Farmwest Admin's blog

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:

February UPDATE to Manure Spreading Advisory #3 of 2017: South Coast Region

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. The T-Sum is one factor used to determine appropriate timing for the first manure application on grass fields. More importantly, however, decisions about the first manure application should consider the overall risks of runoff from the field, not just the state of the grasses. On some but not all fields, conditions will be suitable for manure application before T-Sum reaches 200. On other fields, conditions will not be suitable even after T-Sum reaches 200 (e.g. if fields are still saturated from rains). T-Sum values, a sum of daily mean temperatures above 0°C, for the region are listed below and compared with values for the same time last year and the historical average.

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.

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.”