ESSENTIAL NEWS FOR AGRI-RETAILERS
The CAAR Communicator

October Issue – See All

Get to Know the CAAR Board: Blaine Cochrane

CAAR Communicator chatted with Blaine Cochrane, Sales Manager with Shur-Gro Farm Services in Brandon, Manitoba to learn about the person and career, his leadership within the ag retail sector, and why he decided to become a part of the CAAR Board team. Oh, and something about mountains.

CAAR News

CAAR’s 27th Annual Conference
Currently CAAR is planning to host an in-person conference to be held February 8-10, 2022 in Edmonton. The theme of our 27th Annual Conference is Resilience: Adapt & Advance. CAAR staff and Conference Committee are continuing to finalize the agenda roster of speakers. Once finalized, this information will be shared in the CAAR Network at www.caar.org and via Twitter (@CdnAgRetail). Those interested in sponsorship opportunities or exhibiting at the conference, please contact Scott Van Alstyne via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-989-9305.

Board of Directors Nominations Now Open
CAAR is now accepting nominations for its 2022-23 Board of Directors which will be confirmed during our AGM—date and time to be announced. Lending your time and expertise to the CAAR Board gives you an active and rewarding role in shaping your industry. For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to nominate yourself or a colleague.

The 2022 CAAR Awards - Nominations Are Now Open
The CAAR Awards highlight the achievements and dedication of CAAR members who serve their community and the ag retail industry. The awards celebrate excellence in various areas of retail management, agronomy, 4R nutrient stewardship, and lifetime achievements. The categories for the CAAR Awards are: Agronomist of the Year; Retailer of the Year; 4R Nutrient Stewardship Agri-Retailer Award; and the Retailer Hall of Fame. For more information about award nominating, contact Lady Gabilo at 204-989-9304, by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit
www.caar.org/caar-conference/caar-honour-roll.

2021 – 22 CAAR Membership
CAAR would like to thank all members who have already paid their membership fees for 2021-22. We would also like to welcome new CAAR Members, Farms.com and Arva Grain Corp. CAAR is the only national association representing the interests of and addressing critical issues facing ag retailers today and is entrenched in the issues that impact your business—making a difference for our ag retailer and supplier members.


If you have not yet renewed your membership, payment can be made online or by cheque, sent to the CAAR office. For more details about CAAR membership contact Scott Van Alstyne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-989-9305.

Province of Manitoba Engagement Session
CAAR staff participated in an Engagement Session for Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture. The object was to provide input and support of Manitoba’s preparation for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture July meeting.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
The CAAR Advocacy Committee initiated a direct meeting to better understand and provide retailer perspective to Potential Over-Formulation of N [Nitrogen] and P [Phosphorus] in Fertilizers sold or imported into Canada. CFIA has identified instances of over-formulation of product nutrients identified. The Committee reached out to better understand the rational and support the confirmation and breadth of the potential issue. CAAR Committee members will participate in the CFIA working group providing retail industry’s input to inform the environmental safety assessment and any ensuing risk management options that are deemed necessary.

Rural Broadband with the University of Guelph
CAAR is working on the Regional and Rural Broadband (R2B2) project from the University of Guelph. We are reviewing its mandate and determining how CAAR can support the Canadian Centre of Excellence in Broadband Data Analytics.

Fertilizer Canada and CAAR Interaction
The two groups are working on a Liquid Storage Working Group and a 4R Working Group – Prairie and Ontario CCA board engagement. The groups are ensuring proper alignment of communications and advocacy support, and positioning 4R fertilizer management principles to address GHG’s from farm field applications.

CAAR Training Committee
Committee is working on the development of alternative training solutions (due to COVID-19 constraints), supporting continuing education and certification associated to ammonia handling.

Cereals Canada MRL Assessment Committee
This meeting assessed the trade risks for pest control products of interest proposed for use in the 2022 growing season as per the Canada Grains Council Domestic Use Policy. Another meeting of the committee will be organized in December 2021 to review additional pest control products.

Employee Recognition: The why, how and importance!

Lack of recognition is one of the major reasons why employees quit. Employee recognition may become even more critical with the rise of teleworking.

It is Time to Stop the Fear Mongering

Growing with marketing campaigns of agriculture food products in Canada and internationally is the increased utilization of fear as a marketing weapon. Statements of non-GMO, grass fed only, organic and antibiotic-free create doubt and fear in the minds of the consumer. Are the products I purchase and consume less nutritious or harmful to our families?

CAAR Communicator: The Power of Technology

New study shows how advanced technology farming can provide environmental and financial benefits.

Agroecology: Who's definition is it?

Despite being the trendy buzzword in agriculture, agroecology is defined differently by country and organization. Even Canada has multiple visions.

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There are many benefits to a pre-harvest spray application and according to Danielle Eastman, Brand Manager, Western Herbicides and Clearfield at BASF Canada, there are two main reasons why it is important to apply a herbicide pre-harvest.

Exhibitor registration opened on July 6, 2015 and tradeshow space is filling up fast! Limited booth space is available at the CAAR Conference on a first-come, first-served basis. Only 6 booths left!

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/.

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

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: