A beautiful October field day at the Fossen and Haynes Ranch in Rock Creek highlighted no-till farming practices and reviewed results from an on-farm trial to increase soil water infiltration. Country Life in BC article captured the event highlights. Photo gallery here. Also view images of ‘crimping’ fall rye cover crops at Kootenay Meadows Organic Dairy in Creston.
In This Issue
Kootenay Farms Participate in UBC Research Trials
How can veggie producers adapt their soil and water management to a changing climate? Four Kootenay farms including Bent Plow, Crooked Horn, Salix and Sedge and Linden Lane are participating in a province-wide research project with the University of British Columbia (UBC) that will monitor and model soil and water management practices to evaluate which practices the are most resilient to increased weather variability. Dr. Sean Smukler and Masters candidate Raelani Kesler of UBC Land and Food Systems recently visited the region to install projects that will commence in the spring 2020. Learn more.
Pacific Ag Show and Horticulture Courses: Travel Grants Available for Basin Farmers!
January 30-Feb 1, 2020
Abbotsford, BC: Join thousands of farmers and discover what over 300 exhibitors and industry leaders offer at the annual Pacific Agriculture Show. Looking for in-depth learning opportunities to benefit your farm? The Horticulture Grower’s Short Course includes over 100 seminars that cover the most popular and niche crops in BC. The Columbia Basin Trust travel grants are available to assist commercial producers to attend these and other trade shows and event
High Profile Event Focuses on Getting Local Food to Plate - Kootenay Farms Participate!
Two local farms, Kootenay Natural Meats and Cutter Ranch participated in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef event in Vancouver, November 12. “The event was excellent and helped educate food buyers and farmers about the needs for each business,” says Wendy McNamar of Kootenay Natural Meats, a multi-livestock operation in the Creston Valley that farms over 700 acres of hay, grain and pasture. “Locally produced food is not more expensive as it is higher quality and can go further if proper planning is taken into consideration. It is a conversation that needs to happen if we are going to bring more BC food to plates around the province.” Learn more.
NEW Environmental Regulations for BC Farms
The new Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) has replaced the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation. The new AEM Code has a strong focus on soil nutrient management and applies to all agricultural operations in BC, from small hobby farms to large commercial operations. Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors will work with stakeholders and the Ministry of Agriculture to help producers understand what this means for your farm business. Learn more at the following links:
Cost of Production Workshops Coming to Nelson and Creston in February
Do you know what it costs to produce that side of beef or truckload of squash? Geared to both livestock and vegetable producers the Basin Business Advisors’ Cost of Production Workshop can help you understand what it truly costs to produce the food you raise or grow for your business to prosper. Workshops are free. Register through the following links or contact Agriculture Specialist Tracey Fredrickson.
Creston: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Nelson: Thursday, February 13, 2020
Creston Valley Honey Producers Creating a Buzz
Master beekeepers Jeff Lee and Amanda Goodman Lee operate 500 colonies, selling their natural honey and beeswax-based cosmetics and candles at farmers’ markets and retailers throughout the Kootenays and BC. Swan Valley Honey is also the largest provider of pollination services to the valley’s tree fruit industry.“Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops along with birds, insects and bats,” Amanda points out. “Everyone can do something to support the bees… Read More
Jeff Lee and Amanda Goodman Lee
“The Creston Valley is known for its diversity of crops, and beekeepers are entirely dependent on good farming practices around them.”
Lifetime Achievement Award Presented to Lance Cuthill of the East Kootenay Beekeepers
Lance has been raising bees for over 40 years, is an active member of the East Kootenay Beekeepers and also teaches introductory beekeeping courses in the Cranbrook area. Cuthill was recently recognized as an industry leader by the BC Honey Producer’s Association. Congratulations Lance!
Photo credit: Tom Walker, Countrylife in BC
Lance and Bobby Cuthill receive a lifetime achievement award from the BC Honey Producers Association president, Kerry Clark
Did you miss the Basin Food Summit?
(Past event) October 24 - 26
This multi-day event brought together food producers, processors, industry leaders and young agrarians for education, networking, sharing and eating! Archived resources here including the Growing Your Food Business resource guide.
Workshop: Climate Adaptation
Kelowna: December 2-3
The BC Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Network’s 4th annual workshop will bring researchers and farmers together from across the province who are working on climate adaptation.
Presentation: Get to Know Your Ground Water
Grand Forks: December 11
Learn how groundwater moves in unconfined and confined aquifers and changes during droughts and floods. The RDKB will demonstrate how to find available groundwater information for your property and farm. 6 – 8 pm, Selkirk College. Contact Kristina Anderson for additional information:
Workshops: Agriculture Succession Planning
Nelson: January 29, 2020 Cranbrook: February 20, 2020
Planning the transfer of your farm business requires advance work. A good succession plan will assist in a smooth and financially efficient transition considering legalities, taxes and timelines.
Presentation: Farm Diversification Through Agri-tourism
Save the Date: February, 2020
MISS AN EVENT? ARCHIVED AND EVENTS HERE
Soil Sciences - Bill Chapman, PhD
Both a farmer and a soil scientist, Bill Chapman makes his home near Castlegar where he grows crops with his wife Louisa. As a consultant Bill works on a wide range of soil-related projects. “Here in BC we are often trying to grow crops on forest soils which are very different from grassland soils in terms of biological processes,” he explains. Read more.
Request for Proposals for Ag Projects in the Kootenay & Boundary
- Project: “Develop tools and resources for on-farm water conservation.” Closing date, December 12. Learn more.
- Project: “Options to expand availability of weather station data and decision support tools.” Closing date, December 5. Learn more.
Orchard Manager Position – Salmo, BC
PED Talks - Soil Health and Conservation
A series of short, science-based PED Talks posted on YouTube explores soil-related topics. Learn about soil health, how we can improve it and the progress being made to ensure we have the healthy soils necessary to feed, clothe and fuel the world in the future.
Online Agricultural Courses
With the arrival of winter some farmers finally have a little extra time to take on some extra learning and research. From poultry to pigs to mushrooms to vegetables, the Cornell Small Farms Program has a course for everyone. Cornell Small Farms Program is a program of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a goal to increase research and extension for small farms.
Smartphone App Helps Livestock Producers Manage Invasive Plants
WeedsBMP is a new app that includes information on 95 invasive plant species directly relevant to forage and livestock production in BC. The app offers in-depth information and imagery for identification as well as various ways in which to manage each species, including sources and contacts for more information.