BY LEE HART
Nothing impresses a crop protection company expert more when talking to an ag reporter than to demonstrate your knowledge of the
agriculture industry. So I got off to amazing start on the third morning at the Ag In Motion farm show in Saskatchewan — as I was looking for the scoop on nitrogen stabilizer products — when I asked Jason Smith of Dow AgroSciences “so Jason what’s new with ESN?”
He glanced off to the side for a second and then said “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the folks at Agrium.”
Oh MY God…wrong product, wrong company. What was I thinking? I quickly explained that I had had a serious stroke the night before, but wasn’t letting that stop me from working, which I am pretty sure he bought into. This was bad folks. DAS even bought me lunch one day earlier this winter to talk about their nitrogen stabilizer products, I think a complimentary mini multi-tool even came with deal and now in my first big test to demonstrate my vast knowledge of crop protection and enhancement products and I blew it.
Jason was gracious. After he stopped laughing he went on to explain the basics of DAS’s two excellent products — there’s N-Serve that specifically designed for cabbage and eNtrench, which when used as directed really does a number on male-pattern baldness.
Okay, enough joking around — there is N-Serve which can be either fall or spring applied and does an excellent job of reducing the nitrogen losses when applying anhydrous ammonia. And for producers using liquid or granular fertilizer products there is eNtrench. These products don’t tie up the nitrogen, they temporarily deactivate the microbes and enzymes in the soil that break down nitrogen. When the growing season starts, so does the availability to the nitrogen. But more on these will be covered in Grainews this fall. (www.protectyournitrogen.ca)
To smooth things over as the interview ended I congratulated Jason on the great work DAS has done in developing the InVigor line of canolas, and thanked them for the tremendous contribution their Roundup product has made to advancements in agriculture world wide. I wanted him to know his nitrogen stabilizer story was in good hands.
Then, it was off to the Sask Pulse Growers booth to find out what was new in flax research and development.
So that’s how the final morning of the Ag In Motion farm show, near Langham just northwest of Saskatoon got rolling for me. Fortunately the day improved or at least didn’t slide backwards any further. My deodorant did wear off at about 12:30 but it didn’t seem to be a huge deterrent.
And it was another fine day at the show. Boy, these Glacier Farm Media guys sure know how to pick the weather. Second annual show, both years under bright, sunny, dry skies. (And for anyone not familiar the Glacier Farm Media group includes fine agricultural publications such as Grainews, Country Guide, Canadian Cattleman, Western Producer and provincial publications Manitoba Co-operator and Alberta Farmer Express and other lesser known publications — the New York Times and Playboy, but agriculture is the focus.)
So what else did I learn on my travels today: Jason Wright of CAP Solar based in Olds, AB is still producing a very fine line of solar powered watering systems for livestock. Big or small all seasons of the year these watering systems are self sufficient (with the help of the sun) for delivering daily water supply to cattle. As Jason noted as more producers are looking to extend that grazing season into fall and winter his watering systems even capture the thermal heat of the water to keep systems ice free in winter. (www.capsolar.com)
And BASF has two interesting new products near the end of the development pipeline. Dylan Greenwald was telling me about a new fungicide called Cotegra, soon to be released that has a dual-action mode for controlling sclerotinia in canola. Another useful tool. And Colleen Redlick talked to me about Nexicor a new multiple modes of action fungicide for cereal leaf diseases. It should be available in 2017 as well. Stay tuned on
And Adam Reid, marketing guy with Buhler Industries was telling me about the big 50th anniversary event earlier this year they had for Versatile tractors. To celebrate the 50th year they produced 50 special edition tractors then had them assembled in one location with their new owners for a photo opportunity. It might be a bit strong to say not too many years ago Versatile had almost disappeared, but the company has brought this line of red and yellow tractors with considerable life. Who wouldn’t want one of these in their yard. The Ag In Motion farm show was just one of the stops for Reid in his busy travel schedule. I believe he said he had about 45 shows and conferences to attend last year. I taught this kid everything I knew when he took over as editor of one of our
Alberta publications about a dozen years ago. Now he is all over the world selling tractors and other Buhler products. He and his lovely wife Crystal now live in Toronto. She is one of the news anchors for Global television. I imagine the big news around their house these days is that Adam is actually home for a night. I wonder who is mowing the lawn over there. Anyway, if you don’t own a Versatile tractor yet, Adam says he will build one and deliver it. (www.buhlerindustries.com)
I also got in a bit of shuttle duty on side-by-side and four-seater ATV’s supplied by Kubota, which in itself was a good opportunity to visit with a guests both coming and going.
There’s a fair bit of walking at AIM, which can be a bit daunting even for natural born athletes such as myself, so if an orange motorized buggy appears with at least one empty seat you take it. Never mind warnings about talking to and accepting rides from strangers, the risk could save many, many steps.
A farmer from Wilkie, he’s semi-retired. Started farming himself right out of high school, now his son is taking over. His crops were looking good, may be even a record year. A couple Hutterite men from Swift Current, crops are good in southern Saskatchewan, too. A retired farmer from Saskatoon really liked the show. He wanted a ride back to his vehicle (probably for that mid day nap) before resuming a walk through displays a bit later. A young farmer brought his mom and dad to the show, they welcomed a ride in from the parking lot. Two CBC Radio Canada reporters, with equipment, needed a ride to a farm safety talk at the north end of the show. And then there was a foursome (two couples) who wanted to commandeer my shuttle and me for the afternoon. They offered to pay, wanted to buy me lunch. But I had to keep moving. I did find them a concession stand not too far from the beer pavilion and they were more than happy to start their Ag In Motion experience there. The one fella insisted on leaving me a $5 tip. (I plan to gladly share it with the other 200 volunteers at the show).
Those are some of the highlights of the Ag In Motion show for me this year. But honestly it was a tough decision to leave, especially after I discovered a can of Copenhagen at the nearby Langham Petro Canada is about $7 cheaper than I can buy in Alberta. Do I really want to leave Saskatchewan? I’ll have to stock up again next year.
Lee Hart is a field editor with Grainews based in Calgary. Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]