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October 20, 2016
Register Now: November 17th is the Fraser Valley Agricultural Water Management Symposium

All Fraser Valley producers are invited to join this FREE event which will provide:

  • Up to date information about new water regulations and registering your well
  • Information on drainage and ditch management in the region
  • Access to industry experts in agricultural water management
  • Information on some of the local and nearby research on water and climate change adaptation in the Fraser Valley
  • Commodity-specific sessions showcasing local best practices in agricultural water management and technologies (presented by local producers)

When: Thursday, November 17th, 2016 from 9:30am to 5:30pm
Where: Quality Hotel and Conference Centre at 36035 N. Parallel Road, Abbotsford, BC
Cost: There is no cost to attend this event and lunch is provided. Space is limited so registration is required.
Register: Online at
or by contacting Christina Metherall at or 

September 30, 2016
Request for Proposals: Cariboo Regional Research Alliance/Organization Project

The Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association is looking for an experienced individual or team to execute this project.

To learn more, download the RFP2016-CB-Agricultural-Research-Organization.pdf. The project context and a brief description of the project’s focus follows below.

Climate change projections for more variability in conditions across the seasons will increase the complexity of management for agriculture.   Local research, including evaluation of technologies, practices and production systems, will support producers with managing through a range of potential conditions. Adjusting existing practices and exploring alternative practices may bolster resilience but requires piloting, evaluation and demonstration in the Cariboo context. Future research requires strong linkages between research and industry priorities and broad and effective communication of research results.

Building upon previously completed work in the region, this project will explore options and develop a model for a sustainable regional research alliance or organization the will engage the Cariboo region’s entire agriculture sector and partners in agricultural research. The research alliance will provide an umbrella for prioritizing and tracking local research and, perhaps most importantly, will provide a home for research findings and will support distribution of research results to producers.

Included in this process will be a focused effort to organize and make available the existing Cariboo-focused information and research. There is potential to build on earlier work to inventory/compile local research. The preferred mechanism for developing this “home” will be determined (and then implemented) by the project partners.  


September 27, 2016
New Decision Support Tool To Give Okanagan Tree Fruit Growers Edge on Pest Management

 The changing climate in the Okanagan has broad implications for agricultural pest control, including increasing populations of problem species, and the arrival of new pests in the region. A recently initiated project – adapting a successful pest management decision support tool developed by Washington State University – will provide Okanagan tree fruit growers with an important new resource to improve orchard management.

Washington State University’s Decision Aid System (DAS) is a web-based platform designed to transfer time-sensitive information on pest management to orchardists, using real-time, local weather data and scientific pest and disease management information to help predict and manage pests and diseases.

Minister Letnick_MP Fuhr_Melissa Teshe (2)

Melissa Tesche demonstrates the DAS on an IPad to Minister Letnick and MP Stephen Fuhr. The system is designed for use on mobile devices.

“This is the Cadillac of pest management decision support systems: tried, tested, and loved by Washington growers because it saves them time and money and improves the efficacy of pest management,” says Melissa Tesche, Acting General Manager for the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program. “The benefits to the Okanagan will extend beyond the growers–being more precise with chemical applications helps to maintain beneficial insect populations, reduces environmental impacts, and makes life even more pleasant for the communities bordering the

DAS was designed to be used by growers and has a clear, simple on-line interface that provides information linking weather conditions with pest lifecycles and treatment information and alerts. It is programmed for conventional and organic management recommendations, allowing growers to choose the treatments that are right for their operation. The system has been in used in Washington State for nearly a decade, and is highly valued by Washington growers.

“Bringing Washington State University’s Decision Aid System to the Okanagan would not be possible without the cooperation of each of the project partners: Summerland Research and Development Centre, The BC Fruit Growers’ Association, BC Tree Fruits and Grower’s Supply, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, the Sterile Insect Release Program, and of course, the support of the BC Climate Action Initiative,” says Tesche.

Developing resources to link weather, pest and disease data with decision support tools was identified as a priority action under the Okanagan Regional Adaptation Strategy released earlier this summer by the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative. The regional strategy brought agricultural producers together with local governments and provincial agencies to identify collaborative solutions and actions to adapt to the climate change impacts identified for the Okanagan.

Funding to adapt the Decision Aid System to the Okanagan is part of a $300,000 investment in the implementation of the Okanagan Regional Adaptation Strategy by the federal and provincial governments through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Climate adaptation programming reflects the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s ongoing commitment to climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector, while enhancing sustainability, growth, and competitiveness. These investments help achieve the federal government’s goal to encourage the agriculture and agri-food sector’s leadership in job creation and innovation.

The BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative was established by the BC Agriculture Council in 2008, and is led by an advisory committee of agricultural producers, food processors and representatives from various government agencies. The Initiative has been supported by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding provided by
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture through Growing Forward 2.


“Promoting sustainable agricultural practices are key priorities for the Government of Canada. We are proud to support the adaptation of pest management tools as part of the Okanagan Regional Adaptation Strategy. These tools will strengthen the resilience of orchard growers in B.C., encourage climate-smart agriculture, and enhance the sector’s sustainability and competitiveness.”

“The B.C. government is proud to support projects and technology that introduces or develops a better way of doing something, so B.C. farmers can increase their production and incomes. B.C. farmers are embracing agri-tech to help maximize productivity, minimize inputs and create greater value from B.C.’s farmland and coast.”

For more information about Washington State University’s Decision Aid System, visit:

For more information on The Okanagan Regional Adaptation Strategy, visit:

For more information on Growing Forward 2 programs in British Columbia, visit:

For more information on Growing Forward 2, visit:

July 22, 2016
Climate adaptation strategy strengthens resilience of Okanagan agriculture for future

cover-RegionalStrategies-Okanagan-200An increase in hotter and drier summers, insect and disease pressures, and extreme weather events are some of the impacts of climate change that are expected to affect agriculture in the Okanagan. A new adaptation plan outlines the priority impact areas and a series of strategies to strengthen the resilience of the Okanagan agriculture sector in a changing climate.

Read full media release.

View the Okanagan Regional Strategies document.

June 20, 2016
Request for Proposal: Okanagan Agriculture Drought Status Outreach Pilot

photo by Emrys Damon Miller

Agricultural water – for irrigation, livestock watering, and crop protection – is essential to maintain the health and viability of food crops and animals in the Okanagan. Agricultural production is also one of the main economic drivers for the Okanagan region. Earlier snow melt and increasingly warm and dry summer conditions have made it important to share clear, accurate, and targeted information to the agriculture sector about the status of their water sources. The purpose of this project is to develop and test outreach materials and methods for communicating with the agriculture sector before and during drought about water supply and drought status.

To learn more, download the Request for Proposals – Okanagan Agriculture Drought Status Outreach Project (closed July 19, 2016).