JUNE 4, 2012



JUNE 4, 2012
Volume 38, Number 12 | June 4, 2012
Don’t use desiccants to
hasten maturity
When a pre-harvest dessication is necessary,
keep in mind that it won’t speed up maturity
esiccants are designed
to quickly dry down the
crop, as well as any green
weedy material growing
in the crop that might otherwise
hamper harvesting operations.
“It’s a common misconception
that herbicides put on prior to harvest, whether it’s a desiccant or something like glyphosate, will hasten
maturity — which is not the case,”
says Clark Brenzil, provincial weed
specialist with the Saskatchewan
Ministry of Agriculture.
“In large part what you are doing
is trying to address some of the
harvest issues that occur when you
have an indeterminate growth habit
in a plant,” says Brenzil. “Typically
that is going to be for a broadleaf
crop, and pulse crops tend to be the
most commonly desiccated.”
In indeterminate plants, such
as pulses, flowers are produced
at the bottom and continue to
be produced all the way up as
the plant grows. This results in
mature pods at the bottom of
the plant and greener material
at the top. “The idea with desiccation is to dry out that green
material very quickly so that
you can get in there and harvest
the mature pods down at the
bottom,” says Brenzil.
Crop desiccants such as Reglone
are contact herbicides that interfere
with photosynthesis. This causes
the plants’ cells to break down and
release the liquid contents, allowing
plant material to dry down rapidly.
Water droplets can often be seen
pooling on the leaf surfaces shortly
after application of desiccants.
Although glyphosate products
are not desiccants, it’s a common
misconception that glyphosate
applied prior to harvest will act
as a desiccant. “There is often a
blurring of the term,” says Brenzil.
“Farmers will often say ‘we’re
desiccating with glyphosate’ and
that’s not the case. Glyphosate
kills plants; then it’s left to Mother
Nature to dry them down.”
More correctly, says Brenzil,
farmers use a pre-harvest application of glyphosate to control perennial weeds. “The glyphosate circulates in the plant and gets down
to the roots and controls that perennial weed,” he says. “Pre-harvest
is a particularly good time of year
to achieve that, particularly the
further north you go.”
Incorrect timing of pre-harvest
herbicides can actually have a
negative impact on maturity, says
Brenzil. “The maturation process
is more than just the dry-down of
the plant. The first step in maturation is the filling of the seed and
then once the seed is filled, it
starts going through that drying
down process,” he explains.
Herbicides applied too early can
interrupt the process of seed filling,
resulting in yield loss. There is also a
danger of herbicide residue ending
up in the seed, a particular concern
when using glyphosate, for which
some European countries have set
very low maximum residue limits
in pulse and other crops.
“Glyphosate is a systemic product, which means that once it enters
the plant it will get into the circulation system and move through the
plant to the same places that the
sugars are going, which are called
sinks,” says Brenzil. “The sink at
the pre-harvest timing is the seed.
So basically what you are doing
by applying early is taking what is
applied to the surface of the leaf and
putting it right into the seed.”
For this reason glyphosate
should not be used as a pre-harvest application when growing
pulse crops for seed the following
This 2010 lentil crop was desiccated with Reglone in 2010. The photo
shows a complete dry-down, including the lentil stems.
year, because of an increased risk
of poor emergence.
Desiccants are contact herbicides
which only have impact on the tissues they come into contact with.
They do not move systemically
through the plant.
Another myth about pre-harvest
treatments, whether desiccants
or glyphosates, is that they can
protect a crop from the damage
caused by a frost, similar to swathing. “When a crop is swathed there
is still some subsequent matura-
In This Issue
Publications Mail Agreement Number 40069240
tion of the seed as the swath dries,
but with herbicides you are simply killing the crop prematurely,”
says Brenzil. “Desiccation could
be seen as the chemical equivalent
to frost and performs roughly the
same process except it is ice crystals that form within the cells that
puncture membranes and release
the cell contents to the air. It is
doubtful that a crop treated with
glyphosate will be dry enough
when a predicted frost materializes
to protect it at all. Producers are
just throwing away their money
Wheat & Chaff ..................
Features ............................
Crop Advisor’s Casebook
Columns ........................... 13
Cattleman’s Corner .......... 19
Machinery & Shop ............ 39
Combine consultant says
we’re setting
them wrong
Keeping those old
bins in use
FarmLife ............................ 47
Visit us online for Demonstration
Strip Trial (DST) results at
BayerCropScience.ca/Prosaro or 1 888-283-6847 or contact your Bayer CropScience representative.
Always read and follow label directions. Prosaro® is a registered trademark of Bayer. Bayer CropScience is a member of CropLife Canada.
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Wheat & Chaff
“Elmo’s so crabby even his blood type in negative!”
This is our harvest issue.
It’s hard for me to focus on harvest. We haven’t had one on our
farm since 2010, and earlier this
spring it seemed possible that it
would be another year and a half
before we needed the combine.
After last year’s floods, by
late April it was still pretty
wet in southeast Saskatchewan,
especially in fields that weren’t
worked last year. My husband
likes to seed early, but it was too
wet. And then it rained.
The first few rainy days were
OK. After he got things ready to
go, Brad had some paperwork
to catch up on. But when the
clouds set in on Day 3, worry set
in. Neither of us wanted to say,
“Is it last year all over again?”
On Day 4, I accidentally said,
“I hope this rain stops. I have
20 bucks tied up in garden
seed I really want to get into
the ground.” (Yes. I realize a
jury of farmers would see this
as fair grounds for divorce. Or
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Fax to 204-944-5416
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Be Careful, We Love You hearts. Then
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Some farmers claim that seeding is their favourite time of
year. I see it as a short window
of time with a ridiculously high
level of stress.
If you don’t get your crop
seeded, the information in
Grainews is more depressing
than helpful. “Leaf disease? I
just wish I could get leaf disease,” I imagine a flooded-out
farmer saying, flipping through
a March issue.
Grain farmers don’t have it
easy like weather forecasters
or Grainews editors. Inaccurate
forecasters can try again tomorrow at noon. If there’s a typo in
Grainews, I have 17 more issues
this year to try to get it right.
(Thank goodness. See below.)
But if it’s too wet to seed during the short seeding window, a
farmer’s whole year is shot.
With no crop in the ground,
there’s nothing left to look
forward to until next year.
Everything a flooded-out farmer
might want to do — cultivate,
spray, move to the Sahara —
costs money, money that won’t
be offset by canola sales.
Here at Grainews, we like to
supply helpful “how-to” lists. I
thought about calling an expert to
ask for “10 ways to cope with a wet
spring.” Then I thought again.
You already know what kind
of things these experts are going
to tell you: phone a friend, get
away from the farm, appreciate the extra time you have to
spend with your family.
Last year, we learned the hard
way that it’s way easier to read
that sort of list (or even write
it) than it is to actually follow
We are lucky. The sun came
out and Brad got into the field
on May 12. (See a photo on
page 52 along with Richard
Kamchen’s article on spring
Harvest issue
seeding conditions.) We may
not seed all the acres we’d like
to (it’s raining right now, and
the soybean seed is still in bags).
But we’re in the game.
Not being able to seed is just
plain frustrating. And arguably,
the hardest part of farming.
I was far from the only
woman picking up fertilizer at
the Weyburn Inland Terminal
this week. On the May long
weekend, there were so many
women around that one (male)
farmer waiting in the office for
his load laughed and said, “I
feel like a minority here! Every
farm wife is home this weekend
and driving truck!”
Instead of a list of ways to
cope with rainy weather, I offer
our male readers a list of three
things NOT to do when you’re
waiting to pick up fertilizer and
spot a woman in line.
1. Don’t ask, “How’s your
husband coming with seeding?”
If she’s in the truck, she’s part
of the seeding operation. Just
say, “How’s seeding?”
2. Don’t hop in her truck and
drive it under the spout without
asking first. This happened to
me a couple of years ago, when
someone assumed I couldn’t
manoeuvre under the fertilizer
spout. While it’s always polite
to ask a lady if she would like
help, make sure we need it
3. Don’t assume she knows
all the “rules.” Many women
are busy with full-time jobs and
kids, and only have time to do
relaxing things like haul fertilizer once in a while. We might
not know all the etiquette, like
where you’re supposed to hang
out while you’re waiting for
your load, and which way the
lineup works.
This might seem like conflicting advice: “Don’t hop into my
truck,” but “tell me where to
stand.” How about this: Just
treat us as competent farmers,
working to get the job done.
Last November the Trade
Show News Network (TSNN) recognized the Western Canadian
Farm Progress Show as Canada’s
largest trade show.
By TSNN’s measurements, last
year’s Farm Progress show was
1,189,783 square feet. That’s amazing. (Or, as Lee Hart points out on
page 26, “a lot of walking.”)
Not only is the show big, it’s
also long running. This is its
35th year. Over the years, lots
of new technology has been
unveiled at this show. This year
will be no different. Versatile
will introduce a brand new combine — the first new combine to
be launched in Canada in more
than a decade.
Even if you’re not in the market for a new combine, the farm
show can give you new ideas for
your farm.
Our April 16 cover story was
about micronutrients. In a
paragraph about the difficulties of getting products registered, Grainews said: “Only
one micronutrient product,
Loveland’s Awaken ST, distributed in Canada by UAP, has
received CFIA registration.”
What we should have said was
that UAP’s product is the only
liquid micronutrient registered
with the federal government. It
is not the only micronutrient
registered for seed application.
Wolf Trax Inc.’s dry product,
Protinus Seed Nutrition, was
registered for use in Canada in
March, 2010. Protinus is a seedapplied micronutrient fertilizer
comprised of 40 per cent zinc
and 10 per cent manganese for
the promotion of early seedling
Jennifer Bailes, director of seed
products and innovations for
Wolf Trax Inc., says, “Protinus
has been adopted by several
large seed companies and farmers. For example, it was offered
on proprietary canola hybrids
from Viterra this past season.
It’s also available to homeowners across Canada on C-I-L
Golfgreen brand grass seed.”
Protinus Seed Nutrition has
been extensively tested on a
wide variety of crops, including
corn, cereals, canola, soybeans,
grasses, vegetables, cotton and
peanuts, across many different
geographies. The product is currently sold in Canada, the U.S.,
Mexico and Europe.
Grainews regrets this error,
and I apologize to freelancer
Lisa Guenther, who included
correct information in her original draft of this article.
In our April 2 issue, we ran a
story on sea buckthorn berries.
The photo that ran with this
story should have been credited
to photographer Jenna-Lyn van
Then, on April 16, we ran an
article profiling Linda Nielson.
We led off by saying “Linda
Nielson believes keeping an
older line of equipment running is helping to keep her
farm in the black.” We ended
the story by misquoting Linda.
Of course she didn’t say, “You
need to go big to make money.”
Linda likes working with older
equipment, and her philosophy
is: “You don’t need to go big to
make money.”
That article about Linda
Nielson ran in the machinery
section as part of our “Keep it
going” series, where we profile
farmers with the know-how and
passion to run older farm equipment. If this describes you or
someone you know, get in touch
with me or our machinery editor, Scott Garvey ([email protected]
fbcpublishing.com). Your story
(and pictures of your tractor)
could be featured in Grainews.
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Wheat & Chaff
Farm safety
Canola production
If it harms pests it can harm humans
eeds, insects and
fungi — these pests
can threaten yields
and your bottom
line. So when careful field monitoring uncovers a particularly unwelcome pest, most grain farmers
reach for the appropriate pesticide
and take aim.
But eliminating the European
corn borer, club root fungus or
sowthistle shouldn’t come at the
expense of your health and wellbeing. After all, what’s harmful
to pests can also be harmful to
humans. So make sure to wear
protective equipment appropriate
to the task.
There are four ways that pesticides enter the body: absorption,
inhalation, ingestion or injection.
Moist areas of the body are
particularly absorptive, especially the eyes, groin, armpits
and ear canals. To protect the
body, wear chemical-resistant
coveralls with elastic cuffs and
a hood. The legs of the cover-
alls should go over the top of
footwear, not inside. Footwear
should be impervious to chemicals. Runners or leather shoes are
a no-no. They absorb chemical
splashes, increasing the chemical exposure of the foot. Hands
should be covered with unlined
gloves resistant to the chemical
being handled. They should also
have long gauntlets to protect
the arms from any inadvertent exposure, such as chemicals
dripping up the arm.
Chemicals can also be inhaled
through the nose and mouth. To
protect your airways, make sure
your face is covered with a half-face
chemical cartridge respirator and
safety goggles or a splash shield.
Once a pesticide has been
applied, the mist, dust, powders or fumes don’t just disappear. They can linger on your
body, clothes, or other objects.
That’s why it is important to
wash up thoroughly before
using the washroom, touching
From the Canadian Agricultural Safety
Association — www.planfarmsafety.ca
Wait to write off
frostbitten canola
anola growers pondering their next steps
after heavy frost need
to wait a few days for
some of the answers, the Canola
Council of Canada suggests.
Some canola-growing areas
of southern Alberta logged
temperatures as low as -8 C
in early May, the council said,
leaving farmers wondering
whether the crop could survive, whether they need to
reseed and when or if they
should resume weed control.
It may take a few days to accurately gauge a frost-touched crop’s
survival rate, the council says.
Where the risk of crop damage
would be “minimal” through a
light frost of 0 C to -2 C, it would
take time for new leaves to start
emerging from the growing point
between the plant’s cotyledons.
“If no growth occurs within
this time, the plant is likely
dead,” the council says. “Also,
if the stem is pinched off or
the plant flops over, the plant
will likely die. The pinchedoff or broken stem cannot
provide nutrients to the growing point.”
Check the whole crop the day
after a frost and three to four days
after a frost to assess the situation,
the council recommended.
If many plants have been killed,
it takes a few days to determine
the kill rate, which would inform
a farmer’s decision on whether to
reseed a field.
“If one or two plants per
square foot have survived and
if that stand is fairly consistent
throughout the field, the best
choice is probably to leave it
alone,” the council said. †
Seed packaging
Syngenta introduces
new fungicide
yngenta Canada Inc. has
added Fuse fungicide to
its cereal portfolio for
protection against one of
the most serious cereal diseases,
fusarium head blight (FHB) in
spring wheat, winter wheat and
durum, in time for the 2012
growing season.
“Fusarium head blight continues to be a growing concern with
cereal growers as it can affect quality and yield,” says Eric Phillips,
asset lead, fungicides and insecticides, for Syngenta Canada Inc.
“Growers know the importance of protecting the cereal crop
throughout the season and particularly at its most critical time
during the flag leaf growth stage.
With Fuse now included as part of
our cereal package, Syngenta has
products which offer complete
protection of cereal crops, from
establishment through harvest.”
Fuse is a Group 3 fungicide
with the active ingredient tebuco-
food or utensils or handling
anything that goes into the
mouth. Even licking unwashed
lips can result in the ingestion
of harmful chemical into the
digestive system.
Lastly, watch out for sharp
objects such as nails, wires or staples that may be contaminated. If
one of these objects accidentally
pierces the skin, you could be inadvertently injecting chemicals into
your body.
As you invest time in pest
control, remember to plan
to protect yourself and your
workers. For more information
on pesticide use and personal
protective equipment, download the booklet called “Safe
Handling & Use of Agricultural
Materials” from www.safemanitoba.com (search on the
site for “safe handling” to find
it quickly.) †
nazole. In addition to effectively
managing fusarium head blight
in wheat, Fuse also controls several leaf and rust diseases found in
wheat, barley and oats. For optimal protection against Fusarium
head blight, Fuse fungicide should
be applied to the cereal crop at
head emergence before the disease
has a chance to take hold.
Fusarium head blight is a fungal
disease that can seriously damage cereal crops. Infection of the
crop can result in a reduction in
yield, grade and end-use quality,
with additional losses occurring
because of restricted crop rotations, limited variety selection,
cost of control measures, as well as
reduced marketing opportunities.
It is important that farmers are
familiar with this damaging disease and incorporate management
practices to reduce FHB development in their crops. †
photo contest
John DeBona sent us this photo. He says, “This is the 2012 crop of
owlettes located in our farm’s hayshed, south of Taber. The product
that the owlettes are born on cannot be moved from the shed row
until the babies are old enough to fly. The same pair of owls have
mated and had their offspring in this shed for the last 10 years.”
John, they’re adorable! Thank you for sharing this with Grainews
readers. A cheque for $25 is on the way to you.
Send your best shot to [email protected] Please
send only one or two photos at a time and include your name and
address, the names of anyone in the photo, where the photo was
taken and a bit about what was going on that day. A little writeup about your farm is welcome, too. Please ensure that images are
of high resolution (1 MB is preferred), and if the image includes a
person, we need to be able to see their face clearly.
— Leeann
Soybeans by seed count
ioneer Hi-Bred plans to
start selling its soybean
products by seed count
per unit instead of by
weight, beginning this fall for
planting in 2013.
The DuPont-owned seed company, which until now had sold
soybean seeds by the 50-pound
(22.7-kilogram) unit, will move to
a 140,000-seed-per-unit measure
in both Canada and the U.S.
Soybean seeds can potentially vary in size, depending
on genetics and growing conditions, which in turn could
affect the number of seeds in
a 50-pound unit, the company
said. “With this change to selling by count, the number of
seeds per unit will be consistent
for Pioneer customers.”
Pioneer’s Chatham, Ont.-based
Canadian arm will still sell soybean
seed in “traditional” paper bags as
well as its PROBOX units, jumbo
bags and PROBulk systems.
The Canadian arm’s president,
Ian Grant, said the move to the
seed count system comes “in
direct response to our customers’ wants and needs, providing
greater ease and accuracy of fieldby-field planting.” †
New chemfallow herbicide
ASF Canada has received
registration to bring
a new chemfallow and
post-harvest herbicide to
Western Canada.
Distinct herbicide, tank-mixed
with glyphosate, offers exceptional weed control and resistance
management in post-harvest and
chemfallow applications, with
total follow crop flexibility.
Distinct is a breakthrough in
control with a new mode of action.
It is made up of a premix of Group
4 and Group 19 active ingredients,
giving farmers superior control
over perennial weeds that glyphosate alone can no longer control.
The latest example on the prairies is glyphosate-resistant kochia.
According to recent reports, it will
be crucial for western Canadian
farmers to manage kochia before
it becomes widespread.
“In our trials, we found that
Distinct provided sharper control
of tough-to-control weeds including kochia, round-leaved mallow
and dandelions, while maintaining maximum rotational freedom,” says Joel Johnson, brand
manager for western herbicides
at BASF Canada. “For a grower,
that’s essential.” †
BASF Canada Inc., www.agsolutions.ca
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Cover Stories
green growth as a harvest aid so you
can get in there with the combine,”
says Klewchuk. “You can get a false
sense of success if you apply way
too early, because the crop looks
dry but you can’t see the maturity
of the plant. If the seeds are not
ready, applying a desiccant makes
them look ready but then you start
harvesting and it’s not quite going
so well.”
To decide when to apply a desiccant, farmers should look at the
moisture content of the seed. A
general rule of thumb is to desiccate
when the seed has less than 30 per
cent moisture. In the case of lentils
and peas, if the bottom 10 to 30 per
cent of the pods on the plant are
brown and dry and rattle they are
ready for desiccation. In peas, when
the bottom pods rattle, meaning
the seeds have become detached
and the upper pods are turning yellow, the plant is ready for dry down.
With beans, producers will often
use pod colour and texture to determine timing for desiccation. Usually
beans are mature when 80 to 90 per
cent of the leaves have dropped off.
To desiccate chickpeas, producers
should wait until 80 per cent of the
pods have turned brown.
In general, says Klewchuk, with
all pulse crops, the field should
have a colour and maturity change
prior to applying Reglone. “I view
the crop in three tiers,” he says.
“The bottom grouping of pods
have changed colour with seeds
detached and rattling. The middle tier has seed color change
and seeds split with no juice. The
grower has to determine, if he is
going to wait for the top grouping of pods, when and if they will
mature in time for harvest.”
It’s important to achieve complete coverage of the crop to have a
if they apply a day or two before
the frost.”
Once the crop is ready, desiccation allows farmers to control the
timing of harvest within a relatively
short window.
Deciding when to use desiccants
will often depend upon the amount
of variability in the field, says
Brenzil, but farmers should time
application for when they feel the
majority of the crop will be ready.
“You might have a situation where
you had a dry spring and only 20
per cent of your seed came up and
then a rain came two or three weeks
later and the other 80 per cent of
the seed came up,” says Brenzil.
“In this case you really should be
timing the desiccant for the later
crop because if you desiccate earlier
to try and time it for that minority
of plants that were early, you will
sacrifice yield and quality and there
could potentially be residues in the
seed that could cause the crop to be
rejected altogether.”
Robert Klewchuk, Syngenta’s
technical lead for Western Canada
suggests talking to your local
agronomist for a second opinion
about when your crop is ready for
desiccation. Applying a desiccant
too early can affect yield, harvestability and the development of
immature seeds.
“I always term Reglone as a ‘finisher’, so you are taking a plant that
is very mature and applying the
product to dry up the rest of the
more complete effect upon a greater
number of the plant cells. Applying
in the evening, or preferably after
dark, will help to give more efficient
coverage by reducing evaporation
of the water volume, and giving
better droplet spread on the surface
when the plant surfaces are not hot
from direct sunlight.
“Most desiccation products are
sun activated and the by products
that they are producing are a result
of the photosynthesis being interrupted. If you can put them on in
“Glyphosate kills
plants. Then it’s
left to Mother
Nature to dry
them down.”
— Clark Brenzil
the evening when the light levels
are low, it allows a certain amount
of time for the droplets that have
landed on the plant to get into
the plant and diffuse out from the
impact point before the sun comes
up the next day and starts activating
the product,” says Brenzil.
Lots of water volume and using
clean water that is free from particulates is also crucial to achieving
good coverage of all the plant surfaces. Use the highest recommended water volumes for best results to
ensure good penetration deep into
the canopy.
Farmers with large acreages to
harvest should try to spray in stages
and only enough at a time so that
they know they will be able to fin-
ish harvest within the window of
Crops should be harvested as
soon as they are ready after desiccation. The longer crops are left past
the point when the desiccant has
done its work, the more risk there is
of pods on the bottom of the plant
shattering during dry conditions.
Or, crops can rot if wet weather
occurs immediately afterwards or
weeds can grow back from lateral
buds that were not killed. The product label should carry a pre-harvest
interval recommendation, but this
should be viewed as a guideline as
the actual time before the crop is
completely ready to be harvested
will vary depending on the product
rate, how well it was applied and
environmental conditions in the
days following application.
The recommended interval for
a desiccant like Reglone might be
four to 10 days, but Klewchuk says
there are a number of factors which
affect the final harvest date. “With
Reglone, since it’s just applied to the
outside and doesn’t enter the seeds,
if your crop is dry the day after you
sprayed it you can harvest it,” he
says. “That’s not very likely, but
the point is if your crop was almost
ready to harvest and you sprayed
it and you achieved good coverage
and weather conditions stay dry,
you could be the guy harvesting in
two days. If you want to cut corners
on water volumes and spray far too
early or it rains for five days afterwards you could be the guy waiting
10 to 14 days or longer.” †
Angela Lovell is a freelance writer, editor
and communications specialist living and
working in Manitoba. Find her online at
1 6 6 6 DUBL IN AVE N UE ,
W IN N IPE G, MB R3 H 0 H1
www. g ra in e ws . c a
Bob Willcox
John Morriss
Leeann Minogue
Lee Hart
Sue Armstrong
Scott Garvey
Shawna Gibson
Steven Cote
Lynda Tityk
Heather Anderson
1666 Dublin Avenue,
Winnipeg, Man. R3H 0H1
Phone: (204) 944-5567
Fax: (204) 944-5562
Cory Bourdeaud’hui
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Weather Forecast for the period of July 1 to July 28, 2012
Southern Alberta
Peace River Region
July 1 - 7
Sunny overall, but with
scattered thunderstorms,
chance of heavy in places.
July 1 - 7
Often hot. Sunny overall, but
with scattered thunderstorms,
chance of heavy in places.
July 8 - 14
Mainly sunny aside from
scattered heavier thunderstorms on a couple of
July 8 - 14
Mainly sunny aside from
scattered heavier thunderstorms on a couple of
July 15 - 21
Passing heavy thunderstorms
on hotter days, otherwise
mainly sunny and seasonal
July 15 - 21
Passing heavy thunderstorms
on hotter days, otherwise
mainly sunny and seasonal
July 22 - 28
Mostly sunny and seasonal,
but showers or thunderstorms
occur on a couple of days.
July 22 - 28
Mostly sunny and seasonal,
but showers or thunderstorms
occur on a couple of days.
10 / 22
Grande Prairie
67.9 mms
8 / 23
8 / 22
56.2 mms
7 / 22
51.2 mms
10 / 23
69.9 mms
12 / 27
Medicine Hat
Lethbridge 40.919mms
45.3 mms
26 cms
11 / 21
July 8 - 14
Often hot and sunny.
Passing thunderstorms on a
couple of occasions.
July 15 - 21
Seasonal to hot. Sunshine
prevails but heavy
thunderstorms occur here
and there.
July 15 - 21
Heavier thunderstorms
occur here and there,
otherwise sunny and often
July 22 - 28
Mainly sunny. Seasonal with
a couple of hotter, humid
days and thunderstorms.
July 22 - 28
Sunshine and seasonal
temperatures most days.
Scattered thunderstorm
12 / 24
North Battleford
87.9 mms
July 1 - 7
Mostly warm and sunny.
Hotter more humid days bring
heavier thunderstorms.
July 8 - 14
Sunny and occasionally hot.
A couple of humid days
bring heavy thunderstorms.
9 / 23
Red Deer
July 1 - 7
Seasonal to hot. Sunny
aside from scattered
thunderstorms, some
possibly heavy.
Precipitation Forecast
94.3 mms
Forecasts should be 80%
accurate, but expect
variations by a day or two
because of changeable
speed of weather systems.
11 / 24
Prince Albert
72.1 mms
12 / 23
The Pas
70.2 mms
58.0 mms
12 / 25
12 / 25
13 / 24
12 / 26 64.2 mms 69.3 mms
12 / 27
11 / 25 Moose Jaw 58.9 mms
75.0 mms
Swift 54.1 mms
14 / 26
12 / 26 Portage 13 / 26
12 / 27
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48.9 mms
72.0 mms
60.0 mms 13 / 27
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61.1 mms
64.8 mms
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68.2 mms
12 / 25
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JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Deciding when to swath canola
Agronomist Doug Moisey says if you really want to know whether or not your
canola crop is ready, you’ll have to get out of your truck
o gauge harvest readiness
of canola crops, farmers
need to get into the field
and pop open seed pods,
according to an agronomist.
“Seed colour change is the only
true measure of maturity. Pod colour, plant colour (aren’t reliable).
There are varieties out there that
will turn a lighter shade of green,
get to almost a yellowish appearance, and the seed inside can be
green,” says Doug Moisey, senior agronomist with the Canola
Council of Canada. He adds that
other varieties will have stems and
pods that will be green even when
they’ve reached 50 per cent seed
colour change.
Farmers can start checking for
seed colour change 10 to 15 days
after the crop flowers. Under normal conditions, the seed colour
changes about 10 per cent every
three days, so Moisey recommends
checking crops regularly. Farmers
can scout for late-season insects
like bertha armyworms, lygus bugs
and diamondback moths while
checking seed colour.
Moisey says farmers can start
swathing as late as 60 per cent
seed colour change, and warns
against swathing too early. “At the
end of the day, you may have to
start on the early side, but when
we’re talking early, it may be at 30
to 40 per cent seed colour change.
But a lot of guys with a lot of acres
sometimes will start at 10 or 20.
And that can become a concern…
Our research showed us that if we
went in that earlier side, below 20
per cent seed colour change, we
typically lost yield and had quality
issues. What can happen, if you’ve
got hot, dry conditions happening, you can typically lock in some
green seed.”
a truck box and scan the crop for
straw coloured shading. Though
shading isn’t a reliable sign of
maturity, Moisey pulls plants from
different shaded areas. Sunlight
can affect shading, so Moisey will
look at a field from the east and
west. Farmers can also set up a
diagonal quad line across the field,
picking out sites close to the line.
Farmers should check eight to
10 plants from each location in
the field, making sure they are
picking plants representative of
the surrounding area. Because the
main stem is the first part to
mature, Moisey starts with the
middle pod on the main stem. He
looks for black dots or mottling on
the seeds. He then looks at pods
further down the main stem. If
The seed colour
changes about
10 per cent every
three days
there’s colour from the middle of
the main stem down, Moisey estimates the plant is at 40 to 50 per
cent seed colour change.
Banding around the middle of
the seed is a precursor to seed
colour change, and is often visible
in early or mid-August. Though
banded seeds aren’t mature, colour change isn’t far off.
After checking the main stem,
Moisey pulls pods from the side
branches and rolls the seeds
between the thumb and finger.
The seeds don’t need to be changing colour, but if they are firm,
the area is likely ready to swath. If
the seeds are watery or mushy, the
plant isn’t ready.
Thinner plant stands lead to more
branching, which will affect how
to gauge maturity. “And so the 60
per cent seed colour change on the
main stem can be an indicator but
you have to determine also where
your yield’s at. Is it on the main
stem or is it on the side branches?
And that’s how you form your plan
of attack,” says Moisey.
Moisey stresses that farmers
can’t rely on seeding date or pod
colour change when deciding
when to swath.
“The whole bottom line is, you
have to get out of your truck,”
Moisey says.
The Canola Council has more
information on harvesting,
including a video on assessing
seed colour change, at http://
www.canolawatch.org/tag/harvest/. †
Lisa Guenther is a communications specialist
at Livelong, Sask. Find her online at www.
( ) MECH
UCR: 24
Moisey suggests hopping on a
quad and choosing 10 to 20 sites
within the field, depending on
the topography. Farmers should
figure out where the yield is, and
concentrate on those areas. “Is it
the lowlands, is it the side slope, or
is it the top of hills, depending on
what your weather and moisture’s
been like. As well, concentrate in
the sample areas on what stage the
majority of plants are at and what
is the contribution to yield.”
If topography isn’t an issue,
Moisey likes to stand in the back of
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Calculate harvest losses in dollars per hour
Small losses can add up to a big expense. Learn how to calculate your harvest
losses in dollars per hour
arvest is hectic, and
adding more items
to the to-do list isn’t
easy. But failing to
check for leaks could add up to
big harvest losses.
“I talked to one fellow and he had
said he was glad that he’d checked
because he thought he was doing
okay. He checked and he estimated there was probably somewhere
around nine bushels an acre in canola that was coming out,” says Les
Hill, manager of applied agricultural
services at the Prairie Agricultural
Machinery Institute (PAMI) in
Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
Cutting losses to zero isn’t practical; farmers need to decide what
loss levels are acceptable. Hill says
while people usually think of harvest losses as percentages or bushels per acre, it’s probably easier to
think of them in dollars per hour.
“Five bushels an acre (of losses) at
$10 a bushel, and you’re doing 15
acres an hour, you do the math on
that and all of a sudden it adds up
to a pretty big number,” says Hill.
Hill suggests measuring losses
first to see if there’s a problem.
Looking at the residue on the field,
or even the yield monitors, isn’t a
reliable way to gauge losses.
Hill recommends placing a pan
under the combine to measure
losses. Though some farmers use
scoop shovels, it’s hard to hold the
shovel under the combine for the
same amount of time during each
The Canola Council of Canada
outlines a simple sampling process
in its enewsletter, Canola Watch.
The straw chopper and chaff
spreader should be disengaged first
so all the straw and chaff drops into
the pan. Farmers should put the
pan in front of the chaff and straw
discharge. Attaching a long handle
to the pan makes this easier. The
council also recommends holding
the pan upside down until it’s in
place, then flipping it over, to get a
more accurate sample.
Farmers then need to separate
the seed from the straw and chaff.
One way to do that is to pour the
sample into a five-gallon pail, then
blow out the chaff and straw using
a hair dryer.
Once the seed is clean, it must
be measured. The Canola Council
recommends weighing it with a
scale that measures in 0.1 gram
increments. The Council suggests
calculating the canola seed’s weight
per square foot. If the collection
pan’s area is one square foot, this
is already done. If the collection
pan is two square feet, for example,
divide the weight by two.
Farmers then need to calculate
the concentration factor for their
combines by dividing the cut
width by the discharge width. For
example, if the combine cuts a 30
foot strip and discharges trash in a
strip five feet wide, the concentration factor is six (30/five).
From there, you can use the
table to calculate your loss in
pounds per acre, or just do the
math: first, take the loss per square
foot as collected in the pan (measured in grams), and divide it by
the conversion factor. (For example, a loss of 4.2 grams per square
foot divided by a conversion factor
of six equals 0.7 grams per square
foot of actual loss.) To see this in
terms of pounds per acre, divide it
by 0.010413 (in the example, 0.7
divided by 0.010413 equals almost
100 pounds per acre — a loss of
two bushels of canola per acre.)
Once the per acre loss is calculated, multiply it by the number of
acres combined in an hour, and the
price per bushel to see how much
money you’re losing every hour.
Hill suggests developing a
routine to systematically check
for holes and leaks. Canola can
come out the hopper, the covers
around the separator, the junction
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between the feeder house and the
header and the feeder house and
the combine. A fast or slow fan
speed can also cause losses.
Shoe loss is often a major culprit. “If something happens in the
cleaning system where a portion
of it quits working, a whole lot of
grain can go over very easily and
you just are not going to necessarily detect that. The problem is, it’s
mixed in with all the chaff so it’s
cushioned and it’s just not going
to register,” says Hill.
Other factors can play into harvest losses, too. When canola dries
quickly in hot, dry weather, plant
juices will dry into a sticky dust.
“The chaff will stick together and
stick onto things. And it doesn’t
fluidize as well going through the
cleaning system,” Hill explains.
Going too slow can lead to
losses from underthreshing.
Underthreshing signs include pulverized straw dropping through
the sieves and cracked seed. The
Council suggests widening the
concave setting or lowering the
cylinder speed.
But Hill cautions against going
too fast, too. He explains the separator and cleaner in combines
with more horsepower are often
the same as the internal components in models with fewer
“in all of the testing we’ve ever
done, it tends to be the more you
feed into it, the more you’re going
to lose,” says Hill. †
Lisa Guenther is a communications specialist
at Livelong, Sask. Find her online at www.
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Conservation tillage practices don’t always add up
There are many benefits to zero and minimum tillage practices, but phosphorus
loss can be a side effect
onser vation tillage,
including zero and
minimum tillage,
reduces both soil erosion and the transportation of
soil-bound nutrients to surface
water. While one of the purposes
of the practice is to minimize
the negative impact of farming
operations on the environment,
recent studies have shown that
even conservation tillage can
have environmental trade-offs in
some regions.
“There’s a broad range of efforts
in Manitoba to try to minimize
tillage — in all of the Prairie
provinces,” says University of
Manitoba soil scientist Don Flaten,
“But minimizing tillage means
something different, depending
on what area you are in.”
In particular, Flaten points to
southeastern Manitoba, where
heavy and wet, clay soils leave
farmers struggling to make zero
tillage work as well as it does
in drier areas with sandier soils.
From an environmental standpoint, what works well in a wetter climate or on a hillier landscape is not necessarily going to
improve the phosphorus situation in the Prairies.
Flaten references recent stud-
ies, conducted as part of the
Wa t e r s h e d E v a l u a t i o n o f
Beneficial Management Practices
program (WEBs). WEBs is an
Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada (AAFC) national initiative; its purpose is to evaluate
the performance of best management practices (BMPs) on a small
watershed scale. The program’s
findings help researchers understand how management affects
water and land. They also help
producers farmers choose the
most effective practices for their
operation, given their location.
“What we found in our experiments at the twin watersheds
site near Miami, Manitoba, is
that conservation tillage reduced
the losses of sediment, or eroded
soil losses. It also reduced the
amount of nitrogen losses off of
this watershed site,” says Flaten.
“But it actually increased the loss
of phosphorus.”
Even before conservation tillage was introduced to the site,
erosion wasn’t a major problem.
Most of the runoff losses of phosphorus were lost in the dissolved
form. What came as a surprise,
though, was that after introducing conservation tillage to one
of the two watersheds, the total
amount of phosphorus loss due
to runoff was actually higher
on the conservation tillage site
than it was on the conventionally tilled site.
“When we introduced conservation tillage — probably a com-
It takes only a
very small amount
of phosphorus to
cause major
problems in
water quality
bination of the crop residues on
the surface themselves and some
stratification with enrichment
of phosphorus concentrations at
the very surface of the soil —
it increased the susceptibility of
the conservation tillage watershed to more phosphorus losses,”
says Flaten.
Certainly, conservation tillage reduces phosphorus losses in
humid environments with sloping
landscapes where phosphorus loss
occurs as a result of rainfall runoff. In these environments, erosion can be an important source
of phosphorus loading to surface
water. Many farmers in Western
Canada see the benefits of soil and
water conservation practices as
well — better crop yields, reduced
fuel costs, as well as the overall
improvement of farm efficiency
— and know that they more than
outweigh the small amount of
phosphorus that is lost through a
conservation tillage system.
“It’s not a big deal as far as
most farmers are concerned in
the Prairies,” says Flaten. “There
are so many other benefits to
conservation tillage that they’re
not going to be too concerned
about this one problem that
might be associated with it.”
While the agronomic losses of
phosphorus in both the conventionally tilled and the conservation tillage watershed sites are so
small that most farmers wouldn’t
notice, the environmental impact
from those losses can be profound. It takes only a very small
amount of phosphorus to cause
major problems in water quality.
“There are blue-green algae that
fix nitrogen from the air just like
a legume crop such as peas or
alfalfa and all they need is a little
bit of phosphorus in the water —
20 to 50 parts per billion — and
they can flourish,” says Flaten. It’s
for this reason that Flaten is careful to point out that a beneficial
management practice that works
well in one situation should not
be used as a universal remedy.
Instead, researchers suggest
that farmers implement additional management strategies —
ones that better fit their practice,
but continue to further reduce
the accumulation of phosphorus
on or near the soil surface.
“We need to move away from
looking at beneficial management practices as cure-alls,” says
Flaten. “There are so many other
benefits to zero tillage. We don’t
want to make that phosphorus
issue overly important compared
to the many other benefits we
see from the practice.”
“Even more universal,” he continues, “is the importance of keeping our eyes open for the pros and
the cons, the benefits and the side
effects of our beneficial management practices. Because it isn’t
just conservation tillage that has
these potential side effects — it’s
almost everything we do in agriculture.” †
Melanie Epp is a freelance writer who
specializes in writing web copy for small
businesses. She is based in Guelph, Ont., and
can be found online at melanierepp.com
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Three steps to better grain storage
Don’t roll the dice when it comes to grain storage. Lower your risk of spoilage
with these three steps
osing a 1,500 bushel bin
to spoilage would make
any farmer seethe. But
imagine losing a 10,000
bushel bin. The bigger the bin,
the more important it is for farmers to ensure that the grain going
into storage gets into optimal
condition quickly and stays that
way through the winter.
“The No. 1 mistake growers
make is not cooling the grain fast
enough,” says Harry Brook, crop
specialist with Alberta Agriculture
and Rural Development at
Stettler, Alta. “Or putting the
grain in the bin then forgetting
about it. After spending all that
time and money producing a
crop, improper storage is a needless risk.”
Here are three tips for better
grain storage.
Grain condition comes down
to two factors: temperature and
moisture content. The higher
either of these are, the greater the
risk of spoilage. Consequently,
the faster the grain’s tempera-
ture and moisture level can be
decreased, the better and longer
it will store.
“If you’re putting hot grain
into a bin, it’s important to get
good air circulation on it right
away to get it cooled down and
dry,” explains Brook. “Anything
between 25 C and 32 C is considered ‘hot,’ so keep an eye on
it, particularly when you are harvesting on warm days.”
In terms of moisture, the
higher the grain’s moisture content, the less time there is to
get it dried down before spoilage occurs. Remember that grain
considered “dry” in marketing
terms may not be dry enough
for bins; wheat at less than 14
percent moisture can still spoil if
it is not cool enough. The threshold is even lower for oilseeds.
Also important to note is that a
grain lot’s average moisture content does not necessarily reflect
actual moisture content throughout the bin. In other words, if a
truckload of grain is between 10
per cent and 17 per cent moisture, grain at the higher end is
at greater risk of spoilage. Again,
says Brook, the key is to get that
grain aerated and cooled to bring
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efits of
Check bins throughout the
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ture hasn’t formed. Both of these Setting up those new bins is just the beginning of a good storage plan.
issues can be solved with aeration. “If the grain is dry, check- bags you put in the microwave There are even models that can
ing it once a month should be and how they stay hot for so be retro-fitted into non-aerated,
sufficient,” explains Brook.
long. There’s a slow transfer of flat-bottomed bins.
“Producers should be aware heat with grain, so if it’s minus
On the monitoring side, OPI
of the seasonal temperature and 10 in the middle of winter, that cables can be hung from the roof
airflow changes that can occur in grain will probably still be cold of a bin. Sensors placed evenly
bins,” he says. Generally speak- in July.”
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the grain, and relay that informa3. TRY NEW TECHNOLOGY
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Checking grain condition used
Clearly, bigger bins represent a
high moisture zone at the top of to be as simple as sticking a probe bigger risk should something go
the grain cone. If it’s warm out- into the grain to determine what wrong during storage — putting
side, the reverse is true, and the was going on. That’s pretty much all your eggs in one basket, so
moisture zone is at the bottom impossible with today’s huge, to speak. As Brook concludes:
of the bin.
multi-thousand-bushel bins, but “I like that Mark Twain quote:
Once grain temperature is there are some new technologies ‘Put all your eggs in one basket
below zero, however, it tends that can help.
and watch that basket.’ That’s the
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the moisture content down and
uniform throughout the bin.
“If you don’t have aerated
bins, you’ll have to physically
turn the grain,” he says. This
means auguring it out of the
bin into a truck and back again.
The movement releases heat
and moisture and helps get the
grain into a more stable condition for storage.
When the grain is dry and cool
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JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Farm management
Few choices for farm accounting software
There is basically one big player in this software market
By Patty Rosher
t has been decades since
farmers started to put the
lids on their shoeboxes and
began using desktop computers to keep their books.
Over the years, software
developers have been busy coming up with applications for all
kinds of tasks, but not so for
farm accounting.
Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC)
AgExpert Analyst software is still
the only major made-in-Canada
accounting package developed for
farmers. Luckily it hits the mark
for most farming operations.
Glen Kroeker, the Director of
FCC Management Software,
explains, “AgExpert Analyst is tailor-made for farmers. So, for example, farmers do not have to set up
a chart of accounts from scratch.
They can choose from standard
farm type accounts.”
It also very conveniently prints
out reports that meet AgriStability
program requirements and enables
farmers to manage farm-specific
inventory information.
It even has a payroll function,
which is becoming a more common requirement for farmers with
expanding operations. Kroeker
says, “We’ve noted an increase in
the usage of the payroll portion of
the software. Now you’re seeing a
shift away from paying in cash at
the end of the season to having a
more formal payroll.”
AgExpert links with FCC’s other
software offering, Field Manager
PRO, which is a field management software program. “In Field
Manager, farmers can bring over real
information from their accounting
software to improve field budgeting,” Kroeker explained.
is just too small. “To begin with,
bookkeeping has to be specific to
a country,” said Kroeker. “Then if
you’re specializing in one industry,
the market becomes even smaller.”
There are about 200,000 farmers
in Canada. According to Kroeker,
software developers are looking for
a customer base of more like two
million users.
Kroeker says that FCC got
into the software business when
it recognized that there was a
gap in the market. It decided
to support the AgExpert program as part of its mandate to
provide management tools for
farmers. “In general, farmers
keeping good financial records
tend to have a better financial
business and their overall management practices are stronger,”
said Kroeker.
Accounting 101
Although you don’t have to be
an accountant to use a system
like AgExpert, Ted Nibourg, business management specialist with
Alberta Agriculture and Rural
Development’s Ag-Info Centre,
says that farmers still need to
understand accounting principles.
“If they don’t know accounting,
farmers are going to be in a heap of
trouble,” said Nibourg. “You have
to know about debits and credits, and understand your chart of
accounts. If you don’t, all the computer will do is allow you to do is
make mistakes bigger and faster.”
Derek Brewin, a professor with
the Department of Agribusiness
and Agricultural Economics,
University of Manitoba, says one
example of a potential danger area
is not properly accounting for a
shift in the value of inventory over
the year.
“If I start the year with full
bins and have empty bins at
the end of the year, I may think
I’ve had a good year, but my net
worth might be lower,” Brewin
explained. It is necessary to
ensure that there has been proper accrual adjustments for both
inputs and outputs.
“If the farmer doesn’t understand
that, then they end up misrepresenting the income they had over
the year, and then the software is
not that valuable,” said Brewin.
On the horizon
Kroeker says FCC will be moving
AgExpert to a multi-year database
platform in November. “What that
will mean for farmers is that it will
simplify the year end process and
make it seamless to do a cut off
and start the new fiscal year.”
FCC is also working to deliver
stronger management reports,
including financial ratios and
average selling price. This will
make it helpful to improve grain
marketing skills, even more
important as farmers enter a new
wheat marketing era. “Farmers
need to know how much money
the crop actually made for them,”
said Kroeker.
AgExpert Analyst costs $399
with a one-year service plan.
Farmers can sign up for an annual service plan at $249 per year,
which includes any upgrades and
unlimited support. †
Patty Rosher is an economist based in
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Is that all there is?
Many farmers use standard
accounting packages such as
QuickBooks, Quicken and Simply
Accounting and adapt them to
a farming situation, and there
are still many farmers that use a
combination of paper and spreadsheets. Kroeker does not have official numbers on market share, but
based on word of mouth, guesses
that the most popular alternative
to the AgExpert option is a paperbased system.
And, as is the way of farmers, there are also home-made
Joe Warwick, former owner of
Warwick Computer Consulting
in Glaslyn, Saskatchewan, developed his own system when he was
farming. “Many farmers invented
their own database-driven programs back in the day,” explained
That kind of innovation is what
was behind Farmtool for Windows
available from Wil-Tech Software
Ltd. in Glaslyn, Saskatchewan.
According to Warwick, “Farmtool
does just what you want it to do. It’s
a single entry farm tool that works
exceptionally well. It is exactly what
most small farmers need.”
There are very few alternatives
like Farmtool on the market.
There are a number of U.S. farm
accounting packages, but they do
not accommodate GST, let alone
Canadian farm programs like
The problem is that the market
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Farm finance
Minimum Price Contract
or Put Option?
The potential for an oversized canola crop has many farmers considering
pricing options before harvest
By Neil Blue
anola prices have risen
dramatically since the
middle of January. Old
crop canola futures rallied almost $120/tonne from their
January low to the April high.
November 2012 canola futures rallied from a January low of $492/
tonne to a high of $592/tonne on
April 10. Strong canola exports,
record domestic use to meet
increasing demand for canola oil,
along with the sharp rally in U.S.
soybean prices all supported the
canola market.
How does a canola producer
deal with these prices? First, for
all but poor yields, these prices
are very profitable. Having established that, what are the supplydemand factors? 2012 seeding
prospects are for record canola
acres here in Canada. That is
reflected in discounted new crop
futures and weaker basis levels
after July. If a huge canola crop
is produced in Canada this year,
prices may drop substantially
into harvest-time.
Some farmers were pricing
“new” crop canola during the
rally. However, many canola
growers are reluctant to contract physical crop delivery this
far ahead of harvest. There is
production uncertainty on both
volume and grade, with the concern of possibly having to “buy
out” of a priced canola contract.
Considering the potential tightening supply of U.S. soybeans
by next winter, some farmers
also fear missing out on higher
prices later.
Minimum price contract
For those farmers just concerned
about locking in too low a price,
a minimum price contract with
a buyer can offer advantages to a
flat price contract. Grain buyers
may offer these contracts under
different names and with company
variations. A farmer could sign a
contract for a certain quantity of
canola to be delivered at a later
date. A price minimum would be
part of the contract. If a higher
price becomes available, the farmer
can lock in that higher price anytime up until a certain date, typically a date late in the month prior
to the relevant month of futures.
The basis (cash price relative to
futures price) on this minimum
price contract is usually set at
the time of signing. Setting the
basis could be an advantage or
disadvantage, depending on what
basis levels do. On any given day,
the price on the minimum price
contract will be less than that for a
deferred delivery contract, because
the minimum price contract leaves
farmers with a price upside.
Put options
Put options offer a similar way to
lock in a minimum price, although
using these may require you to
establish your own futures account.
An option is a subset of the
futures marketT:10.25”
and is specific to
a certain commodity and futures
month for that commodity.
Purchasing a put option would
give you the right, but not the
obligation, to enter into a “sell”
futures position at a predefined
price (the strike price) anytime
before that option’s expiry date,
regardless of what the futures price
does. Buying a put option locks in
a minimum futures price for a cost
(the premium).
Since buying a put option is
done with a commodity futures
broker, the basis is not set with
this contract, and there is no commitment for a physical delivery.
Here is an example of a put
option purchase using numbers
from the ICE Canada canola market on April 10, 2012.
November canola futures =
November $580 Put option premium = $22/tonne
Purchasing a November 580
Put option for $22/tonne (plus
about $1/tonne commission)
would give you the right to cre-
ate a sell futures position in your
account at a price of $580/tonne
anytime up to expiry of that
option on October 26. It is this
right that gives the option a
value. However, you do not have
to exercise the option (i.e., create the sell futures position). It is
generally better to just trade out
of (sell) the option as an option
rather than exercise it, and you
can do that any trading day after
buying it. The components to an
option value will be explained in
a future article.
The premium (value) of an
option is subject to change by
open market trading whenever the
futures market is trading. Canola
option strike prices are $5/tonne
apart, so there are many strikes
prices available. On days when
a particular option strike price
does not trade, the commodity
exchange uses a computer program to estimate the daily settlement value of that option.
» continued on next page
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JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Farm Marketing
The purchase of a 580 put
option at a cost of $22/tonne
(plus commission) can be interpreted as locking in a minimum
futures price. If the entire premium (cost) was eventually lost
(for illustrative purposes), buying that option can be considered as locking in a minimum
futures price of $557/tonne (the
$580 strike price minus the $22/
tonne premium minus $1/tonne
If the futures price falls from
the April 10, 2012 level of $590/
tonne, the premium of the $580
Put option will tend to rise.
Alternatively, if the futures price
rises, the value of the $580 Put
option will tend to fall. But, if the
futures price rises, it implies that
the value of physical canola is also
rising (subject to basis).
If the option is kept to expiry on
October 26, and if then the option
has intrinsic value (i.e., November
futures below $580/tonne), the
580 put option would be automatically exercised, thus creating
a profitable futures “sell” position
(not considering the original cost
of the option). That sell futures
position would then have to be
offset at some time before the
November futures expires.
Again — buying a put option
alone leaves the basis portion
of price open. That can be a
good thing if basis levels for
the expected delivery period
are considered too weak, or if
one does not want at the time
to commit to a physical sale
to a buyer. The put option is
attractive to farmers who are
concerned about committing to
a delivery with the possibility
of a crop shortfall (on quantity
or quality), to farmers who have
already forward contracted with
physical buyers to their comfort
level or to those producers who
wish to retain the ability to take
advantage of possible higher
prices. †
Using the new CWB
While not all farmers plan to use the CWB once it no longer
has a monopoly, there may be some pricing benefits
By Daniel Holman
he new CWB has the
potential to fill a very
important niche in a
farmer’s wheat marketing toolbox. If used properly, the CWB will be able
to effectively play the role
of a farmer’s personal hedge
Uncertain basis levels and
quality discounts allow a
wheat marketer to make the
case that if a farmer wants
to forward sell grain, selling
futures is currently the best
In the past there have been
two ways to accomplish this
(1) The first way to forward sell futures is to open a
futures account and manage
your own position and margin
calls. This strategy is limited
in popularity because most
farmers are not set up financially and psychologically to
get into the market. However,
this strategy offers the most
flexibility, because it allows
the opportunity to deliver the
physical grain to the company with the best cash price
for the grade grown, while
still protecting futures prices
through the futures market.
(2) The second way is to
sign a hedge-to-arrive (HTA)
contract with a grain company which allows you to sell
futures and then lock in the
basis and grade discounts at a
later date. This strategy takes
the hedge out of your own
account and passes margin
calls onto the grain company. Although this hedge will
allow for basis changes, it
will not allow you to change
where your grain is going to
be delivered. The new CWB offers a hybrid
approach that combines
these first two options into a
“best of both worlds” option.
A farmer could take a HTA
contract with the CWB.This
HTA contract allows delivery
point flexibility, but leaves
the financial complications of
having a futures account to
someone else.
Editor’s note: Daniel Holman
originally sent this piece out to clients
at the North West Terminal at Unity,
Saskatchewan. It is reprinted here
with permission. †
Daniel Holman is a farmer and a grain
merchandiser with North West Terminal at
Unity, Sask.
Neil Blue writes from Vermillion, Alta. Contact
him at 780-853-6929
By Dan Piraro
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DU2356VER_Gra_FE .indd 1
2/27/12 11:56 AM
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
wo weeks after Jack — a
Manitoba farmer with a
4,500-acre grain operation in the Killarney
area — noticed his neighbour
spraying the volunteer winter
wheat crop adjacent to his own
crop, Jack called me to investigate what he thought were signs
of spray drift damage to his winter wheat plants.
“I saw my neighbour spraying
his crop in early flag a couple of
weeks ago, and I’m sure whatever
he sprayed is killing my crop,”
Jack told me.
That first week of July, Jack’s
winter wheat plants were at the
late flag to early heading stages.
The plant population appeared to
be thinning out, and the plants
were stunted in growth with
lines of yellow to white chlorotic
streaking on their leaves running
parallel to the veins.
The majority of the affected areas
in the field occurred in random
patches next to Jack’s neighbour’s
field. His neighbour had let his
volunteer winter wheat field go to
yield due to the wet conditions the
past fall and spring. I noticed that
crop was also showing the same
signs of damage as Jack’s crop.
But the broadleaf weeds in both
fields and the grass strip separating
the two fields did not exhibit any
symptoms of damage.
We asked Jack’s neighbour to
join us in examining the two
fields. He was surprised and concerned about the symptoms now
present in both fields, but said it
was impossible that spray drift
was the cause. Records indicated
that Jack’s neighbour had applied
a fungicide to his crop, one that
would not have had any negative
effects on wheat, and the wind
had been blowing in the wrong
direction for the sprayer to have
caused drift damage. However, I
thought the wind had played a
role in damaging Jack’s plants.
Taking the excessive moisture
of last fall and this past spring
into account and the patch-like
occurrence of the damage in the
area near the boundary between
the two fields, I thought it most
likely that we were dealing with
an infection, and one that was
spread by air currents.
“We’ll have to wait for lab
results to confirm it, but I think
the volunteer crop has created a
green bridge for carriers of a viral
disease — which have infected
both of your crops,” I told Jack
and his neighbour.
“You can’t see them, they’re
microscopic,” I said to Jack as he
started to examine the surrounding wheat plants. “And the virus
they carry can cause losses of a
few bushels per acre to complete
crop failure.”
What disease has infected Jack’s
field and what is vectoring the
virus? Send your diagnosis to
Grainews, Box 9800, Winnipeg,
MB, R3C 3K7; email leeann.
[email protected]
or fax 204-944-5416 c/o Crop
Bill Manning
Advisor’s Casebook. Best suggestions will be pooled and one winner will be drawn for a chance to
win a Grainews cap and a one-year
subscription to the magazine. The
answer, along with the reasoning
which solved the mystery, will
appear in the next Crop Advisor’s
Solution File. †
Bill Manning is an area marketing
representative for Richardson Pioneer Ltd.
in Killarney, Man.
The plants were stunted in growth, with lines of yellow to white chlorotic streaking on their leaves.
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hile neighbouring southern
canola fields were
being swathed, one Southey-area
farmer’s crop was far behind,
and not nearly ready to be cut.
Andrew, who farms 2,600 acres
of barley, peas, wheat and canola,
thought the variety could be at
fault for the crop’s delayed maturity, stunting and bluish tinge.
“Why is my crop so far behind
my neighbour’s?” he asked me.
“Could it be the variety? And
why is my crop so short?”
An initial examination of the
plants in the field also revealed
the number and size of the
plants’ pods were reduced when
compared with neighbours’. The
root systems were also smaller
than average.
However, I didn’t think the
variety was the problem because
Andrew had used one of the best
hybrids for the area with a proven track record for vigour, yield
and quality. Andrew and I also
eliminated any issues surrounding the seeding of the crop, such
as timing, rate and depth, as
well as insect feeding and herbicide injury as possible causes of
the crop’s delayed development.
It was the field’s history and
fertility records that ultimately
provided the key information to
solving the puzzle of the crop’s
slow maturity.
Yields of 75 bushels per acre,
30 bu./ac., and 35 bu./ac. of
barley, peas and wheat, respectively, were typical for this
field. Last spring, Andrew had
applied 80-0-0-20 side-banded
with three gallons per acre of
seed-placed orthophosphate fertilizer. Like many growers on
the Prairies, Andrew thought he
was taking care of the fertility
needs of his plants, but this was
not the case. Past soil test results
revealed declining phosphate
levels. Therefore, the cause of
the stunted, short canola crop
was a phosphate deficiency!
Like many farmers in the
West, Andrew had underestimated how much nutrient,
particularly phosphorus, was
being removed by his harvested
crops. Previous barley, pea and
wheat crops had removed 31.5
lbs./ac., 21 lbs./ac. and 21 lbs./
ac., respectively, of phosphate
from the field’s soil. Andrew had
been replacing only eight lbs./
ac. with the application of the
liquid orthophosphate fertilizer,
which led to declining levels of
plant-available phosphate.
When considering phosphate nutrition, it is important to replace what is being
removed from the soil in order
to avoid depleting the phosphate available to subsequent
crops. Knowing what each crop
removes and replacing that
amount is essential for healthy
plant growth and development.
Western Canada is fortunate to
have fertile soils that can supply a lot of nutrients; however,
over time yields will eventually
be affected if the plants’ actual
nutrient requirements are not
being met.
Unfortunately, it was too late
to do anything for Andrew’s
crop that growing season. The
field yielded only 22 bu./ac. —
well below the area average.
However, this year, Andrew will
seed-place from 35 to 40 lbs./
ac. actual of 11-52-0 to restore
the depleted soil phosphate to
appropriate levels. In the future
that rate will be decreased
slightly to a minimum of 30
lbs./ac. actual of 11-52-0.
Understanding the amount
of phosphate each harvested
crop removes from the soil and
what the different forms of
phosphorus in the soil (organic,
available inorganic and unavailable inorganic) actually supply
to the crop, and applying this
information to his phosphorus
management should maximize
Andrew’s yield and economic
returns in the future. †
Marc Mabon is a crop input manager for
Richardson Pioneer Ltd. in Southey, Sask.
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Potash on the Prairies
Saskatchewan is (mostly) rich in potash. But most
Prairie farmers don’t need to apply it
itrogen (N), phosphorous (P), potassium (K)
and sulphur (S): the four
major nutrients that
keep us going in Western Canada.
The abbreviation “K” for comes
from “Kalium” — German for
potassium. The first major K mine
began at Stassfurt, Germany in
1861. By 1900 Germany was producing more than a million tons
of potassium for agricultural purposes.
The word “potash” actually
comes from the original agricultural source of K fertilizer —
putting burnt wood or other “ash”
in a “pot” and washing the salts
out with water. Early on, it was
learned that the K was the valuable part of the ashes rather than
the other salts.
In fertilizer talk, “potash” refers
to K2O, which is just a method
of expressing the K content that
harks back to early chemistry days
when soil analysis for plant nutrients was expressed as the oxide
so it would all add up to 100 per
cent. There is no K20 in potash
fertilizer — the compound is KCl
(potassium chloride).
When the federal government
pushed the metric system down our
throats in the 1970s, I tried mightily to get the fertilizer industry
to throw out P2O5 and K2O and
move to P and K. Not so easy — the
fertilizer industry is international.
As early as 1871 in jolly
old England they had discovered where the need for potash lay “On light sandy soils
and peat soils” (from A History
of Agricultural Science in Great
Britain, 1620-1954, by E.J.
As the years go by and we grow
ever larger crops we are “mining “
our soils for K so a constant watch
must be kept — but there are still
many of us who can survive very
well without the K we dig out of
the ground
When our K work at U of S was
in the heydays of the 1970s, I wrote
up a proposal calling for the potash
industry and the Saskatchewan
government to establish a potash demonstration farm at Carrot
River. They are some of the most
K deficient soils in the world and
we could work out all the details
for using it: placement, rates, soil
building, safe rates withseed andso
on. Then, we could bring Chinese
and other customers to see the
experiments in action.
But alas, Carrot River was too far
from the Saskatoon airport. †
J.L.(Les) Henry is a former professor and
extension specialist at the University of
Saskatchewan. He farms at Dundurn, Sask. He
recently finished a second printing of “Henry’s
Handbook of Soil and Water”, a book that
mixes the basics and practical aspects of
soil, fertilizer and farming. Les will cover the
shipping and GST for Grainews readers. Send
a cheque for $50 to Henry Perspectives, 143
Tucker Cres, Saskatoon, SK, S7H 3H7
This photo was taken at the Eugene Kozun farm, a few miles south and
east of Carrot River. Both sides of this barley field are fertilized with N
and P. The left also has 120 pounds per acre of K20; no K was applied to
the right side. The left side yielded about 60 bu./ac., the right side yielded
closer to 10 bu./ac.
TD Canada Trust
With the right advice, the Martins
were able to raise more than cattle.
Matthew Martin
Dairy Farmer
Dalton Potter
TD Canada Trust
Agriculture Specialist
In Saskatchewan, potash is a
very large-P political animal. A
very important chunk of our provincial revenue comes from our
potash mines.
While Saskatchewan sits on
one of the best K deposits in the
world, most Saskatchewan and
Western Canada farmers can get
along quite nicely without using
it. A 50 bushel wheat crop may
have 80 pounds or more of K20
above the ground, but most of it
is in the straw and is returned to
the soil, so we haul off little.
Many years ago I was giving a talk
to agronomists in Alberta and I said,
“In Alberta, use all the K you want
on any soil you want in any amount
you want — we have all that good
potash under Saskatchewan and
we’ll gladly sell it to you.”
Having said that, there are places
in Saskatchewan (and Manitoba)
with some of the most K-deficient
soils in the world. They are the
Carrot River soils of northeast
Saskatchewan and the Almassippi
soils of central Manitoba.
In the 1960s, 70s and 80s we
did dozens and dozens of experiments all over Saskatchewan. In
Carrot River we learned that farmers
should either apply K or quit farming. In most other areas there might
be the odd response of a bushel or
three but it is no big deal. When
K2O could be bought for $0.10 per
pound, adding a few pounds wasn’t
significant, but at $0.50 a pound for
K2O, it’s a different story. I’ll spend
my fertilizer dollars on N and P.
TD is committed to helping farmers build for the future.
When the Martin family wanted to raise the productivity of their dairy business, they turned to Dalton Potter for
guidance. Dalton is a seasoned TD Canada Trust Agriculture Specialist and a farmer himself, and with his help, the
Martins were able to buy a new farm in a prime location. Our understanding of agriculture and financing, combined
with a personalized approach, is how we’re helping families like the Martins get exactly what they’re looking for.
For more information, visit a branch or go to www.tdcanadatrust.com/agriculture
Banking can be this comfortable
® / The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.
N0137_GN_ST.indd 1
8/26/11 11:52 AM
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Calculate your actual leverage
Leverage can provide a measure of risk on your farm. But make sure to consider
the value of off-farm investments
purchased Western Canadian
grain farms independently and
wanted to better understand
their respective risk. Information
from their balance sheets is
shown in the table.
At first glance, it appears that Fu
and Chu are carrying significantly
hen we work with
clients, we almost
always start
by preparing a
detailed balance sheet where we
establish a fair market value of
assets owned and the liabilities
owed against them.
This winter we met with three
brothers that immigrated to
Canada many years ago, Bu,
Chu, and Fu. All three started
farming and met with us to
more clearly understand what
their farm financial numbers.
We talked in great lengths about
liquidity and debt service, but
had the most interesting conversation about leverage.
All three brothers had
at bay.
The industry
doesn’t, on
average, have
large off-farm
more risk in their businesses given
that they are only 59 per cent
equity as compared to Bu at 76
per cent. This is because Chu
and Fu’s creditors have a greater
proportion of funds invested
in their assets than Bu, and the
rest of the industry. This more
leveraged position is viewed as
carrying more risk, because if there
is a period of operating losses on
the farm, there is less room for
Chu and Fu to restore liquidity
Term assets
Total assets
Current Liabilities
Term Liabilities
Total Liabilities
Leverage (Debt/Net worth)
Equity Ratio (Net Worth/
Total Assets)
Current assets
Net Worth
by terming out shorter term debt.
They may not be able to term
out this debt and as such, their
business may not survive if cash
flow is jeopardized or high interest
bearing payables are used.
Upon closer examination, we
see that Fu has $100,000 in a Tax
Free Savings Account, $100,000
in RESP’s, $100,000 in RRSP’s,
and $100,000 in AgriInvest.
Neither Bu nor Chu have any
of these investments.
If Fu were
to liquidate these investments
in a manner that doesn’t result
in significant income tax, this
$400,000 could be used to reduce
his debt. His resulting leverage
would then be 0.43 and Equity
Ratio would be 70 per cent.
The moral of the story? If you
have significant off-farm investment, don’t discount the value of
those investments, and their ability
to mitigate against leverage risk.
We are often benchmarked
against the industry by ourselves
and our creditors but the industry
doesn’t, on average, have large
off-farm investments. †
Andrew DeRuyck and Mark Sloane manage two farming operations in southern
Manitoba and are partners in Right Choice
Management Consulting. With over 25 years
of cumulative experience, they offer support
in farm management, financial management,
strategic planning and mediation services.
They can be reached at [email protected]
and [email protected] or 204-8257392 and 204-825-8443
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grainews.ca /
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Back to the farm to create a legacy
Lots of landowners plan to return to the farm later in life. Funding retirement
and leaving a legacy will require some planning
tephen, as we’ll call him,
started an 800 acre mixed
beef and grain farm in
central Manitoba in the
late 1970s. By 2002, Stephen had
had enough. He sold his beef cow
herd and 320 acres of farm land
and headed to Alberta to work as
a welder.
Stephen saved little of his wages
over the years and will have only
a modest union pension, Canada
Pension Plan and Old Age Security.
The farm is his principal asset.
After downsizing his farm,
Stephen was left with 480 acres
of land, debt-free. Today, it has
an estimated value of $300,000.
He has leased it to neighbours for
$20,000 per year, a 6.6 per cent
return on equity before tax.
Now that Stephen is 65, he
wants to retire to the farm, taking his son, Sam, 45, and Sam’s
wife Lottie, 42, into the farming operation. He also wants
to establish a financial reserve
to provide a legacy for his two
younger children who won’t be
Farm Financial Planner asked
Don Forbes, head of Don Forbes
& Associates/Armstrong & Quaile
Ltd. to work with Stephen to formulate a method to transfer the
farm to Sam and Lottie, produce
retirement income and arrange
a legacy.
The easy part is to build
Stephen’s retirement income.
Using current dollars, he can
expect Old Age Security of $6,481
per year, Canada Pension Plan
benefits of $9,240 per year and
a $15,000 union defined benefit pension. This will give him a
total pension income before tax
of $30,721 per year.
After income tax ($2,800)
Stephen will have $27,921. On
top of that, he can add after-tax
farm income of $13,546, bringing
his total income to $41,377 per
year. But there are other ways to
construct his retirement income.
If Stephen could get by on just
his pension income, there would
be more farm income left for Sam
and Lottie. He has several options
to consider.
First, he could sell the farm
at fair market value and claim
the qualified farm property capital gain tax credit of as much as
$750,000. Stephen can sell the
land and take a tax-free gain, while
Sam and Lottie borrow to finance
the repurchase of the farm.
Or, Stephen can roll over the
property to Sam and Lottie for a
nominal cash value, but declare
the transfer at market value.
Stephen would still claim the qualified farm property capital gain tax
credit on his increase in value over
his adjusted cost base. But this
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would leave Stephen with no cash
for his retirement and no legacy
for his non-farming children.
Stephen can also use life insurance to create a fund for the nonfarming children.
Option One: Draft a long-term
rental agreement. Stephen could
make his son and daughter-in-law
tenants. That would allow them to
farm, pay rent to Stephen (providing him with retirement income),
and leave the transfer of ownership of the land as a legacy for Sam
and the other children.
Option Two: Mortgage the
farm. With a $200,000 mortgage,
Stephen would have cash for his
retirement. By investing conservatively in stocks and bonds,
Stephen might be able to draw
perhaps six per cent or $12,000
a year. Lenders would probably
want to lend less than full value,
so this choice would create complexity and risk and perhaps not
produce sufficient income.
Option Three: Keep the farm
as is with Sam and Lottie farming, and buy a $200,000 term
life insurance policy with premiums level to Stephen’s age
100. The cost would be $6,000
per year. Alternatively, Stephen
could buy a $200,000 whole life
policy with growing cash value.
The premium would be $13,300
per year for 15 years. After 20
years, the policy would have a
death benefit of $348,000.
Forbes suggests combining the
best of the alternatives.
The life insurance alternative
leaves the farm in Stephen’s
hands. The term life policy can
be paid out of farm income on
the core of the farmland. The
fair rent for this land is $7,000
per year, so Sam and Lottie
should be able to support the
term policy’s $500 monthly premium. Aside from this, Stephen
will still be left with $13,000 of
other farmland rental income for
his retirement. If Stephen were
to choose the whole life policy
either he or his children would
have to subsidize the $1,108
monthly premium.
Once the life insurance policy is
in place, Stephen can transfer the
farm tax-free to Sam and Lottie
without sale. If Stephen cannot get
insurance at an acceptable price,
he can just rent the farm to them.
The rental charge can be fair market value, or less — if Stephen
wants to subsidize their income.
As a final step, if the rental plan
is adopted, Stephen should amend
his will to ensure that Sam and
Lottie get the land after his death.
Assuming that Stephen keeps
the land and rents it to his son,
Stephen’s retirement income
would be $27,210 pension income
plus $20,300 from farm rents, less
$13,300 for life insurance — a net
annual income of $34,210.
“This is a plan that will take care
of Stephen in retirement and the
kids for the rest of their lives,” Mr.
Forbes say. By doing this, Stephen
can “create stability and predictability for the farm and the family’s way of life.” †
Andrew Allentuck’s latest book, “When
Can I Retire? Planning Your Financial Life
After Work,” was published last year by
Penguin Canada
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Two indicators improve odds of making money
Using charts to make buying and selling decisions could help you profit in the markets
sell a lot of covered calls to
bring in cash flow, but buying
good stocks on the low side
can sure improve the odds of
making money. I use one indicator
to help me buy low and another
to help me see when it might be a
good idea to sell shares.
Of course, to use these indicators
you will need to learn a bit about
setting up and reading a chart. Don’t
let that scare you — if an old dog like
me learned this stuff so can you.
Some investors have no use for
charts. I would have a few hundred thousand dollars more in my
stock accounts if I’d learned how to
read charts earlier in life, and then
learned how to believe them.
There are two parts to charts:
learning how to set them up and
read them, then believing them. I
can teach you how to set up a chart
but you’ll have to decide whether
you’ll believe them or not.
I use one indicator to help me
decide when to buy: the stock symbol compared to the S&P index.
For example, I’ll take you
through a chart of Tourmaline
step.money – [6”]
If youstep
are by
First, go to www.stockcharts.
com and click on “free charts.”
There are lots of options on this
page. Just type tou.ca in the box at
the top and click “go!”
When the chart comes up on the
screen, look for the word “indicators” near the bottom left side of
the screen. You’ll see three horizontal boxes underneath “indicators”.
One should read “RSI.” I would
click on the box under “position”,
and choose “below.”
Then, on the next box down, I
would click on the menu area for
“MACD,” and choose “full stochastics.” Then set the “position”
for this at “below.”
Finally, I would go to the empty
third box, and left click on the
menu arrow to bring up a menu.
Find “price performance” (near the
top), and left it. The symbol $SPX
should show up in the box next to
“price performance.” Put your cursor in the box with $SPX and, with
the left arrow, move your cursor to
the left of $SPX (so the box reads:
When you click “update” under
all of these boxes, you’ll get the
chart for TOU.TO: $SPX — a ratio
of the stock symbol and the SPX
index. When that ratio/chart is rising, the price of the stock is going
up faster than the $SPX index.
When the ratio is falling, the shares
are falling faster (or rising slower)
than the $SPX index.
The idea is quite simple. If a good
stock has gone down a lot and turns
up, its price will often rise faster
than an index. That’s a good time to
own the shares, although of course
there’s no guarantee. When we see
a rising chart, we might not want to
sell calls on those shares just yet.
I have to thank Brooke Thackray
and Don Vialoux for introducing
me to this ratio at our Technical
Analyst Society meetings.
There is another decision point:
when to sell stocks. In this case, I
use the same free chart and look at
“overlays” (scroll down the page you
were just on.) The default settings
will usually show 50- and 200-day
moving averages. Put your cursor in
these boxes to change the settings to
10 and 30. Then click “update.”
Now, you should see a chart of
TOU with the tou.to:$spx chart. On
the body of the chart, you’ll see two
lines. Usually the blue line is the
10-day moving average (10 dma).
Many times in the life of a stock
when the stock price goes below
the 10 dma, the price is headed
down. Of course, the tough part is
believing the chart.
Seasonality plays a big part in
successful investing. The old saying
“Sell in May and go away” doesn’t
always work — stocks bottomed in
March, 2009 at the end of the bear
However, most years some version of “sell in May and go away”
does reduce risk. Don Vialoux put
it this way at our meeting: from
late October to early May, many
predictable events happen. These
Grain farmers
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As of May 11, 2012, Newco Grain Ltd. of
Coaldale, Alberta is no longer licensed by the
Canadian Grain Commission.
include: weddings in India, farmers buy gold after harvest in India,
Christmas, RRSP season, fiscal year
ends, Chinese New Years in late
January and annual meetings. All of
these are predictable, happen annually and can raise the price of many
After early May, there’s still
Memorial Day and July 1, but most
other significant market moving
events happen at random. Markets
don’t particularly like random,
so many shares drop after April
(although the exact timing varies by
a month or so).
One more indicator I’ve learned
about is the symbol $spxa200r. If
you type that indicator into the
symbol box on Stockcharts.com
(the box at the top that we used
before), you’ll see a chart of how
many shares are trading above
their 200-day moving average.
There is something almost mystical with the 200 dma.
If you set the indicator on a
three-year chart, and look at how
the black line crosses the blue
50-day moving average you will
see almost to the day when stocks
bottomed and topped.
To understand the market a bit
better, look at charts in two steps.
Step one: look at $spxa200r. If the
200 day chart is above the 500-day
moving average, it’s a sign that,
generally, the market is moving up.
Or, if you already have a list of
favorite stocks, test each one by
comparing it to the $spx. When
you find a stock with a rising chart,
the price of that stock is rising faster
than the S&P index. It might be
okay to use that indicator to decide
whether or not to buy a stock. But
if both charts are rising, it would
likely be a lot safer.
With Silver Wheaton (SLW), one
of my favorite silver stocks, a person
could have used charts to profit from
trading SLW over the past two years.
The indicators have shown quite
clearly when to buy and sell. The
last sell signal was around the end
of February, 2012, when the stock
was around $39 per share. There
were two sell signals. One was that
the price crossed the 10-day moving
average going down. The other was
that the chart of slw.to:$spx peaked
and started to move down. That
chart has not turned up yet.
We sellers of covered calls would
have been wise to sell a covered
call on SLW at its support price of
around $26 to $28 for June. June is
often the low point for silver stocks,
and July is often a good time to own
precious metal stocks. Selling a call
at the support price would have
brought in $10.50 per share, which
would have protected the portfolio
as shares dropped from around $38
to under $28.
With generic drug maker Teva, I
bought shares when the drug Lipitor
came off patent. I paid $42.50 for
the shares and have sold calls to pick
up around $3 per share. That drops
my per share cost to $39.50 so when
the shares dropped the other day to
under $42 I was not too concerned.
I might buy a few more shares when
the teva:$spx chart turns up.
Some say that timing the market
is impossible. Well, maybe so for
them. But there is a lot of free data
available and computers that make
charts for us. A half decent understanding of charts, such I have outlined here, can help us understand
when to be in the market, when to
buy good stocks at a good price and
when to sell them. And if we buy
and the price suddenly turns down,
we have to be smart enough to cut
losses short.
The old saying that a picture is
worth a thousand words applies
here. Charts give us a picture of what
big money is doing with a stock. It’s
not usually wise to argue with what
big money is doing. †
Andy Sirski is mostly retired. He gardens,
plays with grand children, and manages his
own portfolio. Andy publishes a newsletter
called StocksTalk where he explains what
he is doing with his stocks. Read it free for
a month by searching for StocksTalk.net, or
emailing Andy at [email protected]
your empty pesticide containers
If you are owed money, contact the Canadian Grain
1-800-853-6705 or (204) 983-2770
TTY: 1-866-317- 4289
Email: [email protected]
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JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Cattleman’s Corner
pasture management
Six steps for calculating pasture carrying capacity
alculating the correct
carrying capacity of a
pasture will help you
stock to a level that
maintains the health and productivity of both your land and animals. Following are six steps for
calculating carrying capacity.
1. Sample
Taking samples of forage in the
field is the first step in calculating
the capacity of the pasture. Clip
samples of forage within an area 50
x 50 cm (about 20 inches square)
from different areas of the pasture
that have not been grazed. Dry the
samples and weigh once dry.
Calculate the approximate forage yield based on the weight
using the formula:
Dry forage grams x 35.6 = lbs./
acre. (For example, if you had 50
grams of dried forage x 35.6, that
equals 1,780 lbs. of dry forage per
It’s best to clip in mid July and
mid September to build up data
from a number of years and get a
picture of the average forage yield
that is representative across varying
2. Utilization Rate
The utilization rate determines
how much forage is used or lost
to grazing, trampling, insects and
wildlife. This helps determine
how much material needs to be
left behind to maintain future
production. (see table 1 and 2)
Take clippings from grazed areas
and compare yield to the clippings
from non-grazed areas, to give an
idea of the amount utilized during grazing. This shows how much
plant material was left behind after
grazing, and the ideal amount to
allow for rapid, good-quality regrowth will vary depending on the
time of year. For example, in midJuly leaving about two thirds of the
plant material behind after grazing
is ideal to maintain the quality and
volume necessary for the herd.
Utilizing pasture at a rate that
exceeds the plant communities’
ability to cope will promote weeds,
lower forage production and encourage less palatable and productive
species to invade the pasture.
Determining a suitable utilization rate can be a bit tricky but
here are some general guidelines:
3. Dry Matter Intake
Determining the dry matter
intake means taking into account,
as an animal increases in size, so
does its feed requirement. Cattle
will eat between 1.5 - 3.5 per cent of
their body weight per day on a dry
matter (DM) basis. The palatability,
nutrient profile and availability of
the feed will determine where along
this scale your cattle will fall.
For a cow with a calf, 2.5 per
cent is commonly used DM intake
average. Calves don’t need to be
accounted for until they reach
about 600 lbs. For grassers three
per cent is commonly used figure.
750 lbs. steer x 3.0% = 22.5 lbs.
1850 lbs. cow x 2.5% = 45 lbs.
The mature large cow will eat
over twice as much as the steer
even though she consumes less
feed as a per cent of her body
weight. (see table 3)
amount of litter present is optimal,
either by visually comparing the
amount collected or by calculating
the weight of the litter using the
same formula as used for the grass
yield lbs./per acre.
The amount of litter left on the
land can make a big difference
in the performance of the pasture. Litter includes ungrazed residue from previous year’s growth,
residue from bale grazing, fallen
stems, leaf material and other partially decomposed material. Litter
helps to conserve moisture by
reducing evaporation, improving
infiltration and cooling the soil
There are a number of Canadian
websites that provide more information on calculating forage and
litter values. Manitoba Agriculture
has an excellent site at: http://
Alberta Agriculture has a good
website for calculating forage
litter at: http://www1.agric.gov.
Saskatchewan Agriculture has
good information at: http://www.
And of course, if you just Google
the topic of calculating carrying
capacity, it gives you many more
website options.
6. Management
Managing pastures to get the
maximum benefit from them is
crucial to meet the needs of the
individual herd and farm. It’s not
possible to have maximum lbs./
day weight gain per cow and maximum lbs./acre gain for the pasture. Producers will need to deter-
Utilization Rate
Light soil / low rainfall
30 - 50%
Riparian areas
0 - 40%
Native forages
Up to 50%
Tame forages
55 - 75%
2. Calculation of Total Usable Forage:
Once the amount of forage yield
and utilization rate have been
determined, the carrying capacity
can be calculated, which can be
used to determine either the total
forage available and/or the livestock forage requirements.
There are then two ways to use
the information, either to determine the number of head a system
can carry or to determine how
many days a specific herd can graze
in the system. (see table 4 and 5)
Weight of Cow
Number of
Utilization rate
3. Calculation of Livestock Forage Requirements:
To determine litter yield, rake all
of the brown litter in an area 50
x 50 cm square (about 20 inches
square), making sure not to include
any green material. There are two
ways to determine whether the
Article prepared by Angela Lovell, a freelance
writer based in Manitou, Manitoba, with
thanks to Manitoba Agriculture for formulas
and guidelines
1. Forage Type/Soil/Climate
4. Carrying Capacity
5. Litter
mine what they want to achieve
and manage accordingly.
It is important to rotate the
cow herd through pastures at
intervals that allow adequate rest
periods to achieve rapid, high
quality re-growth.
Pasture management must take
into account many variables, like
how much bush pasture is on the
land, the type of operation and
goals of the individual farmer, but
trying to maintain and balance
the resource against the needs of
the cows will produce better long
term results. †
Total forage
Dry matter intake
Forage required/cow/day
4. To determine number of head a system can carry:
Forage required/cow/day
Forage required/cow/
grazing period
Number of days grazing
(lbs./cow/grazing period)
Forage required/cow
/grazing period
Total forage available
Number of cows
pasture will carry
5. To determine how many days a given herd can graze in a system:
Forage required/cow/day
Number of head
Total forage available
Forage required/herd/day
Forage required/herd/day
Number of days
Dinner bell rings as cattle head to hills
Cattle make up a larger per cent of wolf diets than many people realized
outhern Alberta ranchers will soon roundup and
move 20,000-plus head
of cattle on to timbered
government lands in the Rocky
Mountain foothills in an annual
event that delivers waiting wolf
packs with easy, calorie-rich meals.
With calving season over and
cattle drive rituals into the high
country beginning in June, recently
completed research suggests those
cows, calves and yearlings will
likely make-up a whopping 74
per cent of the “biomass” in an
average wolf ‘s summer diet.
That’s the result of a thesis study
by University of Alberta studentbiologist Andrea Morehouse,
supervised by professor Dr. Mark
Boyce and recently published in
Ecology and the Environment. By
studying hair content in wolf scat
and visiting kill sites over a yearlong period, Morehouse discovered southern Alberta wolf packs
switch from a winter diet of wild
ungulate prey to domestic stock
once its delivered.
Easy prey
Its easy to see why. Herds of slow,
plodding cows and calves make easy
targets and long lasting meals.
“It surprised me, but not the
ranchers,” said Morehouse of
her findings of the high percentage preference for summer beef.
“There was nothing in the literature that would make you believe
it was that high.”
In fact, most previous studies
looked only at winter feeding patterns simply because its easier to
locate kills and collect droppings
on snowy ground. During the winter, when cattle are scarce or nonexistent, deer and elk are preferred
followed by moose.
Improvements in satellite technology have made it easier for
Morehouse to monitor collared
wolves and their summertime
haunts. Her fridge last year held
up to 400 containers of wolf feces
collected in the area. A total of 161
kill sites were pinpointed from 698
GPS “clusters” that also included
dens and scavenging sites. It’s a
relatively simple matter to analyze
hair in the collected droppings and
discern domestic from wild prey.
Although no one knows precisely how many wolves reside in
the Morehouse study area between
Waterton Lakes National Park and
Chain Lakes Provincial Park, 125
» continued on page 20
photo: dustin raab
A research assistant works to measure and collar one of the southern
Alberta wolves being monitored in a study.
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Keepers & Culls
In search of the perfect steak
recently learned a good steak
doesn’t just jump onto your
barbecue. I was down in
Granum in southern Alberta
recently for the weekend and was
looking for a nice steak for an
evening barbecue with friends.
There are two grocery stores in
nearby Fort Macleod and I am sure
their meat is excellent, but I was
hoping to find something right off
the farm, but there is no butcher
shop in Macleod.
So I asked the very helpful clerk
at The Source (former Radio Shack)
store if she knew of any butchers.
She thought for a moment and
said she knew one of her customers
was in the meat business. So she
directed me to Clarence Den Boon
of Valley Custom Meats. I called
Clarence, he doesn’t do much retail
business, but yes he did have some
fresh New York steak. So we travelled to his farm, which is about 10
minutes south and west of Macleod
on The Blue Trail. Clarence and his
wife Jenny were working in the
yard, but he took a break, washed
up, took us into the plant, pulled
a cryovac slab of beef from the
cooler, and asked me how much we
wanted. He sliced off four steaks,
bagged them and we were on our
way. Clarence gets this particular
meat from a local organic beef producer, who has high standards. He
said it was very good beef.
A few hours later the steaks were
on the barbecue and Clarence
wasn’t wrong. I am never really
sure about the “organic” influence in meat quality, but it was
excellent, and well worth the
effort. I can’t afford to eat New
York cut, organic beef every night,
but it is a nice treat on occasion.
The experience reminded me of
my younger years — small towns
may not have all the services of
“the city” but in some respects
they offer way more.
A great website for information
on beef production and economics can be found at: www.foragebeef.ca. There is all kinds of useful research and other information
there for cow-calf operators, backgrounders and feeders. They have
recently posted a short video from
the Western Beef Development
Centre on “What Makes a Low Cost
Producer.” Go to the foragebeef.ca
page, you’ll see a heading for “Cow
Calf Information” and just below
that a heading for “Marketing and
Economics” and just below that a
subhead for “cow-calf.” Click on
the “cow-calf” heading and you’ll
find the video listed there. But the
whole site has a wide range of information about getting the most out
of your time, money and resources.
Memorize it all and you’ll be the
smartest rancher in your municipality. Next time you have a quiet
evening or a rainy day, check out
The perfect steak?
air kilometres due north, ranchers have a good grasp of how
many cattle they turn loose and
how many return home.
The first major wolf population study in the region, meanwhile, is to begin this summer.
“A lot of cattle that don’t
return just end up being classed
as missing,” said Morehouse.
“One thing that might come
out of this is a review of compensation for those missing animals.”
The province now reimburses
ranchers 100 per cent of the
fall cattle value for confirmed
wolf kills and 50 per cent for
likely kills. But it offers nothing
for “missing” animals; some of
which may be the victims of
Three leading champions of farm
animal care in Alberta were recognized earlier this year with Awards
of Distinction at the annual Alberta
illness or accident or the targets
of rustlers and poachers. It’s
believed between one and two
per cent of the free-range cattle
go missing each year, but documented loses are ambiguous.
Last year 37 per cent of all
reimbursement payments,
approaching $150,000 for livestock depredation claims, were
sent to this area, which comprises less than three per cent
of Alberta’s landmass. All compensation monies come from
hunters who purchase Alberta
licenses and not general revenues.
The livestock “grazing season timing coincides with wolf
pup rearing season,” notes
Morehouse’s thesis report. “And
the nutritional demands of
wolves are considerable during
this period due to the need to
satisfy growing pups.”
The report also shows scat
analysis “only reveals what the
Farm Animal Care (AFAC) conference.
The Award of Distinction for
Industry Leadership was awarded to Dr. Gerald Ollis, who has
served the livestock industry
and farm animal care progress
for over 40 years. His career has
spanned private veterinary practice to periods as Provincial Dairy
Veterinarian and then Alberta’s
Chief Provincial Veterinarian —
an experience that included several years working on the development of the province’s innovative Animal Health Act.
The Award of Distinction
for Innovation was presented to
Calgary Stampede. Over the past
few years the Calgary Stampede
has implemented a number of new
initiatives to enhance its animal
welfare approaches. “The Stampede
takes the care of these animals very
seriously,” explains Paul Rosenberg,
vice president, programming with
Calgary Stampede.
The Award of Distinction for
Communication was presented to
agriculture reporter Dana Zielke of
Golden West Radio in High River,
Alta. Her agriculture reports are
heard on AM1140, Sun Country
99.7FM, CKVN 98.1FM Lethbridge,
CHOO 99.5FM Drumheller, and the
Prairie Ag Wire in Saskatchewan
and Manitoba. One of her most
popular contributions is a regular
“Ag Flashes” segment.
Canadian Beef Breeds Council
board of directors recently affirmed
David Bolduc as Vice President for
“I’m excited to be given the
opportunity to be on the executive for the CBBC,” said David.
“Our family has been involved in
the purebred livestock industry in
Alberta since the late 1800’s. Going
forward, the purebred industry is
going to be a significant portion
of the beef industry. We essentially
establish the end product, so we are
a significant element of the industry
and hope to make the rest of the
industry more aware of that.”
wolves ate and not necessarily what they killed.” A lot of
scavenging, especially in “boneyards” takes place year-round.
Boneyards are out of the way
locations where ranchers haul
livestock carcasses. Animals that
die of natural causes used to be
hauled away by rendering processors who paid for carcasses.
But that practice was halted for
health reasons with the discovery
10 years ago of BSE, commonly
known as Mad Cow Disease.
While local rural municipalities contemplate funding for
an enclosed carcass composting
plant, many carcasses are being
dumped in open pits or scattered
across the landscape to be scavenged by birds and mammals, a
practice allowed by the province.
The result has been increased
use by both wolves and grizzly bears. In fact, private lands
with boneyards, on the edge
of the Alberta forest reserve,
have been declared “hot zones
for grizzly bear encounters” by
a paper recently published in
“Earl says it’s easy for him to be a tender husband
because he spends most of his time in hot water.
Write, Email or Fax
Contact Cattleman’s Corner with comments, ideas or suggestions
for and on stories by mail, email, phone or fax.
Phone Lee Hart at 403-592-1964
Fax to 403-288-3162
Email [email protected]
PO Box 71141 Silver Springs RPO, Calgary, Alta. T3B 5K2
David, his wife Margaret and
their son Matt operate Cudlobe
Angus with his brother Dyce, his
wife Adriana and their family. The
families run 400 to 500 mother
cows in southern Alberta and have
an annual production sale. David
holds a Bachelor of Science in
Animal Science from the University
of Alberta where he also attended
graduate school.
David is also the current
President of the Canadian Angus
Association. David and Dyce
Bolduc are the only two brothers to both serve as President of
the Canadian Angus Association
Board of Directors. Dyce was
President in 2005.
The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders
(CYL) Development Program is
The Animal Conservation Journal.
More than 300 grizzly incidents
involving humans and livestock
have been recorded on these
ranchlands during the past 10
years and the number is rising
according to the Journal.
The Morehouse findings also
surprised provincial range and
land managers as well. “We
knew it occurred but not to that
degree,” said Mike Anderson of
Alberta Sustainable Resources.
“The percentage is shocking;
its higher than I would have
imagined,” added Rob Dunn of
Alberta Agriculture.
In Alberta wolves can be
hunted year round with no
limit on the number of animals
taken. Trapping is allowed from
November through February.
Still it appears their number
remains constant, or according
to local ranchers, is more likely
growing. The study area remains
the eastern slope of a major carnivore travel corridor between
Banff and Glacier National Park
in Montana.
pleased to announce its 2012
national mentorship recipients.
The 16 recipients were selected
following the final selection
round at the CYL Spring Forum
in Saskatoon, where a total of
24 finalists vied for a spot in
the national youth initiative
of the Canadian Cattlemen’s
Association (CCA).
The 2012 CYL mentorship
recipients are:
British Columbia: Cole Bailey
and Erika Strand.
Alberta: Amy Mayner, Brodie
Haugan, Jakob Meyer, Joanne
Solverson, Kerry Hyatt, Micheal
Nadeau, Travis Ebens, and Tyson
Saskatchewan: Ashley
Shannon, Eric Buyer, Jeffery Yorga,
and Ryan Hurlburt.
Ontario: Kimberly McCaw and
Katie Wood.
Blaine Marr, a third generation local rancher and Western
Stock Growers Association board
member, says his organization
doesn’t want a wolf-free zone,
but does want numbers kept
in check. Among other things,
he’d like to see the trapping
season run through the end of
Earlier this year the association held a trapping seminar
that was fully booked months in
advance. “Interest is at a peak,”
he says. “A wolf is the hardest
animal there is to trap. They’re
exceptionally smart, and even
the most skillful trapper has a
difficult time.”
Prime pelts sell for up to $350.
“We don’t want the landscape
wiped free of wolves, but at the
same time we don’t want packs
of 10 or 12 that can kill anything
that crosses their path.” †
Mike Lamb is a freelance writer based at
Burmis in southern Alberta
Using drugs responsibly is key
to beef industry future
Know the right approaches and use your veterinarian
eef producers know there are certain
things you shouldn’t mess around with.
As a leading veterinary educator Dr.
Trisha Dowling has a strong suggestion for
what should be at the top of that list: responsible drug use.
“If there is one area producers should not
take lightly, this is it,” says Dowling, a professor of veterinary clinical pharmacology at
the Western College of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Saskatchewan. “How drugs are
absorbed, distributed throughout the animal’s
body and ultimately eliminated by the liver or
kidneys is very complex.”
Today, on-farm food safety is under the
microscope of the public like never before,
she says. Consumers are very concerned
about drug residues in food. Any problem
View animal health product labels from the Canadian compendium,
or online at www.verifiedbeef.org by scrolling down to Quick
Links- Veterinary Products.
with that can quickly damage a producer’s
reputation as a supplier and the reputation
of Canada’s beef industry as a whole. At the
same time, animal health management in beef
production is increasingly sophisticated.
Recognize the consequences. The Verified
Beef Production (VBP) program re-enforces
principles such as minimizing the use of drugs
to preserve effectiveness, while still maintaining animal care, and using veterinary advice.
Dowling says both of the principles are
critical. “Through improved technology, all
food products including beef are being examined for residues with increased vigilance.
In addition, as a producer you’re not doing
yourself any favours because you risk health
issues and efficiency issues.”
Be clear on withdrawal times. Studies on the
common causes of residue violations show failure to observe sufficient withdrawal periods is
by far the greatest problem, says Dowling. Producers need to record drug use by individual
animal or group, along with the withdrawal
time. That is the days or hours noted under
the “Warning” section on the drug label or
package insert. This label information is critical, but the disease state of individual animals
also affects the disposition of a drug — this is
where a veterinarian’s advice is important.
Veterinarians have the knowledge to assess
how the disease being treated may affect drug
elimination, and recommend extending the
label withdrawal times to insure that drug
residues are not detected.
Institute responsible extra label use. It’s
sometimes loosely called “off label” but the
correct term is extra label. It’s important producers understand the specific definition, says
Dowling. Extra label use includes administration of a drug to a species for which there
is no specific approval; by a non-approved
route, of a non-approved dose or frequency;
or for a disease not listed on the label. “Extra
label drug use in particular is very complex
and not things you want to freelance with,”
says Dowling. Producers should have a veterinary prescription for extra label use with
an appropriate withdrawal recommendation.
Veterinarians have access to a database
on residue information called the global
Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank
(gFARAD). The Canadian component is managed by the Western College of Veterinary
Medicine and the Ontario Veterinary College.
The gFARAD resource was developed in
response to veterinarians’ need for information on residue depletion times following
extra label drug administration, says Dowling, who is one of the Canadian directors.
“The philosophy behind this databank was
to have information about residue avoidance
from all sources readily available at one point
for interpretation and dissemination to veterinarians. It’s an excellent resource.”
Every Ralgro implant has the potential to add up
to 23 extra pounds* to a suckling calf.
The profitable weigh.
*Data on file. **Rate of return may vary depending on market conditions.
® Registered trademark of Schering-Plough Animal Health Corporation, used under license by Intervet Canada Corp.
Merck Animal Health, operating in Canada as Intervet Canada Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA.
MERCK is a trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA.
Copyright © 2011 Intervet International B.V., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA. All rights reserved.
RALGRO Grain News QSH.indd 1
12-01-25 14:33
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Cattleman’s Corner
Taking new horses for a test drive
ast week I dewormed the
horses and Michael put
shoes on Ed and Breezy
for me. Andrea and I
rode April Sprout (Dani’s new
horse) a few times; the mare
is still green and inexperienced
and needs more training.
Emily’s allergies and a bad
cold suddenly escalated into
pneumonia and she couldn’t
breathe (and her oxygen level
dropped dangerously low) so she
spent a few days in the hospital
on IV antibiotics and oxygen.
Andrea stayed with her during
the nights, and Lynn took the
other kids to the school bus in
the mornings.
Michael hauled several more
dump truck loads of rocks to
fix the ditch head on the upper
place that was washing out
with the high water, and also
worked on the new ditch head
by Andrea’s driveway where the
creek was threatening to take it
out. Then he hauled more rocks
for Andrea’s new driveway and
several loads of rocks to reinforce the ditch bank above our
haystack yard where it flooded
last year.
Lynn has been cleaning some
of our ditches with tractor and
blade, and getting more irrigation started. For several days we
had cold rainy weather; then it
Calves are processed and ready for a grazing season on range.
dropped well below freezing for
a few nights and slowed down
the snow melt on our mountains, and the creek is no longer
so terribly high.
On Saturday Lynn went with
Rick to deliver a load of firewood, and Andrea came down to
ride with me — and noticed that
two of our heifers had gotten
into the field above our cows
and calves. We rode Breezy and
Ed to round them up, and put all
the heifers in my horse pasture
until we can figure out where
they went through the fence.
Then we rode April Sprout
and Captain King (a borrowed
horse we were trying, as a possible horse for the grandkids)
on another training ride for
Sprout. Captain King is spoiled
and stubborn, however, and
balked when we started up the
driveway. When Andrea urged
him forward, he bucked, then
reared when she wouldn’t let
him buck her off — and she had
to spin him round and round to
keep him from going over backward. She got him under control
and we continued on our ride,
but decided we don’t want that
horse for the kids to ride!
The next day we took Dani
on her first real ride on Sprout
— making a loop through the
low range. When we got home,
Andrea took Sammy for a ride
on Breezy.
Yesterday was cold and rainy
again. We’ve been watching
Freddie at nights (our last cow to
calve) because the weather has
been so miserable. We wanted to
be able to put her in the barn if
necessary. Today it was too wet
for Michael to haul more rocks,
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Spring calves are comfortable and familiar with granddaughter Dani
in the pen.
until the road to our rock pit
dried out in the afternoon.
Michael hauled more rock surfacing for Andrea’s driveway, and
smoothed it out with the backhoe,
now it won’t get so slippery, deep
and muddy when it rains.
The four grandkids were trying
to guess which day Freddie would
calve, and Dani won; her guess
was May 3rd. Freddie went into
early labour before midnight, but
didn’t calve until afternoon. I put
her into our calving pen but then
it started to rain and hail, so we
put her in the barn — she had a
black whiteface bull. The kids were
hoping for a heifer, but 3/4 of our
calves this year have been bulls!
We figured out where the heifers
got through the fence (the creek
washed out part of the fence along
the bank) so Rick helped Lynn fix
it. On Friday night we went to
the annual dance and gymnastics
program and watched Dani and
Sammy in their various dances
and Charlie in the gymnastics.
Yesterday Michael put new front
shoes on April Sprout. She’s apparently had some bad experiences
in her young life, and doesn’t like
her feet handled, so Andrea and
I have been picking up her feet
a lot. Michael was very patient,
shoeing her, keeping each foot up
for only a short time, and letting
her put it down when she’d start
to get nervous. She has to learn to
trust us; she’s been abused and is
always expecting a fight. But with
patience we got her front feet shod
without resistance. We’ll do her
hinds another day. Handling her
feet in short increments works,
and she’s becoming more at ease
about it.
Yesterday afternoon our neighbour Alfonzo rounded up his cattle from the fields below us and
took them up to the Gooch place
to brand the calves. His corrals are
flimsy, and partway through the
afternoon eight calves got out and
came down through our fields,
trying to get back to the lower
place. We captured them in our
corral and helped Alfonzo load
them in a trailer to haul back to
their mothers. Then he put his cattle back down below us again, but
separated several more pairs, and
that evening one old cow crashed
through the wire gate into our
field trying to go find her calf. We
had to lock her in our calving pen
and have Alfonzo come get her.
Young Heather got home from
college in Montana, and this morning she, Michael and Carolyn left
on their trip to Iowa to get Nick
from college. It will take them three
days to get there and three days
to come back — and Lynn will do
their chores while they are gone.
MAY 16
Last week we harrowed the
orchard and field above the house.
Lynn, Andrea and Rick spent a
couple days working on the ditch
on Lynn’s folks’ old place, and
I picked up the kids from the
bus after school. They were eager
to see Freddie’s young calf and
thought he was cute, being the
only whiteface calf this year. Dani
enjoyed helping me do chores
— feeding the horses and watering the cows. She loves to walk
through the cows and calves, and
pick grass to feed Maggie, who
gently takes it out of her hand
with her big rough tongue.
It froze hard again for several
nights, but now the weather is
hot. Last Saturday we vaccinated
the cows, calves, bulls, and yearling heifers (and put the heifers
back up in the swamp pasture,
now that we’ve fixed the fence),
and branded calves. Dani helped,
by handing me syringes. While we
got ready to brand the calves, she
sat in the barn with them while
we strung out the extension cords.
The calves are so accustomed to
her, they didn’t mind when she
was helping gather and push the
little bunches from the barn into
the holding area by the calf table.
Monday Michael put new hind
shoes on April Sprout and she was
even more trusting (and less resistant) than when he did her fronts.
She’s learning that we aren’t going
to hurt her when we handle her
feet. Later that day Michael and
Lynn started hauling hay; we
bought 50 tons for next winter,
to make sure we’ll have enough.
It’s last year’s hay, and reasonably
priced at $130 per ton. It’s a nice
mix of grass/alfalfa. They finished
hauling it today. While they were
hauling, Andrea and I made a long
ride on Sprout and Ed to check
range gates and part of the 320
fence — and repaired some places
the elk knocked down. This afternoon Lynn and Michael put in a
weir at the headgate of the uppermost ditch on our upper place.
Now we have only one weir left to
install. †
Heather Smith Thomas ranches with her
husband Lynn near Salmon, Idaho. Contact
her at 208-756-2841
lg a r y, A l b er
Canada Beef Inc.
Annual Forum 2012
grainews.ca /
You’re Invited!
JUNE 4, 2012
September 20 - 21, 2012
Join Canada Beef Inc.’s Board of Directors, staff and industry partners as we
review our first year of business and the market in which we are working.
At the Annual Forum you will hear from our board, marketing team, partners and
others on many topics including:
• market development and research
• opportunities at home and abroad
• our plans for the coming year
The Annual Forum is open to everyone. We hope you will join us as we plan
for the future.
Thursday and Friday, September 20 - 21, 2012
Sheraton Cavalier, Calgary Alberta
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Experts from all sectors of the beef
production cycle will provide insight into
the business of Canadian beef during a
full day of presentations and information
sessions including plenty of time that
evening to socialize over dinner in the
hospitality suite.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Friday morning is the business portion of the
Forum, including a review of the company’s
performance and the election of the new
Board of Directors.
For more information visit
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Cattleman’s Corner
Watch out for bull penis problems
any times throughout the breeding
season calls come in
to veterinary clinics regarding swellings along the
sheath of bulls. In many instances
a favourable outcome is highly
Location of the swelling tells
a lot about its cause. Generally
if the penis has been broken the
swelling is just ahead of the scrotum. Swellings lower down on
the sheath are common with lacerations to either the penis or the
A broken penis is the result of
a rent created in the sinus of the
penis. Blood accumulates in the
sinus causing the erection. A sudden bend to an erect penis such
as being hit when breeding will
cause such a break. Then in subsequent breeding attempts blood is
pumped out through this defect.
The blood is trapped in this location causing the visible swelling.
The degree of swelling therefore
depends on how many breeding
attempts have been made before
the producer can pull the bull
from the breeding herd. Some
bulls will be turned off sexually and may not attempt further
To diagnose a cut penis your
veterinarian will either sedate
the bull to have a good look at
its penis or use an electro ejaculator to be able to visualize it.
Cuts are the result of breeding
in bush, over fences, etc. Some
bulls are more prone because
of their aggressive nature. Some
polled bulls have more of a tendency to have their prepuce prolapsed all the time. This greatly
increases the likelihood of lacerations and tears.
Complications involve several
scenarios, which can be vastly
different in each case. Large cuts
can result in infection and subsequent scarring which could
prevent the bull from extending
his penis therefore not achieving
intromission. I personally have
seen a case where 100 per cent of
a persons herd was open because
the herd bull had a scarred down
penis. Another very good reason
to semen evaluate and make sure
the penis can be fully extended.
If severe swelling has occurred
the prepuce may be prolapsed.
This can also occur with broken
penises and the resulting, drying, swelling, and cracking of the
prolapsed prepuce causes a serious complication. Hydrotherapy
with medicating ointments is
often prescribed. The swelling
must be brought down to allow
retraction of the prepuce back
into the sheath. In all these
cases the bulls can be immediately shipped for emergency
slaughter as long as no medication has been given. However
a vast majority can be treated.
Depending on age of bull and its
value to your herd this option is
always available.
Treatment is not complicated
or costly just some labour and the
tincture of time with sexual rest
resolve many of them. Broken
penises require hydrotherapy initially and then a long sexual rest.
A few months later the bull may
be tested to see if erection is
possible. More than 50 per cent
of the cases will heal (if caught
early before large swellings have
occurred), but they do have a
higher incidence of reoccurring
than in normal bulls. Surgery
was tried more often in the past
but because of the large blood
clot which formed, infection is a
very real complication. Prognosis
is no better than the conservative medical approach. The blood
clot is absorbed over time and as
long as adhesions are minimized
with hydrotherapy infection is
Cut penises involve careful
scrutinization by your veterinarian. Flushing medication up the
sheath along with hydrotherapy
and systemic drugs are used in
bad cases. Minor cases will be left
with just sexual rest and time. If
breeding is allowed the laceration
Bulls can be injured in a number of ways, which affect breeding
performance, but an injured penis often heals with treatment.
may be extended and also blood
is very detrimental to sperm.
With fresh cuts this mixing of
blood and sperm can result in
very poor fertility.
We know many minor cuts do
heal on their own from the scars
we see on penises at semen evaluation. These cuts most likely
occurred the previous breeding
season. The seriousness of the
injury will determine prognosis
and estimated return to function.
Some minor cuts will be healed
and the bull ready to use in two
to three weeks. They should be
checked to make sure complete
healing has occurred. Almost all
cuts can be successfully treated
however keeping that bull till the
next breeding season may not
be a wise economic move. That
choice again is made based on
the value of the bull, his age and
when in the breeding season the
laceration occurred.
When checking your bulls during the breeding season watch
for full extension when breeding,
blood on breeding and keep a
careful watch of the sheath area
for any abnormal swellings. †
Roy Lewis is a practicing large animal
veterinarian at the Westlock Veterinary Center,
north of Edmonton, AB. His main interests are
bovine reproduction and herd health
Larger cattle supplies weigh on prices
sharply during April
and remain under
into the summer period. After
digesting the “pink slime”
media hype earlier in spring,
wholesale prices have recovered
and packing margins are finally
back in positive territory.
Despite negative media and
stagnating consumer income
levels, retail ground beef prices
continue to percolate higher
making fresh record highs.
Beef demand appears to be on
solid footing but economic
uncertainty due to the European
financial crisis has caused North
American consumer spending
to slow. Restaurant spending
has not been as strong as earlier
At the same time, beef production will exceed earlier projections due to higher cattle on
feed numbers and larger carcass
weights. Feedlot margins are
hovering deep in red ink which
has set a negative tone for feeder cattle. Demand for grass cattle has been sluggish because
producers are not comfortable
paying the higher prices compared to last year.
U.S. second-quarter beef
production is coming in larger
than expected. Cattle on feed
numbers have been running
two to three per cent above
year ago levels throughout
the spring and carcass weights
have been 20 pounds higher
compared to 2011. The year to
date U.S. slaughter pace was
trailing last year by three per
cent due to historically low
packing margins. Packers cut
back on the slaughter in an
effort to raise wholesale prices
and this also resulted in a
backlog of market ready cattle
supplies. The slaughter pace is
now catching up to last year
as packing margins improve.
Prices have fed cattle have
dropped and wholesale prices
have improved. I could see this
situation of lower fed prices
developing earlier in March.
Southern Plains fed cattle
reached a high of $130/cwt in
late winter but are currently in
the range of $118/cwt to $120/
Looking at the Canadian situation, cattle on feed numbers
in Alberta and Saskatchewan
are very similar to last year.
However, the steer and heifer
slaughter pace is down two per
cent while live cattle exports
are down 8.5 per cent. Carcass
weights in Alberta are approximately 50 pounds heavier than
last year reflecting that feedlots
are also backing up with market ready supplies. The fed cattle market in Canada and the
U.S. is functioning to encourage
demand. Now that packing margins are just above breakeven,
the slaughter pace can improve
but they don’t want to increase
beef supplies significantly so
that wholesale prices start to
decline. This leads us into the
demand environment.
Retail ground beef prices made
fresh record highs in March but
started to ease in April and
the softer tone has continued
into May. Higher end cuts have
followed a similar trend as the
ground beef.
Despite the softer tone, we
still find overall retail prices
up about 10 per cent over last
year. It is important to realize that U.S. personal expenditures are only up four per cent
and disposable income is only
up 2.8 per cent over last year.
It appears retail prices have
reached their peak unless we
see a significant improvement
in the economy. U.S. equity
markets made seasonal highs
in early May but have since
come under pressure due to the
renewal of European financial
fears. U.S. second quarter GDP
and consumer spending will not
be as high as earlier anticipated
which will result in softer beef
demand. Consumer behaviour
US Quarterly Beef Production
(Million pounds)
Est 2012
Est 2012
indicates after a sharp increase
in spending during February
and March, there is a tendency for spending to contract as
people pay of credit card debt
or renew the savings. The U.S.
and Canada is now in a minor
spending contraction period.
Fed cattle prices are expected to
trade sideways to lower through
the summer months. Larger beef
supplies and softer demand will
keep prices from strengthening.
However, lower beef production
in the final quarter of 2012 along
with an increase in consumer later
in fall will result in higher prices
for slaughter cattle. I feel the fall
fed cattle price will likely peak during the first week of November.
Feedlots in Canada and the
U.S. are enduring a period
of negative feeding margins
in excess of $100 per head.
Canadian barley and U.S. corn
stocks will be historically tight
at the end of the 2011-12 crop
year. Feedgrain prices usually peak shortly after seeding
in years of tight stocks and
I expect a similar price pattern this summer. Feedgrains
are expected to come under
pressure in June and continue
to trend lower into the summer
period. I expect feeder cattle
prices to remain under pressure
into the summer months and
then slowly percolate higher in
the fall period making seasonal
highs in December. Producers
should plan to market accordingly. October feeder cattle
futures are still near historical
highs and it is probably prudent
to take some price protection on
a portion of potential marketings. We have all seen how drastically prices can change within
a six month period. †
Gerald Klassen analyses cattle and hog markets
in Winnipeg and also maintains an interest in
the family feedlot in Southern Alberta. For
comments or speaking engagements, he can
be reached at [email protected] or 204 287 8268
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Cattleman’s Corner
Don’t ignore cow nutrition during dry period
would occur between first and
second lactations.
fter 10 months on the
milk line, dairy cows
complete their annual
cycle by being dried, put
into a designated “dry cow pen,”
which may be further broken
down into an early dry cow pen
and close-up cow group.
While there is a lot of emphasis
on close-up cows, healthy faraway
dry cows make a significant contribution to the well-being of the
whole herd. Rather than be viewed
as a period of non-lactation rest, a
proper nutrition and management
program for faraway dry cows will
also help revitalize these hardworking milk producers, and lead
to another successful lactation.
During the early part of this
“resting” phase, three active
things should happen: (1) the
dried-down udder goes through a
period of involution and its milk
secretory cells rejuvenate; (2) the
rumen rebounds by regenerating
its tissue lining (papillae growth)
and muscle tone; and (3) internal
organs possibly damaged during
lactation, such as the liver, can
be repaired. Failure to complete
any one of these vital goals during the faraway dry period could
compromise good health status
and decrease milk production in
the following lactation.
Aside from the duration of a
dry cow period, which should
include enough faraway dry days,
the nutrition of faraway dry cows
is still viewed as very important.
The National Research Council
(NRC) requirements for energy,
protein, minerals and vitamins of
the faraway dry cow are approximately 80 to 85 per cent of a lactating counterpart cow milking 30
litres during later lactation.
Consequently, a cow taken off
the milkline should be brought
into the non-lactation period with
an optimum body condition score
at around 3.0 to 3.5 (1 = thin, and
5 = fat) and fed a well-balanced
diet based on a maintenance plane
of nutrition. While it seems tempt-
ing to build back body condition
on thinner dairy cows, this exercise is best handled in late lactation, rather than the dry period.
Similarly, over-conditioned faraway dry cows should be fed like
their optimum BCS pen-mates,
which avoids putting them on
a “diet” that leads to metabolic
problems during early lactation.
With a proper faraway feeding
program, it is not particularly difficult to maintain the dry cow body
condition of any animal in the
dry cow pen. One should target
dry matter intake at 1.8 to 2.0 per
cent or about 11 to 12 kg (23 to 25
lbs.) of dry feed based on a forage
level of at least 60 per cent of total
ration dry matter. Most sound recommendations advise good quality long-stem grass hay is the best
choice for faraway dry cow rations.
It should contain enough energy
and protein to meet their essen-
tial requirements as well as have
enough digestible fibre to keep the
cows’ rumen functioning.
If crop residues such as low
energy — low protein corn stalks
are fed, they should be supplemented with feeds that are nutritionally complimentary; such as
adding good quality corn distillers’
grains. Furthermore, some corn or
cereal grain (1.0 to 1.5 kilo) might
be warranted to help meet with
energy requirements. Macro- and
trace-minerals should also be balanced in the diet, and adequate
levels of vitamins A, D and E
should always be fed.
As new dry cows are brought in
and put on this new faraway dry
cow feeding program, it is also
timely to get some other non-nutritional work done such as establish
a good dry cow therapy (infused in
all udder quarters) in order to eliminate bacterial infections contacted
in lactation as well as prevent new
infections from occurring. Dry cow
time is a good period for hoof trimming, worming and giving pregnancy-safe vaccinations.
program that meets the special
dietary and other non-nutritional
needs of the faraway dry cow is just
as important as any other program
for dairy cows. Its dry length
might be shortened for efficiency
and economic reasons, but its
elimination has been proven to be
detrimental to the lactation side
of the dairy operation. Providing
proper nutrition and management
attention to faraway dry cows
is a well-spent investment that
should pay off with healthy and
productive milk cows. †
Peter Vitti is an independent livestock
nutritionist and consultant based in Winnipeg.
To reach him call 204-254-7497 or by email at
[email protected]
Cut it, Ted it, Rake it, Move it.
A 60-day total non-lactation or
dry period is still a common practice on most dairy farms and most
recommended (i.e.: University
of Davis) to allow spent udders
to revitalize; 40 days for faraway
cows and about 20 pre-lactation
days for the close-up animals.
In contrast, some dairy specialists advocate cows really don’t need
this entire 60-day dry cow period
to prepare for lactation. They point
out that many high milk producing
cows produce significant amounts
of milk during the latter part of
their lactation and it would be of
greater economic benefit to allow
additional days of milking rather
than dry them off on a man-made
A more natural faraway dry cow
period might reduce the stress
high producing cows tend to experience when they enter a dry cow
group such as physical discomfort
of being dried-off, a new high forage diet and internal changes to
their own internal metabolism. It
might also justify the elimination
of a designated “faraway” dry cow
diet and allows dry cows to adjust
to a specialized pre-calving diet in
a shorter time-frame.
University research on a shorter
dry period for dairy cows has been
mixed. Their reports reveal milk
producing dairy cows allowed less
than 30 “dry” days produce substantial less milk during the next
lactation. Some other “modified”
dry period trials show no milk
loss in mature cows put though
a 30-day period, while younger
first-lactation cows have consistent reduced milk yields. These
researchers speculate this parity
difference to dry period length in
dairy cows might be due to further mammary development that
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Special event Section
10 tips for leaving Farm Progress
Show fat, tired and broke
Farm show veteran, Grainews field editor Lee Hart, has some
tips for your June trip to Regina
are like fly paper, or those annoying people who stand at the door
talking and won’t leave, so watch
out for them.
y philosophy with
farm shows is to go
early, stay late, and
look at every booth
and display there is. That is my
philosophy. The reality is I am
usually tired, sore and hungry by
11 a.m., looking for someplace to
sit down, and alarmed that I have
only seen about one per cent of
the displays.
Farm shows are a lot of work,
even if you’re someone like me
who really isn’t planning to buy
anything, unless I see a miracle
mop that works without water
(my wife would love that), a handheld pruning tool that can lob off
an oak tree with one easy squeeze,
or the most amazing sharpest,
stylist pocket knife to add to my
collection — you can never have
too many jack knives.
But walking, looking, packing
around a shopping bag full of
literature, pens, rain gauges and
notepads, shaking your head “no
thanks” while trying to be somewhat pleasant, and doing your
best to avoid eye-contact with
investment councilors, bankers,
shoe polish peddlers and orthotic
specialists does make a person
And you really have to watch
out for those publication booths.
“Do you get our publications?
Would you like to subscribe?
Would you like to renew? Here,
take one of our most recent issues
— in fact, we have six, so take
one of each they only weigh 10
pounds — you can never have
too much to read.” These people
All lamenting aside, I like farm
shows. And the Farm Progress
Show coming up in Regina June
20 to 22 is a doozy. I don’t go
to every farm show in Western
Canada, but I hit a few each year
and Farm Progress is one of my
favorites. Always lots to see, and
June is nice month for everything
— usually not too hot, and most
years, very little chance of snow.
The show is centered at EVRAZ
Place/ Regina Exhibition Grounds
in Regina. (EVRAZ is a global
steel manufacturing and mining
company — I didn’t know that.)
Follow along Lewvan Drive and
you can’t miss it. This year they
are on par with about 550 exhibitors. That group is showing off
about 1,700 different products —
that’s a lot of samples, free gifts
and pamphlets to lug home, so
bring the truck.
Bryan Adams is headlining
a concert at the Brandt Centre
June 21, so that would be a great
But the real business is selling
farm machinery, and every possible farm accessory or service you
can imagine. The usual suspects
are there — the major Canadian
and North American manufacturers of tractors, seeding, harvesting
and tillage equipment. The show
focuses on field crops — production and crop handling and storage. Along with the majors there
are also names, companies and
products you may not have heard
of… so you have to look around.
And there is always a smattering
of livestock handling equipment,
Taking care of the
world’s most important
farm. Yours.
Steinbach Credit Union –
expertise, experience & trust!
305 Main Street
Steinbach 326.3495
2100 McGillivray Blvd.
Winnipeg 222.2100
1575 Lagimodiere Blvd.
Winnipeg 661.1575
1 800 728.6440
so be sure to find those booths, if
you have cattle.
Stampede, where I find the same
mini-donut stand is in the same
location every year, I am guessing if you saw where Versatile
tractors or Brandt augers were
last year, they and other regular
displayers will be in the same
location this year. However, one
area that often has something
new is the FCC innovations centre and that’s where relatively
new equipment ideas or farmer
inventions get recognized.
I see this year, among innovations, are a subtiller as well as a
vacuum planter for canola developed by Todd Botterill of Newton,
Man.; Bobby Volesky of Fargo,
North Dakota has a wireless monitor to identify blockages in an
air seeder — it sends a message
to your iPad in the tractor cab;
Mark Devloo of Somerset, Man.
has developed a mud scraper for
tires; Brad Michel of St. Gregor,
Sask. has a crop catcher (shield)
for the combine header; Gerald
Foster of Sunnybrook, Alta. has
a “box” concave system for axial
flow rotary combines (I am never
sure what that all means); Duane
Bartok of Esterhazy, Sask. has a
reverser device for the haybine to
unplug the haybine from the seat
of the tractor; and there are more,
but I don’t want to spoil all the
I haven’t seen any news releases,
but I suspect Balzer will be there
with a 10,000 bushel grain cart,
to compliment Bourgault’s 10,000
bushel air seeding tanks. Seedhawk
or Seed Master will likely have
500-foot wide air seeding systems
so you can seed all crops in your
municipal district in three hours.
And Versatile probably has a new
Class 22 Russian-built combine
you can use to harvest all crops
in your county in half a day…
point is there is always something
bigger, faster and more amazing.
Last year I got a kick out of
Sakundiak’s remote control Swing
Max Pro auger that operated like
one of those Transformer toys. I
almost bought a farm, just so I
could justify owning one.
The show is big, by my standards anyway, and you will probably be joining 45,000 to 50,000
other Western farmers and their
families out to see what is new.
The Farm Progress people think
it is impressive to mention they
have about two million square
feet of displays. But to me that
just means a lot of walking. That’s
about 45 acres. And when you
consider you can’t go 10 feet
without something to look at,
plan on a couple days.
Here are a few tips from my
vast farm show experience that
may help you enjoy the show to
its fullest:
1. Go early — always the best
parking options, it’s cooler, and
some booths have a limited number
of give-aways, so make sure you get
yours. Parking is $5 per vehicle.
(Show admission is $15 per person
— kids under 12 are free.)
2. Get a Farm Progress Show
program guide. The Western
Producer usually includes one
in a June issue, and copies are
available on the grounds. It lists
all the exhibitors and has maps
to show you were to find them
if you are looking for something in particular.
3. Ride the trolley. There are
several tractor-drawn trolleys
winding through the show all
day. You can hop on and off at
many locations. It not only
saves wear and tear on your
feet, but it is a good way to
familiarize yourself with where
various outdoor exhibitors are
located so you can plan your
day better.
4. Bring your camera, or a cell
phone with a camera. A picture
of a display, piece of machinery,
or a billboard may be easier to
carry around than a grocery
bag full of pamphlets. Pen and
paper are handy tools for making notes. Consider bringing
a backpack. It is good way to
carry your loot, and still leave
your hands free.
5. You know those address labels
charities send you when looking
for a donation? I’ve seen some
people bring those sheets to trade
shows and apply them to the contests/draws entry forms at different
booths. Good way to use them up.
Once or twice I have seen really
organized people entering draws
with a self-inking rubber stamp.
6. It is a family event, so everyone is welcome. If you have little
kids, bring a good stroller. I don’t
have little kids anymore, but one
piece of advice I heard — if you
have little kids avoid locations
where they hand out helium filled
balloons until later in the day,
unless you want to be babysitting
a bobbing balloon all day.
7. Dress for comfort. You can
never be sure about the weather.
Comfortable shoes are important
because there is a lot of walking, and
as I recall, not all that many places
to sit down. Again, a backpack is a
good idea for carrying a light jacket,
ball cap, or small umbrella. If you
have a spouse or friend with you,
make sure they have one as well, so
you’re not stuck carrying all their
stuff too. I’ve been there.
8. Food. There are a number
of different food venues. There
is one main Tim Hortons in the
Co-operator’s Centre, which is
always busy, but I also believe
there is a second Tim Horton’s
kiosk elsewhere on the grounds,
so look for that. There are several hamburger stands on the
grounds where you can get
burgers, sausages, beef on a
bun, cold drinks and more. Each
has one or two picnic tables,
but there isn’t a lot of seating. (There is one burger stand
near the Brandt Centre that
gives you way more fries than
a person can possibly eat, so go
there for sure.) The concourse
of the Brandt Centre also has
concession stands. And there
are dining areas inside different
buildings, so again consult your
show guide for locations. And
there is always the beer garden.
9. If you have a tendency
toward impulse buying, leave
your wallet or cheque book at
home, or bring your spouse
with you. It is one of those
events where “gee, it seemed
like a good idea, at the time”
might apply. There are some
pretty good show deals available from many suppliers, but
any reputable outfit will honor
those prices until you’ve had
time to sleep on it.
10. And, finally, do not, under
any circumstances, leave Farm
Progress Show without picking
up a free copy of Grainews.
I’ll even autograph it for you,
which should add at least 10
cents to its value as a collector’s
item. †
Lee Hart is a field editor for Grainews in
Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by
email at [email protected]
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Special event Section
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Phone: 204-857-3483
/ Fax: 204-353-2278
[email protected]
/ Fax: 403-223-1027
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 306-297-2234
Fax: 307-297-2829
Email: [email protected]
BOX 540, HWY
R5G 1T6
Phone: 306-682-0738 / Fax: 306-682-5458
Phone: 204-326-9834
Web Page: www.kmksales.com
127-8TH AVE N.W.
Fax: 306-773-6066
[email protected]
BOX 228,
Tyndall, MB ROE 2B0
Page: www.superiorengine.ca
/ Fax: 204-268-1203
Web Page:
BOX 294, UNITY S0K 4L0
[email protected]
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 306-228-3800 / Fax: 306-228-4440
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 306-542-2445 / Fax: 306-542-3216
7555 - 72A Street (Argyll Road & 76th Ave)
Email: [email protected]
Edmonton Alberta T6B 1Z3
BOX 1030
/ Fax: 204-325-5150
204-746-8441 / Fax: 204-746-8746
Phone: 204-736-3050
/ Fax: 204-736-3152
R0E 2B0
Phone: 780-437-1851
/ Fax: 780-435-0146
: edwinhoeppner(ãmts.net
Email: [email protected]
Email : [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 204-268-3006 / Fax:
Phone: 306-735-2300 / Fax: 306-735-4444
1S8 Page www.knrag.com
Email: [email protected]
Web Page: www.lawnmowerhosp.com
Web Page www.kms.mb.ca
Web Page: www.rosenortmotors.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 306-236-5222 / Fax: 306-236-5252
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Special event Section
Bins and dryers
Call to learn how MC dryers will give you HIGHEST
puts dollars on your bottom line. Complete setup
from hopper bins for wet grain to augers and
bucket elevators for automated handling.
5 ways to dry grain
1) Properlydesignedbins.
2) Pickingtherightfancandoubleyour
3) Byaddingtherightburner.
4) StirDrying.
5) MCdryers(seeabove).Calltodiscuss.
BooTHS 10033 ANd 8615
Built Right. On Time.
North AB
South AB
Meet the „GIANTS“* at Farm Progress Show
The No.1 in blue
Since its been introduced, the Rubin has proven to
be the No.1 for Compact Discs Harrows. The combination of full surface cultivation even at shallow
depth, excellent mixing quality and high durability
has convinced farmers around the world. That is the
quality of LEMKEN. Or, as we call it: The No.1 in blue.
See us at the Farm Progress Show, June 20 - 22, Booth 6100
Agent for MB and SK:
Please ask our dealers for details:
AG West Equipment Ltd. AG West Equipment Ltd. Avonlea Farm Sales Ltd. Tri Star Farm Service Ltd. WH-Agri Machines
Lowe Farm, MB, Tel. 1-204-712-7073
Portage la Prairie, MB
Neepawa, MB
Domain, MB
Regina, SK
Tel: 1-204-857-5130
Tel: 1-204-476-5378
Tel: 1-204-736-2893
Tel: 1-306-586-1603
*Giants=Gigant system carrier for LEMKEN Rubin and Heliodor
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Special event Section
Precise. Gentle.
Precise. Gentle.
Call now and ask about the near-singulation accuracy of our UltraPro Canola Meter,
our game-changing NovaXP Smart Cart, and the huge cost-savings you’ll gain with
our Auto Zone Command overlap control.
The Leader. By Design.
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
our stainless steel
liquid fertilizer tanks are built to last...
20 - 20
22,- 2012,
22, 2012,
generation after generation
e us at
Come se#D139
factory direct
many sizes available...
up to 370 metric tonnes
high resale value
Cropsavers can be mounted on virtually any
high corrosion resistance to
sulphur, nitrogen and phosphate
High-clearance sprayer, pull-type sprayer or farm tractor
minimal maintenance
lowest long term cost
• New hydraulic jack option for
faster and safer tire changes.
• Quick attach for easier, quicker
and safer handling.
• Optional airlift available
butt-welded for superior strength
professionally engineered
Depending on tire size & machine type
Field Proven For Over 10 years
Floating Parallel Lift
Floating Sensitivity and Height Adjustment
Slim Dividing Tip Design
Stong Stainless Steel Cones with Enclosed Back
Deflector Arms - Greaseless Pins
Horizontal Adjustment
Bolt-on Kits - Weld-on Kits
Box 101, Rosenort, MB R0G 1W0
Ph: 204.74.NOVID (746.6843)
Fax: 204.746.8480
Email: [email protected]
Advantage Of Cropsavers
• Savings of $6-$7 per acre
• Cropsavers will pay for themselves after 1 section
• Saves flagleaf damage when spraying
Fungicides or Herbicides
• Less Volunteer grain the following year
in sprayer tracks
• Easier Swathing, Combining and Tillage
when grain is not trampled
w w w . n o v i d . c a
Our Next Consignment Auction at the Alerus
Center in Grand Forks is July 19
Bean Tip splits
crop closer to
the ground. Use
in pulse crops,
potatoes & row
Short for tight
Chopped for
tight (vertical)
Ad Deadline June 18
Complete list of upcoming auctions can be found at
EVEN 808
Check out our youtube channel at:
2702 17th Avenue S • Grand Forks, ND 58201 • Fax 701-757-4016
Phone 701-757-4015
Experience SALFORD
www.tridekon.com | 866-292-6115 | RR2, Neepawa, MB ROJ 1H0
See SALFORD’s new 525 Series Precision Seeder
at the Western Canada Farm Progress Show June 20-22
Our Seeding early order program is in full swing!
To find out how much you can save on the purchase of new equipment,
contact a participating SALFORD dealer today for details.
Salford Farm Machinery Ltd.
Anson Boak
Ontario, Canada • Osceola, Iowa • 1-866-442-1293
IO: DRKM-SFM-2012-020
For Drainage
Headline: “Experience Salford Savings”
Grain News
he faster, easier way to cut
and maintain drainage
channels. The dirt is spread
from 6’ - 200’ as the channel is
cut. Works in virtually all conditions including standing water
and overgrown ditches. Also
used to build terraces and clean
out drifted in soil.
72” flywheel
180-280 hp
1000 PTO
60” flywheel
150-280 hp
1000 PTO
42” flywheel
150-180 hp 1000 PTO
100-150 hp 540 PTO
The new 60” dia. rotary ditcher, taking a
18” deep cut, moves over 500 cu. yds/hr.
A 72” cut moves 600 cu. yds/hr. Dirt is
continuously spread as channel is cut.
Box 40, Fannystelle, MB CANADA R0G 0P0
For bigger drainage channels
make multiple cuts.
PH: 204-436-2469
FAX: 436-2466
30” flywheel
30-50 hp
540 PTO
Giesbrecht Machine
Plum Coulee, MB
Call Dave at:
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Special event Section
WWW.POWERRICH.COM • 1-800-663-4769
BOOTH # 80207
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Special event Section
WCFPS offers a look at what’s new
Attending farm shows can give you a first look what’s new in the ag machinery sector
There are several small-product retailers who set up booths at the WCFPS. Almost all of them offer special
“show prices” on their wares, which means you can pick up a few bargains on those things you need for your
farm workshop.
ur land rollers are the heaviest and largest in the field, and the
easiest to fold and unfold with our patented FORWARDTM
system that lets you unfold while moving forward. And our multisection design allows our rollers to better follow the contours of the
field. Choose from 1, 3, 5 or 7-sections in widths up to 85’.
Rite Way’s ever-popular RR250ST
rock picker now has an even larger
bucket that lifts higher for dumping.
MAXI, our new rotary harrow, is
three harrows in one. Use it to
lightly harrow or aggessively level
your field and dig out debris. Adjust
the tine angle on the go from your tractor cab as your field
conditions change. MAXI and Jumbo Junior, our midrange harrows
also feature the FORWARDTM
Land rollers: 1-section,
3-section, 5-section &
Jumbo Heavy Harrows
Jumbo Junior Midrange
MAXI Rotary Harrows
Rock Pickers - 2 sizes
Rock Windrowers - 2
Combine Header
See you at the show!
1-800-352-8822 | 1-306-963-2180
[email protected] | www.ritewaymfg.com
s machinery editor here
at Grainews, attending farm shows is an
essential part of my job.
Although for me — as for most
machinery enthusiasts — having a job that requires you to
walk through equipment displays
hardly qualifies as work. And if
keeping up to speed on what the
machinery market has to offer is
important to your farming operation, attending farm shows ought
to be high on your priority list as
well. Here’s why.
The technology component of
modern farm equipment is now
moving forward at a breakneck
pace. And manufacturers often
introduce new features and products at regional events like the
Western Canada Farm Progress
Show in Regina.
For those who fall into the “professional farmer” category, that is
very large-scale operators, most
new products hitting the market
these days offer a way to reduce
costs and improve efficiencies.
Telematics come to mind as one.
Heading to a major farm show is
a great way to really find out the
details about products like that.
Even if they were introduced elsewhere, companies usually have
marketing specialists at their
booths who know the all new
products inside out.
Dealership salesmen are generally pretty good at helping you
understand their products, but
it’s hard to beat talking to someone right from the manufacturer.
Talking with company marketing reps is the best way to get
the lowdown on any machine or
If high-end items like telematics
and auto guidance aren’t in your
future, the same benefit applies
to small-scale machines or those
with basic, no-frills features. Farm
shows are great places to make
the kind of product comparisons
you need to consider for any
kind of equipment purchase. You
can walk from one booth to the
next and really compare apples
to apples, all at the same place on
the same day. I don’t think there’s
a better way to shop. When you’re
finally ready to buy, all you need
to do at a dealership is talk price.
And, of course, while you’re at a
show why not take a look at those
things others are using. Even if
you won’t be using a 600-horsepower tractor in the foreseeable
future, you’ll probably have a
chance to sit in the cab of one
and daydream a bit.
One of the things you may
not associate with farm shows
is the chance to find a bargain.
Many of the smaller-product
retailers typically offer special
“show prices” on their merchandise. I picked up a great
auto-darkening welding helmet
at a pretty big discount during
year’s show in Regina. (I needed
it to match the new mig welder
and plasma cutter I got a deal
on during Manitoba Ag Days in
And here’s one final — and
significant — reason to consider
attending the WCFPS, if you farm
in Western Canada. This show
focuses on dry-land farming equipment, exactly the kind you work
with. There are a lot of great shows
all across North America each year,
but few focus specifically on the
kind of machinery that is common in our part of the world the
way the Regina show does. I’ve
been at several events across North
America and into Europe, so you
can take my word for that.
If you do make it to the WCFPS
in Regina this month, Lee Hart
and I will be at the Grainews
booth for a while, so stop by and
say hello. †
Scott Garvey is machinery editor for Grainews.
Contact him at [email protected]
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Special event Section
Experience Lightning-Fast Unloading
The Parker 1048 and 1348 models — holding 1,025
and 1,325 bushels, respectively — feature:
• Unloading times of more than 8 bushels per second
for model 1048 and 12 bushels per second for 1348!
• Exclusive in-line auger with linear sump for fastest
• Engineered for less starting torque with fewer
moving parts
Exclusive in-line auger
features the lightning-fast
unloading times of a
• Greater reach for unloading ease
High-flotation single wheels, walking-tandem dual
wheels or track system are available. Other options
include roll-over tarp and scale package.
See your local Parker dealer today or check
our website at parkerequip.com.
double auger grain
cart with fewer
wearing parts.
P.O. Box 357 • Kalida, OH 45853
(419) 532-3121• Fax (419) 532-2468
unverferth.com • 1-800-322-6301
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Special event Section
“Can’t Go Round With Dirty Wheels!”
Custom Built
Better Fuel Economy
Fits Every Size Packer Wheel
More Consistent Seed Depth
NO more Skidding
packer wheels!
Mark Devloo
Somersert, MB
Phone: 888.744.2077
Cell: 204.825.7655
Email: [email protected]
Patent Pending
We are proud to announce the development of
our new processing facility in Moose Jaw, SK..
Agrocorp believes strongly in the products we
trade, their nutritional benefits and their role in
making the world a healthier place.
Long term partnerships are at the core of
Agrocorp International’s mission and
we pride ourselves in conducting business
with honesty and integrity.
JUNE 20-22 AT BOOTH 10106
Vancouver Office:
201-209 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 2J2
Moose Jaw site location:
1402 East Caribou Street
Moose Jaw, SK
S6H 4P8
Phone# (604)681-8675
Phone# (306)693-8887
Email: [email protected]
R eal
Standard Features:
Aerodynamic for better fuel efficiency
from $ 10,605.00
Deluxe Package
Divider *Interior light
*Upgrade to LED lighting
*Spray on Liner on inside of trailer to
first rib
*Aluminum Checkerplate on front
(List price $1,000.00)
Sale $ 695.00
authorized dealer for:
complete with installation
from $698.00
- Duck bill coupler
- Center dividing gate with
outside release
- Two way backdoor with
sealed bearings
- 2 x 10 fir plank with
wearplate at back for easy
- Spray on liner on front &
sides up to 2nd rib
- Floor plunger in back
door for extra security
- Roof air scoop
- Spare tire & rim
- Rubber torsion axles with
brakes on all wheels
- Totally enclosed wiring
harness with sealed
junction box
- Deep-ribbed sides
-19" spacing for all
- Manitoba government
safety certificate
3 year warranty
eal Industries Ltd.
Real Products, Real Quality, Real Prices!
- 61 9 6
JUNE 4, 2012
Special event Section
Ask about the 2012
model and its many
new features and
schedule a free demo!
grainews.ca /
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
/ grainews.ca
USED Radios
JUNE 4, 2012
Motorola VHF Mobile Radios
Special event Section
USED Radios
canada’S farm progreSS Show
June 20 - 22, 2012, regina, SK
Starting at Quantun
Spring Price
Retriever SLT
c/w microphone, power cable, radio bracket, programmed to freq.
Motorola VHF Mobile Radios
• 2 Year Warranty
• 128 channel
• Alphanumeric Display
• 25/45 Watts of power
• Mil-Spec 810 C/D/E/F Built tough
• Voice Scrambling included
• GPS Compatible
• Mini
c/w microphone, power cable,
to freq.
Colour Camera
at Mobile
Retriever SLT
Camera SystemCam
Retriever SLT
Starting at
Limited Quantities
c/w microphone,
bracket, programmed
to freq.
c/w microphone,
power cable,
to freq.
• Capable of Colour
4 cameras
and System
comes withColour
1 cameraCamera System
• 7” Mon., Complete systems
Quad Monitor
• Capable
4 4cameras
and available!
• Wire & Wireless
• Capable
cameras and
Toll Free 1-866-289-8164
1 1camera
• Ideal for Grain
• Capable
of 4 cameras
7” Mon.,
• 7”
Auger Optional
and Grain Trucks,
to monitor
with 1Priced!
mount Quad Monitor
Quad Monitor
• Wire
& Wireless
harvesting operation
• Wire & Wireless units available
• Ideal for Grain
Augers, Combines
Quad Monitor
• Weather and• water
to monitor
• Wire
& Trucks,
available! (Shown)
operationmonitor your
cameras IP 67harvesting
• Ideal
• Weather
and water
to monitor your
• 18 IR LEDS so
• Weather and water resistant
• 18 IR LEDS
so you can see your
IP 67
air seeder tank.
air seeder and
tank.water resistant
• Weather
Great for
your your
• See need
you can
to your
• See areas thatcameras
IP 67
air seeder
without any
• 18
IR LEDSdowntime!
so you can see yourCanola
without any downtime!
Camera Sees in total darkness!
• Trimble
• See
areas adapter
that you
• Trimble adapter
any downtime!
Auto Camera
Switch, on all 4 ch units,
Starting at 325
Starting at $325
Motorola is the TM of Motorola USA
712 Victoria Ave. East Brandon, MB
The Retriever TH features an
exclusive battery charging system
to maintain a full charge when
mounted on the semi-tractor. The
battery and charging system are
protected in a weather proof
enclosure...another Retriever TH
The Patent Pending Two-Point
Another time saving Retriever TH
hitch system features a lift/lower
feature is the massive removable
range of motion based on tractor
drawbar that features a Drop Pin
CAT III specifications. With Quick
style hammerstrap that makes
Attach hooks that lock into
hitching to drawbar type
in the mast, changing
implements easy to do. With a
is the
from CAT III to CAT II takes only a
12,000 feature
lb. drawbar
you'll removable
that features a Drop Pin of seconds! With two lock
tow thedrawbar
largest implements.
pin locations the Quick Attach
style hammerstrap that makes
valves. Mounted in a weather
hooks extend to handle Kinze
hitching to drawbar type
proof enclosure with removable
planter two point hitches.
The Retriever TH features an
exclusive battery charging system
to maintain a full charge when
mounted on the semi-tractor. The
battery and charging system are
The Retriever
protected in
a weather
battery charging
first! a full charge when
to maintain
12-volt hydraulic power pack
operates the Retriever TH
lift/lower functions and remote
valves. Mounted in a weather
proof enclosure with removable
the power
pack ispower
salt, even
functions and remote
mounted on the semi-tractor. The
battery and charging system are
protected in a weather proof
enclosure...another Retriever TH
lid, the power pack is protected
from weather, road salt, even
power washing!
12-volt hydraulic power pack
operates the Retriever TH
lift/lower functions and remote
valves. Mounted in a weather
proof enclosure with removable
lid, the power pack is protected
from weather, road salt, even
power washing!
implements easy to do. With a
12,000 lb. drawbar capacity you'll
tow the largest implements.
CAT III specifications. With Quick
Attach hooks that lock into
receivers in the mast, changing
2 of 3 from CAT III to CAT II takes only a
matter of seconds! With two lock
pin locations the Quick Attach
hooks extend to handle Kinze
planter two point hitches.
2 of 3
Elevated Quick Attach Hooks
provide an extra 3" of lift height to
the two-point hitch system for
extremely long planters.
Elevated Quick Attach Hooks
provide an extra 3" of lift height to
the two-point hitch system for
extremely long planters.
• See areas that you need to
• Trimble
• Trimble adapter cables available
2 of 3
The Patent Pending Two-Point
hitch system features a lift/lower
range of motion based on tractor
CAT III specifications. With Quick
Attach hooks that lock into
receivers in the mast, changing
from CAT III to CAT II takes only a
matter of seconds! With two lock
The Patent
pin locations
the Quick
hitch system
a lift/lower
hooks extend
to handle
range of motion based on tractor
Another time saving Retriever TH
feature is the massive removable
drawbar that features a Drop Pin
style hammerstrap that makes
hitching to drawbar type
implements easy to do. With a
12,000 lb. drawbar capacity you'll
tow the largest implements.
10/05/2012 7:12 AM
Toll Free
Toll Free
712 Victoria
Ave. East Brandon, MB
Free 1-866-289-8164
10/05/2012 7:12 AM
10/05/2012 7:12 AM
• Destroys compaction
as deep as 18”
• Improves water and
• Minimalsurface
• Heavydutyframeand
“We have been very satisfied using the Wolverine ditcher for the past two
years. We put about 475 hours on the 2009 model and then traded to a
2010. We like the 2010 model even better with the improved way
the dirt feeds in and the heavier duty wear parts. We believe
the Wolverine will do the work of three scrapers.”
- Alfred Moore, Christenson Farms,
Drayton, North Dakota
Get the job done in half the time!
There is simply no better way
to make and maintain ditches,
waterways and terraces.
Call 204-871-5004 or see us at Farm
Progress Booth 6105-6106 Outside!
The Wolverine:
• eliminates the operation of leveling dirt piles left behind by a scraper
• works in heavy clay soils
• reduces field compaction compared to using a scraper
• creates smooth ditches that allow field equipment to pass through
with ease (no ridges or barrel cuts)
• can be used at virtually anytime throughout the growing season
See the Wolverine in action on our website:
Free 1-866-289-8164
Ave. East Brandon, MB
712 Victoria Ave. East Brandon, MB
SK: (306) 586-1603 • TF: 1-877-581-1603
Super heavy duty
construction for years
of trouble-free
Sees in total darkness!
Box 68 - RR2, Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 2Z2
Elevated Quick Attach Hooks
provide an extra 3" of lift height to
the two-point hitch system for
extremely long planters.
Camera Sees
in total
712 Victoria Ave.
Manitoba Dealers:
Saskatchewan Dealers:
Keystone Agri Motive, Steinbach
Phone: 204-326-9832 (Andy Wiebe)
Ag West Equipment Ltd. Portage La Prairie
Phone: 204-857-5130 (Russ Tufford)
Altona Farm Service, Altona
Phone: 204-324-5523 (Jack)
K&R Ag sales and Service, Brunkkild
Phone: 204-736-3050 (Robin)
Markusson New Holland, Regina
Phone: 306-781-2828 (Corey or Derrick)
John Bob Farm Equipment Ltd, Tisdale
Phone: 306-879-4588 (Garry Skjerpen)
North Dakota Dealers
Hanson’s Auto and Impliment Inc., Grafton IL
Phone: 701-352-3600 (Chris or Brent)
Alberta Dealers
S5 Sales Ltd., Lomond
Phone: 403-485-8375 (Doug)
Foster’s AgriWorld, Beaverlodge
Phone: 780-354-3622 (Jason)
In MB and Eastern SK
Botterill Sales
See Us At The Farm Progress Show
June 20-22
Booth 6105-6106
In AB and Western SK
Kirchner Machine
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Keep wooden granaries in working order
A little TLC can keep your aging bins lasting longer and save you money
hen I drive by one
of those farms with
long rows of hopper bins, I wonder
what some of those farmers would
say if they saw our old wooden
bins. Over the last 10 years my son
Ben has encouraged me to gather
up some of the old plywood round
bins to make our grain storage a bit
easier. Thank goodness for his prodding. We now have a row of about
20 round wood and steel bins. If it
was left to me we’d still be storing
all our grain in the quonset.
Is it worth repairing them?
Well, Ben bought a bin for $500
eight or 10 years ago. It’s a 2,200
bushel wooden bin with a few
holes in the roof and skids that
won’t skid it anywhere. Every
year we say it’s time to junk it, but
come harvest it gets a one hour
patch up and it gets filled.
When we emptied it out last
winter, Ben said he lost about an
ice cream pail of wheat. So let’s do
the math: 8 years x 2,000 bushels
(it’s not full every year) = 16,000
bushels stored. Divide that into
$500 and it works out to a little
more than $0.03 a bushel. Cheap
storage! Of course we’re in a drier
area of the West. If you get regular
rainfall, you may lose more if your
roof leaks.
But what do you do with some
of those old plywood bins that are
just about at the end of their useful lives? You’ve seen them. The
skids are rotten, the roof is leaky,
and the walls bulge ominously
when they are full. Here are a few
repairs you can do to get the most
out of them. Don’t be too hard
on my methods. This isn’t fancy
carpentry — just a way to patch
things up cheap and fast so you
can get a few more years out of
your bins.
Some bins are better than others.
We have some with good skids and
roofs that could give us another
10 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Others are in poor shape.
Used steel bins are getting more
plentiful and the prices are reasonable, so some of our old wood bins
will get a match some year soon.
it’s great. However they are a bit
pricey. For an old bin it’s probably
not worth the expense.
If a plywood panel needs replacing, use a good grade of plywood
with few knots. Give it a good
coat of primer and a coat of paint.
Check the existing panels to see if
they need to be renailed. The odd
little hole can be patched with
a dab of roofing tar. If it’s a bit
larger, screw a patch on from the
inside using wood glue between
the patch and the panel. Use short
screws that won’t poke up through
the roof.
If one of the rafters gets a bit
wobbly, cut a new one to match
and nail or screw it to the poor
one. Use your cardboard to make
a pattern of the rafter angles if
A wooden bin collection needs a little extra attention.
What do YOU need?
Here’s a list of materials you’ll
want to have on hand.
Plywood is better than oriented
strand board for this job. Use
five-sixteenths or three-eights for
walls and half an inch or thicker
for floors.
• Caulking
• Light metal — old galvanized
heat ducts are okay or you
can use lighter stuff such as
metal flashing material
• Good tin snips
• Wood screws,
drill and driver bits
• Wood glue
• Roofing tar
• Assorted scrap lumber
• Cardboard cereal boxes and
scissors (not for the patches!
For patterns.)
If you want to get really fancy,
you can buy custom made galvanized roof panels for wooden
bins. We have one like this and
Protect Your Payday
Be prepared to preserve the quality of grain on your farm. With Meridian hopper
bins equipped with Meridian AirMax™ aeration you are able to condition your grain
to the ideal moisture and temperature. Meridian’s unique smooth-wall design also
offers you worry-free clean out, helping protect your grain from insects caused by
bins that haven’t been cleaned out. Be confident you’re preserving the grade and
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To learn more, visit www.MeridianMFG.com.
© 2012 Meridian Manufacturing Group. Registered Trademarks Used Under License.
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
keep wooden
granaries in
working order
necessary. Make sure your roof
ladders are in good condition.
Patching walls and holes
If you’ve been blessed by the
presence of an ambitious rodent
you might need some wall patches.
This is best done with a thinner
piece of plywood that you can
bend to fit against the wall from
the inside. Again, use wood glue
and short screws that won’t poke
through to the outside.
Don’t be cheap with the glue! Buy
the big container and put lots on.
Holes in the middle of the floor
are a nuisance. If it’s small, a piece
of tin with a few small nails is
okay, but it’s going to catch on
your shovel and make you say bad
things. The best way would be to
section out a piece of the plywood
Patching the floor of a wooden bin can extend its useful life.
and replace it (and also some of
the planks below as needed).
If the hole is at the edge, use
cardboard and scissors to make
a pattern of the edge of bin.
Transfer this to the wood and
cut a patch with a jig saw. Use
A tow rope and a ratchet strap can hold a bulging bin in a pinch.
plywood at least half an inch
thick. Screw this to the floor with
caulking to seal the edges.
If rodents have chewed a hole in
the floor, put a patch of metal over
the hole before you put the plywood patch on. This will discour-
age the little guys from gnawing
through in the same place.
Skid repair
The best way to look after the
skids is to put them on railway
Grainews will
be there!
Band problems
and breakage
Canada’s Farm Progress Show
June 20th - 22nd, Evraz Place, Regina
We are hosting a meet and greet in Arena #3, Booth #30131
Stop by and say hello to members of our editorial team…
WedneSdAy 1:30 - 3:00
Scott Garvey - Machinery editor for Grainews
Lee Hart - Editor of Cattlemen’s Corner and field editor for Grainews
March 1, 2011 $3.50
it on
is younger
like Mike and
sarah Jolly up
to the job?
Page 16
Jim mann’s plans for
fna aren’t done yet
looK inside for ag eQuiPment deals!
FridAy 1:30 - 2:30
Scott Garvey - Machinery editor for Grainews
Crop insuranCe deadline is april 30 » paGe 18
Vo lu m e 8 , n u m b e r 9
See you at
the show!
he recently announced shutdown of XL foods’
beef kill plant and fabrication facility in Calgary is no surprise to those in the know.
“No, it’s not a shock,” said Herb Lock, owner of
farm$ense Marketing in Edmonton.
“the packing industry in North america is rightsizing itself. as soon as you have excess capacity,
everybody is losing money. It’s not just a Calgary
thing, it’s not just an alberta thing, it’s not just a
Canadian thing. this is happening on both sides of
the border.”
that view was echoed by Charlie Gracey, a cattle
industry consultant and current board member with
the alberta Livestock and Meat agency.
“We’ve known for quite a long time that the herd
was being sold down,” said Gracey. “It’s always
regrettable to see a decline in what might be seen
as competition. But there isn’t enough cattle herd
to service the plant.”
Lock estimates the packing industry is currently
about 25 to 30 per cent overbuilt across the Pacific
Northwest. Most of the processing facilities were
built several decades ago, in a time when herd numbers were significantly higher, he said.
Given that processing is a margin business,
the only way for processors to make money is to
operate at near full capacity. With today’s herd
numbers at a 50-year low and the three- to fiveyear outlook not indicating much improvement,
Lock sees the XL closure as a “nimble” preemptive move.
Competition for live cattle sales shouldn’t diminished, said Bryan Walton, CEO of the alberta Cattle
feeders association.
“I don’t think the closures are going to have a material effect,” said Walton, noting XL foods still operates the Lakeside plant in Brooks.
Essentially, the Calgary and Brooks plants were
competing for the same animals. selling the Calgary
facilities, which are fairly old and sit on valuable real
estate, makes good business sense, he said.
BSE boost
While BsE has been devastating to all parts of the
beef industry, Lock believes it may have had a positive — albeit short-term — influence on XL’s Calgary
“the plants’ lives may have been extended by a
shutdown page 6
AFAC ConFerenCe
Issue 10
The way you find ag equipment
Have joined forces!
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Issue #10 · May 14, 2012 | ADVERTISING INFORMATION: 1-888-999-4178 | Search thousands of listings at www.agdealer.com
306•934•1546 - Saskatoon, SK
306•773•7281 - Swift Current, SK
‘11 Rogator 1396, factory 120ft boom, 1300 gal, viper pro loaded GPS, 2 sets of tires . . . . .
‘09 Rogator 1286C, 120ft, 1200 gal, viper pro,loaded, GPS, 1121 hrs, 2 sets of tires . . . . . .
‘09 Rogator, 1286C gal, 110’ boom, 1045 hrs, viper pro, auto boom, accuboom,smartrax,
2 sets of tires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘09 Rogator, 1084 gal, 110’ boom, 1139 hrs, auto boom, viper pro, accuboom,
smartrax, 2 sets of tires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘10 Spracoupe 7660, Viper, Oro. AccuBoom, AutoBoom, 90’, 3 way nozzles,
181 hrs., two sets of tires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘09 Spra-Coupe 7660, 90’, 725gal, Outback GPS, Auto Boom, 3 way Nozzels 245 hrs . . . . .
‘06 AgShield 7700, 1200 gal., 120ft boom, auto boom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘03 Eagle 8500, 800 gal, 110 ft, boom, 2 way nozzels, foam markers, mid tech GPS, loaded .
‘98 William 8400 1642 hrs, 1000g SS, 90’ crop dividers, two sets of tires . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . .$315,000
. . . . .$289,000
. . . . .$289,000
. . . . .$245,000
. . . . .$215,000
. . . . .$195,000
. . . . . .$29,000
. . . . .$149,900
. . . . . .$79,000
Flexi-Coil 5000, 51ft c/w 2320 tow behind tank, rubber packers, single shoot w/sideband. . . . . . . . .$69,000
‘05 Ezee-on 7550, 48ft c/w 4350 tank, 10” sp., DS, atom jet openers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$75,000
‘07 MF 1540, FWA, hydro, 40hp, 3pth c/w ldr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$24,900
‘07 MF 1533, 33hp, hydro, 3pth, frt end ldr, 375 hrs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$23,900
‘92 MF 3690 FWA, 170hp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$37,000
‘99 JD 4300, 32hp, diesel, 3pth c/w Ruff Cut Mower and Finishing Mower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$8,500
‘77 International 1086, 130 hp Dual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17,900
MT 875C Challenger, 585hp track 36” extreme, poly mid wheels, hyd. swing draw bar, 1 of 2
MT 865C Challenger, 525hp track 36” extreme, poly mid wheels, hyd. swing draw bar, PTO, 1 of 6
MT 855 Challenger, 475hp track 36” extreme, hyd. swing drawbar, PTO, 1 of 2
MT 955C, 475hp, 4WD, powershift, PTO, diff lock, 5 hyd, remotes, dual, 800/70R38, 1 of 2
MT 945C, 440hp, 4WD, powershift, PTO, diff lock, 5 hyd, remotes, dual, 800/70R38
‘09 NH 940 36ft draper c/w pea auger + transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$62,500
‘09 MF 7200, st. cut hdr, 35’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$29,000
‘07 MF 8200 flex hdr, 35’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$33,000
‘03 Honey Bee GB 36ft, pea auger, transp. fits R65/R75 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$35,000
‘03 Honey Bee SP30 draper, 30ft, fits MF8570 or MF8780 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$35,500
‘99 Agco 5000 36 ft draper w/trans, fits R62/72 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$29,500
‘02 Agco 5000, 36ft draper fits Gleaner R62 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$24,500
‘96 MacDon 960, 36ft draper fits R-65 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$24,500
Agco 600, 36ft draper fits Gleaner R62 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17,500
Gleaner A86 c/w chopper, spreader, factory warranty . . .
Gleaner A86, chopper/spreader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MF 9895 c/w PU hdr, chopper, spreader, 555 hrs . . . . .
MF 9795 c/w PU hdr, chopper, spreader, 1 of 2 . . . . . . .
MF 8780 c/w PU hdr, chopper, spreader . . . . . . . . . . . .
CR 9070 c/w PU hdr, MAV chopper, spreader . . . . . . . .
MF 9895 c/w PU hdr, 1 of 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
NH CR9070 c/w 760 pu Hdr Swathmaster p.u. chopper .
MF 9895, 1 of 3, PU hdr, chopper/spreader . . . . . . . . . .
Gleaner R75 c/w 1800 sp p.u. Hdr. chopper, spreader . .
MF 8780 XP, chopper/spreader, 1280 hrs . . . . . . . . . . .
Gleaner R62 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MF 8570, PU hdr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MF 8460 c/w p.u. hdr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. .$69,900
. . . . CALL
. .$99,000
. .$89,000
. .$48,000
. .$37,000
‘09 NH BR7090 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$28,500
‘06 Vermeer 605M with mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$29,000
oPerations, gloBal aQuisitions
at strangmuir farms south of strathmore, Kerri r
ross (left) and Becky tees spend their days riding through pens checking
on the health of the cattle.
Testing for bSe worthwhile
FaIrLy LOw } Cost would be about $40 per head, but actual
financial benefits are uncertain
By ron friesen
new industry study concludes
a voluntary BsE testing program for cattle could help
boost Canada’s beef exports to asia.
But it cautions that BsE-tested beef
would only be a niche market and the
demand for it might be limited.
testing alone may not fully restore Canada’s beef markets lost to BsE in Japan
and other asian countries, says the study
by the George Morris Centre in Guelph,
But it’s still worth considering, said
al Mussell, the study’s lead author.
“We think this has got potential. I think it
needs to be explored further,” Mussell said
following the study’s release March 31.
“I think it does give the impetus for
people to take a serious look at it and
say, ‘hey, this is something we could
take advantage of.’”
the study funded by PrioNet Canada, the alberta Prion Research Institute and the alberta Livestock and
Meat agency weighed the costs and
benefits of voluntarily testing cattle
for BsE.
It found the cost fairly low — just over
$40 a head, or about five cents a pound
carcass weight. that wouldn’t burden
processors with huge added expenses
and “drag down the operation of a beef
plant,” Mussell said.
He said Japanese importers have periodically asked for BsE-tested beef over
the past five years, so the demand for it
should be there.
But whether the economic benefits
“We think this has got
aL MussELL
of testing outweigh the cost is hard to
a 2005 analysis by Rancher’s Beef, an
alberta processor no longer in business,
concluded BsE testing would increase
the value of beef sold to Japan by $75.71
per head.
see Bse testing page 26
Consumers must lead Changes in animal welfare } Page 33
It looks nice if the bins are
painted and they definitely last
longer. Some paints and stains are
better than others for plywood.
We never seem to do much painting on our bins, so I don’t have
expert answers on this subject.
I’ve seen bins with coloured
metal siding on the walls and it
looks really nice. I don’t know how
long it would last, but it might be
an excellent long term solution
for wooden bins. If you had to do
some wall repairs you could just
unscrew the panels if needed.
There you have it. First aid for
aged bins. Hopefully this will help
you get a few more years of useful
storage out of your bins. †
Hay Rakes 712 Jiffy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CALL
Bale Processor 920 Jiffy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CALL
Snow Dozer Blade Horst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CALL
More Info on Used With Pictures at www.fulllineag.com OR Email [email protected]
306•934•1546 - Saskatoon, SK
306•773•7281 - Swift Current, SK
Saskatoon Sales:
Chris Purcell
Dave Ruzesky
Doug Putland
Swift Current Sales:
Dealers for:
Paint and siding
By madeleine Baerg
Publications Mail Agreement Number 40069240
‘09 MF 9430 c/w 30ft hdr, UII PU reel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘07 MF 9430 c/w 30ft UII PU reel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘05 MF 9220 c/w 30ft hdr, DSA, PU reel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘99 MF 220 Series II, 1658 hrs, c/w 26ft UII PU reel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘97 MF 220, 900 hrs, c/w 30ft hdr, UII PU reel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘05 MacDon Premier 2952i c/w 972, 30ft hdr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘05 MacDon Westward 9352i, c/w 972, 30ft hdr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘00 MacDon 922, 18ft, moco hdr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘00 Hesston 8110S c/w 81AH -16ft hay hdr & 810H - 25ft Draper hdr, very nice, must see.
‘11 MF 9430, c/w 30ft DSA & UII pick up reel, 82 hrs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
‘10 MF 9430, c/w 30 ft DSA & UII pick up reel, 85hrs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
april 25, 2011
KeepinG WatCh from above
processing now consolidated
at Brooks, after Moose Jaw and
Calgary plants shut down
Heart attacks strike
1,500 farms a year
See page 13 for more details.
Rodents can chew their way
through wood floors and leave
holes. The first priority is to keep
the weeds trimmed around the bins
to keep them away. Spray glyphosate or some other poison around
the bins to keep them tidy. Also,
keep bait out in proper bait boxes.
seven steps to successful
family meetings
Branding and fencing
offers on now at UFA
WhiCh Crop to seed first? » paGe 16
falling as
beef industry
Some of our bins were made
with bands that weren’t galvanized.
They rust and can break. We had a
full bin pop a band last year.
Our lumber yard in town has
a banding machine we can rent,
but we didn’t have time to go
to town and get it, so a tow
rope and a large ratchet strap
held it until spring. Make sure to
use galvanized bands. We have a
couple a bins that are getting a
bit potbellied so we’ll put on an
extra band on these this year.
One of our bins was bulging
at the middle of the door. We
couldn’t put a band there, so Ben
made iron brackets for each side
of the door and attached bands
to the brackets.
THurSdAy 1:30 - 3:00
Lee Hart - Editor of Cattlemen’s Corner
eastern edition
ties to keep them off the ground.
They will last many years like
this. However if the skid is half
rotten and you need a quick fix
here are a couple of ideas.
If the skids are shot and the
floor is sagging, jack it up as best as
you can and stuff some blocking
underneath. It won’t last forever
but it will give you a few more
years. You can also put blocking
on the ground under a rotted
section of the floor. Jam it under
tight and patch the floor from the
inside. It ain’t pretty but it works.
Ross Guenther
Tim Berg
Ron Settler farms with his wife Sheila and
their sons Ben and Dan. They also operate
a repair and salvage business at Lucky
Lake, Sask. Contact him at 306-858-2681 or
[email protected]
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Machinery & Shop
Consultant says we’re setting it wrong
This expert believes most farmers are overlooking key considerations when it
comes to combine adjustment and operation
f you hired a custom harvester and saw him travelling at eight miles per hour
across your canola field
while threshing, would you race
out there and throw yourself in
front of the combine to stop
him? I suspect many farmers
would. But if you hired Martin
Reichelt that’s exactly what
you’d see. And he says his combine would blow less grain out
the back than any slow-moving
If you think that goes against
everything you know about combine operation, you aren’t alone.
Every farmer attending a seminar
held in March near Assiniboia,
Saskatchewan, felt the same way.
Reichelt, who operates his own
harvest consulting firm based in
Germany (see his website,where
are yu?
www.powerharvesting.com), was there to pass
on his knowledge of combine
operation. He has been involved
with combines for decades and
now travels around the world
teaching farmers how to adjust
and operate their machines.
Although most farmers have
spent hundreds of hours operating or working on their combines, Reichelt believes most
don’t fully understand the
impact each component has on
a machine’s overall performance. “That’s the main problem,” he says. And that applies
to farmers all the way from
Russia to Canada.
Reichelt says farmers can see
very significant efficiency gains
and cover a lot more acres with
their combines if they follow
Martin Reichelt of Germany operates a world-wide consulting service,
teaching farmers how to adjust and operate combines to maximize
Proper combine adjustment begins at the header, according to Reichelt.
And he says farmers should almost always be using straight-cut headers
rather than pickups, like this one.
his advice. To demonstrate just
how big those gains could be,
he talked about his attempt
to set a world record in the
amount of wheat harvested in
24 hours with one machine.
“Harvesting 29.5 tonnes (1,084
bushels) per hour of wheat is
normal in Germany for the big
combines,” he says. “But for the
world record (attempt) we did
79.3 tonnes (2,913 bu.). That’s 300
per cent more capacity.” Reichelt
was on pace to blow the old
record out the water, but the crew
breezed through all the available
fields in only seven hours.
swaths than with straight-cut
headers. In other areas I’m sure
we can find a way for straightcut (combining) as well.”
Reichelt says the first step to
good combine operation is keeping the swather out of the field.
“Everyone thinks the machine
should be able to harvest everything,” he says. “But it can’t
compensate for bad agriculture
(problems created when grain
lays in swaths). So (in a swath)
we have a complete mixed situation, wet and dry, both. But
the machine can only be adjusted for wet or dry, not both.
With the (straight-cut) header
we have much more capacity
than with a swather.”
And Reichelt believes expanding straight cutting to canola
crops is a practical alternative
for most areas of the prairies.
“We made tests last year in
the Fort Vermillion area with
Canola. The (canola) association
found 33 per cent more losses
with swathing. And there were
six times more green kernels in
Many farmers think only of
concave and sieve adjustments
when setting combines, but
that’s a major misunderstanding, according the Reichelt.
“Everyone tries to fix mistakes
with the sieves,” he says “But
the reason the machine has
losses is not the sieve. You must
look at the front of the machine
Reichelt says farmers need to
start making adjustments at the
header. “First I look at which
grain I must harvest. Then, how
wet is the straw. Then I look at
how heavy (the crop stand is).
Then I optimize the machine.”
That optimizing begins by
ensuring the header is feeding
crop in evenly and in the right
orientation. He says his experience shows draper headers
are much less capable of doing
that than auger versions, which
should rotate at about 290 RPM.
He says draper headers often
don’t feed all the crop in head
first. That creates threshing
problems and begins breaking
up straw long before the crop
gets into the rotor.
Reichelt says the rotating
speed of each successive mechanism should be slightly higher
than the previous one all the
way through the combine. The
The Bee is Back!
You wanted better quality and improved performance in our headers, and we are
delivering with the newly revamped Honey Bee product line. We added heavier duty
drive shafts and redesigned the hydraulic system to increase knife power and reduce oil
temperatures by up to 100° F. We’ve added the “Raptor” series draper, which provides
longer-lasting performance, and new-style castoring gauge wheels that give the header
eight inches of float. And beyond that, we also have the lowest profile cutterbar in the
industry. Honey Bee headers raise the standard for smooth, efficient harvesting.
Harvest performance you can count on – that’s our promise to you.
Greg & Glenn honey
Owners, honey Bee
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Machinery & Shop
Crop Catcher reduces combine header losses
A shield designed to fit on a combine feeder house minimizes header losses,
especially in canola fields
By Scott Garvey
couple of years ago, Karl
Koch, a grain grower at
Marsden, Sask., noticed
he had a problem with
his combine. Kernels were being
thrown over top of the feeder
house by the header auger as he
harvested canola.
“Dad and I thought we were
losing a lot canola over the front
end,” he says. To get a handle on
exactly how big the problem was,
he decided to capture those lost
kernels and measure how much
crop he was losing.
“Last fall we put a piece of
plywood across the feeder house
and weighed what we caught,” he
explains. “We were losing about a
quarter of a bushel per acre.” With
the current high price of canola,
that amounts to a lot of lost
income after a day of harvesting.
In an effort to eliminate the problem, Koch fabricated a shield and
mounted it above the entrance to
the feeder house, creating a barrier
to block kernels from being thrown
consultant says we’re
getting it wrong
feeder chain needs to rotate
about 100 RPM faster than the
header auger. “We stretch the
material out and make it flatter
and thinner,” he explains. “If
the speed of the feeder house
out of the header and keep them
feeding into the combine with the
rest of the crop. The idea worked.
Now his farm-shop invention has
the trade name Crop Catcher, and
it’s being marketed commercially.
“He was solving an age-old
problem,” says Brad Michels
of Michels Industries Ltd. “The
retractable fingers from the header auger create a lot of threshing
and spits the seeds out on top
of the feeder house. What (Crop
Catcher) does is keep everything
in the header. (The problem) is
mainly in canola, but it does work
with any grain.”
Michels Industries has recently
started manufacturing and marketing Koch’s invention under
licence. “We worked with him
(Koch) to make a few improvements and streamline it a little
bit,” says Michels. “We also made
it adjustable. There have been
quite a few different prototypes,
but now we have it ready.”
Using a shaped piece of clear
Lexan, the Crop Catcher eliminates
the loss problem without obstruct-
ing the operator’s view of the header. “It’s not like plexiglass and won’t
yellow after a year,” says Michels.
“It’s built for years of service.”
Installation is a simple procedure, which only requires drilling
eight holes for self-threading bolts.
Crop Catcher retails for $849 and
is available through most farm
equipment dealers. Available in
four different colours, it will nicely
match the paint on most combines. “It really is a pay-for-itself
item,” says Michels.
The company began its marketing efforts by showing the Crop
Catcher at Manitoba Ag Days in
Brandon and Crop Production
Week in Saskatoon this past winter.
The initial response was better than
expected, and the first production
run sold out almost immediately.
As a result, Michels has stepped
up production and once again has
Crop Catchers in stock and ready
for immediate delivery.
For more information see www.
michels.ca. †
is too slow, it jams up and
makes short straw. (On) some
combines you can reduce feeder
house speed. That’s a mistake.
Never do it.”
And the feeder chain clearance
above the floor must be adjusted
for the kind of crop being harvested. For wheat, he allows the
first bar to have a 20 millimeter
gap. At the third bar in the chain
(when counted from the header)
there should be only two mm of
clearance, and he says both sides
of the chain need to be exactly
the same.
Incorrect clearance adjustments here can cause kernel
s h a t t e r i n g b e f o r e t h r e s h i n g
actually begins, which farmers
often attribute to excessive rotor
speed. “You find broken kernels in the edges (of the feeder
house) and you’re wondering
Scott Garvey is machinery editor for Grainews.
Contact him at [email protected]
photo credits: michels industries
Originally invented in a Saskatchewan farm workshop, the Crop Catcher
is designed to prevent kernels from being thrown out of a header, a
common problem when harvesting canola.
how they came from the threshing area back here,” he says.
But when students hear
what concave setting he recommends, they get the biggest
shock of the whole seminar. His
recommendation: wide open!
And the way you make that
work is by putting the largest
possible header on the machine
and going fast. That keeps a
full flow of material through
the threshing mechanism and
greatly improves the combine’s
“Can you run it (a combine)
too fast?” asked one farmer.
“No,” replied Reichelt. “But you
can drive too slow.” He adds running out of engine horsepower,
not overfeeding the threshing
body, is what currently prevents
most combines from exceeding
their capacity when properly
“For me the border (limit) is
the engine,” he says. And he
cites an example of how he has
helped an Alberta farmer cover
far more acres with each combine by following his advice.
“Now engine size comes (into
play) for him. Before he had
always enough engine and had
too much losses on the sieves or
in the rotor. Now for every combine on this big farm, the border (limit) is the engine (power)
after optimization.”
Reichelt not only teaches
seminars, like the Assiniboia
event sponsored by Flexxifinger,
he is also willing to go directly
to farms and put his knowledge
into practise for individual producers, tailoring the training to
their own combines, crops and
teaching their employees how
to run the machine.
But if a combine’s capacity
can be expanded so much using
Reichelt’s recommendations,
why aren’t manufacturers’ reps
teaching all this to farmers to
promote the efficiency of their
machines? Reichelt has a theory
on that. “I don’t want to sell
a combine to you,” he says.
He points to his 300 per cent
increase in combine capacity
during his world record attempt.
If every combine’s output was
tripled, he believes manufacturers would sell a lot fewer
machines. †
Scott Garvey is machinery editor for Grainews.
Contact him at [email protected]
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design in Canada starting this summer.
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Machinery & Shop
CR combines take “Machine of the year” award
New Holland’s CR line of twin-rotor combines, with new features for 2012,
impressed judges at Agritechnica
011 was a notable year for
New Holland. The company raked in an armful of
engineering awards. Most
notable, though, was winning the
“Machine of the year, 2012” prize
for its CR Series, twin-rotor combines at Agritechnica in November.
Agritechnica, held in Hannover
Germany, is the world’s largest
farm machinery exhibition.
There were new combines on
display at the show from nearly all
the brands, so competition for the
Machine-of-the-year award in that
category was tough. “Many manufacturers launched new products
for 2012,” says Nigel Mackenzie,
combine and header marketing
manager for New Holland. “That
was driven by the requirement to
go to Tier 4 (engine emissions levels). We packaged the Tier 4 solution on our CR and CX combines
with a lot of other features.”
Those extra features combined
with the FPT (Fiat Powertrain)
Cursor engines scored enough
points with the judges to garner
the top show award. “The features
we put into this machine really
resulted from sitting down and
talking to customers,” continues
Mackenzie. “Understanding what
they liked and didn’t like, what
they wanted to change.”
One of those options makes the
CR combines a little lighter on their
feet. For the first time in North
America, NH combines are available with tracks as a factory-installed
option. Their SmartTrax track system was designed specifically for
combines, and it’s different than
the SmartTrax systems available
on the T9 four-wheel drive tractors. However, customers who own
a tracked T9 tractor can remove
its tracks and use them on a NH
combine. The combine SmartTrax
system can also be retrofitted to
previous model-year machines.
One of the other things that
impressed the judges at Agritechnica
was the IntelliView IV monitor,
which is also transferrable between
combines and T7, T8 and T9 tractors. “The operator can move it to
wherever he feels comfortable,” says
Mackenzie. “If he wants, he can
take it out and put it in his tractor.
It’s the same display we have in tractors; the architecture is the same.”
The need for consistency when it
comes to technology systems was
one of the things the company
heard from farmers. “Customers
have told us they don’t want to
relearn everything every time they
get into a new machine,” he adds.
NH combines have offered a selflevelling cleaning shoe since 1986,
but the system gets an improvement for 2012. The entire cleaning mechanism including top and
bottom sieves and cleaning fan
still remain level during operation. But now the Opti-Fan system
automatically changes fan speed
based on the slope the combine is
operating on to minimize losses.
“We’re still the only ones that
have a system as innovative and
complete as that,” says Mackenzie.
“Nobody else has been able to
match us with it.”
The operator can adjust the
spread pattern of the Opti-Spread
straw chopper from the cab and
even get a rear-mounted camera
view of what’s going on behind on
the IntelliView IV monitor.
Up front, the Varifeed straight cut
headers have an adjustable knife
position; it can be moved forward
or back from the operator’s seat as
well. With the knife extended forward, the header is better suited to
cutting tall crops or canola. “If you
push the knife a long way out, you
can handle tall or bushy crops,” says
Mackenzie. “We’re seeing a small
but distinct move toward direct cutting canola. This head is primarily
designed for that. It’s unique to us.
No other manufacturer offers this
type of head in the marketplace.”
And getting a CR combine
down the road will take a little
less time than it used to. They
now offer a top speed of 40 kilometers per hour (25 miles per
hour). “Combines are expected to
do more and more and be able to
travel faster on the road,” explains
Mackenzie. “We are uniquely able
to offer a higher road speed on this
range of combines as well.”
NH also intends to make a little
more noise over its line of combines this year. “Our focus in North
America over the years has been
predominantly on our hay and
forage and tractor products,” says
Mackenzie. “Combines have taken
a back seat within the brand.” That,
however, has changed. “We’re raising our profile with combines. We
have the products,” he adds. †
Scott Garvey is machinery editor for Grainews.
Contact him at [email protected]
For the first time, New Holland combines sold in North America are
available with tracks. The SmartTrax system can also be retrofitted onto
previous model-year machines.
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Machinery & Shop
Drop screen aids in combine adjustment
An Alberta inventor has developed an easy way to capture
combine grain-loss samples
s crop prices increase,
the financial value of
field losses during harvesting can become
pretty significant. So time spent
fine tuning combine adjustments can pay dividends. But
properly sampling losses during harvesting can be difficult,
especially for anyone working
alone. However, Roland Requier
of Westlock, Alberta, has created a handy device designed to
deal with just that problem.
His invention uses a detachable collection screen 18 inches
long and five feet wide, which
is held up, under the combine
body by an electromagnet. Any
time the operator wants to collect a sample, he or she simply cuts off electricity to the
magnet, which then drops the
screen onto the ground. As the
combine moves forward, the
screen catches a sample of whatever is coming out the back.
Weighing the grain captured
on the screen and dividing the
amount by 1.5 times the header width reveals the loss per
square foot in the field. That
number can then be used to calculate per-acre losses. By simply
restoring electrical current to
the magnet and putting the
screen back in place, the system is ready for another cycle,
so taking multiple samples
throughout the day to monitor
changing conditions is quick
and easy.
“I mount an electromagnet
under the combine and run a
wire up to the cab that plugs
into the cigarette lighter and
the screen sticks to the magnet,” says Requier. “When
you’re combining at the right
speed you unplug the magnet
and the screen falls down.”
The magnet and attachment
bracket can remain mounted
under the combine, but the
catch screen is not meant to
be left under the machine after
sample taking is completed.
Requier is a product support
specialist for a Case IH dealership and trains customers how
to use new combines, so he
has a lot of harvesting experience under his belt. He uses
his invention to help combine buyers make their initial
adjustments, but he also sells
his ready-to-install systems for
$450. “I build brackets for all
makes (of combines),” he adds.
Roland Requier’s grain loss collection system makes it possible for a single
operator to sample combine losses quickly and easily.
To take a proper loss sample, Requier says operators need
to ensure kernels aren’t being
spread by the chopper. “If you
want a really good test, you drop
your straw like you’re going to
bale it,” he says. And taking
several loss samples during the
combine adjustment process is
a good idea “You want to keep
tweaking. You want to try different things (combine settings).”
When he first tried his catch
screen system, Requier found he
was able to easily and quickly
test a variety of settings and
improve the combine’s overall performance. “I had a 1460
“Combines have really good
grain loss monitors,” he says. “But
you have to calibrate it to your
loss, not your loss to the monitor.
I’ve talked to guys who say they
go (entirely) by their monitor.”
To maximize a combine’s performance, Requier says he first
keeps an eye on the engine load
to determine when the combine
is operating at capacity. “Case
has a power monitor on newer
models. On the old combines I
Manually taking loss samples also
lets farmers calibrate their in-cab
loss monitors
Case,” he says. “I said let’s keep
playing with the sieves and the
fan. With the catch pan you’re
dropping it at the right time (to
get an accurate sample). By the
end of the day I was going 20
per cent faster.”
Manually taking loss samples
also lets farmers calibrate their
in-cab loss monitors. Over the
course of several years in the
industry, Requier says he has
found many famers don’t know
how to properly interpret the
information they get from loss
monitors. Some use only the
in-cab monitor to make initial
combine adjustments, which is
a major mistake.
go by engine speed. You want
to load the engine and see how
much you can push it.”
Once he has the combine
working at full capacity, he
uses the drop screen to get
the settings right. That way his
combine is putting through as
much material as possible, but
still keeping the loss rate down
where it should be.
Requier says he can package
and ship his catch screen systems to customers. For more
information, contact him at
780-991-7919 or email [email protected] †
Scott Garvey is machinery editor for Grainews.
Contact him at [email protected]
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An electromagnet mounts under the combine chassis to hold the
collection screen in place. When the operator disconnects the power
supply to the magnet, the screen falls to the ground and collects a loss
sample as the combine drives forward.
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Machinery & Shop
Driving John Deere’s S690 combine
Profi’s exclusive impression of the John Deere S690 combine. Profi says Deere is
back with combine big boys
Editor’s note: “Profi” magazine is
based in Europe and the machine
referred to in this article is a European
verion. Some of the features mentioned differ from those offered on a
North American S690. However, the
Profi article will give you a good indication of the machine’s overall ability
and features.
For more information on Profi
magazine, visit www.profi.com.
ohn Deere is placing all its
high-output harvesting eggs
in one basket and moving
away from hybrid rotary
technology on the new trio
of S Series models, which cost more
than $100 million to develop. We
grab the opportunity to gain an initial impression of the S690.
Here in the U.K. and Ireland,
John Deere’s best-selling combine
range is the T Series. Not surprising,
perhaps, as the (straw) walker market still accounts for a slightly larger
slice of the region’s harvester sales
pie. Content? Not a chance. The
green U.S. giant wants more business in the top-end hybrid/rotary
sector, and, while it has marketed
the “C” and “S” machines for a
number of years, neither have been
rolling out in big numbers — well,
not in our heavy-straw crops.
So Deere has headed back to the
drawing board and looked at which
system could offer the most potential. The result is a new four-model,
(five in North America) single-rotor
range. Why single-rotor and not
hybrid? Deere says that, having
gained experience with both systems, it has concluded the singlerotor set up is able to handle a much
wider range of crops, so several years
ago challenged its designers to make
the configuration straw friendly,
too. Prototype machines have been
trialled for the past three seasons
including testing in the U.K.
of the Zürn PremiumFlow 635PF
header. The five-speed transmission,
which is claimed to transfer up to
248 hp, has been retained for driving the elevator and header.
Shuffling back into the guts of
the machine, we find JD’s familiar
feed drum. This helps to present the
crop in a uniform layer to the new
Variable Stream Rotor. Though the
rotor’s length and diameter haven’t
changed, the front of the cone —
this comprises the intake auger and
threshing area — is now larger and
has a longer taper. The new rotor
has also been given a variable crop
flow system, which allows the operator to select one of two settings
Staff from Profi magazine put an S690 John Deere combine through
its paces, and they’ve profiled the European version of the combine’s
updated features.
THE S660
The baby of the new range is the
S660, which in many ways is very
similar to the current “S” machine,
although it will not be offered in
the U.K. and Ireland. On this side
of the Channel the range starts
with the S670, which comes with a
9.0-litre motor rated at 378 hp and
a 34 hp power boost for unloading.
The S680 and S690 both benefit
from a 13.5-litre engine; in the two
machines this motor is rated at 480
hp and 551 hp respectively with
a 50 hp power boost. All of these
engines are Stage IIIB-compliant
(IT4), courtesy of their diesel oxidation catalyst and particulate filter,
and they also have twin turbos.
Another common theme is the
new, beefed-up elevator housing,
while more powerful lift rams enable the machines to handle headers
weighing up to 5.1 tonnes. This
allows the combines to comfortably cope with 16- and 18-row
maize (corn) headers, which weigh
in at five tonnes and are becoming increasingly popular with North
American operators. Our prototype
S690 was carrying the 635R cutterbar
— working width of 10.7 m (35ft)
— and had no problems munching
through the test’s short-stemmed
wheat crop; full production 2012
machines will also have the option
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Machinery & Shop
driving john deere’s
s690 combime
for the top cover guide rails in the
threshing area. The Deere theory
behind these changes is to actively
control the crop flow through the
rotor so that the time the material
spends inside the rotor is sufficient
for the separation area to do its
stuff. Setting the guide rails in their
advanced position reduces the time
the crop spends in the rotor by
about 20 per cent over the standard
setting, which means the combine
can effectively increase its output by
a similar margin.
Also, the less time the crop
takes to pass through, the less the
straw is bashed, decreasing the
amount of short straw build-up
on the sieves. This, together with
other tweaks such as a taper at the
end of the rotor and an overshot
beater, means a decent swath is
left behind when not chopping.
That was our experience.
Our prototype S690 was
equipped with JD’s Premium
straw chopper — standard on the
S670, S680 and S690 in the U.K.
and Ireland. This unit sports 100
knives working against 57 fixed
blades and receives the straw via
an extra guide drum. Switching
from chopping to swathing is
all done by pressing a button in
the cab, which shifts the chop to
drop door. A mechanical gearbox
reduces the chopper speed in
rape (canola) from 3,600 r.p.m.
to 1,800 r.p.m.
The Premium spreader also has
electrically adjustable spreading
vanes. The PowerCast spreader
— standard on U.K./Irish S690s
— allows the operator to alter
the speed of each spreading disc
independently and is able to throw
material out to the 10.7 metre
maximum working width of the
current header. When the combine
is swathing, material leaving the
sieves passes through the chopper
and is spread to the full working
width. A plate moves automatically
to ensure no chaff is found under
the swath, and it is also possible to
spread the chaff when swathing.
Back to the threshing department, there have been changes
here, too. On the S680 and S690,
returns are no longer directed back
to the separation area; instead a 40
cm diameter, 23 cm wide threshing
drum is used to spread the grains
across the sieves. A lever sets the
clearance between the returns drum
and concave anywhere from six
mm for cereals to 70 mm for rape
and maize. John Deere reckons that
this design change — not returning
grains to the separator — means
operators will be able to run with
the main concave wider to increase
daily output. The S690 model has
a 14,100-litre capacity grain tank,
which opens hydraulically. The
augers are driven by a new gearbox
and stronger chain drive to improve
the unloading rate — a claimed
135 litres/sec. With a full tank of
grain onboard, a 10.7 m header up
front and the 1,250-litre fuel tank
brimmed, an S690 can easily weigh
30 tonnes, so the machine needs to
put plenty of rubber on the floor if
it is to prevent serious soil compaction. Tire choice extends to 680/85
R32 to provide a relatively tight
on-road width of 3.5 m, or there are
several 800 mm wide tire options.
Alternatively, John Deere is now
offering a track system (only in
Europe) that results in an overall
width of 3.49 m; for now at least it
will not be possible to fit these tracks
to existing wheeled combines due
Slimmer pillars improve operator visibility of the 10.7m/35ft. maximum header width.
to alterations to the axles and chassis. Each track is able to put a 0.66
m wide and 1.79 m length of rubber down on the ground, and the
five idler rollers have a hydropneumatic suspension system, helping to
ensure as much rubber as possible
is in contact with undulating soil.
Due to side loadings etc., HillMaster
models will only be offered with
tires. Track models also have an ontarmac top speed of 30 km/hr., and,
for extra sticky situations, there’s a
rear-wheel-drive option priced at
£14,100 ($22,760).
In the cab
Deere S-series combine operators
sit in the upmarket Premium cab,
which is said to be 30 per cent larger
than the version used on its predecessor for the past 18 years.
Tractor & machinery tests
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■ Repairs & maintenance
■ Money saving ideas
As well as providing generally
more space, there is plenty of leg
room even for the tallest operators. The steering wheel can be
set in three different positions,
and the air-suspended seat has an
adjustable armrest.
Noise insulation seems effective,
as does the climate control. In
addition, there’s a full fridge with
separate controls — this unit will
also be fitted to 2012 T-series combines — and there are 120 litres of
storage space. Contrast that figure
with the 45 litres in the lesser spec.
Deluxe cab, which will be on Wseries combines for next season.
There is the option of a
Bluetooth radio — phonebookcompatible with separate buttons
on the multi-function armrest —
and the CD radio has a pair of
speakers and a sub-woofer for
kicking out the tunes.
Another substantial improvement has been made to visibility.
Slim corner posts make it easier to
see more of the header, while higher
side windows give a pretty good
view of the unloading auger. Only
visibility glitch with our machine
was the large 10-inch GreenStar
2630 display, which is mounted in
the top right corner; on production
machines, the 2630 is an alternative
to the smaller seven-inch armrestmounted GreenStar 3 terminal and
is needed if operating yield map-
ping/documentation. If you only
want to run AutoTrac automatic
steering or Deere’s HarvestSmart
control system, these can be used
through GreenStar 3.
The multi-function armrest layout is similar to that of the 7R and
8R tractors, and the familiar and
user-friendly joystick continues to
tick most boxes. The right-hand cab
pillar display is still in residence and
shows the current header position,
ground speed and crop losses.
Summary: The new S-series range
looks capable of placing John Deere
firmly back in the big combine
league. It has plenty of power, an
uprated threshing system, a chopper capable of spreading to the full
working width (with a bit more in
reserve), a rubber track option and a
spacious cab for the operator.
The newcomers aren’t short
on tech, either: the JDLink
telemetry system will be fitted
as standard to all 2012 combines. Deere also reckons to
have the single-rotor job sussed
when it comes to maintaining good straw quality. What
remains unknown, though, is
whether potential owners will
be convinced by the maker’s
claims that its updated rotary
design is now better at coping
with green straw. †
Visit www.profi-int.com/grainews
to receive a free sample e-magazine.
Find out more about profi at
Throughput booster. The active returns system has an adjustable thresher.
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Machinery & Shop
12 tips for field fire safety
Combine fires are serious business. Take these
12 tips to heart — they’re from a farmer who
learned the hard way
By Ron Settler
hope you’ve never had the
misfortune to have a fire
and that you never will. But
chances are that you’ve met
and battled this evil thing.
My sons and I have been on
the local fire department for a
few years. We’ve been lucky not
to have had to battle any fatal
fires, but we’ve eaten our share
of smoke. However, that doesn’t
mean I couldn’t start a fire of
my own.
Our Massey 750 combine
has a tendency to gather dust
and straw around the exhaust
manifold. Most days I clean
it off, sometimes several times
during the day if it’s dusty. It
seems worse when we’re combining lentils, because of the
fine dust.
Last fall when we were straight
cutting some wheat I got a whiff
of smoke. Not a problem. I’d
just cleaned off the manifold, so
it was likely just left over dust.
Besides, I was going up a big hill
and I couldn’t stop halfway up.
When I got to the top I looked
behind. What was that orange
thing in the field?
Flames. And they were about
five feet high!
I shut the combine down
and opened the engine compartment. Sure enough, a spark
by the exhaust manifold had
found some straw at the front
of the motor and started a fire.
Luckily I had a water fire extinguisher on board and was able
to get the combine out within
a minute.
I called my son Ben and he
rushed over. Then I called the fire
department; they were at least 20
minutes away. We called a couple
of neighbours — the one that
was home came over with a tractor and blade right away.
We almost had the fire out
with our fire extinguishers. But
“almost out” is not “out.”
Flames spread through the
standing wheat crop and into
the neighbour’s pasture.
By the time the fire was
finally out we were surrounded
by generous neighbours with
equipment and water trucks and
firemen and equipment from
two towns. Ben lost 30 acres of
wheat and about 80 acres of the
neighbour’s pasture was burnt
off. Some lentil stubble (about
two inches high) on the far side
of the pasture stopped the fire.
The combine was saved and no
one was hurt.
This can happen to anyone at
any time. Here are a few thoughts
on fire prevention and fire fighting.
Fire preparation
1. Have phone numbers on
hand. If you don’t have a cell
phone, make sure you know
where to find the nearest phone.
Have emergency numbers and
numbers for neighbours on
hand (including their cell phone
2. Land location. A written
list of your land locations will
help you tell emergency crews
how to get to your fire. Make
sure you give the emergency
operator details about any special hazards they might encounter such as blocked roads, vehicles on fire, injured people,
buildings or other property that
needs protection.
3. Have your fire extinguishers ready and charged. We carry
a 20-litre water extinguisher
that you charge with compressed air and a 10-pound ABC
extinguisher on each combine.
Luckily my water extinguisher
was charged when I needed it,
but although my dry ABC extinguisher showed a charge, it was
not working. If it had been
serviced and checked properly it
might have saved Ben’s field.
4. Keep a water tank and
pump handy when you’re harvesting. We have a trailer with
a 1,000 gallon tank and a pump
that we use to fill the sprayer
and put out fires. However, it
wasn’t much use to us — it was
20 miles from the scene. We
were in too much of a hurry to
harvest to bother bringing it to
the field. Big mistake.
5. Check your fire insurance
coverage. Make sure you’re
covered for the value of your
machinery plus fire department charges. Loss of use on
machinery is nice as well. Most
photo credit: ron settler
The aftermath of Ron Settler’s fire.
fire departments charge for fire
calls, and the bill can easily
go over $10,000. Many policies
only have coverage for only
$1,000 or $3,000. In our case,
fire insurance (less the deductible) covered most of the cost
of the fire department and the
» continued on page 46
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51975-6_8.125X10.indd 1
5/11/12 9:58 AM
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Machinery & Shop
12 tips for
field fire safety
lost crop. But it didn’t cover
our extra work, like working
down ridges of soil that had
been bladed up to stop the fire.
Also, our insurance didn’t cover
the damage to our neighbour’s
fence. Since the fire was accidental, our neighbour was subject to his own insurance and
If you have a fire
6. Stay calm. Most fire fighter
deaths are due to heart problems. Fires get us excited and
we run around in overdrive.
Remember, unless there is a life
at stake, the crops, machinery,
vehicles or buildings that will
be lost can be replaced.
7. Assess if you can get the
fire out yourself. If you can do
it safely — do so. If you have
any doubt call the fire department. Now. Most rural volunteer departments take five minutes or more to get to the hall
and get going. Then they have
to drive to the fire with heavily loaded fire trucks. Figure 10
minutes plus one minute for
every mile they have to travel
to get to your fire. If you’re 15
miles from town then you’ll
likely have a 20 to 25 minute
8. Protect other property.
Get machinery out of the path
of the fire. And don’t depend
on the wind to keep blowing
from the same direction. It can
change in a hurry. If there are
buildings in the path of the fire,
make sure the occupants know
about the fire and are prepared
to evacuate.
9. Be careful! Fires can be
deceptive as well as fatal. A grass
fire moving uphill triples or
quadruples its speed, especially
if it’s helped by a wind. This
caused the death of a firefighter from a neighbouring town.
Be careful with equipment
fires too. Those nice air shocks
that hold your doors open can
explode and sent the shaft right
through you. This happened
to a Montreal firefighter when
a hood shock exploded. The
shaft went through his fire suit,
his leg and out the other side
of his fire suit, cauterizing the
wound on the way through.
And don’t forget about the toxic
fumes plastics give off when
they burn.
After the fire
10. Keep watch. Pastures and
trees can smoulder for days. After
the fire crew watered everything
down and watched it for hours,
they left our fire to us. When a
breeze blew up at about four in
the morning, a blackened grove of
trees lit up like they were decorated
with Christmas lights. Sparks were
smouldering in the dead branches
and the sod on the ground.
11. Check machinery for damage. We were lucky — our combine didn’t need any repairs. I
thought the front engine seal
was cooked and leaking, but it
was still usable. Check for obvious burning, but also for heat
damaged parts such as belts and
wiring where the damage may
not be so obvious.
12. Don’t forget to say thank
you. Make sure you thank all of
the neighbours and other who
help out. People who drop everything to help you — including
their own harvest work — deserve
a big thank you. Make sure you
return the favour when your
neighbours need help. †
Ron Settler farms with his wife Sheila and
their sons Ben and Dan. They also operate
a repair and salvage business at Lucky
Lake, Sask. Contact Ron at 306-858-2681 or
[email protected]
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JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Home Quarter Farm Life
Encouraging farm fathers
Here’s some ways you can bless your farming father
f I could show you a way to
increase the family harmony
on your farm and help you be
more profitable at the same
time would you listen? Would you
be courageous enough to look at
your own issues, strengths and
weaknesses? I bet you would if it
was easy.
People problems on farms are
nothing new. The fact is many
farm families are avoiding very
basic things that could make a
huge difference to decrease their
stress levels and increase energy for
getting things done. It’s encouraging the heart of your business,
your people.
Here’s a list of practical encouragement based on the work of
Gary Smalley and John Trent who
wrote The Gift of the Blessing. I’ve
added some practical tools.
Ways to bless your farming
1. Praise and acknowledgment.
As founders age they wonder what
their new roles will be when their
names are off the land titles, or
they aren’t the main manager anymore. Forty years of farming earns
respect in my books. Can you
acknowledge your dad’s wisdom
and praise him for his hard work?
Are you thankful for the “leg up”
he has given your operation? He
just wants to be part of the planning conversations when you are
buying that new tractor. Ask him
what he thinks, and honour his
opinion. All ages need affirmation.
“I appreciate your input Dad and I
respect your years of experience.”
2. Drain away unresolved anger.
You change air and fuel filters for
better performance. How about getting rid of your anger filters and
work towards conflict resolution?
Visit my website www.elainefroese.
com for some webinar training or
read my blogs. Being angry sucks
energy out of your being and
decreases your efficiency as a farmer.
What would you regret if you found
Dad dead beside the baler? Father’s
Day is a great deadline for forgiveness and extending the olive branch
to seek true peace in your family relationships. Smalley says that
unresolved anger “closes a person’s
spirit. Prolonged anger can lead to
depression, ulcers or high blood
pressure. These are just a few of the
emotional and physical problems
that can accompany anger!”
• Become tender hearted with
your words, soften your tone.
• Increase understanding by
listening well and ask about
the hurt.
• Recognize the offence by admitting that you were wrong.
• Attempt to touch, even just a
squeeze on the shoulder.
• Seek forgiveness from the one
you have offended.
3. Give the inheritance of a
good name. What is your reputation worth? Are your actions adding value to the emotional bank
account of your farm family? Are
you proud of your behaviour and
happy with your reputation? Being
known as a “cranky old coot” is
not my idea of success or legacy. I
often tell families that you “get the
behaviour that you accept.” If you
are doing something to harm the
good name of your family… what
is that really about? Are you going
to hold the offenders accountable for their actions, or just let
the nasty actions slide? Many
farmers are avoiding confronting
the tough issues that are destroying their family’s reputation. The
neighbours are not fooled. Bad
seed doesn’t produce a bountiful
crop. What weeds are choking
your good name? Deal with it! I
agree with Smalley when he says,
“Our name is something that, no
matter what, we will pass down
to our kids, and it can either be a
blessing or a curse.”
4. Take good care of your
health. I received a lengthy letter
from a young farmer with high
blood pressure. He’s stressed by a
farming brother who expects to
be given a lot of assets, without
doing the accompanying work.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Your
health is your wealth.” Encourage
your farm father and siblings to
seek medical checkups to ensure
they are on a good health track.
Stop avoiding the prostate tests
and chest X-rays or heart tests.
Your family doesn’t want you to
be a martyr, they want a happy,
healthy team player who lives a
long, high-quality life.
5. Teach financial responsibility. Farmers have the hard-work
ethic down pat. Unfortunately it
can get out of whack and become
workaholism, or avoidance of
building relationships. Are you
rich in relationship? Have you
taught your adult children to work
hard, live well within their means
and see money as a resource to be
managed, not a god? Whatever
your money values, and whatever
money means to you, it is driving your business decisions. Some
farm men can’t wait to share their
net worth with me, but they are
less comfortable sharing the names
of their best friends. They usually
don’t have many in their emotional support group, as they have
been highly focused on provid-
doesn’t know how to talk about
it. He fears the large debt load you
are carrying, and how it is going
to hinder your future flexibility.
He fears that his role is not useful
anymore, but so long as he has
some power and control, you will
need to listen to him. He also fears
that after 40 years of hard work
and building up a business, you
just might sell the assets and “cash
in” in five years when the business
is in your name. People have con-
Many farmers are avoiding confronting
the tough issues that are destroying
their family’s reputation
ing for their families and creating
wealth. Teaching financial responsibility also means that folks earn
their net worth, and aren’t just
given everything or have a keen
sense of entitlement. With land
values adding more zeros to the
balance sheet I see more greed in
conversations. Have you thanked
your dad and mom for their financial support? Are you demanding
too much? How much net worth
is enough?
6. Let go… avoid overcontrolling. At the kitchen tables of many
farms, I usually have a card that
says “power and control.” This
issue is a delicate one for your
dad as he is afraid of failure but
trol issues for many reasons. Have
some courageous conversations to
discover why Dad is having a hard
time letting go. Assure him of
your long-term commitment and
dedication to the farm business,
and family legacy. Smalley says we
should bless our children by allowing them to take positive control
of their lives as they grow older. If
you are over 40, with little control
of your farm business, something
needs to change soon!
7. Return words of blessing to
your father. Here’s a poem by
Adrian Rodgers:
This is for you, Dad for
the father I love,
For the one who has
Elaine Froese farms in southwestern
Manitoba. As a thought leader and coach she
empowers farmers to transform their lives
and businesses. Call 1-866-848-8311 with your
feedback or to book Elaine to speak at your
fall event. Buy her book Do the Tough Things
Right at www.elainefroese.com/store. Email
your story to [email protected] Elaine
is a member of the Canadian Association of
Farm Advisors www.cafanet.com
This year’s conference focuses on marketing beef
features industry speakers delivering workshops on specific
topics to help youth, aged 12 to 21, develop the skills in
mentorship while
questions like:
on marketing
• features
“What isindustry
beef and
speakers delivering
on specifi
to help want?
• “What
aged 12
21, develop
in industry?
• to“What’s
in the
and mentorship while addressing questions like:
• “What is Genomics?”
• “What does the consumer want?
• “What’s going on in the industry?
June 23, 2012
to 5:00)
June 23, 2012 (8:30 to 5:00)
Morning Sessions: (9:00 to 12:00)
Marketing Workshops
– Olds College
Morning Sessions:
(9:00 to 12:00)
Consumer Trends- Overwaitea Food Group
Marketing Workshops – Olds College
Consumer Trends - Overwaitea Food Group
LUNCH: Special Guest Speaker
LUNCH: Special
(1:00 to 4:30)
Industry Trends: Various Speakers
Sessions: (1:00
to 4:30)
Agri-Food Canada
Industry Trends:
Presentations (4:30 to 5:00)
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
cared all these years,
but has never heard
enough about how much I care.
So this is for you,
For the one who has
helped me through,
all my children fears and failures,
And turned all that he could,
into successes and dreams.
For the man who is the
wonderful example,
of what more men should be.
For the person whose
devotion to his family,
is marked by gentle
strength and guidance
And whose love of life,
sense of direction,
and down-to-earth wisdom,
makes more sense to me now, than
nearly any other thing I learned.
If you never knew
how much I respected you,
I want you to know it now,
Dad, and if you never
knew how much I admire you,
let me say that I think
you are the best father
that any child ever had.
This is a note filled with love,
and it’s all for you… Dad.
Say the words. Write the note.
Embrace and encourage your farming father. It’s time. †
Group Presentations (4:30 to 5:00)
Fee To Attend: $15
To help sponsor this event, visit
To help sponsor this event, visit http://www.youthengagement.net
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Home Quarter Farm Life
Country musician retains ranch roots
Escapes the fast pace of touring by returning to life on the farm
he family ranch has
shaped Blake Berglund’s
life, as well as the lyrics in his songs. The
Kennedy, Sask. native won the
Rising Star Award at the 2011
Saskatchewan Country Music
Awards proving that there is an
audience for down-to-earth ballads and rural-based lyrics.
Blake’s country/alternative
sound and ranching songs,
like “Where have all my horses
gone,” have made him a hit
throughout the Prairies.
“Being raised on a farm has
kept my music real and has
allowed me to create a very
authentic sound and style,” says
the 28-year-old touring musician who still returns home
between gigs to feed cattle,
make hay and ride horses.
“I love getting up at 5 a.m.
and getting on the tractor. With
all of the hustle and bustle of
life on the road, going around
and around for 15 hours a day
is my escape, my meditation,”
says Blake.
Blake’s parents, Jack and Terry
Berglund, and Blake’s younger
brother, Jarid, run the cow-calf
operation. The senior Berglunds
are second-generation farmers
who are proud to have Jarid
and his wife Brittany as integral
parts of the operation.
Jack and Terry are happy to
have Blake and their two daughters involved in the ranch as
Blake Berglund (l) and his brother Jarid feed the yearlings at the Kennedy,
Sask. ranch.
These cowboys still use horses, not quads, to do most of their cattle
well, with daughter Jody owning land and daughter Casey,
a dietitian, supporting the production of organic meat from
her home in Edmonton.
All of the cattle on the 26-quarter ranch (including rented land)
are looking particularly good this
year as a mild winter has meant
the average steer is 100 pounds
heavier than it was last year.
The Berglunds have cultivated a market for their organic
beef in Eastern Canada, finding
that both demand and prices
are higher in the East.
tic as I was,” says Jack, explaining that he was able to access
eastern beef markets easier with
the knowledge he had gleaned
as owner of the Arcola Livestock
Auction from 1982 to 1988.
With dense soil and welltreed land bordering the Moose
Mountains, the Berglund ranch is
ideally suited for raising organic
crops of oats, hay, barley and flax.
The grain end of the operation
officially went organic in 1998
with the beef being certified in
2007. As an incorporated entity,
the Flying B Ranch and Company
also operates oilfield services.
“I’ve always taken a keen
interest in nurturing the land,”
says Jack. “Initially we did it for
monetary reasons but I always
disliked spraying, and with our
type of land, we have good weed
control with tillage alone.”
Jarid, a CCA champion calf
roper and avid horseman, says
staying on the farm was a logical choice for him, both economically and in terms of the
“Organic is really big around
Toronto and in Quebec. They
can’t kill them fast enough,”
says Jarid.
Jack is proud to work alongside his family, the way he
worked alongside his mom and
dad. While his pioneer parents
wanted him to leave the farm
they founded in 1924, country living that included rodeo
involvement, ownership of an
auction mart and the growth of
an organic grain operation was
Jack’s true calling.
“I guess they weren’t as optimis-
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“Being where we are provides
one of the best opportunities to
get into mixed farming because of
the landscape, and land is still relatively cheap here compared to a lot
of parts of Canada,” says Jarid.
“Being raised on
a farm has kept
my music real and
has allowed me
to create a very
authentic sound
and style.”
— Blake Berglund
Terry has been an integral
part of the farm, supporting
the endeavours of all of her
children. Following Jarid on the
rodeo circuit and Blake on his
tours, she can be found rising
early and going to bed late.
“We don’t miss a show within
a 200-km radius so there’s been
a lot of 4 a.m. mornings,” says
the proud mother of four.
To listen to Blake Berglund’s
music and see a listing of
upcoming shows, visit www.
blakeberglund.com. †
Christalee Froese writes from Montmartre,
JUNE 4, 2012
grainews.ca /
Home Quarter Farm Life
Free for the picking
What could be more local than dandelions and nettles?
ith the growing
interest in eating local foods
our attention has
turned to wild produce. A cooking
show on television was what actually caught my attention. Imagine
a chef tromping through the bush
in search of blueberries for his compote. That was exactly what this
particular chef does and I was fascinated at the items he was putting
in his basket to take home and
serve to paying customers.
Last year was our first attempt
at consuming stinging nettles. The
nutritional content of this “weed”
is quite impressive. A one-cup
serving of raw nettles provides 54
calories, zero g of fat and no protein. One serving also has 14 g of
carbohydrates and two g of fibre.
Nettles serve up huge amounts
of vitamin A — 1,790 IU, which
account for almost three times the
daily-recommended intake. The
vitamin K per serving of nettles is
369 to 493 per cent of the amount
you need daily.
Nettles, I am told by neighbours,
are great for tea etc. and as long as
you pick them with gloves on you
won’t get a rash. We found a large
patch behind our chicken house
and with gloved hands and long
sleeves we picked our first food of
the spring. To prepare them they
need to be rinsed then sautéed in
butter and garlic. They then can be
a side dish or served over mashed
potatoes. The part that greatly
interests my children is that they
were put here for us — we didn’t
plant them. Our nettle adventures
prompted my husband to tell us
stories about how when he was a
child the babas used to scour St.
John’s Park in Winnipeg, searching for dandelions. Apparently,
they made wine but there are
many other purposes for dandelions. This year after hearing his
stories we decided to delve into
the world of dandelions.
We have tried picking the odd
leaf and adding it to salad but
found them quite strong in flavour. We were tempted to give up
and just leave the dandelions for
the goats to enjoy but then I started reading. Researchers are finding
that dandelions are nature’s richest green vegetable source of beta
carotene, from which vitamin A
is created, and the third richest
source of vitamin A of all foods,
after cod-liver oil and beef liver.
They also are particularly rich in
fibre, potassium, iron, calcium,
magnesium, phosphorus and the
B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of
protein. So, I am now on a mission
to make some palatable culinary
delights for our family so we can
enjoy these healthy weeds.
Some warnings on wild crafting edibles:
• If you’re not picking on your
own property, get permission before
you pick.
• Make sure there have been no
chemicals sprayed before picking.
• It is not recommended to pick
edibles from ditches because the
plants absorb toxins from the vehicle emissions.
• Do your own due diligence
and verify that the plants you’re
picking are what they are supposed
to be. For example, nettles are very
similar to mint. Mint isn’t poisonous but there are many plants
that are. A very good field guide is
available through Manitoba Foods
and Rural Initiatives. Many are
also available through the library
and online.
• If it is not feasible to pick the
wild herbs many can be grown in
gardens. Richters.com has a wide
variety of herbs available including dandelions.
These cookies require picking of
just the flowers thereby stimulating the dandelion to produce larger
leaves and roots for other uses.
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. honey
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. unbleached flour
(whole wheat is fine)
1 c. dry oatmeal
1/2 c. dandelion heads
To prepare dandelion flowers for
use in recipe:
Measure the required quantity
of intact flowers into a measuring cup. Hold flowers by the tip
with the fingers of one hand and
pinch the green flower base very
hard with the other. Give a little twist and that should do it,
releasing the yellow florets from
their attachment. Shake the yel-
low flowers into a bowl. Flowers
are now ready to be incorporated
into recipes such as dandelion
cookies and dandelion jelly.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Blend oil
and honey and beat in the two eggs
and vanilla. Stir in flour, oatmeal
and dandelion flowers. Drop the
batter by teaspoonfuls onto a lightly
oiled cookie sheet and bake for
10-15 minutes. Let cool and eat.
Dandelion Jelly
4 c. dandelion petals only
(from approximately 10 c.
of dandelion blossoms)
4-1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 box pectin
Large saucepan or soup pot
Long spoon for stirring
Canning jars
Pour boiling water over petals. Steep until room temperature
or overnight if possible. Strain
through coffee filter to remove
spent petals. Add additional water
until tea measures 3 c. Combine
tea, lemon juice, box of pectin and
sugar into large saucepan. Boil until
jelly sheets on the back of a spoon.
Pour into hot jelly jars, leaving
one-quarter-inch headspace. Secure
lid and ring to seal.
• Keep petals in freezer to store
until you have the proper
• If your jelly does not set up
properly, open and boil again
to thicken. You must use new
lids to reseal.
• Process in water bath canner
for five minutes.
• Only pick flowers from a fresh,
unsprayed area.
We are thoroughly enjoying
learning how to use the abundant
food that has been provided for
us naturally. Over the summer
we hope to learn about more and
more of these foods and how to
use them. The hardest part of this
journey is finding people to learn
from. †
Debbie Chikousky farms at Narcisse, Manitoba.
Email her at [email protected]
“Every day I get to walk outside
and see what we’re building.
We can see
our future
when we step out our front door.”
– Jason Rider, Ontario
It’s time to tell the real story
Canadian agriculture is a modern, vibrant and diverse industry, filled with forward-thinking people who
love what they do. But for our industry to reach its full potential this has to be better understood by the
general public and, most importantly, by our industry itself.
The story of Canadian agriculture is one of success, promise, challenge and determination. And the
greatest storytellers are the 2.2 million Canadians who live it every day.
Be proud. Champion our industry.
Share your story, hear others and
learn more at AgricultureMoreThanEver.ca
05/12-18723-1E C
18723_1E_C Boots 8.125x10.indd 1
5/17/12 7:28 AM
/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Home Quarter Farm Life
More on earthworms and pest control
Plus, did you know that a hearty laugh each day is good for you?
oday’s agenda includes
more about earthworm
control and a request
for homemade brew to
hang in apple trees. Perhaps I can
cap things at the end with some
touches of humour.
A British specialist in liver disorders says: People who are “liverish” would benefit to an extraordinary degree if they cultivated
a really good, hearty laugh every
morning before setting foot out of
their bedroom. Laughing shakes
and activates the liver.
“I was disappointed in your
answer to Terry Alm of Peace River
about worms in the garden (Grainews
April 16-12). You dealt with worms
in the lawn, but she asked what we
can do in the garden itself. We work
to get the soil in good shape and
then later we go to dig and it is like
digging into cement with holes in
it. Help! Thank you. — Heather”
Ted says: No road is long with
good company. Whatever we are
waiting for — it will surely come
to us, but only when we are ready
to receive it with an open and
grateful heart. I’ve yet to meet
anyone... gardener or otherwise,
myself included, who wasn’t disappointed in something. Dozens
upon dozens of people have told
me about the hard lumps and
mounds on their lawns, but no
gardener (in my region at least)
has expressed displeasure from too
many earthworms in their garden.
Perhaps it’s the difference in soils
throughout the country.
“Hi, just thought I’d tell you
about how we got rid of too many
earthworms in the garden. Our
garden has always had enough
well-rotted manure. Several years
ago, earthworms were so thick they
wrapped around the potatoes with
soil like cement. We sprinkled lime
on the garden and we have had no
problem since. Our garden grows
beautifully now, and we still have
earthworms, but not there.
This was what they called hot
lime. Looking up in the dictionary,
it is made by pouring hot water over
limestone shells… CaO. We just
hand sprinkled a light, dry covering on garden, then tilled it in. Got
it from a place that sells fertilizer
at that time. This was done in the
spring, and then the garden was
planted. This was at least 10 years
ago, and as we always keep the rotted manure worked in my garden,
it really produces. Never had earthworms there since, but have them
all other places, flower beds, trees
and lawn. We live at Maidstone,
Sask., east of Lloydminster about 30
kms. Happy gardening, and thanks
for your articles. — Idell Robb”
Ted says: Thanks Idell for your
input and experience in this connection.
“Dear Ted; Subject: Apple tree
I have lost my recipe for the
solution that you put in pop bottles and hang in apple trees to
trap nasty insects into drinking
so they do not lay their eggs in
my apples. Please help. I live near
New Liskeard, Ontario. Thanks. —
Margaret Villneff”
Ted’s Reply: Great to hear from
you Margaret. This first recipe is the
one I believe you’re looking for.
One part molasses (cooking or
Six parts hot water (to facilitate
easy distribution of molasses)
Add six parts white vinegar and
stir or shake well.
Using empty one- or two-litre
plastic bottles, cut out a two-inch
square hole about midway or twothirds up from the bottom on one
side for insects to enter. Fill each
bottle with prepared bait to just
below the hole. Some beneficial
insects will also go in, but the
majority will be apple maggot flies
and other pests. Strain out contents
of each bottle every other day. You
can reuse the same solution several
times and then make a fresh batch.
Hang about six or seven bottles of
baited traps in each mature apple
tree and pick about 90 per cent
or more of maggot-free apples at
harvest time.
One part molasses dispersed in
nine parts of hot water. Add one
envelope of dry yeast granules.
Once fermentation has stopped,
stir in 10 ml (four teaspoons) of
household ammonia and a few
drops of liquid soap (not detergent) for every litre of water used.
Note that ammonia has a strong
odour so it’s best this be prepared
outdoors. The fermentation of
sweetness in molasses and yeast
with the addition of ammonia as a
flavouring makes it more selective
in the insects that are attracted.
For both baits, hang the bottles
on mostly the sunny side of each
apple tree, about 1.5 metres (five
feet) high from the ground. Renew
the baits weekly. Adult maggot flies
emerge when fruits are formed, or
about the size of a large marble or
golf ball. About a week or 10 days
later, their eggs are laid. Monitor
your trees and traps regularly.
Most gardeners I meet are very
dedicated to finding ecologically
acceptable pest control alternatives that are as gentle as possible
to the environment. Let’s continue to encourage others to apply
eco-friendly practices.
... of control for the home
orchardist are the following. Some
garden centres sell non-toxic
pre-stickied red ball spheres. The
female maggot fly emerges from
her pupa and flies to the trap
which she sees as the biggest and
best red apple and the ideal place
to lay her eggs and gets stuck.
You can also cut out your own
pieces of stiff yellow paper or yellow-painted cardboard rectangles
at home, then cover each with
a supremely sticky insect barrier
called Tanglefoot. Hang four to
six of either or combination of,
about 1.5 metres (five feet) above
ground, about three weeks after
apple blossom petals fall.
… is good for the liver. A youngster was attending his first wed-
It may not be a good hair day in the breeze, but Chris the Accordion Guy
plays an Irish Celtic tune for the soon-to-awaken cecropia (Hyalophora)
silk moth. It spent the winter safe from the elements as a caterpillar in its
silk spun cocoon attached to an apple tree branch. Notice its location just
above the accordion strap over Chris’s right shoulder. See the closeup.
ding. After the service, his cousin
asked him, “How many women
can a man marry?”
“Sixteen,” the boy responded.
His cousin was amazed with
such a quick answer. “How do you
know that?”
“Easy,” the young lad said. “All
you have to do is add them up.
Like the preacher said: four better, four worse, four richer, four
Do you eat out once in a while?
I, Ted, do! Here’s a great twist on
the breakfast special. Those of you
who are seniors will easily grasp
this one. If you’re not yet a senior,
hopefully you shall be one day,
but some of you may have to wait
until you’re 67.
A couple went out for the seniors’ breakfast special that included
two eggs, a choice of bacon, ham or
sausages, a choice of curly fries or
hash browns and toast and coffee.
“Sounds good,” said the wife,
“but I don’t want eggs.”
The waitress replied, “Then I’ll
Do you have a story about
a farm or home-based business? How about some household management tips? Does
someone in the family have
a special-diet need? Share
some of your meal ideas.
Send them to FarmLife, 1666
Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 0H1. Phone 1-800665-0502 or email [email protected]
fbcpublishing.com. Please
remember we can no longer
return photos or material.
— Sue
Mother Nature is truly endowed with wonders and never ceases to amaze us. Apple tree blossoms pay no mind
to a nearby neighbour. A massive cecropia silk moth (Canada’s largest moth) will emerge after spending winter
months within the darkness of its own tomb. The chamber is as big as a large milkweed pod, or almost four
inches from tip to tip and not that easily spotted.
have to charge you $3.49 because
you’re ordering a la carte.”
In disbelief the senior woman
said: “Do you mean I’ll have to
pay for not taking the eggs?”
“YES,” stated the waitress.
“Then I’ll take the special,” came
the senior’s reply.
“How do you want your eggs?”
the waitress asked.
“Raw and in the shell,” came the
senior’s quick reply. She took home
the two eggs and baked a cake.
The message in this brief quip is:
SENIORS. They’ve had a driver’s
licence longer than any whippersnapper half their age and have
driven around the block many
more times than once. Send this
to the seniors in your life. Even
seniors-to-be will appreciate it.
… is less than a month away.
Many years ago, I wrote a patriotic song titled: “I’m Proud To
Sing O Canada.” Here are some of
the lyrics:
Will you let me love my country,
Let me be a sign to you,
May I demonstrate goodwill,
And let you be Canadian too.
We are citizens together,
Helping one another grow,
We have courage,
strength and vision,
To achieve and pride bestow.
And I’m proud to sing:
For this country stirs my soul,
And I’m proud to be CANADIAN,
With a chance to reach
my goal. †
This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener
and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie,
Man. To all dads, fathers, grandfathers, even
great-grandfathers: Happy Father’s Day. Our
day is June 17. Whatever else we chance to
have, How much we gain or own, ’Tis only
folks like Mom and Dad, Who make a house
a home. Cannot describe their talents rare,
Dad is King in his domain, A multi-tasker is
that Guy, O long time may he reign. My email
address is [email protected]
Let’s go for 500 hours
between oil changes.
© 201
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/ grainews.ca
JUNE 4, 2012
Spring conditions across the Prairies
Spring is a crucial time for crop production. This spring
condition round-up will help you see where you stand
pring conditions can go a
long way in determining
the quality of grain that’s
harvested. Fortunately for
many Prairie farmers this year, conditions are greatly improved from
previous saturated seasons.
Many farmers in the west-central
and northwestern parts of the province welcomed the rain because, up
until late spring, subsoil moisture
conditions were low and needed
recharging before planting operations started.
The same could not be said of the
southeast and east-central regions,
where farmers didn’t need more precipitation. In fact, they were counting on drying weather in order to
gain access to acres they couldn’t
reach last year.
Spring weather is crucial for
crops — wet conditions can limit
farmers’ opportunities to get to
their fields and stall their seeding
programs. If planting is delayed
too long, crops are at risk of
early frost damage and other
challenging harvest conditions
that appear going into September
and October, says Saskatchewan
Agriculture cropping management specialist Grant McLean.
Too much rain can also inhibit
pre-seeding weed control efforts,
which was the case in portions
of east-central and southeast
Saskatchewan, which received significant amounts of precipitation in
recent weeks, he notes.
Previous years’ wet spring weather also halted weed control applications, and gave rise to the potential
for harvested grain quality to be
undermined when it went into storage. The high moisture content of
immature weed seeds that remain
in harvested grain can increase that
grain’s stored moisture and temperatures, creating favourable conditions for insects and fungi.
The rainfall hasn’t put a damper
on diamondback moths, which
were spotted in Saskatchewan and
across the Prairies. McLean, however, says the province’s traps reveal
the numbers aren’t significant in
Saskatchewan yet.
The same can’t be said for Alberta,
where an early spring came with a
very early and substantial population of diamondback moths.
Early monitoring levels suggest
damaging populations are possible by the end of the growing season, according an Alberta
Agriculture report.
“It’s relatively early and it sets
us up for damage from population
as the season goes along,” said the
report’s author, insect management
specialist Scott Meers.
His report cautions that this
doesn’t automatically translate into
a need for spraying. Natural enemies
can terminate potential outbreaks
of this insect, and Meers stresses
farmers be careful to treat the larvae
only when the economic conditions warrant.
Another potential problem
for farmers in the province is
ergot, according to crop specialist Harry Brook.
That’s going to be a real interesting situation, especially if we have
another wet spring — it’s going to
set up the Prairie provinces for just
an explosion of ergot. We’ve had
two wet springs in a row; if we have
a third one, we’ll have real problems
with it,” Brook says.
But he doesn’t believe excess rainfall will be a major issue this year:
“It might be in certain isolated areas
but, for the most part, people were
happy to see the moisture.”
“Overall, most guys are reporting seeding conditions have been
great,” says the province’s cereals
specialist Pam de Rocquigny. “Soil
moisture conditions are adequate
for establishment and emergence.
One comment I’ve been hearing
is producers have been able to
seed corner to corner on most of
their fields.”
An early start and good stand
establishment are among the factors that would bode well for maximizing yield potential later on in
the year, she adds.
Farmers in much of the province
have been able to clean their fields
with a pre-seed burn off. Those
in areas that have experienced
heavier precipitation were obviously stymied, but de Rocquigny
feels it’s still early enough in the
year where if farmers will still be
able to make pre-seed applications
if they deem it necessary.
Still, like any year, farmers need
to be wary. Diamondback moths
have been spotted in Manitoba too,
although the province’s diamondback moth trap numbers seem to
go up and down, which might be
partially related to evening temperatures. Warmer evenings, for
instance, increase moth activity,
says Manitoba Agriculture’s extension entomologist John Gavloski.
Even though we’ve been chosen #1 in crop safety,
it’s still important that you use full label rates and
make applications when weeds
are at labeled stages. It not only
ensures crop safety, it has a direct
impact on overall yield potential.
So... know your rate.
The fact some
of the trapped
Go to www.roundup.ca for full
spray rate information, or see your
been in good
local retailer for assistance.
shape has raised
the question of
whether they
migrated from
there will definitely be potential
southern states or over wintered.
“There is the possibility that for it, Derksen says.
Farmers may also need to keep
some may have survived the winter, although confirming that this their eyes peeled for clubroot.
is what happened is difficult,” says Two soil samples from 2011 came
back positive for clubroot DNA,
Disease issues are also in the although no symptoms in fields
background. Significant levels of or in greenhouse tests have been
ergot last year and the fact it sur- detected. Right now, the province
vives a year in the soil gives the is just trying to raise awareness.
“We’re not immune to this dispotential for more headaches this
ease. Hopefully we can detect at
year with the disease.
“There’s likely a lot of ergot these low levels and put the measout in the soil right now because ures in place. Not only that, but
of the high levels last year, but learn from Alberta as far as manwhether it’s going to be a prob- agement techniques go, so we’re
lem depends — anything that able to control this disease.”
Sanitation is the number one
lengthens the flowering periods,
like cloudy conditions, is when we recommendation, namely farmers
see more ergot,” notes Manitoba making sure they do their best not
Agriculture plant pathologist Holly to transfer soil from one field to
another. ATV riders should presDerksen.
Fusarium was a non-issue last sure wash their machines before
year given dryness during the coming onto land, and custom
flowering period, but if Manitoba applicators avoid going into fields
experiences a more typical year when conditions are wet. †
— especially more moisture at the Richard Kamchen is a freelance writer based
early flowering stage of cereals — in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Manitoba seems to have had the
best seeding weather of the three
provinces. Planting operations there
are ahead of normal.
May 12 was the first full day of seeding for Brad Barlow, who had to wait for his southeast Saskatchewan
farmland to dry up before he could get into the field.
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