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SFSDC worked with the Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) to hold the annual field tour on July 26, 2016 near Saskatoon SK. We were hosted by the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Station. The 38 participants looked at forage research plots at Kernen Research Farm (U of S) and the AAFC Research Farm.

This year’s tour included presentations from Dr. Bruce Coulman and Dr. Bill Biligetu, who led the group through the forage plant breeding and demonstration plots, The forage breeding work in Saskatoon is a joint program between the U of S and AAFC. Their objective is to develop improved cultivars of important grasses and legumes for western Canada. The tour stops included the perennial and legume demonstration trial that showed 34 grass and 4 legume species, the perennial grass breeding nursery (hybrid bromegrass, crested wheatgrass and hybrid wheatgrass), the perennial legume breeding nursery (sainfoin and alfalfa) and the annual forage crop plot. The group also looked at projects investigating locally adapted alfalfa cultivars and stockpiled forages.

Field-tour-2016Over at Kernen Farm, Moria Petruic and Aaron Gerein explained the herbicide and plant growth regulator (PGR) research plots. Herbicide tolerance work on established sainfoin, cicer milkvetch, sweet clover, hybrid bromegrass, Timothy, and slender wheatgrass was reviewed. A project on the use of a PGR on sweet clover seed production was also looked at. The objective of these trials is to generate data for possible minor use registrations for forage seed crops. Tour participants checked out the herbicide and PGR effects and the precision seeder that was used to plant a number of the crops. There was a lot of discussion amongst the group as weed control is always of great importance to growers.

SFSDC would like to thank the Crop Development Centre and AAFC for their hospitality and efforts to host and lead the field tour. It was an excellent opportunity to view their research work and make great connections with our research community. Special thanks to Bruce, Bill, Moria and Aaron for their expertise. SFSDC would also like to thank the Saskatchewan Forage Council for collaborating with us on the field tour.

The Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation (NARF) annual field day was held near Melfort, SK on July 20, 2016 with approximately 100 people in attendance to look at research projects on many crops. SFSDC has worked with NARF for 4 years on forage seed research projects at their site. Tour stops included annual crop varieties, flax seed treatments and fungicides, faba bean inputs, forage and companion crop seeding, and cleavers control.

This year, a group from the International Grassland Congress convention in Saskatoon took a side trip to northeast Saskatchewan and made a quick stop at the SFSDC clover crop minor use trials where the activities and research projects of SFSDC were described.

Thank you to Stu Brandt, Stephanie Ginter, Brett Mollison and all the crew at NARF and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Melfort for their efforts on the forage seed crop projects and with the field day.

Posted November 3, 2016