Farmwest Blog

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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Pig manure pavement glue pays off for swine producers

Pig manure can be turned into an adhesive for use in asphalt as a replacement for petroleum-based products. Swine producers can benefit when they dispose of their manure with the engineers who developed the adhesive technology. Bio-Adhesive Alliance is approximately six month from having the first batch of mass-produced adhesive ready for use, said Elham Fini of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Ultimately, the process ends up a win-win for farmers.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #2 for 2016: South Coast Region

* Well-planned manure applications are acceptable on most fields that are seeded, will be seeded within two weeks, or have well-established grasses. * Do not apply manure prior to significant rain events to avoid nutrient runoff and leaching. Please check your local weather forecast and see the next page for more information. * Avoid manure applications on wet areas or saturated soils. Some fields will dry more quickly than others. * Please continue to check you have enough manure storage to hold the average expected precipitation plus any excessive precipitation.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #1 for 2016: South Coast Region

It is acceptable to apply manure on some fields but not others. It is acceptable to apply manure on established grasses, fields being seeded within two weeks of application, and berry fields if: Expected precipitation and manure applications will NOT create nutrient or pathogen runoff to surface water (by overland flow or through tile drains)* T-Sum value in your area is greater than 200, Soil temperature is greater than 5oC, and Crop is actively growing (for established crops only) *In general, runoff risks are greatest on areas with finer-textured or muck/peat soils, ponded or wet soils that would be compacted by traffic, high water tables (2 feet or less below the surface), or depressions or swales that drain to water courses. 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. Please read the entire advisory for details and important information.

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Lower Mainland Growers see more Spotted Wing Drosophila

by Ronda Payne February 16, 2016

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) has been harassing Lower Mainland berry growers for five years and Tracy Hueppelsheuser, entomologist, Plant and Animal Health Branch with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, noted that 2015 was an even more exceptional year for the persistent pest.

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