Farmwest Blog

Correlating Degree Days to Crop Production

Question: I was wondering if one could loosely correlate degree days to crop production over the province of BC. Realizing that just because you have a certain degree day does not mean that that location might be right for the crop, but crops wouldn't require different degree days in different locations of BC correct?

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Committee told lack of research funding hurting crucial forage industry

Agriculture stakeholders continue to plead for more publicly funded long term research, as the House agriculture committee wraps up its study on innovation and competitiveness in Canadian agriculture. The latest entreaty came Monday, in testimony from the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association, who told MPs the decline in research dollars is hurting their industry. “Dramatic” drops in research funding for forage means its associated research can’t keep up with popular annual crops like canola, corn and soybeans, “putting the livestock sector at risk,” said the group’s chairman, Doug Wary. Forages are the largest cultivated crop in Canada, at 13 million hectares or 39 per cent of cultivated land. Another 15 million hectares of native or natural pasture land in Canada is dedicated forage. The forage industry, valued at $5.1 billion, is essential to the Canadian livestock industry. Eighty per cent of Canada’s beef production and 60 per cent of a dairy cow’s diet depend on forages. The plants also help with soil conservation. Farmers often include them in their crop rotations to improve soil structure, control erosion, and add nitrogen — crucial to plant growth.

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Statement from Agriculture Minister on Agricultural Land Commission Act changes

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has released the following statement on Bill 24, the Agricultural Land Commission Act: “Today I am introducing amendments to Bill 24, which take into account the written feedback of British Columbians and following input gained from meetings with leaders in B.C.’s agricultural sector. The comments expressed are as diverse as the province itself and have been very useful in my deliberations.

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May UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 2014: South Coast Region

Continue to refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 (March 10, 2014) for managing risks with manure spreading: http://farmwest.com/node/1342 Do you know the nitrogen (N) fertilizer value of manure? Example: A farmer broadcasts 45,000 L per hectare (4,000 imperial gallons per acre) of liquid manure in the spring. The N fertilizer value of this manure, in the year of application, depends largely on the total N and ammonium-N contents of the manure:

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April UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 2014: South Coast Region

Continue to refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #2 (March 10, 2014). Do you know the nutrient content of your manure? You can find a lab that will analyze your farm’s manure for total nutrient contents that will vary somewhat from the averages (Table 1). Find a list of laboratories here: http://goo.gl/ntuZqP A fraction of the total nutrients has fertilizer value in the year of application, particularly in the case of nitrogen. Another fraction has fertilizer value in subsequent years. For general information about how large the fractions are, see Question 4 in the Q & A document here (http://goo.gl/rqdEjz).

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B.C. animal health centre expertise endorsed

British Columbia’s state-of-the-art animal health lab in Abbotsford has received accreditation from an international organization that recognizes B.C. and the lab’s excellence in veterinary diagnostic testing, Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm announced today.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #2 for 2014: South Coast Region

Well-planned manner 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. 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 to assist in the decision-making process for manure application(s) and storage.

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March UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #1 2014: South Coast Region

In general, manure application is not advised this week. Cold temperatures and snow or rain over the past weekend have delayed the start of acceptable conditions for manure spreading in most parts of the South Coast. Without adequate drainage, finer-textured soils (e.g. clays and loams) are more likely to be wet, have surface runoff, warm up slowly, and be compacted than coarse-textured (sandy) soils, if all else is the same. Expect the next Manure Spreading Advisory to be released next week when weather and soil conditions improve.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #1 for 2014: South Coast Region

It is acceptable to apply manure on established grasses, fields being seeded within two weeks of application, and berry fields if: T-Sum value in your area is greater than 200*; Soil temperature is greater than 5oC; Crop is actively growing (for established crops only); and Expected precipitation and manure applications will not create nutrient runoff to surface water or leaching below the root zone. 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. Check the Farmwest T-Sum to find the current T-sum value for your location. Please read the entire advisory for details and important information to assist in the decision-making process for manure application and storage.

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