Prairie Steward Newsletters

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Issue No. 39 - Summer 2003

It is an honor to serve as the president of SSCA. I was elected at the close of our annual meeting during our conference in February.

I farm at Radisson with my wife and 2 adult children. We have been involved in minimum and zero-till since the early 80’s, producing wheat, peas, canola, and barley. We took over this farm from my parents and we are now in transition to the next generation. The successful transition of a farm today is a lot more involved than it was in 1975 when we took over from my parents! I would like to update you with SSCA happenings. First, we held a very successful conference judging from the 900+ people that attended.

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Issue No. 38 - Spring 2003

Canada has ratified the Kyoto Protocol and has released its Climate Change Plan. Kyoto's intention is to reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. 

There are two methods to do this. The first is to reduce emission levels and the second is to remove and store (sequester) CO2 as carbon in forests and ag soils (carbon sinks). We must give the Canadian government full credit for the efforts they made in getting international recognition for ag sinks.

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Issue No. 37 - Winter 2003

Making changes in farming practises requires commitment, time and resources. Producers are interested in knowing the long-term benefits of these changes and especially their economic impact. 

We had the opportunity in 2002 to get some indication of the magnitude of the long-term agronomic and economic benefits of direct seeding. We measured the response of spring wheat to nitrogen fertilizer on two fields with very different direct seeding histories i.e. 20+ years vs 1 year. The test areas were close enough together to eliminate differences in precipitation as a controlling variable. We used one rate of phosphorus fertilizer (20 lbs P2O5/ac). Table 1 provides some general information about the two sites and also some pertinent agronomic information. Both areas were seeded to canola in 2001.

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