Networking required for grain growing in the Cariboo

Our daughter in-law, Shannon, who stays with the children on the ranch in the summers, did some grain growing “trials.”

In my piece on Thanksgiving, I mentioned that our daughter in-law, Shannon,  who stays with the children on the ranch in the summers, did some grain growing “trials.”

She will document the experience, but where would she share it if she did?

Quick internet research doesn’t yield very much locally relevant information. I am not aware of instruction guides for the Cariboo.

So my advice to her was to call a few local people who were known to have researched this topic.

These contacts led to others and she got sufficient advice to get started.

First you have to prepare a seedbed and try to suppress the weeds somehow.

And you have to destroy the old crop usually old hayfield to make way for a sufficiently clean crop of grain which can be harvested, cleaned and then used.

That is not as easy as it sounds. We all have grown grains as cover crops or nurse crops, usually with another final, perennial crop in mind like alfalfa, or a combination of forages (orchard grass, clover, brome, timothy etc. etc.) for winter animal feed i.e. haylage or hay. But grain for human consumption is something else. It needs to be free of the former plants that were on the growing site

The latest Crop Production Guides posted by the BC Ministry of Agriculture don’t list a grain growing guide.

Maybe in the boxes of documents from years gone by there are some, but Shannon didn’t find any in her personal and internet research.

Now B.C. is small agricultural producer compared to the prairie provinces, and there aren’t a lot of people in the ministry and not a lot of research going on, that I know.

The Harper government shut down the Agriculture Research Station in Kamloops a year or so ago and now there are fewer trials going on.

We have to change this. Maybe farmers have to take charge.

The Agriculture Enterprise Centre in the South Cariboo has been trying to do this but core funding for this kind of work doesn’t exist.

BC Cattlemen’s Association has government funding to advance work in “Technology Transfer” which is about testing the best ways to get information out to farmers and ranchers about the beef livestock industry.

My main point here is that individuals trying to become informed about older proven practices and explore new practices or apply latest research will spend a lot of time and may even give up, because it is so daunting.

The solution: producers need to take charge and develop the capacity to design and launch demonstrations and trials, share the results, rework the trials as needed.

Fortunately, in the face of climate change, government and local people have come up with a Climate Adaptation Strategy.

One of the top four priorities is to build our local capacity to oversee and lead applied research on matters of importance to food growing here in the Cariboo.

Then those who want to try growing grain, for example, would  have more practical knowledge to run with.

In the meantime people like Shannon will carry on hopefully with increased and effective focus.

 

David Zirnhelt is a member of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association and chair of the advisory committee for the Applied Sustainable Ranching program which is starting at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake this January.

 

 

Just Posted

Graduate Belle Riding is congratulated by Lake City Secondary School learning support teacher Gail Gardner as she makes her way across the stage to receive her diploma. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
2021 Lake City Secondary School grads take centre stage at Williams Lake campus ceremonies

Ceremonies took place over two days, with COVID-19 restrictions in place for second year in a row

BGC Williams Lake Sprockids participants get ready to hit the trails on Fox Mountain May 27 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sprockids mountain biking program at BGC Williams Lake provides positive, outdoor outlet for youth

Sprockids aims to give youth the opportunity to saddle up on mountain bikes and hit the trails

Paradise Cinemas is ready to welcome back movie viewers once the province gives movie theatres the go-ahead. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
VIDEO: Williams Lake’s Paradise Cinemas eyes June 18 re-opening if COVID-19 restrictions allow

Managing partner Munraj Hothi is looking forward to showing movies again

The Williams Lake Tourism Discovery Centre (Photo submitted)
Bike wash station now available at Tourism Discovery Centre

The project was a long-time goal of the Williams Lake Cycling Club

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read