Farmwest Admin's blog

March UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #4 of 2016: South Coast Region

Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #4 of 2016 (November 7, 2016) for the current Advisory: “in general, manure application on any crops is not advised.” Soils remain wet throughout the Fraser Valley. Manure application on wet or frozen ground followed by significant precipitation would present a very high risk of pollution occurring from runoff. The continued cold weather in the Fraser Valley means established grass fields will take longer than previous years to benefit from manure spreading. Watch the T-Sum, a sum of daily mean temperatures above 0°C, for your area increase at Farmwest.com. The T-Sum is one factor used to determine appropriate timing for the first manure application on grass fields. More importantly, however, decisions about the first manure application should consider the overall risks of runoff from the field, not just the state of the grasses. On some but not all fields, conditions will be suitable for manure application before T-Sum reaches 200. On other fields, conditions will not be suitable even after T-Sum reaches 200 (e.g. if fields are still saturated from rains).

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Cover Crops Field Day in Agassiz April 5

Cover Crops Field Day
Wednesday April 5, 2017 

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Agassiz Research and Development Centre  - 6947 Highway 7, Agassiz, BC

  • See the latest in fall-seeded cover crop varieties 

  • Learn about relay cropping techniques 

  • Talk to researchers about cover crop performance under cold 
winter conditions 


For further information contact Gary Telford at 604-796-6101 or gary.telford@agr.gc.ca

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February UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #4 of 2016: South Coast Region

Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #4 of 2016 (November 7, 2016) for the current Advisory: “in general, manure application on any crops is not advised.” T-Sum values, a sum of daily mean temperatures above 0°C, for the region are listed below. With a colder than average winter, values are lower than last year and the historical average. It will likely take longer than previous years for established grass fields to benefit from manure spreading. Watch the T-Sum for your area increase at Farmwest.com. The T-Sum is one factor used to determine appropriate timing for the first manure application on grass fields. More importantly, however, decisions about the first manure application should consider the overall risks of runoff from the field, not just the state of the grasses. On some but not all fields, conditions will be suitable for manure application before T-Sum reaches 200. On other fields, conditions will not be suitable even after T-Sum reaches 200 (e.g. if fields are still saturated from rains).

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Manure Spreading Advisory #4 2016: South Coast Region

The Manure Spreading Advisory Committee (consisting of industry and government representatives) is advising against manure applications due to lower air temperatures, the increased potential of significant rain events, and lack of vegetative cover and/or reduced nutrient uptake of cover crops. The committee will monitor weather and soil conditions and will issue further advisories as conditions change. In general, manure application on any crops is not advised until further notice. See below for advice on avoiding overflowing manure pits. Producers are responsible for decisions regarding manure spreading. Legislation gives no specific dates for manure spreading, but it does not allow for manure to be spread in a manner that causes pollution. Please read the entire advisory for details and important informationt to assist producers with decision-making about manure application.

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Applied Sustainable Ranching Program Starts January 23, 2017

Do you want to work in a beautiful landscape to learn about carbon nerutral ranching and land management practices with a focus on innovation, reducing stress on livestock, and financial & environmental sustainability? Apply to Thompson Rivers University.

Students use technology based learning to study from their home ranches or mentor ranches and only drive to campus once a week reducing fuel consumption and carbon footprint. Learning from upwards of 30 farms and ranches in our region allows us to understand the common thread of resilience that runs through the community.

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AAFC creates new forage research position

Forages and pastures have sometimes been seen as just a subordinate realm of beef cattle production or as a minor crop sector for hay producers.
 However, research in recent decades has revealed the pivotal roles pasture and forage systems can play in protecting vulnerable soil, storing carbon and making farming systems more sustainable.
 They provide a multibillion-dollar Canadian farm industry, but forages and grasslands get little respect.
 That’s an agricultural attitude that committed farmers and researchers vow to change.
 After years of stagnation, Agriculture Canada said the recent hiring will give pasture and forage research a much-needed boost.

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2016 Corn Silage Hybrid Trial Data is posted on Farmwest

The Pacific Field Corn Association's Silage Corn Hybrid Yield Trials are now complete for 2016. Abbotsford site is seeded early and had 47 entries; Agassiz site is seeded late and had 25 entries; the Interior site had 21 entries. All data tables report the 2016 results and the Long-term average results. 2016 DATA tables.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #3 for 2016: South Coast Region

Perennial grasses continue to benefit from fall manure applications when applied to meet crop nutrient needs. Manure applications for cover crops and newly seeded grasses should be based on a soil test and only applied if the cover crop will become well established to uptake nutrients prior to the end of the growing season. Manure applications on harvested or fallow fields are not recommended. Manure should not be applied within 8 meters of ditches or watercourses. Buffer width should be increased for slopes greater than 5% and/or if the potential for runoff exists. Consider wind speed and direction when applying manure and how it can have a negative impact on your neighbours. The wind can also increase ammonia loss and soil loss through erosion. Reminder that field-stored solid agricultural wastes (except vegetation waste) must be covered as of October 1. Please read the entire advisory for details and important information regarding manure applications.

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Update to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 2016: South Coast Region

Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 of 2016 (April 4, 2016) for the current Advisory. The following Update does not change the Advisory. · Perennial grasses continue to benefit from fall manure applications when applied to meet crop nutrient needs. · When cropping after corn, cover crops or grassland planted after September 1 should not receive manure unless the need for nitrogen has been proven by a soil test. There is usually enough nitrogen remaining in the soil for a cover crop or newly seeded grass. · Manure applications on harvested or fallow fields are not recommended unless cover crops are planted and will become well established to uptake nutrients prior to the end of the growing season. · As the chances of wet and rainy conditions increase in September, guidelines for setbacks for manure spreading increase from 5 m (as per the current advisory) to 8 m from ditches or watercourses. · Plan manure applications to empty storage facilities before the rainy season

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BC Forage Council Climate Change Adaptation Project 2014-2017 (2016 Update)

  • Kale as a winter feed source
  • Late season grasses as winter feed and the effect of passive fertilization
  • Forage quality, yield and maturity rates of 6 alfalfa varieties
  • Determine optimum alfalfa seeding rate and seed mix

Kale as a winter feed source. Last year, the farmer grew one variety of kale (late maturing). We found that the kale grew very well and kept its nutritional qualities till late in the season (December 17 – Relative Feed Value of 425).

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