Adaptation strategies – dairy webinar series

8th March 2021

Join BC researchers to discuss field-tested strategies to manage soil and nutrients to improve nutrient use efficiency and crop yields.

We are partnering with the BC Dairy Association, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Food Web to offer two webinars the week of March 8, 2021.

Homegrown 101: A Dairy Producer Experience Implementing Relay Cropping
Gary Telford, AAFC Agassiz and Nelson Dinn, UBC Dairy Research Centre

Find out how the UBC Dairy Research Centre has implemented relay cropping using Italian ryegrass interseeded in silage corn on their farm. Learn more about multiple cropping systems and how they can increase yields of high quality homegrown forage for your cows. This practical discussion includes the multiple operational benefits from double cropping as well as tips and tricks for successful implementation.

Hole in the Pipe Concept: How to avoid pesky nutrient losses and improve the nutrient balance sheets on dairy farms
Dr. Shabtai Bittman, Dr. Derek Hunt and Karen Koenig, AAFC Agassiz

*Note: the recording for this presentation is not available. Please stay tuned for final results from this project*

Like most intensive agricultural areas, agriculture in coastal BC has a problem with both nutrient surpluses and nutrient losses to the environment. To lessen the environmental footprint while preserving profitability of dairy farms, approaches are being developed to both patch leaks and lessen imbalances between nutrient inputs and outputs. How to do this at the field, farm, and regional basis is discussed with special reference to the unique “semi-virtual farmlet” research model.

Integrated dairy manure management system
Dr. Victor Lo and Dr. Don Mavinic, UBC Department of Civil Engineering 

This presentation shares results from a new manure management system that breaks down solid waste and allows for energy production as well as nutrient recovery. The system integrates:

  • an innovative microwave enhanced oxidation process (MW-AOP) for solids destruction in animal waste slurries, and
  • a high rate two-phase anaerobic digestion (TPAD) system for energy production and nutrient recovery via crystallization.
The integrated system provides the best nutrient management scheme with benefits such as eliminating the need for trucking of excess manure, recovering phosphorus and nitrogen, obtaining a value-added product, enhancing anaerobic digestion and improving solid/liquid separation.
The MW-AOP achieves a high level of solids reduction and nutrients release in dairy manure, which then allows the TPAD to complete biogas production in less than 10 days. Nutrients are also recovered for use as a valuable fertilizer that can be used both off-site and on-site.

Results from starter fertilizer trials in silage corn to refine phosphorous application
Dr. Aime Messiga, AAFC Agassiz

This presentation shares recent research on starter phosphorous rates and phosphorous risk indicators in silage corn productions . Since 2018, Dr. Messiga has been conducting corn experiments in farmers’ fields in the Fraser Valley and Okanagan. The results demonstrate that the effect of starter P on young corn plants varies, but does not carryover through harvest. Phosphorus fertilizer recommendations for silage corn can be refined by decreasing starter P rates to 5.0 to 7.5 kg P ha–1 without decreasing dry matter yield at harvest. Refining Phosphorous management is important in light of the new Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM Code) published in 2019.

Speaker bios

Gary Telford, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agassiz
Gary grew up on a mixed beef farm 160km northeast of Toronto and attended the University of Guelph in Resources Management. After university, he loaded his truck and headed west where he started working for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. For the past 25 years he has worked with the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration in southern Alberta and the Science and Technology Branch in Agassiz, BC in a number of roles. He is currently a Knowledge Transfer Specialist at the Agassiz Research and Development Centre where he works with researchers to promote their science results for adoption to industry and stakeholders.

Dr. Shabtai Bittman, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agassiz
Dr. Shabtai Bittman is an agronomist with AAFC at the Agassiz Research and Development Centre. Shabtai studied plant ecology and crop physiology at McGill and U of Sask. His work with Derek Hunt on sustainable intensification of agricultural systems focuses on enhancing nutrient practices at multiple levels, ranging from field to farm to agricultural sectors to regions to the national/ international arenas. This multi-scale approach comes from observations that opportunities are to be found at all system levels. Their innovations have been recognized regionally, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Victor Lo, UBC Department of Civil Engineering
From 1980 to 2017, Dr. Lo was a Faculty Member, UBC. Since July 2017, he has been Professor Emeritus. He is a Professional Engineer (P. Eng.), Province of BC (1980). He is a Fellow of CSEAFBS and EC. He has supervised 10 Ph.D.’s, and over 65 MASc.’s and several PDF’s. He has published over 200 papers in Refereed Journals.

Dr. Lo is the principal investigator and co-inventor of the microwave enhanced advanced oxidation process (MW-AOP) – a patented microwave-peroxide technology for treatment of organic slurries, such as sewage sludge, food and agricultural wastes. He has over 40 years of experience in biological process applications for waste treatment and resource recovery.
Dr. Donald Mavinic, UBC Department of Civil Engineering
Dr. Mavinic completed his BASc. in 1969 and Ph.D. in 1973, both at the U. of Windsor. From 1973-2018, he was a Faculty Member, UBC. Since January 2018, he has been Professor Emeritus. He is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), Province of B.C. (1974). He has mentored 30 Ph.D.’s, approximately 180 MASc.’s and dozens of PDF’s and PA’s. He is currently a Fellow of: CSCE, CAE, EIC, EC, and WEF (Water Environment Federation). Over the last 12-13 years, he has delivered over 50 keynote and invited speakerships; he has been consultant to over 80 different firms and government agencies. Dr. Mavinic is a former Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of APSC. He is also a Killam Research Scholar. He is co-founder, Ostara Inc. Vancouver (2005) and was a Board member 2005-2009. Currently, he is President and Acting CEO, BOOST, Inc. (UBC spinoff, since 2016). He is also a Manning Foundation Laureate (2010), NSERC Synergy Awardee (2011), Engineers Canada Gold Medalist (2016), Order of Canada (2019) and a recipient of the Dean’s Medal of Distinction (UBC) in 2020. In 2017-18, he chaired the Expert Panel ECCC-Ottawa, on Wastewater Management and Challenges in Canada. He is a former Board Member of at least 10 private and public companies and Federal Agencies.

Dr. Aimé Messiga, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agassiz
Dr. Aimé Messiga is a Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Agassiz Research and Development Centre). His research program focuses on soil and nutrient management. His current projects aim at improving our understanding of nutrient cycling and dynamics, particularly phosphorus, in field crops and berry production systems. More specifically, Dr. Messiga is collaborating with colleagues across Canada and local industry to improve starter fertilizer P recommendations in silage corn systems and to adapt an agri-environmental indicator of the risk of P transfer from fields to water sources for soils of British Columbia. Dr. Messiga serves as Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Soil Science and was awarded the Outstanding Associate editor in 2017. Dr. Messiga has published 33 peer-reviewed articles and delivered more than 50 talks at national and international conferences and extensions meetings.

Event organizers