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Forage Seed Field Tour
Forage Seed Field Tour. July 26, 2018. Melfort SK. Source: SFSDC

The annual forage seed field tour and barbecue was held on July 26, 2018 at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Farm near Melfort, SK. The tour was hosted by SFSDC, the Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation (NARF), and AAFC Melfort and there were over thirty people in attendance.

The afternoon started inside the centre with an excellent BBQ prepared by NARF staff. Attendees were also able to take a close look at the weed identification plant pots provided by Saskatchewan Agriculture and enjoyed visiting with other forage crop producers before heading outside for the field tour.

The forage seed field tour was led by Jessica Pratchler, Research Manager NARF. She described the herbicide screening program on red and alsike clovers as well as on seedling slender wheatgrass. Jessica also described the plant growth regulator work on established slender wheatgrass.
Two ADOPT projects have been underway at NARF for two years. One project looks at red and alsike clover in rotation with canola and peas where canola was used as a companion crop in 2017 in some of the plots. The other ADOPT project looks as alternate row planting of meadow bromegrass with or without a wheat companion crop. Two new forage seed projects at NARF in 2018 are in annual ryegrass. Jessica described these herbicide screening, fertility and plant growth regulator plots.

Carlie Bowditch, Saskatchewan Agriculture provided an update on sclerotinia stem rot in the red and alsike clover project in rotations with canola and peas. She described the project and led the group through the treatments. Carlie collected clover flower petals that were sent to the Quantum Bioresources lab in Saskatoon to determine if using canola as a companion crop increases the risk of sclerotinia in the following clover seed crop. Carlie brought handouts on sclerotinia and showed the group the collection tubes used in the study. Carlie also provided the weed identification plant samples for the group to look at after the BBQ.

Melfort AAFC is home to one of the four sites of the Saskatchewan Forage Variety Demonstration and Testing System that includes varieties of: hybrid, meadow and smooth bromegrass; crested wheatgrass; Festulolium; tall fescue; Timothy; alfalfa; cicer milkvetch and sainfoin. Other sites are located at Swift Current, Outlook and Saskatoon. Terry Kowalchuk, Saskatchewan Agriculture, described the program that was started in 2017. Terry listed the crops and varieties in the seed production site. The forage part of the project was planted in 2017, and seed yield portion was reseeded in 2018.

This year, Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) along with SFSDC provided funding to start a three year red clover seed management project with the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). The project includes work on optimum seeding rates, lesser clover leaf weevil control, inoculation, and pollinator interactions. Dan Malamura, U of S graduate student is working on the project and described the project to the group. There was a lot of interest from the group on the project and results to date.

For more information about the SFSDC Research Program, check the RESEARCH section of this website.

Posted October 3, 2018