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The 2012 Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission (SFSDC) research field day was held on July 25, 2012 in the Carrot River, SK area. 

Thank you to AG-Vision Seeds Ltd. for their hospitality in providing our place to meet and for the snack Field Day 2012and tour of their seed processing facility.  Other much appreciated cooperation was provided by PICKSEED for lining up three of our tour sites, and by our site cooperators: Loren Yurkowki, Marcel Enns, Allan Stewart and Hans Meyer.

There were 28 people in attendance for this year’s research field day.  Although rain threatened to wash out the field portion of the tour, those in attendance decided to chance the roads and go look at some plots.  With almost 3½ inches of rain falling on three of our five planned sites during the previous night, it was decided to travel to the area that received less rain to look at two sites in the field and discuss the other sites at the AG-Vision Seeds Ltd. facility.

Field Day Highlights included:

  • Dr. Julie Soroka, Research Scientist – Entomology, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon provided a description of the red clover casebearer monitoring project being carried out across the Prairies.  SFSDC is contributing $1,000 per year for three years toward this project.  Dr. Soroka also provided an overview of other insect pests causing problems in crops in 2012 in northeast Saskatchewan including: lesser clover leaf weevil, alfalfa weevil, true armyworm on timothy and cereals, and swede midge on canola. 

  • The SFSDC carried out preliminary research work on bromegrass seed midge in 2012.  A project site was toured, where Dr. Soroka provided background information on the insect pest and the two parasitic wasps that infest the midge.  The project involves monitoring the midge and determining the best timing for, and effectiveness of, insecticide application.  Insecticide was applied at midge emergence (heading of the bromegrass) and samples of midge and wasps were collected at 5 different times.  Seed shattering, yield and seed quality will be measured.  Clayton Myhre and Rick Cherepuschak led the discussion of the project.

  • Dr. Bruce Coulman, Department Head of Plant Sciences, U of S provided an overview of forage seed researchers in Western Canada and the additional areas of research needed to advance the forage industry.  Dr. Coulman also talked about the development of hybrid bromegrass under his research program, and sainfoin and alfalfa research. 

  • Drs. Fran Walley and Richard Farrell, Professors Soil Sciences, U of S discussed their upcoming research project on fertility in forage grass seed production.  SFSDC has contributed $4,000 to this project.  Urease nitrification inhibitors will be used to attempt to improve the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer applications in forage grasses and greenhouse gas emissions will also be monitored. 

  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture provided funding to test fungicides for leaf disease control in grasses grown for seed.  The site was too wet to visit on the tour, but the project was described when the group met at AG-Vision Seeds Ltd.  Fungicides were applied on two sites of perennial ryegrass and one site of timothy at early heading.  Leaf diseases were monitored and measured as per cent leaf infection on the flag leaf just prior to and two weeks after application.  Plant diseases being monitored in timothy are purple eyespot and powdery mildew, while the plant diseases being monitored in perennial ryegrass are rust and powdery mildew. Seed yield and quality will be determined.

  • The project was supported by the Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT) initiative under the Canada-Saskatchewan Growing Forward bi-lateral agreement.

  • Two other sites were described by Norm Klemmer of AG-Vision Seeds Ltd.  They included a field of alsike clover and a field of single cut red clover.  A great discussion was held on the features of these crops and on harvest aids and options for harvesting.

The day wrapped up with a tour of the processing plant and warehouse facilities of AG-Vision Seeds Ltd. 

Thank you to all who attended and helped at the field day.  Let’s hope for some more sunny weather next year!!

Posted October 18, 2012