Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) held its Annual General Meeting February 5-6 in Winnipeg. Here is a list of the 17 resolutions that were passed at the meeting:
Maintenance of Service Roads – District 3
Whereas, the medians have been closed by Manitoba Infrastructure on the Perimeter Highway limiting safe field access for farmers and the service roads are not in good condition; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby the Government of Manitoba to upgrade and maintain service roads where access roads have been closed due to Manitoba Government policy.
Class 1 Licence for Farm Use – District 1
Whereas, the Saskatchewan government recognizes the unique use of Class 1 licences for farm use; and,
Whereas, the current Class 1 licensing procedure is adequate for farm purposes; and,
Whereas, a 200+ hour course/training program would be impractical and inefficient for farmers and farm employees; and,
Whereas, some Manitoba and Saskatchewan farmers operate in both provinces; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby the Government of Manitoba to create and implement a Class 1 Farm licence to harmonize with the Saskatchewan government.
Dual Rail Lines – District 6
Whereas, rail transportation across Canada relies on proper planning of sharing in some instances one rail; and,
Whereas, head on train collisions still occur because of shared single rail lines; and,
Whereas, both national rail lines should continue to make meeting and exceeding their customers’ (meaning the farmer) expectations a priority; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP, with assistance from CFA, lobby the national railways to continue their efforts to provide dual rail lines.
Supporting Rail Transportation – District 6
Whereas, rail lines through the mountains continue to be a very expensive proposition for the two national railways in Canada; and,
Whereas, passage through a number of bottlenecks in BC, particularly in the mountains and at the west coast port entry in Vancouver, causes unreasonable and expensive delays in delivery; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP continue to work with CFA and the Government of Canada to make rail transportation a priority, ensuring financial assistance from the federal government is available to ensure our commodities can get to market.
Developing Information Resources for the Movement of Farm Machinery and Equipment – District 6
Whereas, the Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Infrastructure and other governments are updating regulations and highway permitting requirements; and,
Whereas, many producers are unaware of these changes to various regulations as they apply to the movement of farm machinery, equipment and goods; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP work with the various provincial government departments to develop a document and/or website that explains in simple language the new and existing regulations that apply to the movement of farm equipment, machinery and commodities.
Living Labs – District 1
Whereas, the Government of Canada has allocated money for a Living Labs project to address environmental concerns; and,
Whereas, the administrator of the Living Labs project, Agriculture and Agriculture-Food Canada (AAFC) has had preliminary discussions with KAP; and,
Whereas, UNIPCC-SR15 recommends that fossil fuel usage decline to 45% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, and recommends atmospheric carbon be sequestered back into the soil; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby AAFC to have a role in the strategic direction of the Living Labs project to ensure farmers have the option and ability to practice Best Management Practices (BMPs) which directly address the needs outlined in the Paris Climate accord and UNIPCC-SR15.
Drainage, Retention and Irrigation – District 1
Whereas, Class 1-4 wetlands fluctuate considerably and often dry up during the year; and,
Whereas, Class 1-4 wetlands can potentially remain dry for years at a time; and,
Whereas, amalgamating Class 1-4 wetlands could have numerous environmental benefits; and,
Whereas, consolidating wetlands using tile drainage would permit larger pond/retention areas to receive the water and become a more permanent habitat for wildlife; and,
Whereas, irrigating with water stored on a producer’s land would have many environmental, economical and risk management benefits; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby the Government of Manitoba to remove compensation requirements for Class 3-5 wetlands in projects where the water is entirely maintained and stored within the project, to then later be used as an irrigation source.
Class 3 Wetlands – District 1
Whereas, Class 3 wetlands by description provide a very short season of habitat; and,
Whereas, a wetland that dries up through evaporation leaves behind saline salts that deteriorate soil health; and,
Whereas, there is a very large offsetting cost difference between Class 2 and Class 3 wetlands that is likely to lead to a great amount of dissatisfaction with the proposed system; and,
Whereas, Class 3 wetlands were eligible to be drained under the old Water Rights Act; and,
Whereas, tile drainage is an available option to drain wetlands (at the appropriate rate and time) that ensures Class 3 wetlands are maintained until the frost has lifted; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby the Government of Manitoba to reduce (or remove) the offsetting costs of Class 3 wetlands.
Seed Research and Development – District 4
Whereas, Agriculture Canada expects to maintain the milling quality of registered wheat varieties; and,
Whereas, Agriculture Canada restricts the import of foreign wheat varieties that do not reach those milling quality standards; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby Agriculture Canada to continue to research, develop and finish wheat varieties that set the standards in the milling industry.
Grain Dryer Certification – Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Inc.
Whereas, producers’ use of grain dryers can lead to improvement of quality and marketability of harvested grain, and is a management option in years of difficult harvest conditions, where both can maximize producers’ profitability; and,
Whereas, the Government of Manitoba is leading an initiative to reduce red tape and improve regulatory accountability as part of its plan to fix the finances, repair the services and rebuild the provincial economy and has introduced measures to define, implement and track progress on reducing red tape and regulatory requirements; and,
Whereas, Manitoba, and other provinces such as Saskatchewan, use the Canadian Standards Association regulations where grain dryers are expected to meet the CSA 3.8 standard, but interpretation and application of the regulations are not consistent between Office of the Fire Commissioner inspectors; and
Whereas, this issue of interpretation and application of regulations related to certification of grain dryers has been an on-going issue in Manitoba since 2012 and where resolutions were made to KAP in 2014 to address clarity and timeliness of grain dryer certifications; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP continue to lobby the Office of the Fire Commissioner, Manitoba Infrastructure and Manitoba Agriculture in providing clarity to the interpretation and application of the Canadian Standards Association regulations as to ensure producers have access to both new and used grain dryers and to increase the number and speed of grain dryer certifications in Manitoba.
Expanding Natural Gas Capacity – Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Inc.
Whereas, expansion and increased access of natural gas into more areas of rural Manitoba would be an economic benefit to agricultural producers, including reduction of grain drying costs for corn growers and other producers who rely on artificial drying to maximize profitability through harvest management and maintaining grain quality; and,
Whereas, expansion and increased access of natural gas would be of economic benefit to the province of Manitoba and help drive growth, including making Manitoba more competitive and attractive to agricultural industries and other businesses; and,
Whereas, other provinces are also expanding natural gas access, including the province of Ontario who recently announced the passing of Bill 32, The Access to Natural Gas Act, allowing for a mix of investment options and to clear regulatory blocks to fund and expand natural gas access to more parts of rural and northern Ontario; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP develop a plan with key industry stakeholders with the goal to expand natural gas capacity in rural Manitoba to provide economic and competitive benefits to producers, the agricultural sector and Manitoba as a whole.
Wild Boar Population in Manitoba – Manitoba Pork Council
Whereas, reported sightings and anecdotal evidence suggest that there is a significant population of wild boar, an invasive species, in Manitoba; and,
Whereas, the spread of African swine fever into several European countries is attributed, at least in part, to the difficulty in controlling wild boar movement and it is also virtually impossible to eradicate any animal disease being hosted and spread by wild boar; and,
Whereas, African swine fever entering the wild boar population would devastate hog production and processing in Manitoba, resulting in a loss of thousands of jobs and a significant portion of the agricultural economic activity in our province and in our country; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP meet with the Association of Manitoba Municipalities with a request that the municipalities not approve any wild boar conditional use applications; and be it further
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby the Government of Manitoba to direct resources to identifying and eradicating wild boar populations within Manitoba.
Veterinary Training for Manitoba Residents – Manitoba Pork Council, Manitoba Sheep Association, and Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association
Whereas, Manitoba Pork Council has been informed by the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association that the provincial government is reviewing its funding support for Manitoba residents who are students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM); and
Whereas, Manitoba Pork Council, Manitoba Sheep Association, and Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association have shared concerns regarding the provincial government’s review of its funding support for the WCVM; and,
Whereas, nearly 90% of mixed (companion and large) animal practitioners and well over 80% of large animal veterinarians in Manitoba are WCVM graduates; and
Whereas, any decrease in the ability of Manitobans to access training at the WCVM could compromise the availability of large animal veterinary services to Manitoba's livestock producers; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP meet with the provincial Minister of Education to encourage the Government of Manitoba to maintain its level of support funding for Manitoba students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM); and be it further
Resolved, THAT KAP discuss with the Dean of the WCVM additional supports which would encourage graduates to return to Manitoba and establish or join large animal practices.
Cereal Genetic Funding – District 1
Whereas, KAP advisory councils have suggested a 3rd option in place of trailing royalties or end point royalties; and,
Whereas, producers believe that continued investment in seed variety development is imperative for our industry, but are concerned about potential costs of this endeavour; and,
Whereas, producers have shown a desire to keep Agriculture and Agriculture-Food Canada (AAFC) involved in seed variety development; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby the Government of Canada to do further research on a point of delivery check off system, in place of trailing or end point royalties.
Cash Advance Program for Innovative Farming – District 3
Whereas, farming is capital intensive; and,
Whereas, start up farms and value-added enterprises are often innovative and meeting emerging markets; and,
Whereas, an interest free cash advance is available to many niche crops in other provinces; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby the commodity group associations to work with the Government of Canada to allow innovative farms and value-added enterprises to access the interest free cash advance program in Manitoba with an enhanced crop list similar to other provinces.
Support for Innovative Farming – District 3
Be it Resolved THAT KAP lobby the Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba to provide more resources to help innovative farms and value-added enterprises to get established in Manitoba.
Road Test for Class 1 Licence – Manitoba Canola Growers Association
Whereas, it is difficult to find farm labor and farm labor with a Class 1 driver’s licence; and,
Whereas, there is a two-month waiting list to get an appointment for an MPI road driving test to get a Class 1 driver’s licence; and,
Whereas, if you hire an employee in early spring (February or March) with a Class 3 or 5 driver’s licence it is virtually impossible to get a road test to secure a Class 1 licence for the operation of a semi-tractor by spring seeding; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, THAT KAP lobby the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation to address the deficiency of instructors who give the road tests for Class 1 driver’s licences.