Fiona Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program

Monday, November 28, 2022

 For more information, please visit this link: https://novascotia.ca/programs/fiona-agricultural-disaster-assistance/


Farmers can apply for financial assistance to help cover extraordinary operational costs caused by Hurricane Fiona. The Fiona Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program provides a one-window financial response to help the agriculture industry recover from Hurricane Fiona.

The program provides financial assistance through provincial disaster financial assistance arrangements for small businesses, and any future federal and provincial assistance programs as they’re developed to provide additional support for damage and costs not covered by insurance.

The program’s one-window approach includes the Agricultural Response Program that was announced in October 2022.

Extraordinary damage and operational costs include:

  • equipment and infrastructure
  • crops and cropping
  • livestock and feeds
  • agricultural and debris clean-up
  • fuel and alternative power expenses

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must:

  • be at least 19 years old and actively farming
  • have an annual eligible gross commodity income of $10,000
  • demonstrate damage or loss which occurred during the Hurricane Fiona disaster between 23 and 24 September 2022
  • own or lease the damaged property
  • be able to provide a partnership/ownership agreement if requested
  • be able to provide tax return and additional information as required (for non-registered farms only)

Read the Program Guidelines (PDF) for detailed eligibility.

Deadline or important dates

Program opening: 24 November 2022
Application deadline: 6 February 2023

How to apply

Complete the intake form and submit it to the Fiona Agriculture Disaster Solution team.

Once you complete the intake form, the case manager assigned to your file will contact you.

What can we expect for winter 2022-23? A summary from the National Agroclimate Risk Report (AAFC)

Monday, November 7, 2022

As we are heading into the winter months, I like to share some valuable information from the National Agroclimate Risk Report. The report is generated by Agriculture and Agriculture-Food Canada which provides timely information on the regional agroclimatic conditions, risks, and impacts across Canada.

The full report is available at: https://agriculture.canada.ca/en/agriculture-and-environment/drought-watch-and-agroclimate/national-agroclimate-risk-report.

This report (generated on November 1, 2022) provided updates on regional conditions for the past months across Canada, as well as some forecast information for the upcoming winter. Here is some key information related to Atlantic Canada.

Regional Conditions for the Atlantic region:

·       Abnormally warm temperatures and ideal conditions for harvest have been reported.

·       PEI potato harvest is more than 95 % complete. Most potato farmers are reporting average yields and good quality, however, warm temperatures are not ideal for storage.

·       Soybean harvest has begun with good yields being reported. Grain corn harvest is underway. Apple and grape harvest is near-complete.

·       Hurricane Fiona has resulted in damage to corn to the point that it cannot be harvested and apple and grape yields have also been reduced.

·       Structural damage and downed trees are making farming challenging in some areas. A major concern is getting structures sound before winter.

 Forecast for the Atlantic region:

·       The short-term forecast is for warm temperatures across Eastern Canada

·       The Environmental and Climate Change Canada forecast for November is for warmer than normal temperatures from Manitoba east through the Atlantic Region.

·       Drier than normal conditions are forecast for southern Ontario and Quebec and Atlantic Canada

·       The three-month forecast (November, December, and January) shows warmer than normal temperatures continuing across Eastern Canada

 

Thanks,

Hugh Lyu

Wild Blueberry Specialist, Perennia

2022 WBPANS AGM Agenda

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

 Hi, everyone

 

We are fast approaching this year's AGM (Nov 17 and 18) and I like to share the agenda in advance so you can plan your days. Remember, the deadline to register for the meeting (available both in-person and virtually) is Nov 3! Please email: info@nswildblueberries.com or phone: 902-662-3306 to reserve your spot!

Hugh






Soil temperatures update (for Kerb application) and WBPANS AGM

Monday, October 31, 2022

Hi everyone,

I updated the soil temperatures from weather stations located in different locations. We came to a point where most areas start to see soil temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius which brings a great opportunity to apply Kerb if needed. 

Soil temperatures will change during day and night times and from day to day still, but if you need to apply Kerb in any fescue-heavy fields, you should get ready for it. 

Kerb is recommended to be applied when the soil temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius and it is most effective if followed by rain in a day or two. Please watch our report on soil temperatures and weather forecasts to plan your application. 

Soil temperatures in some wild blueberry fields can be found at: http://www.novascotiawildblueberryblog.com/p/weather.html. 

Lastly, if you planning to attend the Annual Meeting of the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia, the pre-registration deadline is November 3! Please email: info@nswildblueberries.com or phone: 902-662-3306 to reserve your spot! See you on Nov 17 and 18 in Truro, NS!


Hugh

Oct 31, 2022

 

Hurricane Fiona Support

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Hurricane Fiona Support

Hello everyone,

I want to provide some updated information about programs to support Nova Scotians who have been impacted by hurricane Fiona. Hopefully, you don’t need them! Those programs cover support for individuals, small businesses and non-profits, and agriculture and forestry.

Please visit this link to get the information: https://novascotia.ca/hurricane-fiona-support/.

Programs to highlight:

1.       Farm Emergency Response Grant Program

 

A one-time grant of $2,500 is being sent to registered farms in Central, Northern and Eastern Nova Scotia that experienced financial losses due to infrastructure or crop damage, livestock loss or extended power outages due to the hurricane. Funding from the $4-million Farm Emergency Response Grant Program is also available to registered farmers who experienced storm damage outside the most impacted regions. For more information, please contact the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture’s Programs Branch at 1-866-844-4276.

If you are a producer outside of the designated impacted regions of Hants, Halifax, Pictou, Cumberland, Colchester, Guysborough, Antigonish and Cape Breton, and suffered direct damage from Hurricane Fiona, please contact Robin Mahoney with Programs at 1-866-844-4276.

If you are an unregistered farm in the impacted areas, please contact Robin Mahoney at 1-866-844-4276.

2.       On-Farm Electrical Interruption Program

 https://novascotia.ca/programs/on-farm-electrical-interruption-assistance/

This program is providing $500,000 in federal and provincial funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to offset costs to farm owners who installed a backup generator immediately before hurricane Fiona or during the extended power outages the storm caused. The program can over up to 100 per cent of the cost of purchasing and installing a generator for on-farm use. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3 billion, five-yar (2018-2023) investment by federal, provincial, and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector.

 

Additionally, there was the following announcement related to additional funding whose details have not yet been finalized:

Provincial Fiona Agricultural Program

Government is providing $6 million through the Provincial Fiona Agricultural Program to cover extraordinary operational costs experienced because of the storm. A simplified application process will be announced soon to ensure funding is dispersed quickly. Additional funding will also be available in the weeks and months ahead to help farmers with rebuilding costs that are not covered by other programs. An email will be sent out regarding this program once guidelines have been finalized, if you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact your local regional office to indicate as such.

Also, the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA) has a new website page just for Fiona, please visit this link to search for useful information for your purposes: https://nsfa-fane.ca/fiona/.

If I have more updates, I will communicate with you.

 

Take care,

Hugh

Pesticide Shortage Updates

Friday, October 14, 2022

 Pesticide Shortage Updates

 

Hi everyone,

I want to provide a quick update about the pesticide shortage issue, especially for herbicides as the industry is in a critical time for fall weed management.  I am sure most of you realize the issue of the shortage of some key herbicides in the market right now, which can be stressful and are likely to distract your regular weed management program and other farming activities.

I am sure the questions you will ask are: “why don’t they have those products? Why can’t they make more right away?”. Simply because the company doesn’t have sufficient raw materials to make those products! A lot of raw materials are produced outside of Canada and there are many reasons why those raw materials can not be produced and shipped to manufacturers on time to meet the demand (you all know the reasons why, and this is not the discussion point for today).

The purpose of this post is to provide some updates on some key products we use in wild blueberries and some tips to help address this issue.

 

Updates on Products

*Things can change quickly so please still check with your retailer to know the most up-to-date information about the products you need!

 

Herbicides:

·       Ignite, Chateau, Kerb and Venture are four products which are completely out this fall. There are chances they will be back next spring, but we don’t know that for sure! Please contact your retailer and make your orders as needed!

·       Sinbar is out

·       Chikara is in good supply

·       Callisto is available

·       Poast Ultra is available (an alternative product of Venture)

·       Option is available

 

Fungicides:

The industry doesn’t need fungicides until next spring and fungicides are in a better situation than herbicides. A simple reason for that is that herbicides require more different kinds of raw materials to formulate the final products. However, we still encourage you to plan and make orders with your retailer as needed.


Quick tips

Here are a couple of quick tips to help growers. Those tips are not going to be as effective as chemicals, but sometimes, they might and could save you some money!

·       Scouting your fields and understanding your weed composition. This information will help you to make a better weed management program. You have your regular spraying program each time, but the lack of some regular products you used in the past could cause panic. We don’t want you to feel you absolutely need a product just because you use it before! A good example is Kerb. Do you really need it? Can you use other alternative products?

 

·       I also encourage you to read Perennia’s Pest Management Guide where we list all available pesticides for the wild blueberry industry. The list can give you some alternative products to use: https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Wild-Blueberry-Pest-Guide-2022_FINAL.pdf.

 

·       Proactive planning and frequent communication with ag retail sales staff will be critical. Call your retailer to get updates on the products you need! They are the best person to contact and growers working closely with their ag retailer continue to be the way that the available supply can be where it needs to be when it needs to be there! If you are being as precise on quantities as you can be, then this is important so the product can be allocated and supplied appropriately! Sometimes you might be lucky as someone might return a couple of jars to the store but that’s not always the case! Especially for spring management (diseases and weeds), we are also going fight with unknown spring weather and disease pressure. So please plan, know what you need and contact your retailer and let them know how many you need!

 

·       Lastly, we are here to help you! If you need me to go to your fields and help you identify the pest issues so you know better what to order, I am happy to do so. Contact me if you need it before it is too late! Hugh Lyu, Wild Blueberry Specialist, hlyu@perennia.ca; 902-890-0472.

 

Have a great weekend!

Hugh

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

 Fall Reminders and Updates


Happy Fall, everyone! Although I have been talking to some individuals, it has been a while since I communicate with all of you through a blog post. In this post, I will share some updates and reminders:

Weather stations and soil temperatures

Fall mowing& weed management and chemical shortage

WBPANS AGM

 

Weather stations and soil temperatures

Weather stations: Perennia is starting to install new weather stations for the second-round successful applicants (Click on this link to know what the weather station assistance program is?). As of today, there are in total of 32 stations in wild blueberry fields: 8 in Colchester, 8 in Cumberland, 9 in Pictou, 4 in the South Shore Counties and 3 in Cape Breton). I encourage you to look and know where those stations are and start to use the data to assist your management. There are two easy ways to access those data:

1.       Perennia Wild Blueberry Blog Weather Page

2.       Cape Breton Mesonet

We are expecting more stations to be installed before the year ends, I will send another update and reminder before the next production season starts.

Soil temperatures: some stations have soil temperature sensors where daily high and low soil temperatures are reported to help with management, especially herbicide application in the fall, Kerb for instance. If you need to apply Kerb this fall, it is worthwhile to understand your local soil temperature and make the application at the appropriate time. Again, to access soil temperature data, growers can visit Perennia Wild Blueberry Blog Weather Page where I update soil temperatures from available stations regularly. As of today, most stations and fields we monitor are getting low soil temperatures (around 10 degree Celsius).

 

Fall mowing& weed management and chemical shortage

Fall mowing: It is recommended growers wait until after the first hard frost in the fall to mow their crop fields. Many of you understand and know how to conduct this task, but if you are new to this and want to learn more about wild blueberry pruning, here is a good factsheet to read: https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/images/sites/wild-blueberry/pdfs/Pruning%20Wild%20Blueberries.pdf.

Fall weed management: besides mowing in the fall, another big task to do for growers is weed management. I wrote an article about fall weed management and it covers some common questions asked by growers. I encourage you to read this article: https://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/farm-focus-august-2022/2022/10/5/fall-is-a-good-time-to-manage-weeds-in-wild-blueberry-fields.

Fall herbicides commonly used by growers include Chateau (moss control), Ignite, Casoron G-4 (control grasses and tough perennial weeds), Kerb SC (hair fescue control), Spartan, Chikara etc.

A special note for Kerb (I hope all of you know this already!). It is recommended to apply Kerb when soil temperatures are below 10 degrees Celsius, and the ground shouldn't be frozen when Kerb is applied.

Chemical shortage:

We are experiencing a chemical shortage due to some known reasons. I can’t help with the supply chain issue but I am certainly up to help you to build your fall and next spring weed management program. Some good tips and questions to ask yourself while we are waiting for things to get normal:

1.       It is important to understand the weed composition of your fields which requires scouting and proper weed identification.

2.       Do I really need Kerb or other herbicides? Applying kerb is becoming a common strategy for many growers, but do you really need it or other cheaper and alternative chemicals can be used in the fall or at a different time (next spring)?

3.       Put thoughts for next spring!  Make your weed management program and make orders for those chemicals.

4.       If you are not sure, please feel free to give Hugh a text or call and I am happy to visit your fields and help you to determine what is the suitable weed management for your farms.

 


WBPANS AGM

 

Last but not least, AGM!

Most of you would receive an email from WBPANS regarding this year’s AGM. Here are some details posted by the association.

 


The Annual Meeting of the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia will be held on November 17 and 18 at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel & Convention Centre in Truro. 

 

For the first time since 2019, we are returning to a full AGM program including a trade show! 

 

Thursday, November 17 will see focused discussions in the morning followed by our business meeting in the afternoon. A reception to honour our Recognition Award Recipients will be held Thursday evening. Friday, November 18 will be technical sessions with researchers and experts.

 

A block of rooms has been set aside at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel in Truro, please give them a call to book your room: 902-893-4311.

 

Lunch will be provided both days so PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED by calling the office at 902-662-3306 or emailing info@nswildblueberries.com

 

Businesses wishing to discuss sponsorship opportunities can give Peter or Janet a call at 902-662-3306.

 

Stay tuned for more details!