vernon which delivers to consumers across central and northern BC. “They have been amazing at taking our product and getting it out to people. … Our overall sales should have dropped dramatically, but they haven’t.” Social media and a home-grown order system have played a big part. “My sister took over our social media about a year ago,” says Dueck. “So there was already the ability to contact our customers directly and they have been absolutely amazing at nding us.” Sterling Springs takes e-mail and phone orders through the week and has been organizing pop-up locations to Donning the required personal protective equipment, Stevie LaRoche of The Rock Eatery in Falkland has a special delivery for Lisa Dueck of Sterling Springs Ranch, one of her suppliers. Dueck has been quick to change her delivery model to keep Sterling Springs' chicken moving from farm to plate while restrictions remain in place to ght COVID-19. SUBMITTED PHOTO / STERLING SPRINGS RANCHSee ONLINE on next page o

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26 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCdeliver to its customers. “They have found us week after week even though we are in a dierent spot each week,” says Dueck. “They have been awesome.” Easy move Upping online ordering was an easy move for Spray Creek Ranch, which has been growing that part of its business since 2018. “We are in the lucky position that in 2018 we introduced pre-ordering online,” says rancher Tristan Banwell. “We prepack the orders and deliver them at the farmers’ market.” Spray Creek uses a sales platform developed by Ontario-based Local Line, which is also assisting the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets to help its members go online. By 2019, online orders for direct-to-consumer delivery accounted for 40% of Spray Creek’s sales at markets in Lillooet, Pemberton, Squamish and Whistler. Walk-up sales were around 40% and the remaining 20% were wholesale deliveries to bakeries, restaurants, food trucks and other foodservice customers. “This year, that 20% for wholesale has completely gone,” Banwell says. “The farmers markets, we are not totally clear on. The ones we would participate in, and how and when they will be operating is unclear, and varying between the markets.” This means online orders will be even more critical for Spray Creek. “Customers go online to order and we have added a second delivery date so we are twice a month” says Banwell. “We wanted to allay peoples fears, that it’s okay, we are coming.” Spray Creek’s drop-os in Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish – all communities where he normally attends farmers’ markets – usually last an hour, with people lined up two metres apart per public health orders. Just a couple of customers from their last delivery of 120 orders did not prepay. “I get their name, I pull out their order, I put it on the table, I step back and they step up and take their order,” he says. Dueck has a similar system. Customers take a number when they arrive at her truck and she grabs their order when their number comes up. Both Dueck and Banwell say social distancing protocols have not been a problem. “People are respecting all of that and they are doing it themselves,” says Banwell. “We haven’t had to go around and prompt people.” Does this mean farmers markets’ aren’t necessary for their business? Dueck says that they have secured a spot as one of the 15 food-only vendors at the Kelowna market, and they will also be at the Vernon market. Banwell isn’t so sure. “We are watching what farmers’ markets are doing,” he says. “But I think we are not going to be attending farmers’ markets this year. We are going to continue with our drop model.” He points out that the social aspect of markets has disappeared with the distancing requirements. People can’t stop and chat with the vendor, or with friends. They have to move on. “Given the loss of that kind of experience, it will be easier for our customers to get their food at a drop point,” says Banwell. “If they have taken the initiative to pre-order, they shouldn’t have to wait in the line-up to get into the farmers market.” The social aspect has transferred to online as well. “We are maintaining that kind of connection and story with our customers by increasing the number of blog posts we are doing,” says Banwell. “We are out there on social media and sending our e-mail news letter.” Dueck acknowledges the social aspect of a farmers’ market, but says their real purpose is to distribute local food. This isn’t recognized by cities, she says. “We are going to have to really rethink the importance of the local food structure and make that more of a priority,” she says, noting that market managers have been doing a great job advocating for their markets. “They have been working their tail o to try to get the channels open again.” Both vendors say their online direct-to- customer sales are working for them. “Even with the loss of all these other venues our March sales were equivalent to the sales we do in September and October,” says Banwell. “Things are not going to be the same moving forward,” says Dueck. “I hope that we can put something in place that will allow us to continue local food distribution to avoid this happening again.” “I get their name, I pull out their order, I put it on the table, I step back and they step up and take their order.” Tristan Banwell, Spray Creek RanchONLINE orders surge nfrom page 25AHEAD OF THE CURVE. Spray Creek Ranch started encouraging their customers to pre-order online in 2018. With restrictions due to COVID-19, it is a marketing tool that is paying off, says Tristan Banwell, pictured with son Twain. PHOTO / SPRAY CREEK RANCHWe service all makes!Power through your entire to-do list.The Challenger® MT500E Series tractor combines row crop muscle and barn work agility to tackle any job on the farm. With multiple power, transmission, cab and PTO options, the MT500E Series is an ultra-dependable, low-maintenance machine designed to boost your uptime and performance. www.challenger-ag.usSUNFLOWER 1000 SERIES DISC HARROWS are the #1 choice for seedbed preparation.The mid-size, 5-ton S-500 Willmar spreader is versatile enough to adapt to nearly any situation on small or large farm operations. VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT (1989) LTD. 23390 RIVER ROAD, MAPLE RIDGE, BC V2W 1B6 604/463-3681 |

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Small producers ride the online sales waveCOVID-19 accelerates shift to online salesKendall Ballantine spoke to BC Association of Farmers Markets members about her success with online direct marketing, which helped her win Market Vendor of the Year, just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. PHOTO / PETER MITHAMCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 27Insurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Please visit or contact Assante at 1-800-268-3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice.Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planningDriediger Wealth PlanningMark Driediger, CFP, FEA, Senior Wealth AdvisorBrent Driediger, BAA, CPA, CMA, CFP, Wealth | 604.859.4890 Assante Financial Management PETER MITHAM LANGLEY – The past two years have seen online grocery options explode in Canada. Loblaw Cos. Ltd., for example, doubled the reach of its PCexpress ordering and pickup service in 2018 after entering a partnership with US-based sales platform Instacart. According to Kendall Ballantine, who began raising meat at Central Park Farms in Langley after a successful marketing career with major beverage companies, 17.5% of Canadians shopped for groceries online in 2019, and another 52.4% were open to doing so. “You’ve got people like Save-on-Foods that are putting a lot of money into promoting that for people,” she told the annual conference of the BC Association of Farmers Markets in Harrison Hot Spring at the beginning of March. “So let’s ride their marketing and get people doing it.” A few days after her presentation, restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 kicked in and, after a surge of panic buying for staples, people began ordering online, overwhelming systems. According to Angus Reid, just 10% of shoppers ordered groceries online the week ended March 16; two weeks later, the proportion had leapt to 17%, and showed no signs of slowing down as people avoided public spaces. “It’s moving a lot,” says food industry analyst Sylvain Charlebois of the Agrifood Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. “We’re creatures of habit, but I suspect that because of the length of this crisis, some new habits will prevail.” Ballantine is prepared. A health scare in 2019 prompted her to scale back her presence at farmers markets and streamline her sales process. She went from six markets a week to two, and focused on online orders so she could manage demand and make sure customers got what they wanted. By the end of the year, she had rung up $180,000 in online orders, in addition to on-site sales. “It was really hard to gure out who was going to want which product on which days,” she says. “By giving people the option to pre-order and pick up at the farmers’ market, not only did I have guaranteed revenue, … I also knew what people wanted, so our die-hard customers weren’t showing up at the market and not getting what they wanted.” Ballantine uses SquareSpace as her e-commerce platform. It lets customers customize orders while giving her insights into what’s selling, who’s buying and how to improve her oerings. “It gives me the data to make smart choices in my business,” she says. “It also helps me gure out, if we sold a lot of chicken breasts online, I may not need to bring as much chicken breasts to the market that day for live, on-the-spot sales because I know a lot of people already bought it online.” She sets a deadline of midnight Thursday for orders. People select from the more than 90 items she oers, including cuts of beef, pork and chicken, as well as eggs and 14 types of sausage. Her mother assembles the orders on Friday for pick-up at markets on Saturday and Sunday. “Her Friday covers the equivalent of what we were doing at four other farmers’ markets, so it’s worth it for us, hands-down,” she says. “But it’s a lot to pack in a single day.” While she would have made the deadline a day earlier in retrospect, there’s no doubt that managing orders, inventory and demand has become a lot more manageable. “I want as many people ordering online as possible,” she says. “It makes it easier for me when I go to Vancouver and I have to try and t all that stu into [a] 10 x 10 [stall], and it also kills my line-up.” Ballantine paces orders, however, by tightly controlling the inventory released for online sale. This helps manage the sorting and packing of product for each order, and a more even ow from gate to plate. “What we do is put inventory online, less of it, more often,” she says, giving the example of one of her top-selling items, chicken breasts. “We will have at most 20 to 25 packages of chicken breast online at any one time.” She maintains a separate inventory for on-site sales at farmers markets. This allows for a dedicated product assortment for online customers, but also helps her track what’s actually being sold at each market. While she attempts to maintain parity in pricing between online and on-site sales at markets, she candidly says it was the one area where she had to rejig the system. “Pricing was the number-one mistake that we made,” she says. “We did some rejigging of our pricing in the spring, and I at-rated as much as I could.” Sausages, ground beef and anything where the size is standard, she sells with a per-item price rather than by weight. Chickens are still sold by weight, she says, but even this might change. “We may need to do a small chicken and a medium chicken and a large chicken,” she says. To manage both pricing and inventory control, she recommended that producers consider a bulk box that lets customers order an assortment of products for a set price. Central Park’s boxes oer a mix of premium items rounded out with ones that may be in oversupply. (“If you buy a mixed meat box from me, you’re getting chicken wings,” she quips.) She oered two options, one at $150 and another at $300. The result has paid o, not only online but at the market. “We have grown at the market level and at the online level,” she says. “The more we can get people into a business model like this, the more it draws people to the market that maybe wouldn’t have shopped at the market before.”

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Farm equipment dealers keep sales movingService sector is essential to keeping farms growingBevan Jones of Rollins Equipment says, with the exception of social distancing protocols in place, it’s been pretty much business as usual at the Chilliwack store in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO / LYNDA OLLENBERGERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 29DRY WITH THE SPEED OF LIGHTINVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordHuber Farm EquipmentPrince GeorgeNorthline Equipment, Ltd.Dawson CreekCountry TractorArmstrongKamloopsVisit your local British Columbia KUHN Dealer today!GF 102 / GF 100 2 SERIES ROTARY TEDDERS• Exclusive DigiDrive® couplers provide low maintenance and long life• Reduce drying time with asymmetrical tines and steep pitch angles• Hydraulic folding for easy transportation between work and 昀eld• Multiple options and adjustments allow for tedding in various crop conditions15 models from 8’6” – 56’5” tedding widthsby MYRNA STARK LEADER CHILLIWACK – As essential businesses, BC’s farm equipment dealers are adapting to the challenges COVID-19 has created for agriculture and keeping their doors open. Bevan Jones, branch manager at Rollins Machinery in Chilliwack, says the dealership’s parts and service department has seen normal levels of activity. “People are somewhat isolated on the farm and farmers are basically optimistic people so they just keep going,” he says. “Our plan is to remain open as long as we can, as long as our sta are well.” Rollins sells and services New Holland, Supreme, Pottinger and Anderson equipment. The business has plexiglassed service counters, put in place six-foot separations between customers and removed the common coee maker and water dispenser. It’s also placing parts orders outside for customers to pick up. To mitigate risk, all service vehicles are now o the main yard so they can be available should the operation have to close to the public. Jones noted a dip in overall new equipment sales, but that could also be due to a cool, slow spring. He’s heard about equipment manufacturing plants being shut down in Italy, Turkey and Britain due to COVID-19 stang issues, which could lead to a cutback in availability of new equipment, but retail orders that were in place are being observed rst and he’s hoping that parts remain available and a priority. Jones doesn’t have a crystal ball but he doesn’t expect restrictions to be lifted until May at the earliest. PrairieCoast Equipment, which exclusively represents John Deere, has a broader view of COVID-19 impacts by region and sector since its 10 locations across BC and northern Alberta serve dairy, grain, ranchers, vineyards, orchards and other producers. Company general manager JD Frame says PrairieCoast’s safety committee formed a group that began meeting every day by phone in early March to discuss how to keep its company’s solid safety record and its just under 300 employees safe during the pandemic. The daily discussions continue. “It started with protecting frontline employees – things like specic wipe-down procedures and check lists,” explains Frame, adding that social distancing and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are in place. “We’re really trying hard to remain open and remain business-as-usual but we decided to close Saturdays to give sta a break,” he says. Three years ago, the business launched an online service centre to help customers install parts or troubleshoot issues. Customers can also order parts and pay online through the service. The volume of business being conducted this way has jumped by more than 15% recently. Supportive “John Deere has been very supportive,” says Frame. “While I think they have been challenged on labour at distribution points, we’ve had no issues so far – no shortages of supply or change to shipping.” Frame says after ve solid years in agriculture, the business has grown as a result of producers having money to buy rather than repair and replace. But in the Peace region, low oil prices have had a big impact on retail spending so they are also watching that scenario as well, particularly with smaller pieces of equipment like mowers. Dairy producers say their sector is solid and grain producers were seeing product move to market with upward pressure on wheat, canola and pea prices. “We might be a bit concerned if options to nance become limited. We do a lot of business through [Farm Credit Canada] and John Deere Financial so they are doing what they can to help people,” he says. While the pandemic means uncertain times, farmers are used to dealing with unknowns. 1-888-770-7333BILL AWMACKSee DEALERS on next page o

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DEALERS maintain service levels as best they can nfrom page 2930 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCRun with us. Because even if the world stands still, you cannot.90 DAYSNO PAYMENTS &NO INTEREST0%FINANCING UP TO72MONTHSUP TO$15,000FACTORY BONUS(6 SERIES)++GREAT OFFERS AVAILABLE FOR5&6 SERIES TRACTORSPRINCE GEORGE 250-561-4260 | KAMLOOPS 250-573-4412 | KELOWNA 250-765-9765 | CHILLIWACK 604-792-1516 | NANAIMO 778-441-3210PRAIRIECOASTEQUIPMENT.COMTOLL FREE: 1-877-553-3373Offers valid April 15-July 6, 2020. See dealer for details. Some restrictions may apply.“Farmers are used to these challenges. They live weather. They live disease. Farmers are more adaptable because something is coming at them all the time,” he says. Frame says a few employees have accepted a voluntary layo in the interests of their health and family commitments. It hasn’t left him short-staed, but he’s doing everything he can to protect positions because he believes that when the sector and economy turn up, it will do so quite quickly. “Our message to our employees is that the world needs food. Our customers provide the world food and we support our customers in doing so,” he says. Challenging Chris Britten, co-owner and operations manager at Avenue Machinery in Abbotsford, says he was preparing for a slower year and reduced revenue before COVID-19 hit, noting an abundance of used equipment on the market. While still early in the season and hoping for a better fall, Britten’s hands were full at the end of March. Not only did the three stores – two in the Okanagan and one on the coast – have to make accommodations like installing plexiglass to protect frontline workers – he’s also challenged with about 10% of his sta o, concerned for their own health. “Yes, it’s only 10% but they are skilled employees so we need them, and there isn’t an overwhelming supply of people in the labour market who can do their jobs, so it’s been tough,” says Britten. “We’re managing but it is denitely dicult,” he comments. The eects of the pandemic are even being felt in parts of the province with relatively low infection counts. A quarter of the employees at New Holland dealer Butler Farm Equipment in Fort St. John were out of the country when travel restrictions came into place, and they needed to self-isolate on their return. Many farmers have also been away, but as they return to begin a new season, Butler parts and administrative manager Miranda Braun says the dealership is asking them to be mindful of their own health and that of the dealership’s sta. “We have signage on the door to ask people who have travelled or don’t feel well to not come in,” she says. “We have no face shields because I have two computer monitors so customers can see transactions and we don’t have to be more than six feet close.” Customers often show sta the parts they need with their cell phones but Braun plans to have people e-mail those instead this spring. All the dealers say the safety of their sta is their top priority, followed by customer safety. “We’ve told sta their job is secure, but it’s their decision whether they are here or not,” says Braun. “But we are going to be here because agriculture is essential.” PrairieCoast Equipment has cut back on opening Saturdays to give employees a break from the stress of dealing with new operating procedures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER

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Members of the BC Strawberry Growers Association will be looking to government for assistance if marketing challenges push prices below the cost of production. FILE PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADERCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 1.888.856.6613@TubelineMFGFind us onBALEWRAPPERSSPREADERSSILAGE BLADES BALE PROCESSORSWrap up yoursavings with low rate financing.Visit us online for program RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD – BC strawberry growers unanimously approved an increase to the per-pound levy paid on fruit to 0.75 cents from 0.5 cents at their annual meeting on April 9. The increase is the rst in recent memory, and will help the BC Strawberry Growers Association cover a persistent decit in its annual budget. “I think we’ve got to increase it. I don’t know what else to do. We’ve got to keep the association going,” said association president Ed McKim prior to members voting on increasing the levy during a videoconference that took the place of the traditional in-person meeting. Of the association’s 50-plus members, 11 took part. The levy will apply to all berries, whether fresh or processed. “We haven’t had an increase for 35, 40 years,” said association vice-president Alf Krause. “Maybe 50 years.” The 2020 budget presented to members estimated expenses at $220,000 and income of $179,000. This year’s shortfall will be covered by a $26,000 surplus from last year, a result of expenses coming in less than expected, and the increase in the 2020 levy that could amount to $18,000 if yields remain similar to 2019. Association members harvested more than 2.4 million pounds of berries last year, of which more than 55,700 pounds went for processing. An additional 340,000 pounds of fruit was harvested and sold fresh by non-member growers, according to Statistics Canada. Levies are only applied to berries harvested by member growers. Members also approved changing the processed berry licensing requirement to apply only to those growers and processors packing 30 tons or more of fruit. Currently, all growers and packers of processed berries are required to pay the $1,000 licence fee collected by the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission. The change was drafted by the commission and the association in an attempt to reduce paperwork. The commission approved the change at its meeting in late April. Rhonda Driediger noted that paperwork associated with the licences is a “ridiculous” burden. “We are at record lows for processing,” she says. “It removes the hassle, so that’s good.” COVID-19 restrictions are creating challenges for the association’s research programs. Some research facilities are closed or have limited access and the association’s research director Eric Gerbrandt says it’s tough to keep the programs running. “We’re doing everything we can to protect the plant material, keep the program moving forward and salvage as much as we can,” he says. Several growers expressed concerns regarding access to labour this season. Regulations are tighter and costs will be higher for the foreign workers they’re used to hiring. Driediger says the labour situation is changing daily but she expects “a ton” of unskilled locals looking for work. “It’s going to be crappy. They may show up for ve days and not show up again,” she says. Driediger is also concerned at the nancial toll of public health restrictions on farms. Growers have access to operating loans, but what they’ll need as the season gets underway is cash ow. She doesn’t expect that in the rst half of the season. “Unfortunately, berries are a luxury item,” Driediger said. “Any stored crop has great sales, but anything people don’t see as necessary is falling at. It’s a tough situation. Hopefully, by July/August it changes.” She noted that freezing is an option for strawberries if fresh sales fall short. However, pricing for both fresh and frozen fruit is hard to predict at this point. “We are looking to government,” she says for subsidies or other initiatives to help with pricing if needed. “If [the government is] doling out money to airlines and everyone else, we feed people; we should get the same incentives,” she says. Strawberry association manager Lisa Craig noted public perception of farm practices, particularly around labour, is also an emerging issue. A consumer recently called her concerned about workers sitting together on a bus without the recommended six-foot separation. She advised growers to have hand-washing stations and glove changes outside the bus and to be prepared to explain to farm visitors the protocols they’re following. For example, they may need to explain that workers travelling together also live together. Board members Krause, Dave Khakh and Mike Lepp let their names stand for a further term, and were returned by acclamation. Strawberry growers pin survival on leviesAssociation turns to members to cover deficitBlueberry and raspberry AGMs postponed While the BC Strawberry Growers Association proceeded with its annual general meeting by videoconference, the Raspberry Industry Development Council and BC Blueberry Council have deferred their annual general meetings as a result of event restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Blueberry council chair Jack Bates says the large number required for a quorum make a conference call too dicult. “It’s probably going to be delayed to the fall,” he says. “We usually have a grower meeting in October so that may be the AGM.” The raspberry council’s board also opted to defer its annual meeting of members. “For now, we’re just postponing it,” says chair James Bergen. “We’re in unprecedented circumstances.”

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32 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCHIGH EFFICIENCY. HIGH ACREAGE. HIGH YIELDS. LOOK TO LEMKENRUBIN 10 - its superior clearance and 25” discs allow the Rubin 10 to work and control a greater amount of organic matter. Its symmetrical arrangement of discs is unique in the industry and ensures work in a straight line without any lateral oset. Working in a straight line saves fuel and optimizes GPS guidance.@strategictill | 938-0076agrigem.comby PETER MITHAM ABBOTSFORD – Growers who focus on producing top-quality raspberries could have an edge this year as buyers shy away from suppliers providing low-quality fruit. “We’ve been hearing some rumours that some of the companies that have tried to cheap out on their ingredients are seeing signicant customer complaints,” Ben Klootwyk of Pacic Coast Fruit Products Ltd. in Abbotsford told growers at the Pacic Agriculture Show in January. “This could possibly mean we’ll see a step back towards more quality ingredients – typically what we supply here in the Pacic Northwest.” This means that the year ahead could see higher prices paid to growers, particularly for fruit destined for the fresh and individually quick frozen (IQF) market. “Going into 2020 and 2021, more development will be needed for the higher-prot market such as the fresh and IQF,” he said. Berries processed for purées and juices will see lower pricing, as the juice market has attened. “This was most likely due to a larger food trend that we’re seeing where people are moving away from processed foods and more into fresh and frozen, simply due to perceived health benets and less sugar,” said Klootwyk Overall demand for raspberries last year rose 2.6% for conventional fruit and 2.2% for organic, he said. Yet recent years have seen raspberry production drop in BC, and 2019 was no exception. BC produced 6,789 tonnes in 2019, according to Statistics Canada, or 76% of the national harvest. “It was a cool summer with some rain events … but other than that the harvest began at the usual dates,” said Klootwyk. “Volume-wise, as any grower will tell you here, the Pacic Northwest was down compared to the last three years.” BC took the greatest hit, with volumes down 25% versus 2018. This wasn’t a bad thing, however, as the large 2018 crop gave buyers plenty of options in 2019. This led to what Klootwyk described as “more or less a clean-up year.” He expects very little carryover from last year as the new season gets underway and opportunities open up for fresh market sales and healthier options, two trends underway even before COVID-19 put a spotlight on local food sources. While raspberry production is down signicantly from 2009, dropping 36% in BC and 29% nationally, the fresh market has proved more resilient than the processing market. Nationally, raspberries sent for processing have declined by 30% over the past decade, says Farid Makki, a fruit sector specialist in the market and industry services branch with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Burnaby. Over the same period, fresh market production has increased by 20%. The decline in processing volumes has been countered with imports, Makki explains, noting that Canada imported 11,909 tonnes of frozen raspberries worth $46 million in 2018. But growers for the fresh market also face sti competition, even as this remains a bright segment of the market for domestic farms. Canada imported 28,335 tonnes of fresh raspberries in 2018; 55% came from Mexico and 44% from the US. These imports meet 90% of domestic demand for fresh raspberries. “The good thing is that demand for raspberries has been going up and continues to grow,” says Makki. “There’s still signicant potential to ll demand from the fresh market.” Raspberry growers target fresh market, qualityGrowing demand is a plus for local growers despite competition from importsFILE PHOTO

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A new generation adds value to create opportunitiesAvi Gill shows off his signature apple soda inside his family’s on-farm production and tasting room PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADER COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 33Farm and Rural Residential Properties in the Peace Country are our specialtyAnne H. ClaytonMBA, AACI P App, RIAppraiserJudi LeemingBHE, AIC Candidate250.782.1088info@aspengrovepropertyservices.caby MYRNA STARK LEADER KELOWNA – At 28, Avi Gill recognizes the need to do things dierently to keep his family’s 26-year tradition of growing Okanagan apples and cherries protable. While production improvements are on-going and have helped increase the crops’ value, Gill has turned his attention to adding value to apples, which continue to face price challenges. Born in Penticton to parents who emigrated to Canada from India, Gill was raised on the family’s farm in Kelowna but left for university and completed a science and pharmacy degree at UBC in 2016. He managed a drug store in Kelowna for about 18 months before returning to the orchard. The operation had grown from a single property of 20 acres in 1994 to an assortment of owned and leased properties encompassing 150 acres, largely in southeast Kelowna. “We sat down as a family at the end of 2017 to talk about succession planning and how we can help build on the existing business. We decided that because of commodity prices and limited control of them, we should make value added fruit products,” says Gill. He started making apple juice but it didn’t take long for another idea to evolve, formulating an apple soda made from pure apple juice. Anthony Lewis, co-founder of the Vibrant Vine Winery, was a major contributor in realizing the vision. The concept is one apple per can, water and carbonation with no added avours or colour. Gill says retailers tell him the drink is the rst of its kind. “We’ve tried to keep it very simple and healthy. Rather than using many apples to make one cup of juice, our drink has the equivalent of juice from one apple making it lower calorie than juice, but adding the zz people crave. At 50 calories a can, we say it’s like eating an apple in a dierent way,” explains Gill. The new brand, Farming Karma Fruit Co., honours Gill’s dad, Karma Gill. Karma is well-recognized among Kelowna’s tree fruit growers and has served as a director of the BC Fruit Growers Association and the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative, among other organizations. Avi Gill hasn’t fallen far from the tree. This spring, he became a BCFGA director. He also serves on Kelowna’s agricultural advisory committee. He recognizes the need to stay in touch with what’s going on in the bigger picture. The past two years have seen the Gill family purchase a juice press from Austria, a canning line, and create a tasting room on the farm to rival the Okanagan’s many wineries. Guests can view the apples being juiced, as well as the canning line. “We wanted to make this like a winery for kids – a non-alcoholic place. We’ve converted our existing fruit stand on McKenzie Rd. into a cool place where kids can learn about agriculture ... Our slogans are Do Good and Freedom, Family and Fun, the things we value here,” he says. Family affair Gill says help from his dad, mom Kuku, wife of three years Binny, and brother Sumeet have been instrumental in getting the project going. He met Binny through the UBC Bhangra Club. He’s a singer with YouTube videos. She’s a dancer with an engineering background who’s now working for Bank of Montreal as a relationship manager in the agriculture sector. “She knows more about agriculture than I do,” laughs Gill, who is quick to praise his wife and other family members’ contributions to the business. His brother Sumeet is in England nishing up a physiotherapy degree but Gill says the farm might draw him back as well. Sumeet has played a huge role in Farming Karma’s marketing direction. Farming Karma sold its soda at the Kelowna Farmers Market last year and retailers have picked it up. It’s now found in 400 stores across BC, including Independent in Kelowna as well as locations of Safeway, Save-On-Foods and Nesters. With the potential loss of farm visitors as a result of COVID-19, it’s begun selling the soda online through Amazon. Gill credits the time they’ve spent working on branding. “Succession is a big issue in the tree-fruit industry and I feel like value-adding is one of the things that may draw the next generation into ag. I know a lot of young people who are into wineries and part of that is the possibilities it creates like getting your own bottle style, marketing how you want and how your product is unique,” he says. “It’s more exciting to them than just the growing.” While it’s been a lot of work to create the product and establish the market, the family now faces the bigger challenge of getting consumers to try something new in a saturated market. One step at a time Gill isn’t discouraged, though. Farming Karma has created a craft cider kit so a person can turn two litres of juice into hard apple cider in just six days. A new cherry soda is another possibility, but he’s taking it one step at a time. He says nding local expertise in the value-added industry and specically in the juice industry was more of a challenge than he thought it should be. He would like to see a local lab where producers could test new recipes. While his pharmacy training was helpful in creating a safe and top-quality product, he worked with a Toronto consultant to ensure he was following best practices. “I’m very inexperienced at this stu,” he says. “It is encouraging when I’m told by the outside, more experienced people that they think we have a good product and have it together.” For now, the company will concentrate on growing the BC market but Gill hasn’t ruled out national and international sales. “We believe we are a category leader, so if an opportunity came our way, we would be all over it,” he said. 250.306.1580 254 TWIN LAKES RD, ENDERBY. Overlooking mountains & Enderby Clis to the east. New to market, this custom-built home is ready for your personal touch. Custom kitchen, ne nishing, covered deck w/wood posts sourced from property, this large family home has room for all!GORDON AIKEMA SPECTACULAR NEW BUILD ON ACREAGEApple soda breaks ground in saturated market

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34 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC*Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer based on the purchase of eligible equipment defined in promotional program. Additional fees may apply. Pricing, payments and models may vary by dealer. Customers must take delivery prior to the end of the program period. Some customers will not qualify. Some restrictions apply. Financing subject to credit approval. Offer available on new equipment only. Pricing and rebates in CAD dollars. Prior purchases are not eligible. 6 Year Warranty for Non-Commercial, residential use only. 6 Year Warranty applies to CS, CK10, DK10 and NX model KIOTI tractors and must be purchased and registered between September 1, 2016 – June 30, 2020. Offer valid only at participating Dealers. Offer subject to change without notice. See your dealer for details. © 2020 Daedong-Canada, Inc. Kioti Canada.Timberstar Tractor Vernon B.C. 250-545-5441 Harbour City EquipmentDuncan B.C. 778-422-3376Matsqui Ag RepairAbbotsford B.C. 604-826-3281 Northern Acreage SupplyPrince George B.C. 250-596-22730%FinancingCASHBack OffersUnlimited HourPowertrain WarrantyRangeland Equipment LtdCranbrook B.C. 250-426-0600

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 35Chilliwack family cracks open direct salesThe Egg Shack expands to roadside salesThe Boer family are proud to provide their organic free range eggs sold from a fully automated egg vending machine at their Chilliwack farm. To view the vending machine visit PHOTO / BRIGHTSIDE POULTRYby JACKIE PEARASE CHILLIWACK – A foray into farmgate egg sales using an automated, cashless vending machine is proving advantageous for Brightside Poultry in Chilliwack. Richard and Jacqueline Boer have the rst farm in North America to use the egg vending machine, made by Roesler Vending in Germany. Launched last September, the option to buy local, organic free-range eggs by tap, debit or credit from a machine has increased in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in social distancing and no-touch transactions. “The virus has been good to our on-farm vending business. I think we’re one of the few types of businesses that are able to say that,” notes Jacqueline Boer. “We were selling only about 1% from the farm gate but right now we’re up to about 15%.” She says that on March 15, as panic buying set in after BC began restricting public gatherings, they sold 50% of the eggs in their barn. Brightside is located on Evans Road, and the Boers always wanted to capitalize on the large volume of trac that passes by their third-generation farm. “We’ve always wanted to market what we’re producing from the farm gate,” Boer says. “We chose not to go the dairy route because we don’t want to process dairy. But because there’s so much less processing involved with eggs, this is our chance to get our feet wet in retailing.” In addition to eggs, the farm sustains a dairy operation started in the 1950s and the Boers added broilers in 2013 after winning the new entrant broiler quota lottery. The couple purchased a layer quota in 2016, added 4,000 laying hens to the farm in 2017 and currently have a ock of about 7,500 birds. A new barn constructed in 2019 has room for up to 16,000 birds. In November 2018, they went to EuroTier, a trade show for livestock producers in Hanover, Germany, to purchase equipment for the new barn. They looked at several types of vending machines, widely used for hot and cold products in Europe, and ended up purchasing one. The machine can be congured to accommodate dierent-sized items. The Boers sell dozens, double-dozens and ats from The Egg Shack, located in the new barn that is purposely cooled for the eggs. Boer says they did not intend on selling products other than eggs from the vending machine but that may change if consumer demand for local food continues after the pandemic and grows. “Our perspective has changed through this COVID thing; we may look at some other options down the road. It wasn’t really our intent when we set up,” she says. “There’s a renewed level of public trust with farmers right now. Two months ago, the public didn’t trust us and now, all of a sudden, we’re a pillar in the community, providing fresh local food.” The machine was a signicant investment and the Boers applied for and received partial funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. Composting will improve the biosecurity of your farm operation. It’s an easy and ecient way to dispose of your deadstock. www.omnivorecomposter.comFOR MORE INFO CONTACT:34282 Manufacturers Way, Abbotsford, B.C. V2S 7M1604.746.5376 | | www.agprowest.ca1-888-770-7333BILL AWMACK

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EFB-resistant trees not out of the woodsNew varieties of hazelnut trees overcome old issues but face new risks36 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCEFFICIENCEFFICIENCYYGIVE YOURSELF THE AVE NUEThe bottom line matters, that’s the bottom line.Ef昀ciency is what lets you grab hold of the numbers and wrestle them into submission. Experience the Advantage of true precision farming.ABBOTSFORD1-888-283-3276VERNON1-800-551-6411by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER ABBOTSFORD – Hazelnut growers must step up surveillance of their new orchards to keep ahead of emerging diseases, according to BC Ministry of Agriculture plant pathologist Siva Sabaratnam. A three-year study emphasizing the importance of prevention, surveillance and mitigation of emerging diseases that are aecting hazelnut orchards in the Fraser Valley was presented to prospective and established hazelnut growers at the Pacic Agriculture Show in January. Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB) devastated the orchards after its introduction to BC in 2003, eventually infecting and killing trees throughout the Fraser Valley. Many of the orchards have been replanted with EFB-resistant varieties developed by the University of Oregon and imported as tissue-culture clones. The EFB-resistant orchards are relatively new, with plantings started in 2011 as part of a cultivar trial. “In 2016, the new disease problems were rst on our radar,” says Sabaratnam. Thomas O’Dell of Nature Tech Nursery was conducting a hazelnut cultivar trial with EFB-resistant trees grown from tissue culture in 2010. Trees planted in 2011 and 2013 were evaluated for performance, disease resistance, pollen shed and owering. O’Dell reported that in the winter of 2016, damage was seen in several orchards not consistent with EFB, and somewhat consistent with bacterial blight. It was observed that catkins wouldn’t open and there was some dieback, with some trees dying. However, bacterial blight was not detected. Sabaratnam and Ben Drugmand of the BC Plant Health Laboratory in Abbotsford observed die back of new EFB-resistant hazelnut trees in 2017 and determined that it was not bacterial blight. A three-year project to identify the causative agent of the dieback has been underway with the EFB-resistant varieties, funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Fieldwork was done to monitor orchards, assess damage and identify the causal agent, conrm pathogenicity and understand the epidemiology of the disease cycle. In addition, the lab has been working closely with growers to provide disease prevention and management advice. Walter Esau of Chilliwack was one of the growers who was part of the initial plantings in 2011 and 2013. He removed an old EFB-susceptible orchard and replanted with EFB-resistant varieties. “Several years after planting, some of the trees died o,” says Esau. “At rst we didn’t know what caused it. Only a dozen or so were aected. Siva became involved and identied it as phomopsis. I pruned severely back, taking one to two feet o the main stem and treated with copper spray. There is no evidence of it this year.” Phomopsis, a fungal disease observed as far back as 1936 in hazelnut trees in BC, has only recently been observed in the newer varieties. It is known to spread asexually by the rain and overhead sprinklers. Trees and branches die back from the top and tips. Another emerging disease, phytophthora, causes a “bleeding canker” which starts in the roots and moves up the trunk, eventually killing the tree. The plant response is to produce sap and chocolate-coloured moist lesions. This is an area of active research. Sabaratnam recommends that growers be proactive and look for symptoms. “It is important to prevent disease by planting disease-free planting stock from a nursery with a disease-free environment,” stresses Sabaratnam. “Call the lab and submit a sample so that we can make a diagnosis. Prune and remove infected stems and dead branches, prune well below the canker to prevent spread. Sanitize pruning equipment between each tree.” He advises spraying with fungicides as a preventative measure, according to best practices. Based on other crops, pesticides are being screened for ecacy, evaluated and approved for use in hazelnut orchards for these emerging diseases. “Work is ongoing to conrm the pathogens by species and assess their pathogenicity, identify and conrm the pathogens causing bleeding trunk cankers,” says Sabaratnam. A recent paper from Oregon State University outlined factors contributing to the emergence of previously unrecognized trunk diseases in hazelnuts. Reduced reliance on fungicides because of EFB-resistance in the new trees has allowed new fungal diseases to become established. Sun damage and pruning can introduce pathogens. Heavy soils which result in “wet feet” through the winter months favour fungal diseases, especially phytophthora. Climate change may inuence plants and pathogens. Sabaratnam and Drugmand have developed a close relationship with the growers as a result of this work. “We are well connected with the hazelnut growers association,” says Sabaratnam. “As a new crop, the grower should be proactive and inspect the eld periodically. Look for any abnormal symptoms and contact the ministry if there are problems. Management recommendations can be made, and information exchanged through grower meetings.”

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 37Distillery shows resilience as it adapts to marketCOVID-19 creates opportunity for Forbidden Spirits’ alcoholSupervisor Richard Grasmuck helped make the switch from beverage to industrial alcohol production at Forbidden Spirits Distillery in Kelowna. The alcohol is apple-based, and the demand for sanitizer has been strong since the distillery started sharing some of its production with the public in mid-April. The rst weekend, they gave away about 1,200 litres. PHOTO / MYRNA STARK LEADERSilagrow.com1.800.663.6022 | office@silagrow.comMulch FilmLandscaping FabricsShade Nets Bale WrapsBunker CoversSilage BagsTw i n eNet WrapsHay TarpsForage & Grain SeedVisGreenhouse Ground CoverGreenhouse FilmsProtection NetsSALMON ARM 5121 - 46 Ave S.E. SURREY 112-18860 24 Ave (PU & Delivery Only)Serving all of BCby MYRNA STARK LEADER KELOWNA – A retired accountant from Vancouver has given a mature orchard a new lease on life with a vodka that’s nding a niche in local and international markets. Blair Wilson and his wife moved to southeast Kelowna about 10 years ago after several business ventures in Vancouver and a career in federal politics, including sitting as the Green Party of Canada’s rst-ever MP. The couple settled on a 20-acre parcel that came with 6,000 Ambrosia and about 300 Spartan apple trees. Not one to relax, Wilson took up farming. The fruit was sold to BC Tree Fruits Co-op. “I never realized how hard being a farmer is until then,” says Wilson, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur. When he saw the returns he was getting for the fruit, he decided there must be another opportunity. He explored making cider but the cost of canning was prohibitive. Instead, he settled on vodka production after chatting with a copper still manufacturer at a whiskey conference in Seattle. He hired a chemist to gure out the right components for a winning recipe, including a proprietary yeast. Wilson’s apples plus apple concentrate from Kelowna’s Sun-Rype juice plant now underpin two premium apple vodkas: Rebel, which is distilled 25 times, and Forbidden Spirits, distilled 50 times. Added distillations remove impurities and create a smoother-tasting end product. “Typical vodkas tend to be distilled between three and 10 times,” he explains. It takes about 25 pounds of apples make one 750-ml bottle of Rebel. Wilson opened a production facility and tasting room in 2019 and recently received a lounge licence for a 75-seat outdoor patio. Additional tanks were added this spring to accommodate orders he’d been working hard to negotiate from the European Union and China. “When you have a great-tasting, quality product that's made in Canada, foreigners are willing to buy. They love the Canadian reputation of being safe and producing things that are safe, clean, and good for you, and that's helped with marketing,” he says. But exports demand attention to details quite dierent from the local market. “Each country and even each port sometimes has dierent rules about importing alcohol,” says Wilson. “Navigating the continually shifting sands of economic politics and trade, like Brexit, also takes persistence and agility.” On the plus side, he says a free trade agreement with Europe means products from Canada don’t face the 25% tari that US products do. China’s palate for alcohol is also changing from sweeter to dryer, creating opportunities there as well. This spring, Wilson and his wife were booked to be part of a trade mission to South Korea organized by the BC government but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. That’s not the only change in plans the distillery has faced this spring. In April, Forbidden Spirits retooled its processing to meet an emerging demand brought about by COVID-19 for industrial-grade alcohol for hand sanitizer, joining the likes of Okanagan Spirits, Wise Acre Distillery and others across the province. Wilson says the speed of the approval process for the switch amazed him. He put his application in with the federal government to produce alcohol for sanitizer one day and received a phone call from them the next. “We have all the paperwork done and the licences and continue to work to source bottles, which is the common challenge. I’ve managed to nd some in Kentucky,” he says. Provincial regulations allow production through July 15. With the new business model, including sanitizer give-away days for the public, Wilson hopes to at least break even without the usual tasting room trac and overseas sales, both on hold due to COVID-19. With an estimated daily production of 1,000 litres of sanitizer, he looks forward to rehiring sta laid o in early March when normal business halted. He’s thankful the federal government is providing a 75% subsidy for small business wages to help him make payroll and help cover interim carrying and operating costs during the crisis. While they are still selling vodka locally, foreign orders are on hold, but there is vodka in tanks ready when the crisis passes. Wilson is also working to put together a Canadian Craft Spirit Association, a national group that will lobby for changes to the $3.51 federal excise tax per bottle that craft distillers have to pay when producing limited quantities using local Canadian agriculture products. countrylifeinbc.comvisit us online

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38 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCMahindra Max 26 with Rotary CutterWORLD’S #1 SELLING FARM TRACTORHANDLERS EQUIPMENTABBBOTSFORD, 339 Sumas Way 604.850.3601HOUSTON, 4001 Williams Crecent 250.845.3333COUNTRY TRACTORARMSTRONG, 4193 Noble Rd. 1.800.661.3141KAMLOOPS, 580 Chilcotin Rd. 1.888.851.3101TRACTOR 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 250.398.7411Mahindra 2655 with TrencherContact your local Mahindra Dealer and ask about our Power Package and extra savings when purchasing multiple implements. Mahindra 6075 with Bale SpearMahindra 9125 Cab TractorPlease note: As a supplier of critical agriculture equipment, we are in a unique position to continue supporting farmers as they maintain crucial supplies of food. To maintain social distancing guidelines, we encourage our customers to use the phone or email whenever possible. We are able to answer all of your questions and facilitate an entire sale remotely.For more information about how we each dealer is maintaining the highest level of safety possible for our sta and for customers during this time, please contact them directly.

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CAULIFLOWER POWER. West Coast Seeds general manager Alex Augustyniak says the company is gradually catching up after an onslaught of orders last month. PHOTO / WEST COAST SEEDSCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 39drainage is our specialtyVALLEY FARM DRAINAGE31205 DEWDNEY TRUNK RD, MISSION • Fax 604-462-7215 604-462-7213 • www.valleyfarmdrainage.comProudly supporting Canadian industry using Canadian productLASER EQUIPPED & GPS CONTROLLED TRENCHED AND TRENCHLESS APPLICATIONS SUPPLIERS OF CANADIAN MADE BIG O DRAINAGE by RONDA PAYNE DELTA – Those trying to order seeds for their home vegetable garden might be waiting a while. A surge in interest from home gardeners facing the prospect of a summer of social distancing as a result of measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 has led to a rush on vegetable seeds. Last month, West Coast Seeds Ltd. in Delta shut down its phone lines to orders and customer service, shuttered its retail store and stopped pickups from its warehouse to keep employees safe and try to manage backlogged orders. There was a 30 to 45-day delay on shipments in mid-April. General manager Alex Augustyniak says the company’s customers are split almost evenly between farmers and home gardeners. “We’ve got a boatload of bulk stu for farmers, but home gardeners don’t want a 50-pound bag of seed,” he says. “We’ve got to get it into smaller packaging.” But with physical distancing requirements, there are less sta lling orders. “We’re trying our best that no one gets contaminated at work,” he says. “We just see the challenge of stang the space to actually pack.” Handling seven to 10 times more orders than usual with fewer sta has been a challenge, but Augustyniak says they are beginning to get caught up. Sta are working around the clock to keep orders moving, putting commercial farmers rst. “Farms, growers are a priority for us. Because we know they’ve got to get it in the ground,” he says. “They grow the food for the many. There are plenty of seeds in the pipeline. We have exceptional supply and demand.” Smaller-scale seed producers like Simon Toole of Good Earth Farms in Black Creek are seeing similar sales increases. While some producers bemoaned the loss of events like Seedy Saturdays to COVID-19, those with more diverse sales channels have hardly had time to think about it. “We always like to have a good cache of [seeds] in the basement, but it’s nice to see them go, too,” he says. “We’ve never had such empty shelves.” Toole has been able to sell seeds at the Comox Valley Farmers Market, which moved to a larger outdoor location to ensure physical distancing standards could be met. The company also sells seeds through the BC Eco Seed Co-op, a few local stores and online through its website. “It’s a bit weird, honestly, because you want to celebrate success, but in this case, it’s not really an appropriate time to celebrate,” he says. “Most days, I want to believe that this will hopefully awaken people to where their food comes from.” The question of food security is a familiar one for Kent Mullinix, director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond. The small-scale farmers he works with have begun to respond to the need for greater access to local food, an ambition of the BC Eco Seed Co-op, too. “They are already seeing the need to ramp up production. They accept responsibility for producing food for their communities,” he says of local growers. “They are working to reach people, get their food to people and enable people to reach them.” The rise of local seed sales masks the ip side of the restaurant closures that have hurt many small growers. Since consumers are counting on eating out less, they’ve been exploring growing their own niche veggies. Toole, like Mullinix, hopes the crisis will plant a seed that will yield long-term interest among consumers in growing their own food. “It’s nice to see seeds respected and they’re in demand and it’s easier to sell them,” he says. “There just seems to be good, universal demand across the board. In the 16 years that I’ve done the farmers’ markets, I’ve never had a line up. Now, I have line-ups.” Home gardeners overwhelm seed companiesSuppliers put farming and food security first as they fill ordersCommercial seed supply unaffected While many seed companies that supply vegetable growers have had to put retail sales on hold, forage seed has been held up by transportation issues. “In some situations, they haven’t been able to nd the trucks,” says Bill Awmack, sales manager with forage and turf seed company Quality Seeds West. “We ran into some problems moving some stu out of Eastern Canada earlier.” But even minimal delays might prompt forage producers to opt for a dierent planting mix this year. “Uncertainty is what it comes down to,” says Awmack. “It could be that some of the stu is delayed for a year as opposed to a week or two weeks. Some people might not farm the way they did in the past.” The current uncertainties, particularly around trucking and delivery schedules, underscore the weak points in Canada’s supply chain. While everything was running smoothly for Awmack in mid-April, he isn’t taking it for granted. “We’re shipping seed as normally as we can,” says Awmack. “It would take very little for that to be disrupted entirely. Right now things are moving. Tomorrow, I have no idea.” Province Wide DeliveryIdrofoglia Reel Model G1 63/200 (2.5x656ft.) $11,895.00Langley 1.888.675.7999Williams Lake 1.855.398.7757No More Moving Your Sprinklers!Save TIME & MONEY with an Automated Irrigation Reel Ideal for any Crop, Vegetable/Corn or Forage.

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There is no indication that livestock can be infected with the COVID-19 virus but scientists continue to conduct research to nd out if and how it could affect animals. PHOTO / FILE40 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCThe COVID-19 pandemic has brought viruses sharply and frighteningly into focus. But as much as the novel coronavirus is cause for understandable alarm, viruses are the most common and widespread biological entity on the planet. Moreover, only a handful are actually pathogenic. Research on viruses has been underway at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada where Dr. Julie Brassard, a research scientist in food virology, has been working primarily on digestive viruses. “My virology research program focuses primarily on viruses that infect the digestive system, namely enteric viruses such as human norovirus, rotavirus, hepatitis A virus and hepatitis E virus (HEV),” says Brassard. “Enteric viruses are viruses that cause gastroenteritis and hepatitis and can be responsible for food poisoning. Although the pathogen responsible for COVID-19 is also a virus, it mainly aects the respiratory system. There is no indication at this time to suggest that the COVID-19 virus could be transmitted through food or farm animals in Canada.” According to CFIA, human-to-human transmission is behind the current spread of COVID-19 and there is no evidence that pets have played a role. Although data is limited, there are no reports of livestock being infected or becoming sick with COVID-19. Scientists continue to conduct research to nd out if and how COVID-19 could aect animals. But research interest remains high in all viruses, especially those with a connection to livestock. “In the course of our research, we have been particularly interested in HEV, which is found in Canada and other western countries,” says Brassard. “Unlike in Europe, which has seen an increase in cases of HEV infection over the past decade, in Canada the incidence of the disease in the human population remains low. This virus has the capacity to infect several animal species, and pigs are considered the main animal reservoir.” She says HEV is a zoonotic virus, meaning it is transmitted from animals to humans. A large proportion of pathogens responsible for infectious diseases in humans are of animal origin. HEV is transmitted to humans when people consume raw or undercooked pork meat, mainly liver. But according to a Canadian study, only 8% of retail pork livers contain HEV and that no pork chops tested positive for HEV. The risk of coming into contact with HEV in Canada through the consumption of pork meat is relatively very low, especially if the meat is properly cooked and people follow basic hygiene practices. HEVs are known to persist in a variety of environments. “We have carried out various research projects over the years on the presence of enteric viruses in surface water in watersheds, assessment of their survival in slurry, subjected to certain treatments, the eectiveness of food washes, etc. A better understanding of their presence, their resistance and the identication of vectors of dissemination allow us to implement eective control measures for zoonotic viruses, such as HEV, and for viruses that could threaten the health of production animals.” Viruses, she says, are essentially a set of genetic instructions designed to enter host cells and replicate. They probably play important roles in the microbiological balance and are very diverse in terms of their structure, genetic material, preference for certain cell types, modes of transmission, persistence, and sensitivity to disinfectants. Brassard says it’s very important to study each virus species to understand its specic characteristics and how it infects, replicates, spreads and persists. The novel coronavirus has a protective fatty envelope that is broken down by soap and water which is why handwashing for 20 seconds kills the virus. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer will also destroy it. She says many factors contribute to the emergence of new viruses, including changing demographics, human behaviour, the movement of people and goods across borders, and natural disasters. COVID-19 has proven to be extremely contagious and may peak a number of times before its curve attens permanently. “New virus strains may emerge as a result of the evolutionary mechanisms by which viruses transform and progress to infect new hosts and alter their ability to make a host sick,” says Brassard. “Sometimes, new strains appear because of errors that occur during replication of viral genetic material. Viruses also evolve by acquiring new genes. If two dierent virus strains co-infect the same cell, an exchange of genetic material can occur when areas along each of the RNA strands are similar in nature and can exchange places.” She says the dynamic nature of how this genetic material can be modied can bring about a change of host, which can signicantly alter the harmfulness of the virus. In some cases, when the virus is present in one host it may not present a big threat, while in another host it may have high virulence which makes the host sick. Each virus, whether an enteric virus like HEV or the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has a dierent strategy. “Further research is needed to better understand them,” says Brassard. Margaret Evans is a freelance writer based in Chilliwack specializing in agricultural science. Research is helping scientists understand disease-causing virusesResearch by MARGARET EVANSUSED EQUIPMENT N/H FP230 27P GRASS HEAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20,000 CLAAS VOLTO 75T 6 BASKET TEDDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,250 CLAAS VOLTO 1050 8 BASKET TEDDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,500 FELLA TS1502 2012, HAY RAKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,000 MF 1372T 2008, 13FT DISCBINE, METAL ROLLERS . . . . . . . . . . 22,000 CLAAS 255 ROTOCUT ROUND BALER W/WRAPPER . . . . . . . . . . . 46,250 USED TRACTORS N/H TN90F 1998, 7,600 HRS, CAB, MFWD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,500 CASE MAGNUM 225 CVT NEW ALO LOADER . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170,000 DEUTZ TTV 6130.4 2014, 1,760 HRS, LDR, FRONT 3PT/PTO . . . 99,500 NEW INVENTORY: KUBOTA RAKES • TEDDERS • MOWERS • POWER HARROWS JBS VMEC1636 VERT. 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Chatting about moisture sensors was a highlight of the cranberry congress for Ocean Spray agricultural scientist Miranda Elsby, right, and a local grower. PHOTO / RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 41Weather-based Farm Calculators: T-Sum Calculator Temperature Monitor Growing Degree Days Evapotranspiration Corn Heat Units Pest Degree Days Ammonia Loss from Manure You’re invested in your businessSo are wePartner with the only lender 100% invested in Canadian agriculture and food.1-800-387-3232 | fcc.caby RONDA PAYNE RICHMOND – Better cranberry yields may be the result of better moisture sensors for BC cranberry growers. Hortau sensors have long been the standard for moisture monitoring but Miranda Elsby, agricultural scientist with Ocean Spray, is exploring whether there are other options that provide the same (or better) benets with reduced costs to growers. “I’m looking at what I think will work best for BC cranberry growers,” she says. “I think that part of the reason that some of the elds were so damaged last year was the rooting capacity, and I think that rooting capacity has a correlation to moisture.” Elsby notes that plenty of other factors cause issues for cranberry growers but noted that elds that are chronically wet “just don’t have a chance.” “There’s not a lot of opportunity to recover from a stress event,” she says of consistently wet bogs. “There is minimal rooting.” Jack DeWit, board member with the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission, agrees. While cranberry roots like to be moist, they don’t want to be in standing water, he says. “A lot of times we equate cranberries to being wet all the time,” he says. “We tend to over-irrigate in the summer. But it depends on your canopy, too. Knowing what the moisture is in the ground and what the plant requires is important.” Elsby explains that while BC cranberries don’t have the root depth of those grown in Quebec and Massachusetts, there should be a least a couple of inches of rooted matter. This impacts placement of a moisture monitor in that there isn’t a point in placing it six inches deep (as often recommended) as those depths won’t return benecial data to BC growers. “You really don’t want [sensors] any lower down than three, four inches,” she says. “Here we just struggle to get roots any lower.” Knowing how to place a sensor is part of the analysis of which sensor to use. Elsby nds Hortau sensors to be quite eective, but notes their cost makes them somewhat prohibitive. They are provided on a lease basis and Hortau completes setup as well as responds if there are issues. “I consider the Hortau sensor to be kind of the standard in cranberries,” she says. She came up with nine other sensors to test during the project and looked at ease of use as well as the quality of the data collected. Part of the issue in testing moisture sensors comes from BC’s peat-based soils. “[Volumetric content type sensors] tend to be more nicky in the peaty soils,” she says. “They did show some promise so I’ll test them again. Anything that does work in peat will work in sand.” Last year’s testing left Elsby able to condently recommend just two of the nine sensors tested (not including the Hortau): one from Meter, which was easy to use, and the Spectrum Fieldscout. “It compares quite well to the Hortau and is quite friendly on the wallet,” she says. Two others, the Spectrum SM 100 and Acclima 310H, are volumetric content sensors that she’ll continue testing to see if they have value. “The rest, I feel, are garbage,” she says. “Don’t waste your money.” Soil moisture as a whole needs to become part of the conversation around cranberry health, she says. “She’s been doing some experimenting and it takes some time to see if there’s an Moisture sensors are not created equalCranberry growers get tips on choosing the right one impact on yields and if there is an impact on the plant,” says DeWit. DeWit is encouraged by Elsby’s research but notes that weather and other factors are signicant inuences on each year’s crop. “We have to plant the new varieties. We need to understand the plant – what it needs to get the optimum production out of it,” he says. “We can control fertilizer and we can do bug control and frost control. … There’s a lot of things we can do to impact the yield. But some things we can’t always control either.”

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42 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCKenneth gives new meaning to social isolationWhen we left o last time, Harriet from the newspaper had unwittingly defused a confrontation between Junkyard Frank and Newt Pullman about the aections of Susan Henderson with her ideas for a 4-H fundraiser. Meanwhile, back in the Bahamas, Deborah, Birdie and Bernie had had enough of Kenneth’s snarkiness and strode out of the restaurant, leaving him to dine alone. Rural Redemption, part 121, continues ... Birdie caught up to Deborah on the walkway in front of the restaurant. “What am I going to do, Birdie?” Birdie slid her arm around Deborah’s waist. “Right now, you’re going to come with me and we’re going to dry those tears up. That man of yours doesn’t deserve to have you crying over him.” “I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Nothing I do seems right.” “Right for who? You’re not doing anything wrong, Honey. That man of yours is just plain mean-hearted, and there’s no pleasing a mean-hearted man. Or any good reason to try to.” They walked along the beach to Birdie’s suite. Bernie arrived ve minutes later. “Ah, good. You’re both here. I ordered some dinners from room service; it should be along in 20 minutes. Are you okay, Deborah?” “Of course she’s not okay,” said Birdie. “Did you bring him back with you?” “I did not. I told him I didn’t care to golf or eat with a man who talked to his wife like that.” “Good,” said Birdie. “Deborah and I were just in the middle of some girl talk.” “Do you mind if I leave you to it then? It’d give me a chance to check the TV and see what’s going on back home. Give me a shout when dinner gets here.” Birdie called for Bernie when the dinner arrived. “Deborah is going to spend the night here with us in the other bedroom.” Bernie nodded. There was a worried look on his face. “Is that alright with you?” asked Deborah. “Oh, sure, that’s ne. You’re more than welcome. I was just watching the news and it looks like that virus thing from China might be getting a little out of hand. There’s a bunch of folks caught it on a cruise ship, and they’re stuck there. I’m a little worried about it.” “Did they say if anyone at home had it?” asked Birdie. “No, the government says not to worry and everything’s going to be ne.” “They said not to worry?” “And that is exactly why I am worried, Birdie. My dad used to say if the government tells you not to worry, you need to start looking over your shoulder.” Bernie was on the internet at rst light the next morning. Just before seven, Birdie came out of the bedroom with her hand over a yawn. “I thought you were going to skip golf for a day and sleep in?” “They gure it came from bats,” said Bernie. “What bats?” “The virus bats. They gure people caught the virus from bats at the farmers’ market in China. Now there’s another cruise ship with it and they think maybe somebody in Seattle’s got it, too. We need to be going home.” “We aren’t booked to go home until the end of the week.” “Better safe than sorry, Birdie. I went online and got us tickets for this afternoon. I’m afraid this holiday is over.” When Deborah got up, Birdie broke the news to her. “I’m afraid there’s been a change in our plans. Bernie says that virus in China is spreading and if you catch it, you might not be able to go home. We’re leaving this afternoon. This place is paid for almost another week; you’re welcome to use it if you like.” “I didn’t realize that virus was spreading. I’ve been avoiding the news since we got here.” “Well, apparently it is, and it’s got Bernie worried enough to give up a week of golf he’s already paid for so I wouldn’t shrug it o.” “I suppose I should talk to Kenneth. Maybe we should be thinking about leaving, too. Deborah texted Kenneth: “We need to talk.” They met at one of the breakfast cafés. Deborah explained that Bernie was worried about the virus and not being able to go home if he or Birdie got sick, so they were leaving early. And maybe they should think about going home, too. “Don’t be ridiculous, Deborah. Do you have any idea of what it would cost to book a random ight home? We’ve still got a week left and I’m looking forward to not spending any more time with blowhard Bernie. Let’s go back to our room.” “Don’t be ridiculous, Kenneth. Do you have any idea how angry you’ve made me? If we still have a week left, I’m looking forward to staying alone in the suite blowhard Bernie and Birdie were kind enough to oer.” vvv Back at Tiny’s, Newt, Christopher, Clay Garrison, Doug McLeod and Tyler Koski gathered at the barn and waited for Harb Singh to bring the new beams and rafters on the Hiab truck. They were in full swing just after 9 am. Susan and Ashley served them lunch at noon and by 3:30, all the woodwork was complete. They decided to knock o and return in the morning to tackle the roong. The whole project was buttoned up by mid afternoon and Newt suggested they might all celebrate by going to dinner at the family restaurant next door to the coin laundry in town. Harb begged o because it was his granddaughter’s birthday. Tyler said he would bring Jade along if they could nd a babysitter. Clay said he would ask Ashley. Newt wondered if Susan might want to join them and Christopher said he would ask Lisa Lundgren to come. In the end Lisa couldn’t make it because she had agreed to babysit for Tyler and Jade just before he called. So, it was a table for eight at the family restaurant. They sat boy/girl/boy/girl until they got to the bachelor’s corner where Christopher and Doug sat together. The conversation soon turned to the virus that was in all the news. “They’re starting to talk about limiting how close folks can sit in a place like this,” said Newt. “We could be in for a real eye-opener. Like they had back in 1919. Old Colonel Meldrum used to tell us about it. He said they closed up the schools and such and everyone stayed at home.” Susan said she heard the government might make anyone returning from abroad isolate themselves from everyone for two weeks when they came home, and she wondered how that would work when Kenneth and Deborah got back? Newt said there was no point in worrying about something that might not even happen. And even if it did, they could always gure out some way around it. Susan said it was good advice and she would remind him about the guring out part if it ever came to that. She proposed a toast to all of them for being such good neighbours and xing the barn for Kenneth. 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Farmers’ markets go online as channels shiftPublic health restrictions helps to boost direct sales initiativeIt will be anything but business as usual as farmers’ markets start up around the province this spring, but the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is helping vendors adapt to new rules. FILE PHOTO / RONDA PAYNECOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 43by RONDA PAYNE LANGLEY – The BC Association of Farmers Markets has received $55,000 from the province to help individual member markets oer online sales to consumers. Of the association’s 145 member markets, executive director Heather O’Hara estimates about 55 markets have already or are in the process of creating online platforms. Local Line, an Ontario tech rm, will provide the sales platform. Consumers are most likely to deal directly with individual vendors through the market’s site. However, markets can also choose to oer aggregate sales where customers pay the market for their order and the market pays the vendors. Pickup or delivery are also options, as well as paying at the time of order or on receipt. “Every market is going to be managing and handling things dierently,” O’Hara says. “There’s not a one size ts all.” Provincial funding, provided through the Buy BC program will cover fees for individual markets to join the online platform and set up their online store. Within days of the announcement, the Moss Street Market in Victoria had launched its online store oering both delivery and pickup options. Fort Langley Village Farmers’ Market is also developing an online presence according to market manager Malcolm Weatherston. Weatherston has been watching what other market managers have been posting about the evolving situation on the association’s online discussion group. “We do have quite a few markets already open and they are doing big business,” he says. “The rst markets that were open are very busy. Vendors are selling out quite quickly. We’re getting very strong support.” This led him to ask Nam Kim of Black Table Farm, a vegetable grower in Aldergrove, to grow more produce. “He asked me to grow twice as much because they think there is going to be way more demand,” says Kim. Weatherston said protocols this season will meet the province’s recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This means a one-way ow, food-only sales, no sampling and a maximum of 50 people in the market at one time. “People are not going to restaurants like they did so naturally they’re buying more food than they normally would,” he says. “What we’re looking at then is a need to provide more food than one would normally expect to provide.” Kim remains concerned about safety, however, and she’s uncomfortable investing in twice the volume of crop given market uncertainty. She prefers a CSA-type format where the volumes are pre-determined. Weatherston feels the Fort Langley market’s website will support this. “When we start out in May, we have limited produce,” he says. “We’re responding to need and we’re saying okay, you can pre-order. It eliminates some of the hassle.” This helps alleviate Kim’s concerns about quantities and packaging, but as the mother of a newborn, she remains diligent about protocols that will keep her family safe. Even with the online platform, municipalities will need to understand the modied setup for markets that allow for safe pickup and additional purchases from the vendors on site. “Farmers’ markets are rst and foremost food retail,” says O’Hara. BCAFM is working with markets to help them adjust to public health requirements. “Markets themselves are advocating to their municipalities to explain they are an essential service.” O’Hara also notes the trend to online food ordering isn’t new, citing Amazon and Walmart as examples. 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Pandemic forces a hard pivot to stay in the gameNo easy answers in the midst of uncertaintiesFluid and air lter changes are signs that spring is arriving more or less reliably on schedule, even if everything else is all topsy-turvey. PHOTO / ANNA HELMER 44 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCPivot. Plant one foot rmly and start turning around, looking for new passing lanes or shooting opportunities while avoiding the opposing player who is very close to stealing the ball. A term stolen from basketball by the jargon-hunting modern business leadership crowd. Now, the most important farming skill of spring. I very nearly did not make this deadline. I just didn’t know what to write about. My usual method, when the words won’t come, is to start describing something I did on the farm. From there, I usually get rolling and bang out the required 650. I spend about an hour typing, and about a week adjusting and proofreading. By deadline, the piece has been ready for a couple of days. Not so this week. The submission deadline is crowding me, and I am stuck. I must talk about COVID-19, but do I really have anything to oer on this topic that hasn’t (a) been covered, and (b) is agriculturally interesting/ applicable? Very uncomfortably, that is doubtful. Like just about everyone in the world, I have no idea how to proceed or what to expect. The usual revenue streams have either dried up completely or slowed to a trickle. It’s almost planting time and I don’t know where the sales are going to come from. I don’t know what to think. Cue the pivot… …looking for an opening… Gas is cheap and there is no trac. Also, most everyone in these parts has access to the Internet and needs to eat something. We’ll call this an opportunity. Accordingly, I spent four days delivering potatoes in my local market, an unheard-of proposition pre-COVID-19. These new customers ordered and paid online; it was popular and quite easy to manage. All ne, but come summer there are going to be approximately 20 local farms attempting the same strategy. Way too stressful to think about. How on earth will we replace our big city markets where there are two tills humming and a crush of humanity ready to pay full retail? Pivot! Pivoting hard! Emergency pivot underway! I have never liked hugging. Basically, a wish to avoid hugging has kept me from emotionally over-sharing with my friends ever since the early 90s, when friend-hugging was invented. Now that I am safe from hugging, I am more inclined to candidly admit my deepest anxieties, secure in the knowledge that I can remain physically distant. In fact, my friends have now seen me cry. Instead of hugs, they are dropping prepped sympathy meals at my door. This is far better. Alarmingly, my mental health reects the world economy. That is to say: propped up, over-hyped, fueled by diminishing resources and volatile. Oh, so volatile. Suddenly, after one little month of pandemic, physical distancing and cancelled school, it has collapsed in a heap, with spasmodic twitches of life sustaining faint hope. Pathetic display, the both of them. The other day I even found myself wondering how The Donald was coping. Could it be that he nds himself short-staed, possibly even alone with Melania and what’s-his-noodle the son? Certainly, there are no soul-thrilling rallies, restorative rounds of golf or magical Mar-a-Lago. In fact, he is going to miss the rest of the Florida season completely. His days are probably quite long, and no one is doing what they want to be doing. He says it is about the economy but really, he wants the kid back in school and some ball on the telly. Finding myself sympathetically relating to Trump is not my idea of successful mental resuscitation. However, it made me laugh, which is too strong a word. At any rate, a successful pivot has been performed. Did I mention, too, that we might have to lower standards in order to claim success? Anna Helmer still farms with her family and friends in the Pemberton Valley. Farm Story by ANNA HELMERMAIL TO 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4 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!

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Cheesemaker adapts to coronavirus restrictionsMembers of the Matheson family of New Brunswick successfully learned how to make queso blanco at a virtual cheesemaking workshop with Naomi De Ruiter of Birdsong Farm in Armstrong on April 11. SUBMITTED PHOTOCOUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 45HIGH USAGE. HIGH CAPACITY.INVEST IN QUALITY®www.kuhn.comMatsqui Ag-RepairAbbotsfordCountry TractorArmstrongCountry TractorKamloopsVisit your localBritish ColumbiaKUHN Dealer today!PXL 100 SERIES PROSPREAD®REAR-DISCHARGE APRON BOX SPREADER• Commercial-grade, stout undercarriage to withstand heavy loads• Rubber springs on tongue provide cushioned suspension to prevent shocks• Multiple discharge options for consistent application rates based on operational need*• Heavy-duty guillotine endgate increases metering capability and material 昀ow management600 - 1,230 cu. ft. capacities • trailer and truck models*Horizontal, Vertical or Spinner discharge optionsby JACKIE PEARASE ARMSTRONG – COVID-19 has prompted a North Okanagan artisan cheesemaker to step out of her comfort zone and into a new realm of teaching and learning. Birdsong Farm owner Naomi De Ruiter, who calls herself a modern milkmaid, oered her rst virtual cheesemaking workshop on April 11. About 90 people watched live as she made queso blanco, including someone from El Salvador and others from across Canada and the US. Up to 200 more signed up for the class and can watch it on video replay. “I’ve been teaching cheesemaking workshops since 2012 but this is my rst virtual one,” says De Ruiter. “It’s something I’ve thought about doing for a while. I put it on my list for this year … and with the coronavirus and social distancing requirements, it was the little push that I needed to step outside of my comfort zone and actually do it.” De Ruiter started making cheese for her parents and eight siblings as a teenager living in rural Enderby, using milk from the family’s Jersey cow. As she grew older and added to her Jersey herd, she thought about doing cheesemaking classes but didn’t think there would be enough interest to make it viable. “Well, I realized how wrong I was once I started,” she notes. “A lot of people want to learn how to make cheese.” She began oering classes in a secondary residence on the farm but had to change venues when the home was needed by her parents. Classes then moved to public venues and she currently has a summer schedule of workshops that is up in the air due to COVID-19. She is rescheduling one workshop originally set for May but another planned for Farmer John’s Market in Grindrod may go online. “That one I am thinking about doing virtually. So, sending out a kit to everyone who signed up and then doing it as a video call,” she says. She received lots of good feedback and suggestions from her April 11 workshop, which was oered free of charge. She plans to do a few more to work out the kinks and equipment diculties before oering the courses for a fee. De Ruiter says online courses allow people from outside her region to learn cheesemaking. Oering pre-recorded lessons also give her more leeway with cheese varieties. “Doing a virtual class would actually allow me to teach some cheeses that would be hard to teach in person. For example, cheddar can take up to eight hours to make,” she explains. Stacy Matheson of New Brunswick learned about De Ruiter’s workshop from a fellow dairy farmer’s Facebook post. A homeschooler even before the virus locked kids out of schools, Matheson used the workshop as a learning opportunity for her two eldest daughters, aged 13 and nine. “The workshop went really well. Naomi was clear in her instructions and made the whole process easy and simple,” she says. “Our cheese turned out really tasty; we added a bit of salt, basil and garlic and everyone in the house agreed it was great and we should make more in the future.” Married in 2018, De Ruiter now raises her herd of 11 Jerseys on her in-law’s Holstein dairy farm in Armstrong. She uses milk from her herd to create a fast version of mozzarella, cheese curds, feta, Gouda and queso blanco. Her skill comes from 16 years of experience raising and milking dairy cattle and two years working under award-winning cheesemaker Sandra Proulx of Terroir Cheese. Virtual workshop a successcountrylifeinbc.comvisit us online

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46 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BCStay-healthy food in uneasy timesThis is similar in avour to Cantonese barbecued pork, but it can be made with a leaner cut of meat. 3 lb. (1.5 kg) boneless pork 1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh minced ginger 1 tsp. (5 ml) minced garlic 1/4 c. (60 ml) hoisin or chee hou sauce 2 tbsp. (30 ml) dry sherry 2 tbsp. (30 ml) light soy (or oyster) sauce 1 tsp. (5 ml) ve spice powder 1 tsp. (5 ml) sesame oil 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt • You may use pork tenderloins but remove the silverskin before marinating. If using a larger piece of pork, slice it into long strips, with the grain of the meat, about 1 1/2 to two inches in diameter. • Mince the garlic and ginger and combine with the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Marinate the strips of pork in it overnight, or for at least four hours, refrigerated. • Remove from the marinade and let any excess drip o. • Barbecue over high heat, turning every minute or so, until all sides are browned, then cook over low heat, turning in 15 minutes and basting with the remaining marinade, for a total of 30 minutes or so. Check with a meat thermometer that the internal temperature is 145° F and let it sit for a few minutes before carving. • If there’s any marinade remaining, cook it to bubbling and thick and slather the pork strips with it once they’re removed from the heat. • You may instead roast this in the oven at 350° F for 45 minutes or so, on a rack over a foil-lined sheet. Again, use your meat thermometer to determine doneness. Don’t overcook. • Leftovers can be thinly sliced to serve in salads, fried rice, noodle dishes and other stir-fried vegetable dishes. • Slice each piece thinly to serve. There’s nothing to cooking this mild young cabbage on the barbecue, but I nd that’s true of many vegetables, from strips of pepper or zucchini to asparagus, onions and potatoes, pineapple and winter squash slices. 4-5 baby bok choy 2 tsp. (10 ml) lemon juice few drops of sesame oil 1 tsp. (5 ml) minced fresh ginger 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) minced garlic 2 tsp. (10 ml) light soy sauce or teriyaki sauce 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) red pepper akes • Rinse the bok choy and carefully slice each in half, lengthwise, aiming your knife through the centre of two stalks to help keep the dierent stems in the halves together. • Combine all remaining ingredients and drizzle over the cut side of the bok choys. You may spritz with a wee spray of olive oil, but I don’t usually. • Barbecue on medium-high heat for about ve minutes a side, or just cook them on the at side. I like to use those barbecue cooking sheets so the green leaves don’t hang down between the grill grates and char too badly. • You may also fry these quickly over medium-high heat in a shallow wok or pan, with just a drizzle of oil. • Serve immediately. CHINESE BARBECUED PORKBARBECUED BABY BOK CHOYBy this point in the year we have an abundance of fresh green vegetables available, hopefully from local gardens, but from the market otherwise, and there is nothing like fresh, local produce to keep the body healthy. Not only are spring sprouts like asparagus, chives and green onions available now, but also baby bok choy, spinach, mustard greens, mixed Oriental greens, lettuces and peas. While they are fresh and local is the perfect time to include as many as possible in every meal of the day to help boost your immune system and ward o viruses. Garlic and ginger are also great immune system boosters, as are carrots, squash, kale, berries and citrus fruits. Many fresh local herbs are also nearing their peak and there’s still much we don’t understand about the health benets of traditional herbs, so don’t discount them. If shortages of certain items in your local grocery store are irritating you, take it as a sign that it’s time to innovate and try some of the other items on the shelves – new ones, like maybe a little bok choy. This is also the time of year when you can dust o the barbecue and open up a whole new world of possibilities. The barbecue has advantages other than reducing the number of pots and pans that need to be washed up after dinner. Rather than food being cooked in fat or boiled in water, reducing the quantity of water-soluble vitamins and increasing the fat content, it’s cooked quickly, over high heat, and any fat in meat drips away instead of being absorbed back into the meat. Make benecial use of avourful fresh herbs from the garden instead of fat, sugar and salt to avour your food. They’re a far healthier alternative. And, don’t forget the benets of fresh air and exercise in boosting the immune system, along with your state of mind. Even a solitary walk in the forest or surrounded by nature can help release benecial endorphins and other happiness hormones in your body, releasing stress and even relieving pain. Stay healthy and happy and alive. It’s time to expand your repertoire with barbecued baby bok choy. PHOTO / JUDIE STEEVESJude’s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVESTRACTORS/EQUIPMENTDeBOER’S USED TRACTORS & EQUIPMENT GRINDROD, BCJD 7200 4WD, CAB, LDR 45,000 JD 2130 LDR, 65 HP SOLD JD 6410 MFWD, CAB, LDR 56,000 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. $68,500; 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, $38,500; 2009 F550 FORD 4WD work/mechanics welding truck w/heavy duty Hyab hoist, Lincolin Vantage 300 welder, high volume air compressor. Utility flatbed w/lots of locking storage. 96,000 km, $35,000; Antique CASE-O-MATIC 830 farm tractor, runs like new, looks great, 60 HP $4,500; Antique MC-CORMICK INTERNATIONAL HAR-VESTER tractor, not running but good father/son restoration project or lawn ornament. $800 obo. ROCK PICKER former potato harvester but works great removing rocks. Rugged machine w/large catch box. Ugly but works beautifully. $3,500. JOHN DEERE deluxe canopy w/front, rear lights, upper part of ROP. Like new. Only $1,250; 400 liter TIDY TANK w/15 gpm pump, new hose, nozzle. Like new. $650; KOMFORT 20ft lite travel trailer, new stove, furnace, two propane tanks, battery. Very clean. $3,500; 3 bottom KVERNELAND plow with coulters, depth wheel. $5,500; MX7 JOHN DEERE finishing mower used only one season, $4,500; FRONTIER RT1207 large tiller just like new, $5,500. RANKIN B27 ripper subsoiler, like new, $3,500; SEMI TIRES and aluminum and steel rims sizes: 4-at 285-75R-24.5; 5-at 295-75R-22.5; 4-at 315-80R-22.5; 2 at 11-24R.5. All for $800. Carl, 604-825-9108EQUIPMENT DISPERSAL VICON 1 ton 3 PT fertilizer spreader, like new, $2,850; LOWEN 18 ft PTO agitator, $1,850; 1988 FORD 7710 2WD, 4172 hours, cab, air cond., stereo, 12 speed with high low power shift, 87 hp, two sets remotes. Very nice original tractor. $21,000 NH 824 2 row cornhead. Will fit all NH. Have FP230 adapter kit available. $1,000. TONY 604-850-4718INT’L orchard tractor $2,000; MF 35 $3,000; LEYLAND Tractor $3,000; Orchard pipe trailler 500; M/F 130 $1,200. Westbank. 250-768-9083

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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC MAY 2020 | 47TRACTORS/EQUIPMENTLIVESTOCKFOR 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 short 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. Toll Free 1-888-357-0011 www.ultra-kelp.comREGISTRATION NO. 990134 FEEDS ACT AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE! FLACK’S BAKERVIEW KELP PRODUCTS INC Pritchard, BC (est. 1985)COMMUNITYLOWER MAINLAND SHEEP PRODUCERS ASSOC Meeting first Thursday of every month Sept-May, 7:30 at St George Anglican Church, Fort Langley www.lmspa.caHAYHAYREAL ESTATEREAL ESTATESEEDBILL AWMACK1-888-770-7333Monthly Directors Meetings Annual General Meeting, April Contact Bryan smithers WEB HOSTINGProfessional Local Web Hosting ServicesPROUD HOST OFwww .countrylifeinbc.comwebsitehosting.caPYESTERDAY’S TRADITION - TODAY’S TECHNOLOGYMANAGERS Phil Brown 250-293-6857 Catherine Brown 250-293-6858 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? Country Life in BC MARKETPLACEBook your ad by email: classifieds@countrylifeinbc.comOr call 604-328-3814LINE ADS 25 words or less, minimum $13 plus GST Each additional word: $0.25 DISPLAY CLASSIFIED $25 plus GST per column inch DEADLINE for the JUNE edition: MAY 22 We accept major credit cards! 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 benets 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 250.764.2224 YOUR GO-TO PLACE FOR • Small square bales of horse HAY & STRAW • Distillery WHEAT & RYE EGBERT SCHUTTER 403-393-2418 e.h.schutter@gmail.comPUREBRED BREEDING RAM Yrlgs: White Dorper (impressive bulk, rapid gain) and St. Croix (quadruplets, ma-ternal excellence, parasite resistance, height/length/smaller bone for higher meat yield). All sound, UTD mainte-nance, excellent conformation, clean genetics Monte Lake, BC, 250-375-2528 www.harmonyfarmkennelandlamb.comHAYLAGE DECENT QUALITY HAYLAGE 950-1100 LB BALES Delivery available on Vancouver Island and along the Trans Canada Hwy corridor in BC. Reasonable prices. 250-727-1966Vtw|ÄÄtv etÇv{REGISTERED BLACK ANGUS YEARLING BULLS GEORGE OR MAGGIE 250-372-9721— KAMLOOPS —Farm Equipment For Sale (Courtenay) 2 - 892 New Holland FORAGE HARVESTERS with grass head and corn head, working metal alert $2,500 for both; Gilmore- Tatge 12 foot HIGH DUMP, good condition, $4,000; 2 older silage CATCH WAGONS 1 rear unloading, 1 side and rear unloading $1,500 each; Robo ROCK PICKER (new) (check it out on YouTube) $5,000. Allen 250-334-7848ADVERTISING THAT WORKS!BOOK YOUR MARKETPLACE AD BY MAY 22SMALL-SCALE MEAT PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION BC farmers & ranchers raising meat outside the conventional system JOIN US! www.smallscalemeat.caBEAUTIFUL LIVESTOCK FARM 1,080 ACRES (ALL IN ONE BLOCK) • 900+, all fenced, could be all cropped. • 1,700 sqft modern 2-storey HOME, • 3,500 sqft HEATED SHOP, • 4,000 sqft indoor CATTLE HANDLING FACILITY, corrals etc. Located in S E Manitoba 204-326-0288 evenings SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY PLEASE DISCOVER 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. Carrie Nicholson PREC* 250-614-6766 JD 3 bottom PLOW; Int'l 1 bottom breaking plow; 20' Trailpech Prospec-tor trailer. davido.r1377533@gmail.comcountrylifeinbc.comvisit us online 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 604-852-61487 acres used BIRD CONTROL NET-TING. Good cond. $2,000 obo. 604-794-33832016 BAUER T51 HOSE REEL As new condition. Comet 140 gun. 8 nozzles. Stored inside. Serviced annually. North Okanagan. 250-836-0111.Looking 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 ColdstreamLIKE US ON FACEBOOKPacifc Forage Bag Supply Ltd.www.pacificforagebag.comCall 604.319.0376

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48 | MAY 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN | *Advertising not applicable in Quebec. No monthly finance payments for 180 Days (payment deferral) available to eligible retail customers who finance a new (or demo) Kubota model (on approved credit) from an authorized Kubota dealer in Canada. Interest, if any, will accrue during the deferral period at the rate of interest indicated on the finance contract. After this period, interest continues to accrue, and the purchaser will repay principal and all interest over the full term (but not until 180 days after the contract date). The contract term will not be extended beyond the original published term and remaining payments will be amortized over the remaining original published term. Customers are responsible for the down payment (if applicable), license, and insurance payment upon contract signing. Offer subject to change/cancellation without notice. Offer period April 1 to June 30, 2020.NO PAYMENTSFOR 6 MONTHSWHEN FINANCING A NEW KUBOTA*In these challenging times, we rely more than ever on essential services like farming.In order to help you continue working, we’re making it easier for you to get the equipment you need now.WE’RE WORKING TO KEEP YOU WORKING.Proud Partner ofABBOTSFORD 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 OLIVER 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