By: Kyle McDonald, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is making changes to the development and distribution of the Guide to Crop Protection as part of an ongoing commitment to provide more efficient and effective program and service delivery. These changes are being implemented with grower and agrologist needs in mind and are based on feedback received in the client survey conducted during the 2016 Crop Production Show. Growers said they use the Guide throughout the year, not just in the spring. Feedback on the Spring Update showed that the awareness for this publication is low and that the information provided in this update was not being used.
What these changes mean:
- The 2017 Guide will include more new chemicals than previous publications, eliminating the need for the Spring Update.
- The Spring Update, usually released in May, will not be published.
- To incorporate information on more new chemicals, the timing of the Guide’s development will be extended. The 2017 Guide will be available beginning in late February to early March. This means it will not be available at the 2017 Crop Production Show.
However, some things are not changing:
- The Guide will still be available to Saskatchewan farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses at no cost.
- Once published, the Guide will still be distributed through normal channels such as retail locations and the Ministry’s Regional Offices.
This distribution change aligns well with trends the Ministry has seen in the past. Over the past 15 years, the number of books handed out at the Crop Production Show has declined by 50 per cent to 2,500 copies; this represents less than 10 per cent of the total published copies. As part of the transition to a later distribution date, clients visiting the 2017 Crop Production Show will have the option to sign up to receive their Guide in the mail.
Interesting facts about the Guide:
- The Guide has increased significantly in size over the past decade, now at 577 pages compared to 328 in 2000. However, the process and the amount of time for Ministry staff and chemical manufacturing representatives to handle this increased demand has not changed in that same time period.
- The Guide is a subsidized publication Saskatchewan producers receive at no cost, while growers in Manitoba and Alberta pay for it.
For more information contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 866-457-2377 or email@example.com.