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Updated: Aug 16, 2018 at 7:58 AM

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Low: 13 ºC
 

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Aug 20

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Corn Rootworm 2018.1 Fact Sheet

Click here for FACT SHEET PDF (with photos)

Western Corn Rootworm

  • Detected for the first time in the Fraser Valley in 2016 and reached record levels in local corn fields during the 2017 season.
  • Single most important factor contributing to economic loss and shifting management practices in corn growing regions in North America.

Damage

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Rising Farmland Costs are Hurting Farmers (March 2018)

The Pacific Field Corn Association was invited to attend The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry meeting in Vancouver on March 19, 2018. Rising farmland prices threaten the viability of the family farm, the future of Canada's agriculture sector and a traditional way of life for thousands of Canadian families, the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry said in a report. "Economic conditions are conspiring against farmers, who already encounter more adversity than they need. We need the government to help counter the market forces that are stacked against Canadian farmers which make it harder for them to buy the land they need to run successful farming enterprises." said Senator Diane F. Griffin, Chair of the committee.

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Manure Spreading Advisory #1 for 2018: South Coast Region

It is acceptable to apply manure on established grasses, fields being seeded within two weeks of application, and berry fields IF: Expected precipitation and manure applications will NOT create nutrient or pathogen runoff to surface water (by overland flow or through tile drains)* T-Sum value in your area is greater than 200, Soil temperature is greater than 5oC, and Crop is actively growing (for established crops only)

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug - Samurai Wasps (2018)

BC farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture are gearing up for the first phase of an intense battle with the invasive brown marmorated stink bug this year. Acheampong says new funding will be dedicated to putting up new traps in farms, to get an idea of just how far the stink bugs have spread into farmland. The pesky and sometimes smelly pests are a major concern for farmers throughout the US and Canada. A 2010 study found the insect caused $37 million in damage to the US apple industry alone, and since then the stink bugs have moved into southern Ontario, Prince Edward Island and now British Columbia. The stink bug also attacks and damages various tree fruits, berries, grapes, vegetables, corn and a variety of ornamental plants. The first sighting of the destructive Brown Marmorated species was in Penticton in 2016, but as of November last year most of the sightings of the insect have been in or around the City of Kelowna.

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Brassicas to Extend the Grazing Season

Use of Brassica Crops to Extend the Grazing Season - Cool-season perennial grass and grass-legume pastures typically become less productive as the grazing season advances from June to November. Forage brassica crops such as turnip, swede, rape, and kale can be spring-seeded to supplement the perennial cool-season pastures in August and September or summer-seeded to extend the grazing season in November and December. Brassicas are annual crops that are highly productive and digestible and can be grazed 80 to 150 days after seeding, depending on the species (see table on back page). In addition, crude protein levels are high, varying from 15 to 25 percent in the herbage and 8 to 15 percent in the roots, depending on the level of nitrogen fertilization and weather conditions.

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Farm Size and Animal Welfare - UBC Dairy Centre Report (2017)

Concerns about farm animal welfare often revolve around the issue of farm size. Critics suggest that animals on larger farms are less likely to receive individual attention, and that the shift to larger farms results in a decline in standards of care and ultimately a lower quality of life for these animals. For those that ascribe to this view the news is bad. Farm size shows every indication of continuing to grow as the number of dairy farms declines (Fig 1). In terms of animal welfare, concerns appear to fall into three broad categories: 1) that the technologies inherent to large farms are detrimental to the animals, 2) that due to dilution of worker effort over a larger number of animals, the standard of care provided to individuals animals will decline, and 3) that some practices perceived to be beneficial, like access to the outdoors, may become impractical once farms reach a certain size. In the sections that follow we review evidence relating to all three concerns.

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2017 BC AgriStability Enhancement Program may cover pest outbreaks if they caused significant damage

The BC Government has made special provisions to help producers suffering income declines in 2017. The British Columbia AgriStability Enhancement Program allows agricultural producers to enroll late and without penalty into the existing 2017 AgriStability Program with additional benefits such as:

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IAF Seeks Nominations for Innovation Award

The Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. (IAF) is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Award of Excellence for Innovation in Agriculture and Agri-Food. This award celebrates B.C.'s agriculture and agri-food leaders who have implemented specific projects or initiatives leading to economic, environmental or social benefits to British Columbia and the industry in general, or to a specific sector. The award is open to agri-food producers and processors; retail, food service, agri-food and/or private sector businesses; industry associations and organizations; input, technology and support service providers; academic institutions; regional districts and local governments. Applicants must have a head office or be registered in B.C. Innovations will be evaluated for their: Originality and uniqueness; Degree of economic, social and/or environmental benefit to British Columbia; Extent to which the project has advanced the industry or sector. Nominations close January 31, 2018. The 2018 award winner will be announced on April 12, 2018 at the IAF Project Showcase and Luncheon in Abbotsford.

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Cover Crops for Western Canada

Recently the seasons aren’t as short as they used to be, and they tend to be wetter, leaving farmers wondering what to do with all that excess moisture. That’s just one reason why cover crops might make sense, says Yvonne Lawley, a cropping systems researcher at the University of Manitoba. Cover crops are being used as green manure for organic production, as catch crops to prevent nutrient leaching, to improve soil organic matter and nutrient cycling, break up hardpan, protect soils from erosion and to increase the productivity of grazing systems. But Lawley said the soil health benefits of cover crops go beyond those traditional objectives. “If we think about the whole chain of microbes that exist in soil, they’re really being fed by the inputs and cycling of nutrients within the agro-ecosystem. If we can have plants growing for a longer period of time, capturing more sun, we can provide more input through either organic matter or exudates from roots that feed the fungi, bacteria and nematodes that then feed the higher trophic structure like earthworms.”

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BC's AgriStability Enhancement Program

Following a year impacted by wildfire, flooding and invasive species, farmers and ranchers around the province can recover some of their lost income with the Government of British Columbia’s new AgriStability Enhancement Program. The enhanced AgriStability Program was developed because of the unusual losses in 2017. Broader coverage was required in order to protect the 40-50% of B.C. farmers and ranchers not enrolled in the regular AgriStability program. Under the AgriStability Enhancement Program, B.C. farmers and ranchers can enrol in the regular program late and without penalty. AgriStability is a federal and provincial government program that protects farmers and ranchers from margin declines resulting from increased costs or decreased revenue. Payments are made if the farmer or rancher’s current-year margin falls more than 30% below the average of prior years. The AgriStability Enhancement Program is 100% funded by the B.C. government.

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