ESSENTIAL NEWS FOR AGRI-RETAILERS
This May, I’ll celebrate a decade of working with CAAR, and with that also a decade of working in the agriculture industry. There are so many things that inspire me in this industry, but none more than the shared commitment to innovation and learning. I see this accomplished in so many ways, both formal and informal, everything from ongoing education through post-secondary institutions to the multitude of engaging and informative discussions on social media. Events like the CAAR Conference, as well as the numerous tradeshows and conferences hosted throughout the year, provide a wealth of information and opportunity to learn from friends and colleagues.
Four Canadian farmers share their insights into the relationship between farmer and retailer at the 2018 CAAR Conference.
Agri-retailers can play a more prominent role in sustainability.
Western Canadian organizations dedicated to promoting sustainable farming practices are struggling to survive, due to a significant decline in memberships, event attendance and overall interest.
These challenges have recently forced organizations like the Northern Prairies Ag Innovation Alliance (NPAIA) to fold due to lack of funding from membership and government sources.
NPAIA had been a farmer-directed organization that promoted conservation and sustainability on farms, with representation in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota.
Trish Meyers, knowledge and innovation manager at Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), believes that 4R Nutrient Stewardship allows agri-retailers to steer the conversation about sustainability in agriculture in a way that is good for their farmer customers.
“Farmers have been using 4R practices for a long time, we just haven’t had a name for it,” says Meyers. “The 4R program gives us a way to quantify what farmers are doing and lets us be in the driver’s seat to tell our good news story.”
Herbicide resistance has been increasing across Canada for the past four decades, with resistant weeds now found on an estimated 38 million acres of cropland in Western Canada.
According to Hugh Beckie, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the rising percentage of cropland affected by herbicide resistant weeds is showing no signs of slowing down.
Beckie was part of a team that conducted three rounds of prairie weed surveys in 2001-2003, 2007-2009 and 2014-2017. During each period, the team surveyed one of the three Prairie provinces per season. “Across the Prairies, we quickly found that the more we looked, the more resistance we discovered,” he says.
It’s been a fast paced couple of months since I joined the CAAR team in January. Already, the 2018 CAAR Conference has been successfully completed, while other areas of focus, such as the negotiations with Transport Canada regarding anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks, continue at the time of writing.
CAAR is alerting its members of an important issue. On June 14, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released a report regarding a small number of glyphosate-tolerant wheat plants found in Southern Alberta.
CAAR is reminding members to ensure that they are up-to-date on all regulatory requirements related to anhydrous ammonia following a recent incident in Manitoba.
Interested in exhibiting at the leading business conference for ag-retailers? Make sure to secure your space on the CAAR Conference tradeshow floor. Registration opens Wednesday, June 20.
The annual CAAR member survey, designed to get critical feedback from CAAR members to help shape the future strategic goals and operating business plans of the association, is now available.
CAAR extends warm congratulations to a long-time supporter of our association, Ron Helwer, on the news that he will receive an honorary diploma in Agribusiness from Assiniboine Community College. Celebrating over 50 years of business in ag retail, Helwer is president of Manitoba-based companies Shur-Gro Farm Services, Munro Farm Supplies and South East Seeds.