Prairie Steward Newsletters

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Issue No. 42 - Summer 2004

On June 2, 2004, approximately 350 people attended Saskatchewan’s only direct seeding field day held at the
historical Seager Wheeler farm east of Rosthern.

This year’s event marked the 10 year anniversary for Seeding Trends, featuring a more diverse agenda while continuing to showcase direct seeding and sprayer technology. The large crowd came from all four corners of the province to take in the annual event. The theme of this year’s agenda was “Direct Seeding - 10 years of Showcasing Success”. Organizers of past and  present field days believe their efforts towards staging the late spring event have contributed to the increasing adoption rate of direct seeding in the province.

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Issue No. 41 - Spring 2004

“Beef cattle produce more than 90% of the greenhouse gases contributed by the livestock sector.”Ouch..

But other than the environment why should we care about statistics like these? Because, these emissions represent a loss of costly feed energy and nutrient inputs. So, where does one start? “Improving pasture quality will improve profitability, productivity and reduce Green House Gases (GHGs),” says Dr. John Basarab, a research scientist with the Western Forage Beef Group in Lacombe, Alberta. The relationship between forage quality and methane emissions is startling.

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Issue No. 40 - Winter 2004

A few issues ago I wrote an article on pesticide free production (PFP), that is, not using pesticides on the crop during the growing season.

Fertilizer and a pre-seeding application of Roundup may be applied, but no in-crop herbicide or residual  herbicides can be used. There is hope that a market will develop for this product that, although it is not organic, does offer the consumer another option and provide the producer more flexibility. Weed control is attained with higher seeding rates and crop canopy. Even though a premium price would make pesticide free production much more attractive, let’s look at this option, even without a premium price. Can this still save the producer money at the end of the day? 

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