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Agriculture

Firefighters from six communities battle Manitoba dairy barn fire

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dairy barn fire

STEINBACH, Man. — Hundreds of cattle have been killed in a fire that destroyed a large dairy complex in southeastern Manitoba.

The fire broke out sometime before 5 a.m. Monday at the four-barn Pennwood Dairy, northeast of Steinbach.

Kelvin Toews, the community’s fire chief, said there were about 1,000 animals in the barns and about 200 survived.

“It’s a loss of around 800 (cattle). It’s a shame there were animals in the barn. We lost a bunch,” said Toews.

The fire chief said three barns were on fire when crews arrived and the fourth was in flames soon after.

He said an unknown number of people were involved in milking operations in the buildings at the time, but they all got out safely.

Crews from six fire departments fought for hours to control the flames that belched clouds of thick, black smoke across a wide area.

The fire is believed to have started in one of the four metal-clad buildings that were linked to each other.

A damage estimate was not immediately available and investigators from the provincial fire commissioner’s office arrived at the scene later Monday.

Toews said emergency crews would probably be at the scene most of the day for mop-up purposes.

“It’s a tin barn so we have to peel it back and get to the fire. There’s some silage piles on fire, too.”

The fire came as Pennwood Dairy was preparing to expand its herd to about 1,700 cattle. (CHSM)

The Canadian Press

Ag meets Food

The next 30 harvests are the most important in history… An urgent message to the world from US Farmers and Ranchers

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US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance

US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Launches Short Film as Start of Movement to Create Sustainable Food Systems

The Challenge of a Generation: “30 Harvests” Takes a Look at Farmers’ Role in Combatting Climate Change

The US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) has unveiled a new film that highlights the urgency needed in the fight against climate change. Despite uncertain economic times, farmers are front and center as the agents for change in “30 Harvests.”

“The next 30 years are the most important in the history of agriculture. Food production will need to increase by 70% to feed the world by 2050. How do we nourish a growing population while our farmable land is shrinking?” said Erin Fitzgerald, CEO, USFRA. “30 Harvests captures the passion and hope that our farmers have in providing a dependable source of healthy food while addressing economic and environmental concerns for current and future generations.”

The docudrama follows the plight of farmer Jay Hill of Dell City, Texas, and farmer and soil scientist Meagan Kaiser of Bowling Green, Missouri. In the short film, they articulate the challenges farmers face while embracing the opportunity to meet the increasing demands for food, and ultimately help solve one of the greatest challenges of this generation: climate change.

“As farmers, we need to let the world know that we’re on the front lines of climate change,” said Hill. “If you think that we’re not scared of a changing environment, then you’ve got it wrong.”

Thirty harvests quantifies the crop cycles left before 2050, the year the global population is expected to be 9 billion people. According to American Farmland Trust, the U.S. loses 175 acres of farmland every hour, mostly to urban encroachment. Additionally, the U.S. Global Change Research Program reports that the effects of climate change are already being felt, with increases in average temperature, extreme heat conditions, heavy rainfall, droughts and extreme weather events contributing to excessive runoff, flooding, and soil erosion, loss of soil carbon and reduce the availability and quality of water. However, agricultural soils have the capacity to capture and store carbon, making every acre of farmland more important than most ever believed, and putting farmers and ranchers in a position to be the change makers.

“30 Harvests is just one story. There are hundreds – thousands – of other stories about how farmers are continually innovating and evolving with climate smart agricultural practices, even in a tough economic environment,” said Kaiser.

USFRA is convening leaders in the agriculture and food value chain to create a strategic roadmap to meet the challenges of the next decade of nourishing an unprecedented population while enhancing the environment on which we all rely and benefit from.

“This is a call to leaders in food, finance and science to be part of the solution to co- create sustainable food systems with U.S. farmers and ranchers,” said Fitzgerald. “We’re starting with climate change and how we can pull down carbon on our farms. Our hope is that one day soon, we can be the first sector in our country that is carbon neutral and over time, helping offset for other sectors.”

“30 Harvests” is available to view at www.usfarmersandranchers.org.

ABOUT USFRA
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) represents farmer and rancher-led organizations, and food and agricultural partners, with a common vision to further our global sustainable food systems. We believe farmers uniquely contribute to nourishing our planet, people, and natural resources. Our focus is creating a proactive collaboration between the best minds in food, agriculture, science, and technology to co-create solutions that will result in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Learn more at www.usfarmersandranchers.org.

“Farmers and ranchers are on the front lines in the battle against climate change, providing a dependable source of healthy food while addressing economic and environmental concerns for current and future generations. This is a call to leaders in food, finance and science to be part of the solution with U.S. farmers and ranchers.”

– Erin Fitzgerald,
Chief Executive Officer

The docudrama follows the plight of farmer Jay Hill of Dell City, Texas, and farmer and soil scientist Meagan Kaiser of Bowling Green, Missouri. In this film, they articulate the challenges farmers face while embracing the opportunity to meet the increasing demands to create sustainable food systems through the next 30 harvests, and ultimately help solve the greatest challenge of this generation: climate change.

This film is inspired by true events in the lives of farmers Jay Hill and Meagan Kaiser.

 

 

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Agriculture

Figures show claims mounting as hail hammers Saskatchewan farmers in 2019

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The Canadian Crop Hail Association says more than 10,000 damage claims have been received by its member companies so far this season.

The association says in a release that at the mid-point of the year, Saskatchewan farmers filed 6,900 claims — the most on the Prairies.

The five-year average for Alberta and Saskatchewan is up slightly, while Manitoba is down somewhat for the hail season, which ends in October.

Processing of received claims is about half complete.

The most recent numbers from the organization show 2,000 claims have been filed in Alberta and 1,300 in Manitoba.

Overall, hail claims are on a pace with 2018, which saw more than 11,000 filed by the end of the year.

Association president Rick Omelchenko says hail damage is not the only factor farmers must contend with as harvest approaches.

“Harvest might be better in Manitoba with the decrease in hail claims, but extremely wet weather in some places and extremely dry weather in other provinces will also have an impact on harvest volumes,” he said in a statement.

Storm activity decreased between July 27 and Aug. 6, although some places recorded hail the size of baseballs.

Farmers made 900 claims during that period, with reports still coming in.

The Canadian Press

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august, 2019

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