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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.

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.

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.

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: