Planting the seeds for a better tomorrow
By Phil Ambroziak
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture believes producers throughout the Northwest should reap what they sow.
That’s why the provincial body once again decided to host its annual Agriculture Information Day, this time at the Lions Hall in Goodsoil March 13. Featuring eight guest speakers, including Amber Bernauer and Dave Cubbon of Cavalier Agrow in Meadow Lake, the afternoon sessions provided the local farmers and ranchers in attendance with some important information about new feed technologies, grazing corn, crop diseases, caring for livestock through the winter months and more.
“We try to hold events like this in the Northwest every year to help keep producers up to date on a variety of subjects,” explained Jenifer Heyden, a regional livestock specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture’s North Battleford office. “We try to cover livestock, forages, crops and the farm management side of things.”
Ministry officials were hoping to attract between 40-50 producers throughout the day. According to Heyden, one of the biggest concerns coming from producers this year has been the significant snowfall experienced and the impact it’s had on feed.
“This winter has been horribly long,” she said. “People are running short on feed and the overall feed quality throughout the Northwest has not been as good as it usually is. We’ve received a lot of calls about downed cows because of low mineral levels in feed.”
Among those in attendance concerned about the lengthy winter was Rapid View rancher Edmund Vidal.
“I’m here to listen to whatever they can tell me about cattle,” Vidal said.
A rancher for 40 years, Vidal went on to say he’s never seen a winter like the one experienced this year.
“It’s been pretty tough this year,” he said. “We’re short on hay, so we bought pellets. But, I’m not even sure how long those will last. We’ve had years with a lot of snow, but it’s never been as consistent as it has been this year.”
Cubbon, who shared with the audience soil test results from the area, described the event as having a good mixture of speakers looking to discuss the issues that are important to local producers.
“We have Amber (Bernauer) speaking about corn grazing and Chrystel Olivier, one of the leading experts in Canada, talking about aster yellows – a very severe disease,” he said. “I’ve known a lot of these people (guest speakers) for a very long time and they are all good, experienced people. Hopefully, the producers leave here today with something they can take home on the production side of things and with a list of people they can contact to talk about the different issues they may face.”