Agriculture

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)

Ranching is about sharing timeless knowledge

David Zrinhelt’s weekly column

  • Jan 23, 2022

 

Photo courtesy of J Summers.

B.C. disasters, extreme weather underscore need for climate-resilient agriculture

“We should be building the infrastructure for the next 30 years, starting yesterday.”

 

Cows and their calves graze in a pasture on a farm near Cremona, Alta., Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Some Alberta cattle producers say they will run out of food for their animals this weekend, as train delays and the impacts of last summer’s drought combine to create a crisis situation on the Prairies.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canadian cattle producers desperate as feed shortage reaches crisis levels

‘I’ve never experienced where we don’t know what we’re going to feed the cattle Monday morning’

 

Volunteers from River Wrangler Sportfishing in the Mission Hills community deliver donations by boat after the floods affected dairy farms in Abbotsford in November 2021

BC Dairy thanks the community for over $850,000 flood relief donations, and shines a spotlight on local community heroes

British Columbians have come forward with an incredible show of support for…

  • Jan 10, 2022
Volunteers from River Wrangler Sportfishing in the Mission Hills community deliver donations by boat after the floods affected dairy farms in Abbotsford in November 2021
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, chats with farm owner Veronica Enright at her dairy farm in Compton, Que., Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. Arbitrators have issued their final report into U.S. complaints about how Canada is interpreting North American trade rules around dairy imports — and both countries are claiming victory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Both sides claim victory after U.S. complaint about Canada’s dairy quota practices

Panel says Canada’s practices are ‘inconsistent’ with the commitments spelled out in the trade deal

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, chats with farm owner Veronica Enright at her dairy farm in Compton, Que., Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. Arbitrators have issued their final report into U.S. complaints about how Canada is interpreting North American trade rules around dairy imports — and both countries are claiming victory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Lana Popham, B.C. agriculture minister, said only two per cent of the annual provincial turkey production has been lost due to recent flooding. (Jill Hayward photo)

98% of turkeys survived flooding, says B.C. Agriculture Minister

However, flooding could affect the cost of Christmas turkeys, says Lana Popham

Lana Popham, B.C. agriculture minister, said only two per cent of the annual provincial turkey production has been lost due to recent flooding. (Jill Hayward photo)
Flooded farms are seen in this aerial photo in Sumas Prairie, Abbotsford, B.C., on Monday, November 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

‘It’s my life’s work’: B.C. fruit and vegetable growers face uncertainty after floods

Flooding comes a few months after a heat wave in late June “torched” crops

Flooded farms are seen in this aerial photo in Sumas Prairie, Abbotsford, B.C., on Monday, November 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Volunteers flocked to a Greendale property to dry off soggy calves boated in from Sumas. (Victoria Hergott Facebook)

VIDEO: Volunteers dry off soaked calves who stood for hours in Fraser Valley floods

Soggy, shivering calves were in bad shape after standing in chest-deep water for hours

Volunteers flocked to a Greendale property to dry off soggy calves boated in from Sumas. (Victoria Hergott Facebook)
Mink look out from a pen at a farm near Naestved, Denmark on Friday Nov. 6, 2020. Nova Scotia will help pay for a COVID-19 vaccine for mink, but the British Columbia government says more research is needed to determine if immunization is an option for thousands of animals that will be prohibited on farms by April 2023 as part of the province’s permanent ban of the industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP

Nova Scotia pays for COVID-19 vaccines for mink, B.C. says no before closing industry

Nova Scotia’s vaccination program will be launched soon at five farms until the end of December

Mink look out from a pen at a farm near Naestved, Denmark on Friday Nov. 6, 2020. Nova Scotia will help pay for a COVID-19 vaccine for mink, but the British Columbia government says more research is needed to determine if immunization is an option for thousands of animals that will be prohibited on farms by April 2023 as part of the province’s permanent ban of the industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP
Avtar Dhillon is having success growing saffron flowers on his Abbotsford blueberry farm. The stigmas are removed from the plants, dried out and sold as a spice for cooking and other purposes. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford farmer among first in B.C. to grow and harvest ‘world’s most expensive spice’

Avtar Dhillon has success with saffron, normally produced in arid climates

Avtar Dhillon is having success growing saffron flowers on his Abbotsford blueberry farm. The stigmas are removed from the plants, dried out and sold as a spice for cooking and other purposes. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)
Mink farms are being phased out in B.C. and will be shut down entirely by April 2025. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

BC plans to phase out mink farming industry by 2025

The government is doing this over four years to allow farmers and workers a transition period

Mink farms are being phased out in B.C. and will be shut down entirely by April 2025. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)
Cattle walk through wildfire smoke during the 2018 fire season, the worst on record in the province. Ranchers are once again being offered a variety of supports after the third-worst wildfire season in B.C.’s history. (Photo credit: Black Press files)

New fund helps farmers, ranchers and apiarists impacted by wildfires

Up to $20 million available to help with extraordinary expenses incurred during this year’s fires

Cattle walk through wildfire smoke during the 2018 fire season, the worst on record in the province. Ranchers are once again being offered a variety of supports after the third-worst wildfire season in B.C.’s history. (Photo credit: Black Press files)
The Churn Creek Protected area wildfire as seen here Friday, Aug. 6. (Sylvia Harry)

Churn Creek wildfire grows to 6,978 hectares, evacuation alert lifted

Gang Ranch, Canoe Creek and Dog Creek area no longer under evacuation alert, range land burned

The Churn Creek Protected area wildfire as seen here Friday, Aug. 6. (Sylvia Harry)
On Aug. 3, Pender Island residents Chris Hall and Stef Lowey will have officially completed a year of only eating what they can grow, harvest, catch or raise themselves. (Courtesy of Chris Hall and Stef Lowey)

From salt to stevia: B.C. couple nears full year without buying food

Pender Island’s Chris Hall and Stef Lowey have produced everything they’ve eaten since Aug. 3, 2020

On Aug. 3, Pender Island residents Chris Hall and Stef Lowey will have officially completed a year of only eating what they can grow, harvest, catch or raise themselves. (Courtesy of Chris Hall and Stef Lowey)
Cherries at Pravin Dhaliwal’s family farm in Oliver, B.C., are seen cooked on their trees, when the temperature hit a record 41.5 C in a June 2021 handout photo. Dhaliwal is trying to maintain his passion as a third-generation farmer while dealing with the reality of climate change and says farmers need more support from provincial and federal governments. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Pravin Dhaliwal

Farmers say heat wave, drought show vulnerable agricultural sector needs support

Farmers across Canada look to provincial and the federal governments for help

Cherries at Pravin Dhaliwal’s family farm in Oliver, B.C., are seen cooked on their trees, when the temperature hit a record 41.5 C in a June 2021 handout photo. Dhaliwal is trying to maintain his passion as a third-generation farmer while dealing with the reality of climate change and says farmers need more support from provincial and federal governments. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Pravin Dhaliwal
A sign hangs at an entrance to the Stanko Ranch, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Members of the third, fourth and fifth generations of the Stanko family currently work on the ranch, which includes about 90 head of cattle, but Jim Stanko says due to drought conditions this year, if he can’t harvest enough hay to feed his cattle, he may need to sell off some of his herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

As drought cuts hay crop, U.S. cattle ranchers face culling herds

Choices increasingly centered around how herds can sustain drought conditions

A sign hangs at an entrance to the Stanko Ranch, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Members of the third, fourth and fifth generations of the Stanko family currently work on the ranch, which includes about 90 head of cattle, but Jim Stanko says due to drought conditions this year, if he can’t harvest enough hay to feed his cattle, he may need to sell off some of his herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham. (Screen shot)

Government to allow ‘more residential flexibility’ in agricultural lands, says B.C. minister

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham was guest speaker Friday during Surrey Board of Trade-hosted Zoom meeting

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham. (Screen shot)
Agriculture depends on irrigation in many parts of B.C., and licences are required for using groundwater sources such as wells for agricultural or industrial use. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. farms, industry risk losing water rights as licence deadline nears

Non-domestic groundwater claims must be filed by March 2022

Agriculture depends on irrigation in many parts of B.C., and licences are required for using groundwater sources such as wells for agricultural or industrial use. (B.C. government photo)
Blueberry harvest in the Fraser Valley relies mainly on older Indo-Canadian workers provided through labour brokers. (Maple Ridge News)

B.C. ‘moving very cautiously’ on minimum wage for farm workers

Most workers support piece-rate pay for picking, survey says

Blueberry harvest in the Fraser Valley relies mainly on older Indo-Canadian workers provided through labour brokers. (Maple Ridge News)
Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)

RANCH MUSINGS: Milking cows and strangers on the premises

Cows in a milking barn may get upset if a stranger comes

  • May 24, 2021
Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)