Director Profile: Rodney Volk (PCN Fall 2016) SEP 18 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Rodney Volk, APG Director
Rodney Volk lives in the Burdett area. He was elected to a three-year term as an APG Director in January representing Zone 1. He previously served as an Advisor for the zone.
Pulse Crop News: Please tell us about your family and your farm.
Rodney Volk: I rent the land from my parents, who also live on the farm across the yard from me. My son, Colten, is currently in the process of doing his automotive apprenticeship. I operate a mixed farm south of the Highway 3 in the Burdett area. The farm consists of irrigated land, dryland, and some native pasture. I raise pinto beans, yellow peas, hard red spring wheat, durum, and have a small herd of cattle.
PCN: What has been your experience with growing pulse crops?
RV: Pulses have become an important part of my rotation. Their ability to fix nitrogen, different weed control options, and a break in cereal diseases are useful tools.
PCN: What percentage of your crop was made up of pulses this year, and what did you grow?
RV: One quarter of the irrigation goes into pinto beans every year. And one third of the dryland is put into yellow peas. I don’t vary the rotation a lot from year to year, so I grew beans and peas again this year.
PCN: What tips or tricks have you learned growing pulses that you could share with new growers?
RV: Weed control is very important, so I use a pre-seed/ pre-emergent application most years. I also inoculate the seed every year.
PCN: What sparked your interest in APG?
RV: I started going to the Zone 1 AGM after I started to farm full-time. The meetings had good speakers and interesting topics. A neighbour suggested that I should go on the zone board. He explained how it had benefited him when he was on the board.
PCN: Is there an issue that is particularly important to you?
RV: I am always interested in whether the changes made to the plants through breeding change their nutrient requirements. Does a more upright growth trait require more or less nitrogen for the same yield potential?
PCN: What was the biggest issue facing your farm in recent years?
RV: We started off this spring with very dry conditions like most other areas of the province. This led to the questions of when to start seeding, and should I seed deep to get to moisture or shallow and pray for rain. Then, on April 15, we got 3/4 of an inch of rain, so problem solved. The rains have been great since then, but diseases have become a concern. Overall, the crops look really good this year, so all we need is a good price rally this fall.
PCN: What has been the biggest benefit of your involvement with APG?
RV: The chance to meet other pulse growers throughout the province. The exchange of ideas and procedures they use to control problems I am also dealing with on my farm.
PCN: Why would you recommend that pulse producers get involved with their zone?
RV: The chance to increase your knowledge through meeting other growers as well as researchers, staff, and industry people is a definite advantage.
Thank you, Rodney. We are looking forward to benefiting from your contributions to the Board.