Kaeley Kindrachuk, AT, Crops Extension Specialist, Outlook and Joel Peru, PAg, CCA, Irrigation Agrologist, Outlook
This year’s Crop Diagnostic School was hosted by the Northeast Agricultural Research Foundation (NARF) at Melfort and featured six stations for participants to rotate through each day. The first station we stopped at was the Sprayer Technology station that was organized by Tom Wolf and Brian Caldwell with Agrimetrix Research and Training. They featured the new WEEDit spot sprayer, and demonstrated how well it works to identify weed biomass on the ground and spray only those areas. More information on sprayers and pesticide applications can be found at www.sprayers101.com.
Our second stop was at the New Crops station. This station featured several newer and specialty crops that producers and agronomists could look at and learn about. Pulse crops like faba beans, peas and soybeans were featured along with quinoa, borage, hybrid brown mustard, camelina and grain corn. Dale Risula, Provincial Specialist for Special Crops, Matt Bernard, Provincial Specialist for Oilseed Crops, Joel Peru, Irrigation Agrologist, Allie Noble, Crops Extension Specialist and Victoria Nameth, Agri-Environmental Specialist, presented on the various crops, outlining where in the province each crop is best suited, agronomic considerations and marketing options.
The third stop was the Insect ID and Scouting station where Provincial Entomologist, James Tansey demonstrated how to properly use a sweep net when looking for insects. Sweep nets can be purchased from Pro Metal Industries in Regina. Tyler Wist, Entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) talked about the beneficial insects we may find in fields and how useful they are, while showing photos of each of them. Boyd Mori, Entomologist with AAFC explained how to look for damage associated with the new Canola Flower Midge, and where in the province the damage is most prevalent. He indicated that there is ongoing research into the economic losses due to the midge in canola, but at this time, producers are not to worry. To find more information on crop pests and beneficial insects, visit http://prairiepestmonitoring.blogspot.com/.
The next station we visited was the Disease ID and Scouting station where specialists highlighted management of crop diseases. Shannon Chant, Crops Extension Specialist toured us through the station where she talked about how to scout for blackleg and sclerotinia stem rot in canola, fababean diseases, anthracnose in lentils, and how to tell the difference between herbicide damaged plants and diseased plants. Participants also got to complete a “myths and truths” quiz about diseases and disease management and learn about biosecurity practices for entering fields.
The last two stations were Environmental Stresses and Weed ID. John Ippolito, Crops Extension Specialist, Fred Waelchli with Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation and Gary Kruger, Irrigation Agrologist talked about assessing frost damage, hail damage and drought conditions in crops.
At the Weed ID station, Clark Brenzil, Provincial Specialist for Weed Control talked about options for controlling weed seeds at harvest. John Hauer, Range Management Extension Specialist spoke about Common Tansy and where to find information on other invasive weeds. Erin Campbell, Crops Extension Specialist talked about how to tell the difference between Prickly Lettuce and Sow Thistle, and Hemp Nettle and American Dragonhead.
Crop Diagnostic School is hosted by a different location each year and held annually in July. If you are interested in learning more or participating next year, watch for details about the school for 2019. For more information about Crop Diagnostic School, contact your nearest Crops Extension Specialist.