Farmers may want to look at different crop options this spring, considering disease issues continue to be problematic. Alternatives include a variety of cereals, oilseeds and pulses, and their returns could be better than expected, according to agronomists and specialists who shared options Jan. 8 during the Agronomy Update conference in Red Deer.
Growing winter wheat and playing blackjack are two activities with almost nothing in common. Except one thing: if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to lose money playing blackjack or growing winter wheat. “The example I like to use is: let’s figure out blackjack by going to Vegas (but) never playing the game before,” said Ken Greer, founder of the Western Ag Group of Companies.
Last year’s growing conditions created a perfect breeding ground for some dangerous mycotoxins, including DON. Variable weather conditions across the Prairies could cause problems with mycotoxins in feed this winter. “The No. 1 most influencing factor in mycotoxins is weather,” said Max Hawkins of Alltech’s mycotoxin management team.
Too dry, too wet and then it snowed. That sums up Manitoba’s 2019 growing season, culminating with the “harvest from hell,” which for some farmers won’t end until spring. “I have often said it’s not a good sign when you’re harvesting and they’re playing Christmas carols on the radio,” Minto farmer and Keystone Agricultural Producers president Bill Campbell said.
Hungry moose have been taking a bite out of the profits of farmers in Newfoundland, prompting calls for the province to help put an end to the night-time feeding frenzies. Crop loss from munching moose been a long-standing issue in Newfoundland, where the massive herbivores were introduced in the 1900s.
The deadline for Manitoba farmers to submit crop insurance Harvest Production Reports to the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) is Dec. 2, whether the farmer completed harvest or not. Both the paper and online report forms should be easier for farmers to fill out because less information is now required, David Van Deynze, MASC’s vice-president of innovation and product support, said in an interview.
Farmers are still harvesting corn and soybeans in Ontario after a stressful late planting season and record crop insurance payouts after the wet spring. The $65 million paid for unseeded acreage to insured farmers who never got to plant a crop by the insurance deadline was the first of two record-breaking payouts this year.
Alberta’s beekeeping industry is hoping for help from the province after consecutive years of rough weather has contributed to low honey crops and losses over winter. The past two winters have seen Alberta beekeepers taking a loss of $20 million, and this year’s cold, wet spring and summer saw 67 percent of beekeepers suffering crop losses of 50 percent or greater.
The final crop report for 2019 was released by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Across the province, producers worked through a challenging and difficult harvest, getting 93 percent of the crop combined. While operations are still underway when weather and field conditions allow, there are indications some of the crops will likely be left out until the spring.
Poor harvest conditions in Alberta have caused an unthinkable about of economic loss let alone stress for the farmer this year. Mix in the uncertainty of trade, ongoing disputes across the global political stage, and business risk management (BRM) programs not being equipped to handle the issues is a recipe for disaster, according to Team Alberta.
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