News & Events

2017 Sunflower Variety Performance Trial Data RESULTS

Posted: November 15, 2017

VPT Results image

The 2017 Sunflower Variety Performance Trial data results are now available!

The varieties that appear in these trials are hybrids sunflower breeding companies are actively pursuing or marketing in Manitoba. These varieties may be in the experimental stage or registered with the CFIA.

2017 VPT Data Presentation FINAL

Commodity Groups Develop Amalgamation Roadmap

Posted: November 2, 2017

Merger Working Group

Carman, MB – November 2 – The five commodity groups that signed an MOU in May to explore an amalgamation have met with Manitoba Agriculture, developed a comprehensive member consultation plan and are excited to announce the release of a summary report that will be made available to farmers in December.

“The silos of agriculture are crumbling, like it or not. It’s a change we’ve all observed over the years,” says Eric Fridfinnson, Chair of the Manitoba Flax Growers Association. “This approach – the approach we’ve been working on – has the whole farm in view. We want farmers to have access to commodity-specific information as well as resources that deal with the health and sustainability of their entire farm operations, from rotation BMPs to soil health to multiple-crop growing tips.”

Representatives from Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers, Manitoba Flax Growers, the National Sunflower Association of Canada, Manitoba Corn Growers and Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers have been working with Synthesis Agri-Food Network consultant Rob Hannam on developing a commodity group amalgamation report to present to the province’s farmers.

The report will include information on board/governance structure of the new, combined organization, a potential operations structure as well as a list of farmer benefits, which includes improved agricultural research, improved innovation and increased member value for Manitoba growers producing the represented crops.

Since the MOU was signed in the spring, the working group, consisting of staff representatives from each of the five groups involved, has met on a regular basis to develop questions for the steering committee (made up of board and staff representatives), as well as develop a consultation plan that ensures this process remains driven by Manitoba’s farmers.

In September, the steering committee met with the Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler and members of his office to bring the province up to speed on the MOU and the nature of the upcoming report. The committee was met with optimism and enthusiasm over the project.

Working together to reduce overlap, increase efficiencies and increase research and agronomy capacity is consistent with the province’s commitment to reducing red tape and improving agricultural research and innovation.

The committee met again in October to discuss the legal pathways involved in amalgamating organizations. These talks have helped anticipate and answer questions that the group and/or committee is likely to receive. And each of these talks/meetings will be represented in the soon-to-be-released report.

On January 10, Mr. Hannam and a working group delegation will host a meeting for interested farmers at St. Jean Farm Days. And on January 16, the amalgamation report will be presented at Ag Days in Brandon. Check the website of the event that’s closest to you for presentation details.

Regional consultation meetings are also being planned for Stonewall and Dauphin. The working group will send out details related to those dates before the end of the year.

We strongly encourage farmers to attend the regional consultation meeting or presentation scheduled for their area. We also encourage farmers to attend their organization’s Annual General Meetings (AGM) at CropConnect Conference this winter to discuss the report.

We want to hear your thoughts, take your questions and chat face-to-face.

Feedback from members on this process is always welcome. Please email your questions or comments or thoughts directly to Rob Hannam at rob@mbcrops.ca.

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Rob Hannam
Client Lead
Synthesis Agri-Food Network
519.822.7272
rob.hannam@synthesis-network.com 
Pam de Rocquigny
General Manager
Manitoba Corn Growers and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers
204.745.6661
pam@mbwheatandbarley.ca

For more information, please contact:

Toban Dyck
Director of Communications
Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers
204.227.8875
Toban@manitobapulse.ca

Click here to read the full news release.

Harvest Prep – Tips and Tricks

Posted: September 21, 2017

As desiccation is starting to take place in sunflower fields around the province, its time to prepare for harvest. Sunflowers can be harvested when the seed moisture is below 20%. Harvesting when seed moisture is >20% can result is scuffing which reduces the marketability of the seeds.

Tips and tricks from the experts:

  • Reduce combine speed as sunflower can easily shatter if heads are dry;
  • Cylinder speeds range from 300-500 RPM with concave settings quite open (1″ in front, 3/4″ in rear) to minimize seed breakage and dehulling;
  • Acceptable harvest loss: 10 seeds/sq. ft (don’t forget heads that have seed left in them) represents a loss of 100 lbs/acre.
  • Fire Hazards: Keep combine and grain dryer free of chaff and dust (consider having a portable leaf blower on hand for this).
  • Are your bins ready? Sunflower seed is safe to store at a moisture content of 9.5 percent or less. At 10 to 12 percent moisture content, seed can be stored in bins with aeration.
For more harvest fundamentals click here.
Elskamp1

Desiccation: How, When and Why?

Posted: September 7, 2017

Why should I consider desiccating my sunflowers?

Natural desiccation can be slow and uneven. Poor weather can cause reduced quality and yield through stem breakage, shattering and predation by blackbirds. To speed up the natural desiccation process, it may be worthwhile to consider the use of a chemical desiccation. Chemical desiccants are generally typical herbicides that have achieved special registration to be used as a harvest aid.

What is the right STAGE to desiccate at?
Timing of desiccation is critical as application prior to physiological maturity can result in decreased quality, seed size and test weight. Sunflowers are physiologically mature at the stage R-9. At this stage, the seeds have reached maximum size and bushel weight. Visually, this is when the back of the head is yellow and the bracts are brown and seed moisture is between 30- 35%.

What PRODUCTS are registered as a Harvest Aid?
There are currently three products, Reglone (Syngenta), Desica (Syngenta), and Heat (BASF), registered as a Harvest Aid for sunflowers. Both of these products can be applied by air. The application rates for the products is as follows;

  • Preharvest Interval for Reglones and Desica is 15-20 days.
  • For best results with Reglones and Desica apply in the evenings or on a cloudy day for best results.
  • Preharvest Interval for Heat is 7 days
  • For all products high water volumes are needed for proper efficacy.
  • The above products may have slightly different timing ranges. Consult the label or chemical representative for more details.
How to increase efficacy?
Coverage is critical when desiccating sunflower. This is because the back of the head of sunflower is so pulpy that improved coverage will increase rate of dry-down. Applying at the water volumes as suggested by the chemical companies will achieve the required coverage for desiccation. However, water volumes may be lower than desirable during application. If the application is timed when there is free water or dew on the plants, the products will spread‘ on the dew, resulting in a better desiccation. If activity in the plant (so after application) occurs when temperatures are above 20-25C, this will also aid in faster and more efficient desiccation and dry-down.Click here for the full bulletin.

Exploration of potential commodity group merger taking shape

Posted: August 31, 2017

Merger Working Group

 

 


News Release

Exploration of potential commodity group merger taking shape

Winnipeg, MB – August 31 The roadmap exploring the potential merger of five provincial commodity organizations is starting to take shape following a series of productive meetings and a unanimous commitment to ensuring the process remains farmer-driven.

“This is a watershed moment for agriculture in Manitoba,” says Myron Krahn, president of Manitoba Corn Growers Association. “The directors involved in this process still have a lot of questions and there is still a lot of work to do, but progress on developing a comprehensive member-consultation plan has been made. As farmers, we need to make sure we look at the health and sustainability of the whole farm and not just one commodity over another.”

On August 1 of this year, the merger steering committee comprised of the staff leads from each involved commodity group and directors from each of the represented boards (Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, Manitoba Flax Growers Association, National Sunflower Association of Canada and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association) met with advisor Rob Hannam of Synthesis Agri-Food Network in Carman, Man. The day-long meeting led by Hannam tackled topics related to direction, identified how a combined organization can be more effective, answered questions and concerns and established timelines for farmer member consultations.

With the intention of creating a proposal highlighting a path forward, the steering committee has begun talks surrounding the guiding principles of a merged organization; the purpose and benefits of such a group; the board and governance structure; maintaining relationships with partner and sister organizations and the decision-making process for members. Crop research and agronomy along with market development activities will continue to be the main focus and mandate of a merged organization, as it is today for each of the five groups.

“I think we all left the meeting with an appreciation for the sensitivity and attention to detail this process requires,” adds Krahn. “I will say this: farmer members need to drive this and we as directors need to make sure that happens.”

On August 22,  another meeting between the commodity group heads (working group) took place to add the next layer of details to the plan and to establish timelines for communications, including engagement with all board members, the farmers who grow the represented crops and government.

“It is quite important that we hear from as many farmers as possible.” says Hannam. “So we have set up a special email address as a way to gather feedback. You can email your comments, ideas, as well as any concerns to me at feedback@mbcrops.ca.“

Farmers who grow barley, corn, edible beans, flax, pulses, soybeans, sunflower or spring wheat are encouraged to send their feedback and/or questions to the email address listed above.

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Rob Hannam
Client Lead
Synthesis Agri-Food Network
519.822.7272
rob.hannam@synthesis-network.com 
Pam de Rocquigny
General Manager
Manitoba Corn Growers and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers
204.745.6661
pam@mbwheatandbarley.ca

For more information, please contact

Toban Dyck
Director of Communications
Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers
204.227.8875
Toban@manitobapulse.ca

Click here to see the pdf format. 

Working Group Hires Advisor to Explore Merger, Get Farmer Feedback

Posted: June 22, 2017

Merger Working Group

 

 

 

Carman, MB – June 22 The working group comprised of the executive directors and general managers of the five commodity groups that earlier this year committed to exploring a merger are excited to announce the hiring of advisory firm Synthesis Agri-Food Network to begin the precursory process.

“We received many good proposals from qualified firms, but we are confident Synthesis will be able to hit the ground running, building on the progress we have already made with respect to working together,” says Monika Haley, administrator at Manitoba Flax Growers Association. “Synthesis’s outcomes were very clear and its timelines were in keeping with our commitment to progress and member feedback.  Rob Hannam and his team further strengthen our ability to continue working through the process of a potential merger of commodity groups.

In May of this year, the Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, Manitoba Flax Growers Association, National Sunflower Association of Canada and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Association signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to begin exploring a merger. The MOU itself is a watershed moment for the agriculture industry in Manitoba, conceived out of a desire to increase administrative and research efficiencies and deliver more value back to farmers.

Click here to read the full news release.

SUNFLOWER Pesticide Re-Cropping Restrictions

Posted: May 10, 2017

Some crops are more sensitive to herbicide carry-over than others. Sunflowers specifically, can be negatively affected by residues of a number of herbicides. Keep in mind that not all the herbicides that you may use are included on this list. If you are unsure of what you have sprayed or have questions on other products don’t hesitate to call the chemical company or refer to the Guide for Crop Protection.

Sunflower Re-cropping Restrictions

Five Grower Organizations Sign Milestone MOU, Work Towards Merger

Posted: May 2, 2017

Merger Working Group

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Five Grower Organizations Sign Milestone MOU, Work Towards Merger                                                                           

Carman, MB – May 2  A milestone Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed committing a group of five, like-minded commodity associations to work towards merging into one organization in order to increase efficiencies and maximize profitability and sustainability for Manitoba farmers.

The involved organizations include Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA), Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers Association (MPSG), Manitoba Flax Growers Association (MFGA), National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Association (MWBGA).

The MOU represents a significant step forward following more than three years of talks surrounding how the above groups could better work together to maximize member value.

“The Board of Directors of the MWBGA and MCGA have taken a lead in showcasing how commodity groups can work together,” says Pam de Rocquigny, who was recently hired as general manager of both MWBGA and MCGA. “This MOU signals a more formalized relationship between all the involved commodity groups as we work together to explore new and innovate ways in how our organizations can improve efficiencies and deliver maximum value to our memberships.”

The commodity organizations involved are seeking the help of an advisor to help facilitate the process of taking their commitment to merge from infancy to fruition by facilitating the development of a work plan that includes timelines and consultation with members.

The group has no predetermination of what this common commodity organization will eventually look like. The group has expressed, unequivocally, that it will make sure the farmers from each commodity organization represents will have a strong, critical voice in shaping this merger.

“This is the first step in a long process,” says Jason Voth, chair of MPSG’s Board of Directors. “I am very pleased to hear that these groups are willing to work together. As a farmer, this makes sense. Good farming is about growing more than one crop. I represent one farm that grows multiple crops. This merger makes sense.”

These talks began in the spring of 2014, when at the manager/director level the idea of collaboration among groups began gaining momentum. In November of that year, a motion around the board table was passed to begin investing minimal dollars towards pursuing the idea of working together to increase efficiencies. Months later, a collaboration group was formed. Since that time, a group of interested organizations have met on a monthly basis to discuss the possibilities that have led to the exciting milestone of this MOU.

Currently, all of the above commodity groups, with the exception of the Manitoba Flax Growers, operate out of the same building in Carman, Manitoba.

While five grower organizations have signed the MOU, they are willing to allow other, like-minded commodity groups to join the merger talks, provided they have the same level of commitment to delivering value and increasing profitability among their farmer members. Interested organizations will have an opportunity to join this working group in April of 2018 after the first phase of this process has been completed.

From the MOU

“We share a common goal to improve the sustainability and profitability of farms in Manitoba,” reads the MOU. “Our intention is to develop a future working relationship that is efficient, effective and advantageous to our members. Our vision is to work for the next year to develop a plan for merging into a common commodity organization consisting of like-minded grower groups. We are entering into this process with no predetermination of what this common commodity organization will eventually look like.”

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For more information, please contact:

Toban Dyck
Director of Communications
Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers
204.227.8875
toban@manitobapulse.ca
Pam de Rocquigny
General Manager
Manitoba Corn Growers and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers
204.745.6661
pam@mbwheatandbarley.ca

Full News Release
Statement of Work

Strengthening Member Value

Posted: April 6, 2017

Strengthen Member Value document_Page_1If you did not attend CropConnect and hear the lunch hour presentation on “How Manitoba Commodity Groups can Strengthen Member Value” take the time to read the handout.

Let us know what you think as a grower?
Discussion will be taking place to determine if a merged organization of some MB commodity groups has merit.  Call the office (204-745-6776) or email: info@canadasunflower.com

Click here to read the handout.

NSAC announces Daryl Rex as Research Agronomist

Posted: March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Sunflower Association of Canada Inc. announces Daryl Rex as Research Agronomist

Daryl Rex will be responsible for the NSAC research portfolio under the guidance of the board of directors, including the Confection Sunflower Variety Development Initiative trials, grower services program and variety development trials.

Carman, Manitoba – NSAC is pleased to announce the appointment of Daryl Rex as Research Agronomist. NSAC is a national, non-for-profit, producer funded organization that works on behalf of the sunflower growers of Canada to promote and expand the industry, both internationally and domestically.  The NSAC represents approximately 350 producers of both confectionary and oilseed sunflowers through the Prairie Provinces.

Daryl has significant experience in trial management, implementing and conducting research trials for many different crops types in Western Canada.  He has specialized in the coordination and management of varietal and agronomic research plots from design through to harvest including statistical analysis of trial data. His experience combined with the knowledge of Manitoba crop production systems and agriculture make him well suited as the Research Agronomist for NSAC.  Daryl can be reached at 204-745-6776 or daryl.rex@canadasunflower.com.

About NSAC
The National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC), Inc. was initiated at a meeting in Carman, MB on November 18, 1996. The association addresses the sunflower industry with one voice and membership includes producers, oil and confection type buyers, exporters and processors, pesticide manufacturers and dealers and the seed industry.  The NSAC mission statement is “to insure the profitability and long term growth of the sunflower crop through industry wide leadership.” NSAC is funded by a 0.5% check off levy and is governed by a board of directors, including elected active producers and appointed industry representatives.

Contact Information:

National Sunflower Association of Canada Inc.
Box 1269 Carman, Manitoba R0G 0J0
(204) 745-6776www.canadasunflower.com
info@canadasunflower.com

Canada