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Director Profile: James Jackson (PCN Spring 2015) MAR 25 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.

James Jackson, APG Director

James Jackson lives in the Dapp/Jarvie area. He was elected to a three-year term as an APG Director in January representing Zone 3, after serving as an Advisor for the zone.

Pulse Crop News: Please tell us about your family and your farm.

James Jackson: Originally from the Clover Bar area east of Edmonton, Jackson Farms has been farming in the Dapp/Jarvie area for 25 years. My wife Debra and I have a son and a daughter, both of whom are attending Grant MacEwan University. JF is a straight grain farm, some of which is seed production. We are currently growing canola, wheat, peas and faba beans. JF has four full-time employees and several part-time staff. JF strives to do the best job possible in a timely and safe manner. JF believes on-farm research is an important tool and seems to always have R&D going on from simple to complex, longer term studies. JF has adopted Controlled Traffic and is experimenting with precision planters, to name a few.

PCN: What has been your experience with growing pulse crops?

JJ: The more detail given to pulse crops the better. It is best to start by selecting the appropriate field, then taking into account weed pressure, rocks and topography to help access in early spring. Herbicide residues, rotation, etc. are all considered. Starting in the fall, pre-harvest glyphosate and Edge is applied near freeze up and lately we have been managing the stubble height to aid the standability of peas. In the early spring, one drill is dedicated to the pulse crops. Equipped with a Valmar for inoculants and a belt conveyor for filling, it makes for an efficient system.

PCN: What percentage of your crop was made up of pulses last year?

JJ: Ten per cent was pulse crops, with 60 per cent peas and 40 per cent fabas.

PCN: What are you planning to grow this year?

JJ: Fifteen per cent of our acres will be in pulses this year, with a 50/50 split between peas and fabas.

PCN: What tips or tricks have you learned growing pulses that you could share with new growers?

JJ: Take your time seeding; a little powdered graphite with the seed sometimes prevents bridging in the tank, hoses and openers. Empty seed tanks before filling to help avoid bridging. Be timely with fall desiccation and be ready to harvest when the crop is ready. Harvest pulses first if other crops are ready. Pulses generally do not get easier to harvest as time goes on. Fabas may be an exception.

PCN: What sparked your interest in APG?

JJ: It didn’t take long to figure out the buzz that was going on in the Barrhead/Westlock area that there was a crop that was going to have a very positive future. The people I have met and relationships I have built through APG have been extremely rewarding. JF has always been interested in specialty crops; pulse crops are extremely healthy and are fantastic for the soil.

PCN: APG directors sit on various committees. You are a member of the Research Committee. What attracted you to serve on this committee?

JJ: With the direction JF has taken over the years to make a commitment to perform meaningful research, I felt I would be able to offer some of the lessons I have learned.

PCN: Is there an issue that is particularly important to you?

JJ: I would like to see more acres of pulses in our area; hopefully fabas are here to stay as a viable crop. I would like to see root rot dealt with in peas, which is something that would aid in the standability. This would help increase pea acres prairie-wide.

PCN: What was the biggest issue facing your farm last year?

JJ: In 2013, we had a record yield with all of our crops. There was a lot of trash to deal with last spring. Couple that with a cool spring and some of the crops, particularly canola, had a hard time getting established. As it turned out, we had average yields but there was potential for better. We straight cut almost all of our canola and the grade was fine.

PCN: What has been the biggest benefit of your involvement with Zone 3 as an Advisor?

JJ: It has to be the relationships that I have made, both business and personal.

PCN: Why would you recommend that pulse producers get involved with their zone?

JJ: Being a part of a group that is promoting a crop that is healthy and has huge potential is exciting and rewarding.

Thank you, James. We are looking forward to benefiting from your contributions to the Board.