RDBN Growing Opportunities Agricultural Update - July 2021

April 2022 - Issue 10


From vets to vegetables, the RDBN Ag Team has been busy working on important agriculture topics this past month, and the next few months leading to summer look really busy too. Read through this issue to get updated on our podcast series, the recent vet news, an exciting project on pest management and monitoring that is seeking input from producers, and more. And a reminder, our Ag Team will be reaching out to all the producers in the Connecting Consumers and Producers online directory to confirm and update your information. If you would like to be listed on the directory, click here!



Pest Monitoring Pilot and Landscape Dynamics Assessment

The BC Forage Council is starting a new pilot project looking at pest monitoring in the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George Region Districts. The goal of this pilot is to gather baseline data that will support livestock, forage and crop producers of all sizes with better information about changing pest dynamics throughout the region. Funding for the first year of this project is through the Climate Adaptation Program at Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. For more info email: pests@bcforagecouncil.com

There are two immediate opportunities for producers to get involved with this project:

#1: Provide Input on Project Activities - Fill out this survey to provide input... Go to BC Forage Council Pilot Project Survey

#2: Be a Potential Research Site! - Sign-up here if you would be interested in participating in the pest monitoring pilot... Go to Pilot Project Sign-up



RDBN GO Podcast!

We hope you have been enjoying the GO Podcasts. So far we have talked about setting-up the farm using off-grid options and beekeeping. Just released this week Megan talks with folks about forage. We have another 3 podcasts coming up in our pilot series. We hope you get a chance to have a listen. They run around 40 minutes or less, so the perfect amount of time to listen while you are out doing chores.

There are many ways to find the podcast:

Direct from the RDBN website

Direct from our Buzzsprout page

Direct from CICK Smithers Community Radio

Wherever you get your podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc.)

The next topics to be released will be:

APRIL 18, 2022

Forage in the RDBN

We explore types of forage and how to make the most of your pasture and hay fields. Learn the difference between legumes and grasses, hay and silage as Megan talks with three people from across the beautiful Bulkley-Nechako about what makes their forage fields successful, and some of the challenges they face.

Hay field overlooking Francois Lake.

MAY 2, 2022

Eat Your Veggies! Growing in the North

From home gardening to feeding your community, we all have a growing appreciation for access to local food. Hear from experienced vegetable growers at opposite ends of the RDBN about the importance of soil, organic growing, and regenerative agricultural practices in the garden for the beginner and market gardener.

Rows of veggies at Borno's Farm.

MAY 16, 2022

Small-scale Livestock Keeping

Most producers in the RDBN keep animals, from large cow-calf operations, to milk goats, pigs and a myriad of poultry and water fowl. This episode asks local livestock producers to share their tips and tricks to keep healthy animals and the options for making livestock part of your farm business operations.

Sheep farming in the RDBN.



Upcoming Events

Dryland Forage Workshop

Come for an afternoon workshop on selecting suitable dryland forages for your farming operation!

The workshop will be held in:

  • Prince George at the Pineview Community Hall (6470 Bendixon Rd) on April 28


  • Vanderhoof at the Forestry Office (1560 Hwy 16) on April 29


  • Smithers at the Round Lake Community Hall on April 30


Register for the Dryland Forage Workshop


Webinar: IVMA - First Aid for Pesticide Exposure

With the growing season soon approaching, take advantage of this free webinar about acute health risks associated with pesticides.
From 9:00-10:00am Thursday, April 21

Register here


Emergency Management & Preparedness

It is time to start thinking about fire preparedness for 2022. The BC Cattlemen’s Association has arranged for a series of Emergency Management workshops in April and May for farmers and ranchers across the province. Local dates are Prince George April 27, and Smithers April 29.

Find details about the workshops here.



Avian Influenza

As published by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, there are two confirmed Avian Influenza cases in BC. Please follow these links to learn more about Avian Influenza, and how to reduce the risk to your flock.

About Avian Influenza: Avian influenza (bird flu) - Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Small Flock Poultry Health: Provincial Government Information Guide

How to Prevent and Detect Avian Influenza in your Small Flock

BC Vet Seats at WCVM

Rural Agriculture Chair Mark Parker was pleased to see the announcement from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education earlier this month that stated the province will sponsor an additional 20 seats (now 40 total seats) for BC veterinary students to attend the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan. The Ag Team continues to work on this file as this is the first step in increasing the number of vets in the north to support livestock producers.




Clean up the farm with Cleanfarms!

Don’t forget to recycle your agricultural plastics using the CleanFarms Agricultural Plastics program, available at most RDBN Transfer Stations. This program is free! A friendly reminder that agri-pastics need to be as clean as possible to be properly recycled.

Be sure to head to your local Transfer Station and pick up recycle bags for your twine, hay wrap, silage bags, and bunker covers.



RDBN Agriculture Website Spotlight...
Invasive Plant Management

As spring settles in and things start to grow invasive species will start popping out of the ground again. There are a lot of websites, resources, and literature on invasive plants, and the management of them, including which ones are higher priority etc. The RDBN Invasive Plant Management webpage can get you started in learning about how to spot, how to manage and how to stop invasives from taking hold in your fields and gardens.

The RDBN also supports the work of the Northwest Invasive Plant Council in the region. This organization is contracted by the provincial government to carry out monitoring and spraying of invasives across northern BC. To learn more about their work and to find out which species of plants are highest priority in the region, go to their website.

To report invasive species (plants or animals), download the Report Invasive Species App.

Report Invasive Species App



Please let us know what you'd like to see in the next Growing Opportunities eNewsletter!

Megan D'Arcy
(West - Areas A, B, E, G; Smithers, Telkwa, Houston, Granisle, Burns Lake, South Side)

Michelle Roberge
(East - Areas C, D, F; Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Fort Fraser, Fraser Lake, Endako)