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By Ray McVicar, Executive Director
Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission (SFSDC)

So far, 2015 has been a better spring for getting crops into the ground in a timely manner. At the time of writing this article, concerns were growing about dry soil conditions and some good rains would be much appreciated. There are other areas of Saskatchewan where excess surface water continues to be a problem. In Northeast Saskatchewan, seeding has progressed sooner than the past three years and established forage seed crops look like they have wintered better as well. Although the cold night-time temperSpringUpdate2015atures of mid-May brought some concerns due to slow crop development, hopefully, the crops have survived and will develop normally.

At our Annual General Meeting in December, three new Directors joined the Board. They are Denton Peifer from Nipawin; Morley Doerksen from Garrick; and Dr. Bill Biligetu from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Denton and Morley are long-time growers of forage seed and Bill is our new forage crop plant breeder. We welcome all three to the SFSDC Board of Directors! Thank you to all of our Directors for their commitment to our industry.

We are also looking forward to having Leanna Rousell join our Board as an ex-officio Director. Leanna has replaced Leanne Thompson as the new Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Forage Council. Thank you to Leanne for her time with us.

The Board decided to hold a Strategic Planning Session to help lay out plans for the Commission’s activities and goals for the next 3 to 5 years. Eclecthink Consultants, Bill and Susan Brooks, were contracted to facilitate the strategic planning session on March 5, 2015 and guide the development of resource materials as well as write the session Report. There were 15 people in attendance including the current SFSDC Directors, the Executive Director, 3 forage seed buyers and the facilitators. We also received written input from other stakeholders. This provided excellent key-player contributions to our session and indicated the importance placed by our Board on the session.

SFSDC would like to thank Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture for their support of this important project. SFSDC has a small levy base with a limited budget. Funding from Saskatchewan Agriculture allowed the organization to complete a professionally facilitated strategic planning session for the first time.

SFSDC will be working with AG-Vision Seeds of Carrot River, SK to hold an afternoon field tour on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. We will meet at the AG-Vision plant at 1 PM. Watch the SFSDC website at www.skforageseeddc.com for more details.

The Northeast Agriculture Foundation (NARF) research field day will be held at Melfort Research Station on July 22, 2015. SFSDC has worked with NARF to carry out much of our research program for the past two years, and we are very pleased to continue in 2015. Watch the NARF website at www.neag.ca for more details.

Posted June 4, 2015