What happened to January…

Hard to believe that January is almost gone, even harder when we have had rain and plus temperatures melting what little snow that we had. Marie and I left home on the 5th of January for Ontario. I spoke in Cayuga Ontario on the 6th and on the 7th we boarded a plane and headed for Cuba. It was our first visit to Cuba and we enjoyed it a lot. We had great weather with sun every day except the day we were leaving, which made it easier to say good bye. I got kind of used to the lifestyle.
2016-01-11 10.24.01

2016-01-11 10.43.44

We returned just 5 short days later with Marie continuing on home while I stayed in Ontario for two more events. I came home 2 days later after nearly missing my flight due to an accident on highway 401. 3 days later I returned to the airport to fly back to Ontario for 3 days of presentation on succession. Once that was done I then continued my trek eastward where I flew to New Brunswick and presented at both the NB Ag Alliance AGM and the NB Young Farmers Forum, some great groups that made me feel very welcome. I stayed a couple extra days to allow me to visit Matt and Kayla Beal who had recently moved “back home” from Regina. Kayla works at FCC and Matt is now working on his families farm near Sackville NB. You might remember Matt was the mechanic who came to the farm and helped us get our combines ready for the harvest season, we will certainly miss him and hope we can convince him to come out for a visit…
Had a great view from my hotel in Fredericton over looking the St John River.
2016-01-22 08.09.20

From Fredericton I was able to travel with my good friend Cedric MacLeod who was also speaking at the KAP Young Farmer Conference in Winnipeg. It was a great event talking about farmland with young producers that feel the same about the value of farmland across Canada, it won’t be going down anytime soon. Eager to get home after 9 days away I left Winnipeg in a heavy snowstorm to arrive into Saskatoon where nearly 1/2 inch of rain had fallen the night before. Sun was out and plus temperatures meant my truck got pretty dirty, oh well I guess it is washable.

Gotta run as I leave in 2 days for Northern AB to speak on succession and buy vs leasing equipment in the Edmonton area. Travel is going to slow down next month, so more time to focus back on the farm work that has been patiently waiting for me to return.

SYA Conference well worth it

Heading in to day 2 of the Sask Young Ag Entrepreneurs after a John Gormley led panel wrapped up day 1 well into the evening.

Day 1 covered technology overview with highlights from Agritechnica with Shaun Haney, Alana Koch on leadership with my favourite quote referencing family and the importance of making regular deposits into your childrens memory banks. Advice many of us young child parents should take seriously.

I missed most of Kim Gerencser’s presentation on cyclical trends in ag unfortunately.

Sadly feral pigs are becoming a massive issue across Canada and the U.S. Funding is primary coming from the U.S. government to help deal with the issue that most around the room seemed surprised at the extent of the concern and the aggresssiveness and dangerous nature of the little meanies.

Ok, i better get in there for Megan Madden who is up first today.

2015 Wrap Up

As 2015 comes to a close and 2016 begins I reflect on what the year was and like all farmers hope for a great year ahead. 2015 was an interesting weather wise and production wise.  We started out the year with a fair bit of snow. Our annual family snowmobiling trip to “Smoke’m Lodge” mid March was snowmobiling the first day and quadding the second. Warm temperatures melted the snow away rapidly, deteriating the trails overnight.   It appeared we were in for an early spring.

April brought wet snow and lots of it which made sure we were not going to be short of moisture, which was never really a concern given all the subsoil moisture we have. With all the snow and late in the season our first capital purchase was made in early April , a new Schulte snowblower.  They had extra stock and were clearing them out at a discount so we eagerly purchases one.  I figured this machine would be something the boys would use when they took over the farm. And if this weather keeps up this year that will be for sure as we have yet to use it…

Seeding started on May 4th surprising given the late snowfalls we had.  We managed to get our peas in before we got some rain that shut us down for a week.  Seeding resumed on the 12th and went fairly smoothly allowing us to wrap up in the last week of May which hasn’t been the case for several years. Spraying was incredible this year. I can’t remember the last time I sprayed every acre and didn’t make a spray rut. The wind cooperated and I was done spraying in a very timely manner.  So timely that I was able to go to an Inland Terminal Association board meeting in Vancouver.  Part of the meeting was touring the docks and  vessel loading facilities which was an excellent learning experience.  And a pretty great supper cruising on a yacht on the harbour.

On the way home I stopped in Edmonton, rented a one way rental to Saskatoon and bought the family a boat.  It was great times on the water this summer with the boys trying and achieving wake boarding and of course lots of tubing.

Harvest started earlier than most years with dry peas coming off on Aug 13th.  Landon and I started and got off 80 acres before our first rain of the fall.  This gave Landon and I the chance to go get our second capital purchase of the year, a new set of Load King super B grain trailers.  We picked them up at the factory in Morden MB, so we spent 1 night in the truck which Landon loved the experience. We got back and harvest resumed on the peas but it was start and stopping with little rain showers shutting us down every second day. This seemed to be the theme for this year’s harvest with never really getting more than a couple days in a row. During our harvest we made the 3rd and final capital purchase. A new 10×73 auger to unload the semis. Our old one was due to be replaced but with the prices at auction this summer a new one was the best deal.

Our harvest was great productionwise with the most harvested bushels we have ever had.  We hauled all our peas directly to market and a fair chunk of our canola putting our new trailers to good use.  With all the little rains meant I was washing my new trailers almost daily…

Harvest wrapped up on Oct 10th, Saturday of Thanksgiving.  We spent Sunday at mom’s as we certainly had lots to be thankful for.  We worked some stubble because with all the late rains our ground was getting saturated again so we wanted to try and dry it out for next year and now clean up some ruts from the combines and swather, seems we just couldn’t go a year without any.  I had surgery on Nov 13 so it was a rush to get everything done I wanted to before then as I would be out of commission for 6 weeks, well that’s what the doctor told me, but my family knew that would not likely be the case.

December 17th I started booking grain to be hauled. I booked 8 loads (330mt) of wheat to Saskatoon and then get the call that 340mt of barley can be hauled in to local elevators as well.  In 6 days of hauling I logged 3413 km’s (total for the year was 9,963) so it meant for some long days.  To round out the busy week I booked a load of canola as well.  Last load was to Saskatoon on Dec 23rd with a filthy truck and trailers after hauling through rain, snow and sleet.  I booked it in for a wash and between Christmas and new years the boys and I gave it a polish to bring back the bling…


20151229_173633We look forward to what 2016 holds for us so stay tuned to find out.  Happly New Years from LDS Farms