February Grab Bag: Free Money, Replant Resources, & Hort Show Recap

“No Henceforth I ask not good-fortune,
I myself am good-fortune
Henceforth I whimper no more,
postpone no more, need nothing.”

– Walt Whitman –
Song of the Open Road

In this post:

  1. Important Events
  2. Replant Resources
  3. Grant Funding Available
  4. Crop Insurance Survey
  5. Horticulture Show Recap
  6. Cold Damage & Post Options

Important Events

 

There are a few events coming up that are important.

We are in a period of pivotal change for the industry and this is an opportunity to change ourselves for the better.

The Bordeaux replant of 1956 which had devastating frosts similar to here, and the Okanagan replant of late 1980s, set both industries up for the success we/they enjoyed for decades.

We’re in the similar place. We need to take a big leap forward but that will only happen if we change intelligently and we work as a community.

WGBC Town Halls

There’s three town halls coming up. We’ll be at the Penticton one tomorrow (Wednesday).

February 21 – Summerhill Winery
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

February 21 – Penticton Lakeside Hotel
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. (time just changed)

February 22 – Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SWBC Onboarding

SWBC is doing an onboarding tomorrow (Feb 21st) right before the Penticton town hall from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Taking place at OK College, more details below.

Replant Resources

 

SWBC has also shared some helpful resources for handling replant for vineyard and wineries.

A checklist format, such as info on programs like AgriStability or other planning and events. A couple of good guides to go through.

Cold Damage Now What – Wineries

Cold Damage Now What – Vineyard

As well, I believe the BCGA is putting together an info session on all the programs out there like AgriStability, AgriInvest, info on crop insurance and more. So look for that.

Crop Insurance Survey

 

I think crop insurance is the only long term solution to the climate challenges we’re facing.

It allows us to de-risk as an operation and for the government to know they won’t have to pour huge sums in to rescue the wine and tree fruit industries.

The BCGA, and I’m sure other groups, are working with government to rethink an insurance program that is lost in the 1960s.

You can help by filling out the survey here.

Current Grant Funding

 

There are a few funding mechanisms I’d strongly encourage anyone to look at. We still need to farm, and these are ways to make it more affordable.

These are through the BMP program which means:

  • You need an EFP but can get one quickly (we can help if needed, it’s easy)

  • If your farms are separate, can apply for each farm individually (each needs an EFP)

  • The applications have changed so that you can complete the application before the application window opens. Given how we’re seeing money disappear immediately, this is great. So you create the application, then hit apply the second the submission window opens.

  • For these two BMPs, the application window opens Feb 27 and submission window opens March 12 @ 9am.

The two BMPs are Soil Carbon (50% cost share) & Energy Efficiency (30% cost share) up to $50k per.

  1. Soil Carbon Funding

  2. Energy & Fuel Efficiency Funding

There are a number of activities under this funding that can get covered that would be of interest. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Seed drills, crimpers, deep shanks, etc.

  • Anything to assist with transition to low/no-till (including guidance systems)

  • Subsurface drainage

  • Electrical irrigation motors/pumps

  • Any high efficiency electrical motor (Cybertruck, here we come)

  • Wind turbine to electrical conversion

  • Anything that reduces fuel consumption

  • Power line extensions

  • Electrical hand pruners

  • Wind turbines, solar panels, rechargeable batteries, electrical boilers, heat pumps, etc.

  • Low energy lighting equipment

  • Electronic HVAC controls, thermostats, heat exchangers, etc.

  • and “creative environmental regenerative agriculture solutions”*

*I don’t know precisely that that means, but a number of things could fall under that.

This is a great way to save a lot of money, or invest in equipment that wouldn’t make sense without funding support.

As well, there is an Extreme Weather Preparedness grant.

The main interest for winegrowers/wineries will be wildfare preparedness, extreme heat preparedness, and innovation projects.

The project covers 40% up to $50k.

The list of activities this can cover are long, including all kinds of upgrades to equipment and housing (such as anti-fire sprinklers).

One of the other positives is this will cover shade/bird netting (which if structured right could be used for cold protection) and I believe equipment like weather stations and soil sensors if used correctly.

The potential list is long, and the submission window is open so apply now (or contact us to help).

Find out more here.

(P.S. make sure to have your application in to AgriStability, even if you don’t fully understand what it is).

Southern Interior Horticulture Show Recap

 

We just had the first SIHS and I’d say they did an excellent job.

I don’t have any major points, the talks were overall well done and it was great to have both vineyards and fruit trees together so we could learn from each other.

And it was great to have a chance to share, connect, and bounce ideas off each other. There obviously was lots to talk about.

My one caveat would not to hold it on a Friday/Saturday on a long weekend…

Overall, very well done and I’m excited to see it grow next year.

(P.S. we didn’t take any photos (idiots) did anyone else?)

Winter Solutions & Posts

 

As we mentioned before, we’ll be running trials for next winter (installing this spring) to test non-geotextile winter protection. If you’re interested, we might be looking for one or two more sites.

As well, we’ve also started supplying posts and are putting together some orders for the spring. Both post companies use European steel, one made in Spain and the other in France. We can come in at very competitive prices on both.

Contact us for more info if you’re interested.

Affordable Posts from Spain
High End Posts from France
Low-Labour Snow Netting
Heated Cabling