Farmwest Blog

Right to Farm legislation goes under review

Industry sceptical because of changes to the land reserve,abrupt dismissal of Richard Bullock. The province has quietly launched a review of the BC Farm Practices Protection Act, consulting municipalities in advance of discussions with industry later this month. Passed in 1996, the legislation has never been reviewed. Municipalities are welcoming the move but RegEns, executive director of the BC Agriculture Council, says industry is more sceptical of the province's motives following controversial changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve and its abrupt dismissal of former land commission chair Richard Bullock. "We're concerned," Ens says. "As a council, we don't have an official position, but in the industry there's a lot of scepticism." The province contacted the BC Agriculture Council in early July, Ens says, and the council has met with ministry staff once to date. Consultations with municipalities followed, first with the four municipalities whose ability to pass bylaws affecting agriculture is regulated under the BC Local Government Act (including Abbotsford, Delta, Kelowna and Langley Township) and then unregulated municipalities.

Read Full Story Here

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.

Read Full Story Here

New Law Gives BC More Authority Involving Water Use

A scorching hot summer, abnormally low rainfall and dwindling reservoirs meant there wasn’t enough water to sprinkle lawns, fill pools or wash cars in Metro Vancouver and many other cities across B.C. Suddenly, interest spiked in understanding how the province protects and allocates its newest precious resource. There was far less public attention last spring when the provincial government refreshed the 100-year-old laws governing water by passing a new Water Sustainability Act. The centrepiece of the legislation was an extension of British Columbia’s existing licensing and regulation regime for surface water, meaning streams and lakes, onto groundwater, which is pumped from wells. The change closes a loophole where someone denied a licence to get surface water — due to limited supply or for environmental protection — could simply walk a dozen metres onto the nearest shore, drill a well and pump out an unlimited amount of groundwater without penalty. “We were the only jurisdiction in North America that had no regulation on groundwater, other than California,” Schreier said. California has also recently closed that loophole. As Environment Minister Mary Polak puts it: “Anybody could drill down into groundwater and take what they wanted, and as much as they wanted.” For a few more months, they still can. B.C.’s new rules come into effect on Jan. 1.

Read Full Story Here

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.

Read Full Story Here

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.

Read Full Story Here

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.

Read Full Story Here

AAFC scientist at Agassiz Research Centre appointed to Order of Canada

Dr. Dave Gillespie of Chilliwack was been appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada on July 1, 2015. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced 100 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

Read Full Story Here

July UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 2015: South Coast Region

Date: July 2, 2015

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

The Manure Spreading Updates of last yearhighlighted the nitrogen (N) fertilizer value of manures.  To know the N value of what you apply, you need to know your application rates.  You might estimate the rates by counting the number of loads applied.  A more reliable, quick method to calibrate your estimates is the following:

Read Full Story Here

New Database for Registered Crop Varieties

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has introduced a new database containing all of the registered varieties of crop kinds subject to registration in Canada. The Registered Varieties List (RVL) provides single-window access to the most up-to-date information on varieties registered in Canada. Users can now download the most current data on registered varieties from one location at any time. This searchable and downloadable database will improve the accuracy of variety registration information. The Registered Varieties List can be found on the CFIA website.

Read Full Story Here

Just Farmers - an informal Agricultural Newsletter from the Bulkley Valley

JUNE 2015 edition topics include: Growing alfalfa in the Bulkley Valley; forage plots; A mixed livestock farm; Beltsville Small White Turkey

Read Full Story Here

Pages