ESSENTIAL NEWS FOR AGRI-RETAILERS
The Communicator

April Issue – See All

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.

Chairman’s Award: Bob McNaughton

The winner of CAAR’s 2017 Chairman’s Award has been a force in the Ontario fertilizer industry throughout his career, which has spanned more than 40 years. Although his business achievements are numerous and impressive, it is his commitment to giving back to the industry and his active, vocal and passionate support for CAAR that earned Bob McNaughton the Chairman’s Award.

Retailer of the Year: Redfern Farm Services

Hearing they had won the 2017 Retailer of the Year award took manager Lane Wanless and his team at Redfern Farm Services, Virden location by surprise, but once it sunk in, they were thrilled. The prestigious award recognizes one CAAR member that went above and beyond to serve its customers, something the team at Virden pride themselves on.

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.

A Growing Problem

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.

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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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.

A plant tissue analysis offers an inside look at the current nutrient levels of a plant, which can help to determine the next fertility steps if a nutrient deficiency is detected. Dan Clarke, Executive Vice-President of Business Development and Agronomy with A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. explains that a plant tissue analysis can help bridge the gap between planting and harvest. “Most producers have a good fertilizer program in place in the spring but they can’t just walk away during the growing season thinking everything will be alright.”

The Communicator Publisher Shawn Brook sits down with Luke Burton, Area Sales Manager for Simplot.

It’s not easy to build a loyal customer base but you have the ability to make a memorable impression in showing your gratitude for their business. This is where the old adage comes in that “actions speak more loudly than words.” Your attempt at providing thanks should be relevant, personalized and, above all, sincere. Here are some new ideas as well as some classic ‘tried and true’ plans to use through the coming year.