NEWS FLASH – We found cutworms today!When you are out looking at your fields, especially your winter seeded crops, make sure to take a close look under the trash cover.These fellows were found in a Triticale field north of Coaldale, AB.
Cutworms are named for their annoying habit of cutting down seedlings, usually right at or near the soil surface.They vary in color and markings according to species, but a common behavior of cutworms is their tendency to curl into a letter C shape when disturbed.Cutworms generally overwinter as larvae, so they’re ready to feed as soon as temperatures warm and the crops are planted and start emerging.By late spring, the caterpillars have tunneled into the soil to pupate. Adult moths emerge in summer, when they mate and lay eggs. A singe female may lay hundreds of eggs, often on weeds in the crop. The new generation of larvae feed until temperatures drop low enough to send them into hibernation for winter.
Please, check your fields!If you are not sure what you are looking for, the team here at McRae Holdings would be happy to check things out for you.
From Amanda Archibald, Agronomist with McRae Holdings.
A long overdue trip to Stettler on Friday was highlighted by an enjoyable evening that was planned for our team by Alberta Steam Tours. These people provide rail service to us and have done an exceptional job of providing car delivery to our siding. The evening included a customer appreciation train trip to Big Valley, where they went all out to serve us an outstanding dinner, followed by knee slapping entertainment on the trip back to Stettler. If you have never taken the train ride that they offer, I can recommend it as a very memorable experience.
I’m not going to talk about ginger beef, wantons or chicken fried rice, I want to talk about China’s roll as an agricultural player and how it is affecting our own agricultural sector here in Canada. Now I am not an expert on foreign trade, nor an expert on China. I can’t even call myself an expert on market trends but what has caught my attention in the last several months is what’s happening in China’s agricultural sector and should we in Canada be paying attention? This morning I read a report on how China has slowed down on its imports of potassium (potash) from 6.5 million tones down to an estimated 6 million tones. Who gives a rip, right? Wrong. We should care and we should pay attention. China’s arable land represents 10% of the total arable land in the world. One also must note that 20% of the world’s population is supported off of those acres. China has a large population. If the farmable acres were divided up in a per household basis it would equal out to 1.6 acres per house hold. One other interesting fact is China is the world’s largest producer of agricultural related products and is soon to become the world’s largest importer of agricultural related products. So again, who cares? We all should care. The fact that China has reduced its importing of potash for example translates into a reduction in the price per ton of potash. Why do they need so much potash? After playing around with some calculations and different numbers we came up with the number (which admittedly is not perfectly accurate) of 465 lbs of KCL is being purchased from Canada per acre of cultivated land in China. Let’s remember that they also purchase from Russia and India and also produce the product in their own country. Do they know something that we don’t? Are their soils extremely low in the nutrient? Do their crops demand high amounts of potassium? One can only speculate as to why they demand such high volumes of potassium.
The take home message is that our markets and commodities will likely always be affected by what’s happening in China. They are producing more food on fewer acres and that is impressive. Should we be following their lead and look at our potassium levels and apply the nutrient more liberally? Is potassium being over looked in our nutrient programs and should we be paying more attention to this essential nutrient. My opinion is that we should start addressing potassium levels on our soil tests and give respect where respect is due. So here’s to kung pow chicken and moo goo gai pan.
The preliminary outcome of impregnation of SuperCal with Coptrac 500 (YaraVitaTM) is looking positive. At the 5.4 liter Coptrac 500 rate per tonnne and with an application rate of 50 lbs SuperCal SO4 plus Cu per acre, you will be getting 1 lbs of copper equivalent per acre plus the benefits of SuperCal SO4
Besides bringing copper, the treatment is enhancing the integrity of SuperCal SO4 thus help control the dust problems. Besides copper this customized impregnation treatment based on soil test requirements could include zinc, magnesium, or manganese or combination of three.
Other advantages of impregnation are no segregations of micronutrients during transport and application and better distribution in the field –means better availability to each plant.
Next step is to set up the equipment to handle the process and do large batch.
I hate to start out this way but I have to SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS and sound the alarm bells! What is happening? Listen up folks, The Mississippi river is running DRY (on account of Mid western drought). What does that have to do with Southern Alberta? LOTS Currently there is a few independents left that get their Urea supply of the Mississippi barges and keep a lid on “corporate opportunism”. Prices have a habit to go upward as competition dwindles. A couple major snow storms can solve this problem but that’s anybody’s guess. The lid could blow off N prices soon.
Saskatchewan’s Premier Brad Wall is pledging to hike crop production by 10 million tonnes over the next decade.
According to the Saskatchewan Agriculture Ministry, total crop production was 25.9 million tonnes in 2011, up 8.7 per cent from the 2001-10 average.
As premier, Wall has often talked up Saskatchewan’s resource sector, but says when he travels on trade missions, the majority of questions he gets are not about potash, oil or uranium — they’re about agriculture.
This past week, November 27-29th was the annual Farm Forum Event put on by Agri-Trend. It was a great three days jam packed with captivating keynote speakers, informative break-out sessions and a trade show that showcased the leaders of the industry. This is one of the best agronomy conferences in western Canada. The caliber of speakers rate bar none. When do you get the opportunity to listen to Don Bell, co-founder of WestJet or David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and the newest Dragon on CBC TV’s Dragon’s Den? Hats off to the organizers, job well done!
Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Texting, and webinars… These are reasonably new words to the English language and likely even newer words to the Agricultural industry. The average farmer is not very young due to the major capital expense of getting into that career. The problem with that fact is technology continues to advance at a very rapid rate and the “older generations” have a harder time keeping up. I by far do not consider myself part of that “older generation” but more somewhere in the middle and I know I have a hard time keeping up. I can understand a bit more the fear and confusion that faces the older generation when it comes to technology. Farming is not only a touch feel industry but a cyber industry now. Selling grain has become a virtual process of mouse clicks and emails more than a hand shake and a coffee. A situation that can arise from a farmer that does not understand or embrace this new technology is he can miss out on opportunities. Many Ag related industries use webinars, twitter and Facebook among countless other sources to advertize and buy or sell their products. If you are not actively using social media you could be missing out on new technologies or new opportunities. My suggestion is have someone tutor you on the basics of social media and embrace the new technologies and take advantage of the new opportunities out there.
Harvest is pretty well wrapped up here in Southern Alberta. There have been large variations in yields reported through the area partly due to winds that shifted many swaths. On the fertilizer front, we see Urea prices looking fairly flat in the short term with upward pressure on Q1 lifting’s. Supply appears to be sufficient to meet demand for the next few months. Phosphorus has continued to hold steady for the past few weeks but I see adjustments coming down the road in the near future. Supply is tight on these products and it appears to me that demand will run tight with the supply. This will allow manufactures to apply upward pressure on their pricing structure. Demand for Boron is strong and I see the need to get this product booked so that the supply chain doesn’t run short. Due to very positive response to Calcium 98G and SuperCal S04 applications there is an urgency to place orders for these products. Price is holding steady even with the demand being strong, but the supply chain is very tight. Specialty Potassium products like SOP and KMag need to be ordered in advance to ensure that product is available. Once again, the supply of these products is very tight. With good planning and orders that are confirmed in advance to the spring rush I feel that our needs will be met. Poor planning will result in product outages.