ESSENTIAL NEWS FOR AGRI-RETAILERS
The Communicator

April Issue – See All

Retailer Hall of Fame: Pattie Ganske

When she first started working part-time at Parkland Fertilizers in Wetaskiwin, Alta., Pattie Ganske didn’t know she was paving the way for woman in agri-retail and agriculture.

More than three decades later, her excellence in business, participation on numerous boards, including multiple terms on the CAAR board, and unwavering dedication to agriculture advocacy have earned her the 2017 Retailer Hall of Fame award.

CAAR’s Ammonia Committee

CAAR and Fertilizer Canada are working together to address regulatory challenges on behalf of the industry.

Just days after Mitch Rezansoff joined CAAR as executive director in January, new requirements for ammonia nurse, applicator and highway tanks came into effect under CSA B620-14/B622-14. Rezansoff met these updates head-on and went to work on behalf of membership, attempting to secure an extension for compliance. Rezansoff describes the experience as a steep learning curve, but a necessary one, given the timeliness of the issue. 

Panel Discussion: Understanding Farmers' Needs and Expectations

Four Canadian farmers share their insights into the relationship between farmer and retailer at the 2018 CAAR Conference.

Concerning Products of Concern

Agri-retailers can support market access by helping growers Keep it Clean.

Maximum residue limits (MRLs) are playing an increasingly important role in the acceptance of Canadian agriculture commodities in domestic and export markets. However, one of the challenges growers face is that the limits are not always uniform across markets, or they may not yet be established in export markets.

Canadian growers must continue to follow best application practices to keep residues within acceptable limits and markets open. To do so, growers need to know which products can cause concern in certain markets.

Agronomist of the Year: Barry Mankewich

The winner of the 2017 Agronomist of the Year award has worked in a variety of roles in his 40-year career, but Barry Mankewich has always been happiest when helping his customers in the field.

“I love plant nutrition, crop protection and everything to do with agronomy,” says Mankewich, who has been working as an agronomist with GJ Chemical Company Ltd. at their Arnaud, Man. location since 2006.

Stepping up to the Plate

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.

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In February 2015, Canada aligned the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

Transport Canada (TC) requires that, per Standard CSA B620, every facility registered to conduct anhydrous ammonia highway tank and TC portable tank testing and inspection must renew their facility certification every five years. If your facility registration with TC is invalid, you are not legally authorized to inspect and test your NH3 tanks. Please note that Safety Officer certification through CAAR’s Nurse Tank Safety Program (NTSP) does not automatically register your facility. You must register your facility directly with Transport Canada. The database of registered facilities is available at www.apps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/3/fdr-rici/highway/tanks, and a sample facility registration form is available on the CAAR website at caar.org/services/regulatory/.

The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and some of its specific objectives are as follows:

  • Raise awareness among society and decision makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;
  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
  • Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
  • Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).

Meeting one-on-one with farmer customers is important and an effective selling strategy. Scouting a customer’s field that is using your products is a valuable opportunity that you should take advantage of for retaining your customer and for future sales. The following are important dos and don’ts when meeting with farmer customers and prospects:

Crop Diagnostics Schools are a one day, hands-on learning opportunity designed to refine the diagnostic skills of agronomists. The schools offer the change to hear first-hard from experts new cropping information, examine plants, dig in the soil, pull weeds, catch insects and hone diagnostic skills. As outlined by Government of Saskatchewan, Agriculture department some of the main focus areas will include the following:

Thank you for your CAAR membership in 2014-15. Your support has enabled CAAR to represent agri-retailers on an individual, regional and federal level, reinforcing the value of the agri-retail industry as a crucial link in the ag value chain and the leading trusted advisor for 75% of farmers, while delivering and developing services that reinforce and build your business. CAAR is here to ensure that the interests of agri-retailers are being represented and protected so you can focus on your clients.

CAAR has introduced a new Consultant membership, which is open to any individual whose primary business is selling products and services to farmers. Consultants must either be affiliated to an existing corporate membership (ie: Primary Retailer Membership) or operate as a single person entity, joining as an individual.