RDBN Growing Opportunities Agricultural Update - July 2021

August 2021 - Issue 3

Come say 'Hi' to the RDBN Ag Team at the Bulkley Valley Exhibition!

The RDBN Agriculture Team is going to the BVX Aug 26-29! We'll be set-up in the vendor area all weekend long. Come by our Connecting Consumers and Producers booth to talk with RDBN staff about all things agriculture in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. Plus, grab some cool swag and enter our fabulous draw!

Invasive Plants on your Property - What to do?

The RDBN is one of the partner organizations of the Northwest Invasive Plant Council (NWIPC). The NWIPC is a non-profit organization that manages non-native, invasive plants across northwestern BC. The partnership between the RDBN and NWIPC includes:

  • The NWIPC monitors for invasive plants at RDBN managed sites (eg. landfills) and will remove invasive plants from these sites through biological, chemical, mechanical or a combination of methods. These sites are monitored annually. Additionally, the NWIPC will respond to private lands within the RDBN that have invasive species of highest priority. 
  • Managed through the NWIPC, the RDBN sponsors the Landowner Invasive Plant Removal Rebate Program for landowners within the RDBN. This program will cover some of the cost incurred by landowners who hire an approved contractor in to remove invasive plants from their property. There are invasive plant removal contractors located in Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, and Smithers.
  • RDBN funding support to NWIPC also goes towards public education, and the promotion of the Play Clean Go program. This program is an education initiative to stop the spread of invasive species in parks and natural areas.

If you think you have an invasive plant species on your property, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Download the 'Report Invasive Species' App (Apple and Android) to help ID and report the plant and its location (submit your report even if out of cell range, it'll load when you get back into service).
  2. Contact the NWIPC directly at 1-866-449-3337 if you have a priority invasive plant on your property (see link below).
  3. Consider hiring an approved contractor to remove invasive plants from your property and apply for the Landowner Rebate to help with the costs.
  4. Check out the RDBN's Invasive Species page on the RDBN Agriculture website for more information and other helpful links. And continue reading below for more information.

Images courtesy of the NWIPC website.

Priority Invasive Species

Priority invasive plant species listed by the NWIPC can be found on their website. The Regional species of greatest concern include Baby's Breath, Brown Knapweed, Field Scabious (photo above), Bighead Knapweed, Black Knapweed, Chicory, and Cypress Spurge.

Go to the Target Plant List

Play Clean Go Program!

COME Clean - LEAVE Clean...
• Clean your gear before ENTERING and LEAVING a recreation or agricultural site.
• Wash boots, wheels, boats, and hooves.

Watch for signs along trails, boat launches, etc.

Go to Play Clean Go

Landowner Invasive Plant Removal Rebate Program

This program is to aid landowners with the cost of controlling invasive plants on their private land. Qualified applicants may be eligible for a 50% rebate, maximum rebate is $750. Deadline to submit is Nov 25. Brown Knapweed shown above.

Go to the Rebate Form


Please let us know your thoughts on the new
Meat Inspection and Licensing System for BC

The new meat inspection and licensing system in BC comes into effect on October 1, 2021. The RDBN Ag Team would like to know if and how these changes may impact small and large-scale meat producers across the RDBN.

Please take 3 minutes to complete the
RDBN Slaughter/Meat Inspection Survey

Got Grasshoppers?

Many ranchers in the RDBN are reporting high numbers of grasshoppers in their pastures and crops resulting in damage and loss. In July, Michelle Roberge, RDBN Regional Agriculture Coordinator - East visited Nechako Valley Cattlemen's Association member Alex Kulchar's property with Keith Uloth, Pest Monitoring Research Manager with the Peace BC Grain Producers Association and Karen Tabe, Regional Agrologist. Keith did some sampling and the group talked about emerging information on the different species in the RDBN that pose issues for producers.

The RDBN is working on a grasshopper field day to help inform ranchers and producers about grasshopper ID, lifecycle and best management practices. More on that to come.

To get you started on understanding grasshoppers - download the Grasshopper ID & Control Methods guide created by Dr. Dan Johnson out of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. Dan is a foremost expert in Canada on grasshopper. Dan's guide is a free resource available online.

Grasshopper ID and Management Booklet

 4H Auctions 

4H Achievement and Auction days are right around the corner. Youth from across the RDBN have been working hard in their respective clubs completing their projects and learning valuable life-long skills. The types of clubs range from livestock husbandry for beef, swine, sheep and chickens, to hands-on skills such as small engines, gardening and photography. Here are the dates to watch out for in your region:

  Vanderhoof & Area 4H Clubs - August 18-21  

  Smithers & Area 4H Clubs - August 26-28  

  Burns Lake & Area 4H Clubs - September 11  

Learn more about 4H and other 'Youth in Agriculture' opportunities in the RDBN

Current Wildfire Information

Evacuation Alerts and Orders
The RDBN website www.rdbn.bc.ca and phone number 250-692-3195 are your main sources of current information regarding wildfire Evacuation Alerts and Orders within the region.

There are supports for farmers that are forced to evacuate due to wildfire. Call the RDBN for details.

BC Wildfires & Map
Find the BC Wildfire Map here.

Fed/Prov Supports in Emergency

AgriRecovery Framework

The Federal Government recently announced $100M towards AgriRecovery to support producers impacted by drought and wildfire in Canada, including BC. Read the official announcement.

AgriStability Program

The AgriStability program helps stabilize farm income by managing the risk of large income declines, like those experienced due to forest fires and floods. The AgriStability program enrollment has been extended to Dec 2022. Read more here.

Cleanfarms Farm Plastic Recycling Pilot

Thank you! Farmers have been bringing in their properly prepared plastic twine, bale wrap and silage tarps/covers for recycling as part of this pilot.

A reminder to keep all materials in separate bags and remove as much debris as possible. Bags and material drop-off are available free of charge at all 7 RDBN collection sites.

Find the closest site and more information here:

Farm Plastic Recycling Locations and Information

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)