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The annual SFSDC Forage Seed Information Session was held in Saskatoon, SK on January 11, 2018. The session included reports on forage seed research and markets as well as the SFSDC 12th Annual General Meeting.

Dr. Dave Grafstrom, University of Minnesota, began the session with an excellent presentation entitled, “Perennial Ryegrass Yields 2,000 lbs/acre by 2020: Reality or Pipedream!” His discussion centred ongeneral crop economics, ryegrass economics, theoretical perennial ryegrass seed yields, management strategies for high ryegrass yields, fertility, growth regulators, and diseases.

Grower Session Jan11 2018
SFSDC Forage Seed Information Session in Saskatoon, SK
January 11, 2018. Source: SFSDC

Eric Johnson, Research Assistant, University of Saskatchewan has completed herbicide and plant growth regulator trials on numerous seedling and established forage seed crops over the past three years. Minor use data has been collected on: sainfoin, cicer milkvetch, sweet clover, Timothy, slender wheatgrass, tall fescue and hybrid bromegrass. Eric summarized the results of previous years’ work and reviewed the results of the trials in 2017. Many trials will be carried forward into 2018 to collect seed yields.

Jessica Pratchler, Research Manager, Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation (NARF) reviewed the plant growth regulator (PGR) research at Melfort in 2017. PGR’s were applied to established red, alsike and sweet clover to determine their effect on plant height and yield. Jessica also described the herbicide trials that were completed on established red, alsike and sweet clover as well as seedling slender wheatgrass, and the insecticide trial to measure control of lesser clover leaf weevil. This on-going work is being done to generate data for potential minor use label expansions in forage seed crops.

Stu Brandt, NARF reviewed three projects including: alternate row planting with faba bean and red clover to compare pre-tillage to direct seeding and measure weed control; alternate row planting of meadow bromegrass and wheat to increase knowledge of forage seed and companion crops in alternate rows; and planting red and alsike clover with canola to measure the impact of canola as a companion crop on clover seed production. These projects received funding support from Saskatchewan Agriculture’s ADOPT Program.

Terry Kowalchuk, Provincial Forage Crop Specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture provided the market review. Terry discussed global and Canadian legume and grass seed production areas, as well as production trends from year to year. Terry reviewed Canadian forage seed exports over the past 12 years, highlighting export trends of individual crops. A review of seed prices from the past 12 years was described, including both prices paid to producers and export prices. United States continues to be the major importer of forage seed from Canada, followed by China, Netherlands and Germany. To see Terry’s presentation on this website, click on Resources Marketing. More market information is available at the same location.

Mike Scheffel, Managing Director of Policy and Standards at the Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA) in Ottawa provided the pedigreed forage seed acreage report and an update on the on-going Circular 6 modernization. Mike listed the top pedigreed forage seed crops in Saskatchewan as Timothy, perennial ryegrass and clovers. In the Circular 6 modernization process, Mike reviewed the seven proposed changes have been identified by the Forage Working Group and were agreed upon by CSGA’s Standards and Circular 6 Committee.
For more information on these proposed changes, please check the CSGA website at: www.seedgrowers.ca/seed-growers/regulations/

Thank you to all of the speakers for their excellent presentations. Reports for the research projects will be made available on the SFSDC website in the near future at www.skforageseeddc.com

Posted February 6, 2018