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Western Corn Rootworm in British Columbia - presentation November 2016

by Tracy Hueppelsheuser and Susan Smith, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture
November 2016

Western Corn Rootworm is a major corn pest in the midwest and eastern North America

It causes significant damage by:

  • Larvae feed on roots (spring and early summer) causing lodging and limits growth and tonnage.
  • Adults feed on silks (July-Sept) which limits pollination and cob development
  • Adults fly and search for pollen—will damage flower crops (i.e. dahlias)

First detection in B.C. was confirmed August 10, 2016 in Sumas Prairie.

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Applied Sustainable Ranching Program Starts January 23, 2017

Do you want to work in a beautiful landscape to learn about carbon nerutral ranching and land management practices with a focus on innovation, reducing stress on livestock, and financial & environmental sustainability? Apply to Thompson Rivers University.

Students use technology based learning to study from their home ranches or mentor ranches and only drive to campus once a week reducing fuel consumption and carbon footprint. Learning from upwards of 30 farms and ranches in our region allows us to understand the common thread of resilience that runs through the community.

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Grassland Environmental Contributions (2016)

“This is really a one-of-a-kind comprehensive study looking at how grazing affects carbon stores and grassland biodiversity across up to six different agro climatic zones,” he said. “We are really aiming, with our research, to get a provincial-scale assessment of how land use and livestock grazing affect plant communities and how that subsequently affects carbon storage. And then, how can we assign some monetary value to that or some incentive for ranchers and those of you who are out there doing the work to protect these ecological goods and services.”

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AAFC creates new forage research position

Forages and pastures have sometimes been seen as just a subordinate realm of beef cattle production or as a minor crop sector for hay producers.
 However, research in recent decades has revealed the pivotal roles pasture and forage systems can play in protecting vulnerable soil, storing carbon and making farming systems more sustainable.
 They provide a multibillion-dollar Canadian farm industry, but forages and grasslands get little respect.
 That’s an agricultural attitude that committed farmers and researchers vow to change.
 After years of stagnation, Agriculture Canada said the recent hiring will give pasture and forage research a much-needed boost.

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Western Corn Rootworm Lifecycle

Overwintering as an egg in the soil. Eggs hatch in May and larvae feed on corn roots, which may cause lodging. The larvae then pupate in June. In July/August the emerged adults feed on silks, mate and lay eggs.

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs - Help protect B.C. fruit farms (2016)

B.C. residents, particularly those in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Penticton area are being asked to support the Ministry of Agriculture’s surveillance efforts by being on the lookout for any brown marmorated stink bugs, (Halyomorpah halys) that may be seeking winter refuge inside homes and buildings.

The bug does not pose a risk to people, but can be devastating to tree fruits, berries, grapes, vegetables and ornamental plants, and a nuisance to homeowners as the adults aggregate on and in buildings while seeking warm overwintering sites.

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Alfalfa - New Alfalfa Can Tolerate Diverse Environments Across Canada (2016)

New alfalfa has 'tremendous potential' in the Maritimes, says scientist. 'It can tolerate our diverse environments across Canada,' says Yousef Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos started with 2,000 plants, selected the best 50 and then whittled those down to a single variety. That variety, he said, is drought and flood resistant, high yield and even tolerant of hooves. "I know it can tolerate our diverse environments across Canada," he said in an interview at Agriculture Agri-Food Canada's Kentville research centre. "It's got an advantage. It will have a market here and it will have a market elsewhere."

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Drones Help Island Winery Slash Water Use (2016)

It’s not very often that I come across a new technology that is literally the best solution I have seen to many current agricultural issues. Green Tourism member 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery, located on Vancouver Island in the Comox Valley, has just proven how invaluable this new technology is by saving $11,000 over the past four months.

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2016 Corn Silage Hybrid Trial Data is posted on Farmwest

The Pacific Field Corn Association's Silage Corn Hybrid Yield Trials are now complete for 2016. Abbotsford site is seeded early and had 47 entries; Agassiz site is seeded late and had 25 entries; the Interior site had 21 entries. All data tables report the 2016 results and the Long-term average results. 2016 DATA tables.

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