Farmwest Admin's blog

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.”

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.

DECEMBER Update to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 of 2017: South Coast Region

Date: Dec 4, 2017

Refer to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 of 2017 (Nov 1, 2017) for the current Advisory:

“in general, manure application on any crops is not advised.”

The following Update does not change the Advisory.

During the time of year when manure applications are not advised, thoughts turn to manure storage. Adequate manure storage on the farm allows for manure to be applied when it will provide the best nutrient contribution to crops.