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The 2015 Forage Seed Growers’ workshop was hosted by SFSDC in Nipawin, SK on December 2, 2015. The agenda included an excellent line-up of speakers and presentations were made by:

Stu Brandt, Research Manager, Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation (NARF), reviewed the forage seed research program carried out at Melfort and area in 2015 including herbicide tolerance, copper fertility, desiccation of red clover and fungicide testing on established Timothy and Tall Fescue. In the copper fertility project, Stu described three years of results from applying foliar copper fertilizer to established grasses where yield responses were not as large in 2015 as in the previous two years. A report on this project is included in this edition of the Forage Seed News.

Allan Foster, Regional Forage Crop Specialist, Saskatchewan Agriculture provided an update on the forage seed establishment project, Evaluating the Placement of Companion Crops in Forage Seed Production, funded by ADOPT at the Melfort Station. This two year project is wrapping up where forages were planted alone or with a companion crop in the same rows or in alternate rows using air seeder technology. The final report will be available on the SFSDC website in early spring.

Bill-Biligetu-Dec-2-2015Dr. Bill Biligetu, Forage Crop Breeder at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), talked about his program. Projects include improving hybrid bromegrass seed yield, improving seed yield of hybrid wheatgrass (an example of this crop is AC Saltlander), and screening sainfoin for improved seed size and yield. Dr. Biligetu also described the forage crop Masters’ level research projects that he is supervising at the U of S. Dr. Biligetu and Terry Kowalchuk, Provincial Forage Crop Specialist, Saskatchewan Agriculture provided an update on the development of a new forage crop variety testing program in Saskatchewan. The goal is to provide independent and reliable data on new and existing forage crop lines under Saskatchewan conditions.

Shane Lacusta, Seed Production Specialist with Brett-Young Seeds reviewed the forage seed market including alfalfa, grasses and clovers. Shane noted continuing good prices and the need for more production of many forage seed crops. For example, late spring frost in 2015 caused extensive damage to perennial ryegrass crops, and Shane related the need for more acres.

Thank you to all of the speakers and those who attended the workshop as well as our levy payers and forage seed buyers for their support of the commission’s program.

Posted February 3, 2016