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The 2017 forage field tour and BBQ were held on July 27th 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), AAFC Melfort, and Saskatchewan Agriculture. There were over 40 people in attendance. Hot and sunny conditions prevailed for the afternoon field tour and BBQ. Attendees were shown a number of research projects and lots of discussion took place around the plots.

Al Foster, Saskatchewan Agriculture, led the group through the Cicer Milkvetch mixtures project and the Hay and Pasture Forage Crop Demonstration project including many forage species. Victoria Nameth, Saskatchewan Agriculture, described the lesser clover leaf weevil control project in red clover and brought samples of weevil adults and larvae for the attendees to check out.

Field Tour Group. July 27, 2017. Melfort SK. Source: SFSDC

Jessica Pratchler, Research Manager NARF, provided an update on the herbicide screening program and the plant growth regulator work on forage seed crops. Stu Brandt, NARF, conducted the group through the alternate row planting project and the pre-tillage vs zero tillage project where red clover was underseeded to faba bean in 2016 and various herbicide treatments were compared to tillage.

This year’s tour featured one of the sites of the Saskatchewan Forage Variety Demonstration trials that included varieties of: hybrid, meadow and smooth bromegrass; crested wheatgrass; Festulolium; tall fescue; Timothy; alfalfa; cicer milkvetch and sainfoin. Terry Kowalchuk, Saskatchewan Agriculture, described the program that was re-started in 2017. The first seed yields will be harvested in 2018. The BBQ wrapped up the day when the AAFC staff out did themselves preparing a terrific meal.

Thank you to Saskatchewan Agriculture for their financial support for a number of research projects and the field tour through the Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT) initiative under the Canada-Saskatchewan Growing Forward bi-lateral agreement.

Thank you to all of our speakers and to the NARF and the AAFC crews for their effort with the forage seed research program and for hosting the field tour and the BBQ.

 Posted November 25, 2017