27 www.seed.ab.ca | spring.2019 For Markert, this education is critical to his customers and he doesn’t mind spending extra time to tout the benefits. “Farmers are generally striving to be good stewards of the land and industry,” he says. “The issue of midge is an educational disconnect only because some have never dealt with resistance in the past. It’s pretty easy to get across the importance of the Sm1 gene to the vast majority of growers. If we don’t preserve it, we could lose it forever. The ramification could be pretty devastating, especially in certain geographies in Canada.” Agreements for both retailers and growers are digital and evergreen, meaning a person only must sign once and that will allow them to purchase midge tolerant wheat varieties now and in the future without going through paperwork every time. In addition, retailers can track sales online through the MTWSAS. As an added benefit, the retailer training is also approved for CEU credits by Certified Crop Advisors as well as the Alberta Institute of Agrologists. Growers Value Stewardship Agreement One of Markert’s customers is Elaine Bellamy who farms 10,000 acres near Strathmore in Wheatland County. For her, planting such midge tolerant wheat varieties and adhering to the Stewardship Agreement makes good sense. “There’s value because I am eliminating the use of a pesticide on my grain and a cost I could possibly face,” she says. “It’s also really difficult to scout for midge because the window is so narrow. If you’re out at night and the wind is blowing you won’t see them, and if you have many fields you won’t get to them all in time.” For Bellamy, she hasn’t had serious issues with midge since 2009, and she intends to keep it that way. After all, the technology could be rendered ineffective if not properly handled by farmers. Her hope is that other farmers will follow midge tolerant wheat protocols for agronomic and business reasons. “There’s just so many risks to farming, if you can mitigate one of those risks at a minimal cost, why wouldn’t you?” she says. For more information about midge tolerance and the Stewardship Agreement, visit midgetolerantwheat.ca. The Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Committee Ask about a free trial of our weekly newsletter, Grainwise www.grainwatchdog.com Alberta Based Grain Brokers Putting Farmers First Since 1995 Photo Credit: Sally Jackson @Grainwatchdog MarketMasterLtd • Target contracts • Spot pricing • Forward pricing • Market updates We market (feed, gradable, organic and off-spec) • Barley • Wheat • Canola • Peas • Rye • Flax • Lentils • Mustard • Soybeans • Faba beans • Oats • Triticale 1-800-440-8390