Farmwest Blog

December UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #4

South Coast Region Date: December 1, 2014

In general, manure application on any crops is not advised.

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How is Moisture Deficit Calculated?

Moisture deficit is evapotranspiration minus effective precipitation. It’s explained in this link: Historical average is calculated within the time period that you’ve selected (e.g., May to Sept) over all the years that a particular station has data. It is just a quick comparison of what it is currently compared to historical average.

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Making Hay while the Sun Shines: Building Our Islands’ Local and Regional Brand

The sun is shining on the local food movement, and the Island Farmers’ Alliance wants to help make the most of the opportunity! Marketing is one of the key strategies to connect Island producers with Island consumers and therefore build local production and assure the sustainability and growth of Island agriculture.

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CleanFARMS British Columbia - Obsolete Collection Campaign

CleanFARMS has organized an unwanted pesticide collection for regions of B.C. for the fall of 2014. The program provides B.C. agriculture producers the opportunity to safely dispose of their unwanted, obsolete pesticides, free of charge. Commercial and restricted pesticides from farms, greenhouses, golf courses, the turf industry, landscape companies and vegetative management industries will be accepted.

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October UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 2014: South Coast Region

It is not necessarily a good idea, or acceptable, for you to apply manure on your field just because a neighbour is applying manure. Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 (September 2, 2014) to learn about the field-specific factors to consider before applying manure. Remember that field-stored solid agricultural wastes (except vegetation waste) must be covered by October 1. The next full Advisory, (advising against further manure applications this fall and winter) is expected to be released within the next 4 weeks.

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Glyphosate-resistant weed marching north

A weed that has devastated cotton and soybean crops in the southern U.S. has crept into South Dakota, 500 kilometres from the Canadian border.
 North Dakota State University weed scientists reported this summer that Palmer amaranth, which can grow to four metres in height and can have a stem the diameter of a baseball bat, is moving into the Northern Plains. Jason Norsworthy, a University of Arkansas weed scientist, said the U.S./Canada border will not halt the northward march of Palmer amaranth.
 “It’s not going to be long before you see it in southern portions of Canada,” Norsworthy said to Harvest Public Media in the U.S.

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

Plan ahead: There’s less risk of manure or nutrient loss with 2 light manure applications (1 now, 1 later) than with 1 heavy application closer to the rainy season. July’s Update was about the imbalance of nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) in manure relative to crop requirements. One strategy to address the imbalance is to use mineral N fertilizer to fulfill part of the crop requirement. Advantages of mineral N fertilizer over manure include:

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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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