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The meet and greet season is over, now comes the ‘need to seed’

The middle of April has arrived, and May is now more than just a distant thought amid snowy fields and numbing winds. The sun is higher, the breezes are mild and there is that unmistakable earthy aroma that beckons and affirms that a very important time has come.


April 30, 2010
By Ralph Pearce

The middle of April has arrived, and May is now more than just a distant thought amid snowy fields and numbing winds. The sun is higher, the breezes are mild and there is that unmistakable earthy aroma that beckons and affirms that a very important time has come. 

The meeting season is over for another year, and while I managed to get out and attend only a handful of events, the opportunity for what is known as “face time” was all the more treasured. To walk a trade show is a real pleasure, particularly in these days of intense management, and believe me, that applies to magazine editors as much as to growers. To escape for even one day to share thoughts and perspectives and enjoy a laugh among old friends – and new ones – is one of those cherished gifts that this industry offers.

It may be a cliché that “the simple pleasures in life are always the best,” but, then, clichés often have that annoying habit of being true.

I cannot emphasize enough the positive effect of getting away from the office and spending time with people. As most farmers are well aware, working alone can be a taxing thing (I can joke that talking to myself is one way of guaranteeing an intelligent conversation) yet the times I can actually free myself from the desk and enjoy the company of others, especially those involved in agriculture, offer unparalleled benefits. As I have stated many times before, first and foremost, it is an opportunity to learn from the best, most knowledgeable people in the business, be they farmers, seed dealers, extension personnel or other associated industry stakeholders. And I never shy away from constructive criticism. If something is broken, I need to know so I can do what I can to fix it. Plus, it is that opportunity to learn, and the value of that can never be underestimated or diminished.

I am looking forward to continuing that trend as I venture to the West this summer  – a first for me, as a full-fledged editor. The plans have yet to be carved in stone, and I am certainly willing to entertain suggestions as to which province I should be seeing first (unfortunately, timing and publishing schedules allow me only a week away each year). But I am eager to do the same thing in the West as I have done in the Maritimes and in Ontario: meet and greet, and learn, learn, learn.

An emerging issue
One of the things I talked to industry representatives about this past spring is the impact of the recent changes to tank-mixing guidelines by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). At the time of this writing, the issue is still in its infancy, despite the changes being handed down in late October 2009. I invite you to read through our first article on the topic, found on page 10. It is not the final word on this subject; we will be dealing with this issue for months, if not years, to come.

The learning continues.

All the best, this growing season.