Weather Forecast for:
Abbotsford Airport

Updated: Feb 27, 2015 at 7:02 PM

Fri PM
Feb 27

Low: 5 ºC

Feb 28

High: 13 ºC
Low: 1 ºC

Mar 01

High: 11 ºC

Mar 02

High: 11 ºC
Low: 1 ºC

Mar 03

High: 9 ºC
Low: 0 ºC


Weathering the Coming Change

For more than 30 years, Jerry Keulen has farmed the fertile soils next to Boundary Bay. A second generation Delta farmer, Keulen runs Seabreeze Dairy Farm, where he grows forage grass and corn on his 60-hectare property, in addition to his dairy cows. But as he looks upon the dike that skirts his property, he says he knows change is coming. “Climate change,” he says. “The big concern is if the sea level rises, we’re in trouble. So how are we going to protect ourselves?”

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Views from the sky - exploring the use of drones in crop production

Does using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) make sense for your crop operation? UAVs, also called drones or unmanned aerial systems, are available as fixed-wing types, like little airplanes, or rotor types, like little helicopters. They are catching the attention of Prairie crop growers and specialists who want to see how well they work for crop scouting and field mapping, and how the costs compare to the benefits. In Alberta, a project is underway to evaluate the use of UAVs to generate field maps to help in making decisions on weed and disease management. Dr. Chris Neeser, a weed research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD), is leading the project. He wants to develop a set of procedures for acquiring and processing high-resolution UAV imagery and to assess the usefulness and economics of this tool. To map a field, the UAV flies over the field in parallel passes and takes photos at regular intervals. Imagery software is then used to stitch all the photos together to create a map of the whole field.

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Electric Fence Installation: Everything from Purchase to "Power Up"

Once you have determined where the fence can be located on your property, map out the intended location of the fence. Look for potential geographical issues, like hills, densely wooded areas, or high brush that will need to be dealt with or avoided. Measure the perimeter of the fence line and determine how many wires of fencing you want your fence to have. When you are prepared with a detailed outline of your fence, you can proceed to purchasing the electric fence materials and charger that you will need. Remember, grounding rods need to be installed within 3 to 10 feet of each other, and you will also need connectors and insulators to make your fence complete. Spend time calculating the wire length of your fence so you can be sure to purchase a fence charger that is appropriate.

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What is T-Sum?

T-Sum' is a method to determine when to make the first application of nitrogen fertilizer in spring. The 'T-Sum' value is the accumulated mean daily temperatures (in ° C) above zero, starting on January 1 (below-zero temperatures are ignored). For example, if the mean daily temperatures for a 5-day period were 6, 3, 0, 1, and -4°C, the 'T-Sum' total is 10. The 'T-Sum' concept assumes that rate of spring growth is related to accumulated mean temperature.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #1 for 2015: South Coast Region

It is acceptable to apply manure on established grasses, fields being seeded within two weeks of application, and berry fields if: T-Sum value in your area is greater than 200*, Soil temperature is greater than 5oC, Crop is actively growing (for established crops only), and Expected precipitation and manure applications will not create nutrient runoff to surface water or leaching below the root zone, Nutrient loss risks are greatest on poorly-drained fields at this time. *Please see below for new guidance on interpreting your weather forecast. Please continue to check you have enough manure storage to hold the average expected precipitation plus any excessive precipitation. Field-stored solid agricultural wastes (except agricultural vegetation waste) MUST be COVERED from October 1 to April 1, inclusive.

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Nutrient Testing Labs

Nutrient Testing Labs - BC Ministry of Agriculture document.

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Teaching animals to graze weeds (2014)

Grazing animals often avoid eating weeds due to novelty even though weeds are often as nutritious as many of our planted pasture and rangelands species. Animals learn what to eat and avoid by grazing with their mothers and through individual experience. Once animals establish a preferred diet of familiar foods, adequate in nutrients, and low in toxins, most animals simply avoid eating new foods. When a weed invades a pasture, it is likely a new or novel food meaning livestock grazing the pasture have never eaten the new weed. In no time, weeds take over because plants that are not grazed have a competitive advantage over grazed plants. Teaching animals to eat noxious weeds may be a solution to reducing noxious weeds

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Forage a huge, underappreciated part of agriculture

Canada's largest crop, occupying 39 per cent of the farmable land, is forage -- hay and pasture to feed livestock. However, despite its sizeable footprint and contribution to the Canadian economy, forage gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to allocating funds for research and development. It's partly because it does its best work behind the scenes. Forage lands are often referred to as "unimproved" or "undeveloped." Those terms ignore the valuable roles those lands play -- economically, by supporting livestock production as well as environmentally by reducing soil erosion, improving water quality, maintaining wildlife habitat and adding to biological diversity. But it's also because there are no easy way to raise funds for forage research. The structure of the industry is such that a checkoff won't work, because most of the production is never sold through commercial channels. It is either fed on farm or sold producer to producer. Historically, research into improved varieties has been done by the public sector, but government support for that research has been waning since the 1990s. A 2007 analysis shows publicly funded forage research had declined by $44 million annually during the previous 15 years. That lack of research into new and improved varieties has resulted in forage yields that are stagnant or declining.

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Forage Seminars 2015 in Vanderhoof January 12 and Quesnel January 13

The BC Forage Council is pleased to present Dr. Dan Undersander and Kris Wierenga, who will be sharing their knowledge of Alfalfa Management, Harvest Practices and Relative Feed Value. Dr. Dan Undersander is a researcher and extension specialist with the University of Wisconsin’s Agronomy Department. Dr. Undersander’s work involves alfalfa and grass plant health and survival, best management practices for harvesting forage, optimum management practices for intensively grazed pastures and the use of Near Infrared Reflectance in assessing forage quality. Kris Wierenga is a beef nutritionist with Hi-Pro Feeds who comes from a mixed farming background. Kris completed a Master’s degree in ruminant nutrition at the University of Alberta and works closely with cow/calf, backgrounding, and finishing feedlot producers. VANDERHOOF - Village Inn on Monday January 12, 2015 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm . QUESNEL at the Sandman Inn on Tuesday January 13, 2015 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

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BCFC Looking for Producer Participants for Forage Project in Vanderhoof area

The BCFC is looking for producers who are willing to participate in research to assess innovative farm practices for adapting to climate change and weather related production risks, and to identify new and adaptive management practices. The project will involve the development of tools to support on-farm trials, several farm-scale demonstration sites where the producers complete trials over two summers (2015 and 2016) with the project providing research development support, access to research equipment, lab analyses, and local climate data. The final outcome of this project will be a Workbook and Manual: "How to Conduct Your Own Farm-Scale Research Projects", educational opportunities for area producers through field days and a workshop and increased farm related weather information for the area.

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