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Cattle, balers and herbicides on AIM Day 2 agenda

Not that people haven’t seen cows before, but it was good to see several beef breeds featured at the Masterfeeds

Beef Breeds Showcase at the 2019 Ag In Motion (AIM), near Langham, Sask.

Hereford cattle along with the less common, but often award winning Speckle Park beef breed were on display. Palmer Charolais of Bladworth, SK brought a few head of commercial cattle. Some excellent rates of gain on these six month old calves.

One 1490 pound cow had a 722 lb calf, along with a 1690 lb cow with a 702 lb calf and a 1580 lb cow with a 720 lb calf.

Peter’s Simmental of Perdue, SK brought a cow-calf pair along with Andrew Ranches of Youngstown, AB with some good looking Limousin cattle. Speckle Park has The Big Chill sale coming up Dec. 22 in Saskatoon.

Bison are the featured livestock species on Thursday.


Along with all kinds of livestock handling equipment, fencing systems, and feeding system on display at AIM

2019, one of the really new features among machinery is the first self-propelled round baler introduced by Vermeer, manufactured in Iowa.

The ZR5 baler is expected to be a game changer says Corey Dalman, territory manager for Vermeer based in Manitoba. “It is the first of its kind and sales are already very strong,” he says. “I’m sure competitors will be watching.”

The ZR5 features the same quality Vermeer baler that has been on the market for several years, but now it is connected to a power unit. For service or maintenance as needed the baler section can be detached from the power unit easily “in about two minutes and reconnected in the same amount of time,” says Dalman

The ZR5 cab features all the creature comforts of driving a pickup truck, along with huge windows for excellent visibility. Dalman says with zero radius turning it provides excellent manoeuvrability in the field. Farmer experience from the first models on the market have already shown that the self propelled baler is at least 35 per cent faster than a conventional pull type unit.

“It is at least one-third faster than a pull type baling system,” he says. “If a farm has been using three balers, with a ZR5 in the field they’ll be able to produce the same amount of bales with just two machines, and it may even do better than that.” He says they’ve done field trials comparing one self-propelled baler to two pull-type units. The pull-types produced 150 bales in a day while the single self-propelled baler produced about 138, it almost did the work of two.

The ZR5 baler produces a five-foot wide and up to six-foot tall bale ranging in weight from 1,400 to 1,800 pounds. Dalman recommends to optimize efficiency of the baler, producers should combine two or three windrows into one. “Small windrows don’t make great round bales, so depending on the hay stand it is best to put two or three windrows together.”

Along with excellent visibility from the cab, the baler also has an in-cab monitor showing images from one

camera mounted on the underside to show the windrow feeding into the machine, while a second camera captures the release of the finished bale.

One new feature in the self-propelled model, not found on pull-type balers, is a reverse pickup, which can back hay out of feeding into the machine. “You can never say never, but the baler is less prone to plugging,” says Dalman. “The reverse pickup is a nice feature in case it is needed.”

While the self-propelled baler will retail in the neighbourhood of about $300,000, Dalman says it pencils out very close to the cost of a buying the combination of a 200 horsepower tractor and a pull type baler. It is faster and more efficient, reducing fuel costs and if the farmer can eliminate one (or perhaps two) other balers that also saves on labour and fuel. “And the comfort feature and ease of operation can’t be ignored either,” says Dalman. “That is worth quite a bit.”

You can check out the ZR5 self propelled baler on the Vermeer website at:, contact your local Vermeer dealer, or come see it at Ag In Motion.


And back on crop news, Gowan Canada announced at Ag In Motion the launch of Edge MicroActiv herbicide, as a new tool for weed control in canola, lentils and other broadleaf crops.

Edge itself isn’t a new herbicide. It was first introduced in 1987 and was one of the surface applied products

requiring soil incorporation, which essentially got sidelined over the years as conservation farming (no till farming practices) and other herbicides were developed. However, Edge is one of those older products now being revived by companies such as Gowan because they are still effective weed control tools that fit very well in weed control programs aimed at reducing the risk of weeds being selected with herbicide resistance. And with newer formulations a light harrow may be all the incorporation needed.

Edge MicroActiv contains the active ingredient ethalfluralin, a group 3 mode of action herbicide that controls weeds (such as kochia), which are resistant to other herbicides. In addition to controlling resistant weeds, Edge MicroActiv is broad-spectrum, controlling many important weeds plaguing growers in Western and Eastern Canada.

Jacque Palmer, Gowan Company COO said, “Edge MicroActiv provides canola, pea, and lentil growers an opportunity to stay ahead of resistant weeds by using an alternative mode of action in their herbicide programs.  In addition, Edge MicroActiv is an easier-to-use formulation and treats more acres pound for pound than Edge Granular, reducing storage space and treating more acres per bag.”

The MicroActiv formulation is a tried and tested technology used in other herbicides like Avadex and Fortress. Garth Render, Gowan Canada Manager, said, “Edge MicroActiv users should have the peace of mind knowing they are working with a formulation technology that has been perfected over the years and used on thousands of acres before introducing it to the Edge brand. It is easy to use, providing growers with an alternative mode of action for weed control.”

Lee Hart is a field editor with Grainews based in Calgary. Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]





About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



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