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Research has always been the main objective for the SFSDC and the Directors look for ways to expand the research program with the Commission’s limited funds.

For the third year, SFSDC worked with the Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation (NARF) at the Melfort Research Farm to carry out a large portion of our research program. This partnership has worked well and we hope to keep it going in the future.

The 2015 projects carried out at NARF with funding from SFSDC levy payers and our industry partners are:

  • The continuation of the minor use herbicide program on a number of seedling and established forage seed crops. Herbicides were applied on seedling red, alsike and sweet clover, as well as a number of herbicide treatments on established slender wheatgrass.

  • We also looked at plant growth regulator applications on established red clover. With the encouraging results of foliar copper research on established forage grass seed sites in the past 2 years, a third year was applied in 2015. Look for the two year results report on the SFSDC website.

In addition to the above projects, the following projects were carried out at NARF with support from the Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT) U-of-S-Weed-Control-June-2015initiative under the Canada-Saskatchewan Growing Forward 2 bi-lateral agreement:

  • Fungicides for Use on Established Forage Seed Grasses where registered fungicides were applied to established timothy and tall fescue crops to increase seed production; and

  • Evaluating the Placement of Companion Crops in Forage Seed Production. This is the final year of a two year project to compare alternate methods of planting forage seed crops with and without a companion crop. The perennial ryegrass plots did not survive the winter, while the meadow bromegrass plots will continue to be evaluated. Clearfield canola was planted in the same areas where wheat alone was planted in 2014 to provide economic comparisons to the forage seed crop.

With the decision by the SFSDC Board to expand our minor use herbicide program in 2015, the Weed Control Program at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon was contracted to work on minor use herbicide research on cicer milkvetch, sainfoin, hybrid bromegrass, timothy and slender wheatgrass. The goal is to see more crop protection products registered for use in forage seed crops. Crops were planted and seedling treatments applied, with an additional area planted for research on established crops in 2016. The plots established very well and we are off to a great start at the U of S.

SFSDC has also allocated research funding for the forage crop plant breeding program at the University of Saskatchewan for their proposed project for improved sainfoin. It is our goal to use levy funds to leverage increased support for forage crop plant breeding in numerous crops for many years to come.

SFSDC would like to acknowledge BASF Canada, DLF Pickseed Canada, Dow Agrosciences, Bayer CropScience, Syngenta Canada, BrettYoung, DuPont Canada and Yara International for supplying products for our research.

For more information about current and past research projects, look under Research on this website.

Posted October 16, 2015