Prairie Steward Newsletters

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Issue No. 62 - Spring 2012

What a year! 2012 marks 25 years since the SSCA was formed and next year's conference on January 9, 2013 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Association's first conference. Back on Feb 16 and 17, 1988, 150 producers arrived at the Wills Inn in Saskatoon for a conference entitled " A systems approach to Soil Conservation". 

The first president, Brett Meinert, made a bold statement: "The SSCA will be a voice for Soil Conservation in Saskatchewan". Over the last 25 years the Association has lead the most dramatic change ever seen in agriculture. Gone are the dust clouds, a common sight hovering over the prairie landscape and water erosion has drama tic ally decreased. Instead of mining the been soil for all its nutrients, producers have begun rebuilding the soil's organic matter.

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Issue No. 61 - Fall 2011

Here in the Applied Pedology research group, we focus on how land use and climate change affect, and are affected by, soil properties and processes.

Our main emphasis is on dynamics of nitrogen and carbon, which are essential for healthy, productive ecosystems, but in excess can contribute to water quality concerns and greenhouse gas emissions. One of our projects over the past several years has been examining how pulse crops (pea and lentil) in the crop rotation affect the quality of soil organic matter and the rate and timing of nitrogen mineralization.

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Issue No. 60 - Spring 2011

Needle-and-thread and chickpea are among my preferred plants. The first amazes me by its elegance, wide distribution, and by the determination of its seeds to disperse. No wonder this plant was chosen as Saskatchewan's grass emblem; Cleaning Out the it is a great success of nature.

Chickpea, in contrast, is very fragile and give producers hard time despite prayers and applications of herbicides, Wetlands as an Asset fertilizers, and on the farm p.12 up to five foliar applications of fungicides per growing to control ascochyta blight. Chickpea amazes me because I am a research scientist, and researchers love problems.

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