Farmwest Blog

Manure Spreading Advisory #4 2015: South Coast Region

In general, manure application on any crops is not advised. See below for advice on avoiding overflowing manure pits. What is the concern with spreading manure now? Although a manure application now, under the most favourable conditions, may lead to a growth spurt of grass (Fig. 1), most of the nitrogen in manure that would be spread now will be leached and lost from the soil during the cold, rainy season, before the grass can use it (Fig. 2). Advice: don’t just feed the microbes, feed the crop by waiting to apply manure.

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October UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 2015: South Coast Region

Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 of 2015 (September 1, 2015) for the current Advisory.  The following Update does not change the Advisory.

“Manure application on perennial grasses is usually appropriate as long as crop growth and warmer weather patterns (greater than 5°C) continue; fields are trafficable; and precipitation does not create runoff” (Manure Spreading Advisory #3 of 2015).

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Video - Producing Renewable Energy from Cow Manure

The Inside Scoop on Manure - Delta residents Darrell & Linda Mott visit their farming neighbour Jerry Keulen to learn how Seabreeze Farm converts manure and organic consumer waste into renewable energy and high quality fertilizer.  (Seabreeze Farm, Delta, BC) https://youtu.be/

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New Sustainable Ranching Enterprise Diploma at TRU in Williams Lake

The Ministry of Advanced Education will provide Thompson Rivers University with one-time funding of $154,000 for developing a proposed new Applied Sustainable Ranching Enterprise Diploma program in Williams Lake. The two-year program aims to give individuals the skills to develop a sustainable ranching enterprise by examining best practices in business strategy, financial management, operations, marketing and enterprise diversification. It addresses the needs of the local ranching environment with a focus on sustainable management of natural resources and building resilience into ranching enterprises both at home and abroad. An advisory committee of ranching representatives from the Cariboo region ensured the program was built by industry, for industry.

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Agriculture research needs to focus on future challenges

The institute said rising population, climate change and the need to find 
alternatives to fossil fuels are priorities Canada needs a forward-looking agriculture research policy to help feed a burgeoning global population, cope with climate change and develop alternatives to fossil fuels, says the Agriculture Institute of Canada. It has released a proposal to create a strong scientific base that “will be the primary source of innovation and productivity enhancements needed to meet these future challenges,” says AIC CEO Serge Buy.

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Agricultural products are one of the world’s biggest sources of plastic trash

From the pipes and tubes that deliver irrigation water to the pots seedlings are grown in to those delightfully tacky blue and orange bits of twine that bind bales of hay, plastic products are stitched into almost every agricultural activity. Agricultural films—thin plastic membranes used to cover the soil for purposes of weed suppression, temperature enhancement, fertilizer uptake and more—are one of the largest contributors to the billions of pounds of plastics that are discarded by farms across the planet each year.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #3 for 2015: 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 neighbors. 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 by October 1.

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August UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #2

Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 of 2015 for the current Advisory.  The following Update does not change the Advisory.

When balancing the goal of maximizing corn yields with the goal of establishing cover crops, consider the effect of cover crop planting date (Table 1).

Table 1.  Nitrogen uptake by cover crops decreases with later planting dates.  Values are for B.C. South Coast.  Actual uptake depends on crop variety and other factors.

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Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agassiz, BC

The Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre was created in 1886 as an experimental farm and by 1900 was well known for its collection of more than 3,000 varieties of plants and fruit trees. Over the last 100 years research at the centre has included new varieties of fruits, vegetables and forages, with a focus on dairy cattle nutrition beginning in 1986, and the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre being established in 1998. Today, research at Agassiz also includes small fruits, greenhouse vegetables, special crops and forages; soil resource conservation and land evaluation.

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