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The 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SFSDC was held in Saskatoon, SK on January 17, 2019. James Silcox, SFSDC Chair began by introducing the Board of Directors, Advisors and guests.

AGM 2019
SFSDC AGM January 17, 2019. Saskatoon, SK. Source: SFSDC
James Silcox
James Silcox, Chair SFSDC.
June 9, 2018. Source: SFSDC

Here is James Silcox’s annual report:

  • 2018 proved to be quite challenging. While some parts of the province struggled with drought, others had excess moisture issues. Forage seed crops looked quite variable across thd going into harvest. And what a memorable harvest it was! It seemed a never ending quagmire of rain would not let us get to work. Many producers struggled through it and were able to get things completed, and now continue the extra cost in time and money getting what’s in the bin dried.

  • This is my first annual report as your Chair of SFSDC. I have been on the Board since 2012. Over that span, we have seen the size and scope of research expand and intensify. Many agronomic issues such as specialized weed and insect control have been addressed to the benefit of all stakeholders.

  • My main goal with SFSDC is to build on this grassroots Commission’s vision of continued collaboration on research and development amongst the many commissions, researchers, government agencies, and producers.

  • I hope to continue an open dialogue with producers on possible research initiatives, so if you have an idea we are eager to hear it. Hopefully, our efforts will benefit our levy contributors and future producers of forage crops.

  • Thankfully, most of our 2018 plot work was unaffected by Mother Nature’s wrath and I look forward to dissecting all the results with you over the coming months. I would like to thank the many people who made these projects happen in the face of adversity. Your Commission is very fortunate to have excellent researchers such as Jessica Pratchler at the Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation (NARF) and Dr. Bill Biligetu, Dr. Sean Prager and Eric Johnson at the University of Saskatchewan and their crews who dedicate themselves to the forage industry.

  • We have been successful in leveraging your levy dollars through research funding programs like Saskatchewan Agriculture’s ADOPT and now getting more funding support from the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund. I want to acknowledge everyone with the Ministry of Agriculture who have always been there when we need assistance.

  • Our summer research plot tour and barbecue at Melfort Research Farm was a success with many producers enjoying the day. Thanks to the folks at NARF and Agriculture Canada for hosting us.

  • It is very important to work with all of our partners to continue to build the forage seed industry. As producers, we need to do our part, and your Commission is working to fill that role in moving our industry forward.

  • A special thanks to our Executive Director, Ray McVicar, for the day-to-day workings of the Commission. Ray has been involved with this commission since March of 2012 and has been instrumental in helping the commission gain direction and traction with many projects. Ray has announced his retirement and will leave behind a great road map for us to follow into the future. Ray’s professional and organized approach will be greatly missed and I believe I can speak for all of us wishing him a fun-filled and relaxing retirement. Thank you Ray.

Ray McVicar, Executive Director provided additional information for 2017-2018:

Red and Alsike Clover Rotations July 2018
ADOPT Red and Alsike Clover Rotation project. Melfort, SK.
July 25, 2018. Source: SFSDC
  • The SFSDC Board of Directors hosted the grower information session in Saskatoon on January 11, 2018 and held four board meetings.

  • SFSDC worked with NARF and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Farm at Melfort to host the research plot tour and barbecue on July 27, 2017. Our 2018 field tour and barbecue was also held at NARF.

  • Two editions of the Prairie Seeds Newsletter were published. Past editions are posted on the SFSDC website.

  • The Commission contributes articles and purchases three editions each year of the Manitoba Forage Seed News magazine for current levy payers. We also provide part funding for the market articles that were published in the magazine and linked on our website.

  • SFSDC contributes funds and articles to the Saskatchewan Forage Council’s (SFC) monthly email update called eNews.

  • The recently upgraded SFSDC website received 12,600 hits in 2017-2018 and a total of 63,500 since it was launched in July 2011. Saskatchewan Agriculture provided the funding for the upgrade.

  • The SFSDC Board’s main focus is on Research and by using growers’ levy, the Board has been able to help leverage over $750,000 funding in the recent 5 year period.

  • Drs. Sean Prager and Bill Biligetu at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) secured a grant of $215,300 from ADF and began work on Integrated Management to Optimize Red Clover Seed Production. SFSDC is providing $7,500 each year for the three year project.

  • The Weed Management Program (U of S) applied herbicides to established tall fescue, hybrid bromegrass and sainfoin as well as plant growth regulators (PGR) to established sweet clover and hybrid bromegrass in 2018. The Weed Management Program is going in a different direction in 2019 and will no longer be doing contract work for SFSDC. We thank Dr. Chris Willenborg, Eric Johnson and their crew for the excellent work done for SFSDC in the past four years.

  • SFSDC contributed $2,500 to the Forage Variety Demonstration and Testing Program and helped sponsor and edit the SK Forage Council’s revision of the Invasive Weeds Guide.

  • NARF was the centre of many of our 2018 projects including: minor use herbicide testing on established red and alsike clovers, as well as slender wheatgrass; PGR testing on established slender wheatgrass; annual ryegrass nitrogen fertility in combination with the application of a PGR; and herbicide screening on annual ryegrass.

  • Saskatchewan Agriculture provided funding for two ADOPT projects at NARF:

    • Evaluating the Placement of Companion Crops in Forage Seed Production - a two-year project with meadow bromegrass and wheat to confirm results obtained in the 2014-2015 project; and

    • Demonstrating the Effects of Red and Alsike Clover Seed Crops in Rotations - clovers were planted alone or with canola in 2017 to determine canola’s effect on clover seed production in 2018.

  • The final report for the ADOPT project Direct Seeding and Pre-Seeding Cultivation with Red Clover and Faba Bean was posted on the SFSDC website.

  • SFSDC relies on our industry partners who provided products for our research program. Thank you to DLF Pickseed Canada, BASF Canada, Bayer CropScience, Brett Young, Corteva Agriscience, Engage Agro, FMC Corporation, NuFarm Canada, Quantum Biosciences, and Syngenta Canada for their support of the forage seed industry.

  • SFSDC continues to work with Alberta and Manitoba forage seed producers to develop minor use priorities in the national Minor Use research program.

  • Forage seed sales from Saskatchewan growers were valued at over $9.8 Million in the 2017-2018 crop year; up from $8 Million last year. Legumes led the way, with red and alsike clovers the largest crops, and Timothy the largest grass seed crop.

The SFSDC Board consists of six Grower Directors and two Appointed Directors. One Grower Director and one Appointed Director term expired at the end of the AGM. Returning Directors were Morris Nycholat and David Cox. Spencer Staffen joined as a new Director following last year’s AGM. Retiring Directors were Leanna Rousell (Ex-Officio) and Al Foster (Ex-Officio). Special thanks to Leanna and Al for their dedication to the Commission and the forage seed industry.

Board of Directors 2018
SFSDC Board of Directors. July 26, 2018. Melfort SK. L to R.
Morris Nycholat, Clayton Myhre, Dave Cox, Morley Doerksen, Denton Peifer, Spencer Staffen, James Silcox, Terry Kowalchuk, Bill Biligetu. Source: SFSDC

Morley Doerksen updated the group on the Planned Activities and Budget for 2018-2019. NeuPath Group, Nipawin SK was appointed as Auditor for 2018-2019.

Thank you to our grower members, forage seed buyers, researchers, industry partners and government staff for their continued support of the Commission!

For more information on the activities of SFSDC, please check our website.

Posted February 5, 2019