Farmwest Blog

New regulations encourage farming on ALR

New regulations under the Agricultural Land Commission Act will encourage farming and help B.C.’s agricultural community fill the growing demand for B.C. food, locally and around the world, Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick announced today. The regulations will help farmers throughout B.C. take advantage of the demand for value-added B.C. goods by promoting the use of co-operatively owned processing facilities.

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Changes to Growing Degree Day Calculator

Request from a Farmwest member:  First of all ... I want to say thanks for your awesome growing degree calculator for our region. To have something this accurate for my exact city (Chilliwack) is just so handy to have. My only issue is that your base (threshold) only goes up to 10 degrees. I grow watermelon (threshold=13) and eggplant (threshold=16). It should be really simple to tune your software to allow the threshold to be raised up to 16 degrees C. Hope you can do that. Thanks again for providing this resource. Robert.

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Ontario restricts use of pesticides blamed for decline of bee populations

The Ontario government has unveiled North America’s first agricultural restrictions on a widely used class of pesticides blamed for the decline in bees and other pollinators. The controversial regulations aimed at reducing the use of neonicotinoid insecticides made by Bayer AG and Syngenta AG by 80 per cent within two years goes into effect on July 1.

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Should farmers sidedress nitrogen fertilizer on their corn fields this year?

  • If the soil nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) in the top 30 cm at the 6-leaf stage of corn (i.e. presidedress nitrate test or PSNT) is greater than 30 parts per million (ppm), there is likely no economic benefit to the sidedress application*.

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

Date: June 1, 2015

Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 of 2015 (April 1, 2015) for the current Advisory (Advisory #2). The following Update does not change the Advisory.

Should farmers sidedress nitrogen fertilizer on their corn fields this year?

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

Manure applications have an overall positive effect on soil biology. Many of the same creatures that live in soil can be found in manure: shredders (arthropods), decomposers (bacteria and fungi), and grazers and predators (nematodes and protozoa). With excessive applications of liquid manure, there can be negative effects on soil biology: increased saturation of the soil, creating anaerobic conditions that increase rates of greenhouse gas emissions (nitrous oxide and methane), and decreasing soil life.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #2 for 2015: 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. Please read the entire advisory for details and important information to assist in the decision-making process for manure application(s) and storage.

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March UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #1 2015: South Coast Region

Date: March 2, 2015

Reminder: It is acceptable to apply manure with certain precautions including a buffer width of 8 meters (26 feet) between the application area and sensitive areas and watercourses including ditches.  Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #1 of 2015 (Feb 13, 2015) for more information and the complete advisory. The recommended buffer width distance will decrease towards the end of March.

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