A look back at a year of agriculture in the Kootenays
This year, the Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors (KBFA) witnessed firsthand the incredible determination and perseverance of producers through unprecedented weather events and labour shortages.
This year’s growing season was one of early frosts, high temperatures, drought, and flooding. Navigating through extreme weather was commonplace for farms throughout the region with some experiencing frost in early June, then the record-shattering heat dome in late June, and drought into the fall.
KBFA is an agricultural extension program that supports producers to improve agricultural production and efficiency by helping find solutions to farm-specific production issues, coordinating educational events and connecting producers to information. KBFA is funded by the Regional District of the East Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary, Central Kootenay and Columbia Basin Trust to work one-on-one with commercial producers and deliver extension services.
Throughout the 2021 season, KBFA visited over 100 farms, consulted with producers on over 300 issues, made 50 producer-to-expert connections, hosted over 20 events, and published 17 blogs to support farmers.
KBFA brought forth a mix of in-person field days and online workshops. Blending both in-person and online opportunities allowed for a high level of information sharing and networking within the region and facilitated even more discussion regarding important topics like irrigation and soil testing among producers. Online events provide convenient and safe learning opportunities for those throughout the region, while in-person field days are essential for connection, networking, and hands-on learning opportunities.
Highlights of this year’s events included a presentation about the use of drones in agriculture, a “Lunch & Learn” series about soils in the Kootenays, and in-person field days focusing on beekeeping, irrigation, and livestock management.
On behalf of KBFA, thank you farmers for your dedication this season! Here’s to another year of local food production.
Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors is an agricultural extension program that provides producers with free technical production support and information from a network of specialized resources, including independent consultants and academics.