Conference 2020

Adaptive Soil Management on Your Farm

The 32nd Annual Conference of the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Western Development Museum Saskatoon, SK

 

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:45 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:00 am

 

Managing the Soil Microbiome

Dr. Bobbi Helgason, Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

9:30 am

 

The Prairie Soil Carbon Balance After 21 Years

Dr. Brian McConkey, Chief Scientist, Viresco Solutions, Victoria, BC
[Presentation PDF]

10:00 am

 

Monetizing Regenerative Agriculture

Brenda Tjaden, Founder, Sustainable Grain, Oakbank, MB
[Presentation PDF]

10:30 am

Refreshment and Networking Break

10:45 am

 

Keynote Speaker: Integrated Nitrogen Management

Joel Williams, Educator/Consultant, Integrated Soils, Toronto, ON

12:05 pm

Luncheon

1:00 pm

What is Soil Health in a Nutshell?

Yamily Zavala, Chinook Applied Research Association, Oyen, AB

1:30 pm

 

1:50 pm

 

2:10 pm

 

Improving the Soil With Polycrops and Bison

Avery Shepherd, Producer, Sunset Bison Ranch, Livelong, SK
[Presentation PDF]

Observations & Learning Experiences

Lynn & Sherry Grant, Producer, Val Marie, SK
[Presentation PDF]

Trying to Improve Soil On My Farm By Adding A Little Chaos

Tyler Wilson, Producer, TPot Farms, Admiral, SK
[Presentation PDF]

2:30 pm

 

Producer Panel

Moderated by Cody Straza, SSCA Director

3:00 pm

Refreshment and Networking Break

3:15 pm

Carbon Storage and Cycling in Rangelands of the Canadaian Prairies

Cameron Carlyle, University of Alberta, Calgary, AB
[Presentation PDF]

3:45 pm

Wrap-up

4:00 pm

SSCA AGM

 

 For more information about the conference, please contact the SSCA Office Manager

(C) 306.371.4213 or (E) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Register Online Here


SPEAKERS

Bobbi HelgasonDr. Bobbi Helgason –  Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan
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Managing the soil microbiome:  The soil microbiome is abundant and diverse, and just like the human gut microbiome, is influenced by what we feed it. A well-balanced diet of sound soil fertility and cropping system diversity can support soil and plant microbiomes that build soil organic matter, efficiently cycle nutrients and resist pathogen infestations. The impacts of tillage, fertility and crop rotation practices on soil microbial communities and their function will be discussed to provide a better understanding of the importance of management decisions for supporting microbial ecosystem services. 


Brian McConkeyDr. Brian McConkey –  Chief Scientist, Viresco Solutions
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The Prairie Soil Carbon Balance Project After 21 Years:  Authors: Brian McConkey, Mervin St.Luce, Jeff Schoenau, and Ryan Hangs

The Prairie Soil Carbon Balance Project was started in 1996 by the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association. The project first measured soil organic carbon (SOC) in 1996 on 136 farm fields across Saskatchewan that has been converted to direct seeding. The farm fields were resampled in 1999, 2005, 2011, and 2018. The results have documented that the SOC of these fields has increased since 1996. Saskatchewan cropland has removed millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the last several decades. The presentation also reports on how the quality of soil organic carbon has changed from 1996
to 2018.


Brenda Tjaden Brenda Tjaden Founder, Sustainable Grain
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Monetizing Regenerative Agriculture


Yamily

Dr. Yamily Zavala – Soil Health & Crop Management Specialist, Chinook Applied Research Association
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Soil Health & Crop Management Specialist Dr. Yamily Zavala has managed the Chinook Applied Research Association’s crop and soil program for the past six years. Prior to joining the CARA staff, she was a crop production consultant based out of Ottawa where project work took her to Central and South America as well as points in the south and west of Africa. Early in her career, Yamily was a Soil Scientist for the National Agricultural Research Foundation at the Táchira State Research Center in Venezuela. She earned a PhD in Soil and Plant Nutrition from Cornell University. Her passion for understanding and improving the health of soils has contributed to improvements in the local agricultural economies where she has worked. In addition to applied research projects, she manages CARA’s Soil Health Lab (CSHL), the first lab of its kind in Western Canada. The CSHL focuses on the evaluation of physical and biological soil properties and allows producers the opportunity for hands-on evaluation of their soils. She is a sought after speaker and has addressed producers across Western Canada on various soil health topics and demonstrations.

What is Soil Health in a Nutshell? What is soil health? Soil health Indicators and their constraints, importance of soil microorganisms interactions on soil resilience & plant nutrition, case studies on soil health (soil aggregation stability and carbon sequestration).

 


Cameron

Cameron Carlyle – Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
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Cameron Carlyle is an associate professor of rangeland ecology in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta. Cameron’s research focuses on ecosystem goods and services in rangelands. In particular, the effects of cattle grazing on carbon storage and sequestration, forage production and biodiversity. He uses a variety of research methods including working with land owners to make observations on existing practices, manipulative small-plot field experiments to tease apart important processes and controlled experiments in the lab. The aim of all his research is to support grassland conservation, increase sustainable beef production and improve our understanding of the ecological processes in these systems. Cameron also does research on climate change, native bees, ants, invasive plants, grassland reclamation, and agroforestry. He teaches courses on rangeland conservation and plant ecophysiology.

Carbon storage and cycling in rangelands of the Canadian Prairies


PRODUCER PANEL

Avery ShepherdAvery Shepherd – Livelong, SK
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Improving the Soil with Polycrops and Bison:  Avery will discuss how he uses annuals, perennials and bison in order to build soil on his farm. The focus will be on how poor his soils were and the changes he has seen as his management system evolves. Avery will share the failures and successes he has had on his farm.


Lynn & Sherry Grant Lynn & Sherry Grant – Val Marie, SK
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Observations & Learning Experiences


Tyler WilsonTyler WilsonAdmiral, SK
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Trying to Improve My Soil By Adding a Little Chaos Into the Farm:  Tyler will be discussing some of the soil improvement methods he has been trying and implementing on his farm. From being a straight mono crop grain farm to trying his first poly crop for green feed and renting out his land for fall grazing to now seeding 20 species grazing blends that get rotationally grazed, seeding over 2000ac of intercrops and companion crops, making compost and owning their own herd of beef cattle. Along with some of my wins, losses and chaos along they way that has made farming fun again. 


KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Joel WilliamsJoel Williams – Educator/Consultant, Integrated Soils, Toronto, ON
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Joel Williams is an independent plant and soil health educator, a healthy soils advocate and presenter on soil biology, plant nutrition and agroecological farming systems. Joel has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science specialising in plant and soil dynamics and has a keen interest in managing plant diversity, soil microbial ecology and plant & soil nutrition to optimise soil function and crop immunity. He has a passion for teaching and sharing both scientific and practical information and has lectured to farming audiences internationally.

Integrated Nitrogen Management: This presentation will explore the opportunities to improve nitrogen use efficiencies via integrating multiple strategies when managing nitrogen fertility for crop production. We will outline the opportunities to use organic-N, foliar-N, N-fixation and N-sharing via intercropping all of which, can help reduce dependency on N inputs. In order to optimize this integrated approach, producers require an understanding of the mechanics of how nitrogen is absorbed and metabolized in the plant, how it behaves in the soil, how it is fixed from the atmosphere and how it is transferred from legumes to non-legumes all of which, will be outlined.