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Updated: Jul 31, 2014 at 12:06 AM

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1st cut alfalfa For Sale in Abbotsford

1st cut alfalfa RFV135 235.00/ton 1st cut alfalfa grass RFV 220.00/ton 1st cut alfalfa grass 200/ton all 3x4x8 bales delivery available.  More info ...

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Correlating Degree Days to Crop Production

Question: I was wondering if one could loosely correlate degree days to crop production over the province of BC. Realizing that just because you have a certain degree day does not mean that that location might be right for the crop, but crops wouldn't require different degree days in different locations of BC correct?

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Bees – Support the Bees and They Will Support You (2014)

We’ve all heard that honey bees and native bees are in trouble in North America. There seem to be a number of factors leading to the decline of native pollinator populations of honey bee colonies. Minute quantities of neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated in bee population decline and have been banned in many European countries. The second factor severely affecting honey bees is the Varroa mite. A third factor may related to poor nutritional opportunities for bees feeding on monocultures of some commodity crops. Recent drastic declines in some native bumblebee populations have lead researchers to hypothesize that diseases were spread from non-native bumblebees used in greenhouses. Both wild and domestic bees provide millions of dollars of pollination services to fruit and ground crops. Although they are not needed for grape pollination they do pollinate cover crops and plants that support beneficial insects. Maintaining a healthy population of insect pollinators is vital to agricultural production and the environment. Use of pesticides is part of most farm operations, however good management practices can ensure that bees have little or no direct contact with toxic sprays. Consider the following before applying pesticides:

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Must read: 'Cool Forages'

I’ve always admired the coffee-table books with gorgeous photography and interesting insights. Although such books have frequently caught my eye over the years, my interest was short-lived when I realized I would have to look at that book every day for the next 10 years. I just didn’t think the subject matter would be interesting for that long, so I never acquired one – until now. I’ve finally found the book. "Cool Forages: Advanced Management of Temperate Forages," a collection of informational articles written by forage specialists throughout North America and edited by Shabtai Bittman and Derek Hunt, is that book. The hardbound, glossy 206-page book combines stunning photography with essential forage information that is both informational and easy to read.

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Got Bats? (2014)

B.C. has the highest bat diversity in Canada with 16 of the 19 species found here. Half the bat species in B.C. are listed to be of conservation concern either provincially or federally. More recently, the emergence of White Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that kills bats during their winter hibernation period, has resulted in the death of more than six million bats across 25 states and five Canadian provinces. The disease is predicted to arrive in B.C. within the next decade, and monitoring bat populations is essential for detecting sudden declines associated with White Nose Syndrome caused deaths.

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Rodents - Living with Wildlife in BC (2014)

Many rodents have no impact on crops while others cause from minimal to significant damage. Proper identification and assessment of damage is important for rodent management. Trapping is effective for small populations and is the preferred method over the use of poisoned bait, which can harm non-target animals such as dogs, hawks, owls and snakes.

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Rats! Black Rat spreads to BC Interior (2014)

by Margaret Holm, Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance

Unfortunately, the sailing ships that brought explorers and settlers to British Columbia also brought rats and mice. For a hundred years or more the large Norway Rat and Black Rat species were confined to coastal areas, but in the past decade, the smaller Black Rat has spread to the interior of the province and is a new problem in urban and rural areas.

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Open Letter to BC Minister of Agriculture on Bill 24 and the Agricultural Land Reserve

As an organization representing 125 farmers’ markets and one thousand small-scale farmers selling at markets across BC, we are concerned that our provincial representatives have not considered our members’ views and opposition to Bill 24. BC’s farmers’ markets work tirelessly in all corners of the province to strengthen local economies and provide British Columbians with fresh, healthy local agricultural products. Our ability to continue to deliver these benefits into the future, however, is tied directly to the availability of agricultural land throughout the province. As one of our members stated, “protecting the ALR is central to protecting and enhancing what our local farmers' markets exist to support - healthy and strong communities and food systems.” Our member farmers’ markets in the North and Interior specifically have expressed concern that Bill 24 will directly threaten their regionally focused agricultural initiatives and thereby threaten the very viability of farmers' markets in their area.

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Committee told lack of research funding hurting crucial forage industry

Agriculture stakeholders continue to plead for more publicly funded long term research, as the House agriculture committee wraps up its study on innovation and competitiveness in Canadian agriculture. The latest entreaty came Monday, in testimony from the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association, who told MPs the decline in research dollars is hurting their industry. “Dramatic” drops in research funding for forage means its associated research can’t keep up with popular annual crops like canola, corn and soybeans, “putting the livestock sector at risk,” said the group’s chairman, Doug Wary. Forages are the largest cultivated crop in Canada, at 13 million hectares or 39 per cent of cultivated land. Another 15 million hectares of native or natural pasture land in Canada is dedicated forage. The forage industry, valued at $5.1 billion, is essential to the Canadian livestock industry. Eighty per cent of Canada’s beef production and 60 per cent of a dairy cow’s diet depend on forages. The plants also help with soil conservation. Farmers often include them in their crop rotations to improve soil structure, control erosion, and add nitrogen — crucial to plant growth.

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