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Executive Director’s Message (PCN Fall 2016) SEP 19 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Leanne Fischbuch, Executive Director

With the anticipated harvest and expectations for the largest pulse crop ever seen in the province, farmers are preparing for some long hours and intense work to bring the crop in. For all purposes, the growing season has played out with some interesting twists.

It was exciting to have such early seeding so soon into the year, but then many farmers began wondering about rain. Was it ever going to come? Then the rains came, sometimes in light drops and other times in momentous downpours not seen for years! Once the moisture showed up it was hot and humid, and that provided fantastic growing conditions but also opportunities for disease to flourish which provided its own challenges. Now we await the harvest and the achievements of the growing season.

To help our growers prepare for this special time, APG participated in a number of events this summer to bring forward important and valuable information for the harvest. Some of the highlights were joining with other crop commissions in the “Making the Grade” workshop to advance farmers’ knowledge about the grading system. We had SGS industry expert Larry Michta share what to look for when your pulses are being graded. He informed producers that you have the right to be present and observe the grading process and should inform yourself as to how it should be done correctly. This provided great tips to ready growers when they deliver the product to pulse dealers.

APG was also invited to participate at the blockbuster CanolaPALOOZA event. APG staff alongside Agriculture and Forestry pulse disease specialists shared tips on disease scouting for pulse crops, information on rotation, and discussed market access concerns as farmers began to think about pre-harvest management. The message of “Don’t Spoil the Bunch” was shared with growers through the campaign promoting, a one-stop market access readiness site which now features Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) information for pulse crops. Knowing pre-harvest intervals for application of crop protection products, following labels and discussing with your dealer what they will accept is critical to keeping products flowing to our export markets.

APG also participated in various crop walks this summer, providing grower information and networking with producers to hear about their issues and learn how the growing season was progressing.

As farmers move to the fields to harvest, the organization has continued its work on engagement with opportunities to provide feedback directly to the federal Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, at two roundtable meetings on the Canadian Transportation Agency Review and on the developments and feedback on the next policy framework. With the large number of pulse acres across western Canada and average yields expected, this could be a year where transportation again steps directly into the spotlight.

Continuing to put emphasis on a variety of factors, like level of service accountability, strong data availability and reporting, as well as comments on governance and infrastructure of the agency, APG stands with other pulse organizations and Pulse Canada to provide a critical farmer voice to the consultation process.

The consultations for structure and development of the next Policy Framework and this summer’s Calgary Statement, an agreed upon statement between the federal, provincial and territorial Agriculture Ministers, is an important indicator for the direction of future partnerships between industry and government.

It is important for the pulse industry to feed into the consultative processes being held provincially and federally, and we were present at events for both levels of government this summer providing our feedback and comments on what we’d like to see in the future. Business Risk Management program feedback and programming with respect to Science Cluster research funding are two key areas where APG has, and will continue, to comment on what to expect for the future.

We are also preparing our APG annual report, and planning for our scheduled zone meetings in November. Finally, we are thinking ahead and want you to mark your calendars for our annual general meeting planned for February 1, 2017 during FarmTech, Canada’s premiere crop production and farm management event.

We are looking forward to catching up with you this fall and winter during the busy meeting season. If members have any questions about the activities of the organization or questions regarding harvest tips please contact us. For now, we extend to you the best for a productive and safe harvest!