Events & Notices
  February 18th, 2016

PEI Soil and Crop Improvement Association recognized two farmers for their soil conservation and general sustainable agriculture efforts at a recent event held in Summerside, February 18th, 2016.

“It is amazing that even after 28 years, the quality of submissions still remain very impressive. It goes to show that PEI is second to none in sustainable agriculture”, says John Hooper, President of PEI Soil and Crop Improvement Association.

Mr John Jamieson, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Mark Grimmet, Acting Director at the Crops and Livestock Research Branch of AAFC, and Mr John Hooper presented the awards.

Frizzell’s Valleyville Farms Inc of Glen Valley was the recipient of the 2016, Soil Conservationist of the Year Award in the Livestock Category; and Darren and Brenda Peters of Maple Plains were the recipient of the 2016, Soil Conservationist of the Year Award in the Cash Crop Category.


Frizzell’s Valleyville Farms Inc. is the successful dairy operation of Garth and Cynthia
Frizzell, and their sons Chris and Alan Frizzell, and their families.

The Frizzells operate a 260 cow milk herd and generally have 80 dry cows and 330
heifers and calves on hand at any one time for their operation.

Garth has been a livestock farmer in Glen Valley for around 44 years, starting when he
was 16-years old. For a period of time the farm raised hogs, but recently the focus has
been solely the dairy operation.

The Frizzells crop over 1,730 acres of pasture, soybeans, silage corn, cob corn, forages,
soybeans, and small cereals. Approximately 63 % of their crop land is in a forage hay
mix or pasture each year.

Frizzell’s Valleyville Farms Inc. have considerable soil conservation measures on about
40 fields or 1,500 acres. This includes 6,340 feet of diversion terraces, 19,000 feet of
grass waterways, 5 ½ acres of voluntary extended buffer zones, 322 acres of high slope
land retirement, and 2,310 feet of voluntary grass headlands.

All of the 180 head of livestock that are pastured have alternate watering. He has installed
and maintained 12,500 feet of fencing along watercourses, and installed 4,000 feet of 1-
inch poly pipe from three wells on the farm as the water supply. Sixteen years ago Garth constructed a unique concrete bridge for his cattle and farm machinery.
Sixty five to 70 % of the corn is cob meal, giving similar crop residue to grain corn. With
the 5 to 8 years of forages, effective use of manure and their reduced tillage practices
using the Jober Rotobeche over moldbaord plowing, they have been able to run organic
matters of 4 to 5 %.

They usually run three different crop rotations. The first is 3-years of corn; and 5 to 8
years of forages, usually alfalfa. The second rotation is 1–year of soybeans, 2-years of
corn and 5 to 8 years of forages, usually alfalfa. The third rotation applies on his hilly
ground and would be 1-year straight barley, 1-year barley under seeded to triple mix, and 10 to 15 years of forages. Most of the pasture land is seeded out for 30-years. Finally the real hilly slopes the fields are worked up and direct seeded.

To prepare the sod land for corn, soybeans, cereals or forages, the Frizzells apply
glyphosate in the fall about 30 days before using their Jober Rotobeche one-pass primary tillage implement. A moldboard plow is not used. In the spring they make one pass with a Pottinger Terradisc.

The corn and soybeans are planted with a corn planter on 30-inch drills. A brillon seeder
is used for the alfalfa, barley, oats and triple mix.

For soil fertility they put a lot of focus on the amount of lime applied, trying to keep it
between 6.5 to 6.7 pH.

Two years ago they installed robotic milkers, and the wash water is stored in the under
ground manure storage at the dairy barn. The heifers and dry cow manures are handled as a solid on a manure pack.

“A successful agri-business, the Frizzells balances a strong work ethic with a dedication to family and sustainable agriculture” says John Hooper, President PEISCIA.


The second recipient of the 2016 Soil Conservation Award from PEI Soil and Crop was the first generation family potato farm of Darren and Brenda Peters from Maple Plains.
Brenda and Darren have been farming for about 21-years .

Their farm operation currently consists of potato, soybean, carrot, cereal and forages. They run two types of four year crop rotation consisting of potatoes, soybeans, grain under seeded, and hay; or carrots, soybeans, grain under seeded, and hay

Their fall primary tillage is a mixture of moldboard and Jober Rotobeche tillage. Seventy percent of the land going into potatoes and 70 % of the land going into carrots is primary residue tilled with the Jober, providing 20 to 25 % crop residue for the winter. The remaining 30% of the sod land is fall moldboard plowed.

They annually winter cover crop 50 acres and apply manure to 95 acres. The Peters have soil conservation structures and features on 19 fields or 225 acres. This consists of 12,440 feet of grass waterways, 6,320 feet of terraces, and 270 feet of farmable berm terraces. In addition they have recently retired 12-acres of high slope land and leave 4,420 feet of voluntary grass head lands.

At one location, Darren and Brenda have an improved stream crossing for better fish passage and accommodation of modern farm equipment.

John Hooper, President of PEISCIA says “the Board saw this submission as a very successful first generation family farm operation, where they are dedicated to growing economic opportunities in rural PEI in a sustainable fashion”.
Darren Peters of Maple Plains receives the Cash Crop Category Award from Mr John Jamieson Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, and John Hooper President PEISCIA

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